Skins (2007-13) is a British teen drama set in Bristol, England and commissioned by Channel Four in an attempt to put more homegrown (read: sexy) talent on television. The show grew popular among its mostly 14-21 audience for its candid take on teenage life in the late '00s and early '10s, specifically with its party scenes in which actors/actresses were left to their own devices as chaos ensued.The second series was much criticized by fans of the show for its shift from the more lighthearted tone of the previous season to more dramatic storylines, and many angry letters were sent when a major character was eventually killed off. As a majority of the characters left Bristol to go onto university, future careers, etc., Series 3 began with a completely new cast (save for two of the minor characters in the original cast who are upgraded to the major cast), the so-called "second generation." Series 4 took an even sharper turn toward the Darker and Edgier and received even worse criticism than S2, since it was also Screwed by the Network into leaving some plots hanging. On the upside, the second generation received lots of critical acclaim for its treatment of lesbian Super Couple Naomi and Emily.Another cast, "the third generation," was introduced in 2011, and occupied the fifth and sixth series. It was announced during the latter series that they would be the final generation and the show is to end in 2013; a movie had previously been given the greenlight but quickly headed into Development Hell. Instead, the seventh series consisted of three two-part stories subtitled "Fire", "Pure" and "Rise", each focusing on the characters of Effy, Cassie and Cook, with Naomi and Emily appearing in the first as well.Abroad, the series airs on SBS2 in Australia. MTV launched an American version in January 2011. Most of the attention it gained was on the back of the controversy it generated, with Moral Guardians accusing it of breaching child pornography laws and pressuring advertisers to pull their ads from the show (and they mostly listened, with eight sponsors pulling their ad revenue). It also came under fire from critics for being what they saw as a poor imitation of the British show, especially in the acting and writing departments. Despite all that plus lukewarm ratings, it managed to reach the end of its first season before being cancelled.Now with a character page. Some Tropes have been moved there.
This show provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: Chris has the shittiest parents in the world, directly affecting his upbringing, his welfare and his personality. His dad cut Chris out of his life permanently after the death of his brother, and his mum runs off and abandons him in series 1.
Cook's dad is a pathetic loser who shirks his responsibilities, while his mum is an alcoholic conceptual "artist" with sociopathic tendencies. Neither one has a shred of love for their son, and when Cook is reunited with them throughout the series, both coldly blame him for everything that went wrong in their lives.
Cassie's parents. Some could argue that her seeing them naked all the time, as well as the pictures of her mother giving birth to her brother with the umbilical cord still attached constitute abuse. They are definitely negligent of her and (to a lesser degree) of her brother. As far as we know, they didn't even visit her in the hospital after she tried to kill herself. They also don't keep track of her behaviour in regards to her anorexia at all. When Cassie says she will be signed off from the clinic if she has gained weight, it is clear that her parents don't know if she has even done it.
Not to mention in S2, they let her go back to Bristol without setting her up with any living arrangements. They must have given her some money, though, because what else would explain her being able to escape to New York in her centric episode?
Sid's dad Mark starts out as distant, fiery and emotionally abusve. This becomes subverted later on though, after Sid's mum abandons them.
Michelle's mother isn't abusive, but she's definitely negligent. She's totally focused on her own love life and doesn't notice when Michelle and Tony have broken up.
Adults Are Useless: On so many levels, though it does get subverted at times with the parents.
Possibly justified in that the series is from the point of view of teenagers, who often feel let down or ignored by adults.
And that the sort of teens who could get away with as much partying, drug use and sex as these characters do would have to have somewhat inept/oblivious parents.
One of the best subversions on the show is Doug, a part of Roundview's faculty throughout all six seasons who, though frequently treated with little respect, does his best to understand and nurture the characters.
"Then I'd tell Freddie and Cook to stop fighting over Effy before they hate each other forever, and not make me take sides. And they'd listen to me for once and not fucking ruffle my hair!"
And then about two minutes later, Karen [Freddie's sister] does exactly that.
Alliterative Name: Franky Fitzgerald, Jonah Jeremiah Jones, Lara Lloyd, Mini McGuinness and Thomas Tomone. Not to mention Tony Stonem. The American version has Chris Collins and Cadie Campbell.
All There in the Manual: The novel is supposed to fill in the gap between series 3 and 4. S4 has used elements from the book for crucial plot points, and alluded to goings on from the E4.com character blogs.
Anguished Declaration of Love: S2 has two, from Chris to Jal in the former's episode, and from Sid when he reunites with Cassie in Effy's episode. But the show's most notable one came in the S4 finale, from Naomi to Emily.
The one from Nick to Franky is usually looked over, despite the fairly awesome acting, because of people's opinion on the couple.
What ended up happening in S4 with Naomi and Cook.
What Sid and Michelle were as of the end of S1. By Michelle's S2 episode, however, they're both single and lonely again and end up getting together. Even after they broke up, their friendship never quite recovered from the fall-out.
How Mini/Franky seems to be as of the beginning of S6.
Skins is fond of playing with this trope. With Sid as the Archie, it initially appears that Cassie is the Betty while Michelle is the Veronica. Series 2 turns this on its head.
It's much clearer for Michelle: Sid is the Betty and Tony is the Veronica. And the same is true for Michelle, Stanley and Tony in the U.S. version.
With Chris as the Archie, Jal is the Betty to Angie's Veronica.
The Triangle of Doom has Freddie as the Betty and Cook as the Veronica to Effy's Archie. JJ also liked to fancy himself as a Cheryl Blossom for a time.
The show plays with the trope again in Thomas's S4 episode. Thomas and his family see Andrea as the Betty to Pandora's Veronica. Viewers know, however, that it's actually the reverse and Thomas learns this by the end of the episode.
In the triangle with Franky as the Archie, it's hard to tell which one is Mini and which one is Matty. However, with Matty at the center, it's clear that Franky is the Betty and Liv is the Veronica. Then in series 6, we have Franky as the Archie once more, with Nick as the Betty and Luke as the original Veronica, though he is eventually replaced by Matty once more.
In the U.S. version: when Tony is the Archie, Michelle is the Betty and Tea is the Veronica. With Tea as the Archie, Betty is, well, the Betty and Tony is the Veronica.
Big Damn Heroes: Maxxie and the Russian police in "Maxxie and Anwar," who race in in just the nick of time to protect Anwar from getting killed by Anka's husband.
Big Game: Subverted. Nick's Rugby Union match is set up as one of these in his season 5 episode, only for him to quit the team before it even starts.
First Generation: Tony recovers from the bus accident and regain Michelle's love, but they are not going to back together and say goodbye forever. Jal keeps studying the clarinet and follows her dream of being a musician, but Chris died and she aborted their child. Cassie ans Sid are reconcilied bu after Chris' death, Cassie run away to New York. Sid at the ending is looking for her in Manhattan but we don't know until Skins Pure if they have seen each other again. Anwar goes to London with his friends, dumping his girlfriend but has not a clue about what he will do with his life.
Second Generation: Effy's mental health finally is getting better but Freddie has been killed by her psychologist and no one except Cook knows it. Cook himself become a murder and a fugitive after killing the psychologist but he vindicated Freddie's murder.
Boggles the Mind: When recovering anorexic Cassie and one of her loony bin mates play Scrabble, the whole board is covered in foods.
Book Ends: The first season opens with Tony in bed, close up on his face; the second season closes with Effy in the same bed, close up on her face.
The beginning of that second season closer also begins zeroing in on Tony's face in the bed, essentially in the same place he was at the beginning of the first episode.
