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

In Regency England, the marriage mart is in full swing and young ladies and their families scheme for good matches. Newly minted debutante Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the respected and powerful Bridgerton family, sees her bright star begin to dim when her older brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) shoots down all her suitors. In a bid to retain relevance, Daphne enters into a mutually beneficial fake courtship with the dashing and eligible Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), who refuses to get married: 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.

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It isn't easy, however. Within Daphne's own family, her seven siblings struggle with societal expectations: Anthony tries to balance his lordship duties while little sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie) disdains the marriage mart. Their 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 show debuted on December 25, 2020 on Netflix. A second season was quickly announced; third and fourth seasons were ordered while the second was in production.

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Tropes in this series:

  • Adaptational Consent: Of sorts. While still not entirely consensual, a key scene from Daphne and Simon's honeymoon is changed from the book. Instead of Daphne inseminating herself while Simon is intoxicated, she and Simon are enthusiastically going at it but she doesn't let him pull out upon orgasm.
  • 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.
  • Altar the Speed: Simon and Daphne get a special license to marry in 3 days after their official engagement.
  • Alternate History: The series itself takes place in an alternate timeline of the Regency time period.
  • Anachronism Stew: There are yellow lines indicating no waiting on the road, which weren't introduced until the 1960s.
  • 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.
  • Art Imitates Art: The portrait of the Bridgerton brothers in the family home is a send-up of a 1761-66 painting of Henry Fane, Inigo Jones, and Charles Blair by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  • 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.)
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Despite her impatience with him for most of the season, Lady Featherington is devastated upon learning of her husband's death.
    • 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 the easy affection between the two is apparent in the one scene they share. And even though his mental state devolves quickly into confusion and hostility, her pained reaction makes it clear she is far from indifferent to him, and rather it may be an affectation to deal with the terrible strain of a condition that leaves your loved one unable to recognize you, and unaware of the passage of time.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Ever since Simon and Daphne discover that they lie to each other after the marital rape scene, their relationship deteriorates and they remain tense for over the course of two episodes before they eventually reconcile in the end.
  • Babies Ever After: The eighth episode ends with Daphne giving birth to her and Simon's son. Both have sorted out their issues about fatherhood and family and look forward to raising the boy.
  • 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.
  • 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 attraction.
  • Best Friends-in-Law: Simon and Anthony, although it was a rocky start. They start out as best friends, Anthony disapproves of Simon's relationship with his sister Daphne, Simon and Daphne marry, and Anthony and Simon reconcile by the season's end.
  • 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 wordlier, 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 weaponise her alter ego against her rival for Colin's affection.
  • Big Fancy House: From the ubiquitous and elegant townhouses of the ton to the Hastings' country estate of Clyvedon serving as perfect backdrops to all their secrets and balls.
  • 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.
  • 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 and talk about their anxieties about the future.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Lady: Lady Danbury with her sly and subversive sense of humor. Especially when she throws a boisterous party for the married women only and tells Daphne, "Welcome to my den of iniquity."
  • Crash-Into Hello: Daphne and Simon first meet when she crashes into him while trying to avoid an unwanted suitor.
  • 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 episode 8, a dance begins Simon and Daphne's reconciliation.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Simon encourages the virginal Daphne to masturbate. She does so for the first time later that evening.
  • 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 in the 21st century.
  • 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 get 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 more problematic than the ones Marina attracted at the beginning.
  • Double Standard: It's a very patriarchal society. Men can screw around and develop notoriety as rakes, but a woman's reputation risks ruin if she's found with a man unchaperoned, let alone if she gets pregnant out of wedlock. While Nigel Berbrooke is publicly humiliated when Lady Whistledown tells the ton about his illegitimate son, it's due to his neglect and refusing to provide for the child and the mother rather than his having a bastard in the first place.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In the sixth episode of the series, "Swish", Daphne initiates sex with Simon, after finding out that he's been lying to her about his ability to have children. Although Simon is clearly upset when he realizes what Daphne intends to do and asks her to wait, the show treats it as though they were equally in the wrong (him for lying, her for forcing him to ejaculate in her) and devotes more time to Daphne's reaction than to Simon's deception.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: When Prince Friedrich is on the brink of proposing to her, Daphne, feeling overwhelmed, runs into the garden and tears off the diamond necklace he had given her.
