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Series / Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

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Bitch is the new... roommate.

"My name is June Colburn. Since moving to New York, I lost my job, my apartment and my fiancé. Now I'm living with this girl Chloe, who may or may not be a sociopath. Chloe is best friends with the actor James Van Der Beek. There's this weird girl who lives down the hall, Robin, who's obsessed with Chloe, and Eli, the pervert next door."

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is a sitcom created by Nahnatchka Khan that aired on ABC. The show premiered on April 11, 2012, taking over the timeslot Happy Endings occupied after its second season wrapped.

June Colburn (Dreama Walker) has her life all figured out. Just out of grad school, she secures a high-paying job with a Wall Street investment firm, complete with an upscale company-provided apartment in New York City. In five years, she'll be a senior analyst married to her high school sweetheart with three kids and a house in the suburbs. Except that by ten o'clock on her first day, she's jobless and out on the street after her boss is implicated in an embezzlement scheme and her new apartment is seized by the government.

Desperate not to return home to her overbearing Midwestern parents (who keep reminding her of the second mortgage they took out for her education), June's search for a new job and a place to live leads her to Chloe (Krysten Ritter), the Bitch in Apartment 23. Chloe is glamorous, exciting, inexplicably BFFs with James Van Der Beek, and all in all the perfect roommate...until June learns that Chloe is actually a sex-crazed alcoholic con artist with the morals of a pirate who regularly scams the naive and unwitting into laying down several months' rent before driving them off with her sociopathic antics. However, June proves more than capable of holding her own against Chloe, earning her begrudging respect and (maybe) even her friendship.

The show lasted for two wildly disjointed seasons (ABC never found a niche in its line-up and kept airing many episodes out of order) until January 22, 2013, when Van Der Beek announced via Twitter that the network had pulled the series and would not be airing the eight episodes already filmed — "Translation: We've basically been cancelled." The remaining episodes would survive in syndication abroad and were eventually aired in the United States on the Logo Network.

I'm not perfect and no snitch, but I can tell you these tropes are a B:

  • Accent On The Wrong Syllable: James is very picky about how you say "Van Der Beek."
  • Accidental Marriage: Chloe apparently joke-married a guy at a party, read a story about a "thin guy" getting killed by a truck and naturally assumed that she was a widow. Seven years later she meets the "husband" again and finds out that the minister was not a real minister and thus the marriage was never valid. She shrugs it off.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In the pilot, when June reveals she retaliated against Chloe by selling her furniture, James has to stifle a laugh.
  • A-Cup Angst: In the second-season première, "A Reunion...", June says (twice) that she's sure she's lost a cup size due to all the stress she's been through since moving to New York. Averted with Chloe; she is indifferent.
  • Adam Westing: James Van Der Beek, who plays... himself. Many of the guest stars do this as well.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Mark to June in "Shitagi Nashi...":
    Mark: Okay, what is going on with you? You're ignoring customers, the muffin dome is a disaster, and you didn't even laugh at the new Dilbert I put up on the community board.
    June: Mark, nobody laughs at that.
  • Adopt-a-Servant: Chloe pulls strings to take in a foster child solely because she needs a personal secretary and this is a good way to get one she doesn't have to pay.
  • Asshole Victim: Trey in "Whatever It Takes..." pissed one too many people off and was bashed in the head, causing brain damage.
  • Bait-and-Switch: June is dealing with a co-worker who has decided that she's her rival, and she's trying to figure out to handle her.
    June: I'm gonna fix this my way. I am going to kill her...
    Chloe: :D
    June: ...with kindness.
    Chloe: D:
  • Batman Gambit: Chloe is a master manipulator; an insane scheme usually happens Once an Episode.
    • A notable inversion revolves around her Halloween tradition of finding a person who annoys her, and spending a year making them live their worst fears. A director who James had worked with discovers her game, and spends the next year allowing Chloe to think she's manipulating him into reliving the time his mother abandoned him, all the while manipulating her into experiencing her own worst fear: living out chick-flick clichés.
    • Murder Chicken.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: How Chloe took over People magazine in "Sexy People...". She claims to have done it to a number of other companies like Volvo and Febreeze.
  • Better as Friends: June and Mark.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't make June angry.
  • Big Applesauce: June finds New York City a delightful and exciting place full of fascinating sociological phenomenon. The natives react to her enthusiasm with their famous indifference.
  • Big "WHAT?!": June, after finding out that her fiancé is easily swayed in the pilot.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed:
    • Subverted in the pilot. Apparently, James and Chloe's brief dating relationship ended because the former is so well-endowed that he and Chloe found lovemaking near impossible. Or, as Chloe put it, " trying to fit a cucumber into a coin purse."
    • Since she's still running the roommate scam at this point—part of which involves informing June that living in the apartment might mean a chance to meet James—it's possible that she's lying about this just to get the image of a well-hung Dawson fixed in June's fantasies. We find out later that James and Chloe did have sex once (and made a sex tape) but they appear to have ended that relationship for reasons other than the size of James' Van Der Beek.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • When trying to trade for Dean Cain's partner on dancing with the stars, James offers his timeshare at Tortuga del Cielo. "Sky Turtle".
    • "Shitagi Nashi" translates to "no panties." Chloe thinks it's a Japanese term for a tall woman.
  • Birds of a Feather: Chloe and James are both egotistical jerks who enjoy manipulating others for their own amusement. Naturally, they're best friends.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In the pilot, the implication of James van der Beek's Prison Rape was used for comedic effect.
    • Several episodes allude to James being molested as a child, before it is outright confirmed in season 2. The show flip flops on whether or not it is played for comedy, though it never goes particularly deeply into the subject.
    • After hearing about a series of rapes and murders in Central Park, June's overanxious Midwestern parents send her a rape whistle. Her father makes an incredibly awkward joke about "just don't get raped near a marching band!"
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: In a flashback to her high-school days during "Shitagi Nashi...", June is shown wearing headgear during the daytime.
  • The Casanova: James readily uses his Dawson's Creek fame to seduce women
  • Call-Back:
    • In a first season episode, June mentions she took a women's self-defense class and repeats what they taught her: "Nuts! Nose! Nuts! Nose!". In the second-season "Teddy Trouble...", June shouts out "Nuts! Nose!" when she thinks someone broke into her apartment.
    • In "It's a Miracle...", James loses his jacket to a homeless man who writes his name inside it; James mourns the ruin of the festive lining. Several episodes later in "Shitagi Nashi...", Luthor reminds the costume designer of Dancing with the Stars that James likes "a festive lining when the garment permits."
    • In "Making the Grade...", Chloe struggles to get Charo tickets, claiming "Charo is my Cher." In the series finale, June brightly remarks that Charo is Chloe's Cher, to which Chloe replies, "No. Charo is Chloe's Charo. Cher doesn't even factor in."
  • Catchphrase: Arigato heyyyyy!
    • Also, in universe with Tall Slut No Panties' catch phrase "Shitagi nashi!"
    • James tries to create one, hoping it will catch on during his stint with Dancing with the Stars. The result: "James likey."
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Chloe catches June "playing her lady harp" in "It's Just Sex...", although June denies it. She continues to bring it up throughout the series.
  • Censored Title: The show was originally titled Don't Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23 (which is its title in France), but it was amended to its current state (or sometimes, simply, Apartment 23 - which is its title in Germany) after the censors inevitably complained. Admittedly, the fact that the censored title rhymes is probably good for something.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Robin, Chloe's neighbor and her former roommate is obsessed with Chloe and desperately tries to be her best friend. When June decides to sell Robin information about Chloe, one of the items is "coordinate with Chloe". Robin is beyond happy she and Chloe wear the same dress in the elevator.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Chloe's loose morals have started to rub off on June.
    • In "The Wedding..." Chloe instills confidence in June which turns her into a version of Chloe.
    • In the episode "Making Rent...", June points out that Chloe's loose morals are rubbing off on her when June decides to sell Robin access to Chloe.
    • In "It's Just Sex...", Chloe encourages June to have a one-night-stand. Afterwards she wants to leave a note, but Chloe's voice in her head tells her not to.
    • Inverted with Chloe as June seems to be making her less of a bitch and more of a caring person, much to her irritation.
  • Cutaway Gag: Luther's pregnancy scare.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone has their moments, but particularly Chloe (as being cruel is her MO) and Mark (who sometimes is fed up with the world).
  • Department of Child Disservices: Chloe becomes a foster mother so she can have an assistant for nothing.
  • Determinator: June refuses to let any setback, no matter how severe, keep her down for very long. It is suggested that Chloe eventually develops a strange sense of respect and kinship with her due to her being the only one of her roommates who has been able to persist through her emotional and psychological manipulations.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: June is so infatuated with one of her sexy regular customers that whenever he shows up, she can't see anything else. Chloe suggests she have casual sex with him to get it out of her system.
  • Dope Slap: "Her face is the lunch meat, my hands are the bread. SMACKWICH!"
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted by June, who did, after all, get to Manhattan by getting a decent-paying job in finance, and who manages to keep one step ahead of Chloe once she gets her bearings. She's naive, but not stupid.
  • Expy: Chloe is basically a human, female Roger (it should be noted that the creator of this series was a writer for American Dad). Both characters even used foster children for their own personal gain.
  • Fetish: Voyeuristic neighbor Eli. In the stinger of "Making Rent..." he takes all June's jam (itself made while Chloe was secretly letting Eli film June making the jam for a fetish-video website), puts it in his bathtub and gets in.
  • Filching Food for Fun: Chloe casually steals food from other people. For example, she takes her roommate June's lunch from their fridge. She does it for the heck of it and mostly because there's not much others can do about it.
  • Forged Message: James gets a letter each year from his Dawson's Creek castmates inviting him for a reunion show, which he always rejects. Turns out the letters were actually from Chloe, which she uses as an excuse to get James to do whatever she wanted to cheer him up.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In-universe in "Parent Trap...", the third episode, where James co-stars with Kiernan Shipka in a film about a father and pubescent daughter who get body-swapped.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Invoked early in the pilot when June likens the amazing, company-provided apartment that she has for all of one night to those on Friends. The apartment she actually ends up in is a bit high-end for her coffee shop job, but the fact that Chloe is a shameless con artist definitely helps pay the rent, and they've had money troubles more than once.
  • Funny Background Event: Chloe casually stealing small items.
    • Chloe steals a baguette from a passing shopper and tries to bite into it. The shopper protests before James hands him some money. All this is done without either Chloe or James slowing down or breaking their conversation rhythm. She then swipes a drink from someone sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinks it, and hands the glass to James, saying "Thanks for lunch" at the end of their (unrelated) conversation.
    • In "Ocupado..." while June's resolving her issues with the one that got away in seventh grade, Chloe's in the background stealing plastic lobsters off the bathroom walls.
  • Gender Bender: James sometimes dreams he's a 12-year-old girl.
  • Girl Posse: June joins one from her Pilates class when Chloe proves hard to bond with. Chloe in turn is appalled at the girly girls.
  • Going Commando: Chloe does this, we learn in "Shitagi Nashi..." The episode title is the supposed Japanese translation of "Tall Slut No Panties", a comic book series based on her exploits.
    • June manages to scare Chloe into becoming more conventional for a short time. Chloe announces her retirement from the good-girl life by stepping out of her undies, kicking them aside, and announcing, "Phew! I can see again!"
  • Gone Horribly Right: Chloe teaches June to be more confident, which results in her becoming a bigger bitch than Chloe.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: June's bright hair, sunny demeanor, and determined optimism contrast her with the black-haired, cynical, self-serving Chloe.
  • Halloween Episode: "Love and Monsters...". Chloe has an annual tradition of making someone experience their biggest fear on Halloween night, but she gets a couple surprises from her latest target. Meanwhile, James throws a positivity party to counter his fear of Halloween.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Chloe is an excellent example, down to being almost a professional Trickster. In "Shitagi Nashi..." Robin tells June that Chloe's liver is superhuman. June's attempt to keep up with Chloe's drinking habits for a single week literally nearly kill her.
  • Hate at First Sight:
    • Chloe flat-out invokes this trope thirty seconds after meeting June's new friend Stephanie: "Oh! I just realized: I hate you."
    • Eli and Chloe's friend Teddy are immediately at odds when they meet in "Teddy Trouble." Not even a day after their first encounter, Eli is lobbing croutons at Teddy from his apartment, while Teddy smacks them back at Eli with a spatula.
      Eli: What are you gonna do, Tedford, flip my pancakes? Hope you have 10-foot long arms!
      Teddy: Stop calling me Tedford!
      Eli: Stop secretly loving it!
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Junes efforts to combat Chloe's manipulation lead her to become just as conniving as her roommate.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen:
    • The real People's Sexiest Man Alive in "Sexy People..." is never seen and is referred to as "him" or "he". This is likely due to the episode being filmed before the real one was chosen and the producers not wanting to contradict the actual choice for that year, who turned out to be Channing Tatum (and who, by chance, June suggests as Sexiest Man Alive to her mom, who scoffs at the idea).
    • Fred Savage on Dancing with the Stars.
    • Mark's girlfriend Jennifer.
  • Holiday Volunteering: One episode has James volunteers to join a celebrity soup kitchen in order to get publicity and is unpleasantly surprised when he and Luther actually have to work.
  • Homage: In "Shitagi Nashi...", June shows Chloe a comic strip she drew (complete with Parody Sue versions of herself and a friend) in high school that seems like an homage to Teen Girl Squad. Also a flashback with June is high school resembling Marni from You Again's high school flashback, complete with stringy hair and wearing a mascot costume.
  • Hostility on the Set: It's discovered in the episode "A Reunion..." that everyone in the cast of Dawson's Creek, hated James, and no one wanted to do a reunion with him.
  • Ho Yay: In-Universe: In "A Reunion..." when Mark-Paul Gosselaar shows up to persuade James to stop living in the past:
    June: (dreamily) I'm watching Zack Morris talk to Dawson Leery...
    Chloe: I hope they kiss.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Somehow in the midst of micromanaging every aspect of James' life from organizing his appointments to designing his wardrobe to customizing his dressing room down to the last detail to knowing all of his food preferences, Luthor also manages to be supremely skilled at a number of hobbies he cultivates solely for his own enjoyment: he's a Supreme Chef, knowledgeable about art and wine, and once wrote a novel so exquisite that Chloe got a huge advance for it based on the first chapter alone.note 
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Except for the pilot, every episode's title ends in an ellipsis. (Each ellipsis can be concluded with " Apartment 23".)
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship:
    • After having a pretty torrid sexual relationship in the past, Chloe and James realized that they work better as friends and managed to resume their previous relationship with no hard feelings or lingering sexual tension.
    • When June ends up throwing herself at James due to him being (with help from Chloe) People's Sexiest Man Alive, James refuses because they're friends.
  • Immune to Drugs: Chloe's drinking skills are legendary. Robin says Chloe's liver is "superhuman." June finds this out the hard way after she gets alcohol poisoning. Despite drinking the same amount, Chloe is unaffected.
  • In Medias Res: All of them taken out of context of course.
    • The pilot begins with the event described in Interrupted Intimacy below, and then flashes back to a week earlier as June arrives in New York.
    • "The Wedding..." opens with June and James in the midst of a Big Damn Kiss and June promptly being slapped by Chloe, then flashes to a few days previously.
    • The second season première does this as well with James' Viking Funeral then flashes back to earlier.
    • "Whatever it Takes..." works its way back to the Cold Open scene of June accepting her new job.
    • "Bar Lies..." begins with June telling Blatant Lies on the telephone, then starts with events taking place 1 week earlier.
    • The Series Finale "Original B----..."note  begins with Chloe telling Charo in a dream that she wants to get her own back on her roommate before flashing back to two days before. It's not June she's after, but her original roommate Trish.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • James is generally more pleasant than Chloe is, but he is nonetheless incredibly vain and indifferent to the problems of other people.
    • In one cold open, June remarks that since moving to New York she's learned "a cute new word for Jewish people" before calling a Hasidic Jew on the street "Hebraham".
  • Insane Troll Logic Chloe, especially when she claims to be helping people (like stealing the booze from newly recovering alcoholics to fuel her own drinking habit). The worst/best part is that sometimes it totally works and people end up better off for her actions (although usually as a collateral effect of her own selfish ends)
  • Interrupted Intimacy: June walking in on her fiancé having sex with Chloe in the pilot.
  • Ironic Echo: June told her mom they didn't have to videochat every day when James walked in and she ended the chat in "Whatever it Takes..." Later her mom says the same thing to her when June walks in and James is chatting with her.
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Parodied in the incident mentioned in Funny Background Event above.
  • It's All About Me: Chloe really couldn't care less about anyone who isn't her. James is equally self-involved. Maybe why they're such good friends.
  • It Amused Me: During a financial pinch, June longingly watches a wealthy woman eating expensive crab cakes at a café. The woman almost seems to be inviting June to join her...only to swap at the last second and feed the crab cake to her lapdog right in front of the astonished June, who wonders in an interior monologue why someone would do that. We then abruptly swap to the diner's interior monologue, where she reveals she did it because she was bored and jaded.
  • Japandering: James did an energy drink commercial in Vietnam. It is shown at the end of the pilot and it is hilariously bad (even more so that your usual Japandering commercial, as it includes Van Der Beek wondering what the hell he just did and asking if they've managed to get his agent on the phone).
  • Jerkass Has a Point Chloe's insights usually are either this or Insane Troll Logic, sometimes they're both.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chloe jumps back and forth across the line between these two like no one's business. Half the time when she's acting nice, it winds up a ploy to lower someone's defense, which makes the occasions where she seems to genuinely be doing something good all the more ambiguous.
    • It's even unclear how genuine is her friendship with June, since she's stated before that part of the reason she wants June to stick around is simply because she doesn't want to go to the trouble of finding another less-compatible roommate should June leave, it should also be pointed out that on several occasions, Chloe's openly put June ahead of herself (such as visiting her family at Thanksgiving—a holiday she hates—solely to scam enough money for June to fly home for Christmas).
  • Just Friends: June doesn't consider Mark anything more than a friend, though there is undeniable romantic chemistry between the two of them.
  • Leitmotif: "Good Good" by Yac-Yan Da Businessman plays every time June sees a man she's heavily attracted to.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Most of the show's storylines are generated by the contrast between the short, trusting, and sweet June and the tall, manipulative, and promiscuous Chloe. Of course, the plot is driven by the fact that June can keep up with Chloe and regularly gives her a taste of her own medicine.
  • Loser Protagonist: June can feel this way at times. The most notable is when she talks James into a reunion for Dawson's Creek and immediately calls up all her old high school friends, expecting them to be overjoyed. Not only do none of them care about the show anymore but they've all moved onto successful lives as lawyers, working at the U.N. or happy with family, making June realize she's done almost nothing with her own life.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Chloe.
  • Manchild: James is afraid of Halloween, enjoys playing with action figures (of himself), has an overactive imagination and has a hidden desire to be a little girl.
  • Malaproper: In "Making Rent..." we learn that June goes to a Korean Baptist church because it reminds her of her church at home. Chloe confuses "Korean" and "Christian" for the rest of the episode; later June starts doing it too.
    Chloe: You're being very judgmental right now. That's not very Korean of you.
  • Mean Boss: Subverted in "Sexy People..." Chloe walks into the offices of People magazine and takes over the production of the annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue to get James on the cover in order to prove to June that she's a sheep who follows trends. She does her best Miranda Priestly, firing the first two people who ask her questions, constantly bullying another employee, drawing penises on the whiteboard and trying to throw things through the window to make her points. However, at the end it turns out that one senior editor picks the cover boy every year, completely ignoring the staff's suggestions.
  • Mr. Fanservice: James, particularly when it's lampshaded so over-the-top in "Sexy People..." when he walks into June's bedroom in the morning with a peach smoothie, spills it on his shirt so he has to take it off, then spills it on his bare chest so he has to take a shower.