The first episode begins with Tony in his bed, and finishes with Tony and Sid in the bed.
The last shot of Series 6 (the final regular series of the show, as well) is a zoom-out shot of Rich saying "bye," contrasting to the first shot of Series 1 being a zoom-in shot of Tony opening his eyes. Contrasting as well to the first shot of Series 5 being zoom-in shot of Franky opening her eyes (which is most likely also a Continuity Nod to Series 1).
Break the Cutie: Happens a lot - just about every character deals with getting "broken" to some degree, and they all have varying degrees of cuteness.
Brother-Sister Incest: Tony and Effy are very infatuated with each other. Tony's own girlfriend admits that Effy is the only person in the world Tony truly cares about. Expect eye rolls from Effy every time a girl hits on Tony in her presence. Also, Tony's Season 2 episode reveals that he has thoughts of having sex with Effy. (subconsciously, of course ...maybe)
Effy's Unseen Skins episode in Series 1 takes this Up to Eleven.
It's also implied that Tony's absence was one of the contributing factors to her deteriorating mental health in Generation 2.
Conversed with Tony's cruel prank on Josh where he sends out sexy photos of Abigail, implying that Josh is doing her and with Josh's revenge where he tries to get Tony to have sex with Effy. The fact that Tony does not and in fact cannot might rebuff the Stonemcest theory, although it could also have been because Dude, She's Like in a Coma.
According to Word of God, Effy is short for Elizabeth. The name of Tony's Manic Pixie Dream Girl in his S2 episode is Beth. She is later revealed to be a manifestation of his subconscious. Make of that what you will.
And it's Beth (i.e.: Tony) the one who implies that he has thoughts about having sex with Effy.
Burial at Sea: In S6; Alex holds one for his gran after she kills herself.
But Not Too Bi: Tony and Cassie are the second type. Mini is a version of the first type; while she never had sex with or dated other girls, she clearly had crushes on at least two of them - but there's no sign of any of that as of the S6 premiere. Many people assume Franky's "I like people" comment when asked about her sexuality to mean that she's bi, despite the fact that she'd only ever shown interest in boys.
But Not Too Gay: Played with for Maxxie in the first generation, as the only on-screen stuff to happen between him and another dude is making out, whereas Alex from the third generation was seen doing pretty much everything. Averted with Naomi and Emily in the second generation. Doubly subverted with Tea in the American remake (in that she was billed as being a really strong lesbian character and her episode makes her out to be one, but her main series plot ended up focusing on her confusion over and hook-ups with Tony rather than anything she had with other girls).
Call Back: Skins is not known for its sense of continuity across generations, but in series 4 Tony's accident is revealed to have had a far more significant impact on Effy than she'd ever let on.
Calling the Old Man Out: Sid in his S1 episode, first when he calls his dad a dildo, and second right after his mom leaves them because of his father's insufferable behavior.
Mark in turn does this to his own father in Sid's S2 episode.
Alo and Nick do this too in their S5 episodes, though it doesn't go very well for Alo as his father collapses and ends up in the hospital after Alo yells at him.
Cannot Spit It Out: The theme of Jal's S2 episode. Jal can't figure out how to tell Chris that she's pregnant, partly because she's worried about how he will influence her choice about whether to keep the baby or have an abortion. Unbeknownst to Jal, though, Chris has his own, far more dangerous secret he's keeping from her: he has the same illness that killed his brother.
Cast Full of Gay: A surprisingly large number of main characters across the show are gay/bisexual, with at least one openly gay character in each generation:
In Generation One, Maxxie is gay, Tony is at least bicurious and possibly bisexual, ditto for Cassie.
In Generation Two, Emily and Naomi are lesbians, as are supporting characters Sophia and Manda.
In Generation Three, Alex is gay and Mini has been hinted at being at least bisexual (though not completely gay either).
Tony even lampshades it with his description of Cassie in the S2 finale: "Thin. Blonde. Says 'WOW.' a lot."
Anytime Franky and Matty speak to one another, or are even being talked about, there's a eighty/twenty chance the word mindfuck will be tossed around
Caught with Your Pants Down: Sketch in Maxxie's room; Tony catching Sid with a picture of Michelle; Cassie catching Sid and Michelle making out and about to have sex; and lastly, Freddie and Katie being interrupted by his sister, her sister and J.J.
He was walked in twice by his sister and J.J., the first time he was having sex with Katie and the second time he was having A Date with Rosie Palms.
If you didn't have much love for Cook and Katie in Series 3, then their Series 4 episodes should change that to some degree. Tony was much more sympathetic by the end of series 2 as well.
Mini, Nick and Rich have become more and more likeable since their respective episodes.
Jal gets a lot of this in Chris's S2 episode, as well as her own. It's hard to imagine S1 Jal even considering keeping her baby and staying in Bristol with Chris, even if that still isn't what she decides in the end.
Celebrity Paradox: Megan Prescott appeared in the Casualty episode Duty of Care. In series 5 episode 7, Mini says, "Have you any idea how much this sounds like the beginning of an episode of Casualty?"
Characterization Marches On: In the early series Doug is portrayed as a bumbling, Brittas-like character, rarely taken seriously by colleagues or students. By the sixth series, he has become the principal of Roundview and is shown as far more in-tune with the students and the issues they face.
Both of Rich's episodes had very powerful scenes that took place during concerts.
Season 2, Episode 2 has the performance of Osama! The Musical as its climax.
In Series 2, Episode 3, Sid opens up to Tony about his father's death at a Crystal Castles concert.
Jal's episode in Season 1 ends with her performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto - not necessarily the climax, but the whole episode is pretty much building up to the competition.
The Everyone/Eura episode of the US remake ended with the gang reuniting in a frantic search for Eura at a club where a band is playing. After they've found her Stanley steps up to sing "Shout." Cadie joins in, everyone comes to some sort of realization while watching the performance. Possibly the best part of US Skins.
Conflict Ball: Skins has a habit of randomly throwing this at characters in each generation's second series. Thomas in the S4 opener is one of the least contentious examples in the fanbase, with nearly everyone agreeing that his sudden Took a Level in Jerkass made no sense, despite the fact that during the same episode we are shown time and again during that same episode just how much pressure he is being put under from every angle of his life. Some also say this about Cassie, Naomi and Emily, although these are considered more debatable, with plenty seeing them as genuine Character Development.
Some fans argue that this was a major factor present in series 6, while others see the same examples as being more of a direct result of what happened in Morocco
In the first episode of S3, the locker that is set on fire has Sid's name written on it, and also contains one of his beanies and a copy of "Asian Fanny Fun." Speaking of AFF, it shows up again in S5 when Alo's friends use a copy of it to lure him away from his parents.
Girls in the uniform of Abigail Stock's school are spotted watching Naomi and Emily zoom around Bristol on a scooter in Emily's S4 episode.
Cook's dorm room at Roundview is the same one that used to belong to Chris, indicated by "Chris Miles" being written on the door and Chris's fish drawings on the walls. And interestingly enough, they both get expelled and end up having to vacate it by the time their respective generations are over.
Katie remembers Tony when she meets Effy in the S3 opener, and mentions how all her friends fancied him but she didn't.
Thomas's apartment complex seems to be the same one that housed Maxxie and Sketch in S2 or, at least, strongly resembles it.
In Liv's episode in S6, Doug talks about a time when he had to dance disco to help a girl get through her exam. That girl was Cassie in her S2 episode.
