History Main / UnitedStatesOfTara

26th Feb '14 3:37:47 PM ArenaL5
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/united-states-of-tara-season-3_8744.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind Conference in the center of the mind]].]]

Tara Gregson (ToniCollette) is a mid-30s mother of two with [[SplitPersonality Dissociative Identity Disorder]]. After Tara [[NoMedicationForMe takes a break from her meds]] to discover the cause, three of her alters resurface: Buck, a male alter who likes the firing range and claims to have lost his member in 'Nam; Alice, a 1950s housewife who claims to have attended Radcliffe at Harvard; and T, a pot-smoking, flirty teenager who likes maxing out Tara's credit cards. [[spoiler: Additional alters surface during the course of the series: Gimme, a WildChild seemingly incapable of speech; Shoshana Schoenbaum, a therapist whose book Tara read, and who is a dead ringer for the real deal; Chicken, Tara's personality when she was a child; and Bryce Craine, an alter based on Tara's half-brother]].

''United States of Tara'' is an American {{Dramedy}} that explores the effect DID can have on a family. That family in this case includes her husband, Max; her daughter, Kate, and son, Marshall, all three of whom have problems of their own. Max has more patience than Job, Kate's going through that awkward time known as the teenage years and Marshall has to deal with being an openly gay 14-year-old (and Buck being the manliest of men).

