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Long, long, long-running British prime time soap (airing between 9 December 1960—the heat death of the universe), long enough that a character in her fifties was originally introduced as a sexy young twentysomething. It's prone to pronouncing itself the longest-running soap in the world on its anniversaries, something fans of The Archers — which began on The BBC (on radio) in 1952 — and especially Guiding Light (which predates both of them) would argue with and win.What Coronation Street can claim (since the cancellation of Guiding Light in 2009) is that it is the longest-running soap opera currently on television.note It will claim the title of "longest running television soap opera" should it last until 2017, as although Guiding Light began in 1937, it moved to TV in 1952. It will not, however, be able to claim to be the "longest-running soap" title until the BBC cancelsThe Archers. Also viewable in Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Corrie (as it's known to its addicts) follows the lives of the residents of a typical working-class street in a Salford neighbourhood.Classic user of the Soap Wheel.In March 2014, the set was moved from Granada in central Manchester to MediaCity.Please Note: As an ongoing soap with no reruns outside of the weekly omnibus, spoilers will not be tagged unless they refer to events that have yet to happen on-screen.
Coronation Street provides examples of:
Abuse Is Okay When It's Female on Male: Very strongly averted with Kirsty Soames's treatment of Tyrone Dobbs. She violently attacked and scarred him — hitting him, forcing him against walls, slamming his fingers in doors; cut him off from friends, destroyed his sentimental possessions such as photographs, and he stayed with her mostly because he was afraid she would take their daughter Ruby away if he reported her. None of this was played for laughs and Kirsty was portrayed as being a very dangerously violent and unhinged person to the viewer because of it, though most of the other characters had no idea.
It managed to subvert this as uber-bitch Tracy was constantly manipulating Steve to get money out of him for their daughter and sometimes just for the hell of it. One episode saw Steve get his own back where he insulted Tracy in the pub and compared her to his ex-wife. This pissed Tracy off and she punched him in the face. Steve immediately phoned the police and Tracy ended up spending the night in jail for assault.
Played with when it came to Dev and Tara. Tara found out Dev had cheated on her when they had broken up briefly and plotted to get revenge. She ended up plastering a nude photo of Dev on a billboard in the street with "Liar" written in an obvious place (in addition to rejecting his proposal in public). While Tara wasn't portrayed as being in the right (Dev's daughter Amber chewed her out for it), the whole thing had a slight comedic tone to it which wouldn't have been the case if Dev had put up a picture of Tara.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Charlie Stubbs, who, if not quite as sociopathic, was nonetheless a thoroughly obvious nasty piece of work whom women seemed to find irresistible. Unluckily for him, he ended up with Tracy Barlow, who was a full-blown sociopath.
Anyone Can Die: Due to this, it's quite common for the producers to film a number of alternate endings/outcomes when a major character is going to die or be murdered in order to keep the show spoiler-free.
They also do this quite often in on-screen court cases, filming both 'Guilty' and 'Not Guilty' outcomes and deciding later which one to use.
Astral Projection: Played for laughs — whilst working at the butcher's, Graeme Proctor started wearing Fred Elliott's trademark straw hat and speaking with Fred's Verbal Tic and some of his signature mannerisms. As Fred had died several years before Graeme arrived on the street, his son Ashley began wondering if he really was being possessed. Turns out it was just a joke Graeme was playing on Ashley, after Ashley's wife told him about Fred.
Fiz going into premature labour and giving birth to baby Hope. This was on the same night as the explosion in the joinery and tram crash which killed Ashley Peacock, Molly Dobbs and Charlotte Hoyle — who died of injuries suffered at the hands of John Stape.
Brainless Beauty: Jason Grimshaw. In a subversion, Jason is a skilled construction worker; he's just not particularly bright.
Rosie Webster. Arguably her finest moment was when she went to see a 3-D film and complained afterwards that the picture had been too dark and the effects literally flat. It turned out she had been wearing an ordinary pair of sunspecs rather than the special polarised glasses.
