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Series / Bridgerton

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"There is nothing you cannot do. You are a Bridgerton."
"All is fair in love and war, but some battles leave no victor, only a trail of broken hearts that makes us wonder if the price we pay is ever worth the fight."
Lady Whistledown

Bridgerton is a 2020 period drama TV series created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes for Netflix. It is an adaptation of the eponymous romance novel series by Julia Quinn.

The series takes place in an alternative, racially integrated Regency England, where the marriage mart is in full swing and young ladies and their families scheme for good matches. The plot revolves around the sons and daughters of the rich and respected Bridgerton clan as they find love and come of age. Among the family are eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), a debutante set to find her match in the new season; oldest brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), who tries to balance his lordship duties with his personal desires; second and third sons Benedict (Luke Thompson) and Colin (Luke Newton), who want to find their own ways in life; and younger sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie), disdainful of the marriage mart and the society that makes it.

Also in the mix are the Bridgertons' neighbour, the tasteless Lady Featherington (Polly Walker), has trouble finding matches for her three daughters, including the precocious misfit Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), and is further threatened by how her lovely but poor relative Marina (Ruby Barker) garners all the attention. Further complicating matters is the enigmatic Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), who narrates the series through her society papers that threaten to uncover secrets, scandals, and more.

The first season adapts the first book, The Duke and I, and follows newly-minted debutante Daphne, who sees her chances of finding a good husband begin to dim when her older brother Anthony shoots down all her suitors. In a bid to retain relevance, Daphne enters into a mutually beneficial fake courtship with her brother's friend, the dashing and eligible Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). Simon refuses to get married, so this arrangement keeps people from throwing their daughters at him while raising interest in her. Naturally, they fall in love — but their burgeoning feelings for each other are threatened by their conflicting desires for the future.

The second season is based on the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and is about Anthony, suddenly determined to find a suitable viscountess with whom he can have an amicable but loveless marriage. With his high standards, a perfect match seems impossible until the arrival of Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran). Anthony's attempts to court her are deterred by her older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley), who immediately butts heads with the Viscount. The competitive hostility between the two slowly turns into romance, but their trauma-induced fears and (often misguided) sense of duty to their families—and the impending marriage between Anthony and Edwina—keep the two apart.

The show debuted on December 25, 2020 on Netflix. The second season premiered on March 25, 2022. Netflix has also renewed the show for an additional two seasons.

In 2021, Netflix announced an eight-episode prequel miniseries centered around Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom (Golda Rosheuvel). Titled Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, the series premiered in May 2023.

Provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Sir Phillip Crane, the hero of the fifth book in the series, appears far earlier here due to the adaptation giving Marina a different backstory.
  • Adaptational Name Change: As a result of their characters being race lifted to Indian, the book's Sheffield sisters become the Sharma sisters in the series. Similarly, "Kate" is short for Kathani, not Katharine as in the novel. The name Sheffield still exists as their mother Mary's maiden name (she is introduced as Mary Sheffield Sharma), though in the books Mary was a Sheffield by marriage, not birth.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The books are structured more like an anthology with each novel focusing solely on the romantic leads with side characters only existing to support them. The show is more of an ensemble with a lot of winding subplots, additional or Ascended Extra characters, and set-up for future storylines.
  • All Women Hate Each Other: Downplayed, plus these are not the only relationships made more complicated in the adaptation. Penelope and Eloise, as well as Kate and Edwina, don't fight or fall out in the books like they do in the show, partially because the stakes are not as high. Lady Whistledown doesn't do much damage in the books nor does she throw Eloise under the bus. Book Edwina doesn't care enough about Anthony to get mad — in fact, she's quite happy to get out of having to marry him — and she claims to have picked up on his and Kate's feelings earlier on.
  • Alliterative Name: Benedict Bridgerton, Cressida Cowper, Philippa Featherington ( maintained after marriage, as she becomes Philippa Finch).
  • Almost Holding Hands: In the middle of episode 5 season 2, Anthony and Kate subconsciously reach for each other's hand as they pass by one another.
  • Almost Kiss: Anthony and Kate get very close to kissing ever since episode "A Bee For Your Bonnet", after she is stung by a bee and Anthony panicsnote . A horse neighing breaks the moment and both promptly run in opposite directions to collect themselves from the unexpected tension. And over the course of the series, they often engage into this whenever they put their faces an inch.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The Bridgerton siblings are named by the order of the alphabet in the order of their age (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth). Daphne and Simon intend to continue this tradition, with Simon telling Daphne upon the birth of their son his name should start with an 'A'.
  • Altar the Speed: Simon and Daphne get a special license to marry in only three days after their official engagement to head off potential gossip after Daphne realizes Cressida Cowper saw her and Simon alone in the garden.
  • Alternate History: The series itself takes place in an alternate and fictional timeline of the Regency time period. In the real-life historical setting of 1813, racism and slavery were still active. However, in this fictional setting, people of all colors are seen as equals. This is due to the King falling in love with a Black woman, Queen Charlotte, and making her his wife. Thus, people of all color were allowed to enter aristocratic society, achieve high rankings, and become equals. In fact, racism doesn't even appear to exist in the show's setting; with the only mention of it being by Lady Danbury. She recalls how society was once "divided by color" before the king and queen's marriage ended such thinking and changed history. Queen Charlotte, who in real life was incorrectly speculated to have African ancestrynote , is portrayed by a Black actress, which allowed more of Britain's Black population to rise in high society like she has.
  • Anachronism Stew: There are yellow lines indicating no waiting on the road, which weren't introduced until the 1960s. There are also installations of Metcraft Victoria street lighting which Bath & North Somerset Council and North Tyneside council use, added for Retraux feel, although not introduced until 2002, almost two centuries after the show is set.
  • Anachronistic Animal: The Sharmas have a beloved Pembroke corgi named Newton. Corgis were not lapdogs in 1810s England, let alone India (they were bred as working dogs in Wales and were not recognized as a breed until around a century later).
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack:
    • The soundtrack is full of modern songs that get classical-style covers. For example, the first episode has a ball with a violin cover of Ariana Grande's "thank u, next".
    • A different ball features Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour, from The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach, who wouldn't even be born for another six years. Another features Dmitri Shostakovich's Jazz Suite, a piece from the 20th century.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: In the final episode of season 2, despite their love has been obviously mutual yet neither confirmed it and upon realized he might lose Kate forever (after she told him that she's returning to India), Anthony eventually has the courage to confess his true feelings for her. Luckily for him, she apparently reciprocates and this time she accepts his second proposal as well.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Bee is a symbol of the Bridgertons, and can be seen embroidered on many of their clothes. It's later revealed as the one that killed the previous Viscount Bridgerton.
    • Horses come up a lot around Anthony and Kate in season two. They first meet while horseriding, have a significant interaction at the horse races, Anthony brings Edwina a horse only to learn that the horse she loved was fictional and only Kate is the passionate rider, and Kate being thrown from a horse is climax of the season.
  • Art Imitates Art:
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Fittingly for the source material, this series adheres to historical accuracy only when there's nothing more interesting (or sexy) to do. (Or when historical accuracy provides drama.)
    • A small detail is Colin's impending departure on the Grand Tour which British aristocrats did undertake when they came of age as a sort of posh gap year. However, seasons one and two are set in 1813-1814, while The Napoleonic Wars were still in full swing, which closed off most Continental travel until Waterloo. This also applies to Genevieve Delacroix, who ends season one with a trip to France, which would not have been something that anybody from London would have casually undertaken at the time.
    • Likewise, the War of 1812 was also still being fought during 1814. Meaning that an Englishman, particularly a noble like Jack Featherington, would have faced some complications to overcome in orchestrating business ventures within the United States during that time. Also, Jack's American affectations would have been regarded as extremely vulgar by the British aristocracy on general principle.
    • Lampshaded when the Bridgertons invite Simon to a dinner party. In reality, children would not have been allowed to eat with the adults, nor would there have been an open discussion at the table. Lady Bridgerton deliberately points out that they are eccentric that way.
    • The Race Lifts of about half the cast, including Queen Charlotte, was inspired by a fringe hypothesis that Queen Charlotte may have been part-Black. This has no basis whatsoever in reality: while Charlotte did have some ancestry of North African nobilitynote  several centuries back, she was an ethnic German from Mecklenburg and is depicted as a redheaded Caucasian in all historical portraiture.
    • Additionally, in real life Queen Charlotte didn't wear such outdated fashions for the period.
    • A lot of the materials used for the costumes are clearly made from contemporary materials such as plastic and polyester.
    • On that same note, some of the highly saturated colors seen in the show would have not been possible during the period the show is set.
      • Some of the patterns and embroidery seen in the costumes are also obviously achieved with modern machines.
      • Women are often not seen wearing coats or bonnets when outside, when that would have been historically accurate. In the second season, they are wearing wedding hats, which weren't everyday wear either.
      • Women are depicted wearing tight fitting stays or even corsets, which were not necessary given that the empire waist dresses worn during the time meant that such garments are not necessary.
    • As with some of the fashions like corsets, the social mores of the ton often seem to take more from the later Victorian Period than the Regency. For instance, families in the Regency were actually much more open about sex (in fact, young children often slept in the same bedrooms as their parents, so it was unavoidable), so the idea of a woman reaching marital age without knowing how babies are made — one of the major plot points of the first season — would be extremely unlikely.
    • It was expected for noble ladies in Regency London to know the "modern languages" of Western Europe including French and German, so Marina's ability to speak French wouldn't have been uncommon (and therefore the modiste's fake-nationality ploy would be harder to pull off), and Daphne and Cressida wouldn't have had to talk about learning German before marrying Prince Friedrich.
    • The enforced idleness of younger sons of the peerage is exaggerated for the period. In reality, they would have been steered towards careers considered appropriate to men of the upper class such as barrister (which often served as an entry into politics or the judiciary), military officer, clergyman or courtier. That they usually had received advanced educations and their families could often afford to buy them positions saw them fill out the higher ranks of most prestigious fields. Notably, a younger son who was not expected to inherit a peerage could, and quite often did, seek to gain election to the House of Commons.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • The same goes with Simon and Daphne as Lady Bridgerton and Lady Danbury already noticed them.