The series was created by Creator/StevenSpielberg and written by Creator/DiabloCody. It began running on {{Showtime}} in January of 2009 and ran for three seasons.
----
!!This series provide examples of:
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Kate's first shown boyfriend Ben is a Goth/Wapanese and an abusive douchebag. The latter boyfriends aren't all that much better.
* AttractiveBentGender: Depending on the person, Buck. Depending on even stranger people, [[spoiler:[[AxCrazy Bryce]].]]
* ArcWords: Youwillnotwin.
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler: Tara's new alter, Bryce Craine, based off her half-brother who abused her]].
* BookEnds: The pilot and the season one finale both end in a bowling alley with the same music playing, with someone saying "Make that ball your bitch"
* BigBad: Tara's alters in season 1 seem to act as the antagonists, being the direct cause of pretty much every conflict, with T especially being destructive.
* BittersweetEnding: The series finale, "The Good Parts". [[spoiler: Tara makes amends with the whole family; Max is able to finally vent out all his frustrations healthily; Marshall is beginning to take tiny steps in accepting Lionel's death and decides not to shut Tara out of his life; Charmaine has finally matured and asks Neil to marry her; and Kate for once in her life is in a healthy relationship that she isn't rushing. Bryce seems to be out of the picture, but Tara decided to lock herself in "the loony bin" in Boston to be regularly seen by one of the leading therapists that specializes in DID. One of the final scenes shows that Alice, T, and Buck are still around so it's not a 100% guarantee that Bryce is gone for good, or if the other alters are alive]].
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Marshall and his friend from the first season both dress in early 20th century fashion, and are obsessed with old classic cinema and jazz music.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: In one Season One episode, Buck is showing Max his porn collection, and remarks "I got big girls, black girls, big black girls..."
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler: Lionel]].
* CannotSpitItOut: Tara to [[spoiler: her family, particularly Max, about how she's transitioning to Buck again. And had apparently sparked a relationship with a female bartender]].
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler: Tara confronts her mother and demands to know why they were sent to a foster home. A definite CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].
* CampGay: Lionel, the queen of the 'Gayble'.
* CerebusSyndrome: [[spoiler: The Bryce Craine storyline]]. You can quickly notice the moment this begins as the show stops playing it's opening credits sequence and simply has a cold-open fade from black.
* CharacterDevelopment: Everyone. The most obvious examples would be Kate and Charmaine's transformations over the series.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: During the pilot episode, Marshall and even ''Max'' act like they're terrified of Buck, who frightens and intimidates them. Pretty much ''immediately'' afterwards he is just a clowny redneck character that is for the most part considered harmless.
* CloserToEarth: GenderFlipped. Max is "a member of that strange breed of TV husband that exhibits infinite patience", to quote the New Yorker. To be fair, though, Tara does have a pretty good justification for not always being level-headed.
** Subverted as of season 2. Max in a [[spoiler: fit of rage beats the hell out of the contractor who didn't show up to fix up the new house he bought. [[CrossesTheLineTwice On his kid's birthday]]]].
* [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind Conference in the Center of the Mind]]: When Tara declares the beggining of her "dictatorship" but makes arrangements with each of the alters.
** More straightforward BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind [[spoiler: when she finally drowns Bryce]].
* ClubKid: Lionel likes parties, drugs, and anonymous sex.
* ComicBookTime: The last two seasons take place within one year, with three month time skips between each season.
* ConfessionCam: During season 1, Tara used one of these. Though that gets dropped in the beginning of season 2.
* CountryMatters: Tara gets into trouble for this.
* DarkestHour: The entirety of "Crunchy Ice".
* DarkerAndEdgier: Boy, Creator/DiabloCody is a lot darker than we originally thought.
* DawsonCasting: Kate's actor is 20 playing 15, Jason's actor is 21 playing 16, God only knows how old Gene is supposed to be, but his actor is 32.
* DrivenToSuicide: The Gregsons' neighbor in the season 2 premiere. Attempted by [[spoiler: Tara Gregson]] in "Crunchy Ice".
* EffeminateMisogynisticGuy: Lionel Trane was so misogynistic that he made other, more mature and secure gay characters uncomfortable.
* EpunymousTitle
* ExactWords:
-->'''Max''': I told you to watch him!
-->'''Marshall''': I ''did'' watch him. I watched him leave.
* FakeAmerican: Toni Collette (Tara) is an Aussie.
* [[spoiler:FailureIsTheOnlyOption: At the beginning of Season 2, Tara has been alter-free for three months. Guess what happens at the end of the episode]].
* FilleFatale: T has elements of this, what with her aggressively hitting on Max and later [[spoiler: on Jason]].
* FriendsRentControl: for a woman who does piece work as an artist and a landscaper, raising two teenaged kids, they seem to have a pretty posh house.
