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Series: Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks is a British soap that began in 1995, centered on the residents of Hollyoaks, a fictional area in Chester. The show is primarily aimed at young people, the cast being on average teenaged to mid-20s.

Hollyoaks has always been something of a joke amongst critics and viewers; it was mocked for the practice of casting attractive yet unconvincing actors, as well as some of its more outlandish storylines, or feeble dialogue. However, recently Hollyoaks has shown a notable rise in quality, producing several satisfying story arcs and interesting characters. It has even garnered critical attention in papers such as The Guardian, and at several award shows, and was praised for its portrayal of the gay relationship between John Paul and Craig.

It's also notable for having the greatest dissonance between the happiness of the theme song and the utter misery that ensues after it finishes.

Many viewers love Hollyoaks not despite its faults, but because of them. See So Bad, It's Good.

Another amusing thing is that Channel 4 go down the "if you've been affected by the issues in the program call our hot-line" route. Given the plots of the series manning that hot-line must be the easiest job in the world. After all how many teenage-schoolgirls-being-blackmailed-by-their-birth-mother-into-stealing-their-own-baby-that-is-being-passed-off-as-your-sister's-child-over-the-fact-that-you-shot-the-baby's-father,-also-your-sister's-husband-at-their-wedding are there out there just waiting to phone in. They have been working against this though, attempting to tastefully deal with more serious matters and direct people to the appropriate charities for the equivalent problems that do exist in real life, such as the male rape storyline being created with advice from Survivors and Maxine and Patrick's domestic abuse storyline being added to with a series of awareness ads with the Home Office.

It has tried to launch several spinoffs but the only one which still continues, with a short series every year, is Hollyoaks Later.


Tropes in this series include:
  • Adorkable: Will Savage was originally portrayed as this, but it didn't last.
  • Adults Are Useless: All of them!
    • Special mention goes to all of the adults involved in Esther's bullying storyline. You have her grandparents, who aren't suspicious in the slightest that their once well behaved grandchild has been acting out lately, and who choose to believe a girl who is a known liar over her. You have the headteacher who suggests Esther bought the bullying on herself, and refuses to take her side. You have Diane, a woman who is supposed to be telling the students how to spot bullying. She instead spends the entire class picking on Esther, who hasn't done anything to warrant it. And then you have Jen, who spots a clearly drunk and upset underage Esther out in the middle of the night, and then does nothing in favour of hooking up with her similarly underage girlfriend.
    • Special mention has to go to Frankie, whose long history of complete and utter obliviousness makes someone like Carmel look like Sherlock Holmes in comparison.
  • Aesop Amnesia: So, so, so many times.
    • Really, you'd think Mercedes nearly being killed or ending up in prison several times due to her own selfish, petty actions and screwing people over, would make her think that maybe she needs to change her ways? But then a few months later...
  • Affably Evil: Despite killing his wife and three young women, and tying to kill two more young women, Silas repeatedly comes across as a very sweet, kindly old man.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Warren Fox's relationships tended to follow a pattern of a woman being attracted to him because he was the village gangster, their friends warning her about him only for her to respond along the lines of "I can change him" and by the end turning against him after realising just how much of a nasty piece of work he is.
  • Alpha Bitch: Several over the years
    • Ruby Button
    • Sinead O'Connor
    • Most of the McQueen girls come across like this, with the exception of Carmel and perhaps Theresa.
    • Maddie Morrison. Why the hell is anyone friends with her, again?
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Silas after hearing about Lynsey's death, partly because he thought they were Not So Different and partly The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.
  • Anyone Can Die: Hollyoaks has an amusingly high death rate for such a small village.
  • The Artifact: The Back to the Future and Doctor Who posters in the dorm room have outlasted several occupants. Justified, since they're Back to the Future and Doctor Who.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: It was a major Berserk Button for Brendan Brady if anyone alluded to his homosexuality, even after everyone knew that he'd been in a relationship with Ste! He later seems to have come to terms with the fact.
  • Arranged Marriage: Elliot was supposed to have one with a girl his mother had chosen. He tried paying Steph to pose as his girlfriend to get out of the engagement, but did finally have to confront his mother over it.
    • Subverted with Jamil Fadel, who justifies returning to the girl he had ditched at the altar by lying that they're going through with an arranged marriage.
  • Attention Whore: Most of the female cast. And Darren.
  • The Baby Trap:
    • Mercedes pretends to be pregnant in order to get her footballer boyfriend to marry her.
      • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: And after a series of mishaps in which she almost gets found out, Mercedes learns that she is actually pregnant.
      • Who's Your Daddy?: ... and she doesn't know whether the baby is Riley's, or if it's his father's.
    • Sienna pretended to be pregnant with Darren's child to force him to stay with her but is ultimately found out when a Cat Fight ended up with her top being torn, which exposed her fake stomach.
  • Back from the Dead: Warren was supposedly killed in yet another fire at The Loft, but after he returned, an episode showed just how he managed to escape. Despite the body found was clearly identified as being Warren
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Steph chooses to burn to death in a fire, rather than die slowly of cancer.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Steph remains gorgeous and healthy looking despite dying of terminal cancer.
    • Averted with Loretta who becomes extremely self-conscious and lapses into body dysmorphia after being scarred in an accident. She later kidnaps Maxine Minniver out of jealousy of Maxine's beauty.
    • Averted beautifully with Carmel when her face is left badly scarred in an accident. However this was then unfortunately played straight when her scar quickly faded away to a tiny mark, and then was removed completely by cosmetic surgery.
    • In a similar storyline to Carmel's, Darlene sustains facial scars after her stepbrother Justin pushes her through a window, but they fade quickly and are later removed via plastic surgery.
  • Beauty to Beast: Shown in one storyline where Carmel sustains facial scars after a tanning bed accident. She eventually reverted to Beauty when Jim paid for her to have expensive reconstructive surgery abroad.
  • Berserk Button: Being called "pathetic" was Dr. Browning's Berserk Button. Brendan meanwhile had at least three; being called gay, even though he is (though he eventually came to terms with this one, it still took him a while), being compared to his father, and if someone ever threatened Ste in front of him.
  • Big Eater: Brendan Brady is seen eating in so many of his appearances, it's reaching Running Gag status.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The McQueens are this trope.
    • The Ashworths could also qualify. Suzanne ended up having twins with Darren, Hannah suffered from Anorexia, Rhys fell in love with his half sister and framed his little brother for drink driving, and Josh ended up with a ruined life because of what Rhys did to him.
    • The Costellos also apply. Carl has cheated on his wife twice, once with his son's girlfriend Mercedes. Riley, also a famous footballer, almost got married to said girlfriend, who is possibly carrying his father's child. He then falls in love with his cousin Mitzeee, who is then framed for stabbing Mercedes. Riley finally finds out the truth and goes back to Mitzee, only to be accidentally shot by Walker. Seth was tricked into believing he murdered a prostitute and almost killed himself over it, and his twin Jason is a Transsexual who was once his sister Jasmine. On top of that, the Costellos grandfather Silas is a serial killer who accidentally killed his daughter Heidi on Halloween in a case of mistaken identity.
    • The male version of the McQueen family, the Roscoes, are quickly shaping up to be this as well.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Nana McQueen does one when Cindy admitted she "lost" the lottery ticket that was going to solve the McQueen's financial problems. In actual fact, the ticket never existed.
  • Black Comedy: The Jasmine storyline is what has caused opinion to turn this way. But soap sites are showing that public opinion has turned this way...
  • Black Dude Dies First: Neil is the first visible casualty of the 2012 Wedding Bus-Crash.
  • Born Lucky: Cheryl Brady. She wins £100,000 on a lottery scratchcard, a millionaire falls in love with her and marries her, she's one of a handful of people randomly selected to be invited to the wedding of Prince William, and ultimately Brendan takes the blame for her murder of their father so that she can live a new life and be happy.
  • Brainless Beauty: Carmel in spades.
  • British Accents: Hilariously, Hollyoaks tends to feature families who have different accents from one another.
    • Jasmine/Jason Costello has a Cockney accent, but his twin brother Seth has a strong Yorkshire accent.
      • Possibly justified because until recently, Jason was at a posh all girls school, away from the family. He could have picked the accent up there.
    • Cheryl and Brendan both have Irish accents, but Brendan is from ROI, and Cheryl is from Northern Ireland.
      • Explained in show by the fact they had different mothers.
    • Played straight everywhere else. For instance, the Savage family - father Dirk and eldest brother Dodger have very strong cockney accents, younger brother Will is well-spoken, and sister Liberty is clearly Northern.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Rhys and his half sister Beth, who admittedly met and fell in love before discovering they were related.
    • Sienna has an obsessive crush on her brother Dodger. Turns out that Sienna and Dodger had sex as young teenagers, before they knew they were related. Sienna became pregnant and the result was Nico. Sienna is elated on finding this out, while for the moment, Dodger knows nothing about it.
  • But Not Too Black: Tina McQueen, Ruby Button, Amber and Bella Sharpe, and siblings Lauren, Sasha, Sonny, and Danny Valentine.
  • Cain and Abel: Will and Dodger seem to be going in this direction, due to Will's resentment of Dodger's status as The Ace.
  • Captain Ersatz / Expy: One of the occasions where, this trope applies to places. Hollyoaks is a supposed expy of Widnes, Warrington or Runcorn.
    • This is despite the fact the show is portrayed as being in Chester, when realistically, it looks nothing like it.
  • Cassandra Truth: Rule of thumb seems to be, if you have a Hollyoaks character who is hysterical, crying and loudly proclaiming something ridiculous in the streets, they will always be telling the truth. So far we have;
    • No-one believing Lynsey about Silas being a murderer.
    • No-one believeing Mitzee that she's being stalked by someone.
    • No-one believing Texas that someone is a copycat-killer and continuing Silas' murder-spree.
    • No-one believing Nancy that Sienna is attempting to cuckold Darren, to the point where her own family actually have her sectioned.
    • No-one believing Sinead that her baby daughter Katy is seriously ill (although made worse by Sinead planting blood in Katy's nappy in order to get Katy urgent medical attention; which leads to social services taking Katy away from her.)
  • Celebrity Lie: The special episode Hollyoaks: Chasing Rainbows was based around this trope. Dennis travels to Liverpool to find the musician Maverick Sabre, whom he met during Hollyoaks Later, and convince him to perform at the Savages' forthcoming party. In a subversion of the trope, Dennis really does know Maverick; but no one will believe him.
  • Chair Entrance: Duncan Button during the opening titles.
  • Character Blog: Josh, Sasha and Dave were given Bebo accounts to coincide with online spinoff "Hollyoaks: The Morning After The Night Before", and Lee, Texas, Charlotte and Jamil were given Face Book accounts to coincide with "Hollyoaks: Freshers" (another online only series)
    • Dylan's website "DocYou" could fall into "Character Vlog" territory.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During a conversation with Silas, Theresa innocently mentions that she read that for someone to be classed as a Serial Killer, they need to have killed at least three people. Silas later kills again, bringing his total of murders in Hollyoaks to three. Silas has killed more than three people elsewhere, but the residents of Hollyoaks only know of two at that point.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Carmel
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: This is fairly common for Hollyoaks. A character will receive a lot of focus for a week or so, then suddenly disappear while other storylines take over, with little to no explanation.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Jacqui and Alek
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Surprisingly, Ruby Button has had shades of this towards Sinead O'Connor. She gets spiteful when Sinead and Esther are having fun together, and gets the latter into trouble over something that Ruby herself made her do.
    • Leanne takes this to the extreme.
    • Sinead herself is becoming this towards Bart and his friendship with Jason.
    • Lee is perhaps a male version of this towards Amy.
    • Sienna. She successfully got Darren's former wife sectioned through her lies, tried to turn him against his own family just so she could have him all to herself, kidnapped his children, faked a pregnancy, and induced him to have an angina attack. Later, she develops a fixation with her brother Dodger and tries to separate him from Maxine; including putting Maxine in danger from Patrick, and lying that Nico has a brain tumour so that Dodger won't leave the village. She's a more unstable example of the trope, as she clearly has something wrong with her.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Carmel, the female version of Hiro Nakamura from Heroes (well, in personality terms anyway, according to Fan Sites).
  • Complexity Addiction: Dear god, do Walker's plans for getting revenge on Brendan fall into this!
  • Crapsack World: Not as bad as other soaps. But still fairly nasty. The death rate in Hollyoaks village alone would put people off moving there, especially since it seems to be young adults most of the time.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Poor Sarah Barnes dies after her parachute failed to open. She's screaming as she plummets to the ground, and the camera only pulls away at the last minute. Makes matters worse by the fact it was her ex-girlfriend Lydia who tampered with it, even if it wasn't intended for Sarah. The circle of blood on the cornfield at the end just says it all.
    • Andy Holt ran into a sharpened pole after running away from Mel, who was getting her own back for all the rapes he had committed by giving him the same drug he'd given his victims.
    • Alistair Longford, India and Texas' elderly grandfather, dies after falling off a mountain. Though given he was on holiday with his young wife Cindy at the time, it's unsure of whether he just 'fell'..
    • Tina McQueen dies in an explosion set off by her psychotic half brother Niall. Not only is she the lone member of the family to die, she was one of the two Myra reluctantly asked to be spared (Niall demanded she could only save two).
    • Heidi Costello ends up strangled to death by her own father, Silas, in a case of mistaken identity.
    • In the confusion of the bus-crash, Neil is assumed to have died but is later revealed to have been merely knocked unconscious. He wakes up as the bus has caught fire, begging Maddie to help him free himself, only for her to callously leave him... and then the bus explodes.
    • Leading to some Laser-Guided Karma when the explosion causes one of the doors to come crashing down on Maddie's head, killing her instantly.
    • Callum Kane gets a violent, bloody, painful and humiliating death when Jade sneaks up on him and impales him with a samurai sword.
  • Curse: Rae believes that her family is 'cursed' because her two older sisters both died before they were eighteen.
    • Appears to be tragically true as Rae is murdered by Silas not long after her nineteenth birthday.
    • Tom Cunningham seems to be suffering one, as the resident Doom Magnet.
  • Dean Bitter Man: Patrick Blake can barely hide his contempt for his students, staff, and pretty much everyone else connected to Hollyoaks High.
  • Death by Looking Up: Maddie is killed by a door that flew off a nearby mini-bus when it exploded. Her friends shout a warning, and she looks up just in time to be crushed by it.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Both Mercedes and Paul Browning are acquitted after they claim that it was Riley who attempted to murder Mercedes and killed Lynsey. Apparently last minute allegations and a complete lack of evidence are more than enough to convince the jury!
    • Freddie tries to pin Fraser Black's murder on the recently deceased Sam Lomax by planting evidence and a faked confession.
    • Subverted with Justin being blamed for Macki's murder, since when he tries to tell the truth (that the real killer is Ali, who was run over and killed by a car as he tried to escape from the scene) everyone thinks he's pulling this trope.
  • Destination Defenestration: Texas dies when she's pushed out of a window on her wedding day.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The reaction of everybody when they discover that Silas Blisset is a serial-killer.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Pretty much any plan usually leads to this. One example is the King of Hearts spin-off, where Rhys and Gilly use a replica gun to try to rob one of Danny Houston's drug-runners; but didn't anticipate that she would be armed with a real gun. Another example is when Ruby and Jono plan to elope to Gretna Green. The family panics on discovering Ruby missing, but Jack (who is Scottish) points out that Ruby and Jono won't be able to get married even if they reach their destination - they haven't given the appropriate notice for a wedding licence.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Jono dies of a blood clot while laying in his girlfriend Ruby's arms.
    • After being hit by a car on his wedding day, Max dies in the arms of his best friend and Heterosexual Life Partner, OB.
    • In a more disturbing example of this trope, Ash dies in Will's arms shortly after she discovers that he's a dangerous murderer who has been lying about being unable to walk. He also attempted to strangle her shortly before the explosion takes her life.
    • When Carmel and Jim plan to run away together because Jim's life is in danger from Fraser Black, Carmel arrives at the station to find that Jim has been fatally stabbed. He then dies in her arms.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Hayley Ramsey and Pete Hamill are both in wheelchairs, and no less stunning than the rest of the cast.
    • Especially in universe; Josh and Rhys Ashworth are both attracted to Hayley, and Ruby has a crush on her Headmaster Pete.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Dale, a homeless traumatised ex-soldier who rescued Warren from a burning building. Warren repaid this by stabbing Dale and throwing him back into the burning building while he was still alive and conscious so that Warren would be able to fake his own death. That was evil even by Warren's standards, but as nobody else knew who Dale was it was barely mentioned again. Well, that and the whole storyline was an Ass Pull to explain why Warren was Back from the Dead in the first place.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After a short lived relationship that she wasn't really into, Ruby Button decides to punish Ricky for dumping her by text by planting cannabis in his school bag. She goes one step further by getting Sinead to tell the Headmaster she had seen a knife at school, thus making sure everyone's bags were searched.
    • Ruby strikes again when Nancy interrupts her study session with Pete; the headmaster she has an obvious crush on. Nancy was relying on a good reference from Pete to obtain her dream job, so Ruby steals his phone, and when the call comes, gives her a bad reference instead.
