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Life in The ’80s in an upper-middle-class cul-de-sac in California.

In the mid-1970s, David Jacobs (Family, later Lois & Clark) and Michael Filerman (later Falcon Crest) created Knots Landing, a concept for a Prime Time Soap inspired by Ingmar Bergman's 1973 film, Scenes from a Marriage. It would center around four families in suburban California. Initially rejected in 1977, Jacobs went on to create Dallas, which proved wildly popular. Jacobs then re-visited Knots Landing, turning it into a Spin-Off by inserting one of the Ewing brothers, Black Sheep middle brother Gary.

On the Dallas third season episode "Return Engagements" (December 21, 1979), a Poorly Disguised Pilot, Gary (Ted Shackelford) remarried ex-wife Valene Clements Ewing (Joan Van Ark), and Gary's mother bought them a house in California to get away from the other turmoil in the Ewing family. Their daughter Lucy, already almost an adult herself, did not resettle with them, and only appeared on this show as a guest in the first season. The house was one of several his brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy) was flipping to take advantage of California's housing boom at the time.

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The pilot episode has them meeting their neighbors in the cul-de-sac, Seaview Circle. One of those neighbors, Karen Fairgate (Michele Lee), was the real star of the show.

During the first few seasons, occasional guest appearances by Dallas cast would occur, especially Gary's brothers Bobby and J.R. (Larry Hagman). However, the last crossover between the two series would occur when Gary got the news that Bobby died at the beginning of their 7th season. Though Bobby's death was retconned from Dallas, Knots Landing was not treated in the same way. Bobby was never mentioned in Knots Landing again and the two series were treated separately from that point on.

Knots Landing ran from December 27, 1979 to May 13, 1993. It's fondly remembered by its fans, but wasn't nearly as popular as Dallas, though both were equal Long-Runners (both ran for 14 seasons). Like Gary, it became something of a black sheep. It's only seen its first two seasons released on DVD.

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This show provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Michael's difficulties coping with his ADHD in Season Two probably would have been continued in Season Three and beyond if his father Sid had not been killed off at the beginning of the third season.
    • Eric's relationship with his African-American girlfriend Whitney in Seasons Six and Seven is a very straightforward example. Beginning in "A Piece of the Pie", there is a story arc over several episodes in which Eric is being very secretive about his new girlfriend. He lied to Karen and Mack, telling them that he was just hanging out with the guys but they could see right through him as he was wearing a very nice suit. It wasn't until two episodes later that he even confirmed that he had a girlfriend and told them her name but he still seemed reluctant to bring her over. In the following episode "For Better, For Worse", he brought her to Joshua and Cathy's wedding and introduced her to Mack and Valene. Karen wasn't there because she was investigating Mitch Ackerman, the doctor who stole Val's babies. True to form, Mack teased Eric by saying that Whitney was too good for him. In the next episode "Four, No Trump", Eric brought Whitney to dinner and everyone was very taken with her with Karen describing her as sweet, adorable and very bright. However, Eric seemed almost upset that no one seemed to take any notice of the fact that she was black. Not because he thought that everyone in the cul-de-sac, including Karen and Mack, were closet racists but because he seemingly wanted to be a romantic hero of the old mould and defend her honour. Lilimae accused him of being old fashioned and wanting to be a star-crossed lover but reassured him that they had come a long way since Romeo and Juliet. Whitney returned in the Season Seven episode "A Little Assistance" in which Eric told her that he was thinking about moving out. The implication was that he and Whitney would eventually move in together. After all that build-up, Whitney is never seen or mentioned again and Eric continues to live at home until leaving for college at the end of Season Eight, about a year and a half later. The reason that this arc was aborted was that Troy Beyer, who played Whitney, was cast as Dominique Deveraux's daughter Jackie in another prime time soap opera, Dynasty. Considering how much Karen later hated Eric's wife Linda, she probably wished that he and Whitney had stayed together and he had married her instead. Nevertheless, it is notable as the first interracial relationship in Knots Landing, something which never happened in the original Dallas.
    • In Season Eight, one of Valene's major storylines, beginning in "Over the Edge", is that she is adapting her novel Capricorn Crude into a TV film. It lasts for five episodes before being unceremoniously dropped and never mentioned again after "A Plan of Action". In Back to the Cul-de-Sac, Valene is adapting her subsequent book Hostage into a feature film and Clay McKinney is assigned to be her co-writer as it is specifically stated that she has never written a screenplay before.
    • In Season Twelve, Frank's major storyline is his burgeoning relationship with Julie's English teacher Charlotte Anderson in the aftermath of Pat's death in the Season Eleven finale "Let's Get Married". Their relationship got more serious as the season progressed to the point that it seemed as if they would eventually get married and Charlotte would essentially become the Mack to Frank's Karen. However, they seemingly broke up at some point after Charlotte's last appearance in "Play, Pause, Search, Part I" as she is never mentioned in Season Thirteen, during which Frank has a brief relationship with the much younger Debbie Porter (played by Halle Berry).
    • In the Season Twelve finale "Play, Pause, Search, Part II", Paige's former fiancée Detective Tom Ryan (last seen boarding a plane to Brussels with a briefcase containing $1,000,000 in "The Lady or the Tiger?") turns up at the Sumner Group to interview her about the disappearance of Brian Johnston. Although it seems as if Tom would once again be a major character in Season Thirteen, the new writing staff chose not to continue the storyline. In the Season Thirteen premiere "The Gun Also Rises", Paige explains to Linda (who had tried to frame her) that she was not a suspect in Johnston's disappearance and the police had only asked routine questions. However, Tom returned for an unrelated storyline in Season Fourteen after another change in the writing staff.
  • The Alcoholic: Gary Ewing.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: In Season Six, Valene has a nervous breakdown because no one will believe her when she says that she heard her supposedly stillborn babies cry after they were born. She loses her memory and comes to believe that her name is Verna Ellers, taking a job as a waitress in Shula, Tennessee. Notably, Val's alternate identity contains traces of her real one as her initials are V.E., she is originally from Tennessee and she worked as a waitress before she moved to Knots Landing.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: In the early seasons, Diana tended to view Michael in this way.
  • As Himself:
    • Zsa Zsa Gabor, Billy Curtis and Mike Douglas in "Svengali".
    • Dick Sargent in "Weighing of Evils".
    • Mary Lou Retten in "Letting Go".
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Michael Fairgate is diagnosed as having ADHD, referred to by its then commonly used name of hyperkineticity, in the Season Two episode "Scapegoats".
