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[[quoteright:333:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/awkwardmtc_large_7891.jpg]]

''Awkward.'' is a live action Creator/{{MTV}} {{dramedy}} about the life of Jenna Hamilton, a social outcast who gains attention after a misconstrued suicide attempt.

Jenna is a normal, everyday CoolLoser. She has AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents, who, due to [[TeenPregnancy having her in high school]], never quite grew up themselves. She has a crush on [[SingleGirlSeeksMostPopularGuy popular jock]] Matty [=McKibbon=]. She hangs out with her two best friends, [[AttentionWhore Tamara Kaplan]] and [[AsianAndNerdy Ming Huang]] and tries to avoid the wrath of [[AlphaBitch Sadie Saxton]]. Jenna's life changes on the last day of summer camp when she loses her virginity to Matty and then receives an anonymous letter that calls her out on her faults. Jenna's reaction to the back to back humiliation is mistaken for a suicide attempt. Jenna now faces sudden attention and infamy. Jenna decides to take the situation in her own hands and attempts to rework it for the positive. Throughout the first season she navigates being in a secret relationship with Matty while his best friend [[BigManOnCampus Jake Rosati]] develops a crush on her despite dating Sadie's friend [[BrainlessBeauty Lissa]]. Meanwhile, she tries to figure out who wrote the anonymous letter.

The series premiered July 19, 2011. Despite initially appearing like a ClicheStorm, it quickly became a sleeper hit, developing a surprising PeripheryDemographic and gaining critical praise, who agreed that it was better than it sounds. The fifth and final season began airing in fall of 2015.
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!!This Live Action TV Show provides examples of:

* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: Season 2 introduces us to the Asian clique (half-seriously referred to as the Asian mafia), ruled with an iron fist by Becca, a girl who enjoys ambiguous verbal exchanges and {{Batman Gambit}}s.
* AboveTheInfluence: Subverted with Ming and Fred in the Season 3 finale. Ming assumes he wants to have sex with her on prom night, and uses roundabout ways to get him not to, only for him to tell her he doesn't.
%%* AcademicAlphaBitch: Becca of the Asian Mafia.
%%* {{Adorkable}}: Jake, so much. Jenna [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it.
%%** Mr. Mitra, Valerie's boyfriend.
* AdultsAreUseless: So very much. Especially guidance counselor Valerie, who usually ends up making things worse for Jenna by [[CompletelyMissingThePoint misunderstanding]] whatever it is Jenna's telling her about.
** Especially noticeable in [=Se1Ep2=] where a nude photo of Jenna is circulated... And it's Jenna who points out that it's illegal, not Valerie.
* AlliterativeName: Matty [=McKibbon=], Sadie Saxton.
* AlphaBitch: Sadie, an inversion of the usual stick-thin blonde, being a full-figured brunette.
** Jenna herself, in a alternate reality fantasy in "Once upon a blog". She even got her own {{Catch Phrase}}: "Sorry; I'm not sorry."
** The Julies of later seasons play it straight, down to being stick-thin blondes.
* AbusiveParents: Like mother like daughter. [[spoiler: Sadie's mother proves to be incredibly emotionally abusive towards her daughter. After she leaves Sadie with her alcoholic aunt for 2-3 seasons (a year, probably), she returns and seems to have moved on from her terrible methods. She gradually regains Sadie's trust, occasionally using Allie for some of the less obvious ploys, and tells Sadie she wants her to meet her boyfriend. Turns out, she only wanted to prove to her boyfriend that she ''was'' close to her daughter (she definitely fed him some embellished lies about texting/Skyping/etc Sadie everyday). After Sadie learns about this, she decides to cut her mother out of her life entirely.]]
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Jenna's thoughts on Olivia aka Jenna Plus. Luckily, she has nothing to worry about.
** Likewise, Jenna feels this way again about Eva in Season 4. She may have something to worry about, if she really does want to pursue a romantic relationship with Matty. Again.
** Heavily implied that this is why Sadie despises Jenna so much. Jenna has her ideal figure, her crush Matty's romantic interest, the respect of the mother she's desperately trying to please and, during season 2, her best friend Lissa's friendship.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: Jenna's mother still reminisces about her high school popularity. Her implants apparently feel like the real thing, and she'll happily let guests feel for themselves. Her dad is better, but still does some horribly awkward things, such as give his daughter condoms for Christmas.
-->'''Lacey''': You're embarrassing Jenna.
-->'''Jenna''': You're both embarrassing Jenna!
** Ming's parents are pretty bad as well.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ming's parents apparently think she's gay, and she does take a girl to the Winter Formal. She apparently is straight, however.
%%* AmbiguousDisorder: Sadie's boyfriend Austin.
* AnythingThatMoves: Ricky Schwartz, who has hooked up with girls, boys, and possibly ''Tamara's dog''.
* AsianAndNerdy: Ming is a bit of a subversion. Apparently her grades are poor enough that her parents, "doubt that she's actually Chinese."
%%* AttentionWhore: Tamara.
* TheBabyTrap: In an Alternate Universe, Jenna pulls one of Jake in order to keep him from dumping her. He figures it out and promptly dumps her... Only for to turn out to really be pregnant.
** [[spoiler: Eva sets up one for for Matty in season 4, with a positive pregnancy test she got from "Whoria Gloria" in exchange for earrings she stole from Matty's Mom.]]
* BadBadActing: Tamara, who is so bad that there's a conspiracy within the drama department to keep her out of shows.
* BeautifulAllAlong: Notably averted with Jenna -- Matty notices her the way she is, despite being the jock and she being the 'invisible girl.'
%%* BetaCouple: Tamara and Ricky Schwartz in Seasons 1 and 2. Tamara and Jake in Season 3.
%%* BettyAndVeronica: Jenna between Jake (Betty) and Matty (Veronica) in the first two seasons.
%%** Jake between Jenna (Betty) and Lissa (Veronica) in season 1.
%%** Lacey had one back in high school between Kevin and Ben. Jenna assumes that Kevin is the Betty while Ben is the Veronica only to find out that Kevin is actually the Veronica and Ben the Betty.
%%** Jenna between Matty (Betty) and Collin (Veronica) in season 3.
%%** Matty between Jenna (Betty) and Eva (Veronica) in the first half of season 4. Matty between Gabby (Betty) and Jenna (Veronica) in the second half of season 4.
%%* BiTheWay: Ricky Schwartz.
%%** Apparently [[spoiler:Tamara]] as well.
%%* BigManOnCampus: Jake and (somewhat) Matty.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Eva, especially when around Sadie. She seems to take delight in bragging about her past exploits and seems to enjoy undermining Sadie as much as Sadie enjoys undermining her. She also makes it seem like Jenna was rude about Matty being in jail and tries to drive a wedge between Jenna and Matty (even going so far as to put her underwear in Jenna's bed to make it seem like they had sex in it). The last one blows up in her face as Jenna quickly realizes that Matty is too decent a person to do such a thing.
* BrickJoke: Clark jokes that he will make out with Sadie's boyfriend. [[spoiler:They end up in seven minutes in heaven]].
* {{Blackmail}}: Jenna blackmails Sadie with her food journal to gets Sadie to get her and her mother inducted into the Knick Knackers.
** Guidance Counselor Valerie is promoted to Vice Principal after using a tape containing footage of the VP and Principal in intimate situations as leverage. Except she had no idea what was on the tape; [[TheChessmaster Becca]] did, and knew Val would deliver it right to who ''she'' wanted to blackmail.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: In Season 3, Lissa (blonde), Sadie (brunette), and Tamara (redhead). In Season 4, Eva (blonde), Jenna (brunette), and Tamara (redhead).
* BookEnds: When Jenna first receives the letter, her mother gives it to her while talking on the phone and complaining about how Jenna won't style her hair. In Season 2, Jenna lets Lacey know that she's figured it out by giving Lacey a letter while she's talking on the phone, happy that Jenna is finally styling her hair.
%%* TheBrainlessBeauty: Lacey Hamilton, Lissa.
%%* CampGay: Clark Stevenson.