In the finale of Season 3, Cook and his father visit a bar that looks to be the same bar that is featured in generation 1's Unseen episode "To Russia With Love..." where Chris meets porn star Kathy Barry and eventually receives a check in order to go with the rest of the class to Russia in episode 6 of season 1.
Two girls with hairstyles matching Emily and Naomi's show up in Liv's series 5 episode, but their faces are never shown
Contrived Coincidence: Liv's season 5 episode involved her randomly hooking up with Matty who unbeknownst to her is the brother of Nick whom she had been sleeping with amongst other things .
Cosmic Deadline: All the evidence and clues suggest that the S4 finale was mashed together out of two distinct episodes at the very last minute.
All but confirmed by Word of God - Jamie Brittain is on record as saying that the latter half of the season didn't go as planned (the finale was supposed to be entirely Naomi's episode, rather than the Everyone it turned out to be, for example).
Tony's father asks him if he thinks he's a complete "James Blunt" in the pilot, which is rhyming slang for Country Matters.
Cowardly Sidekick: Arguably Sid Jenkins, and initially J.J. Also Grace and Liv, to Mini, in Franky's episode (though it doesn't last long).
Crowd Song: The last 4 minutes of Season 1, the cast all break into singing Cat Stevens' "Wild World", which is a departure from the norm of the series. This actually fits in perfectly as the lyrics describe what is happening and it also leads to some comedy when random extras such as men in the restroom and the bus driver sing too...
A less disbelief-suspending one happens in the Eura episode of the US remake as Stanley takes the stage with a cover of Tears For Fears' "Shout" (after having just interrupted the bands performance and getting booed off stage). Cadie and the band join in the fun.
Cruel Twist Ending: The ending of Rich's episode in the series 6. While many would have figured out by then that his encounters with Grace were hallucinations, you still wouldn't necessarily think it would be revealed at the same time that she was dead, mainly because the deaths for the other two generations had both happened towards the end, yet this was only episode 2. Most would have expected the death would happen later on and to someone else.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Seems to be what Cook did to John Foster in the final reels of the series 4 finale.
The Danza: Josie Long playing Chris' career counsellor Josie.
Humorously averted with the Fitches. Katherine Prescott plays Emily while Megan Prescott plays Katie.
Series 1 dealt with some serious issues, but was mostly upbeat. Series 2 starts with Tony recovering from being hit by a bus and ends with Chris dying, Cassie fleeing to America with Sid in pursuit, and everyone else parting ways. And inbetween, Sid's dad also died, and Jal got pregnant. At least we had the Sketch stalking Maxxie subplot to keep things lighter and goofier for a while there.
The pattern held for the second generation as well; Series 3 was much lighter in tone than Series 4, probably the darkest Skins season yet. Thankfully, Jamie Brittain has said that they do not plan to continue the pattern with the current generation; however, the first episode of series 6 ended with Grace in a coma and Matty a fugitive. Then Grace died the very next episode.
Dead All Along: Grace in the second episode of season six. Makes you wonder what exactly would have happened if Blood hadn't caught him and "Grace" when they were "making out"
Deadly Doctor: Effy's psychologist Dr. John Foster abuses his powers to manipulate Effy into forgetting Freddie and falling in love with him.
Not to mention he's also a demented killer, but his savage murder of Freddie with a baseball bat doesn't quite fit the trope as well.
Depending on the Writer: A couple of plans for Series 6 seem to have been changed by Jamie Brittain leaving the show, and Bryan Elsley returning due to the failure of Skins US. The biggest one is Mini's sexual orientation, as it was hinted both in S5 and in the novel that Mini is either lesbian or bisexual, due to her many "girl crushes" on her friends. And Brittain admitted in an interview for AfterEllen that this would be developed in S6. However, a month before S6 started up, Elsley and Freya Mavor (who plays Mini) did interviews where they said that the Mini/Franky romance would not be explored and Mini was officially straight. This caused a huge uproar with the lesbian fans, who were already mad at the Elsley-helmed US version's treatment of Tea. On a more minor note, Brittain had also said in interviews that the show would be abandoning the Rise and Fall model of the previous two generations, keeping things Lighter and Softer throughout both series of Generation 3. However, with Grace's death in the second episode, that also seems to have been abandoned.
Arguably, with all the crap that happens to Jal (almost to the point of becoming The Woobie) at the end of Series 2. Chris dead, unwanted teen pregnancy and eventual abortion, AND Mommy issues? How she managed to keep it together at Chris' funeral is a wonder.
This was basically the default setting for Chris. In S1 episode, his mother abandons him, we find out his dad has abandoned him already and his older brother is dead, and he even loses his house to a squatter! In his S2 episode, Chris gets kicked out of school, gets a new job only to lose it by the end of the episode, and unbeknownst to him, gets his best-friend-turned-girlfriend pregnant. And then in Jal's and Cassie's S2 episodes, he gets put in the hospital with the disease that killed his brother and eventually dies.
Several characters get this in Series 4, most prominently Cook and Effy.
Directed by Cast Member: Harry Enfield directed two episodes of series 2. Daniel Kaluuya, aka "Posh Kenneth," also wrote Jal's S2 episode and Thomas's S3 episode.
Disappeared Dad: Chris' father abandoned his family after Chris' brother Peter died, Pandora never knew her father (though the man that helps her in her season 4 Unseen Skins is hinted to be her dad), Effy's dad is suspiciously absent when his daughter is in the hospital after trying to kill herself, Thomas' dad is gone, Michelle's father is never even mentioned though we see two step-dads, Naomi's dad is mentioned in passing as being a twat, and Liv's dad was just never brought up.
Completely averted with Franky who has two very supportive dads. In fact she's the one who tends to disappear on them.
Deconstructed in Mini's series 6 episode only for it to then be immediately reconstructed
Driven to Suicide: Romantic rejection leads to Cassie's attempted suicide in S1 and Sophia's successful one in S4. Effy also tries to kill herself in Freddie's S4 episode, though it's never clear just what drives her to do it.
Especially with series 3 episode 2 of The Inbetweeners. Skins has taken years to try and give drug culture a positive image, Inbetweeners successfully ruins that image in 25 minutes.
Misfits has also been a contender, with some critics and fans calling it "Skins meets Heroes."
Doppelganger Dating: Cook's new girlfriend Arcia in S4's "Everyone" looks so much like Effy that Naomi calls her that by accident.
Eagle Land: "Osama! The Musical" is a definite example of Type 2. And oddly enough, the way the Skins characters are viewed by the Russians in the school trip episode encompasses a lot of stereotypes about Americans (culturally ignorant/insensitive, arrogant, gullible, etc.) as opposed to English ones.
The taxi driver and the Iowa boy who help Cassie when she escapes to New York give a more positive portrayal of Americans. Although Sid still manages to meet some asshole Noo Yawkers when he goes around asking where Cassie is.
Enforced Method Acting: When JJ blows fire in his S3 episode, when he's in the shed with Freddie, Effy and Cook. While Ollie Barbieri was learning the trick, Luke, Kaya and Jack were put under the impression that the fire would be added in with special effects, so their shock when it happened was completely genuine.
Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Played straight with most of the characters, but averted by others who started their arcs as virgins, such as Sid, Anwar, Pandora, JJ, Alo, Rich, Franky and Mini, and most likely Jal, Emily and Grace, too. So far, all of them have lost their virginities, all but Jal and Alo in their first series. In the US remake, Stanley, Daisy and Abbud also started as virgins, but that didn't last long, either.
