"Merry-Go-round": Popular Mexican Soap Opera airing during 1989-1990. Revolved around a teacher and her 2nd grade class. Remake of the Argentinian soap opera Senorita Maestra (Miss Teacher.)
This show features examples of:
Aerith and Bob: Not inside the soap opera per se. But Carrusel is an remake of Senorita Maestra. The teacher in Senorita Maestra was named Jacinta Pichimahuida (very unusual surname), while the teacher in Carrusel is named Ximena Fernandez (very common surname).
In-universe: The Guerra siblings are named Pablo (common name) and Marcelina (unusual name, though not tremendously so).
In Senorita Maestra, we have Simoneta (very uncommon and old-fashioned name), who in Carrusel becomes Maria Joaquina (uncommon, but not as much)
Ambition Is Evil: Averted. Most of the kids had future goals and plans, and those who do are good kiddos.
Ambiguously Jewish: Averted in the case of David. His Synagogue is shown. He mentions his beliefs. Valeria and David wonder how will it work out if they get married- how will they raise their kids. This seems to be Informed Judaism: David has blond hair and blue eyes- as compared to the more stereotypical Semitic features.
Generic Guy: Adrian Garcia, who gets a name, but no defining characteristics, or plotlines. Viewers do not even get to see his family. But at least Adrian has a name- as compared to two other boys and one girl in the classroom who remain nameless throughout the entire show.
Genki Girl: Valeria Ferrer, always perky and optimistic.
Gentle Giant: Jaime Palillo may have been big and strong, but was always in a good mood and friendly towards everyone.
Generation Xerox: The parents of the kids often were very, very similar to their children. I.e, both of Valeria's parents are short, slim, and use glasses, and both of Jaime's parents were tall and heavily-built.
Intelligence Equals Isolation: Subverted by Maria Joaquina and Jorge, whose trouble making friends has nothing to do with IQ or grades, and mainly to do with snobbery. That, and Daniel always held the top spot in the class.
Averted by Daniel and every other good student, since they were far friendlier.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pablo Guerra. Prankster, always teasing his sister, but not malicious. 'Sides, he was the first friend that Mario made in the class.
Kick the Dog: When the kids treat poor Susana like crap for daring to replace Ximena when she's hospitalized. Fermin promptly calls them out on their bullshit and they soften up to her.
Maria Joaquina, in the beginning, when she tears apart the birthday card Cirilo gave her.
Proper Lady: Ximena, and how. Also her friend and fellow teacher, Susana.
Among the girls, Margarita, Laura and Marcelina hit the trope to different degrees.
Plot Hole: When Valeria sneaks out the baby girl nicknamed Pelusita, she asks her friends Laura and Jaime for help with sneaking her in to the abandoned house where La Patrulla Salvadora meets. They are just two of her friends... why just the two of them? Why not her boyfriend David, if they were not broken up at the time? To a not so obvious extent- why not Carmen, Marcelina, or Alicia, since they are all prudent girls who would have been just as helpful? I am guessing Laura and Jaime may have been Valeria's neighbors and thus may have been handier in sneaking her in- while David lived in a very different neighborhood which was likelier further away. But it was never stated why.
Plucky Girl: Carmen Carrillo. Her parents had separated (but only for a short time- they do get back together promptly) and her family was poor. Yet Carmen always managed to be an excellent student and to stay out of trouble- mainly because she wanted to obtain a scholarship to go to college and have a career.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Valeria is the Red Oni to David's Blue Oni, since Valeria is more outgoing, melodramatic, and hyperactive, while David is calmer and more introverted. Also, Pablo is the Red Oni to Marcelina's Blue Oni, since Pablo is so bold and fearless while Marcelina is much quieter and subdued.
Sadist Teacher: Sra. Orraca. Everybody was afraid of her- except her pet student, Jorge.
Teacher's Pet: Subverted by Jorge del Salto. Jorge was Sra. Orraca's pet- but not Ximena's in any way. Otherwise, averted within Ximena's classroom per se, since she did not have any unfairly favored students.
The Other Darrin: When the actor who played Fermin was no longer available, he was replaced by another one who was and looked 10 years younger. Also, the actress who played Maria Joaquina's mother was replaced- with a much more likable one.
Token Minority: Cirilo is Black, David is Ashkenazi Jewish, Kokimoto is Japanese, Bibi is North American of English ancestry.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: David's love interests: adventurous Valeria who is not afraid of mice, vs. fashionable Margarita who dreamt of a boy giving her jewelry.
Girly yet competitive Maria Joaquina vs. also girly but ultra-romantic Laura.
Carmen, feminine yet having career goals and wanting to learn how to swim, vs. Marcelina wanting to be a HouseWife and mother.
Inverted by the girly, fashionable Margarita wearing her hair in a ponytail.
Subverted by Carmen, who is tender and feminine but is very career oriented and an excellent student - and also wears a ponytail for very practical reasons. This would be the hair equivalent of dressing for comfort rather than style.
Played somewhat straighter by Valeria. She wears her hair in a half ponytail, and is often being considered the most tomboyish of the girls. This hairstyle may actually show both her tomboy and girly girl traits!
Averted by Maria Joaquina, who wears her hair down, yet is the most competitive of the girls.
If Bibi is a tomboy (and she does not get enough character development for that to be determined), she would be playing it straight.
Two-Teacher School: Averted. Ximena only teaches 2nd grade, Rene only teaches music, Susana only teaches her assigned grade except when she has to cover for Ximena. There is also an art teacher. And another teacher named Gloria. And of course, the principal, Sra. Orraca. And Fermin may count.
Tsundere: Valeria was this to David sometimes. Maria Joaquina became one when she defrosted.
What Happened to the Mouse? : Carmen has a younger brother shown in early chapters- but he is not really shown anymore. Valeria has a newborn baby sister who is part of a big storyline- but later does not show up much. Also, Valeria's cousin Aurelia was part of a big plotline but does not return later.
In the original, Valeria was an average looking, rather tomboyish girl who wore glasses, and who wore pants the most out of all the girls. In the remake, she is very feminine, conventionally good looking, and always very well dressed.
To a lesser extent, Jaime. In the original, he was obese. In the remake, he is just a little stronger and sturdier than the other boys. Adriano may even be proportionally heavier than Jaime!
Adaptation Dye-Job: Daniel is no longer a redhead (does not really affect the plot). Adriano is now blond (ditto). Maria Joaquina is no longer blonde- in the original, her blonde hair was a plot point. Davi now has dark hair- which is a stereotypical Semitic feature. Kokimoto's hair is not jet black.
Adaptational Villainy: In the original, Suzana was just an ordinary substitute teacher whom the kids had mistaken as evil, and in the end, found out she was actually as nice as Ximena. However, in the remake, she IS evil and tries to do anything in her power to make Ximena's life miserable.
To a lesser extent, Principal Oliva and Teacher Matilde. In the original, Oliva was a very tough principal, but never held any grudge against Ximena or the kids. In the remake, Oliva is very greedy, she tries to appease the rich kids just so she can earn money, and constantly tries to fire Ximena, with Matilde being her sidekick.
Girliness Upgrade: Valeria no longer has glasses, and is actually very well dressed and coiffed. In the original, a major plot point was the love triangle between David, tomboyish Valeria who was not afraid of mice, and fashionable girly girl Margarita.
In the original, Adrian is shown asleep during the opening sequence, but otherwise does not get much character development or any storylines (though at least he does get a full name). In the remake, Adriano's sleepiness is lampshaded in the intro with illustrations and all!
In the original, Carmen may have been one of the smartest students in the class, and hoped to someday go to university and have a career- but there was much more to her than just this, such as her being tender and good with people. In the remake, Carmen gets to wear the eyeglasses (instead of Valeria), and has a book in her intro during the OP, so her academic intelligence is an even bigger plot point.
Davi wears a yarmulke in the remake, and has a Star of David as part of his intro. In the original, David was more of a case of Informed Judaism- showing up only when necessary (for example, when he and Valeria wondered how to raise their future children).
Maria Joaquina was haughty in the original, but she was never truly cruel. In the remake, she is sadistic towards others.
Society Marches On: In the 2012 remake, it is perfectly acceptable for Alicia to wear a cap and play football. In the 1989 original, Valeria was deemed to be the tomboy of the bunch simply because she was not afraid of mice- never mind she was romantic, dramatic, and liked dolls, celebrity gossip, soap operas, and romance novels as much as the other girls did.
Suzana wears trousers to teach school. In the original, none of the female teachers ever wore pants- at least not to work.
Technology Marches On: In the original, video games were not shown at all- possibly justified, since it took place back in 1989-1990 in Mexico (a second world country). In the remake, Kokimoto's intro features a video game controller!
Xena Fication: Alicia is now the tomboy, who wears a cap and likes playing football. In the original, she was a prudent, sensible girl whose only plotline involved her having appendicitis- and enjoying the flowers Mario brought her when she was in the hospital.