[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clarissa_reports_9232.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:This may be the greatest show ever recorded.]]
->''"If you're so smart explain THIS, Clarissa!"''
-->'''Clarissa''', ''Music/MindlessSelfIndulgence''

♪ ''[[{{Scatting}} Na na na na-na!]]'' ♪

One of the earliest original sitcoms on {{Nickelodeon}}, about a teenage girl named Clarissa Darling, her geeky, conniving, conservative brother Ferguson, and her wacky hippie parents. Usually featured Clarissa commenting on the plot directly to the camera, imitating a newscaster.

Despite its seemingly innocent reputation, in retrospect, ''Clarissa'' probably [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar got some crap past the radar]], as the show had a habit of making subtle references to sex and teen partying, albeit in a light-hearted, contemporary fashion. Also one of the few shows on the channel that could skate by with using and at times spelling out words like "hell" and "sex" onscreen.

Also noteworthy for being one of the first shows to feature a female lead and be gender-neutral. Before this show, the only shows with a female lead (as few as they were) were intended for girls only. It also helped to tear down a long standing belief that shows with female leads wouldn't be able to gain a significant male audience.

The show ran from 1991 to 1994, ending just before the introduction of cartoon programming that would come to dominate the channel in TheNineties. Is also notable for being one of the roles Melissa Joan Hart is known for besides [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch being a witch]].

In July 2011, it became one of the four inaugural shows of TeenNick's "Series/The90sAreAllThat" lineup.

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!!This series provides examples of:

* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: You have to ask?
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "There are lots of things worse than having your mom teach at your school, like flossing with barbed wire, swimming through shark-infested waters, or having Ferguson for a brother."
* AsideComment: How she Explains It All.
* BabysittingEpisode: One episode had Clarissa baby sitting "Little Elsie", an absolute monster of a child, who makes it a point to make Clarissa's life a living hell. [[spoiler: Clarissa manages to beat her by goading her into bragging about everything she's gotten away with and [[CaughtOnTape recording it]].]]
* {{Balloonacy}}: Clarissa attempts to do away with Ferguson by hooking him up to a straitjacket attached to balloons(!). Hapless Sam falls victim to the trap instead.
** DisproportionateRetribution: Her reason for doing this? Ferguson took her training bra to school for show and tell.
* BetterAsFriends: Sam develops a crush on Clarissa at one point, and she reluctantly agrees to go on a date with him. It turns out that, as close as they are, they have absolutely zero chemistry and agree that they are... well, this trope.
* BigEater: Clifford. Eating an entire pizza ''just makes him hungrier''.
* BlackBestFriend: Olivia, though she doesn't appear as frequently as Sam.
* ButtMonkey: Sam.
* CannotTellAJoke: Ferguson was generally a straight-laced, snobby know it all. Later in the series, he spent an entire episode practicing the delivery of a cliche joke (A homeless man walks up to me on the street and says he hasn't had a bite in...) for some event that he was participating in. The humor came not from the joke itself, but from the ludicrous attempts at telling it, which eventually started including ridiculous stresses on random words of the punchline, a la "I bit '''him'''. '''I''' bit him. I '''bit''' him."
** Oddly enough he could qualify as a competent DeadpanSnarker [[DependingOnTheWriter most of the time.]]
* ChainLetter: Marshall got one.
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: Clarissa has a dream sequence where she finds her mother smoking like a chimney. The mother explains that she used to smoke and had quit, but that recent stress had caused her to pick up the habit again.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: One episode, Clarissa has serious problems training to become "normal". ItRunsInTheFamily, even her mentor is NotSoAboveItAll.
* ConflictBall: The source of some of the drama being the unjustified parental veto.
* ConsolationWorldRecord: In one episode.
* CoolBike: One episode revolves around her wanting to ride a motorcycle.
* CoolPet: Clarissa has a pet alligator named "Elvis".
* CoolTeacher: Mr. Futtstein. Clarissa often quotes his words of wisdom, and one of his assignments was watching television for 24 hours straight to figure out how to improve it.
* ADayInTheLimelight: "Ferguson Explains it All".
* DoggedNiceGuy: Well, closer to Dogged JerkWithAHeartOfGold, but the Clarissa/Clifford dynamic starts off by following this to the letter, with Clarissa being irritated by his relentless serenading (you read that right) her until he stops, at which point she realizes she misses him.
* DropInCharacter: Hi Sam! *dissonant guitar chord*
* EnterStageWindow: It's debatable whether Sam's even aware the Darlings' house has a door. At one point he was downstairs in the kitchen, and instead of leaving through the back door he climbed out through that window!
* EvilRedhead: Ferguson.
* FirstGrayHair: In one episode, Clarissa's mother panics about getting older after discovering that she has a gray hair. Clarissa's dad, however, is quick to point out to her that she only ''had'' a gray hair, having just plucked it out before both characters entered the scene.
* FullNameUltimatum
* GameShowAppearance
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** A surprising amount of it. (see above for more info)
** For starters, one episode had Clarissa go lingerie shopping at the mall, and accidentally bring one of the bustiers home with her.
* GranolaGirl: Clarissa's mom.
* [[GirlNextDoor Guy Next Door]]: Sam
* {{Homage}}: One episode has Clarissa befriending [[AllAboutEve Eve, the new girl in school; she practically worships Clarissa, begins copying her style, and later steals her ideas for the school newspaper column]].
* HostileShowTakeover: "Ferguson Explains It All".
* IJustWantToBeYou: Eve in the episode "Hero Worship".
* ImagineSpot: At least OnceAnEpisode, often more.
* InsufferableGenius: Ferguson
* IntrepidReporter: The one featured on the show has an odd tendency to sleep standing up.
* LaughTrack
* {{Leitmotif}}: Now full-on MemeticMutation.
* LethalChef: Janet, as she both is a health food nut and likes to experiment in the kitchen.
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Clifford falls for Clarissa because she's the first girl to ever try and stand up to him. However, they don't actually fight, which is definitely a good thing as it's made abundantly clear the results would not have been pretty.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Clarissa once attended a costume party while dressing and acting like a punk named "Jade", and caught the attention of an older boy.
* NoFourthWall
* NoSparks: The reason Clarissa and Sam decide they're BetterAsFriends.
* OfCorsetsSexy: Clarissa tries on a bustier and accidentally leaves the store wearing it under her clothes. May count as SheIsAllGrownUp.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Sometimes we see Clarissa come up with a solution and only hear what happened after she carried it out.
* PacManFever: Clarissa would, OnceAnEpisode, make a game venting her frustrations at her current dilemma. They looked a bit like what games would appear as at the time; but nowadays they would be more appropriate for flash.
* PetsHomageName: In one episode, Ferguson finds a lost cat that he names William F. Buckley.
* PhraseCatcher: "Hi, Sam." ''[[{{Leitmotif}} twang]]''
* PlatonicLifePartners: Clarissa and Sam.
* PrecociousCrush: Clarissa develops a temporary one on the local television weatherman.
* RearWindowInvestigation: The episode where Clarissa and Sam try dating features a B-plot with Ferguson investigating a possible murder the neighbor appeared to commit.
* ShapedLikeWhatItSells: Marshall Darling is an architect who seems to specialize in these.
* SpinOff: After the series ended, Nickelodeon aired the pilot for a failed spin-off called "Clarissa Now" which focused on Clarissa getting a job in New York. It even featured an urbanized version of the "Na Na" theme song. It failed to catch on with younger viewers due to the fact that it was originally produced as a prime-time sitcom for CBS complete with an all-adult cast that included comedian Robert Klein and Lisa Gay Hamilton (of "The Practice").
* ThereWasADoor: Sam. Repeatedly.
** {{Lampshaded}} often by Clarissa's dad.
* ThirtyMinutesOrItsFree: Since their mom is a health-food nut, Clarissa and Ferguson once took advantage of being allowed to order pizza by timing the delivery boy down to seconds, and then re-ordering more when he was inevitably late.
* TimeToMove
* TitleSequenceReplacement: The first season episodes originally opened with Clarissa trying on different costumes her family and Sam handed her.
* TrappedInTVLand
* UnDuet: Clarissa performs one in front of Sam when her partner backs out.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece
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