Series / Beverly Hills 90210

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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:

  • Advertised Extra:
    • In the early episodes of Season 1, Donna was initially just a Satellite Character to Brenda and Kelly, with her characteristics being underdeveloped and different from the ones she was known for. By the end of the season, Donna's traits started to become clearer, and started branching out for her own storylines.
    • In Season 1, David and Scott were nothing more than Plucky Comic Relief, and hardly interacted with the other, older teen characters. Eventually, by season 2, David formed into the group, while Scott was sidelined for most of the season until "The Next 50 Years," when he is killed off.
    • Andrea's husband Jesse, and Brandon's boss Nat. Both were credited main characters, though they were usually used as means to serve the other, more prominent characters. Nevertheless, they did have some storylines, though were comparatively minor to the others. Even more surprising, considering that Jesse was the sole minority character in the main cast.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Kelly's mom. She got better, though fell off the wagon by the start of the reboot (only to recover again by the time she died of cancer in season 2).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Brenda and Kelly dated Dylan, while the latter also dated Jake.
  • Alliterative Name: Steve Sanders
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted; Brandon and Brenda are noticeably fraternal twins.
  • Anyone Can Die: David's friend Scott and Dylan's girlfriend Toni Marchette.
  • Artistic License University Admissions:
    • Steve gets into California University (which, in-universe, is the actual name), despite his terrible grades, his book dumb personality, and he seemed to have only one reference from his principal. Additionally, he broke into his school's computer system to change his grades (admittedly with the help with a nerdy freshman) and was actually expelled from West Beverly High for the incident (albeit temporarily). And by the frequent remarks by other characters, it seems as if California University was a very hard school to get into.
    • Ditto for non-studious students like Kelly, Donna, and Brenda. Fridge Brilliance could be applied, if you consider the fact that many of them are wealthy (hence connections, including Steve's father being an alumni of California University), though in reality, it may take more than just connections to get into the school they want.
    • Also, Brenda entered the same school after leaving the University of Minnesota earlier in season 4. She may been accepted to CU earlier, though since classes had started at that school, it doesn't really make sense since Brenda should've at least applied for late admission, though no such mechanics are ever mentioned.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Janet Sosna, whose parents are Japanese Americans (the actress Lindsey Price herself was half-Korean).
  • The Beautiful Elite: It seems like everyone in Beverly Hills is hot as the sun!
  • Beta Couple: David and Donna in the earlier seasons.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Brenda (Betty) and Kelly (Veronica) with Dylan (Archie).
    • Gender Flipped with Brandon (Betty) and Dylan (Veronica) with Kelly (Archie).
  • Book Dumb: Steve and Donna weren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed when it came to academics, though found their niches in different things.
  • Brainy Brunette: Andrea and Brandon fits this to a T. Also Brenda and Dylan fits too.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Dylan and Brenda almost fit this to a T. While Brenda was far from gentle (she may have been a bit naive at first), Dylan became the brooding "bad boy" that made him into a Breakout Character.
  • The Bus Came Back: Andrea, the Walsh parents, Valerie, Ray, and Brandon. Oh, and Dylan (this time for good).
  • Butt-Monkey: Kelly for all the reasons listed in the Damsel in Distress on this page.
  • California University: in this universe, it is the actual name.
  • The Charmer: Dylan, who was very lucky with women.
  • Chick Magnet: Mainly Brandon, Sometimes also lampshaded by other characters. And also Dylan and Steve to a lesser extent as well.
  • Code Silver: In season 7, Donna's stalker reveals himself at the school's news station, and held everyone (including Brandon and his then-girlfriend Tracy) hostage with a gun. Luckily, no one was hurt, except maybe Donna.
  • College Is High School Part 2: The main characters basically shared the exact same classes and still found the time to remain as close knit as ever.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Nat popped in and out for the show's final season, even though he had very little to do as a main character.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The season three episode "Midlife...Now What?" has several:
      • When Brenda and Kelly are getting back massages at a spa, one of masseuses recounts a story of her two friends fighting over the same guy, which fractured their relationship. What...are...the...odds?
      • In the same episode, Brenda learns that David's dad Mel Silver, then-married to Jackie Taylor, Kelly's mom, was having an affair when she overheard a conversation between two unrelated masseuses.
      • Both Cindy and Jim, from friends and associates, gain the same book, the titular "Midlife...Now What?" which seems to be the go-to book on how to deal with a midlife crisis.
