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Series: EastEnders
aka: Eastenders
Eastenders is so unlike the actual East End that it may as well be set in Narnia. The real East End has got Hawksmoor churches and fashionable nightclubs and a thriving Bangladeshi community; Walford's just got Keith Miller swabbing windows with a rag on a stick.

DUN. DUN. DUN DUN D-D-D-D- de de de di de dun de...

EastEnders is a popular Soap Opera on The BBC, created as a competitor to ITV's Coronation Street. Since 1985, it has followed the lives of the inhabitants of Walford, a fictional district in the East End of London. Renowned for the absolute misery it inflicts on the characters, especially during the Christmas season.

Famous plotlines:
  • Who's Michelle's baby's father?
  • Den & Angie's divorce.
  • "Sharongate"
  • Who shot Phil Mitchell?
  • The Slater Family switcheroo
  • Dirty Den's murder.
  • The return of Dirty Den.
  • Dirty Den gets killed off again.
  • The Secret Mitchell.
  • Who Killed Archie Mitchell/Eastenders 25.
  • Syed and Christan's affair.
  • The Lucas Johnson Murders.
  • The Queen Vic burns to the ground.
  • The New Year 2011 baby plot.
  • Kat's mystery affair
  • Who Killed Lucy Beale?

Tropes featured include:

  • Abusive Parents: Ben had Phil and Stella. It hasn't ended well for him.
  • Accidental Pervert: Billy Mitchell was hazed on the day before his wedding and found himself wearing nothing but his boxers. He tries to ask a woman for some spare clothes, but then her dog tears off his boxers and she calls the police (even though she could clearly see the dog did it).
  • Accidental Murder: Two notable examples being the death of Saskia Duncan by Steve Owen using an ash tray to defend himself and more recently the death of Heather Trott by Ben Mitchell using a photo frame. Both examples also involved a cover up
  • Alone with the Psycho: Stella and her treatment of Ben Mitchell. Also Mad May.
    • Ben also does it to Lousie.
  • Away In A Manger: The 1990 Christmas Day episode.
  • Back for the Dead: Owen.
    • Ethel actually invoked this in one of the show's biggest Tear Jerker moments. Having spent the last three years in a care home away from Walford, she returned in early 2000 solely to be with her East End family when she died.
  • Badass Family: What the Mitchells believe themselves to be (with the exception of Billy).
    • And Danielle and Ben.
    • Ben might not be quite 'badass'. But he's ruthless and heartless.
      • Even Billy has his moments, occasionally.
  • Bash Brothers: Phil and Grant Mitchell. When they aren't, you know, trying to kill each other and stuff.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Mitchells.
    • The Beale/Fowler clan, the Butchers, the Brannings, the Slaters, the Masoods. Every single family fits this trope.
  • Bald of Awesome: Phil and Grant.
  • Bottle Episode: The famous two-hander episodes, and their variants - including four-handers and even a one-hander; these are also usually Locked in a Room.
  • Brainless Beauty: Zoe Slater. As Dennis Rickman once put it, 'You don't think, do you Zoe? You just get it out of magazines.'
  • Bus Crash: Mark.
    • Kathy and her death to bring in Ben Mitchell.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Sasha.
  • Cliff Hanger: Pretty much every other episode, but especially the ones at the end of each week, and the Christmas episodes. All are accompanied by the famous drum beats.
    • A few examples: Phil and Ian crashing their car. Phil getting shot. Jamie getting run over on Christmas Day.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Honey.
  • Crapsack World: Crappier than the crappiest crap that a crap did when it took a crap in a bush, in winter! Every week someone is either murdered, having an affair, in trouble with the law, in trouble with the tax man, hurting their children; you would go mad from depression. You wouldn't go near Walford with a ten foot barge pole, with crap on the end!
  • Christmas Episode: Soapland Christmas at its most cruel, but it doesn't stop the characters from thinking it's going to work this year. "This'll be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!"