Brick Joke: Jason Grimshaw being voted 'Mr Gay Weatherfield' in 2009 is already pretty funny since Jason is straight. When Rosie Webster enlisted him to help bring sister Sophie and her partner Sian back to Weatherfield as they struggle with coming out and Sophie questions why Rosie brought Jason since he won't understand what they're going through, he replies with "Excuse me, I'm Mr Gay Weatherfield."
British Accents: Generally thick and Northern, with the occasional Londoner dropping by.
Most of them are accurate Manchester accents, but as The Other Wiki points out, Claire Peacock and Hayley Cropper have more of a Yorkshire accent.
David Platt, for some reason, has a Leeds accent.
Gail Tilsley's first husband Brian simply didn't bother with the accent and spoke in thick Geordie throughout, despite being a local Weatherfield man.
British Brevity: Averted. Celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2010 and is on five times a week.
Brought Home the Wrong Kid: Rosie Webster took her baby brother Jack to be in a photo shoot and ended up bringing home a baby girl instead.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Roy who's odd and eccentric but runs his cafe business well and seems to be a good cook.
Bus Crash: Actress Maggie Jones passed away while there was still footage of Blanche Hunt. After the footage ran out, Blanche was said to be on holiday in Portugal. Once they had gotten major storylines out of the way - they killed Blanche off officially.
Call Back: Corries loves this trope and characters (particularly the older ones like Rita, Norris, Emily etc who remember them) will frequently talk about their friends and things that happened in the street, sometimes very very far back in time!
A notable example was Rita's line "What is it with me and trams?" after being rescued from the rubble of the tram crash in 2010. She was referring to the time Alan Bradley died after being hit by a tram after chasing her in Blackpool in 1989.
Carrying a Cake: Played with, where a family were carrying a homemade wedding cake to the reception, while a scooter wove its way around them. The cake actually did make it to its intended destination, only to then be destroyed by the drugs squad in search of evidence.
Celebrity Paradox: Nobody ever watches TV, certainly not at 19:30 every weekday evening.
For the same reason, a lot of the magazines in the background (specifically, those that would feature soap stars on the cover) are bland name replacements for the actual publications, even after Product Placement was allowed under UK law; largely because they would either have the characters of Coronation Street on the cover and thus fully invoke this trope, or those of competing soaps which the producers would obviously not want to advertise however subtly on their show.
When she was younger, Rosie Webster was reasonably intelligent. However, before she left the show, she had repeatedly Taken A Level In Dumbass and became increasingly vapid and self-absorbed.
The Chew Toy: Tyrone Dobbs. One girlfriend cheated on him with a footballer; his first wife had an affair (And child) with his best friend/business partner, before leaving him and telling him the child wasn't his, and eventually dying that same night after the tram crash; then his first girlfriend after Molly's death (And second wife) tried to drive him away from his friends, regularly abused him, briefly walked out on him with their unborn child, before framing him for abusing her.
Curly Watts, another unfavored bad-luck magnet.
Citizenship Marriage: There was one involving Tina's friend Xin and her then boyfriend Graeme. There have been others before though.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Sophie Webster tended to get extremely jealous and hurt whenever Sian had a laugh with anyone but her.
Julie Carp — she even gets told this in those exact words by her sister, Eileen.
Continuity Nod: One of the highlights of the show is that it still features regular references and callbacks to older characters and storylines, often from decades ago. Hardly an episode goes by without a nod, whether it be to something two months old or twenty years old.
Frankly, Weatherfield itself, considering the amount of deaths/accidents/general misery present over the years. It's a wonder people still move to the street, considering pretty much every house/building has had multiple deaths in them (including a number of murders). Taken Up to Eleven with the Fiftieth Anniversary special, with a freak tram accident demolishing one end of the street and killing/seriously wounding a number of residents.
Saying that, compared to Walford, Weatherfield is the happiest place on Earth.
Driven to Suicide: Memorably Katie Harris, after her mother was falsely convicted for murdering her father. Katie left a note confessing to the murder and committed suicide by eating lots of sugary foods (she was diabetic).
Hayley Cropper too, when she found out she had months to live.
Easily Forgiven: Averted with Kevin Webster, and his affair with Molly Dobbs. It was several months before his wife Sally forgave him, and even then they didn't get back together. It took over a year for Molly's husband and Kevin's best friend Tyronne to even start rebuilding their friendship.
