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Series / Euphoria

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Euphoria is a series airing on HBO, starring Zendaya. It is a remake of an Israeli television series of the same name.

Born in the wake of September 11, 2001, teenager Rue has spent the better part of her life chasing after a complete and total absence of feeling, and ended up in rehab for her troubles. Having returned home, she now has to deal with her wary mother and friends who are alternately worried about her and incredulous that she really intends to stay clean. Luckily for her, there's a new girl in town, Jules, who has her own demons to wrestle with.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Rue's mom and Jules' dad both have to worry about their respective daughters' self-destructive behavior. For Leslie, it's especially worrying, because Rue already overdosed once.
    • In "Shook One: Pt. II", Rue loses track of Gia at the carnival, and when she finds her, Gia is smoking weed with McKay’s younger twin brothers.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Mouse simply won't take "no" for an answer when offering Rue fentanyl. Justified as she's already a drug user, and he wants to make a sale (she either gives him the money, or sex). Fezco thankfully rescues her by paying for it.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Cal Jacobs, when Jules reveals herself to him at chili cookoff, finds her when she's alone and says he knows she can destroy him by revealing they had sex. He outright begs her not to, unaware Jules has no intention of doing so.
  • Alcoholic Parent:
    • Maddy's dad is supposedly "between jobs", but he spends much of his time passed out drunk.
    • Lexi and Cassie's mom is a shameless lush.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • When Rue was little, she kept compulsively counting things, and her parents took her to a doctor, who suggested that she might have OCD. Later on, she started suffering severe panic attacks.
    • Jules was committed to a juvenile ward showing signs of severe anxiety, dysphoria and self-harm, while the exact diagnosis is not mentioned. It's also implied that her mother had some sort of mental illness of her own.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Lexi is one of the few female characters in the series with no male love interest, and her mom offhandedly makes reference to her "little girlfriends". There are also some hints that she might have a crush on Rue.
    • Rue has had encounters with males, but she did not enjoy any of them, feeling forced and being emotionally coerced in several. Furthermore, she didn’t find practicing kissing with Lexi weird or uncomfortable. And she is quick to develop intense feelings for Jules. However, it’s definitely possible that she's bisexual as well, and just hasn't found any guy that interests her.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Kat is portrayed getting a lot of male attention due to her confidence after she's accepted her own figure and starts regarding herself this way.
    "There is nothing more powerful than a fat girl who doesn't give a fuck."
  • Big Damn Kiss: Jules and Rue finally share a kiss at the end of "Shook One: Pt. II".
  • Big Sister Instinct:
    • After seeing Troy getting a bit too friendly with Gia, Rue and Lexi haul him aside and threaten to sic some very mean guys on him if he tries to feel up Gia.
    • Throughout "The Next Episode", Lexi runs interference to prevent McKay from finding out that Cassie's with another guy.
  • Bi the Way:
    • Cal Jacobs has numerous videos of himself having sex with both male and female hookups. His son Nate initially seems to be following in his dad's footsteps by using Tinder, but it later turns out he'd only used it to find Jules so that he could blackmail her into leaving his father alone. However, he does confess to his girlfriend to being confused, adding ambiguity to the situation.
    • Jules herself appears to be bisexual, since she reciprocates Rue's feelings.
  • Blackmail: It's revealed that Nate's cyber relationship with Jules was really for this, so he could get nude photos of her that legally count as child porn since she's underage and so she wouldn’t rat out his father, Cal for having sex with a minor. He later uses the blackmail to get Jules to give testimony "clearing" him of his abuse charges.
  • Broken Ace: On the field, Nate Jacobs is a star quarterback for his high school football team. Off the field, he's a mess of neuroses.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • Johnny United, the guy online who pays Kat to perform privately, starts masturbating at her mocking, as it turns him on.
    • There's a disturbing example in the flashback when Jules is sent to the psych ward, where a man masturbates aggressively on seeing the female doctor with her (he's placed in isolation, or "the quiet room" for this).
    • At the beginning of "'03 Bonnie and Clyde", Rue masturbates while fantasizing about Jules.
