Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / A Million Little Things

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mv5bmjazoty4mwmtmji0my00zwe2ltlkndetodm1ztg4ogu1zwrhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzaznty3mdm_v1.jpg
Find your way together.
Advertisement:

A Million Little Things is an ABC family drama series created by DJ Nash and starring David Giuntoli, Romany Malco, and James Roday Rodriguez as a tight-knit circle of friends coping with the unexpected suicide of the fourth member of their group, played by Ron Livingston. The friends realize that they need to finally start living life as they cope with their loss.

Set in Boston, the show features an ensemble cast including Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Grace Park, Stephanie Szostak, Tristan Byon and Lizzy Greene. The title is a reference to the saying, "Friendship isn't a big thing – it's a million little things".

The series made its debut in 2018 and was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on September 22, 2021.


Advertisement:

This series features examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Maggie “Fight or Flight” “Suprise”
    • Gary “Perspective”
    • Jon “The Day Before”
    • Regina “Someday”
    • Rome “Goodbye”
    • Sophie “Trust Me”
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Katherine and Eddie's son, Theo. Delilah and Jon's son, Danny, also counts.
  • 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.
  • 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 Colleen. Her body being in the water was really staged to look like a drowning.
  • Advertisement:
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: Gary is generally a nice guy, but his attack of Peter shows what he's capable of.
  • 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: In “Justice”, Delilah announces she’s taking Sophie, Danny, and Charlie back to France permanently. While it’s for purely selfish reasons, you have to take into account that she doesn’t feel like she’s able to grieve Jon's death because of how he died and because of her affair with Eddie.
    • And while Delilah should have been there for her children while they were going through difficult things, it wasn’t right that Gary implied that it was her fault that Sophie got assaulted by Peter. Or that she’s a negligent mother who doesn’t care about her kids.
  • Birthday Episode: Maggie celebrates her 30th birthday in “Surprise”.
  • 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.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Sophie becomes this in the aftermath of finding out about Eddie and Delilah's affair.
  • 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.
      • It gets WORSE when he attacks Peter Benoit with Christopher Gregory, which causes Darcy to dump him so her son wouldn't have to witness Gary getting arrested.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Katherine: having to put up with a lot from Eddie over the years. From his drinking, to his affair with Delilah that resulted in Charlie, lying about using/abusing oxycodone was the final straw for her and she divorces him after he returns from rehab. invoked
  • Bisexual Love Triangle: Gary/Katherine/Greta.
  • Brutal Honesty: Darcy's son Liam.
  • Canine Companion: Gary’s dog Colin, who has Undying Loyalty towards his owner, thus earning him the title of "Man's best friend".
  • Christmas Episode: “Christmas Wishlist”
  • Closet Key: Greta is this to Katherine, who wasn't interested in women prior to her divorce and reuniting with her childhood friend.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Before his suicide, Jon went to great lengths to make sure his loved ones will be taken care of after his death.
  • Determinator: Maggie runs a 5k marathon for suicide awareness while undergoing chemo, in the middle of January.
  • 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.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Maggie‘s storyline in season 2 is her figuring out who she is outside of cancer. It’s also why she takes the fellowship in Oxford.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Maggie’s stalker is Justin’s mother former client who died by suicide after developing an unhealthy obsession with her. She even goes as far as threatening Maggie on her radio show
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In “No one’s to Blame” Rome Is offered to direct a soda commercial that centers around a Black Lives Matter protest.
  • 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 is 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.
  • Easily Forgiven: After Christopher tells his wife what he and Gary did to Peter Benoit, she completely understands why he did it.
    • Once Eddie finds out that Nicole was fleeing her abusive husband with her young son the night of his accident, he forgives her. He uses the money she gave him to move Nicole and her son into an apartment.
  • Executive Meddling: In-Universe: Todd stole Rome’s script which was about him dealing with Jon’s suicide so he can turn it into a movie about “ Bros and sports”.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Omar foolish,Rome responsible
    • Sophie foolish (though that has to do more with her age and being more affected by the events following Jon’s death) and Danny responsible
  • Gossipy Hens: Maggie develops a habit of this at her job at a radio station
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gary has a tendency to fly off the handle, which leads him to make some bad decisions
  • Henpecked Husband: According to Gary, Eddie is this.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: In "Perspective," Gary spends the whole day reflecting on how Jon supported him through his cancer battle, encouraging him to live, only to take his own life. This leads Gary to breaking down at his remission party.
  • 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.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In "We're the Howards," Gary thought Rome wore a button-down shirt to Sophie’s baseball because he was vain, not because there’s a good chance he was going to be the only black man there.
    • Regina's white mother Shelly is often obtuse to the struggles her daughter faces as a black woman.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Peter’s wife Anna listens to Sophie speak about her assault on Maggie's podcast naming Peter. She looks through her husband’s phone while he’s still in a coma to find nothing suspicious which meant he had something to hide. She leaves him and tells him that she's going to make sure he never teaches again.