    • The season four episode "The Time Has Come Today". Brenda finds a notebook in the floorboards of her bedroom, and discovers that it was written by a girl who lived in her home during the Vietnam War. By sheer coincidence, the girl had a twin brother and the same amount of friends as Brenda (sans Andrea), attended California University, and had a "Bad Boy" boyfriend that her father disapproved of, and all of her problems seem to mirror the problems Brenda is having with her friends at the time.
  • Crippling the Competition: Incensed when Brenda gets the lead in the school play, her rival first starts rumors that she used the Casting Couch to get the part, then suggests to her boyfriend that he physically harm her so that she'll have to give it up.
  • Daddy's Girl: Brenda to Jim Walsh, and even though they fought, they really did love each other.
  • Damsel in Distress: 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.
  • Date Rape Averted: While at a costume party on Halloween in season 2, Kelly is nearly sexually assaulted, which was averted by Donna and Brenda.
  • Dating Do-Si-Do: Almost everyone in the main cast dated each other, especially Kelly and Dylan with other people.
  • Death is Cheap: Most notably, Dylan's dad Jack McKay, despite the fact he was blown up in season 3, shows up alive in season 10.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Jim and Cindy Walsh's role on the show diminished as their children went off to college, and they were basically there to react to whatever they did. Eventually, both were Put on a Bus (or plane) to Hong Kong at the end of season 5.
    • Scott Scanlon was prominent as David's best friend in season 1, though when David got involved with the group, he left him in the dust. In season 2, he only appears in four episodes before being killed off .
  • Descent into Addiction: A recurring theme on the show. Done with Brandon (gambling), Dylan (alcohol/drug), Kelly (cocaine), Donna (sleeping pills), and Noah (alcohol).
  • Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: Zig-zagged. Several of the main characters' parents are absent for long periods, or were hardly mentioned. Examples include Kelly's dad Bill Taylor (sure he was shown, only to disappear for years at a time), Andrea's parents Kenny and Gail Zuckerman (showing up once at her wedding), David's mom Sheila Silver (had mental issues, a nervous breakdown, became homeless, later recovered, only to disappear again), and Dylan's parents Jack and Iris McKay (at first; they recurred in several episodes in the first four seasons, though never lived with Dylan)
  • Domestic Abuser: Ray Pruitt repeatedly abuses Donna. Most infamously, he pushes her down a flight of stairs, semi-accidentally. Also used in several very special episodes.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Scott Scanlon.
  • 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 '80s: 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 1993 and wasn't entirely phased out until about 1994-95.
  • '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.
  • Fake Guest Star: Kathleen Robertson (Clare) in season 5, plus Jason Wiles (Colin), Emma Caulfield (Susan), and Cameron Bancroft (Joe) in season 6. Most appear in over 25 episodes of their respective seasons, though still placed under "guest star" billing (though Kathleen Robertson was Promoted to Opening Titles come season 6).
  • False Rape Accusation: Zigzagged. Valerie accuses Noah of having drugged and raped her. Everyone, knowing the Manipulative Bastard she is, thinks she is lying about this, especially when she files a civil suit for a large sum of money against him. Turns out she was drugged with roofies, and she truly thought Noah had raped her, but that in fact she had been Roofied not by Noah but by someone else. She wins the civil suit, but upon finding out Noah is innocent, she gives him back the money.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Gina was introduced in the show's ninth season as Donna's cousin, and caused much havoc within the group. In season 10, the audience discovered that Donna's father had an affair with Gina's mother in the 1970s, resulting in her birth, making Gina her half-sister in addition to being her cousin. Donna's father, Dr. Martin, discovered this, and was quick to accept Gina as his daughter, though he later died soon after.
  • Flying Saucer: David and Clare went searching for a UFO, though they didn't see anything...but the audience did!
  • Four-Girl Ensemble:
    • The girls:
      • Donna was the sweet naive one
      • Brenda was the Deadpan Snarker
      • Kelly was the pretty one
      • Andrea was the smart one
    • Gender-flipped with:
      • David - sweet / naive one (he was pretty much a Ditz in the earlier seasons)
      • Dylan - snarky one (he had been through a lot already by the time the series started and the other male characters were still comparatively naive, and he had already become a cynic as a result)
      • Steve - sexy (he was played as a straight jock, and not too smart either)
      • Brandon - smart (he did best academically and was a high-achiever).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Steve (sanguine), Dylan (choleric), Brandon (melancholic), and David (phlegmatic).
