Western Animation / Braceface

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An animated Canadian show produced by Alicia Silverstone (who also voices the main character for the first two seasons). The show follow the exploits of Sharon Spitz, an average eighth grader who at the start of the series is forced to get braces for her teeth. Typical of teenage life, she worries about how this will affect her usual status amongst her peers as she goes through her daily life.

The show, when first advertised, put much emphasis on Sharon's braces, as they were affected during a lightning storm while being fitted onto her mouth. Every now and then they would occasionally affect the environment around her (lockers, water fountains, radios, etc). As the show went on, this focus was dropped for the usual slice of life and "teenage issues" stories (though it does occasionally pop up).

The series lasted from June, 2001 to August 2005. A total of 78 episodes in roughly three seasons. Only the first two aired in the States starting on ABC Family first then moved to Disney Channel before being dropped.

Now has a character sheet and a Wiki.


Braceface Provides Examples Of:

  • All Just a Dream: A rather ludicrous episode in which Shannon dreams that her dad married Nina's mom.
  • Alpha Bitch: Nina Harper. Partially subverted - she's as rich, popular, and nasty as any proper Alpha Bitch, but is actually a top student in her class. On top of that, the reason she's nasty comes from her parents not paying attention to her and her accusing Sharon of wrecking her dolls when she was a kid (until she finds out her cousin did it and that she wasted her life being mean to Sharon for no reason).
    • Evie from the high school episodes, who makes Nina seem sweet. She torments poor Sharon for being paired up with Dion as a mentor.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In "Vegging Out" Sharon becomes anemic due to a lack of iron and is forced to choose whether to stay vegetarian or not. First of all, no doctor treating someone with such a severe case would say "just eat meat" in order to get better. One would most likely supply their patient with iron supplement pills. Along with this, once someone becomes vegetarian their body eventually stops producing the enzymes needed to properly digest meat, so in Sharon's case eating an entire cheeseburger or hot dog (like she tried to do and what Cody tricked her to do) would make them violently ill.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Almost every female character, although Sharon and Maria both eventually received changes to their default outfits and no longer did this.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sharon (blonde), Maria (brunette), and Nina (redhead).
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Subverted; Sharon got off relatively easy with her braces despite the side effects they bring.
  • Breast Expansion/Gag Boobs: One episode had Sharon buy a pump water bra to give her more prominent breasts. Thanks to her braces, it didn't end well. She ends up overdoing it, with humiliating results. First getting laughed at by the same people she was trying to impress, and then her boobs... pop.
  • Buxom Is Better: The same episode subvert this. After an initial thrill at all the extra attention her new fuller figure is receiving, she discovers that her more mature look comes with its own unique set of problems as attracting the "wrong" guys.
  • Canada, Eh?: Averted; it's set in Canada (around British Columbia) but doesn't feature any of the stereotypes.
  • Celebrity Toons: Wouldn't have been noticed if Alicia Silverstone didn't voice and promote the show.
  • Clip Show: "My Big Fat Braceface Life" where Sharon recounts the highs and lows that braces have played in her social life - with Alden front and center in her story.
  • Cool Loser: Brock (at least at the start) and to a lesser extent, Sharon. Justified in Sharon's case, since Nina was out to get her, and probably turned the school against her.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Subverted with Miranda in "23's a Crowd". She has 23 cats, but she's not crazy. Just lonely and a little eccentric.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Sharon's braces would often kick in at the worst possible time.
  • Deus ex Machina: And on other occasions, Sharon's braces did save her a couple of times.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Nina's Alpha Bitchiness to Sharon was started over a doll she had during childhood that got its head popped off. She instantly accused Sharon for the crime despite no proof to claim her as the guilty party. In the third season, it was eventually revealed that Nina's cousin was the culprit.
  • Easily Forgiven: Allison. To be fair, many early episodes did show that she was nicer than Nina, and Sharon and Maria initially did not want to trust her, but they are all buddies the episode after she breaks off from Nina.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season which made it seem like the show was going to be more about Sharon and the oddball powers from her braces.