* FreudianExcuse: A rather heartbreaking one: [[spoiler: Tara was sexually abused year nine at her boarding school. To make matters worse, it's revealed that her being raped ''wasn't'' the trauma that caused her to dissociate, since T was already active]].
** It's revealed in the season 2 finale that [[spoiler: when Tara was five-years-old, her and Charmaine's parents took in her father's son from a previous marriage, who was "troubled" and was implied to have repeatedly sexually abused her. Tara and Charmaine were moved to a foster home for a while; the woman who took them in inspired one of Tara's alters, Alice]].
* GhostInTheMachine: Probably not in the actual series proper, but the title sequence stylistically represents the three alters living in a house that turns into Tara's head. It won an Emmy.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey, it's Patton Oswalt and [[{{Dollhouse}} he's dealing with people with multiple personalities]]! Also featuring [[DesperateHousewives Alma Hodge]] as Tara's therapist and [[Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip Tom Jeter]] as Kate's boss.
** Not to mention Tara's husband is [[SexAndTheCity Aidan]].
** In addition, [[WesternAnimation/{{Recess}} Andy Lawrence]] of the [[DisneyChannel Lawrence brothers]] played Jason.
** EddieIzzard is Tara's psychology professor.
** Grandma Sandi is [[SixFeetUnder Ruth Fisher]].
* HeyItsThatPlace: In the episodes "Alterations" and "Snow", the hospital the characters visit is [[{{Scrubs}} Sacred Heart Hospital]].
* ICallItVera: Buck has a gun called Persephone.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: [[TearJerker Excruciatingly]] subverted in "Crunchy Ice".
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: Despite the actual words never being said, since he was ''already'' hurting Kate, Buck and Marshall just decide to skip straight to making good on the threat.
* ImportantHaircut: "Don't you know? Tara's [[spoiler: never coming back]]."
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler: Averted. When Bryce starts violently killing the alters, sweet and innocent 5 year old Chicken is the first to be murdered.]]
* InformedAttribute: [[spoiler: While the flashbacks to Mimi clearly showed her as having Alice's exact personality, when Tara tracked her down in the present everyone was still reacting as if she was much more Alice-like than she appeared to be. While prim and proper, she was very much Alice-lite]].
* {{Jerkass}}: For the first six and a half episodes, Charmaine was pretty consistently a massive bitch about her sister's mental illness. She gets better, thankfully.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Buck has his moments of sensitivity.
* KirkSummation: In the second episode, Alice rips Marshall's English teacher to shreds over his bad high school experiences. Needless to say, he reconsiders his treatment of Marshall.
** [[spoiler: Shoshanna]] for many of the main characters after her introduction, particularly Tara. She ''is'' a therapist after all.
** Grandma Sandi has an epic, and [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass unexpected]], one for [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]].
* KnightOfCerebus: [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]]
* LaughablyEvil: Say what you want about [[spoiler: Bryce]], he's entertaining.
* MamaBear: Alice with a whole heap of TranquilFury and a side of KirkSummation. Aside from her family Alice believes she's one for Tara herself because, in her words, Tara is weak.
* MayDecemberRomance: Throughout the entire series, 15 year old Kate seems to almost exclusively go for men much, much older than her. Considering by the end of the final scene she's only 18 at most, it's somewhat uncomfortable.
* MoodWhiplash: After Pammy the bartender [[spoiler: declared her love for]] Buck at the ice rink, Max [[spoiler: angrily stormed off]] which left Tara alone and depressed. Then Kate picks up the thread of a conversation she and Marshall were having earlier, explaining [[spoiler: a perverse sexual position -- "the dogs in the bathtub" -- to him]].
-->'''Kate''': So the dogs are your [[spoiler: balls]] and the bathtub is her--
** "Crunchy Ice" is the darkest episode of the series, but of course its chock full of BlackComedy. It's even lampshaded by Marshall.
--->'''Marshall''': It's laugh or cry time here at the musée d'arte. I choose laugh.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Despite the fact that she's a hoarding {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Grandma Sandi's]] got some bite. She was the only character who was ever able to effectively stand up to [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]], giving an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome amazing]] KirkSummation with a PrecisionFStrike thrown in for good measure.
-->'''Grandma Sandi''': Everything that's happened to your family, your kids, your husband, everything they are, everything they could've been but aren't, it's all your fault. And if you touch my tree, I'll break your fucking fingers.
** Also counts as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for her!
* OccidentalOtaku: Kate's first shown boyfriend is a {{Goth}} and, to be blunt, Wapanese.
* One Hour Work Week: Tara has a lot of free time.
