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Series: Beverly Hills 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of the most popular teen dramas during the early 1990s. It ran on Fox for ten years (from 1990 to 2000), and had all but changed its entire principal cast by the end of the show's run. It is generally agreed that the show declined in quality after the cast graduated high school.

The show focused primarily on the Walsh family, particularly fraternal twins Brandon and Brenda, who had just moved into Beverly Hills and were (at least initially) suffering a certain degree of culture shock. It is worth noting that the Walshes were the only original characters absent in the finale. The action also included the twins' friends Dylan, Steve, Andrea, Kelly, Donna, and David. The show managed to touch on almost all social issues, including drug use, drunk driving, rape, unprotected sex, abortion, and even apartheid. (There is a persistent rumor that Spelling wanted to license a U.S. version of the Degrassi franchise but was turned down by that show's producers).

The show's casting includes some of the most dramatic examples of Dawson Casting in recent memory, to the point where many sites often refer to the trope as "90210 Syndrome". Luke Perry was 25 when he began playing Dylan as a junior; even worse, Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea), was 29 playing 16.

Had a Spin-Off in Melrose Place (which itself had a less successful spin off in Models, Inc.) and a more recent Sequel Series simply titled 90210. The new series is mostly focused on a new cast of characters though Donna and Brenda have made cameo appearances and Kelly is an important reccurring character. Also Kelly's sister, main character (Erin) Silver is technically from the original.

This original series contains examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Kelly's mom. She got better.
  • Anyone Can Die: David's friend Scott and Dylan's girlfriend Toni Marchette.
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Beta Couple: David and Donna in the earlier seasons.
  • Betty and Veronica: Brenda (Betty) and Kelly (Veronica) with Dylan (Archie).
    • Genderflipped with Brandon (Betty) and Dylan (Veronica) with Kelly (Archie).
  • Book Dumb: Steve and Donna.
  • California University
  • Chick Magnet: Brandon, full stop. Sometimes also lampshaded by other characters. The other main guys can qualify too to some extent.
  • Date Rape Averted: Kelly and a cowboy at a costume party. Donna & Brenda to the rescue
  • Dating Do-Si-Do
  • Dawson Casting: In the extreme, to the point where this trope is often called "90210 Syndrome" outside of this wiki, since the extremeness makes Dawson's Creek look like they cast age-appropriately.
    • Though there were some aversions (Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, and a few others), the straight examples were very extreme (Most infamous was Gabrielle Carteris who was twenty-nine when she started on the show).
  • Distressed Damsel: Kelly Taylor to the extreme. Raped, burned, placed in a cult, pregnant/miscarried, addicted to cocaine, sleeping with everyone (but David), shot, and so on.
  • Domestic Abuser: Ray Pruitt repeatedly abuses Donna. Most infamously, he pushes her down a flight of stairs, semi-accidentally.
  • Dump Them All: In the original Beverly Hills 90210, this is how Kelly resolves the Dylan/Brandon love triangle. "I choose me!"
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: It started as an episodic high school drama mainly focusing on the Walsh twins. Each episode had its own story and morale. From season two onwards, the plotlines started to arch over several episodes and the friends of the Walsh kids were given some limelight as well. And starting season five it went totally soap opera (similarly to Melrose Place).
    • Also, during the first season, the opening was very different. It was a series of scattered scenes with the main characters hanging out in Beverly Hills rather than an Opening Credits Cast Party, and it used an 80's styled pop/dance rendition of the show's theme song rather than the hard rock rendition used from season two onward note .
  • The Eighties: The first two seasons, but some shades of it are seen in season three and four. After season two, grunge fashion began to replace the bright colours and teased hair of seasons one and two. Justified, because 80s pop culture still persisted into 1992.
  • '80s Hair: All of the characters in season one and two (albeit a bit more muted in season two) but it disappeared throughout season three. Ironically, the character of Kelly, most obsessed with superficial things, kept her Madonna-inspired 80s hair and makeup into season four, but finally ditched it by season 5 for a post-grunge inspired look.
  • Flying Saucer: Only once.
  • Four Girl Ensemble: Donna was the sweet naive one, Brenda was the Deadpan Snarker, Kelly was the pretty one, and Andrea was the smart one.
  • Full House Music
  • Girl of the Week
  • Happily Married: Jim and Cindy Walsh.
  • High School
  • It Came from Beverly Hills
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Many
  • Meganekko: Andrea
  • Minnesota Nice: The Walsh family in season 1, shown to be much more polite and down-to-earth than the Beverly Hills natives.
  • Monochrome Casting: Aaron Spelling later said he regretted it. In fact he said it was his greatest regret regarding the show.
  • Nice Guy: Brandon Walsh.
  • The Nineties: After season 2, and entirely by season 5 onward. Despite the extreme Dawson Casting, the show did a great job at keeping up with pop culture, fashion, and hairstyles.
  • No Going Steady: With Kelly probably being the worst offender.
  • Opening Credits Cast Party
  • Overprotective Dad: Papa Walsh was this for Brenda, while Brandon got a lot more slack.
  • Parental Incest: Valerie's Freudian Excuse
  • Product Placement: Most noticeable was the Peach Pit After Dark, a club named after and using the iconic flying toaster logo from the Berkeley Systems screensaver series.
  • Put on a Bus: When Shannen Doherty was kicked out of left the show, Brenda went back to Minnesota London to attend college.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: A Very Special Episode uses this to kill off one of the regulars, in front of David.
  • Remember the New Guy: Valerie Malone, who arrived on the show following Brenda's exit, was introduced as a lifelong friend of the Walshes. Her existence had never been acknowledged prior. Also principal Harry Wilson was introduced as Kelly Taylor's never-before-seen-or-mentioned neighbour and life-long friend. See, photoshopped picture, so it must be true.
  • Revolving Door Casting: Relatively limited in the earlier years, but by the end the show had gone through many, many cast changes.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Dylan doesn't appear in the pilot.
  • Self Harm: In one episode, Donna finds her assistant cutting herself, after suspecting it. She tries to help her, eventually persuading her to get therapy.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Brandon and Steve; Brandon and Dylan.
  • Special Guest: Various musical performers, including Babyface.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Even though Kelly and Donna were both spoiled rich kids (and maybe somewhat shallow), neither one of them really had any Alpha Bitch qualities.
  • Teen Drama: Trope Codifier. It borrowed heavily from Degrassi Junior High but on a network budget, stripped out the more overtly educational elements and maxed the "shiny" end of the Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty.
  • Their First Time: Dylan and Brenda, on prom night. Others had their first time during the course of the series too, but theirs was particularly highlighted.
  • Theme Twin Naming
  • Tonight Someone Dies
  • Troubled, but Cute: Dylan and others.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: This was the first of the many, many iconic teen dramas of The Nineties, and the first of many to fall into this trope. It also does a great job at keeping up with the times. Season one looks straight out of the 80s while season five and later look straight up 90s.