    • From the callous way Queen Charlotte asks if King George is dead, one could be forgiven for thinking she harbors no love for her husband. But genuine affection between the two is apparent in a private scene they later share. Even though his mental state quickly dives into confusion and hostility, her pained and tearful reaction to this makes it clear she's far from indifferent to him. Rather, her apparent cold reactions are implied to be the result of the terrible strain of a mental condition that leaves your loved one unable to so much as recognize you or realize the passage of time.
    • Eloise and Daphne bicker, with Eloise acting like a Tsundere at times. But she makes it clear she wants Daphne to be happy and loves her older sister. She also has a similar relationship with Anthony during their scenes together. When Eloise finds out that her best friend wrote dangerous gossip about her siblings, she's enraged and questions if their friendship ever meant anything if Penelope didn't seem to consider the harm she was causing.
    • Basically the entire basis of the Anthony and Kate dynamic. The first time we see it is when Anthony has a panic attack over Kate getting stung by a bee in the midst of them bickering. Kate comforts him and helps him steady his breathing by placing his hand over the sting, and her hand on his chest.
    • Anthony and Kate, riled up over their issues with their families, begin sparring when he finds her in the garden. He stuns her into silence when he admits that despite all the shit that's going down, all he can think about, all he can breathe for, is her. And in that moment, it seems they are the only ones who get each other.
  • Awful Wedded Life: After the marital rape scene, Simon and Daphne's relationship deteriorates and they remain tense over the course of two episodes. Daphne even very nearly gives up on her marriage altogether before a pep talk from her mother convinces her to put in one final yet genuine attempt to salvage her marriage. It works, as Simon and Daphne reconcile and become Happily Married once again.
  • The Beard:
    • Simon and Daphne pretend to be courting. For Simon, the illusion of being taken means "ambitious mamas" will stop trying to set him up with their daughters; for Daphne, the illusion of having a Duke's interest means she'll be a hot commodity again.
    • In a more traditional use of the term, artist Henry Granville is in love with a young lord while being married to a woman. They imply to Benedict that this arrangement is mutually beneficial (i.e he's gay and she's a lesbian and they're using each other to hide it).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Simon and Daphne, especially in the early stages of their fake relationship. They engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat with an obvious undercurrent of a developing attraction.
    • Anthony and Kate can't seem to go even one scene without arguing about something — and it doesn't go away after they sort themselves out, either.
      Anthony: ...I cannot imagine my life without you, and that is why I wish to marry you.
      Kate: [overjoyed] You do know there will never be a day where you do not vex me?
      Anthony: [enchanted] Is that a promise, Kathani Sharma?
  • Best Friends-in-Law: Simon and Anthony, although it hit a rough patch. They start out as best friends, but Anthony disapproves of Simon's relationship with his sister. When he catches his best friend and Daphne in a heated moment, he's so furious that he demands a duel. However, after Simon and Daphne marry, the two men reconcile and resume their friendship.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Daphne is the Archie to Friedrich's nice, charming, perfect-husband-material Betty and Simon's Tall, Dark, and Snarky, Byronic, rougish Veronica. All three fit this dynamic down to the hair colour!
    • A less clean-cut version sees Colin as the Archie to Nice Girl, Unlucky Childhood Friend Penelope's Betty and the worldlier, sexier, manipulative Marina's Veronica. Except Marina is really a romantic-at-heart country girl who schemes not out of malice, but only out of desperation to provide for her unborn child, while Penelope is both a nice and affable character, and secretly the famed gossipmonger Lady Whistledown, entirely willing to weaponize her alter ego against her rival for Colin's affection.
    • The Sharmas' Sibling Triangle with Anthony: the season's incomparable debutante Edwina is the shy Betty; perfectly ladylike and has aspirations to become a wife and mother, while her older sister Kate is the sassy Veronica; witty, spirited, and independent. Daphne easily clocks that despite Anthony very publicly pursuing Edwina's hand, he is not as excited about her as he should be, instead he seems more enthusiastic with Kate's presence, who shares the same traits with him. She tries to steer him towards acknowledging this, to mixed results.
  • Big Damn Kiss: In season 2 episode 6, following the cancellation of his wedding with Edwina, Anthony and Kate are left alone in the church and after holding back all along, they eventually kiss passionately.
  • Big Fancy House: From the ubiquitous and elegant townhouses of the ton to the Hastings' and Bridgertons' country estates of Clyvedon and Aubrey Hall serving as perfect backdrops to all their secrets and balls.
  • Blended Family Drama: The Sharmas are a blended family in this adaptation: Mr. Sharma already had Kate when he married Mary, and Edwina is Kate's half-sister from that marriage. By all accounts the blended family was very happy and Kate treats Edwina like a full sister, Mary like her mother and vice versa. However when they come to London their differences in social class are very apparent: since Mary is an Earl's daughter, Edwina has privileges, whereas Kate (a commoner) does not. It becomes even more dramatic when the sisters fall for the same man. It is also revealed Kate took on the family's responsibilities at a young age to an unfair degree, which she admits was due to feeling like she owed Mary for taking her in and had to work to earn her place. Mary reassures Kate that she never owed her anything, and that love is unconditional, not transactional.
  • Bookends: Season 2 starts and ends with a young woman overhears her would-be love interest saying something terrible and turn on him as a result. In the season premiere, Kate overhears Anthony spelling out that he doesn't want to marry for love, thus she does everything in her power to stop him from going after her sister, Edwina. The season finale has Penelope overhears Colin stating that he would never court nor marry her, so she goes back on her promise to Eloise and starts writing as Lady Whistledown again
  • Born During a Storm: A flashback in "A Bee in Your Bonnet" shows that Violet gave birth to Hyacinth as a rainstorm fell outside. The hysterics in the scene are more pronounced by the recent loss of the family patriarch Edmund, as well as Hyacinth being a breech birth.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Both Edwina and Kate make legitimate points about her wanting to engage in courtship with Anthony. Kate reveals that she overheard Anthony talking about how he doesn't want to Marry for Love, only to find a wife who's the best choice for viscountess and provide the best children. She's worried that Anthony won't be the match to make her little sister happy as she does want to marry someone who genuinely loves her. Edwina retorts that he was a perfect gentleman to her, they share common interests, and they seemed to strike a genuine connection considering their pasts. She also makes a comment about how she appreciates a man who's honest about his intentions. Lady Danbury gently tells Kate that most Regency marriages are treated as business arrangements (sometimes genuine love is seen as a plus) so Anthony is acting perfectly normal in how he's handling a potential marriage.
    • What's sad about Eloise and Penelope's fight is that they both are right. Penelope points out that the queen was going to blackmail who she thought was Lady Whistledown, and Eloise wouldn't be able to keep up the ruse. She also says that at least she is making a mark on the world, while Eloise is all talk. Eloise retorts that her friendship with Theo was supposed to be secret for a reason, so that he and the Bridgertons wouldn't get hurt by the potential scandal. Penelope betrayed her best friend's trust, even if it was for good intentions, and Eloise cannot forgive that. Not to mention that Eloise was befriending Theo precisely to figure out what she wanted to do with her life if she couldn't go to university or publish her book. She also asks how Penelope could betray her own family and Marina Thompson by posting about the pregnancy, something that especially abhors her. Marina deceived Colin, but Eloise understand she was in a desperate situation and Marina would have been happy with her brother.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Simon and Daphne. He's the Tall, Dark, and Handsome duke with daddy issues and no desire to marry; she's the kind, sweet, and naive young lady who proves more than a match for him.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Anthony learns how Nigel, whom he arranged to marry Daphne, had tried to force himself on her, he instantly calls off the arrangement and warns the man to never go near his sister again. When he asks Daphne why she didn't tell him what Nigel attempted to do, she admits she thought he wouldn't believe her. A hurt Anthony asks if she really thinks "that little of him". Daphne bluntly replies that after she told him she didn't want to marry Nigel and he simply dismissed her feelings — yes, she does.
  • Call-Back: After catching Anthony and Kate almost kiss in the library, Daphne reminds Anthony that he had also found her and Simon in a compromising position last year. Instead of forcing a duel or proposal as he did, Daphne advices him to be honest about his feelings ahead of his plans for proposal and marriage. He does the exact opposite of her advice and proposes to Edwina.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: It is a series about the Regency ton (high society) of London after all.
  • Character Title: The series is titled Bridgerton after its central family.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Benedict and Eloise have more than one scene in which they share cigarettes while they talk about their anxieties about the future.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The Bridgertons wear - and decorate their house in - shades of blue, reflecting their generally well-bred and good-natured reputation:
      • Anthony is frequently in darker navy and black to show his angst and inner turmoil.
      • Benedict goes for brighter blue or combines it with other colours as a budding bohemian.
      • Colin is always in lighter blues, fitting his innocent outlook.
      • Violet and Daphne wear blue pastels, with Daphne evolving to pastel purple following her ascension to married Duchess.
      • Eloise frequently appears in mint, as she's more on edge of the family and doesn't fit into her role as well.
    • The Featheringtons, in contrast, wear garish greens, yellows, fuchsias, and oranges together showing their lack of class and family unity. Penelope often wears just yellow, matching her sweeter nature.
    • Simon is almost exclusively in bold colors, particularly red or black, because of his brooding, Byronic Hero characterisation.
    • Marina normally wears pink, emphasizing her attractiveness and femininity.
    • Siena wears red, as she's more sexual and less sheltered than the high-born ladies. Even her surname means red in Italian.
    • Lady Danbury is frequently in purple, highlighting her authority and feared reputation. She also occasionally wears red, reflecting her fierce and feisty personality.
    • Among the Sharmas, Kate often wears teal and/or purple, reflecting her assertive and bold traits, while Edwina prefers pink or peach, signifying her sweet and ladylike nature. This also foreshadows that it is Kate not Edwina, who is a match for Anthony, as teal and purple fit much better with the Bridgteron blue color scheme than pink and peach.
