[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_42_7661.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[{{Tagline}} She makes stars, not friends.]][[note]]The original ALDC team. Left side (L to R): [[BlackBestFriend Nia]], [[ButtMonkey Kendall]], [[AlwaysSecondBest Chl]][[ThoseTwoGirls oe]], [[TheAce Maddie]]. Right side (L to R): [[DeadpanSnarker Pai]][[ThoseTwoGirls ge]], [[CheerfulChild Mack]][[PluckyComicRelief enzie]], [[CoolBigSis Brooke]]. Middle: [[LargeHam Ab]][[JerkWithAHeartOfGold by]].[[/note]]]]

->''"My world is with my girls,''\\
''living on the dancefloor!"''

A RealityTelevision series on Creator/{{Lifetime}} that is currently in its fifth season. The show is about the Abby Lee Dance Company (headed by Abby Lee Miller), the girls who are learning to dance at the company, the drama between their mothers (the titular "dance moms"), and all of the bumps along the way.

Its success inspired a short-lived Miami spin-off and [[Series/AbbysUltimateDanceCompetition a dance competition spin-off]]. On the flipside, the show became very controversial for a variety of reasons, from certain NeverLiveItDown moments to the existence of the show as a whole.

This is the current ''main'' cast.
** [[BlackBestFriend Nia]] → [[SophisticatedAsHell Holly]]
** [[ButtMonkey Kendall]] → [[MotorMouth Jill]]
** [[TheAce Maddie]], [[CheerfulChild Mackenzie]] --> [[ExtremeDoormat Melissa]]
** [[SixthRanger Kalani]] --> [[MsFanservice Kira]]
** [[TheCutie JoJo]] --> [[{{Jerkass}} Jessalynn]]

It's also worth noting that [[https://www.youtube.com/user/officialpaigehyland1 Paige]], [[https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialMackZ/videos Mackenzie]], [[https://www.youtube.com/user/33troijka Chloe]], and [[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp_oIcHA4BDlqePTkinkuoQ her little sister Clara]] all have Youtube accounts.

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!!This series provides examples of the following:
* [[ABoyAndHisX A Woman and Her Dog]]: Abby was very attached to her dog Broadway Baby, so [[spoiler:when she died, it was nothing less than a tragedy for her.]]
* TheAce: Maddie. She was [[InvincibleHero unstoppable]] in season one, winning titles and trophies left and right and staying at the top of the pyramid for almost the entire season. She's gotten insane amounts of opportunities in the industry, she's considered to be Abby's favorite (no matter how many times Abby might object to this), and if anyone could be considered the most recognizable of the ALDC team, it's her.
** Asia as well.
** Sophia Lucia, in the brief time that she was on the team. ''And Abby made sure everyone knew it''.
* ActionMom: The dance moms can sometimes be this.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The room known as the "Dancers' Den".
* AdultFear: See DarkerAndEdgier below.
* AgeInappropriateDress: As mentioned in an episode where the girls received NO awards for their 'barely-there' costumes.
** Arguably the outfits the girls wear to practice in as well - most of the time, they wear crop-tops and booty shorts. In the spin-off series, the girl who wears the shortest top is the oldest girl, Jessie, even though she's technically the only one of the group (except maybe Sammi) who actually needs to wear a shirt...
** And what about the infamous "topless showgirls" dance? The clothing was picked out to give the effect that they were naked. Unsurprisingly, the episode is unavailable online and on DVD.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Paige suffers this as a result of getting her plantar warts removed.
** It comes back later in the season when her doctor clears her of her broken foot and she tries to dance again.
* AlmightyMom: The trope to look under if you want to find the core of this show's insanity.
* AlphaBitch [=/=] BlondesAreEvil: Cathy.
** Christi has her moments, but it's either because of her [[DeadpanSnarker snark]] or something that has triggered her to act this way.
* AlwaysSecondBest: Chloe. Justified, since Maddie is constantly on the top of the pyramid and gets all of the solos. It's gotten to the point where Christi has accused Abby of giving Maddie unfair advantages to keep her on top.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Kalani and Kira definitely aren't white, but they're not exactly black ether...
* AmbiguouslyGay: In the spin-off series "Dance Moms: Miami", the dance instructors, Victor and Angel.
* AndIMustScream: For most of "The Last Text", Paige is completely immobile, barely even blinking. [[spoiler:She turns to have been [[DeadAllAlong dead the whole time]] at the end.]]
* ArcWords: "The gang's all here" and [[spoiler:"Chloe is beautiful"]], at least among fans of the show.
* AssShove: [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lycdtoT0661qcnjrjo1_500.gif Kelly suggests that Abby does this with her crowns.]]
* {{Badass}}: Abby has exhibited this at times, usually in moments that show us that she's no one to mess with.
* BadassBoast: There's a sign on the door that leads into Studio A (where the girls work) that says "HERE LIES THE FUTURE OF DANCE".
* BadassPacifist: Holly. Not once has she snapped or even swore, which is why she rarely gets into arguments with Abby.
** But when she does, she will still take her [[SophisticatedAsHell sophisticated]] likenesses and use them, arguing with reason as well as reasoning.
* BadBoss: Abby, in a sense.
* TheBadGuyWins: In "Abbygeddon"; or rather, the bad guy places one above them.
* BareYourMidriff: Practicing or at competition all the girls have their midriffs showing.
** To be fair, a lot of studios require similar outfits. It's very hard to move when you're in restricting clothing that isn't stretchy enough, plus this way you can get more of an idea of what you're doing wrong, like if your stomach isn't pulled in.
* BerserkButton:
** For Abby: questioning/defying her teaching, and using the F word in her vicinity.
** For Christi: calling Chloe AlwaysSecondBest in her vicinity.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Christi.
* BigBad [=/=] BigGood: Abby. [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor She regularly alternates between the two]], and sometimes exhibits both of them at once.
** Cathy is seen as the [[BigBad main villain]] of the show, considering she's Abby's worst enemy.
* BlackBestFriend: Both Nia and Holly to the kids and moms, respectively.
* BlatantLies: Melissa claiming that she does nothing to propel her kids' success in "Stealing the Show".
* BleepDammit: Numerous examples, usually with the censors going for "God" instead of "damn" or "hole" instead of "ass".
* BlondesAreEvil: Cathy.
** Some of the blonde-haired ALDC moms have their moments as well.
* BloodierAndGorier: "The Last Text" makes the other [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] dances look ''light-hearted'' for this reason.
** Jojo's "Prom Queen" solo. Then again, it was inspired by ''Film/{{Carrie}}''.
* BrainyBrunette: The brunettes on the team.
* BreakTheCutie: Many believe that this has happened to the girls as the series progressed.
* BreakThemByTalking: Rarely does an episode go by without one of these by one of the moms.
* BrickJoke: Christi's famous comment on a particularly provocative outfit ("they look like prostitots") comes back in the next season ("prostitots, the sequel").
* BringMyRedJacket: The outfits of "The Last Text" all have a strong red theme, reasonably. Paige, Kendall, and Nia all wear red dresses.
* BrownNote: See HellIsThatNoise below.
* ButtMonkey: Kendall, especially in season 3. She tends to get picked on by Abby a lot more than others.
** Chloe, in a really heartbreaking example, considering she gets so much shit from Abby to the point where [[spoiler:she and Christi left.]]
* CallBack:
** Several contestants from "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" (something of a {{Spin Off}}) have appeared on the show, and two of them [[spoiler:actually joined Abby's team: Kalani Hiliker and Asia Monet Ray]]. Two others from "Abby's Ultimate" [[spoiler:joined Cathy's team]], as did one of the kids from ''Dance Moms: Miami'' and one of the girls who guested on Abby's team.
** Rachelle Rak also showed up in a few episodes, and subsequently [[spoiler:replaced Robin Antin for season 2 of "Abby's Ultimate"]].
** A rather epic example; for the 2012 nationals, Mackenzie performs a solo called "Killer Bee" that's a semi-replica of a solo that Vivi-Anne did back in season one called "Honeybee". While Vivi's dance didn't even place, Mackenzie's dance got first and won her the Petite Miss Energy title.
** The Maddie-Gino duet "That Girl's Just Gotta Be Kissed" uses the same music as the moms' group dance back in season 1.
* TheCameo: Maddie was the sole winner of a series of auditions to have an appearance (albeit a small one) on {{Drop Dead Diva}}. Bonus points for said show airing on the same channel. Her fellow teammates made a cameo in a short video starring "the Pyramid".
** Maddie and Mackenzie also appeared briefly in a season two episode of ''AUDC''.
* CanonImmigrant: [[spoiler:Asia and Kalani both joined Abby's team after having been on ''ALDC''.]]
* CatchPhrase:
** "Save the tears for your pillow!" (Abby)
** "Everyone's replaceable!" (Abby)
** "We came, we saw, we kicked apples." (Cathy)
* CausticCritic: Abby when reviewing the Candy Apples' performances, if not the lowlights of hers.
* CharacterDevelopment: Has been seen ten-fold throughout the show with not just the dancers, but almost everyone.
* CheshireCatGrin: [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtwiWg3CcAAg1KV.jpg Kelly's certainly no slouch.]] Borders on SlasherSmile.
** Christi has called out Jill for having one of these since Kendall got off probation, even mentioning the Cheshire Cat.
* ChildPopstar:
** Brooke attempted to become this when she released her [[OneHitWonder debut single]], "[[https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/brooke-hyland/id686163892 Summer Love Song]]". She released an entire SelfTitledAlbum one year later.
** Mackenzie also attempted this in season 4 when she released an album called [[https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mack-z/id867630532 ''MackZ'']]. The critical reception was less harsh than to Brooke's (don't get us wrong, there was still plenty of hate thrown around), but both had notable usage of {{autotune}}.
* ChristmasSpecial: "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas", in 2013.
* CloningBlues: "Just Another Number", which depicts the girls as clones complete with [[ScannableMan barcode tattoos]].
* ConfessionCam: Though most people tend to use the word "interviews" when it comes to them.
* CoolBigSis: Brooke and Payton both, as they were both the oldest on the team when they were on.
* CoolPet: Broadway Baby. Overlaps a bit with TeamPet.
* CreepyMonotone: The "author" of ''Where Have All the Children Gone?'' and ''I See the Kite Flying''.
* CrossOver: Abby appeared in an episode of fellow Creator/{{Lifetime}} series ''Double Divas'', a bra-fitting reality show where BuxomIsBetter.
** She also starred in a special episode of ''Dance Mums'', the English counterpart of the show.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Many of the dances are fun and cute, but Abby can veer into very dark territory that incorporates AdultFear. Notable examples are:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erd4BGOm488 Where Have All the Children Gone]] - A spoken word piece where the dancers disappear from stage one by one.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PprpB-iwW3U The Last Text]] - All but one of the dancers ''die'' in a car accident.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05CyZ3S3MfI I See the Kite Flying]] - The sequel to ''Where Have All the Children Gone?''. In the number, all the dancers are [[SanitySlippage mental patients]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkwUYU2cMQ4 Runaways]] - A routine about children and guns in which one of the dancers is accidentally shot and killed.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOqhmlEKLL4 Disappear]] - A solo that Maddie performed when she was just 8 years old in which an abused little girl commits suicide by drowning herself in a river.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl-3gDfTbmk Taken]] - A routine about a special girl (Maddie) that the other girls want to be like, but when they realize they can't be like her, they try to bring her down to their level. [[spoiler:They succeed in the end.]]
*** Even though the dance isn't all that explicitly dark, it's the story that it conveys that creates its grim edge.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QajOwj1l4ZE Amber Alert]] - A routine based around child abduction, as the name implies. [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding It ends with Maddie finding Mackenzie dead, killed by her abductors.]]]]
* DarkestHour: Season 5 is really shaping up to be this, considering in the previous season [[spoiler:three members of the junior elite team left, and Abby's getting extremely burned out and broken trying to keep the team balanced while dealing with the moms as well as the legal matter from her scuffle with Kelly.]] Hell, the promos even had "Abby's empire is falling" as a slogan.
* DeadpanSnarker: Christi has it in her DNA.
** Abby, from time to time.
* DespairEventHorizon: Season 4's ending. [[spoiler:The Hylands get expelled following Kelly and Abby's infamous violent scuffle, and Chloe and Christi straight up walk out on the team after being fed up with Abby]].
** Season 5 is seeming to be one in and of itself due to the repercussions of the aforementioned ending.
* [[DifferentInEveryEpisode Different in Every Season]]: The Pyramid pictures.
* TheDogBitesBack: Season 5 is shaping up to be this as the moms start a rebellion that may result in the ALDC's collapse.
* DoubleStandard: When the girls forget or even choke on their solos, Abby yells at them. But when Maddie runs off mid-solo in "Abbygeddon", Abby breaks down crying.
* DownerEnding: Many episodes end with the girls failing to win the competition, but "Abbygeddon" cranked things UpToEleven. [[spoiler:Their group lost to Cathy, and Maddie ran off stage mid-solo. They only get one win.]]
** Some of the stories of the performances end on sour notes as well. Examples include "Runaways", "Disappear", and "The Last Text".
** Season 4 ends with [[spoiler:both the Hylands and the Lukasiaks, which were both some of the most favored of the members, leaving the team due to being unable to cope with Abby anymore.]]
* DrivenToSuicide:
** [[spoiler:The [[DownerEnding ultimate fate]] of the girl in "Disappear".]]
** Almost everyone in "Where Have All the Children Gone?". Or not.
* DroppedABridgeOnHer: There are tons of dance moms and dancers who leave ALDC and are never seen again. Minister Dawn and Jackie are the two big examples, and Leslie is an on/off member.
* DumbBlonde: Averted with Chloe and Paige. All of the girls get straight A's in school.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:More of an Expelling Moment of Awesome; Kelly attacking Abby before she and her kids got expelled from the team.]]
** An example played straight; [[spoiler:at the time of Mrs. Miller's death, Abby said that she had "defied all medical textbooks".]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first season, for a variety of reasons.
** In the earliest episodes, the Pyramid was presented with the pictures pasted on a chalkboard instead of the mirror wall, and was in the middle of the room. The girls were also seated on the floor instead of standing.
** Sometimes the girls would have their mothers or sisters accompany them for the interviews, even if they didn't say or really do anything.
* EducationMama: Holly to Nia, since she's a school principal.
* EpicFail: Season 5 kicked off with Abby being pressured down by the weight of mama drama, shaping up the dance team, and dealing with the legal matter from her scuffle with Kelly in the previous season. So what should she do? Why, go to Los Angeles, of course, where the competition is much fiercer and requires even more work to compete against!
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Abby got hers when she kicked Minister Dawn and Regan off the team over the slightest nuance and showed everyone that Abby Lee Miller was no one to mess with. ''This was in the series premiere'', no less.
* [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas Even Bad Women Love Their Mamas]]: Abby had a very deep connection with her mother Maryen Lorrain Miller, who essentially sparked Abby's love for dance. [[spoiler:Then she came down with cancer and died in season 4.]]
* EvilFormerFriend: Cathy used to be part of Abby's team, but she quit. She went back to her studio, and the two have been [[ArchEnemy worst enemies]] ever since.
** Kelly is also an example. She used to dance for Abby and Mrs. Miller and later had her kids dance under the ALDC name, but she eventually became Abby's second-worst enemy.
* EvilSoundsRaspy: The "evil" part is debatable, but Abby's voice is '''''very much raspy''''' after a long time of straining it out.
* ExtremeDoormat: Melissa. She will do almost anything to stay in Abby's good favor.
** She's even called herself a doormat.
* EveryoneHasStandards: After Kelly attacks Abby, Jill is quick to note that the umpteen arguments that have sparked in the past have never escalated to physical contact.
* FaceHeelTurn: Abby's nastier side is really unraveling more and more as the seasons go by, but she's really starting to [[PlayingWithATrope experi]][[ZigZaggedTrope ment]] with this trope in season five. She's exhibiting much more of a villainous persona, but it could be attributed to the various mental and emotional breakdowns that she's been having trying to keep the ALDC afloat.
* FacePalm: Maddie does one at the end of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDq1UwtRG8 this video]].
* FatBastard: Leslie.
** The argument can be made for Christy as well.
* {{Flanderization}}: Abby's bombastic natures worsened, the girls have become more withdrawn, the list goes on.
* FlippingTheBird: Kelly gives out a couple of these on rare occasions, but her hand is blurred out.
* FollowTheLeader: Rather, a case of the leader following her student. When Mackenzie made an Instagram account for her dog Maliboo, Abby quickly followed suit by making an account for her pony named Pearl. However, the followers that Pearl had were merely a fraction of those that Maliboo had. However, Maliboo's account suffered two consecutive hackings and was ultimately deleted.
* ForegoneConclusion: [[spoiler:When Abby's mom came down with cancer in season 4, it was heartrendingly evident that she wasn't going to get better any time soon. And sure enough, she eventually died.]]
** Case in point, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNyK1vce6-c this clip]].
* FromBadToWorse: If Abby's group dance placing tenth in "Abbygeddon" wasn't bad enough, Cathy's placed ''ninth''.
** As if Paige breaking her foot wasn't bad enough, she was scheduled to do a duet with Chloe that same week. (The two have [[{{Understatement}} really wanted]] to perform together.)
* GenreSavvy: Christi's snark gives her some decent savviness. She's even incorporated some tropes.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Applied pretty blatantly to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnpPDasqBSg "Black Swan"]].
* GreenEyedMonster: Even if she doesn't admit it, there's no doubt that Christi is envious that Maddie's always TheAce and Chloe is almost AlwaysSecondBest.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Chloe and Paige. Melissa as well.
* HasTwoMommies: Possibly Kimmy. In the episode where she has to be a "bad girl," it sounds like Angel asks her, "Have you ever talked back to your moms?" It's unclear if he actually said "moms" or if the accent just made him sound like he said it, though.
* HeartbeatSoundtrack: When [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja2S56AipZ4 Maddie forgets her solo]] (starting at 1:37), you can hear a repeating sound similar to a heartbeat.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Abby, although she seems to shifting more and more towards the "heel" side as of late.
* HeliumSpeech: Sophia Lucia's voice is extremely high. [[LampshadeHanging Abby even criticized her for it.]]
* HellIsThatNoise: The scratching distortion in the "Amber Alert" music overlaps this with BrownNote. Made even creepier by the fact that it starts sounding ''right'' when Mackenzie gets "kidnapped".
* HeroicBSOD: "Abbygeddon" was this for Maddie and Abby, if not the whole team.
** In Abby's case, "heroic" [[VillainousBSOD is debatable.]]
* HeroicRROD: Season five seems to be a long, stretched out, and semi-convoluted one for Abby.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Abby and her assistant Gianna.
** Christi and Kelly. Overlaps frequently with VitriolicBestBuds.
* HumbleHero: Maddie. She's rarely not at the top of the pyramid, she's won crowns and trophies alike, but she consists of staying modest and not letting her success get to her head.
** In one {{Crowning Moment of Heartwarming}}, she dedicated a solo to a girl who was inspired by her, and even gave her trophy to said girl.
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: All of the moms and Abby are known to criticize one another and the girls but when someone outside the group does it they will all rally and defend one another. In one noticeable example [[spoiler:a mother at an open call audition criticizes Paige's a la seconde turns. Abby immediately gets angry and tells Paige to go up against the girl. Paige wins and the girl and her mom leave in disgrace. Christi hits the point home by telling the mother, "Abby can talk about her dancers but no one else can."]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: The girls' dance schedules have restrained them from doing normal things for girls their age, like hanging out with friends or going to parties.
* IllGirl: Vivi, apparently. In a season 3 episode, Christi says that Vivi is "always sick".
** Nia might also be an example, as she has a medical condition (something affecting the bones in her feet). In the Mother's Day special, it was revealed that she was actually in the hospital for some time over the summer, and was in a wheelchair for a while afterward.
** Mackenzie apparently has extra bones in one of her feet, making it painful for her to dance, though how painful it is seems to be up for debate. (See PlayingSick below.)
* INeedAFreakingDrink: The moms have a penchant for meeting up at bars or restaurants to down a glass of alcohol to vent themselves out.
* InsultBackfire: At the end of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QhztPQmrsI this run-in between Christi, Jill, Melissa, Holly, and Cathy]], Cathy storms out saying that Christi's butt is "lookin' like a $40 cow". Christi then replies with "What's a $40 cow?"
* ItsPronouncedTroPAY: Christy's name has sometimes been pronounced with "Christ" as in "Jesus Christ", alluding to her aggressive religious beliefs.
* {{Jerkass}}: Abby's [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold heart of gold]] has been diminishing over the show's runtime, although it really starting showing up in season 4 and has really started to bare its teeth in season 5. For example, someone drops by the ALDC's competition room to give Abby a fruit bouquet, which she carelessly and purposely drops on the ground, causing fruits to spill.
** Jessalynn, the mother of Jojo. Not only is she one of the most manipulative of all of the moms, but she deliberately steals Kalani's script to use with Jojo and then lies to Kira's face when confronted about it, and a certain shot shows her ''smiling'' while Kendall suffers a panic attack.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Abby. But don't get us wrong, she can be a straight up-and-down {{Jerkass}}.
** Most of the moms can also be [[AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents embarrassing]], insulting, and sometimes down right nasty, but they do love their kids.
* KarmaHoudini: Abby, in a more tragic real life example. She manages to get away with ''a lot'' of crap considering the footage is either edited out or manipulated to her advantage.
** Averted with [[spoiler:the Hylands' expulsion, in which she was unable to escape the mess and got into a lot of trouble herself.]]
* KickTheDog: The Series.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: In season 4, Kelly and Abby's rivalry reaches an apex where Kelly ends up physically attacking her. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And it's pretty damn awesome.]]
* LadyDrunk: Both Christi and Kelly seem to enjoy their alcohol. For example, in the very first episode, they both went out to a bar, and Chloe's headpiece [[LaserGuidedKarma fell forward over her eyes during her trio]].
* LargeHam: Abby.
* LaserGuidedKarma:
** In one episode, Christy gets into an argument with Abby and it escalates to the point where Christy insults the studio and calls Abby garbage. Abby kicks Sarah off the team immediately afterwards.
** The trope gets briefly {{discussed|Trope}} by Christi when she talks about how Jill arrives late to the competition after being on Christi's ass all week. "Karma's a bitch, Jill."
** From what we've seen of season 5 so far, it seems like everything Abby has built up is beginning to crash down. [[TheDogBitesBack Her team is rebelling against her]], [[spoiler:people are leaving the team for good]], not to mention that she still has to keep the company (or what's left of it) afloat.
* LightIsNotGood: In "Where Have All the Children Gone?", all the girls wear white dresses.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Oh yeah.
* MaleGaze: ''One of the cameramen'' does it. It's a FreezeFrameBonus, but not as hard to find. In one episode, the cameraman actually focuses the camera on [[DistractedByTheSexy Kelly's breasts]] for less than a second. The best part? No one seemed to notice.
* MamaBear: Any of the moms, whenever they feel like their child is insulted.
* ManipulativeEditing: According to the [[http://www.wetpaint.com/so-you-think-you-can-dance/articles/prestigious-dance-competition-says-no-to-dance-moms-abby-lee-miller Star Quest dance competition]], the show edited the competition to give the impression that certain acts were competing against each other when they weren't, and also edited the award announcements to make certain acts place higher or lower than they actually did.
* MauveShirt: Many examples, considering there are many girls who have had temporary spots on the team.
* MinorInjuryOverreaction: Abby has a lot of these in season five.
** Getting in a heated argument with other people in the street ''over a parking spot''.
** Abby getting riled up and upset at Chloe for accidentally hitting Maddie in the face, even though it wasn't that big of a deal.
** Abby yelling at [=JoJo=] for not formally addressing Gia. [[LampshadeHanging Even Kira says that she thought that this was out of line, despite her not being the most favorable of JoJo]].
* MommyIssues: Christi had a turbulent relationship with her mother, made even more saddening (or more creepy) in the fact that Christi doesn't really go in depth about it, for obvious reasons. It leaves one to wonder [[AbusiveParents what her mother]] [[FridgeHorror did to her...]]
* MoodWhiplash: In the "topless showgirls" episode, the girls show excitement when Abby tells them that they are going to be showgirls in the group dance...but then Abby tells them that they are going to be "naked" in the dance. Every bit of that excitement is killed immediately and replaced with shock.
** Jojo's prom queen solo music starts with an innocent piano song, then suddenly cuts to PsychoStrings, then turns into a disturbing orchestral piece of madness. Not to mention that the strings come in less than 10 seconds into the performance.
* MostAnnoyingSound: {{In universe}}; the sound of Cathy's voice. Abby described it at one point as a "yakkity-yak, annoying, shrill voice".
* MsFanservice: Kristie Ray.
* [[NiceGuy Nice Girls]]: The dancers, natch.
* NothingIsScarier: The NightmareFuel-rific "Where Have All the Children Gone?" incorporates this in spades. There are the girls disappearing offstage while giving subtle hints as to what happened to them (Nia clutches her throat, Paige jumps offstage, Maddie slits her wrist, etc.), and there's the very end with the abandoned but still moving swing.
* OnceAnEpisode: Arguments. Not a single episode goes by without one, and we mean '''''not a SINGLE episode'''''.
* OneLiner / SarcasmMode: Almost every word that comes out of Christi's mouth.
* OnlySaneWoman: Holly, especially in comparison to the other moms. She never snaps, and this in turn never gets her into arguments, but when she does argue she still manages to effortlessly keep herself under control.
** Christi, occasionally.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Now that Brooke is getting older, she wants to be this.
* OutOfFocus: As of season 3, Paige, Nia, and Brooke are all this (though Brooke doesn't seem to mind). Chloe was for a little while, but now she is back in Abby's good graces.
* PianoDrop: Referenced by [[GenreSavvy Christi]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZn3FY9PglA when talking about how silent Cathy was when the ALDC and Candy Apples ran into one another.]]
* PlayingSick: It is strongly suspected that Mackenzie faked her injured foot, or at least played up how much it was hurting, so she could avoid competing against Asia.
* ProductPlacement: While the show does blur out visible brands, the only brand non-blurred is of Abby's merchandise lying around the main office of the studio.
* PsychoStrings: They come up [[JumpScare out of nowhere]] in the music for Jojo's prom queen solo, causing an abrupt segue from an innocent piano song to an intense, nightmarish orchestral piece.
* PutOnTheBus: [[spoiler:Jill put ''herself'' and Kendall on the bus in season two ([[TheBusCameBack they come back eventually]]).]]
* RearrangeTheSong: The season four theme implements vocals from the original over a new song.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: OnceAnEpisode, usually by the moms to Abby.
* RedShirt:
** Regan Check (the daughter of Minister Dawn) never made it past the first episode.[[labelnote:for context...]]Regan got kicked out of acro class for wearing improper clothing (a T-shirt and socks), pissing off her mom since she had paid for the class. A long argument between Abby and Dawn ended with Abby calling 911 and the mother-daughter duo leaving the studio.[[/labelnote]]
** Similarly, Chloe Nguyen (the daughter of Kim) was only on the show for a single episode (justified, as it was simply a "trial run").
* [[RevolvingDoorBand Revolving Door Team]]: '''YES.''' Made even more heinous with the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters.
* RuleOfSeven: "The Seven Dancers".
** Chloe (pink): Shady
** Kaleigh (dark blue): Smiley
** Kendall (green): Slouchy
** Mackenzie (red): Silly
** Maddie (light blue): Snobby
** Nia (orange): Sassy
** Sarah R. (purple): Stretchy
* RunningGag:
** Jill's hair color changing from season to season.
** Straightening your knees and pointing your feet.
** Instagram hackers really like targeting Maddie and Kenzie. Hell, someone even hacked Maliboo's account! ''Twice!''
* RuleOfSymbolism: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0FU3g6ZqwA A group dance about cancer]] has the girls dancing with a long pink ribbon.
* SacrificialLamb: The trope gets name-dropped by Christi in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf7d87KXaH0 this video]].
* SadistTeacher: Abby is strict, but mostly reserves her screaming for the mothers, and isn't in fact especially harsh as dance (gymnastics, skating, etc) coaches go. The mothers, on the other hand, tend to overreact just a bit to any implication their daughter is not a star....
** Of course, some of her VillainProtagonist actions (as written below) definitely show this. She yells at Chloe and Nia for choking on their routines, but as soon as Maddie forgets her routine, Abby runs out of the room crying.
* SanitySlippage: Maddie shows excellently subtle hints of this in "The Last Text". Then again, [[AdultFear if you were seeing what she was seeing, you'd be going crazy too.]]
** All of the girls in "I See the Kite Flying" are portraying mental patients that crawl around on stage, hitting themselves in the head and rocking back and forth.
* ScareChord: Whenever a dancer forgets her number or something equally bad occurs.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In the "Playing Favorites" special, Christi leaves immediately after realizing that she's going to be left alone with Melissa and Abby.
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: Abby likes reminding her dancers that second place is the first loser.
* [[HesBack She's Back]]: Jill is fed up with the moms and Abby and decides to [[spoiler:betray Abby by taking Kendall to Cathy's team; she then returns back to ALDC.]] All of this happened in one season.
** [[spoiler:Kelly eventually does the same too.]]
* ShoutOut:
** You might be able to notice an "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" poster in select episodes.
** In season two, there was a dance with three girls[[note]]Brooke, Chloe, Maddie[[/note]] and a cute vampire boy. [[SarcasmMode Take a WILD guess what this is a shout-out to.]]
*** [[spoiler:The dance is even called "Twilight", no less.]]
** When the moms were having a sit-in for Kelly[[labelnote:*]]refusing to leave the spot that they were in (by all of their cars), and even refusing to talk to Abby or look her in the eye when she talked to them[[/labelnote]], Christi compares it to the T-rex scene from ''Film/JurassicPark''.
** Cathy once said "[[Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas Whoville]] called, they want their nose back" to insult Christi.
** In season two, there was a group dance called "The Huntress" inspired by ''Literature/TheHungerGames''.
*** Chloe even lampshaded it...[[http://www.myhungergames.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/chloe.jpg sort of]].
** If you play ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 3]]'', you might be able to recognize the music used in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WoShNkKBOc this number]].
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9cedQuf1Lw season 3 trailer]] was made as a shoutout to ''Film/{{Flashdance}}'', even using "She's a Maniac" as BGM and ending with Abby reenacting the famous water scene...only to have the moms get the water dumped on them.
** In similar roots, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz-yirQQ-dc promo for the next season]] was made as a reference to a-Ha's "Take on Me" video.
** One season 4 episode is called [[Music/{{Queen}} "Another One Bites the Dust"]].
*** One season 5 episode is called [[Music/IceT "99 Problems]] [[Music/JayZ But A Mom Ain't One"]].
** From that same episode, the group dance was titled [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs "The Seven Dancers"]] and had each girl play a different dwarf/dancer. See RuleOfSeven above.
** A two-parter episode in season 5 was named [[Film/WildWildWest "Wild Wild West Coast, Parts 1 and 2"]].
** Jojo did a solo in season 5 called "Prom Queen" that was a reference to ''Film/{{Carrie}}''; she was even doused from head to toe in blood.
* TheShowGoesHollywood: The team travels to LA in season 5, and it's been the single most highly billed aspect by advertising.
* ShutUpHannibal: A pretty [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome damn awesome one]] from [[https://33.media.tumblr.com/cb88aa73f040802a1d2397c9fc9b3eb9/tumblr_n8s8se6T1q1tujwv8o1_1280.jpg Paige and Chloe]].[[labelnote:for context...]]The [[ItMakesSenseInContext context]] here is that in the episode "You've Been Unfriended" Christi and Chloe had just come off their suspension from ALDC, and Abby took the opportunity to [[{{Jerkass}} really let poor Chloe have it]], calling her generic names like "blondie" and "girl in the front". Then the girls retaliated.[[/labelnote]]
* SickeningCrunch: When Paige breaks her foot on the landing of her standing back tuck, you get to hear it. And it's quite loud (almost unrealistically loud).
* SixthRanger: [[spoiler:Kalani eventually joins the team in season 4.]]
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Inverted. Justice (in the original series) and Lucas (in the spin-off series) are both treated as "special" because they are both male competitive dancers.
** In season 3, Cathy replaces her team with a new team, made entirely of males. (Though in episode 18, she does use a girl, however briefly). So far, they have gone against Abby's girls four times, and won against them three of those times.
* SoapBoxSadie: Abby has expressed her political views in the choreography a few times.
* SoleSurvivor: During a group dance, a fake car crash occurs and after a matter of time kills everyone but--you guessed it--Maddie.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: ''Where Have All the Children Gone?'' and ''I See the Kite Flying'' are both performed to spoken-word pieces by the same CreepyMonotone author.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Holly. She's this trope in general, but she uses it prominently when she's arguing.
** The most insulting thing she's ever called someone is "a monstrosity of evil". Make of that what you will.
* SoundEffectBleep: The moms' arguments are full of them.
* SplashOfColor: In the "Taken" group dance, Maddie's pink dress acts like this against the mundane grey dresses that the other girls are wearing. It's actually a key part of the dance's story.
** Same goes for "Black and Blue", with Maddie now wearing a blue dress against black dresses.
* SpokenWordInMusic: Nia's solo "Goodbye Maya" has several bits in which she stops dancing and says a couple sentences from Maya Angelou's poetry.
* StageMom: All the moms! Especially Cathy, who seems to have no realistic take on her daughter's ability (or lack thereof).
* StrawHypocrite: Prior to season four, Abby regularly bashed Cathy for not training her own dancers, but bringing in outside dancers from other studios and "slapping her logo on them." Cut to Abby recruiting Asia and Kalani from AUDC and bragging about their talents. She also recruited Sophia Lucia, who was already relatively well known in the dance world before ''Dance Moms'' even began airing.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The costumes for "Electricity"
* TakeThat: Abby has [[http://www.mommyish.com/2012/09/29/honey-boo-boo-abbey-lee-miller/ called out Honey Boo Boo]] mainly on her, ahem, physique. [[HypocriticalHumor Abby's the last person you'd expect to judge someone on their weight.]]
* TearsOfJoy: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylc41SaGa78 Mackenzie's Christmas present]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming really touched her.]]
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Possibly between Maddie and Chloe. Chloe is often seen as superior technically, but Maddie tends to get more solos because she is able to use her face (a.k.a, perform) better onstage. Also can be seen in the case of Nia and Mackenzie - neither one is the best in the group, but it's obvious that they both love dancing. Averted with Brooke - she's one of the strongest technically, but her lack of expression is what keeps her from getting solos often.
* TemptingFate:
** When Paige keeps insisting that she shows everyone her standing back tuck, Abby finally obliges...only for Paige to break her foot on the landing.
*** The fact that the floor she broke her foot on was of solid concrete [[CaptainObvious probably had something to do with it]].
** In one episode in season five, Holly notes that Abby's been gone for quite some time and hopes that she's gotten herself together by the time she returns. Cut to Abby walking in with no makeup and undone hair while holding a Burger King soda cup.
* ThrowTheDogABone: Chloe, known for being Abby's ButtMonkey for quite some time, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome single handedly provided the one win that they could take home with her solo in "Abbygeddon"]].
* TokenEvilTeammate: Cathy was originally part of Abby's team back when the show began, but she left, modified her dance studio, and they've been bitter rivals ever since.
* TokenMinority: According to her mom, Nia.
** Not so much anymore, because Asia has joined the team.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Abby in the later seasons compared to the earlier.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: There's a particular shot in the infamous "topless showgirls" episode that displays Brooke and Paige shirtless from the back.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: At the end of the season three recap, a "trailer" showing what's to come in the season is shown, revealing tons of seemingly important parts of the plot, including [[spoiler:Kelly leaving the team. Again.]]
* TheUnfavorite: In comparison to Maddie, Kenzie is.
** And by team dynamics, this position is shared by everyone who isn't Maddie and now [[spoiler:Mackenzie and Kalani.]]
* TWordEuphemism: Abby refers to "cheerleading" as "the C word". Not to be confused with [[CountryMatters the OTHER C word...]]
* VillainProtagonist: Abby, at times.
** For instance, when she pulls out all of Maddie's recent crowns (there are a lot of them), and shows them to the other girls. Of course, seeing as Maddie gets a solo virtually OnceAnEpisode, and the other girls are lucky to get one a month, it becomes insulting. Melissa then comes down, and Abby brutally insults her and the moms for not wanting the girls to get big-headed.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Christi and Kelly.
** All of the moms, really.
* WackyParentSeriousChild: Most of the moms towards their kids.
** If [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130816150311/dancemoms/images/4/4e/Maddiemellisa.jpg this picture]] is anything to go by...
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Lucas. In just about every single episode, he wears no shirt during the competitions.
* WardrobeMalfunction: All the girls have had their moments.
* WeirdnessMagnet: "What is it about me? Why do I attract all the crazy ones?" - Abby
* WhamEpisode: "Big Trouble in the Big Apple", due to [[spoiler:the violent skirmish between Kelly and Abby that resulted in the Hylands being permanently kicked off of the team.]]
