A series of books by British novellist Elinor Brent-Dyer. Set in a {{boarding school}} for girls in Austria, Guernsey, Wales and finally Switzerland, as the Nazis spread across Europe.

Features [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a cast of thousands]] by virtue of having over sixty books and spanning almost three generations of the family.

Madge Bettany and her {{ill girl}} sister, Joey, are faced with poverty when their brother Dick takes a new job in India. Madge decides that a finishing school for girls, in Austria, will be the best cure for their money woes and for Joey's health. Starting with a small number of students in the eponymous Chalet, the school teaches in English, French and German. Could very well be a {{trope codifier}} for the {{boarding school}} series.

A character sheet is currently in progress.



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!!This series provides examples of:

* AHouseDivided: ''The Feud in the Chalet School'', in which girls and staff from another local school, St Hilda's, are forced to temporarily move in with the Chalet School after their school is destroyed by a fire. Although the older girls and most of the staff try to make the best of a bad situation, the younger girls are at odds with each other. The Chalet contingent, led by Jack Lambert, resent having to share their space with the St Hilda's girls, while the St Hilda's contingent, led by Gillie Garstin, are equally unhappy and find some of the Chalet School practices, such as the language days, annoying or weird. It's not helped by the arrogant attitude of Miriam Ashley, one of the St Hilda's teachers, who doesn't agree with the way the Chalet School does things, and is desperate to move out. The girls later bond over rescuing the school cat and painting walls with golden syrup. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: The prefects have their moments. On top of their schoolwork, they are also expected to supervise the younger girls in prep sessions, clubs and games practices. They are also able to dole out punishments and often take matters into their own hands when younger girls are behaving badly or fighting amongst themselves.
* AbusiveParents: Rikki Fry's dad beats her hands with a cane for touching one of his prized vases.
** Several characters are also victims of emotional abuse, including Grizel Cochrane (who is also on the receiving end of financial abuse from her parents) and Theodora / Ted Grantley, who has a ''very'' strained relationship with her mother. And Juliet Carrick's parents just plain ''dump'' her on Madge (see ParentalAbandonment below).
* AdultFear: Both Jem and Madge and Joey have to deal with their young children going missing at certain points. In the former case, Sybil is kidnapped by the Mystic M in ''The New Chalet School'', while in ''The Chalet School Triplets'', Joey's daughter Cecil is kidnapped by a mentally ill woman. Luckily, no harm comes to either child. And Joey is a constant source of this for Madge in the Tyrol years.
* AerithAndBob: On the one hand, there are girls with pretty conventional names, such as Gillian Culver, Beth Chester, Margaret Twiss, Mary Woodley and Amy Stevens. On the other, there's the likes of Verity-Ann Carey, Yseult Pertwee, Loveday Perowne, Viola Lucy, Josette Russell, Zephyr Burthill, Evadne Lannis, and many other girls with equally weird names.
* AintTooProudToBeg: When Miss Browne informs [[spoiler:Vera]] that she is to be expelled in ''Rivals'', [[spoiler: Vera]] throws herself down on the floor and begs the headmistress not to expel her. Miss Browne isn't interested and tells her she must 'never kneel to another human being'.
** Zephyr Burthill tries the same trick in ''Jo to the Rescue'' with Simone de Bersac, kneeling down and begging her to give her Phoebe's cello. Simone isn't having any of it.
* AlphaBitch: Betty Wynne-Davies becomes one by the time of ''Highland Twins at the Chalet School'', due to breaking away from former best friend Elizabeth Arnett and [[TookALevelInJerkass taking a level in bitchiness]] as a result.
** In the Switzerland part of the series, there's Jack Lambert, particularly in ''Jane and the Chalet School''.
** A milder example is Lysbet Alsen in ''Two Sams at the Chalet School'', who takes an instant dislike to Samaris Davies due to her actually wanting to pull her finger out and do well, rather than slacking off like the rest of the form. Similarly, there's Eilunedd Vaughan in ''Peggy of the Chalet School'', who is ''not'' pleased about Peggy being Head Girl and makes trouble for her.
* AlphaCouple: Madge and Jem in the Tyrol years, and Joey and Jack from ''Exile'' onwards.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Or misguided, anyway. Which is the reaction Miss Slater gets from Miss Dene and younger mistresses when she announces in ''Changes'' that she won't be joining the school in Switzerland as she's got a job in another high school as Head of Maths, and she's had enough of being a junior mistress and wants to advance up the career ladder. Miss O'Brien, Miss Derwent and Miss Burnett all make fun of her and accuse her of thinking she's better than them.
* BetaBitch: Florence 'Floppy Bill' Williams is this to Betty Wynne-Davies in 'Highland Twins', though [[EvenEvilHasStandards even she]] and fellow BetaBitch Hilda are disgusted by [[spoiler:Betty talking to a Nazi spy about the Chart of Erisay.]]