The sequel series contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Maeve Quinlan as the mother of a girl who dates another girl.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Kelly and Silver's mom again. She got worse, she died.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Naomi certainly does want Liam. Annie seems to either genuinely not like him, or denying/hiding the fact. Regardless, she'll fall soon with the way things are going.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Silver is half-Jewish through her father's side, which traditionally would be the wrong side to make her Jewish but she did sit shiva for her mother (though this could be a case of the writers forgetting Jackie was never Jewish in the original series.)
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Adrianna big time. Fame rapidly turns her into an airheaded Rich Bitch.
  • Alpha Bitch: Naomi isn't all bad, and unlike a lot of Libbies she does have a genuinely nicer side, but she can still be an absolute bitch much of the time (and her sister is far worse.)
  • Betty and Veronica: The show has certain examples of this -
    • Annie (Betty) and Naomi (Veronica), with Ethan (Archie).
    • Ivy (Betty) and Naomi (Veronica), with Liam (Archie).
    • Rhonda (Veronica) and Annie (Betty), with Ethan (Archie again).
    • Genderflipped with Navid (Betty) and Teddy(Veronica), with Adrianna (Archie).
    • Then Teddy (Veronica) and Dixon (Betty), with Silver (Archie).
    • Max (Betty) and Austin (Veronica) for Naomi
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jen seemed like a nice, caring older sister to Naomi in her first appearance. Right until we learn that she slept with Ethan while he and Naomi were together (she would later go on to sleep with Liam while he was dating Naomi and blame Annie for it).
    • Annie and Dixon's cousin Emily seemed like a sweet, innocent girl who looked up to Annie at first. Then she turned all of Annie's friends against her, tried to steal Liam away from her, got Annie fired from her internship, and suspended from school... all while pulling the Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • Book Dumb: A rare female example - Naomi is of more or less average intelligence but it's frequently mentioned that's she's a poor student.
  • Bound and Gagged: Naomi and Silver in Liars, though only Naomi is gagged.
    • Liam at the end of The Things We Do For Love and most of the next episode Misery Loves Company, much to the squee of fangirls.
  • The Bus Came Back: Season 5 seems to be doing this for everyone. So far Debbie, Tracy, Ty, Jasper, Emily, and an even Annie's ex boyfriend Jason have made reappearances and that's not counting anyone who comes Back for the Finale.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Navid's father blames him for revealing information that led to the police investigating him for child pornography, Navid told his father that it happened because he (the father) broke the law.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: After Oscar completes his revenge on Laurel, he stays around to help Naomi against Mr. Cannon.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Many characters, most notably Kelly Taylor and her son, Oscar
    • Ivy in Season 5. She didn't get a sendoff like Austin or reference to leaving like everyone else. She's just gone and no one seems to remember her. She didn't even get mentioned until late in the season.
  • Coming-Out Story: Teddy gets one, spaced over several episodes.
  • Competence Zone: As of season four Navid and Silver play surrogate parents to Navid's sister Leila - who is all of a year younger than them but who acts and is treated like a 14 year old.
  • Continuity Nod: The fact that the creators remembered Silver from the original series gives it some merit.
  • The Danza: Ryan Matthews is played by Ryan Eggold
    • Riley is played by Riley Smith
  • Date Rape Averted - Mark on Annie; Jasper ends up saving her.
  • Dating Do-Si-Do
  • Dawson Casting: Teddy Montgomery is 17 or 18. His actor, Trevor Donovan, is 31.
    • There's an In-Universe example with an undercover cop pretending to be a student who dates Ryan.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Silver.
  • Disappeared Dad: The show loves this trope to the point of Unfortunate Implications - Ivy, Naomi (and thus also Jen), Liam, Adrianna, Silver, Sammy (Kelly's son) and most recently Navid, Annie and Dixon all have absent fathers. In fact none of the teenage cast have fathers much involved in their lives by late Season 3.
