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Series / The Worst Year of My Life, Again

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Alex King is an ordinary fourteen-year-old boy who has just had the worst year of his life. When he goes to bed the night before his fifteenth birthday, his only hope is that the next year will be better. In the morning, though, he discovers that time has reset itself; it’s his fourteenth birthday again, and he has to live through the entire awful year all over again. He quickly realises that this “loop year” allows him to use his knowledge of the future to change certain events. With the help of his two best friends, Simon Birch and Maddy Kent, he tries to avoid the school bully, Parker, win the heart of Nicola Grey, the most popular girl in school, and make it the best year of his life instead. At least, that’s what he hopes will happen, but nothing goes to plan...

The Worst Year Of My Life, Again is an Australian children’s comedy show airing on ABC 3 in 2014, with thirteen episodes. It stars Ned Napier as Alex, Laurence Boxhall as Simon and Tiarnie Coupland as Maddy.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Big Hannah to Alex in the first half of “Valentine’s Day”. It is kind of his own fault, though.
  • Acquired Error at the Printer: In "April Fool", Simon has a badge made reading 'KING OF PRANKS'. However, due to several letters being squashed together, everyone keeps reading it as 'KING OF PRAWNS'.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Lampshaded. Every episode, Alex seems to forget how the 'Loop Year' kicked his butt the last time he tried to change anything. By the time of 'School Play', Maddy is sick and tired of giving Alex a You Can't Fight Fate speech over and over, so she records herself saying it and plays it to him.
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  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by Alex in "Maths Test" to break into Norris' classroom to either steal (the first time round) or retrieve (the second time) the test papers. Neither time ends well.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Due to there being only one season. In the final scene of the last episode, "The Last Day", Alex goes to bed, turning the light off. The screen is black, and then Alex's alarm clock rings, with that sound ending the episode. The audience has no idea whether time is back to normal, or whether his worst year has been reset yet again.
  • April Fools' Plot: “April Fools Day”, naturally.
  • Big Brother Bully: A gender-flipped version in Sam, Alex’s older sister.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Simon has his moments. Although he and Alex seem to be good friends, it’s sometimes hard for the audience to see why.
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  • Burger Fool: The Burger Palace, where Alex's parents take him every year for his birthday treat. All of the staff dress in faux medieval costume (and Howe works there part-time). In this case, it is more that Alex is embarrassed to be seen dining there. The staff actually seem quite enthusiastic.
  • Carrying a Cake: The doomed pavlova in "Christmas". Due to the loop year, it ends up being doomed twice.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander : Maddy, definitely.
  • Coincidental Accidental Disguise: In the Halloween episode, Alex dresses as the Grim Reaper to go to Nicola's party. However, he gets diverted to hospital because of Simon's hypochondria and, while trying to avoid the police (It Makes Sense in Context), he ends up sneaking through the geriatric ward. Several patients wake up and see what seems to be Death stalking the corridors and a near riot breaks out.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Alex has two scenes in “April Fools Day” where he ends up wearing nothing but his underpants in front of a good-sized crowd (including an all-female health class).
  • Dark Horse Victory: After Troy wins the cross-country race and gets his photo on the trophy next to Nicola, Alex attempts to use the 'loop year' to ensure that he wins instead. However, his messing with the time line causes neither himself nor Troy to win: with the victor being the one boy too slow to have been redirected by the detour Alex caused the rest of the runners to run into.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Happens multiple times over the series, as Alex seems to have a talent for triggering this kind of event. As an example, in the final episode a pair of bathers hit Parker in the face and get flung away, causing a chain of events that knocks multiple people into the pool.
  • Enter Stage Window: In the School Play episode, Alex attempts to attract Nicola's attention by throwing a rock at her bedroom window. Naturally, he smashes her window.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: This is a regular occurence for Alex. As an example, in "April Fools Day" he ends up in his underwear in front of a girls health class the first time round, and then in front of the school band during the loop year. In both cases, the audience burst out in mocking laughter.
  • Fly Crazy: After getting ice cream in his hair, Alex is plagued by a bee following him around. When it gets trapped inside a zorb with him, his attempts to escape it set off a string of Disaster Dominoes.
  • Food Slap: After a That Came Out Wrong moment, Samantha dumps a drink on Simon while he is in the pool.
  • Gang of Bullies: Parker and his friends.
  • Girl Posse: Nicola Grey has one.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Alex tries two different ones to win over Nicola in “Valentine’s Day”. Neither really works out for him.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The main plot involves around this happening to one Alex King.
  • Hair Flip: Just about any time Alex turns his attention to Nicola Grey (especially if it's the first time she appears in the episode), she will be doing a Hair Flip.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: After losing his Slippery Swimsuit, Alex has to wear a deflated pool toy as a diaper.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In the School Play episode, Alex steals Simon's bike in an attempt to catch up to Nicola to persuade her to return to the rehearsal. The second time around, he loses it by throwing it into the back of ute to hide from the bus that is chasing him (It Makes Sense in Context). While he is hiding, the ute drives off, taking the bike with it.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Big Hannah, a minor character, is this trope and little else.
  • Impairment Shot: When Alex is suffering from a concussion in the school play episode, the audience gets a POV shot of Nicola swimming in and out of focus. Just before Alex throws up on her.
  • Insistent Terminology: In "Halloween", Alex is quite insistent that his Grim Reaper costume is a 'robe', and not a 'dress', as Simon keeps referring to it as.
  • I Take Offence to That Last One: In the first episode, Parker calls Simon "a sniveling little coward". When Maddy comments that he has a point, Simon responds "I'm not that little!".
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: In "April Fools Day", Simon pranks Alex into thinking it is 'casual clothes and weird hair day' at school, so he turns up out of uniform and with crazy hair. Thanks to the Loop Year, Alex turns the tables on Simon the second time round and he is the one who comes to school out of uniform and with weird hair.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Howe, Parker's main crony. For example, he was really looking forward to going to the petting zoo with his mum ("It has a pony!").
  • Mistaken for Gay: Alex, by Parker, in “Valentine’s Day” (Alex, it should be noted, has no idea that Parker thinks he's gay). Parker seems uncomfortable but is otherwise basically okay with the idea of Alex a) being gay and b) having a crush on him, and doesn’t try to embarrass Alex about it. That is, until he believes that Alex is doing a Grand Romantic Gesture to show the whole school that they are together, at which point he makes sure that everyone knows that no, they aren’t.
  • Mundane Utility: Alex, instead of using his knowledge of the future to buy lottery tickets or predict world events… tries to impress the girl he has a crush on. Lampshaded by Simon.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Simon is very interested in Alex's sister Sam. Alex tries to tell Simon that Sam is very much not interested in him. (Simon doesn’t believe him.)
  • Non-Verbal Miscommunication: In "Maths Test", Simon attempts to mime to Alex that Mr Norris had announced that the art teacher was sick. Alex somehow interprets this as they are going to have a maths test.
  • Noodle Incident: It's not clear why Alex turned up at Nicola's party the previous year dressed as a sausage. When Maddy asks if it was a costume party, Alex embarrassedly replies "No".
  • Not So Great Escape: In the first episode, Alex ends up hiding in Mr Norris' contraband cupboard and then attempting to escape while Norris has his back turned. Unfortunately, his back has seized up from being cramped in the cupboard.
  • Oblivious to Love: Alex has absolutely no idea that Maddy has a crush on him.
  • Open the Door and See All the People: In "April Fools Day", Simon tricks Alex into going into a darkened room to change his clothes. When he is down to his underpants, he steps through a door to get away from Mr Norris and finds that he is standing in front of the girls health class. During the loop year, Alex avoids this but instead ends up stepping through a door and finding himself in front of the school band in his underpants.
  • Putting the Pee in Pool: Invoked. The urban legend of a chemical that turns purple in contact with urine being added to pool water is mentioned, with Simon pointing out that it is a urban legend. Later Sam dumps a purple drink on Simon while he is in the pool, leaving him surrounded by a rapidly spreading circle of purple. Simon tries desperately to tell everyone around him that he has not peed in the pool.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Alex. Downplayed - he specifically says that he doesn’t perfectly remember everything that happened the first time around, because he didn’t know he was going to have to relive the year.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr Norris. He particularly seems to have it in for Alex, but is also shown handing out detentions at the drop of a hat to almost anyone.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Alex loses his broadshorts and the bathers he was wearing under them in the waterslide on the last day of summer. Due to the loop year, this happens twice.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Gender-flipped: Alex has a crush on Nicola, the most popular girl in school.
  • Sphere Factor: In "The Last Day", Alex gets ice cream in his hair and is plagued by a bee following him around. When it gets trapped inside a zorb with him, his attempts to escape it send him rolling around the swimming pool, and triggers a string of Disaster Dominoes.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Maddy and Howe seem to operate on the same wavelength, which is not the same as anyone else's. They both go to Nicola's halloween party as the Screaming Schoolgirl/boy (complete with old-fashioned wooden ruler), and later Howe is able to tell - with no prompting - that Maddy's 'scary' costume is her dentist dressed to go to a party.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Simon attempts to pick up Samantha, thinking that the year might reset again, he says she should act fast because tomorrow "he will have forgotten all about her". Realising what he has just said, he says "That didn't come out right" and she dumps a drink on him.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Alex, Simon and Maddy.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: See above.
  • Urine Trouble: In the School Play episode, Alex caps his Humiliation Conga by causing Nicola's dog to pee over her.
  • We Have the Keys: In the Halloween episode, Alex and Simon scale the fence of Nicola's house in order to sneak into her party and end up falling off. Maddy then tries the gate and finds it is open.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In the Halloween episode, we learn that school bully Parker is afraid of clowns.
  • Wild Teen Party: Alex's sister Sam holds one when they their parents go away in “Sam’s Party”. Alex attempts to take advantage of the “loop year” to avoid disaster the second time, but just ends up making things worse.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: This seems to be the way of things. Every time Alex tries to avoid or change something the second time around, it either happens in a different way or something even worse happens.