Enormous Engagement Ring: The hyper-jealous Eileen has seen her fireman boyfriend Paul out with an attractive firewoman from his station. Suspecting he is cheating, Eileen and her dozy friend Julie embarrass themselves — and him — by breaking into the station. Angry and disgruntled, Paul produces a large ornate engagement ring and says this is the reason he was out with his colleague. Her family own a jewellers' store and she was helping him choose a ring. She's the right person to find the best and most beautiful ring, and she also gets a discount on it for him, so it is larger and better than what he might have been able to afford in normal circumstances. Eileen is sick twice over on seeing the ring. One, because it is big and ornate, and visibly so; two, because her insane and irrational jealousy has made him contemplate breaking the whole thing off and taking it back to the shop for a refund.
Though probably the best example was Adam Rickitt, the second actor to play Nick Tilsley. Perhaps a touch of Viewers Are Morons as well, since Nick's original actor, Warren Jackson was sacked and replaced by Rickitt simply for not being sexy enough, despite the widespread opinion that Jackson was a much better actor than Rickitt.
Funny Background Event: As Stella is yelling at Carl for cheating on her with Sunita and throwing his personal items out of the window, a taxi pulls up behind Carl (who is standing in the middle of the street) and begins to honk. Stella continues to throw stuff out of the window, Carl doesn't move, and the taxi continues to honk. After a couple of seconds, the taxi simply reverses and goes down another street.
Henpecked Husband: Nearly every male characters. It's obvious it's the women who really rule the roost in Weatherfield.
Steve McDonald wins this hands down, having dated and gotten married to an increasingly long line of dominating women.
Heroic Sacrifice: Ashley Peacock, during the aftermath of the Joinery explosion. He held up part of the ceiling to stop it collapsing on Peter Barlow and Nick Tilsley, knowing full well he wouldn't be able to get out when it came down.
Holiday Volunteering: Sophie drags Sally to a shelter on Christmas 2013. Only for Sophie get into a fight with one homeless girl who shoved one of their faces into a dessert. Her purse gets stolen soon after and of course she blames it on the girl.
Hypocrite: Sally Webster, because of her insistence that Fiz was involved with John Stape's crimes. Her justification was that Fiz must have known what her husband was doing, because the idea of her not realising was preposterous. Cue practically every other character responding with "You didn't realise what Kevin was doing."
When the affair is exposed, she's furious at Kevin...despite having an affair years ago with Ian Davenport that she never got caught for.
Brian Packham, giving David and Kylie Platt stick over what they give Max for his school dinners, whilst stuffing down a bag of chips and being in no physical shape to criticise anyone's eating habits. He even goes so far as to say that all teachers at the school are going to be checking what students bring to eat from home. Lampshaded by David and Kylie.
Internal Reveal: Tina's McIntyre's murder and the person who committed it (Rob Donovan) are shown to the viewers without any attempt to conceal it. However, apart from the two of them involved, no one else knows/knew and Peter Barlow is wrongly imprisoned and tried for the crime.
This was subverted though in the case of Frank Foster's murder. The murder itself and who was responsible weren't shown and remained a mystery until Anne Foster (Frank's mother) confessed to it months later.
Jerk Ass: Everybody falls into this at least once.
Jerkass Façade: Graham Proctor let people think that he two timed Tina for Xin, so they think that she's a victim and he's a jerk who cheated on her. It was really Tina's plan to get Xin a Citizenship Marriage.
Karma Houdini: Leanne Battersby, who has dodged prison at least twice.
Owen Armstrong is quickly becoming one.
David Platt was becoming this, before he had a Heel Realization and deliberately went on a rampage through the street, attacking several residents for the sole purpose of getting himself arrested because his mother refused to report him the police for pushing her down the stairs after he found she had his girlfriend abort the child he wasn't aware of. To hammer the point home, after he was charged he apologised to the people he attacked.
Tracy Barlow, she was found guilty of murder and is still out on the streets due to mistake by the forensic investigator who's work convicted her making a mistake on another case. That being said, it made Becky's dose of Laser-Guided Karma all the sweeter.
Live Episode: Between 9 December 1960 and 3 February 1961, all of the Friday episodes were broadcast live.
As part of the Fortieth and Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations, the 9 December episodes were also broadcast live.
Long Runner: Coronation Street started in December 1960 — as of 17 September 2010, it is THELong Runner, as it became the world's longest-running TV soap opera currently in production. William Roache has played Ken Barlow for that entire period, and Betty Driver played Betty Williams from 1969 until her death in 2011.
One character, Dennis Tanner, who was there in the 1960's as Elsie's feckless son, left the series and returned after nearly forty years — played by the same actor and just as feckless. In the 1960's he stole his mother's housekeeping money for cigarettes; in 2013, he pawned Rita's engagement ring to get cash to pay a bill. Nothing changes.
Lysistrata Gambit: Played StraightandInverted as Michelle (firstly) and Steve (secondly) did it to one another. Michelle demanded that Steve get a vasectomy after her pregnancy scare and he refused to get one, leading to this. It didn't last long.
Subverted with Tracy's murder trial in 2007. While she had intricately planned and set up the murder of Charlie Stubbs — making it seem like he was physically abusive to her and convincing her family and friends of this — and probably fully expected to be found innocent, the jury at her trial were not fooled and found her guilty.
She played this straight in 2010, taking full advantage of that the forensic evidence expert that had handled her case falsified his qualifications, which sees her retried and released.
Averted with Gail's trial for the murder of her husband, Joe in 2010. She is found not guilty (Joe had drowned to death on his boat in a lake in the Lake District.
Tyrone was on trial for physically abusing Kirsty and probably would been found guilty had Kirsty herself not burst into his trial and admitted to everyone there that she was the one abusing him.
Most recently for Peter Barlow, who was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Tina and who only got out once real killer Rob was caught.
Mistaken for Racist: Paul Kershaw is mistaken for a racist when he utters the phrase "play the white man" to Steve McDonald during a game of darts; Lloyd Mullaney and daughter Jenna overhear him. Paul is reluctant to apologise to Lloyd since he doesn't believe the phrase is offensive, and him feeling that if he did apologise it would confirm Lloyd's accusation of racism.
Monochrome Casting: Despite the show being set in Manchester, a city with substantial minority populations and a growing number of immigrants, Coronation Street resolutely ignored this for the best part of forty years and its inhabitants were 100% Caucasian and usually ethnically English. 100% Christian, too. Whilst there was one token Jewish character for a short while (Manchester has Britain's second-largest Jewish community).
Not much was done to remedy this until well into The Nineties. When the producers remedied this by having the Desai family take over the corner shop However they mostly failed to click with audiences or the rest of the cast and were soon replaced with their cousin Dev Alahan who has been with the show ever since. The first black regular is an interesting case since Jason Grimshaw was conceived as a white character but was cast as mixed race Ryan Thomas. Even though Jason was Ambiguously Brown no mention was made of his ethnicity until 2002 when his father and was revealed to be of Afro-Jamaican descent.
Tracy Barlow. Both when Dawn Acton and Kate Ford played her.
Tina McIntyre, having been voted Sexiest Female for four years in a row.
Although Kylie Platt (Paula Lane) has now pushed them firmly out the spotlight.
My Beloved Smother: Gail Platt. She once rang Social Services after Bethany got an electric shock in Sarah and Todd's apartment - and when the social worker decided that the environment was still pretty stable for Bethany, Gail lied to say Sarah and Todd frequently left her alone in the apartment. Around the same time this was happening, a potential employer of Nick's rang the house about a job in Canada - and Gail also lied to say Nick didn't want the job, to stop him from moving.
Never Trust a Trailer: Deliberately invoked during the promotion of the show's Fiftieth Anniversary week, which was given the tagline "Four Funerals and a Wedding," implying that four major characters would bite the dust. As it turned out, three major characters actually did die, namely Ashley Peacock, Molly Dobbs and Charlotte Hoyle. The fourth casualty was a nameless background extra, who got mentioned in passing by a firefighter during the live episode.