  • Amicably Divorced: Although Gary and Valene's separation is extremely acrimonious, they eventually come to an understanding and remain close friends after their (second) divorce.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The audience is never given an exact answer of what happened to Val's second husband Ben Gibson, as he went to South America and never came back.
  • Back for the Finale: Valene (who also came back for the Dallas finale) and Abby.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the Series Finale "Just Like Old Times", Nigel Treadwell points a gun at Nick. A shot is heard. Treadwell falls over dead. It turns out that Vanessa shot him while he had his back to her.
  • Bar Brawl: Gary, while drunk, gets into one in "Bottom of the Bottle, Part I".
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Throughout the second season, the only one in which they were both regular characters, Sid's Big Brother Instinct towards Abby (who is fourteen years younger than him) often blinds him to her faults and/or leads him to make excuses for her behaviour.
    • Also in Season Two, Sid's son Eric is very kind and considerate towards his younger brother Michael after he is diagnosed with ADHD. Their older sister Diana, not so much.
  • Big Eater: Michael's seemingly limitless appetite is a Running Gag from Seasons Six to Eight. His cousin Brian inherited this characteristic in Season Eight and the gag continued until his departure in Season Ten.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter:
    • Diana and then some. She always had elements of this but they increased after Sid's death.
    • It clearly runs in the family as Annie, Sid's daughter from his first marriage and Diana's older half-sister, demonstrates the same qualities in abundance in the pilot.
  • Breather Episode: "Birds Do It, Bees Do It", a light-hearted episode about sex, comes immediately after the conclusion of the Crazy Jill storyline which featured several very intense episodes.
  • Cain and Abel: JR Ewing and Gary.
  • Chromosome Casting: "The Three Sisters", in which the women of Seaview Circle visit an allegedly haunted house, is the only episode not to feature any of the male regular characters. The only male character is an unnamed local who appears in one scene.
  • Crossover with Dallas (at least until Season 4, completely cut off by Dallas' "Dream Season").
  • Crossover Couple: From their first meeting in "A Family Matter", there is an immediate attraction between J.R. and Abby. Each sees the other as a kindred spirit due to their shared love of money and power and their tendency to use blackmail and manipulation to achieve them. However, it is based more on lust than love. After the two of them have sex in "Designs", J.R. wishes that they could patent what they just invented.
  • Dead Guy Junior: A rather bizarre example given later developments. In "The Christening", Valene names her son Bobby in honour of Gary's late brother Bobby Ewing, who was killed by Katherine Wentworth in the Dallas episode "Swan Song". Although Bobby was resurrected by virtue of the Dream Season revelation, his namesake nephew retained his name.
  • Deadly Closing Credits:
    • A partial subversion in "Silent Mission". The Wolfbridge Group hires a hitman to kill Gary so that Abby will inherit his money and Lotus Point can remain open. A shooting takes place on Gary's ranch but the victim is not seen. Rather than the episode ending at that point, Valene arrives at the ranch and Mack tells her that Gary is dead. The next episode "Finishing Touches" is a textbook example of Our Hero Is Dead. It deals with the community's reactions to Gary's murder, especially those of Valene and Abby, and a funeral is held. It is revealed at the end of that episode that Gary is still alive. In the following episode "Yesterday, It Rained", it transpires that the hitman had killed Ray Geary, Cathy's ex-husband who was himself planning to kill Gary. Mack used the incident as a way to get to Wolfbridge.
    • A more straightforward example occurred in "Survival of the Fittest". Ben has been ordered to kill Greg by Jean Hackney, who tells him that she will kill Valene and the twins if he refuses to comply. Ben confronts Greg in Ben's office at Galveston Industries with a gun and the episode ends with the sound of a shot being fired as the two men struggle with the gun. The next episode "In Mourning" is another example of Our Hero Is Dead in which Jean Hackney tells her superior that Greg is dead and that she saw a body bag leaving Galveston Industries. She then leaks the story of Greg's death to a newspaper in spite of the lack of conclusive proof that he is dead. While claiming that his "brother" is merely missing, Peter takes advantage of the situation by announcing his intention to take over control of Galveston Industries for the time being. Greg then turns up alive and well and Valene begins to worry that Ben is dead. The following episode "Nightmare" reveals that Ben is still alive and Mack, having convinced him to put the gun down, had him smuggled out of Galveston Industries in the body bag.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Mack and, to a lesser extent, Karen.
    • Greg is one too.
  • Disappointing Older Sibling: Eric, and to a lesser extent Michael, viewed Diana as such during her marriage to Chip in Season Five.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Abby was introduced as the series' creator David Jacobs wanted a female J.R.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Eight years after their second divorce, Gary and Valene married for the third time in the 300th episode "The Last One Out".
  • Dying Alone: Laura Avery Sumner when she goes off to a clinic to die of a brain tumor.
  • '80s Hair: Karen Fairgate, Abby Fairgate, Cathy Geary and Valene Ewing are some of the more prominent examples. Joan Van Ark refers to Val's "fe-mullet" 'do on the 2005 re-union show.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Mack's first name is Marion. This was not revealed to the audience until Season Eight, Mack's fifth season, when Karen reads a letter supposedly written by Anne (which she never sent to Mack) mentioning his first name in "The Inside Man". Karen's lack of reaction indicates that she was, unsurprisingly, already aware of this even if the audience weren't.
  • Estranged Soap Family:
    • The Texas Ewings after Season Four. It ran both ways as Gary never turned up for major family events at Southfork after Bobby's death in the Dream Season - and seldom did beforehand. His absence from said events was never explained.
    • Between her departure in the Season Six episode "Calculated Risks" and her return in three episodes of Season Fourteen, Diana is seldom mentioned, even when Karen is talking about her experiences raising Eric and Michael. She is absent from numerous major events in her family's lives such as Eric being hospitalised after contracting arsenic poisoning in Season Seven, Karen being kidnapped in Season Eight (she does speak to Eric over the phone after Karen is rescued in "Slow Burn" but he seems desperate to get her off the phone before Karen arrives home) and Karen and Mack adopting Meg in Season Nine. Her return in Season Fourteen only served to highlight the odd situation as "The Way Things Were" was implied to be the first time that she had ever met Meg.