Expy: Most of the US cast are based on characters from the first UK generation. Besides those that share the same first name, Stanley=Sid, Cadie=Cassie, Daisy=Jal, Abbud=Anwar, and Tina=Angie. Tea could also be considered the Distaff Counterpart of Maxxie, though she plays a much bigger role in the plot.
If you think about it (a little too much), all the "main characters" of every generation, Tony for the first, Effy for the second, and Franky for the third, share a lot of basic traits in common. All are considered very attractive by their peers (Franky wasn't as popular in season 5, but then there's season 6 when she stopped taping her boobs down...); all three are prone to acting dreamily or doing downright odd things; they've all been in the center of some kind of love formation; and they all go by nicknames (which is fairly common on Skins, but still).
Not sure where the "Tony, Effy and Franky are the three main characters" interpretation comes from-I'm not aware of any confirmation via Wordof God on this.
It's never been brought up, but all three of them are definitely at the center of each of their respective generations.
Fake Nationality: The Polish student from the pilot episode. It's obvious from even from her pretty much "niezrozumiale" (incomprehensible) "Ostatnio! Prawdziwa chłop przybywa." that Polish is not the first language of the actress. Judging from her actual skill (Or So I Heard) in Italian, it's not her second either.
Five Philosophy Ensemble: The guys of the first generation. Tony is the cynic, Sid is the conflicted, Chris is the optimist, Maxxie is the realist and Anwar is the apathetic.
Foreshadowing: Possibly a case of Fridge Brilliance as well but a number of major plot points in S4 were arguably foreshadowed back in S3, such as the song playing off at the end of the twins' S3 episode, particularly when the vocals come in. Lyrical Dissonance, perhaps? Or in Freddie's episode, Naomi's analysis of Hamlet.
Four Girl Ensemble: In the second generation, Effy and Katie split the "sexy one"; Pandora is the sweet, naive one and The Ditz; Emily is the nurturing one; and Naomi is the Deadpan Snarker. In the third generation, Liv is the "sexy" one who Really Gets Around; Mini is the naive, cute one; Grace is the Team Mom; and Franky is the mannish one.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: The girls of the third generation. Liv is sanguine, Mini is choleric, Franky is melancholic and Grace is phlegmatic.
Freudian Excuse: Most of the characters have terrible parents, but none more so than Chris and Cook.
Get Back in the Closet: BBC America got a lot of criticism along these lines for how they edited Series 3, allowing fairly raunchy moments between opposite-sex couples (like Cook and Effy's grinding in the closet) while pulling a Fade to Black with far tamer scenes featuring Naomi and Emily.
Gilligan Cut: Directly after Doug tells the students to take it easy before their exams. Take a guess as to what it cuts to.
Maxxie and Anwar are this for Sid in his S1 episode, with Maxxie wearing devil horns encouraging Sid to go outside and smoke pot with his friends, while Anwar, wearing a halo, tells him he should go to class even if he's late.
Katie and Cook don the outfits in Freddie's episode, and he needs both of their help to try and save Effy.
Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted when Jal gets an abortion in Series 2, so she can continue on with her music studies at Uni.
G-Rated Drug: The American version has the kids referring to fictional pharmaceutical drugs by their color (mainly blue, which are apparently mood enhancers). Otherwise, though, both shows avert this.
Hands-Off Parenting: Cassie's parents are preoccupied with sex and making nude paintings that they tend to overlook their daughter. In a twist the father is the artist.
Naomi's mother subscribes to the New-Age Retro Hippie variant, having turned their house into a commune.
And Cook's mother is a wackjob conceptual artist too, although that's the least of her problems.
Liv's mom all the way. Her oldest daughter's in prison for stabbing somebody, her middle daughter parties, drinks, and does drugs heavily, and her youngest daughter always has her face buried in sci-fi books. What does she do? Abandons them to go to conventions about rocks and magic and aliens.
Hey, It's That Guy!: Very common. For starters, the show has a tradition of casting well-known British comics and comic actors as the parents; of 18 main characters in the first two series (well, 16 if you note the two pairs of siblings), 15 (13) have at least one comic for a parent.
A couple of the main characters are this too; more than a few people know Tony as "him from About a Boy," and Dev Patel is now far better known for Slumdog Millionaire than for being Anwar.
Geeks are about to get this with Luke Pasqualino (Freddie), given that he's been cast as a young Bill Frakkin' Adama.
More than a few people recognized Dakota Blue Richards from The Golden Compass when Generation 3 was revealed.
Fans of The Vicar of Dibley will recognize Sid's dad as Tristan, the handsome BBC director who Geraldine fell for in "Songs of Praise". Others will know him as angry, foul-mouthed, political spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.
Now Peter Capaldi has been confirmed by Wordof God as the Twelfth Doctor, expect this to be taken to a whole new level. Up to Eleven...or is that Twelve?
Speaking of Dibley, in Pandora's episode, Hugo Horton (or John Dashwood for Austen fans) appears in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as the cranky neighbor who is revealed to be in a sex tape with Pandora's mum when Effy and Cook fall into the house next door.
Tony comes up with an annoyingly long list of euphemisms for Sid losing his virginity in the first episode of the first series. Sid eventually tells him to "fuck off."
Ice Queen: Effy Stonem, she of the sly reticence and the glacial indifference. It was a stroke of genius to overlap this with her role as Fille Fatale.
By the time you get to the end of the series, it's difficult to remember that Naomi started this way (she's explicitly referred to as the "snow queen" in the book) before Emily defrosted the hell out of her.
The twins, Katie and Emily, have birth marks by opposite eyes. Katie's is by her left eye, while Emily's is by her right. Though these appear to be make up that the twins put on, as Emily can be seen without hers after swimming with Naomi, and also switches which eye it is by when she pretends to be Katie.
In Series 4, Katie dyes her hair a much darker color, while Emily keeps hers red. This makes identification much easier.
Even in Series 3, while Katie and Emily still look pretty similar, Katie has a generally flashier way of dressing, choosing bold patterns like animal prints, while Emily goes for more classic, simple styles - emphasizing their personality differences.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The title of each episode is simply the name of the main character featured that week, mostly because the writers know that people will just refer to (for example) "Naomi's episode". Exceptions are the first episode per generation (usually called Everyone) and the last (usually called Finale), because they normally cover virtually everyone. Of course, this results in considerable ambiguity; there are four episodes called "Effy".
Informed Attribute: A lot of the characters have interests and attributes in their E4 character profiles that never show up in the actual show - the biggest example being and Liv's obsession with dancing.
Naomi's episode in S3 has Emily and Keiran make clear her interest in politics and her run for president
Innocent Innuendo: In-universe example. Sid is helping Jal zip up a dress in a changing booth and gets his finger stuck. The resulting conversation causes a few worried looks from the other shoppers.
Also, Maxxie's mom helping Tony with his fly.
Intoxication Ensues: In S3, when Katie and Effy lace the brownies with ecstasy at Panda's pajama party, unbeknownst to everyone else.
Ivy League For Everyone: Thomas's sports scholarship and Panda's history scholarship to Harvard at the end of S4. While Thomas's scholarship was particularly impossible with him having been EXPELLED and all, both demonstrate massive research failure in terms of differences between English and American university admissions.
Similarly, despite being home to the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, EVERYONE who goes to university leaves Bristol to do so. Admittedly, the UK trend is for students to live away from home for their undergraduate degrees, even if they do originate from a university town, but it still seems a little unlikely that, across three diverse friendship groups of sixth-formers, NO-ONE would go on to study locally.
