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Series / Outer Banks

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Outer Banks is a 2020 Netflix Adventure Series created by Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke that centers around a group of teens from the Outer Banks of North Carolina who call themselves The Pogues. The Pogues spend their days working, surfing, partying, and getting into scrapes with the Kooks, the upper class that rules the other half of the Outer Banks.

The main cast of Pogues, John B (Chase Stokes), the leader of the group and avoiding child services after his father went missing 9 months ago, JJ (Rudy Pankow), John B's best friend and regular problem creator, Pope (Johnathan Daviss), the "brains of the operation" and Merit Scholar candidate, and Kiara (Madison Bailey), who is technically a Kook but hangs with Pogues and cares deeply about conservation, uncover a lot more than they bargained for when they decide to loot a boat that sunk during a hurricane.


Outer Banks contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: JJ's dad, who beats him bloody several times throughout the show. Their interactions suggest that this has been happening for years.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Sarah for John B after his escape from DCS. Complete with a Bandage Wince from John B.
  • Alcoholic Parent: JJ's dad.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Topper, several times for Sarah.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Zigzagged for Wheezie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Pope, when Rafe tries to choke Kiara and Pope descends into Berzerker mode.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Several characters after being beaten.
  • Bloody Handprint: Downplayed. John B leaves a couple smeared onto a car after he almost gets run over while trying to run away. The handprints themselves aren't particularly noteworthy, but the fact that the driver got a good look at John B's face when he left them, is.
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  • Cell Phones Are Useless: In the first episode it is handwaved that Hurricane Agatha knocked out cell service on the island (along with power for those not fortunate enough to have generators). For the following few weeks there is no mention of efforts to restore coverage, newfound limitations on communication ability, or indeed the very existence of cell phones.
  • Commitment Issues: Both Kiara and Sarah. Although they both make some strides in overcoming them.
  • Cop Killer: Rafe to Sheriff Peterkin. Deputy Shoupe is not happy.
  • CPRCleanPrettyReliable: Done on Sheriff Peterkin. Averted, it's bloody and doesn't work.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: JJ who's implied to have been shot down by his crush, Kiara
  • Disappeared Dad: John B explains early on that his dad has been missing at sea for nine months. We find out later that he was injured by Ward, thrown overboard, and later died on an uninhabited island.
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  • Escalating War: Between the Pogues and the Kooks. JJ tries offering a drink to Sarah at the Boneyard. Topper steps in and tries to shut it down. JJ persists, a fight breaks out and JJ ends the conflict by pulling out a gun. Later on, Topper and Rafe retaliate against the Pogues by jumping Pope and beating him with golf clubs. Then, Pope is convinced by JJ to sink Topper's boat.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Ward finds out that John B and the others found the gold by listening in on his conversation with Sarah, one where they both enthusiastically spell out exactly what they found, how much it's worth, and what they plan to do with it.
  • Fugitive Arc: Episodes 9 and 10 for John B as he tries to survive and escape the island with nearly everyone thinking that he murdered Sheriff Peterkin.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: Both Rafe and Barry indulge in this. Results in Sanity Slippage for Rafe.
  • Getting Hot in Here: A downplayed version of this happens when Sarah and John B are stuck below deck and trying to cope with the heat on their way to Chapel Hill.
  • Groin Attack: Ward goes for this while fighting John B on his yacht.
  • Hollywood Kiss: When Sarah and John B kiss after a full day and a half of adventuring, flirting, sneaking, and sleuthing, it is of course while they are dressed to the nines and in the midst of it pouring rain. It is also preceded by a romantic speech.
  • Hope Spot: Perkins appears ready to arrest Ward for the murder of John's father...then Rafe shoots her and Ward frames John for the crime.
  • IDontWantToRuinOurFriendship: Plays a role in Kiara's rejection of Pope's and John B's advances.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Despite JJ's own stated crush on Kiara, he encourages John B to make his move on her so if she accepts, they could both be happy.
  • In-Series Nickname: A few.
    • John Booker Routledge is almost always called by his first name and initial of his middle name by those who know him, even casually or by those who don't particularly like him. Hearing anything different is usually a sign of trouble, unless it's Bird, which is his dad's Affectionate Nickname for him.
    • Kie for Kiara.
  • Introdump: In the first episode, an extensive voiceover from John B explicitly lays out the physical and social geography of Kildare Island, and introduces the members of the Pogues, complete with freeze frames and handwritten text of their names.
  • Iron Woobie: JJ.
  • Locked in a Room: Invoked. To try to get them to settle their differences and make up, JJ, John B, and Pope decide to leave Sarah and Kiara on a non-functional boat for a night. It's effective.
  • Loving a Shadow: Sarah accuses Topper of loving the idea of her, rather than Sarah herself.
  • Minor Living Alone: His dad is missing at sea, presumed dead. His mom skipped out on the family years ago, and his legal guardian (his uncle) is in another state and hasn't visited in months. This causes John B issues with the law.
  • Missing Mom: For both JJ and John B.
  • Only Known by Initials: JJ.
  • Outfit Decoy: At the church, John B gives his red hoodie to Topper who wears it as he gives himself up. The police focus on him, giving John B and Sarah just enough time to escape the other way.
  • PlatonicDeclarationofLove:
    • JJ bids farewell to John B with this.
    • JJ receives one from his father while he is in a drunken stupor.
  • Playing the Victim Card: In later episodes, Ward Cameron.
  • Rich Boredom: Sarah Cameron decides to join in on the adventure because she is "16 and already knows what the rest of her life looks like." She also wants to "experience life outside of the bubble wrap."
  • The Rich Want to Be Richer: Ward Cameron, who is hell-bent on securing the gold despite living a fairly cushy life.
  • Self-Harm: Ward punctures his arm with an arrow in order to frame John B as an unstable, violent, untrustworthy person.
  • Shirtless Scene: Being a series that takes place on a tropical island, go figure.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: On Kildare Island, the population is generally divided the working class inhabitants of The Cut ("Pogues") and the rich residents of Figure Eight ("Kooks"). These titles are used extensively by most characters (especially non-adult characters) to refer to themselves or the other group. While membership in either group is mostly dictated by circumstance, there are in-universe references to existing and potential crossover: Kiara, who lives in Figure Eight, is an established member of the Pogues, and when talking about what they'd do if they find the treasure, the Pogues toast to "going full Kook."
  • So Crazy, It Must Be True: How Sarah is able to convince Topper that John B is innocent of Sherrif Perkins' murder. As she says, if she was going to lie to cover for him, why would she pick her own brother as the killer unless it was true?
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted. They exist and are set on getting John B into foster care.
  • Sticky Fingers: JJ is described as a "klepto" by John B in the series' opening narration.
  • Treasure Map: The map John B gets from Sarah Cameron's house.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: JJ and John B say this to each other about their respective fathers when John B gets caught up in the treasure hunt that is getting more and more dangerous, and JJ when he starts stealing from drug dealers and getting in deep with the law.
  • Uptown Girl: After an escalating series of adventures, flirting, and missed signals, Sarah, "Queen of the Kooks," and John B, ostensible leader of the Pogues, end up together, even to the point of driving a boat straight into a death storm together.
  • Unwanted Harem: Downplayed. At the beginning, John B says that he, Pope, and JJ all have feelings for Kiara, yet she doesn't return any of them and would prefer to stay Just Friends.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Ward Cameron, and to a lesser extent, his son.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: These are distributed en masse across the island for the alleged murderer of Sheriff Peterkin - John B.
  • When Elders Attack: After breaking into her house, the gang have to escape the owner - a blind old lady rumored to be an Ax-Crazy murderer - attacking them with a fire poker and then a shotgun.
  • "X" Marks the Spot: The map that John B's dad left behind for him to mark where he believes the shipwreck is.


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