[[quoteright:294:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/californiadreams_6950.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:294:Top: Seasons 1 and 2 cast. Bottom: Seasons 3-5 cast]]

Part of NBC's TNBC programming block in the 90's, California Dreams was another Peter Engel "sitcom for teens" much like his most popular creation ''[[SavedByTheBell Saved By the Bell]]''. Starting out as a fairly formulaic sitcom for the first season, it eventually became more like Engel's previous hit with the focus shifting to the teens and their lives. The show is notable for having an almost [[{{Anvilicious}} anviliciously]] multi-ethnic lead cast[[note]]probably second only to later offering ''One World'', which gave us a multiethnic ''adopted family''[[/note]] and the Aesops that each show had when it wasn't doing [[VerySpecialEpisode very special episodes]] as a result.

!!This series provide examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: What Sly Winkle was to Jenny.
** Mark picked one up in one episode in a grungy rival band manager. Of course she and Sly make a bet, but Sly weasels out of it...by promising her a date with Mark.
* AchievementsInIgnorance: In one episode, Sly and Tony get a television gig through sheer dumb luck. Their TV show, "Goo-Goo Ga-Moo Guys", which was initially nothing more than a school project for television class, actually got picked up and was aired by television executives in spite of having ''no'' coherent premise at all. But after fighting in front of the cameras, it got cancelled.
* {{Main/Adorkable}}: Mark
* AllCheeringAllTheTime: One episode had three cheerleaders bid on a dating auction this way. As a RunningGag, they reappear a few more times in the episode; cheering whenever they speak to or interact with anybody
* BigEater: Jake
* BigBrotherMentor: Matt
* BrokenPedestal: In one episode, Jake gets a chance to meet his singing idol, whose career was in trouble. The two apparently get close and they even collaborate on a song, which ends up [[CareerResurrection rejuvenating said career.]] How does the idol repay Jake? ''By claiming it as his own.'' Even after Jake goes to his press conference in denial that his idol would do that, he [[SmugSnake flat-out tells him that he did and there was nothing he could do.]] Knowning he is right and being the bigger man, Jake leaves the conference, [[KarmaHoudini leaving him with his reclaimed glory.]]
* CatchPhrase: Sly's "Ba-boom!" is this.
-->'''Jake''': "Jake Sommers doesn't do X."
-->'''Sly''': "I'm not X, It's just that Y."
* CompressedVice: Tiffani's one-episode steroid addiction... Wait, does this [[ThatSoundsFamiliar sound familiar]]? If you guessed it, yep: [[spoiler: Jessie Spano of ''SavedByTheBell'' also had a one-episode (and an infamous one, at that) drug addiction - caffeine pills, to be exact]]. Both characters were under so much pressure to succeed that they took quite some desperate measures; and later in the episode, they would have a major meltdown. The differences being that for the former it was sports-related, while for the latter it was academic-related... and the addiction was quite [[GRatedDrug G-rated in comparison]]. Not to mention, Kelly Packard's (Tiffani) acting here wasn't ''nearly'' as over-the-top and hammy as Elizabeth Berkley's, ironically.
** Mark has one too, namely [[spoiler: in the episode, "The Graduation", which saw him driving while drunk after having a few too many drinks during a pre-graduation party at Lorena's where he tried to impress a girl named Sarah. Consequently, he gets into an accident in which Sarah gets hospitalized for]]. Cue in MyGodWhatHaveIDone!
* DefrostingIceQueen: Lorena, who became less snooty and pretentious and more [[TookALevelInKindness compassionate and loving]] [[spoiler: especially to Sly]] as time went on.
* DemotedToExtra: Before being [[PutOnABus Put On A Bus]] (see below) the Garrison family, except for Matt and Jenny, had this happen to them between the first and second seasons.
* DisabledHottie: One GirlOfTheWeek. VerySpecialEpisode topic was the focal character's discomfort with his date's disability, and getting over it. ''SavedByTheBell'' had a similar episode but with a different angle.
* DrillSergeantNasty: A cooking class teacher acts like this. In a later episode, she becomes the vice principal.
** Tiffani was this too in one episode where she was made student principal for a week. [[BewareTheNiceOnes And how...]]
* {{Earworm}}: The theme song. ''"Surf dudes with attitude, kinda groovy, laid-back moods..."''
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Sly's name is Sylvester ''Leslie'' Winkle.