Law of Inverse Fertility: The show's only Teen Pregnancy storylines among the main cast were given to Jal, who was implied to be a virgin - or, at least, extremely choosy - before the sex with Chris that knocked her up, and Mini, who started her generation as a virgin and received a lot of mockery for it from those who knew. Contrast those with Generation 2, when Katie, who has bragged about her numerous boyfriends, goes in for a pregnancy test and finds out that she is going through premature menopause and will never conceive.
Done several times, especially by Effy in Series 2.
Chris's comment in Michelle's S1 episode about how it's "like a fuckin' episode of The O.C. in here!" could be seen as this.
When trying to get into Pandora's slumber party, J.J. tells Cook that "teen dramas" tend to exaggerate what happens at such events. Cook's response?
Cook: "Have you ever heard of wish fulfillment, J.J.?"
S6 ends with Rich looking up to the camera and saying "Bye" to Grace, and as we may assume to the viewers also.
Left Hanging: Happens at the end of both the completed generations:
At the end of Series 2, we never find out what happens between Sid and Cassie. And while it's implied that Tony and Michelle don't get back together, it's never quite revealed why, and there's hope left for a reunion.
It's revealed in Skins: Pure, Cassie's two parter that Sid did find Cassie and after traveling America for about four years prior to the events in Skins: Pure, Cassie dumped him and left for London.
As of Skins: Fire, Cook's two parter episode and the last episode of Skins, Cook did in fact kill John Foster and it has haunted him for years. As far as anyone else knowing if Freddie is dead, it hasn't been brought up.
The fact of the matter is we only know definitively about the future plans of Thomas and Pandora as well as Freddie's lack of them. As of Skins: Fire, Pure and Rise, we find out that Effy's going to prison after partaking in illegal insider trading; Naomi and Emily do stay together though, with Naomi becoming a famous comedienne and Emily working in New York...until Naomi's untimely death due to cancer; Cassie ends up back in London and after her father runs off, she becomes the legal guardian of her little brother while also becoming a model; and Cook is still running from the cops. It was also suggested that Naomi will be going to some sort of university - though even that's unclear - and Word of God has said that Naomi and Emily end up getting marriednote He was lying though.. And it's assumed that JJ is staying in Bristol to help Lara take care of her baby, though again, not confirmed. Other than that, though, there's nothing. Katie's fate is left completely open. Part of the problem is that the creators were likely banking on the Skins movie (which planned to focus on Gen 2) to resolve these loose ends, but now they've decided to use three two-parter episodes based on the characters Effy, Cook and Cassie to wrap things up completely.
Limited Social Circle: Whenever a major character's list of friends is displayed on their mobile phone, only other major characters are listed. Conversely, the 24 Hour Party People turn up whenever a larger gathering is required.
Long List: Karen's got one in gen 2. Also Cassie's video diary whilst in therapy.
"But I like all the wrong things. Y’know, Gossip Girl, Davina, Dick Van Dyke, Lady and the Tramp, Hannah Montana, monster trucks, Dancing on Ice, mojitos, Rio Ferdinand, Masala Zone, Pop Tarts, Jude Law’s accent in Cold Mountain, hair straighteners, Love Actually, Kylie, Whitney, Britney, Robbie, Brucie, L’oreal, Wild At Heart, milk, Comic Relief, ponies, Posh, Becks, pecs, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and heavy petting. God, I fucking love that."
Generation 1: Tony and Michelle start the series as a couple. But Tony's best friend Sid is in love with Michelle. And Tony cheats on Michelle with Abigail and Maxxie. Cassie falls for Sid, and Sid slowly finds himself returning her feelings and they became a couple before Cassie moves to Scotland. After discovering Tony's cheating and dumping him, Michelle hooks up with Abigail's brother, Josh, leading Tony to frame Josh as having slept with Abigail. Josh retaliates by drugging Tony's sister Effy and demanding that Tony has sex with her if he wants Josh to call an ambulance (he doesn't, but Effy survives). In the finale, Tony tries to get back together with Michelle, telling her he loves her before getting hit by a bus. In S2, Tony's accident results in various complications including erectile dysfunction, putting his relationship with Michelle on hold. Sid/Cassie are also falling apart, so Sid and Michelle end up getting together out of loneliness. Cassie returns and rejects Sid for his infidelity, suggesting to Tony that the two of them should hook up. When Tony declines, Cassie begins sleeping around with people of both genders to make Sid jealous. It works; Sid and Michelle break up, and Sid gets back with Cassie. By this point, Tony has mostly recovered from his injury, and he and Michelle reunite as well. Through all of this, Chris is dating his teacher, Angie, but she's engaged. So he hooks up with Jal. But then Angie comes back and he cheats on Jal with her, but Jal forgives him and they get back together and remain so until Chris's death, even after Jal gets pregnant by Chris (which ends in an an abortion). Maxxie is being stalked by a girl named Sketch, despite him being gay, and Sketch hooks up with Maxxie's best friend Anwar (who had previously lost his virginity to a Russian girl in S1) when she can't have Maxxie. She tries to make Anwar look like Maxxie and the two break up when Anwar realizes this. Maxxie finds a boyfriend in James, and they move away to London at the end of the series with Anwar in tow.
Generation 2: In the first episode, best friends Freddie, Cook and JJ all meet Effy and all immediately fall for her. Cook and Effy sleep together and continue to for much of the series, while Freddie continues to pine for Effy. Effy's best friend Pandora gets together with Thomas, but after he leaves the country, she starts an affair with Cook, which she continues after he returns and it eventually results in their breakup. While all this is going on, Naomi and Emily start up a heartfelt but unofficial romance behind closed doors. Naomi promises Cook that she'll sleep with him if he wins the student election, which she almost goes through with when he does. Emily gives JJ a sympathy shag for him to lose his virginity. Effy falls for Freddie, but he has started a relationship with Katie. While high on shrooms at a party, Effy gets into a fight with Katie and hits her with a rock, and then sleeps with Freddie. After Katie is taken into hospital, Effy skips town with Cook. The next episode, despite Katie's interference, Emily and Naomi resolve their issues and become an official couple, as do Thomas and Pandora. In the series finale, JJ and Freddie track down Cook and Effy. JJ demands that Effy choose between the three of them right there and then: she picks Freddie. In series 4, Freddie and Effy are a couple but Cook still holds feelings for Effy. Naomi cheats on Emily with Sophia (who kills herself when Naomi rejects her) and the two all but break up. Emily falls to pieces and starts punishing Naomi, including sleeping with her friend Mandy. Thomas, still angry at Pandora for sleeping with Cook, cheats on her with Andrea, which causes Pandora to dump him. Naomi kisses Cook but rejects him because she's in love with Emily. JJ gets a girlfriend in Lara. Katie kisses and develops feelings for Thomas, but he still loves Pandora. Effy goes crazy and almost kills herself, and gets a psychologist, John Foster. Foster falls in love with Effy and so beats Freddie to death with a baseball bat. The series ends with Naomi and Emily, and presumably Thomas and Pandora, reuniting, while Cook avenges Freddie's death by seemingly beating up Foster, possibly to death.
