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Series / Hart of Dixie

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From left to right: Wade, Lavon, Zoe, George, Lemon

Hart of Dixie was a Dramedy television series airing on The CW. It ran from 2011 to 2015 for four seasons.

Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) is a young, aggressive, and driven New York surgeon who seems to have it all.... and loses it really fast, when her doctor boyfriend of six years dumps her for being a workaholic and she doesn't get a cardiothoracic fellowship, which she finds out is because she doesn't really see her patients as people, just as puzzles to solve. The chief advises her to spend a year in general practice to correct this.

She decides to take on the offer of an Alabama practice doctor, Harley Wilkes, who for some reason kept on trying to get her to work at his practice and travels all the way to Bluebell, the town he hailed from, where she finds herself a bit uncomfortable. But as it turns out, Harley is dead... and also her biological father, and he's left her his half of the practice. The other half is owned by resident doctor Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson), who isn't happy to share his job with someone else.

Now, city girl Zoe has to adjust to a quaint life in the Dixie, nurturing feelings for lawyer George Tucker (Scott Porter) while avoiding the constant pressure of his fiancée, Lemon Breeland (Jaime King), befriending Annabeth Nass (Kaitlyn Black) and mayor Levon Hayes (Cress Williams), and attracting the attention of neighbor Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel).

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Zoe treats Wade like one at first.
    • Meatball for Lemon.
  • Accidental Proposal: Lavon's proposal to Lemon is a variant of this trope. They stumble upon candles arranged to say "Marry Me" - which Zoe had intended to use to propose to Wade - and Lemon assumes they're for her and Lavon just goes with it and proposes. The variation is that Lavon did actually want to propose to Lemon; he just accidentally hijacked Zoe's proposal to do it.
  • The Ace: Wade's brother Jesse Kinsella is considered this in their family, since he went to the army and became a war hero.
  • Actor Allusion: In the first few minutes, Zoe (Rachel Bilson) says Summer Roberts's trademark "ew".
  • After Action Patch Up: Done by Zoe to Wade in one of the first episodes, and by Wade to Zoe in the first season finale.
  • Alliterative Title: Many of the first season's episode names are this.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The first season definitely has some shades of it, with the only somewhat requited pairing in the Love Dodecahedron being Lemon and George, who aren't really that happy together.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Wade's father, the town drunk, known as Crazy Earl.
  • Amicable Exes:
    • Wade and his ex-wife Tansy.
    • After George Tucker leaves Lemon Breeland at the altar at the end of season 1, George and Lemon are this by season 3.
    • Lemon and Lavon try to be this, but can't quite manage being close friends.
  • As You Know: In the third episode of season 1, Zoe sums up the events of two previous episodes to George, including the stipulations of keeping Harley's part of the practice, that George just explained to her in the episode before.
  • Back for the Finale: Joel in the season 3 finale
  • Battle of the Bands: In season 2, Wade plans to compete in one to win enough money to open his own bar. He ends up losing, and this starts the downward spiral that leads to him cheating on Zoe.
  • Beauty Contest: Lemon and Zoe push Magnolia and Rose to compete against each other in one in "Hairdos & Holidays."
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Zoe and Wade qualify as this, especially since Wade refuses to fix the generator they share because he doesn't want to stop arguing with her. Lavon helpfully points this out to Wade.
  • Better as Friends: Zoe and George, by season 3.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Lemon is torn between her longtime fiance George (Betty) and Lavon (Veronica), the man she had an affair with and is still attracted to.
    • Zoe is also torn between her crush, the respectable lawyer George (Betty) and the hot guy next door, Wade (Veronica).
      • In season 3, Zoe's new NY boyfriend Joel takes George's place as the Betty in this scenario.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brunette Zoe is a smart, ambitious surgeon.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Magnolia is this in spades. Even Brick describes her materialistic and shallow.
  • Caught in the Rain: Zoe and Wade in the first season finale. Double Subverted, however, as rescue arrives just as they start making out... yet after getting back into town, they still hook up.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In an episode, a visiting friend of Zoe's says 'It's gonna be like Friday Night Lights, but without the sad parts'. Scott Porter (George) played Jason Street in that show.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Addie
    • Don't forget Shelly at the Rammer Jammer.
  • Close-Knit Community: Bluebell.
  • City Mouse: New York City doctor Zoe in Bluebell, Alabama.
  • The City vs. the Country: The first season is based around Plot B for Zoe and Plot 2B.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While most of the characters are snarky, Wade and Zoe are definitely the most prominent.
  • Double Standard: After Wade is hurt because Zoe agreed to be his partner for a contest to vie for George's affection, not realizing Wade has feelings for her, he's sitting in Lavon's kitchen making a list of reasons Zoe sucks. When Zoe comes in, Lavon sends her away, saying she can't be there right now. Just a couple of minutes before, Wade came in while his ex-wife, Tansy, was sitting right there in that same kitchen, after Wade hurt her in much the same manner, making a list of reasons he sucks, and Lavon didn't kick Wade out.
  • Deep South: At the very least, Zoe thinks Bluebell is this.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Zoe and Wade are constantly doing this to one another, since they're neighbors and often see each other in states of undress. Especially in season 1 when their Unresolved Sexual Tension was on full steam.
  • Family Theme Naming: Lemon, Magnolia and Brick Breeland.
  • First-Episode Twist: Repeated ad nauseam in the Previously on… montage - Harvey Wilkes was Zoe's biological father.
  • Fish out of Water: The premise of the show, with big city doctor Zoe moving into a small town in the Deep South.
  • Friends with Benefits: Zoe and Wade have a similar arrangement to this in the early episodes of season 2, though it is strongly implied they both have deeper feelings for each other.
  • Gypsy Curse: Some of the women of Bluebell believe they are under a gypsy curse not to have children until after Lemon marries. She later releases them from the curse.
  • Heat Wave: "In Havoc & In Heat" is about a heat wave hitting Bluebell which makes everyone act differently and with a lot less inhibition and causes a great deal of Fanservice due to everyone wearing very little clothing since it's Getting Hot in Here.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy:
    • Jamie King was pregnant during filming for season 3, and Lemon suddenly only wears loose clothing and is stuck behind everything from flower bouquets to a particularly large plate of cookies. The most egregious hiding attempt was a scene in a restaurant that has Lemon sitting behind a table at a foot higher than all the other nearby tables.
    • Averted in season 4: Zoe discovers in "Kablang" that she's pregnant, as was Rachel Bilson at the time of production. However, as Rachel Bilson was farther along in her pregnancy than her character, in the first few episodes of season 4 there are several extremely obvious attempts to mask her how far along she is. Mostly she's simply shot from the shoulders up, but there are also quite a few scenes with her conspicuously covered by a blanket.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Lemon and George, the town's golden couple.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Most season one episodes, with the exceptions of the pilot and the season finale "The Big Day," are named "Thing & Thing," usually with a rhyme or alliteration. Examples are "Hairdos & Holidays," "Homecoming & Coming Home," "The Undead & The Unsaid"...
    • From season two the writers go with country songs ("I Fall To Pieces," "Suspicious Minds," "If It Makes You Happy").
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The show's title.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Wade towards Zoe, possibly due to I Love You Because I Can't Control You.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Shelby notes that every important conversation happens in the same room of Brick's enormous house, on a couch on the sunporch.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Zoe and Lavon, lampshaded by her.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Neighbors Zoe and Wade are the biggest couple in the show.
  • Little Black Dress: Zoe wears when she goes to see Wade in "In Havoc & In Heat."
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Lemon. She is definitely the queen bee of her group of friends, but they adore her.
  • Love Triangle:
    • George, Lemon and Lavon. Kind of subverted because George is oblivious to Lemon and Lavon.
    • George, Wade, and Zoe.
    • the season 3 finale hints that the triangle of George, Lemon, and Lavon may resume again
    • Lemon gets one in season three with Carter Covington and Enrique.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Lavon is in love with Lemon who is engaged to George who has a crush on Zoe who likes George too, but also kind of likes Wade who loves Zoe. Also Zoe dates Judson, who slept with her friend Gigi.