  • 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.
  • Erotic Eating: At one point Daphne is distracted by the sight of Simon licking a spoon, which the cinematography also focuses on.
  • 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 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 sent his mistress away before she had even given birth!
  • Fainting: Daphne and Simon discuss the calculated swoon into a man's arms as a tried-and-true courtship flirtation tactic.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 ladies maid steal the letters Sir George wrote to Marina and forge one where "he" cruelly dumps her, all so the now heartbroken Marina moves on and stops 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.
  • 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 (pretty) is regularly at odds with her Spirited Young Lady sister Eloise (smart), who 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 preference for reading and studying, while Eloise abhors all the trappings of society and fashion that Daphne enjoys. Eloise seems to have a mild resentment of Daphne for being "perfect" and conforming to society's expectations of her.
    Daphne: ...There is light to be found at their end. And I know one day, we both will find it.
    Eloise: It must be taxing.
    Daphne: What?
    Eloise: The game of pretend that you feel you must endlessly maintain.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: After marrying, romantic leads Simon and Daphne enjoy a very intense and loving life - until she learns that he was lying to her on why he wouldn't have children. After reconciling, they rekindle their sexual routine and eventually gain mutual real pleasure with Simon no longer "withdrawing" from her.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The series boasts many beautiful Regency gowns worn by beautiful women.
  • Gossipy Hens: Exploited. In order to rid themselves of the threat of scandal from Lord Berbrooke, Violet has her servants talk to his and learns that he has a bastard son that he refuses to provide for. They then let this information slip to other women, and the gossip eventually reaches Lady Whistledown's ears. As they predicted, she publishes it, humiliating him.
  • Grand Staircase Entrance: In the third episode, Daphne elegantly walks down a staircase in a lovely dress, captivating the aristocracy present.
  • 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.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The married women of the Bridgerton and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Honor Before Reason: Anthony challenges Simon to a duel after he catches Simon kissing Daphne 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 keeping his mouth shut about this and insisting she marry Friedrich posthaste, but instead he's going to risk death to keep Simon accountable. On Simon's end, he's fully prepared to be shot and killed just to avoid trapping Daphne in a childless marriage. 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. Fortunately Daphne intervenes to Take the Third Option and prevent the duel.
  • 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 (see Of Corset Hurts below). 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 always worn over a light shift, which prevented chafing.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: Sir Phillip Crane offers Marina one, in place of his late brother who took her virtue before he died.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 quickly. She’s cruel and blunt and 100% correct about Marina’s peril.
  • Kick the Dog: When Marina realizes that Penelope is in love with Colin too, she tells Penelope that Colin will only ever see her as a little sister.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In episode eight, the season finale, narrator Lady Whistledown says next season will surely be interesting. This can be interpreted as talking about the next London season, or the next season of the show.
  • 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.
  • 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 they believe the other party doesn't actually want the marriage. However, it is very clear that they have strong mutual feelings, which are shortly revealed.
  • 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.
  • Miss Conception: A rather important plot point is that unmarried women know virtually nothing about sex or pregnancy. 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 conceived, she angrily accuses him of taking advantage of her ignorance.
  • Mister Muffykins: The haughty Queen Charlotte has a fleet of fluffy Pomeranian dogs by her side.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After Violet calls Anthony out for not fulfilling his duties as Viscount Bridgerton (see "The Reason You Suck" Speech below), 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.
  • No Woman's Land: It's Regency England; naturally the only acceptable goal for a gentle/noblewoman is marriage; and as we see with Anthony's meddling in Daphne's social interactions, male relatives had far too much control over who women actually ended up with. Women also can't usually inherit, so when Lord Featherington is murdered his widow and daughters are completely dependant on the good will of whoever has inherited his title. Further down the social scale, Siena and Genevieve 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.
  • 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, because of wearing it right next to her bare skin rather than over a shift.
  • 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.
  • Open Secret: As per the course for Regency nobles, it's common for upper-class men to dally with lower-class women as long as they try to 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 own 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 then all-white Regency aristocracy, whereas here multiple cast members are black, biracial, or otherwise non-white (most notably Our Hero himself as in the book is described to have icy blue eyes and Queen Charlotte). This is actually discussed in-universe, when Lady Danbury tells Simon that this is only possible because the King himself fell in love with a black womannote .
  • Reality Ensues: Marina drinks a poisonous tea to abort her baby. After recovering, she’s still a mom-to-be.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Anthony hypocritically takes his former mistress Siena to task for trying to find a new lover, after she tries unsuccessfully to seduce his best friend. She angrily demands to know what he was expecting her to do, since he ended their relationship and kicked her out with next to no 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 of lack of prospects. Not to mention, as Viscount Bridgerton, his chief responsibility is to father an heir, 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 ways.
  • This Is Reality: When Eloise believes that one of the Bridgerton housemaids is Lady Whistledown, and demands the truth from her — the housemaid finds it hilarious, and has to explain to her that no working-class person with a fulltime, incredibly busy job would be able to find the time and resources to also research, write and publish a regular gossip sheet.
  • 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 paves the way for a happy marriage.
  • 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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There are hints throughout the season that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. She 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 Rain:
    • In episode 6, a run through the rain kicks off the Insatiable Newlyweds' Sex Montage.
    • In episode 8, rain falls on the ball Daphne and Simon are holding, which starts their reconciliation.
  • 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.
  • Sequel Hook: The final scenes of episode 8 hint at much more story to come: Anthony and Siena's affair has officially come to an end, and he declares his intention to marry, Eloise is expected to come out next season, Lady Featherington must now deal with the mysterious Featherington heir and what this means for her family, and Colin goes abroad as Penelope cries about it.
  • 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: 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.
  • Shirtless Scene: Simon and his friend, Will, in the boxing scenes and Anthony when fooling around with his mistress, Siena.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spare to the Throne: Peerage version. As Anthony points out, he can afford to slack on wife-choosing and heir-siring because he has three brothers who can inherit the title of Lord Bridgerton. Second son Benedict is feeling a little lost and turns to art, so he's a little taken aback when Anthony challenges Simon to a duel, because Anthony will either die or be forced to flee the country, meaning Benedict have to step up to the plate.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Eloise's theory that Lady Whistledown is one of the servants (because the help is Beneath Suspicion) is hilariously shot down when it is pointed out to her that no servant in Regency England would have enough time to both 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.
    • Giving someone "The Reason You Suck" Speech doesn't always help, and can in fact make things worse. Violet calling out Anthony actually leads to bigger problems for Daphne, not to mention makes things worse for him and Siena.
    • Although the setting is far more accepting of black and mixed peoples, this is still 19th century England, and there's a subtle undercurrent that the good standing of black people is dependent solely on the whims of the white ruling classes. Both Lord Featherington and Simon point out that there are still glass ceilings, and being seen as true equals is not a reality. Simon in particular says it never would have happened without King George marrying a black woman, and given his state of mind, it can easily change back.
  • 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. Daphne later gets the actual Talk from her lady's maid and calls her mother out for not adequately preparing her for married life.
  • 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.
  • Ten Paces and Turn: Because of a perceived slight to Daphne's honor, Simon and Anthony duel in the fourth episode. They are both shown walking away from each other with guns in hand. Simon attempts to delope, Anthony aims at him and is hesitant long enough for Daphne to interrupt the duel just in time. Then again, Anthony's hand is visibly shaking and Simon says later that he was always a terrible shot.
  • 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.
  • Uptown Girl:
  • 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.
  • Workout Fanservice: Simon and his friends get a few boxing scenes that focus on their physiques.

 
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Daphne and Simon's Plan

Simon and Daphne agree to fake a courtship. Doing so will make her the most desirable young lady of the season and will take him off the market.

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