  • Dawson Casting: The E20 Gang. Sam Attwater who plays Leon is 24. Poppy, who at a guess is 21/22 is played by Rachel Bright, who is 29 as of June 2013 and Shivani Ghai, who played the 23-24 year old Ayesha was according to reports born in 1975, making her 37/38. Wikipedia however now has her age as a slightly younger 31/32.
    • Averted with Michelle Ryan, who was 16 when she was cast as the 16-year-old Zoe Slater.
  • Death Is Cheap Dirty Den, or Grant Mitchell for who it is not so much cheap, as buy one, get one free...
  • Defictionalisation: The E20 postcode was fictional in 1985 when the show began, but was allocated in 2011 to a certain development in Stratford.
  • Depending on the Writer: One of the factors some consider part of the show's more surreal evolution is the occasionally extreme swings in characterization. Perhaps some of the best examples are Phil Mitchell or Janine Butcher, who can switch between rough-edged but somewhat humanized Jerk Ass types or completely ruthless borderline psychopaths who will revert to any monsterous tactics for their own self-gain.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Donna Yates.
  • Disney Villain Death: Joe Macer, who died from falling out of a window after killing Pauline.
  • Domestic Abuse: Several storylines have focused on this. The early 2000s saw a notable one between "Little Mo" Mitchell and her husband Trevor, which resulted with Mo being sent to jail when she finally tried to defend herself by hitting Trevor over the head with an iron. She's sent to prison for eight years and Trevor begins a new life with another woman, who he also beats, to the point where she's taken to hospital. Eventually he agrees to take back his statement about Mo attempting to kill him if said woman agrees not to take the abuse to the police. In November 2002, Trevor tried to get Little Mo back after she began dating another man where she stood up to him again, berated him and demanded he hit her because she wasn't going to cower to him anymore. He threatens to burn down the house but Mo lights the match instead because "he doesn't have the guts". They struggle, the match is dropped and Trevor burns to death (Little Mo escapes).
  • Dramatic Irony: Ronnie unwittingly persuading her secret daughter Danielle to have an abortion when she was haunted by the lost of said daughter.
    • Ben pretty much killing Heather as he lost his temper with her, because he thought she'd told the police when it was actually his own brother who did.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: When Andy Hunter was killed by Johnny Allen he was pushed off a flyover.
    • When Derek Branning gets his comeuppance, suffering a heart attack after shouting at Max saying that he was the runt of litter.
    • Lesser known when Tom Clements died in the Vic's toilets.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Nasty Nick and his heroin addiction.
    • Phil and cocaine. An EXPLOSIVE mix.
    • Phil and alcohol (it's still a drug).
    • Janine on cocaine (turning to prostitution)
    • Lauren on alcohol.
    • An extreme case was Billie Jackson who actually died after a massive bender.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jodie Gold takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Dysfunction Junction: So much so.
  • Enfante Terrible: Dotty Cotton.
  • Estranged Soap Family
  • Ethical Slut: Zainab Masood, who considers herself the most pious Muslim woman despite cheating on her first husband (and getting nearly burnt up for the trouble) and getting divorced twice. And the gay son is the bad one in this family?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The morally dubious (at best) inhabitants of Walford consider Janine, and before their deaths, Archie, Donna etc. to be repugnant.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Alfie and Spencer's grandma, her first name was Victoria but the entire square called her 'Nana' and she was even listed in the credits as 'Nana Moon'.
  • Everyone Is Related
  • Evil Versus Evil: More like evil marries evil. The most evil pair on the square are Janine and Michael so their kid doesn't stand much chance of being sane. Janine could be considered the lesser of the evils.
    • Janine is a Smug Snake ex-Daddy's Girl who is responsible for the deaths of two of her husbands: she pushed one of a cliff and another had a heart attack after finding out she wasn't the Jew bride he thought. Ex-cocaine addict and a prostitute, which is indirectly responsible for Laura Beale's death. However, she does have several Morality Pet though longstanding examples are Billy, Tiffany and Ricky.