* BitchAlert: If a character is evil or just generally unpleasant, [=EBD=] lets the reader know straight away. They often have harsh voices, dislike and/or get into an argument with the heroine of the book, Joey or one of her relatives, and are either ugly, plain, 'sharp-featured' (such as [[SpoiledBrat Emerence Hope]]) or pretty in a 'cheap' or 'showy' way (such as [[RichBitch Zephyr Burthill]]).
* {{Blackmail}}: Used by Margot against Ted Grantley in ''Theodora''. [[spoiler: Margot finds out that Ted has been expelled from various schools, and threatens to make it public if she doesn't stay away from Len.]]
* BrattyHalfPint: Sybil Russell is one at first, but grows out of it. And if you're a Middle or Junior, you will probably be one at some point.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Mr Denny. He speaks in YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe, has long hair and eccentric dress sense and waxes lyrical about Greek myth (hence his nickname of 'Plato'), but he's a fantastic teacher and a talented musician who clearly loves his subject and is popular among the students.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Any girl who tries to run away from school, misbehaves on an expedition or has a midnight feast ''will'' end up ill or injured. Joyce Linton even gets a severe attack of food poisoning in ''The Chalet School and the Lintons'' after eating Thekla von Stift's uncooked bacon.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Simone Lecoutier gets ''very'' jealous when Joey makes other friends besides her. Joey calls her on it when Simone cuts her hair to get Joey's attention.
** Mélanie Lucas begins to act this way in ''A Future Chalet School Girl'' after Ruey Richardson arrives and, from Mélanie's viewpoint, hogs the Maynards' time. Of course, she doesn't know about Ruey's DisappearedDad and the Maynards subsequently taking her and her brothers under their wing, until Ruey puts her straight during an argument. And she isn't the first one Ruey's had to deal with, either - one major plot point of ''Ruey Richardson, Chaletian'' is Francie Wilford's dislike towards Ruey because she sees her as getting in the way of a potential friendship with Margot (who isn't remotely interested in Francie anyway).
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Con Maynard is the poster girl for this trope. Verity-Ann Carey becomes one in the later books and is often described as 'moony'.
* ContrivedCoincidence: Loads throughout the series. One particular glaring example is ''Two Sams'', in which Samaris Davies and Samantha van der Byl discover at the end of the book that they're long-lost cousins. Other new girls, such as Adrienne Desmoines and Melanie Lucas, turn out to be related to Old Girls ([[spoiler:the Robin]] and [[spoiler: Jeanne le Cadoulec]] respectively). ''The Wrong Chalet School'' is full of them. As one fan said:
--> The coincidences required for the plot are a bit much - two Chalet Schools with similarly described uniforms leaving from the same train station at the same time, two heads named Miss Wilson, the death of a mistress at the other Chalet school (if I remember correctly) so they couldn't get the information from them, a flood at the real CS which destroyed all correspondence to Mary Katherine, both fathers being Dr Gordons who worked abroad in missionary work, both trunks being sent late, and the fact that Mary-Katherine's people didn't seem to notify the school that their daughter wasn't going to be at the pickup point, and Miss Gordon being unreachable for an extended period of time!
* CoolBigSis: Dickie Christy is a literal example, helping raise her younger sister Cherry and becoming a well-liked figure during her time at the Chalet School. Likewise, there's Len Maynard, who acts as the leader of the other Maynard kids, being the most responsible triplet. And Joey acts as one to the Robin, who in turn becomes a CoolBigSis to Daisy Venables during the Armishire era. Bear in mind, this being the Chalet School, none of these girls are particularly jaded or cynical.
* CoolOldLady: Matron, more commonly known as 'Matey' (generally held to be Matron Lloyd), one of the longest-serving members of staff, and Rebecca Learoyd, the grandmother who Jacynth and Gay encounter in ''Gay from China at the Chalet School''.
* CreepyDoll: Baby Voodoo, which a group of junior Middles make in ''New House'' in order to frighten Cornelia by dangling it in front of our bedroom window. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as Cornelia is a heavy sleeper, and Joey catches them at it and dumps Baby Voodoo on a piano - and when a superstitious maid finds it, all hell breaks loose.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The UsefulNotes/WorldWarII stories are darker in tone than the other books, the most notable example being ''The Chalet School In Exile''. [[spoiler: Starts off with the school being forced to leave the Tirol due to the Anschluss, and losing German and Austrian pupils, who are recalled to their own countries. Joey, Robin, Cornelia, Miss Wilson and a load of others wind up having to escape from the Nazis after Joey gets into an argument with some men who are attacking an old Jewish man, during which Miss Wilson's hair turns white. Mlle Lepattre, one of the original heads of the school and Cornelia's guardian, dies after a long illness, while Maria Marani's father is killed in a concentration camp, and Frieda's husband has a narrow escape from one. A Nazi spy infiltrates the school, although luckily, she has a HeelFaceTurn. Finally, Maria and Cornelia are seriously injured after trying to save a man from being burned to death.]]
