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Literature / Malory Towers

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The old book covers compared to the new ones.
Malory Towers is a series of six novels by British children's author Enid Blyton, featuring the fictional Cornish seaside boarding school of the same name. Though the originals were written from 1946 to 1951, the series Outlived Its Creator - in 2009 six more books were added to the series by author Pamela Cox, who has also made additions to Blyton's series St. Clare's.

The series follows the heroine, Darrell Rivers, from her first year at Malory Towers to when she leaves. Other characters include Sally Hope, Darrell's level-headed best friend; Felicity Rivers, Darrell's younger sister; Gwendoline Mary Lacey, the form's spoilt martyr; Alicia Johns, who is sharp tongued, competitive and intelligent; Mary-Lou, small and timid, but very kind hearted; Irene, scatterbrained music and maths genius; Belinda, scatterbrained artistic genius; Jean, shrewd and straightforward, and Wilhelmina (Bill), completely horse-mad.

The characters are very similar to those in the St. Clare's series.

The series is believed to be semi-autobiographical, and the name "Darrell Rivers" is clearly drawn from Blyton's second husband's name, Kenneth Darrell Waters. It is also widely supposed that Blyton based the creation on the famous Scottish boarding school St Leonards School, in St Andrews, which is, of course, the heroine’s University destination.


A lot of information on the series can be found here.

Contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Darrell's lacrosse career reaches its climax in #3 when she scores the last minute goal. In #4 it doesn't play any role.
  • Alpha Bitch:
  • Always Identical Twins: Lampshaded but ultimately averted. When the girls are told that they a pair of twins are coming to their class, they expect identical twins. They are quite disappointed that Connie and Ruth are quite different, and remark how "unlike twins" they are.
  • Anachronism Stew: One infamous book cover of Upper Fourth at Malory Towers shows the girls in modern day t-shirts, drinking lemonade out of a plastic bottle.
    • In the first book, the scene where Darrell loses her temper with Gwendoline for purposely holding Mary-Lou under the water, the modern version shows her simply scolding Gwendoline severely, whereas in the original version, Darrell slapped her repeatedly.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Bridget to Moira. June is an annoying younger cousin to Alicia. Averted with Darrell's younger sister Felicity.
  • Apologises a Lot: Catherine as a part of her purposefully humble Extreme Doormat behaviour.
  • Apron Matron: Their school's matron is plump and strict, but fair and motherly.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Darrell. She slaps Gwen and shoves Sally in the first book, has a big fight with Ellen in the second and shakes June in the fourth.
  • Attention Whore: Gwendolyn, who has been spoiled rotten at home, wants to be the center of attention at school, too.
  • Beautiful All Along: Clarissa, once she takes off her glasses and gets her braces removed, is revealed to be strikingly beautiful, instead of just "plain" as she was considered before.
  • Becoming the Mask: At first, Daphne only befriends Mary-Lou to get the latter's help with her French homework. However, she eventually gets to like Mary-Lou for real.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Darrell is a Nice Girl most of the time, but she has a really nasty temper and no problems with using physical violence when she gets mad.
    • Alicia has a very sharp tongue, and reacts to any imagined or real slight by using it liberally. One of the worst examples was when she started nursing a grudge against Sally because Sally was made Head Girl, but Alicia wasn't even considered as an option. Keep in mind here that Sally had no idea that this was happening and no control over who was selected.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Darrell feels extremely protective towards Felicity when the latter first arrives at the school in Upper Fourth at Malory Towers, and warns her not to be too friendly with Alicia's cousin June, whom Darrell considers a bad influence. Inverted when June gets Darrell sacked from her position as Head Girl and gloats about it to Felicity. Little sister is NOT amused.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Gwendolyn frequently pretends to be sweet and caring this when she's trying to befriend timid girls like Mary-Lou and Clarissa. Although she's only nice for personal gain or when trying to manipulate someone.
  • Blatant Lies: All of Gwen's boasting is seen as this by all other characters, except her mother, her governess and whichever gullible new kid is following her around this term.
  • Boarding School: The "towers" from the titular school refer to the four dormitories that the girls stay in during their school year.
  • Book Dumb:
    • Gwendoline is the most notable example. She almost consistently keeps her position as the bottom of her class, her teachers remark on her terrible work, and the only reason she is allowed to move on to the fifth form despite failing her exams is that she's far too old to be kept in the fourth form.
    • Zerelda Brass in the third book. She is one year older than the protagonists, but since she couldn't keep up with the work of the fourth-formers, she was sent down to the third.
    • Connie, who needs her twin's help to get good grades. In the fifth novel, she is held back for a year for failing her Certs, while Ruth moves on to the fifth form with the others.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: June
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Alicia is very smart, has good memory, and can easily achieve one of the top ranks in her form without studying much. Darrell initially tries to imitate her, but finds that, despite being a bright girl, she cannot afford to slack off, or her grades will slip badly.
    • Inverted with Ellen, who archieved her scholarship due to hard work and is of average intelligence.
    • June has the same intelligence and good memory that Alicia has, resulting in them also having similar flaws. In fact, June is mostly a more flawed Expy of Alicia.
  • Career-Ending Injury: A tragic case with Amanda because it's her own fault.
  • Catchphrase: Suzanne in Last Term repeatedly replies with "Police?" whenever she doesn't understand anything, meaning "please".
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: Mavis suffers from this in the third book and she loses her voice for a while.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Not Catholic, no, but near-constantly uniformed since they live at the school.
  • Character Development: Almost every girl in the school learns a valuable lesson at some point and begins to change.
    • Darrell eventually learns to control her temper, although it takes a long time. At one point, she thinks she's conquered it but then loses it with June.
    • Sally starts out as a quiet, unsociable and moody girl but by the end of the first book she's Darrell's smart, levelheaded friend.
    • After Alicia experiences measles, she realizes what it's like to have slow brains since it prevented her from working up to her full potential and attempts to become more patient with those around her.
    • Mary-Lou gains more confidence when the girls bring out her inner courage.
    • Daphne stops feeling that she has to fake her own self.
    • Mavis loses her voice temporarily, and, remembering how the girls said she was nothing without her voice, uses the time without it to create a new self, one that remains when her voice returns.
    • Bill has to learn how to settle at school, and only does so after her form teacher saves her sick horse's life.
    • Ruth finds her own voice and stands up to Connie to become her own person.
    • Moira starts to realize that she needs to soften her attitude, although she stays rather critical and cold.
    • Even Gwen learns what's really important in life when her father becomes seriously ill. This was foreshadowed earlier by Miss Grayling, who states that when Gwen finally learns something and changes, it will come at great cost to her.
  • Character Focus: Generally, the first few chapters have quite a bit of this for each new girl to allow the reader to get to know them all.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Gwendoline tries to skip an exam by faking a heart disease. She is exposed and forced to take the exam anyway.
    • Played with Ellen: A scholarship girl, she knows that she's a pretty average student and thus must work as hard as she can to keep up. Unfortunately, all the stress takes its toll on her and she resolves to cheat because she can't see another way to keep up. The ensuing events make her state of health become even worse until she becomes extremely ill. However, once the truth comes out, Ms Grayling has no problems with forgiving her.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Many of the girls fails to be mentioned after a couple of books. Sometimes, the narrative handwaves it by saying that they moved up a form, but most of the times, they just disappear.
    • A lot of girls introduced in Darrell's first year were never mentioned again in the sequels. These include Katherine, the head girl of the first-formers, and Emily, who was Darrell's sort-of friend before she befriends Sally. Emily is mentioned again, but another girl called Violet was mentioned once in the first book when naming everyone in the form, and was never mentioned again.
    • Daphne, a major character in the second book who saves Mary Lou's life and becomes Mary Lou's best friend at the climax of the novel, fades into the background after this fact. Her name re-appeared once in the fifth book, and she was enlisted to get Clarissa away from Gwen in the fourth book, but she was otherwise gone. Ellen, also introduced in Book 2, and played a major role there, all but disappeared in the following books. However, she appeared in the third and was mentioned in the fourth. In both books, she was in the form above the main characters, justifying her disappearance.
    • In the fifth form, we were introduced to Janet, a student held back from the previous batch of girls who was later revealed to be a very talented seamstress, did not return in the final book. However, she was mentioned when the girls were talking about some of the girls who has left school to do other things (e.g. Mavis went to train in singing, and Catherine stayed home to help out her mother).
  • Clear Their Name: Happens several times, e.g. when Ellen is wrongly accused of stealing in Second Form at Malory Towers.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Irene and Belinda are both scatterbrains, frequently turning up in the wrong classroom, losing their stuffs, forgetting their class duties... the list go on.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Speaking about the whole series, yes.
  • Commonality Connection: Many of the girls pair up due to their similarities.
    • Both Darrell and Sally are sensible, hardworking and reliable girls, and are the favourite choices for head girls in their later forms.
