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Series / Schitt's Creek

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I'm sure they'll love it here. note 

"I just thought, in spite of all the hardship, we found ourselves coming together, the kids, you and me, as a family."

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 (Dan 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.

The show ran for six seasons from 2015 to 2020.

Schitt's Creek provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • 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. In the end, most of the family move away, and their continuing ownership of the town is never even brought up.
  • 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. In Moira's case, it's almost certainly affected, as she mentions at one point that she grew up in a small country town similar to Schitt's Creek before escaping to Hollywood.
  • Advice Backfire: Alexis takes advice from a friendly young woman at the motel named Rachel. It doesn't go well on several fronts.
  • 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 all 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.
  • All Part of the Show: After the disastrous crow release at Moira's movie premiere, footage goes viral and Alexis convinces everyone the attack was all part of the show.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Played straight in Season 1. Averted 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," just as Daniel Levy is in real life.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Geography: When Moira gets an acting gig in Bosnia, David tells her that she'll be paid in "local Baltic currency." But Bosnia is not a Baltic country, it's a Balkan country. Though this could easily be a mistake on David's part rather than the writers. Or it could be another indicator that the movie is a Troubled Production In-Universe, as it's a campy horror flick that the director considers beneath him.
  • Author Tract: The show is the best kind of author tract, wherein Dan Levy's vision of a homophobia-free world simply exists without comment or preachiness.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite being a Dysfunctional Family, the Rose family show general concern to each other, becoming more connected than they were before they went bankrupt.
  • Awkward Kiss:
    • David and Stevie briefly consider rekindling their romance, but their kiss turns out very awkward for them both.
    • 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 "Bad Acting":
    • When Moira and David attempt to con their acquaintances into an Allez-Vous sales pitch, their conversation is stilted and obviously rehearsed.
    • When Moira pretends to be surprised by her surprise birthday party, she hams it up so heavily that Johnny immediately asks who told her.
    • David and Moira feign a "spontaneous" conversation about her wanting David to go with her to the fruit winery, but Patrick sees through the ruse immediately and encourages David to go.
    • In order to convince the used car salesman that she and Johnny are poor, Moira affects a heavy cockney accent and tells a story about how she's an identical twin who was kidnapped and trafficked by the Russian mob as an infant. (It's a plot from her soap.)
  • 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.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Subverted. Johnny frequently tries to use this to rally Moira, David and Alexis for whatever project or activity he is currently fired up about. But the responses he gets are usually half-hearted at best given how individualistic and disinterested his family tends to be.
  • Better as Friends: How David and Stevie's brief Unresolved Sexual Tension after sleeping together finally resolves itself.
  • Big Fancy House: We only see the Rose Mansion twice. In the first episode, the Roses frantically pack their clothes as the revenue agents take all their stuff. It's later seen in flashback during the Christmas Episode.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: David and Eugene Levy have the most amazing eyebrows. They use them to do every and all the emotions.
  • 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. Patrick 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Even though they still love each other deeply, Ted and Alexis go their separate ways in Season 6.
    • The Series Finale. All of the Roses get a happy ending, but those happy endings necessitate them parting ways and they will no longer see each other every day. They will remain in close contact, but the goodbyes are still bittersweet.
  • Book Ends: Season 1 ends with David asking Stevie to leave Schitt's Creek to go back to New York with him, her turning him down, and leaving town alone. Season 6 ends with David getting a chance to leave Schitt's Creek with Patrick but turning it down, because he knows Patrick wouldn't be happy, because he realizes how much he would miss Stevie, and, ultimately, because all he can get in New York is for the people who rejected him to see that he's finally happy and he doesn't actually need that.
  • Black Comedy: The series will occasionally delve into this territory, with just a few examples including Carl's funeral and Alexis having been constantly kidnapped when she was younger (to the point where she barely mentions it most of the time).
  • Bland-Name Product: The final season has a subplot involving Moira's movie releasing on the streamer Interflix.
  • Blond Brunette Red Head: The three younger generation women of Schitt's Creek: Alexis (blonde), Stevie (brunette), Twyla (redhead).
  • 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. Subverted in that people actually end up tuning in to watch Ted's oblivious post-workout cooldown.
  • 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.
    • The Series Finale contains a number of call backs including The Jazzagals singing Precious Love and The Best during David and Patrick's wedding, and Patrick singing a Mariah Carey song as part of his vows. There's also callbacks to the town's iconic sign both when Alexis wears a wedding dress to her brother's wedding, making it look like they are getting married, and the final shot of the series shows the sign itself, which Roland has altered to feature the Rose family.
    • In the 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.