    • Donna (sanguine), Andrea (choleric), Kelly (melancholic), and Brenda (phlegmatic).
  • Freudian Excuse: Most of the show's "damaged" characters had one:
  • Gay Aesop: Used in several very special episodes on the show (e.g. "Blind Spot" which was viewed at three gay and lesbian youth centers in L.A. during the '90s), as homosexuality had started to become more accepted in mainstream media of the time.
  • Girl of the Week: Brandon almost had a different girlfriend every week during season 1 and some of season 2.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Andrea gets pregnant and despite consciously deciding to have an abortion, citing the fact that she's only 18, has only just started dating the baby's father, and is only a freshman in college, she changes her mind at the last minute and has the baby (the Reality Subtext is that Andrea's actress Gabrielle Carteris was pregnant in Real Life and the writers decided to Throw It In). Also played straight several years later when Kelly got pregnant. She decided on an abortion, with the support of her boyfriend Brandon, but sure enough, miscarried.
    • Averted with Brandon's season 6 girlfriend Susan, who admitted that she'd had one several years ago.
  • Good Parents: Jim and Cindy Walsh were the only ones consistently there for their children during their dramatic crises.
  • Happily Married: While both were briefly tempted for affairs in season 1, Jim and Cindy Walsh are the epitome of this trope.
  • High School: The show is best known for its high school years (seasons 1-3).
  • It Came from Beverly Hills: It is the setting after all.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kelly, Steve, and Dylan.
  • Love Dodecahedron: David longing for Kelly (resolved when they become step-siblings), who started the show as Steve's ex. During the first two seasons it seemed that they were to become a couple again, which never happened (except for once she got drunk and slept with him). As the show progressed, relationships and hook-ups multiplied: Kelly slept with her best friend's boyfriend, then with her boyfriend's best friend; Clare began virtually stalking Brandon and then having a relationship with David and then with Steve; Valerie slept with Dylan, Steve and David and almost with Brandon once; Gina was with Dylan and then David, who finally married her cousin who was also her half-sister.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Dylan could be the poster boy for this trope, having no parents living with him, not believing his friends were understanding him completely. It did kind of make him into a Woobie after awhile.
  • Meganekko: Andrea was pretty cute in her glasses.
  • 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: Only Mark Damon Espinosa (Jesse) was a main character of color, though was given little to do as a character, aside from being Andrea's boyfriend-turned-husband. Aaron Spelling later said he regretted it. In fact he said it was his greatest regret regarding the show.
  • My Beloved Smother:
    • Donna's mother, Felice, was often shown to be extremely arrogant, elitist even, and often disapproved of her daughter's love interests, even setting her up with some who later turned out to be more than meets the eye.
    • Dylan's mother, Iris, was a strange combination of this and Missing Mom. She had abandoned Dylan and was absent almost all of the time, but when she suddenly showed up at Dylan's (which she only did occasionally and for short bouts of time), she was dominant towards him and meddling in his life. Most notably, the time she showed up at his house unannounced just after he had broken up with Brenda and gotten in a relationship with Kelly - Iris tried to get him to break up with Kelly and get back with Brenda.
  • Near-Rape Experience:
    • Kelly, twice. First during a High School Halloween party by a fellow student (she was wearing a revealing dress and the guy, and, disturbingly, her friends, tried to justify his rape attempt her on her skimpy dress); later in college when she had gotten addicted to drugs, she was almost raped by a guy selling her cocaine (but she got out of it by smashing a bottle of wine on his head). In addition, she also got actually raped in a later season.
    • Donna has a stalker that manages to get into her bedroom and is about to rape her, but David shows up just then at her appartment to save the day.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Brandon Walsh was the quintessential all-American boy.
    • And like father, like son - his father Jim Walsh was a cardboard Nice Guy as well, in addition to being played (in the earliest season at least) as an Only Sane Man - in the sense that he disapproved of the material extravagance and loose parenting methods of the parents of the other teens in Beverly Hills (see also Minnesota Nice).
  • The '90s: Beginning in Season 3, 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 Celebrities Were Harmed: Dylan McKay could be a dead ringer for a little-known actor named...James Dean.
  • No Going Steady: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, with Kelly probably being the worst offender.
  • Opening Credits Cast Party: The opening credits were iconic because of its cast parties and that theme song!