    • Alicia and her best friend Betty are very bright, but are also mischievous tricksters who rarely need to work hard to do well in their studies.
    • Irene and Belinda are a pair of very talented artists (Irene in music and maths and Belinda in arts/drawing), who are also forgetful, scatterbrained, and generally a bad influence to one another.
    • Bill bonds with Clarissa over their shared love for horses.
    • Invoked with Maureen and Gwendoline. Upon realizing that Maureen is just as vain and silly as Gwendoline, the other girls try to push them together and get both out from everyone else's way. Amusingly, Gwen dislikes Maureen and momentarily tries to change her ways, realizing how awful she must appear to the other girls.
  • Corporal Punishment: Edited out in more recent versions. Alicia reminding her annoying cousin of how she was "spanked with a hairbrush" over the summer is changed to her reminding June of how she was "scolded".
  • Costume Porn: Some of the outfits made for the school play are stated to count as a combination of this and Gorgeous Period Dress, as made by a talented schoolgirl seamstress who was aided by legions of lower-formers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alicia is very infamous for her sharp tongue and her readiness to offer some biting remarks at those she considers stupid.
  • Demoted to Extra: Daphne and Mary-Lou after the second book.
  • Ditzy Genius: Irene. She's a math and music prodigy but scatterbrained and helpless when it comes to daily activities.
  • Divide and Conquer: When rivalries over who is whose best friend get to a head.
  • Don't Split Us Up: The twins Connie and Ruth, at least at first. Connie's marks are much worse than Ruth's and she knows that she might have to be kept back a year, so she forces Ruth to purposely do badly in her tests so that they both are held back a year, and Ruth agrees. Things eventually work out, however, and Ruth discovers she actually likes not always being in Connie's shadow.
  • Down to the Last Play: Happens in the fifth book where Felicity is the one who scores the last minute goal which makes her team win.
  • Dreadful Musician: Maureen, who has a powerful voice, but is quite tone deaf. Her attempts at "singing" are mistaken for "yowling" by Bridget and Connie.
  • Dumb Blonde: Both Gwendoline Mary Lacey and her near-double, Maureen, have distinctive blonde hair and both do poorly in school.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Quite a sad one actually. Gwendoline's mother is an ignorant airhead who, together with her old governess, spoils Gwendoline completely while her father tries to stop this (which results in much tears and screaming) and is often disappointed by his daughter's actions. In turn, Gwendoline shuns him and acts like a brat as a punishment.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Last Term Gwendoline talks bad about her father and how she 'stood up against him' but everyone is disgusted and not willing to listen to her. So she tells the whole story to Mary-Lou, an Extreme Doormat who always listens to everybody. Even she is disgusted and walks away with her head high. The same applies to Maureen, who is normally every bit as painful as Gwen.
    • Similarly, even Miss Winter, Gwen's governess who is also a complete pushover and deeply admires her is not on her side during Gwendolines big fight with her father and defends him.
  • Expy: Most of the girls in the books are clearly based off the characters from the St Clare's books. In some cases, it seems as if the St Clare's characters were drafts of these characters.
    • The Pamela Cox books portray many of the characters as new versions of the originals: Felicity as Darrell (being her younger sister, although she does lack Darrell's temper and instead is portrayed as underconfident), Susan as Sally (Felicity's best friend and extremely responsible), Nora as Irene (a scatterbrain with an explosive laugh but her talent is for dancing and imitations instead of music and maths), June as Alicia (a sharp-tongued trickster), Julie as Bill (a horse-mad girl), Lucy as Clarissa (joins the school later, but another horse-mad girl just there to give Julie a best friend), Esme as Zerelda (a half-American girl put into a form below her age, although she does move up once she gets used to being in an English school again), Bonnie as Daphne (a seemingly sweet girl who is very good at charming people and has no problem being manipulative to get what she wants - even copying the plot of having her best friend do all her French work) and Pam as a mix of former head girls like Katherine and Jean (a responsible, well-liked girl). However, many of the new girls, with the exception of Lucy and Esme, appear to be either originals, or characters that have similarities to earlier ones but are still characters in their own right.
  • Extreme Doormat: Mary-Lou initially, but she got better. Ruth expands from this, although strangely, being a doormat means letting Connie do everything for her, not the other way around. Catherine is this on purpose, and dear God does it annoy everyone- as she never really learns, being helpful is one thing, but when nobody wants you to help them, it's best to just back off and try being you instead of a saint.
  • Fat and Skinny: The two French mistresses. Mamzelle Dupont is a Fat Comic Relief who gets the most brunt of jokes from the girls but is very good-natured very popular because of it, while Mamzelle Rougier is very strict, Lean and Mean, and is not very well-liked. The relationship between the two Mamzelles zigzags between bosom friends, bitter enemies, or dignified rivals. (It's also worth noting that Rougier is the better teacher, but Dupont gets better results because the girls like her and work better for her).
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Jealousy for Sally. In the first book, she behaves unpleasantly because she is jealous of her younger sister, who she believes to be stealing their parents' attention. In the third book, she is jealous of Alicia for being over-friendly with Darell (because Alicia's best friend, Betty, is away) and treats them both coldly until Betty finally returns to school.
    • Darrell's fatal flaw is her hot temper which often causes her to use physical violence when she gets triggered.
  • Foil: Chubby but kindhearted Mamzelle Dupont to scrawny but rude Mamzelle Rougier.
  • Food Porn: If written descriptions of dinners and midnight feasts count.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Lacey Family: Mrs. Lacey (sanguine), Gwendoline (choleric), Mr. Lacey (melancholic), Miss Winter (phlegmatic)
  • Funny Foreigner: Their French mistresses. One is generally nice, but tends to overreact to everything. The other is just plain mean.
    • To a lesser extent, Zerelda.
    • Suzanne, Mam'zelle Rougier's niece.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The heroine's name, Darrell, is based on Enid's husband's middle name.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Sometimes the girls can get rather... possessive over each other.
    Darrell... didn't like to see the faithful Mary-Lou sitting so long with somebody else. Why, Mary-Lou had tagged along behind Darrell and Sally for terms and terms! Surely she wasn't going to make that awful Daphne her friend.
  • Grew a Spine: Clarissa in the fourth book. She starts out being shy and has low self esteem which, combined with her apparently "wealthy" background makes her an easy target for Gwendolyn who tries to befriend (and manipulate) her. Former Extreme Doormat stands up against her "friend" after realizing that Gwendolyn is phony and not a good person at all.
  • Guilt by Coincidence: Ellen. Things are going missing, and because nobody really likes Ellen, they decide that she is the scapegoat. In reality, Ellen is overworking herself to the detriment of her health as she tries to get good marks, and her only real crime was trying to cheat on the tests because her marks were failing. The real thief was Daphne, who, to be fair, was absolutely horrified when she realised that Ellen was going to be unfairly blamed for her crimes.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partner: Almost everyone has one, as the story is set in an all-girl school, and most of them go about in pairs. Darrell is best friends with Sally, Alicia almost always hangs out with Betty, Irene and Belinda are a pair of artistically talented scatterbrains, Bill and Clarissa gets along very well due to their love for horses, etc.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Amanda, who is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 13 stones.
  • I Am Not My Father: Gwendoline for her mother after she repents and realises how weak she always was.
  • I Have Brothers: Bill, the tomboy of the cast, has seven. Alicia has three and, although she is not that much of a tomboy, blames some of her mischievous tendencies on them.
  • Infant Sibling Jealousy: Sally suffers from this during the first book, the readon why she's so unhappy and moody.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Daphne enjoys boasting about her family's riches to hide the fact that she is actually a thief, and had been expelled twice before coming to Malory Towers for stealing money and jewelery that she otherwise couldn't afford to buy, since her family is poor.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Before Clarissa's arrival and her eventual friendship with her, Bill is very good friends with Miss Peters, the third-form mistress who shares her love for horses and masculine qualities.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: In the first book, Darrell saves Mary-Lou from Gwendoline's bullying, and she began following her around ever since, trying to help her in every way possible. Mary-Lou's "help" often bothers Darrell instead, and her classmates (especially Alicia) likes to make fun of Darrell's "new puppy dog".
  • Jerkass: Gwendoline. She even faked a heart disease without any qualms just to escape the exams!
  • Jerkass Realization: Gwendoline has one after she was told her father was seriously ill.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alicia. She's fun and popular, but she has absolutely no problem with using her sharp tongue on anyone who annoys her, and she lacks compassion, even refusing to consider that a friend might not have done something wrong.
    • Moira originally appears to be a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk but proves to have a good heart when June is about to be expelled for writing mean anonymous letters to her, and she goes to Miss Grayling and asks her to give June another chance, saying that it's not really that surprising that a first-form girl hated her enough to do that.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: If it's not for her skirt (and the fact that she's attending an all-girl school), Bill is undistinguishable from a boy.
    • Amanda Chartelow from the 6th book is also noted for her masculine look which fits her butch personality.
  • Large Ham: Zerelda fancies herself as a great actress, but the way she tries to "act" is to be so over-the-top with her voice and movements, that those who watches thinks she's fooling around.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Every girl with Jerkass tendencies usually is a victim to this. Gwendoline's schemes usually backfire sooner or later.
    • The worst case of this happens to Gwendoline when after six books of her being a Jerkass her father falls seriously ill, survives but won't ever be completely healthy again whivh forces the family to give up their wealth and to live under simple circumstances.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: Gwendoline, an old student, returns to teach the sixth formers etiquette.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Alicia is an unusually positive version of popular mean girl. She's one of the most popular girls in her form and Darrell was very eager to be her friend during her first year in Malory Towers. She's also sarcastic and condescending towards people who are not as brilliant as herself, but she's never truly malicious, and many of the girls admire her wit and honesty. Especially after she became nicer thanks to having the measles in fourth year making her realize not everyone has as quick brains as she has.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Gwendoline, to the point that it's a wonder that the girls never got sick of her and just told Ms. Grayling what she's done.
  • Meaningful Name: "Mavis" means "song thrush", and Mavis has a unique and beautiful singing voice, and leaves school early for to have her voice trained for opera.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Mary-Lou generally acts this way, always ready to listen to other girls and give them a chance, even when no one else will. Construed positively later on when she is nice to girls the others dislike, such as Catherine, who really means to be nice and is grateful when Mary-Lou lets her be a doormat without calling her names or teasing her.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Darrell when she arrives at Malory Towers for the first time. She asks Alicia lots of questions and is endearingly excited to be there. Averted with the other new students, Gwendoline and Sally.
  • New Transfer Student: The school gets a few new ones every year. One notable example was Amanda, after her old school burned down.
  • New Year Same Class: Averted - although the core cast of characters stays the same, some girls go up a form early or stay behind due to bad results.
  • Nuclear Family: Most in the series - this was The '50s, after all - including the protagonist's.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Suzanne, the french student who's also Mam'zelle Rougier's niece from Last Term pretends not to understand anything, despite the fact she does understand English extremely well when she wants to. Their form teacher, Miss Oaks soon becomes suspicious about this.
  • Once per Episode: Bill and her brothers arriving with their horses.
  • One-Gender School: The titular Malory Towers is an all-girl school.
  • Only Sane Man: Gwen's father. His daughter is a Spoiled Brat and his wife- and Gwen's governess- are airheads who think the world of her and spoil her rotten. He alone is trying to teach his daughter to be a decent human being.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Bill is the only girl among seven brothers.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Darrell loves her sports
  • Playing Sick: Gwendoline tries this in Upper Fourth at Malory Towers, faking a serious heart condition to get out of difficult end-of-term exams.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Irene is a scatterbrain and therefore the source of many jokes, for example the running gag with her losing her health certificate.
  • Pool Scene: In Upper Fourth at Malory Towers the girls have a midnight picnic by the pool.
  • The Prankster: Alicia and June, who takes after her cousin.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Sally is portrayed as an antisocial and moody loner in the first book, including a scene where she dares to reject Darrell's offer to spend the visiting day with her. It's implied that someone who doesn't want to hang with Darrell can't be anything but antisocial and mean.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: The more feminine ladies who fuss over their appearance and are averse to playing sports, such as Gwendoline, Maureen and Daphne, are portrayed in a more negative light than the more tomboy girls like Alicia, Darrell and Bill.
    • Subverted by Janet, whose skills as a seamstress are respected at the beginning of In The Fifth and admired by the book's end. In Last Term at Malory Towers, Darrell even says: "I miss quiet old Janet too. She is training as a dress designer. She ought to be jolly good at it! Do you remember the marvellous dresses she made for us when we gave that pantomime in the fifth form?"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot-headed, often impulsive and outgoing Darrell is the red to Sally's calm, reasonable blue.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Almost all of the girls go about in pairs - Betty and Alicia, Darrell and Sally, Irene and Belinda, Mary-Lou and Daphne, Bill and Clarissa (who double up as Tomboy and Girly Girl), Jean and Ellen, Mavis and Zerelda — and their relationship can get quite intimate. And if another girl joins the group, it is called "Threesomes", as was with Felicity, Susan and June. This was quite common in the fifties.
  • Rule of Pool: Students reluctant to swim are frequently pushed in, especially Gwendoline, who is just lazy and cowardly.
  • Running Gag: Irene losing her health certificate at the start of every new term.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: When Amanda in Last Term brags about how athletic she is she makes herself an easy target for Alicia's snark. "Perhaps you should go in for the Olympics", Alicia says, trying to be sarcastic, and is rather stunned when Amanda says that yes, in fact she intends to and doesn't get that she wasn't being serious.
  • Scholarship Student: Ellen comes from a lower-middle class family, and it was repeatedly mentioned that the only reason she could afford to go to Malory Towers is because she won a scholarship (and even then, the cost of the uniform and school supplies still takes a toll on her family's finances).
  • Schoolgirl Series: Naturally, as it is set in a girl's boarding school and revolves around the schoolgirls that live there.
  • School Nurse: The Matron also fills this role.
  • School Play: The girls write and produce their own pantomime in In The Fifth At Malory Towers.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Daphne's good looks are the reason why Mademoiselle Dupont adores her and lets her get away with anything, although she is the only teacher who gets blindfolded by her charm and good looks.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Clarissa was initially considered plain-looking, or even ugly, due to her thick spectacles and braces. When she takes them off, she becomes one of the most attractive girls in the cast.
  • Spoiled Brat: Gwendoline is stated In-Universe to be this, spoiled by her mother and governess, Miss Winter.
  • Standard '50s Father: Darrell's sensible father, Dr Rivers is this.
  • Static Character: Catherine Grey is the only student who is considered unsympathetic and doesn't go through Character Development.
  • Stepford Smiler: Zerelda always appears happy and carefree, even when she is having problems at school (i.e. when she is forced to go down one grade because she is unable to keep up with the fourth form's work standard.
  • Stern Teacher: Many.
  • Sticky Fingers: Daphne was the one who stole the girls' stuffs from the second book. They forgave her, though.
  • Straw Loser: Gwendolyn. She‘s not only mean, manipulative, phony, spoiled and superficial but also a horrible student due to her laziness and sucks at every sport; she‘s even overweight later on. She makes everyone else not only look nice my comparision, but more competent in general because she‘s not only portrayed as mean but also as pathetic.
  • Take My Hand!: Twice! Firstly, in Second Form at Malory Towers Mary-Lou falls off a cliff and needs to be rescued like this, and then in Last Term at Malory Towers overconfident swimmer Amanda nearly drowns and we hear this during her rescue.
  • Teacher's Pet: Various. Daphne manages it very successfully by turning on the charm with Mam'zelle Dupont.
  • Teen Genius: Irene at music and maths (if nothing else), Belinda at art and Mavis at singing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Zerelda gets given one by an angry drama teacher who tells her very bluntly that her acting is terrible. After everyone's calmed down, the same drama teacher tells her kindly but firmly that she simply doesn't have the gift that all great actors need, the ability to lose yourself in the character, and advises her to give up, which she does.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Bill and Clarissa, who formed a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship by the end of Upper Fourth. Bill is very boyish and could easily be mistaken for a guy if not for her uniform. Clarissa, while not explicitly stated to be feminine (particularly since she's as much a horse lover as Bill is), is much more dainty than her friend.
    • The description of the two new students in Last Term: Amanda, short haired, athletic and masculine-looking and Suzanne, small, petite, charming and french.
  • Tomboyish Name: Bill. It's short for Wilhelmina, but almost nobody calls her that. Unusual in that she never faces criticism for her boyish ways or people trying to make her change.
  • Too Much Alike: The reason why Gwendoline can't stand Maureen: being around her is like looking in a mirror in an uncomfortable way. Maureen has all of her flaws and Gwen sees her the way the other girls see her, which is a horrifying expierience for her.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The popular girls (Darrell, Sally, Irene, Belinda, Alicia etc.) in the fifth book. They aren't willing to give Maureen a chance, constantly making fun of her by telling her sarcastic compliments. They also tease Gwendoline more than she does to them! In their interactions with outcasts (though these outcasts aren't exactly the nicest people around) they act more cocky compared to the other books.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Bossy Moira becomes nicer and easier to get along with during the fifth book. Lampshaded by Darrell.
  • Writing Lines: Happens quite often. Occasionally, if the punishment was deemed undeserved by the other girls they help do it together.
  • Younger Than They Look: Zeralda Brass is only a year older than the other girls, but she has been mistaken for a grown woman. Justified, since she tries to act older than she is, and it's noted that without her makeup she almost looks like a different person.


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