  • Eat the Evidence: In "Act Your Age" Sharon doesn't want Alden and Brock to know she's dating a much younger boy, so when she sees his birthday cake is in the shape of his age, she changes the 13 into a P for Pablo and eats what is left over.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Sharon and Nina. See above next to Disproportionate Retribution for the explanation.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: As well as four toed feet.
  • Free the Frogs: In the episode Dissection Connection. It might have been Sharon protesting seeing as she's an animal lover and a vegetarian so at least it's consistent. This one also hand waved the fact that the frogs are supposed to be delivered pre-killed by showing the teacher complaining to the delivery guy about the mix-up that resulted in live ones being delivered.
  • Fur and Loathing: An episode deals with a short tiff between Sharon and Miranda when the former plans to participate in a fashion show wearing fur clothes. In the end, Sharon decides to accept Miranda's decision, whereas Miranda has switched out all the real fur for faux fur.
  • G-Rated Drug: Averted; Sharon is shown smoking and getting drunk on two different occasions.
  • Granola Girl: Hannah. She's a vegetarian and loves yoga.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: In "Vegging Out" Sharon is diagnosed with anemia and her new friend Cody cures her by tricking her into eating normal hot dogs he claims are vegetarian.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The episode "Busted" is about Sharon getting a bra that enhances her breasts. Unsurprisingly, the episode was skipped in the U.S. and some other countries.
  • Harmful to Minors: In "Mommy Nearest" when Sharon accidentally comes across a pornographic website she covers her cat's eyes.
    • Later when Sharon's mom looks through her browsing history she puts a parental lock on the internet.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: When Nina pulls a stunt to humiliate Sharon and Maria for "brainwashing" her former friend Alyson, the girls use their new "friend" (and her backstage pass) to retaliate against Nina at her dance recital. But the revenge work too well and Sharon and Maria realize that they've sunk even lower than their nemesis.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Alyson, Nina's friend, when she realizes that she has feelings for Connor and Nina makes her choose between her or him (and, by extension, his friends).
    • Nina herself in the end once the truth of the doll incident is known.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In "Mommy Nearest" Sharon did a search for Red Riding Hood and accidentally came across some Red Riding Hood-themed porn.
  • iSophagus: In the first season, Sharon's braces had the power to play music and electromagnetically control metal. Sadly, the premise was dropped beginning in season two.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: There are a few moments where Nina drops her Alpha Bitch attitude and show some genuine kindness.
  • Hot for Teacher: Maria in the episode titled "Teacher's Pet" until Sharon points out that students can't date their teachers. Rather noticeably it's one of the few kid's shows where someone points out that a teacher-student relationship would be illegal.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Sharon, especially when it comes to activism. She is very stubborn in insisting that her reasons are the right one and can never see things from the other person's POV most of the time. Though its this attitude that powers most of the conflicts she gets into. More often then not she has to learn the hard way you can't always get what you want.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Sharon and Alden, whose break up spans most of the second season and the entirety of the third season. It isn't until the last episode that they finally get back together.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Having her braces put in during a lightning storm did something to Sharon's braces so they have unpredictable and sometimes bizarre effects on things around her. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Subverted; They have different outfits for the summer and winter and their outfits changed after season 1, but otherwise they wear the same clothes.
  • Male Gaze: There's a lot of odd shots of bare or socked feet in this show.
  • Magic Realism: Apart from the strange things the braces do, the series is standard slice of life.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Sharon is the middle child of the family, having two brothers doesn't help either.
  • Modesty Towel: Both girls and boys wears this in few episodes. In an episode Sharon scares Connor with a rubber cockroach causing him to drop his towel.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Sharon wants everything a teenage girl wants: to be popular, get good grades, hang out with friends, and have a boyfriend. She sometimes does get into trouble and messes up like every other teen, but she always learns from her mistakes and sets things right in the end, no matter what the situation.