* PapaWolf: Buck will kick your ass if you mess with his loved ones. [[UnstoppableRage Ask Kate's ex-boyfriend]]. And like Alice, he is also defensive of Tara as seen in the season 1 finale when [[spoiler: he tried to jump one of the guys who raped Tara/T in high school]].
* RomanticFalseLead: Charmaine's new boyfriend, "Fake Uncle" Nick, is a Nice RFL with regards to the relationship between her and Neil, [[spoiler: until the wedding]].
* ShoutOut: Tara has an [[spoiler: AxCrazy]] SplitPersonality that [[spoiler: mimics a family member who she had an abusive relationship with. [[Film/{{Psycho}} Sound familiar]]? Extra points for being named Bryce Craine, akin to the DecoyProtagonist Marion Crane]].
* SlasherSmile: [[spoiler: This is how you know [[AxCrazy Bryce]] has come out to play]].
* SoapPunishment: Alice, one of Tara's alters who is a 1950s housewife, invokes this trope after Kate gives her EthicalSlut rant. Alice follows through on the threat, driving Kate to get a job so she can move out (which becomes a major subplot for the next two seasons).
* SpotlightStealingSquad: The second season shoved aside virtually all of the alters from the first season but Buck.
* SplitPersonality: Of course!
* SplitPersonalityMerge: As with TruthInTelevision, the ultimate goal of Tara's therapy is for her to integrate.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: Alice seems at times like she wants to do this, what with her "I'll be around all the time" speech to Marshall in the second episode and her deriding Tara for being weak in the season finale.
** This also seems to be [[spoiler: Bryce's plan. He "killed" Chicken and asked to be taken to Tara so he can do the same to her. Later on he killed Shoshana and then Gimme. On "Crunchy Ice" he killed Buck, T. and Alice as well]].
* StalkerWithACrush: [[spoiler: Gene]] gets ''really'' creepy over Kate. As does Courtney over Marshall, though to a lesser degree.
* StepfordSmiler: Alice. Trapped in an eternal Eisenhower era housewife personality, said to secretly get drunk off cooking wine and initially seems hellbent on staying in control of Tara's body. Though over time her own psychosis lessens as she learns to work with Tara.
* StraightGay: Marshall and Noah.
* TalkingToThemself: In season 1, Alice was the only one that was able to communicate with the other alters and claimed that she had no idea where Tara would go to when she took over the body; in season 2 Tara was able to have an argument with Buck and have therapy with [[spoiler: Shoshana]]; in season 3 Tara is able to [[spoiler: fully communicate with them all and even summoned them for a conference]].
** In season 3 some alters [[spoiler: were having conversations with each other while Tara was LockedOutOfTheLoop. But she was still able to see and hear them]].
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Tara has a therapist in season one... it's just that the therapist is completely over her head on the subject of DID and ultimately stops working with Tara because she herself admits that she is completely unqualified to help her. In season two, [[spoiler: Tara gains a new alter who becomes her therapist.]]
* TitleDrop: In "Wheels."
-->'''Tara''': I'm dissolving the United States of Tara and declaring myself king.
* Totally Radical : T.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil : The promo at the end of S3 Ep 11 reveals [[spoiler: Tara survived her suicide attempt]].
* TheTwink: '''Lionel''', and to an extent, Marshall.
* UnexplainedRecovery: [[spoiler: Alice, T. and Buck as of the finale]].
* WildChild: [[spoiler: God only knows if Gimme is a child or even HUMAN, but its 'poncho-goblin' aesthetic certainly makes Tara look feral when it comes out to play]].
** In "Wheels," during the [[spoiler: conference in Tara's mind T refers to Gimme by saying they should "drown the dog." Gimme responds by biting her, then barking]].
* WildTeenParty: Marshall throws one with Kate's help when his parents are gone in the hopes that the boy he likes will come. Charmaine immediately thinks Kate is to blame.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler: Gene and Jason from the first season both vanished without mention by season 2. Possibly justified since a fair amount of time is implied to have passed between the two seasons so any manner of things could have happened to the two characters to prevent them showing up again]].
** Jason is mentioned a couple of times in the second season.
** Also the case with T, who doesn't appear at all in the second season and is only talked about ''once''.
*** Actually, she does appear in the penultimate episode of the second season, if only briefly. [[spoiler:She comes out before Chicken at the Parmeters' house, to accuse Mimi's husband Dwayne of abusing Tara.]]
* WomanScorned: [[spoiler: Marshall's reaction to his crush making out with T is to set her shed on fire and watch as it burns. It's very Medea]].
* WorldOfSnark: All of the main characters, as well as several supporting characters, have a supremely sarcastic sense of humor. Of particular note are Tara, Kate, Marshall, and Charmaine, but all the others get their moments. [[spoiler: Even Bryce, in his BlackComedy manner.]]
* YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: "Multiple personalities is DID, and schizophrenia is hearing voices."
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to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/united-states-of-tara-season-3_8744.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind Conference in the center of the mind]].]]