It's thought that the producers were also considering offing Rita Fairclough in the live episode, but ultimately decided against it and 'killed off' the extra to make sure the tagline was still accurate.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: After fatally beating Charlotte Hoyle to death shortly before the tram crash, John Stape later decided to place her body near the crash site, hoping to make it look as if she had been struck and killed by debris during the crash. A policewoman found him, and he claimed to have dragged her out of the debris — whereupon the policewoman examined her body and found that she wasn't actually dead. In a subversion of the trope, it turned out she had massive brain damage and would only have lived on in a vegetative state, resulting in her family deciding to pull the plug on her.
No Bisexuals: Todd Grimshaw, after a loving relationship with a girl, discovers he is also attracted to males. Apparently this means he will only ever be attracted to males in future.
When Marcus Dent decided to enter into a heterosexual relationship with Maria, various characters (and fans, at that) expressed their derision and believed he was lying to himself by pretending he was straight. Apparently, it's impossible to be attracted to both men and women and once you become gay you can never be attracted to women again! The only person to even mention the possibility that he might be bisexual is Gail McIntyre and it is never seriously considered beyond an aside comment she made in the Rovers.
This was Doubly Subverted, as he slept with Todd Grimshaw in 2013/2014 and this he can only ever be 'gay' again.
The first time a bisexual character appeared (dating Michelle), he was revealed to be a former partner of Sean's - and immediately resumed sleeping with him. When Steve witnessed them kissing, he told Michelle that Sonny was 'gay' instead of bi.
Noodle Incident: What Tracy Barlow did behind bars involving chocolate and £50.
Put on a Bus: Kevin Webster, whose actor was facing sexual offence charges and a trial in real life, is said to be visiting his father Bill in Germany, who is sick. He was found not guilty and came back in early 2014.
Ken Barlow, for similar reasons to Kevin, is out of the show pending investigations — however, he has been found not guilty of all charges. Ken Barlow was last heard of visiting distant family in Canada.
Remember the New Guy: Xin Chiang was first introduced in February 2011, for the purpose of a storyline involving Graeme marrying her so that she could stay in the UK. You wouldn't have realised this if you weren't already watching the show, since Tina kept remarking that Xin was her best friend and she already had existing relationships with the likes of Graeme Proctor and David Platt, despite never having been mentioned once in the previous two and a half years Tina had been on the show.
Kelly Crabtree —- the first time we ever saw her, she had just left her supposedly long time job at the factory that half the other characters work at.
Retcon: Surprisingly rare, but Mike Baldwin's nephew Danny (and his family) being introduced was certainly one, as Mike had previously been stated to be an only child.
Canon Discontinuity seems to be in effect in regards to the storyline relating to Michelle Connor discovering her son was switched at birth. After the storyline ended in 2008, it has never been mentioned again!
In fact, during the 2012 stoyline when Tracy Barlow dated Ryan Connor, simply to spite Steve McDonald for rekindling his relationship with Michelle, he was explicitly referred to as her only son. Likewise, when Tracy revealed that she was pregnant with his child and that Steve tried to pay her off to have an abortion, she claimed Michelle wouldn't have done it when she was pregnant with Ryan ... with everyone seemingly forgetting that he is not actually her biological son!
Apparently, David Platt tried to 'kill' his brother Nick — yes, he did try to grab the wheel off him to stop him going home to reveal eveything to Kylie and Leanne but the accident itself was caused by a truck driver who didn't stop in time and ploughed into the stopped car in the middle of the road. Everyone wass acting as if David purposely caused that truck to appear or something! The fact that David himself is not denying his alleged murder attempt is not doing him any favors either.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: David Platt had one after a massive Trauma Conga Line drove him over the edge, smashing every single thing he could find in the street with a piece of scaffolding pipe. Subverted, in that David didn't do it out of revenge, but because his mother refused to press charges for him pushing her down a flight of stairs.
Running Gag: Fred proposing to just about every woman he fancied.
Scarpia Ultimatum: Pat Phelan blackmails Anna Windass into sleeping him in exchange for him giving Owen and Gary their money back.
Shout-Out: The story where Craig Tinker's pet rat escaped and ended up several doors down the Street in the Rovers Return — on the very day the public health inspector, who had criticised the pub's standards before, came around to do his annual inspection. Shenanigans and hilarity ensue as the staff desperately try to stop him spotting the said Siberian Bald-Tailed Hamster.
