One of these two is about to discover somethingFaking It
is a 2014 MTV
series created by Carter Covington (Greek
, 10 Things I Hate About You
, Hart Of Dixie
) which highlights the extreme lengths some teenagers will go to climb the social ladder. The series premiered April 22, 2014.
One day, best friends Amy (Rita Volk) and Karma (Katie Stevens) are outed as lesbians by popular gay guy Shane (Michael Willett). There's just one small problem: It's not true.
But Karma is obsessed with popularity, to the point where she agrees to keep her and Amy's heterosexuality under wraps, as their newfound popularity has given them a chance to become Homecoming Queens and finally makes them accepted by the in-crowd at their school. Complications ensue: Karma's obsession with her actual
crush, Liam (Gregg Sulkin); Amy's soon-to-be-stepsister Lauren (Bailey Buntain), who would be the Alpha Bitch
at any other high school and hates that Amy is now far more popular; and Amy's own mixed feelings for her best friend. How long can they keep their fake relationship going, and can their real relationship survive it?
Its second season started on September 23, 2014 with 10 episodes. An additional 10 episodes were ordered in October, to air in 2015.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Lauren and her lackeys, Leila and Lisbeth (Though she was Elizabeth before Lauren recruited her.)
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played with. According to Shane at least, while all gay men want to do is hook up, lesbians prefer to bond and nest build. Averted with Pablo.
- Alpha Bitch: Lauren. Subverted in that her behavior is actually a detriment to her status at this school.
- Ambiguously Bi: Karma is clearly into Liam but she sends a lot of signals that shes into Amy too, to the extent that Liam gets jealous despite her denials to Liam, Amy and herself.
- It gets worse in Season 2, where it's noted that she acts like a jealous ex when Amy starts dated someone and even has a sex dream about her
- Amy herself might go down this road; the only person she's had any romantic feelings for is Karma, but then she slept with Liam. Then again, as lampshaded in the second season opener, that only happened because they were both hurt, angry and very drunk. Then again again, she did get feelings for a random male Brazilian hottie (as well as one for a random female Brazilian hottie) in "Lust in Translation".
- Arc Words: "Whoa." "I know."
- As You Know: Done quite a bit in the pilot:
Karma: We live in Austin, a blue oasis in the red sea of Texas.
- Aside Glance: After Karma congratulates Amy on "selling it" with the kiss in the pilot, Amy gives an Oh, Crap look directly at the camera.
- Badass Gay: Camp he may be but Shane kicked ass in a bar fight in the second episode of Season 2. Or so we are told as we never see the actual fight. He does do some badass moves with a pool cue prior to it though.
"You don't grow up gay in Texas without learning Tae Kwon Do early"
- One of his boyfriends, a martial arts instructor and aspiring MMA fighter is even more this.
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Amy to Liam in the season 2 premiere:
"What would it do to Karma if she found out that her soulmate...slept with you?"
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Out-of-universe, and eventually in-universe, example.
- Bland-Name Product: Sqwerkel is an obvious Google expy, though still too big business-y enough to slip by a strings-attached donation without a protest.
- Cluck 'N Go, Duke's sponsor, is Chick-fil-A in different packaging.
- Blond Republican Sex Kitten: Lauren. Farraah is an older version of same which is probably a big part of why she and Lauren get along better than she and A My.
- Blondes Are Evil: Lauren is the closest thing the show has to a true antagonist. And she's the only full blonde on the show (Amy's more a "dirty" blonde).
- Butch Lesbian/Lipstick Lesbian: Although everyone on the show treats her like the "butch" in the relationship Amy falls more into the "chapstick lesbian" category that is in between this and lipstick. Regan also falls somewhere in the chapstick zone.
- Camp Gay: Shane, played by Michael Willett, who plays a similar character to the Gay Best Friend he played in the movie GBF, which basically has the same plot as Faking It.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Oh Shane.
- Liam as well, because he values the truth and sees secrets as a form of lying.
- The Casanova: Liam, at least until he notices Karma.
Lauren: You go through guys like a chainsaw through puppies!
- The Cast Showoff: Karma (played by American Idol alum Katie Stevens) picks up a guitar and sings in the third episode.
- Bailey Buntain shows off her dancing skills (as previously seen in Bunheads) with Michael Willett in "Three to Tango".
- A Season 2 episode has all three of them singing, plus Lauren and Shane dancing.
- Closet Key: Karma seems to be Amy's, despite the fact that Karma shows no signs of true reciprocation.
- Confetti Drop: The Karmy kiss gets one. Lauren is understandably perturbed; Penelope just says "It dropped early, I'm so sorry."
- Cool Old Lady: While Farrah finds her an embarrassment Amy's grandmother definitely comes off this way in the one scene she actually appears in.
- Couch Gag: Each episode has a title card in a different font and color. The second season's title cards are slightly more elaborate (A Brazilian flag-themed one for "Lust in Translation", for example).
- Crazy-Prepared: It appears Karma has binders full of notes for every situation, from faking being lesbians to celebrity breakups.
- Dance of Romance: While a bit faster and more lively than most such dances, Karma and Amy's dance at the wedding in Burnt Toast. If there was any doubt in anyone's minds that Amy is in love with Karma, they're gone now - and Karma's denial of feelings for Amy are kind of hard to swallow after that.
- Dark Horse Victory: Karma, Shane, and Lauren all go out for a spot in the coveted drama club...but the winner is another student: Oliver?!?
- Dark Secret: Lauren is taking pills for an unspecified reason. Carter Covington later revealed that she's intersexed
- Liam's sister is actually his mother.
- Deadpan Snarker: Amy, especially towards Karma. Shane to the max.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Oliver seems to be turning into this for Amy.
- Downer Ending: Season one; Karma finds out Amy is in love with her, and after Amy practically begs Karma to be with her, Karma turns her down saying that while she loves Amy she doesn't love her the same way, and reveals that she slept with Liam, which causes Amy to run out of the room. Liam finds out that despite telling Karma repeatedly that he hates lying and being lied to, that she has been lying to him about her and Amy's relationship, which promps him to angrily dump her. The loss of both the people she cares the most about turns Karma into a sobbing wreck. Meanwhile, Amy and Liam get stinking drunk and end up sleeping with each other.
- Dream Within a Dream: At the start of "Homecoming Out", we see Karma and Liam making out, interruped by Karma's alarm. She turns over to reveal Amy...and they start making out...and this is interruped by Amy's alarm.
- At the end of "Busted", we see Amy and Reagan having sex. Amy says "Whoa"...and Reagan turns into Karma, saying "I know." They start making out...and Amy wakes up in the tent, rolls over...and sees Liam, who congratulates her for "duping" Karma into forgiving them, and they start making out...and then Karma wakes up in Liam's arms in the art room, confused by what she just dreamed.
- Dude, She's a Lesbian: Basically what Shane's outing of Karma and Amy in the pilot should be to Liam. Subverted twice over, since this realization only attracts Liam further, and since Karma is, well, you know...
- Dumb Jock: Tommy, Lauren's boyfriend doesn't seem to be that bright. Also a case of Dumb Is Good as he's a lot nicer than she is.
- Easily Overheard Conversation: Done twice, once in the pilot and once in the finale. Both conversations were between Karma and Amy, and both were overheard by Lauren. What Lauren chose to do with the info, however, was different.
- Also happens in episode six, when Liam's phone conversation with Shane is overheard by the two jocks.
- Lauren also overhears Karma and Amy talking about how they wish they could just hate her without the intersex thing hanging over her. Later in the episode, Amy calls this Lauren's "signature move".
- Amy overhears a conversation between Liam and his father, which softens her stance on him a little...though it was nothing compared to the secret he actually revealed: That his father is actually his grandfather.
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: Liam. His sister is actually his mother, and his parents are his grandparents.
- Fiction 500: If Sqwerkle is this world's equivalent of Google than it's in the top 50.
- First Name Basis: Principal Penelope. Usually she'd be called "Miss (Last Name)" by students.