  • Destructive Romance:
    • Maddy and Nate are agonizingly unhealthy. Nate is a poster-boy for toxic masculinity, belittling Maddy and physically attacks her at points. Maddy is unable to separate herself from him and frequently goes back.
    • It's implied Rue and Jules are headed this way, as Jules makes herself into Rue's emotional crutch, taking far, far too much on herself.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rue's dad died of an illness in years past.
  • Domestic Abuse: Nate strangles his girlfriend Maddy. Despite her trying to cover this up later, and vehemently not wanting to press charges, this is quickly discovered. He gets arrested, suspended, cut from the football team and the students are made to watch a film about abuse. Maddy still insists he loves her no matter what, and meets with him at a motel when he calls.
  • Drugs Are Good: Zigzagged. Rue says "drugs are kinda awesome" before admitting this is before the negative effects it has on your appearance, family, etc.
    "It's actually a very narrow window of cool."
  • Fan Disservice: Johnny United, a quite obese man who has paid Kat to mock him as he masturbates and to be his financial dominatrix.
  • Fantasy Forbidding Mother: The only thing Maddy was ever passionate about was the child pageantry circuit, and her mother pulled her out of it after hearing about a pageant director being arrested for child molestation. Maddy has never forgiven her mom for it, and thus when her mother presses charges against Nate, she thinks her mom's just trying to ruin her life again.
  • For Your Own Good: Fezco cuts off Rue's access to drugs after her fentanyl misadventure, being justifiably afraid that if she keeps doing drugs, she'll overdose again. Rue is not exactly grateful for this at the time. She does later thank him, however.
  • Frame-Up: Nate has Tyler framed by coercing him into falsely confessing he assaulted Maddy, and blackmailing Jules into claiming she witnessed it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • In "Made You Look", Rue gets very jealous when Jules talks about her new male crush. It doesn't help that Jules enlists Rue to take pictures of her in her underwear to send to "Tyler".
    • In "Shook One: Part II", Lexi does not look too thrilled when Gia tells her that she thinks Rue is in love with Jules.
  • Harmful to Minors: 13-year-old Gia finding her sister after the latter overdosed. Also, in a flashback, 11-year-old Nate finding his father's videos.
  • Hidden Depths: Jules manages to rattle off Shakespeare sonnets while shitfaced.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode except the last two of the first season is named after 90's and 2000's rap songs.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: In "Shook One: Part II", a stoned Cassie has one... on a carousel in front of dozens of people.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Jules gets utterly trashed on Halloween in order to cope with Nate blackmailing her into giving false testimony to help him beat an abuse rap.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In "Made You Look", Jules doesn't realize that Rue has a crush on her and thus doesn't realize how much it hurts Rue when she asks her to take racy pictures to send to "Tyler". On the other end of things, Rue doesn't realize how much it hurts Jules when she casts aspersions on "Tyler". It's one of the few times Rue and Jules argue.
  • Jerkass: Nate is an abhorrent person who mentally and physically abuses his girlfriend, terrorizes Jules when they first meet, beats up a man for sleeping with Maddy and blackmails Jules in the cruelest manner possible to secure his family's security. While not above flashes of humanity, he's a ridiculously nasty and cruel person for most of his screentime.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Ethan does this while giving Kat oral sex, to his embarrassment.
  • Lap Pillow: Rue ends up curled up in Jules' lap in the second episode after getting high on fentanyl.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: When Rue and Jules get together, Rue centers herself around her new girlfriend, glowingly indicating she can stop drug use because "she's met someone"....but at the cost of making herself rather codependent on Jules.
  • Missing Mom: Jules' mom "went away", with there being implications that she was mentally ill, given that Jules' dad was given full custody.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Rue and Gia are biracial. Their dad is white and their mom is black.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Kat's written a lot of fanfics on Tumblr, most of them explicit and NSFW.
  • Nice Girl: For all her hedonistic and self-destructive behavior at times, Jules is a kind and sweet young lady.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Obliterated. Episode 3 not only namedrops Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles when Kat writes about Harry giving Louis a blowjob before a concert, but the story is then fully animated with anime character likenesses of them both.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "The Next Episode", Rue and Lexi both realize something is wrong with Jules when she gets drunk.
