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Series / Schitt's Creek

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I'm sure they'll love it here. note 

Schitt's Creek (stylized Schitt$ Creek) is a CBC sitcom, co-created by Eugene Levy and his son Daniel Levy.

When the super-rich Rose family finds out that their business manager has bankrupted them, family patriarch Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), his theatrical vamp of a wife Moira (Catherine O'Hara), socialite daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) and effete hipster son David (Daniel Levy) are kicked out of their mansion with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

But that's not entirely true: They quickly discover that they still own Schitt's Creek, a rural town that Johnny bought as a joke years ago and forgot about. The Roses are forced to live in the town's only motel and mingle with the townsfolk, like the obnoxious Mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), his surprisingly normal wife Jocelyn (Jennifer Robertson), sardonic motel clerk Stevie (Emily Hampshire) and air-headed waitress Twyla (Sarah Levy). Hilarity Ensues.


Despite the attention-grabbing name, the show is a pretty wholesome, charming Screwball Comedy. It has enjoyed progressively more popular and critical support over the seasons as the characters have developed, particularly with storylines that delve into their relationships, including Alexis's Will They or Won't They? romance with Ted (Dustin Milligan) and David's Queer Romance with Patrick (Noah Reid).

Airing in US on the Pop cable network and available to stream on Netflix, the show has enjoyed some international success in America.

The show has produced five seasons so far and will close out its run with a final, sixth season in 2020.


Schitt's Creek provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 24-Hour Party People: Every time there's a big party, such as at Mutt's Barn Party or Patrick's Housewarming, there's people mulling about we've never seen before. Subverted at the Roses' Christmas Party, where the last minute guest list is filled out by only the Jazzagals and Roland.
  • A Cappella: The Jazzagals, who sometimes make unusual choices in terms of their repertoire, including a Nine Inch Nails medley.
  • Aborted Arc: Overlapping somewhat with Character Development, the whole concept of the Roses owning Schitt's Creek rarely gets brought up past the first season or two, and Johnny's attempts to do something with his ownership fade out. Eugene Levy says that in Season 5, Johnny is still thinking about adding value to the town and possibly getting out, but it's not forefront of his mind.
  • Accents Aren't Hereditary: Johnny has a fairly normal Canadian/American accent, as does his (campier) son, David. However, Alexis and Moira both seem to affect very unusual accents that are completely different from one another's or any other member of their family.
  • Alleged Car: Johnny and Moira use some of David's money to buy the family a black 1978 Lincoln with eight cylinders. It's a significant downgrade from the family's former vehicles, but it's still a Cool Car under some circumstances.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played with. David has no problem bragging about his copious sexual experiences with both genders, but he doesn't appear any more or less promiscuous than his straight sister. Patrick, on the other hand, is very monogamous and tells David he has no need to experiment with other men, even though David has been his only male partner.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Played straight in Season 1. Subverted in Season 2 when it's explicitly addressed that Johnny is Jewish and later it's clear his children had Jewish religious instruction. When asked if he's Jewish, David refers to himself as a "half-half situation."
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Moira's old Soap Opera character was apparently famous for slapping her would-be suitors. It's Roland's dream to be slapped by her. She complies.
  • Art Imitates Life: In-universe, when Patrick auditions for the role of Cliff in Cabaret:
    Moira: The thing you must understand about Cliff, Patrick, is that he has been with many women, but he has never derived true pleasure from it.
    Patrick: ...think I can wrap my head around that.
  • Awkward Kiss:
    • David and Stevie briefly consider rekindling their romance, but their kiss turns out very awkward for both of them.
    • After Ted kisses David during spin the bottle, Alexis and Patrick get into a jealous huff. David suggests they kiss to even things out, and their kiss turns out extremely awkward.
  • Babysitting Episode:
    • Season 2 has David babysitting his boss's adolescent step-daughter. It isn't fun for either of them.
    • Season 5 sees Johnny and Moira (mostly Johnny) babysitting Roland Jr. after Roland and Jocelyn initially did not think they could care for an infant. This includes The Diaper Change.
    • Season 5 has Roland called away on an emergency and leaving Roland Jr. with an aghast David at Rose Apothecary. A potential client, however, thinks the baby is David's and is delighted so David plays along.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: In Season 5, Johnny discovers the motel's coffee is undrinkable. He drinks some.
  • Baseball Episode: Patrick pressures a very reluctant David into playing on his baseball team, which pits them against Johnny, Roland, and Ronnie.
  • Better as Friends: How David and Stevie's brief Unresolved Sexual Tension after sleeping together finally resolves itself.
  • Big "OMG!": Given that exclaiming "Oh my God!" is one of the Rose family's main Shared Family Quirks, they say it a lot in big moments and small. A few of the bigger examples:
    • David witnessing a Primal Scene.
    • At the Allez Vous party, right before Alexis says "Eww, David" for the first time.
    • When Johnny reads a motel review clearly inspired by Moira's bad customer service.