    • Due to Steve Shaw's tragic death, Eric is never mentioned after the Season Thirteen episode "House of Cards" (which aired almost a year after he died). As such, Eric's absence from Karen and Mack's 15th anniversary party in Back to the Cul-de-Sac is not explained.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Like her sometime brother-in-law and one-time lover J.R., Abby was never truly evil, "merely" extremely manipulative, ruthless and immoral in her personal and business dealings, but she does have occasional moments which illustrate this trope. The most notable occurs in Season Six in which she is guilt stricken over the fact that Valene's babies were kidnapped and secretly adopted as a result of an idle remark that she made to an unscrupulous lawyer about wishing that she could be rid of the babies. She later begins searching for them and tells Valene that they are still alive, though she doesn't reveal her admittedly indirect involvement. The original idea was that Abby would take the initiative in kidnapping the babies but Donna Mills objected on the grounds that the series' female viewers - who made up the bulk of its audience - would never forgive Abby and the storyline was changed as a result.
  • Evil Matriarch:
    • Greg's mother Ruth Galveston Sumner in Season Six.
    • Her daughter Claudia Whittaker inherited her title in Seasons Twelve to Fourteen.
  • Fake Band: Kenny is the record producer for the bands Cosmic Steeple, a fake band populated by Fake Brits, and Kiwi Surprise, who are from New Zealand as their name suggests.
  • Family Man:
    • Sid and Mack in succession towards the same family.
    • Ben meets the qualifications except for his brief affair with Cathy in Season Seven.
  • Final Season Casting: Having been with the show since the beginning, Joan Van Ark (Valene) left the series at the end of Season Thirteen to do a sitcom which was never made.
  • First Love:
    • Gary and Valene were each other's first love, which led to Lucy being conceived and their first, brief marriage when he was 17 and she was 15. After Jock and J.R. split them up and they were forced to get a divorce shortly after Lucy was born, it was another 16 years before they were reunited in the aptly titled Dallas second season premiere "Reunion" in 1978.
    • Karen's college boyfriend Teddy Becker was her first love. At the time that she was seeing Teddy, Karen was also dating Sid and Diana was conceived as a result. In "One of a Kind", this leads Teddy to believe that he may be Diana's biological father.
    • Chip Roberts was Diana's first love in Seasons Four and Five. He murdered Ciji and she married him after he admitted it to her because she thought that it proved how much he loved her. They weren't exactly the ideal couple.
    • As seen in several flashbacks to the summer of 1967 (the Summer of Love itself!) in Season Eight, Anne Winston (later Anne Matheson) was Mack's first love when he was in his early twenties. He didn't realise until 1986 that they had conceived a daughter named Paige.
    • Also in Season Eight, Paige seems to have been Michael's first love. This was significant because, since Season Six, he had had the reputation of dating many different girls, seldom going out with the same girl more than once. Their former relationship proves important in two respects in Season Nine. In "If Not Now, When?", it was revealed that he lost his virginity to Paige. Much more significantly, in "Discovery", Michael tells Olivia that he contemplated suicide after Paige rejected him and he is not sure what would have happened if Mack had not come home early that day. This admission leads Olivia to seek counselling after her own suicide attempt in the previous episode "Just Desserts".
    • Charles Scott was Abby's first love when she was a 19-year-old junior college student in Philadelphia in the late 1960s. He was first mentioned, though not by the name, in the Season Eight finale "Cement the Relationship". Their relationship was shown in flashbacks in the Season Nine episode "Love In". Charles was from a very wealthy family while Abby was working her way through college as a bookkeeper in the garage where Sid worked. Abby entertained the notion of marrying Charles but his family forced him into marrying a young socialite named Judith. He told Abby that he wanted to continue their relationship but she was not interested in being his mistress. He showed up at Lotus Point 20 years later in Season Nine and they began a new relationship, though it transpired that he had ulterior motives for re-entering her life.
    • Joseph Barringer is Kate's first love in Season Thirteen. She lost her virginity to him.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Michael Fairgate and Paige Matheson have an affair in Season Eight.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • Joshua in spades.
    • After his brief time in prison, Danny pretends to be one for the first two episodes of Season Twelve but, by this time, Gary, Valene and everyone else know that he has lied about pretty much everything so they aren't fooled for a moment.
  • Gaslighting: In Season Nine, Jill tries to convince Valene that she is going insane. The first part of her plan involves hiring the forger Mrs. Bailey to write Valene letters in Ben's handwriting in order to convince her that Ben is returning home after almost a year in South America without a word from him. This essentially serves as a prelude to the gaslighting to make Valene more susceptible to it. Jill then obtains tape recordings of Ben's voice from his time as a TV journalist at PWC and edits them to form messages to Valene which she leaves on her answering machine. The first of them has Ben say that he is returning home soon. Valene excitedly tells Gary, Karen and Mack the good news but she is unable to locate the tape with the message on it so they all begin to suspect that it may have been just her imagination. What she doesn't realise is that Jill broke into her house and stole the tape to discredit her and make her doubt herself.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Paige Matheson, numerous times at the Sumner Group.
  • The Ghost: A rather odd example in the case of Abby's son Brian. He was played by Bobby Jacoby in Seasons Two through Six. He was not seen at all in Season Seven in spite of numerous mentions and the fact that many scenes feature his home Westfork and his elder sister Olivia. Typically, when they were explained at all, his absences were explained by saying that he was staying at a friend's house or simply asleep. Brian returned to the screen in Season Eight where he was played by Brian Austin Green, who continued in the role until Season Ten and later returned for the miniseries Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac. Before his return in Season Eight, Brian was in danger of following in the steps of his cousin Annie and becoming a victim of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
  • Give the Baby a Father: Averted in the case of Ben and Valene. Ben proposes to Valene in Season Five when he thinks that she is pregnant with his twins but breaks up with her when he learns that Gary is the father. They eventually reconcile in Season Six some time after the babies are (seemingly) stillborn and marry in Season Seven, shortly after the babies are found alive and returned to Valene.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Abby's usual parenting style until Olivia's drug problem in Season Eight. After that, she becomes much more hands on.
  • Happily Married: Karen and Sid and, after Sid's death, Karen and Mack.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • The women of Seaview Circle are taken hostage by three armed robbers during Ginger's baby shower in "Moments of Truth".
    • Laura and Jason Avery are held hostage by Richard, having suffered a nervous breakdown, in their house in "Night".
    • Karen, Mack, Meg and Jason Lochner are taken hostage in their house by Brian Johnston in "House of Cards".
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Donna Mills' amazing blue eyes are perfect for flashing a wicked grin or dirty look — whichever is required.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • A photograph of Claudia Lonow in period dress is used to represent Sid and Abby's grandmother in "One of a Kind". This proves to the audience that she is Sid's daughter and not Teddy's.
    • Nicollette Sheridan plays Paige's mother Anne Winston (later Anne Matheson) in several flashback scenes in Season Eight.
  • Identical Stranger: Ciji Dunne and Cathy Geary were played by the same actress, though were completely different people. Unlike many examples of this trope, Cathy and Ciji never met as the former arrived at Knots Landing after the latter's murder.
  • I Have No Son!: In "Rise and Fall", after finding Joshua preparing to throw Cathy off a roof, Lilimae tells him not to call her "Momma," that she is ashamed of him for the way that he destroys people and that she has no son. A shocked Joshua then backs off the roof and plunges to his death.
  • I See Dead People: In "My Bullet", Greg is either visited by the ghosts of his father Paul Galveston and daughter Mary Frances or simply imagines them.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Valene's three books are all based on events from her life and/or those of people that she knows.
    • Her debut novel Capricorn Crude, which becomes a No. 1 bestseller, concerns the machinations of a Texas family in the oil business. Gary hates it because of how closely it is based on his family and how negatively it portrays them. The ensuing arguments are a major reason behind his affair with Abby, which eventually led to his and Valene's second divorce.
    • Her second novel Nashville is based on Lilimae's unsuccessful attempts to become a professional country-western singer.
    • Her third book Hostage is an autobiographical account of being held prisoner by Nigel Treadwell's men for almost a year.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gregory Sumner.
  • Jerkass:
    • Richard Avery takes the cake, also Gary when he's been drinking.
    • Kenny certainly has his moments as well.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Sid flatlined in surgery after a car crash, at the start of season 3. His actor, Don Murray, was credited as a regular for the first episode of the season, so viewers would be surprised by his death.
    • Laura died of a brain tumor in season 9.
    • Joshua fell off a roof and died from his injuries, in season 7.
    • Ciji was murdered in season 5, prompting a murder mystery.
    • Jill killed herself while trying to frame Gary for her kidnapping, in season 10.
    • Subverted. Val was believed to have died in a car explosion at the conclusion of season 13, though turned up alive at the end of the following season, the series finale.
  • Large Ham: Karen Fairgate on a few occasions, most notably in the pilot episode where she confronts Sid's Bratty Teenage Daughter who was staying with them for a week.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In "A Little Assistance", Eric says, "Living in this cul-de-sac is like living in the middle of a soap opera."
    • In "Pressure Points", after finding out about Paige, Greg says to Laura, "Spare me the details. I already have this weird sensation that all your friends have soap opera lives, except us."
    • In "Half-Truths", after her sister-in-law Abby is charged with the murder of Peter Hollister, Karen says that it is the sort of thing that "happens on television. It's a soap opera. Doesn't happen to real people like me."
    • In "Dial M for Modem", Mack says to Karen, "The way you are, everybody you know has to be related until life with you is like living in a soap opera."
    • In "Mixed Messages", Greg says, "These elevators really get a workout," an in-joke referring to the large number of scenes set in the elevators at the Sumner Group from Season Ten to Season Twelve.
    • In the 300th episode "The Last One Out", Gary and Valene briefly discuss some of the down parts of their up-and-down relationship, especially the obstacles which seem to have kept them away from the altar all year long:
      Valene: "Every time we wait, something goes wrong, we don't get together. Every time we put it off, we have some kind of delay. Something happens and we don't get married. It's like a comedy."
      Gary: "I think it's more like a soap opera."
  • Like Father, Like Son: Sid and his sons Eric and Michael are all very nice, principled and reliable. However, Michael, who always means well, does make his fair share of poor choices in life which his father and older brother would have avoided such as his affair with his stepsister Paige in Season Eight and his affair with Eric's wife Linda in Season Eleven.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Michele Lee (Karen) and Ted Shackelford (Gary) were the only actors who were regular cast members for all 14 seasons, though Joan Van Ark (Valene) was a regular for the first thirteen and returned for the Series Finale.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In the Season Six episode "Calculated Risks", Lilimae's nephew Joshua Rush turns up on Valene's doorstep, wanting to know more about his late mother. It doesn't take very long for Valene to figure out that Lilimae is Joshua's real mother and, after some understandable reluctance, Lilimae tells Joshua as much.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Kenny, Ginger and Sylvie in Seasons One and Two.
    • Gary, Valene and Judy Trent in Season Two.
    • Karen, Sid and Linda Striker in Season Two.
    • Kenny, Ginger and Karl in Season Two.
    • Gary, Valene and Abby in Season Three. Gary's affair with Abby led to his and Valene's separation and second divorce. Although Gary and Valene eventually married for the third time, Valene never forgives Abby. Her dislike of her continues right up until Back to the Cul-de-Sac.
    • Diana, Ciji and Chip in Season Four.
    • Gary, Abby and Cathy in Season Five.
    • Gary, Valene and Ben in Season Five, though Ben remains self-conscious about Gary and Valene's history until about Season Seven.
    • Ben, Valene and Cathy in Season Seven.
    • Karen, Mack and Jill in Season Seven.
    • Gary, Abby and Jill in Seasons Seven and Eight.
    • Michael, Paige and Peter in Season Eight.
    • Karen, Mack and Anne in Season Eight and, briefly in Karen's mind, Season Twelve.
    • Gary, Valene and Jill from Seasons Eight to Ten. However, it was only a love triangle in Jill's increasingly demented mind for most of Season Ten since Gary was no longer in love with her (if he ever was at all) and was correctly convinced that she was dangerous by then.
    • Paige, Greg and Johnny in Season Nine.
    • Abby, Greg and Paige in Season Ten is a subversion. Paige was in love with Greg but he was not in love with her while Greg and Abby's marriage was more of a business venture based on their mutual love of money and power than a love match.
    • Gary, Frank and Patricia in Season Ten. This is a somewhat odd example as, for once, Gary doesn't realise that he is in a love triangle as he never learns that Pat has feelings for him.
    • Michael, Johnny and Ellen in Season Ten.
    • Mack, Karen and Paula in Seasons Ten and Eleven, though Karen didn't realise it until Season Eleven.
    • Similar to Gary, Valene and Jill for most of Season Ten, Gary, Amanda and Danny in Season Eleven was only a love triangle in Danny's warped, manipulative mind since Amanda, his ex-wife, justifiably despised him and was frightened of him even before he raped her.
    • Gary, Valene and Danny in Season Eleven. Similar to the above but further complications arose due to Valene not believing Gary when he told her that Amanda raped Gary.
    • Gary, Valene and Amanda in Season Eleven, again subject to the aforementioned issues.
    • Greg, Paige and Paula in Season Eleven.
    • Eric, Michael and Linda in Season Eleven.
    • Greg, Anne and Paula in Season Eleven.
    • Greg, Paige and Anne from Seasons Twelve to Fourteen (though on and off).
    • Michael, Linda and Greg in Season Twelve, though only very briefly and Michael never finds out about Linda's relationship with Greg even after they break up.
    • Paige, Pierce and Victoria in Season Thirteen.
    • Paige, Greg and Pierce in Season Thirteen. Similar to the Jill and Danny examples, it was only one in Pierce's demented mind by halfway through the season.
    • Kate, Alex and Vanessa in Seasons Thirteen and Fourteen.
    • Gary, Valene and Kate in the Series Finale "Just Like Old Times" and Back to the Cul-de-Sac. (Even for soap opera characters, Gary and Valene are involved in a lot of love triangles.) The seeds for this one were sown in the Season Twelve episodes "A Horse is a Horse" and "Play, Pause, Search, Part I" in which Claudia told Valene that Kate had a crush on Gary. Like most things that Claudia says, this turns out to be a lie.
  • Meddling Parents: Karen's children occasionally accuse her of being one, though she often has good reason for interfering in their lives, most notably when Diana marries the admitted murderer Chip Roberts in Season Five.
  • Negative Continuity: From Season Four of Knots Landing onwards, Negative Continuity with respect to Dallas and vice versa is readily apparent.
    • Although Bobby's "resurrection" represented the permanent parting of the ways between the two show's continuities (at least until Gary and Valene's return in the Dallas Revival 27 years later), things had already been heading in that direction for several years. No Dallas characters appeared in Knots Landing after the latter's fourth season and, other than Bobby's death, the only major Dallas storyline that ever had a significant impact on Knots Landing was Jock's death as Gary inherited $10 million in his father's will. After the reading of said will in Dallas' sixth season, Gary only made two further appearances on that series: in the ninth season premiere "The Family Ewing" in which he returned to Southfork for Bobby's funeral and in the Series Finale "Conundrum" which has a It's a Wonderful Plot in which J.R. is shown what would have happened to the Ewings and others if he had never been born. "Conundrum" also marked Valene's only Dallas appearance after its fifth season.
    • Prior to Bobby's death and resurrection, the most extreme example of this lack of Continuity Overlap is the fact that Lucy only appears in one episode of Knots Landing in spite of the fact that she is Gary and Valene's daughter. The original plan, as discussed in early episodes of Knots Landing and contemporaneous episodes of Dallas, was for Lucy to move out to California to live with her parents but this idea was abandoned. Speaking of Gary and Valene's children, the Dallas Dream Season revelation meant that their twins Bobby (named after his "late" uncle) and Betsy are never mentioned in Dallas. Miss Ellie seemingly never found out that she had two other grandchildren while Lucy seemingly never found out that she had two younger siblings. Less extreme examples include Miss Ellie never visiting her supposed favourite son in Knots Landing once in fourteen years, none of the Texas Ewings bar J.R. ever meeting Gary's second wife Abby and Gary's unexplained absence from various family events in Dallas. In the Dallas / Knots Landing universe, Texas and California might as well be at opposite ends of the galaxy.
  • Not Himself: Val — after the abduction of her twins sends her over the edge and into schizophrenic state, she takes on the personality of "Verna Ellers", a diner waitress back in Tennessee.
  • Oceanic Airlines: In the Series Finale "Just Like Old Times", Anne, Nick and Claudia get a Pan Oceanic flight to Paris.
  • Only in It for the Money: Abby's main reason for marrying Gary Ewing.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: The Season Three episode "The Three Sisters" was a Paranormal Episode in which the women of Seaview Circle visit a supposedly haunted house.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Karen.
  • Overprotective Dad: Sid.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lilimae abandoned both Valene and Joshua in order to pursue her country music career, which never took off. She eventually came to deeply regret her actions and both of her children forgave her years later. In Joshua's case, however, it was less straightforward as his father told him that his mother was dead and he was initially under the impression that Lilimae was his maternal aunt.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time:
    • In the series' very first scene, Sid comes home from work early because of a bad cold and finds his daughter Annie in his and Karen's bed with a random guy.
    • A variation in Season Eight. In "Brothers and Mothers", Eric walked in on his younger brother Michael cuddling with their stepsister Paige and quickly came to the obvious conclusion. Eric was furious as he thought that it would have an adverse effect on the family, especially Karen and Mack's marriage, and the two of them got into a fistfight.
    • There was a more straightforward application two episodes later. In "A Turn of Events", Karen entered Michael's room late at night to pick his clothes off the floor and discovered him and Paige in bed together asleep. Or so she thought as it turned out that Paige was only pretending to be asleep.
  • Parent with New Paramour:
    • When Karen starts dating Mack in Season Four, Diana dislikes him intensely to begin with but she eventually grows to like him. On the other hand, her younger brothers Eric and Michael liked Mack right from the start, though it did take Eric some time to get used to no longer being the man of the house after Karen and Mack married and Mack moved in with them in "A New Family".
    • In Season Eleven, Bobby and Betsy hate Valene's new boyfriend and eventual husband Danny. It turns out that they are much more perceptive than she is.
  • The Pollyanna: Poor, poor Val — despite all that life throws at her, as Karen says, she's like "the little engine who could". However, Michele Lee (Karen) wanted her character to be a "Pollyanna".
  • Present Absence: After his death in Season Three, Sid's absence hangs over Karen, their children and Abby for most of the year, less so afterwards. Although his death did not have as big an impact as either Jock's death or Bobby's (temporary) death in Dallas, his presence was felt throughout the rest of the series in small ways.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fancy furs are worn, as was the norm for these series.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles:
    • Julie Harris (Lilimae) in Season Four, having guest starred once in Season One and having been a recurring guest star in Season Three.
    • Claudia Lonow (Diana) in (only) Season Five, having been with the series since the pilot. She appeared as a guest star in two episodes of Season Six but was not seen again until she returned for three episodes of Season Fourteen.
    • Lisa Hartman (Cathy) in Season Six. This is a less straightforward example than the others as she played Ciji in Season Four and the Identical Stranger Cathy in Season Five.
    • Nicollette Sheridan (Paige) in Season Ten, having been with the series since the end of Season Seven.
    • Teri Austin (Jill) in (only) Season Ten, having been with the series since Season Six.
    • Tonya Crowe (Olivia) in (only) Season Eleven, having been with the series since the second season premiere.
    • Pat Petersen (Michael) in Season Eleven, having been with the series since the pilot. He left in Season Twelve, making him the longest serving actor other than Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark.
    • Larry Riley (Frank) in Season Twelve, having been with the series since Season Nine.
    • Michelle Phillips (Anne) in Season Twelve, having previously appeared in Seasons Eight, Ten and Eleven.
    • Stacy Galina (Kate) and Kathleen Noone (Claudia) in Season Thirteen, having both had recurring roles in Season Twelve. Similar to Lisa Hartman, Stacy Galina had first appeared as another character, Kate's cousin Mary Frances Sumner, in four episodes of Season Eleven.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend:
    • In Jill's case, it began while she and Gary were still a couple. In the Season Nine finale "The Perfect Crime", Jill tries to kill Valene by forcing her at gunpoint to take a bottle of sleeping pills. She survives and, after regaining consciousness in the Season Ten episode "Borderline", accuses Jill of attempting to kill her. However, Gary and pretty much everyone else (bar Pat and Frank) believe that she was only hallucinating, especially since Jill was seemingly in San Francisco that night. Gary, Mack and Karen do not begin to suspect the truth until "Mrs. Peacock in the Library with the Lead Pipe" when they discover that Jill does not have VD in spite of the fact that she supposedly slept with David Lamb, who thought that he caught it from her. Jill, who drugged David, had used having sex with him in San Francisco as a major part of her alibi. After all of her lies were fully exposed, Jill's bound and gagged dead body is found in the boot of Gary's Jaguar in "Poor Jill" and he is charged with her murder in the following episode "Double Jeopardy". In "Guilty Until Proven Innocent", Mack, Karen and Frank figure out that Jill had committed suicide by choking on her own vomit after tying up and gagging herself and locking herself in the boot as part of a sick, elaborate scheme to frame Gary for her murder.
    • Danny's behaviour in this regard did not involve as much long-term planning as Jill's had done but he was no less dangerous. In the Season Twelve episode "God Will", Danny kidnaps Gary (who had recently gotten engaged to Valene) and drives him, bound and gagged in the backseat, to a nearby hill. After removing his gag, he pours alcohol down Gary's throat, having forced him to open his mouth by squeezing his broken arm (which Danny had broken with a baseball bat). His plan is to make it look as if Gary started drinking again and accidentally killed himself when he crashed the car. With Gary out of the way, Danny hoped to force Valene into resuming their marriage. Gary is badly hurt but manages to survive whereas Danny winds up dead in a pool in a vacant property in Seaview Circle by the end of the episode. Unlike Jill, however, he didn't kill himself. Neither Gary nor Valene are suspected, at least not seriously, of having killed him since they both had iron clad alibis. Gary's is especially solid since he was crawling his way up the hill when Danny was killed.
    • In Season Thirteen, Paige's ex-boyfriend Pierce does not handle their breakup well. He blames it on Paige's on-again/off-again lover Greg, though the true cause was his obsessive jealousy manifesting itself in his threatening behaviour towards Paige. He tries to shoot Greg in revenge but he ends up shooting Paige instead. She is temporarily paralysed when the bullet is lodged near her spine but her mobility is restored by surgery. Pierce then kidnaps Paige from the hospital and takes her to his boat. He continually refers to her as "Margaret," the name of his pregnant fiancée who drowned in a boating accident ten years earlier. She is rescued by Greg and Mack while Pierce is seemingly drowned after a struggle with the other two men. In the closing moments of the Season Thirteen finale "Little Girl Lost", he turns up alive and well when he surprises Paige with a knife in her car in the Sumner Group carpark. In the Season Fourteen premiere "Found and Lost", Paige is rescued by Alex Barth. When she visits Pierce in prison several days later, he tells her that he intended to kill her and then himself so that they could be together forever.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Numerous examples of characters ultimately leaving Knots Landing for various reasons, including Kenny, Ginger, Richard, Diana, Michael, Olivia, Cathy, Ben (who actually disappeared), Frank, and most notably, Abby.
    • In two tragic cases, Real Life Writes the Plot as Steve Shaw, who had played Eric Fairgate since the pilot, died in a car accident in 1990 while Larry Riley, who played Frank Williams, died of AIDS related renal failure in 1992.
    • In several other cases, The Bus Came Back. Richard returned for the Season Nine two-parter "Noises Everywhere" for Laura's funeral, Abby returned for the Series Finale "Just Like Old Times" and the Reunion Show miniseries Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac while Ginger, Michael, Olivia, Brian and Diana also all returned for the miniseries, after an absence of 14 years in Ginger's case. Having been absent since the beginning of Season Six, Diana had previously returned for three episodes in Season Fourteen. In the meantime, she had been mentioned almost as infrequently as Gary was on Dallas.
  • Quietly Performing Sister Show: Although they both ran fourteen seasons, Knots Landing was very much this to Dallas. While Dallas was No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings in 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1983-84 and No. 2 in 1982-83 and 1984-85, the highest Nielsen rankings for Knots Landing were No. 11 in 1983-84 and No. 9 in 1984-85. In later years, Knots Landing achieved higher ratings than Dallas - No. 34 to No. 43 for Dallas in 1989-90 and No. 35 to No. 61 for Dallas (then its last season) in 1990-91 - but the two series and prime time soap operas in general were significantly less popular by then.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In addition to the aforementioned examples concerning the early deaths of Steve Shaw and Larry Riley, both of Constance McCashin's pregnancies were written into the show. Laura was pregnant with Daniel in Seasons Three and Four and with Meg in Season Eight.
  • Really Gets Around: Kenny Ward; who has been having extra-marital relations behind Ginger's back since the first season. Could also extend to Gary Ewing.
  • Remarried to the Mistress:
    • Gary marries Abby in Season Five.
    • Gary almost does this for a second time in Season Eight when he becomes engaged to Jill. However, the wedding in Las Vegas is postponed and never goes ahead in spite of the fact that Gary and Jill remain a couple, taking into account one relatively short breakup, until early in Season Ten.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Three episodes of the first season feature Dallas regular characters: Bobby appeared in "Pilot", J.R. appeared in "Community Spirit" and Lucy appeared in "Home is for Healing". There were four such episodes in Season Two: Kristin Shepard appeared in "Kristin" ( coming less than month after it was revealed that she shot J.R., her appearance was no doubt designed to capitalise on the record breaking ratings experienced by Dallas), J.R. appeared in both "A Family Matter" and "Designs" and Bobby appeared in "The Loudest Word". There were none in Season Three but it happened twice more in Season Four, which was the last time that any Dallas character appeared in Knots Landing: J.R. appeared in "Daniel" and both he and Bobby appeared in "New Beginnings", the second part of a two-part crossover with Dallas and the only Knots Landing episode to feature all three of Jock and Miss Ellie's sons.
  • Retcon: As with most long running series (especially soap operas), the show had its fair share, though none on the level of the Dallas Dream Season revelation:
    • Although she played a major role in the pilot episode, Sid's daughter from his first marriage Annie is never seen again, is mentioned only twice more and is nowhere to be seen after Sid's death in Season Three. As such, Annie is a textbook, if minor, example of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Another disappearing Fairgate. In "Scapegoats", Sid tells Michael that he spent many hours messing with the engine of his brother's hot rod when he was in high school. In "Players", Sid and Abby's nephew Paul Fairgate - presumably the son of said brother - visits Knots Landing. This brother is never mentioned again and, after Sid's death, Abby is treated as if she were his only sibling.
    • Those Fairgates again. Michael's ADHD, which was diagnosed in the aforementioned "Scapegoats", is a minor storyline across several episodes of Season Two but is never mentioned in subsequent seasons.
    • Again with the Fairgates! In the Season One episode "Let Me Count the Ways", Michael is said to be 12 years old. In the Season Seven episode "High School Confidential", when he is arrested for drug possession after Olivia's marijuana is found in his episode, he tells the police that is a senior in high school, which is consistent with his age six years earlier. However, he is clearly still in school throughout Season Eight with no mention of him having to repeat his senior year. Not only that but he celebrates his 18th birthday in the Season Nine premiere "Missing Persons" when he should be celebrating his 20th. It is conceivable that he could have been a senior at 16 but it's rather unlikely. In the later Season Nine episode "A Fair Race", it is confirmed that Michael is still in school, almost two years after he should have graduated. He seemingly (finally!) finished high school at the end of that season, though this was not confirmed until the Season Ten episode "Cabin Fever" in which it was revealed that he was going to start college in a few weeks. He is studying Business even though Karen would prefer that he study English Literature. Michael starts college at some point before "Mrs. Peacock in the Library with the Lead Pipe", two episodes after "Cabin Fever", and is first seen on campus in the following episode "Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Wrench". In the later Season Ten episode "Birds Do It, Bees Do It", Michael is said to be one year older than Olivia when he was originally three (or possibly even four) years older than her. Two episodes later, Karen says that Michael was 12 around the time that she started dating Mack, which was at the beginning of Season Four. To add even further confusion (insofar as that's possible), Michael celebrates his 21st birthday in the Season Eleven episode "What a Swell Party This Is" in spite of the fact that it was stated in earlier episodes of that very season that he was 19 and then 20. It was also a little over two years since his 18th birthday.
    • What is it with these people? The flashbacks in the Season Nine episode "Love In" create a whole slew of Fairgate related continuity problems. They depict Karen as a college student in the late 1960s who is actively involved in the student protests of the era. However, she told David Crane in the aforementioned "Let Me Count the Ways" that she graduated from college in the early 1960s as part of "the last gasp of the Silent Generation" and therefore missed out on the student protests. A much more significant retcon involves Karen and Sid's relationship. They are shown to be dating in the late 1960s. Previous episodes indicated that they had already been married for several years by this time and would have already had Diana, Eric and possibly even Michael (he of the inconsistent age).
    • Finally, someone else gets a look in! In the Season One episode "The Lie", Laura tells Valene that her mother died when she was 12. However, in the Season Nine episode (and the 200th episode) "Noises Everywhere, Part I", Richard mentioned that Laura's mother gave them a painting when they got married.
    • Paige's age is open to some debate but it is nowhere near as inconsistent as Michael's. In the Season Seven finale "The Longest Night", Paige tells Mack that she is 19 years old but it was revealed in the Season Eight premiere "Just Disappeared, Part I" that she was conceived during the summer of 1967, which would make her 18 in 1986. The series abided by her originally stated age of 19 for the next several seasons. For instance, she was said to be 22 in several episodes of Season Eleven (presumably turning 23 towards the end of that season). However, during an argument with Paige in the Season Twelve episode "You Can Call Me Nick", Tom claimed that she got a promotion at the Sumner Group because she is 26 years old and she slept with the boss. 26 was Nicollette Sheridan's real age at the time.
    • Like her adoptive brother Michael and stepsister Paige, Meg's age varied over time. She was born in the Season Eight episode "Parental Guidance" in 1987 and aged in real time until Season Twelve. In the Season Thirteen episode "Eye of the Beholder", Karen says that she is six years old when she should be about four and a half. Karen was seemingly rounding up a little as she celebrated her sixth birthday in the later Season Thirteen episode "House of Cards". In Back to the Cul-de-Sac in 1997, she is said to be 12 years old a mere 10 years after she was born.
    • Greg and Claudia's mother Ruth Sumner Galveston, played by Ava Gardner, is a major recurring character in Season Six in 1985. In Claudia's first appearance in the Season Twelve premiere "Return Engagement" in 1990, it is mentioned that Ruth had died, as Gardner had died in real life earlier that year. In Season Thirteen, one of Claudia's major storylines is the revelation that she had euthanised Ruth, at her request, and that Ruth's nurse Rosa Barth found out about it and was blackmailing her. After Rosa's death, her nephew Alex shows up on Claudia's doorstep and picks up where his aunt left off. Alex makes the point several times that he was very young when Ruth died but he was still old enough to remember the circumstances. Alex was in his early twenties and Ruth died at most six and a half years earlier but the dialogue suggests that Alex was a very small child at the time.
  • Retraux: In "Silver Shadows", the Silent Movie director Andrew Douglas shows Abby one of his films starring The Lost Lenore Terry Clarrington, who looks exactly like Abby.
  • Serial Spouse:
    • Valene has been married five times, the most of anyone in the Dallas / Knots Landing universe: she married and divorced Gary twice, then she married Ben Gibson and was (seemingly) widowed but she got a divorce instead of having him declared legally dead, then she married Danny Waleska (who died while they were in the process of getting a divorce) and then she married Gary for the third time. When she thought that she was Verna Ellers after losing her memory, she almost married Parker Winslow in the Season Six episode "Fly Away Home" but Gary managed to convince her of her true identity and that Parker was using her after he discovered that she was a famous author.