  • No Periods, Period: Notably, it was the first time that a non-adult animated series averted this, with an episode focusing on Sharon getting her first period while on her first date with Alden. As you can imagine, it ended in embarrassment for both, not necessarily because it was her first period, but because she was unlucky enough to have painful menstrual cramps, leading Alden to think it was appendicitis and call 9-1-1. Then at the hospital, when the nurse mistakenly gives Alden a bag of sanitary napkins (thinking he's Sharon's brother), Sharon grabs it from him and causes them to fly all over the waiting room (one even falls in a man's glass of water, absorbing all its content). Played with because, while she's embarrassed by Alden and her brothers finding out (it is Josh, her younger brother, who quite loudly tells their mom), and by her mom making a big deal about how she's "a woman now", it's said quite clearly her mom had told her in detail about menstruation and that it was going to happen sooner rather than later (she was just taken unaware by her cramps). Slightly inverted with her mom, as when Sharon protests, her mom begins to insist on it being a big deal, but she quickly backs off, remembering that to a girl Sharon's age it is a very personal and private matter.
  • Official Couple: Sharon and Alden. They're both so obviously attracted to each other that the show surprisingly subverts the Last Minute Hookup trope and gets them together midway through the first season. Then they have a Second-Act Breakup and have a Last Minute Hookup anyway, subverting the subversion.
  • Once an Episode: Sharon's braces acting up and causing trouble.
  • Picture Day: It's set during the school years; no surprise this pops up.
  • Promise Me You Won't X: "Leap of Faith" (last episode), "promise me you won't panic" (or "freak out", or something similar) when Alden tells Brock he's fallen back in love with Sharon.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Second season, between Sharon and Alden. They get better by the end of the series.
  • Secret Santa: Sharon pulls Nina's name, and is morally torn between buying her a nice present and not buying her anything at all.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Sharon, not just with animal rights and vegetarianism either. There was an episode where she started a rock band in an attempt to prove that she wasn't as girlie as everyone thought she was.
  • Space Whale Aesop: A few episodes here and there.
  • Stepford Smiler: Nina, she makes a big deal how popular she is. But in truth due to her mean spirited nature and the fact her parents are constantly busy, is actually quite lonely. Gets especially noticeable after Alyson leaves her.
  • True Blue Femininity: Sharon wears a light blue shirt and dark blue pants.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Maria Wong, who is half-Chinese and half-Italian.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: The main trio Sharon, Maria and Connor. Subverted later with Connor less focused and Alyson enter in the group.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Nina in one example but there are instances where Sharon goes overboard on the makeup.
  • Verbal Tic: Alyson has to include the word "totally" in every other sentence.
  • Very Special Episode: A few, most notably the "smoking" episode and the episode in which Maria dates an abusive Arab guy, but thinks Sharon hates him because she has a grandfather who's racist and, by proxy, is a racist herself.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Richard, Helen Spitz's ex-husband and father of Sharon and brothers, appears occasionally. In an episode Sharon has to deal with her conflicting feelings over her Mom's new boyfriend at the same time as welcoming a visit from her own Dad. Sharon attempt to re-unite her parents after seven years of divorce, but she fails and has to finally face reality.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: One episode has Nina discrediting Sharon and Maria with a slideshow of doctored photos including Sharon picking her nose and Maria scratching her butt. Unless you hired Industrial Light & Magic, edits like that would not be possible in real life.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One episode have Sharon and Maria getting back on Nina by sabotaging her performance in a show, but realizes they went too far when she is more humiliated than they intended, even putting her at a risk of falling from her swing onto the stage from a great height. They also took advantage of Alyson's trust in them to go through with it.
  • Wham Episode: Dear Alden: Sharon and Alden break up
  • Younger Than They Look: Adam, Sharon's older brother, who's only seventeen but looks like he's in his twenties due to a growth spurt.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/BraceFace