    • When David realizes Patrick hasn't come out to his parents and Johnny has just outed him accidentally.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • Moira has a birthday in Season 1, and Johnny plans a surprise party for her.
    • David has a birthday in the Season Finale of Season 3, which his family forgets. Parick invites him for a date, which eventually leads to their First Kiss.
    • David throws a surprise party for Patrick in Season 5 and invites his parents. This leads to Patrick's Coming-Out Story.
  • Blond Brunette Red Head: Alexis, Stevie, Twyla.
  • Brandishment Bluff: The man who robs David and Stevie at Rose Apothecary turns out not to have had a gun at all.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: An In-Universe example happens when Alexis suggests Ted set up a bunny cam in the office to drum up publicity for his practice.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the end of season 2, when David tries to learn whether a man is sexually interested in other men, he uses the wine analogy he and Stevie used in season 1. The guy doesn't have a clue about this and replies that he likes "beer" instead.
    • That same character, Jake, serves as a callback himself in the fourth season when it is revealed he is still dating Stevie long after David had broken up with him and thought Stevie had done the same.
    • In Season Finale for Season 5, Moira becomes distraught when she learns her comeback movie has been shelved and crawls into the motel closet in the way she did in Season 1.
  • Canada Does Not Exist: The show is coy not just about the specific location of Schitt's Creek, but what country it's in. Between the generic redneck atmosphere and various references to American figures and locations, it's not uncommon for American viewers to assume it's set in the US.
  • Canada, Eh?: While it's subtle, Canadian viewers can spot numerous Canadian references woven into the dialogue and in Season 4 Dan Levy confirmed that the town's never stated location is somewhere in Canada. Cities like Winnipeg and Montreal are mentioned. Stevie has a Sarah Mclaughlin poster in her apartment and David once went as Alanis Morisette for Halloween. Moira once partied with The Rolling Stones and Maggie Trudeau. Jocelyn makes Nanaimo bars. Most importantly, however, the tiny town has a curling rink, and the majority of the townspeople are very nice.
  • Character Tic:
    • Alexis brushes her hair back with a finger about three times an episode.
    • David tends to bare his teeth and squint whenever he's uncomfortable, which is often.
  • Cerebus Call Back: Moira freaks out after googling herself and hides in the motel closet. This is Played for Laughs as Johnny, David and Alexis discuss how to manage her meltdown, something they are all experienced at doing. In Season 5, the Roses are hosting an after party for her successful community theatre production when Moira receives word that her movie comeback has been shelved. She wails, collapses and crawls into the same closet. This time, the audience is well aware of how much the movie meant to Moira and how hard she works at her creative endeavors. It's still funny, but this time it's heartbreaking as well.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A man is seen browsing in the Rose Apothecary in Season 5, Episode 6 for a little bit longer than is normal. In Season 5, Episode 10, David discovers his old boss Wendy has gone into business with a man named Antonio who looks and dresses like a knockoff David and their business is a knockoff of Rose Apothecary. Eagle-eyed viewers recognized him as the man browsing in Episode 6, though Antonio denies having ever been in David's store.
  • Christmas Episode: The final episode of Season 4 aired for the first time in December of 2018 and featured a story in which Johnny wishes the family to celebrate Christmas as they did in the old days. The episode contains a number of easter eggs, including a flashback to one of the Roses' famous Christmas Parties, complete with David and Moira doing "The Number", a celebrity guest and a brief glimpse of Alexis's former paramour Stavros.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Episode 11 opens with Moira repeating "fuck me!" in response to supposedly feeling something crawling up her leg.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The very fact that Johnny bought the town as a long-forgotten gag gift illustrates the Roses' previous spending habits. Their wardrobes may be the last physical vestige of their former wealth but there are constant references to their previous spending on cars, houses, a jet, lavish parties and charitable donations in exchange for stuff being named for Moira.
  • Costume Porn: Much attention, and rightfully so, has been paid to the show's wardrobe. Vogue has heaped praise on the show for its style and how it works with the storytelling, as have other fashion-oriented magazines. Show creator Dan Levy gave an in-depth interview with Vogue in January 2019 in which he explained how the costumes help him craft the story. The show also produced an online video extra in which Catherine O'Hara talks about how she suggested eccentric socialite Daphne Guinness as someone on which to model Moira's fashion sense.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • Alexis has a lot of these, including when she lies to Ted and tells him she kept his locket.
    • David could have avoided going on the adventure date if he had only talked to Patrick about what Alexis said about the relationship quiz.
  • Cupid Hates Odd Couples: David and Stevie both start dating Jake, and he suggests Polyamory as a solution to the love triangle.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In a rare In-Universe example, an early episode focuses on Schitt's Creek's welcome sign, which features town founder Horace Schitt and his sister in a very compromising position. No one seems to see the problem with it until Johnny points it out. Even then, the only change the mayor makes is to add a sign saying "Don't worry, it's his sister!"
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The usually level-headed Johnny gets drunk at the cafe after Bob kicks him out of the garage. After Jocelyn brings him home, he confesses to Moira that he is demoralized and doesn't feel like a good provider anymore. In a role reversal, Moira comforts him and assures him he's the one keeping the family together.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The show's central premise is that a family of shallow, bickering elites must live in a small town. Over the course of the series, it becomes clear that the Roses are a pretty loving family for all that, and they become less dysfunctional as time goes on.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: David discovers a high school yearbook photo of Stevie with an unflattering haircut. In retaliation, Stevie finds an unflattering head-shot of former child/teen actor David online. David says the photo got him a two-episode arc on Dateline and his performance got him laid.
  • Escort Distraction: David takes Moira out to dinner while Patrick and Stevie get private dance lessons. Moira worries that David is being ignored by his friends, before stumbling on the secret rehearsal. She's pleased and never realizes David was in on the ruse.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first scene of the show, with the family frantically trying to hold onto what they can as they're repo'd to high hell, provides at least one for each family member. Special mention goes to Moira's first line, a histrionic wail delivered without her even being on-screen:
    I've been gutted! John, I've been stripped of every morsel of pleasure I earned in this life!
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • As hostile as they are, the ladies at the nursing home where Ted volunteers all know he is in love with Alexis.
    • First Alexis, then Stevie, then the Rose parents all start supporting David and Patrick's romance. It gets to the point where the whole town does, but that might be because David is very needy when he separates briefly from Patrick.
  • Everyone Is Christian at Christmas: The Roses are a mixed family, with John being Jewish, and the kids had at least some religious instruction given that Alexis had a bat mitzvah. David refers to himself as a "delightful half-half situation." While maintaining some Jewish customs, like putting out a menorah during holiday season, they're obviously a secular family now. They celebrate Christmas as a time of family togetherness, and Johnny places special significance on their Christmas parties.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job:
    • Formerly wealthy business mogul Johnny eventually owns half of The Rosebud Motel, and he is seen cleaning rooms and working the front desk, among other menial jobs. He rarely complains about this.
    • Former Soap Star Moira runs for town council and wins, and she is effective at the job. She also appears at a soap opera fan convention and sells autographs and pictures.
    • Former gallerist and trust fund baby David doesn't last a day as a supermarket bag boy, but he does do well as the brand manager for The Blouse Barn. He builds on this experience and starts his own store.
    • Former social media starlet and trust fund baby Alexis works as a receptionist at Ted's office before starting her own PR firm.
  • Family Business: Rose Video, but somewhat subverted in that Alexis and David had no interest in it. The Rosebud motel becomes a much sweeter example, and a sign of how much Stevie has been accepted as a member of the family.
  • Feigning Intelligence: In episode seven of season three, Alexis attends a high school class taught by Jocelyn to finish her high school degree. Jocelyn incorrectly attributes the "Let them eat cake" line to Marie Antoinette, and Alexis of all people accurately corrects her, but then can't help but reveal that she got this information from Kirsten Dunst, who played Marie Antoinette in a movie.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Joceyln can cook and bake, but Moira used to pass off her housekeeper's enchiladas as her own. Later, there is a gender-flipped version as Roland is a grillmaster but Johnny doesn't know how to grill because he always hired a chef to do so.
  • First Day of School Episode: Alexis may be in her late twenties, but her family still escorts her to her first day at high school and gives her advice and support.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: In one of the many instances of the show trading subtly on its name, David and Stevie get sick from the Lovers Curry while pretending to be a honeymoon couple.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Moira (sanguine), Johnny (choleric), David (melancholic), and Alexis (phlegmatic).
  • From New York to Nowhere: This happens to David literally, as he once lived in a large, live-work space in Manhattan. Alexis seems to have been LA based, but she traveled a great deal. The precise location of the Rose mansion is left ambiguous (perhaps because Canada Does Not Exist), but it was in a big city and Johnny and Moira were globe-trotting urbanites.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Johnny is asked to give the eulogy for Bob's brother Carl, and it does not go well. Only Moira interceding with her rendition of "Danny Boy" saves poor Johnny as he has a melt down.
  • Genre Throwback: The show is an updated Screwball Comedy, with class conflict, Farce and romances mixed together.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Starting with the town's name.
  • "Getting My Own Room" Plot: Largely averted. While some episodes in Season 1 place Alexis and David in conflict because both want their own room, despite both being in long term relationships by Season 4, they still share the motel bedroom.
  • Good Parents: Played with in a couple of ways.
    • Johnny and Moira were not good parents in the traditional sense, but they did make sure that their children did not want for care via nannies and material things. That said, over the course of the show they become more caring, hands-on parents to their adult children.
    • Roland and Jocelyn appear to have been traditional and devoted parents to their son Mutt, but he still rebels and is estranged from his father.