  • Domestic Abuse: A past storyline focused on Ste abusing his girlfriend Amy. He beat her, cut off her long hair, and lied about their daughter having cancer to get money from people.
    • The tables were later turned with Ste being beaten by Brendan, though Amy was quite sympathetic towards him, and tried to help.
    • Maxine and Patrick's domestic abuse storyline was used in a government campaign with the actors filming special PSAs as well as tie-in material with the show. It was also explained that Patrick had been abusive to his first wife Anna.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Fletch & Sasha's slow descent into heroin addiction, complete with sleeping with creepy dealer Nige in exchange for smack.
    • Charlotte falls off a wall and is apparently paralyzed for life after taking drugs just once.
    • Justin Burton's casual pot use dramatically evolves into hard drug addiction and violence, including stealing from his family, involvement in crime, and beating up his own mother.
    • Many of Bart McQueen's storylines had this behind them. His pot smoking got him and other members of the family arrested, led to Sinead dumping him (and later cheating on him), and was a factor in the Wedding Bus Crash that killed four people (as he drove while stoned and chased after the bus with his car.)
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked by Esther in regards to a cruel Halloween prank, where she was conned into meeting a made-up girl, who claimed she was being followed, before suddenly screaming and the phone cutting off. Given that several high-profile murders of young women have occurred in Hollyoaks in just the last 2 years, is it any wonder that Esther literally pissed herself in utter terror?
  • Dull Surprise: Possibly due to Tony Hutchinson being one of the most boring men on the planet.
  • Dumb Blonde: Carmel McQueen. Her cousin Theresa can also count at times.
  • Eagleland: The Type 1 version is often referenced in the show, as it is a standard place where characters escape to upon leaving the show (including Jason Costello, and Mitzeee and Carl.)
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The 90s episodes mostly focused on the same gang of characters, while occasionally doing storylines about their families or outsider characters. In other words, it was far less the traditional kind of soap opera it is now. Furthermore, it was very tame until its first death scene in 96, and from then on it started to take itself more seriously.
  • Easy Sex Change: Largely averted. Jason Costello's transition is shown to be a lengthy process involving counselling, learning to live as a man, and starting on hormone blockers before he begins full hormone therapy. Blessing gets a date for surgery very quickly (though she has been living as a woman for more than a year by this stage) but also has to have counselling beforehand, and the doctor cancels her surgery after deciding that Blessing is not psychologically ready.
  • Elopement: Jono and Ruby planned to elope to Gretna Green because Jono was about to be deployed with the army.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Dr Browning (full name Shirley Paul Browning) considered his given name this, and went by Paul.
  • Enemy Mine: Blessing and Tegan have a moment of this when Tegan steps in to defend Blessing from transphobic bullying during the debate to decide which of them will be appointed president of the Student Union.
  • Enfante Terrible: Holly Cunningham has shades of this, it isn't surprising given who her mother is.
    • Persephone Hart is a more straightforward example, she lies and bullies, and accuses Sarah Barnes of hitting her when she was just kindly telling her off.
  • English Rose: How the show's official site describes Texas. Lampshaded by the opening sequence, in which she is shown throwing rose petals at the camera.
  • Estranged Soap Family: Plenty of examples through the years. John-Paul didn't return to attend his sister's wedding, Debbie didn't attend Steph's funeral, Melody Longford was nowhere to be seen at Texas's funeral (despite having travelled down for India's), and Jem Costello hasn't been sighted despite the fact her step mother was murdered.
    • Justified at Rhys's funeral, where Hannah's absence is explained as her being too ill to attend because the stress caused her to come down with shingles.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Warren Fox, surprisingly. When he got drunk with Justin Burton, and they began comparing their past crimes, Justin bragged about how he lied to the police about Becca Dean sleeping with him when he was 15. Warren immediately expressed disgust, which immediately escalated to outright anger when Justin feebly tried to defend his actions as just because Becca had dumped him.
    • Silas shows shades of this when he's about to strangle Theresa. It's revealed that her baby daughter Kathleen-Angel is there, and Silas backs off, despite being able to easily overpower the child.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: At one point, most of the female cast is blonde. When Toby started killing attractive blondes, one character lampshaded the show's casting of blondes.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Silas, so very much. Then there's Brendan Brady and Clare Devine. The actors playing them, Jeff Rawle, Emmett J. Scanlan and Gemma Bissix respectively, all looked like they were having a lot of fun.
  • Extreme Doormat: Oh, Esther, will you ever stand up for yourself against your "friends?"
    • Unlikely, even if three of them are now dead...
  • Face-Heel Turn: Over the course of a year, Sam Owen went from a withdrawn law student previously falsely imprisoned on charges of arson, to a serial date rapist, before coming full circle & setting The Dog In The Pond on fire; killing himself & four others in the process.
    • Will Savage went from a kind, socially awkward geek into a murderous psychopath with a severe older brother complex. He faked a fall down a set of stairs, after having been lightly pushed by Texas in a fit of anger, and has pretended to rely on a wheelchair ever since. He then went on to kill his fiancée, his own mother, and attempted to kill his second fiancée before he was interrupted.
  • Faking the Dead: Jack, aided by Darren, as a desperate last measure to get out of the debt he was in.
    • Joe went through a similar storyline, and even pretended to be a corpse in one episode. Ironically, this was one of his last major storylines before his actual death in a fire.
    • Myra McQueen. When she returns to the village, Frankie publicly confronts her in the pub and asks what Myra has to say for herself, to which Myra responds "thanks for the cracking funeral!"
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Peri Lomax was raised as Sam and Danny's daughter, but her "sister" Leela turns out to be her mother.
    • Dodger turns out to be Nico's father and her uncle, as he and Sienna had slept together as teenagers without being aware of each other's identity.
    • Jacqui and Theresa McQueen are introduced as cousins, but find out they're also sisters; Jacqui's father had slept with Theresa's mother. The same thing happens with Rhys Ashworth turning out to be Josh and Hannah's brother as well as their cousin.
  • The Fashionista: Esther, who enjoys designing clothes, is seen trying on a dress in the opening sequence, and aspired to go to the London College of Fashion until she failed her A-Levels.
    • Blessing is heavily into clothes, makeup and fashion mags, and always going shopping for more.
    • Sarah Barnes
  • Final Girl: Lynsey in the Silas storyline. She was the only character intelligent enough to figure out Silas was behind the murders, though nobody believed her, and Silas had a special obsession with her, considering her the "queen" in his chess game. She eventually defeated Silas in his initial reign of terror and even came close to killing him once after she hit him with a rock. Sadly, like some Final Girls, Lynsey was killed off at the beginning of the 'sequel' where the serial killer returns.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: While this is common in most soaps, Hollyoaks takes this into overdrive as even if they were a very close friend/partner/lover and died tragically, nobody often seems to actually remember them at all!
    • Averted with Nancy who often mentions her sister Becca, while Chez took the death of Lyns very hard.
    • Averted with Jono and Maddie, who are frequently referred to by Ruby and Sinead during their bullying of Esther.
    • Played straight in that they seem to forget Neil, who arguably had the worst death of the lot!
    • Mercedes is terrible for this. Two of her past husbands have died, one of her past lovers has also died, and she never seems to care one bit about them. It's surprisingly anyone is willing to hook up with her, given her track record.
    • After Jim is suddenly murdered, Carmel tells Sonny that she can't be with him out of respect for both Jim and Calvin (with Sonny agreeing that his own brother's widow should be off-limits.) Just a couple of weeks later they are engaged and neither Calvin nor Jim is ever mentioned again.
    • It's horrific how quickly Leela, Tegan and Peri get over their parents dying in a brutal car accident.
    • This was a plot point for when Lisa Hunter was emotionally hurt over the fact that no one seemed to remember her late brother Dan's birthday. This leads to her reminding everyone of him, and stating that he doesn't seem to matter now he's dead.
  • Frame-Up: Many examples. Among others, Freddie Roscoe frames his brother Joe for Fraser Black's murder and then, after Joe is absolved and released, sets up the late Sam Lomax to look like the killer; Maxine is set up for Sienna's attempted murder of Patrick; Silas framed Brendan for Rae's murder; and Justin was framed for Macki's murder.
  • Funny Schizophrenia: Another criticism levelled at the show.
  • Gullible Lemmings: Even for soap characters, these people are dumb!
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Carmel and John Paul are this compared to the rest of the McQueen family.
  • Happily Adopted: Tom Cunningham, Phoebe McQueen.
    • Sinead and Finn O'Connor would count as this trope. They were adopted by their stepmother Diane and are generally close to her; because their birth parents have never been around for them, she is the only parent they've ever really known.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: Dennis tries to put his hand on Blessing's heart to show he loves her, but reaches for the wrong place because of this trope. Blessing thinks he's trying to grope her.
  • Hollywood Geek: Will is gorgeous despite the nerdy glasses and clothes.
  • Hollywood Healing: Darren not only came home from hospital the very next day after being shot in the stomach, but there was no mention of bedrest or even any form of pain relief. The exact same thing happened when Freddie Roscoe was shot in the stomach.
    • Amy Barnes also recovered overnight after being in a car accident that left her unconscious. She was also pregnant at the time.
    • Nicely averted with Hannah's friend Melissa, who was a long suffering anorexia sufferer. She didn't get better.
    • The Costello family are massive culprits of this. To date Jason was hit by a car, Seth overdosed on steroids, and Heidi burned herself with scalding hot water, and they were all home within a couple of days.
    • Brendan is severely injured - almost to the brink of death - after being caught in an explosion at the end of the fifth series of Hollyoaks Later. Within two weeks time, he goes from completely bedridden, to resting at home in a wheelchair, to crutches (only for one episode), to a walking cane, and then finally walking just fine on his own.
    • Peri Lomax starts to feel ill one day, falls heavily down a long flight of metal stairs, and when taken to hospital is diagnosed with a brain tumour. She has emergency surgery and is almost instantly back on her feet, without losing a single lock of her Rapunzel Hair or suffering any visible injuries.
    • Dodger is stabbed and nearly bleeds to death because the wound was close to an artery in his leg. He flatlines and has to be resuscitated ... but within a couple of days is out of hospital and walking around like nothing happened.
  • Hospital Hottie: Lynsey Nolan. Lampshaded when she was asked to appear on a student radio show as an agony aunt, and later on a live webcast in a 'hot' nurse outfit.
    • Lindsey Butterfield (although a doctor rather than the usual nurse)
  • Ill Girl: Steph Cunningham practically lives and breathes this trope after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.. Despite initially having some pretty convincing fainting spells, Steph looks far too healthy to be dying of cancer, with a full head of very thick hair and glowing skin. She's also promoted to martyr status, despite using her illness to get her own way.
    Steph: "But I'm dying of CANCER."
    • Myra also acts this way when she's diagnosed with terminal cancer, although since Paul Browning faked the results, she's completely fine. Although in Myra's case, it was clearly Played for Laughs.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Andy Holt dies when he's impaled on a sharp spike while running from Mel.
    • Nathan's body was found impaled on a pipe inside an oil tank.
    • Jade kills Callum by running him through with a samurai sword.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Hannah and John Paul, Phoebe and Vincent
  • Informed Attribute: Invoked by Maddie, who claims to be George's "best friend". Yeah, right.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: The character of Matt Musgrove, played by Kristian Ealey, immediately transferred to Hollyoaks after leaving Brookside (which ended shortly afterwards.)
  • Ironic Nickname: Big Bob, whose height suggests the opposite (although he is apparently none the less dangerous for it.)
  • It's All About Me:
    • Mercedes McQueen in spades. Because we are supposed to feel sorry for her, despite the fact she learnt her lesson on how her actions affect others, when despite being unfaithful to him and treating him badly, Malachy still willingly sacrificed himself to save her from an explosion. Mercedes then promptly seemed to forget him, got engaged a month later and then cheated on her fiancee, Riley with his dad. This is never indicated either to be a result of losing Malachy either, she seemingly just forgets him. When she has the baby and the truth of her infidelity to Riley comes out, she promptly complains that Riley is later wrong to show attraction to other women, despite the fact that she cheated on him and it was clearly her fault.
    • Jacqui McQueen. Do we even need to explain how much of a self-centred, arrogant, hypocritical, bitch she frequently shows herself to be?
    • Steph was this trope
  • It Kind Of Looks Like A Face: An entire storyline revolved around Carmel believing she had seen the face of Jesus in a potato.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The 2011 Christmas episode with Doug and Steph
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Jacqui McQueen comes across as a total bitch most of the time, but she does have her moments of kindness. She's the only one to take in Lindsay when the rest of the village had turned against her, she also took in a stray dog, and she attempted to help the homeless Phoebe despite the girl stealing off her. Jacqui also stands up for her family and friends if they need it.
    • Phoebe acts like a brat for the greater part of the time, and definitely has her bitchy moments, but she's also the only one to stand up for Esther when she's being bullied. She also played a huge part in trying to keep Jacqui and Rhys together, who are almost like parents to her.
  • Karmic Death: Maddie leaves Neil to die in the burning mini-bus, only to be killed herself when the resulting explosion launches the car-door into the air... and come down straight on top of her.
    • One could invoke this about how Rhys meets his demise. He avoided going to prison for continuing an incestous relationship because his half-sister died in a car-accident. He was never punished for spiking Josh's drink, getting him into a car-accident, harrassed by everyone and sent down for six months. It seems that the much-needed Laser-Guided Karma was saving it to hit him with a mini-bus and get crushed by a falling beam.
  • Karma Houdini: So many of the characters.
    • Warren Fox, who's gleefully murdered several characters and gotten away with it, been involved in blackmail, supplying drugs, still somehow manages to woo half the women in the Village despite being an obvious sociopath, and even being tied up in a burning building that supposedly kills, merely slowed him down.
      • He goes one step further by making Seth think that he had murdered a prostitute, which made him try to commit suicide. All to get a single piece of information out of him.
    • Rhys Ashworth definitely qualifies. He and his younger brother are Josh are competing for the affections of a girl, so Rhys spikes Josh's drink, who is later arrested for getting involved in a collision with another car and injuring the people in it. Even his brother getting beaten up by various people and becoming a pariah, going to trial and getting nearly sent down, doesn't let Rhys admit the truth. It takes 6 months later when Josh has finished probation and has returned and their parents nearly splitting up from the pressure, before he finally fesses up... and is immediately forgiven for everything.
    • Ste. For some reason, his later storyline where Brendan seduces him, then beats him regularly, is supposed to make us feel sorry for him. Even though he himself was frequently domestically abusive to Amy, lied that her daughter had cancer to get money from everyone and has been known to be a drug dealer.
    • Theresa McQueen. After the truth comes out that not only did she sleep with Calvin, got pregnant, then shot him on his wedding day to Carmel, she is forgiven. Instead Carmel blames her sister Jacqui and throws her out of the house for covering it up and gladly lets Theresa stay under the same roof, helping look after the baby.
    • Gaz. He bullied Anita because of the colour of her skin and threw paint over her and filmed it on his mobile to send around the school. He and Lauren drove her to the point of bleaching her skin so she could look like everyone else. He then continued to threaten her, along with chasing her into the woods to potentially hurt her more seriously. And now he's back and apparently forgiven since Anita has left.
    • Of the very worst (and arguably tasteless kind) it has emerged that Silas won't be tried let alone imprisoned for the murders he committed, merely institutionalised after being deemed clinically insane by the authorities.
      • Because locking people into an asylum is a new concept for how to deal with insane people?
    • Hollyoaks has a very nasty habit of letting people get away with their 'crimes' for far too long, and then when they are exposed, their punishment really isn't ever enough. Josh is treated like crap due to Rhys for absolute ages, yet he's forgiven in the course of a single episode and it's forgotten.
    • Mercedes practically defines this trope.
    • Ruby Button tormented Esther for ages, to the point of Esther attempting to commit suicide. She even turned Esther's family against her, and she was forgiven completely because she suddenly 'felt bad about it' and her only punishment was to be suspended from school, and even then she was treated like a martyr about it.
    • Finn O'Connor. He viciously bullies his teacher John Paul, eventually rapes John Paul, and isn't caught because John Paul was too ashamed to press charges or name the culprit. John Paul lies to protect Finn from Ste (who guesses the truth) and Robbie, the only other person who knows, is silenced by Finn blackmailing him. Meanwhile, Finn also violently beat Blessing and put her in hospital, filming the attack on his phone; but escapes punishment when Diane deletes the footage rather than make him face the consequences.
  • Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand: After Warren finds out that his fiancee Louise is planning to kill him, he hands her the intended murder weapon and tells her to go ahead if she really wants to. Louise actually does pull the trigger...only to find that Warren took the bullets out first. Naturally, he responds by killing her.
  • Kill the Cutie: Jono was perhaps one of the sweetest people in all of Hollyoaks and yet died from an undetected blood clot after being in the infamous 'Enjoy the Ride' crash.
  • Kissing Cousins: Riley and Mitzeee.
  • Lady in Red: Clare Devine.
  • Last Het Romance: John-Paul's failed romance with Hannah leads him to realise that he is actually gay and in love with his friend Craig. This was also used to kick off Hannah's controversial eating disorder storyline as she refused to accept his sexuality and believed it to be a nice way of telling her she was ugly.
    • Ste considers Amy this, since he told her when coming out that she is the only woman he's ever had any real feelings for.
  • Laxative Prank: India eats a pizza that Hayley has spiked with laxatives. She wins a contest for a car after an accident.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Esther, Sarah, Jen, Charlotte, Kim
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Sienna lies about Nico's father being a man named Ben Baxter. Dodger later discovers this is a lie and that Sienna took the name from the cover of a book.
  • Love Father, Love Son:
    • Mercedes slept with Carl Costello while she was engaged to his son Riley, and then could not be sure which of them was the father of her baby.
    • Maxine falls for Dodger while still together with his father, Patrick. She gets together with Dodger just days after walking out on Patrick at their wedding reception.
    • Tony Hutchinson is engaged to Diane O'Connor but has an affair with Sinead who, although Diane's stepdaughter, was raised as her daughter and Diane is the only mother Sinead has ever known.
  • Love Martyr: Ste to Brendan and Doug to Ste.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Jake Dean.
    • Also Lydia Hart, who ended up killing Sarah Barnes. Lydia's obsession with her spiralled out of control when she realised she and Zoe had a spark between them still, even if the latter didn't want to follow it through, and an attempt to kill Zoe by tampering with her parachute, led to her actually killing Sarah when their parachutes were mixed up.
    • Mercedes stalks Mitzeee and stabs herself so she can frame Mitzeee for attempted murder, all because she wants to get back together with Riley. In fairness in this case it was implied that it was her not dealing with long running problems after a series of traumatic events that caused Mercedes to lose her grip and her wanting to get back with Riley was just the last straw, but still.
    • Sienna is so desperate to be with Darren that she fakes a friendship with his wife, Nancy, and then proceeds to lie her way to getting Nancy sectioned for being 'crazy'. She then went on to fake a pregnancy to keep Darren with her, and is going about cutting his family out of his life so that she can have him all to herself. Amongst other things, she attempted to breast feed Oscar, who is Nancy's son.
      • Sienna's attention then turns to her own twin brother Dodger. She has a scrapbook filled with badly doctored photographs of them together, she lies about Nico having cancer just so Dodger won't move away with Maxine, and then stabs Dodger in the leg with a knife when he turns up looking for Maxine, who Sienna has just manipulated into leaving the village by pretending to be Dodger via text.
  • Love Triangle: Several over the years
    • Lauren, Newt and Anita.
    • Sinead, Bart and Jason.
    • Bart, Sinead and Gaz.
    • Riley, Mercedes, Carl
    • Ethan, Theresa, Rae and Liberty.
    • Lindsey, Freddie and Joe
    • Ste, Doug and Brendan
  • Madness Mantra: Spencer, who has an intellectual disability, is prone to breakdowns and sings Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" over and over again during them. It turns out Warren taught him this when they were children as a way of calming Spencer down.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Fraser to Trevor. At first, viewers were lead to believe that Trevor would be the current Big Bad in Hollyoaks, but it was suddenly revealed that Fraser (who was introduced as a love interest for Sandy, and very little else) is actually his boss.
  • May-December Romance:
    • Justin Burton & Becca Hayton-Dean.
    • Zoe Carpenter & Mike Barnes.
    • Maddie seems to think that this is the case when it comes to Jono dating Ruby. They're only a year apart in age, Ruby just happens to be in school still, and Jono is in the first year of Sixth Form.
      • Rhys Ashworth felt the same way after realising that Sarah Barnes wasn't as old he thought, and was actually two years younger than him. The situation was compounded by Sarah being one of the few people Rhys's younger sister Hannah had met & befriended after moving the local school
    • Sinead O'Connor and Tony Hutchinson. When Sinead confides in Esther, Esther's main objection to the relationship is the age difference rather than the fact of Sinead being Tony's stepdaughter: "It's like you're Miley Cyrus and he's Gary Barlow! You'll be Miley Barlow!"
    • Patrick Blake and Maxine Minniver (who is the same age as Patrick's daughter Sienna.)
  • Moral Guardians: Complaining about sexy appearances of the cast in the media.
    • While it has been rectified since, The Food Commission complained in 2007 that, on average, 18% of the scenes in Hollyoaks showed a character drinking alcohol. The worry was that it would send the message to the younger viewers that it was normal to drink so much alcohol. In more recent times, it's rare to see someone even finishing a drink.
    • There was a lot of fuss kicked up over Newt's attempted suicide storyline because the airing of it happened to coincide with the real life story of two teenage girls killing themselves in a very similar manner. Channel 4 defended themselves by stating that they couldn't pluck an episode directly out of a long running series, especially because the events leading up to and surrounding Newt's suicide attempt had been heavily promoted for weeks. They also mentioned that Hollyoaks has dealt with sensitive topics for a long time, and included a number at the end of the program for anyone who had been affected by the storyline.
    • Loretta was supposed to have a dark secret about her killing a girl when she was younger, along with a friend, whose appearance in the village brings her dark history to light. Despite Loretta, her friend, and the deceased girl being around twelve at the time, and all the same age, Jamie Bulger's mother kicked up a fuss about it. While it's understandable that she would be upset, Hollyoaks is known for bringing such topics to light, and wouldn't have 'glamourised' what Loretta and her friend had done in the slightest. The storyline was poorly chopped out of the show, and Loretta left soon afterwards.
    • In 2013, media watchdog Ofcom censured Hollyoaks over scenes of Brendan pushing Walker under a train, specifically for airing them before the 9pm "watershed." The following year it released a report claiming that Hollyoaks had overtaken EastEnders as the UK's most violent soap opera, with an average of 11.5 violent scenes per hour. However, most of the scenes cited in the report had come from just two storylines: Texas's murder and the Price Slice armed robbery.
  • Ms. Fanservice and Mr. Fanservice: Most of the cast. They do sexy calendars of both genders. Many of the ladies will feature in the lower end lads' mags.
    • Bronagh Waugh, avoids being in lads mags, perhaps due to lads' magazine editors' opinions on her looks. Same for Victoria Atkin, who plays Jason Costello. You won't see any of the onscreen mothers (With the exception of the likes of Cindy Cunningham and other younger mothers) doing them either.
    • Ruby Button operates on fanservice. It helps that she is played by the curvy Anna Shaffer.
    • In the show's early days, Kurt Benson, Jambo Bolton, Lewis Richardson and Rob Hawthorn were particularly known for this trope.
    • Ash Roy spent a considerable amount of time shirtless for no apparent reason while Dodger Savage takes this Up to Eleven
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Silas (of all people) provides this trope at least twice; the first is when he realizes that India wasn't the kind of girl he would have murdered, and the second is when he kills his own daughter, Heidi while attempting to kill Lynsey (it was Halloween, and they were wearing the same costume).
  • Never Learned to Read: Maxine, Ruby
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The adverts for the huge fire at Il Gnosh in 2010 made out that a lot of people would end up dying. The only person to die was Steph, who chose to burn to death rather than die slowly of cancer.
    • Actually, Mal died during the fire too, though not directly in it like Steph did. The injuries he sustained during the explosion that caused the fire, paired with his already vulnerable HIV-infected body, were what ultimately killed him.
    • The 2012 Valentines trailer also counts; it implies Darren will have to choose between Nancy and Cindy. This never happens.
    • The promo for "Enjoy The Ride" made it look like either Ste or Doug (or possibly both) would die in the accident, but neither of them do. Furthermore it wasn't exactly obvious that Jono would die, and Neil was never shown at all. This is the same promo that blatantly revealed that Rhys and Maddie would die.
      • Similarly, the promo for the "End of the Line" train crash made it clear Carmel would die, but implied that so would John Paul; ultimately, nothing happens to him and he isn't even seriously injured. There was also no sign of Sonny, the only other person to die as a result of the crash.
    • The trailer for the Hollyoaks Blast made it look like at least some of the McQueens would be victims of the explosion (justified, as they were Clare's intended victims), but in the show it was revealed that not only were none of them killed, they weren't even in the right building.
    • The trailer for "Six Weeks of Summer" heavily plays up scenes of Ste threatening Finn, implying Ste will take revenge for Finn raping John Paul. In fact, all of these shots were taken from a single episode - at the beginning of the next episode, John Paul finds them and quickly intervenes, lying to protect Finn from Ste. Finn is actually exposed by Nancy several weeks later.
    • Ads for the Silas Halloween storyline showed several of the show's female cast in identical Catwoman costumes (including his previous targets Lynsey Nolan and Theresa McQueen) and invited fans to guess which of them would be his victim. He actually killed his own daughter, Heidi, who was also wearing this costume and so he mistook her for Lynsey; Heidi was not shown in the ads.
    • The death of Texas was advertised as though it was going to be a "Who Dunnit?" storyline, with potential suspects being shown. In the show, these characters were still suspects, but the actual killer; Will Savage, was revealed to the viewers only a few episodes after she died. Strangely, the promos continued to treated as though it was still a mystery.
