[[quoteright:334:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/babysittersclub_2837.jpg]]
Highly successful and popular series of books aimed at pre-teen girls, about a group of kids who [[ExactlyWhatItSaysonTheTin run a club that offers their services as babysitters]]. The series was written by Ann M. Martin and published between 1986 and 2000. It also inspired a 1995 film, a TV series and several spinoffs. Every story was told from the first-person perspective of the protagonist, and began with a description of the rest of the club members.

'''In most of the books, the title club consisted of:'''
* Kristy Thomas - RagsToRiches tomboy with an endless supply of "Great Ideas"
* Claudia Kishi - Japanese-American, artistic, [[AsianAirhead defied]] the "Model Minority" stereotype by being [[BookDumb hopeless at school]]
* Stacey [=McGill=] - stylish kid from New York, resident math whiz, but most importantly...''diabetic''. Dun dun dun.
* Mary Anne Spier - AuthorAvatar and Kristy's shy best friend
* Dawn Schafer - stereotypical "California girl," becomes Mary Anne's stepsister. [[spoiler:Eventually leaves to be replaced by Abby, and gets her own spinoff series.]]
* Mallory Pike - wannabe writer who comes from a huge family
* Jessi Ramsey - the [[TokenMinority token black kid]], aspiring ballerina
* Abby Stevenson - Final and latest SixthRanger; Jewish, twin, asthmatic, athlete, prone to cracking jokes that are SoBadItsGood

'''Secondary characters included:'''
* Janine Kishi - Claudia's genius older sister, alternately a source of frustration and support, but she wants to be supportive. Narrates in a Super Special.
* Charlie Thomas - Kristy's responsible oldest brother, who often drives her and her friends around in exchange for gas money from the club dues.
* Sam Thomas - Kristy's second-oldest brother, who often prank calls the club meetings and has a semi-mutual crush on Stacey. Narrates in a Super Special.
* Jeff Schafer - Dawn's younger brother, whose homesickness for California and acting out was a running subplot between #9-#15. Narrates in a couple Super Specials.
* Logan Bruno - Mary Anne's boyfriend from Kentucky and part-time club member. Narrates two "Special Edition Reader's Request" books and in several Super Specials.
* Shannon Kilbourne - Part-time club member and rich-kid friend of Kristy. Narrates a "Special Edition Reader's Request" book and in a couple Super Specials.
* Cokie Mason - Popular girl who was a rival to most of the club, who often attempted to win Logan away from Mary Anne
* Laine Cummings - Stacey's best friend from New York.
* Sunny Winslow - Dawn's best friend from California. A main character of the "California Diaries" series and source of much of the drama.
* Anna Stevenson - Abby's identical twin sister.

There were at least three spinoff series: ''Baby-Sitter's Little Sister'' (about Kristy's seven-year-old stepsister, Karen); ''California Diaries'' (about Dawn and her friends in California); and ''Friends Forever'' (in which the club was reduced to its original four members). As well as these and the main series, there were additional ''Mysteries'', autobiographical, and ''Super Specials'' books. ''Little Sister'' also had its own spinoff, ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class.'' As you might suspect, many of the books were ghostwritten, although Martin wrote the original 35 books herself.

A prequel, ''The Summer Before'', was released more recently, about the original four club members the summer before seventh grade and their lives right before they started the club, to coincide with the books being reissued.

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!!The books provide examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Abby has one of these in one book. There's nothing wrong with the kid himself, but the trope fits in because she's ''really'' not happy about his interest in her.
* AcademicAthlete: Kristy has the management skills to create the club and be its president. Her sport is softball and she even starts a kids' team.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The softball teams that Kristy and Bart coach are called, respectively, Kristy's Krushers and Bart's Bashers.
* AdultFear: In ''Dawn and the Impossible Three'', Buddy Barrett appears to have been kidnapped while Dawn is watching him.
* AesopAmnesia: A number of examples, but one that stands out in particular is the relationship between Claudia and her genius sister Janine. There are many books where the two of them bond over junk food, have a heart-to-heart talk, and realize that they're NotSoDifferent. By the next book, their relationship is [[ResetButton back to where it was]].
** Also a feature in many ''Little Sister'' books, where Karen learns not to be a brat only to promptly forget it by the time the next book comes around.
** There were also multiple books where the sitters pushed [[ShrinkingViolet Charlotte Johanssen]] into some sort of public performance, only for it to blow up in their faces and for them to have to apologize to Charlotte and her parents. Not only did they not learn any general lessons about respecting boundaries, but even the specific lesson, "Don't force Charlotte to do stuff she doesn't want to do," never seemed to sink in.
* AdultsAreUseless: Usually averted. The parents are generally pretty good parents, and the sitters will not hesitate to take advice from them. Sometimes played straight in the ''Mysteries'' series, if the girls going to an authority figure would break the plot.
** However, also often played straight in that the parents of charges are frequently clueless about problems their children are having, until told by the BSC. For example:
*** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
*** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
*** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
*** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behaviour and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
** Note all these parents are [[BumblingDad women]].
*** In the Arnold and Addison cases, as well as a few others not mentioned here explicitly, the fathers are just as clueless as the mothers; it's just that the mother is the one doing most of the talking to the baby-sitters.
* TheAllegedCar: The Junk Bucket. Subverted with the Pink Clinker, which actually works well -- Nannie just likes to call it that.
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Mallory and Jessi
* AlphaBitch: Cokie Mason and her friend Grace.
** Shawna Riverson also, though she didn't appear as often.
** In the ''Little Sister'' spinoff, Pamela Harding.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Abby and Anna, Marilyn and Carolyn, Mariah and Miranda, not to mention the Pike triplets.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ducky, in the ''California Diaries''. His best friends are all platonic teenage girls, and his last scene in the series has him buying a ton of books from a bunch of gay authors.
** Some fans suspect that Kristy fits this trope. She could occasionally be persuaded to wear a dress, and did have an on-off "boyfriend" named Bart, but never seemed to take as much of an interest in him as the other girls did with their own boyfriends (then finally broke up with him.) And in the movie, as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick noted, there's what can only be described as a LongingLook between her and Claudia.
* AmicablyDivorced: Watson and Lisa
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling:
** David Michael and Karen, for Kristy. However, it's worth noting that Karen [[TheScrappy annoyed the readers]] more than she ever annoyed Kristy -- Kristy and Karen are just different enough to get along and just far apart enough in age that their similarities (namely, being bossy and stubborn) don't come into conflict, since Karen hero-worships her stepsister. It helps that they only live together half the time, at most.
** Dawn's brother Jeff, in early books.
** ''All seven'' of Mallory's siblings qualify, except maybe Vanessa; but she has [[RhymesOnADime her moments]] too.
** Mostly averted, though, with Jessi's younger siblings, Becca and Squirt.
* {{Arc}}: Some plotlines spread over a couple of books, such as Kristy adjusting to her stepfamily. At the end of the series [[spoiler:Mary Anne's house burned down]], which was the background for the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
** The Dawn-considers-moving-back-to-California plotline lasted for so many books that many fans were extremely glad when [[spoiler:she ultimately did move back]] and she finally stopped agonizing about this decision.
* AscendedExtra: Mallory, who started out as a baby-sitting charge.
* AsianAirhead: Claudia. Early books treated this very mildly; later books made her seem almost borderline developmentally delayed.
** Made worse in the movie. [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick One movie critic]] stated the theory that she was "basically a functional retard."
* AsianAndNerdy: Janine Kishi
* AuthorAppeal: Ann M. Martin had the girls, as well as their classmates and the kids they babysat for, watch the same TV shows and movies she enjoyed as a child. The result is a bunch of preteens from TheEighties and TheNineties whose pop culture references mostly come from ''LeaveItToBeaver'', ''ILoveLucy'', and other shows that were canceled decades before they were born.
** Possibly AuthorAppeal, but more likely TruthinTelevision because the books were written for the most part in TheEighties. At the time kids ''were'' watching reruns of classic sitcoms because basic cable stations, especially the TBS SuperStation and USA Network, showed them nonstop as a source of cheap daytime programming filler. Additionally, NickAtNite debuted in the mid-80s and took over children's programming with reruns of these same sitcoms starting at 8 PM.
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults
* BeautyContest: Little Miss Stoneybrook
* BechdelTest: Passes with great ease.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mary Anne gets ''extremely'' vindictive when pushed too far.
* BigApplesauce: Stacey is constantly reminding the readers how awesome New York is. The other book narrators make a big deal out of Stacey being from the city as well.
* BlackBestFriend: Jessi to the other girls.
* BlitheSpirit: [[SixthRanger Abby]] is noticeably sassier and more irreverent than the other girls, particularly where (post-{{Flanderization}}) Kristy's rules and bossiness are concerned.
* TheBoardGame: Two, actually. A regular one and a mystery one.
* BookDumb: Claudia. Poor, poor Claudia.
* {{Bookworm}}: Mallory.
* BrattyHalfPint: Karen. Dear god, Karen. Jenny Prezzioso is seen as such by the sitters.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Dawn has probably the worst example of this trope in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' when her father is getting remarried. She all but pitches a fit because her stepmother-to-be doesn't want to have Mary Anne as a bridesmaid as well as Dawn. Remember, Mary Anne is Dawn's stepsister on her ''mother's'' side and is not remotely related to Dawn's father, let alone his new bride.
** Keep in mind that Dawn ''never asked'' if Mary Anne could be a bridesmaid. She just assumed that Mary Anne would be sharing the moment with her and bought her a dress. To Dawn's credit, she never brings up her (frankly, stupid) assumption to her father or stepmother. But Mary Anne still ends up wearing the bridesmaid dress, because she assumed it'd be a church wedding, not a beach wedding, and didn't pack appropriately. One has to wonder just what Dawn's father and stepmother thought about that.
** Kristy has shades of this in the earliest books in the series, when she is flat-out opposed to her mother's developing relationship with Watson. She insults the man, refuses to eat dinner when he treats them, and is generally unpleasant. It seems to be less a matter of her disliking Watson personally than a desire to keep her fractured family from experiencing any additional changes. To her credit, she warms up to him eventually (finally meeting Karen and Andrew helps) and in a later book admits that she loves him a lot.
* BusmansHoliday: Probably the worst example was when the girls were in New York and a British diplomat oh-so-conveniently staying in the same building as Stacey's friend Laine needed two thirteen-year-old baby-sitters to show his kids around the city.
** They even ''assume'' that they will be taking a BusmansHoliday wherever they go, such as when Dawn goes to visit her dad in California and remarks that she may babysit for some of her old clients while she's there. You know, because their parents wouldn't have found new sitters since she left the state, and would be so thoughtless as to intrude on her two weeks with her non-custodial parent by asking her to work.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Mallory! [[http://community.livejournal.com/bsc_snark/39867.html Here's a list.]]
** Also Mallory's brother Nicky and [[TheKlutz Jackie Rodowsky]].
* CatsAreMean: Boo-Boo. Averted with Mary Anne's cat Tigger.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: This series practically owns this trope.
* TheChewToy: Jackie Rodowsky, an extremely clumsy and danger-prone kid.
* ChildProdigy: Rosie Wilder. Naturally the kid gets paired with [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* ChristmasInJuly: The BSC throw a "Christmas in Summer" party for sitting charge James Hobart, who is Australian, to cheer him up when he has a broken leg. This happened again at summer camp.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: This is pretty much the case for most of the girls' non-[=BSC=] friends, with the major exceptions being Laine Cummings, Stacey's on-again, off-again best friend from New York, and Sunny Winslow, Dawn's TroubledButCute best friend from California. But Sunny started her own baby-sitting club, anyway, so she doesn't really count.
* ClassTrip: Several, most notably the school-wide ski trip.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Dawn shows a dose of this in ''Mary Anne's Makeover,'' in which she admits that she's jealous of all the time Mary Anne's been spending with her father and that it makes her miss her own terribly. Dawn comes off as being resentful of Mary Anne for having her father around...apparently forgetting that ''this is Mary Anne's only living parent.''
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Dawn's mother, with Dawn being her CloudcuckoolandersMinder. Mrs. Barrett is like this when first introduced, although she improves in later books.
* ComicBookTime
* CompetenceZone: Age eleven. Ten-year-olds are practically infants in comparison.
* CondescendingCompassion: Stacey toward a new girl in one book.
* CoolBigSis: Kristy, Dawn, Mallory and Jessi.
** Janine is slowly revealed to be this, though Claudia initially doesn't see her this way.
* CoolOldLady: Nannie. Mimi too, but in a different way.
* CostumePorn: Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters FridgeLogic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
* DaddyDidntShow: Happens to Kristy in TheMovie.
* DeathGlare: Kristy's "Look"
* DarkerAndEdgier: The ''California Diaries'' series. However, the use of this trope surprisingly didn't come off as cheesy or overdone. It allowed for more character development and exploration of realistic adolescent themes, like depression, drifting away from childhood friends, and (arguably) closeted homosexuality.
* DisappearedDad: Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Stacey is not fond of being called Anastasia. Additionally, [[LastNameBasis King]], one of Logan's football teammates [[BerserkButton does NOT like it]] when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The whole plotline about Stacey's diabetes and the associated stigma leading to her moving away from New York lest she lose all her friends. In retrospect, the series' origins in the late eighties makes it likely the diabetes stood in for [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed something else]].
** It's mentioned constantly that Mary Anne's father loosened up considerably when he started seeing Dawn's mother. Adults rereading the series [[YouNeedToGetLaid might read between the lines a bit]].
* DrunkDriver:
** One of their classmates, Amelia, is killed by a drunk driver in ''Mary Anne and the Memory Garden''.
** Abby's father was killed by a drunk driver prior to her series debut. According to ''Abby's Book,'' his death is the reason their mom moves Abby and Anna to Stoneybrook in the first place -- to distance herself from the memories.
* EggSitting: One book focuses on this.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Dawn's middle name is Read. Figure that one out.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn), Shannie (Shannon)
* EnhanceButton: In one of the ''Super Mysteries'' specials.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: There are two out of four white girls from out of state: Stacey, the sophisticated New Yorker, and Dawn, the breezy Californian. Lampshaded in one book where Kristy reminisces about how she first met Shannon (whom she intensely disliked at first) and snarks about the trope in relation to Shannon and her friends, who are all blonde.
* EverytownAmerica: Stoneybrook
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: {{Lampshaded}} by Jessi in ''Hello, Mallory,'' when she snarks that naming a babysitting club "The Baby-sitters Club" is incredibly obvious.