* CatchPhrase: "You're welcome" is Sadie's tag after any of her brutal comments (which she claims are uncomfortable truths people need to hear). In one episode she becomes her own PhraseCatcher when Jenna blackmails her with personal information and ends the threat with a pitch perfect "You're welcome."
** Jenna briefly has one in a Season 2 episode where she thinks of doing over her relationships with Matty and Jake. In her do-over with Matty, she became an AlphaBitch who would say: "Sorry; I'm not sorry."
* CharacterBlog: Jenna keeps a running journal of events in her life along with her private thoughts. In Season 1, it's a bit confusing how her specific journal works, as it would seem to be private (no repercussions from things she writes there), but she has people following or subscribing to her through it. The Season 2 premiere establishes the blog had been public for all to read, but no visitors had ever commented (until now). Towards the end of the season, it is publicly talked about by many people and there are HUGE repercussions to everything Jenna has already written, forcing her to go offline and write in an old fashioned pen-and-paper diary to have some private thoughts to herself.
* CharacterTics: Matty sniffing his armpits.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Jenna and Matty's insecure selves in season 1 seem very weird compared to the confidence levels later in the show.
%%* TheCheerleader: Sadie and Lissa.
%%** Tamara joins them later.
%%* TheChessmaster: Becca.
%%* ChickMagnet: Matty and Jake.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Ming doesn't appear at all in Season 4.
* CloudCuckooLander: Val. Jenna wonders if she has [[AmbiguousDisorder Asperger's syndrome]].
** Tamara and Lissa have their moments as well, but compared to Valerie they are completely normal.
%%* CoolLoser: Jenna. To a lesser extent, Tamara and Ming.
* DartboardOfHate: The creative writing teacher uses Principal Cox's face for one during class.
* DawsonCasting: In "Indecent Exposure," Tamara says Jenna could easily pass for 25, which might be a subtle LeaningOnTheFourthWall.
* DrivenToSuicide: What everyone thinks was the cause of Jenna's accident. It's all a misunderstanding but hardly anyone believes her.
%%* DudeMagnet: Jenna.
%%* DumbBlonde: Valerie, Lissa, and Aunt Ally.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Becca got Val to replace the current VP because they were interfering with where she and her friends liked to park.
* ExtremeDoormat: Val, who is very easily swayed by her students. She starts to learn though as time goes on, especially in regards to Sadie.
* FakeGuestStar: Creator/JessicaLu and Creator/GreerGrammer, who portray Ming and Lissa, respectively.
* FakePregnancy: [[spoiler:Eva]]'s last ditch plan to manipulate Matty into staying with her. [[spoiler:It later came to light that she bribed some other poor girl for ''her'' positive pregnancy test]].
** [[spoiler: Jenna pulls one on Jake in a fantasy scenario in season 2, only to actually end up pregnant.]]
* {{Flanderization}}: When the show began, Ricky Schwartz was a kind of perverted band geek. By [[spoiler: his death in season 3]] he was an almost psychotic AnythingThatMoves sex addict who was obsessed with breasts.
** Kyle was introduced as bizarre loner who may have a thing for Jenna because of her suicide stigma. By the end he was a complete loser who was obsessed with Jenna, bordering on StalkerWithACrush.
** The Julies were originally just snobby girls. They eventually replaced Sadie and Lissa as the [[AlphaBitch Alpha Bitches]] of the school, but without the subtly and depths that the other two had.
** Sadie's mother was introduced as a cold but classy woman who loved her daughter but had little understanding for her life. By the end she had become a heartless RichBitch who was pretending to love Sadie as a means to secure a rich husband.
* FriendVersusLover: Subverted. Matty's dilemma isn't that Jake and Jenna are fighting over him, rather that Jake is also interested in Jenna and Matty doesn't want to betray his best friend. However, he goes about it the wrong way and [[spoiler:ends up losing Jenna to Jake]].
* FullNameBasis: [[InvokedTrope Ming wonders why everyone always refers to Matty by his full name]].
** Ricky Schwartz is almost referred to by FullNameBasis.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In Episode 3, [[spoiler:you can briefly see Sadie throw the poop into the hot tub]].
** In season 2, [[spoiler: Matty habitually smacks Jenna's behind despite her dating Jake and freaks out in the background.]]
* TheFunInFuneral: [[spoiler:Ricky Schwartz's]] funeral (or more accurately, his shiva) shows several of his heretofore unknown paintings, including a self portrait of himself as a pimp with several scantily clad women around him and several paintings of women with huge breasts, apparently inspired by his busty female family members, and the fact that he was breastfed until he was 8. Jenna also eats some of the apparently awful-tasting food, which led to her spitting it into a nicely decorated vase... That turned out to by his urn. His candlelight vigil turns into a drunken WildTeenParty, but not before several girls (and some guys) reveal that he broke their hearts and they hated him.
* FunWithAcronyms: "Crash'd:" '''C'''ounselors '''R'''aising '''A'''wareness for '''S'''tudents W'''h'''o-w silent-'''D'''rink.
** The dialogue itself with things like DTR (Define the Relationship) and BBF (Back-Burner Friend).
** Seems to be Tamara's main style of speaking. Jenna and Ming tend to slip into it too.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Exploited by Jenna and Tamara while performing in "Crash'd".
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Becca often speaks to Ming in Chinese.
%%* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jenna and Tamara, Jake and Matty.
* HiddenDepths: Zigzagged with Sadie. Most days Sadie is the classic AlphaBitch, and even after [[RichBitch her family losing their money]] and all the other troubles that come her way, she still retains her bitchy attitude. She occasionally gets PetTheDog moments, but even then, she stays the aggressive, hostile, and conceited soul she always has been.
** Tamara also counts. Despite her being very ditzy and driven by the urge to be popular, she's actually a good student, ranking #17 of her year, while Jenna for example is only #137.
* HighSchoolDance: Granted, since the show is set in a high school. Seasons 1, 3 and 5 have at least one episode set at a Dance.
* HighSchoolSweethearts: Jenna's parents, who got married after a TeenPregnancy.
* HippieTeacher: Val, although she is more of a CloudCuckooLander than hippie, but fits the mold by being a horrible disciplinarian and treating the kids (especially Jenna) like they're her friends.
%%* HolierThanThou: Lissa.
%%* HonoraryUncle: Aunt Ally.
* HumiliationConga: Jenna goes through several, repeatedly. The most notable is probably "My Super Bittersweet Sixteen" since it takes place on her birthday.
* IWishedYouWereDead: [[spoiler:Tamara wished Ricky were dead and even found some spells to cast on him.]]
* ItsPronouncedTropay: It's Ta-mar-a, not Tam-er-a. Her mother is Tam-er-a.
** Eva isn't pronounced "Ee-vah" or "A-vah", but rather "Eh-vuh".
%%* JerkAss: Sadie, all the way.
* JerkJock: Averted. For the most part, both Jake and Matty are pretty nice guys.
* KarmaHoudini: Sadie often pulls things that really should get her detention, suspension, or even expulsion, almost always without consequences. She eventually gets caught out by Val at the end of Season 1, who tells her that what she did [[spoiler:steal and then publish Jenna's letter on the backs of the Winter Formal ballots]] is an expulsion-worthy offense, but she'll let her off with [[spoiler:being banned from the formal]]. When Sadie ignores her, [[spoiler:Val dumps punch on her head while everyone else is looking away]].
* LadyDrunk: Aunt Ally. Implied with Lissa's mom.
* LadykillerInLove: Matty for Jenna, to the point that he becomes much more monogamous in general when they break up in hope of recapturing that magic with someone else.
** Ricky Schwartz for Sadie in season 2, only for him to eventually tire of her just like all his other interests.
* LaterInstallmentWeirdness: Seasons 4 and 5, when Creator Lauren Iungerich left the show and new showrunners were brought on, which changed the show towards a more stereotypical high school show. The plots have become increasingly soapy and dramatic.
%%* LovableJock: Matty and Jake.
* LoveTriangle: Jenna between Matty and Jake. In Season 3 there's one between Jenna, Bailey, and Matty.
** LoveDodecahedron: Tamara pines for Ricky Schwartz who dumped her for Sadie who had a crush on Matty, who was having a secret relationship with Jenna who ended up hooking up with Jake after Jake left Lissa for her.