    • Also in the Season 5 Finale, Stevie gives David monogrammed towels as an engagement gift because when he moves in with Patrick she will not be there to get him towels, recalling that they met when he asked her to get him a towel in the very first episode.
  • Canada Does Not Exist: The show is coy not just about the specific location of Schitt's Creek, but what country it's in. The cast makes many references to American figures, locations, and institutions, and only rarely to Canadian ones. Moira was a cast member of an American soap opera that filmed in Los Angeles but is popular with citizens of Schitt's Creek as well. David lived in New York before the family became bankrupt. When discussing a return to these places, no one ever brings up immigration or citizenship. When discussing the region, characters will always say "North America" rather than a specific country.
  • 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 McLachlan poster in her apartment, and David once went as Alanis Morissette for Halloween. Moira once partied with The Rolling Stones and Maggie Trudeau. Roland wears a Commonwealth-style mayoral collar when he's being roasted and at the premiere of The Crows Have Eyes 3. The railroad crossing downtown uses a Canadian-style crossbuck sign. A police officer wears a Canadian-style uniform. Jocelyn makes Nanaimo bars. The speed-limit signs seen in occasional establishing shots of the town are clearly Canadian (with "MAXIMUM" written across the top and a speed limit—50–that, while not expressly in km/h, is too high to be in mph for the street shown). Most importantly, however, the tiny town has a curling rink.
  • Career Versus Man: Alexis and Ted's dilemma in Season 6, as they're in a Long-Distance Relationship while Ted is in the Galapagos Islands for six months on a research trip. Alexis was set to join him, but in the meantime has been building her personal brand as a publicist. When Ted visits, revealing that he has been offered a three-year contract over there that he wants to take, they mutually decide to end their relationship so they can grow their own careers.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: For a small rural town, there sure are a lot of handsome young men in Schitt's Creek. The 30ish crowd includes David, Mutt, Ted, Jake, and Patrick as well as bit players like Dr. Miguel and the "hottie" that hits on Patrick at the store. It's so noticeable, that a Buzzfeed journalist joked with Annie Murphy and Noah Reid about it in an online video.
  • 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.
    • Alexis' numerous kidnappings and how little the family noticed her absences is often played for laughs. But while Alexis and her parents are blasé about it, David expresses just how terrified he was for Alexis' safety non-stop in his childhood and it's implied that its part of why he's often so anxious in the present.
  • 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.
  • Characterization Marches On: In an early episode, David takes "game night" parties as Serious Business and hates it when people aren't paying enough attention to the games. In the final season, however, he treats an escape room as an onerous chore that is completely alien to his interests.
  • 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 premiered in December 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 oft-mentioned former paramour Stavros.
  • Church of Happyology: Elevation, the thinly disguised pyramid scheme/exercise studio, is training its members to elevate above their literal demons and enter the gateway where they will rendezvous with the UFO. Twyla knew all along, of course, she was just trying to help Alexis's career.
  • The City vs. the Country: The show's premise is based on the urbane, globetrotting Roses, who have lived in both New York and Los Angeles, moving to a small, rural town.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Episode 11 opens with Moira repeating "Fuck me!" in response to supposedly feeling something crawling up her leg.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Johnny is appalled by the Schitt's Creek billboard, showing two of Roland's ancestors. It's supposed to look like the man is just trying to keep the woman from falling into the creek, but it looks like they're doing more...explicit business. Roland sees no problem with it because the people in question are brother and sister, but Johnny points out that there's no way any passerby are going to know that. So at the end, Roland puts up an extra sign that says "Don't worry, that's his sister!"
  • Coming and Going: While most of the town attends Carl's funeral, Stevie and David begin their brief sexual relationship.
  • 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.
  • Coordinated Clothes: David and Moira almost always wear black and white designer looks that pair nicely. Not only is it implied that David developed his style by watching his mother, he admits that he was dressed by his mother well into his teens.
  • 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.
  • Cringe Comedy: The show often plays awkward or embarrassing moments for laughs, with just some examples including:
    • Johnny's many faux-sincere interactions with the motel guests.
    • Johnny's attempts to eulogize a man he has no memory of even meeting.
    • Moira's over-the-top performances, including with the Jazzagals and "The Number" with David
    • Alexis's audition for Cabaret or her getting caught in one of her many white lies
    • A notable subversion occurs when David accidentally wet the bed, which starts cringe-y but Patrick spends the rest of the episode successfully shielding David from more humiliation.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • Alexis touts the "critically reviewed" reality show she once starred in.
    • Alexis promotes Moira as a "12-time Daytime Emmy Award-attending actress."
      • She holds the record for having generated the most award buzz without ever being nominated.
  • Dance Party Ending: Season 2 ends with Johnny telling his exasperated children, "Tonight, we are dancing as a family." The Rose family happily dances together while most of the rest of the cast dances around them.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Discussed when Johnny brings in an employee education cassette tape he recorded for Rose Video in the 1980s. After delivering a lesson of proper conduct between employees, it ends on a light-hearted joke implying that the employees will have sex. Johnny admits that parts of the video haven't held up over time as well as others.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Once he gets hired on at the Blouse Barn, David overhauls pretty much everything to establish his own vision of high-end, chic fashion. However, in order to sell expensive clothes, you first have to buy them, and a place like Schitt's Creek doesn't have much use for such a place. The lack of business contributes to the owner having to sell the rights of the store.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In Season 6, Ted is offered a permanent position in the Galapagos Islands and Alexis's PR career starts to take off, eventually prompting a move to New York. After a heartfelt and heartbreaking talk, they realize that that despite loving each other deeply their lives are taking them in different directions and they break up.
  • Differing Priorities Breakup: We see a few relationships end this way.
    • Stevie and Emir, because she thought it was a serious romance and he thought it was a casual thing. He travels for his blog, she's behind the desk at the motel, and he doesn't see either of those changing any time soon.
    • Alexis and Ted, because he's been offered a long-term position at his dream job in a remote location and she's starting a new career that's pushing her to move to a big city.
  • 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!"
  • Double Date: Alexis uses an old magazine relationship quiz to successfully needle David into thinking his relationship with Patrick could use some excitement. David talks Patrick into double-dating with Alexis and Ted on an adventure date involving an aerial rope course in a park. David, who is afraid of heights, eventually admits that he loves the fact that his relationship with Patrick is so stable and normal, and the two share an aerial kiss.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Of course, a gentle snow covers the motel as Johnny and Moira walk home from the cafe during the Christmas Episode.
  • Drink-Based Characterization:
    • Early in their relationship, Patrick remembers that the high-maintenance David drinks Carmel Machiatto with Two Sweeteners and a Sprinkle of Cocoa Powder. The simple Patrick, on the other hand, often drinks simple tea.
    • Alexis leaves a number of coconut rum coolers in Ted's refrigerator.
  • Dripping Disturbance: In the second episode, a drip from the motel ceiling proves too much for poor Johnny.
  • 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.
  • Drugs Are Good:
    • In a first season episode, the Roses eagerly accept a joint from the Schitts, who had presumed the posh Roses would be above it. Moira responds by bragging that she and Johnny had friends in the FDA.
    • A couple of episodes later, Stevie and David smoke her scuzzy cousin's weed and have a great time, including Kissing Under the Influence.
    • In the third season, David gets stoned with Stevie and then leaves a series of adorable messages for Patrick, whom he just met.
    • When David and Patrick open their store, Jocelyn and Roland accuse David of running a front because the loose leaf tea is weed. A surprised David first denies it, but when it's clear that it is true, Roland and Jocelyn happily buy several bags.
    • In the fourth season, the Jazzagals go on a road trip and Jocelyn brings along magic brownies while Moira brings military grade caffeine pills.
  • 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 Damp Sheets: The season 6 episode "The Incident" starts with David accidentally wetting the bed and feeling absolutely humiliated. Moira later tells Patrick that David used to do this as a child whenever a major event was coming up, and it seems to have resurfaced due to their upcoming wedding.
  • 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.
  • Epunymous Title: The titular town plays on the phrase "up shit's creek without a paddle", referring to the Rose's sudden difficult financial situation.
  • Erotic Dream: In the first season, Mutt tells Alexis about dreams he’s having about a woman who is not Twyla and is probably Alexis.
  • 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 and David had bat and bar mitzvahs respectively. 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. The above all being said, they still celebrate Christmas as a time of family togetherness, and Johnny places special significance on their Christmas parties.
  • Explaining the Soap: Although Moira tries to avoid it, and even bans plot point clarification at her convention appearance, she does end up having to explain or correct Sunrise Bay plot points now and then. Although, she can't really explain why nobody noticed her character trapped in that cave crystal.
  • Extreme Doormat: In spite of being a ditzy rich girl, Alexis is the opposite of an Alpha Bitch. Outside of her family, she avoids conflict at all costs, lying to spare people's feelings or pretending to be happy with things just so she can avoid an uncomfortable conversation.

  • Fair-Weather Friend: This applies to many of the rich "friends" of the Rose family; they clearly turned their backs on the struggling Roses without a second thought, hardly bothering to stay in contact. Johnny's former assistant gets him a meeting with some venture capitalists, but then doesn't bother to show up and the meeting consists of younger men making fun of Johnny and dismissing Stevie's pitch out of hand.
  • 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. He built Rose Video from a single store to an empire, so he's presumably accustomed to this from the past.
    • Former soap opera star Moira worked hard to build her acting career, as it was her only path out of the small town she was born in. She 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.
    • In the very first episode, trust fund baby & former galleria David is seen hanging his sheets up on an outdoor clothesline to air out the smell, and the only reason he doesn't last a day as a supermarket bag boy is because his father calls him 3 times in as many minutes. He does well as the brand manager for The Blouse Barn, and builds on this experience when he starts his own store.
    • Trust fund baby & former social media starlet Alexis spends the first season doing a number of menial jobs for community service, and never once complains or tries to convince Mutt to do her share of the task as well as his own. She also 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.
  • Family Portrait of Characterization: In the very first cold open, we see an oversized painting of The Roses being carted away from their great hall. Later, Moira has it shipped to the motel for Johnny, and the family decides its comically large size and the serious faces of the Roses no longer fit. It's also seen in flashback in the Christmas Episode.
  • Fan Convention: In Season 5, Alexis convinces a reluctant Moira to spend an afternoon signing autographs at a soap opera fan convention. Moira eventually embraces the opportunity after talking to another former soap diva, who supports herself lavishly through convention appearances, even going so far as to sell pictures of her feet to fans at an exorbitant price.
  • The Fashionista: Moira and David have an extreme and amazing fashion palette, such that it was commented on by news sources. It's a stark black and white selection that relies on textures for contrast. Moira is so extreme she sleeps in black and white pantsuits with vests and broaches.
  • Feigning Intelligence: In Season 3 Episode 7, 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: Jocelyn 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.
  • Fish out of Water: Especially in early seasons, there are multiple episodes dealing with the Roses not fitting in to the town or understanding its population or, in the case of David and Alexis, having to actually work at jobs.
  • Floral Theme Naming: The show trades on the Roses sweet-smelling last name in a number of ways, contrasting them with the Schitts. Additionally, Stevie Budd gradually blossoms into becoming a member of the Rose family, symbolized by the renaming of the motel The Rosebud Motel.
  • Foil: When they arrive, there's a foil for every Rose in the town of Schitt's Creek.
    • Sharp-dressed and polite patriarch Johnny versus oafish and rude Roland.
    • Matriarch Fashionista and White-Dwarf Starlet Moira versus the bunny sweatshirt-loving, cheerful Jocelyn Schitt.
    • Sophisticated and ambitious David versus the unambitious slob Stevie.
    • Book Dumb Alexis versus Cloud Cuckoolander waitress Twyla.
  • 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.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Not that he was particularly 'responsible' by normal standards, but back when the family still had their money David was much more of an introverted homebody than Alexis and would often look out for her on her globetrotting adventures. He recounts having to be the one to send her emergency passports or colored contacts whenever she got herself in trouble.
  • Forgotten Birthday: At the end of Season 3, the Roses forget David's birthday. It turns out fine, however, because Patrick notices and invites him for dinner.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Moira (sanguine), Johnny (choleric), David (melancholic), and Alexis (phlegmatic).
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Justified in that it's a run down motel in a small town and they "own the town", but their motel rooms are surprisingly large even so.
  • Friendship Moment: The show has a lot of these but notable examples include:
    • When Johnny sticks up for Roland and Jocelyn and the town when his snooty former friends are putting them down.
    • When Stevie and David, while doing skin treatments and on a faux-honeymoon, admit to each other that they are best friends.
    • When David wildly applauds for Stevie during her performance in Cabaret and cheers "That's my friend!"
    • When Moira is sincerely hurt that Jocelyn doesn't like The Crows trailer so Jocelyn writes an entire essay about what she likes about it.
    • When Alexis gives Twyla advice, clothes, and invites her to visit her in New York to visit, making it clear that she will miss her.
  • 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 My Own Room" Plot: Downplayed. 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. One episode addresses David's reluctance to move in with his significant other.
  • Genre-Busting: The show cheerfully combines numerous Screwball Comedy tropes and Romantic Comedy tropes in the later seasons.
  • The Ghost: Alexis mentions her lover Stavros a lot in the first season, but he never shows up, like the rest of the Roses' fairweather friends. In season 4, he makes a blink-and-you'll-miss it appearance in a flashback.
  • 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. Later, they are both seen caring for the infant Roland, Jr. and are devoted, loving parents to him.
    • 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.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Johnny and Moira towards David and Alexis. Most of the parenting was left to nannies and employees, and according to David, their nursery was in another wing of the mansion. Johnny even admits that they were usually present "for a couple of hours, most weeknights". This is part of why the family members are distant at the beginning of the series.
  • Happily Ever After: The Rose family finally gains some of their former prosperity and moves out of the motel. The last episode features David and Patrick's wedding, with the other Roses and denizens of the town rallying to save the festivities from a rainstorm. Johnny and Moira then say goodbye to their children, including Patrick and Stevie, as they move to California where Moira will return to her acting career and Johnny will run his newly expanded motel chain. Alexis will move to New York on her own and expand on her PR career. Stevie will travel for the motel chain but remain in Schitt's Creek. So will David and Patrick because in the penultimate episode David has had an I Choose to Stay moment in front of a charming house that Patrick had intended to purchase for them. As Johnny leaves town, he looks back and sees that Roland, who has also become prosperous due to his and Joceyln's investment in Johnny's new business, has altered the town's iconic sign to feature the Rose family.
  • Happily Married: Johnny and Moira, despite all their hardships, remain a loving and devoted couple. Roland and Jocelyn are also happily married.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: The last episode puns on the notion of happy endings by Patrick accidentally gifting David with that kind of massage. The couple talk it out, and David even tells Patrick that he is his happy ending during their wedding vows.
  • 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. By the end of the series, they all also reveal learned skills and natural abilities that provide them with their new lives moving forward.
  • Hula and Luaus: In Season 1, Roland and Jocelyn throw a Hawaiian-themed bash at their house, which includes Hawaiian Shirts, leis and a pig roast, as well as weed.

  • 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.
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: Season 4 culminates in Alexis telling Ted she loves him. This inadvertently inspires "I love you" exchanges between David and Patrick.
  • 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!
  • Incest Subtext:
    • Parodied with the town sign and the addition of the phrase "Don't Worry It's His Sister!"
    • Parodied & subverted when Alexis wears a wedding dress, which she at first insists is a full length white gown that happened to come with a tulle headdress, to walk David down the aisle at his wedding to Patrick. Roland notices that the brother and sister look like they are getting married, and Johnny agrees but is too happy to care.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Johnny says that he has no interest in raising anymore children, Jocelyn attempts to commiserate with him by saying that she can imagine raising David and Alexis was difficult. Johnny is visibly stung by the implied insult to his kids and pointedly replies that they turned out great.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!:
    • In Season 3, Ted accidentally disrobes several times in full view of his vet office's bunny cam. He is at first humiliated, but when it wins him a bevy of admiring new clients, some of whom do not even own pets and just want to discuss getting a pet, he agrees to keep the camera up.
    • Averted in Season 6, when Moira accidentally livestreams a conversation with David and Patrick about David's bedwetting. David is already highly sensitive about the issue, but Moira, Alexis and Patrick agree to keep the livestream a secret from him forever and it soon blows over.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: You can't even say the name of the show in advertisements.
    • But that doesn't actually stop over the air TV stations from using the program's title in advertising for the show.
  • I Own This Town: Subverted. The Roses literally own the town but get nothing for it but two run-down motel rooms.
  • 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 either Canada or the Midwestern United States.
  • 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.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: In Season Six, in order to make up for a perceived insult of the town, Moira stars in a low-budget "Visit Schitt's Creek" commercial.
  • Learning to Ride a Bike: David and Alexis never learned to ride bikes (he freaked out so badly the family burned all of their bikes up at the Hamptons). Mutt buys Alexis a bike (because she missed her spin classes) and then he and Twyla spend the episode teaching her to ride. The episode ends with Alexis teaching David, too.
  • Let's Duet: The Number, between Moira and David, is a tradition at Rose family Christmas Parties.
  • 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 comically extensive menu, which is the only restaurant in town and the setting for many major events in the show. Sometimes they'll instead go out for drinks at the local bar, the Wobbly Elm.
  • Lots of Luggage: The only things the Roses were allowed to take with them were their wardrobes, but they all have extensive wardrobes. Many local townsfolk comment on the sheer number of bags they have. One of Moira's most treasured objects is one of her bags.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Season 6 sees Ted get offered a permanent position in the Galapogos Islands just as Alexis's PR career is taking off. The pair still love each other deeply, but they ultimately realize that their futures lie apart.
  • 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. She's also been refusing to sleep since returning from movie filming, which is why she couldn't remember writing them. Rather than admit her mistake and risk embarrassment, Moira then advises Johnny to let the townspeople think the letters were from a mystery woman to give him an edge.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The title is stylized as Schitt$ Creek.
  • 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 Hospies.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Gift: In "Grad Night", David's business partner Patrick offers to take him out for a birthday dinner. Insisting it is Not a Date, David invites Stevie along. When Patrick goes to the restroom, Stevie notices he has brought a gift for David and says if the present is anything sentimental then she is definitely crashing a date. The gift is the framed receipt from David and Patrick's first sale. David is touched, and Stevie quickly excuses herself.
  • Meaningful Rename: Johnny renames the Schitt's Creek Motel to the Rosebud Motel in order to honor and solidify his partnership with co-owner Stevie Budd. It feels like an adoption and from this point forward, Johnny and the rest of the Roses treat Stevie like family.
  • 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.
  • Meet the In-Laws: David throws a surprise party and invites Patrick's parents, not realizing they don't know Patrick is gay and just think he's Patrick's business partner.
  • Metaphorgotten: Stevie assumes David is gay, which is very confusing for her after they hook up. Later, when they're buying wine, she says this:
    Stevie: So, just to be clear, um, I'm a red wine drinker.
    David: Okay.
    Stevie: I only drink red wine. And up until last night, I was under the impression that you too only drank red wine... but I guess I was wrong?
    David: ...I see where you're going with this. Um, I do drink red wine but I also drink white wine. And I've been known to sample the occasional rose. And a couple summers back I tried a merlot that used to be a Chardonnay, which got a bit complicated.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In Season 1, Alexis sees Mutt with Jocelyn and assumes they are having an affair. She's actually his mother.
  • 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.
    • Clive, the manager of a wedding venue David and Patrick are considering, mistakes Stevie and Alexis for a lesbian couple.
  • 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. (They also later mention that the presence of a mirrored ceiling is freaking them both out.)
  • 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 Bowles.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Eugene's comedy of awkwardness mixes with Dan's queer, romantic comedy sensibilities, resulting in a show the appeals over multiple demographics.
  • 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 bar mitzvah 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.
  • 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.
  • No Sparks: David and Stevie bemoan the lack of romantic options in the town. They briefly consider rekindling their relationship and kiss...but there's no spark.

  • Odd Friendship: David and Stevie clearly have a spark from day one. It passes through an unacceptable romanced and then they become Best. Friends. She's a townie, he's a New York fashion junkie, but it works. He's her ticket into the family, and they adopt her as one of their own within a New York Minute.
  • 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.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: One episode has this between Johnny and Alexis where Johnny mistakenly believes she’s pregnant and is trying to talk to her about it, she assumes it’s about her going to college.
  • One-Shot Character: The show avoids stunt casting but has had a few memorable one-shot characters, often played by well-known in Canada actors.
    • François Arnaud as David's pansexual, manipulative ex Sebastien Raine.
    • Stacey Farber as Patrick's ex-fiancee Rachel.
    • Meaghan Rath as obnoxious Alpha Bitch Klair.
    • The legendary Victor Garber, who has known Eugene Levy since they starred in a 1972 production of Godspell, as Clifton Sparks, Moira's alcoholic Sunrise Bay colleague.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • While John has his quirks, he's clearly the most level-headed of the Roses and often the only one who actually knows what it's like to have a life without money. He also comes off as this in meetings with some of the daffier town residents.
    • Stevie had this more in the early episodes and can still come off the one rational person when the Roses have their various issues.
    • In later seasons, Nice Guy Patrick serves this function in his relationship with David, often affectionately pointing out that David is being irrational. However, there are occasional episodes when it's David who gets to be the rational one.
  • 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.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    • Alexis touts her "critically reviewed" reality show starring herself.
    • Alexis compliments Moira by saying that she's a "12-time Daytime Emmy-attending" actress.
    • Moira also holds the world's record for the longest-running demonic possession on daytime television.
  • 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.
  • Petty Childhood Grudge: David is reluctant to leave Alexis in charge of his store because when they were children, he left her in charge of his collection of alive, healthy tamogachis and when he returned they were all dead.
  • 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. Even though they realize how shady the business is, they give it a go due to lack of other options, only to discover that so much of the town is already part of the pyramid that none of them can sell any product.
    • Alexis signs up to be the regional brand ambassador for a fitness company called Elevation that not only turns out to be a shady Multi-Level-Marketing company but a full on cult promising to elevate its members to The Gateway, leaving behind literal demons, and joining up with a UFO.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played straight often enough, but beautifully averted with David's and Patrick's relationship. Though they start off with a little friction due to jealousy or misunderstanding, they always end up talking things out and reaching mutual understanding and support. None of their conflicts (between the anxious, abused David and the virginal, uncertain Patrick) ever last very long.
  • Precision F-Strike: F-bombs are used sparingly to make it funnier when they happen.
  • 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 (Budd) is also acknowledged and leads to a new name for the motel.
  • Queer Flowers: The Rose family name symbolizes a number of things in the series, but with respect to Pansexual, Japanophile David, it represents his queerness. The logo of Rose Apothecary, which he owns with his boyfriend, is two roses. He also carries roses when he marries Patrick.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The characters view the trailer for The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening.
  • Reference Overdosed: The show layers multiple references to pop culture in every episode to the point where it is a key part of the series' DNA.
  • 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 Bitch: All of the Rose family's former friends are revealed to have been this, abandoning them as soon as they get robbed, never visiting them or offering to help, and insulting or humiliating them when they show up. The Spoiled Sweet Roses are absolutely the outliers in this regard.
  • 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.
  • Roommate Drama:
    • Season 1 and 2 especially has a lot of roommate bickering between David and Alexis, but they seem to have worked things out in later seasons.
    • Ray is a very friendly and chatty roommate to Patrick, which becomes an issue when he keeps interrupting David and Patrick one morning.
  • Rule of Funny: Escape rooms don't really work like what's shown in season 6, but it helps make the jokes work.
  • Running Gag:
    • Johnny, while speaking to one of the children, uses a turn of phrase that they interpret literally, leading to confusion. Johnny then has to explain his meaning 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"?
    • Alexis's alarmingly frequent references to various abductions and attempted kidnappings.
      Alexis: I wasn't "lost." The FBI knew where I was the entire time.
    • 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.
    • Twyla's cheerful references to her nightmarish upbringing.
  • Say My Name:
    • The way Alexis vocal-fries her brother's name (Daay-VID) has become a show signature, leading to her Catchphrase:
      Alexis: Eww, David.
    • Moira's peculiar accent causes her to pronounce her daughter's name in a rather unique way. (Alex-IS)
  • Scam Religion: Alexis gets hired to promote Elevation, a company that offers stair-stepping fitness classes and is not only a shady multi-level-marketing scheme but promises to elevate members to something called "The Gateway" where they will rendezvous with a UFO. When Alexis figures this out, she leads her friends to the back door and away from the cult.
  • 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.
  • Secretly Wealthy: In the final season, it's revealed that Twyla won a $46 million lottery jackpot shortly before the Roses moved to Schitt's Creek. She's done nothing with the money because she believes that money can't buy happiness and she's perfectly content with her own life. Alexis convinces her to do something with the money, so she buys the cafe.
  • 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. In one episode, David is revealed to take party games very seriously and gets upset when people aren't playing correctly.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Moira has a delightfully eccentric vocabulary, adding to her Large Ham persona.
  • Sex at Work:
    • Stevie arrives at Rose Apothecary to find neither Patrick nor David at the register or watching the store. Eventually, David emerges from the back, followed by Patrick, making it clear she interrupted something sexual.
    • While watching the store for David, Alexis is bored so has role play sex with Ted in the bathroom of Rose Apothecary. They break the sink.
  • 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!"
    • All the Roses confused the concept of an Escape Room with the Jodie Foster film Panic Room.
  • Shipper on Deck: The whole Rose Family and Stevie fully support David and Patrick as a couple.
    • David is probably the biggest Ted/Alexis shipper as his pep talk to Ted is one of the reasons why they get back together in Season 4 penultimate episode.
  • 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. In Season 6, we finally see clips of the show, as a producer and Moira's former co-star come to town to recruit Moira for a reboot.
    • 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 Bowles.
  • 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, extroverted, 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.
  • Something about a Rose: The protagonists' family name symbolizes their former elegant and presumably well-scented existence, as well as their romantic natures. The use of roses is the logo of Rose Apothecary takes on a Queer Flowers context when it comes to David and Patrick.
  • Special Guest: Paul Shaeffer as himself accompanies David and Moira during The Number in the Christmas Episode flashback.
  • Spin the Bottle: Patrick holds a Slumber Party themed house-warming and a drunken Ted kisses David during a game of spin-the-bottle.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Green Acres, being a Screwball Comedy sitcom involving a (formerly) wealthy group of people (though here, it's a family instead of a couple) moving to a small country town and shenanigans ensue as they try to adjust to their new, far less privileged lives.
  • Spoiled Sweet: The Schitt family tend to be self-centered and thoughtless rather than mean. When they do pay attention to others, they do try to be helpful and kind.
  • Squeamish About Slaughter: David declares a posh wedding venue to be "not a winner" after being subjected to the sounds of pork being processed at a nearby farm and learning that the same would happen on his discounted wedding day. Patrick, Stevie and Alexis are also horrified by the sounds.
  • Stag Party: Stevie throws David and Patrick a bachelor party that occurs in two parts. The first is a trip to an Escape Room, which was Patrick's suggestion and which he delights in. The Roses and Stevie eventually start to enjoy it, even though Johnny is stressed over a business call and Alexis is down about the state of her life. Later, they all have drinks at a local bar, with everyone feeling good.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • The Perpetual Smiler Jocelyn has this reaction to stress. She tends to put on a large, plastic smile and make sideways references to what's upsetting her, most of which are still too subtle for Moira to notice.
    • Bob has this reaction to getting a divorce. Although he does break down a few times in grief, he continues to maintain his chipper personality in spite of being deeply depressed.
  • 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.
    • After Patrick gets his wisdom teeth out, he hilariously babbles to David as a patient David cares for him. Later, David takes one of Patrick's pain pills and they both attend Moira's movie premiere while glassy-eyed and high.
    • David accidentally sells what is implied to be weed during Rose Apothecary's soft launch. Roland and Jocelyn point it out to him, then buy it anyways.
  • Straight Man: Johnny usually serves as the level-headed straight man in conversations with his family and the quirky locals, reacting to their behavior as a normal person would.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Streetsmart Alexis and intellectual David.
  • Stylistic Suck: Most of Moira's acting work is shown this way. Her soap opera was an over the top supernatural drama with extreme situations, like being possessed by her father, her movie is a campy horror film where she becomes a human-crow hybrid mutant, her attempt at recording a commercial for a winery ends with her babbling nonsense, and the voice-work she gets for Larry Air is full of terribly written ad spots. The firm exception to this is her directorial debut with Cabaret, which is amazing and provides Stevie and Patrick the chance to shine.
  • Suicide as Comedy: When Johnny asks how Bob's brother Carl passed away, Bob replies it was a freak accident that happened when Carl's belt looped around Carl's neck and a ceiling fan. Johnny realizes the truth and is appropriately horrified, but Bob and most of the town continue to believe it was an accident.
  • 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 gives 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.
  • Themed Party:
    • Roland and Jocelyn have an annual Hawaiian-themed bash.
    • Patrick throws a Slumber Party themed housewarming party.
  • Thought They Knew Already: David invites Patrick's parents to Patrick's birthday Surprise Party, assuming they know Patrick is gay and in a relationship with David. Johnny assumes this as well when he welcomes the Brewers to the motel, leading to a Forced Out of the Closet story for Patrick.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Repeatedly defied, with it instead coming across as pretty awkward In-Universe.
    • 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.
    • In Season 6, Patrick orders a hand-made coffee table from Jake, who invites David and Patrick over to his place for whiskey or whatever. Patrick and David debate this offer, and decide to go over even though they are both trepidatious. They arrive, only to find a number of people at Jake's place for what may well be an orgy, including Stevie. They decide to leave.
  • 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.
  • This Is Reality: Moira will sometimes allude to dramatic plotlines on her Soap Opera, and has to be reminded that they aren't living in that world.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Any scene with Alexis and Stevie plays on this dynamic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unwanted Gift Plot: Notoriously bad gift-giver Johnny gives Tomboy Stevie a case of makeup as a thank you gift. She takes it as a Stealth Insult, but Alexis assures her Johnny means well and tells her to show Johnny how bad the gift is. Stevie then wears the makeup to clownish excess.
  • 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.
  • Waving Signs Around: After Moira gives an interview to People Magazine saying she dislikes living in the town, protesters show up at at City Hall with the most Canadian angry protest signs ever including "If you can't say something nice..." and "We're unhappy with you, Moira." and "That wasn't very nice!"
  • Wedding Finale: The Series Finale centers around David and Patrick's wedding, which includes many mishaps. Patrick gifts David with a massage and inadvertently requests a happy ending for his fiancé. Rain threatens to wash out the festivities. Alexis wears a wedding dress, which she insists is simply a full-length white gown that happened to come with a tulle headdress she chose not to wear. Thankfully, all of these prove minor setbacks and everyone, including the grooms, live happily ever after.
  • Weird Aside: The show thrives on these.
    • Alexis often cheerfully mentions some objectively terrifying or weird situation she had to escape from when she was a globetrotting socialite. For example, Ted remarks that she can't run in her high heels, and she responds "Tell that to me at 21, escaping the Yakuza."
    • Twyla will often casually mention a relative's prison sentence, one of her mother's many boyfriends, vaguely abusive details about her childhood or even a relative's dismemberment.
    • At one point David mentions getting dumped by a rodeo clown who painted his face in the night and then disappeared.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In the first season, David is roped into mentoring a gay high school student. He is never seen again.
    • Also in the first season we are introduced to Moira's little sister Dee Dee. She is not mentioned before or ever again after this episode.
  • 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, a few fleeting references and visual cues do confirm that the town is located somewhere in 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.
  • You Need to Get Laid: In Season 1, after being paired with David during a partner's yoga class and noticing the tension in his body, Jocelyn strongly suggests to David that he needs to have more sex.


Video Example(s):


Simply the Best

"Can't miss him." Patrick serenades his boyfriend David with an acoustic cover of Tina Turner's "Simply the Best".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SerenadeYourLover

Media sources: