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Series / McLeod's Daughters

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McLeod's Daughters is an Australian Soap Opera revolving around the McLeod family farm, Drovers Run. (No relation to that McLeod family.) The series ran for eight seasons from 2001 to 2009. Its focus began on two sisters, Claire and Tess, attempting to run the family farm after the death of their father.

McLeod's Tropes:

  • And the Adventure Continues: The series' ultimate conclusion. It just ended on a particularly good day. Because it's a business and their livelihood, the work on Drovers will never be finished.
  • Anyone Can Die: Averted with Nick, who was presumed dead at one point but played tragically straight with Claire and much later Alex and that was just the main cast. Many of the characters' lives were in danger at some point or another and some supporting characters like Harry also died.
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  • Artifact Title: All of Jack McLeod's daughters had left the series by the final season, leaving the farm to be run by his nieces, who admittedly were the daughters of Hugh McLeod
  • Attempted Rape: It's implied with Leo on Rose. Stevie and Regan come to her rescue.
  • Back for the Finale: Sonia Todd and Rachael Carpani. Bridie Carter did a voiceover.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Regularly occurs in each episode.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Claire and Alex.
  • Book Dumb: Jodi completely flunks her high-school finals exam having not studied and much to her chagrin has to take up work at the farm.
    • Becky is near-illiterate at the start of the show.
  • Brainy Brunette: Kate Manfredi.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Jodi in the first season. She failed her HSC and constantly moaned about how she would rather be living a glamorous life in the city than be on the farm. She also looked to Becky as a role model (for the wrong reasons).
    • Rose, especially for some time after it's revealed that Stevie is her Mother, not her Aunt.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Alex.
  • Character Development: The most notable is probably Tess, who at first as a city girl only came to Drovers to claim a share of inheritance and dreamed of running a cafe in the city. She ended up switching allegiance to the country completely and ran Drovers after Claire died.
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  • The Charmer: Dave Brewer is a major flirt but really a one-woman kind of guy.
  • The City vs. the Country: The basic premise of the first season.
  • Cock Fight: Nick and Alex had this a bit over Tess. At its worst, they had a full-on punch-up.
  • Crouching Nice Guy Hidden Jerkass: Leo Coombes.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Xander Ryan.
  • Dead Person Conversation: The episode after Claire's death centres around Tess accepting it and saying goodbye, with help from her ghost.
  • Death by Childbirth: Claire's mother, Prudence, when giving birth to Claire's little brother, Adam. In addition to Prudence dying in childbirth, the baby was stillborn.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Claire to Tess at the start. Meg to Becky by the end of the latter's development.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Both Claire and Alex managed to give one to Tess and Stevie respectively.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Becky Howard.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: In some of the earlier episodes, this trope is used to demonstrate Claire's loneliness since Jack died (though she'd never admit it). Tess was shocked that Meg and Jodi would eat dinner in their own house, leaving Claire to eat alone. Of course, once Tess moved in, this was no longer an issue.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Brick. Because he can't swim and would sink like one if he tried.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Alexander Marion Ryan.
  • Ensemble Cast
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After Becky is raped and Claire takes her in at Drovers and employs her, she self-cuts her long blonde hair extremely short, shedding her previous Really Gets Around image.
  • Evil Matriarch: The word evil might be a bit harsh, but Liz Ryan certainly thinks she knows what is best for her boys. Particularly when it comes to women.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Fiona secretly learns she's unable to have children and does this out of fear Alex will leave her.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Stevie and Rose. She's not her Aunt but her Mother.
    • Alex also learns that Harry is not his biological father in season 3.
  • Farmer's Daughter
  • Fiery Redhead: Stevie Hall.
  • Finally Found the Body: Becky finding Brick's body in a particularly sad episode. It coupled with the confirmation in-universe that he even was dead in the first place.
  • Flash Forward: Part of the series' conclusion has a brief look at adult Xander and Charlotte on the farm in true Generation Xerox fashion. Could also be a Distant Finale, but appears to lean more towards being a figment of Stevie's imagination.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Both Claire and Tess are desperate to prove that they have what it takes to run Drovers.
  • Fish out of Water: Played for laughs when Claire has to visit the city in season 3. She's so unaccustomed to city life she can't even figure out how to use the TV remote in her hotel room.
  • Fortune Teller: Moira's introduction. It turns out she has real, uncontrolled precognitive abilities in the form of flashes.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Alberto is somewhat stereotypical.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He's not that old, but Harry Ryan mostly fits the trope.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: All of the blonde women on the show are the good guys, but Tayler fits the trope best as she has both the unabashed sweetness and youth. This isn't her initial impression however.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Regan McLeod who originally wanted to mine Drovers for gold and destroy much of the land to do so.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Stevie visits the grave of Alex in one of the last scenes in the series and tells him that she's learned to be strong without him.
  • The Hero Dies
  • Heroic BSoD: Claire after learning Peter was already married with kids while they were together spun out for some time. She almost sold Drovers to Harry Ryan.
  • Honor Before Reason: There's a bit of this on the show.
    • Claire backs out of a lucrative contract with Peter that she also worked very hard for because she found out she was his mistress rather than girlfriend and working with him would've been too painful.
    • Becky stops competing during the final event of a Young Farmers competition sacrificing any possibility of winning because Jake gets hurt during the event and she decides to help him.
  • Horseback Heroism: Used often, just one example being Claire rescuing Becky from a group of men harassing her.
  • Housewife: Jodi has a Flash Forward moment on her wedding day of herself as this and realizes she's not ready to get married.
    • Liz Ryan is a straight example.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Nick and Tess.
  • I Choose to Stay: Tess. At least until she lives with Nick in Argentina, never to return.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: Craig hides Alberto's letters to Jodi, despite being the postman. Somehow, he did not get fired for it. Also, Tess finds out that Jack sent her birthday and Christmas cards when she was a child. Her mother returned to sender without ever telling her.
  • Iron Lady: Claire most notably, but most of the women that end up bosses on the farm show traits when they need to given the mostly male-dominated farming community.
  • The Lost Lenore: Dave's deceased wife Leanne. His unfinished grief for her ends his and Tess' relationship.
  • Love Thy Neighbour: Too many pairings of the Drovers girls/Killarney boys to mention here.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Jodi learns that Jack McLeod was her biological father via an affair with Meg.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Alex to Bryce Redstaff, in the season 3 episode The Ties that Bind
  • Mama Bear: All of the Mothers, but mostly Stevie to Rose when she begins dating the evil Leo Coombes.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Fiona Webb manipulates to some length to marry and keep Alex.
    • Sandra has plenty of moments, as well as Ashleigh Redstaff.
  • May–December Romance: Harry and Sandra.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Claire's.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Stevie when she first shows up appears a bit shady and when she first stays at Drovers is shown secretively hiding a small mysterious bag, implying she might be some kind of criminal. Major Red Herring though.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Tess blows up the house's electricity and gets her car stuck in the mud respectively in her quest for a decent coffee.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Tess.
  • Naked First Impression: Nick walking into the bathroom and seeing Tess' bum in the mirror.
  • Never Found the Body: Riley.
  • Nice Guy: Most of the men can be described roughly as this that aren't outright villains, with the notable exception of Harry. Alex could occasionally be more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but overall given the focus was on the women, they tended to have more variance in personality.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Becky leaving with Jake, leaning out the car window waving goodbye, sad to be leaving but excited for the future.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Jodi, Meg, Becky, Nick, Tayler, Jaz, and Ingrid. While these characters were never all on the show at the same time, there's always been plenty at one time. Tess, Grace and Marcus also count as dirty-blonde's.
  • Put on a Bus: Nick, Tess, Meg, Jodi, Kate, Dave. Meg and Jodi actually did return for the final episode.
  • Rape as Drama: Becky is raped by Brian, the publican. He thinks he can get away scot-free and tells her that if she reports it, no-one will believe her anyway due to the fact that she really gets around.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tess being red, Claire blue.
  • Revolving Door Casting: Due to the show's turnover, ways writers kept a 'McLeod's Daughter' in the show included childbirth, having Jodi been a McLeod all along without realizing, and previously unmentioned relatives being introduced in the later seasons.
  • Romance on the Set: Rachael Carpani and Matt Passmore started dating during the show's filming. Sadly, they split in 2011.
  • Romantic False Lead: Fiona Webb-Ryan for Alex, and Dave Brewer for Tess.
  • Runaway Bride: Subverted with Jodi, who went through with her vows (however doubtful she was) to Alberto but broke up with him later that day, telling him she wasn't ready to be a wife. A 'running away' part was still filmed.
  • Sanity Slippage: Prior to Season 6, Sandra was merely socially aloof and cold.
  • Scenery Porn: There are constant shots of beautiful South Australian farmland. Both Drover's Run and Killarney are breathtaking.
  • Second Love: Both Becky and Alex find happiness with another after their first loves tragically die.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Nick and Alex Ryan, respectively.
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: Becky gave Jodi this idea to do to Nick when she had a short-lived crush on him. She almost goes through with it but backs out embarrassed.
    • Tess steals the idea later in the episode to do to Dave.
  • Sexy Priest: Dan, the new priest in town. Kate first meets him as an SES volunteer and thinks he's hitting on her.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Claire is a tomboy who usually dresses in rugged farm clothes but when she does dress up she looks beautiful and other characters comment on it.
  • Shrinking Violet: Kate Manfredi.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Stevie was heavily pregnant with his baby when Alex died.
  • Staircase Tumble: Just one of many ways the main characters get injured. At worst someone falls off a horse, a windmill, stairs, ATV, etc about every other episode.
  • Straight Gay: Vernon in the season one episode "Ducks on the Pond". Everyone thinks he is an axe murderer who killed his wife and children. Until he reveals to Tess that the reason his wife is not in the picture is because he is gay.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Tess leaves Drovers and begins to live her original plans of running a cafe in the city, but when one of her business partners hides her mail from Drovers coinciding with Claire needing her and she finds out, she realizes that it's no longer her dream.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Claire.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Claire's death saw Stevie take up the co-leading role on the show. After Tess left as well, she was the show's primary focus.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Stevie gave birth to Rose when she was very young and irresponsible, and gave her to her (older) sister to raise.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tough as nails, Claire has been on the farm her whole life and knows very well how things work in the bush as opposed to Tess, the idealist city girl who initially struggles to adapt to life on the farm.
  • White Stallion: Tess' horse Oscar.
  • Witness Protection: Jodi is written out this way. She strikes up a relationship with Rob Shelton, who is then found by the men who are after him and she becomes a target as well. In the series finale, she returns heavily pregnant and happily informs everyone that the men who were after them have been incarcerated.
  • You Look Familiar: Matt Passmore originally appeared in the season 4 episode "The Calling" as landowner Greg Hope. He returned in season 7 as Alex's half-brother, Marcus.


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