** ''The Chalet Girls Grow Up'' by Merryn Williams, a sequel to the original series, was much DarkerAndEdgier than any of the original ''Chalet School'' stories. Among many other things [[spoiler:Len suffers domestic violence, is raped and then abandoned by her husband, who cheats on her. Her young daughter dies of meningitis and another daughter goes through a TeenPregnancy. Con has several affairs with men who don't love her, suffers a miscarriage, and has setbacks in her writing career. Margot becomes a peace protester who is banned from South Africa and eventually finds she has left it too late to have a child. Jo develops Alzheimer's Disease, Jack is DrivenToSuicide, Madge has a fatal stroke, Mary-Lou is a man-eating temptress, and the Chalet School closes (and is eventually bulldozed) when it runs into financial trouble.]] What a cheery little tale!
* DarkestHour: In ''Rivals'', when Joey is seriously ill after falling into an icy lake, and Jem is worried that she might not survive the afternoon. Both staff and girls, St Scholastika's pupils included, fear for Joey's life. [[spoiler:She gets better.]]
* DeadGuyJunior: Many, many times. Joey's daughter Margot, for example, was named after her brother-in-law's dead sister, and Gisela Mensch names her daughter Natalie after her grandmother's dead baby daughter.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Some new girls go through this, such as Prunella Davidson in ''The Chalet School Does It Again'' and Edna Purdom in ''The Chalet School in the Oberland''. Though they get off to a bad start and their jerkiness alienates and annoys other girls, they soon make friends and/or encounter Joey, and gradually start to thaw out and fit in.
* DeweyDefeatsTruman: In ''The Chalet School in Exile'', one of the wartime books, the school relocates to Guernsey. As [[http://lampandbook.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/chalet-school-in-exile-2.html this article]] points out, Brent-Dyer had no way of knowing that, just after the book was published, the Nazis would invade Guernsey.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Miss Browne in ''Rivals'' should have had more of a clue about starting a school in the Tiernsee area. Firstly, the area is mountainous, with heavy snow in winter and a risk of floods, but the St Scholastika's girls are not equipped properly for the area (for instance, they don't have nailed boots like the Chalet School girls). Secondly, they're up against a more established school with strong ties to the local community. Unlike Madge in ''The School at the Chalet'', Miss Browne makes no efforts to integrate into the local community and get to know people beforehand - a tactic which enables Madge to get pupils from local families - or learn about local customs. Thirdly, she's so xenophobic (with her comments about Mlle Lepattre being French and 'we know what ''their'' ideas of education are', and foreigners being dishonourable) that you wonder why she came to a foreign country in the first place. And badmouthing the Chalet School to Dick, Jem, Joey and Captain Humphries after learning Joey was a pupil there? EpicFail. Small wonder St Scholastika's later merges with the Chalet School in ''The New Chalet School''.
* DisabilityAsAnExcuseForJerkassery: Looking at ''you'', Naomi Elton.
* DisproportionateRetribution: OK, so Betty Wynne-Davies had a bit of a grudge against Robin, Daisy and the [=McDonald=] twins, but was [[spoiler: Potentially selling the isle of Erisay out to the Nazis]] really necessary?
** In ''Three Go to the Chalet School'', when Verity-Ann Carey refuses to sing in German, a couple of girls splutter involuntarily and Miss Burnett goes overboard in her punishment. Not only are they told off, but they're also made to apologise to Mr. Denny, have conduct marks deducted ''and'' spend their evening hemming dusters.
** More generally, one way to guarantee getting punished in the Chalet School, usually by fines and a heavy ticking off, is...''talking slang''. Yeah. For some of the mistresses, it's a huge BerserkButton.
* DumbBlonde: The Ozanne twins and Yseult Pertwee definitely qualify. Played with with Marie von Eschenau - she's the least academic of the Quartette and is more known for her looks than her academics, but she certainly isn't thick. And Daisy Venables, Stacie Benson and Frieda Mensch are all ''major'' aversions.
* [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Everyone Calls Her Matron]]: Very rarely is Matey addressed by her first name (it's [[spoiler:Gwynneth]], and that isn't revealed until later in the series).
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The Austrian and Swiss books verge on this, what with girls continually getting caught in floods, getting trapped on mountains, having skiing or tobogganing accidents, nearly drowning in icy rivers, being kidnapped by madmen, or caught in fires.
* EyeScream: Poor Rikki Fry gets ammonia sprayed in her eyes by a horrible American child in ''The Chalet School and Richenda''. She doesn't go blind, but does have to wear glasses for several years.
* FeudEpisode: Not just between girls, but between ''entire schools''. First, there's ''Rivals of the Chalet School'', in which a rivalry flares up between the Chalet School pupils and the girls from the nearby St Scholastika's (which eventually merges with the Chalet School a few books later), which only takes British girls. Much later on, there's ''The Feud in the Chalet School'' (see AHouseDivided above).
* FieryRedhead: Margot and Sybil both have red hair - though Margot's is described more as 'red-gold' - and the temper to go with it.
* FoodPorn: Don't read the Tyrol and Swiss books when you're hungry. [=EBD=] goes into great detail regarding the delicious food in the CS world. There's Anna's heavenly bread twists, featherbeds of whipped cream, potato balls that are crunchy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside, goats' milk with a slight taste of onions, milky coffee for breakfast…the list goes on. Less so in the wartime books, because of the rationing that was going on at the time.
