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Vanderpump Rules follows Lisa Vanderpump's employees at SUR, a restaurant in West Hollywood, as they work on building their futures in show business and become entangled in interpersonal drama. The series initially centered around new server Scheana Marie and three established couples: Stassi Schroeder and Jax Taylor, Kristen Doute and Tom Sandoval, and Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz.


Vanderpump Rules contains examples of:

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  • Alpha Bitch: Stassi Schroeder has no qualms claiming this title, especially in the first season. She gains some humility in later seasons.
    • Katie picks up the mantle for Stassi as the show goes on.
  • Cat Fight: Stassi slaps Kristen across the face when she learns she slept with Jax.
  • Country Mouse: Brittany Cartwright, Jax's girlfriend, is a Kentucky girl with a thick southern twang. She stands out quite a bit among the SUR staff.
  • The Ditz: Jax frequently comes across this way. One running gag is his tendency to fumble common idioms ("I'm usually the bunt of all jokes.")
    • Seemingly to contest this, Lala Kent proudly boasts she's been reading Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Her description of the book shows she doesn't have a sophisticated understanding of what she's actually reading.
  • Excuse Plot: The show, a spin-off of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is ostensibly about the staff of Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant SUR. While that's the case the first season or two, it quickly becomes clear that most of the staff are no longer working at SUR in any real capacity. Mostly, it's a show about the petty drama between young, good-looking Los Angelinos.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: For almost two seasons, Kristen Doute is almost universally hated by the SUR staff. This is in part due to her admission that she cheated on Tom with Jax (revealed after her endless complaints about Tom's infidelity). Her obsession with breaking up Tom and Ariana years after her own relationship with Tom ended doesn't help.
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    • Jax is an odd aversion of this. Despite lying, cheating and screwing over almost every one of his friends, his behavior is largely overlooked.
      • By Season 7, James is fired from SUR and shunned by almost every member of the main cast, with the exception of Sandoval and Ariana, who extend some lukewarm sympathy (but disinvite him from the Mexico trip).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval. The cast frequently acknowledges this, especially during moments of tension between Schwartz and Katie. They eventually open a restaurant together, aptly named Tom Tom.
  • Informed Ability: The cast frequently talks about their dreams to be successful actors, but their talent as traditional performers is somewhat questionable and rarely featured on the show.
  • Karma Houdini: Jax Taylor. While the SUR staff certainly acknowledge his behavior (which includes pathological lying, cheating, misogyny, and frequent theft), they mostly accept it as "Jax being Jax." This is lampshaded by Kristen when she is virtually exiled for sleeping with Jax, while he gets off with a slap on the wrist.
    • Depending on whether you believe he cheated on Ariana or not, Tom Sandoval. Ariana refuses to humor any claim that he cheated on her in Miami. Given Kristen's motives behind uncovering the infidelity, it's easy to believe she fabricated it.
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  • Nice Girl: Despite dating one of the most hated cast members on the show, Brittany is almost universally beloved.
  • Starving Artist: In the first season, most of the cast are ostensibly struggling actors/models trying to make it in Hollywood. Though they still make references to their limited finances, this becomes harder to believe as the popularity of the show increases.

  • Vacation Episode: Miami, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Montauk...there are always plenty of vacation spots. Expect drama over who is getting invited and what occurs on the trip.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Most of the cast gets that at one point or the other, usually from Lisa.


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