[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/niptuck.jpg]]

''Nip/Tuck'' is an American Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning television MedicalDrama series created by Creator/RyanMurphy for FX Networks. The show follows the lives of two plastic surgeons, Sean [=McNamara=] and Christian Troy at the [=McNamara=]/Troy surgical practice. Aired from 2003-2010.

It has the distinction of being one of the most controversial shows on basic cable. Beauty and the disturbing implications of it are explored along with the drama in their lives in cases that are often RippedFromTheHeadlines. The show goes out of its way to alternate between showing everything that's ugly about human life and everything that's hot about sex, and all of the characters seem more than happy to perpetuate that dynamic.

The series focuses upon the relationship between Sean and Christian, friends since college and partners in a successful plastic surgery medical practice. Sadly, their lives are far from happy: Sean's marriage to Julia, who dropped out of medical school after becoming pregnant (with Christian's child, due to a one-night stand) is strained at best. Their "oldest" son Matt (an 18-year-old played by an [[DawsonCasting actor in his late twenties]]) is a complete screw-up of epic proportions. Matt's crazy "antics" include trying to cut off his penis's foreskin by himself, seducing his girlfriend's lesbian lover, running over a young girl and disfiguring her as a result, sleeping with a 30+ year old woman who turns out to be transsexual, beating up another transsexual (who later has her friends beat Matt up and piss on him afterwords), dating a Neo-Nazi girl, doing crystal meth and becoming a Scientologist while being married to his real dad Christian's ex-fiancée, porn star Kimber Henry, and fathering a daughter with her, almost starring in gay porn because he can't afford baby food, burning himself while "cooking up" drugs, dating a horribly disfigured woman and then cruelly dumping her when she won't marry him, and becoming an armed robber while dressed like a mime.

On the other end of the show there is Christian Troy, the self-absorbed serial womanizer with a tragic past (his father raped his mother, who gave him up for adoption, where he was sexually abused by his foster father). Christian has multiple relationships over the course of the series, most notably being his relationship with ex-actress/porn star Kimber, who Christian once literally traded to a rival plastic surgeon for his car.

Rounding out the cast is Liz Cruz, the lesbian anesthesiologist who is the sarcastic foil to Christian and generally the [[OnlySaneMan voice of reason]] within the show.

Basically, every one of the core characters, and most of the supporting ones, are people you want to reach through the screen and slap at least once per episode. Or run away from.

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!!This Show provides examples of:
* AesopAmnesia: Christian consistently "learning" not to be a selfish, coldhearted monster and immediately forgetting all about his lesson by the time the next episode rolls around, even though it always appeared he had made amends to start a new life the week (or season) before.
* ACupAngst: Well, yes, there are several characters who have gotten breast implants on the show due to not liking their old ones, but it didn't happen as often as you might think for a show that focused on plastic surgery. Primarily because it's such a common procedure for the two main characters, and more bizarre cases were usually the subject of the week.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler: Christian's "funeral" in Season 3.]]
* AlternateRealityEpisode: The second season has an episode where Julia dreams what life would be like if she'd married Christian instead of Sean. In the alternate reality, she and Christian are partners in the "Troy/Troy" plastic surgery firm, Matt (still raised by Sean) is a nerd, and Sean is married to [[spoiler:a still-living Megan O'Hara]].
* {{Anorgasmia}}: [=McNamara=] & Troy once had a female patient who was unable to experience orgasms as a result of genital mutilation. They performed a pro bono surgery that restored the woman's clitoris, but it took Liz's verbal help to make the patient orgasm succesfully.
* AndIMustScream:
** Rhea Reynolds, a pathetic woman who cuts up her face a la the victims of the Carver in order to get attention. During surgery to fix her scars, the anesthesia is tampered with so that she is awake and can feel the doctor operate on her.
** Also, the victims of The Carver are drugged and paralyzed, but fully conscious while he rapes and mutilates them.
* AnyoneCanDie: Supporting cast members have been offed with regularity on the show.
* AnythingThatMoves : Christian. And how.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion : Mrs. Krieger. [[spoiler: Mrs. Krieger and her husband are concentration camp survivors who want their tattoos removed. It turns out Mr. Krieger was a Nazi tattooist, who escaped the Allied army and has been [[TheAtoner living as a Jew]], as a form of penance.]]
--> Sean: How can you forgive him?
--> Mrs. Krieger: How can you not?
%%* AssholeVictim: No one's gonna miss Rhea Reynolds. Or Silvio Perez. Or [[spoiler: Ariel's father]]. Or [[spoiler: Teddy Rowe]]. Or the convict that Matt strangled to death in his cell.
* BackAlleyDoctor:
** Dr. Merrill Bobolit loses his medical license after botching a cosmetic surgery on a dog, and winds up performing cheap liposuctions in the back of a Korean nail salon.