- Fish out of Water: Lauren, at Hester High.
- Foreshadowing: When Karma says "And so what if I like the hottest boy is school? I'm a f**king teenage girl!", that served as warning that she'd go to any lengths in order to snare Liam.
- Food Fight: Starring Amy and Lauren and featuring the titular pastry in "Remember the Croquembouche".
- A second one breaks out during the "roleplay" experiment in "Karmic Retribution".
- Friendly Enemies: Shane and Lauren
Lauren: I still hate you
Shane: Hate you too, boo.
- Gay Best Friend: Shane to Liam and he would be to Amy if Karma wasn't already her best friend. Even Lauren has one in her dance partner Pablo.
- Girl Posse: Leila and Lizbeth to Lauren. (And as of "Faking Up Is Hard to Do", quite a few of Liam's ex-girlfriends.)
- Granola Girl: Hester High might be the end result of what happens when one of these (in the form of Principal Penelope) gains power.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Well, it isn't until the finale that Amy and Lauren are officially stepsisters, but there isn't much love lost between them.
- Hidden Depths: Liam starts off as just 'the hottest boy in school', but his behavior with Karma's parents, his friendship with Shane, the way he is unnerved by the thought of a threesome (not to mention that he has to be tutored on the subject) and the level of pain he's in when he finds out about Karma and Amy's scam shows that he's just as scared and uncertain of who and what he is as most of the rest of the cast. Not to mention his relationship with his Sqwerkel-owning family; see White Sheep below.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Farrah tries to convince Amy to not let her grandmother during her wedding in Burnt Toast, and Lauren's blackmailing Amy in Homecoming Out involves attempting this and achieving Epic Fail instead (because Farrah shows up to interview the lesbian homecoming couple).
- Hippie Parents: You can tell Karma's parents are these by her name alone. (Episode two mentions her brother named Zen doing charity work in Africa.)
- Hollywood Nerd: Oliver is a good looking guy who wears glasses and is socially awkward.
- Incest Subtext: Although it's barely subtext, between Pieter and Petra. They hold hands while talking to Liam and Shane who are trying to pick them up, Petra agrees to make out with Liam but wants him to dress up like her brother and seem relieved when Liam and Shane leave.
- Innocent Innuendo: When Karma tells Penelope that Amy had to go home and feed her fish, Penelope just laughs and says "I love lesbian humor."
- Insistent Terminology: "It's not a cake! It's a croquembouche!"
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Amy basically gives Karma her blessing to date Liam at the end of "Present Tense".
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Lauren points out that it's kind of a double standard for Karma to be allowed to sleepover with Amy.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shane. He is a hopeless and often malicious gossip, his "Gay Scouts honor" promises always wind up being broken and he goes through guys like a chainsaw through puppies but he's a genuine friend to both Amy and Liam.
- Laser-Guided Karma: At the beginning of the season, Karma will do anything for popularity, including use Amy in a lesbian-couple scheme - which she then takes further in order to get Liam. By season's end, Liam has dumped her because of her lies, she's rejected Amy (and effectively ended their friendship), there's the very real chance that the entire school will find out her scheme, Liam and Amy may have slept together in revenge, and she's left crying on her mother's lap because she has no friends left.
- Lingerie Scene: Karma gets one when she and Amy are rehearsing for their threesome with Liam. Then they both get one at the actual event.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Shane, a rare male example, see Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He does though seem to dislike his Bitch side and can even become depressed when he loses himself in his petty rivalry with Lauren.
- Lauren can sometimes show shades of this, such as trying to protect the innocent Pablo from the promiscuous Shane and giving Amy some cake after Amy was basically dumped by Karma.
- Lovable Jock: Lauren's boyfriend is a much nicer person than she is. At least, until he breaks up with her because she's intersex.
- Manly Gay: Duke, the MMA fighter Shane hooks up with in "Present Tense".
- Meet Cute: Liam and Karma in the pilot, twice: The first time Karma is so nervous she has to go throw up; the second time Liam bumps into her and spills his drink on her blouse (making it see-through). Oliver and Amy also qualifies, as she bumps into him while he's in the middle of looting toilet paper during a protest.
- The trope is mentioned by name in "Lust in Translation" after Amy meets a Brazilian girl after they both grabbed the same flan. Lauren and Theo have a similar moment earlier when they bump into each other.
- Mistaken for Gay: Amy and Karma, which drives the plot of the series.
- Mistress Of The Mixed Message: Karma, at almost Trope Codifier levels. For someone who's known Amy all of her life and arguably better than she knows herself, she should have known long ago that Amy was falling in love with her, but still wants her to pretend to be her lesbian girlfriend. What makes things even worse is that if Karma actually knew Amy's feelings about her but still used her for popularity and to get Liam, then she's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
- Morality Pet: Lauren is quite protective of Pablo.
- National Stereotypes: If you scroll down to the "Brazil" entry, "Lust in Translation" used every one but the favelas.
- New Transfer Student: Lauren was relatively new when the series began. Theo is a better version of the trope, introduced in "You Can't Handle the Truth or Dare". This is subverted by Theo being an undercover cop, as revealed in "Busted".
- Nice Guy: Pablo
- Nipple and Dimed: Occurred in the pilot, when Liam (in an example of Meet Cute) accidentally spilled beer on her white top at Shane's party. Also implied by Shane to Lauren in Homecoming Out, in order to tease her after Amy went back on their room-trade deal.
- Not So Different: Lauren says this to Shane. After objecting at first he realizes she has a point leading to a Pet the Dog moment with Pablo.
- This also fits Karma, who is just as (if not even moreso) devious and manipulative as Lauren in order to get what she wants. She's more successful, though, because unlike Lauren, she's willing to play by Hester High rules to get popularity (instead of trying to remake the school the way Lauren does).
- Oblivious to Love: Karma for most of the first season is completely unaware that Amy has fallen in love with her, in fact she begins to suspect that Amy is in love Liam. Its not until the final episode that it finally clicks and Karma gets it. Though Amy still calls her out on it.
- Oh, Crap: Amy at the end of the pilot. And the end of the second episode. (One more and it'll be a Running Gag.) Karma has one when she realizes Amy has actual feelings for her.
- Shane has a couple of these: first, when Pablo tells him about Lauren's feelings at the recital, and when he overhears them at the wedding. Both times, he's visibly rattled.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gregg Sulkin's natural accent comes through a lot. It's extremely noticeable and distracting.
- Pet the Dog: Lauren's commiserating with Amy over Karma's rejection of her. Shane has also helped Lauren out a couple of times.
- Pixellation: Seen in the pilot (see Sexy Soaked Shirt below) and in the 2nd season premiere (covering Shane's collection of dildos.)note
- Precision F-Strike: Once an Episode (or sometimes more) Amy's foul mouth punctuates a particular frustration. An interesting case since the show is on MTV, where you can't actually air someone saying the word, so they have the character say the word and the beep it out.
- Pun-Based Title: Episode 4 of Season 2, "Lying Kings and Drama Queens". The "lying kings" are Liam's family, especially his grandfather, and the "Drama queens" are Karma, Shane, and Lauren, who want a spot in the Drama club.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Penelope is described as a "bleeding-heart realist"; someone who allows the students to flourish, but sometimes has to get in bed with entities they may not like to keep the school running (like Sqwirkel).
- Romantic False Lead: Inverted with Pablo, who Shane seems to actually want (to least attempt) a relationship with.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. Karma and Amy are this at the very least. Whether Amy wants to make it more even she's not sure.
- Secret Keeper: Shane as of the end of "We Shall Overcompensate".
- The entire main cast (plus Tommy) is the keeper of Lauren's secret as of the season 2 premiere. This extends to Leila and Lisbeth in the next episode.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: A prominent promo pic has Karma's chest noticeably censor mosaic'ed, due to her white top becoming see-through when she spilled a drink on it.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: On those rare occasions where Amy wears more feminine attire, Amy looks really good. She's also not lacking at all during her Lingerie Scene, either.
- Ship Sinking: The S1 finale fires a broadside into Karmy.
- Ship Tease: Shane and Lauren.
- Shout-Out: The pottery scene at the beginning of the finale is an explicit reference to Ghost.
- Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Karma chasing Liam certainly qualifies.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Shane comes to the deduction that Amy is Karma-sexual. Amy reaffirms this to her mom later.
Amy: Mom, Karma loves guys.
Farrah: And you?
Amy: I love Karma. That's the whole problem.
- Slogan Yelling Megaphone Guy: A student with a megaphone accompanies the sign-wavers, and in a minor Running Gag main character seeking attention steals the megaphone from him.
- Split-Screen Phone Call: Amy and Karma have had several of these.
- Strawman High School: Hester High School is so progressive, the outcasts are the in-crowd, the coolest boy in school is gay, and no one save transplant Lauren cares about the Homecoming King and Queen until two (faux) lesbians run for it. Heck, Principal Penelope even went to Berkeley.
- Stepford Smiler: Farrah and the smile is getting increasingly brittle as the series progresses.
- Take That: Shane says Lauren is so two-dimensional she's like a character from Glee. Later, after he calls Duke's girlfriend a beard, he then compares her to Taylor Swift when she was dating Taylor Lautner.
- Teens Are Short: Averted; while some of the students do have the heights to play the trope straight (Bailey Buntain is 5 feet tall, and Katie Stevens is 5'2''), the principal is played by 4'11'' tall Senta Moses.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Lauren and Shane in "Three to Tango".
- Three-Way Sex: Karma, Liam, and Amy agree to a threesome...but Karma chickens out at the last moment when Liam and Amy kiss.
- Even then Karma suggests it as a way for her to have sex with Liam, and says she expects Amy to leave before the sex actually starts.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: A mild case with Amy (Tomboy) and Karma (Girly Girl). A much bigger contrast is between Amy and Lauren.
- Toplessness from the Back: We briefly see Lauren like this when she's preparing to send a naked selfie to her boyfriend and Shane opens the door on her. Shane of course has no appreciation for what he's seeing.
- Triang Relations: Karma, Amy and Liam have a type 7. Karma(A) is in love with Liam(B) who loves her back, Karma is very good friends with Amy(C) who has fallen in love with her.
- Twincest: VERY heavily implied with Pieter and his sister Petra.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: Theo, aka "Anthony", in "Busted".
- Two-Teacher School: So far, the only authority figure we've seen at Hester High is Principal Penelope. We also see Margot the drama teacher (played by Laverne Cox) in season 2.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Lauren and Shane have shades of this being birds of a feather, more on Shane's side though as he is shown to fully enjoy their rivalry, and shows true regret the few times he goes too far and hurts Lauren.
- Waving Signs Around: What "Occupy Hester" mainly does in "We Shall Overcompensate."
- Wham Episode: "Burnt Toast". Amy finally confesses her feelings to Karma...who rejects her, then tells her she slept with Liam. Shane tells Liam that Karma and Amy are faking being lesbians, which causes him to reject Karma for lying to him. Both Amy and Liam get drunk...and while Karma is being consoled by her mother, Amy and Liam start making out on Amy's bed...
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The "Twain": Lesbian coffee shop by day, gay bar by night. Shane takes Amy there to attempt to find a lesbian partner in "Know thy Selfie", then goes there with Liam to hook up with guys (and let Liam hook up with the women that accompany the guys) in "Remember the Croquembouche".
- White Sheep: Liam is the lead protester of Sqwerkel, but is later seen getting in the car with the Sqwerkel rep. When challenged by Karma, he reveals that the rep's his sister and that his father owns Sqwerkel, and he wants nothing to do with any of them. And even worse than that, his sister's his mother and his father is his grandfather.
- Wrong Genetic Sex: Lauren. She has Complete Androgen Insensitivity Disorder, one of many disorders that makes one intersexed. In this case, she was born and raised a girl, but has an XY chromosome. Her body does not respond at all to androgen (testosterone), and she takes pills to balance the estrogen levels in her body.