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Series / Anne with an E

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"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"

A Canadian series which first aired on television in March of 2017 and was distributed worldwide as a Netflix original two months later. Anne with an E (originally known simply as Anne in Canada) is based on the classic literary series Anne of Green Gables.

Set around the turn of the century, the series stars Anne, a precocious orphan child under the guardianship of the tough but fair Marilla Cuthbert and Matthew Cuthbert, albeit by accident as they were looking for a farmhand boy. After an initially cool reception, the Cuthberts warm up to their new ward — but Anne will still face challenges as she settles in to the idyllic town of Avonlea.

Starring Amybeth McNulty as Anne, Geraldine James as Marilla, R.H. Thomson as Matthew, Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert, and Dalila Bela as Diana.

This series contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Essentially, if there is potential for some more drama than in the original material, it will come to fruition.
    • Anne, who was The Pollyanna in the books, is more clearly haunted by her traumatic past in this adaptation.
    • Gilbert, whose father dies during the series and faces questions about what he wants to do in life as a result.
    • The Cuthberts, due to their dead brother, their financial problems, and Matthew's attempted suicide near the end of season 1.
  • Adaptational Diversity: This adaptation adds black and indigenous characters and a classmate of Anne's is gay. Aunt Josephine also had a female partner in this adaptation. They are presented with Deliberate Values Dissonance however, showcasing the discrimination and ostracism all three minorities faced at the time. Even main characters are openly racist towards the indigenous and black characters while Anne's homosexual friend faces physical abuse and bullying from his peers and their teacher.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Most characters, excluding Anne, Diana and Gilbert, have their moments.
    • Marilla doesn't just banish Anne from going to a picnic over the stolen brooch - she kicks the girl out of her house, making her go back to the orphanage by herself even though it's obviously unsafe (we are promptly shown Anne encountering an implied paedophile on that journey) and Matthew goes along with it.
    • The drunkard Mr. Thomas is shown to be also physically abusive to Anne in her flashbacks. The girls in the orphanage are also shown to have actively been bullying Anne.
    • Billy Andrews, Charlie Sloane and most of the boys besides Gilbert are misogynistic bullies to Anne. Josie Pye isn't the lone Alpha Bitch either, most of the girls are unpleasant as well when they first meet Anne, whereas the girls warmed to her much quicker in the book.
    • Minnie May Barry, Mrs. Barry and most of Avonlea's inhabitants look down on Anne for being an orphan and openly trash talk her (which gives their kids an excuse to bully her at school since they're just repeating what they heard their parents say of her).
    • Billy tries to rape Josie Pye in Season 3, episode 6 and, when she rejects him, spreads rumours that they did have sex and that she came on to him, basically making her damaged goods that no-one would ever marry which means she's basically stuck with him. He certainly doesn't in the books.
    • Due to the addition of Sebastian's and the Mi'kmaq tribe storylines, and the expansion of Miss Stacy's personal life, Rachel Lynde is portrayed in a more negative light, being the main character who is most usually shown to be in the wrong in all three stories or at least with a more antiquated mindset bordering on Noble Bigot.
  • Adults Are Useless: While Anne's educated rescue of a child from a common childhood ailment casts doubt upon the adults, the crowning moment is when she runs into a burning building to close the doors and windows, allowing the fire to die out. Even in the 1890s, this was a known firefighting technique.
  • Alliterative Family: Siblings Marilla, Matthew and Michael Cuthbert.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: When she first arrives in Avonlea, adults and children alike give Anne a hard time for being an "uncouth" orphan, often directly to her face.
  • Alpha Bitch: Josie Pye styles herself as the leader of the girls, as the eldest and prettiest among them. She spends most of her debut in the third episode making snide comments about Anne before outright shunning her. This trope is deconstructed in season 3, when her reputation is "ruined" by rumours about her and Billy. None of the girls (besides Anne) particularly want to stand up for her because she's the Alpha Bitch
  • Animal Motifs: In season 2, Anne empathizes with a lonely red fox as a sort of "kindred spirit".
  • Ascended Extra: Jerry Baynard, the Cuthberts' young French farmhand, who becomes something of a surrogate brother to Anne. The Cuthberts did have a hand named Jerry Buote in the books, but he's only mentioned in passing.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Mr. and Mrs. Barry are not happily married due to a combination of Small Town Boredom and the era's strict gender roles. They seem to have kept their discontent in check for years, but their feelings finally boil over in Season Two after being swindled out of their savings.
  • Beta Couple: In Season 3, Diana and Jerry, with Anne and Gilbert as the Alpha. While the former couple is not without obstacles, they are more open to showing affection for each other than the latter.
  • Big Damn Kiss: In the season 3 finale, Anne and Gilbert finally get together after an entire season of miscommunication. When they both find out how the other feels and that they've actually loved each other all along, Anne and Gilbert literally run after each other. (Him ditching a train ride to see her and her getting ready to take a train ride to see him.) Once they find and see each other, they both walk up to each other without saying a single word. After simply staring at each other, they share a long awaited passionate kiss.
  • Blithe Spirit: Anne easily wins the hearts of the Cuthberts, Diana, and Gilbert with her free thinking, lust for learning and sense of imagination, but this trope is deconstructed with the rest of Avonlea; the whole town is so steeped in tradition that its people view Anne's freshness as an unwelcome intrusion in their quiet lives.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Ruby (blonde), Diana (brunette), and Anne (redhead).
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Ka'Kwet's entire arc in season 3. She's a young Indigenous girl whose parents send her to a residential school believing she will be cared for and educated. Instead, the nuns running the school are horribly abusive and try to indoctrinate her into European culture. Ka'Kwet manages to escape, however she is left deeply emotionally traumatized by the experience. Before long, officials from the school hunt her down and rip her away from her parents. Anne and Matthew try to help her parents get her back, but they are unsuccessful. What makes it worse is that incidents like this really did happen.
  • Bonfire Dance: Happens twice.
    • In episode 5, Anne and her friends meet up at night to do their own Beltane celebration. They light a bonfire and perform a ritual, shouting that women are powerful and other empowering things. They then proceed to dance and scream in joy. This is when Ruby gets emotional and confesses that she loves being a woman.
    • In episode 8, Anne's classmates celebrate and play around at the Ruins after they finally finish their exams. When Gilbert comes to them, he sees Anne and is stunned by her beauty as he watches her dance next to the campfire.
  • Boomerang Bigot: The village schoolteacher is exceptionally cruel to Cole. Cole speculates that the teacher lashes out at him out of internalised homophobia.
  • Butt-Monkey: Moody Spurgeon, a boy in Anne's class, is Born Unlucky, now helped by his slow wit. In Season 2, he's fortunately given more depth and becomes a friend to the girls.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Prissy Andrews calls her father out for his hypocrisy regarding the Josie situation. He doesn't want his son Billy to marry Josie now that her reputation is ruined, even though this is the exact same situation his daughter Prissy was in: her reputation was "ruined" until Mr. Phillips proposed.
  • Canon Foreigner: Several.
    • Matthew and Marilla have a dead older brother in this adaptation, who is implied to be the reason they wound up emotionally remote and single.
    • Anne's friend Cole MacKenzie who attends the school from Season 2.
    • Bash Lacroix, who Gilbert meets in Trinidad in season 2, and his wife Mary. Also Mary's son Elijah and Bash and Mary's daughter Delphine, who is born between seasons 2 and 3.
    • Ka'Kwet and the rest of the Mi'kmaq tribe.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Cole's broken hand ends his dream of becoming an artist as he can no longer draw. Subverted in that he takes up sculpting instead as it also acts as physiotherapy to rebuild the strength in his hand. And after he moves in with Aunt Jo, she pays for him to go to Art School.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The fox in Season 2 doesn't become important until the end of the season.
