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Series / Faking It

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Faking It is a 2014 MTV series created by Carter Covington (Greek, 10 Things I Hate About You, Hart of Dixie) which highlights the extreme lengths some teenagers will go to climb the social ladder. The series premiered April 22, 2014.

One day, best friends Amy (Rita Volk) and Karma (Katie Stevens) are outed as lesbians by popular gay guy Shane (Michael Willett). There's just one small problem: it's not true.

But Karma is obsessed with popularity, to the point where she agrees to keep her and Amy's heterosexuality under wraps, as their newfound popularity has given them a chance to become Homecoming Queens and finally makes them accepted by the in-crowd at their school. Complications ensue: Karma's obsession with her actual crush, Liam (Gregg Sulkin); Amy's soon-to-be-stepsister Lauren (Bailey Buntainnote ), who would be the Alpha Bitch at any other high school and hates that Amy is now far more popular, and Amy's own mixed feelings for her best friend. How long can they keep their fake relationship going, and can their real relationship survive it?

The show lasted for three seasons. Its finale aired May 17, 2016. Not related to the British series of the same name (which is a reality TV show about people from one type of professional background trying to pass as a professional in another area after a few weeks of training, e.g a burger cook trying to convince a panel of judges he was a cordon bleu chef after a crash course from Gordon Ramsay.)

Provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Lauren and her lackeys, Leila and Lisbeth (though she was Elizabeth before Lauren recruited her).
  • The Alcoholic: Felix, as revealed in the Season 2B finale.
  • All Gays are Promiscuous: Played with. According to Shane at least, while all gay men want to do is hook up, lesbians prefer to bond and nest build. Averted with Pablo, who's a Christian and pledged to remain celibate until he gets married. When Shane is with Duke, both go on Stubble to see if the other is cheating, and they agree to become an "open relationship" until they find out why they're both on Stubble.
  • Alpha Bitch: Lauren. Subverted in that her behavior is actually a detriment to her status at this school.
  • Always Identical Twins: Zigzagged. Petra and Pieter, the first twins who appear, are an obvious subversion since they're female and male. Later though Lauren has a pair of female twins as her latest "New Lisbeths".
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Karma is clearly into Liam but she sends a lot of signals that she's into Amy too, to the extent that Liam gets jealous despite her denials to Liam, Amy and herself. It gets worse in Season 2B, where it's noted that she acts like a jealous ex when Amy starts dating someone else and even has a sex dream about her.
    • Amy herself might go down this road; the only person she's had any romantic feelings for at the start is Karma, but then she slept with Liam. Then again, as lampshaded in the second season opener, that only happened because they were both hurt, angry and very drunk. Then again again, she did get feelings for a random male Brazilian hottie (as well as one for a random female Brazilian hottie) in "Lust in Translation". She gets into a relationship with lesbian Reagan, but lingering feelings for Karma cause the pair to break up. Then she had a fling with another girl over the summer apparently. The season 2B finale hints that she might have feelings for Felix. By the third season, most people think she's bisexual due to all this, but she gets into a relationship with Sabrina before deciding to date Felix again. Then she gets back into a relationship with Sabrina. Whew.
    • Then there is Sabrina herself, who initially fakes being questioning for a means of getting closer to Amy over Karma. Then she gets into a relationship Amy, while she's still dating a guy long distance. Amy dumps her after Karma reveals this. Sabrina then gets back together with her in the series finale after revealing that she really did have feelings for Amy, probably since they first met years ago in camp.
  • Amicably Divorced: Farrah and Hank (Amy's dad), enough that she cheats on Bruce with him when he comes back into town. As of the 2B finale, Farrah and Bruce are headed that way after getting married in the Season 1 finale.
  • An Aesop:
    • Lying is bad, lying about who you are is worse. Not only will you hurt other people, you'll hurt yourself into the bargain.
    • Never, NEVER, presume to think you know what's best for other people. If you want to be out and proud, good for you. That doesn't give you the right to force other people out with you.
  • And This Is for...: This was apparently Penelope's plan at the school board meeting in "School's Out": She dressed in a bodysuit covered with balloons, and started popping each one with a pen when things went bonkers. How that was supposed to sway the board was anyone's guess.