** UpToEleven: You thought that was bad? [[spoiler:In January 2014 (a while after the episode's events, which were in November 2013), Abby filed a ''restraining order'' against Kelly. The next month, Kelly sued the ALDC for ''$5 million'' for reasons including emotional distress, defamation, assault, and breach of contract.]]
* WhamLine:
** [[spoiler:[[TearJerker "I still wanna dance, I still wanna do this...but I don't wanna do it with her anymore."]]]]
** "Four to six weeks, she [[[spoiler:Paige]]] can't dance."
** In an argument between Tracy and Kira.
-->'''Tracey''': You want me to start pulling up things about you, Kira? Because I ''know'' you don't want me to go there. I will be happy to talk about [[spoiler:your arrest record!]]
*** Jill's [[JawDrop reaction]] to that line really brings home the impact of it.
* WhamShot:
** [[spoiler:Jill walking into the room during the pyramid after having abandoned ship on the team earlier.]]
** In one episode, Abby has gone through everyone at Pyramid except for the top, and there's no left but Payton. (She and Leslie look pretty smug, reasonably.) Abby then reveals who it is...[[spoiler:and it's Brooke, who just got back from cheerleading.]]
** [[spoiler:The particularly freakish shot of an extremely burned-out, makeup-less Abby with her hair in a mess.]] It's [[{{Understatement}} ja]][[NightmareFace rr]][[NightmareFuel ing]].
*** [[http://tn.ltcdn.com/BRAND_LFT_DMOM_160106_TVE_000_2997_60_20150130_000_HD_768x432-16x9.jpg Here's a picture]], if you really want to see it.
* WhatTheHellHero: "You've Been Unfriended" sees a level of [[{{Jerkass}} jerkassery]] never before seen in Abby. To one of the dancers, no less. (Chloe, to be exact.)
** The main public reaction to Maddie recoiling in disgust and running out of the room after kissing Gino.
* WhatWereYouThinking: When Jill takes the stage in a tango, Christi and Melissa show up to present her with a crown and a bouquet. Abby doesn't take the situation very lightly, as she describes her feelings for the situation in one word: "[[WhatAnIdiot Idiots]]."
** Another example, to a lesser extent, is in season one when ALL of the dance moms (including Cathy) [[CrowningMomentOfFunny take the stage with a dance number]], and Cathy decides to give herself an on-the-spot solo part. Abby also doesn't take it too lightly from backstage.
** In one instance, Melissa ends up ''running across the stage in front of the audience'' and even addressing the audience. Abby doesn't find it amusing.
* [[WhiteShirtOfDeath White Dress of Death]]: Mackenzie in "The Last Text".
* WinkDing: At the end of the season 3 promo trailer, Abby turns towards the camera and does one of these.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: All of the moms except [[OnlySaneWoman Holly]] with one another.
* WouldHurtAChild: Abby exhibits this in the verbal sense but according to lore has also done it physically.
** In Paige's lawsuit against Abby, Paige says that Abby once pinched another girl on the team (not named, but not Paige) hard enough that she started bleeding.
* YankTheDogsChain:
** There's a scenario where everyone except Payton is shown on the pyramid, and the only spot left is the top. [[spoiler:Then it turns out that Brooke's at the top, having returned from cheerleading.]] Leslie even gives a pretty good summary of the trope when arguing against Abby.
-->'''Leslie''': You dangled a carrot in front of her, and you just ripped it away!
** Another scenario in which Chloe and Maddie are given identical solos, and at the awards ceremony Chloe is shown victorious. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that there was an error in the scoring and Maddie truly won.]]
* YoungestChildWins: Mackenzie is the youngest of the ALDC roster and wins frequently.
** Asia, to that effect.
** If you want to include Maddie, then this trope gets extremely amplified.
!!Tropes that apply to [=MackZ=] and her music:
* {{Autotune}}: Used almost as an instrument in its own right, and it's become a prime outlet of criticism. At best, it's sort of a complementary tool to Mackenzie's voice. At worst, her voice gets completely consumed in it.
* BookEnds: The album starts with "I Gotta Dance" and ends with "I'd Rather Be Dancin'".
* TheCameo: Abby appears at around the 2-minute mark on Mackenzie's song "Play Nice". No, seriously.
* ChristmasSongs: "Christmas All Year Long".
* GenreRoulette: The album's tracks include a heartfelt, downbeat ballad ("Shine"), a dubstep-influenced track ("Play Nice"), straight-up bubblegum pop ("It's A Girl Party"), and a little bit of experimental synthpop ("Flip Out").
* MoodWhiplash: ''All over the album.'' The album segues right from "Flip Out", a bubbly synthpop track, into the heartfelt TearJerker "Shine"...only to then segue into the fun, upbeat "It's A Girl Party".
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: It's "Mack Z", not "Macks".
* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: Most of her songs are in the 1-3 range. Well, what would you expect, really?
* RunningGag: A strong theme on the album is how inferior boys are.
* SelfTitledAlbum: Her first album was named after her stage name, [=MackZ=].
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The song "Shine". Instead of a high-energy and high-intensity dance track, it's the most mellow and calm track on the album. It was made to address how she's often overshadowed by Maddie, but still loves her and wishes to shine just like her one day. If you couldn't tell, [[TearJerker it's really saddening to listen to]].
* XtremeKoolLetterz: {{Downplayed|Trope}}; [=MackZ=] isn't the most extreme example.
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