Generation 3: Nick and Mini start the series as a couple. Franky met and developed feelings for Matty. Rich and Grace become a couple. After Mini was reluctant to sleep with Nick, he cheated on her with her best friend, Liv, which ultimately results in Mini and Nick breaking up a few episodes later. The next episode, Liv hooked up with Nick's brother Matty in a drug-fuelled night of passion, and then they became a couple, but Nick holds a torch for Liv until she rejects him in his episode. Feelings are still shared between Franky and Matty, and Liv eventually gets sick of their obvious feelings and breaks up with Matty. Matty and Franky try and have sex only for Franky to Freak Out hinting at possible past abuse, and they come to an understanding of sorts. Also, Mini has developed a blatantly-obvious one-sided crush on Franky as of the S5 finale. In series 6, Franky and Matty are an official couple for all of one episode, and during that time their relationship is definitely strained, before it finally collapses in on itself with Grace dying and Matty running away from the scene, which obviously leaves Rich depressed. Mini has given up her crush on Franky, and her and Alo begin a friends with benefits relationship that ends with Mini pregnant and the two keeping the baby as a happy couple. Meanwhile, Nick has gained feelings for Franky, but is unsure to act on them considering the circumstances, especially after Franky hooks up with the abusive Luke. Once Franky leaves him though, her and Nick eventually hook up, but their relationship appears to be almost completely sexual. Liv, who used to be interested in both Nick and Matty, appears to have a crush on new kid Alex, but this is shut down by him after he reveals that he's gay, and the two become best buds instead. At the end of the series, Matty returns, and is fully invested in getting Franky back, however she wants nothing to do with him considering how he was involved with Grace's death In spite of this, the finale reveals that Franky cares for both of the Levan boys, but honestly believes that no good can come from her being with either of them, which leaves Nick and Matty reestablishing their bond as brothers, while Rich finally is able to get the closure he needs from Grace's death after the two share a surreal, and final, kiss in a pool
US Remake: Tony and Michelle are a couple, though Tony cheats on her repeatedly, including with a rich girl named Tabitha. Tea hooks up with Betty, who is initially reluctant to ditch her beard boyfriend, but they eventually start dating. However, Tony begins to fall for Tea, who confuses her friendly chemistry with him for sexual attraction and sleeps with him. Abbud, who liked Tea but thought she was gay, feels betrayed by this. Michelle finds out about Tony's cheating when she catches chlamydia from him, causing her to cut all ties with both him and Tea, who also gets dumped by Betty. Michelle goes after Stanley, who is torn between her and Cadie (who is now dating Warren). Abbud and Daisy sleep together "as friends," but begin to develop feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Chris is sleeping with his teacher Tina, who gets fired and charged as a sex offender, forbidden to contact Chris again. In the finale, Stanley/Michelle and Daisy/Abbud become couples, Cadie and Warren break up and Tea apologizes to Tony for leading him on while trying to fix things with Betty.
Matty DOES have ties to a character in Season 5, Nick (his brother).
The writers said in an interview toward the beginning of S3 that Naomi was not gay.
Many lesbian fans saw all the hyping of Tea as a super-confident lesbian, after she started sleeping with Tony, repeatedly, as this trope.
Jamie Brittain said that the pattern of having a kind of light season followed by a  season wouldn't happen for Generation 3. S6 is probably the darkest season yet, with a main character in a coma as of the first episode, and dying in the second, a character that ran away and is wanted by the cops, a pregnant girl who really doesn't know what to do and can't even admit to herself that she's pregnant, problems with Russian mafia, and most of the characters being troubled psychologicaly by grief. And from what we've seen from the previews, it's not going better to be better in the last 2 episodes.
Mini in Franky and Rich's episodes, before her own fall from grace.
Missing Mom: A common trope for the show. Chris' mom ditches him in his season 1 episode without us even seeing her until Cassie's episode in season 2.
In season 5, we get a scene between Matty, Nick, their father, and David Blood, with Blood questioning how "Mrs. Levan" feels about Matty joining Roundview. There is a notable tension between the three Levan boys after that, with both Nick and Matty glaring at their father in response (Nick had to actually remind himself to look away though Matty took a moment or two before doing the same) and Mr. Levan's response is to start trashing on the woman and how she isn't "committed to anything". The exact reason behind her leaving is never fully explained.
Maxxie and Tony getting it on is, for the Yaoi Fans in the audience at least, a pretty hot moment... until the camera pans to Michelle and you see her wince. And whatever leftover hotness is then doused in cold water when Maxxie rebuffs Tony, saying that "We've finally found something you're not actually good at."
In Cassie's S2 episode, it's easy to forget that just a few minutes before Chris's death, Cassie was dancing around to "Funkytown" before her final exam and, then, stealing a goofy t-shirt for Chris.
S4 had this on the episode level - Freddie's incredibly bleak episode is followed by JJ's rather sunny, sweet one, which is then followed by another very dark Effy episode that ends with Freddie's death. Many fans interpreted "JJ" as a breather.
The S6 premiere starts out incredibly light, with the only drama being the friction between Matty and Franky and Alo and Mini hooking up. Then, the crash happens and everything goes to shit. The feeling is portrayed heartbreakingly well across Rich's face.
Another one would be in Alex's episode, when he takes everybody out for a boat party. Sure Mini and Liv are off in a corner having deep thoughts and whatnot but Alo, Franky, Nick, and Alex are all having a great time. Then Mini accidentally discovers Alex's grandmother's corpse and what was once a fun binge at sea becomes a powerful moment of grief that helps the characters really come to turns with how effected they are by Grace's death.
Moral Guardians: The US remake. Even with the nudity and most of the swearing from the UK original gone, it was described as "child porn."
Name's the Same: The second generation featured a James Cook and a Naomi Campbell. The latter is briefly given a little Lampshade Hanging when she becomes angry on her first appearance on the show. Averted in Real Life in that the twin who played Katie was Megan Prescott, rather than her sister, Kathryn, who played Emily. T
Sid, Anwar, and the ostensibly-celibate-in-S1 Jal all have had sex multiple times by the end of Season 2.
Even J.J. from Season 3 eventually gets a sympathy screw - from the show's resident lesbian, no less. He gets some genuine lovin' in his S4 episode, though.
Mini as well.
Never Trust a Trailer: A little rule of thumb for this show. If a scene appears in the Next Week segment, expect the actual meaning of the scene to be the exact opposite of whatever's shown. Especially if the scene depicts any two characters kissing.
When Michelle tells her mother that she has broken up with Tony due to his frolic with Maxxie, her response is "Oh right, well just say you're sorry or something."
When Effy attempts to explain to her mother about wanting to break up with Cook and realises she isn't listening, she announces "It's going to make it really difficult to look after our baby," and finally drops a vase on the floor.
JJ's mother also pulls one of these on her husband, who never looks up from his newspaper, in JJ's S4 episode.
The U.S. version has Eura pull this on her parents by stripping down to her bra and panties and pouring a container of yogurt over her head.
Played with in the case of Sid and Michelle. The Dogged Nice Guy loves his Jerkass best friend's girlfriend? Clearly, it's only a matter of time before the girl's heart gets broken and she realizes what she really wanted was just underneath her nose, right? By the time this happens, though, Sid's affections have already turned toward Cassie and he's realized he never truly loved Michelle. And when they do get together in S2, they're clearly Romantic False Leads from early on. Or as Sid said, "We had great sex for three days and guilty sex for the rest." However, their American counterparts, Stanley and Michelle, do end up together.
In S3, Emily is the only one who truly sympathizes with and listens to JJ, helping him to confront his crummy friends, even flashing her breasts at him to get him to focus when he's getting "locked-on." He also comforts her later in his episode, when she's crying about her homophobic sister finding out that she's a lesbian. They even share a sympathy screw at the end! ...But wait, we did mention Emily is a lesbian, right? Just in case anyone hadn't figured it out from the previous episode, Emily gives JJ a spectacular coming-out speech that doubles as her Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
A fairly minor one in Generation 3, where Liv misinterprets Alex's interest in her as romantic. It's all but spelled out that he was afraid if she knew he was gay, their budding friendship would have been stopped dead in its tracks (which was the case initially).