  • Chekhov's Gag: When Anne is accepted into the Cuthbert family, the trio drinks cordial to commemorate the occasion. Anne remarks that she could "get used to this". A few episodes later, she mistakes a bottle of wine for the cordial and shares it with Diana for their tea party. Hilarity Ensues, until Diana's mother finds out and they're kept from each other for a month.
  • Chick Magnet: Gilbert Blythe. Most of the girls at the school are seen giggling over him and giving him the eye. He's so charming even Diana isn't immune, despite the fact that she's meant to be ignoring him out of loyalty to Anne.
  • Child by Rape: Mary explains that even in the bog she was ostracized for having a child out of wedlock, which also made her son grow into a cruel and bitter man. She wasn't given any reprieve even though she explains to Bash that she had no say in the matter.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Diana Barry wears blue, Ruby Gillis wears pink and orange, and Anne wears brown and green on special occasions.
  • Coming of Age Story: For Anne and her friends.
  • Consummate Liar: This version of Anne is an expert liar, a skill rooted in her expert storytelling ability. This helps a lot in the first season finale when she is able to pawn simple household items for a lot more than they're worth by convincing the shop owner that they're priceless historical artifacts.
  • Continuity Nod: During season 3, Anne summons the other girls to meet "by the lake of shimmering waters". This is a nod to the very first episode when she first arrived at Avonlea and she decided to rename Barry's pond as such.
  • Cool Teacher: When Mr. Phillips leaves Avonlea in disgrace after Prissy leaves him at the altar, the schoolhouse get a new teacher, Miss Stacy. A modern, openminded woman who wears trousers instead of corsets, rides a motorbike and makes lessons interactive to help her students learn better, Anne takes to her immediately.
  • Cope by Pretending: Anne copes with her loneliness by speaking to her reflection in a mirror as though it's a friend and creating stories about a poised and brave "Princess Cordelia", a princess whose adventures often mirror Anne's current situation.
  • Daddy's Girl: Just like in the source material, Anne quickly makes an impression on Matthew, and they are more emotionally connected than Anne and Marilla.
  • Dance of Romance: Gilbert and Anne have one in season 3, episode 5.
  • Darker and Edgier: Although the series is not without humour and light, Anne's unhappy childhood has dramatically affected her in this present portrayal, unlike the Pollyanna Anne is in the books. Throughout season 1 and 2 she suffers frequent flashbacks to the abuse she suffered under the Hammonds and in the orphanage. Anne also faces significant prejudice from the townsfolk and bullying from her school peers, due in part to her background as an orphan and her awkward social skills. Not to mention a house fire, the death of a parent, the prospect of losing your own property, child predators, criminals mugging a child, and the like. A far cry from the much lighter and carefree material from the purely slice-of-life, idyllic books, which, though not without their serious moments, were far more focused on relationships and lighthearted adventures.
  • Death by Adaptation: Gilbert's father John lives to see his grandchildren in the books, but dies late in the first season.
  • Death by Despair: Marilla and Matthew's mother went catatonic after their older brother died and wasted away in bed after a year.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Avonlea is appropriately misogynist and discriminating against orphans as was the norm for the time. Some of the main characters express very racist (but common for the time) views towards the Mi'kmaq in season 3.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Marilla Cuthbert is straight-laced and staunchly practical, but warming up to Anne slowly softens her into a caring motherly figure. She can even step up and be a Mama Bear when the situation demands it. And notably is one of the few staunch defenders of Miss Stacey in season 2, even going head to head against her long-time friend Rachel.
  • Delivery Guy: Gilbert delivers a baby in Trinidad.
  • DIY Dentistry: Bash tries to remove a bad tooth with string and a slammed door. It works, but he also gets a bad infection and has to see a doctor anyway.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: Anne is at her window trying to shoo away a fox she's become close to so he doesn't get caught in the traps Matthew set up. As she pulls inside she hits her head on the window and trips on the table which makes the essay she was writing and an oil lamp come crashing down onto the floor causing a small fire. She runs to get some water and pours it on top, inadvertently making the fire bigger (Truth in Television: oil fires can't be put out by pouring water over them and quite the opposite can even cause an explosion) she finally puts it out with her shoe but the fire destroys her assignment. The entire accident seems so ludicrous even to Anne that she pretends to be sick rather than try to explain what happened to her teacher. Both Marilla and Miss Stacey agree that if it wasn't for the burnt pieces of paper, the whole story would be too crazy to believe.
  • Double Meaning: The spelling words set by Anne's teacher - Amorous, Gorgeous - are clearly meant to be seen as flirting by the schoolgirl with whom he is having a Teacher/Student Romance.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Anne is daunted by the idea of practising long division in school, not because she's bad at math, but because she's never had a formal education until now.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Anne getting herself and Diana drunk was clearly an accident and nothing bad came of it, but Diana's propriety-obsessed mother forbids Diana from seeing Anne because of it.
  • Fiery Redhead: Anne is this in spades, given her independent and imaginative nature.
  • First Period Panic: After hurting with cramps the day before, Anne wakes up in the middle of the night bleeding. She panics, afraid she is dying, and tries to wash the sheets. Fortunately, Marilla wakes up and can explain what's happening is completely normal.
  • First World Problems: When Anne is whining about how much she hates school (which she isn't attending willingly at the moment) and how much easier everything is for boys, Jerry the stable boy looks at her like she's a Spoiled Brat and points out how he is a boy and has no chance of receiving the education that she is throwing away.
  • Flames of Love: When Gilbert goes to express his feelings for Anne, the scene is shot with the fire blazing behind her. The image of Anne's red hair illuminated by the flames is striking, and Gilbert appears transfixed.
  • A Friend in Need: The season 1 finale showcases this, fitting with the Christmas theme. Anne, the Cuthberts, and Jerry try to raise money to prevent the bank from taking Green Gables by selling livestock and heirlooms, but can't scrape up enough until the neighbours pitch in. Marilla is against the very idea from the start, but Anne finally shuts down her pride by telling her there is a difference between taking charity and accepting help from loved ones.
  • Friendship Trinket: Anne and Diana wear the matching halves of a heart-shaped locket. Played for Drama when they get into an argument in "A Strong Effort of the Spirit of Good" and Diana removes hers.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Minnie May is the only Barry who doesn't care for society's expectations, and is the most likely to have a better understanding of what her family's underlying problems are. In "Great and Sudden Change", she tells Diana she's sick of being unfavourably compared to her, which turns into a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how Diana is lying to herself about the person she wants to be.
  • Generation Xerox: When Marilla was young, she and John Blythe ended their relationship because she had to stay on Prince Edward Island to look after her family. She did not want to be the reason that John could not go travelling as he had always wanted. In season three, Marilla's adopted daughter Anne is in a similar situation, she doesn't want to be the reason that Gilbert does not go to Paris and the Sorbonne University.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: The latest fashion in the show's setting. Anne desperately falls in love with them and begs Marilla to make her a dress with puff sleeves.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Subverted with Anne. She wears her hair in braided pigtails while the other girls have hairbows- but Anne is the most tomboyish of the bunch.
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Anne and the good-natured Cuthberts qualify for this trope. As the Cuthberts are an over-the-hill pair of siblings, they wear noticeably simpler fashions much like Anne and her hand-me-downs.
  • Gossipy Hens: Rachel Lynde keeps her ear to the ground so she can always have an opinion of the latest news. It's quite telling of her nosiness when Matthew goes to talk with Rachel first when he needs to find out why Anne is suddenly Avonlea's undesirable after one day of school.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Anne learns this both physically (when she starts her period and suffers cramps and mood swings) and emotionally (realizing she has to apologize to a woman she yelled at for insulting her simply because it's the mature thing to do).
  • Happily Adopted: Anne, into the Cuthbert family.
  • Henpecked Husband: At first glance, Rachel Lynde's husband, Thomas, seems to be in this situation since he is quieter and more mild-mannered than his wife and gets regularly bossed about by her, but he is content not to think for himself and let Rachel handle things, so they're perfectly matched. It goes to show that they're the only couple openly showing affection for each other, and during Prissy's wedding, he even mentions that at their own wedding he rushed through his vows as fast humanly possible because he couldn't wait to be alone with her on their honeymoon.
  • Imaginary Friend: Just as in the books, Anne calls her reflection Katie Maurice, and talks to "her" in times of stress or loneliness.
  • Imagine Spot: Prone to flights of fancy, Anne can get lost in her daydreams and distracted from the world around her. It seems to have been a coping mechanism for her while in the orphanage and working as a servant for various foster families but oftentimes gets her into trouble as she's distracted and often inadvertently causes accidents.
  • I Never Got Any Letters:
    • Gilbert never even finds Anne's Love Confession letter in "A Dense and Frightful Darkness".
    • In "The Better Feeling of My Heart" Gilbert writes a Love Confession to Anne before leaving for Toronto. Anne rips it up without reading it. She believes that Gilbert read her letter and didn't bother to respond in person. Only after ripping up does Anne realise she should have read it first. When she arranges the fragments left she mistakenly reads it as a letter declaring his engagement to Winnifred.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Wanting to make Anne feel truly at home, Marilla and Matthew invite her to write her name in their family bible. Anne is so happy she nearly breaks down in tears.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Diana is a sweet girl and a loyal friend to Anne, but as a result of being sheltered by her proper mother, she doesn't always notice when something she finds normal is making Anne uncomfortable.
    • Anne trying to comfort Gilbert after the death of the latter's father backfires massively when she's not able to understand his feelings at first since she has been an orphan her entire life and cannot empathize with losing a parent.
  • Large Ham: Anne is an extremely loud and dramatic person in a village full of proper, old-fashioned country people.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In one of Anne's flashbacks, Mr. Hammond collapses from a fatal heart attack in the middle of beating Annie.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: This is a source of conflict between Diana and her parents in season 3; they want her to go to finishing school in Paris, and she does not want to go.
  • Literary Allusion Title: For the episode titles.
    • Season 1's episode titles are all quotes from Jane Eyre.
    • Season 2's episode titles are quotes from Middlemarch
    • Season 3's episode titles are quotes from Frankenstein
  • Love Triangle:
    • Gilbert has transparent feelings for Anne. She shares the attraction but vehemently denies it, partially because he called her "Carrots", and partially because Ruby, her classmate and Diana's friend, has a huge crush on him and Anne does not want to risk being ostracized as a man-stealer despite the fact that he shows no interest in Ruby.
    • Season 3 has a more conventional one between Gilbert, Anne and Winnifred Rose.
  • Maiden Aunt: Diana's Aunt Josephine is a classic example; stuffy, grouchy, and having never married. Later subverted, when Anne discovers Josephine is a Cool Old Lady, and she is only technically an old maid because she was secretly in a relationship with her female lover and her previous behavior was caused by her distaste for Diana's actually stuffy parents.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: In a contrast to the orphaned Anne, Jerry comes from a large, poor family. His siblings have to work to feed them as a result. In season 3 Diana comes to visit them and we get to meet them all.
  • The Matchmaker:
    • Anne tries to bring Matthew and his old schoolmate Jeanie together by responding to her letters behind his back. She's caught quickly and, although Jeanie is forgiving, Matthew is furious with Anne for the first time for such meddling and deceit. They resume their friendship but it doesn't go beyond that.
    • Rachel Lynde jumps at the chance to find a husband for Miss Stacey.
  • Miss Conception: Abound in "I am Fearless and therefore Powerful", where none of the schoolgirls know which courtship rituals lead to pregnancy and, with a school dance coming up and some parents telling their daughters never to let a boy touch them or they'll become pregnant, they are quite confused on the matter and have to seek knowledge of how to avoid it.
  • Multi-Part Episode: The Japanese broadcast of the series on NHK split episode 1 into two parts.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Marilla's reaction when she finds her lost brooch she accused Anne of stealing, meaning she just condemned the poor girl to the orphanage for nothing. Her expression says it all in lieu of words.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: As in the book, Anne's attempt to dye her hair black then panicking and trying to use bleach to remove it results in it turning green instead to her horror.
  • New Season, New Name: In the first season, the CBC aired the series as just Anne instead of the international title Anne with an E. In the second, the CBC shifted to the same title that was used everywhere else.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Anne's attempts to help Josie end up backfiring. She publishes an article in the school newspaper about the Double Standard between the genders and about women's bodily autonomy. While she doesn't use Josie's name everyone who reads it knows what it was about and Josie is further humiliated.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted and how. Anne getting her first menstrual period is the focus of the fifth episode. Later she and her friends discuss when they got hers — only Ruby has not started yet.
  • Not Helping Your Case: While it was wrong of Marilla to accuse Anne of stealing her brooch, she did admit to have been playing with it, something that Marilla explicitly told her not to do.
  • Oh, Crap!: A meta example in Series 3. Ka'Kwet's family talk about sending her to a residential school, believing she'll be well cared-for and educated. Any viewer who's familiar with Canadian residential schools and how they treated the indigenous children knows this is not going to end well.
  • One Head Taller: Jerry and Diana have some Ship Tease in season 3, and she comes up to around his shoulder.
  • Orphanage of Fear:
    • Anne's remembrances of the orphanage are not happy ones — older girls tormented her verbally and physically, and Anne is too afraid of the place to return after Marilla throws her out.
    • During season 3 she actually visits the orphanage and we can see for ourselves the horrible situation in which children are brought in. Anne was a baby so she had no memory of it, but we're shown a father dropping off two very young children and asking the matron to tell them he died so they won't come looking for him later. Understandably Anne is quite shaken by the scene, being barely able to talk.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ma and Pa Shirley died when Anne was only a few months old, leaving her alone in the world and at the mercy of a series of cruel foster families.
  • Performance Anxiety: Matthew had this as a child and did not participate in the Christmas pantomime because of it, however when Pushed in Front of the Audience at Anne's Christmas panto he is able to overcome his stage fright and deliver Billy's lines.
  • Playing a Tree: Anne is cast as a tree in the pantomime in the Christmas Episode of season two. The trope is flipped on it's head since normally playing a tree is a terrible filler part for when there's not enough roles for every kid, but Nature Lover Anne she sees it as the role of a lifetime:
    Anne: I've spent so many hours admiring the trees of Avonlea, but to actually be one! It provides so much scope for the imagination.
  • Playing Sick:
    • Diana pretends her ankle is worse than it really is so she can stay at the Baynards'.
    • After Anne accidentally drops an oil lamp on the essay she was writing while trying to save her fox, she pretends to be sick to avoid going to school with such a crazy story that no one would believe. Marilla has to come to school with her to explain to Miss Stact that she indeed do the assignment but it got accidentally burned.
  • Platonic Co-Parenting:
    • Anne is adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who are brother and sister.
    • By the end of season 3, Delphine is being raised by her father, grandmother, and older brother.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Regarding Anne and Gilbert's feelings for one another. Gilbert confesses to Anne while she's drunk, and believes she's turned him down when she responds incoherently. Anne mistakenly believes he's engaged to Winnifred.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Not only is Nathaniel a brute and a con man, but he terrorizes French-Canadian Jerry with racist slurs.
  • Practically Different Generations: This applies to Mary's children. She had Elijah when she was very young and had Delphine years later after marrying Bash. Elijah was already a young adult by the time Delphine was born.
  • Race for Your Love: Both Anne and Gilbert in "The Better Feeling of My Heart". After going through a whole season of miscommunication and mutually believing they had an unrequited love, Anne and Gilbert find out through other people that they've both loved each other all along. Shocked, Anne and Gilbert literally run to see each other. This includes Gilbert ditching his train to Toronto and Anne in Charlottetown packing a suitcase to take a train. They end up running into each other just Anne is preparing to leave her dorm residence to see him.
  • Remarrying for Your Kids: After Mary's death, Rachel Lynde suggests to Bash that he remarry so there's someone to help look after Delphine.
  • Runaway Bride: Prissy runs away from her wedding to Mr. Phillips (the schoolteacher).
  • Rushed Inverted Reading: Just before the Cuthberts surprise Anne for her birthday, Matthew is pretending to read and his book is upside down.
  • Scenery Porn: This show features lots of gorgeous shots of Prince Edward Island.
  • School Marm: Miss Stacey who takes over the Avonlea schoolhouse from Mr Phillips.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Anne loves to read and has an excellent memory for the large words she encounters ("twenty-five cent words," as Diana calls them). Anne also has a penchant for using those big words in casual conversation and when introducing herself to new people.
  • Setting Update: While relatively minor, the initial setting seems to be bumped up two decades to the mid 1890s. (first novel was set in the 1870s) This is made clear in episode 6, where a fresh tombstone places that episode in 1896.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: While a girl from a small town's wealthy family instead of an aristocrat, this describes how Diana starts out. She's certainly sheltered, as her mother keeps her away from the slightest impropriety, but learns through befriending Anne how much grander life can be. Diana is frustrated with her sheltered-ness in "Memory Has as Many Moods as The Temper," after learning she never realized her aunt was in a relationship with another woman and she has no aspirations aside from becoming the respectable lady and housewife her mother is raising her to be.
  • Soap Opera Disease:
    • Gilbert's father is beset with this kind of illness, featuring a lot of bedridden shots and an Incurable Cough of Death.
    • We're told that Mary suffers from sepsis which the medicine at the time cannot yet cure and will surely die. In reality this is a very serious and painful condition, yet in the show Mary is only a little sweaty and tired but otherwise perfectly fine to carry on a conversation and even attend an Easter party, only given an esoteric death between episodes.
  • Sour Prude: Diana's mother. The "Prude" is her obsession with propriety and having herself and her daughters be seen as respectable ladies, and the "Sour" is her compensating for her husband's lack of respect by buckling down on everything she has control over, e.g. the household and Diana's education.
  • Splash of Color: After Prissy runs away from her wedding the shot is entirely white (snow and her wedding dress) until her sister Jane Slow Motion runs in wearing yellow and the girls join her in brighter colours.
  • Stay in the Kitchen:
    • After Anne flees the school and vows never to return, Marilla asks the local priest to have a talk with Anne and convince her to start attending class again. This backfires for Marilla, as the priest is rather old fashioned and expresses the view that Anne ought to stay home instead, learning the skills she'll need as a wife instead of reading and doing arithmetic. (In a roundabout way this prompts Anne to go back to school, as she has no desire to become someone's little wife.)
    • Billy also says this word-for-word to Ruby and Anne in the fourth episode.
    • Prissy Andrews is discontent with being reduced to a pretty face by her mother when she wants higher education to become a teacher. Mr. Phillips forbidding her from this dream to be his wife is the final nail in their nuptials' coffin.
  • Surprise Party: The girls throw Anne one for her sixteenth in the first episode of season 3.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Anne's teacher and one of his students, Prissy, are courting in secret. When Anne catches them on her first day of school, she inadvertently starts a whisper chain. it ends up subverted in season 2, as it appears Mr. Phillips is actually gay (or at least that's Cole's suspicion) and we're shown that in private Mr. Phillips isn't as romantic to Prissy as other people assume.
  • Team Power Walk: In the season 2 finale, Anne, Ruby, Diana and Moody are shown in slo-mo striding down a sidewalk in Charlottetown while on a mission to save Miss Stacey's job.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: There's one at the carnival in season 3. Billy attempts to ring the bell to impress Josie, but can't. While he's dismissing the game as rigged, Jerry wins on his first try.
  • The Power of Friendship: A major theme in the show is the friendship various characters form with each other, even despite their differences (be it through class, race or gender). Anne and Diana's friendship is a major recurring friendship on the show, becoming close like dear sisters who stick together throughout thick and thin.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: An iconic moment in the show is Diana calling out Gilbert for badly mishandling his feelings for Anne in the season 3 finale. Diana is a Proper Lady most of the time and yet loudly chews out Gilbert on a train in public for (unintentionally) hurting her best friend. She calls him out on obviously being love with Anne for years, never coming forward with his feelings and yet begins secretly courting a higher class girl and showing up with said girl at the county fair in front of Anne. Then she yells at him for springing a sudden love confession on Anne after their post-exam partying and wanting her to make a life-changing answer in mere seconds. Gilbert can only make confused facial expressions as Diana scolds him for his foolish mistakes.
  • They Should Have Sent A Poet: — and a poet Anne is. The show is full of beautiful shots of the Canadian countryside, but the first episode invokes the trope most heavily as Anne travels the road leading to Green Gables for the first time. She is overcome with emotion at the sight of the blooming trees that line the road and Barry's Pond in the sunlight, and tells Matthew that she'll call the road "The White Way of Delight" and the pond "The Lake of Shimmering Waters" instead.
  • Trauma Button: There seem to be a handful of things that cause Anne to slip into unhappy remembrances of her childhood. Hearing babies cry causes her to remember the cruel Mrs. Hammond and her young children, and an offhand comment from Marilla makes her think of the day she was returned to the orphanage.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Invoked by Ruby, who remarks that Gilbert is even more handsome "now that he's sad."
  • Tunnel of Love: Anne and Gilbert have a tense conversation in front of one at the carnival in season 3.
  • Unknown Rival: Anne is this to Jerry at first, believing his hiring as a farmhand jeopardizes her chances of staying on at Green Gables, even though he has no idea why she's so short-tempered around him. Despite him being nothing but a Nice Guy, her enmity to him lasts an absurdly long time until his mugging at the hands of a couple of thugs softens her up.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • After Anne and Diana catch a glimpse of Prissy and Mr. Phillips holding hands in the supply closet, Anne assumes the two are engaging in "intimate relations" and must be "making a baby." She also mentions that Prissy must already be acquainted with his "pet mouse." At lunchtime she explains to the other girls that her former "employer" Mrs. Hammond told her that men have a pet mouse in their front trouser pocket, and that touching the mouse results in pregnancy.
    • Marilla calls Anne's period her 'womanly flowering time'.
  • Uptown Girl: Teased between Diana and Jerry. More so in Season Three, after only hints in past seasons.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: In Season Three, Diana, with her term at French finishing school looming, decides to experience freedom by romancing Jerry. Deconstructed, unfortunately, when it's confirmed Diana intends for this rebellious phase to be one last hurrah before returning to her parent's plan, hurting both Jerry and Anne's feelings.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: A rare adoption variant. The Cuthberts originally intended to adopt a boy as they needed a farmhand, but the orphanage sent Anne instead because of a case of broken telephone. This caused considerable tension in the first episode.
  • Win Her a Prize: Jerry wins a small poodle figurine for Diana at the carnival.


Video Example(s):


Women's Beltane Ritual

Anne and her friends light a bonfire and do their own little empowering Beltane celebration ritual.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / BonfireDance

Media sources: