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* CatchPhrase: "Good-o!" Sammy's standard expression when he likes something.

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* TheTalk: Abigail tries to give Dicey TheTalk in ''Dicey's Song''. Dicey is relieved to tell her that she already knows about sex... and then she realizes what that sounds like and spends a few flustered moments explaining that she hasn't ''had'' sex.


** Mina Smiths, when introduced in ''Dicey's Song'' is a HugeSchoolgirl who's only thirteen, but looks a lot older thanks to being tall and buxom. Dicey thinks she looks about eighteen, while Mina herself half-jokingly says she could easily be mistaken for being a woman of thiorty with kids of her own.

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** Mina Smiths, when introduced in ''Dicey's Song'' is a HugeSchoolgirl who's only thirteen, Dicey's age, but looks a lot older thanks to being tall and buxom. Dicey thinks she looks about eighteen, while Mina herself half-jokingly says she could easily be mistaken for being a woman of thiorty thirty with kids of her own.


# ''Come a Stranger'' is about Wilhelmina Smiths, Dicey's best friend.

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# ''Come a Stranger'' is about Wilhelmina Wilhemina Smiths, Dicey's best friend.



* HugeSchoolgirl: Mina Smiths, who [[YoungerThanTheyLook looks much older than she is]] because she's so tall and curvy.



** Mina Smiths, when introduced in ''Dicey's Song'' is only thirteen, but is tall, buxom and decribed as looking like she's eighteen.

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** Mina Smiths, when introduced in ''Dicey's Song'' is a HugeSchoolgirl who's only thirteen, but is tall, buxom looks a lot older thanks to being tall and decribed as looking like she's eighteen. buxom. Dicey thinks she looks about eighteen, while Mina herself half-jokingly says she could easily be mistaken for being a woman of thiorty with kids of her own.

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** Mina Smiths, when introduced in ''Dicey's Song'' is only thirteen, but is tall, buxom and decribed as looking like she's eighteen.

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* SmallRoleBigImpact: Liza only appears on the first page of ''Homecoming,'' but her leaving is what drives the entire story. In both ''Dicey's Song'' and ''The Runner'' she never appears on-page but her absence is heavily felt.


* DefrostingIceQueen: Dicey, in ''Dicey's Song''. The Tillerman simblings never had close friends when growing up, and though Maybeth is starting to come out of her shell, and even James and Sammy begin to make friends in Cripsfield, Dicey is reluctant to let anyone get too close to her. She doesn't respond well to Mina and Jeff's repeated attempts to reach out to her, and doesn't even quite get that Mina wants to be friends until Mina spells it out for her. A huge part of her CharacterDevelopment is learning how to open up and accept other people's friendship.

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* DefrostingIceQueen: DefrostingIceQueen:
**
Dicey, in ''Dicey's Song''. The Tillerman simblings never had close friends when growing up, and though Maybeth is starting to come out of her shell, and even James and Sammy begin to make friends in Cripsfield, Dicey is reluctant to let anyone get too close to her. She doesn't respond well to Mina and Jeff's repeated attempts to reach out to her, and doesn't even quite get that Mina wants to be friends until Mina spells it out for her. A huge part of her CharacterDevelopment is learning how to open up and accept other people's friendship.


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* GutFeeling: Maybeth struggles academically to the point where she's labeled an idiot by the meaner outsiders and a BrainlessBeauty by the more forgiving ones -- but she's an almost infallible judge of character who can tell within minutes of meeting someone whether they can be trusted or not. She seems mildly surprised when Dicey points out that most people ''can't.''


* BlackBestFriend: Wilhemina Smiths, who is the closest the series has to a GenkiGirl.

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* BlackBestFriend: Wilhemina "Mina" Smiths, who is the closest the series has to a GenkiGirl.GenkiGirl, becomes this to Dicey in ''Dicey's Song''. Dicey, who isn't used to the idea of being close to anyone outside the family, takes a while to realize that Mina actually wants to be friends; especially since Mina already has lots of friends.



* DeathByNewberyMedal

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* DeathByNewberyMedalDeathByNewberyMedal: In ''Dicey's Song'', which did win a Newbery, [[spoiler:Liza eventually dies after lying catatonic in a hospital for a long time.]]


* BigEater: James, especially in ''Homecoming.''

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* BigEater: BigEater:
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James, especially in ''Homecoming.'''' Of the four Tillerman siblings, he's by far the biggest eater, the first one to get hungry and the last one to be full. The trait is toned down for subesquent books, probably because when food is plentiful his appetite is far less of a problem.



* HeroicBSOD: We don't get to see the moment it happens, or the event that triggers it, but Liza is apparently hit by one at the beginning of ''Homecoming,'' which causes her to abandon her children. [[spoiler:She is later found in a hospital, completely catatonic, and she never recovers.]]

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* HeroicBSOD: HeroicBSOD:
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We don't get to see the moment it happens, or the event that triggers it, but Liza is apparently hit by one at the beginning of ''Homecoming,'' which causes her to abandon her children. [[spoiler:She is later found in a hospital, completely catatonic, and she never recovers.]]



* ItsAllAboutMe: Eunice Logan. She appears generous to take the children in after they suddenly arrive on her doorstep, but it's telling that in the first conversation she has with the children, she's incapable of talking about anything or anyone other than herself. As they stay with her, it becomes clear she's accepted them just so everyone will think she did the right thing. Worse, she makes her plans to separate the children crystal clear despite Dicey explicitly telling her that's the ''one'' thing they're trying to avoid! She even says Sammy must be kept in line because his behavior "shames ''her''" rather than for his own welfare. Dicey ultimately makes the right choice by packing up and getting out of there.

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* ItsAllAboutMe: ItsAllAboutMe:
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Eunice Logan. She appears generous to take the children in after they suddenly arrive on her doorstep, but it's telling that in the first conversation she has with the children, she's incapable of talking about anything or anyone other than herself. As they stay with her, it becomes clear she's accepted them just so everyone will think she did the right thing. Worse, she makes her plans to separate the children crystal clear despite Dicey explicitly telling her that's the ''one'' thing they're trying to avoid! She even says Sammy must be kept in line because his behavior "shames ''her''" rather than for his own welfare. Dicey ultimately makes the right choice by packing up and getting out of there.



* MamasBoy: Jeff, as a child and an early teenager. It doesn't end well.

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* MamasBoy: MamasBoy:
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Jeff, as a child and an early teenager. It doesn't end well.



* OlderThanTheyLook: Tamer Shipp in ''The Runner'' goes to high school with Bullet, but is also a husband and a father.

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* OlderThanTheyLook: OlderThanTheyLook:
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Tamer Shipp in ''The Runner'' goes to high school with Bullet, but is also a husband and a father.



* YoungerThanTheyLook: Isaac Lingerle, Maybeth's piano teacher, is 28 years old, but his obesity and the fact that he's already going bald make him appear much older.

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* YoungerThanTheyLook: YoungerThanTheyLook:
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Isaac Lingerle, Maybeth's piano teacher, is 28 years old, but his obesity and the fact that he's already going bald make him appear much older.


[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/diceys_song_tillerman.png]]



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* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Maybeth has blonde hair, and when you get past her shyness she's probably the sweetest and kindest of the Tillerman children.


* ItsAllAboutMe: Eunice Logan. She appears generous to take the children in after they suddenly arrive on her doorstep, but then it becomes clear she's doing it just so everyone will think she did the right thing. Worse, she makes her plans to separate the children crystal clear despite Dicey explicitly telling her that's the ''one'' thing they're trying to avoid! She even says Sammy must be kept in line because his behavior "shames ''her''" rather than for his own welfare. Dicey ultimately makes the right choice by packing up and getting out of there.

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* ItsAllAboutMe: Eunice Logan. She appears generous to take the children in after they suddenly arrive on her doorstep, but then it's telling that in the first conversation she has with the children, she's incapable of talking about anything or anyone other than herself. As they stay with her, it becomes clear she's doing it accepted them just so everyone will think she did the right thing. Worse, she makes her plans to separate the children crystal clear despite Dicey explicitly telling her that's the ''one'' thing they're trying to avoid! She even says Sammy must be kept in line because his behavior "shames ''her''" rather than for his own welfare. Dicey ultimately makes the right choice by packing up and getting out of there.


* TurnOutLikeHisFather: A variant with Maybeth. Of the four Tillerman siblings, she is the most like their mother, and Dicey and James do on occasion worry that Maybeth might end up just like her -- unable to cope with the world. Luckily, as she gets older, she doesn't seem to be heading down that path.

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* TurnOutLikeHisFather: A variant with Maybeth. Of the four Tillerman siblings, she Maybeth is the most like their mother, and Dicey and James do on occasion worry that Maybeth she might end up just like her Liza -- unable to cope with the world. Luckily, as she gets older, she doesn't seem to be heading down that path.

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* TurnOutLikeHisFather: A variant with Maybeth. Of the four Tillerman siblings, she is the most like their mother, and Dicey and James do on occasion worry that Maybeth might end up just like her -- unable to cope with the world. Luckily, as she gets older, she doesn't seem to be heading down that path.


* HiddenDepths: Just about every single character in the series, to some degree. One of the central themes, especially in ''Dicey's Song'' is that nobody is exactly who he or she appears to be on the surface.

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* HiddenDepths: Just about every single character in the series, to some degree. One of the central themes, especially in ''Dicey's Song'' Song'', is that nobody is exactly who he or she appears to be on the surface.

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