Tara Gregson (ToniCollette) is a mid-30s mother of two with [[SplitPersonality Dissociative Identity Disorder]]. After Tara [[NoMedicationForMe takes a break from her meds]] to discover the cause, three of her alters resurface: Buck, a male alter who likes the firing range and claims to have lost his member in 'Nam; Alice, a 1950s housewife who claims to have attended Radcliffe at Harvard; and T, a pot-smoking, flirty teenager who likes maxing out Tara's credit cards. [[spoiler: Additional alters surface during the course of the series: Gimme, a WildChild seemingly incapable of speech; Shoshana Schoenbaum, a therapist whose book Tara read, and who is a dead ringer for the real deal; Chicken, Tara's personality when she was a child; and Bryce Craine, an alter based on Tara's half-brother]].

''United States of Tara'' is an American {{Dramedy}} that explores the effect DID can have on a family. That family in this case includes her husband, Max; her daughter, Kate, and son, Marshall, all three of whom have problems of their own. Max has more patience than Job, Kate's going through that awkward time known as the teenage years and Marshall has to deal with being an openly gay 14-year-old (and Buck being the manliest of men).

The series was created by Creator/StevenSpielberg and written by Creator/DiabloCody. It began running on {{Showtime}} in January of 2009 and ran for three seasons.
----
!!This series provide examples of:
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Kate's first shown boyfriend Ben is a Goth/Wapanese and an abusive douchebag. The latter boyfriends aren't all that much better.
* AttractiveBentGender: Depending on the person, Buck. Depending on even stranger people, [[spoiler:[[AxCrazy Bryce]].]]
* ArcWords: Youwillnotwin.
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler: Tara's new alter, Bryce Craine, based off her half-brother who abused her]].
* BookEnds: The pilot and the season one finale both end in a bowling alley with the same music playing, with someone saying "Make that ball your bitch"
* BigBad: Tara's alters in season 1 seem to act as the antagonists, being the direct cause of pretty much every conflict, with T especially being destructive.
* BittersweetEnding: The series finale, "The Good Parts". [[spoiler: Tara makes amends with the whole family; Max is able to finally vent out all his frustrations healthily; Marshall is beginning to take tiny steps in accepting Lionel's death and decides not to shut Tara out of his life; Charmaine has finally matured and asks Neil to marry her; and Kate for once in her life is in a healthy relationship that she isn't rushing. Bryce seems to be out of the picture, but Tara decided to lock herself in "the loony bin" in Boston to be regularly seen by one of the leading therapists that specializes in DID. One of the final scenes shows that Alice, T, and Buck are still around so it's not a 100% guarantee that Bryce is gone for good, or if the other alters are alive]].
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Marshall and his friend from the first season both dress in early 20th century fashion, and are obsessed with old classic cinema and jazz music.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: In one Season One episode, Buck is showing Max his porn collection, and remarks "I got big girls, black girls, big black girls..."
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler: Lionel]].
* CannotSpitItOut: Tara to [[spoiler: her family, particularly Max, about how she's transitioning to Buck again. And had apparently sparked a relationship with a female bartender]].
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler: Tara confronts her mother and demands to know why they were sent to a foster home. A definite CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].
* CampGay: Lionel, the queen of the 'Gayble'.
* CerebusSyndrome: [[spoiler: The Bryce Craine storyline]]. You can quickly notice the moment this begins as the show stops playing it's opening credits sequence and simply has a cold-open fade from black.
* CharacterDevelopment: Everyone. The most obvious examples would be Kate and Charmaine's transformations over the series.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: During the pilot episode, Marshall and even ''Max'' act like they're terrified of Buck, who frightens and intimidates them. Pretty much ''immediately'' afterwards he is just a clowny redneck character that is for the most part considered harmless.
* CloserToEarth: GenderFlipped. Max is "a member of that strange breed of TV husband that exhibits infinite patience", to quote the New Yorker. To be fair, though, Tara does have a pretty good justification for not always being level-headed.
** Subverted as of season 2. Max in a [[spoiler: fit of rage beats the hell out of the contractor who didn't show up to fix up the new house he bought. [[CrossesTheLineTwice On his kid's birthday]]]].
* [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind Conference in the Center of the Mind]]: When Tara declares the beggining of her "dictatorship" but makes arrangements with each of the alters.
** More straightforward BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind [[spoiler: when she finally drowns Bryce]].
* ClubKid: Lionel likes parties, drugs, and anonymous sex.
* ComicBookTime: The last two seasons take place within one year, with three month time skips between each season.
* ConfessionCam: During season 1, Tara used one of these. Though that gets dropped in the beginning of season 2.
* CountryMatters: Tara gets into trouble for this.
* DarkestHour: The entirety of "Crunchy Ice".
* DarkerAndEdgier: Boy, Creator/DiabloCody is a lot darker than we originally thought.
* DawsonCasting: Kate's actor is 20 playing 15, Jason's actor is 21 playing 16, God only knows how old Gene is supposed to be, but his actor is 32.
