After being mistaken for younger than she really is, 40-year old single mother Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) decides to take the chance to reboot her career and personal life as a 26-year old.
With the help of her best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar), a sharp-tongued lesbian artist, Liza moves to Brooklyn and sets up an entirely new identity, even landing herself a job as an assistant at a publishing house. She also strikes up a flirtation with her neighbor Josh (Nico Tortorella), a 26-year-old tattoo artist who thinks they're the same age. Hilary Duff, Miriam Shor, Peter Hermann, and Charles Michael Davis also star.
Younger premiered in March 2015 and became a surprise hit for TV Land, with its viewership figures rising each successive season. A seventh and final season is set to air on Paramount+ in 2021, while a spinoff based around Duff's character, Kelsey, was reported to be in development as of October 2020, however in June of 2021, Darren Star stated that the spin-off was off the table and not moving forward.
Younger contains examples of:
- Age Lift: The premise of the show is essentially giving Liza an In-Universe Age Lift, de-aging her with the help of fashion and Internet scrubbing in order to make her appear age-appropriate for her new career.
- Amicable Exes:
- Liza grows to be more civil with her ex-husband, mostly for their daughter's benefit.
- Season 7 is all about Liza and Charles trying to forge this bond, as they break up due to her rejecting his proposal, who despite loving him so much, never wants to get married again. While they do decide to get back together in the series finale, he also realizes that while he does love her, after the lie she had maintained against him and everyone for multiple years, he can never fully trust her again, something she understands. He does however realize she is a wonderful person, and when he steps down from the company to focus on himself and his daughters, he makes her Editor-In-Chief of Empirical in his place, with the two resolute to end their relationship as friends.
- And Starring: "And Hilary Duff."
- The Beautiful Elite: Everybody on this show, basically. Liza, being able to pass as a twenty-something despite being forty, deserves a special mention.
- Celebrity Paradox: Liza tap dancing at a "Roaring 20s" themed party, all while being backed by a recording of "Forget About the Boy" from Thoroughly Modern Millie, sung by "Sutton Foster".
- Cerebus Retcon: Edward L.L. Moore's dirty old man persona is played for laughs initially, however in "Liza Too" it's revealed that his comments are less than innocent and go into sexual harassment and abuse territory as he's groped countless women. After Liza comes forward after learning he's been doing it to a lot of women, Charles is forced to cut him loose.
- Deus ex Machina: After Thad finds out Liza's secret, he uses it as leverage against her telling Kelsey about his bathroom trysts with his secretary, however Liza decides to inform Kelsey anyways, telling Thad that he can do whatever he wants effectively ending her career. Thad is none too happy and tries to convince her otherwise but she gets away just as a crane drops its load of steel directly on top of Thad, killing him, ensuring Liza's secret remains safe for the time being.
- Not long later Liza is forced to return to her hometown with Empirical to present a check to a bookstore, thus having her secret outed. She even prepares Charles for this by saying he will learn some stuff about her that he's not aware of. However their benefactor pulls out at the last minute forcing them to turn the helicopter around. When Charles inquires what he was going to learn, Liza covers by saying she was "a huge slut in high school"
- Expy: In "Secrets & Liza" it's shown that Empirical's biggest success is the Crown of Kings series by Edward L.L. Moore. Also counts as a Take That!, given Charles calls the books the overwritten fantasies of a handsy old man (and Liza agrees), and the author isn't flatteringly portrayed.
- Extremely Short Timespan: The show takes place in roughly real time with each episode taking place over several days to a week and not much time between them this leads to each season taking place over a couple months with no time skip between them leading to the show's 6 year run taking place over around 2 years.
- Gay Bar: Hoping to lift her spirits, Diane takes Kelsey to one after Thad's death.
- Intergenerational Friendship:
- Liza and Kelsey, though the latter isn't aware of their secret age difference for the first few seasons. Also true of Liza's relationships with Charles and Diane.
- Played with, in regards to Liza and Maggie; Kelsey and her friends believe Maggie is much older than Liza.
- Jewish Mother: Lauren has one, who also acts this way toward Kelsey and, to a lesser degree, Liza.
- Funny Background Event: Liza's Jane Austen Twitter features such gems as "Oh my! Mr. Darcy just sent me an etching of his manhood!".
- Hyper-Awareness: Annabelle, in her forties herself, immediately deduces Liza's age by looking at her hands. Lauren doesn't realize the the meaning of this, but she also notices some little physical traits of Liza suggesting that she is not 26.
- Lampshade Hanging: There is more casual talk about age, maturity, generation gaps, etc. than you have heard anywhere else.
- Love Triangle: Liza, Josh, and Charles.
- Makeover Montage: The pilot features one as Liza is transformed into her "younger" self- highlights, makeup, and new clothes all make an appearance.
- May–December Romance: Well, May-September and September is incredibly spring-looking, but Josh is still significantly closer in age with Liza'a daughter than with Liza. Kelsey and Anton also qualify as a May-September variety, and as for second season to do Lauren and Maggie. Given that half of the cast is in their twenties and the other one in their forties, it's not surprising.
- Mr. Fanservice: Especially Josh, who presents his ripped, tattooed body on some occasions, though Thad, and for the older generation Anton, Charles and David are also very easy on the eyes. Visual standards for males has clearly risen since the times of Sex and the City.
- Office Romance: Charles is romantically interested in Liza, despite her relationship with Josh.
- Older Than They Look: The central premise hinges on the fact that Liza can conceivably pass for about 15 years younger than her actual age. In-universe, Maggie mentions that Liza was being carded until she was thirty.
- Relationship Reveal: Liza learns that an exciting new author she meets at Pitchfest is none other than Charles' ex-wife, right during a steamy encounter with him.
- Ship Tease: Liza and Charles. It mainly serves to show how she sometimes can get along better with an older man than with Josh, and he thinks she is much younger than him, and an assistant to boot, but it's there. And Diana certainly notices.
- Shout-Out: During a small confrontation between her and Liza, Quinn compares Liza to Maria von Trapp, while comparing herself to The Baroness, a role Laura Benanti played in NBC's The Sound Of Music Live!.
- Spiritual Successor: Being produced by Darren Star, set in the Big Apple, and focusing on someone working in the publishing/literary field, even Star himself said he hopes this show will be to the currently-gentrifying Brooklyn what Sex and the City was to Manhattan.
- Spoiled Brat: Liza's daughter, Caitlin, is pretty well-off for someone her age.
- Straw Feminist: The series introduces a male one in the second season.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Liza and Anne's relationship seems to be this.