    • The 2014 autumn trailer featuring the "Hollyoaks Hospital Siege" made it look like there would be several deaths; either in the hostage incident, or Ziggy and Tegan who are trapped in a lift that plummets when the cable snaps. In fact they escaped with minor injuries and the only person to be killed in the hostage situation was Big Bob, the perpetrator, who was accidentally shot when Cameron tried to wrestle the gun away from him.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted by Kris, Ravi, Bart and Lockie, who are all bisexual.
    • Unfortunately played straight (pun not intended) with Ste Hay & Craig Dean, who had been played as entirely heterosexual until the the point they accepted their feelings for their respective partners, at which point the show and characters began immediately identifying them as gay. Despite having many previously relationships with the opposite gender, at no point was the question of whether they were bisexual or not even addressed.
    • Doug Carter, who came as much as a surprise for the various characters as the audience, especially when his deep love for Bex played such a significant part of the character's background, downfall, and subsequent redemption.
    • Danny is revealed to be bisexual, contrasting with the other instances where men who went from a relationship with a woman to one with a man were retconned into being gay, although he tries to stay with Sam after John Paul rejects him.
    • After several relationships with men, Sarah falls for Zoe and initially believes she may be bisexual, but later identifies as (and is accepted as) a lesbian.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Before she joined the show as Mitzeee, Rachel Shenton was noted in various articles for her resemblance to Cheryl Cole. An episode lampshaded this by having Brendan disguising her as Cheryl to make Heat magazine think that Chez Chez was a hot spot for celebrities.
  • Not Quite Dead: Andy, after falling off a cliff into water. Also Clare, in exactly the same circumstances. And of course, Niall following the church explosion because they Never Found the Body.
    • It's basically always safe to assume in Hollyoaks that if there's no body, they're not dead.
    • Subverted with Warren Fox. Ash Roy tricked Warren's mentally handicapped foster brother Spencer into believing that Warren was still alive by texting him from Warren's mobile phone. Ash tried to convince Spencer that 'Warren' wanted him to sell The Loft to him.
      • Later played straight as Warren actually does return. He manages to survive the fire, and uses a Disposable Vagrant to take the place of his body.
  • Oireland: Cheryl. Even though she's blonde, the trope still applies.
  • Obviously Evil: Warren goddamn Fox!
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Dodger - his real name is Mark Savage.
    • David "Bombhead" Burke
    • David "Ziggy" Roscoe
    • Martin "Jono" Johnson
    • Robert "Big Bob" Gupta
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Some storylines have involved "Ghosts" who are only seen by one character. In actual fact, they are not ghosts, but are rather figments of the living character's mental state at the time. Most of the time, it's even past characters with the actors reprising their roles as the "ghost".
  • Parental Abandonment: Niall's abandonment by his birth mother Myra McQueen as a baby is the driving force for his murderous actions.
    • Sinead and Finn O'Connor were abandoned by their birth mother Morag because she had extreme postnatal depression with Finn.
    • Charles S'Avage abandoned his son Dennis for the sake of his own medical career.
  • Professional Gambler: Darren, circa 2007. Subverted since.
  • Perky Goth: Newt.
    • Newt's version of Rae.
  • Pimped-Out Dress / Fairytale Wedding Dress: Mercedes' gothic wedding dress that was used in the promotional trailers for her and Riley's wedding.
  • Playing Drunk: When Martha Kane weaponises her alcoholism against Ally by pretending to fall off the wagon. In doing so, she lures him into a false sense of security, causes him to reveal several key details about his supposed personal history, as well as his barely contained utter contempt for her.
    Ally: You're pathetic!
    *The door closes and Martha's eyes snap open*
  • Police Are Useless: And how!
    • Rule of thumb seems to be that the only time they show competency in finding evidence is when it's against the wrong person.
      • Or in the case of Zoe Carpenter's arrest for murdering Sarah Barnes, not even dusting said evidence for prints, which would've saved roughly 3 months of story by letting them arrest the real murderer.
    • Best shown when Will is charged with Lyndsey's murder, since Silas claims to have no idea about Will's alibi, that he was merely writing a book on him to save his family from debt. Because God-forbid that information provided by a known Serial Killer who likes to screw with people, could potentially be a lie.
    • Wouldn't even a simple medical examination prove that Mercedes' knife-wound was clearly self-inflicted?
    • When Mitzeee is being sent down for supposedly trying to murder Mercedes, where the hell was her lawyer?
    • Courtroom Antic: Mercedes is completely acquitted for perjury and for trying to get Mitzeee imprisoned for attempted murder after claiming that it was Riley who stabbed her, (and since he's dead, he can't defend himself) and testimony to prove this is given by Paul Browning, who was acquitted for murder charges himself by claiming the exact same thing! At no point is this "evidence" questioned, examined or confirmed in any way, nor any retrial called when it was revealed that Paul Browning was a Serial Killer, which should have thrown his earlier testimony into doubt.
    • Ethan was once the king of this trope.
    • To cover up for having imprisoned Sienna in a boiler room for over a week, Patrick lies that Sienna has been sent to a secure mental health unit. Sienna escapes but Tom, who knows that Patrick locked her in the room, reports it to the police. Patrick repeats his excuse and they accept it, without bothering to check, or wanting to escort Sienna back to the unit, or even asking the name of the place where she was supposedly being treated.
  • Pop-Up Texting: Will do this sometimes, especially if the text is important to the storyline. This was pretty unique for the time.
  • Protagonist Centred Morality: Everyone, but especially the McQueens.
    • Jack is another repeat offender. After faking his own death due to massive debts and burying another man's corpse in "his" grave, even if he did serve his time for the crime, he really shouldn't be allowed to lecture people on morality anymore!
    • Frankie was very quick to point out that George and Phoebe let Esther down by not noticing that she was being bullied sooner, ignoring the fact that she is just as guilty as them, if not more so.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Several
    • Max and OB
    • Darren Osbourne
    • Duncan Button
    • Melody Longford turned up after her youngest daughter's body was found, causing a severe moodwhiplash when she was played for comic relief in such a sombre storyline.
  • Product Placement: Well, for any Vauxhall vehicles anyway, these seem incredibly common.
    • Now that Product Placement is allowed on British Television, Hollyoaks has jumped on board. So far we've seen;
      • Adidas
      • Heat Magazine
      • Cheryl Cole's single was overplayed during a few episodes, and an entire subplot was based on Mitzeee looking like her.
      • VO5 hair products
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: You know if a new character will be a regular if they're put into the opening titles.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Lydia, Jade
  • Pun-Based Title: Some of the shops and businesses around Hollyoaks
    • Washed Up a laundrette owned by Tony Hutchinson.
    • Tan and Tumble Ash Roy bought Washed Up from Tony, and added the option to have a spray tan while you waited.
    • Cincerity, a clothing boutique ran by Cindy, that was previously Tan and Tumble.
    • Il Gnosh an Italian restaurant owned (again) by Tony until it got burned down.
    • Look Sharpe a day spa made from a renovated Il Gnosh. Also named for Tony's girlfriend at the time, Gabby Sharpe.
    • Cinergy the above day spa was taken over by Cindy, and renamed.
    • MOBS is a juice bar in the centre of the village that was originally ran by Max and OB. While it was inherited by Steph Cunningham after Max died, she didn't change the name.
      • Later renamed to MOOBS after Steph died and Darren and Duncan took over. While it stands for 'Memories Of Our Beloved Steph', 'Moobs' is also a nickname Darren uses for Duncan, as he is overweight.
    • Got It Taped was a video store that was owned by... Tony Hutchinson.
      • Unfortunately, he never seemed to notice the amusingly unintentional acronym ...
    • Chez Chez, a nightclub (previously called, and now renamed as, The Loft) purchased by Cheryl "Chez" Brady.
  • Puppy Love: The show treats Peri Lomax and Tom Cunningham as this even though, at 14 years old, they are old enough to have a real relationship.
  • Put on a Bus: Several. Literally, for some characters. Basically if they don't get killed off, they end up leaving the village for some reason or another.
  • Rape as Drama: Whether it actually happened or not (since the show never explicitly makes it clear), Jacqui getting raped by Gilly (or accusing him of such) is played for every tiny little bit of drama the show could get, to the point of causing Arc Fatigue to some viewers.
    • The fact that she kept on and on accusing him, even after he'd been found Not Guilty by a court of law, makes rather more sense now it's been revealed that he did rape her after all.
      • Although by retconning the flashbacks, some viewers felt it was a clear Ass Pull to milk it for more drama.
  • Rape as Backstory: Revealed in the latest Hollyoaks Later miniseries that Brendan's dad molested him (which is used to explain his internalized homophobia, anger issues and therefore ultimatley his rather dysfunctional relationship with Ste).