    • Michael is a sociopathic man still suffering from a traumatic childhood event. He once almost killed his half-brother for the look on his father's face. Put Ronnie in prison for something she didn't do. is incapable of love or anybody's else s feelings. Conned a woman with bipolar out of her and most of Kat and Alfie's money, turned everyone against her and almost got her sectioned. But, his Freudian Excuse is that he was left home alone and his mother committed suicide and it was implied that he was a Momma's Boy and is damaged beyond repair.
      • Culminated in 2013 when Michael tried to strangle Janine, then got stabbed by Alice, and Janine finished him off. Lesser of the evils indeed.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Zoe and Kat Slater. Revealed in a famous Luke, I Am Your Father moment, that achieved Memetic Mutation status.
  • Fat Girl: The downtrodden Heather Trott. But she has faith-a, faith-a, faith-aaaa.
  • Freudian Excuse: Surprisingly, it's rarely used.
    • Except from Ben. He seems to blame his Dad for everything. Not to mention Steven Beale, who blamed his Dad for his problems too.
      • Mind you, considering who Ben's father is (and his abuse at the hands of Stella) he may have a point.
    • Unless you're Janine, but even she doesn't believe that excuse anymore.
      • Michael, as described above, seems to use this trope too.
    • Stella was implied to have an abusive childhood (supposedly stemming from the ambiguous death of her sister), and was enough of a Psychopathic Manchild from the process to believe Ben and Phil were bullying her. Naturally, screaming this excuse at the pitch of her lungs didn't stop Phil from wanting to rip her to shreds.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Round 1: Pauline hits Arthur. Pauline wins. Round 2: Joe hits Pauline. Pauline dies.
  • GET OUTTA MOY PAB!
    • Some weeks Peggy Mitchell would only pop on-screen to say this line. Here's her greatest hits.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Female lawyer Richie Scott. Also Ronnie, whose name was eventually revealed to be short for Veronica.
  • The Ghost: The launderette owner, Mr Popadopolous, and Big Mo's erm...friend Fat Elvis.
  • Hope Spot: Done deliberately straight with Danielle and Ronnie.
    • And before that, Sharon and Dennis.
  • I'll Flaming Well Kill You!
    • Invented for Peggy Mitchell, along with "GET OUTTA MOY PAB!" (above)
    • Pat: You bitch! *slap*
    • Peggy: You cow! *slap*
  • Incest Subtext: It's implied that Den has a little too much affection for his "Princess" Sharon. As one of the writers put it, "The love of his life was Sharon. You just had this feeling that he thought he was the only person good enough for her, but she was his daughter. It was a weird relationship."
  • Interfaith Smoothie: The Ferrera family. Dan is a Christian, Pushpa a Hindu, others in the family have names commonly found in Muslim cultures, and all seem to dip in and out of each other's religious traditions.
  • Internal Reveal: The show uses this technique for almost all of its major episodes.
  • I Resemble That Remark: Dot, a chainsmoker who is often seen with a glass of wine, is aghast at the idea of people doing drugs!
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Derek on Christmas 2012 saying that no one in Walford has any idea about marriage. Said this before dying after a heart attack
    • While it hardly justifies her psychotic abuse towards Ben as a child, Stella's ramblings to a livid Phil that he himself was a horrible father and that Ben was a monster to her first have some weight considering how things turned out for them long after her suicide.
  • Karma Houdini: Janine Butcher avoiding punishment for Barry's death. She did almost get sent down for Laura Beale's death wrongly though before Pat changed her mind about testifying in court.
    • Janine's ability to dodge trouble (legal trouble at least) has been frequently lampshaded, and ensured that (minus about 4 people), everyone despises her openly, leading her to at least suffer several unpleasant (but comparatively insignificant) moments in life to balance things a little.
      • After Christmas 2010, the fact that she's now a permanent pariah, despised by her family and her husband (who even she acknowledged as her last chance at redemption), who tried to kill her, might be regarded as the Karmic Down-payment.
