Pictured:Fun!note From left to right: Dale, Calvin, Ashleigh, Cappie, Casey, Evan, Rebecca, Rusty. - Not pictured: Frannie...
Greek is an ABC Family original series that can be best described with this equation: "Brotherhood of Funny Hats + Teen Drama + Dramedy + a little nutmeg + some pepper + a pinch of cheese = GRΣΣK".The series focuses on the fraternity ambitions of Rusty, a nerdy freshman (now probably a Junior, the passage of time is very much stop-and-go in the series, with some episodes taking place back to back and others jumping weeks if not months ahead of the last), and the goings-on of his friends and relatives. (His sister, Casey, is played by Kelsey Grammer's daughter) Contrary to many teen dramas on nowadays, it's not really a drama. College/Greek life isn't treated as a matter of life or death. Some "serious" issues, such as Betsy's alcoholism, are even played for laughs.
This show provides examples of
Absentee Actor: Mainly Dale, but both Evan and Rebecca have been missing for stretches.
Anyone outside the core group of Rusty, Cappie, Casey (and usually Ashleigh) will be absent (without commentary) for random episodes every season. Presumably, this is when these people actually go to class.
Probably the most egregious example is in "War and Peace", where Lizzi specifically says that every member of ZBZ must take Frannie back for Lizzi to proclaim the house fit (and finally be gone), and the crux of the episode is whether Casey will welcome Frannie back...except Rebecca is not seen at all in this episode. It might have been justified that pledges were excluded, except several recurring pledge sisters were seen at the ceremony.
Actor Allusion: Several times. See the Jen K example below; Casey's Frasier references (she's Kelsey Grammer's daughter); Ferris Bueller references in front of the Dean (Cameron Frye from that movie). Abby(played by Olesya Rulin) saying she choreographed 3 high school musicals and the third one being their senior year, shortly followed with Casey saying "we're all in this together".
Tegan at the Nationals level proves that being an Alpha Bitch is one of two general paths of a ZBZ alumna (with Lizzi being the other general path).
Always Someone Better: Evan seems to be this to Cappie at first, but as you get to know them you realise Cappie's actually this to Evan, or at least the Evan he wanted to be at the beginning of college given the fact he's the KT golden boy and dates Casey first.
Betty and Veronica: Evan (Betty) and Cappie (Veronica) for Casey (in this case, only because Cappie is the Cannon Love Interest, Evan actually fits the Veronica personality type much better, being rich and kind of a prick).
Well, not really. He's more a best friend who happens to be black (and gay); he's never played up as "hip" or anything along those lines (only RELATIVELY so compared to Rusty and Dale who are both very nerdy, especially early on).
Coming-Out Story: Played seriously (Calvin in season 1, Grant in season 3) and for laughs (Heath in season 1, Rebecca in season 2). Most notable in the former two cases; the episode A New Normal centres largely on Calvin's Gayngst and the OX's lack of acceptance after he's outed, but includes a brief cutaway to Heath coming out to the KTs, who are completely nonchalant (and were more worried that he might have found out Beaver once hit on his underage sister).
First Girl Wins: Gender-flipped; Casey and Calvin both end the series in relationships with the guys they hooked up with in their first week at college (Cappie and Heath), and the finale implies that Rebecca could end up the same way (with Evan).
Fundraiser Carnival: Proposed by Casey to help Greek Row smooth things over with Dean Bowman after the scandal that ended Chapter 1. ZBZ and Tri-Pi set up rival kissing booths, which Tri-Pi wins in a rout after the restrictions Lizzi places upon ZBZ. The Kappa Taus went with yeti pelting (later changed to yeti wrestling after Rusty forgot the snow machine).
Gargle Blaster: Aerosol Death Juice turns a geek party into the wildest party the party frat's thrown in years.
Quirky Curls: Lizzi, to the point where Ashleigh's first line to her as they get ready to make her over is, "It's time to get serious...and it starts with the hair."
Real Life Writes the Plot: Or in this case, didn't. The writers' strike bisected the first season; the producers decided to keep shooting them in 10-12 episode "chapters" and haven't looked back since.
Remember the New Guy: Happens infrequently throughout the series, as minor characters pop up throughout the different houses/Greek system in general as needed. The most glaring example is Grant, introduced at the end of season 2 as a love interest for Calvin, who has apparently been in the OX house for the entire series so far, including having pre-existing friendships with Evan and Ashleigh, and having been part of the group of OXs who taped Rusty to a wall midway through season 1.
OX President Dean, it's even lampshaded early in season 2 when someone says "I thought Evan was president of OX?"
Retcon: Remember when Heath said he was graduating at the end of Rusty's sophomore fall semester? Well, they explained his return as him failing his finals after some of his frat brothers were expelled. However, he still shows up in season 4, which takes place the fall of Rusty's junior year. I love Heath, but Writers Cannot Do Math.
Rich Bitch: Rebecca, before her father had an affair and lost his office and his influence.
Shipper on Deck: Rusty, and seemingly the entire KT house, supports Cappie/Casey (Wade explicitly calls her the love of Cappie's life). The ZBZ's seem to support Evan/Casey, but it's revealed to be more any pairing which links the houses.
Shout-Out: Two characters participate in a psychological study numbered 8675309.
Two characters get jobs at Party Down catering, they even have to wear pink bowties.
Shown Their Work: The series is set in Ohio, so why not get an Ohio weatherman to do a cameo weatherman appearance? (Although it's set in Central Ohio (Analogous to Ohio University), and the weatherman was from the Toledo ABC station...)
The Slacker: Cappie. When some speak of graduating, he tells them, "Bite your tongue!"
This was a ship sticking point for the final chapter, as Casey broke up with him because he couldn't commit to graduating. He finally does in the last episode...but it took the KT house being destroyed to get him to commit.
Straight Gay: Calvin, Heath and initially Grant, although after coming out to his brothers he morphed overnight into full-on Camp Gay.
Grant's change is sort justfied with an arc about him expressing new sides to himself he may have kept hidden while closeted, it's contrasted with Calvin, who he suggests may be so concerned with not being a stereotype he's cutting himself off from new experiences he might enjoy.
Suddenly Sexuality: Rebecca says she's a lesbian now. Cappie and Evan disagree. Within a day, so does she.
Teens Are Short: All of the freshmen (Rebecca, Rusty, Calvin) are shorter than their "bigs" (Casey, Cappie, Evan). Averted with Lizzi, who's shorter than most of the ZBZ sisters even though she's older than all of them.
That Came Out Wrong: At various times, in particular Heath saying he was going to pound one of the Omega Chi's, elaborating that he meant with his fist and realising that wasn't quite clear enough either.