    "...and this balloon represents censorship! *pop* And this balloon represents tyranny! *pop*
  • Arc Words: "Whoa." "I know."
  • Artifact Title: As of Season 2B, although in Season 3 someone else fakes it. Or not...
  • Artistic License Religion: Judaism does have angels. Some Jews also do believe in hell.
  • As Himself: Girl group Fifth Harmony performs in "The Ecstasy and the Agony". Mary Lambert performs in "Nuclei lear Prom".
  • As You Know: Done quite a bit in the pilot:
    Karma: We live in Austin, a blue oasis in the red sea of Texas.
  • Aside Glance: After Karma congratulates Amy on "selling it" with the kiss in the pilot, Amy gives an Oh, Crap! look directly at the camera.
  • Back for the Finale: Lisbeth. Her actress had landed a role on Scream Queens, meaning she was absent for all of Season 3. In fact, Lauren's hunt for a "New Lisbeth" was a minor plot point...with even Liam becoming a possible replacement.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Amy to Liam in the season 2 premiere:
    "What would it do to Karma if she found out that her soulmate...slept with you?"
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Out-of-universe, and eventually in-universe, example.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Karma was "just trying to get into Shane Harvey's party". Well, she got in, and look what happened.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Sqwerkel is an obvious Google expy, though still too big business-y to slip by a strings-attached donation without a protest.
      • Taken further in Season 2B with names like "Sqwerkel Monocle" ("Google Glass") and "Sqwerkelplex" ("Googleplex").
    • Cluck 'N Go, Duke's sponsor, is Chick-fil-A in different packaging.
    • Stubble and Syzzr, dating websites for gays and lesbians, respectively. (Christian Mingle, a real dating site, is mentioned as how Amy's mom and Lauren's dad hooked up.)
  • Blond Republican Sex Kitten: Lauren. Farrah is an older version, which is probably a big part of why she and Lauren get along so well.
  • Boomerang Bigot: While he isn't anti-gay, Shane makes a lot of assumptions like All Gays are Promiscuous and No Bisexuals that would fit comfortably in the mouth of someone who was.
  • Butch Lesbian: Although everyone on the show treats her like the "butch" in the relationship Amy falls more into the "chapstick lesbian" category that is in between this and lipstick. Reagan also falls somewhere in the chapstick zone.
  • Camp Gay: Shane, played by Michael Willett, who plays a similar character to the Gay Best Friend he played in the movie GBF, which basically has the same plot as Faking It.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret:
    • Oh, Shane.
    • Liam as well, because he values the truth and sees secrets as a form of lying.
  • The Casanova:
    • Liam, at least until he notices Karma.
    • Also Shane.
      Lauren: You go through guys like a chainsaw through puppies!
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Amy is very much the unlucky variant. She and Karma have been best friends since kindergarten and Amy believes she's been in love with Karma since the day they met.
  • Closet Key: Karma seems to be Amy's, despite the fact that Karma shows no signs of true reciprocation.
  • Confetti Drop: The Karmy kiss gets one. Lauren is understandably perturbed; Penelope just says "It dropped early, I'm so sorry."
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Principal Turner realizes that cancelling prom would just be celebrated at Hester, Lauren gives him the idea to make prom attendance mandatory. He added the idea to make dates mandatory himself, mostly because he wanted his son to find a nice girl.
  • Cool Old Lady: While Farrah finds her an embarrassment, Amy's grandmother definitely comes off this way in the one scene she actually appears in.
  • Couch Gag: Each episode has a title card in a different font and color. The second season's title cards are slightly more elaborate (a Brazilian flag-themed one for "Lust in Translation", for example).
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Penelope gives hints to possibly being one in "Stripped".
    "But I barely kept my job and I have three cats to feed!
  • Crazy-Prepared: It appears Karma has binders full of notes for every situation, from faking being lesbians to celebrity breakups.
  • Dance of Romance: While a bit faster and more lively than most such dances, Karma and Amy's dance at the wedding in Burnt Toast. If there was any doubt in anyone's minds that Amy is in love with Karma, they're gone now - and Karma's denial of feelings for Amy are kind of hard to swallow after that.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Karma, Shane, and Lauren all go out for a spot in the coveted drama club...but the winner is another student: Oliver?!?
    Lauren: Who the *bleep* is Oliver?
  • Dark Secret:
    • Lauren is taking pills for an unspecified reason. It's later revealed that she's intersex.
    • Liam's "sister" is actually his mother and his "father" his grandfather.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Amy, especially towards Karma. Shane to the max. Lauren has her moments as well.
  • Disappeared Dad: Amy's dad isn't even mentioned before his appearance, and it turns out that he's mostly absent due to his work, though he pledges to cut down on that so they can spend more time together.
  • Disaster Dominoes: If Karma hadn't wanted so badly to be popular, she wouldn't have come up with that ridiculous blind girl scheme. If she had never come up with the scheme, Karma and Amy would never had sat on the bench. If they had never sat on the bench, Lauren wouldn't have gotten pissed at them. If Lauren hadn't gotten pissed, she wouldn't have insulted them with a lesbian reference. If she never insulted them in such a way, Shane wouldn't have thought Karma and Amy were gay. If Shane hadn't thought they were gay, he never would have spread the rumor. If he hadn't spread the rumor, Karma never would have had the idea to go along with it. And if Karma had never gone along with the lie... well, the series as a whole wouldn't have happened.
  • Downer Ending: Season one; Karma finds out Amy is in love with her, and after Amy practically begs Karma to be with her, Karma turns her down, saying that while she loves Amy she doesn't love her the same way, and reveals that she slept with Liam, which causes Amy to run out of the room. Liam finds out that despite telling Karma repeatedly that he hates lying and being lied to, that she has been lying to him about her and Amy's relationship, which prompts him to angrily dump her. The loss of both the people she cares the most about turns Karma into a sobbing wreck. Meanwhile, Amy and Liam get stinking drunk and end up sleeping with each other.
  • Dream Within a Dream:
    • At the start of "Homecoming Out", we see Karma and Liam making out, interrupted by Karma's alarm. She turns over to reveal Amy...and they start making out...and this is interrupted by Amy's alarm.
    • At the end of "Busted", we see Amy and Reagan having sex. Amy says "Whoa"...and Reagan turns into Karma, saying "I know." They start making out...and Amy wakes up in the tent, rolls over...and sees Liam, who congratulates her for "duping" Karma into forgiving them, and they start making out...and then Karma wakes up in Liam's arms in the art room, confused by what she just dreamed.
  • The Dragon: Lauren to the new principal in Season 2B.
  • Dude, She's A Lesbian: Basically what Shane's outing of Karma and Amy in the pilot should be to Liam. Subverted twice over, since this realization only attracts Liam further, and since Karma is, well, you know...
  • Dumb Jock: Tommy, Lauren's boyfriend, doesn't seem to be that bright. Also a case of Dumb Is Good as he's a lot nicer than she is.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first season, the school mascot was a bull and its colors were red and white. After that its mascot was an armadillo and its colors were yellow and light blue. Given how quirky the school is, they probably changed it.
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation:
    • Done once in the pilot and once in the finale. Both conversations were between Karma and Amy, and both were overheard by Lauren. What Lauren chose to do with the info, however, was different.
    • Also happens in episode six, when Liam's phone conversation with Shane is overheard by the two jocks.
    • Lauren also overhears Karma and Amy talking about how they wish they could just hate her without the intersex thing hanging over her. Later in the episode, Amy calls this Lauren's "signature move".
    • Amy overhears a conversation between Liam and his father, which softens her stance on him a little...though it was nothing compared to the secret he actually revealed: That his father is actually his grandfather.
    • Reagan overhears Karma and Amy talking about what Amy's keeping from Reagan (namely, that she still gets attracted to guys sometimes and that she slept with Liam.) This poses a problem for Reagan, who was dumped by her last girlfriend for a guy.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Liam. His sister is actually his mother, and his parents are his grandparents.
  • Fiction 500: If Sqwerkle is this world's equivalent of Google than it's in the top 50.
  • First-Name Basis: Principal Penelope. Usually she'd be called "Miss (Last Name)" by students. We do find out her last name in "Stripped", as Principal Turner calls her "Vice Principal Beaver"...she corrects him: "It's Bevier".
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Shane tries to out Karma and Amy as lesbians to the school because he thinks they shouldn't have to hide themselves. This is complicated by the fact that Karma and Amy aren't actually a couple and neither see themselves as a lesbian at the time. Merely two episodes later it turns out that Shane was right about Amy at least however (though she's probably bi).
  • Foreshadowing: When Karma says "And so what if I like the hottest boy is school? I'm a f**king teenage girl!", that served as warning that she'd go to any lengths in order to snare Liam.
  • Food Fight:
    • Starring Amy and Lauren and featuring the titular pastry in "Remember the Croquembouche".
    • A second one breaks out during the "roleplay" experiment in "Karmic Retribution".
  • Friendly Enemies:
    • Shane and Lauren.
      Lauren: I still hate you.
      Shane: Hate you too, boo.
    • During the second season her relationship with Amy has also turned into this with both of them acknowledging their (step) sisterhood. Eventually they grow into being full-on friends.
  • Gay Best Friend:
    • Shane to Liam and he would be to Amy if Karma wasn't already her best friend. Even Lauren has one in her dance partner Pablo.
    • Averted with Felix, who Karma tells Amy is one of these. Turns out he and his dad (Principal Turner) are renting the house from her parents because they're flat broke.
  • Genre Blind: Lauren does not get that her Alpha Bitch tactics do not work at this school and hides that fact that she's intersex. As a matter of fact when it's revealed the revelation results in her being elected student body president.
  • The Ghost: Shane's dad, who's mentioned though not seen (while his mother and sister both appear).
  • Girl Posse: Leila and Lisbeth to Lauren (and as of "Faking Up Is Hard to Do", quite a few of Liam's ex-girlfriends).
  • Got Me Doing It: A small running gag is Principal Turner calling Penelope "Vice Principal Beaver", with her correcting him by saying "It's Bevier". When Penelope reveals herself to be the vandal "B", she says "'B" stands for Beaver! ...I mean, Bevier!"
  • Granola Girl: Hester High might be the end result of what happens when one of these (in the form of Principal Penelope) gains power.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Well, it isn't until the season one finale that Amy and Lauren are officially stepsisters, but there isn't much love lost between them. Over time they grow into friends though.
  • Halloween Episode: "Spooking It", which for some reason aired in April.
  • Hidden Depths: Liam starts off as just 'the hottest boy in school', but his behavior with Karma's parents, his friendship with Shane, the way he is unnerved by the thought of a threesome (not to mention that he has to be tutored on the subject) and the level of pain he's in when he finds out about Karma and Amy's scam shows that he's just as scared and uncertain of who and what he is as most of the rest of the cast. Not to mention his relationship with his Sqwerkel-owning family; see White Sheep below.
  • Hippie Parents: You can tell Karma's parents are these by her name alone (episode two mentions her brother named Zen doing charity work in Africa). He eventually makes an appearance, and it turns out that he's less hippie-ish than them, having gotten tired of his work.
  • Hollywood Law: Season 2's code of conduct. According to law minors aren't bound by any contract they may sign so Principle Turner can't actually hold them to anything written therein. Then again, most minors don't actually know that, so he may just have been playing on their lack of knowledge.
  • In Vino Veritas: Felix basically relays this trope to Amy while flirting with her in "The Deep End" (as he's very, very drunk at the time), but it also applies to a very, very drunk Karma, who winds up kissing Amy.
  • The Infiltration: Lauren drags Shane and Amy along to infiltrate another high school where Theo is undercover, with the goal to out him as a narc. They steal a couple of cheerleading outfits for Lauren and Shane and the school mascot's outfit for Amy.
  • Incest Subtext: Although it's barely subtext, between Pieter and Petra. They hold hands while talking to Liam and Shane who are trying to pick them up, Petra agrees to make out with Liam but wants him to dress up like her brother and they both seem relieved when Liam and Shane leave. Also twincest, since they're fraternal twins.
  • Innocent Innuendo: When Karma tells Penelope that Amy had to go home and feed her fish, Penelope just laughs and says "I love lesbian humor."
  • Insistent Terminology: "It's not a cake! It's a croquembouche!"
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Amy basically gives Karma her blessing to date Liam at the end of "Present Tense".
  • Jailbait Taboo: Shane is likely this for Duke (depending on their relative ages), since in Texas having sex with someone who's age 17 and under if you're more than three years older than them is in fact statutory rape. It's likely Shane is at most 17, while Duke's age is never said.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Lauren points out that it's kind of a double standard for Karma to be allowed to sleepover with Amy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shane. He is a hopeless and often malicious gossip, his "Gay Scouts honor" promises always wind up being broken and he goes through guys like a chainsaw through puppies but he's a genuine friend to both Amy and Liam.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the beginning of the first season, Karma will do anything for popularity, including use Amy in a lesbian-couple scheme - which she then takes further in order to get Liam. By season's end, Liam has dumped her because of her lies, she's rejected Amy (and effectively ended their friendship), there's the very real chance that the entire school will find out her scheme, Liam and Amy may have slept together in revenge, and she's left crying on her mother's lap because she has no friends left.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: As Lauren is about to chew out Turner for making everyone have dates for her prom, she starts by saying "What the fu...rench fries?"
  • Lingerie Scene: Karma gets one when she and Amy are rehearsing for their threesome with Liam. Then they both get one at the actual event.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch:
    • Shane, a rare male example (see Jerk with a Heart of Gold). He does though seem to dislike his Bitch side, and can even become depressed when he loses himself in his petty rivalry with Lauren.
    • Lauren can sometimes show shades of this, such as trying to protect the innocent Pablo from the promiscuous Shane and giving Amy some cake after Amy was basically dumped by Karma.
  • Lovable Jock: Lauren's boyfriend is a much nicer person than she is. At least, until he breaks up with her because she's intersex. However he later apologizes for that.
  • Love Triangle: Karma is in love with Liam, who loves her back, while Karma is very good friends with Amy, who has fallen in love with her.
  • Manly Gay: Duke, the MMA fighter Shane hooks up with in "Present Tense".
  • Maybe Ever After: Everyone gets one of these by the end. Given how things have gone so far it's not too far fetched to imagine it happening all over again.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Lauren spends most of "Future Tense" building up her resume to present to a prestigious college, including demonstrating a flaming baton twirl...disastrously, because she'd never twirled before. After the debacle, the rep says she'd most likely get in...but only because she's intersex, a fact that fills her with shame enough that she angrily withdraws her application.
  • Meet Cute:
    • Liam and Karma in the pilot, twice: the first time Karma is so nervous she has to go throw up; the second time Liam bumps into her and spills his drink on her blouse (making it see-through). Oliver and Amy also qualifies, as she bumps into him while he's in the middle of looting toilet paper during a protest.
    • The trope is mentioned by name in "Lust in Translation" after Amy meets a Brazilian girl after they both grabbed the same flan. Lauren and Theo have a similar moment earlier when they bump into each other.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Amy and Karma, which drives the plot of the series.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Karma, at almost Trope Codifier levels. For someone who's known Amy all of her life and arguably better than she knows herself, she should have known long ago that Amy was falling in love with her, but still wants her to pretend to be her lesbian girlfriend.
  • Mirror Character: Karma is just as (if not even more so) devious and manipulative as Lauren in order to get what she wants. She's more successful, though, because unlike Lauren, she's willing to play by Hester High rules to get popularity (instead of trying to remake the school the way Lauren does).
  • Missing Mom: Lauren's mom apparently died sometime in the past, since she mentions enjoying Christmas partly due to fond memories of spending the holiday together with her.
  • Morality Pet: Lauren is quite protective of Pablo.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: Combined with Do Not Do This Cool Thing when Penelope spirits Karma to a dressing room after telling her she has to change her Halloween costume because of "cultural appropriation":
    Penelope: Nobody look at Karma's super offensive costume!
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Shane's sister Sasha is off-limits to Liam by Shane and Liam's agreement.
  • National Stereotypes: If you scroll down to the "Brazil" entry, "Lust in Translation" used every one but the favelas.
  • New Transfer Student: Lauren was relatively new when the series began. Theo is a better version of the trope, introduced in "You Can't Handle the Truth or Dare". This is subverted by Theo being an undercover cop, as revealed in "Busted". Felix looks to be yet another version, introduced in "Stripped" along with his dad, Principal Turner.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Occurred in the pilot, when Liam (in an example of Meet Cute) accidentally spilled beer on her white top at Shane's party. Also implied by Shane to Lauren in "Homecoming Out", in order to tease her after Amy went back on their room-trade deal.
  • No Bisexuals: After skirting around the issue with Amy, it's finally averted in the character of Wade, who lampshaded the trope when Karma and Shane had asked him if he's gay or straight, noting "bisexual" didn't occur to them. He would eventually take both Karma and Shane out on a "thruple date" to prom...and then agree to a threesome with them. In the end he backs out of the threesome, realizing he didn't really want to do it and still had feelings for his ex. Shane outright states that no male bisexuals exist, though he admits some female ones do. In Amy's case, although she shows attraction to boys along with girls, it takes a long time for people to even raise the idea that she's actually bisexual, not lesbian, which seems like the consensus by the end of the show.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Lauren says this to Shane. After objecting at first he realizes she has a point, leading to a Pet the Dog moment with Pablo.
  • Oblivious to Love: Karma for most of the first season is completely unaware that Amy has fallen in love with her. In fact she begins to suspect that Amy is in love Liam. Its not until the final episode that it finally clicks and Karma gets it. Though Amy still calls her out on it.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Amy at the end of the pilot. And the end of the second episode. (One more and it'll be a Running Gag.) Karma has one when she realizes Amy has actual feelings for her.
    • Shane has a couple of these: first, when Pablo tells him about Lauren's feelings at the recital, and when he overhears them at the wedding. Both times, he's visibly rattled.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: No matter how much Karma jerks Liam around regarding what the hell relationship they have, whenever Liam calls her out on her bullshit, Karma always brings up that Liam slept with Amy, which Liam eventually calls her out on for using as a trump card whenever she wants to feel like a victim.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gregg Sulkin's natural accent comes through a lot. It's extremely noticeable and distracting.
  • Pet the Dog: Lauren's commiserating with Amy over Karma's rejection of her. Shane has also helped Lauren out a couple of times.
  • Pixellation: Seen in the pilot (see Sexy Soaked Shirt below) and in the 2nd season premiere (covering Shane's collection of dildos.)note  Also when Shane strips naked as a protest.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Once an Episode (or sometimes more) Amy's foul mouth punctuates a particular frustration. An interesting case since the show is on MTV, where you can't actually air someone saying the word, so they have the character say the word and the beep it out.
    • In "Homecoming Out" Amy has more of a Cluster F-Bomb when it turns out she sabotaged the wrong van.
    • Penelope, of all people, gets one in "Prom Scare".
  • Political Overcorrectness: Sometimes Penelope takes her progressiveness a little too far, like making Karma change her Cleopatra costume because it's "cultural appropriation", or cancelling Christmas vacation because it might offend some people (though none of the students appears to be offended).
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • Episode 4 of Season 2, "Lying Kings and Drama Queens". The "lying kings" are Liam's family, especially his grandfather, and the "Drama queens" are Karma, Shane, and Lauren, who want a spot in the Drama club.
    • Every episode is a Pun Based Title of some form (most spectacularly "You Can't Handle The Truth Or Dare"); it's borderline Theme Naming.
  • Queer Romance: The series starts out with a fake romance between friends Karma and Amy. Over time, Amy then realizes she has real attraction to Karma, who doesn't reciprocate. Then she gets into several romances with other girls, while Karma is indicated to maybe like Amy as well after all.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Penelope is described as a "bleeding-heart realist"; someone who allows the students to flourish, but sometimes has to get in bed with entities they may not like to keep the school running (like Sqwerkle).
  • Rejected Apology: Duke actually accepts Shane's apology for outing him...but that doesn't stop him from leaving for his career, because he hasn't forgiven him.
  • Romantic False Lead: Inverted with Pablo, who Shane seems to actually want (to least attempt) a relationship with.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship. Karma and Amy have this starting, being very close intimate friends. Then they fake being lesbians, and Amy starts to fall for Karma. In the end, Amy's realizes she's bisexual and does want a relationship with Karma, but it doesn't work out.
  • Rousing Speech: Lauren's speech to the school board in "School's Out".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Lauren gets the news that her dad is divorcing Amy's mom and moving back to Dallas, she pulls this with Hester High just as it's about to be shut down by Turner. After finding out just how anti-LGBT her old Dallas friends were, she pulls a Changed My Mind, Kid and delivers a Rousing Speech that saves Hester.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Shane as of the end of "We Shall Overcompensate".
    • The entire main cast (plus Tommy) is the keeper of Lauren's secret as of the season 2 premiere. This extends to Leila and Lisbeth in the next episode.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: A prominent promo pic has Karma's chest noticeably censor mosaic'ed, due to her white top becoming see-through when she spilled a drink on it.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: On those rare occasions where Amy wears more feminine attire, Amy looks really good. She's also not lacking at all during her Lingerie Scene, either. Amy also wears a suit very well.
  • Ship Sinking: The Season 1 finale fires a broadside into Karmy.
  • Ship Tease: Shane and Lauren.
  • Shipper on Deck: Principal Penelope seems...very excited at the prospect of lesbian homecoming queens...
  • Shout-Out:
    • The pottery scene at the beginning of the finale is an explicit reference to Ghost (1990).
    • The "Who is B" subplot in "Prom Scare" shouts its ref out explicitly when Shane asks Liam when he became such a pretty little liar when he denies it. Later Principal Turner calls all the suspects "Banksy wannabes".
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Karma gives one to Liam at the end of "Busted". When he protests, she gives him another. He gets the hint.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Karma chasing Liam certainly qualifies.
  • Single-Target Sexuality:
    • Shane comes to the deduction that Amy is Karma-sexual. Amy reaffirms this to her mom later.
      Amy: Mom, Karma loves guys.
      Farrah: And you?
      Amy: I love Karma. That's the whole problem.
    • Amy later starts to date Reagan and starts very enthusiastically defying this however.
  • Skewed Priorities: Penelope after Karma tears up Amy's diary and throws it all over the school: "Karma Ashcroft, I charge you with bullying...and more importantly, littering!"
  • Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy: A student with a megaphone accompanies the sign-wavers, and in a minor Running Gag any main character seeking attention steals the megaphone from him.
  • Snowball Lie: The main premise of the show which, somehow, keeps coming up over and over again even after numerous live and in-person examples of how these things end. One lie turns into a whole hullabaloo to maintain it until it inevitably collapses on everyone's heads.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: Amy and Karma have had several of these.
  • Strawman U: Hester High School is so progressive, the outcasts are the in-crowd, the coolest boy in school is gay, and no one save transplant Lauren cares about the Homecoming King and Queen until two (faux) lesbians run for it. Heck, Principal Penelope even went to Berkeley. That said, it gets portrayed largely positively.
  • Stepford Smiler: Farrah and the smile is getting increasingly brittle as the series progresses.
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Hump Day" video. Take a talented singer, give her a Rebecca Black-esque song, turn her 12, and have her make 12-year-old girl decisions, and you get a new YouTube sensation... after Amy uploads it in anger.
  • Take That!: Shane says Lauren is so two-dimensional she's like a character from Glee. Later, after he calls Duke's girlfriend a beard, he then compares her to Taylor Swift when she was dating Taylor Lautner.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Lauren and Shane in "Three to Tango".
  • That Came Out Wrong: Penelope's plan for more inclusivity: Sustainability, Tolerance, Innovation. Shortened to a rather unfortunate acronym that neither she nor anyone else got while making her plan...
    Penelope: ...and with your help, we can share our STI with the world!
    Amy (watching from a tablet): How did nobody catch that?
  • Three-Way Sex:
    • Karma, Liam, and Amy agree to a threesome...but Karma chickens out at the last moment when Liam and Amy kiss. Even then Karma suggests it as a way for her to have sex with Liam, and says she expects Amy to leave before the sex actually starts.
    • It was then done again in "Nuclear Prom", where heteronote  Karma, gay Shane, and bisexual Wade agree to one. The next episode gives us a "Rashomon"-Style recap from both Karma and Shane...but the real story comes from Wade, who shows up with his ex. He shut it down because he was using the threesome to stick it to his ex, but couldn't go through with it and got back together with her.
  • Throwing Out the Script: When Liam is thrust into shilling Sqwerkle's new "monocle" product, he tries to read off the teleprompter, but can't keep up (and also reads the stage directions out loud). Then he goes "f*** it" and wings it...and actually wows the crowd.
  • Title Drop: Happens quite a few times in "Faking It...Again", starting, of course, with the episode title itself.
  • Title-Only Opening: Every episode has a single flash of a "Faking It" title card. Sometimes the title card is changed to reflect what's happening in the episode.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: A mild case with Amy (Tomboy) and Karma (Girly Girl). A much bigger contrast is between Amy and Lauren.
  • Toplessness from the Back: We briefly see Lauren like this when she's preparing to send a naked selfie to her boyfriend and Shane opens the door on her. Shane of course has no appreciation for what he's seeing, but he gives her tips on how take a better one.
  • Twincest: VERY heavily implied with Pieter and his sister Petra.
  • Two-Teacher School: So far, the only authority figure we've seen at Hester High is Principal Penelope. We also see Margot the drama teacher (played by Laverne Cox) in season 2, and Irma the lunch lady.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Principal Turner in Season 2B. With assistance from Lauren.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Theo, aka "Anthony", in "Busted".
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: In "Homecoming Out", in order to keep her mother from covering her "coming out" Amy goes to the news station to puncture the news van's tire. She does this by pulling a screwdriver from her shirt. Her explanation? "I hate carrying a purse."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lauren and Shane have shades of this, being birds of a feather, more on Shane's side though as he is shown to fully enjoy their rivalry, and shows true regret the few times he goes too far and hurts Lauren.
  • Waving Signs Around: What "Occupy Hester" mainly does in "We Shall Overcompensate."
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Burnt Toast". Amy finally confesses her feelings to Karma...who rejects her, then tells her she slept with Liam. Shane tells Liam that Karma and Amy are faking being lesbians, which causes him to reject Karma for lying to him. Both Amy and Liam get drunk...and while Karma is being consoled by her mother, Amy and Liam start making out on Amy's bed...
    • "The Deep End": At the very end a very drunk Karma kisses Amy.
    • "School's Out": Karma and Amy, who've never spent more than a few days apart, will be split up for the entire summer as Amy decides to go with Reagan's friends' band on tour for the summer because of the fallout of the above kiss.
  • Wham Line: In "Saturday Fight Live", when Amy and Lauren find out who Farrah is cheating on Bruce with:
    Man: Hi, honey.
    Amy: Dad?
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The "Twain": Lesbian coffee shop by day, gay bar by night. Shane takes Amy there to attempt to find a lesbian partner in "Know thy Selfie", then goes there with Liam to hook up with guys (and let Liam hook up with the women that accompany the guys) in "Remember the Croquembouche".
  • White Sheep: Liam is the lead protester of Sqwerkel, but is later seen getting in the car with the Sqwerkel rep. When challenged by Karma, he reveals that the rep's his sister and that his father owns Sqwerkel, and he wants nothing to do with any of them. And even worse than that, his sister's his mother and his father is his grandfather.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Karma and Amy. And they don't.
  • Wrong Genetic Sex: Lauren. She has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, one of many disorders that makes one intersex. In this case, she was born and raised a girl, but has an XY chromosome. Her body does not respond at all to androgen (testosterone), and she takes pills to balance the estrogen levels in her body.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Hester High loathes being forced to go to prom with dates, so many of the students give small acts of rebellion:
    • Liam takes a skeleton done up as prom king.
    Liam: Turner said we had to take a date. He didn't say it had to be living.
    Leila: Well, it's against God...but it's not against the rules.
    • Shane, Karma, and Wade go on a "thruple date", though this is less about breaking the rules as it is that both Shane and Karma want Wade.
    • Someone sends a pig and a ficus plant to prom...and they get elected prom king and queen.