      • It has gotten better since Pat's death with Janine being back on somewhat good terms with the rest of her family and can be considered the lesser of two evils in comparison to her newest husband Michael Moon.
  • Killed Off for Real: Oh, so many ... including Den, this time permanently, and Danielle.
  • Kissing Cousins: Joey and Lauren, or so it seems.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Played straight, averted and subverted, oh so very much.
  • Live Episode: The 25th Anniversary episode.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Obviously.
  • London Gangster: "The Firm". Truth in Television in that Barbara Windsor was, at one time, married to Ronnie Knight, an associate of the Kray Twins. Jaime Foreman (Derek Branning) is the son of another Kray associate.
  • Long Bus Trip: Yolande.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Danny Mitchell and millions of others.
  • Long Runner: 2010 marked the 25th anniversary.
  • Love Triangle: Dear God! It is like there is an unwritten law that states that at least one love polygon should at in effect at all times! Examples included:
    • Bradley, Max and Stacey
    • Bianca, Ricky, Sam, Minty, Heather
    • Christian, Syed, Amira note 
    • Gary, Dawn, Jase
    • Pat, Frank, Peggy
    • Pat, Harvey, Peggy
    • Jack and virtually the entire female cast.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Memorably done with Kat and Zoe.
    Zoe: You ain't my muvver!
    Kat: Yes I am!
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Danielle.
  • Malaproper: Honey.
    • Ethel Skinner fulfilled this role in the series' early days.
  • Mama Bear: Kat Slater, Bianca Jackson...the show has had a lot. More recently, Lola Pearce and HOW.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Most of the cast.
  • McLeaned: Martine McCutcheon who played Tiffany Mitchell.
  • Metaphorgotten: Honey is so stupid she's always getting well-known metaphors wrong.
  • Monochrome Casting: The East End hasn't been this white in nearly half a century.
    • A variation in 2009 when they had an episode with an all-black cast.
  • Moral Myopia: In spades. Even the most scrupulous members of the Square are usually self-righteous borderline criminals at best. Naturally Lampshading is common in feuds.
  • Mutually Fictional: In Eastenders, Doctor Who is fictional (Bradley goes to a Doctor Who convention). In the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Planet", it's vice versa (the Doctor refers to "This is gonna be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!" as an example of Tempting Fate; the Show Within a Show piece with Peggy telling Dirty Den's ghost to get out).
  • My Local: The Queen Victoria Public House.
  • Name's the Same: Billy Mitchell and Billie Jackson, Big Mo and Little Mo, Tiffany Mitchell and Tiffany Dean. The Billies were introduced at different times, the Mos joined the show at the same time, and are grandmother and granddaughter, while Tiffany Dean was named after Tiffany Mitchell. There's bound to be other examples in such a Long Runner.
  • Never Found the Body: Den Watts. (The first time.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Phil Mitchell's abusive treatment of his son Ben, who was quiet, intellectual and introverted, thus not a "real man". Eventually this caused Ben to snap under the pressure, attempt to toughen himself up, causing him to get into fights and get sent to juvenile detention facility. He then recieved more flak for coming out as gay. Eventually Ben grew so tired of the abuse he conspired to frame Phil for murder, which was overturned, leading him to accidentally kill Heather in anger.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: A few domestic abuse storylines end in a rather dramatic showdown, perhaps most epically with Little Mo (against Trevor) and Zainab (against Yusef) who both mentally tear apart their monstrous boyfriends to breaking point after being pushed too far. Not to mention said boyfriends both get burned to death shortly afterwards.
    Little Mo: "What's wrong, Trevor? Cat got your tongue?!?
  • Not Blood Siblings: Dennis Rickman and Sharon Watts.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Yusef, after being tricked by his abused lover Zainab into searching for his daughter in a house he set alight, looks out to see her safe outside, he merely stands still in the burning room, with a small, almost impressed looking smirk before the house collapses around him).
  • Oh Crap: Done at least once per episode, usually followed by those closing drums.
  • Orient Express: Den and Angie Watts spent their honeymoon on the train.
  • The Other Darrin: Mark, Martin, Sam, Peggy, Steven, Peter, Lucy, Janine, Lauren, Ben, Lucy again)
    • Todd Carty took over the role of Mark Fowler after the original actor, David Scarboro, committed suicide.
    • Kim Medcalf replaced Danniella Westbrook as Sam Mitchell, after the latter was involved in a number of drug incidents. When Westbrook got better, she returned and Medcalf was promptly dropped.
    • In one of the most bizarre examples of this trope, the producers wanted more ethnic characters in the soap... and so replaced Janine Butcher's original actress, Rebecca Michaels (who was White British) with Alexa Demetriou (who was Southern European). She was restored to her former ethnicity when Demetriou was in turn replaced by Charlie Brooks.
  • Papa Wolf: Dirty Den may be a scumbag, but do NOT fuck with Sharon.
    • Phil is so angry when he finds out Ben has been abusing Louise, he punches him out.
      • And goes apeshit when he finds out Ben himself was being abused by his fiancee Stella, pretty much driving her to suicide when he is robbed of the opportunity to just strangle the life out of her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Oh so very much ...
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Stacey Slater.
  • Positive Discrimination: Averted with Donna Yates. She's disabled, but she can be just as much of a Jerk Ass as her rivals Bianca and Kat.
  • Put on a Bus: Or more commonly, a black cab or a train.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell, respectively. Ronnie has been described as the 'ice to Roxy's fire'.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Yusef Khan's entire tenure on the show can be considered this as almost all of his actions (especially those that directly and indirectly effected Zainab, Masood and their family) are to get back together with Zainab and (if December 2011 is any evidence) attempt to remain with her utilising fear and violence. Ultimately his intimidation tactics proved to be his undoing but briefly it looked as if his money left to Zainab would tear apart the family yet again. However despite all this not only have the Masood family reunited but appear to be stronger then ever.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Spencer Moon was hastily written out after actor Chris Parker attempted suicide. Similarly, the actor playing Gavin Sharp was abruptly axed so Gavin's storyline was wrapped up with a throwaway line of dialogue.
    • An exit storyline every time an actress falls pregnant.
    • Jim Branning's stroke was written in due to John Bardon unfortunately having one in real life.
    • The Ferreira family's exits began when the actor playing Dan, who is an Indian citizen, ran into problems with his permit to work in the UK.
  • Really Gets Around: Pretty much every female Slater (even Lynne for some reason), Roxy Mitchell, Bianca (but not anymore), Kim Fox (she'd like you to think so anyway), Lauren Branning.
  • Red Herring: All the major suspects in Lucy Beale's murder started acting suspiciously even before they were told about it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: played straight with Jack and Michael, the owners of the boxing club and childhood friends - Jack is aggressive and passionate, wears his heart on his sleeve and exudes a serious and intimidating demeanour. On the other hand we have Michael, who is almost constantly calm and collected (even when being beaten to a pulp) and seems to enjoy a good laugh yet remains dead inside, hoarding secrets and lying compulsively as he happily sets he sets his gambits in motion. Accordingly, whilst they both wear black suits, Jack wears orange shirts with the top button undone whilst Michael wears lavender shirts with a tie.
  • Role Ending Misdemeanor: Notably Leslie Grantham (Den Watts) because of his cybersex scandal, but other actors have been suspended after arrests or drunken misbehaviour.
    • Daniella Westbrook was axed as Sam Mitchell and replaced after being outed as a cocaine addict. It was eventually subverted; having gotten her act together years later, she was given the role back.
  • Say My Name: "RICKAYYYYYY!!!"
    • Steve Owen, trapped in a burning car, shouts "PHIL!!" just before the car blows up and kills him.
  • Scandalgate: In the mid-1990s, the show ran a storyline nicknamed "Sharongate" where Sharon confessed to cheating on one of the infamous Mitchell brothers with the other brother.