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: David overhears his girlfriend Clare telling her friends "David gave me a fake one" and gets really insecure about his sexual skills, thinking she is referring to faking orgasms. When he finally talks to her about this, it turns out the conversation was about fur coats and she was refering to a fake fur coat David had given her.
  • Overprotective Dad: Papa Walsh was this for Brenda, while Brandon got a lot more slack.
  • Parental Incest: Valerie is revealed to have been sexually abused by her father over a long time.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Janet's parents initially didn't want their daughter to marry Steve, and they wanted her to marry a nice Japanese boy instead. They later changed their minds.
  • Pregnancy Scare: Brenda had one after missing her period, which led to her first breakup with Dylan at the start of season 2.
  • Primetime Soap: What the show later became.
  • 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: Numerous examples.
    • In season 2, Brandon's girlfriend Emily Valentine (who had an Ambiguous Disorder) went to a mental hospital after having a major breakdown in which she nearly set a gasoline-soaked parade float on fire with her on it. The Bus Came Back in three episodes, afterwards, with Emily having a significantly improved mental state.
    • When Shannen Doherty left the show, Brenda went back to London to attend college after season 4. Even though her departure was originally described for a year, she didn't come back, unlike many examples of this trope on the show.
    • Andrea moved to Connecticut to attend Yale with her husband and their daughter, at the end of season 5.
    • The Walsh parents left for Hong Kong the episode after Andrea.
    • Ray left town after his trial against Joe in season 6. The Bus Came Back towards the end of the same season, and again in season 7.
    • Clare left for Paris with her father in the season 7 finale.
    • Dylan left L.A. after his wife's death 10 episodes into season 6. However, The Bus Came Back (for good).
    • Carly moved back to Montana to take care of her sick dad halfway through season 8.
    • Brandon moved to Washington D.C. to accept a job early in season 9 followed by Valerie leaving L.A., moving in with her mom in Buffalo only two episodes later in the same episode that Dylan came back. Both returned for the series finale.
    • Gina, Donna's cousin and half-sister, left town after their father's funeral in season 10, having made amends with Donna.
  • 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. Plus, Gina Kincaid being introduced as Donna's cousin, despite a total lack of mention beforehand. Also principal Harry Wilson was introduced as Kelly Taylor's never-before-seen-or-mentioned neighbor and life-long friend. See, photoshopped picture, so it must be true.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: "The Green Room," the first episode aired after the pilot, features a different theme tune. Check it out here. (By the way, the "Kelli Brook" listed in the end credits isn't that one.)
  • 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: A jarring example; Dylan, the show's Breakout Character, 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 (sensitive) and Steve (manly); Brandon (sensitive) and Dylan (manly).
  • Special Guest: Various musical performers, including Babyface, Christina Aguilera, The Cardigans, Donna Lewis, Cathy Dennis...virtually anyone who was popular during the decade.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Gina for Valerie, down to their bitchy qualities and their rivalry with Kelly (basically Gina was Valerie on ice skates). Arguably, Noah for Dylan, because of their collective issues with their wealthy fathers, alcohol issues, and their "bad boy" attitudes; however, unlike most examples of the trope, both were on the show at the same time (the last two seasons).
  • 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.
  • Teen Genius: Clare Arnold entered California University as a college sophomore, despite having graduated from high school only a couple of months earlier.
  • Teen Mom:
  • Take a Third Option: Kelly is in love with, and pursed by, two guys: Brandon and Dylan. Simultaneously, Brandon proposes marriage to her and Dylan asks her to go travel around the world, and she must choose between those two paths. After deliberating an entire episode about which man to chose, she gives both the wedding ring and the plane tickets back to both men, declares she doesn't want a relationship with either of them, and says "I choose me".
  • Their First Time: Dylan and Brenda, on prom night. Others had their first time during the course of the series too (most notably, the long-awaited time David and Donna finally had sex), but theirs was particularly highlighted.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Brandon and Brenda
  • Time to Move:
    • The first season finale of the original Beverly Hills 90210 featured Jim Walsh getting a promotion back to Minnesota, and was met with resistance from Brenda, Brandon, and surprisingly, Cindy, all of whom grew accustomed to life in Beverly Hills. It went as far as a going-away party thrown by Brenda and Brandon's friends before Jim changed his mind, thus allowing the family to stay in Cali.
