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No Good Nick is a Netflix original Dramedy Sitcom centering on Nicole "Nick" Franzelli, a teenage Con Artist who claimed to be a Long-Lost Relative whose parents recently died to insert herself into an upper-class family, The Thompsons. The mother Liz (Melissa Joan Hart) runs an Italian restaurant and father Ed (Sean Astin) works at a bank, while their children Jeremy and Molly are high school aged. Nick's real goals are to use their connections to scam them out of money. However, she finds herself growing increasingly attached to them as she spends more time in their home.

Part 1 premiered on April 15, 2019. Part 2 premiered on August 5, 2019.

WARNING: Despite being a sitcom, No Good Nick has a heavily serialized plot with many dramatic reveals and twists. Here there be spoilers.


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This series includes examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The school has a 90's-day theme which Ed and Liz attend, giving an opportunity for Melissa Joan Hart to dress up like Clarissa again.
    • Ed builds tree sculptures out of Lord Of The Rings-books.
    • Jeremy calls Molly "Little Hobbit."
  • And This Is for...: Molly ends up estranged from her Volunteer Squad friends due to some unresolved issues and a private rant complaining about them that was made public. As she falls into a funk, Ed sets up a station in the garage where she can smash old appliances and release pent up emotions. Once she gets going she starts listing off all the bad stuff that had been happening to her and the things they did, then she blurts out how angry she is at herself for being a crappy friend and collapses in tears.
  • Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: The whole main cast. They all did/do underhanded, unethical things for their family, and while the show portrays them as fundamentally good people whose love is genuine and positive, it doesn't let them off the hook and makes them confront the consequences of their actions and how they affect other people.
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  • Batman Gambit: Most of Nick's cons are pretty simple tricks, but the finale of part two takes the top of the list. Ed was arrested for the theft of the necklace, and she comes clean to the family promising she had a plan to make it right, but they leave her to the police. By telling Sam and Dorothy the necklace was still at the Thompsons, they co-op her for one last infiltration before ransacking the entire home. Nick silently reveals her plan to the Thompsons and convinces them to play along with a spiked drink. With Sam and Dorothy inside the house, everyone wakes up and the police arrive, as she cut a deal with them offscreen. In one swoop she got Sam and Dorothy to take the brunt of the necklace theft, unchaining her from them, getting Ed completely off the hook while also getting her dad immunity. It also served to restore her relationship with the Thompsons.
  • Becoming the Mask: Nick's scheme against the Thompsons was entirely motivated by revenge, but being part of a loving family who think they took in an orphan, making them act extra kind to her, she can't help but appreciate having a sister and brother with parents who are Happily Married.
  • Beneath Notice: Being a 14 year old girl, almost no one suspects that Nick is the one pulling off various scams and heists (and in most cases people don't realize they have been scammed). Those that do are dismissed as paranoid.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Of the entire cast Ed is the most genuine and friendly, evoking a harmless goofball. But a few occasions show him as not being a slouch in a fight "You just got Ed-ucated." Also, when Nick's story is exposed and the family deals with the truth, he turns out to be the most unforgiving and held on to his anger longer than the others.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Nick and Will quickly bond over having parents in prison and the trauma that it conveys. Later, they also bond over being used by Sam and Dorothy to scam someone they've come to really care for
    • Jeremy and Eric have a lot of the same interests that develop into mutual attraction.
  • Bookends:
    • The first episode shows Nick as trying to drug the family so Sam and Dorothy could ransack their home, but pulls back claiming to be doing a larger con. The end of part two Nick pretends to drug them and they pretend to be knocked unconscious so that Sam and Dorothy will enter the house. Once inside, the family wakes up and the police arrive.
    • In the last episode of part two, when Nick's story is exposed, Ed quickly tosses her to the police saying "This girl stole the necklace!" Once she resolved all the problems she caused, she packs up and leaves while leaving a letter behind explaining everything including her guilt. When the family reads the letter, Ed is the one to say "Let's get our girl back," letting go of his anger.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In "The Fool's Errand", while Tony has every right to be angry at the Thompsons for doing unethical things that ruined his restaurant, Nick points that out it was his own fault that he ended up in debt to the mob for borrowing from them, and in prison for robbing a convenience store.