  • Smoking Is Cool: I don't know how Dot Cotton hasn't keeled over yet with her penchant for the puffies.
  • Smug Snake: Janine.
  • Soapland Christmas (oh yeah - Trope Codifier.)
  • Spinoff: EastEnders E20.
  • Staircase Tumble: Laura Beale met her demise that way. One second her bosom is heaving and she's yelling "IAN, WAIT!" and the next, Pat is framing Janine because she was bored or something, I don't know.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The huge Branning-Jackson clan and the Mitchells as well. The fact that Jack Branning has managed to impregnate sisters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell AND their cousin Sam Mitchell, must make things even worse! Through blood, marriage and adoption, Big Mo and Little Tiffany are related to about 70% of the other characters.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Loads. Sonia Jackson, Kat Slater, Lucy Beale, Lisa O'Brien and Demi Miller to name but a few.
    • Michelle Fowler was the Ur Example. The resultant child, Vicki, ended up in the same situation herself, but opted for an abortion.
  • Television Geography: the London Underground station, Walford Mosque (which has only appeared once) and the speedway track where Rickaaaaaaaay raced in one arc, have all come and gone as locations.
    • Played with at some length by Alistair McGowan's Big Impression.
      • there are only three place names in England; Walford, Up West and Manchester (from where no-one ever returns)
      • no-one ever talks about sport, least of all football; Big Impression had a long sketch in which someone actually tried this in the Queen Vic and was met with blank incomprehension
      • Dot Cotton announces that she is selling her house for a considerable price and moving to Southend, at which point she discovers that several other characters are, as well
  • The London Underground: How the Slaters escape Walford. Kat, Zoe, Little Mo and Charlie have all exited Walford (and the show) in this manner.
  • The Scrappy: The entire Ferreira family.
  • Theme Naming: The Fowler kids all began with M; Mark, Michelle and Martin. Johnny Allen had a daughter called Ruby and a dead daughter called Scarlet.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Count the number of times characters order tea in the cafe or drinks in the Vic without drinking them.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Subverted at times, when they insert fake spoilers into their trailers to throw fans off the scent.
  • Trash the Set: The Queen Vic was burnt to a crisp just to rebuild the set for high definition broadcast, and NOT to kill Peggy Mitchell (to the disappointment of some).
  • Trauma Conga Line: ALL THE TIME! Especially if your last (maiden) name is Slater. Or Cotton. Dear God...
    • Ronnie Mitchell. That is all.
  • Troubled Abuser: Most characters involved in a Domestic Abuse story line were likely the victim of one somewhere down the line too. The Mitchells in particular have a long history of parental abuse.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Janine's normally a few steps from this at the best of times, and Christmas 2010 was most definitely one of her worst.
    • And then came Christmas 2013. Hoo boy.
    • A fair amount of the series' most ruthless villains end up driven over the edge in their closing moments, most explosive examples (literally) include Trevor, Yusef Khan and May Wright.
      • Let's not forget Johnny Allen who suffered a massive heart attack in prison and died as a result.
  • Whodunnit: The biggest were the "Who Shot Phil?" storyline (it was his ex-wife Lisa) and the "Who Killed Archie?" storyline (it was Stacey Slater).
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Heather and her baby. Teenage Darren disappointingly turned out to be the father.)
    • Years before that, there was Michelle Fowler's teenage pregnancy. That time the father turned out to be her best friend's dad, aka. Dirty Den Watts.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Janine Butcher, Stella Crawford, Sean Slater, May Wright and Phil Mitchell.
    • As was seen coming a mile off, Ben Mitchell finally snapped from years of abuse from Phil.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain - Would it KILL the producers to actually give Ronnie a happy ending where her baby DOESN'T die?
  • You ain't my Muvva! - Zoe screeching about her sister Kat not being her mother... funny thing about that.

Dun!

Dun!

Dun!

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dun!

Dundundundun!
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alternative title(s): Eastenders
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