* ForWantOfANail: The beginning of ''Feud'':
--> If Miss Holroyd had never decided to move her school; if some careless idiot had not tossed a smouldering cigarette-end onto the grass that was dry as tinder; if Miriam Ashley had been a person of humbler mind and less obstinacy; if above all, the Middles hadn't been like most Middles, young demons when roused; if, in fact, most things had been different, this story would not have been written.
* FourGirlEnsemble: The Quartette in the early books. Joey is the tomboy and the leader, Simone is the temperamental ClingyJealousGirl, Frieda is the TeamMom and the best-behaved, and Marie is the pretty one.
* FunetikAksent: Flora, Fiona and Shiena all speak in one in ''Highland Twins'', to emphasise their FunnyForeigner status. This was edited out of the paperback version. Working-class characters with strong accents also tend to speak this way.
* GenderBlenderName: [=EBD=] seemed to be fond of masculine-sounding shortened forms of names. Notable examples throughout the series include Dickie (Christy, short for Delicia), Phil (Craven, short for Phyllida) and Tom (Gay, though it's [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname not short for Thomasina]]) in the St Briavels period; Ted (Grantley, short for Theodora), Rikki (Fry, short for Richenda) and Jack (Lambert, short for Jacynth) in the Swiss period; and let's not forget Joey's daughters, Len and Phil (short for Helena and Philippa). All of them are, unsurprisingly, tomboys, except Rikki, Len and the two Phils.
** A couple of mistresses also have masculine nicknames: 'Bill' for Miss Wilson, and 'Charlie' for Miss Stewart (after Bonny Prince Charlie).
* HappilyAdopted: Several characters throughout the series are adopted by either the Maynard and Russell families - such as the Richardsons in ''Joey & Co in Tyrol'', Juliet Carrick in ''The School at the Chalet'', and Erica Standish and Marie-Claire de Mabillon in ''Summer Term at the Chalet School'' - or other families.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: [[TheMole Gertrude Beck]], aka Gertrud Becker.]] Most characters who start off 'bad' will also go through one - see TookALevelInKindness below.
* HeroicBSOD: Joey has a major one in ''The Highland Twins at the Chalet School'' when [[spoiler: she gets a telegram saying Jack has drowned.]] It's so out of character that it unnerves Madge, who can't understand why Joey isn't crying. Joey eventually breaks down and has to be given sleeping drugs. [[spoiler: Luckily, as she finds out via Fiona [=McDonald=], Jack is alive after all.]]
** Maria Marani goes through a major one in ''Exile'' through the stress of worrying about her father's disappearance, combined with being badly burned after rescuing a pilot from a burning plane. [[spoiler:Herr Marani later turns out to have been killed in a concentration camp.]]
* HotBlooded: Although a good few of the girls qualify, such as Simone Lecoutier, Jack Lambert and Betty Wynne-Davies, Joey is the most prominent example and can be pretty temperamental, though she (for the most part) calms down as she gets older. Margot takes after her in that respect, although her temper is even ''worse'', and she refers to it as 'my demon'. Joey attributes this to her and Jack having spoiled Margot as a child. Margot does try to control it, but it gets her into trouble on several occasions.
* IAteWhat: The school's reaction in ''Carola Storms'', when it's revealed that Carola and her fellow classmates accidentally fried the doughnuts which have been served for the school tea in ''cod liver oil''.
* IllGirl: Joey Bettany, often. The Robin is one - EBD likes to describe her as 'delicate' - and Stacie Benson becomes one after a nasty accident on an excursion, although she gets better. As the Chalet School has close links with the sanatorium, several of its IllGirl pupils are sent there.
* InelegantBlubbering: Played for laughs with Margaret Twiss, in ''A Leader in the Chalet School'':
--> “B-but it was me!-hurp-hurp!-it was!" Margaret wept loudly, her words so mixed up with her sobs that none of the girls could make head or tail of what she was saying and even the Head, with all her experience, could gather only a little here and there. “I-I s-saw Miss A-andrews-hurp!-p-put the snake-hurp-hurp!-snake into the d-drawer and I never-hurp!-said anything-hurp-hurp!-even when the rest b-blamed Jack-hurp!-for it!-hurp-hurp-hurp! Wah-hah-hah!”
* ImportantHaircut: Or rather, important hair''do''. You know a girl has officially reached adulthood when she starts putting her hair up. Madge bemoans in ''Exploits'' how her former students are getting older when she sees Vanna di Ricci and Frieda Mensch wearing their hair up.
** Mary-Lou has to have her hair chopped off after the accident in ''Mary-Lou'', and it grows back curly. Note that this is around the same time when she becomes a senior, a responsible figure, and a mentor to the triplets.
* InstantIllness: Any exposure to chills, rain, drafts, mud or cold water is fairly certain to leave the victim in the grip of a life-threatening disease if they're not immediately put into a hot bath and then into bed with two hot water bottles. In one book, Jo spends three days unconscious and is bedridden for over a week after standing for literally a few minutes by an open door on a snowy day.