  • Karmic Death: In “Lesson Learned” Peter Benoit dies of a fall
  • Kitschy Themed Restaurant: After losing “Someday” due to the pandemic Gina takes a temporary job as a cook at a jungle themed restaurant called “Crocodilze”.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: 17+ years before present time (2018), Jon and his old college roommate Dave were flying from Boston to Los Angeles. Jon stopped to buy a bottle of wine last minute at the gift shop, which causes him to arrive at the gate seconds after the gate agent closes the gate door and 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 gate agent can only share a shocked, wordless glance.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 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. Particularly Gary
  • Meaningful Name: Sophie was named after the flight attendant that inadvertently saved Jon's life by refusing him late boarding for his flight American Airlines 11 on September 11, 2001.
  • Moral Myopia: By Season 3, Delilah has been complaining about not being able to grieve for Jon's death despite cheating on him with Eddie and being willing to leave her family.
  • Not Afraid to Die: After her cancer comes back, Maggie refuses chemo, but later changes her mind. After, she opens up to Rome and Delilah about Chad and Gary’s Freak Out at his remission party.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "We're the Howards", Rome gets accosted by a paranoid father who racially mistakes him for an ephebophile taking pictures of his daughters. Rome was actually taking pictures of his friend Delilah'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".
  • Odd Friendship: Gary and Katherine.
  • 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 neighbor's front lawn. When he goes to pick it up, the neighbor 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 neighbor's car with a hockey stick. Eddie soon regrets this after seeing the look of horror on Theo's face.
  • Parental Abandonment: Gary’s mom left him when he was 9
  • 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.
  • Parting Words Regret: The day before Jon died him and Gary argued over the latter’s not wanting to commit to a long term relationship.
  • 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.
    • in “ Family First”, [[ Spoiler: after her father has a stroke Delilah returns to France with Danny and Tyrell goes to Haiti to be with his mother.]]
  • Samus Is a Girl: The driver who hit Eddie.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Katherine quits her job at her law firm In “Change of Plans” and according to her assistant Carter, “she went out in a blaze of glory”.
  • "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.
  • Suicide by Pills: The series starts with Rome receiving the call that John had just committed suicide just as he was about to swallow a mouthful of pills. The shock is enough to snap him out of it and he eventually seeks help.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Tantrum Throwing: in “Time Stands Still” after Delilah tells Sophie and Danny the truth about Charlie’s paternity. Sophie breaks in to Eddie’s garage and destroys all of his guitars
    • in “Justice” Delilah takes the family portrait off of the wall and smashes it over a table after Gary verbally eviscerates her.
  • 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.
  • Terrified of Germs: Liam. Gary realizes this in "Timing" after he sees Liam using hand sanitizer so much and remembers Liam getting disturbed by the touched items: the game controller, the ice cream sundae supplies, and the 50-sided die from Dungeons&Dragons.
  • 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.
    • Maggie’s stuffed panda bear. Her brother Chad stole it from a carnival game, which she later finds out her dad payed the carnie to let her keep it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Invoked by Gary. After Sophie first auditioned for Peter he rudely rejected her. Later Gary told him the year before Sophie lost her father and music was what got her through all that When Maggie said that Peter used “Sophie’s history against her” Gary admits to Maggie that he gave Peter that history.
  • Unstoppable Rage: In the Season 3 finale, after the police refuse to arrest Peter for sexually assaulting Sophie due to a lack of evidence, Gary goes to Peter’s house, lures him outside, puts a sack over his head, and shoves him back inside 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. The PSA has also appeared after other episodes where the main plot discusses suicide.
    • “Price of Admission” touched upon the racial discrimination faced by the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • “Trust Me” dealt with sexual assault
  • Was It Really Worth It?? Gary’s original plan was to scare Peter into confessing to what he did to Sophie and Layla. But Gary left Christopher alone and he lost it on Peter putting him in a coma. In the episodes following, the police names Gary a person of interest. Eventually Darcy figures out that Gary lied about his whereabouts during the night Peter got attacked and breaks up with him. And once he tells Sophie about what he did she doesn’t want anything to do with him
  • Voice of Reason: Maggie because of her occupation as a therapist. Rome fills this role with the guys.
  • 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 an SUV.
  • Wham Line: Woman : Is this Edward Saville? I'm the person who hit you. I am so sorry.
  • Wham Shot: In “The Kiss”, Eric takes of his shirt revealing that he doesn’t have a scar from his heart transplant.
    • In the season 4 premiere, it is revealed that Gary didn’t act alone in attacking Peter. Christopher Gregory, who’s daughter Peter also abused, was shown to be an accomplice.
  • 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.
    • "Justice": Gary calls out Delilah for staying in France, leaving the others to deal with her son coming out and her daughter being sexually assaulted.
    • "Crystal Clear": Sophie calls out Gary after he tells her what he did to Peter, saying he only did what he did because he felt guilty and has a hero complex.
  • Widow Woman: Delilah.

Top