  • Commonality Connection:
    • Edwina and Anthony learn what they have in common while dancing: they both like reading, and both lost their fathers. She also wants children, but no specific number. Anthony determines he will marry Edwina, since she meets all his requirements. A shame that Kate has caught his eyes...
    • Speaking of, Anthony and Kate see each other in themselves as they're both self sacrificing eldest siblings who were parentified in their late teens after the loss of a parent.
      Kate: I came here resolved to save my family. Everything I have ever done–
      Anthony: Has been for them?
      Kate: Has been for them... You are the one who must stop, before–
      Anthony: Before what? Before we finally both do something for ourselves?
  • Contraception Deception: Simon tells Daphne that he can't have children and never corrects her when she assumes that he's sterile. Simon tries to avoid having children because of a vow he swore to his dying father that he would never sire an heir.
  • Costume Porn: Hollywood Costuming aside, the costumes are all sumptuously detailed. The second season in particular sees dresses made out of absolutely gorgeous Indian fabrics.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Anthony and Kate could've had at least been more on friendly terms had they just opened up to each other earlier; explaining the reason why he refused to marry for love and why she kept preventing him from courting and marrying her younger sister, Edwina. In addition, Anthony and Edwina's wedding won't happen had Kate talked to Edwina explicitly about Anthony's refusal to marry for love. Even if Edwina still refuses to believe or comply, at least Kate has tried to warn her.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: One interpretation of Lady Featherington faking a "Dear John" Letter from Sir George so that Marina will move on and marry quickly. When she finds out that the reason why Marina is being stubborn— after reading the love letters from the real Sir George— she looks sympathetic while talking with her maid about their scheme. Lady Featherington isn't wrong that Marina can't wait forever for a man who is at war and has no idea if or when he'll return. Also, even if he does return alive, men are known to have wandering eyes.
  • Dances and Balls: Many fancy Regency balls and events are seen throughout the show.
  • Dance of Romance:
    • Invoked. While Dances and Balls are common for the ton, Simon and Daphne pretend to be madly in love while dancing together at the various balls to sell their fake courtship and garner the ton's interest.
    • In season 2, Anthony and Kate dance more than once and are obviously attracted to one another.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Needless to say, any anachronisms and counterfactuals aside, the drama is very much driven by the mores and morals of Regency-era high society, with its strict social hierarchies and gender roles, which would be unacceptable (if not outright unthinkable) in the 21st century.
    • In Season 2, Lady Danbury describes 26-year-old Kate as an Old Maid since she's still unmarried at her age and Kate herself mentions her singleness has tainted her image in society. In today's modern society, it's considered a woman's personal choice whether or not to marry, and, if she chooses to remain single for however long she likes — that's simply to be respected as her choice and a private matter.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • At the start of the season, Lady Featherington is quite unhappy about the attention, and suitors, that Marina is attracting while her own daughters are ignored. Rather than simply take advantage of this in order to marry Marina off quickly, since only one suitor can actually marry her, Lady Featherington tries to deflect suitors from Marina. This becomes a problem when she discovers Marina's pregnancy. She now finds herself with an urgent need to marry Marina off immediately, but the still available suitors are far more problematic than the ones Marina initially attracted at the beginning.
    • Marina drinks what she believes to be poisonous tea to abort her baby. After recovering, she initially believes it worked until she feels movement in her womb. Upon examination, a doctor confirms the baby is still alive and actually laughs when learning what ingredients she used to try to end her pregnancy. He remarks that herbal tea cannot in any way end a pregnancy.
    • Daphne forcing Anthony to confront his feelings of love (for Kate) spooks him into pursuing the exact opposite by proposing to Edwina. However, the implications and realities of impulsively tying himself to the sister of the woman he loves begin to dawn on him. He wants out, because he won't be able to quell his feelings for Kate, even if she leaves for India (which, according to him, is "not far enough").
      Anthony: [to Kate] Do you think there is a corner of this Earth that you could travel to far away enough to free me from this torment?
    • Penelope when she tries to save Eloise when suspicion falls on her that she's Lady Whistledown and the queen threatens consequences without proof that says otherwise. Penelope then writes a scandalous piece revealing Eloise's time spent "unchaperoned with political radicals". While this does save Eloise from the queen's wrath, it also leaves Eloise and her family's reputation completely ruined, so much so that no one wants to associate with them whatsoever, very nearly leaving them in ruin. When Eloise discovers Penelope's actions, primarily that she's Lady Whistledown, she's naturally outraged. Penelope feebly tries saying her actions were well-intended, but Eloise points out she caused far more harm than good and never wants to see her again. There is also the fact that Penelope chose to publish a secret that only she, Eloise, and Theo knew about, which immediately narrowed down for Eloise who the real writer was. She could have chosen a number of other secrets, like Eloise smoking in private, that wouldn't have outed her identity.
      • On the other hand, Eloise caused Penelope's Batman Gambit for her ridiculous idea that she could fool Queen Charlotte into believing she is Lady Whistledown for longer than one or two pamphlets. Eloise is certainly bright enough to write the way Penelope can, but her total distaste for high society and gossip means her Lady Whistledown pieces would instantly be inferior quality, and a gossip lover like the Queen would instantly see right through her. This would only lead to either Queen Charlotte accusing Eloise of lying to protect Lady Whistledown or delivering substandard work now that the Queen knows her identity, both of which would be much worse for Eloise and the Bridgertons. Eloise might not be happy about Penelope's words, but her friend's actions at least left the Bridgertons' reputation with a chance of being salvaged, whereas Eloise's plan would have left her family's reputation possibly beyond repair.
  • Double Standard: It's a very patriarchal society.
    • Men can screw around and develop notoriety as rakes, which doesn't affect their social standing and availability to marry. However, a woman's reputation will be instantly ruined if she's found with a man unchaperoned under any circumstances, even if the situation itself is completely innocent and platonic — let alone if she gets pregnant out of wedlock, which happens to Marina once Lady Whistledown publishes her secret and she's all but Defiled Forever. By contrast, while Nigel Berbrooke is publicly humiliated when Lady Whistledown reveals the truth about his illegitimate son to her readers, his humiliation is rather due to his neglect and refusal to provide for the child and the mother — not his having fathered an illegitimate child with his then-maid (an immense power imbalance). What's more is that Lady Featherington's maid even comments that almost every lord has fathered a few children out of wedlock and implies it's a normal thing.
    • While men of all ages can marry whenever they want to in life, a woman must choose to marry in her "prime" in order to be seen as a qualified choice for a wife. Most women enter their first "season" around their late teens to early twenties. If a woman beyond this age range isn't married, she's considered an Old Maid and an unlikely candidate for marriage. This is shown in season 2 when Kate wants to arrange a marriage for her younger sister, Edwina, and Lady Danbury mistakenly assumes Kate is the one seeking a husband. She remarks how Kate's "old" age at 26 will make it difficult in finding her a husband. (Although she does say she can convince potential choices not to focus on it.) This isn't a problem for the male characters when it comes to marriage; as Anthony, Simon, and other characters are in their late twenties to early thirties and can choose to marry whenever they want without any problems regarding their age.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Daphne explicitly forces Simon to finish inside her, which is rape. It is never brought up as such or called out, instead almost being portrayed as a victory by Daphne, since it forces Simon to reveal why he had never done so before. Despite both of them having made assumptions that led to the confrontation, Simon is portrayed as unsympathetic and somehow responsible for Daphne’s assumptions about his fertility and general lack of understanding about the details of sexual intimacy.
  • Dowry Dilemma:
    • The Featherington dowries are a persistent dilemma. Their father has gambled all of it away, and Philippa's wedding is delayed considerably by how the new heir is taking forever to arrive in London. When he does arrive, he pays for it right away, allowing the wedding to proceed, but Portia is aware she will still have to wrangle good marriages for her other two daughters.
    • Edwina Sharma has a generous dowry... paid for by her maternal grandparents, provided she marries someone who's blue-blooded like they are. She is unaware of this and Kate tries to give her the best of both worlds by only having Edwina meet with noblemen she might get along with.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In season two, Eloise is once again increasingly intrigued by Lady Whistledown's identity, not knowing that her best friend Penelope is said writer. Made even more dramatic by how Eloise's anxiety at being forced to become involved in social events results in her seeking out Penelope's companionship more and more as a means of comfort. Her clear attachment only makes it harder for Penelope to produce said pamphlets.
    • Edwina wrongly assumes that the reason Anthony hasn't proposed to her is because he and Kate dislike each other and his feeling of Kate's disapproval hasn't allowed for a proposal to happen. As a result, she pushes Kate to spend time with Anthony to smooth out what she assumes to be a mutual disliking... not knowing that Anthony and Kate are actually deeply attracted to each other, and her attempts to get them closer are not helping.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • In season 1, Simon has a tragic childhood; his mother died shortly after his birth and as he grew up, his own father treated him horribly due to his stammer and eventually disowned him. After vowing himself to never marry nor to have children in order to end his father's line out of revenge, when he finally gives in to his love for Daphne, he eventually earns a happiness he never thought he deserves.
    • In season 2, Anthony went through a lot in his youth: watched his father died tragically right before his very own eyes, was promoted to a parental role and thrust into the position of viscount when only 18/19 with no time or space to grieve, nearly had to choose between his mother and baby sister's lives, all while taking on the baggage of his mother's human though no less upsetting reaction to loss. And to rub salt into his wound, his longtime mistress, Siena, unexpectedly dumped him for another man just as he was ready to go public with her. Thus, he let his fearnote  got the best of him. When he finally overcame his longtime fear by giving in to his love for Kate, his deepest wish finally comes true: marrying the woman he genuinely loves with his family's blessings. The same goes with Kate; spent her youth sacrificing her own desires by willingly took over her late father's position in order to make her family happy (especially Edwina) and to earn a place in her stepmother's familynote , to the point of spending all her life believing she's unworthy of love. Thankfully, she eventually earns her happiness when Anthony acknowledges his sincere love for her followed by proposing her (again) and she gives in by accepting his proposal.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: When Lady Whistledown fails to even mention the Queen's luncheon on her gossip sheet, the Queen reasonably deduces that this was a deliberate slight. She couldn't possibly know that the omission was due to Lady Whistledown not being able to attend the event.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • In "The Choice", Edwina catches her husband-to-be, Anthony, gazing at her sister, Kate, just as they are about to exchange vows and pieces together that there is more to their relationship. This realization causes her to run away from the altar.
    • In "The Viscount Who Loved Me", Penelope tries to distract Eloise by gossiping about the ball guests, but the look in Eloise's eyes at this suggests she is coming to a realization. Later she starts going through Penelope's things, yelling that she had put the puzzle pieces together and realized that Penelope is Lady Whistledown.
  • Everyone Can See It: Anthony and Kate do an exceptionally bad job in keeping their feelings for each other under wraps: Daphne notices their compatibility before they do, with Violet and Lady Danbury not far behind her. Lampshaded by Edwina who had been completely oblivious up until that point after the failed wedding, where Anthony and Kate share an obvious mutual attraction when caught staring at each other.
    Edwina: Was I truly that blind?!
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The whole ton completely turns on Nigel Berbrooke when it turns out he has an illegitimate son with a former maid of his, both of whom he sent away and refuses to provide for. This includes Lady Featherington's lady's maid, who, despite being a nasty piece of work herself, seems utterly horrified at the knowledge that he cast his mistress off before she had even given birth!
  • Fake Relationship: Daphne enters into a fake courtship with Simon, the Duke of Hastings, in order to make her seem a more appealing prospect to the men of the ton and to save him from being constantly accosted by ambitious women and their mothers. It does not stay fake.
  • Family Theme Naming:
    • The Bridgerton children follow an Alphabetical Theme Naming.
    • All of the Featherington girls' names start with a P (Prudence, Philippa, Penelope), like their mother (Portia).
  • Fantasy Sequence: In season 2 episode 6, when about to exchange vows with Edwina on the wedding, Anthony fantasizes Kate as if she were his bride instead of Edwina and just the two of them with no single audience in the church.
  • Feeling Your Heartbeat: Anthony's father was apparently allergic to bees and died from a bee sting approximately ten years before the start of the series. This understandably makes Anthony very fearful of this happening to anyone around him. When Kate is stung by a bee, he starts to have a panic attack, but she calms him down by putting one of his hands on her chest with one hand, then holding his other hand to his chest with her other and gently talking to him. This is an exceptionally intimate gesture due to such physical contact being rather taboo at the time the show is set, and it highlights the growing romantic tension between them.
  • Female Gaze: The camera often lingers on the fine physiques of the male characters, clothed or not. While there are corsets aplenty, the camera only focuses on cleavage when a heaving bosom is denoting emotion, or is part of a pretty period dress; shots are never framed around boobs just for boobs’ sake.
  • Fireworks of Love:
    • Queen Charlotte attempts to invoke this by timing fireworks at Anthony and Edwina's wedding to go off as the happy couple says "I do". So when Edwina pulls a Runaway Bride at the last moment, the fireworks go off to rub salt in the wound.
    • In the last episode of season 2, Anthony and Kate eventually confirm their mutual love followed by sharing a blissful passionate kiss just as Lady Featherington begins her fireworks show.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Daphne and Hyacinth Bridgerton, and their mother Violet Bridgerton.
  • Foil: The Featheringtons serve as this to their neighbors, the Bridgertons, on many levels. The Bridgerton family, headed by a viscount, outranks the Featheringtons, whose head is a baron. Financially, the Bridgertons seem to be securely wealthy, whereas Lord Featherington has squandered his fortune on gambling. Lady Bridgerton is very pleasant, proper, and reserved, as well as a benevolent mother to her children. In contrast, Lady Featherington is a malicious gossip who is very harsh with her girls. Their families similarly contrast; most of the Bridgerton children coming across as very well-bred, whereas only Penelope Featherington shows any positive qualities. The Featheringtons speak formally with one another, interspersed with nasty barbs (mostly directed at Penelope), unlike the Bridgertons' warm camaraderie and good-natured teasing.
  • Forged Message: When Marina's pregnancy comes to light, and she resists all of Lady Featherington's attempts to marry her off posthaste, Lady Featherington hatches this plot. She and her lady's maid steal the letters Sir George wrote to Marina and forge one where "he" cruelly dumps her, all so the now heartbroken Marina will be forced to move on and stop resisting being married off.
  • Forgiveness: During a visit to a flower market, Lady Bridgerton advises Daphne to forgive the Duke of Hastings for his lying to her, which she's not at first sure she can do. In a turnaround, Lady Featherington appears and tries to apologize for the scandal revolving around Marina trying to marry Collin while hiding her pregnancy. Lady Bridgerton is at first still angry and not at all moved by the Featherington girl's plight (they were social pariahs). Daphne however, takes her mother's advice and forgives Lady Featherington, extending an invitation to her end of season ball.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • The three Bridgerton brothers:
      • Id: Benedict.
      • Superego: Anthony.
      • Ego: Colin.
    • The Sharma family:
      • Id: Edwina.
      • Superego: Kate.
      • Ego: Mary.
  • Gemstone Motifs: During her presentation to the Queen, Daphne Bridgerton makes such a good impression that she is immediately considered the season's Incomparable (the season's most beautiful and promising young lady) and called a "diamond of the first water" for her beauty and elegance. The next year, the Queen refers back to this descriptor when deciding which young lady should be declared the Incomparable, and calls her choice Edwina the diamond of the season.
  • The Ghost: In season one, during a moment of semi-lucidity, King George asks after his eldest son, the Prince Regent (later King George IV). In season two, Queen Charlotte mentions to Lady Danbury that (as in real life) she had fifteen children. Yet none of these Royals are anywhere to be seen during the 1813 & 1814 social seasons. The lack of the Prince Regent is particularly telling, since the entire period/genre is named for him. The Royal children do eventually show up in the spinoff miniseries Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
  • Give the Baby a Father: Sir Phillip proposes to Marina because his late brother impregnated her. Though she initially turns him down, she later accepts after learning that her attempted abortion didn't work. Colin says he would have done this if she had been honest with him about her pregnancy from the beginning.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Though they clearly love each other, the more classically feminine Daphne is regularly at odds with her Spirited Young Lady sister Eloise, who loudly proclaims at every opportunity that she has no interest in marriage or Society and wants to pursue her education and her dreams of being a writer. Daphne cannot understand Eloise’s blatant displays of contempt for the society, while Eloise seems to have a mild resentment of Daphne for being "perfect" and conforming to society's expectations of her. Downplayed in that she also is clearly relieved that Daphne is not entering a loveless marriage with Berbrooke, and confides that she's scared of ever becoming a mother or having children.
    Eloise: It must be taxing.
    Daphne: What?
    Eloise: The game of pretend that you feel you must endlessly maintain.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Cousin Jack does a fine job convincing everyone he owns a pack of ruby mines as a way to marry himself into a wealthy family. Too bad Portia also fell for the act to arrange an engagement of her daughter Prudence to Jack and boasts of it to her society friends. When Jack informs her he's penniless, Portia realizes breaking the engagement will not only break Prudence's heart but make her an embarrassment in society while Jack revealing the truth of being a Mock Millionaire will hurt his own status so they have to continue the charade.
    • Penelope realizes that Queen Charlotte suspects Eloise of being Lady Whistledown, and plans to blackmail the young Bridgerton into writing pieces favoring the queen. Eloise is prepared to comply even though she's innocent since she doesn't want to admit the real reason she ditched her older brother's wedding. To save Eloise, Penelope ends up posting the real reason Eloise played hooky — Eloise was going to see her friend Theo the printer— but makes it sound much worse even with context. While the Queen is relieved that she was wrong, because she finds Eloise too endearing to dislike, the Bridgertons end up being pariahs again, and Eloise can no longer visit Theo thanks to the scandal. Penelope succeeded, but she ended up temporarily ruining her friend. Eloise also figures it out because only Penelope, herself, and Theo knew about the visits, and confronts her after getting the proof. She ends their friendship because even if Penelope had good intentions, she betrayed her best friend while posting scandal about her own family, Marina Thompson, and the Bridgertons. The queen has to extend her favor so the Bridgertons regain some of their previous social status.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The series boasts many beautiful Regency gowns worn by beautiful women. The clothes were intentionally designed to be "what Regency aristocrats would have worn if they had modern sewing technology" as a bit of heightened realism. For example, all those flowerprint dresses would have been unspeakably expensive in than era (even for upperclass rich people) before mechanical weaving as all that pattern would have to be painstakingly sewn by hand.
  • Gossipy Hens: Gossip is a popular past time in the ton, and some characters are even shown to grow agitated when they don't get their weekly fix from Lady Whistledown.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: In the near end of season 2 chapter 7, rain starts pouring just as Anthony wakes up alone in the morning after spending a passionate night with Kate. Upon learning about Kate's departure, he immediately rushes to follow her. Despite he catches her on time, unfortunately Kate falls from her horse, thus he immediately rescues her by carrying her in the Middle of a rainstorm. The rainstorm reflects their angst and guilt for finally "giving themselves in" to each other.
  • Happily Married:
    • By the end of season 1, Daphne and Simon appear to have worked through their issues and settled into a happy and loving marriage. They still are in season 2, though Simon remains off-screen (he's mentioned to be home at Clyvedon taking care of the estate and their son, and Daphne is not best pleased to be dragged away from them and up to London to sort out her brother's romantic tangles).
    • The final scene of season 2 makes it clear that Anthony and Kate's marriage is likewise a deliriously happy (and snarky) one.
    • The Bridgerton parents, Edmund and Violet, lived a loving marriage that Violet devastatingly grieved for his tragic sudden death for many years.
    • Lady Mary Sheffield and Mr. Sharma lived a happy marriage despite Mary had to strip off her nobility. When her husband died, she was deeply devastated, so much so that Kate had to take on a parental role for Edwina when she was still a teenager.