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Series 4's finale ends just as Cook is about to fight John Foster. Who wouldn't want to see Cook tear Foster apart after what he did in the previous episode?
One Steve Limit: Averted in several instances. In addition to Jim Stonem (Tony and Effy's father),the second generation had both James Cook and James Fitch, twins Katie and Emily's younger brother. Of course, one of the writers is Jamie Brittain, although there is no obvious Author Avatar. Also, in the first series, Cassie's fellow patient at the therapeutic treatment centre ("Water Bottle Girl") is sometimes credited as Katie. The sixth series had two Al's-Alo and Alex (they're even referred to as Al 1 and Al 2 occasionally in Skins Lock-in). Alex shares his name with a hanger-on "conceptual artist" who appears in Cook's series 4 episode. The show has featured Franky's two dads, Geoff and Jeff. There have been Elizabeth Jenkins (Sid's mum), Pandora's Aunt Elizabeth, and Elizabeth "Effy" Stonem. "Beth", the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in Tony's series 2 episode may be another if she is an actual person, although many fans see her as Tony's subconscious manifestation of Effy. All the men in Sid's extended family, with the exception of Sid and his father, Mark, have names which are variations of "Alexander". She may be a Shelley, but one of the chav girls who beat Sid up in his series 1 episode is called "Shell", as is Michelle. Thomas Tomoni shares a name with the tutor Tom. Averted by Skins: Fire, where a different character named Freddie goes by without comment.
Only Child Syndrome: Fairly prevalent throughout the show. Sid, Maxxie, Sketch, Pandora, JJ, Naomi, Alo, Rich, Mini, Grace and Alex all appear to be completely devoid of siblings. Franky is the adopted only child of her two dads, but it turns out towards the end of series 6 that she has a biological sister. Cassie has a brother, but he is around fifteen years her junior. Chris has a deceased older brother and an infant half-brother. Michelle has a step-sister but no biological siblings. Cook has a much younger brother whom he has seen little of prior to the period covered by the show. And of course, there are the Stonems.
Franky seems almost physically unable to refer to herself as Francesca, and is embarrased when Doug says it.
Toxic Bob, the music shop owner from series five.
Averted and lampshaded with Mini. Alo refers to her as Minerva during 5x06 but she denies that it's her full name, although many assume it still is.
Opposites Attract: Both Chris/Jal and Grace/Rich. It's even lampshaded in the latter case, by Grace. Naomi and Emily could also be a minor version of this, in that Naomi is headstrong and independent while Emily is (at least initially) meek and a bit clingy.
Outlaw Couple: Cook and Effy throughout points of series 3, possibly (particularly towards the end), It's even lampshaded.
Liv and Matty could count too on Liv's episode of series 5.
Overprotective Dad: Katie and Emily's father Rob Fitch, greeting Freddie and JJ with a big smile on his face:
Rob: If they're not still virgins tomorrow, I'll hunt you down like dogs.
...and Rob is nothing compared to David Blood. He bugged his daughter and practically stalked her, for heaven's sakes!
Paper-Thin Disguise: Grace, in Rich's S5 episode, dresses up as a metalhead and takes the name "Sub Rosa" (Sub for short). Rich isn't fooled, but indulges her anyway. (And for anyone with a cursory knowledge of Latin, even her name is as lazy as "Guy Incognito.")
Anthea clearly favors Effy; in general, Tony's parents are the only ones who see him for the Jerkass he is.
Chris' father is also heavily implied to have not paid any attention to him, preferring his deceased son Peter. When Chris goes to visit him, there are no baby photos of Chris and his father refuses to see him.
Nick and Matty's father clearly prefers Nick (the "good" son) over Matty. Interestingly, however, Nick is the one who is jealous of Matty, not the other way around.
Freddie's father certainly seems to favor his sister Karen.
With the Terrible Trio in Gen 2, Cook is the Id, JJ is the Ego and Freddie is the Superego (although JJ and Freddie sometimes switch places, particularly whenever Cook and Freddie start fighting over Effy).
Mini's crew in Generation 3 can be seen as such: Liv is the Id, Mini is the Ego, and Grace is the Superego.
And a separate Gen 3 Power Trio with Alo as the Id, Rich as the Ego and Franky as the Superego.
Put on a Bus: Harriet, the hapless college Principal, is abruptly removed from her post at Roundview and replaced with the draconian Professor David Blood in series 4.
Professor Blood himself disappears after the death of his daughter in series 6. Doug is eventually promoted to Principal, implying that Blood was too grief-stricken to return to Roundview College.
Queer Romance: The show wasn't intended as this trope, but a lot of the acclaim it received for the second generation was due to its lesbian Super Couple of Naomi and Emily. By series 4, a fair number of viewers were watching just for the Naomily bits, especially when that series started taking all the other couples in rather trainwrecky directions. It's still recommended on various LGBT sites as one of the best portrayals of a teen queer couple to ever grace TV sets. And Generation 3 continues to draw in lesbian fans with Mini's crush on Franky, however one-sided it may be.
Reality Subtext: Ironically, while at the end of series 2, Anwar is the only member of the main cast who isn't 'going somewhere' with his life—but immediately after leaving the show, Dev Patel was cast as the lead in Slumdog Millionaire. Not bad.
Recurring Extra: Posh Kenneth from the first generation is the only real example of this. He shows up in a lot of episodes as an incidental comic relief character, who never has any bearing at all on the plot.
Cassie moves to Elgin in between seasons 1 and 2, where she's seen learning highland dancing in a traditional outfit.
Mini and her mother are from Scotland. However, they mostly Avert the trope since, the mother's Glaswegian accent aside, they don't follow any stereotypes about the Scots.
Sid's dad Mark is also Scottish, and we even see his Violent Glaswegian father, brother and nephews all come to Bristol to terrorize them.
Screwed by the Network: E4 cut the budget for series 4, resulting in there only being eight episodes. For nine characters. Series 5 was also limited to eight episodes, although at least the creators were prepared that time. It was fixed with the upcoming Series 6, which has been confirmed for ten episodes.
Screwed by the Lawyers: The US version almost had this, when Moral Guardians started asserting that the show violated child pornography laws and threatened to get law enforcement involved. The show didn't actually violate any laws, though, so all it resulted in was the loss of some gullible advertisers.
Sensual Slavs: Anka, the sexy Russian who takes Anwar's virginity, and the Polish girl in the pilot.
Shout-Out: Cook's look towards the end of his S4 episode (in his lawyer's office in front of the window; defiant, collar popped, arms in front) is a direct reference to a famous shot of Lewis Thornton Powell, one of the people involved in the Lincoln assassination, in irons.
Anka, the woman Anwar meets in Russia, claims she learned English from "best American TV show" but never names it. Some fans, however, may have been able to guess, as she later uses that famous phrase "we were on a break."
Don't forget she says "He'll be there for you when the rain starts to fall" in reference to Maxxie being a good friend to Anwar, another possible Friends reference.
In S4, when Katie (in her episode) looks at the blackboard in Naomi's house, and sees written (supposedly by Naomi and Emily in happier times) "I am your lobster", and "I love you more than cheese," these are yet again references to that same American TV Show.
The theme tune is a possible Shout-Out to Rugrats. They sound similar, and it would be thematically relevant: the lives of babies vs. the lives of teens, and both shows were made for the same generation.