    • Gary married and divorced Abby between his second and third marriages to Valene. He was also engaged to Jill in Season Eight but they never got married.
    • Abby was married to Jeff Cunningham (who is Olivia and Brian's father), then to Gary, then to Charles Scott and then to Greg. Her very brief marriage to Charles was annulled while the other three ended in divorce.
    • Greg was married to Jane, then to Laura, then to Abby and then to Anne. He claimed that he married Jane out of ignorance, Laura for love and Abby for business reasons. His later marriage to Anne was one of convenience. Laura died while the other three marriages all ended in divorce. Greg was also engaged to Paige in Season Twelve (between his marriages to Abby and Paige's mother Anne) but they never got married.
  • Sex with the Ex:
    • After he sues her for custody of Brian and Olivia in the Season Two episode "A State of Mind", Abby sleeps with her ex-husband Jeff and leads him to believe that they have a chance of reconciling. However, the morning after the night before, she tells him that it was a one-off and he realises that she's manipulating him to drop the suit.
    • While dealing with the emotional pressure of Lilimae deliberately running over Chip, a distraught Valene had sex with Gary in the Season Five episode "... And Never Brought to Mind". As a result, their twins Bobby and Betsy were conceived.
    • Gary and Valene had sex again in the Season Nine episode "Weak Moment" as Valene was upset about Ben's continued absence.
  • Show Within a Show: In Seasons Eleven to Thirteen, Karen hosts a daytime talk show called Open Mike.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Cathy Geary does this to Gary when he yells at her for trying to be look-alike Ciji Dunne.
  • Sibling Triangle: Michael has an affair with his brother Eric's wife Linda in Season Eleven.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: The show generally avoided this as Claudia Lonow (Diana), Steve Shaw (Eric), Pat Petersen (Michael) and Tonya Crowe (Olivia) all remained with the series for years, eleven in Shaw's case (until his death) and twelve in Petersen's case, so their characters aged in real time (at least until Season Seven in Michael's case). The only children on the series who were played by multiple actors were the younger ones: Bobby and Betsy Gibson Ewing, Meg Mackenzie, Brian Cunningham and Jason Avery. Except for the pilot (in which he was played by Justin Dana), Jason was played by Danny Gellis until 1982 when he was replaced by Danny Ponce, who played the character until 1986. Even this is not an example of SORAS since Ponce was actually a year and a half younger than Gellis. Jason actually seems to suffer from the opposite affliction, which is much less common: Reverse Aging Syndrome. When the 13-year-old Danny Ponce left Knots Landing during its seventh season to star as Willie Hogan in The Hogan Family (otherwise known as Valerie and Valerie's Family), he was replaced by the 9-year-old Matthew Newmark. The character consequently grew younger in terms of his behaviour. Had Jason remained with the series after Season Nine, he could very well have reverted to infancy by Season Ten or Eleven.
  • Spinoff Sendoff: In the pilot, Bobby appeared to help Gary and Valene settle into the cul-de-sac.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Steve Brewer's parents were Claudia and Paul Galveston. As such, he is both Greg's maternal nephew and paternal half-brother.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The three main women fill these roles perfectly: Karen is The Wife, the wiser, calmer aspect, and someone around whom one could build a home life. Abby is The Seductress — sexually experienced and independent. Val is the third, The "Child" (who does not have to be a child literally) and is innocent, perhaps to the point of naïveté.
  • Strict Parents Make Sneaky Kids: A minor example. Ginger's younger sisters Jill and Cindy because of their incredibly strict mother Jana.
  • Surprise Incest: Played with. Towards the end of Season Eight, Anne tells Mack that Greg, not him, is Paige's father. Karen and Mack are concerned that Paige may unwittingly be having an incestuous relationship with her uncle as she was dating Greg's half-brother Peter Hollister at the time. It turns out that they need not have worried since Anne was merely being vindictive and Mack is indeed Paige's father. Greg and Anne never had sex, though it wasn't because of any lack of trying on Greg's part. Besides which, even if Greg had been her father, it still wouldn't have been incest since Peter wasn't actually Greg's half-brother, something which the audience knew but Karen and Mack didn't.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In Seasons Ten to Twelve, Valene's aunt Virginia "Ginny" Bullock is one for her own sister Lilimae, who left in Season Nine.
  • Teen Pregnancy: A major part of Gary and Valene's backstory is that she became pregnant with Lucy when she was fifteen.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In "Do You Love Me?", Kate Whittaker and Alex Barton dance to a remix of the theme tune.
  • They Do: Or more accurately They Do Again. After several missed opportunities, Gary and Valene reunite towards the end of Season Eleven and he proposes to her in the aptly titled season finale "Let's Get Married". They officially get engaged in the Season Twelve premiere "Return Engagement". As previously mentioned, they tie the knot for the third time in the Season Twelve episode "The Last One Out".
  • Those Two Guys: Mort Tubor and Bob Phillips from Seasons Ten to Twelve. After Bob is Put on a Bus, Mort is on his own in Seasons Thirteen and Fourteen.
  • Title Sequence/ Evolving Credits: For the first season, an opening montage featuring overhead frame of the cul de sac and the cast members in alphabetical order. Also accompanied by a catchy jazz tune composed by Jerrold Immel. This was replaced in Season 3 by the most well-known version, a montage of clips of the show playing in small boxes going by from right to left. Replaced again in Season 9 by a slow panning shot over a painting similar to the splattered style of Jackson Pollock. That was soon replaced in Season 11 by sandcastle structures of the cul-de-sac houses as well as some skyscrapers representing Los Angeles on a beautiful beach, which was replaced in Season 12 by..... the return of the across-the-screen style of scrolling clips. Although this time, it had faster moving, color-framed boxes.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The story of Valene's life, particularly from Season Six onwards. Poor Val.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: A regular feature of the series from Season Seven onwards.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Mary Frances Sumner and Kate Whittaker are identical cousins in true Patty Duke style.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: This comes up in Season Seven when Joshua starts physically abusing Cathy.
  • Witness Protection: The Williams family (Frank, Patricia and Julie) who moved next door to Karen and Mack Mackenzie. Their real names are Jerry and Samantha Sollars. Samantha testified against some mobsters who are after them so the whole family assumed new identities and moved to Knots Landing to be safe.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Richard Avery very much so. Gary Ewing as well; Kenny Ward as well plus he Really Gets Around.


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