* [[FiveManBand Five(ish) Man Band]]
** TheHero and TeamDad: Matt
** TheLancer: Jenny and Jake
** TheHeart: Tiffani
** TheBigGuy: Tony
** TheSmartOne: Sam
** TheSixthRanger: Mark
*** Jake and Sam do technically count as this since they were newcomers earlier in Season 2. But since Mark is a latecomer, this seems more fitting for him. Lorena, too, could count as this when she made her debut, along with Mark, at the start of season 3, but she is not a member of the band. Moreover, this has more to do with how Mark joined the gang -- thus, he fits the description well if you think about it (and if you watched the first episode of season 3) because he is a WildCard example. Or rather, a milder version of the WildCard trope, to say the least. [[spoiler: Specifically, he did start of as a bit of a loner who was very shy; and at first, he was very reluctant to join the band because their longtime manager was Sly, whom he had not forgiven (at least not until the end of the episode) for ruining his piano recital when they were small kids]].
** TheTeamBenefactor: Sly and Lorena. They provide resources for the band, and Sly is their manager.
* FollowTheLeader: A pretty clear case, with this one coming directly on the heels of Engel's ''SavedByTheBell''.
** Albeit with a band who are, you know, actually decent and who ''consistently'' band.
* FunWithAcronyms: Sly and Lorena ended up going to Pacific University, or '''P.U.'''
* FunWithSubtitles: On the episode "Dancing Isn't Everything," Maria tells Sly, "''Ah, yo no te besaria ni con los labios de mi perro.''", with subtitles reading "I wouldn't kiss you with my dog's lips," although she tells him it means, "We'll kiss after we win. It'll be sweeter in victory." Later on the episode, Sly asks her about the sentence, with the subtitles coming up again, and she says, "I meant every word of it," and '''[[NoFourthWall points to the subtitles]],''' with Sly reading them and saying, "'I wouldn't kiss you with my...' Oh man."
* {{Gasshole}}: Tiffani is seen belching loudly on several occasions.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: In the episode, "Diss-Honoured", Tony struggles with his conscience [[spoiler: because he cheated on a trigonometry test just so he can join Sam in the Honour Society since he was afraid of losing her after she was made the president of the club; he becomes even more paranoid of losing her when an extremely jealous member of the club, who covets Sam's presidential role, threatens to expose him in an effort to oust Sam]]. His shoulder angel, as it appeared in his own mind, was Tiffani. His shoulder devil (again from his personal POV), [[PlayedForLaughs and get this]], was [[spoiler: none other than Sly]] -- [[DontExplainTheJoke yeeaahh]], because [[SarcasmMode NO ONE]] ''totally'' saw THAT one coming...
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Sly and Tony.
* HighSchoolDance: The Junior Prom episode as the season 2 finale, and the Senior Prom episode close to the end of season 5.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Lorena. The ep where she attempts to join the band (and only kept on thanks to Jake) is called "YokoOhNo!"
* {{Homage}}: Jake's daydream has him playing a bongo drum to Lorena, while Tony and Sam (as his married landlords) listen at a close distance, and the sequence is called "I Love Lorena". [[Series/ILoveLucy Now why does this seem familiar?]]
* LargeHam: Sly, of course. Tony also has his moments.
* LimitedSocialCircle
* LovableRogue: That would have to be Sly. Most of the time, he's known for being slimey, obnoxious, and money-hungry; but, he has his moments where we can actually sympathize with him and where he has shown that he actually does care about his friends more than he lets on. Also, [[spoiler: when he begins a relationship with Lorena]], he actually becomes less obnoxious and, surprisingly, a little more charming than before.
* MotorMouth: Sam starts out as this to combat her own insecurity toward life in a foreign land. She drops it eventually.
* MrFanservice: Every guy on California Dreams counted as this, but Sly was the arguable strongest example (especially whenever he was shirtless.)
* OfficialCouple: Jake and Tiffani (being the most popular pairing in the show), Sam and Tony, and Sly and Lorena.
** The first 2 pairs listed are examples of [[OfficeRomance inter-band dating]].
** And [[spoiler: just before getting back together and giving their relationship a second go]], Jake and Tiffani were [[WorkingWithTheEx exes working together]] for a while.
* ParentalNeglect: Sly virtually has no relationship with his father, who spends much more time in the office than he does with his son. Not only that, but his father literally ignores him and makes no effort. But then...[[spoiler: we see the episode, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwgzxNPidtQ "Father Knows Bets"]].]]
* PutOnABus: The entire Garrison family, though not all at the same time.
* RecapEpisode: Two, actually.
** Season 4 episode 9, "Defending Sly's Life". A dream-sequence ([[OrWasItADream or was it?]]) episode where the gang puts Sly on trial for being the most selfish and greedy person in the world. Tony was his defense lawyer, Tiffani was the prosecutor, Jake was the judge, Sam was the court-recording monitor, and Mark and Lorena were the bailiffs; and the gang were also the witnesses. The episode uses a series of flashbacks of previous episodes and seasons (including the ones with the Garrisons).
*** In the end, [[spoiler: it turns out that although they can't live with him, they [[CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem can't live without him]]]].
** And in season 5 episode 8, we had "Letters from Woo" which had the gang talking in front of the camera about their memories together as friends so that Sam can send a video to her uncle in China.
* RedOniBlueOni: Tiffani and Jenny, respectively.
* RevolvingDoorBand: The only original members left in the California Dreams, until the end, were Tiffani Smith and Tony Wicks as the band saw a gradual change throughout 5 seasons. Sly does not count because he is the band manager -- even though, yes, the character did remain on the show for all seasons since the beginning.
** It started with Jake Sommers joining the band in Season 2 episode 1. Then, in the 3rd episode of Season 2, Jenny would leave for Italy and gets replaced by Sam Woo in the next episode. And by the time the 3rd Season began, Matt had left and he gets replaced by Mark Winkle (Sly's cousin). So, in other words, this is the ever-evolving lineup of the show's band:
*** Original lineup: Matt (guitar/keyboards), Jenny (keyboards), Tiffani (bass), Tony (drums/percussion)
*** Second lineup: Matt, Jenny, Tiffani, Tony, Jake (guitar)
*** Third lineup: Matt, Tiffani, Tony, Jake, Sam (keyboards)
*** Fourth and final lineup: Tiffani, Tony, Jake, Sam, Mark (keyboards/piano/guitar)
** And though he was [[VocalTagTeam not]] the only one singing in the band, Matt was the FaceOfTheBand for a while. That gradually changed starting Season 2.
** Of course, the revolving door of band members came as a result of a RevolvingDoorCasting which, again, was gradual and not drastic.
* RightBehindMe: Tiffany once talks loudly of Matt's most recent break-up to Jenny, unaware of Matt being right behind her and Jenny's more subtle hints until Jenny makes a more obvious one. Jenny isn't happy about Tiffany's obliviousness: "What did you think I was doing -- scratch my neck?"
* RomanticFalseLead: Namely the pairing of Jake and Jenny, Jake and Lorena, and the pairing of Sly and [[GirlOfTheWeek Allison]] (who is blind).
* [[SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan Sensitive Guy and Jerkass]]: Cousins Mark and Sly, respectively. It was even lampshaded by their principal in the episode, "Principal Tiffani", when he referred to them as "Winkle-Good and Winkle-Bad" on the PA system, while calling them and some of the gang down to the office. And episodes before that, the gang was actually quite surprised to see the differences between the two cousins when they first met Mark because earlier, before meeting him, they had [[PlayedForLaughs hilariously]] [[ImagineSpot nightmarish images]] running through their heads of who he might be since Sly recommended him as a replacement for Matt AND mentioned that he was his cousin.
* SiblingTeam: Before being put on a bus, [[BrotherSisterTeam Matt and Jenny Garrison]] were this in the band.
* SpoiledSweet: Lorena.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Mark (Aaron Jackson) is this to Matt (Brent Gore) after the latter left the show.
* TakeAThirdOption: A guy Jenny and Tiffany both fall for simultaneously has two concert tickets and offers one of the girls to go with him, causing the jealousy-driven tension between the two girls to intensify. In the end, a decision is made: [[spoiler: The girls take the tickets and go with each other instead, leaving the guy wondering what just happened.]]
* ThePatientHasLeftTheBuilding: Tony in Operation Tony. After injuring his shoulder at Sharkey's, Tony faced surgery to repair it and fear got the better of him, causing him to split. After being found hiding out at Lorena's place, he is ultimately convinced to go back by Sly (who accidentally caused his injury):
-->'''Sly''': "Tony, don't be an idiot. You have to have that surgery."
-->'''Tony''': "Hey, you watch who you're calling an idiot, alright, 'cause I could sue you."
-->'''Sly''': "I know and I don't care. I'd rather be sued by you and lose all my money [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming than have my best friend end up crippled for the rest of his life.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: The gang's relationship with Sly.
* VocalTagTeam
* WhatTheHellHero: Sly was this when he was making rather mean-spirited and unnecessary jokes about Jake's father, who had to take job as a garbage man to support his family. Also, in another episode, when Mark goes around pulling [[{{Jerkass}} jerkassery]] practical jokes on everyone, including Tony, who become the butt of them. Very OutOfCharacter moments for both cousins.
* WildTeenParty: Considering that the show eventually became a teen-oriented sitcom, this was bound to happen. And so it did -- more than once.