Eura's episode in the North American series has a scene in her room where we see a large poster with backwards writing hanging on her wall. The words on that poster is the speech Effy made in her S1 episode, and the very first words the character ever spoke in the series.
Possibly Abigails Party in the first episode, the name of a 1977 UK play involving an alcohol-laced house party.
In S6, when Matty'sStalker with a Crush behavior becomes too much for Franky, she yells at him to drop the  act.
Sibling Triangle: In season 5, both Matty and Nick are interested in Liv. And in season 6, it happens over again with their target this time being Franky.
All the questions about Naomi's sexuality turn out to be pretty much moot, when she finally turns out to have always been an Emilysexual; The Speech in the S4 finale is basically her coming out as such.
Emily is clearly one toward Naomi as well; Cassie also appears to be one toward Sid romantically, if not sexually.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Subverted with Michelle, who seems to understand that Sid cares about her more and would be a nicer boyfriend than Tony, but still prefers Tony. Played with more in S2, when Michelle and Sid do get together and it doesn't work out because, despite everyone's theorizing to the contrary in S1, Sid doesn't actually love Michelle but Cassie, and it turns out Tony really does love her.
Subverted, averted, and played straight throughout Franky's S6 episode. For one, she wants nothing to do with Matty because she would rather put all the blame for Grace's death on him than deal with the immense guilt she feels and seeks out Luke, the guy who, at its core, pretty much caused the whole mess at Morocco. The two enter into a mutually abusive relationship that eventually culminates in Luke raping her after he feels threatened by a phone call from Matty and an earlier conflict with Nick, who'd been playing the Dogged Nice Guy trying to get Franky to realize just how fucked up Luke was. The problem with that approach was that Franky knew exactly what kind of guy Luke was and sought him out specifically (or at least on a subconscious level) to punish herself for her own involvement in Grace's death. By the end of the episode though, Franky arrives at Nick's doorstep to apologize for what happened and the two share a cute moment of crossed signals.
Smug Straight Edge: Cook and Effy meet one in the S3 finale. Given the show's general disposition towards drugs and drug culture, it surprises absolutely no one that the first time we meet a teenager who doesn't take drugs, it ***has to*** be this trope.
Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: Subverted, at least as far as race and sexuality go. Both characters killed off were White straight guys. One article joked about the S4 finale, "This might be the first time in human history that at the story’s end, everyone’s life is shit except for the lesbians’ and the black guy’s." But Season 6 breaks this pattern, killing off Grace.
Stealth Pun: In the first episode Pandora appears in, Tony receives Michelle's watch in the post.
Pandora: Can I open it? I love parcels!
The Stoner: Everybody is one to at least some degree, but certain characters stand out as more drug-loving than others.
Suddenly Sexuality: Mini's interest in Franky has been seen as this by some viewers, coming as it did after all the drama with Nick. And then, after it had been developed toward the end of S5 and in the prequel novel, the show announced that Mini was actually straight and not in love with Franky, and these same accusations started up again.
Through the Eyes of Madness: In Cassie's episode she keeps getting texts telling her to EAT! on her phone and seeing the word spelled out elsewhere. Nobody is texting her. They are all just hallucinations.
Tony's season 2 episode, without a doubt.
Effy has a couple of moments like this. In her S3 episode, when she is on mushrooms, we see her fight with Katie through her stoned haze; in Freddie's S4 episode we see the attackers she's hallucinating as we watch Freddie scare them away for her. We also watch her tell herself that bad things didn't happen and see those things actually disappear - or play out as she wanted them to play out like Tony walking across the street without getting hit - in her S4 episode when John Foster is directing her to forget all her bad memories.
Tends to happen when a character is on some particularly powerful or hallucinogenic drug. Besides Effy in her S3 episode, there's also Sid in the S2 opener when he's on the LSD Cassie gave him, and Liv and Matty in the former's S5 episode after they've taken the drugs they nicked from the bum.
In S6 the deceased Grace would occasionally pop up around her grieving friends. And then of course there's Rich's S6 episode
Token Minority: Jal Fazer, a bright girl who is discriminated against because she is black, and Anwar Kharral, a Pakistani Muslim whose religion leads him to question his friendship with Maxxie.
Maxxie, Emily, and Naomi to an extent, definitely Thomas.
Cassie because of her anorexia and JJ because of his autism.
Matty could be interpreted this way, but Grace for sure.
Tea is a Twofer Token Minority, being lesbian and (half-)Jewish. Also, Cadie is biracial, Daisy is Latina and Abbud is a Pakistani Muslim.
Triang Relations: It's a Teen Drama, of course there's Triang Relations. The most notable though is definitely Cook/Effy/Freddie, which at its core is somewhere between a Type 4, Type 1, with a genuine smidgen of Type 9, and let's be honest here a fair amount of Type 11.
Cook: She broke my heart as well. You broke my heart. I bet you’ve broken hers at some point. So what are we gonna do? Are we just three losers screwing each other forever? Or are we something better than that?
True Companions: The whole premise of the show is about gangs of very close, very screwed-up teenagers, most of whom have poor family lives and need close, protective friendships to help them struggle through it all. In many cases, they actually do take the places of the families that have abandoned them, such as with Chris, Cassie or Cook.
TV Teens: Strongly averted, the teens have sex, swear, take drugs... even have acne sometimes!
Twincest: Episode 9 in the third series certainly had lots of undertones with Katie and Emily.
Twin Switch: In Katie and Emily's S3 episode, Emily pretends to be Katie and sits in for the latter's exam because Katie doesn't want anyone to see her injuries after Effy hits her with a rock in the previous episode. Which results in a very confused Freddie when he sees what looks like Katie kissing and then walking away hand-in-hand with Naomi.
Katie also poses as Emily later in the episode, in order to trick Naomi into seeing her so Katie can tell her to stay away from Emily, and spread the news that Emily had sex with JJ.
Two Act Structure: Each generation roughly follows the "Rise and Fall" pattern, following its lighter first series with a Darker and Edgier second series, where things start falling apart.
Chris's S2 episode was a big one. First, he gets expelled from school. Then, Cassie returns to Bristol and reveals to everyone that Sid and Michelle are together. Then, Chris and Jal get together and Jal gets pregnant. Also, two ships are sunk: Chris/Angie and Anwar/Sketch, not that the second one ever had any shippers, of course...
Effy's S4 episode was probably the biggest one. The WHAM in question being inflicted on Freddie by John Foster with a baseball bat...
The first two episodes of S4 qualify as well. You could even say the entire season was one long Wham Episode.
S6 was full of these: first in the premiere when Matty accidentally flips a truck carrying pounds of cocaine along with him, Grace, and Liv, and then runs from the scene then in the very next episode when it's revealed that Grace has died and all of Rich's interactions with her have been hallucinations. You'd think they'd be over by then but no because in Franky's episode, she hooks up with Luke, the same guy she'd been flirting with in Morocco and who'd had the drugs put on the Matty's truck in the first place. Also, Nick confesses his attraction to her. To be honest, it's hard to choose which was more shocking. Next there's Mini's episode where Alo confesses his love for her and it's revealed she's pregnant with his child, which was then followed by Liv's when Matty comes back from Morocco
In Generation 1, the S1 finale, and Cassie's S2 episode.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Cassie's parents appear in her Series 1 episode and are then never seen again - even after Cassie attempts suicide and ends up in hospital.
The fact that Cassie's parents are woefully neglectful of her when we do see them might account for this.