  • Bumbling Dad: Downplayed with Ed, as he's seen as the more laid back, goofier parent next to Liz. He's actually quite level headed and empathetic to others, although his hands-off style has caused some problems.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In "The Fool's Errand", Nick calls out Tony for dragging her into his revenge scheme against the Thompsons, pointing out that, regardless of what they did to him, the decisions that landed him in prison were his and his alone.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Plot points, conversations and dilemmas will be brought up only to be circumvented in some way, but multiple episodes later will emerge as the lynch pin of another ploy. In the poker night episode it's mentioned there are security cameras around to keep track of things, but much later Nick uses the recording of Molly complaining about her friends to utterly decimate her relationship with them.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Liz is so engaged with her restaurant she rarely has dinner with her family, let alone cook for them. It was shown to be even worse in the past, but she started making meals again when Nick came along.
  • Consummate Liar: Nick is especially good at deceiving people on the fly, which is why her foster parents went along with the scheme. Though this doesn't fly when a social worker visits, who can tell Nick is putting up a front and acting nice to stop the questions. In turn, Nick manages to win her over by telling the truth, albeit leaving out important details.
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place. The show has a surprising attention to continuity, with what seems to be one-off characters and jokes being referenced or showing up again later.
    • Nick mentions that a girl in her old soccer team always pretended that she was playing Quiditch. Later, during a flashback, Riley mentions that same girl while warning Nick that she's wearing her Hufflepuff robes.
    • The Reveal of Nick's plan in the poker episode relies on the viewer remembering Todd from previous episodes.
    • In the flashback to Franzelli's, we see at the restaruant several people who we've seen (or will see) help Nick in her schemes, justifying how she knows them and gets favors from them.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Exploited by Nick, the Thompsons are too sympathetic to her story to question it too deeply.
  • Couch Gag: The intro consists of 4 pictures: The Thompsons pre-Nick, The Thompsons with Nick, Nick happy by herself, and finally Nick sad by herself holding an item related to the following episode.
  • Deconstruction: Of the "family first" Aesop, done in as brutal and ruthless a way as can be done in a children's show: The characters do whatever it takes for their families, which is often underhanded and results in the suffering of innocents. It's most notorious when mobsters, arguably the only characters without any redeeming qualities, justify their actions by saying they just have to do it for the (crime) family.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Nick is very smart and can easily manipulate circumstances to get what she wants in the immediate future, but her schemes almost invariably have unintended consequences that complicate the situation, because she fails to realize that events don't occur in a vacuum and her "solution" affects more than just the current moment.
    • She manages to make a big payday on a "Go Fund Me" fake charity scam. Too bad she didn't realize that, as a minor, she can't open an account without an adult co-signer so she can never actually access the money.
  • Dramedy: Despite being a sitcom with a Laugh Track, the show frequently depicts criminal actions with appropriate seriousness.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Downplayed with the Thompsons, every member has fairly realistic conflicts stemming from poor communication, conflict of interests and long-stemming resentment. There are arguments that spreads across multiple episodes, but every so often they have a fun family activity that shows them being happy together.
  • Easily Forgiven: Not exactly easily, but after learning Nick's true story the family was quick to leave her to the police. But learning their culpability in what happened to the Franzelli's left them with complicated feelings. Nick pulls off one last trick to make things right, and also set things in motion to fix the damage she caused. Although Nick tries leaving town, they follow her to take her back.
  • Family of Choice: Pretty much literally. Nick had to convince them she was a Long-Lost Relative, but she came to view Liz and Ed as her parents and they came to see her as their daughter.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Any given episode has Nick trying to push through a scheme, all while trying to keep the original lie going on.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Eric is very protective of Jeremy and has trouble remaining impartial during the poker tournament we later see them kissing.
    • During the escape room Eric "corrects" the mention of the moon landing for "alleged moon landing", several episodes later we learn that he's a conspiracy nut.
    • Almost all the elements revealed in the Origins Episode were established piecemeal across the previous episodes, including Nick knowing a lot about Italian food, her dad owning a restaurant and him owing money to the mob.
    • After the Wham Shot at the end of "The Pigeon Drop" reveals that the guy Nick gave money to isn't really a defense attorney, the Cold Open of the next episode has her father tell her that the lawyer took his case. This is an early indicator that her father has been lying to her about what the money is for.
    • Nick offers Molly pizza and Molly tells her she is gonna leave a negative Yelp review without even tasting it which Nick looks shocked at. Molly left bad Yelp reviews for Tony's restaurant in the past.
  • Free-Range Children: Few, if any, of Nicks plans would work if there was any real accountability to where she was at any time of the day or night. She regularly visits contacts, criminals, her foster parents and even her dad in prison without the Thompsons suspecting anything. Jeremy and Molly are similar, with Jeremy trying to get his own car a plot point, but are certainly not as busy as Nick.
  • Gambit Roulette: Nick initially started her scheme with the help of her actual foster parents, but she is actually manipulating them for a revenge plan against the Thompsons developed by her dad, who is in prison. Trying to juggle all the lies takes up a lot of her time.
  • Gayngst: Averted, Jeremy doesn't seem to have much of a problem with his identity, he just wants to come to terms with it by himself before opening up, and when he finally does nobody seems to care except to thank him for the trust.
  • Good Feels Good: As much as Nick feels compelled to continue her schemes for revenge, she doesn't take much joy in seeing any pain she causes. Conversely, trying to (secretly) make up for what she did has a much stronger net positive, though it takes her time to figure out what she wants.
  • Graying Morality: The show initially seems to have a very clear morality, with the Thompsons being a kind and loving family and Nick a villain trying to steal from them. We soon learn that Nick is being pressured into it by her father, and that she genuinely cares about the Thompsons. However, the morality gets maximum grey in The Italian Job, where we learn that The Thompsons are far from innocent, and the Franzellis are completely justified in blaming them for the unfair ruin of their livelihood, even if they're still wrong in wanting revenge.
  • Happily Married: Whatever conflict Liz and Ed may have, it's clear that they love each other very much and they work through all their problems as a team.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Nick starts out with the intention of robbing the Thompsons blind, but warms up to them and reconsiders her scheme over the course of the series, ultimately abandoning it at the end of Part 2.
  • Heel Realization: The show eventually reveals itself to be on Grey-and-Gray Morality, as everyone does or had done some morally sketchy things that had a negative impact on other people. Over the course of the series, though, the only difference between the good and bad characters is that the good ones eventually realize that they're the villains in someone else's story, and show genuine regret and growth from this realization.
    • Most notably, when They learn how their actions led to Nick's dad landing in jail, the Thompsons are struck by how they all ended up becoming so greedy and obsessed with success that they ruined a man's life rather than accept a little friendly competition.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • For a small time, barely competent crook with a BA in sports administration, Todd is a surprisingly good therapist.
    • Inverted, then subverted with Eric. He and Jeremy bond over similar interests, but Jeremy is then so horrified by Eric being a conspiracy nut that he dismisses him outright. Later Jeremy comes to realize that being a conspiracy nut doesn't change the fact that Eric is a kind, fun guy, and it's implied that they might give it another chance.
    • Jim is a big burly guy who functions as a sort of assistant/bodyguard for Jeremy, he initially seems to be Dumb Muscle, but through the series he's shown to be a skilled spy, a sensitive reader, a perceptive listener and ultimately a Consummate Professional.
  • High-School Hustler: Nick in a nutshell, woven in as literally as possible.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Jeremy's friend Jim is a level headed sidekick trusted with running odd jobs and gathering information. Notably he is the one character who always comes through, and in one episode Nick bails on a goal knowing that Jim won't overlook what is going on.
  • Identical Grandson: Nick comes across a picture that was initially mistaken for being her, but was actually her mother as a teenager with Sam and Dorothy.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode is named after a real world scam type, and typically demonstrated in the episode itself. The titles also begin with the article "The".
  • In Love with the Mark: A non-romantic example in Nick who develops a sincere attachment and appreciation for the Thompsons. Played completely straight with Will
  • Instant Expert: Subverted. When Nick is gathering votes for Jeremy we see her telling Blatant Lies about him to several clubs. She concludes her talk to the soccer team by keeping the ball in the air in a day display of skill that's very impressive for a girl with no real interest in the sport. However, later in the season we learn that she used to be in the soccer team of her old school. Which makes her skills justified.
  • It's All About Me: This is Molly's primary trait, dedicated to social causes but especially how it raises her social media presence. When the show starts breaking down its characters it turns out almost every one of the Thompsons has this problem, but in the sense that they were so focused on their own family they were blinded to what they were doing.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed with Sam and Dorothy, Nick's actual foster parents. They're shown to genuinely care for their foster children, but the show doesn't shy away from the fact that turning children in your care into tools for your scams is very wrong and doesn't portray them as good people. If anything it exaggerates their hypocrisy.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: It turns out every member of the Thompsons was totally unaware of how the others were acting against Franzelli's, believing they alone were doing just one minor thing and the rest of the events were pure accidents. Each is rocked to hear what the others did with Liz protesting she had no idea of any of this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nick proves to be extremely good at anticipating others behavior in order to coordinate her schemes, all while keeping herself under the radar. But the second half of part two she starts targeting the Thompsons directly, and rather ruthlessly dismantles their lives in the process.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The reaction of the Thompsons when Nick lays it out how each one of them had a part in absolutely ruining her family's life. For the first time, it hits them all how what they thought were just attempts to help out Liz led to a once-good man turning to crime and ending up in prison and his daughter embarking on a journey of revenge.
    • Nick feels this way as well once she exacts her revenge against each of the Thompsons.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Molly. When Nick points out that she's going through the same she put other people through she dismisses the lesson and claims that it's different because this time she is the victim. The more Nick tries to force an epiphany on her the more Molly leans onto her role of "innocent victim". It's not until her run in the "Feel your feels" station that she finally breaks down and admits that a lot of her problems are just the consequences of her own wrongdoing.
    • Tony. While he's right about the Thompsons unfairly and underhandedly running his restaurant out of business, the fact that he's in deep debt with the mob and in prison is a result of his own bad choices.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Liz and Ed have jobs that in real life require a lot of time and effort, yet they're very often just hanging around the house in the middle of the day.
  • Origins Episode: "The Italian Job" shows how Tony ended up in prison, why Nick ended up in foster care, and why she targeted the Thompson family.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Deconstructed. Nick justifies manipulating and eventually ruining the Thompsons lives out of a belief that they conspired against her family. But actually becoming a part of their family made her realize they were just flawed people living their lives, and ultimately don't deserve what happens to them anymore than what happened to her.
  • Percussive Therapy: The "Feel your feels" station made by Ed (patent pending) to help Molly let out her frustration by destroying old stuff with a bat, Liz also benefits from it.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Liz is the stronger personality in the family, while Ed is laid back and often in his own world.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Exploited by Nick in the costume dance. She pressures Jeremy into letting the volunteer squad fine people with insensitive or offensive costumes, then she finds a way to interpret every costume as insensitive or offensive, such as fining a ninja for cultural appropriation, or a vampire for being insensitive to haemophiliacs. Though, even she draws the line at Jeremy being excluded from his own dance for dressing as Thomas Jefferson (albeit for personal reasons, as she doesn't want him to have further reason to distrust her).
  • Precision F-Strike: Despite the subject matter the show as a whole is not too dissimilar in the type of dialogue and conversations you would see in a Disney Channel sitcom. But one episode Nick comes across Todd practicing to play a particular role and asks "What the hell was that?"
  • Properly Paranoid: Jeremy is very suspicious of Nick and suspects ulterior motives in everything she does. Of course, Nick is lying about everything and has ulterior motives for an her actions.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Nogoodnik" is an archaic term for someone untrustworthy and prone to criminal behavior, much like Nick, pre-Character Development.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Defied. One of the main themes of the Story Arc is that people outside of yourself and yours also matter and whatever bad thing you do to them, even if it is to help your loved ones, is wrong and has consequences. Nick's actions are treated as maybe clever, but never okay, and it's revealed that the Thompsons have done some shady things without realizing how immoral it was.
  • Recurring Character: There is a sizable group of recurring characters between school, friends and local criminals. Notably, Todd randomly showing up at the poker raffle serves as The Reveal to Nick's real plan.
  • Revenge: Nick's true motivation for targeting the Thompsons. Her father, Tony, was once the owner of a successful Italian restaurant, but when Liz Thompson started her new restaurant, she sought to eliminate the competition by poaching their costumers. Each member of the family had a hand in the subsequent downfall of Franzelli's: Liz redesigned her menu to make the same kind of food as Franzelli's, but at a lower cost, Molly and her friends posted fake bad reviews on Yelp, Jeremy interfered with a campaign to bring back customers by stealing menus that Nick and Tony distributed, and Ed used his position as a bank manager to deny Tony an extension on a loan. Driven to desperation, Tony took a loan from a Mafia boss, then robbed a store in an attempt to pay it back, which resulted in his arrest and imprisonment.
  • Rich Bitch: Ms. Chang. She's the top client in Ed's bank and uses her position to belittle and disrespect him any chance she gets.
    • Liz and the Thompsons in general can be like this, but to a smaller degree. Liz fought hard to build up her restaurant, proudly declaring it gourmet Italian and superior to the slop houses in town. They have their own Rags to Riches story to justify it, but it contrasts the Franzelli's restaurant, a more home cooked spaghetti and meatballs place that the Thompsons systematically sabotaged using money and social media connections. This forms the basis of Nick's revenge scheme against them.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ed using the word "literally" and another character promptly telling him this isn't how to use that word.
    • Molly or her friends saying "That's my thing!"
  • The Rival:
    • For Molly it's Becky, who also wants to be the leader of the volunteer squad
    • For Jeremy is Lisa, the former vice president of the student council who also wants to be the new president.
  • Sequel Hook: The final episode of season 2 does a good job of tying up loose ends, with the main characters facing their flaws and the consequences of their actions and starting on their way of making amends. However, in the last few minutes we see a picture of Nick's mom with Sam and Dorothy, setting up a mystery for a possible next season.
  • Skewed Priorities: The volunteer squad, and particularly Molly and Becky, seem more interested in exploiting causes for their own self promotion than into making a real difference in the world. It's usually played for laughs, but in later episodes it's shown with more seriousness as a character flaw.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Nick figures out that Will is a spy for Sam and Dorothy because he makes a remark about "the juice" not being "worth the squeeze", a phrase they particularly like to use.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Molly is pretty vocal about her passion for social and environment causes, being part of the "Volunteer Squad" at school, though little effort is put in to making it seem like she isn't in it for the social media attention she gets. Many of Nick's scams involve utilizing their connections or skimming off their fundraising.
  • Spy Speak: Repeatedly played for laughs, either being unnecessary or one of the parties just not getting the hint.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: A number of Nick's schemes fall apart due to not knowing the exact details needed to make it pay off the way she expects them to.
    • She was able to steal a bunch of expensive wine from Liz's restaurant by switching the labels with cheap wine. Unfortunately, the value of wine is almost entirely in the label itself, so she just ended up with a bunch of blank wine bottles with functionally no commercial value.
    • She figured out the passwords to get administrator access at the bank, but learns that even the bank president can't make large transfers without secondary confirmation or being noticed. She would never be able to move funds and withdraw it fast enough.
    • Setting up a false "Go Fund Me" page she was able to acquire a large sum of crowd sourced pity money, but being a minor was unable to open a personal bank account without an in-person adult co-sign. This left the account less private than she needed it to be.
    • Her main deception against the Thompsons required them to believe she was a Long-Lost Relative who needed a home. Because of this set-up for the most part they ended up showering her with love and sympathy. To continue this kind of deception while dismantling their lives required a level of callous cruelty that Nick just didn't have. She had functionally set up her own Stockholm Syndrome and was Becoming the Mask.
  • Token Houseguest: The show's premise has a Con Artist shows up to an upper-class family's house, claiming to be a Long-Lost Relative. They let her stay with them, and she subsequently plots to scam them out of money. The show is a Deconstruction of sitcoms.
  • Transparent Closet: Eric was asked about how he came out to his parents. His response was that everyone already knew.
  • The Unfavorite: Both Jeremy and Molly at different points feel upstaged by Nick, as Liz and Ed tend to be more lenient on her and Nick, usually due to running a scam, shows a lot more enthusiasm with their interests.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Nick takes this almost to the extreme, as the premise is she's a teenage criminal who manipulated a seemingly wholesome family into thinking she was a Long-Lost Relative and recently orphaned, solely to rob them blind. The first episode she comes close to drugging them before ransacking their home... Hilarity Ensues? But Nick pulls back when needed, trying to minimize the harm she does while also showing she is being manipulated by both her foster parents and a dad in prison.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Nick comes to realize this over the course of the series. Her vengeful scheming against the Thompsons didn't make her feel better or bring back the happy life she used to have. In "The Fool's Errand", she sets aside her hatred towards them for good.
  • Villain Has a Point: Invoked in-universe when the Thompsons finally discover the truth about Nick. Liz, Ed and Molly are all very upset with Nick lying to them but Jeremy reminds them how, while her actions were extreme, Nick is completely correct in how the Thompsons are responsible for ruining her father and her anger against them is justified.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Jam Auction" reveals the truth behind Nick needing to get money for the lawyer, and makes it clear that he is not coming home soon and his life is in danger.
    • "The Italian Job" revealed why Nick wanted revenge against the Thompsons and how her father ended up in jail, which put a different spin on the Thompsons and Nick's situation.
  • Wham Line: "We do love her" said by Ed as he reveals that he was only pretending to be knocked out.
  • Wham Shot: Nick goes to see her dad in prison, and he was badly beaten up by members of the mob.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The setting for the show is left vague, but bits of dialogue and signage implies it's in a fictional Portland, Oregon suburb called Overton.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Except for the opening and closing, "The Italian Job" focuses solely on events that occurred before the start of the series.
  • Women Are Wiser: Subverted with Liz. She thinks she is more attentive to the family than Ed is, but her constant nagging and big personality often breeds resentment. Ed is more laid back but also more emotionally attentive, recognizing the "chore auction" as pitting their children against each other rather than incentivizing allowance.

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