  • Rapunzel Hair: Amy Barnes (until Ste chopped it off), Peri Lomax
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Surprisingly averted the majority of the time, most actors leave to try and go onto something better.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Myra gives one to practically the entire main cast when she finds out hardly anyone bothered to donate to her, while she was dying. To make matters worse, she mostly did so because she felt she had nothing to lose, and then got the all-clear (in actual fact, she was never ill, but she didn't know).
  • Record Needle Scratch: Has happened a few times in Hollyoaks, every so often.
    • The follow exchange between Darren and Frankie is set to pretty music.
    Darren: Suzanne is pregnant.
    Frankie: Aww!
    Darren: They're twins
    Frankie: Oh that's nice..
    Darren: They're mine. *Record Needle Scratch*
  • Recurring Riff: Hollyoaks has a short guitar riff at the start and the end of an episode.
  • Recycled Plot: The Loft has been set on fire so many times, it's approaching Running Gag status; The Dog In The Pond, Il Gnosh and Hollyoaks Community College have all been set on fire aswell. At some point, insurance companies are just going to stop providing the residents of Hollyoaks with insurance in the event of fire.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Niall, realizing all he's done to hurt Steph, the woman he supposedly loves, steps off a cliff. (Unlike previous cliff drops on Hollyoaks, this did actually kill him)
  • Retcon: Michaela was initially introduced as Michaela Jones and lived alone with her grandmother. This was later changed to make her part of the large McQueen family.
    • Darren Osborne was supposed to be the son of Jack's ex-wife Celia, but a storyline retconned this so that Jack had an affair with Sandy Roscoe, who is secretly Darren's real mother.
    • Clare Devine's backstory established that she acted the way she did because of bitterness at her father, who neglected and abandoned her. However, her father Fraser and sister Grace were later introduced to the show, with the premise that Clare was always Fraser's favourite child while Grace was the black sheep.
  • Revenge by Proxy: To get back at Myra for abandoning him as a child, Niall takes his rage out on various members of the McQueen family; including injecting Michaela with heroin, pushing a pregnant Tina down the stairs, attacking Nana, trying to break Carmel and Calvin up, and attempting to drug and kill John Paul. Eventually, he kidnaps the entire McQueen family and forces Myra to choose which two of her six children will be allowed to live.
  • Riding into the Sunset: John Paul and Craig get a "Sunset Ending."
    • Cheryl gets one driving into the sunset with new husband Nate when Brendan takes the blame for her murder of their father, as Brendan wants her away from his life of crime and danger.
  • Rule of Three: Most Hollyoaks episodes start with three short scenarios, set to music, of three characters following a similar scenario. For example it might show three of them waking up in different ways.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: After moving into the Costello's nice, modern looking flat, Nancy and Darren decided to redecorate it more in line to their tastes. Namely, as though a wallpaper shop threw up in it.
  • Sadist Show: In more recent times, going this way. Particularly over the controversial Jasmine/Jason storyline (which in itself, has been accused of being out of sync with real life, especially by fans.
    • John Paul's 2014 male rape storyline. John Paul is subjected to months of vicious bullying from Finn O'Connor and Robbie Roscoe, then raped by Finn. John Paul's mental health worsens and he becomes alienated from his friends and family, but the boys continue to bully him until he snaps and violently attacks Robbie in class; causing John Paul to be fired from his job and charged with assault. Robbie (who's now found out what Finn did) writes a statement absolving John Paul, but Finn switches it with a falsified statement that leads to John Paul getting six months in jail. On his release he struggles to find a job, is ostracised by others in town, and his new romance with Ste suffers due to John Paul's fear of intimacy. Meanwhile, he's targeted by Trevor Royle and dangerous gangster Big Bob with whom John Paul got mixed up in jail - and Finn continues to torment him. Led to a large number of viewers complaining that the storyline had lost any realism it originally purported to have, and was being continued solely to pile as much misery onto John Paul as possible.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Blessing Chambers, Darlene Taylor
  • Screw Politeness Im A Senior: Nana McQueen pulls this fairly often.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Gilly tries to prove that he didn't rape Jacqui by saying she's allowed her own emotions to change her memory... and then realizes that this is actually what he has done, and did rape her after all.
  • Self Plagiarism: Max & OB swiftly became the show's Trope Codifier for Plucky Comic Relief Heterosexual Life-Partners. Ever since then, the show has tried to recreate this formula with every single new batch of students; not just when Max & OB were still on the show, but when they were still filling that role.
  • Serial Killer:
    • Silas Blissett. He has five known victims to date, and it's hinted that he's killed others before coming to the Hollyoaks village. He targets young women he sees as being sexually promiscuous, and his favoured method of doing this is by befriending them online, and asking to meet up. Which is when he lures them away and strangles them. Silas was arrested and put into a mental institute following the accidental murder of his own daughter, but managed to escape when he faked a heart attack. He was last seen boarding a bus full of young women on their way to a hen party. Silas' known victims were;
      • His wife. Silas caught her cheating on him, and after pushing her down the stairs in anger, ends up choking her to death.
      • India Longford. Silas befriended her older sister Texas online, but India ended up being the one to go and meet him.
      • Rebecca 'Jenny' Massey. Silas also befriended her online, and she agreed to meet him. However Jenny had her own agenda; she was planning to drug Silas and steal his money. Unfortunately for her Silas managed to strike first.
      • Rae Wilson. Silas' original target was Theresa McQueen, but Rae had the unfortunate timing of ranting to Silas about how all men were scum, and how she was just going to sleep around.
      • Heidi Costello. Silas accidentally killed his own daughter as she was wearing the same Halloween costume as Lynsey Nolan; Silas' rival who was the only one who knew he was a murderer. Silas is devastated, and allows himself to be arrested at long last.
    • Toby Mills had a habit of killing blonde women who reminded him of Ellie, but most of these murders happened off-screen.
  • Serious Business: Gaz and Newt's infamous lawnmower race.
  • Shipper on Deck: Poor Rae was a very tragic example of this. She had a Matchmaker Crush on Will, but wanted to be a good friend to Theresa. Knowing they both had feelings for one another but weren't getting anywhere, she kept telling Theresa to give Will another chance, and gave Will a makeover to try and impress Theresa. She eventually succeeded in getting them together, but as noted above, it indirectly led to her murder, and Will and Theresa kissing is the last thing she sees before she dies.
  • Silent Credits: Every time the show ends on a death of a major character. Even if the character turns out to be Not Quite Dead.
  • Sinister Shiv: Becca Dean's cellmate killed her with one just as she was about to be released from jail.
  • Soapland Christmas: Well, it is Hollyoaks, after all.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Holly Cunningham was last seen as a little twelve year old girl in 2010, and managed to return from boarding school in 2012 looking like she was in her late teens. However the actress was recast with someone who could actually pass for a fifteen year old.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: A foghorn hides the profanity in an argument between Zack and Elliot (oddly, this was during Hollyoaks Later, where swearing is allowed)
  • Space Whale Aesop: The entire point of the Bart/Sinead runaway storyline!
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Played with during Maxine and Patrick's wedding. Patrick convinced Maxine to forgive him for his abuse and go through with the wedding, but during the vows she hesitates at the last minute, aware that it is her last chance to stop this. She does go through with the ceremony and marry Patrick, but exposes his actions and leaves him at the reception when he makes it clear that he will never change.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Mitzeee. Also Dennis's father, Dr Charles S'avage, who added an apostrophe to the family name believing that it would look more upper-class.
  • Spinoff: There's been a series of late night spinoffs that tend to contain more mature material than the regular series due to being aired post-watershed.
    • Hollyoaks: Movin' On
    • Hollyoaks: Let Loose
    • Hollyoaks: In the City
    • Hollyoaks Later has had six mini series so far, each spanning five hour long episodes over a week.
  • Split Personality: Newt/Eli
    • Newt is schizophrenic, and Eli is the result of that.
    • Newt also had a third 'personality' in the form of Rae. After not taking his medication and running away from home, Newt mugged an old lady, and saw a picture of her granddaughter in her handbag, who was Rae. Newt then 'saw' her as a goth, like him, and spent a couple of days with her. It ended up with Newt attempting suicide with her, only to be saved at the last minute. After being told Rae was a figment of his imagination, it was a shock for poor Newt when he met the real Rae, who was very different from how he had imagined.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Mitzeee is actually a really sweet and kind person behind the shallow and ditzy front she puts up. She's among the first people to accept Jasmine becoming Jason, and comforts the Costellos when Heidi is killed.
    • Mitzeee is also something of a Mean Character, Nice Actor. 'Mitzeee' is a stage name she uses for her career as a glamour model and her goal to become a celebrity, and she takes it Up to Eleven by presenting herself as a ruthlessly ambitious fame seeker to the world. However, as she and close friends and family have said, underneath it all she's Anne, a nice girl who is very compassionate for other people.
    • Cheryl, who is warm and kind to most people despite having always had her father and Brendan give her whatever she wanted.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The McQueen family. One of their members is usually mixed up in one of the main storylines, and that tends to drag in the entire family.
    • The (2011/2012) sixth formers have a tendency of taking the spotlight away from emotional scenes - the memorial for Silas's victims playing second fiddle to the Bart/Sinead relationship; and Darren & Nancy's wedding getting upstaged by the Jono/Ruby relationship are the two biggest offenders. When George's actor quit in 2014, the show's official sites acknowledged his departure as the end of their reign over the show (even though all but Sinead and Esther had died or left by this time.)
    • The Roscoe family for the same reason as the McQueens. Freddie is the worst by far.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: While most characters' homes/accomodation appears appropriately-sized, the McQueens' house presumably has a variable number of bedrooms/sleeping areas, apparently dependent upon which family members are forced to return to the nest.
  • Stealth Pun: Doubled with Fandom Nod - After Craig Dean left the show shortly after his Coming-Out Story with John Paul McQueen, John Paul/Craig shippers were upset that they didn't get their sunset ending. When Craig briefly returned the following year as part of the storyline writting John Paul out, the shippers finally got their wish as the two of them left together... One of their final shots being of the two of them standing in front of a sunset on an advertisement behind them.
  • The Stinger: Every single episode.
  • The Stoner:
    • Bart McQueen is constantly in trouble because of his pot-smoking; getting arrested, his girlfriend Sinead dumping him, and even contributing to the infamous bus-crash when his reckless driving distracts Maddie from the road.
    • Justin Burton started off like this, leading to a storyline where he becomes addicted to harder drugs.
  • Straight Gay: Brendan, Ste, probably more.
    • John Paul and Doug
  • Surprise Incest: Rhys and his half-sister.
    • Very narrowly averted between Ste and his own long-lost father.
    • Dodger turns out to be the father of his sister's daughter (Nico Blake) because they met as teenagers and slept together with neither aware of the other's identity.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Tegan Lomax is introduced going into labour with no idea that she was pregnant. She describes it as "waking up with a baby"
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Freddie makes one to Lindsey when she suspects that there's more to Joe's disappearance than him just walking out on her.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Invoked for Lindsey Butterfield, who is very similar in appearance and name to Lynsey Nolan. This was soon revealed to be storyline related, as it lead to Dr Browning's Sanity Slippage as he became convinced that Lynsey (who he had murdered) was haunting him.
  • Swing Low Sweet Harriet: Tilly Evans and Nico Blake both have this as their spot in the opening titles.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ste leaps into the path of the out of control minibus to save Leah (who had stepped out in front of it), leading to the infamous bus crash disaster.
  • Taking You with Me: Silas is dying, which is a huge factor in him trying to add more murders to his list.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Schoolteacher Becca and the then 16-year-old Justin's relationship.
    • Jen Gilmore and Tilly Evans
    • Nancy and Robbie had a brief affair after she replaced John Paul as the English teacher at Hollyoaks High.
    • Finn and Sinead O'Connor's father began his relationship with their stepmother Diane when she was 15 and he was her teacher.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Amy Barnes (Twice) and Cindy Cunningham.
    • Also Theresa McQueen.
    • 12 year old Amber Sharpe. Sadly, Truth in Television, these days, proving this is a Justified Trope.
    • While not shown on screen, Myra McQueen had four children while still in her teens: she gave birth to Niall at age fourteen, Jacqui at fifteen, Mercedes at sixteen, and Tina at nineteen.
    • Sienna Blake and Leela Lomax both gave birth at age 14, initially leading Sienna to believe that Peri Lomax is her own missing daughter Sophie. Sienna's daughter, now known as Nico, did later join the show.
    • Esther is introduced as Frankie's granddaughter on the premise that Frankie had another son she didn't know about; she had got pregnant as a teenager but, because of the mores of the day, her parents had the baby adopted and told Frankie he had died.
    • Sinead became pregnant with Rhys' child when she was in her mid teens.
  • The Cast Showoff: Abi Phillips was asked to join the cast after penning a song called 'Missing You' for her favourite character, Steph. It was used during her final scene. As an amazing singer, her character Liberty gets the opportunity to sing in show. Unfortunately it's clear that the Hollyoaks bosses only hired her for her singing.
    • Summer Shaw, played by (and named after) West End star Summer Strallen. To promote Strallen taking over in the lead role of Maria in Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of The Sound of Music, the character was written into the show for a storyline where she successfully auditions for Lloyd-Webber and is cast as Maria. Accordingly, she got plenty of opportunities to show off her talents.
  • There Are No Therapists: But when they do show up, they are awful. Despite her coming across as more pissed off than psychotic, Sienna somehow managed to convince a psychiatrist that Nancy is not only mentally unstable, but has repeatedly attempted suicide and with zero proof to back it up.
  • Tomboy: Nico seems to consider herself one.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Jenny, who meets up with an older man she's met online in order to drug and then steal from him. Too bad he's got his own agenda..
    • Tilly ends up trapped inside a cupboard while the college is on fire. She calls Maddie for help on her phone, but she's not picking up. So instead of calling the emergency services when smoke starts to come in under the door, Tilly instead decides to try and climb out of the very high window, and ends up knocking herself out. Take note that Tilly's supposed to be pretty intelligent.
    • Repeatedly failing to realise that Warren Fox is clearly a psychopath? There's something very wrong with these people!
  • Transsexual: Jasmine Costello has a male alter ego in the form of Jason.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Ste, to many, many fans.
  • Tsundere: Most of the female cast, to some extent, but specifically Jacqui and Mercedes McQueen. Cheryl, however, is the sole exception to this.
    • Texas' relationship with Dodger can be summed up as one long series of Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • The Unfavorite: Will Savage always saw himself as this, which was the main reason for his Face-Heel Turn.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Mercedes and Dr. Paul Browning were heading this way before she took part in his murder.
    • Trevor and Grace
  • Upper-Class Twit: Dr S'Avage. India Longford was sometimes portrayed as this compared to the other students.
  • Victim of the Week: So far, every series of the spinoff Hollyoaks Later has had a member of the cast die.
    • Series one had Niall Rafferty dying after falling off a cliff.
    • Series two had Sarah Barnes dying after her on and off girlfriend Lydia tampered with her parachute.
    • Series three had Nathan McAllister being pushed off a rooftop and landing in an oil tank. When it was drained, he was found impaled on a pipe.
    • Series four had Rae being strangled by Silas.
    • Series five had Brendan's grandmother being smothered by Brendan.
    • Series six saw Callum being stabbed by Jade, who was also later killed by Tilly and Esther in self defence.
  • Villain Protagonist: Silas.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Maddie, which is frequently lampshaded by Esther.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: After Newt accidentally soaks Theresa with a bucket of water, he offers her his jumper to wear. As she removes her wet top, she tells him to turn around, which he does, however watches her in a reflection on a TV.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Gilly & Rhys, best friends since their first day at school, up until the whole Jacqui/rape drama.
    • John Paul and Nancy were as close as brother and sister until Nancy found out that John Paul had failed to report Finn O'Connor for raping him, leaving Finn free to attempt to rape Nancy the night before her wedding. She decided she could not continue their friendship in the knowledge that John Paul could have prevented what happened to her.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Nancy and Darren.
  • White Sheep: Carmel and John Paul to the rest of the McQueen family.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kris
  • Your Cheating Heart: Ethan began seeing Theresa behind his fiancée Liberty's back. They were found out, and Theresa and Liberty vowed to never let a man come between them again. Then Ethan starts seeing them both at the same time, and has to make up elaborate excuses to stop them from knowing about one another. Then he starts going out with Rae as well, which is when they finally figure out what's going on. All three then get their revenge.
    • Mercedes could be the queen of this trope. While going out with Malachy, she slept with his brother Kris, and she also slept with a random stranger before deciding to marry Malachy. While married to him, Mercedes then sleeps with Calvin, who is engaged to her own sister Carmel. After Malachy dies, Mercedes swiftly moves on to Riley, and then sleeps with both him and his father. She also kisses yet another ex while pregnant and on her honeymoon.
  • You're Not My Father: Peri refuses to acknowledge Leela and Cameron as her parents (though they are her biological parents) and uses this line on them many times.

Gute Zeiten Schlechte ZeitenSoap OperaHome and Away
Holby CitySeries of the 1990sHome Improvement
The Hollow CrownBritish SeriesThe Hoobs

alternative title(s): Hollyoaks
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