    • Patrick’s parents, Marcy and Clint, are ideal parents, and Patrick loves them. Ironically, this makes Patrick’s coming out to them more stressful than David’s was. David didn’t care what his parents thought and brought a couple home in college, relishing causing them stress or scandal. Patrick, on the other hand, fears changing his relationship with or disappointing Marcy and Clint.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture:
    • Johnny has a history of making lavish donations so that things like a theatre or emergency route are named after Moira. He arranges for a garden in Schitt's Creek to be named after her, but Moira does not want anything in the town named for her. She eventually allows it after Jocelyn tells her how much it would mean to Johnny to make her happy.
    • Patrick sings a touching acoustic cover of Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" at open mic night, and David later lip-synchs to the song in order to apologize to Patrick.
    • Ted crashes the musical chairs game at Singles Week and kisses Alexis.
    • Patrick invites David on a romantic picnic in the woods, and David whines about the length of the hike. After Patrick steps on a branch, David has to remove it from his foot. David apologizes and insists on completing the hike even though he has to carry Patrick on his back. Patrick guides him to a beautiful spot that Patrick used to go to think about his feelings for David before they were together, gets down on one knee and proposes. David cries and says yes.
  • Happily Married: Johnny and Moira, despite all their hardships, remain a loving and devoted couple. Roland and Jocelyn are also happily married.
  • Hero's Classic Car: The Roses share a 1978 black Lincoln with eight cylinders.
  • Hey, Let's Put on a Show: A major storyline of Season 5 is Moira directing the community theatre production of Cabaret.
  • Hidden Depths: All the Roses have comically exaggerated personalities, but all of them gradually reveal layers that indicate that their previous, wealthy lives were tinged with sadness. Moira and Alexis had/have emotional problems and issues with substance abuse while David was surrounded by users, often worried about his sister and had no real friends and Johnny worked all the time and felt disconnected from his family.
  • History with Celebrity: All four of the Roses have name-dropped various celebrities, and Moira, David, and Alexis have even dated a few that include John Cougar Mellencamp, Anderson Cooper, and Zach Efron. Alexis also low-key dated Prince Harry.
  • Idiot Ball: The writers make good use of this trope, as all four of the Roses have big knowledge gaps and are put into positions where they make dumb mistakes. Conversely, all four of them occasionally get to hold the Smart Ball and reveal their talents. This leads to Character Development.
    • Johnny may be an excellent businessman, but he needs David and Alexis's help with social media.
    • Moira may be a mediocre actress who can't get through a wine commercial sober, but she turns out to be an decent local politician, even securing a large grant for the town.
    • David doesn't understand paperwork or taxes, but he's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer when it comes to retail and marketing.
    • Alexis constantly displays her lack of book smarts, but she's great at social media and escaping kidnappings.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The catalyst for the show is the Rose family becoming this.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: All four Roses wear clothing that is impractically expensive and out of place in the town but Moira, with her dramatic wigs, extreme hats, layered accessories, super high-end designer clothing, and platform shoes, embodies this dynamic to the extreme. Creator Dan Levy insists that the outfits worn by the Roses be authentic and representative of fashion collections from before the Roses lost their wealth.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    • Johnny is in hot water for putting the expectant father Roland's phone on mute. When Bob is discussing the situation with someone over the phone and Johnny guesses the context:
    Bob: I wouldn't say 'snake'... but he sure is slippery!
    Johnny: You know, I'm standing right here.
    • David and Johnny have agreed to play for opposing baseball teams, but Johnny keeps coaching David to his teammate Roland's chagrin.
    Johnny: I'm just helping out my son, Roland. The kid has no idea what he's doing.
    David: I can hear you!
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: You can't even say the name of the show in advertisements.
  • I Own This Town: Subverted. The Roses literally own the town but get nothing for it but two run-down motel rooms.
  • Irishman and a Jew: Irish-Catholic (possibly Canadian or American) Moira is married to the Jewish Johnny. Also, Johnny and the Irish Roland have an Odd Couple friendship.
  • It's All About Me: All of the Roses exhibit this trope, but Moira and David have it the worst.
  • It's Always Spring: Except for plot-specific necessities like the Christmas episode, the weather of Schitt's Creek is always sunny and mild, in spite of being loosely implied to be located somewhere in Canada.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Towards the end of Season 4, Alexis declares her love for Ted but also tells him that she just wants him to be happy with Heather. She later gives a monologue at Singles Week about the importance of letting go, but Ted surprises her to say he has broken up with Heather and they kiss.
    • Although they have settled in as Amicable Exes, Stevie is able to put aside any lingering hurt from her breakup with David to encourage him to pursue Patrick.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Played with. Johnny may have been the star left fielder of his school's baseball team, but it was Hebrew school and there were only seven players. Yet, he's a better player than David was, who holds the little league record for most times hit by the ball. This turns out sweet in the Baseball Episode, as Johnny forgets to play for his team because he's cheering on and coaching David. He's genuinely thrilled when David wins the game for the opposite team.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: David and Stevie, in the first season.
  • Lighter and Softer: While it shares a similar riches-to-rags premise as Arrested Development, Schitt's Creek is far more romantic and sentimental and lets its Jerkass characters evolve into good people. In the first season, the Roses are snooty and miserable and suffer more than a few humiliations, but the show improves as their lives improve.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Alexis and Jocelyn are both the "light" to Moira's "dark."
  • Like Brother and Sister: Stevie and David. They had a brief romance and have become best friends, and she plays matchmaker with him and Patrick. She also becomes close to the rest of David's family, including his father, who sometimes includes her when referring to his kids. Patrick even goes so far as to ask her blessing when he's going to propose to David.
  • Local Hangout: The Roses are often seen dining at Cafe Tropical, a diner with a comicly extensive menu, which is the only restaurant in town and the setting for many major events in the show.
  • Lots of Luggage: Especially in Season 1 and 2, all the Roses do this to some extent. Even now they've settled into Schitt's Creek, it's made clear that they still have much more stuff than most people.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Moira is incensed to find Johnny has been reading old love letters from an unknown woman while she was away. The letters become a minor town scandal, but Johnny eventually informs Moira that she was the author of the letters during a time when she was working on Sunrise Bay and was in a plot related body cast, which explains why the handwriting was different. Moira then advises Johnny to let the townspeople think the letters were from a mystery woman to give him an edge.
  • Lust Object:
    • Jake, the bisexual furniture maker that dates both Stevie and David. Neither of them have feelings for him but they still compete with each other for his attention.
    • When Ted returns from his solo honeymoon having worked out the whole time, Alexis checks him out only to be very surprised when she realizes who it is. Later, when Ted arrives at Patrick's party looking great, David, Patrick and Stevie all admire him despite being in relationships.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Ted and Alexis decide to have sex in the newly renovated bathroom of Rose Apothecary. They break the sink. Public sex is also implied to have happened with other couples, including Stevie and Emir at The Hopsies.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: David, the effete, style-obsessed hipster, gets into a relationship with the Straight Gay Patrick.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: David is emotional, prissy, pansexual and obsessed with beauty and fashion while Stevie is a tomboy who dresses in jeans and flannel and avoids emotion. Humor often comes from their gender role reversal, such as when David asks Stevie to remove a bug from his room or she invites him on a hunting trip.
  • Meet Cute:
    • Alexis forces Mutt into a kiss selfie the moment they meet.
    • David babbles nonsense about his business plan to an amused Patrick.
    • Hotel blogger Emir and Stevie engage in flirty banter as she pretends to be a guest so she can talk up the motel. When Emir asks her to lunch, she confesses the truth before their drinks arrive.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Moira initially believes Bob is gay because she mistook a photo of Bob's wife for a large man.
    • Stevie assumes David is gay when he is actually pansexual.
    • Stevie refers to a haircut she had in high-school that her classmates said made her look like she belonged on the LPGA tour.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Johnny finds a positive pregnancy test in Alexis's bathroom and assumes it is hers, leading to more than one comic misunderstanding. It is actually Jocelyn who is pregnant to the relief of Johnny, Moira and David.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: David and Stevie are shown with the red satin motel sheets pulled up to their necks after their unexpected tryst. This works In-Universe because the pair is mortified and don't want to be showing their bodies to each other or in David's case, to himself.
  • Moment Killer: After their store opening is a big success, David and Patrick share a hug that is longer than appropriate for platonic business partners. One of them seems certain to say something, but the lights flicker and the subject changes to the fact that the lights need fixing.
  • Musical Episode: The Season 5 finale features Moira's community theatre production of Cabaret, with Patrick singing "Wilkommen" as the Emcee and Stevie giving a triumphant performance of "Maybe This Time" as Sally Bowels.
  • My New Gift Is Lame: Johnny is a terrible gift-giver. He bought the town of Schitt's Creek as a joke birthday gift for David, which no one apparently thought was funny and everyone immediately forgot about. In Season 4, he buys the Tom Boy Stevie a "suitcase full of makeup" and suggests that she wear it every day, causing Stevie to feel like it's a Stealth Insult on her appearance. Alexis has to assure her that the insult was unintended, and Johnny is just bad at giving gifts. She recalls when Johnny gave the prissy David a basketball court for his birthday as a teen.
  • New Job Episode:
    • Alexis gets a job as Ted's receptionist and figures out quickly that she's actually going to have to perform work.
    • David gets a job at The Blouse Barn, and his boss Wendy turns out to be quite understanding of David's quirks and mentors him.
    • Moira treats her first day as a city councilwoman like the opening night of a play and dresses accordingly.
  • Nice Hat: Both Moira and Alexis wear exceptional hats on more than one occasion.
  • Nobody Poops: Subverted. Thanks to the poop joke in the show's title, the writers incorporate both obvious and subtle poop jokes into the show on a regular basis. This begins in the first episode when Mayor Roland Schitt uses the Roses' motel bathroom for an uncomfortable amount of time.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever sexy shenanigans Moira and Johnny got into at Bob's cottage, which apparently involved breaking a corkscrew in half.
    • Invoked during every conversation with Alexis where she casually mentions bits of absolutely outlandish stories, often to the utter astonishment of various other members of the family, while she clearly thinks of it as nothing out of the ordinary. This comes back to haunt her later in Season 3, when the Rose family discovers Alexis has never graduated high school and must finish it to attend college, although the noodle incident behind it is never fully explained.
      Alexis: It's this long, boring story involving a yacht, and a famous soccer player, and, like, a ton of mushrooms...
    • The Roses' Christmas Parties had a reindeer room.
  • Not a Date: Patrick invites David for a birthday dinner date, but David doesn't realize it's a date and invites Stevie. Stevie arrives and notices how surprised Patrick is at her presence and that Patrick has brought a wrapped gift for David. When Patrick is in the restroom, Stevie points all this out to David, who is skeptical.
    Stevie: So, I think I'm crashing a date.
    David: Oh, no-no.
    Stevie: He thinks you guys were here, one on one. He bought you a present. I didn't even get you a present.
  • The Oner: The fourth season Christmas Episode opens with a Flashback to one of the Roses' famous Christmas parties, and the single long shot contains a number of easter eggs.
  • Only Shop in Town: The only shop in town, The Schitt's Creek General Store, closes to David's dismay. He eventually takes a lease out on the property and opens Rose Apothecary, which elegantly rebrands local products and crafts.
    David: I can't tell what's more tragic, the fact that the only store in town is closing or that they decided to display the fungal cream next to the cereal boxes.
    Stevie: That's actually really convenient because I forgot to have breakfast and I'm running low on fungal cream.
  • Opposites Attract: The romances of Johnny and Moira, Roland and Jocelyn, David and Stevie, Alexis and Mutt, Alexis and Ted and David and Patrick all feature some variation of opposites attracting. In the cases of David/Stevie and Alexis/Mutt this causes the romances to fizzle out, but for the rest, each member of the pair complements the other and makes the relationship successful.
  • Parents as People: Moira and John were too busy gallivanting around with other socialites; instead of raising their children, they simply threw money at them. They don't even know Alexis's middle name during the first season.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Moira and Johnny were completely oblivious to Alexis's wild adventures in her teens and twenties and are still regularly shocked to learn what she had been up to.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: This happens more than once, given the show's premise. David has his Season 1 Primal Scene, and Alexis deals with the sexy letters a mystery woman sent to Johnny by reminding Moira she no longer has a therapist. When Moira is revealed to be the author, both David and Alexis find this cringey.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Jocelyn confronts Alexis about the fact that Alexis obviously didn't write her term paper. An annoyed Alexis is surprised and realizes Johnny made some edits without her knowledge. Ironically, the Book Dumb Alexis comprehends what plagiarism is and why it is wrong while Johnny doesn't.
  • Ponzi: A former Soap Opera colleague of Moira's sends her a start-up kit for an MLM called Allez Vous. Moira knows it's a scam, but David falls for the get-rich-quick promises of the brochure. Mother and son attempt to make a go of the scheme, only to discover that so much of the town is already part of the pyramid that none of them can sell any product.
  • Precision F-Strike: There are only one or two F-bombs per episode, which are usually reserved for whenever it's funniest.
  • Primal Scene: David walks in on his parents having sex at one point. It doesn't help that the motel's walls are so poorly constructed that he and Alexis can hear everything.
  • Punny Name: The town's name gives the show its Pun-Based Title, and characters like Roland Schitt have pun-based names, all of which is acknowledged In-Universe. The fact that the last name Rose mashes up nicely with Stevie's last name is also acknowledged and leads to a new name for the motel.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • After a series of starts and stops, Alexis thinks she must move on from Ted, but he surprises her at a Singles Week event and gives her The Big Damn Kiss in front of a cheering crowd.
    • Although they are dating and run a business together, David is shown as unclear what to introduce Patrick as. This dramatically changes after Patrick and Stevie spend a day pushing David's aesthetic Berserk Button in an effort to get him to compromise. David finally admits to being unable to do so, but he also calls Patrick his boyfriend.
      David: These mountaineering shoes that my boyfriend is wearing looking like Oprah on a Thanksgiving Day hike, incorrect.
      Patrick: I'm sorry what did you just say?
      David: I said the breath mints need to move.
      Patrick: I think it was something about your boyfriend's shoes.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Played for Laughs in that even after becoming poor in dollars, too, the whole family tends to behave dimly. Even the canniest member of the family - Johnny - is prone to slipping up occasionally.
  • The Roast: Johnny fills in for Moira at the annual Mayor’s Roast. He initially bombs but ekes out some good burns at the end.
  • Romantic Comedy: David and Alexis's love lives provide plenty of romantic comedy shenanigans, including a Love Triangle for Alexis. Ted lampshades this by saying his situation with Alexis feels like a romantic comedy.
  • Running Gag:
    • Johnny, while speaking to one of the children, uses a turn of phrase whose meaning is obvious but is confusing when interpreted completely literally, which the children do. Johnny then has to explain this obvious thing while the children treat him like the idiot.
      Johnny: Alexis, I have a favor...
      Alexis: Oh, great. Um... I would love a ride to work.
      Johnny: I meant, I have a favor to ask.
      Alexis: You just said that you have a favor. As in, for me.
      Johnny: Well who says that, "I have a favor for you"?
    • People constantly take things from Rose Apothecary without paying for them, either through outright theft or bullying David or Patrick into giving the merchandise to them.
  • Say My Name:
    • The way Alexis vocal-fryes her brother's name (Daay-VID) has become a show signature, leading to her Catch-Phrase:
      Alexis: Eww, David.
    • Moira's peculiar accent causes her to pronounce her daughter's name in a rather unique way. (Alex-IS)
  • Screwball Comedy: The show updates many of the tropes from classic screwball comedy, especially in the unfolding romances of David and Alexis and the fish-out-of-water class comedy that is at the center of the show. One key update, David is allowed to be a protagonist when in the past he would have been a side character whose sexuality is not named. His romance with Patrick fits the genre, with flamboyant and dramatic David helping pull buttoned-up Patrick out of his shell, with much bickering along the way. The writers even give a Shout-Out to the genre when Moira gives David a pep talk in the voice of a 1920s screwball heroine.
    Moira: Ah say, don't be a dewdropper. Throw some concealer under those peepers, make like a swell and go put on the ritz.
  • Serious Business:
    • Multiple events happen that most of the town takes very seriously, such as Asbestos Fest or The Mayor's Roast. There's also events that many townspeople take seriously, such as the championship baseball game, but others, like David, do not.
    • Individual Characters also tend to take various things seriously, such as Moira becoming obsessed with her B-movie comeback or Johnny being thrilled to be nominated for a regional hospitality award.
  • Shared Family Quirks:
    • Moira and David both almost exclusively wear black and white clothing.
    • Alexis and David share similar hand gestures.
    • Moira, David and Alexis often say "Eww."
    • Johnny, Moira, David and Alexis all have a tendency to exclaim "Oh my God!"
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Moira starred on the Soap Within a Show Sunrise Bay, which was number one in the ratings and had outrageous stories that had Moira playing her own father and somehow becoming pregnant (despite a vasectomy), being possessed and being thrown upwards through a skylight, which seems inspired by the James E. Reilley era of Days of Our Lives.
    • Moira is cast as Dr. Clara Beatrice Mandrake in The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening, in which she plays a respected ornithologist who has been turned into a human/crow mutant.
    • Moira starred with Joyce DeWitt in a Lifetime movie called Not Without My Cousin about two astrophysicist cousins who go hiking in Lebanon.
    • Alexis starred in the short-lived, critically reviewed 2007 reality show A Little Bit Alexis and released the title song as a single.
    • Moria mounts a production of Cabaret and casts Patrick in the role of the Emcee and Stevie in the role of Sally Bowels.
  • Sibling Rivalry: David and Alexis lived mostly separate lives before Schitt's Creek, but competitiveness between them can flare up. Alexis always thought, correctly, that Moira preferred David. David tends to needle Alexis about her academic performance, and Alexis needles David successfully about her relationship being "hotter" than his.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: David is dark-haired, intellectual, introverted, depressive, insecure, exacting and filled with phobias. Alexis is blond, ditzy, extraverted, upbeat, confident, adaptable and brave to the point of recklessness. The siblings may bicker, but they will also stick up for one another.
  • Sick Episode: Alexis gets sick with a cold, and Moira tries her hand at hands-on parenting with mixed but endearing results.
  • Snow Means Love: It begins to snow as Johnny and Moira walk arm-in-arm back to The Rosebud Motel during the Christmas Episode.
  • Spin the Bottle: Patrick holds a Slumber Party themed house warming and a drunken Ted kisses David during a game of spin-the-bottle.
  • The Stoner:
    • The Rose parents and the Schitts get high during a "luau" thrown by the latter. It ends with Johnny and Roland talking about David's pansexuality and how a parent can't force their child to love one way or another, with Roland of all people dispensing the wisdom Johnny needed to hear.
    • David and Stevie get stoned during the previous episode, resulting in the opening of episode 10: them laying in bed naked, clearly regretting their decision.
    • Stevie and Twyla get stoned at the barn party that the older Roses and Schitts crash.
    • David and Stevie get stoned prior to David leaving multiple messages for Patrick about his plans for Rose Apothecary.
  • Surprise Party:
    • In Season 1, Johnny arranges a surprise birthday party at the barn for Moira but she finds out about it, and she still pretends to be surprised.
    • In Season 5, David throws a surprise birthday party for Patrick and invites his parents, only to discover Patrick has not come out to them, and they think David is just Patrick's business partner. In a show of Character Development, David spends the episode trying to untangle the mess and support Patrick. Patrick's parents are kind, loving and accepting, and David and Patrick share a romantic dance after the party.
  • Tarot Troubles: Twyla give Alexis a grim tarot reading involving drowning and a funeral, but she later admits that the deck predicted that fate for multiple people before also mentioning she flipped the ten of cups and predicts prosperity and happiness for Alexis and her family.
  • That Came Out Wrong: David and Patrick discover that nearly everyone in town is clamoring to attend Rose Apothecary's private, soft-launch and have a conversation that highlights their Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    Patrick: Looks like this soft launch is firming up a bit, huh?
    David: But it's not supposed to be firm.
    Patrick: Well, with this many people, it's at least semi-firm.
    David: Okay, well as long as it doesn't get hard. And that's something, that's what I just said to you.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: To address that Stevie and David are not dealing well with the fact that he is dating both of them, Jake suggests that they become a throuple, an idea that Stevie and David reject. Later, when it is revealed that Stevie has continued to see Jake, Jake casually suggests that David, Patrick, Stevie and himself have a four-way, which David quickly rejects. David tells Patrick that he was the one who said no to the threesome because he thought it would be a bad idea.
  • Thicker Than Water: Alexis especially has multiple opportunities to leave Schitt's Creek, but chooses never to do so because it would mean leaving her family. She almost doesn't go to The Galapagos Islands with Ted because she worries that she will be thinking about her family while she is there. Ted assures her this is normal and it's called missing people.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Any scene with Alexis and Stevie plays on this dynamic.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Downplayed but still present. While the immature Alexis and David initially appear to be complete opposites of the reliable, intelligent Johnny, they both turn out to be surprisingly entrepreneurial: Alexis runs her own (small) marketing company and David runs Rose Apothecary.
  • Unfortunate Names: The town, obviously, as well as that of its founder (Horace Schitt) and current mayor (Roland Schitt).
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In Season 1, Alexis is far more attracted to Mutt than Nice Guy Ted, but after her relationship with Mutt fizzles and he leaves town, Alexis realizes her mistake with Ted. By the time she does, however, Ted is involved with Heather. Eventually, Ted returns her affection but she must earn it.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: In Season 1, all four of the Roses are snooty, self-involved and rather obnoxious. Gradually, however, they evolve and become far more sympathetic.
  • Unwanted Assistance:
    • Johnny "edits" Alexis's term paper, much to her chagrin because it gets her accused of plagiarism.
    • David tries to help Patrick plan his housewarming, and Patrick gently but firmly rejects his suggestions.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Ted loves Alexis and Patrick loves David and both men slightly loosen up around the wild and emotional Rose children. Conversely, Alexis and David adore the fact that their romantic partners are stable, decent and responsible. It's also implied to have been the case with Johnny and Moira back in the day.
  • Very Special Episode: Patrick's Coming-Out Story can be seen as this as it is the closest the show has come to actual drama, but the episode still contains many comic moments and ends on a joyous note.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: From the authentic designer clothes to various cultural references to the name-dropping by the Roses, viewers who are keyed into various arts and entertainment subcultures are rewarded.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • David and Stevie insult each other all the time, bicker often and Stevie cringes every time anyone brings up their past romance, but they are nevertheless devoted friends.
    • Johnny and Roland insult each other and condescend to each other on a regular basis. Roland refers to Johnny as his best friend, which Johnny never seems too pleased about. However, Johnny will stick up for Roland, such as when his snooty ex-friends make fun of the town, and he does care about him.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Johnny and Moira were too wrapped up in their careers and each other to pay much attention to David and Alexis as children, who were raised in a different wing of the house by a nanny. This is mined for humor, but the main arc of the show is the Roses learning to love each other and function as a family.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Invoked. Not only does Canada Does Not Exist for the show, but even the region where Schitt's Creek is located is kept ambiguous. Eugene Levy claims that the writers don't want to focus on the town itself so much as its residents and their culture clash with the Rose family. That said, outdoor scenes are filmed in rural Ontario and given that Jocelyn offers Johnny and Moira a pan of Nanaimo bars (a very Canadian, brownie-like treat) at one point and one of the town residents moved from Winnipeg (a Canadian city), it's probably meant to be somewhere in backwater Canada.
  • Working with the Ex:
    • Against all logic and reason, Ted hires Alexis as his receptionist.
    • Even though he doesn't officially work at the motel, David is seen helping Stevie change the sheets. She doesn't officially work at Rose Apothecary but she's seen helping David there.
    • David and Patrick try this briefly, but it lasts less than a day before they get back together.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • The Roses coming together as a family is largely the theme of the show, though it happens gradually in small moments such as when the family searches for David after he has run away to an Amish Farm or when David lends his father money for the first time. There's usually a tart undercurrent, however, such as the fact that Moira is primarily concerned with retrieving her lost bag or the fact that Johnny and David can only manage The Un-Hug after the money incident.
    • Stevie consoles David and asks why he and Patrick didn't communicate about their pasts, and David confesses he feared Patrick would leave him if he knew about David's past. Stevie reminds David that she knows everything about him and is still there, and they realize they are best friends.
    • When Patrick is about to come out to his parents, he expresses his fears of rejection to David, and David says if the worst happens then he'll be there for Patrick.


Example of: