Series / Popular

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Once upon a time, there were a pack of Cool Loser brunettes, led by a girl named Sam. One day, she got into a squabble with Brooke, the leader of the Girl Posse of blondes at her school. Imagine their surprise when the two of them found out that their single parents are now dating each other. And want to shack up. Off-and-on wars ensue, both at home and at school.

Everyone is obsessed with popularity, down to the teachers. The popular crowd get their asses kissed, the Cool Loser crowd get into fights with them, while the actual Nerds try to swim up from the bottom. Much No Going Steady and crossing of the popularity lines ensue, along with doses of surreality and silliness galore.

Notable for being the first show created by Ryan Murphy, who'd experience more success following the cancellation of this show.

There are also BUTTLOADS of twins on this show.

Contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Popita and Adam in season 2 are never even seen at cheerleading!
  • A-Cup Angst: There was an episode where Sam wore an inflatable bra to a dance because of sudden insecurity about her breast size.
  • Adults Are Useless: Neither Brooke nor Sam's parent seems to care that their daughters hate each other and do incredibly mean things to each other all the time! All they seem to do is gush over each other like the kids aren't even THERE!
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Emily and Emma wear pretty short skirts for junior high students. This is because they will use any means to be the most popular girls in their school.
  • Alpha Bitch: Pretty much every dang popular girl, but extra points go to Nicole. Less points go to Brooke, who was actually fairly non-Alpha Bitch-like except for when she was pissed off.
  • Cliffhanger: Brooke gets hit by a car driven by Nicole.
  • Evil Twin: Jessi, and Mary Cherry's twin, though calling them "evil" really is just that they're only slightly more bad by comparison to the first one.
    • Both of Emory's sisters turn into burgeoning alpha bitches when became young teens.
  • Fur and Loathing: The Granola Girl at the school is against wearing fur, although in an alternate timeline she's a rich bitch who wears fur coats.
  • Geek and Nerd: April and May Tuna, Emory, pretty much everybody below the Sam/Harrison crowd on the scale of popularity.
  • Hidden Depths: Josh turns out to be an expert on poultry farming.
  • I Have Many Names: nicknames in the case of Bobbi "Bio" "Chem" "Claw" Glass. And that's not even counting the nastier ones....
  • Important Haircut: some girls have to shave their heads when they lose a bet. Naturally, they all have wigs that look just like their old hair again within a few episodes- the reverse of Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The second season Christmas episode had this plot with Harrison seeing life without him. The alternate timeline involved the world getting nuked.
  • Language of Love: Sugar Daddy and Exquisite Woo, though she magically seems to have better English later.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Brooke, once you get past her issues, isn't really that bad. Even Mary Cherry has her decent moments. Nicole, not so much.
  • Lovable Jock: The jock guys on the show are actually pretty nice.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nicole is the show's biggest example. New student Adam is also very capable when it comes to this (his backstory reveals that he forced a girl into a mental institution just by screwing with her head). Brooke and Sam also have their moments, as their ongoing rivalry gives them more than ample time to demonstrate.
  • All Periods Are PMS: The episode "Caged!" revolves around this idea.
  • Missing Mom: Brooke's mother is never seen.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: this never works well with Brooke and Sam.
  • Nice, Mean and In-Between: The three popular girls: Brooke is nice, Nicole is mean, and Mary Cherry is inbetween.
  • The Nicknamer: Mary Cherry always calls Harrison "Joe." Yes, she knows what his real name is.
  • No Going Steady (doesn't Josh somehow sleep with/make out with/date every female in the cast? Not to mention that you can't keep track of who's interested in who from week to week.)
  • Parent with New Paramour: Sam's mom and Brooke's dad date and shack up with each other, and eventually have a baby together.
  • Pet the Dog: Nicole does have her moments, giving Harrison a bone marrow transplant, and even apologising to a few of her victims after going to far. She gets worse. Bobbi Glass also has a few decent episodes. Basically, no one hurts her students but her.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Mary Cherry is completely over the top in this. (Brooke, on the other hand, gets excellent grades. Nicole is something of an evil genius.)
  • Pretty in Mink: This is a school for rich kids, so a fair amount of furs are worn. The most are worn by Mary Cherry, who wears a lynx coat in the pilot, and even in the Christmas Carol episode her "Ghost of Christmas Present" counterpart carries a white fur muff.
    • Emory Dick has younger twin sisters, Emily and Emma, who ask Nichole and Mary Cherry to train them to be the alpha bitches at their school. Nicky and Mary agree and when they meet the twins at their home the girls are wearing black mink jackets. Mary tells them to pet their furs while showing their best superior attitude faces.
  • Red Right Hand: After a cat eats off Bobbi's finger, she gets a fake one, and the nickname Claw. Which she answers to.
  • Special Guest: Mary Cherry's parents were Delta Burke and Ru Paul. Oh, and Ann-Margret is God.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pretty much everybody in the popular crowd, excepting Broken Ace Josh. Brooke and Sugar are the depressed variety, Nicole is the psycho version.
  • Stock Series Finales: the first season finale did its best to make fun of every trope it could possibly find.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Pastiched all to heck in the first season finale, with a running vote of who should die going on the screen periodicially, and Bobbi Glass in particular having a really bad day. In the end, it was the Ill Girl May Tuna who bit it at the last moment.
  • Transsexual: The shop teacher, though Bobbi Glass sure did seem to have Issues with that. Hmmmmmmmm...
  • Two-Teacher School: Not at first, but later in the series where Bobbi Glass taught everything.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Emory Dicks's little twin sisters were noted to be really nice, but when puberty hit they turned into alpha bitches.
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: So fabulous it has a name: the Novak. And all the homecoming queen's pictures are posted there. And both genders wander on through.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The first season had Nichole be the Scrooge for the Christmas episode.

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