-->'''Jessi:''' I mean, it's like calling a restaurant The Restaurant.
* ExtracurricularEnthusiast: Shannon; Rosie Wilder and Corrie Addison's parents more or less try to force them to be this, with predictably poor results.
* ExtrudedBookProduct: What eventually happened to the series.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The BSC were allowed to succeed ''most'' of the time, but once the problems got big, like trying to keep an autistic savant from being sent OffToBoardingSchool or reform a racist family, the {{Aesop}} was always along the lines of You Can't Make A Difference When You're Thirteen Years Old. ''Little Sister'' was even worse about this, with Karen failing at nearly everything she tried to do because You ''Really'' Can't Make A Difference When You're Seven Years Old. The only time Karen actually succeeded was during a WholePlotReference to ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'', since you can't very well have your Mary Lennox surrogate not shake things up.
* FanNickname: "K. Ron" (after L. Ron Hubbard) for Kristy and "[=BSCult=]" have become popular on some snark communities.
* FatCat: Boo-Boo.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FirstGirlWins: Dawn's mother was Mary Anne's father's first love, but they drifted apart because [[ParentalMarriageVeto her parents didn't approve]]. Some twenty years later, they finally tied the knot.
* FiveFiveFive: All phone numbers in this series begin with 555 (or [=KL5=], to be more specific).
* FiveManBand: In early books, before the introduction of Mallory and Jessi.
** Literally, [[http://catandgirl.com/?p=1022 here]].
* FiveTokenBand: Let's see. We have a Japanese-American girl, an African-American girl, a boy, ''three'' girls with divorced parents, two girls with one deceased parent each, one Jewish girl, a diabetic girl, and an asthmatic girl... and that's just in the club itself.
* {{Flanderization}}: All of the girls' quirks suffered this to some degree with the ghost writers, most notably Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's passion for environmental causes and Claudia's bad spelling.
** Margo Pike's motion sickness. In ''Boy-Crazy Stacey'', Margo almost gets car-sick on the way to Sea City but feels better once she moves to the front seat. Somehow, this turned into pretty much her only character trait, to the point where it was surprising she could walk down the street without getting sick.
* FoodPorn: Especially prominent in Dawn and Claudia books.
* FourGirlEnsemble: The original four members: Kristy is known for her leadership skills and great ideas, which along with her outgoing nature make her a good softball coach. Mary Anne is good at being organized but she has a sensitive and shy nature. Claudia is a passionate artist and is known for her creativity and fashion sense as well as being boy-crazy. Last of all there is Stacey who is like Claudia but a more sophisticated math genius who is looked up to because she's from New York.
* FreeRangeChildren: The club themselves are actually the worst offenders of this. Whenever these eleven- and thirteen-year-olds go on vacation, they're allowed to roam around freely without adult supervision, even in New York City.
* FriendToAllChildren: Obviously all of them, especially Kristy.
* FrozenInTime: The girls spent literally dozens of birthdays, holidays and summers in eighth grade. At one point Claudia was demoted to seventh grade, but the others stayed in place. They finally finished middle school in the last book of the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
* FullNameBasis: [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Gabbie Perkins]] refers to everybody by their first and last names.
* FunetikAksent:
** Used for Jessi's ballet teacher, who is French. (When combined with Jessi's very loopy penmanship in the handwritten chapter openings, it's practically indecipherable.)
** Also Logan's southern accent, the Hobarts' Australian accent, and any allergy speak.
** And in the Super Special where they go to camp, and one girl has a pronounced lisp.
* GenkiGirl: Abby, Karen
* GirlPosse: Grace and Bebe for Cokie Mason, Jannie and Leslie for Pamela Harding.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Claudia and Janine; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold; Dawn and Mary Anne exhibit signs of this in the early days of their stepsisterhood.
* GoshdangItToHeck: Liberal use of "darn" and "heck" in place of actual swearing. "Oh, my lord!" was nearly Claudia's CatchPhrase.
* GradeSkipper: Karen and Charlotte.
* GrammarNazi: Janine Kishi
* GranolaGirl: Dawn loves the beach and California living, and is a health food nut, an environmentalist, and a strong opponent of guns and violence.
* HappilyMarried: Claudia's, Mallory's and Jessi's parents.
* HaveAGayOldTime:
** In one of the 2010 reissues, "thongs" was changed to "flip-flops", for obvious reasons.
** Logan also says "I decided to act as if Id seen a million little kids fly through the air and nearly cream themselves on pianos, though" when Jackie Rodowsky (who else?) leaps off the couch and nearly crashes into the piano in ''Super Special 11: The Babysitters Remember''.
** Not to mention the harmonica going "WAAAAAAAAAANK!" in ''Stacey vs. the BSC''.
** And in one book, a particularly big crying fit by Mary Anne was described as "Mary Anne became a gusher."
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
* HollywoodAutism: ''Kristy and the Secret of Susan'' is a blatant example of this. (See UnfortunateImplications on the YMMV page.)