  • Dye Hard: Silver is a natural blonde as shown in the parent shown, but is a brunette for the entirety of the series save for when she briefly dyed it red.
  • Enemy Mine: It's hinted Annie and Vanessa are going to have to work together to save Liam from a Loony Fan
  • Estranged Soap Family: Big time, even excluding those relatives who departed on bad terms. Notable examples include Naomi's mother Tracy who has not appeared since 2009 despite her daughter being raped, scammed out of her money by a cult, expelled from high school and nearly getting married.
    • Harry didn't show when Dixon almost died. And both parents were absent during his struggles with drugs
  • Executive Meddling: Season two drops Ethan and focuses a lot more on the new characters rather than the old cast. That's cleverly done for Kelly's mother's funeral as it's not shown and Silver comments that a lot of people that knew her but she didn't know attended.
  • Expy: At least initially the Wilsons where clearly intended to invoke the Walshes from the original series (Annie especially was very obviously the new Brenda) though it's lessened with time.
    • Dixon also shares a few similarities with Clay Carlin from South of Nowhere. He may be an example of what Clay would be like if he hadn't met Sean
  • Fake American: Shenae Grimes is Canadian
  • Fake Brit: Blair Redford who plays Oscar is not British.
  • Fake Nationality: Michael Steger is a mix of several nationalities but Iranian(or anything Arabic) is not one of them.
  • Four Girl Ensemble: Annie is the sweet naive girl, Silver is the Deadpan Snarker, Adrianna is the one obsessed with glamor and fame, and Naomi serves as the cool big sister figure for the group.
  • The Generic Guy: Ethan had shades of this. There's a reason that no one misses him.
  • Girl Next Door: Annie.
  • Granola Girl: Silver and Ivy both have aspects.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Donna. The Japanese people within the show appear to understand her; native Japanese speakers watching, not so much.
  • Happily Adopted: Dixon (mostly).
  • Heel Realization: Navid has one after he leaks a sextape of Liam and his professor onto the internet.
  • Hot Teacher: Matthews. Arguably Harry too.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Silver - Jessica Stroup is 5'8, which isn't so noticeable next to the only slightly shorter (and usually high heel clad) AnnaLynne McCord. But when standing next to the petite and waifish Shenae Grimes can look unintentionally hilarious.
  • Jerk Jock: Mark Driscoll.
  • Karma Houdini: Arguably Annie, whose punishment for a fatal hit and run (which she covered up for a whole year) is a couple of months of (offscreen) house arrest.
  • The Lad-ette: Ivy.
  • Last Name Basis: Erin Silver prefers to go by 'Silver'.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Almost the exact phrase Adrianna uses to describe her devolping friendship with Liam in Season 4.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Naomi evolves into this after her Character Development in season 3.
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Love Makes You Evil: Jasper has been a good example of this.
  • Love Triangle: Annie/Ethan/Naomi (first season), Naomi/Liam/Ivy (second season).
    • Also Annie/Ethan/Rhonda (so-so), Ethan/Silver/Dixon, Teddy/Adrianna/Navid, Teddy/Silver/Dixon, Adrianna/Navid/Lyla, Debbie/Harry/Kelly, etc.
  • Mama Bear: Debbie can embrace this from time to time, especially when it came to Dixon and Sasha.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Jen.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Jen kept the fact hat she was pregnant from Ryan. And when he did find out, she still didn't want him in the baby's life.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Naomi thinks this of Max.
  • Nice Guy: Dixon
  • No Going Steady: With Annie probably being the worst offender.
    • Although Naomi looks like she might be a close second.
  • Odd Friendship: Naomi and Silver. Later Naomi and Ivy.
  • Operation Jealousy: Ivy and Dixon form a fake relationship to show others (mostly Naomi) that they're over Liam and Silver respectively (in reality Ivy is still pining for Liam and oblivious to Dixon's growing feelings for her.)
  • The Other Darrin: Rather than bringing back Mercedes Castner to play Silver, she was played by Jessica Stroup
