[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nurse-1_4392.jpg]]''Nurse Jackie'', to which some fans fondly refer as "Nurse Series/{{House}}", is a {{Creator/Showtime}} half-hour drama/comedy about Jackie Peyton ([[Series/TheSopranos Edie Falco]]), a nurse in an inner-city hospital in NewYorkCity who manages to be both a mega-bitch (with a heart!) and a life-saving Jesus in a skirt. Or scrubs, whatever.

It attracted some overstated initial hype in the USA about how [[DarkerAndEdgier dark and edgy]] it is, although that is true only by comparison to more sentimental hospital dramas. The strengths of the show are the way it combines (often dark) humour with subtle drama, its rounded characters and how it avoids being preachy. Jackie is bitchy, cheats on her husband and is addicted to all sorts of medication, but is still a sympathetic character.

Some other characters include Jackie's GentlemanSnarker English friend Dr. O'Hara; Gloria Akalitus, Jackie's mostly no-nonsense boss; Dr. "Coop" Cooper, a parody of the traditional supercool heroic young doctor who ''always'' seeks attention; Jackie's NaiveNewcomer protégée, Zoe; Eddie, the hospital pharmacist who was once her HopelessSuitor drug supplier and {{friend|sWithBenefits}} but is currently playing a more neutral role in her life, and Sam, a nurse who was once a drug addict but doesn't know about Jackie's true nature.
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!!This show contains examples of:
* TheAce: Kelly in season 3. A ChickMagnet, a very good nurse even to the point where Akalitus compliments him, athletic, goes jogging {{shirtless|Scene}}. [[spoiler:Later becomes a BrokenAce when it's revealed that he takes painkillers.]]
* AllAbusersAreMale: Averted; one patient is a man whose girlfriend managed to crack his skull out of anger. He hit her back in self-defense, but she only suffered some bruises.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Jackie and Coop in season 1, but only on his side. Jackie was manipulating his feelings to convince him that she hit her finger to see him, rather than disguise the fact that she's married.
* BigApplesauce
* TheBigGuy: [[MeaningfulName Thor]], overlapping with CampGay.
* BiTheWay [[spoiler:O'Hara]]; it doesn't come up until Season 2, and then it's treated like a non-issue.
* ButICantBePregnant: subverted with [[spoiler:Zoey]], who can't believe she's not pregnant.
* ByronicHero: Jackie.
* CampGay: Thor and Momo (Mohammed). [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments It takes Zoey a while to realize this.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Jackie takes tap dancing lessons with her daughter early in the series, and later uses it to keep an inebriated Sam awake.
* DuelingShows: With ''{{Hawthorne}}'', to some degree, although that one isn't half as provocative.
* DrFeelgood: Jackie is a rare sympathetic example.
* DrJerk: Coop, in his worse moments.
* {{Expy}}: Zoey is an expy of Alice Chantrey from ''{{Casualty}}''.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: At the end of the first episode, we find out Jackie is married with two daughters.
* AFriendInNeed: O'Hara exemplifies this. Even in later seasons, when she has more than enough reason to avoid Jackie because of her unpredictable behavior as an addict.
* FriendlyRival: Coop thinks he has one with O'Hara, as she's the only other doctor on the floor. It's made the plot point of a season 3 episode.
* FriendsWithBenefits: Eddie and Jackie in season 1, although Eddie wants a more emotional relationship.
* GentlemanSnarker: O'Hara is a rare female example.
* HasTwoMommies: Coop.
* HollywoodTourettes: Coop. His tic acts up when he's stressed or nervous, and he grabs women's breasts. It gets him into trouble sometimes.
* HopelessSuitor: Eddie.
* HospitalHottie: Averted with the nurses, in that they all wear practical shoes, have their hair short/tied up, and do not wear make-up, just like real nurses. This illustrates the difference in work between nurses (who work long hours on their feet) and doctors.
** Played straight with O'Hara and Coop. Specifically invoked when Coop is deliberately chosen for an advert for All-Saints, with the tag-line "If Looks Could Cure..."
%% ICannotSelfTerminate
* IntoxicationEnsues: In the second episode, Gloria accidentally gets a full dose of Percocet after stealing what she thought was Jackie's coffee sweetener.
* ItsNotYouItsMe: Inverted At the end of season 3 when [[spoiler:Kevin confesses to Jackie that he had an affair (despite her having one as well) and she tells him to leave]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Jackie. And how.
* KarmaHoudini: Inverted, with a protagonist who does questionable things. Executive producer Liz Brixius even used the name Houdini to describe her. Understandable as Jackie is the main character, but nearly every season ends with her getting off scot free. In season two [[spoiler:Keven and O'Hara find out she's an addict, but she's given near free rein in season 3 until her new supplier bites the dust. She then gets clean, but not by choice]]. Season 3 has [[spoiler:Keven revealing that he had an affair because he felt distant from her, and Jackie planning to divorce him. Simultaneously (and unbeknownst to Jackie), Gloria tosses Jackie's urine sample in the trash rather than giving it to HR, getting her out of hot water at work]].
** The tables are turned in season 4 when Kevin discovers about Jackie's affair and her drug use and sues for child custody.
** And near the end of season 4, [[spoiler:Cruz fires Jackie, although not without taking Gloria and Eddie down first]].
* KarmicJackpot: Arguably Jackie. She saves lives, is considered a good person by most of her co-workers, and as a result is able to hide her secrets almost flawlessly.
** Eventually averted as O'Hara discovers Jackie's drug problem, then Jackie goes go rehab. [[spoiler: By the end of season 4 Cruz has fired her and Eddie and Akalitus for covering up her problem]].
*** They're all rehired at the start of season 5
* MarriedToTheJob: Akalitus. She even says the phrase verbatim when talking to a nun on the phone.
* MoralDissonance: Jackie, whose patients consider her to be a good nurse and an "angel", but who is also an addict whose family is coming to hate her and who has done things like [[spoiler:stealing drugs from a man who was having a heart attack before calling him an ambulance]].
* MDEnvy: Inverted; most of the nurses and paramedics are happy in their jobs, but Coop often gloats about being a doctor, especially to Sam, the series' only recurring nurse who is both straight and male. Barring Kelly, but Kelly is TheAce, so he gets a pass from Coop.
* NaiveNewcomer: Zoey and, to a lesser extent, Coop.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Are you seriously going to threaten someone who's friends with a guy named ''Thor''?
* OneOfOurOwn: In season 3, [[spoiler:Lenny]] becomes a patient for an episode.
* RealLifeRelative: Suzie Brixius, sister of creator Liz Brixius, makes a cameo as a deranged woman.
* RecycledINSPACE: ''Series/{{House}}'', but with a nurse.
* SarcasticConfession:
** "I have a huge crush on Eddie. [[GilliganCut We fuck every day at noon]]"
** When Zoe asks Jackie what happened to her finger.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Jackie all the time, and, to a lesser extent, O'Hara.
** Zoey gets her first chance at doing this in season 4, when she ignores Cruz's orders and leaves to pick up a patient's husband at another hospital. She's thrilled to get the opportunity.
* ShipTease: Cruz and Jackie. He comments SheCleansUpNicely, and she has a dream where he kisses her.
* SkewedPriorities: Arguably Jackie, depending on what you think is most important to her (drugs or other obligations?). Definitely Coop and Zoey, at times.
* TalkativeLoon: God.
* TheUnfairSex: Coop and Jackie's disagreement on domestic violence vs. self defense.
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