And You Thought It Would Fail: Before the show launched, the concept was pretty much universally derided as a pointless knockoff of a Channel 4 show called Seven Days. TOWIE massively defied expectations by becoming a hit while the C4 show is now barely remembered.
Amongst citizens of Essex, who either find the show a celebration of where they live or an embarrassment.
According to audience figures, the series' first three seasons had the most viewers, with the first episode of season three being one of the most-watched episodes of the show's running time. It was also the last season that had the original cast before many began to leave the series.
Discredited Trope: The "Essex Girl" stereotype is this now, if not Dead Horse Trope territory yet.note It led to the nationwide campaign by many women from Essex of getting rid of the phrase from the Oxford dictionary for being derogatory.
Fountain of Memes: Most of the slang terms featured later became common in other parts of the UK, particularly "vajazzle" due to how absurd it is to some, even though the word existed long before the show's inception.
Newer Than They Think: Many might be surprised to discover that the show didn't begin with the abbreviation "TOWIE".
The Red Stapler: Before TOWIE, reality TV was dying out in the UK, mostly due to the lack of audience interest and the economic crisis of the mid-2000s which strained all the channels, and most of the popular ones were either talent shows (Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor had their heydays here) or ending after a long run (Big Brother UK, which began c. 2000, ended in 2010). After TOWIE became popular, there was a new generation of viewers that were watching, enough to spawn Geordie Shore, Made In Chelsea and The Valleys, and other reality TV shows that became just as popular.
Snark Bait: Unsurprising considering before the much alcoholic and sex-crazed fuelled Geordie Shore and The Valleys came along, it was considered Britain's answer to Jersey Shore.