Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Cool Kids

Go To
Names from left to right: Sid, Margaret, Hank, Charlie

The first FX Productions show to be co-produced with 20th Century Fox's main television arm.

The Cool Kids is an American comedy series about four seniors at a retirement community called Shady Meadows. It began airing in September 2018 and concluded in May 2019.

After their friend Jerry dies, a trio of men meet the newest resident: a rebellious woman in her mid-60s named Margaret.

Canceled after one season.

The Cool Kids provides examples of:

Man at airport: Where is gate number 5?
Hank: It's between gate 4 and gate 6 Genius!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sid has ADD and when he brought it up he instantly got distracted by cookies.
  • The Beard: Sid married a woman but came out to his wife in 1999 because he was afraid he'd die during Y2K.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Allison runs the retirement community. She tries to make it pleasant for everyone and mostly succeeds, but a hard job is made even harder by the main characters' antics.
  • Birthday Episode: The second episode, "Margaret Turns 65", has Margaret being reluctantly dragged to a bar for her birthday. Hijinks occur when the bar won't let a group of seniors in.
  • Bleak Abyss Retirement Home: Subverted. The characters joke about the community, but it's decent enough. The worse they have to deal with is the sometimes patrionizing staff.
  • Brick Joke: In the pilot one of the workers is shown fixing a table that is loose, later in the episode Hank places Jerry's ashes on the table and it falls breaking the urn holding the ashes.
  • Bros Before Hoes: Hank chooses his friends over the younger woman he was dating.
  • Camp Gay: Sid is an effeminate and campy gay man who was closeted until the late 1990s.
  • Commitment Issues: Sid's commitment issues are so bad he never got into a real relationship until his 60's.
  • Creator Cameo: Co-creator Charlie Day briefly appears in the first episode as Chet, a handyman.
  • Dating Service Disaster: To boost Charlie and Hanks confidence, Sid and Margaret make fake accounts and flirt with them. This results in an I Know You Know I Know situation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Margaret does this the most, but they all have their moments.
  • December–December Romance: This is seen a lot, which is not surprising because the show takes place in a retirement home.
  • Dirty Old Man: The characters talk about being attracted to younger people.
  • Does Not Drive: None of the characters own cars, let alone have a driver's license.
  • Dork in a Sweater: Sid is an awkward, flamboyant fellow who is frequently seen wearing a cardigan around his neck.
  • The Drag-Along: Sid is described as this in the shows summary. "Sid, a naysaying, pill-popping hypochondriac who shoots down every scheme but still gets roped in"
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Margaret drinks a lot but she starts drinking even more on her 65th birthday (to the point where she pours liquor on her pancakes). She really didn't want to be reminded of her age.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Charlie brought up a lot of stories from his past a lot in the pilot. This was toned down after the pilot.
  • Elder Abuse: MJ takes advantage of Margaret’s nurturing instinct to get money from her.
  • Election Day Episode: "The Cool Kids Rig an Election" has an election happening at Shady Meadows for activities coordinator.
  • Face Your Fears: Margaret volunteers at the airport to expose herself to planes to get over her fear of flying.
  • False Teeth Tomfoolery: Sid reports about someone leaving their teeth in the dining room on the Shady Meadows news.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: "Sid comes out" has Sid pretending to have a girlfriend to keep his son from finding out he is gay.
  • Foreshadowing: Margaret Jr. sits in Margaret's chair without asking, Just like Margaret sat in Jerry's chair without asking, giving the audience a hint that she is Margaret's daughter.
  • Four-Man Band: Comedic group of four. Margaret is the Only Sane Man who holds the gang together; Sid plays The Smart Guy; Charlie is the Butt-Monkey and target of their jokes, and Hank is the Casanova Wannabe.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The subplot in "Funeral Crashers" is Charlie and Sid doing just that. A loved one of the deceased plays a prank on them by claiming to mistake them for old war buddies and forcing them to play the parts, which helps him have some fun on an otherwise depressing day.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Hank is an old opinionated person who complains about everything.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Hard-Drinking Party Woman. Margaret is usually seen drinking several times an episode, usually cocktails.
  • Heist Episode: The episode "TV Heist" is about the main characters losing out on a coveted flat-screen TV in a contest — so they attempt to steal the TV.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Interstitial home movie clips of oldsters living it up.
  • I Know You Know I Know: When Hank and Charlie find out that Sid and Margaret created fake dating profiles, they pretend to get into an argument, and plan a fist fight. Margaret figures out that they know about the fake profiles and are putting up an act, she proceeds to call out all the ways she knows they are faking the fight. She accuses Charlie of having a fake knife, and stabs the guy acting as a police officer in the arm to prove its fake, When in fact, it was a real knife, resulting in the guy suffering a stab wound.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Hank and Charlie hired someone to act as the police officer that breaks up their fake fight.
  • I Owe You My Life: In the first episode, Hank is insistent on properly honoring Jerry. He ultimately explains that Jerry was there for him after Lorraine cheated on him and left.
  • I Warned You: Hank rubs the fact that Margaret gave 1,800 dollars to MJ in her face.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite Hank's rough attitude, his heart is always in the right place. This is justified in "Margaret Jr." where Hank thinks Margaret needs to be tough on MJ because his mother wasn't tough enough on him, costing him jobs and relationships.
  • Just Plane Wrong: In "Sid's First Relationship" Margaret enters the plane on the right side, but most passenger planes have you enter on the left.
  • Late Coming Out: Played for Laughs. The Camp Gay Sid came out to his wife on New Years 2000 because he was afraid he'd die in Y2K. Nearly two decades later, he's out and proud to just about everyone, except his adult son. An episode revolves around Sid pretending to be straight when his son visits the retirement community, only to fail miserably and end up coming out again.
  • Likes Older Men: The woman that hank was dating in "Hank the Cradle Robber" is in her 40's and claims to like older men.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Sid spent years being this to his ex-wife, Bonnie. They get along great, but they're extremely close to the point where they didn't get divorced until the episode proper. Sid just didn't have the heart to tell her to move on because he felt guilty about costing her time by pretending to be straight.
  • Local Hangout: The cafeteria is where they eat and have most of their conversations.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: Charlie believes that the moon landing was faked and shot in Utah.
  • Motor Mouth: Hank has a tendency to never shut up.
    Hank: I have been silent long enough!
    Charlie: You have been silent for 30 seconds tops.
  • Never Trust a Title: They don't actually rig an election in "The Cool Kids Rig an Election."
  • Nice Guy: Dudley, a recurring character played by Jamie Farr. He is excessively nice and polite, which annoys everyone else.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Margaret is loud, forceful, and opinionated, but she turns into an Extreme Doormat when it comes to her daughter. Hank immediately calls her on it; Charlie and Sid prefer to avoid provoking her.
  • Orphaned Punchline: In "The Cool Kids Rig an Election" Hank doesn't get to tell the punchline for his joke until the end of the episode because he kept getting cut off by other people.
  • Parrot Exposition: "Margaret Jr." returns from a commercial break with Hank recapping in this way about Margaret saying he was right and wants his help. Justified because he's gloating.
  • Performance Anxiety: Hank does this when doing the Shady Meadows news for the first time, He was so anxious that he just whispered the entire script.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Used In-Universe when Charlie and Kathleen call their relationship Charleen.
  • Race for Your Love: Exaggerated when Sid shows up at the last minute before John's plane leaves to tell him he wants to be in a relationship with him.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Sid gets so sick of Gorgeous George's repeated insults that he attacks him.
  • Reluctant Retiree: At 64-going-on-65, Margaret isn't so keen on settling down in a retirement community just yet.
  • Roommate Com: It's a sitcom about a group of seniors living in one retirement community together.
  • Sauna of Death: Sid pretends to have passed out in the sauna to lure Allison out of her office so Hank can steal the TV, To keep her from coming out he locks her in their with Sid. They end up spending the night in there because Hank forgot to let them out.
  • Scare Campaign: Margaret runs one of these campaigns with Sid, contrary to Hank trying to win people over with jokes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Subverted when Margaret and her daughter start fighting. Uncomfortable as he is, Hank can't get past them to the door and just leave.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the pilot Charlie claims his kids lied to him about having to go to the retirement community, but in "A Date With Destiny" Charlie says he is getting messages from his kids who are trying to find him, his kids should know where he is because they put them in a retirement community, making it unreasonable for them to be looking for him.
  • Senior Sleep-Cycle: Implied In "TV Heist" where the cool kids have trouble staying up until 8 so they can steal the TV.
  • Status Quo Is God: Gorgeous George said he was getting restraining orders against the four, but in the next episode you see him talking to them.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The main cast consists of three guys and the new girl at the retirement community.
  • Spiritual Successor: The show is similar to The Golden Girls in the fact that it focus's on senior citizens.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Thanksgiving at Murray's" sees Sid and Margaret taken advantage of by the community's local food snobs, while Hank and Charlie try to find something to eat and end up at Dudley's.
  • Trash of the Titans: Charlie never throws anything away, leaving his apartment looking like a landfill. Sid spends "Margaret Jr." working to clean it up, only to get buried and needing to be dug out. Charlie agrees he does need to throw some stuff out and whittles it down to a few thousand items.
  • Unwanted Glasses Plot: Hank doesn't want to get glasses because he thinks that glasses is the first step to losing your freedom.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Murray and the food snobs are wealthy people that only ever eat the best food there is.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hank and Margaret are constantly taking pot shots at each other, but they are always there for each other.