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Series / Good Trouble

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Good Trouble is an American drama series on Freeform and created by Joanna Johnson. It began in 2019 as a spinoff to The Fosters with Maia Mitchell and Cierra Ramirez reprising their roles from the previous series.

Sisters Callie (Mitchell) and Mariana (Ramirez) Adams-Foster begin a new chapter in their lives by moving to Los Angeles with Mariana becoming the newest recruit at a coding startup and Callie pursuing a career as a lawyer. They find a home at a communal living apartment called "The Coterie" downtown, which hosts the Shrinking Violet aspiring comedian landlord Alice (Sherry Cola), outspoken activist Malika (Zuri Adele), middle aged musician Dennis (Josh Pence), Deadpan Snarker teacher Davia (Emma Hunton), and the handsome painter Gael (Tommy Martinez).

While Callie and Mariana initially held most of the focus of the show, the residents of The Coterie gradually started to take more prominent roles in the series.

Good Trouble provides examples of:

  • Amoral Attorney:
    • Callie believes Corporate Lawyer Jamie is one though she herself can be ethically questionable when she believes she is morally right.
    • Whether or not Kathleen Gale counts as one is a driving question in Season 3. Especially after she's suspected helping to a make a witness in a federal investigation disappear.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: While Davia does have occasional angst about her weight she ultimately isn't ashamed and is never treated as unattractive. She's very much gorgeous and is an absolute Dude Magnet.
  • Breather Episode: Season Three's New Moon. Check out Gael wearing Mariana's pink coat with hearts on backwards.
  • Bros Before Hoes: Callie suffers from the female version of this when she hooks up with Gael, and feeling extremely guilty about it once she learns he's Mariana's co-worker and she has a huge crush on him.
  • But Not Too Bi: Averted with Gael, who gets a healthy dating life with both men and women depicted on screen.
    • Discussed in "Anticiption"; Gael's traditional father happily assumes that Gael was going through a "phase" when he announces his relationship with Isabella, only for Gael to remind them that he's still bisexual even when with female partners.
    • Callie apparently retains shades of this from The Fosters and briefly shares a kiss with Alice in one episode... but this turns out to simply be a dream that Alice had.
  • The Cast Show Off: The writers love giving Emma Hunton a chance to show off her musical theatre background whenever Davia sings. Same for Josh Pence's singing and guitar skills.
    • The Season One Finale features an intense Tango fantasy that allows Maia Mitchell, Tommy Martinez, Roger Bart, Zuri Adele, and Beau Mirchell to show how well they can hold their own as dancers.
    • Comedian Sherry Cola's skills are showcased through Alice's journey to become a stand-up comedian.
  • Commonality Connection: Callie and Mariana both bond with Malika due to their shared history in growing up in the foster care system.
  • Coming-Out Story: Alice's season one arc is her eventually coming out to her traditional immigrant parents, who take it much better than she expected.
    • "Doble Quince" has a subplot in which Gael comes out as bi to his parents after they refuse to accept Jazmin as Trans.
    • The two-parter Christmas episode shows that Jude and Carter are still dating, with the latter wrestling with whether or not to come out to his conservative parents. He eventually does in Klompendansen, and is accepted.
    • The first half of Season 3 sees Malika, while content in her relationship with Isaac, realize she's developing feelings for Dyonte, who is also seeing another person with her coming out as poly.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mariana finds herself on both sides of this.
    • Apparently, the mere attraction to Raj is enough to get Isabella forced out of not only the room she and Mariana share, but the entire Coterie when Mariana turns Davia and several other residents against her. Mind you, Mariana knew they hadn't slept with each other but used this to justify being attracted to, and later sleeping with, her boss at Speckulate, Evan, while she was still technically with Raj. Which ultimately leads to...
    • ...Marianna being kicked out of Fight Club and completely shunned by her three cohorts, who walked out of Speckulate in solidarity with her, when they learn she's been carrying on an affair with Evan behind their backs and lying to the faces about it. Of the three, Claire is particularly unforgiving, to the point of outright saying she won't ever trust Mariana again even after they finally decide to hire her on as a coder and bringing up several past slights Mariana committed in the previous seasons as a reason why.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
    • Callie's responsible to Mariana's foolish. At least until Character Development finally starts to kick in for the latter 3 seasons in.
    • Gael and Jazmin to a lesser extent. In the first season, Gael is the more responsible sibling who is financially supporting Jazmin after she gets fired for getting into a fight with her transphobic boss. By season 2, Jazmin has accepted a settlement in her wrongful termination suit so that Gael doesn't have to worry about supporting her anymore.
  • Friends with Benefits: Callie gets into a casual non-exclusive sexual relationship with both Gael and Jamie in season 1, but both eventually want to get serious with her, forcing her to chose. She picks Jamie.
  • Gay Best Friend: Gael, who is bisexual, becomes this to Davia in Season Three.
  • Gayngst:
    • Alice goes through this in the first season but upon coming out to her parents, they reveal they already knew and love her all the same.
    • Gael and Jazmin get disowned by their parents for being Bisexual and Trans, respectfully.
  • Grief-Induced Split: Dennis and his wife Jennifer were Happily Married until the death of their young son Jacob to cancer. The ensuing grief and guilt caused their marriage to fall apart, with the final nail in the coffin being Dennis's admission of having had an affair.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: Gael's parents insist upon this when they learn that his one-night stand with Isabella is going to make them grandparents.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Compared to The Fosters, due to Callie and Mariana being adults and their sex lives becoming a bigger part of the story. Downplayed in that while the show now has sex scenes, it still makes heavy use of Modesty Bedsheets, Shoulders-Up Nudity and Toplessness from the Back to conceal any actual nudity.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Marianna is dwarfed not only by Raj and Evan, both of whom she has relationships with, but by every regular male character on the show.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Callie and Gael find it very hard to keep their hands off each other when they first start dating. They decide to break up their relationship when it actually starts interfering on their professional careers.
  • I Have No Son!: Rather than accept that Jazmin is Trans, her father mourns "Alejandro" (her dead name) as if they're dead, and acknowledged Gael as his only child, until the latter comes out as queer too.
  • Love Triangle: Several. We have Callie, Gael, and Jamie; Marianna, Raj, and Evan (she dumped them both); Davia, Dennis, and Matt; and a polyamorous Love Dodecahedron consisting of Malika, Issac (he broke up with her), Dyonte, Tanya, and most recently, Angelica.
  • The Modest Orgasm: Montages with Callie having sex with Gael and Jamie often have her gasping quietly in the background.
  • The Mole: Marianna gets herself hired at a rival app-building company to act as one for Fight Club.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Gael is kind and supportive to everyone, he even gets along with Callie's new boyfriend Jamie.
    • Dennis counts as this, although sometimes it comes off more as Jerk with a Heart of Gold due to his surliness.
    • Davia's co-worker Matt is a Dogged Nice Guy as he's willing to unconditionally be Davia's friend and not pressure her into choosing him over Dennis.
  • One-Night-Stand Pregnancy: Gael has a one-night stand with Mariana's temporary roommate which we later find out resulted in pregnancy.
  • Out Living Ones Offspring:
    • Prior to moving to the Coterie, Dennis lost his son Jacob, something he doesn't tell anyone he lives with initially. In fact, the first person he tells is Stef, Mariana and Callie's mother. Davia learns from his ex-wife when he goes missing and is almost Driven to Suicide.
    • In Season 2 part of Callie's storyline involves being with her former boss when he finds out his son has died. There's a focus on getting him to stop trying to find justice for his death and instead mourn with his wife and daughter
  • Parental Neglect: Malika and her older brother Dom had a very neglectful single mother, to the point she often left them to starve. When Malika was ten, she ended up calling social services for help, and both siblings were placed into the foster care system. This ended up causing a rift between the two, since Dom had a rough foster home and grew up thinking their mother wasn't that bad and Malika made a mistake calling social services. This led to said mother manipulating him in the future, so she could get money out of him.
  • Polyamory:
    • Dyonte is dating a girl who is also seeing someone else and later starts seeing Malika while she's dating Issac.
    • Issac himself has a hard time dealing with this and breaks up with Malika when she expresses a desire to explore this type of relationship.
  • Pool Scene: The rooftop of The Coterie has a pool where the cast hangs around often.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Isabella's Trap Heals confession about sleeping with her former roommate's boyfriend is mistaken by Davia to be about Isabella having sex with Mariana's boyfriend Raj, whom Isabella was clearly attracted to). After Davia and Mariana confront Isabella about this, she thinks Raj told Mariana that they had done it and sends him an angry text about this. Mariana sees this, immediately has sex with Evan, her boss whom she's been having feelings for at the time, and breaks things off with Raj. Meanwhile, the hostile atmosphere from all of this leads Isabella to move out of the Coterie.
    • Made worse by the fact that Mariana actually knew that Raj hadn't slept with Isabella, but of course, being Mariana, she uses the mere notion that they had to justify her sleeping with Evan and still lets Isabella take the heat for it.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Several characters from The Fosters show up as occasional guest stars in several episodes. Most notably:
    • "Parental Guidance Suggested" where Stef and Lena come to The Coterie to visit their daughters.
    • The whole family makes prominent appearances in the two Part Christmas episode as well.
    • Season three's "Klompendansen" almost feels like a direct episode of The Fosters, with prominent subplots for every one in the Family and no appearances from the spin-off's new characters aside from Jamie.
  • Save Our Students: Davia and her colleagues form an equity committee in an attempt to get police out of their school and create Restorative Justice programs that actually help at risk students instead of feeding the school to prison pipeline.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Alice spends the entire first season afraid to come out to her strictly religious parents. She's finally pushed in the season finale to call them up as her ex (who they know as just a friend) has gotten married to another woman. They ask if she's okay about it as "you loved her." Alice is stunned but happy to realize her parents have known all along she was gay and are fine with it as they knew she had to come to terms with it on her own.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: "Swipe Right" has a scene where Gael stares at Callie as she surfaces from the rooftop pool in a tiny bikini, complete with slow-mo.
  • Shower of Awkward:
    • The sisters have an awkward moment when they're showing The Coterie's communal shower to their skeptical visiting mothers, only for them to find a Dennis and a young girl stepping out from the same shower cubicle, both clad only in Modesty Towels, which leaves Stef and Lena scandalized.
    • Gael and Callie are making out in the shower when Isabella, who's pregnant with Gael's child, barges in with morning sickness. Not wanting her to think she's interrupting anything, Gael tries to pretend he's showering alone, but it falls apart when Callie hands him a Modesty Towel from inside the shower.
  • Shrinking Violet: Alice is the true epitome of a B-type personality whose arc mainly consists of her learning to assert herself.
    • In one episode, she becomes distressed with paying for toilet paper for the whole building but is too timid to ask the residents to provide for themselves. Once she brings it up they agree and consider it no big deal.
    • Part of her second season arc is gaining the confidence to go for a program that one of her stand-up comedy peers is also going for. They both get in.
    • In the third season Mariana takes her out to try to get her to take a more assertive role in her romantic relationships.
  • Sexiness Score: In "Daylight", Gael is working part-time as a hauler, and is helping Isabella to move her stuff, and some Unresolved Sexual Tension quickly begins to take form between them. Once the job is done and Gael is leaving, he asks her to "rate him" and she gives him a once over and tells him he's a "10", and then he awkwardly explains he meant to rate him in the work app she hired him on.
  • Symbolic Serene Submersion: Episode 2 has both Callie and Gael serenely submerging in the pool to meditate. When they notice each other doing it at the same time, it leads to an Underwater Kiss.
  • Uncle Tom Foolery: The guy running Alice's comedy workshop tries to enforce this on the comedians in the program, making them act out stereotypes of their ethnicity, sexuality and identity and any time they try to defy his demands he calls them unfunny social justice warriors.
  • You Are Fat: As is the case with any overweight person, Davia must occasionally deal with fat-shaming. Notable examples include getting berated by her mother in front of Dennis, being called a "fat bitch" by the ex-wife of the married man on Instagram (resulting in the "Fat Bitch" music video), and overheard in class by one of her students (who, ironically, is larger than she); the first and third incidents reduce her to tears.