  • The Hecate Sisters:
    • Season 1: The married women of the Bridgerton/Danbury families: Daphne is the maiden, as both a naive woman and a growing seductress; Violet is Daphne's widowed mother who raised Daphne with no knowledge of sex or the reality of marriage. Lady Danbury is the crone, a sharp-witted, tough, and intelligent woman who has a deep soft side.
    • Season 2: The three Sharma women. The naive, beautiful, somewhat immature Edwina is the maiden (like Daphne, she is also the diamond). The kind, widowed Mary is the mother (who also shares some of Kate's maturity and Edwina's naivety), a role she also shares with Lady Danbury this season. Edwina's older sister, Kate, is the crone, as a witty spinster who is resolutely anti-marriage, although she ultimately ends up marrying Anthony.
  • Heir Club for Men: Given that this is Regency England, sons are in demand as only they can inherit titles and estates. This impacts characters in different ways:
    • Simon's father was obsessed with the idea of having a male heir and treated his wife badly for it. She finally provided him one and died for it, so Simon swears he won't ever have children.
    • The Featheringtons only have daughters, and are concerned with providing dowries for all three of them plus their new ward Marina. If Lord Featherington dies, the title and estate go to some other male relative, which comes to pass in episode 8, with all three daughters still unmarried.
    • The Bridgertons can afford to be laxer because there are four sons, so the estate and titles are not in any danger of passing out of the family's hands.
  • Held Gaze:
    • In Season 1, in the boxing scene, Daphne and Simon make eye contact, despite cheering for the opposite sides. Anthony and his mistress, Siena, often lock eyes each other from a distance.
    • In Season 2, ever since episode 3, Anthony and Kate often catch themselves up just an inch that as if leading them into kissing.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eloise Bridgerton is the fastest of friends with Penelope Featherington. Though they end up having a fairly serious argument, when Penelope finds out some devastating news, Eloise is the first person she runs to, and her best friend welcomes her back with open arms.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Marina sees that Madame Delacroix is not actually French, and threatens to expose this fact in a French conversation while Lady Featherington is none the wiser. Madame Delacroix is then suddenly more amenable to making dresses for Marina.
  • High-Class Gloves: More gloves are worn in this series than in probably any other drama made so far in the 21st century. Gloves are worn by every major and nearly all minor characters at nearly all times except when the characters are at home and/or preparing for bed.
  • Hollywood Costuming:
    • Leaving aside liberties deliberately taken for aesthetics, and Queen Charlotte and her court wearing clothing that's up to 50 years out of fashion, the show treats corsets and stays — which are what Daphne et al would actually have worn — as the same thing (they aren't). They both serve similar purposes, but stays were more focused on lifting the bust and creating a smooth silhouette than cinching the waist, particularly during the Regency, when the empire cut was in fashion and nobody could see your actual waist in a stylish gown anyway. Additionally, all the corsets are worn over bare skin — which, as anyone who has actually done it can tell you, hurts. In real life, corsets and stays were (and still are!) always worn over a light shift, which prevented chafing. (However, this is one of a very few Regency-set series to accurately have the characters — especially the women — wearing gloves in a manner accurate to the time period, i.e. whenever they're anywhere outdoors and/or in public.)
    • Eloise constantly wears her hair loose about her shoulders, both at home and in public; only very young girls wore their hair down during this period of time. She does at least wear it up for super formal occasions like being presented to the Queen or the various balls that she's dragged to.
    • The court dresses the debutantes are wearing is column shaped as seen in France. British court dress during this time still retained wide panniers. The panniers were abolished around 1820, 7 years after season 1 is set.
  • Homage: Much of season 2 pays homage to BBC's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, from Kate overhearing Anthony saying something insulting, Anthony emerges from the water in a transparent white shirt, to Anthony and Kate's many almost and lingering hand-holds.
  • Honor Before Reason: Anthony challenges Simon to a duel after he catches Simon and Daphne making out in the gardens and Simon refuses to salvage Daphne's honour by marrying her. On Anthony's end, he could avoid any stain on Daphne's reputation by just making sure the event was kept secret and insisting she marry Friedrich posthaste, but instead he's going to risk death to keep Simon accountable for his actions (even though the intimate session was mutual). On Simon's end, he's fully prepared to be shot and killed just to avoid trapping Daphne in a childless marriage because he knows how badly she wants to be a mother. Oh, and duelling is illegal in England, so the one of them that doesn't die is going to have to flee England and never return to evade the law. The two even make arrangements beforehand to get their affairs in order as a precaution. Fortunately, Daphne intervenes to Take the Third Option and prevents the duel, also calling them out on deciding her future without her and taking such drastic actions.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal:
    • Simon and Daphne rush to get married because they were caught in a compromising position.
    • Sir Phillip Crane offers Marina one, in place of his late brother who took her virtue before he died. He sincerely offers to help raise her child and provide her a home and a fresh start.
    • Portia Featherington maneuvers Jack into getting caught alone with Prudence so he will be forced to marry her, mistakenly thinking this will help the family's fortunes.
    • Upon visiting the recovered Katenote , Anthony apologizes and proposes to her after their night together. But, Kate turns him down thinking that he does it out of obligation to preserve her honor.
  • How Many Fingers?: Humourously played when Anthony shows three fingers to Kate and then flips his hand to reveal four.
  • How's Your British Accent?: Nicola Coughlan as Penelope uses her natural Irish accent when posing as a servant to Lady Whistledown to give Lady Whistledown's writings to a printer.
  • Hypocrite: Lady Bridgerton calls Anthony out for being so fixated on Daphne's potential matches while he himself refuses to marry in favor of keeping a mistress despite being the eldest and head of the house.
  • Idealist vs. Pragmatist: Colin is the idealist to Marina's pragmatist.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Lady Featherington insists on dressing her daughters in the most garishly loud colors imaginable and floral patterns. At one point she is able to procure new dresses particularly fast due to the fact that nobody in London would touch such tacky fabrics. Penelope is the only one who can pull them off.
  • Incest Subtext: Anthony's My Sister Is Off-Limits comes off like jealousy in many scenes.
    Anthony: [to Daphne] Some people are simply not meant to be together—no matter how much we might wish otherwise.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: Neither Anthony or Kate are pleased upon realized to share a mutual attraction, since Anthony insistently attempts to court and marry Kate's sister, Edwina, as he is dead-set against marrying for lovenote . While Kate's reason is because she initially disliked Anthonynote  and she herself never dreams to get married. They spend most of the season trying their best to deny or fight their feelings before eventually end up married.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Anthony's conclusion upon hearing that Kate intends to return to India is that she's finding an excuse to keep him away from Edwina.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds:
    • After consummating their marriage, Simon and Daphne can hardly keep their hands off each other. There's even a Sex Montage of them making love in various places while they're on their honeymoon. This only comes to a stop when she learns that he was lying to her about why he wouldn't have children. After reconciling, they rekindle their sexual routine and eventually gain mutual true pleasure with Simon no longer "withdrawing" from her.
    • The only thing that can drag the now-blissfully-happily-married Anthony and Kate out of bed is the prospect of a game of pall-mall. Even once they get outside, they seem more interested in snogging each other than playing (which, given that pall-mall is Serious Business in the Bridgerton household, says quite a lot).
      Eloise: Away travelling for six months and now they take six hours to come down the stairs!
      Daphne: Ah, six is nothing when you're a newlywed.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: The Sharma sisters, while having been born and brought up in Bombay/Mumbai, mix and match terms and phrases from all over the Indian subcontinent.
  • Interclass Friendship: Will Mondrich is a working-class boxer who needs to provide for his family. He's longtime buddies with Simon, a duke (the highest ranking in the peerage).
  • Interclass Romance:
    • On the first season, Anthony, the eldest son of a reputable high society family, was in a long-term (secret) relationship with Siena, a working-class opera singer. It's especially painful on her part because it means they can never be seen together in public. Eventually, Siena gets fed up with being treated like a dirty secret, thus she breaks up with Anthony followed by encouraging him to move on. On the second season, Anthony meets and falls in love with Kate, who is later revealed to be not a noble born. However, she is proven to be a perfect match for him in every ways that matters, thus he is adamant to marry her.
    • Benedict enters into a casual relationship with dressmaker, Genevieve Delacroix.
    • Mary was born to high-ranking nobles note  and was her debut season's Incomparable before leaving the lifestyle behind to marry a clerk who worked for Indian royals. To make it worse in the eyes of the ton, he already had another daughter (Kate). The Sheffields never got over it and have avoided London since her departure. Even after returning two decades later, her arrival still stirs some gossip and the Queen is still offended.
    • Later in season 2, Eloise, develops a crush on a working-class printer, Theo Sharpe. In an attempt to get the Queen off Eloise's back when she is suspected of being Lady Whistledown, her best friend Penelope publishes that Eloise is cavorting below her station and dallying with radicals in a Whistledown sheet, tanking her reputation.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Colin brings opium powder home from his travels in season 2, which he offers to Benedict who proceeds to dump an alarming amount of it in his tea.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Lady Featherington browbeats Marina mercilessly about how no man in their society will accept another man’s bastard, and brutally demonstrates the poverty Marina—and her unborn child—will face if she doesn’t compromise her scruples and marry someone decent enough quickly. She’s cruel and blunt, yes... but also entirely correct about Marina’s situation. One could also argue her decision to fake a "Dear John" Letter from Sir George was Cruel to Be Kind; as she puts it, most men don't come back to their loves after a war, and one cannot expect them to be faithful.
    • Penelope destroying the Bridgertons' reputation wasn't kind, but thanks to Eloise's plan to pretend to be Lady Whistledown, it was the only way she could save her friend and her friend's family from further ruin.
