Uglies is the collective name given to a series of books by Scott Westerfeld: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and a companion book, Extras. They are set in the future, three hundred years after a petroleum-destroying bacteria and genetically modified orchids went out of control, leaving the humans of the world to rethink their destructive ways.Indeed, at first glance, this future seems to be a better place: clothes can be recycled on the spot, the environment is in better shape, and no one goes hungry. The people of the world live under a caste system: once they turn sixteen, teenagers are given operations to become 'Pretties,' beautiful, popular youths who can do what they want all day and night in New Pretty Town.Nothing is wrong with the world—or so it seems.A quick summary of the books can be found here.
Aerith and Bob: Tally, Zane, Peris, Fausto, Ho, Az, Tachs...David and Andrew Simpson Smith. This is very much on purpose, as the last two are the only characters born outside the city.
In Extras, Aya, Hiro, Ren, Miki, Udzir and Jai/Kai/Lai/Ai are all names contrasting with Eden Maru, Nana Love and Frizz.
Extras has an interesting twist on this. Aya, Hiro, Ren, Miki, Jai/Kai (though not Lai), and Nana are all rather standard Japanese names for today's time; Eden is not and Frizz not even possible to say using current standard Japanese phonemes. In terms of surnames, however, only Frizz's is a viable surname (Mizuno) and Eden's a Japanese word (maru, meaning circle).
Aesop Amnesia: At the beginning of every book Tally has to re-learn why the status quo is bad. But it's justified because it's not stupidity, (not intentional stupidity at least). In the beginning of Pretties the Pretty operation has made her vapid and oblivious, while in Specials she starts out brainwashed to serve the city.
After the End: Petroleum-eating bacteria and an overgrowth of genetically modified white orchids cause destruction for the Rusties, who are now regarded as greedy and insane.
All There in the Manual: All the interesting worldbuilding that Westerfeld couldn't put in the books, plus explanations for many of his ideas, are in companion book Bogus To Bubbly. It also addresses, if leaving ambiguous, some fanon, like that the Rusty Ruins are Seattle, and could easily serve as a sourcebook for a Role-Playing Game set in the Uglies verse.
Though Shay's character is treated with bafflingly little sympathy, considering that her original role was to save Tally from Pretty obscurity by introducing her to another culture only to have Tally return the favor by (mostly unintentionally) betraying her trust, moving in on her crush, and ultimately bringing ruin upon her home.
Break the Cutie: Tally becomes progressively more broken as she's dicked about with by the various authorities.
Can Not Tell A Lie: The members of Frizz's clique in Extras, Radical Honesty, take (brain) surgery so that it's impossible for them to lie.
City in a Bottle: Andrew Simpson Smith's reservation. Tally's city can be considered one of these, too: the self-sufficient citizens don't seem to know that there's much outside beyond Rusty Ruins.
Epigraphs: the beginnings of the different parts of books in the Uglies Trilogy.
Eternal English: Averted, English has become much more flexible and has different grammar rules. Tally comments that old black and white movies are "in an English she could hardly understand."
Face-Heel Turn: Shay in Pretties. Tally arguably pulls one of these as well, but since it's mind control, it may not count; while we don't see Shay actually choosing to join the Specials, it's not at all a leap to assume she did so willingly.
Fan Disservice: In Specials, Tally's operation. She's naked, conscious and about to be cut into pieces. Eww.
Fantastic Caste System: In the tie-in book Bogus to Bubbly, Scott Westerfeld tells about the strict age-defined hierarchy in the society. Littlies (age 0-11) lived with their parents and were the only people allowed to have traditional family bonds. In fact, parents were encouraged only to have one child every 10 years to keep the population down and stop sibling bonds from forming. Uglies (12-16) were forced to move away to dorms and socially programmed to hate themselves and anticipate the upcoming "Pretty" surgery. New pretties were people who had just had the surgery to make them prettier and more complacent, and they were encouraged to live a crazy lifestyle. Middle pretties were pretties with children and jobs. Late pretties or crumblies were the elderly, who often lived to their middle hundreds
Fantastic Honorifics: People in Tally's city use '-wa' (if the name contains an L) or '-la' (if it does not) at the end of names to refer to their friends.
Future Slang: 'Happy-making', 'bubbly', 'icy'...Mostly notably, the English language has become more flexible. For example, instead of saying "It looks pretty", you could say "It's pretty-making." Amusingly, the author decided the only way to determine if the slang is good enough for a book series and not just silly is to try it out in real life, so he actually did use words like "bubbly" in real conversation without explaining to others what it was all about.
God Guise: The tribes maintained by scientists believe Pretties are a race of gods, because of their beauty.
Her Heart Will Go On: Approaches Buffy-level in the third book. Zane rejects his new neural grafts at the same time the war Tally accidentally started jammed Diego's comms network. As a result the doctors don't reach him in time, and he is reduced to a vegetable. They have to switch the life-support off, yet she must dash over to her home city and give herself up.
Hover Board: The only way of transportation for uglies. Pretties aren't able to focus enough to use them.
Japanese Honorifics: Since Aya lives in Japan, these get used. "-chan" gets used pretty much like it does nowadays, "-sama" is used to show respect when speaking to someone of much higher face rank, and "-sensei" is used only for the top 1000 famous people in the city.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Don't read the back of any of the books if you haven't completely finished the previous book. The very first sentence on the backs of Pretties,Specials, and Extras give away, respectively, that Tally becomes a Pretty, Tally becomes a Special, and Tally brings down the dystopian system at the end of the original trilogy.
Leap of Faith: Finding your way to the Smoke includes making one.
Magical Floating Camera: Apparantly, the protagonist of Extra saved a backup copy of the entire Internet on her hovercam (which isn't even exactly a high-quality model). It should be noted that the future's version of the Internet is mostly video data (with some blogging).
Meaningful Name: Subverted with David and Zane. In From Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld reveals that he just chose the names of Tally's two love interests without knowing that both of them mean "beloved".
Played straight with a lot of names, though.
Westerfeld: Yes, you actually can be that obvious as a novelist, and no one ever seems to notice.
The Mole: Tally in Uglies. This was also Shay and Tally's plan for Zane in Specials.
Nanomachines: In Specials it's revealed that the Specials have nanobots in their blood to make them heal quickly, and Tally and Shay accidentally destroy a museum with some destructive nanos.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A minor version of this is used as a plot device in the first two books; In the first, Tally is given a medallion to use to signal the specials to come take out the Smoke. She throws it in the fire once she decides to stay in the Smoke, not knowing that damaging the pendant causes it to automatically send out a signal. In the second, she and her new boyfriend find pills to reverse the Pretty brain lesions. Turns out that the two pills were supposed to be taken by one person. One pill eats the lesions. The second pill stops the first pill from eating the entire brain.
No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: Aya Fuse's entire city has a fame and merit economy. You get merits by having a job, going to school, cleaning the streets etc. and can spend them on items or save for a bigger house/apartment. Fame however is what people value, and without fame you cannot get into any parties. They even have a ranking system for everyone in the city, from the most popular to the most obscure.
Only One Name: Only Tally, Dr. Cable, and Andrew Simpson Smith get last names in the original trilogy. Most of the Extras characters get last names, but we still don't find out those of the trilogy characters who show up.
Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Gods? You mean those invisible superheroes in the sky that the Rusties believed in? Later subverted, in Extras Aya mentions that the post-mind rain society has rediscovered religion. There are even Tally Youngblood cults.
And then double subverted, as religions are largely out of fashion after the first few years.
Paparazzi: In Extras, all the people with high ranks have paparazzi cameras following them at all times.
Plucky Girl: Tally. She reverses her own brain damage through sheer determination.
Could also have partially been a placebo effect. Even though the pill she took didn't do anything to fix her, she didn't know that at the time.
What Could Have Been: Extras was originally going to be told from the point of view of Aya's brother Hiro, but in Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld says that he felt that all the interesting things happened to Aya.