** Dr. Grayson in the first season. He performs gender reassignment in a dirty, cluttered office, and has no malpractice insurance.
* BackForTheDead: [[spoiler: Gina]] in Season 5.
* BackFromTheDead: Julia's mother dies in a plane crash. When looking through the bodies, Julia finally finds the unidentifiably charred, but still human-shaped, remains of her mother. Suddenly, the body takes a huge gasp. Terrified, and knowing the woman will not have much a chance at survival anyway, Julia smothers her with a pillow. Later, she enters her apartment, where her mother has been sitting safe and sound all along, as she decided not to take the plane today.
* BadBadActing : Christian delivers his lines in a stilted, horrible way. By contrast, ''Creator/BradleyCooper'' seems to love [[LargeHam chewing up the scenery]], whether in or out of the ShowWithinAShow.
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: Christian apparently has a ten-inch penis. He beds a different women pretty much every episode.
* BlackLikeMe : Or, in this case, Boobs Like Me. A patient in Season 2, played by the ever-awesome Creator/JKSimmons , decides to get breast implants, in solidarity for his wife's mastectomy.
* BlessedWithSuck : The patient in Season 6 who hates looking beautiful and perfect. (Of course, [[IdiotBall she could save herself ten grand if she just gains 50 pounds]], but no one points this out).
* BloodyHorror: In one episode [[AndIMustScream a woman who was put under anaesthetic could still feel and see everything going on during her operation]], but wasn't mobile enough to tell the doctors. She's completely traumatized after seeing and feeling the doctors cut into her, and takes legal action over it.
* BodybagTrick: [[spoiler: The Carver]] gets away with this in season three.
* BreakTheCutie: Quite a few, but most notably Cara Fitzgerald. She gets run over by Matt while he was driving and getting high and is forced to receive plastic surgery so her face can be repaired. Then she asks Matt out to the school dance, only to be rejected since Matt's friend was the one who wanted to date her. And to break her even more, Matt's friend beats ''and rapes'' her in Season 2.
* BreakTheHaughty: Here's a challenge: watch the entire show and then make a list of the haughties who ''don't'' get broken at least once.
* BrokenPedestal: Sean's old teacher, Dr. Grayson, shows up as a pathetic alcoholic performing underground surgery on transsexuals in a filthy apartment.
* BrotherSisterIncest:
** [[spoiler: The Carver and the female police officer investigating the case]] are not only partners in crime, but siblings who are sleeping together. And their parents were incestuous siblings as well, which resulted in physical abnormalities in both.
** [[spoiler: Matt [=McNamara=]]] accidentally sleeps with his sister because they didn't know at the time that they shared the same father.
* BulletHolesAndRevelations: In the season 2 finale, [[spoiler:Adrian and Ava]] are close together and we hear a stabbing noise, [[spoiler:Ava]] has a shocked look and bloody hands, but the reveal shows that [[spoiler:Adrian stabbed himself so that Ava would never leave him again]].
* BungledSuicide: [[spoiler: Sean]] in Season 6, even though he claims he just [[BlatantLies "swam out too far."]] Also, Libby in Season 1 (gunshot) and Joel Seabrook in Season 6 jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.
* TheCasanova: Christian.
* CatchPhrase : "Hey, asshole," for Gina.
* CelebrityResemblance: One character in the first season had a massive amount of surgeries to make him look like Micheal Jackson
* ChainedToABed: Kimber tricks Christian into letting her tie him to a bed; she used the opportunity to torture him and get revenge after a particularly nasty break-up.
* CharacterBlog: Serial killer The Carver had a MySpace, in which he would post videos about his motives and philosophy of life, and finally, unmasking.
* ChristmasCake : Liz, who is gorgeous by most standards, [[HollywoodDateless has trouble]] meeting potential dates and worries that no one will want her.
* ClearMyName: In the episode "Granville Trapp," Christian was hauled into jail on suspicion of being the Carver ó a hypothesis which would have demanded truly frightening devotion on his part, as both he and his partner had been Carver victims. The frame-up was, of course, [[spoiler: perpetrated by the actual Carver team: Dr. Quentin Costa, aided by Det. Kit [=McGraw=].]]
* ChocolateBaby: Christian assumes that the baby Gina is carrying is his, which she claims is true. Big shock when the baby is born and he is black. Very black. Gina, as a sex addict, has had countless different partners. It evolves into a protracted legal battle when Christian wants to be a father to the boy anyway, but Gina doesn't want to share custody with him (since Christian is not the real father). Christian then gets in touch with the biological father so they can have Gina declared unfit as a parent. The father, who is a middle-aged, married man, admits that while he regrets the affair, he and his wife have decided to raise the child by themselves. The judge ultimately accords them custody and cuts out both Gina and Christian.
* ChurchOfHappyology: Matt and Kimber join it in Season 5.
* CircumcisionAngst: BrokenAesop version, in the very first episode. But then again, the show ''is'' about plastic surgery...
* CoitusUninterruptus: Escobar Gallardo uses this to intimidate Sean. He implies that the woman he's having sex with could instead be Sean's wife.
* DaddyDNATest: Used to establish that [[spoiler: Christian]] is the father of [[spoiler: Matt]].
* {{Deadpan Snarker}}: Christian. It really ups his {{Jerkass}} credentials but, makes any scene he's in [[LaughablyEvil funny]].
* DCupDistress:
** There's a subversion in the episode [[GagBoobs Jenny Juggs]], where title character has incredibly huge breasts that she can even use as [[ImprobableWeaponUser weapons]], knocking out the protagonist and breaking a pumpkin with them. Her breasts have caused her a lot of self-esteem issues, [[YouAreWhatYouHate not helped by the fact that she's a stripper]]. She is finally convinced by the protagonist to get a breast reduction bringing her to a C-cup but ends up getting upset anyway because she [[ACupAngst thinks her breasts are too small]].
** Another subversion in an early episode where the patient of the week is a woman who had had incredibly large breast implants, then wants them reduced again. It turns out that she's actually working for a drug dealer who is using the implants to smuggle his product into the country.
* DeathBySex: In Season 5, [[spoiler: Gina is ''literally fucked to death'' by Christian]].
* DetectiveMole: serial killer The Carver turns out to be [[spoiler: Quentin Costa]] and [[spoiler: Detective Kit [=McGraw=], who's investigating the case, is his sister and accomplice]].
* DeusAngstMachina: Everything about this show. If it can go wrong, it will a million times over.
* DisabledLoveInterest: At one point [[TheCasanova Christian Troy]] dated a blind woman. He was initially intrigued by her because she couldn't simply judge him by his appearance, and was wondering at the time if women saw anything more in him than his looks and status.
* DownerEnding: Most of the episodes don't end well. Were the creators [[AccidentalAesop trying to tell us something?]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Most notably Nanette Babcock and [[spoiler: Kimber Henry]]. Libby Zucker, although it doesn't take, leaving her disfigured.
* DysfunctionJunction: Basically every cast member.
* EasySexChange: One episode featured a MTF transperson becoming male again after realizing she really felt more comfortable being a gay male. Christian Troy does the surgery ASAP, without any of the prerequisites.
* EnemyEatsYourLunch : Escobar eats the cucumber Julia is slicing.
* EverybodyHasLotsOfSex: The show featured numerous sex-focused plots. Pretty much every character has either had sex, an affair, a threesome, or a one-night stand at least once onscreen. Though Christian takes the cake due to being TheCasanova. Numerous kinks, some more sane than others, were also depicted.
* EveryoneHasStandards: In an episode the show's [[TheCasanova Casanova]] Christian Troy hooks up with an attractive mother and daughter pair in a night club. When they go at it again the next morning, the daughter reveals that they started doing this when her mother caught her making out with her stepdad, disturbing even Christian. He eventually concludes "This is too screwed up, even for me", and throws them out of his apartment.
* EvilMatriarch: Erica Noughton, Julia's mother: witty, intelligent, and a hell of a great person to have a drink with -- unless you happen to be her daughter. It's heavily implied that her criticism and emotional absence are responsible for Julia's [[FreudianExcuse extreme insecurity]].
* FaceHeelTurn: Christian, and painfully so through Season 6.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Escobar.
* FlashForward: One to 2025 that was ultimately {{retcon}}ned as being a drug-fueled dream.
* ForceFeeding: In the season five episode "Kyle Ainge," a rival talent agent is knocked out, taped to a chair, and killed by having teddy bear stuffing pellets forced down his throat through a machine.
* FormerlyFat : Some of the clients, but notably Sean's Season 5 love interest.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot : A subversion in the first-season tryst between Matt, his friend Vanessa, and her girlfriend. Vanessa feels her girlfriend misses boys, so she invites Matt to a threesome. Someone is always left out, a very different (and more [[RealityIsUnrealistic realistic]]) outcome than the trope usually presents.
* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery: Played with so much it's hard to find a consistent standard. To wit-
** Matt's girlfriend cheats on him with another cheerleader. This is treated as extremely bad. It is treated less bad however when he starts dating ''her'' girlfriend who has decided she isn't really a lesbian anyway (they met because Matt's lesbian girlfriend convinced him to join them in a threesome, as part of an abortive effort to salvage her relationship with the not-really-a-lesbian cheerleader).
** There's a nuanced portrayal of Sean's affair with a patient, which Sean appears to have initiated on the suspicion that his wife was having an affair with a hunky student. She wasn't. What really screws things up, though, is that their staff psychologist Grace suspects the affair exists and confides her suspicions to Christian. He promptly takes this information to Sean, who is furious at her for discussing suspicions about his personal life and nearly fires her- before she reveals that Christian had sex with her and that unless they have a professional reason to fire her she can file an unlawful termination lawsuit. Christian is either [[SelectiveObliviousness oblivious]] to the fact that Grace was telling him this because he's Sean's best friend, not because she's a gossip, or he's a JerkAss who was trying to use this as an excuse to get rid of her.
** It's treated as bad that Christian had sex with Sean's wife-to-be Julia right before she married Sean. However, Sean being royally pissed off when he finds about this betrayal is treated as an overreaction. Granted, all this happened over fifteen years ago. On the other hand [[spoiler:the fact that Matt isn't really his son is a pretty big bombshell to drop on a guy when he's been under the assumption that his wife only had one sexual partner]]. If this sounds contradictory with the entry below it's because the "betrayal" dynamic shifts entirely depending on whether Christian or Julia is doing the betraying.
** For some reason it's ''worse'' that Julia cheated than it is that Christian did it with her, even though the latter is Sean's best friend and business partner. Christian is EasilyForgiven after a few episodes, but Sean isn't quite as nice to Julia. He verbally abuses and harasses her at every opportunity, invites his new porn star girlfriend to Matt's school functions, and tells Julia's mother to go screw herself when she tells Christian and Sean that Julia's about to head into an emotional breakdown and she needs an intervention.[[spoiler: A few episodes later, she does]].
** Explainable in that Christian is a case-study for promiscuity, selfishness and all around bad behavior and Sean is used to forgiving him for it and having low expectations, where as Julia is presented as 'madonna' until the truth comes out. Even Christian 'loves her from afar'(until he doesn't).
** In the third season Julia actually starts going out with the hunky student as a result of everything that happened above. This is the only particularly straightforward use of the trope's conventions.
** As you might be able to guess, it's hard to tell whether they're trying to subvert the trope's conventions or just doing a really bad job of using it straight.
* GoodbyeCruelWorld: Megan O'Hara (Sean's first love) does this with his help after her breast cancer returns as does the DonnieDarko-esque EmoKid Enigma, and then Kimber after she discovers that Christian is still unable to truly love her.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted twice. In season 2, Liz had one when she finds out that the baby she's carrying would be born with Down Syndrome. In season 6, Kimber has one when {{Jerkass}} Christian tells her that she could either choose between keeping him as her boyfriend or receive child support checks but lose him completely as he already has 3 kids and does not want another. There are some complications during the procedure and afterwards Kimber is told that she can't have kids anymore.
* {{Gorn}}: During the surgery scenes, and in plenty of other instances as well.
* GrandFinale: A somewhat subdued one that gives a fairly definitive conclusion to the series [[spoiler: with Christian forcing Sean out of the practice for good because he knows it's what Sean really wants]] while still being somewhat open ended and not overly dramatic about the whole ordeal.
* HappilyFailedSuicide: Joel Seabrook.
* [[HasTwoMommies Has Two Daddies]]: [[spoiler: Matt [=McNamara=]]] after {{the reveal}} refers to [[spoiler: Sean and Christian]] as his Dads to acquaintances.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Sean and Christian have been best friends and colleagues since college, and Christian is godfather to Sean's children. The show does actually explore the possibility of Christian having repressed homosexual feelings for Sean when he starts having [[HomoeroticDream dreams about them being lovers]], but they both conclude it doesn't really mean anything.
* HomoeroticDream: The fourth season: Christian is having explicitly homosexual dreams about Sean, and later goes to therapy, where his therapist believes that the dreams are expressing his repressed sexual feelings for Sean. Sean, meanwhile, doesn't think anything of the dreams, is not freaked out (which is good, considering this is Sean we're talking about), and stays friends with Christian.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Each episode is named after the patient(s) served by [=McNamara=]/Troy.
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Season five features an interesting variation on this trope. Liz Cruz, who up to this point has been a committed lesbian, discovers she's sexually attracted to her male boss Christian (but not any other guys).
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: This is why Sean didnít kill Escobar
* IJustWantToBeBeautiful: Pretty much the whole point of the show. The main characters are two plastic surgeons, and pretty much all of their patients are shown living more fulfilling lives after their surgeries. Although it's not just purely minor imperfections that people gripe about, they also do pro bono procedures on severely disfigured individuals. But of course, it's also shown as an inherently obsessive pursuit.
* IJustWantToBeYou: A minor female character wanted to be like Kimber Henry (Christian Troy's on/off girlfriend) in every way and even live her life. Transforming herself to look like Kimber and sleeping with Christian to experience what Kimber's sex life was like first-hand was the best she could do without slipping into villainous territory.
* ILoveTheDead:
** Christian is accused of this when he tries to obtain a Jane Doe from the morgue. The clerk on duty tells an anecdote about a man who wanted to get his freak on with his dead lover's corpse...so she wouldn't criticize him.
** There's a real example that's even more disgusting than usual where a lonely funeral worker assembles a Frankenstein-esque body from various stolen body parts, including his dead sister's head. He then proceeds to have sex with it.