  • Out of Focus: Navid was nominally a main character from the first episode on but he had very little to do early in Season 1 before eventually being linked with Adrianna (who oddly was not an official main character at first but had a lot of early focus). In Season 2 and 3 Matthews is frequently out of focus and gone by Season 4 considering everyone has graduated.
  • Preppy Name: Teddy Montgomery
    • Also In-Universe: Jen wants to name their son Jacques but Ryan prefers the more traditional Jack.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Adrianna, Liam, and most recently, Ivy and Teddy.
  • Put on a Bus: Ethan. Which was totally random, though he was being replaced by Liam and no one really missed him.
    • Harry as of Season 3.
    • Ryan and Debbie in Season 4
    • Ivy as of season 5
  • Rich Bitch: Naomi,until her Character Development,her sister,Jen is even worse. Adrianna develops into one during Season 3 after her new found fame goes to her head.
  • The Runaway: Dixon, escaping behind his parents backs despite that Debbie grounded him, and going to Australia with Ivy.
  • Ship Tease: Season 4 has teased Adrianna with both Dixon and Liam.
  • Smug Snake: Jen.
    • Campbell.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Focus of the show shifted from the Wilson family to Naomi somewhere between seasons 2 and 3.
    • Season 4 seems to split time between Annie and Naomi equally
    • Liam was a minor version. The main guy was supposed to be Ethan but Liam proved more popular and Ethan was dropped.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jasper. Surprising?
  • Straight Gay: Teddy, also Marco
    • Alec who is in love with Max.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Adrianna. And Teddy in Season 3.
    • Gia herself. It was true that there was little development up to the point where we find out but apparently all of the characters seemed to know.
  • Surfer Dudette: Ivy.
  • Taking the Heat: Austin took the blame for arson to protect Annie. Neither of them actually did it but the fire was started by Annie's friend Bree who was destroying evidence both she and Annie had been prostitutes; had Annie fingered Bree she would also have to reveal her own brush with prostitution and would have faced being kicked out of college at a minimum. Austin decided that Annie had more to live for so 'confessed' to get her off the hook.
  • Teens Are Short: Both averted and played straight - the teenage characters have a decent range of heights and the tallest male and female characters (Teddy and Silver) are teens but Ivy, Annie, Adrianna and more recently Holly are all much shorter than their parents.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Adrianna
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ivy and Naomi, initially as rivals and later as an Odd Friendship.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Adrianna in season 3. She even went as far as swapping out Silver's medication for Bipolar Disorder with placebos.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Liam.
  • Two-Teacher School: Sure there are a decent number of teachers but apparently Ryan Matthews teaches Sophomore, Junior, and Senior English.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Liam the most but Dixon is also shirtless quite often,
  • Wham Episode: 'Confessions'.
    • 'The Heart Will Go On' as well
    • 'Here Comes Honey Bye Bye' with Riley's sudden death, Max and Naomi's breakup and the reveal that Teddy wants to use a surrogate
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Done with Annie's cousin Emily. Emily tells Annie's friends that she said a bunch of mean things about them (which wasn't true). When Annie calls her on this, Emily pretends to cry in front Annie's friends (who of course, side with Emily). Emily also trashes her own dressing room at the internship Annie works at and makes it look like Annie did it. The result? Emily is believed to be the victim and Annie is fired.
  • Yandere: Jasper, Vanessa
    • Though Vanessa has nothing on Ashley. She uses her position as Liam's bodyguard to kidnap him and installs cameras around his bar to watch him all hours of the day
  • Your Door Was Open


    Prime Time SoapCentral Park West
7th HeavenCreator/Aaron SpellingBurkes Law
The Ben Stiller ShowCreator/FOXMelrose Place
8 Simple RulesTurnOfTheMillennium/Live-Action TVAaron Stone
The Beverly HillbilliesAmerican SeriesBewitched
The Ben Stiller ShowSeries of the 1990sBeyond Belief Fact Or Fiction
The Best YearsTeen DramaBittersweet Candy Bowl

alternative title(s): Beverly Hills 90210
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