* {{Jerkass}}: Even in the Chalet School, there are bullies, the worst being [[UpperClassTwit Thekla von Stift]], [[KickTheDog Betty Wynne-Davies]] and [[GadgeteerGenius Jack Lambert]]. The first two are the only girls to be expelled, although Jack does get better later on in the series.
* KickTheDog: Don't ''ever'' be mean to the Robin. [[spoiler: A sign that Betty Wynne-Davies was probably one of the nastiest characters in the Chalet School series is the fact that she was prepared to hurt the twins to get at Robin and Daisy.]] And earlier in the series, St Scholastika's Head Girl Elaine Gilling incurs the wrath of Joey in ''Rivals'' when Robin tries to pacify her during an argument about church collections, and Elaine rudely brushes her off.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Mademoiselle Lepattre]] and [[spoiler:Herr Laubach]] both die after a long period of illness, while [[spoiler:Luigia di Ferrara]] and [[spoiler:Florian Marani, Maria and Gisela's dad,]] both die in concentration camps, and according to WordOfGod, [[spoiler:Thekla von Stift]] 'vanished' during the war. It's also implied in one of the Swiss books that [[spoiler:Miss Bubb]] is terminally ill.
* LeeroyJenkins: Joey has her moments, but special mention must go to Carola Johnstone for running away ''to'' school in her eponymous book. Not only that, but she jumps into a pond to rescue a younger girl ''and'' gets her hands burned when she goes to Len's rescue after Grizel accidentally sets Len on fire.
* LemonyNarrator: [=EBD=] has her lemony moments, often commenting disapprovingly on the actions of some characters (especially those naughty Middles) or LampshadeHanging about the school story genre and tropes used in Victorian novels, sometimes via the characters (such as Joey mocking Carla's suggestion of training Biddy as a helper to the Robin in ''The Chalet School and Jo'').
* LethalChef: Played for laughs in some of the cookery classes. As well as the fishy doughnuts mentioned above, there's a bit in ''The Chalet School and the Lintons'' where Cornelia Flower uses ''garlic'' cloves as flavouring for apple pies rather than normal cloves, and Lavender and her friends make some borderline inedible waffles and fruit cake in ''Lavender Laughs''. Luckily, Anna is smart enough to guess how the attempts at baking will turn out, and bakes some buns.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Over the years, there are many characters added to the alumni, including the children of the main characters in the first books.
* LongRunners: Sixty books over forty-odd years.
* MakeUpIsEvil: At least, if you're a junior, middle or fifth former. Joan Baker (in ''Problem'') and Betty Wynne-Davies and her group (in ''The Chalet School Goes To It'') are looked down on and castigated by teachers and other girls for being 'cheap' and wearing too much make-up, tarty clothes and, in Betty's case, getting a perm. However, curiously, girls at the finishing branch at St Mildred's are ''expected'' to wear make-up (albeit not too much) - in ''The Chalet School in the Oberland'', one girl, Edna, is told to wear more make-up, and there's a common belief throughout the books that if one does not look one's best, one is insulting other people by forcing them to look at one's ugly face.
* MamaBear: While escaping the Nazis through Innsbruck, the teachers defend their students admirably.
** Joey becomes one later in the books, and is also very protective of the Robin.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]]: Vera Smithers in ''Rivals'' tries to bring the Chalet School into disrepute by sending anonymous letters to Princess Elisaveta of Belsornia and her dad, the King, claiming that the Chalet girls were being disrespectful by not calling her 'Princess Elisaveta'. Unfortunately, the plan backfires, not only because the Chalet girls all swear they're innocent, and incriminating papers are found in Vera's desk, but because Elisaveta - as she points out in a letter to Jo - doesn't actually care whether people at the school call her 'Princess' or not.
** Margot Maynard, of all people, in ''Theodora'', when she finds out that Ted Grantley has been expelled from three school, and blackmails her by threatening to tell everyone about Ted's past.
** Betty Wynne-Davies in ''Highland Twins''. See DisproportionateRetribution above.
* MeaningfulRename: Two examples stand out in the series, courtesy of Joey. Firstly, Eustacia Benson becomes known as 'Stacie' in ''Eustacia'' after [[BreakTheHaughty getting injured on a mountain]] and subsequently [[TookALevelInKindness taking a level in kindness]]. Secondly, in ''Theodora'', Jo gives troubled teen Theodora Grantley the nickname of 'Ted' to represent her wiping the slate clean by starting a new life at the Chalet School and putting her DarkAndTroubledPast behind her.
* MoodWhiplash: In ''Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School'', Frieda Mensch's sister Bernhilda gets married, and Frieda, Joey, Simone and many others are invited and have a wonderful time. [[spoiler: During the wedding party, Frieda discovers via Joey and a servant girl that her grandmother is dying.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Several times. For example, Deira in ''Head Girl'' chucks a stone at Grizel's head (mostly accidentally - mostly) and suffers violent remorse.