* ImposterForgotOneDetail: Colleen Rose talks a big game of being a top agent in Hollywood as she represents Sean. However, she seems to not get how huge a deal CAA (the biggest talent agency in town) is when one of their agents comes to land Sean for himself. Meeting at her apartment, Colleen boasts she can do better by listing various stars she represents such as Nicole Kidman. Smirking, the CAA agent says he's impressed...since ''he'' represents Nicole Kidman. Which leads to [[spoiler: Colleen filling him with stuffing to murder him.]]
* InfantImmortality: Compared to what rest of her family goes through, the [=McNamaras=]' young daughter Annie gets off awfully light. The show rarely even acknowledges that her immediate family going through hell might have some kind of adverse effects on her.
* InformedFlaw : In Season 5, when Kimber meets with her former porn director, he tells her to kick the meth. He comments on her weight loss and "bad skin," because it shows up on camera. She looks [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished the same as she's ever looked]].
* InsecureLoveInterest: Christian breaks up with Natasha because he thinks she deserves better than TheCasanova like him.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone
* {{Jerkass}} / JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Christian Troy zigzags between these tropes constantly. Although, many agree that he falls more into the Jerkass category.
* JerkassHasAPoint: As much of a {{Jerkass}} that Christian is a lot of times he does have a point.
* JustTheWayYouAre: ''Aversion being the entire point of the show''. Becomes completely ridiculous and hypocritical when [[spoiler: Liz sleeps with a pre-op transexual woman, telling her she sees her for who she is. After she decides not to have her penis removed Liz tells her that she doesn't want to pursue a long-term relationship, saying that she won't be able to look past her "wrapping." What.]]
* KarmicDeath:
** Rhea Reynolds, who pretended to be a Carver victim just to get attention. After Sean and Troy fix her face, the Carver shows up at her house and slashes her throat.
** Monica Wilder, a crazed babysitter [[spoiler: who had an affair with Sean]], gets run over by a bus right when she was about to tell the cops that [[spoiler: Sean]] raped her, even though he didn't. What makes her death even more karmic was that [[spoiler: Sean was seriously considering killing Monica himself minutes before she died.]]
** Season 6 provides the greatest example with [[spoiler: Teddy Rowe. She intended to kill Sean ''and his children'' via carbon monoxide poisoning so she could get his insurance money. After she leaves them to die, she stumbles upon a camper who just so happened to be a serial killer...]]
* KarmaHoudini:
** In Season 3 [[spoiler: the Carver and his sister Kit]] have successfully executed their escape plan and eager to continue their crimes.
** In Season 5 [[spoiler: Eden]] was slowly poisoning [[spoiler: Julia]], and when exposed, shot her and told everyone that it was a suicide attempt. She asked [[spoiler: Olivia]] to preserve this secret which resulted in her death. And since [[spoiler: Julia]]'s memories about those events never returned, [[spoiler: Eden]] remains unpunished.
** In Season 6, Virginia Hayes doesn't get punished for suffocating Marcy Hamill.
** Matt seems to ''adore'' this trope. He doesn't get in trouble for running over and almost killing Cara Fitzgerald in Season 1. Or for being an accessory [[spoiler: to the murder of Ariel's father]] in Season 3. Or for burning down his apartment because he was cooking meth in Season 5. This was finally subverted in Season 6 when [[spoiler: he was turned into the police for all the stores he robbed--not to mention he got shot in a botched robbery.]] But then it was played straight ''again''; Matt didn't get a further prison sentence for [[spoiler: strangling his cellmate to death]].
* LipstickAndLoadMontage : Julia gets one in Season 2. She goes out on the town after a fight with Sean.
* LonelyFuneral: Recurring patient/plastic surgery addict Mrs. Grubman blackmailed Christian into giving her more treatments, beyond the point of reason. Eventually, he was asked to give a eulogy at her funeral and was the only one there: she had alienated her whole family.
* MadLove: Christian and Kimber. In the very first episode, shortly after they've slept together, he strips her naked and covers her in red lipstick to mark the places where he thinks she could use a little surgical tweaking. She comes back. Enough said.
* MallSanta: A drunken Sean dons the Santa outfit. He even gets a blow job from one of the helper elves. Ho ho ho!
* TheMasochismTango: Sean and Julia [=McNamara=]. The are so ungodly ill-suited for each other from the moment they appear onscreen that any other two people in the universe would have come to their senses and cut ties ''years'' ago: they tend to split up and recombine a minimum of once per season, swearing every time they do either one that ''this'' time, it's going to stick. It never does, and one wonders if even the ''writers'' can put up with their whining for much longer. At the end of the series, [[spoiler: they do split up for good, with Julia moving overseas with Annie and Conor.]]
* MistakenForGay: When HeterosexualLifePartners Sean [=McNamara=] and Christian Troy are selecting chocolate for Christian's upcoming wedding, the chocolatier mistakes them for a gay couple because of how comfortable they are discussing their love lives with each other. They jokingly play along before bursting into laughter.
* MoralityPet: Wilbur for Christian.
* MrsRobinson: The manipulative Ava Moore was a sexual predator who tended to go for partners who were significantly younger than her or even underaged. These include [[TeacherStudentRomance one of her students as a life coach]] (Matt) and [[ParentalIncest her own son]] (Adrian). The reason for this is that [[spoiler:Ava is a male-to-female {{transsexual}} with an incomplete vaginal cavity, and she hoped that inexperienced men wouldn't be able to tell the difference.]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast : One patient mentions a friend of his went to ''Dr. Carrion''.
* NeverFoundTheBody: They never confirmed whether or not [[spoiler: Kimber really died. The Coast Guard just gave up the search for her body after two days.]]
* NeverMyFault:
** Julia always blames everyone else for her problems, mostly her husband.
** When aging widowed socialite Mrs Grubman threatens [=McNamara=]/Troy with a malpractice suit Sean blamed Liz when he was the one who didnít do the follow up procedure.
** Gina is a sex addict, while Christen going to the meeting and treating her like a one nightstand was incredibly sleazy. She refuses to take responsibly for falling off the wagon and considering the fact that she still goes to her sexaholics meetings come across as a little hypocritical especially given the fact that she refuses to leave him alone. Taken even further after the revelation that she had been sleeping with other men around the same time.
* NoPreggerSex: Christian gets physically violent with a store clerk who has sex with the woman carrying his child (even though Christian and the woman no longer have a sexual or emotional relationship). Though Christian has sex with her later on to help reduce her tension. The implication is that Christian freaks out because the clerk has a pregnancy fetish, which makes Christian "sick" for having sex with women to whom he's attracted. Considering that Christian is the show's Casanova, this helps solidify his position as being a giant hypocrite.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: [[spoiler:Lesbian Liz is raped by Christian. She then claims it was fantastic and they begin a relationship.]]
* ObliviousGuiltSlinging: When reading about the hit and run victim in the paper Julia and Sean mentioned who would do something so horrible not knowing that it was Matt.
* OddFriendship : Troy and Mrs. Grubman.
* OncePerEpisode: "Tell me what you don't like about yourself."
* OutWithABang: In the GrandFinale, an elderly porn star dies with a smile on his face while filming a sex scene in his latest movie.
* ParentalIncest: Ava Moore turns out to be sleeping with her teenage son Adrian. She later reveals that he was adopted when he confronts her over how much she messed up his life. Additionally, [[spoiler:Ava herself is really male, but with a rare physical deformity.]]
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Julia it is pretty much her defining characteristic.
* PatientOfTheWeek: Or "Client of the Week", depending on how you look at it.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Christian Troy. Pathologically oversexed, determinedly shallow, given to anything from sexual harassment on up to psychological warfare as seduction tactics (see, for example, the scene in the "pilot" where he strips his latest conquest naked, stands her in front of a full-length mirror, and uses a red lipstick to indicate flaws he finds surgically improvable), and an overwhelming fan favorite. Possibly because of the hotness, possibly because of the tragic backstory, possibly because he's the only major character who isn't an insufferable hypocrite.
* PottyFailure: Kate Tinsley shits herself in a hot tub after swallowing three laxatives. [[{{Squick}} With Sean sitting beside her]].
* PrisonRape: The show managed to take the jackpot without even showing anything. All it took was one word - "anal retread". That's the type of operation a former inmate blackmails a surgeon into performing on him for free. The patient claims what happened to him wasn't gay - it was about surrendering. During the operation, the surgeon doesn't forget to turn on "How Deep Is Your Love" and mention how loose his patient's anus is.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Several. Liz gets one in Season 2 (along with a new last name), and Kimber, Gina and Dr. Costa all get one in Season 3, although Gina was only credited for her appearances. [[spoiler: Liz and Kimber remain so until the end of the show, Gina and Dr. Costa are both dropped after Season 3, although Gina begins appearing as a guest star again.]]
* RaceFetish : In Season 5, a patient hosts parties where he has sex with white women while their husbands watch.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: The priest who tricked the two into removing incriminating evidence given his history Cristen was vehemently against keeping it a secret.
* RapePortrayedAsRedemption: This could be the point of the Carver arc. [[SerialKiller The Carver]] selects beautiful models (both female and male), brutally rapes them and disfigures their faces. In one memorable case, the Carver rapes a ''male'' victim, hinted to be a {{jerkass}} prior to the rape, making him pathetic, broken and emasculated.
* RealAfterAll: One episode has an elderly man asking Christian and Sean to remove a metal device from his body. He says it's evidence he was abducted by aliens working for the government and wants to hand it to the media. Before they do the surgery, an attractive blonde woman comes by, telling them the man is her father and mentally ill and the device is just a surgical implant. The man protests that the woman isn't his daughter ("My daughter is dark haired and fat!") and yells that he's being silenced as men in orderly clothes take him away. At the end of the night, Sean and Christian are talking on how sad it is to see someone lose their mind...at which point, an overweight brunette woman comes to the office, asking about her father and his surgery.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Handed out to Christian and Sean (as well as several others) at least once per season.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Even after knowing she'll probably go to jail, Marcy Hamill decides to call Virginia Hayes herself so she can apologize to her in person for stealing her identity. When Virginia shows up, she takes a pillow and suffocates Marcy.
* RefugeInAudacity
* ARiddleWrappedInAMysteryInsideAnEnigma: A male-to-female transsexual Liz befriends on the first season is called "a conundrum wrapped in a riddle."
* SafeSaneAndConsensual: In one episode a dominatrix who's been hired by a guilt-ridden CEO PatientOfTheWeek makes a brief appearance. She actually tortured him with fish hooks while he's still recuperating, but took care to use an antiseptic on the wound.
* SexIsGood: So prevalent that attempts made by the writers to cast certain sex acts as having been a bad idea often fall flat. Indeed, when characters are informed of having made poor judgment calls in their sex lives, usually they give off a look of surprise, as if the possibility of negative consequences hadn't even remotely occurred to them [[AesopAmnesia regardless of how often this had happened to them in the past]].
* SexIsInteresting: Those who thought the HighConcept of "a TV show about plastic surgeons" is interesting enough to hold the viewers' interest by itself will have to get used to the constant influx of sex-related plots, most of which surprisingly enough don't even involve [[TheCasanova Christian]], the one character you'd expect it of.
* ShowWithinAShow: ''Plastic Fantastic''.
* SoapWithinAShow: the show Sean co-starred in during season five, named "Hearts 'n Scalpels."
* SoBeautifulItsACurse:
** In the episode "Willow Banks", a woman wants to look ordinary because she feels her beauty is a curse. She gets what she [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wished for]] in a [[spoiler: car accident]] and then realizes that, no matter how much she romanticizes the ugly for being liked for who they are, or how "hard" it is to be beautiful, anything less is at least ten times worse.
** Christian Troy is devilishly handsome [[TheCasanova Casanova]], but he's stricly heterosexual. He's gotten [[IncompatibleOrientation unwanted advances from more than one man]], which he usually reacts to either with disgust or in one instance a punch to the face. Played for laughs when he agrees to be featured in ''Playgirl'' in the hopes that it will draw in more female clients, not knowing the usual readership of the magazine.
* SoftWater : The aversion is discussed in Season 6. The result of jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge is described fairly accurately.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Season 5 and 6 of the show take place in Hollywood, not Miami.
* SplitPersonality: In the episode Montana/Sassy/Justice, the client has a split personality, where one personality wants her ankles fixed and another wants her breasts reduced because she is 5.
* StalkerWithACrush: Colleen Rose
* StepfordSmiler: Julia [=McNamara=] is half StepfordSmiler and half DefrostingIceQueen. You have to have a little sympathy for the woman, as she ''has'' been keeping her son's paternity secret from both his natural father and assumed father. Unfortunately, her eternal struggle over "Sean or Christian?" just annoys most people.
* StylisticSuck : Candy "Hot Coco" Richards' hip-hop video, "Yo Stank."
* SubcultureOfTheWeek: A lot of the clients of the week were part of strange subcultures.
* SurpriseIncest: In season 5, Christian finds out that he fathered a daughter when he was in college. She just happens to be [[spoiler:Matt's]] new girlfriend. The {{squick}} comes in when once [[spoiler:Matt]] realizes that he's slept with his sister, ''he wants to marry her and even goes to a website to show that any children they might have would be normal!''
* SwissCheeseSecurity: Season 5 is a major offender with character Colleen Rose.
* TattooedCrook: Colombian drug kingpin Escobar Gallardo has extensive tattoos, as well as almost everyone else portrayed by Robert Lasardo, who in RealLife has tattoos all over his arms, neck, and chest.
* ThreeWaySex: As per its EverybodyHasLotsOfSex notoriety, the show seems to engage in this trope with a fair amount of regularity. Most of the time it's just Christian doing it because, you know, he's [[TheCasanova Christian]], but a couple of plot-focused examples stand out:
** Matt agrees to engage in these with his ex-girlfriend lesbian cheerleader and her also-a-cheerleader lover, who feels that her new girlfriend is getting turned off the relationship because she's "not getting enough cock".
** [[HeterosexualLifePartners Sean and Christian]] engage in one with a high-class call-girl. Notable for sounding like a subversion of the "one guy two girls" dynamic while actually being completely unlike most examples of the trope. It's not really a "threesome" so much as it is "they take turns mounting her".