    • Subverted in season 5, when Jim and Cindy Walsh did leave for Hong Kong, thus becoming The Moving Experience...on a different continent. They intended to sell the house, which led to their son Brandon (daughter Brenda having left for London a year earlier) deciding to have a destructive rave at the home, as the new potential owners were intending to destroy the house after the sale was made. However, the real estate agent came during the rave, and informed Brandon that the house fell out of escrow, thus the Walshes were still the owners of the house. This led to Brandon and his friends having to clean up the mess after the rave ended. Brandon and numerous of his friends (Steve, Valerie, David, etc.) lived in the house through the remainder of the show, even after Brandon himself left for Washington D.C. in early season 9, which meant that none of the owners or related family members lived in the house in the final two seasons.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Scott Scanlon
  • Troubled, but Cute: Dylan definitely fits this.
  • Very Special Episode: Occasionally, running the gambut from drugs to racism to sexism to homophobia, there were no topical subjects that the show wouldn't touch (except maybe bestiality).
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted, when David believes that he will be kicked out of the house by Jackie when she separates from David's dad Mel. However, Jackie allowed David to stay with her, and never treated him wrong, often close to him as her own son.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: Technically subverted because it didn't happen at the actual wedding, though Toni died the same day as her wedding to Dylan.


The sequel series contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Naomi claims to have more shoes than Imelda Marcos and Kimora combined.
  • 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.)
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Naomi's trust fund seems to never run short despite her excessive spending.
  • 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).
    • Gender Flipped 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
  • Big Fancy House: Naomi's mansion that she bought in season 4. It would later become the home for all the show's main female characters.
  • 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.
    • She's also the only one unable to figure out that Annie wrote Undressed after reading it.
  • 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 (which turned out to be no one)
  • 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.
  • Chick Magnet: Liam and Ethan.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Suspension of Disbelief becomes incredibly hard in the later seasons, when characters who are supposed to be in their late teens/early twenties are sporting thinning hair, receding hairlines, and visible crow's feet around their eyes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Silver.
  • Disappeared Dad: The show loves this trope- 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Campbell is pretty much Sebastian Smythe, except straight. They're even played by the same actor.
  • False Rape Accusation: Naomi falsely claimed that Mr. Cannon was sexually harassing her towards the end of season 2 (when in actuality, Cannon believed that Naomi was coming onto him when she said she "would do anything" to bump up a test grade). Eventually Naomi recanted her statements, but unfortunately this rape accusation became a real one.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Gina, in addition to being the cousin of Donna, was also her half-sister because of an affair their mutual father, John Martin, had with Gina's mother, also Donna's aunt.
  • 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.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Adrianna (sanguine), Naomi (choleric), Silver (melancholic), and Annie (phlegmatic).
    • Liam (choleric), Dixon (melancholic), and Navid (phlegmatic).
  • The Generic Guy: Ethan had shades of this. There's a reason that no one misses him.
  • Girl Next Door: Annie.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Subverted. Hollywood Nerd Matt rejects Alpha Bitch Naomi because he considers her a shallow idiot. Also, Matt is shown to have a healthy romantic life before Naomi even enters the picture.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Double subverted; Adrianna tried to get one, only to learn that the baby was too far long to have the abortion, so she decided to give the child up for adoption at birth.
  • 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.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The fifth season episode "We're Not In Kansas Anymore" has Annie dreaming of her life if her family had never moved to Beverly Hills. She's doing summer stock theater, her parents stil divorced but Dixon living in L.A as a rap star estranged from the family. Namoi never won back her trust fund and is a real estate agent dating a still in the closet Teddy. Adrianna is a star better known for her party ways and Silver a celebrity blogger while Liam is delivering drugs for Dixon.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Pregnancy Scare: The season 3 finale ends with Naomi coming to Max's house to reveal her pregnancy. However, in the following season, it was revealed that Naomi was never pregnant at all.
  • 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.
  • Settled for Gay: In an episode when Annie had a dream if she hadn't moved to Beverly Hills, Naomi went broke due to her sister took all of her inheritance, so a still-closeted Teddy made a deal to her by marrying him as his beard, while he would also pay for all of her expenses.
  • Ship Tease: Season 4 has teased Adrianna with both Dixon and Liam.
  • 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 Jerkass: 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


Alternative Title(s): Nine Zero Two One Zero, Nine Oh Two One Oh

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/BeverlyHills90210