* NoodleIncident: In ''The Chalet School Goes To It'', it's mentioned Jack Maynard's nephew Rolf was killed as a result of disobeying his parents, but it's never revealed exactly what he did. And we never find out just why Marilyn Evans was such a bad Head Girl in the Armishire years, other than prioritising schoolwork over prefect duties.
* NouveauRiche: Joan Baker in ''Problem'', whose family are able to afford to send her to the school after her father wins the pools, and Diana Skelton in ''Bride Leads''. Both are seen as vulgar and classless by the other girls, though Joan does get better eventually.
* NunsNRosaries: Several prominent characters, such as the Maynards (after Joey converts in order to marry Jack), Frieda, Marie and Miss Wilson, are Catholics, and Luigia di Ferrara, the Robin and [[spoiler: Margot]] all become nuns. [[spoiler:Jack's rosary is what enables Fiona to discover that he is alive in ''Highland Twins''.]] TruthInTelevision as the Tyrol was a very Catholic area at the time of writing. See RealLifeWritesThePlot too.
** NunTooHoly: [[spoiler: Margot]] in ''The Chalet Girls Grow Up'', to the point where the order basically kick her out because her outspokenness and political activism make her a risk.
* {{Oireland}}: Irish characters tend to speak in a very stereotypical way, using phrases like 'tis yourself, acushla!' and 'to be sure'. Biddy O'Ryan is particularly bad for this - barely a mention of her goes by without EBD bringing up how Irish she is, and she speaks in a 'thick Kerry brogue' that's nigh-on incomprehensible at times. And yes, she is GenreSavvy about fairy tales and gets punished by Miss Wilson after she tells a story about a banshee that gives another girl nightmares.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are ten billion Margarets (with varying nicknames) floating round, not to mention three different Mateys (not including other matrons who don't last very long).
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The Robin's real name is Cecilia Marya Humphries, but she's generally referred to by her childhood nickname. There's also Polly Heriot (real name Hildegard), Jack Lambert (real name Jacynth) and Tom Gay (real name Lucinda Muriel, and given that Tom is a huge tomboy, it's unsurprising she hates her name).
* ParentalAbandonment: Juliet Carrick is on the receiving end of this. Her useless parents basically dump her on the Chalet School and expect Madge to take her in while they go travelling around Europe. They both die later in a car crash, but Captain Carrick's bad reputation lives on and this causes some major problems for Juliet in ''Jo of the Chalet School'', when her boyfriend's snobby sister finds out and drops her like a hot potato.
* ThePatriarch: Jack and Jem. Particularly Jem and his insistence on training the kids to instant obedience.
* PhraseCatcher: Joey and Mary-Lou both get this a lot. In the former's case, it's "Joey always does things wholesale!" (especially referring to her army of children) and "that is so like Joey". For the latter, there's "it isn't cheek, it's just Mary-Lou."
* ThePollyanna: Joey and Robin. Despite the countless horrible things that happen to them - war, being forced to flee from Nazis, illness, parental death - they both manage to remain cheerful and optimistic throughout.
* PluckyGirl: Again, there are loads of them, Joey being a notable example.
* PromotionToParent: Several examples, most notably Madge and her twin brother Dick, who are responsible for Joey after their parents die, and Gillian Linton, who takes care of her BrattyHalfPint sister Joyce while their mother is ill.
* ProperLady: Many of the German, French and Tyrolean girls, particularly in the Tyrol years. And [[SpoiledBrat Lavender Leigh]] would like to think she is one.
* PutOnABus: With so many characters, it's bound to happen. Some characters are prominent for a couple of books and then disappear. One of the more notable examples is the Robin, who is a major character in the Tirol / Armishire eras, but is almost never heard from after becoming a nun and moving to Canada. Madge and Jem's role in the series is also greatly reduced once they stay in England while the School moves to Switzerland, despite Madge being the founder of the School - probably because [=EBD=] could not see any more use for them once Jack became head of the Swiss Sanatorium and he and Joey effectively filled Madge and Jem's original role.
* QuittingToGetMarried: Happens to several mistresses, including Hilary Burn, Mollie Maynard, Biddy O'Ryan, Simone Lecoutier (though she does return to teach during the war) and, of course, Madge. Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson are notable exceptions. Julie Lucy also has to give up her future career as a barrister when she gets engaged as, according to Joey, 'she won't have time as the wife of a housemaster'. Bear in mind that married women giving up their jobs happened a lot during the period the books were written.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Non-villainous example. Miss Annersley gives a lot of these to misbehaving or careless students, often resulting in them feeling mentally reduced to fragments.
** Joey delivers a particularly scathing one to Kitty Burnett:
--> "I'm too disgusted with your behaviour. You make me feel sick! Please go away, and don't let us see anything more of you this week as can be helped. You are a disgrace to the School, and the sooner you realise it the better for you. Now go!"
** And to Joyce Linton:
--> "Joyce, you seem to be somewhat above yourself, and the only thing I can suggest is that you should try to realise that you are only a Middle -- and a very new Middle at that. It's rather too early for you to have assimilated our ideals, I suppose, though your sister doesn't seem to have had such trouble. Just get it into your head that all such things as passing notes are despised here, and the people who do them are considered despicable. And remember that you are really a very insignificant person, as well."
* RescueRomance: Several, usually involving doctors who either help a female character and end up marrying her, or help one of the students and end up marrying one of the teachers who was present at the time. There's Jem Russell and Madge in ''Jo of the Chalet School'', [[spoiler:Frank Peters and Phoebe Wychcote]] in ''Jo to the Rescue'', [[spoiler:Hilary Burn and Phil Graves]] in ''Carola Storms the Chalet School'', and [[spoiler:Biddy O'Ryan and Eugene Courvoisier]] in ''The Chalet School Does it Again''.
* RichBitch: Two particular examples spring to mind:
** Thekla von Stift, Marie von Eschenau's cousin and one of the main characters in ''Exploits of the Chalet Girls''. As a member of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junker Junker]] class, she expresses horror at having to be educated alongside 'the daughters of shopkeepers', and looks down on most of the other students, such as Sophie Hamel, whose father is a self-made businessman. Her arrogant and childish behaviour makes her greatly unpopular amongst the other kids, and although she does thaw out a tiny bit - this being the Chalet School - after her petticoat catches fire, she still has a cruel streak and is eventually expelled in ''A Rebel at the Chalet School''.
** In ''Jo To The Rescue'', we meet Zephyr Burthill, a spoiled brat who covets IllGirl Phoebe Wychcote's cello, since Phoebe can't play it due to illness and Zephyr is a talented musician herself. She's so desperate to get her hands on it, her father sends some thugs to the house where Joey and co are staying to try and steal it. She's used to getting everything she wants and resorts to begging Simone on her knees to get it for her. Joey overhears and tells her where to get off. Of course, after she's introduced to [[MoralityPet the Robin]], she sees the error of her ways and [[TookALevelInKindness takes a level in kindness]].
* RousingSpeech: Emmie Linders gives a particularly memorable one in ''Highland Twins'', after she and her family escape from the Nazis. Miss Annersley also gives a few over the course of the war books, reminding the girls to be brave.
* {{Ruritania}}: Belsornia, Princess Elisaveta's homeland.
* SadistTeacher: Woe betide any pupil who gets on the wrong side of Miss Cochrane or Herr Laubach, the temperamental art master (who's surprisingly popular, despite having made several pupils cry and having thrown art things at Joey after she was messing around in one of his classes). Miss Cochrane does have reasons for being difficult, though - see her entry on the character sheet for why.
* SamaritanSyndrome: Joey and Mary Lou Trelawney have a mild case of it in the Swiss books, with their insistence on 'butting in' whenever a new girl has problems. Justified to an extent as characters such as Phoebe Wychcote genuinely need and appreciate their help.
* SceneryPorn: One of the many features of the Tyrol books which makes them so popular with the fandom. [=EBD=] based the Tiern See on the real life Achensee, and if her descriptions of the rivers and mountains and winter landscapes are anything to go by, she clearly loved the place ([[https://www.achensee.com/en/ and it really is beautiful).]]
* SchoolPlay: As it's a school series, this trope is to be expected. Several books feature a [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas play]] or pantomime, which often serves as a conclusion (such as in ''Highland Twins'') or a plot device (''Adrienne at the Chalet School'', where Janet Henderson's dress catches fire during the play and Adrienne saves her, ending the tensions between them).
* SheIsAllGrownUp: The series follows the lives of LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters as they go through the school, some of them returning as teachers, and we get to see them maturing into adults. Some of whom become noticeably attractive.
* ShellShockedVeteran: As one of the side stories reveals, [[spoiler:Mr Denny]] is a World War I veteran and has PTSD as a result.
* ShoutOut: Joey bears more than a few similarities to Jo March of Literature/LittleWomen fame, what with the dark hair, being a bit tomboyish and a wannabe writer, and not wanting to grow up. She even quotes Jo at one point. There's also a Margaret (Bettany, and several other characters), an Amy (Stevens) who starts off as a blonde-haired BrattyHalfPint, and later a Beth (Chester).
* SpiritedYoungLady: Joey certainly fits all the criteria, at least until she settles down with Jack. Mary-Lou Trelawney also has some SpiritedYoungLady tendencies - she's notorious for saying whatever pops into her head and getting away with it, and unlike many other girls, she's more interested in a career than marriage.
* SpoiledBrat: Several examples throughout the series, such as Lavender Leigh (in ''Lavender Laughs''), who has spent most of her life being spoiled rotten by her ditzy aunt, and Emerence Hope (in ''Shocks for the Chalet School''), whose rich parents let her do whatever she wanted, culminating in her setting fire to the summer house. Most tend to grow out of it, usually with some help from Joey, their peers, and the occasional accident.
* SternTeacher: Madge tries to be this, and later teachers do well, especially Miss Wilson, Miss Annersley and most of the male teachers.
* StiffUpperLip: Could almost be a trope codifier.
* SupremeChef: Anna, the Maynard family maid, and Karen, the school cook (who also has ChefOfIron tendencies). The school go nuts in ''A Feud in the Chalet School'' for Anna's greengage jam (but she's not giving the recipe to anyone), and the narrative waxes lyrical about Karen's 'heavenly' bread twists and cakes.
* TextileWorkIsFeminine: The Tyrolean and German girls are big on sewing, periods are set aside for mending clothes, and being able to sew and mend is considered an important ability for a potential wife and homemaker. More tomboyish or rebellious girls, such as Cornelia and Joey, hate sewing, and Joey's efforts drive Gisela to distraction in the early books. Several girls in the Hobbies Club do various crafts as their hobbies.
* TookALevelInBadass: Joey in her rescue of Princess Elisaveta in ''A Princess at the Chalet School'', as if her previous attempt to save Grizel from being stuck on the Tiernjoch in ''Jo of the Chalet School'' wasn't already a sign that she's pretty damn tough. And Miss Wilson, Joey (again), Robin, Cornelia Flower, Violet Allison and Maria Marani all take several levels in ''The Chalet School in Exile''. Miss Wilson leads a group of girls to safety through a hidden passageway (see BadassTeacher above) after Joey and Cornelia put them all at risk by yelling at a bunch of Nazis who are terrorising an old Jewish man, while Robin rushes to help him. Later on, Cornelia, Violet and Maria rescue a pilot from a burning plane, with Cornelia's eyesight being severely damaged and all three of them ending up in hospital.
** [[spoiler: Margot]] takes several in ''The Chalet Girls Grow Up'', joining the Black Sash, becoming an anti-apartheid activist and getting thrown in prison after protesting at Greenham.
* TookALevelInKindness: Girls who start off as bitchy, sulky or standoffish will often come to learn the error of their ways and become nicer people after being introduced to the ways of the Chalet School, or getting a good ticking-off from one of the mistresses. And if that doesn't work, there's always a handy accident (see BreakTheHaughty above for what happens to Eustacia Benson).
* TotallyRadical: Or whatever the '20s version is. If you are an American Chalet Girl, especially if your name is Cornelia Flower or Evvy Lannis, you will use ridiculous amounts of slang.
* TragicDropout: Elfie Woodward. After her stepmother dies, she drops out of school in order to take care of her brothers and father, who is an emotional wreck and can barely take care of himself. However, she is able to go back after other relatives take over caring for the family.
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: The plot of ''Gay from China at the Chalet School'' revolves around this trope. When Miss Bubb, the tyrant in question, takes over as temporary headmistress after Miss Wilson, Miss Annersley and others are injured in a car crash, her fixation on exam results and crackdowns on the girls' free time and privileges makes her very unpopular, to the point where Joey writes a letter begging Miss Wilson to come back. Things comes to a head when she forbids Gay Lambert - who has broken rules on more than one occasion - to see her older brother before he is stationed in Asia, which leads to Gay running away and culminates in Miss Bubb having to resign, to everyone's relief.
* VillainousBreakdown / FreakOut: [[spoiler:Jennifer Penrose]] in ''The Wrong Chalet School'' has a pretty major one, possibly triggered by [[spoiler:Miss Annersley's comments that Blossom Willoughby could have seriously injured herself after smashing a window to get herself out of the art room (thanks to Jennifer locking her in). Jennifer has screaming nightmares about Blossom bleeding to death, and confesses everything when Blossom is brought in to show Jennifer that she got out unscathed.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Joey and Grizel in the Tyrol years. Although they do bicker a lot, they're still very close, even as adults, and Joey still risks her life to save Grizel when Grizel runs off to climb the Tiernjoch.
* WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons: Averted by Rosamund Lilley, a girl from a working-class background who wins a scholarship to the Chalet School. She's academic, but is looked down on by some of the other pupils because of her background.
** Also, there's Biddy O'Ryan, a maid's daughter; it's thought that she's going to become a lady's maid herself until a local priest discovers how bright she is, and she ends up going to Oxford and becoming a history teacher at the Chalet School.
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: Interrupts the girls' schooling when [[ThoseWackyNazis the Nazis]] start sweeping across Europe. Also a major plot point in ''The Chalet School in Exile'', ''The Chalet School Goes to It'' (aka ''The Chalet School at War'') and ''The Highland Twins at the Chalet School''.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: When the prefects begin an anti-slang crusade in ''Jo of the Chalet School'', Joey and her classmates troll them by only speaking in Shakespearean English. It confuses the hell out of the foreign girls. Madge eventually cottons on and stops the prank.
* YodelLand: How Switzerland can come across in the later books, and the Tyrol in the earlier ones: mountains, snow, skiing, delicious food, inclement weather, avalanches, evergreen pastures, herdsmen with goats' milk tasting of onions, etc. However, unlike the Tyrol, [=EBD=] had spent very little time in Switzerland, if any, and was mainly relying on tourist guides in order to get more information about the setting. This may probably explain why some of the teachers, when acting as [[MisterExposition Miss Exposition]] on class trips, sound like they're reciting passages from a guidebook.
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