Self-Made Orphan: Katy Harris, who killed her father Tommy by hitting him with a wrench over the head.
Sitting on the Roof: A recent (2014) storyline strands two characters on the roof for widely different reasons. Sally Webster's current bloke goes up to fix the TV aerial but is left stranded when Andrea's stalker-ex steals his ladders, so as to make a cry-for-help suicide bid from the roof of the Rovers. This lampshades British associations with the concept of roof-sitting: nobody ever goes up there for fun or relaxation. It's either necessary work, a suicide bid, or something criminal.
Tracy Barlow is often seen as an adult version of this.
Stupid Evil: At least post-prison, Tracy Barlow is almost incapable of carrying on a conversation without insulting the person she is talking to, even if she is hoping to manipulate them.
Suddenly Sexuality: Both of the show's coming out stories. With Todd Grimshaw and Sophie Webster respectively, their realization that they were attracted to the same sex came rather out of nowhere, as both had been in healthy heterosexual relationships without any hint they might be gay before this. However, their actual storylines of coming out were handled fairly well, apart from their very sudden start.
Sophie's storyline was planned out two years before it started, with Sacha Parkinson being hired specifically for her eventual role as Sophie's girlfriend. She appeared for more than a year on the show as a build-up to Sophie's coming out with the groundwork for it definitely being present. A great deal of it was non-verbal by both actors, but there were clear flare-ups of jealousy and possessiveness on both sides.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The men who own Underworld tend to have dark hair, frequently wears suits and get romantically involved with Carla, before trying to kill her. This has happened so many times, it's practically become a Running Gag.
Teen Pregnancy: Sarah Louise Platt. Twice (though the second didn't end well).
Katie Armstrong, more recently.
Took a Level in Dumbass: Rosie Webster who seemed to shed a dozen IQ points every year. As a teen she was a good student but as she got older she turned vapid and shallow eventually ending up a Brainless Beauty who thought Plato was a woman.
Transgender: Hayley Cropper, in one of the better fictional portrayals.
David and Sarah Louise Platt, in comparison to Nick, their elder brother adored by Gail. Sarah and David would both argue that they are this to the family in general.
The 2013 storyline for David Platt played this horrifyingly straight. Nick slept with David's wife Kylie only for her to discover she was pregnant a short time later. The rest of the family outright plotted to keep this a secret from David and never did anything more than give Nick a cross word. All this, only for the entire family to ostracise David after they learn he found out about the cheating and was behind the recent hate campaign against Nick. Nick's wife Leanne instantly forgave Nick for cheating on her, whilst the entire family treated David as some horrible monster for nearly killing Nick in a traffic accident — conveniently ignoring the fact David was in the van with Nick at the time and it truly was an accident.
The Unfair Sex: The unwritten rule of Weatherfield seems to be that if a women has been unfaithful, the men must forgive and forget! But if it's the man who's been unfaithful, they must never hear the end of it!
Wham Episode: Countless examples over the years, usually as the climax of a major story. However, the Fiftieth Anniversary tram crash may be the best example.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Done rather egregiously with Les Battersby. After his actor was suspended following a scandal, the character was temporarily Put on a Bus, supposedly going on tour as a roadie for a Status Quo tribute band. However, his actor ended up being fired while suspended, so viewers expected a Bus Crash to explain why he wasn't coming back from tour. Instead ... nothing. He was never mentioned again. This meant he vanished from the face of the earth, leaving his wife, adopted son and also an ex-wife (and two daughters who came and went) never speaking of him again or wondering where he went.
Finally averted in 2011, five years after he'd vanished, by Les now being mentioned (and things like cards from him or photos of him being around) as normal, when appropriate. Predictably, they are treating it as though they had never stopped mentioning him, and don't explain where he is or why he vanished.
Who's Your Daddy?: Molly Dobbs and her son, Jack. It was eventually confirmed that Kevin Webster was the father.
Kylie Platt and her daughter, Lily. Nick or David were the possible father. A DNA test confirms she is David's daughter.
Um, well, most of the tropes in The Catalogue by now, given the longevity of the series. More than once, in many cases.