* HotBlooded: Kristy.
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Jessi, in regards to "Follow that cab."
* IAmNotPretty: Mallory sees herself as this.
* IconicOutfit: Many of Claudia's.
** Dawn's "I'm Awesome!" necklace
** The fandom loves to snark about the outfit Mallory wore to her first meeting: a red jumper with her name on it and white tights with little hearts.
* InformedAbility: Claudia is supposed to be a great artist, but since the books don't have any illustrations, we're not given much evidence.
* InformedAttribute: Dawn is supposed to be the "individual" of the group, but she changes her appearance and behavior not once, but twice - just to get a guy.
* InformedJudaism: Abby
* {{Jerkass}}: Kristy's dad is portrayed this way in the ''Forever Friends'' book where he remarries, and even moreso in TheMovie. It's also hinted at in ''Claudia's Book'', where she notes that as a little girl she seriously disliked Mr. Thomas.
* JuniorHigh
* JustFriends: One book was based around Kristy's relationship with Bart and whether or not they would become an OfficialCouple. Kristy finally decides they should remain "just friends" when it becomes clear that Bart expects more from the relationship than she wants.
* KidDetective: There was an entire spinoff ''Mystery'' series based on this trope.
* KidsAreCruel:
** The classmates of the baby-sitting charges (especially Charlotte's classmates), though this is existent in the BSC's classmates as well, especially in Mallory and Jessi's sixth grade class.
** Some of the charges have this too -- though mostly they're of the prank-playing kind. One of Claudia's charges once played a prank where she didn't tell Claudia that the chain of a swing was broken, thinking it'd just break under Claudia's weight when she sat on it. Instead, it held, the kid forgot to warn her, and the chain finally broke mid-swing, leading to [[GoneHorriblyRight Claudia breaking her leg so severely, she had to stay in the hospital with the leg in traction.]] The rest of the book switched between Claudia recovering and the club joining forces with some of their other charges to get the kid to stop playing pranks.
* TheKlutz: Jackie Rodowsky, AKA "The Walking Disaster"
* LawOfDisproportionateResponse: The Club had Andrew, who was pretending to be a monster, terrify the life out of one charge because she didn't want to wear a smock and paint.
** Jessi accused one kid of being racist because the kid didn't want to play.
* LeastCommonPizzaTopping: In one of the specials, where Stacey describes how while in New York she invited her new friend to a sleepover at Laine's. Laine and the others disliked the girl, partly because she asked for anchovies on the pizza they ordered.
** It's a minor running gag that the sitters have incompatible pizza needs, especially once the club has the classic seven-member lineup - early on, Stacey couldn't eat processed cheese; Dawn won't eat meat; Abby is allergic to both tomatoes and cheese; Kristy likes anchovies, etc. ''Mary Anne and the Playground Fight'' has this get uncivilized to the point where they all just order separate meals, while ''Abby and the Mystery Baby'' has the GenreSavvy Abby order a plain pizza and she just prepares the other toppings at home, letting her friends do their individual slices as they please.
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Little Sister'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' was even lighter and softer than that.
* LittlestCancerPatient: In ''Jessi's Wish''. Other books had children with deafness, Down's Syndrome and autism. In one of the Super Specials, Stacey befriended a wheelchair-bound boy who was about to have surgery for a heart condition. May extend to Stacey herself, who was diabetic. In another book a babysitting charge has to adjust to blindness. Abby and her twin sister Anna both have scoliosis, but while Abby's is mild, Anna's is severe enough to require her to wear a brace to correct it.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Many, many minor and background characters who changed with every book.
* LongLostUncleAesop: Several times.
** In the [[VerySpecialEpisode Very Special Book]] that warned against drunk driving, a new character is introduced as one of the nicest, friendliest girls at SMS. [[SacrificialLamb She is killed almost immediately]] in a drunk-driving accident.
** In ''Jessi and the Awful Secret'', we meet a new character, a girl in Jessi's ballet class, who is then revealed to be anorexic.
** New, never-before-seen families ask for sitters in the books dealing with racism (''Keep Out, Claudia!'') and autism (''Kristy and the Secret of Susan'').
*** Susan actually does pop up again a hundred books later, in ''Babysitters European Vacation.'' She's home for the summer and attending a day camp that Dawn spends a day at.
* LongRunningBookSeries: At ''least'' one book a month for more than ten years!
* LostWeddingRing: One book involves Stacey being accused of stealing a valuable ring. As it turns out, it was the cat's fault.
* MacGuffin: In some of the ''Mysteries'' books
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: The Pikes have eight children, including identical triplets. The Brewer-Thomases and the Barrett-[=DeWitts=] are also examples of this trope, although they are blended families.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane:
** Appears pretty much whenever the girls deal with something weird. They usually get a mundane explanation that covers most, but not all, of what's been going on. Particular examples would include ''The Ghost at Dawn's House'' and ''Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery.''
** Also, the first book in the ''Little Sister'' series, where the only undebunked evidence Karen has at the end is that she saw the lady she thinks is a witch flying on a broom... and that might have been a dream. A later book in the series had Karen suspect that Mrs. Porter's granddaughter, Drusilla, is also a witch. Drusilla later admits she's not, but says she's never been sure about her grandmother ...
* MeaningfulName: This is most likely completely unintentional, but [[ButtMonkey "Mallory"]] is Norman French for "unlucky".
** Also probably completely unintentional, because Claudia is named after Dr. Claudia Werner, a friend of Martin's who consulted on Stacey's diabetes and had #3 dedicated to her, "Claudia" is derived from the Latin for "lame." Given her learning difficulties, this borders on UnfortunateImplications.
* MeatVersusVeggies: The Schafer-Spier family deals with this a lot.
* {{Melodrama}}: There's no other word to describe the scene in ''Boy-Crazy Stacey'' where the girls are saying goodbye. They're all going their (temporary) separate ways and the waterworks are endless. Sobbing, hugging, wailing. How long will they be apart? ''Two weeks.''
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Tiffany Kilbourne
** Kristy has a bit of this as well: too young to hang out with Sam and Charlie, too old to play with David Michael, Karen, and Andrew.
* [[MrImagination Miss Imagination]]: Karen, Kristy's stepsister.
* MissingMom: Mary Anne's mother died of cancer when she was very little. She left a letter to Mary Anne that she was to have received on her sixteenth birthday.
* MistakenAge
* MoodWhiplash: ''Claudia and the Terrible Truth'', where the VerySpecialEpisode-esque main plot (the girls finding out that two of their new charges are being abused by their father) is interspersed with the sitters helping kids preparing for a St. Patrick's Day parade.
* MostWritersAreAdults
* MouthyKid: Karen.
* MultigenerationalHousehold: The Thomas-Brewers and the Kishis before Mimi's death.
* MustHaveLotsOfFreeTime: Charlie, Kristy's seventeen-year-old brother, who apparently has all the time in the world to drive Kristy, Shannon, Abby, etc. wherever they need to go.
* NaiveEverygirl: Mary Anne and, to some extent, Mallory.
* TheNamesake: The title club is sometimes the only thing its members have in common.
* NamesTheSame: Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier - a child beauty queen that BSC meets in ''Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn'', and later a classmate at SMS.
** {{Lampshaded}} in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' where the narrator acknowledges that both the [=BSC=] and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan [=DeWitt=], and no, they're not related.
* NewYearsResolution
* NonHumanSidekick: Several, although Mary Anne's cat Tigger is probably the most frequently showcased -- partly because Mary Anne, unlike the others, is an only child.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that ''none'' of them would have started menstruating by that age. Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents).
* NoPronunciationGuide: Is Myriah Perkins' name pronounced like "Maria" or "Mariah"? Fans can't seem to decide.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: The first few books show the passage of time as the original five complete seventh grade and start eighth, but once they're in eighth grade, they stay there until the last book of the series finally lets them graduate.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: When Kristy's mom gets married, her underwear is her "something blue." TooMuchInformation.
* OffToBoardingSchool: [[spoiler:Mallory]], although this was actually HER decision.
** Logan almost got shipped off to his father's old boarding school but he and Mary Anne managed to talk him out of it.
* OfficialCouple: Mary Anne and Logan. Kristy and Bart are an official sort-of-couple, and Stacey's part of a few.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Kristy, Stacey (short for Anastasia), Jessi, Abby, and many minor characters.
* OnlySaneMan: Jessi and Mallory in some of the later books.
* OppositesAttract: Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother are a textbook example.
** Also shy and quiet Mary Anne paired with jockish and outgoing Logan.
* ParentalSubstitute: Claudia's grandmother Mimi was this to Mary Anne.
* PlayingPictionary: It is suggested that one say something along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."
* PoisonousFriend: Ashley, who encouraged Claudia to leave the club and spend more time on her artwork. Also the "bad girls" group that Stacey falls in with later in the series.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Abby and her twin sister Anna. Anna is musical, bookish, and introspective; Abby is athletic, noisy, and enjoys babysitting. About the only things they have in common are that they both have scoliosis and poor eyesight. Interestingly, this never creates a conflict between them-- when they first realized they had branching interests as little girls, their initial reaction was to panic and double-down on making sure they had identical ''everything.'' They did grow out of that, because while they liked being identical, they didn't like being treated as a single entity and didn't want to chain themselves down to being ''completely'' identical when they realized that having separate interests wouldn't create a break between them.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: In book #12, the girls get bitchy over Claudia spending time with a new friend and go as far as to short-sheet her bed, mess with her belongings, and leave her a series of nasty notes. But in the end, ''Claudia'' is the one who owes ''them'' an apology for "being a bad friend."
** The girls also viciously shun Mary Anne in another story after she commits the mortal sin of... getting a stylish new haircut. Everything's back to hunky dory by the end of the book.
** In one book, the girls are angry and hurt when Mrs. Newton decides to hire an older sitter for her new baby as she feels that a 13-year-old, no matter how experienced, may not be able to cope with a newborn. The girls act like it's irrational and unfair, and the girls do eventually prove that several of those sitters are Very Bad, although Mrs. Newton says she found one she liked and she'll continue to call him on his own. The girls do eventually get to sit for Lucy Newton, but not until they're in eighth grade.
* PungeonMaster: Abby
* RealMenHateSugar: In one of the books when Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett refuse to eat cookies after having been teased for attending a "girly" sewing class.
* RetCon: Early on, Jill, a member of the We ♥ Kids Club, is established as serious and thoughtful; at one point, Dawn describes her as being like Mary Anne. In the first ''California Diaries'' book she is portrayed as very childish, which contributes to Dawn, Maggie and Sunny drifting away from her.
** The Brewer children's mother and stepfather are named as Sheila and Kendall in an early book, later retconned to Lisa and Seth when they feature more prominently in later titles.
** Similarly, Mary Anne's late mother was named Abigail in the fourth book, but later books identify her as Alma. This is also fixed in reprints.
** There was a short spinoff series where each of the girls writes an autobiography. They must have been written by different writers, because Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have conflicting memories of their elementary school years (when they all knew each other).
** In the early books, Dawn is a semi-vegetarian who eats chicken and fish; she avoids red meat because she thinks it's unhealthy and doesn't like the taste. She specifically says in one book that her vegetarianism DOESN'T have anything to do with feeling sorry for cows, and in fact she doesn't even like animals all that much. This is somewhat hard to reconcile with the radical environmentalist she is in the later books.
** Dawn gets hit ''hard'' by this. Early books also show her and her father as very organized and practical, as a contrast to her absent-minded mother. She's not as organized as Mary Anne, but she's close, and Jack Schafer plans a trip to Disneyland like a war campaign. But after her mother marries Mary Anne's father, Dawn and her dad both get hit hard by the "California casual" stereotype. They're never quite as bad as Sharon, but they're written to contrast with Mary Anne and her ''extremely'' organized father.
* RhymesOnADime: Vanessa Pike
* RichBitch: Shannon Kilbourne started out as this, although it was less because she genuinely looked down on Kristy and more because she didn't want Kristy and her friends to take away her baby-sitting jobs.
* TheRival: Cokie. Also, one book featured the girls facing off against a rival babysitting club.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Claudia frequently writes like this.
* SameSexTriplets: The Pike triplets
* SandInMyEyes: Kristy pulls this one in TheMovie, claiming to her mother that "I've got ''allergies''!"
* SchoolPlay: One of the specials was about the club members and babysitting charges appearing in a musical.
* SecretSanta
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: ''Little Miss Stoneybrook...and Dawn'' had the sitters helping their charges prepare for a beauty pageant. First prize was a savings bond and the chance to compete in another pageant. Second prize was a shopping spree at a local toy store. Unsurprisingly, all the 6-to-10-year-old girls entered in the pageant massively prefer the second prize. As the eventual second place winner explains to all the adults who are indignant about the fact that she didn't win, "But then [if I had won] I wouldn't get any toys!"
* SelfDeprecation: Claudia and Mallory, for very different reasons, are the most prone to this.
* ShrinkingViolet: Mary Anne; Kristy's little stepbrother Andrew is presented this way too.
** Charlotte Johanssen, DependingOnTheWriter
* SiblingYinYang: Claudia and Janine, Abby and Anna, Karen and Andrew
* SickEpisode: Most notably ''Stacey's Emergency'', ''Get Well Soon, Mallory'', and the subplot to ''Dawn's Wicked Stepsister''.
* SixthRanger: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby.
* SnoopingLittleKid
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: It's Stacey, Jessi, and Mary Anne, not Stacy, Jessie, and Mary Ann/Marianne/Mariann/Maryann/Maryanne/Mary-Ann/Mary-Anne/etc.
* {{Spinoff}}: The ''Little Sister'' and ''California Diaries'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' is a spinoff of ''LS.''
* SpoiledBrat: Jenny Prezzioso; to many fans, Karen Brewer also qualifies.
* StartMyOwn: When the [=BSC=] goes crazy testing Mallory about whether she's a good enough sitter, she and Jessi start up "Kids Incorporated."
* StrawFan: Believe it or not, one of the books deals with Mallory claiming to be the biggest fan of a fictional children's author, meeting the author and giving her a hard time about not 'writing what she knows.' Fortunately, [[ItGotBetter she learns her lesson in the end.]]
* SuperstitionEpisode: There's a book where Mary Anne thinks she's gotten a bad luck charm. [[spoiler:It turns out some cruel girls just told her it was bad, and were using it as an excuse to play pranks on her.]]
* SweetTooth: Claudia
* SwitchingPOV: And the "I" in this book refers to...
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Kristy and Abby, with sports. In Kristy's own words, she's a sportsperson, while Abby is a natural athlete.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: A big deal is always made of Claudia having her own phone line for them to use as the Babysitter's Club number. Nowadays they'd probably all have cell phones.
* TeenGenius: Claudia's sister Janine
** Janine suffers from most TVGenius symptoms, including SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, IntelligenceEqualsIsolation, NerdGlasses, InsufferableGenius, OmnidisciplinaryScientist, and she [[ImprobablyHighIQ has an IQ of 196]].
*** Surprisingly, though, with such a high IQ all they have her do is take a few courses at the local community college.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, Abigail and Anna Stevenson, Mariah and Miranda Shillaber, Terri and Tammy Barkan, Ricky and Rose Salem. Averted with the Pike triplets Adam, Byron, and Jordan.
* ThoseTwoGirls: Mallory and Jessi.
* TokenMinority: Jessi.
** Some of the books lay it on rather thick about Emily Brewer being adopted from Vietnam.
* TokenMinorityCouple: One of the Super Specials introduced a Japanese guy solely to be a love interest for Claudia.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kristy and Mary Anne, Abby and Anna, Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold
* TricksterTwins: Adam, Byron and Jordan are Trickster Triplets.
* TrueCompanions: No matter what happens, the girls are there for each other.
* {{Tuckerization}}
* TwinSwitch: Marilyn and Carolyn did this once while Mallory was babysitting.
* TwoFirstNames: Kristy Thomas; Logan, Hunter and Kerry Bruno; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold
* {{Unishment}}: When Mary Anne tries to sneak over to the boys' side and Logan starts a food fight at [[SummerCampy summer camp]], they are punished... by being barred from their least favourite activities.
* VerySpecialEpisode: Several books showcased a particular social issue, including racism, hazing, eating disorders and single parenting. They did not deal with topics like illicit drugs and sexuality, and only briefly touched on alcohol, which might have been considered inappropriate for the target audience.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: The main characters got repeatedly introduced and described in every book. {{Lampshaded}} by the various snark communities as being the standard contents of chapter two.
* WeddingDay: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother ...
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: A planned spin-off would have been called ''Morbidda Destiny, Teenage Witch'', based on Karen's belief that her elderly neighbor Mrs. Porter was a witch whose real name was Morbidda Destiny; but the idea didn't do well with test groups and was scrapped.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad:
** Stacey's dad is a workaholic who rarely spends time with her.
** Abby's mother is like this too. Possibly justified to an extent, since she's a single parent with two teenagers to support.
** Shannon Kilbourne's father is never home, either.
** One book had a subplot in which the sitters begin taking care of two kids who are constantly forced to attend extra-curricular classes and sports activities because their parents are basically selfish flakes, and all they ever want is time for themselves, so they shuttle their son and daughter off to every extracurricular possible (even, at one point, practically forcing Claudia to put together an art class for neighborhood kids just so they could put their daughter in it).
* WhereTheresAWillTheresAStickyNote: Mimi in ''Claudia and the Sad Goodbye''.
* WickedWitch: Karen Brewer believes that the next door neighbor Mrs. Porter is one, and that her real name is Morbidda Destiny. The sitters would waver on whether or not they really believed this (and one of the ''Little Sister'' books revealed that even Mrs. Porter's granddaughter could not be sure whether it was true). Kristy eventually reasoned that Mrs. Porter could not be a real witch because when the Brewers' cat left a dead mouse on her doorstep she brought it over to demand that they dispose of it, rather than keeping to use in her potions.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: All these thirteen-year-old girls seem ''way'' too mature for their age.
* WritersCannotDoMath: The number of bedrooms in Watson's house never seems to add up. Kristy says his house has 9 bedrooms, which should mean one each for Watson and Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, Charlie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Emily Michelle and Nannie. However, in another book Kristy says that each of her brothers could have a whole suite of rooms if they wanted, and occasionally they've had entire families stay over with no discussion of people moving or sharing rooms.
** It may be that the "9 bedrooms" refers only to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. It's mentioned that there is a third floor and an attic that are never used ([[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial which is most certainly not because the ghost of Ben Brewer haunts them]]), so her brothers ''could'' have suites, but would have to move to the upper floors. Presumably, these upper floors are where house guests are quartered for the duration of their stay.
* WrittenSoundEffect: Ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
* YouAreFat: Mary Anne, showing off her BitchInSheepsClothing tendencies, drops this on ''Dawn'' of all people, during the period of adjustment after the two became stepsisters.
* YouMeddlingKids: The basic plot of the ''Mysteries'' specials
* YoureNotMyFather: Kristy drops this one on Watson in TheMovie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Shows up in one book when Jessi pet-sits a hamster.
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