** Another LoveTriangle/Dodecahedron was formed in Season 3, with Jenna dating Matty, but having fantasies about Collin who already has a girlfriend.
** In Season 4, the main love triangle was at first between Matty, Jenna, and Eva, then in the second half of the season switches to Matty, Jenna, and Gabby. At the end of season 4 it gets more complicated as [[spoiler: Jake and Gabby hook up, and Matty realizes he still loves Jenna, only for her to begin dating Brian.]]
* LuckyCharmsTitle: The period at the end.
* MissingMom: [[spoiler: Darlene, Sadie's mom. For an entire two seasons. When she comes back, it's not much better.]]
%%* MistakenForGay: Ming, by her own parents.
* MonochromeCasting: The show is overwhelmingly white. The only major character of color in the first three seasons is Ming, with some supporting Asian characters for the Asian Mafia story. After Ming is PutOnABus there's only a couple Tokens like Gabby.
* NoPhonesTonight: Matty and Jake turned their phones off for a 'Bro-B-Q.' Thus Matty missed Jenna calling him to come help her.
%%* OneHeadTaller: Matty and Jenna.
%%* PairTheSpares: The Season 2 finale with [[spoiler:Jake and Tamara]].
* ParentalBetrayal: [[spoiler:The mysterious writer of the letter is revealed to be Jenna's mother.]]
* ParentsAsPeople: Jenna's parents, who may be embarrassing but have a reasonable excuse for their behavior and are genuinely good parents (aside from getting stoned and [[spoiler:writing mean anonymous letters]] that is).
%%* PassionateSportsGirl: Gabby.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Sadie's preferred method of bullying. She may have learned from her mother (who uses similar comments to get her daughter to lose weight).
* PetTheDog: Lissa gets some nice moments in the later Season 1 episodes, particularly in "Fateful" where she compliments Jenna and finally stands up to Sadie.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Matty and Sadie once she gets over her crush on him.
* PottyEmergency: Jake really has to go to the bathroom during the night he and Matty spend in jail.
* PutOnTheBus: [[spoiler:Ming]], starting with season 4. It's implied [[spoiler: the Asian mafia]] is responsible for this.
* RashomonStyle: The season 3 episode "And Then What Happened" has a variation on this as everyone tries to piece together what is going on with Jenna and Matty following her surprise party. It differs from the usual trope as the story is mostly the same, with everyone adding to the details rather than their perspective, but there are small differences in each person's version and parts where their memories get foggy.
%%* RavenHairIvorySkin: Jenna.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: A variant. First Becca has Ming's boyfriend Fred Wu's house re-districted to move him to a different school, then after finding out they're still together, frames him for a cheating scandal, which causes him to be sent to live in Idaho.
* RedHerring: Tamara writing the "care-frontation" letter.
* RelationshipRevolvingDoor: Jenna and Matty's relationship. Although they were only officially together in season 2, their relationship kept going through the same stages: Jenna/Matty realizes they're still in love. However, one of them is beginning to be involved with someone else. They briefly flirt with getting back together. Jenna then does something to mess it up. The other party ends up breaking up with the other person. Repeat next season.
* RichBitch: Sadie. [[spoiler:Loses the "rich" part in Season 3]].
* RunningGag: "Fred Wu" "Fred Who?" "Fred Wu!" Gets inverted in "Guilt Trippin'," where Becca initiates it and changes the end to: "I didn't really know him, either."
%%* SadistTeacher: Mr. Hart, Jenna's creative writing teacher.
* SchoolPlay: Jenna gets the lead role of "Dead Stacy" in "CRASH'D." Jake is her leading man, "Dead Johnny" and Tamara and Ricky Schwartz end up co-starring as "Nick and Natalie."
* [[SeriesFauxnale Season Fauxnale]]: The fourth season's mid-season finale definitely seems like it was meant to be the season finale, with [[spoiler:Sadie finding out the truth about Eva]]. This is probably because Season 4 originally was planned to have 10 episodes.
** Season 3's finale feels like a series finale as creator Lauren Iungerich left the show. You could see it as the end, [[SeasonalRot and some choose to considering what happened after.]]
* ShoutOut: Jenna's mom and Ben went to a Halloween party as [[Film/HouseParty Kid N' Play]].
* SickeninglySweethearts: Jake and Tamara in Season 3.
* SingleGirlSeeksMostPopularGuy: Played straight with Jenna's love interests, Jake and Matty.
* [[ShouldntWeBeInSchoolRightNow Shouldn't We Be In Class Right Now]]: Even though much of the action takes place in school, the characters are rarely actually shown to attend class or do school work.
* SnarkKnight: Jenna. Her first reaction is usually sarcastic, but she does try to be nice to people, even to Sadie.
* StalkerWithACrush: Jenna gets one after her supposed suicide attempt. Except it was just a misunderstanding. Or is it?
** [[spoiler:Eva]] towards Matty, as it turns out.
* StrawmanU: InvokedTrope in one episode. When Jenna visits her dad's alma mater, she expects to get a "Berserkeley," i.e. a liberal utopia, however, she gets more of a generic state university instead.
* TakeThat: In the first episode when Jenna is losing her virginity to Matty her voiceover states that "This isn't the story of how I got knocked up at summer camp. I knew better than to bareback it." This could be a take that to ''TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'', which was a popular show at the time the pilot aired about a teen girl who gets pregnant when she loses her virginity at summer camp. Despite its premise, ''Secret Life'' came across as very anti-sex while ''Awkward.'' is very sex positive.
%%* TallDarkAndHandsome: Matty.
* TechnicalVirgin: Lissa has taken a vow of chastity but is perfectly willing to give Jake hand jobs and even go so far as to offer him anal sex.
* TeenPregnancy: Jenna is the result of her mother's.
** And in alternate universe, she herself gets one from Jake.
** In Season 3, the whole school believes Sadie to be pregnant, and [[spoiler:Jenna has a pregnancy scare in the premiere]].
** Eva says she's pregnant with Matty's baby in season 4 [[spoiler: only for it to turn out to be a FakePregnancy.]]
*** [[spoiler:Instead, it's minor character "Whoria" Gloria whose positive pregnancy test was used by Eva]]
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: Tamara is convinced that the Drama Department has a conspiracy against her to keep her out of shows. Jenna rolls her eyes at this. Later in the episode, Jenna finds out from Val that this is exactly the case.
%%* ThoseTwoGuys: Cole and Theo.
* TokenMinority: Ming in seasons 1-3. Gabby in seasons 4-5.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Ming and Tamara, with Jenna falling firmly in the middle. She wears skirts and other girly clothes but doesn't put much effort into her appearance outside of a braid or TomboyishPonytail.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Jenna in season 3. She gets better but never does a full back pedal to her original niceness.
** Jake in season 4.
* TotallyRadical: The dialogue occasionally steers into this.
-->'''Tamara''': "I'm hitting shuffle on this conversation."
* ToxicFriendInfluence: When Jenna dates Collin, she [[spoiler:tries drugs, alienates all her friends, and even gets Valerie fired]].
%%* TransparentCloset: Clark Stevenson.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: One of the photos taken at Jenna's wild party portrays a guy vomiting.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Sadie is desperate for her mother's approval. While not uncaring, her mother is somewhat cold and isn't sensitive what her daughter is going through.
* WhatIf: In one episode, Jenna imagines what would happen in 3 scenarios, one in which she actually made Matty ask her out formally at camp, another where she told Jake about Matty, and another where she never went to camp in the first place. [[spoiler: They all end badly.]]
%%* WillTheyOrWontThey: Ultimately the setup for Jenna and Matty.
* WildTeenParty: Jenna throws one in Season One. Or, to be more exact, her mother and Aunt Ally throw one and Jenna goes along with it.
* WomenAreWiser: Inverted. Jenna's dad is much wiser than her mother.
* YourCheatingHeart: Ricky Schwartz's main MO.
** [[spoiler:Jenna cheats on Matty with Collin in season 3. Later, after she left Matty for Collin, she finds out that Collin never stopped sleeping with his Ex.]]