  • Pedo Hunt:
    • In the second episode, Maddy convinces Nate that she was blacked out when she had sex with Tyler, and Nate, being the violently-overprotective boyfriend that he is, goes and beats the shit out of Tyler, secure in the knowledge that because Tyler is over 21, he won't be able to report Nate without going to jail for statutory rape. Kat also makes Roy delete the video of her and tell people it was someone else after threatening to report it as child porn, since she's underage.
    • In "Shook One: Pt. II", Nate reveals that he was only courting Jules in order to get her to send him nudes, so that he could blackmail her into not reporting his dad for having sex with a minor and filming it by threatening to report her for producing and distributing child pornography.
  • Promotion to Parent: Fezco raises his younger brother Ashtray due to their mother's illness.
  • Properly Paranoid: Fezco keeps a supply of Narcan (an opioid blocker) on hand, just in case.
  • Really Gets Around: After transitioning, Jules began to have sex with a lot of men. Cassie also has this reputation.
  • Romance and Sexuality Separation: Jules doesn't really feel anything for the guys she's had sex with, and possibly the only reason she falls so hard for "Tyler" is because his supposed distance means that they are unlikely to have sex anytime soon, forcing her to develop other kinds of intimacy. On the other end of things, she hugs, kisses, cuddles, and holds hands with Rue frequently, and her ideal living arrangement is one where she and Rue fall asleep together every night, even though she never expected to feel any sexual attraction towards Rue.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Rue and Jules hold hands, cuddle, often fall asleep together and tell each other "I love you". Jules even references Puella Magi Madoka Magica at one point. Episode four sees their relationship finally become a romantic one.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Self-Harm: Jules used to cut herself a coping mechanism over her dysphoria and other issues.
  • Slash Fic: Kat's written plenty of those. In fact, she was supposedly the one who "started" the Larry Stylinson ship.
  • Slut-Shaming: A frequent topic of discussion on this series.
    • In the first episode, Cassie's nude photos become distributed, and the guys all assume that she's some kind of sex fiend, when in reality she's no more sexually active than any of the other girls. This becomes why McKay decides to heed Nate’s advice and become overly aggressive during their first time having sex. Later, it turns her boyfriend, McKay, against her as he doesn’t want to admit they’re dating because the reputation she has and it manages to get worse, when she gets high on ecstasy and has a public orgasm on the carousel.
    • Maddy is often subjected to this at the hands of Nate.
    • In the second episode, Kat has to deal with the fallout from footage of her having sex being put online. However, she manages to turn it around and becomes a cam girl.
  • Stepford Smiler: Although McKay appears to be pretty relaxed, he's actually got a lot of pent-up rage inside him. His father taught him to repress it in most cases, but he released it on the football field, until he reached college, where he was often benched.
  • Take That!: Episode 3 takes a rather vicious shot at horny fangirl writers of homoerotic Real-Person Fic with an explicit, fully-animated extended sequence from one of Kat's fanfictions where Harry Styles fucks Louis Tomlinson.
  • Teeny Weenie: Kat gets paid for an online cybersex session by a guy with a very small penis. He likes being mocked for it, oddly enough.
  • Trans Equals Gay: The men whom Jules has been with all make a point of insisting they're completely straight, because they appear to fear that this trope is true.
  • Transgender:
    • The series makes no secret of the fact that Jules is a trans girl. One of her very first scenes shows her giving herself a hormone shot.
    • "03 Bonnie and Clyde" introduces Minako, who is either genderfluid or non-binary.
  • Trans Tribulations: Jules is the kindest, sweetest character on the entire show, but because she's a trans girl, she has to deal with crappy paramours and a creep who's blackmailing her.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Rue’s local drug kingpin, Fezco, also employs his little brother Ashtray to help him, who looks like he's maybe 13. Ashtray is... disturbingly drug and street-savvy for his age, but that could be because of his upbringing (ill mother, raised by Fez.)
  • Unreliable Narrator: By her own admission, Rue is not a reliable narrator.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Maddy cheats on Nate, then finds out that he's been emotionally cheating in retaliation with Jules (which includes sending dick pics).

Example of: