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Series / A Million Little Things

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Friendship isn't a big thing. It's a million little things.
A Million Little Things is an ABC series which first debuted in the 2018 and finished its first season in 2019.

Set in Boston, a tight-knit circle of friends is shocked after a member of the group unexpectedly dies by suicide. The friends realize that they need to finally start living life as they cope with their loss. The title is a reference to the saying "Friendship isn't a big thing – it's a million little things".

This series features examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Eddie and his older sister Lindsay are estranged due to the former being a recovering alcoholic, and the latter still choosing to abuse substances. The two have reconciled as of the season 2 finale, with Lindsay on the path to sobriety.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Katherine and Eddie's son, Theo. Delilah and Jon's son, Danny, also counts.
  • Adorkable: Gary
  • All for Nothing: Eddie had believed getting hit by a truck and receiving paralysis was Laser-Guided Karma for indirectly drowning his deceased friend Alex Stewart alongside all the other bad choices he made in his past. But it wasn't. The father of the deceased girl reveals she died of a reaction to a drug given by her sister Coleen. Her body being in the water was really staged to look like a drowning.
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  • Big "SHUT UP!": Maggie gives three of these to the blatantly pushy lactation specialist who's been giving Delilah a hard time simply because she's having trouble breastfeeding baby Charlie.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
  • Birthday Hater: Gary hates his birthday due to too many bad experiences. He once mentioned that during his seventh birthday party, his parents spent the whole time arguing in their bedroom, which was so loud that all the party guests could hear it.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Gary: losing his best friend Jon to suicide, learning his other best friend Eddie had an affair with Jon's wife, almost losing his dog Colin and having to almost give him back to his original owner for good, breaking up with Maggie.
    • Maggie: upon learning her mother had lied to her and her father about her brother Chad's death. And also learning that her friend Eric was NOT the recipient of Chad's heart, faking it the entire time from when it was "revealed". Even Maggie's mother does not know.
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    • Regina: Eve reveals she changed her mind and wants to raise her baby herself. Hearing that was a REAL slap in the face for her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Gary almost became this to Danny after Danny notices Gary flirting with his female Social Studies teacher in "The Kiss". He makes up with him quickly.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Zig-zagged. Rome is set to name his adopted newborn son Jon when he learns that Eve, the birth mother, will be keeping the baby after all.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jon in the opening of the pilot. The first season's main storyline is about his friends trying to understand what drove him to do that. Averted with Rome, who gets the call about Jon's suicide while about to commit suicide himself, and that shakes him out of that.
    • A boy named PJ meets and bonds with Rome at the hospital because he related to Rome’s script about Rome’s suicidal feelings, PJ explaining how much of his stems from feeling a huge disconnect with his father. They become friends when they realize they both have connections to Jon, with PJ thinking Jon might be his biological father (his mother being Jon’s old friend and the mysterious beneficiary Barbara Morgan). When it’s revealed that neither his father nor Jon are his biological father, he feels lost and his suicidal feelings relapsing, and he goes to the roof of a building complex ready to jump, but Rome is able to talk him out of it.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: As a teenager, Eddie and Lindsay spent their summer at a lake house with their friend Alex. Their idyllic vacation ended in tragedy when Alex drowned under mysterious circumstances. While Lindsay doesn't hold anyone responsible, as all three were under the influence when Alex died, Eddie continues to believe he is in some way responsible and seeks the truth.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: 17+ years before present time (2018) Jon and his old college roommate Dave were flying from Boston to Los Angeles, but Jon stops to buy a bottle of wine last minute at the gift shop, which causes him to arrive at the gate mere seconds after the flight attendant closes the gate door and she adamantly refuses to let him board. He calls Dave (already on the plane) to inform him he’ll have to catch the next flight. The missed flight was American Airlines 11 that flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. When the news plays on the gate’s TV, he and the flight attendant can only share a shocked, wordless glance to each other.note 
    • In the pilot episode, Rome would have gone through with his suicide plan had he not gotten the call from Gary about Jon’s death (which he only chose to answer because he got annoyed by Gary’s constant calls interrupting him). Rome discusses this when the guys are out during their traditional hockey game when Gary goes on a grieving rant about what meaningful outcome could possibly come from Jon’s death.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Gary and Delilah. In fact, he even at one point says that she is such to him.
  • Manchild: The adult characters in the show display a child-like innocence.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "We're the Howards", Rome gets accosted by a paranoid father who mistakes him for a Ephebophile taking pictures of his daughters. Rome was actually taking approved pictures of his friend's daughter for his adoption video.
  • "Number of Objects" Title: A reference to the saying "Friendship isn't a big thing – it's a million little things".
  • Papa Wolf: Eddie takes this to the extremes in the season 3 episode "The Price of Admission" (which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic) Theo is outside playing hockey when he hits the puck onto a neighbour's front lawn. When he goes to pick it up, the neighbour yells at him to get off his lawn, saying that he doesn't want to catch the "China-virus." Eddie sees the whole thing and how does he respond? By smashing the neighbour's car with a hockey stick. Eddie soon regrets this after seeing the look of horror on Theo's face.
  • Parents as People: The number of parents who don't fall under this trope can be counted on one hand. Among the more notable examples:
    • Eddie and Delilah's affair all but tears both of their families apart, with the kids taking it especially hard. The effects of their actions are still palpable one and a half seasons later.
    • Maggie's mother meant well when she hid her son's organ donor status from her daughter, but that action only served to drive the wedge between the two even deeper.
    • Invoked by Rome when he worries the adoption agencies will see him as a bad potential parent due to his mental health struggles.
  • Put on a Bus: The fate of any character that's completed their character arc and isn't a member of the core cast. PJ, Eric, Danny's crush Elliot, and Maggie's mother are among the most notable examples.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Rome and Regina's arduous quest to adopt a baby culminates in Eve, the birth mother, choosing to keep him at the last minute.
  • Starts with a Suicide: The series begins with a monologue, at the end of which we hear Jon throwing himself off the balcony of his work office.
  • Survivor Guilt: Revealed to be at least one possibility that may have led to Jon’s suicide as well as why he always had such a positive outlook and support for his friends. One flashback event shows 17+ years before present time, he invited his old college roommate Dave on a flight trip from Boston to Los Angeles but Jon gets to the gate mere seconds too late and the flight attendant refuses to let him board so he calls Dave (already on the plane) saying he’ll have to catch the next one. Said missed flight was American Airlines 11note  on September 11, 2001. This also ties into another story arc on who the unknown beneficiary Barbara Morgan was in Jon’s will whom he bequeathed some of his money too; she was an old friend of Jon's and then-pregnant girlfriend of Dave, with a now-teenage son PJ in present day.
  • Teens Are Monsters: In "The Game of Your Life," Sophie gets in trouble at school for punching a girl named Chloe. She then tells the principal and her mother that she did it because Chloe said that Sophie's father was burning in hell because suicide is a sin.
    • The ending of the midseason finale of Season 2 shows her darkest side.

  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • After dumping Maggie, Gary starts acting out in anger.
    • Eddie starts acting out when getting hooked on his Oxycodone.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Gary's Boston Bruins cap. Jon was the one who gave it to him to help hide his bald head when he was doing chemo.
  • Unstoppable Rage: at Season 3 finale Gary goes to Peter’s house lures him outside puts a sack over his head and drags him back into his house
  • Very Special Episode: "Time Stands Still", in which Rome talks PJ out of suicide, is particularly serious even by this show's standards. True to this trope, Talinda Bennington and Mike Shinoda give a PSA at the end of the episode, while PJ is Put on a Bus under the pretense of receiving treatment.
  • Wham Episode: The season two finale has three big wham moments. Eve gives birth to the baby that Rome and Regina want to adopt, only for her to change her mind and decide to keep it, Maggie heads to Oxford, but not before Gary admits that he loves her, and Eddie is about to go back to drinking due to him feeling guilty about the death of his friend Alex, but he quickly stops himself and talks to Katherine over the phone about how much he loves her, right before he gets hit by a truck.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • "Save the Date": Gary yells at Eddie for having an affair with Delilah.
    • "We're the Howards": Rome calls out Gary for escalating a situation that lands them both into a police car. Katherine calls out Gary for being rude to Maggie.
    • "The Price of Admission": Gary calls out Eddie for lying to him and Rome when getting hooked on Oxycodone.
  • Widow Woman: Delilah.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Maggie sports a pink cancer wig

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