* DrivenToSuicide: The Gregsons' neighbor in the season 2 premiere. Attempted by [[spoiler: Tara Gregson]] in "Crunchy Ice".
* EffeminateMisogynisticGuy: Lionel Trane was so misogynistic that he made other, more mature and secure gay characters uncomfortable.
* EpunymousTitle
* ExactWords:
-->'''Max''': I told you to watch him!
-->'''Marshall''': I ''did'' watch him. I watched him leave.
* FakeAmerican: Toni Collette (Tara) is an Aussie.
* [[spoiler:FailureIsTheOnlyOption: At the beginning of Season 2, Tara has been alter-free for three months. Guess what happens at the end of the episode]].
* FilleFatale: T has elements of this, what with her aggressively hitting on Max and later [[spoiler: on Jason]].
* FriendsRentControl: for a woman who does piece work as an artist and a landscaper, raising two teenaged kids, they seem to have a pretty posh house.
* FreudianExcuse: A rather heartbreaking one: [[spoiler: Tara was sexually abused year nine at her boarding school. To make matters worse, it's revealed that her being raped ''wasn't'' the trauma that caused her to dissociate, since T was already active]].
** It's revealed in the season 2 finale that [[spoiler: when Tara was five-years-old, her and Charmaine's parents took in her father's son from a previous marriage, who was "troubled" and was implied to have repeatedly sexually abused her. Tara and Charmaine were moved to a foster home for a while; the woman who took them in inspired one of Tara's alters, Alice]].
* GhostInTheMachine: Probably not in the actual series proper, but the title sequence stylistically represents the three alters living in a house that turns into Tara's head. It won an Emmy.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey, it's Patton Oswalt and [[{{Dollhouse}} he's dealing with people with multiple personalities]]! Also featuring [[DesperateHousewives Alma Hodge]] as Tara's therapist and [[Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip Tom Jeter]] as Kate's boss.
** Not to mention Tara's husband is [[SexAndTheCity Aidan]].
** In addition, [[WesternAnimation/{{Recess}} Andy Lawrence]] of the [[DisneyChannel Lawrence brothers]] played Jason.
** EddieIzzard is Tara's psychology professor.
** Grandma Sandi is [[SixFeetUnder Ruth Fisher]].
* HeyItsThatPlace: In the episodes "Alterations" and "Snow", the hospital the characters visit is [[{{Scrubs}} Sacred Heart Hospital]].
* ICallItVera: Buck has a gun called Persephone.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: [[TearJerker Excruciatingly]] subverted in "Crunchy Ice".
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: Despite the actual words never being said, since he was ''already'' hurting Kate, Buck and Marshall just decide to skip straight to making good on the threat.
* ImportantHaircut: "Don't you know? Tara's [[spoiler: never coming back]]."
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler: Averted. When Bryce starts violently killing the alters, sweet and innocent 5 year old Chicken is the first to be murdered.]]
* InformedAttribute: [[spoiler: While the flashbacks to Mimi clearly showed her as having Alice's exact personality, when Tara tracked her down in the present everyone was still reacting as if she was much more Alice-like than she appeared to be. While prim and proper, she was very much Alice-lite]].
* {{Jerkass}}: For the first six and a half episodes, Charmaine was pretty consistently a massive bitch about her sister's mental illness. She gets better, thankfully.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Buck has his moments of sensitivity.
* KirkSummation: In the second episode, Alice rips Marshall's English teacher to shreds over his bad high school experiences. Needless to say, he reconsiders his treatment of Marshall.
** [[spoiler: Shoshanna]] for many of the main characters after her introduction, particularly Tara. She ''is'' a therapist after all.
** Grandma Sandi has an epic, and [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass unexpected]], one for [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]].
* KnightOfCerebus: [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]]
* LaughablyEvil: Say what you want about [[spoiler: Bryce]], he's entertaining.
* MamaBear: Alice with a whole heap of TranquilFury and a side of KirkSummation. Aside from her family Alice believes she's one for Tara herself because, in her words, Tara is weak.
* MayDecemberRomance: Throughout the entire series, 15 year old Kate seems to almost exclusively go for men much, much older than her. Considering by the end of the final scene she's only 18 at most, it's somewhat uncomfortable.
* MoodWhiplash: After Pammy the bartender [[spoiler: declared her love for]] Buck at the ice rink, Max [[spoiler: angrily stormed off]] which left Tara alone and depressed. Then Kate picks up the thread of a conversation she and Marshall were having earlier, explaining [[spoiler: a perverse sexual position -- "the dogs in the bathtub" -- to him]].
-->'''Kate''': So the dogs are your [[spoiler: balls]] and the bathtub is her--
** "Crunchy Ice" is the darkest episode of the series, but of course its chock full of BlackComedy. It's even lampshaded by Marshall.
--->'''Marshall''': It's laugh or cry time here at the musée d'arte. I choose laugh.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Despite the fact that she's a hoarding {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Grandma Sandi's]] got some bite. She was the only character who was ever able to effectively stand up to [[spoiler: Bryce Craine]], giving an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome amazing]] KirkSummation with a PrecisionFStrike thrown in for good measure.
-->'''Grandma Sandi''': Everything that's happened to your family, your kids, your husband, everything they are, everything they could've been but aren't, it's all your fault. And if you touch my tree, I'll break your fucking fingers.
** Also counts as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for her!
* OccidentalOtaku: Kate's first shown boyfriend is a {{Goth}} and, to be blunt, Wapanese.
* One Hour Work Week: Tara has a lot of free time.
* PapaWolf: Buck will kick your ass if you mess with his loved ones. [[UnstoppableRage Ask Kate's ex-boyfriend]]. And like Alice, he is also defensive of Tara as seen in the season 1 finale when [[spoiler: he tried to jump one of the guys who raped Tara/T in high school]].
* RomanticFalseLead: Charmaine's new boyfriend, "Fake Uncle" Nick, is a Nice RFL with regards to the relationship between her and Neil, [[spoiler: until the wedding]].
* ShoutOut: Tara has an [[spoiler: AxCrazy]] SplitPersonality that [[spoiler: mimics a family member who she had an abusive relationship with. [[Film/{{Psycho}} Sound familiar]]? Extra points for being named Bryce Craine, akin to the DecoyProtagonist Marion Crane]].
* SlasherSmile: [[spoiler: This is how you know [[AxCrazy Bryce]] has come out to play]].
* SoapPunishment: Alice, one of Tara's alters who is a 1950s housewife, invokes this trope after Kate gives her EthicalSlut rant. Alice follows through on the threat, driving Kate to get a job so she can move out (which becomes a major subplot for the next two seasons).
* SpotlightStealingSquad: The second season shoved aside virtually all of the alters from the first season but Buck.
* SplitPersonality: Of course!
* SplitPersonalityMerge: As with TruthInTelevision, the ultimate goal of Tara's therapy is for her to integrate.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: Alice seems at times like she wants to do this, what with her "I'll be around all the time" speech to Marshall in the second episode and her deriding Tara for being weak in the season finale.
** This also seems to be [[spoiler: Bryce's plan. He "killed" Chicken and asked to be taken to Tara so he can do the same to her. Later on he killed Shoshana and then Gimme. On "Crunchy Ice" he killed Buck, T. and Alice as well]].
* StalkerWithACrush: [[spoiler: Gene]] gets ''really'' creepy over Kate. As does Courtney over Marshall, though to a lesser degree.
* StepfordSmiler: Alice. Trapped in an eternal Eisenhower era housewife personality, said to secretly get drunk off cooking wine and initially seems hellbent on staying in control of Tara's body. Though over time her own psychosis lessens as she learns to work with Tara.
* StraightGay: Marshall and Noah.
* TalkingToThemself: In season 1, Alice was the only one that was able to communicate with the other alters and claimed that she had no idea where Tara would go to when she took over the body; in season 2 Tara was able to have an argument with Buck and have therapy with [[spoiler: Shoshana]]; in season 3 Tara is able to [[spoiler: fully communicate with them all and even summoned them for a conference]].
** In season 3 some alters [[spoiler: were having conversations with each other while Tara was LockedOutOfTheLoop. But she was still able to see and hear them]].
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Tara has a therapist in season one... it's just that the therapist is completely over her head on the subject of DID and ultimately stops working with Tara because she herself admits that she is completely unqualified to help her. In season two, [[spoiler: Tara gains a new alter who becomes her therapist.]]
* TitleDrop: In "Wheels."
-->'''Tara''': I'm dissolving the United States of Tara and declaring myself king.
* Totally Radical : T.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil : The promo at the end of S3 Ep 11 reveals [[spoiler: Tara survived her suicide attempt]].
* TheTwink: '''Lionel''', and to an extent, Marshall.
* UnexplainedRecovery: [[spoiler: Alice, T. and Buck as of the finale]].
* WildChild: [[spoiler: God only knows if Gimme is a child or even HUMAN, but its 'poncho-goblin' aesthetic certainly makes Tara look feral when it comes out to play]].
** In "Wheels," during the [[spoiler: conference in Tara's mind T refers to Gimme by saying they should "drown the dog." Gimme responds by biting her, then barking]].
* WildTeenParty: Marshall throws one with Kate's help when his parents are gone in the hopes that the boy he likes will come. Charmaine immediately thinks Kate is to blame.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler: Gene and Jason from the first season both vanished without mention by season 2. Possibly justified since a fair amount of time is implied to have passed between the two seasons so any manner of things could have happened to the two characters to prevent them showing up again]].
** Jason is mentioned a couple of times in the second season.
** Also the case with T, who doesn't appear at all in the second season and is only talked about ''once''.
*** Actually, she does appear in the penultimate episode of the second season, if only briefly. [[spoiler:She comes out before Chicken at the Parmeters' house, to accuse Mimi's husband Dwayne of abusing Tara.]]
* WomanScorned: [[spoiler: Marshall's reaction to his crush making out with T is to set her shed on fire and watch as it burns. It's very Medea]].
* WorldOfSnark: All of the main characters, as well as several supporting characters, have a supremely sarcastic sense of humor. Of particular note are Tara, Kate, Marshall, and Charmaine, but all the others get their moments. [[spoiler: Even Bryce, in his BlackComedy manner.]]
* YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: "Multiple personalities is DID, and schizophrenia is hearing voices."
----
[[redirect:Series/UnitedStatesOfTara]]
23rd Jan '14 11:14:34 AM pimpdaddy
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Added DiffLines:

* BornInTheWrongCentury: Marshall and his friend from the first season both dress in early 20th century fashion, and are obsessed with old classic cinema and jazz music.
23rd Jan '14 10:02:47 AM pimpdaddy
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Added DiffLines:

* ThereAreNoTherapists: Tara has a therapist in season one... it's just that the therapist is completely over her head on the subject of DID and ultimately stops working with Tara because she herself admits that she is completely unqualified to help her. In season two, [[spoiler: Tara gains a new alter who becomes her therapist.]]
23rd Jan '14 4:12:43 AM pimpdaddy
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Added DiffLines:

* BookEnds: The pilot and the season one finale both end in a bowling alley with the same music playing, with someone saying "Make that ball your bitch"
23rd Jan '14 4:06:18 AM pimpdaddy
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* CharacterizationMarchesOn: During the pilot episode, Marshall and even ''Max'' act like they're terrified of Buck, who frightens and intimidates them. Pretty much ''immediately'' afterwards he is just a clowny redneck character that is for the most part considered harmless.
23rd Jan '14 3:32:33 AM pimpdaddy
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* BigBad: Tara's alters in season 1 seem to act as the antagonists, being the direct cause of pretty much every conflict, with T especially being destructive.
23rd Jan '14 3:30:01 AM pimpdaddy
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* ConfessionCam: During season 1, Tara used one of these. Though that gets dropped in the beginning of season 2.
21st Jan '14 12:39:09 PM hakulives
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Added DiffLines:

* WorldOfSnark: All of the main characters, as well as several supporting characters, have a supremely sarcastic sense of humor. Of particular note are Tara, Kate, Marshall, and Charmaine, but all the others get their moments. [[spoiler: Even Bryce, in his BlackComedy manner.]]
17th Aug '13 10:49:40 PM OrgaNik
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* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Kate's first shown boyfriend (Ben, I think) is a Goth and an abusive douchebag.

to:

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Kate's first shown boyfriend (Ben, I think) Ben is a Goth Goth/Wapanese and an abusive douchebag.douchebag. The latter boyfriends aren't all that much better.



* CallingTheOldManOut [[spoiler: Tara confronts her mother and demands to know why they were sent to a foster home. A definite CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].

to:

* CallingTheOldManOut CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler: Tara confronts her mother and demands to know why they were sent to a foster home. A definite CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].
17th Aug '13 10:19:52 PM OrgaNik
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Added DiffLines:

* ExactWords:
-->'''Max''': I told you to watch him!
-->'''Marshall''': I ''did'' watch him. I watched him leave.
This list shows the last 10 events of 102. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.UnitedStatesOfTara