  • Naïve Newcomer: June. She starts catching on real quick, though.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out what "Monday June" actually did. We only see it's aftereffects.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: In "The Wedding", June attempts to sing "You Oughta Know" to Steven onstage. Eli quickly puts a stop to it:
    June This one's for you, Steven! I want you to know that I'm happy for you. I-
    Eli: (grabbing the mic) No! Nope! Find another way to express that.
  • No Sparks: June and Mark finally acknowledge their attraction, only to discover they're sexually incompatible on every possible level. They don't understand just why—they each find the other hot, they truly like one another, and they're both pretty good at sex with other people—but after a second attempt also falls flat, they agree to resume their previous platonic friendship as if the hook-up never happened.
  • Odd Friendship: James and June's mom, to the point where June's mom spends more time video chatting with James than June or her husband and sends him brownies and he goes to her as an advisor and confidante, perhaps more so than with Chloe.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Chloe's dad, which is part of why June is so shocked when she was about to have sex with him.
    • Chloe claims that Luther is seventy-eight, and only looks young due to panda-fat face cream. Ridiculous? Maybe, but Luther doesn't deny it...
  • Only One Name: Chloe. It's assumed she has a last name, but the show jumps through some hoops to never use it. To this end, when June's dating Chloe's dad, we never learn his last name, either, partly to keep his relationship with Chloe a secret until The Reveal, partly just to avoid her last name altogether.
  • Out of Job, into the Plot: This is how June wound up in this mess to begin with - she had arrived on her first day of work at a financing firm, only to find it's in the midst of shutting down with her boss being arrested, thus finding herself unemployed before even starting work.
  • Out of Order: Multiple unaired Season 1 episodes were mixed into the airing of Season 2, resulting in a very confusing continuity where one episode June is working on Wall Street, and the next she's back in the coffee shop.
  • Pædo Hunt: Chloe is required under Megan's Law to inform the parents of a minor that she is a registered sex offender living within 500 feet. Turns out it's due to an overblown incident when she was 18 and dating a 17-year-old whose parents hated her. These days she has no interest in teenage boys—"Curfews, body spray, doodles of fighter jets..."—but it's still on her record and the entire apartment building turns on her (with June getting branded by proxy).
  • Parental Issues: Chloe loves her dad and relates to him as a friend (to the point that June thinks he is only Chloe's friend) but resents her mom for never being involved in any of Chloe's activities as a child. Turns out her mother is paraplegic and all the activities Chloe complains about are things like ice-skating and horseback riding.
  • Perky Goth: Chloe rarely wears colors other than black and often accessorizes with skulls and chains, but at the same time remains carefree and vivacious.
  • Persona Non Grata: According to Chloe, she has been 'excommunicated' from Denmark for refusing sexual advances from the Danish queen.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Chloe and James attempting dating at one point years before the events of the show before deciding that they were Better as Friends. While their relationship is now purely platonic, they are each one of the only people the other treats with any sort of decency.
  • Positive Friend Influence: Chloe bemoans in "Making Rent..." that June "ruined" her by making her more likely to care about someone other than herself and actually feel bad about her actions.
  • Prison Rape: In the pilot, it is heavily implied that James van der Beek was raped in a Vietnamese prison.
  • Product Placement: "Sexy People..." promotes the hell out of People magazine, with its plot centering around the annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. There was even an ad for People during the episode.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Chloe is willowy and pale with jet-black hair, which might explain her in-universe popularity with Asian men, and which also provides a good visual contrast with smaller, curvier June and her golden hair and peaches-and-cream complexion.
  • Relationship Reveal: When June discovers that the guy she spent all night talking to (and was about to have sex with) is actually Chloe's father.
    • At the end of "Whatever it Takes...", we see Trey has a wife and child.
  • Reset Button Ending: "Whatever It Takes..." June has finally gotten the analyst job she had been trying for since losing her original job in the pilot. Her hiring was contingent on Chloe continuing her affair with the boss's son, left a Manchild after a disgruntled client beat him up. But when June sees he has a wife and child, she quits.
  • Reunion Show: "A Reunion...", the second season première, deconstructed this trope. James regularly turns down his Dawson's Creek castmates' letters requesting a reunion. June, a fan when she was a teen, tries to suggest that he do it, and succeeds... only for Chloe to let her know that she writes the letters, so James will feel powerful by rejecting them and she can get him to grant any wish of hers. June is undeterred, so Chloe drugs her and then spends six hours showing him video of bad reunion shows from other shows (like The Facts of Life Goes to Paris) and reveals she's been the one writing the letters, initially appearing to talk him out of the idea. James later reconsiders, but finds out from Busy Phillips that his former castmates all still hate him for not paying his share for a final gift to the crew, and won't say no outright but won't do it, either. Undeterred, he corners Frankie Muniz in a supermarket to pitch an idea for a combined reunion show, but Chloe again foils that. At the end, Mark-Paul Gosselaar appears to persuade James to live in the present, and they have a Viking Funeral for Dawson's Creek in the Central Park lake.
  • Rich Bitch: Subverted. Chloe definitely has a nice place filled with equally nice furniture, but she only attains all of it after taking more money than needed from her roommates, keeping their security deposits for herself and purposely driving them out with her behavior, then repeating the process. Though it's possible she was this in the past, given her parents' Big Fancy House and them freely giving her $2,000 to kick June out as we see in the Thanksgiving episode.
  • Rock Bottom: Parodied in "The Seven Year Bitch...". Chloe is devastated to lose James as a friend and, after failing to replace him, she gets a dull 9-to-5 job. June and Luther find this deeply troubling (though the latter admits it's also funny in a way), but Mark thinks they're overreacting. Meanwhile, James has gotten fat, which everyone agrees is a sign of him suffering a breakdown.
  • Roommate Com: It's the premise with its female protagonist spending most of her time trying to pick up guys and land a nice job despite her famous roommate's meddling.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: June is concerned about Chloe's hedonistic lifestyle and attempts to scare her straight by taking her to a bar for divorced women over 40 called "Saddlebags" to show her the fate that awaits her. It works on Chloe for about a week.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Chloe is able to become a foster mother without many of the usual interviews, inspections and background checks because she knows someone who works at Child Services.
    • She's later able to get Benjamin deported even though all his papers check out because she knows someone in Immigration.
  • Secondary Character Title: Chloe is the titular Bitch in Apartment 23, but June is the main character and narrator.
    • While June is certainly the protagonist... a case can certainly be made for Chloe as the main character, by virtue of the fact that her actions and decisions drive most of the plot and most characters are simply reacting to her.
  • Serious Business:
    • "Chloe, please, June's in the middle of a makeshift living room presentation."
    • This is how people from the Midwest feel about Dawson's Creek.
    • Chloe is very competitive about the annual outlet sale, to the point of prepping strategies weeks in advance and criticizing June for wearing an outfit with too many "access points" (i.e., straps or belts by which other shoppers could drag her back).
  • Shout-Out: Plenty in the first few episodes alone, mostly relating to James. His tenure as Dawson is naturally brought up on numerous occasions, but he also references his appearance in Kesha's "Blow" music video as well.
    • The episode where Chloe has to reveal herself as a registered sex offender and June is branded by proxy is called "Scarlet Roommate".
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: The opening theme.
    I'm not perfect, I'm no snitch\But I can tell you she's a [intercom buzz]
  • Special Guest: Special guests on Don't Trust the B tend to appear as themselves.
  • Spoiled Brat: Molly, Chloe and June's foster child comes off as this and is completely ungrateful for June caring for her.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: June and James "spontaneously" perform a complicated dance routine to promote James' Dancing With The Stars appearance. When a jealous Chloe demands to know when they rehearsed all this, June says "We didn't!"—just before James tears off her skirt to reveal she's wearing glittery short-shorts underneath.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Robin, Chloe's former roommate, is this to her.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • James goes on a "mind ride" (sitting on his motorcycle in his living room while pretending to drive down a dark road) to "Danger Zone" in "Monday June..."
    • Whenever James evokes his role in Dawson's Creek (for fun and profit), we usually get a quick snippet of Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait."
    • June hears a mental verse of "Good Good" whenever she sees an object of lust.
    • Benjamin and Chloe go on a whirlwind tour of bathrooms to the tune of Icona Pop's "I Love It". In a later episode, when Ben returns, the tour—and the song—continues.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "...that has nothing to do with my relationship with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is NOT the man that I'm dating who has a plane."
  • Take That!:
    • In "Making Rent..." Mark is going through the tip jar and asks her if she wants a Euro coin or a button. "Give me the button; it might actually be worth something in a couple of years."
    • In "Shitagi Nashi...", Mark says he knew she was sick when she didn't laugh at the Dilbert he'd posted on the bulletin board. "No one laughs at them", June replies.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "It's a Miracle...". Amid a debate about how families behave on Thanksgiving vs. the rest of the year, Chloe tricks June into attending her family's dinner, which is made awkward for June both by being forced to stay in a wheelchair and a previous fling she had with Chloe's father. Back in the city, James regrets a publicity stunt when he and Luther get put to work at a soup kitchen.
  • The "The" Title Confusion: In the pilot, when June tries to get back Chloe's nana's ottoman:
    Mrs. Yilmaz: I’m sorry, but my kids like to sit on it while they play the Xbox.
    Young Boy: There's no 'the,' mom! It's just Xbox!
  • The Unreveal: Despite taking over People magazine, Chloe’s plot to get James the title of “sexiest man alive” fails. We never see who the final choice ends up going to however.
  • Title Drop: Said uncensored by Robin (to June) in the pilot. Repeated a little bit later by June to Stephen.
  • Took a Level in Badass: June, in a very quick example of this trope, during the pilot. Right after finding out that Chloe has been overcharging her rent, June goes and sells all of Chloe's furniture. Even Chloe is surprised by this move, and Chloe is never surprised.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Chloe, compare her from the beginning of the series to the most recent one. While still being a deviant little Jerkass, June is slowly rubbing off on her, though Chloe tends to try to do the right thing in all the wrong ways.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: On the flip side June is slowly becoming more devious, willing to lie and scheme and adopting Chloe's Manipulative Bastard tendencies... although it could be argued that she showed a few of these traits from the beginning.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The pilot plays with it. In the span of a week, she loses her job, her apartment, and her fiancé, whom she'd apparently been dating for eleven years. Although the last event probably saved her from a far worse fate, as she's sensible enough to relate at the end of the episode.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Chloe's weapon of choice in "A Reunion..."
  • Twofer Token Minority: James' gay black stylist, Luthor.
  • T-Word Euphemism: The show title.
  • Undercrank: "Whatever it Takes..." uses this technique to show three repetitive days in June and Chloe's life: Chloe comes in from her nights out, goes to bed, June gets up, watches TV on the couch all day, Chloe gets up, goes out, and the cycle starts again
  • Undying Loyalty: James says he only wants a girlfriend/wife that offers him conditional love based on physical appearance and other shallow matters, as he already has Luther to love him unconditionally.
  • Unflinching Walk: You don't see one in a comedy that often but the show manages to get one in. In slo-mo.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Chloe, even if the focus is on June.
  • Viking Funeral: James symbolically consigns Dawson's Creek to the past this way at the end of "A Reunion..."
  • Villain Protagonist: While Chloe occasionally proves herself to have some decency to her, she is generally an incredibly manipulative borderline sociopath who enjoys psychologically torturing others for fun.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • June and Chloe eventually end up as this after warming up to one another.
    • Chloe and James frequently trade insults. During their brief split, Chloe keeps trying to find someone else who can keep up with the rapid back-and-forth and is sorely disappointed when possible replacements keep coming up short.
  • Voice Clip Song: Hulu has one that the show made from various James clips.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Discussed in episode 4. Obviously, White and Gray were respectively represented by June and Chloe.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "A Weekend In The Hamptons...", for The Great Gatsby.
  • With Friends Like These...: Chloe can be a great friend but she is also capable of stealing all your credit cards and leaving you stuck in a Vietnamese prison.
    James: Don't be a blond guy in a Vietnamese prison, June. That's the real lesson here.
  • You're Drinking Breast Milk: How Chloe makes her breakfast Kalhua-and-cream. Apparently it makes them super smooth. June spits it back into her glass.