    • Later on, Lavon dates Lemon's best friend Annabeth and George is in a relationship with Wade's ex-wife Tansy.
      • George later dates Lavon's niece, Lynly, while he's still pining for Tansy.
    • Lemon's father Brick dates George's ex Shelby.
    • Wade dates Zoe's cousin Vivian.
    • Wade's friend - and Lemon's sort-of ex - Meatball is briefly engaged to Lily Ann, an ex of Wade and George.
    • By the series finale, George is dating Annabeth, and Lemon is married to Lavon.
  • Missing Mom: Lemon and Magnolia's mom left the family when Magnolia was little so she could make it big as an actress. In "Hairdos And Holidays," Lemon finds out that her mother is actually doing a play in a nearby town, so she decides to see how she's doing, and she finds out her mother has a new family, and presumably left her, Magnolia and Brick for them. This incident also starts her reciprocated interest in Lavon.
  • Mistaken for Gay: After hearing about Zoe having a secret girlfriend, Lavon (and later Wade) assume this about her, but quickly get disproven by her squicked reaction.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
  • Ms. Fanservice: Zoe, who wears very revealing clothing such as her short shorts and many Swimsuit and LingerieScenes
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Inverted, in a case of Naked People Trapped Inside in "Red Dye No. 40" when Wade and Zoe sneak into the Rammer Jammer to have sex and get trapped in the closet without their clothes since a talent show is happening... which goes on even longer when Shelby is poisoned and the place is locked so everyone can be interrogated. They stay trapped there for the whole episode listening in and when Zoe solves the case by herself, she improvises a tablecloth to wear, wrapping it around her like a Modesty Bedsheet, and leaves the closet to tell everyone what happened.
  • Never Found the Body: The Patient of the Week in "The Undead & The Unsaid."
  • Pair the Spares: George and Annabeth in Season 4. Made worse because given time and what we know about the characters, they could have been developed into a pairing to really root for, but their entire transition from landlord/tenant and vaguely friendly town members to life partners spans six episodes.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Lemon Breeland and the other belles.
  • Punny Name: Zoe Hart. Lampshaded in the pilot when Zoe says that her surname being Hart made it 'destiny' for her to become a cardiac surgeon.
  • Put on a Bus: Happens all over the place on this show, but Magnolia being sent to boarding school between seasons two and three is a prominent example.
    • Emmeline Hattenbarger after two episodes
  • Quirky Town: Bluebell. It makes sense, given that the town set is the same one used for Stars Hollow.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Zoe and Wade, who constantly hook up and break up through the series. They eventually end up married at the end.
  • Sex God: Wade is made out to be a great lover that Really Gets Around. When he and Zoe sleep together at the season 1 finale, he teases Zoe about not being able to match him, much to her horror.
    Zoe: Last night, something happened between us.
    Wade: Yeah, well, you had A-plus sex for your first time.
    Zoe: What do you mean I had A-plus sex? You had it too! ...right?
    Wade: Yeah, for me it was more... B? B-minus.
    Zoe: What?
  • Sexiness Score: In "I Fall to Pieces", Wade and Zoe meet for the first time after they resolved their Belligerent Sexual Tension in the previous episode by sleeping together. But Zoe is distressed after she begrudgingly admits he's a Sex God that he only sees her as a "B-" in bed, thus reigniting their Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: "Kablang" has a scene with Zoe seductively emerging from the lake in a bikini and throwing her hair back, all done in Slow Motion while Wade openly gawks.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • George's parents, as well as Zoe's mother early on, are fans of a George and Zoe pairing.
    • Earl is very much on board for Zoe and Wade to be together.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Wade resents his brother a lot due to leaving him to take care of their father alone.
  • Skinny Dipping: During the Heat Wave episode Zoe fantasizes about Wade is doing this on their backyard lake. At the end of the episode, she goes swimming naked there for real.
  • Small Town Boredom: George has shades of this, which is why he lived in New York City before the start of the series and is attracted to NYC native Zoe.
  • Small Town Rivalry: Bluebell versus neighboring Fillmore. Lavon is perpetually competing with Fillmore's Mayor Gainey, and George is perpetually fighting with rival town lawyer Scooter McGreevey.
  • Southern Belle: Most of the female characters, but especially Lemon.
  • Spiritual Successor: Generally considered to be something of a throwback to the WB years in tone, it's most commonly compared to Dawson's Creek and Gilmore Girls (and see Quirky Town above) though opinions vary on whether or not it actually compares in quality. Zoe living in Lavon's backhouse and her day regularly starting out in Lavon's kitchen is at least a nod to The O.C..
  • Stepford Smiler: Lemon. She's a Type A. Also Annabeth, but she gets better.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Jesse is more successful than Wade, even buying a car to their father after he moved away from Bluebell, which made Wade resent Jesse since their father was a drunk and Wade had to fight him to keep him from driving.
  • Sudden Musical Ending: The series finale ends with the entire town of Bluebell performing a musical number in the town square.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Bluebell definitely counts.
  • Take That!: The reason Zoe is denied the cardiothoracic fellowship she wanted in the pilot could be seen as a shot at ''House; she's cold and brusque with her patients and doesn't care about them as people, preferring to focus only on their illnesses and injuries.
  • Talk Likea Pirate: Part of Bluebell's annual "Planksgiving" celebration in "The Pirate & The Practice."
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: In season 2, Wade and Lemon interview potential cooks and servers after buying the Rammer Jammer together. One or both of them veto every candidate. In an interesting variation, at the end of the episode, they are blackmailed into hiring one of the early interviewees, and she turns out to be a pretty good chef.
  • The Prankster: Lemon was this in high school and is still able to concoct a good revenge scheme.
  • Product Placement: After several failed attempts by Brick and Shelby to bribe Magnolia, she finally caves after receiving a brand-new Toyota Rav-4. The scene also involves a closeup of the various features in the navigation/console screen.
  • Those Two Guys: The three gossiping old ladies often seen passing remarks about Zoe.
  • Toplessness from the Back:
    • Happens when Zoe decides to go Skinny Dipping at the end of "In Havoc & in Heat".
    • Also occurs with Zoe in "Red Dye", when she pulls off a Sexy Coat Flashing on Wade.
  • Tsundere: Wade is sort of type 2, being mostly amicable, but with Zoe triggering his tsuntsun side more often than not (and vice versa).
  • Upper-Class Twit: Lemon's grandmother sets her up with one of Alabama's most eligible bachelors, Tanner Hughes, who turns out to be this.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Wade and Zoe as of the season three finale.
  • Wedding Deadline: In the finale, Zoe and Wade decide to get married before Zoe goes into labor with their baby. Their friends help rustle up a priest and a rabbi to perform a quick ceremony while she's enroute to the delivery room, but there's no discussion of actually getting a marriage license or making it legal.
  • Will They or Won't They?:
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Zoe towards her father, and Lemon towards her mother in the past.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Zoe & Wade's relationship in the early stages was this.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Bachelorettes & Bullets": Zoe starts something with a marine biologist, Jesse Kinsella. Lemon and George break up after she comes clean about the affair she had with Lavon.
    • "Blue Christmas": Zoe and Wade finally get into together in a real relationship, Wade talks to Crazy Earl about his mother's death and Crazy Earl's alcoholism (all overheard by Zoe), Lavon proposes to Ruby, Lemon tells Ruby about her affair with Lavon, Ruby dumps Lavon, and George finds Brick and his (George's) ex-girlfriend hooking up in Santa's workshop
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wade manages to deliver one to both Jesse and Zoe at the same time in "Bachelorettes & Bullets." Zoe gets one of those by George, too at the end of the episode, as does Lemon.
    • Zoe gets two, one from Lavon and the other from Rose's mother in "The Race & The Relationship."
    • Zoe gets two more in season two episode "I'm Moving On", one from Tansy for interfering with her relationship with George and one from Max's dad for assuming he's desperate to date her after one awkward blind date and for being too dramatic in her relationships generally.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: The plot centers around a ton of repeated Will They or Won't They? and Relationship Revolving Door couples.
  • Zoe, He Was Your Father: The true reason Harley wanted Zoe to take over his part of the clinic.


Video Example(s):


Emerging From a Lake

Zoe emerges out of a lake, throwing her hair in a backward arc and splashing water all around her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MermaidArcEmergence

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