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Series / Hope & Faith

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You know we don't have to talk about it
We got our different ways
But you know, in the end, we can laugh about it
Even though we can drive each other crazy
You know we don't have to worry
We will live, we will laugh and we'll love each other anyway
La la la la la la!
Season 1 Opening Theme song

Hope & Faith was an American sitcom that ran for three seasons (2003–06) on ABC, starring Faith Ford, Kelly Ripa, and Ted McGinley as well as a very young Megan Fox.

The show revolved around the two Fairfield sisters, Hope (Ford) and Faith (Ripa). Hope is a sensible married mother of three who has a nice calm life until Faith arrives on the scene. Faith is the complete opposite of her sister, an actress whose character on a soap opera has just been killed off and left her unemployed. She moves in with Hope and causes all kinds of disruptions in the family's life.

This sitcom provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Subverted. Hayley doesn't mind getting breasts, what she's terrified of is having to go shopping for bras with Hope after Sydney tells her about how embarrassing it was when she did it.
  • Actor Allusion: Faith and Handsome Hal (Regis Philbin) get an audition for a morning talk show as an obvious nod to Regis & Kelly.
    • Faith Fairfield getting her acting career start acting on a soap opera. Just like actress Kelly Ripa on All My Children.
  • Affectionate Parody: Faith's soap opera The Sacred & The Sinful is one of American soaps in general, as well as The Bold & The Beautiful.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Hoo boy. Pretty much every single guy you see Sydney with in various episodes is going to act like an sex-drive with legs incapable of keeping it in his pants or staying faithful.
  • Black Comedy Rape: A mild example. Charlie doesn't know that Faith is staying in the house and assumes that it's Hope in their bed (Hope had only left a few minutes ago) and so he climbs in and spoons her. The fun starts when Hope and Hayley walk into the room.
    Faith: Come on, let's be honest. What family hasn't had this happen?
  • Brainless Beauty: Faith and Sydney.
  • Brick Joke: One episode where Hayley is trying to prove she's the least favourite as the middle child has her saying that Justin and Sydney are in more pictures in the photo album than her. The epilogue has a scene where Hope and Charlie come into her room with a camera and say "we've got a lot of photos to take".
  • Brought Home the Wrong Kid: Faith takes care of a baby doll in one episode and brings it to the park one day, only to bring home a real baby. Being Faith, she assumes the doll came to life.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Justin steals a chocolate bar and returns it...only for the shopkeeper to call the police.
  • Cheek Copy: On "Hope Gets A Job" (Season 1, Episode 20), they both get jobs as newspaper columnists. As a prank, Hope photocopies one of her breasts and puts the picture in a manila envelope, which, of course, gets switched with the envelope containing the photo she wanted to use as her byline photo. When they are confronted about it, the printing press tears their dresses off.
  • Child Prodigy: Hayley. She's 12 but actually gets skipped two grades to high school.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: A minor example as Faith's therapist alludes to her husband leaving her.
  • Control Freak: Hope, as discovered when she gets a job as a sous chef.
    Faith: In elementary school she was that weird little girl always wiping down the monkey bars.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Sydney's guy of the week comes over to her house expecting to get it on with Faith and Hope ends up sending him home without his clothes.
  • Costume Porn: The episode where Faith and Sydney, and Hope and Hayley enter a mother-daughter fashion show.
  • Dawson Casting: Much like 8 Simple Rules there was a 16-year-old character played by a 26-year-old actress. In season 2 Nicole Paggi was replaced with Megan Fox making it 20 playing 17. Ironically Fox looked much older than Paggi.
    • In universe example when Faith impersonates a student at Sydney's school. She also alludes to having to shop in the Teen section to find clothes that fit.
  • Doomed Autographed Item: One episode had Justin accidentally destroying his Dad's baseball that was signed by Roger Clemens. Faith takes responsibility for the act so her nephew won't get in trouble. Hope and Faith spend the rest of the episode trying to replace the ball by pretending to be sport reporters who want to interview Roger Clemens.
  • Dumb Blonde: Faith. And her best friend Mandy.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Faith suggests paying for an expensive car by taking money out of the kids' college fun. "Come on, Justin isn't going to get to college! He thinks there's a place called New Mexico!"
  • Fallen Princess: Faith, in her own eyes. Former soap opera star now forced to live in the real world. She doesn't mature.
  • Finagle's Law: Ooh boy.
  • Gag Echo: One episode has Charlie and Hope go on about Faith's 'hurt face' when she gets annoyed. In The Stinger, when Wai-Lan calls Faith annoying, her subtitles read "oh, great, there's the 'hurt face'"
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Faith is the foolish sibling compared to her older sister Hope's responsible sibling, as Faith is unwed, has no children and always getting herself into trouble while Hope is a stable mature housewife and mother to three kids.
  • Generation Xerox: Sydney and Hayley being like a next generation version of their mother Hope always bicking with her irresponsible sister Faith.
  • The Ghost: Ivy, a bully at Hayley's school.
  • Halloween Episode: Three. The first just has Halloween as the opener. The second has Faith and Hope get trapped in a house with a crazy neighbour. The third has Hope being forced to throw a Halloween party that Sydney tries to sneak out of.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Faith shows the Gooch a diagram of a sex position she wants to try. He turns the paper upside down and says "I don't think I bend that way".
    • Hayley and a friend have this reaction when Sydney decides to take her thong off in the living room, not knowing they're behind her.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: In-universe example as Faith considers Hope to be overweight but her personal trainer refers to Hope as attractive and thin.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Faith goes to work for a car salesman called "Handsome" Hal, played by Regis Philbin. Both Regis and Kelly hosted their own talk show (Regis & Kelly). The Gooch (Faith's love interest) is also played by Kelly Ripa's real life husband Mark Consuelos.
  • Imagine Spot: In the penultimate season 1 episode, Faith has one of the soap opera cast welcoming her back with a musical number.
  • Incest Subtext: One episode has Faith pretend she and Hope are a lesbian couple. There's also another episode where Hope admits to giving Faith a personal spray-tan.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In a flashback to when Hope was pregnant Faith's narration says "Your mother was as big as a house but I knew better than to tell her". Cue Hope and Faith meeting up and Faith saying "Hope, you're as big as a house".
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Used by Justin when he's trying to get Hope to quit work.
    Justin: "I was up all night watching The Exorcist. I will never go to church or sleep again"
    Hope: "Charlie, how could you let him watch that? He still has nightmares from Elmo In Grouchland"
  • Latin Lover: The Gooch.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Hope and Faith discover they have a half-brother (who is not named Charity) Jay played by Johnny Galecki.
  • May–December Romance: Faith and Hope's father and Faith's best friend Mandy.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Hayley.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: In one episode, Faith suspects Charlie of having an affair and (through sheer coincidence) thinks it's with Wai-Lan, their visiting violinist from China.
  • Missing Mom: It's revealed in a Thanksgiving episode that Faith and Hope's mother died of a heart attack.
  • Plastic Bitch: One episode had Hope mention how Faith had surgery on her nose. Faith is, of course, depicted as the more shallow and irresponsible of the two sisters.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Faith, Hope, Hayley, Sydney (only in season 1).
  • Propping Up Their Patsy: There's an episode centered on a trial of a woman accused of trying to poison her husband. In truth, she was being framed by her husband and daughter. During the trial, the woman's daughter acts as her character witness. She tells an anecdote about how she always fed her husband soup while he was sick, even when he didn't want to eat it, citing it as proof that she cared about him. The prosecution is quick to point out that the soup was found to be dosed with poison.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In season 2 Sydney actually spends a while trying to attract a boy scout who is smart and kind.
  • Skewed Priorities: Faith says of joining the army...
    "Now I would give my life for my country, but my hair!?"
    • And when Hope ruins her dress in the fashion show and apologises, Faith ignores it and orders her to apologise for a "cottage cheese thighs" comment earlier.
  • The Talk: Hope has to give it at Sydney's school and resorts to using puppets such as Abby Abstinence and Peter Peer Pressure.
  • Theme Naming: The kids' names (Hayley, Justin, and Sydney) were clearly inspired by the soap opera genre.
  • There Are No Therapists: Played straight until season 3 when Faith is sent to see a therapist and does so regularly. It doesn't really seem to have much effect on her.
  • Tickle Torture: Faith seems to get it a decent amount of it.
    • In “Faith’s Husband”, Bob, Faith's separated husband played by Tom Arnold, picks Faith up to carry her to his RV but, in protest, she holds on to the door frame, begging Hope to help her. Hope, who is eager to get her sister out of the house, tickles Faith's underarms to keep her from holding onto the door, causing her to let go during her giggle fit.
      • Faith receives it again, this time as punishment courtesy of her nephew, Justin, in “Aru-Bah Humbug”. Justin admits to his mother that he knew his aunt, who is now stuck in the chimney, was playing Santa Claus and seems fairly alright with it. After Hope runs up to the roof to help pull her out, Justin rips off one of Faith’s boots. When asked what he’s doing, Justin retorts with “This is for impersonating Santa Claus!” and sadistically scribbles his fingers under Faith’s foot. Faith laughs hysterically and Justin only stops when she claims she has to pee.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: By the season 1 finale, "But you see, my name isn't Brooke Spencer. My real name is actually Spencer Brooke!" *Takes off wig, voice deepens*
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Partly based on the life of actress Joanna Johnson, former cast member of The Bold & The Beautiful.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: "Jury Duty" had Hope serving on a jury, while Faith watches the trial. It's revealed that the defendant is being framed for attempted murder by her husband and daughter. These two would be more at home in a Soap Opera, not a family friendly sitcom. Appropriately, Faith who uncovered their plot, is a soap opera star.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: A variation where Hope and Charlie decide to sneak off to motels and other places during the week for alone time while lying to Faith about PTA meetings.
  • Wild Teen Party: In season 1 though Sydney and Hayley manage to clear the house before the parents get home.
  • Womanchild: Faith of course.
  • Women Are Wiser: Hope and Hayley are this in comparison to Charlie and Justin. Averted with Faith and Sydney who are even worse.