* TisOnlyABulletInTheBrain:
** A headshot leaves Julia with a little bandage. Oh, and amnesia.
** Libby Zucker in season 1 is a subversion. She got a bullet in the face and looks it, but it didn't kill her.
* TookALevelInBadass: Sean in the Season 1 finale, when he found the balls to [[spoiler: point a gun at (and almost kill) Escobar Gallardo]].
* TookALevelInJerkass: Sean in the second half of Season 2.
* {{Transsexual}}: The series seems to have a bit of a fascination with transsexuality (understandably, as the show is largely concerned with sex and plastic surgery); the most notable of these is Ava Moore (played by Famke Janssen), whom main character Christian calls "the goddamn Hope Diamond of transsexuals." They actually track down the surgeon responsible for Ava's near-flawless transformation, who agreed to do it because he was heterosexual and [[TransEqualsGay she was gay and in love with him]].
* TripleNipple: An episode in the second season is dedicated to Christian Troy removing the third nipple of a patient he's invited to the clinic.
* TropaholicsAnonymous: Christian seduces someone at his first Sexaholics Anonymous meeting, and she goes on to become a recurring love interest
* TroubledButCute: Christian Troy. He's shallow, sex-obsessed, and in the habit of treating his sex partners like dirt -- but he's also handsome, successful, and ''really'' good in bed, not to mention the [[FreudianExcuse unexpected vulnerable streak]].
* TwinThreesomeFantasy: Christian has a threesome with two identical twins in the series' second episode, and a pair of Marilyn Monroe impersonators after he moves to Hollywood.
* UndisclosedFunds: How much the Miami practice was sold for is only answered as 'A lot of money', Also how much Sean and Julia's house sold for is also answered in this way.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal:
** Matt's relationship with [[spoiler: Ava Moore]].
** PlayedForLaughs in Season 5 when Raj discovers the blowjob he received was really from a man.
* VillainousRescue: In the last episode of Season 3 [[spoiler: Kit]] saves Christian and Sean from the Carver by shooting him in the back. Sounds good, huh? Not really, since [[spoiler: she is Carver's sister, they were working together all along and this is just a part of the Carver's escape plan.]]
* VillainsNeverLie: This was Escobar answer when Sean was skeptical about changing his face.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "Ava's a man."]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Quite a few minor characters that impacted the story are cast aside with little explanation why. What happened to Cara Fitzgerald after she was raped by Matt's friend? What became of the transsexual Sofia Lopez? What happened to the neo-nazi Ariel [[spoiler: after her father was murdered by Cherry?]] Speaking of which, where did Cherry run off to? What became of Aidan Stone after he broke his neck trying to suck his own penis? What happened to Mike Hamoui after [[spoiler: Kimber killed herself by jumping off his yacht?]] The list goes on and on...
** This also seems to happen when a character is promoted to series regular. Grace Santiago was dropped with no explanation toward the end of the first season, and when Gina was added to the main cast of Season 3, she appeared a grand total of... four times. And was promptly removed and began appearing regularly as a guest star again.
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: The Carver.
* WhosYourDaddy:
** The show has this with [[spoiler:Julia]] and the paternity of [[spoiler:Matt]]. After finding out that [[spoiler:Christian]] is his father, due to a one night stand before [[spoiler:Julia's]] wedding to [[spoiler:Sean]], she hides it from [[spoiler:Sean]]. She reveals it to [[spoiler:Christian, Matt]], and [[spoiler:Sean]] (in that order) causing [[spoiler:Sean]] to kick her out. [[spoiler:Sean]] doesn't treat [[spoiler:Matt]] any differently and eventually forgives both [[spoiler:Julia]] and [[spoiler:Christian]] for the affair.
** Also the Gina-Christian relationship, with [[ChocolateBaby Wilbur]] (Gina's son). Made much more complicated when she calls on Wilbur's biological father...
* WomanScorned: Sarah, the wife of saintly doctor Curtis, who wanted to initiate a one-night stand with Sean, but he rejected her because it wouldn't be worth backstabbing Curtis. Sarah then told Curtis ''Sean'' tried to sleep with her. Curtis naturally believed his wife and called off their mission together.
* YoureNotMyFather: Matt says this to Christian right after the latter bails him out of jail. [[spoiler:The twist is that Christian really ''is'' Matt's father and had only found this out in the same episode. Unusually for this trope, Matt's pronouncement is actually quite accurate-- Christian isn't much of a father figure to him at all]].
* YouWouldntShootMe: Escobar was well aware that he was pushing Sean after he attacked him when he threatened his family. He was also aware of this trope which is why he let him into his house with a gun without his bodyguard present.
* YoyoPlotpoint: Basically, if a character isn't dead, expect them to come back, (and even then don't rule it out.) Characters from any episode, any season, and any situation can reappear for little or no explanation, often causing the scenes shown in the "Previously on Nip/Tuck" flashbacks to be from FOUR SEASONS PRIOR.
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