    • As Portia states, had Jack, at any point, let her know that he was a Mock Millionaire rather than try to keep up the appearance of owning wealthy mines, she wouldn't have schemed to put him and her daughter in an engagement that guarantees they both end up poorer.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Penelope or, rather, Lady Whistledown threw Marina under the bus by outing her pregnancy, without considering the serious ramifications on Marina or the Featheringtons ( aka her own family) or the Bridgertons. Her intentions were to save Colin from a deceitful marriage, but it was still very cruel for multiple people. Season 2 reveals that her family has resorted to selling off valuables until their debts have been cleared, partly because they lost their social standing and financial options due to the scandal. Lady Featherington also none-too-gently points out that simply being "friends" with Colin is a lost cause considering that the Bridgertons won't forget Marina's deceit. There's also the fact that when Eloise learns her best friend wrote the gossip about her siblings, she's naturally enraged with Penelope and the damage her cruel actions caused. This results in her ending their friendship.
  • Kick the Dog: When Marina realizes that Penelope is also in love with Colin, she tells Penelope that Colin will only ever see her like a little sister.
  • Kissing Cousins: In season two, Portia plots to marry Prudence to Jack Featherington, the new inheritor of the title and estates, to secure their future. Penelope and Prudence are rather disgusted by the prospect of marrying their cousin, while Portia says the royal family does it all the time and that they are fourth cousins anywaynote .
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Anthony in season 1 spent a few episodes chasing off most of the eligible suitors with the wealth, status and etiquette to match Daphne's features out of a sense of being a Knight Templar Big Brother. Season 2 has Anthony realizing what it feels like from the other side, that Kate outright forbids him from courting her sister because she wants to ensure that Edwina is married to a man she loves, not a man who sees her as a business investment. Colin and Benedict spend a lot of time mocking Anthony for it while they fence to let off steam, while Violet smirks behind her eldest son's back.
    • This ultimately happens to Anthony and Siena in season 1. In the beginning, Siena was utterly shocked when Anthony suddenly declared a break-up to her after he promised to always protect and take care of her. In the end, as Anthony believed that he could finally be together with Siena in public, she unexpectedly dumped him for another man.
    • In season 2 episode 5, when Kate confronts Anthony about their almost-kiss incident (but interrupted by Daphne) in the Aubrey Hall in episode 4, he coldly denies it. Later when promenading, when trying to upstage Thomas Dorset (in courting Kate) out of jealousy by helping her getting out of the boat and lingers his hand on hers, she suddenly snatches her hand away. Caught off-guard, he trips over Newton the corgi and plunges into the lake alongside with Dorset, watched by the promenaders nearby. In episode 7, when he recalls her about their first kiss in the church, Kate retaliates him by coldly denying it either, much to his dismay.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The trailer for the second season does not bother hiding that Penelope is Lady Whistledown, a big reveal in the first one.
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: Anthony tried micromanaging Daphne's season when it was her turn. She tells him in season 2 that courtship is not as easy as he makes it out to be, so good luck with his intentions to wed a capable woman, let alone the queen's diamond. Anthony finds out the hard way that finding a suitable match is not easy, and when he finds one in Edwina, Kate barrs him from courting her little sister because she heard him say he wants a wife and a business partner, not someone to love. The other siblings can't help but tease him about the fact that no woman meets his standards, and that with his luck, Eloise may become the diamond. That thought makes Anthony tell them to shut up.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine:
    • In season 1, the feminine and sweet Daphne is the light to the cynical and tomboyish Eloise's dark.
    • In season 2, the naive but ladylike Edwina is the light to the aloof and snarky Kate's dark.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Cressida Cowper resembles her mother to such a degree, both in looks and nasty personality, that they might as well be clones of each other.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Par for the setting, all land and titles are inherited from the father. Simon mentions that Anthony is the first son of Viscount Bridgerton, like nine generations of men before him.
  • Loose Floorboard Hiding Spot: Season two reveals that the real Lady Whistledown hides her scandal sheet earnings and scribbles in a loose floorboard under her home, hidden under a carpet.
  • Love Confession:
    • In the final episode of season 1, when the ball in their estate is stopped by the rain, Daphne eventually confesses to Simon that she marries him because she loves him for who he is, including his scars and flaws, not solely to save her honor or to have children:
      Daphne: [to Simon] I am tired of pretending. And I can't continue acting as if I do not love you. Because I do. I love all of you. Even the parts that you believed too dark and too shameful, every scar, every flaw, every imperfection. I love you.
    • In the final episode of season 2 , Anthony eventually has the courage to say it out loud to Kate after holding himself back for so long:
      Anthony: I love you. I've loved you from the moment we raced each other in that park. I've loved you at every dance, on every walk, every time we've been together and every time we've been apart. You do not have to accept it, you do not have to embrace it, or even allow it. Knowing you, you probably will not. But you must know it, in your heart. You must feel it because I do. I love you.
      Kate: I do not know what to say...
      Anthony: You don't have to say anything...
      Kate: I do not think there is anything to say...other than I love you, too.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: In the near-end of season 2 episode 7, Anthony and Kate make love by the pavilion in the garden.
  • Marriage of Convenience: Played With. Simon and Daphne ostensibly marry to avoid scandal, as she was seen unchaperoned in the garden with him. For a while, each believes the other party doesn't actually want the marriage. However, it is very clear that they have strong mutual feelings, which are shortly revealed.
    • Anthony's initial intentions since the beginning of season 2. Too bad, he finds himself enamored with Kate and is unable to resist that he ends up marrying her out of genuine love.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: One widowed noble lady has a young son born shortly after his father passed. It is speculated that the boy is the footman's, but nobody says anything about it.
  • Master Actor: Season 2 shows that Penelope can convincingly pose as an Irish servant when bargaining for Lady Whistledown's papers to be printed. She just needs a coat and a stony look.
  • Miss Conception: A rather important plot point is that almost all unmarried women know nothing about the physical mechanics of sex or pregnancy. In fact, several female characters believe you can catch pregnancy like a common cold if you're not careful enough. Furthermore, Daphne doesn't realize that Simon is using the pull-out method to avoid impregnating her; she assumes it's a normal part of sex. When she finally learns how children are precisely conceived, she angrily accuses him of taking advantage of her ignorance.
  • Morality Chain: Colin and Eloise for Penelope. Her swearing off the Lady Whistledown persona lasts right up until, in rapid succession, Eloise breaks off their friendship and she overhears Colin laughing off the idea that he might be courting her.
  • More Experienced Chases the Innocent: Daphne Bridgerton is The Ingenue. Her innocent beauty, purity, youth, and grace are so laudable that the Queen of England bestows upon her the title of the season's Diamond: the most eligible young girl making her debut in society. Simon, the Duke Of Hastings, is a Reformed Rake whose reputation from his college days precede him. Simon doesn't necessarily pursue Daphne so much as the two, after entering a Fake Relationship filled with Belligerent Sexual Tension out of convenience, fall in love over time. But the dynamics of this trope are still present. Daphne's older brother and current Lord Bridgerton, Anthony, tries to block their relationship because of Simon's reputation and known lack of desire to wed, Simon teaches Daphne about masturbating, and Daphne's ignorance on sex becomes a major plot point later on when she realizes it's not that Simon can't have kids, but he refuses to; pulling out every time they have sex.
  • Never My Fault: Edwina falls in love with the idea of becoming a viscountess to the point that she's too busy to notice that she in no way fits with the Bridgertons' lifestyle, whereas Kate is the more perfect fit with the family. Edwina's timid nature around Anthony and refusal to finish the game of pall-mall indicates that she'd be miserable at Aubrey Hall but isn't allowing herself to think that way because she is blinded by the idea of becoming viscountess. Rather than supporting her sister's chances for real happiness and finding another suitor with whom she could be much happier, she instead blames Kate for everything and doesn't accept that Kate was simply trying to look out for her little sister. With that said, Edwina ditches this attitude after she calms down and has had time to get over the shock. She encourages Kate to stop sacrificing her future, and live the life that she wants.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Prince Friedrich is shown to be consistently Nice to the Waiter and a gentleman to everyone who meets him. Lady Danbury says that he is more than a prince in name, but also in character.
    • Lord Lumley; in fact, Kate chooses him as a match for Edwina because of this. He is well-read, delighted that Edwina loves books as well, and says that he loves poetry. Edwina even seems like she could consider marrying him. When Anthony not-too-gracefully maneuvers his way to Edwina's side, Lumley takes it in stride apart from furrowing his brow in annoyance.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • After Violet calls Anthony out for not fulfilling his duties as Viscount Bridgerton, Anthony dumps Siena, leaving her homeless and betrayed, and hastily arranges a marriage between Daphne and Nigel Berbrook, the one man she wouldn't prefer to spinsterhood.
    • Upon walking in on Anthony and Kate almost kissing in season 2, Daphne pushes Anthony to confront his feelings for Kate. She walks away thinking she's made him come to his senses, but the prospect of love – which visibly terrifies him – spooks him into pursuing the exact opposite with an impulsive proposal to Edwina.
    • Anthony and Kate spend the entire of season 2 trying to fight and hide their feelings, but Edwina eventually notices them sharing longing looks at the altar, thus she calls off the wedding. This leads to a strain between the sisters.
    • Penelope, in an attempt to protect Eloise, writes about her fraternising with "radicals" so the Queen will stop suspecting her of being Lady Whistledown. Sadly, this, along with Penelope's gossipy nature leaking out at the ball, leads to Eloise discovering that Penelope is Lady Whistledown, causing a nasty blowout.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • For all her posturing that she doesn't care about her season and would rather go to university than get married, Eloise actually gets bad Performance Anxiety when it's time for her debut in the season 2 premiere. She feels embarrassed by the silly outfits the girls have to wear, and begs her mother to find an excuse. When Lady Whistledown saves her from being presented, Eloise takes the opportunity to turn on her heel and run.
    • Kate loses her composure when watching a horse race and even starts whistling and cheering. Edwina takes it in stride, saying Kate can be very competitive.
  • No Sympathy: If a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock and the father is either a deadbeat or dead, good luck to her if the secret gets out. Everyone views her and the family associated with her scandal, with no thought to her emotional well-being. Eloise is an exception when Marina gets outed; she feels bad for her, because Marina had limited options.
  • Not What It Looks Like: This being Regency England, a man and a woman alone together are assumed to have been up to no good, even if they were simply talking. Exploited by Lady Featherington, who arranges a meetup between her daughter Prudence and the new heir Jack and then brings a group of other adults to catch them "in the act" to force them into marriage, with the intention of keeping the estate in the family. It backfires when it turns out that Jack is penniless.
  • No Woman's Land: It's Regency England, after all.
    • Besides (naturally) Queen Charlotte, the only women who don't have to answer to anyone are rich widows like Lady Danbury.
    • Naturally, the only acceptable goal for a gentle/noblewoman is marriage; and as we see with Anthony meddling in Daphne's courtships during the early episodes of Season 1, male relatives have a lot of control over who women actually end up with. Women also can't usually inherit, so when Lord Featherington is murdered his widow and daughters are completely dependent on the good will of whoever has inherited his title.
    • Further down the social scale, Siena Rosso and Genevieve Delacroix take pride in actually having jobs and making their own way in the world... but the sad truth is that Siena can't survive on her wages alone and needs a rich patron to fund her career as an opera singer in return for sexual favours; polite society shuns her for being a 'kept woman' and when Anthony unexpectedly breaks things off with her, she's left homeless. Genevieve is likewise subject to the whims of those who rank higher in society; she has to pretend to be French to make herself more appealing to her clientele, and when she refuses to make Marina's trousseau because Lady Featherington still owes her money, Marina blackmails her into doing it by indicating she could blow the whistle on her actual nationality.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: After Kate tells Lady Danbury her plan is to remain contentedly unmarried like the older woman, Lady Danbury shuts the comparison down. Lady Danbury choosing to live the life of a glamorous single woman is different from Kate's — the former is doing so after living a full life (that included a fulfilling marriage) while the latter is only in her twenties and has already resigned herself to it.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Played for drama. After Anthony and Kate slept together in the garden, the next morning Anthony wakes up alone while a remorseful Kate has left on her horse. When Anthony catches her, she falls off the horse and hit her head.
  • Now or Never Kiss: When left alone in the church and talk about their failure over familial duties (following the cancellation of Anthony's wedding with Edwina), Kate decides to "freeze time" by sharing a kiss with Anthony before facing the reality and the impacts of their downfall on the next days.
  • Of Corset Hurts: In the first episode, one of the Featherington daughters is laced in too tightly and faints in front of the Queen because of it. At one point Daphne also has bloody scabs from her corset chafing her back, because of wearing it directly on top of her bare skin rather than using a shift for comfort.
  • Official Couple:
    • Simon and Daphne's courtship is the talk of the ton and the primary focus of the first season's narrative. This is because (a) Simon is so high-ranking and (b) they are a famously rare love match. They end up with Babies Ever After.
    • In Season 2, Anthony and Kate eventually get together after regaining their family reputation following their downfall due to his failed wedding with Edwina as Queen Charlotte approves their relationship.
  • Open Secret: As usual for Regency nobles, upper-class men often dally with lower-class women as long as they keep things quiet and avoid pregnancies. Simon makes a jab at Anthony about Siena as "the opera singer he thinks nobody knows about." Anthony's mother Violet may not know who Siena is, but she definitely knows that Anthony's been putting off marriage for years to have fun with someone.
  • Pair the Spares: At the end of season 2, Queen Charlotte decides to set Edwina up with her nephew, Prince Friedrich, who also had a failed romance with a Bridgerton. Given the established personalities of the two, it does seem to actually have a pretty good chance of working out.
  • Point of Divergence: King George fell in love with Charlotte, but unlike real world history, here she is a woman of colornote . The king then chose to elevate people of different races to the nobility. The past Duke of Hastings was given the title and told his family could hold the title so long as they remained exceptional.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Daphne and Simon won't fight and remain hostile for over the course of 2 episodes if only Simon were honest to Daphne from the beginning about his wish to remain childfree and the reason behind it and Lady Bridgerton gave enough information about how the children are conceived.
  • Prince Charming: Invoked very explicitly by Queen Charlotte herself when she pressures Prince Friedrich to pursue Daphne, even though he has already concluded from Lady Whistledown's paper, and from observing her, that she is in love with Simon.
    Queen Charlotte: You are a Prince. Charm her.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: As opposed to the book series, in which Daphne gets called out for her behavior by Simon, the show decides to show Daphne as the true victim while laying all the blame on Simon.
  • Race Lift: The original novels are set amongst the more historically realistic all-white Regency aristocracy, whereas here the setting takes place in a fictional or alternate historical setting where racism doesn't appear to exist and people of all colors are seen and treated as equals. As a result, multiple cast members are Black, biracial, or otherwise non-white — Queen Charlotte herself is portrayed by a Black actress. note .
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Charlotte can be a little abrasive and rough around the edges, as well as a terrible enemy to have. She's also understanding of the situation most mothers and ladies are in, trying to find a good match for their children, helping out with those that have gained her favor. The only Disproportionate Retribution is her trying to find Lady Whistledown. Case in point, in season two when Eloise tries to sabotage herself by saying she likes emeralds more than diamonds, Charlotte laughs merrily and says her favorite necklace has emeralds.
    • Lady Danbury is a Cool Old Lady that uses her status to take in the misfits of high society and help them find their happy ending, from those who were orphaned like Simon. She's able to speak her mind because of her age, and isn't afraid to use her whacking stick to knock sense into her charges. We've only seen her lose her temper due to Anger Born of Worry.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Anthony hypocritically takes his former mistress Siena to task for trying to find a new lover, after her failed attempt to seduce his best friend, Simon. She fires him back by demanding to know what he expected her to do since he ended their relationship and kicked her out without warning.
    • He gets one earlier from his mother Violet as well, after he complains that she's clearly trying to fix up Daphne and Simon. She rips into him, pointing out that as head of the family, it should be his responsibility to find Daphne a worthy husband; instead, he's been behaving as a typical older brother and scaring off every decent man who calls on Daphne, leaving her terrified at the dwindling prospects for her daughter's social standing. Not to mention, as Viscount Bridgerton, his chief responsibility is to father an heir to continue their family line, but he's been putting off his own wife-hunting for years in favour of spending time with his mistress. He takes this chewing out to heart in all the ''least'' productive of ways.
    • Eloise gets two brutal ones in Season 2 from Theo and Penelope. After the Queen accuses her of being Lady Whistledown, Eloise goes to Theo to warn him, only to be told that his situation is much worse because he's a commoner and she's a Bridgerton. While her family's name might be temporarily dragged through the mud, she herself has a well-off family to fall back on, something he never will. Later, when Eloise discovers Lady Whistledown is Penelope, she gets the same treatment after she dresses down Penelope, who angrily responds that Eloise talks about all she wants to do but never actually does anything but complain, while she has made a name for herself and protected Eloise in the process, even sacrificing the one way she has to break free of her toxic family for her friend. Eloise's anger at Penelope's reveal is initially justified, but the way Penelope turns the tables makes Eloise come off as a spoiled rich girl who's never had a real problem in her life.
    • Penelope also gets one in the same fight, as Eloise calls her out on her behavior as Lady Whistledown. She states that Penelope is just hurting people as opposed to helping them, like her sister Daphne and her brothers, and is really acting as a gossip. She ends the friendship soon after.
  • Red Herring: Eloise becomes convinced that Lady Whistledown is Genevieve Delacroix, the dressmaker, who would be privy to all the gossip but Beneath Suspicion. She is proven wrong when Genevieve starts spending time with Benedict. The last scene of episode 8 reveals Lady Whistledown to be Eloise's best friend Penelope.
  • Reformed Rakes:
    • Simon, a rake by reputation, becomes taken with Daphne through their fake courtship. Lampshaded in the first episode; Lady Bridgerton talks about the belief that reformed rakes make the best husbands.
    • Lady Whistledown dubs Anthony a "capital R Rake". He keeps a mistress in season 1 and compartmentalises ladies of the ton from other women such as her. At the start of season 2, we see his reputation at play as he interviews ladies looking to be his wife by day and sleeps around at night. But once he meets Kate, he only has eyes for her.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There are hints throughout the season that Penelope is Lady Whistledown.
    • In the first episode, Francesca suggests that Lady Featherington, Penelope's mother, is the scandalous gossip. The siblings immediately shoot this down, because Lady Whistledown is so scathing to the family. Penelope herself is the put-upon youngest daughter with a reason to be scathing. At the end of the episode, Whistledown's ending monologue begins over a shot of Penelope reacting to Daphne and Simon.
    • Penelope brushes off Eloise's attempts to uncover her identity and demonstrates an aptitude for gossip when she speculates that Lady Trowbridge's son is illegitimate. Penelope is present in all events except the Queen's luncheon, and therefore doesn't comment on it. She often disappears in the later parts of most parties, and her promise to Marina not to tell Colin didn't apply to her persona of Lady Whistledown.
  • Romantic Fake–Real Turn: After a period of fake courtship, Simon and Daphne develop real feelings for each other, which at first causes strain (as Daphne should be trying to snag a high-class suitor), but later turns into a genuine happy marriage.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Subverted. Lady Featherington attemps a low-tech version by taking Marina to see an area where lower-class people live and telling her that's the kind of life she'll have if she has her baby out of wedlock, in an attempt to push her into marrying Lady Featherington's pick. Marina is not scared, and sharply points out that these are real people and using them as props for a morality tale is insulting.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Played For Drama, as the King has been going senile and can't even remember his own wife, or that his daughter died a long time ago.
  • Secret Relationship: In season 1, Anthony and Siena have been in a clandestine relationship, because he's a viscount and she's a working-class opera singer. They eventually break up once realized their relationship would never work out.
  • Serious Business: The Bridgerton siblings take pall mall (a precursor to croquet) extremely seriously. All are very competitive, and are both sore losers and sore winners. Daphne outlines her siblings' playing strategies to newcomers Kate and Edwina ahead of time as part of the psychological warfare; when the game begins, Edwina is still surprised by how they instantly abandon their well-bred manners in pursuit of victory, commenting that it's just a game.
  • Sex with the Ex: Technically still married but estranged. Despite this, Daphne and Simon can't seem to keep their hands off each other.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • In season 1, Daphne's mother, Lady Bridgerton, and Simon's mother figure, Lady Danbury, cheerfully engineer Simon and Daphne's courtship. Lady Bridgerton is even upset to think that Daphne might choose Friedrich, a literal Prince Charming, over Simon.
    • In season 2, Lady Bridgerton, Daphne and Lady Danbury have already noticed that Anthony isn't really enthusiastic over his betrothal with Edwina. They obviously knew that there was something between Anthony and Kate.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • In season 1, Simon and his friend, Will, in the boxing scenes and Anthony when fooling around with his mistress, Siena, are all shirtless.
    • In season 2, in the first episode, when Anthony engages in casual hook-ups with many women in searching for a wife. And of course, when getting intimate with Kate in the near-end of episode 7 and 8.
    • Still in season 2, when Benedict is about to have sex with his art model, Tessa, in the near-end of episode 5.
  • Sibling Triangle: The show's version of Edwina actively wants to marry Anthony, which throws an additional wrinkle in her sister Kate's budding attraction to him, as well as the sisters' relationship. Unlike in the books they make it all the way to the altar, only for the marriage to be called off at the last minute so Anthony can eventually get with Kate.
  • Significant Name Shift: In an interesting variation on the trope. In the end of episode 5, when Anthony intends to call off his engagement to Edwina after un unpleasant dinner with the Sheffields, Kate desperately convinces Anthony to keep his promise to marry Edwina by calling his name; indicating her seriousness and insistence (despite they've revealed their mutual feelings) as she fears it'd break her sister's heart. In the final episode, Anthony calling Kate "Kathani" — her full given name that she never uses in England and by anyone else, including her beloved sister and her stepmother — is an indication of their relationship upgrade as it signifies his sincere love for her and acceptance of everything about her.
  • Sleeping Single: Ever since Simon and Daphne found out about their lies, they decide to sleep in separate bedrooms. They even came up with a plan to live separately.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat:
    • The entire Bridgerton family engages in this. They never miss an opportunity to poke fun at one another.
    • The first thing that marks Kate as a potential match for Anthony is their shared wit, resulting in conversations that are comprised nigh-entirely of snark and barbs. Exemplified in the pall-mall game, where Kate is right at home with the elder Bridgertons' teasing while Edwina (the well-mannered sister Anthony is supposed to be trying to woo) can't keep up. Edwina at one point has to ask Kate to play nice when she gets caught up in being competitive with Anthony.
  • Soapbox Sadie: A Reconstruction with Eloise, who between the seasons confronts this about herself. She is all-too-happy to criticize the system, but as Penelope points out, she's just talk and doesn't actually do anything to make change. Eloise has her reasons for this, however; she spent some time thinking about what happened with Marina, and if it was fair that Lady Whistledown outed "Miss Thompson"'s situation considering the consequences and that Marina had to take the next available Shotgun Wedding. Eloise becomes concerned about how words and actions have power, and in the wrong direction they can end up causing more harm than good. So she spends time reading actual experts in feminism theories like Mary Wollstonecraft and wishes to attend meetings of alternative thinking, to expand her mind and understand the world beyond her privilege. It's one of the reasons why she's mad at Penelope for publishing her meetings with Theo, because Theo challenging her worldview actually brought her joy because he treated her like a person and not a spoiled debutante.
  • Social Climber: The driving force behind the marriage mart. As women cannot normally hold titles or estates in their own right, marrying as well as possible will define their entire future status. Which is why Simon loathes society events. As a duke, the highest non-royal title possible, he is the grand prize that ambitious debutantes (and their mothers) all seek. At least until Prince Friedrich shows up.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: The youngest Bridgerton, Hyacinth, is this, Violet being pregnant at the time of Edmund's death.
  • Something Only They Would Say: This is how Eloise figures out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. She had confided in Penelope about her friendship and crush on Theo. Lady Whistledown writes about it, ruining Theo and turning the Bridgertons into pariahs again. Only three people knew about Eloise's visits, and Theo said it was in their mutual best interests to keep their friendship a secret. Naturally, Eloise calls out Penelope for betraying her trust, and the trust of many others.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Eloise's theory that Lady Whistledown is one of the servants (because the help is Beneath Suspicion) is hilariously shot down, since no servant in Regency England would have enough time to both research/write a regular gossip sheet and do their actual day job. Added to that, a person with Lady Whistledown's income would have no reason to be employed in a servile job.
    • No matter how spunky and driven, a sheltered teenager with delusions of being a Kid Detective is hardly going to get any results, so the Queen resorts to the Bow Street Runners (London’s proto-police force).
    • In a pre-Internet society, anonymously publishing gossip is a much more difficult proposition since it involves an actual printing press and distribution of the physical sheets. Once the Queen gets them involved in finding out Lady Whistledown’s identity, the Bow Street Runners simply locate the printer and identify the schedule for the manuscript drop-off. If Eloise hadn't intervened they would have easily caught her.
  • Take That!: During the second season Anthony asks Benedict to help him memorize a few lines of Byron only for Benedict to tell him Byron is a terrible poet.
    Benedict: Many in our year at Cambridge thought my poetry far superior to his.
  • The Talk: Subverted. Violet attempts to explain "marital relations" to Daphne on her wedding day, but gets flustered and instead gives her a vague metaphor about conception; leaving her very misinformed. Daphne later receives the actual correct information from her lady's maid and calls her mother out for not properly preparing her for married life nor with a realistic idea about conception.
  • Tamer and Chaster: Season 2 dials back on the nudity and sex scenes. According to Word of God, it's because they wanted to focus more on Anthony and Kate's Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Kate confronts Anthony for almost kissing her at Aubrey Hall, but he brushes it off and claims nothing happened between them. Later in episode 7, when Anthony approaches Kate in the museum and tries speaking to her about their eventual kiss in the episode prior, she coldly retaliates him in the same manner, much to his dismay.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Daphne's initial arrangement with Simon requires them to ignore their mutual distaste and work together to get better suitors for Daphne and get Simon away from “ambitious mamas” who want him to court their daughters.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Downplayed. With their attempt to stick to duty having blown up in their faces and caused a scandal, leaving Kate and Anthony feeling like failures to their families that by the near-end of episode 7, they finally decide to do something for themselvesnote  for once.
  • This Is Reality:
    • Likewise, Eloise tries to get out of her season debut because she has to wear a ridiculous outfit, present herself for the queen, and prepare for a marriage she doesn't want. Later, she complains that Colin and Benedict get to do what they like because they're boys and she wishes she were a boy. Daphne and Violet tell her, one brusquely and one gently, that this is how life is so she better suck it up and at least put in the effort.
    • Siena's confrontation with Anthony is also quite heavy on this; he's a nobleman who got tired of his mistress and threw her out on the street, but he also seemingly expected her to mope around and wait for him to take her back, instead of just let her finding a new rich man to provide for her.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Will reveals in season 2 that he's opening a Gentleman's club, with the money that he's saved. He invites Anthony and Benedict to be one of his first patrons.
  • Throwing the Fight: Lord Featherington convinces Will to throw a boxing match in exchange for half the winnings of a huge bet he's placing. However, he places the bet in such a painfully deceitful manner that the shady types he gets his winnings from kill him for the insult not long after.
  • Undisclosed Funds: No exact figures are ever cited, but the Bridgerton fortune is large. Anthony easily pays for the living expenses of his seven siblings and mother, his four sisters' dowries, and multiple family properties and bachelor pads. Benedict and Colin don't have to work to support themselves (which was common for second sons of the peerage and gentry at the time), while a dowry isn't even on the list of factors Anthony considers on the wife hunt.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: The main focus of season 2. Anthony tries his best repressing his feelings for Kate due to not only his vows of not to Marry for Love after he just broke up with his long-time mistress, Siena, in season 1, but also because he has been carrying an emotional wound of a traumatic pastnote , while Kate represses her eventual feelings for Anthony because she (initially) disliked himnote  and wants to make her younger sister, Edwina, happy. They eventually can't fight their true feelings for each other, thus they end up married.
  • Waistcoat of Style: An absolute must for any Regency-era gentleman. Even when lounging about their own home, late at night, or when climbing into a boxing ring to fight one's best friend, the Bridgerton men are almost always seen wearing theirs.
  • Wham Line: "I wish never to see or speak to you again." Spoken by Eloise in season two to Penelope. The reason for the context is sad: Eloise figured out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown after the lady wrote about Eloise meeting Theo to save the Queen from suspecting her friend of being the infamous gossip. When Eloise gets the proof, she's crying and asking, understandably, if her family drama and everyone else's drama were just fodder for Penelope to earn a few coins. Penelope tries to explain herself but Eloise doesn't buy her excuses, so Penelope gets defensive and says at least she does something rather than just talk the way Eloise does. Eloise shuts her up by leaving and slamming the door shut, severing ties with her.
  • Women Are Wiser: Played with.
    • Daphne, Violet and Lady Danbury use their influence and ruses to solve their problems, while Anthony's first thought is always to duel the other person, as it is "done between gentlemen".
    • Since societal license to have sex is also considered the mark of maturity and adulthood in the Bridgerton universe, the opinions and life experiences of a debutante are discounted, since she is “innocent” and not worldly enough. As soon as she is married, that barrier disappears.
    • In season two, Daphne, now happily-married and a mother, pointedly tries to explain to Anthony about what true love is really like as contrasted to his rather pragmatic attitude towards marriage.
  • Workout Fanservice: Simon and his friends get a few boxing scenes that focus on their physiques.
  • Zip Me Up: Played with. Prince Friedrich bestows upon Daphne a diamond necklace and goes to place it on her, his fingers grazing her bare neck. Daphne tenses and feels a swell of passion, however it's only because she imagines that it's Simon placing the necklace on her instead.


Video Example(s):


Daphne and Simon

Daphne Bridgerton meets her love interest Simon Basset by bumping into him at a party. They argue a bit, setting the tone for their future interactions.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / CrashIntoHello

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