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Mother of the Year is one of many books in Pixelberry's Choices: Stories You Play collection.
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When your daughter gets a scholarship to attend an elite private school, it looks like the perfect chance to start a new life...


  • Affectionate Nickname: Levi starts referring to Zoey as "Rocket" when he comes to fix the oven.
  • Agony of the Feet: A premium scene in Chapter 9 reveals Guy, in a Too Dumb to Live moment, ignored the obvious sign on the beach that said there were sea urchins. Sure enough, he stepped on one.
  • The Alleged Car: Tara's car has a habit of breaking down at inopportune times, like trying to get Zoey to school.
  • Amoral Attorney: Vanessa is this by not only making Tara's life hell for petty bitchiness, but then even moreso once Guy becomes her client in the custody battle.
  • Animal Motif: Hugo refers to himself as a mongoose. Chapter 6 reveals it's his Snackatar from Guy's Nomme app. Depending on how you play the Snackatar section, you can end up as a dog, raccoon, owl or bear.
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Chapter 15, when Guy takes the stand, Thomas asks him softball questions that he as Zoey's father should know, but the big one stuns him flat.
    Thomas: "What does Zoey want to be when she grows up?"
  • Astral Finale: Not in the final boss sense, but if you take the premium date with your chosen love interest in Chapter 17, Tara her love interest and Zoey out to the planetarium to a show that's narrated by Keanu Reeves.
  • Berserk Button: Principal Tinsley asking Tara about Zoey's father is enough to make her feel a rush of anger, putting her in Tranquil Fury just to say he's not around.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • For Tara’s Archie, Thomas is the Betty with a career and a daughter while Levi is the Veronica who's single and a rock guitarist who lives in the same apartment as the Days. Eiko is the Cheryl as the third option.
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    • Tara is the Betty (hardworking and humble), next to Vanessa’s Veronica (haughty and rich) to Thomas’ Archie.
  • Biker Babe: Chapter 2 features a full body portrait of Eiko Matsunaga wearing her motorcycle outfit.
  • Birds of a Feather: Tara and Thomas bond over their daughters being a bit over the top.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • Chapter 8 takes place at Vanessa's twins' birthday party.
    • Chapter 13 has Zoey's birthday happen in the second half.
  • Bitch Slap: Chapter 11 has the option for Tara to give this to Vanessa when the latter outs Eiko as gay.
  • Black Bra and Panties: The premium romance scene with Eiko in Chapter 16 shows she wears these.
  • Call-Back: In Chapter 16 if you romance Levi and if you paid for him to make rugelach in Chapter 3, he'll make some the morning after.
  • Carpet of Virility: If you choose the premium scene to go with Levi in Chapter 16, he shows he has a hairy chest.
  • Child Prodigy: Zoey is 9-years old (9 and 2/3 according to her) and she's admitted into an elite school like Bernhardt Academy.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: A premium scene with Vanessa in Chapter 17 has her light one up for the first time in a long time for her.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: In Chapter 1 when Tara says their dinner options are frozen pizza, fish sticks or mac and cheese, Zoey says mac and cheese pizza. Tara says the trope name.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Thomas's firm is working on a class action lawsuit against a car manufacturer that made faulty airbags. It's personal for him since his wife Soledad was killed by those products.
  • Disabled Snarker: Alma is in a wheelchair and full of sass.
  • Disappeared Dad: Zoey's father is this to the point even bringing him up around Tara is a Berserk Button. Guy reappears in Chapter 5, averting this trope. August and AJ's father is this, and Chapter 17 reveals he's a state senator until she ran him out of town after he was discovered cheating on him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Chapter 17 has Vanessa being civil and apologizing for outing Eiko's homosexuality. Eiko may accept her apology, but she won't ever forgive her.
    Eiko: "Fine. I accept your apology, but that doesn't mean I like you. We an be civil. But I'm not interested in being your friend."
    • A premium scene with Vanessa in Chapter 17 gives Tara the option to forgive Vanessa for all the crap she was put through or to avert it.
  • Eureka Moment: Eiko has one in Chapter 13 when she realizes what can be used to power the heart monitor.
  • Evil Twin: August tends to be meaner than his twin, AJ.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: In Chapter 15 when Thomas asks Guy on the stand what does Zoey wants to be when she grows up, Tara can tell him this answer.
  • Food Porn:
    • Chapter 2 has "Unicorn Cocoa", which is shown in great detail.
    • Chapter 3 has the premium choice to make rugelach, a chocolate drizzled Jewish croissant, for the bake sale.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Eiko makes a point of not being out in the workplace, but Vanessa outs her in front of the PTA during a confrontation.
  • Gay Option: Eiko, Zoey's science teacher.
  • Girlish Pigtails: A premium scene in Chapter 5 has Luz defy this trope, saying they look stupid.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: As a foil to Tara, Vanessa has a very wealthy background, works as a successful lawyer, has to raise twins by herself, and is the president of the PTA. She actually resents Tara because she has everything Vanessa lacks: Thomas’ affection, determination despite her more humble lifestyle, and a healthy relationship with her daughter.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: In a premium scene in Chapter 3, after Levi says he's chopped up the walnuts like a Jewish Samurai, he considers that a band name idea.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted in Chapter 5 when Alma says "bullshit" when she and Tara talk about Guy. Usually Choices refrains from strong language.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Luz is mentioned to get angry a lot, and Thomas has had to attend a lot of meetings resulting from her outbursts.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: When Zoey learns she gets her own bedroom and runs off to it, Tara says she could power a whole city with that kind of energy on a hamster wheel.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Tara's ex-husband, Guy Ledford, is a smug, pretentious jerk who shows up unannounced to Tara's apartment four years after they split up and trying to win their daughter over to him by superficial means. Later chapters make him even more hateful when it's revealed that he doesn't really care about his daughter; he just wants to use her for his own selfish means and make Tara miserable in the process. If you have Tara dating Eiko, then he becomes homophobic and says he should have dumped (Tara) faster.
    • Vanessa Blackwood is just as bad as Guy, taking sadistic glee in ruining Tara's life for petty reasons, refusing to discipline her son Augustus when he bullies Zoey, outs Eiko for daring to stand up to her, and uses her position on the PTA to get away with it all.
  • Heel Realization: In Chapter 4, if you pick the premium choice of giving Hugo a piece of your mind after Hugo carelessly sells store-bought brownies that have soy in them at the bake sale, giving Zoey an allergy attack, Hugo will admit you're right and apologize, and even say you're a "good egg" because you made him face his flaws like a "true friend".
  • Hello, Attorney!:
    • A premium date with Thomas in Chapter 7 is the first time you see him shirtless and he's quite buff.
    • Despite being a Hate Sink, Vanessa is very pretty.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can choose your main character's first name as well as that of your daughter; your last name is set as Day and cannot be changed. The default names for mother and daughter respectively are Tara and Zoey Day.
  • Humiliation Conga: Chapter 16 can be this for Guy. He has to pay back child support as well as forward, as well as have Faye break up with him and slap him in court. For an extra bit of salt in the wound when he come to pick Zoey up, Tara can tell him to come into the Moon Room to see Levi playing on stage, especially if she's dating him.
  • I Call It "Vera": Eiko names her motorcycle Ada.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Chapter 14 has Guy do this by saying Tara got fired for stealing jewelry when he wasn't even there when it happened. The only way he'd know is if he and Tallulah were conspiring with each other.
  • It Amused Me: In a premium scene in Chapter 14, Tara can say Vanessa has been this trope with her since day one. "Because you're bored."
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Chapter 17 has Zoey put on one of these for a premium outfit to give her an edge in the science fair.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Chapter 17, if you took the previous option in Chapter 15 to expose Tallulah as the one who framed Tara for stealing jewelry, her daughter's paper mache volcano erupts in her face.
  • Latino Is Brown: Discussed. Thomas is Mexican-American, but his appearance leads people to assume he is white.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: The premium choice in Chapter 13 for Zoey to confront August can have her take this option against him.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: A premium date with Levi in Chapter 9 can have Tara and Levi end up in the club bathroom getting some action, only to get walked in on.
  • Mama Bear: Tara has moments of this. An example is a premium scene in Chapter 2, when she gets mad when she finds out that Zoey is being picked on by other kids at Bernhardt. The narrative states that Tara would like to hurt those children's parents.
    • The premium scene for Tara to confront Hugo for being careless about the brownies with soy he bought is terrifying to behold.
    • Chapter 8 has her blow up at Guy when she sees a post of Faye with Zoey and outright using his own daughter to advertise Nomme.
  • Missing Mom: Thomas's wife Soledad is this to his daughter, Luz, after the former died in a car accident.
  • Morality Pet: Despite having ulterior motives for coming back into her life and being somewhat neglectful and incompetent in parenting her, Guy does seem to genuinely love and care about Zoey.
  • Mushroom Samba: The premium scene in Chapter 9 about Guy stepping on a sea urchin also says he was so high on painkillers he was trying to climb into the fish tank in the hospital lobby and fight the fish.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Picking the premium choice in chapter 4 of giving Hugo a piece of your mind after his carelessness gives Zoey an allergy attack will cause him to react this way. He'll even thank you for confronting him.
  • Not So Different: In a premium scene in Chapter 17, Vanessa reveals the reason she hated Tara so much was because she reminded her too much of what she was like just out of her divorce.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Chapter 6 reveals in a premium scene that Guy also runs Nomme's social media page.
  • Parents as People: Tara is this.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Some of the dialogue options between Tara and Vanessa veer into this. One example being Chapter 4 where she can say "Sorry to disappoint you" if you did good with the bake sale.
  • Penny Among Diamonds: Most of the students at Bernhardt come from well off families unlike Zoey, so she gets bullied for it.
  • Playable Epilogue: If you collected all 11 New Beginnings items, you get a final scene in Chapter 17 from Zoey's perspective before Thanksgiving break.
  • Plot Allergy: Zoey is very allergic to soy, and she has an allergy attack in chapter 3 from a brownie. Happens again in Chapter 11, this time with near life-threatening consequences.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Augustus is rude and takes pleasure bullying Zoey, while AJ is more shy and seems uncomfortable at his brother’s actions. If Zoey stands up to Augustus in the premium scene, AJ thanks Zoey for putting his brother in place, and asks to have lunch with her and Luz.
  • Polyamory: Unlike most other Choices novels, you have the option to have open relationships with your love interests.
  • Pro Bono Barter: Chapter 9 has Thomas take Tara's custody case pro bono as her friend or lover, but also because he can't stand people like Guy.
  • Relationship Values: You can make choices that increase Romance points with either Eiko, Levi, or Thomas, in order to date them later. Interestingly, you can also get positive relationship points with Faye, Guy's current girlfriend, even though Faye is not a potential love interest. This is because if you get enough positive relationship points with Faye, she can eventually be persuaded to dump Guy in chapter 14, and will take your side in the chapter 15 trial (if you don't have enough relationship points with Faye, she'll take Guy's side instead).
  • Scholarship Student: Zoey is one to Bernhardt Academy since her previous teacher, Ms. Gupta, felt she wasn't feeling challenged enough in her current school. Because of Zoey’s humble background, Vanessa and August look down on Tara and Zoey respectively.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Guy is this to Levi, having been a Jerk Jock in high school to Levi who was a band geek. Even after all these years, the hate is still there, especially if Tara is dating Levi.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: August usually avoids trouble since his mom holds a high position in the PTA.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The boutique worker in Chapter 1 calls the moms shopping for Bernhardt at the start of the school year like The Stepford Wives and Mean Girls had a baby.
    • If you take the premium choice to get the school uniform for Zoey, after she changes, she says she's like Sailor Moon.
    • Eiko in a red biker suit calls her bike Ada.
    • If you tell Zoey to recite the periodic table in Chapter 4, she begins reciting the lyrics to Tom Lehrer's "The Elements".
    • Thomas compares himself and Tara to Rainbow Dash and Applejack, while Tara says they are more like Finn and Jake.
    • In Chapter 9 after going on a premium date with Alma and Faye, Alma says she rented John Wick and invites Tara over to watch. Also in Chapter 9 in a premium date with Levi, he and Steve's "band" played a Dragonforce cover to which Steve forgot the words to.
    • In a premium scene with Levi in Chapter 11, you catch him finishing singing the theme to Spongebob Squarepants at the school fundraiser for the kids. He also starts singing "How to Start Again" for Tara. Then he mentions taking a break before starting a singalong to "Old Town Road."
    • In Chapter 16, if you tell Eiko you love her, but there's someone else, the achievement for that choice is "Open Heart."
    • In Chapter 17 in the Playable Epilogue, if Zoey's choice for what she's gonna do is play video games, she says she got Breath of the Wild for her Nintendo Switch.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Tara is this, being a waitress before having to move out to Goldcliffe for her daughter's school.
  • Stunned Silence: If Tara bought the premium Talk of the Town outfit in Chapter 1, she invokes this in Thomas Mendez.
  • Super Window Jump: Played for laughs in Chapter 6 asks if he takes song requests. When “Free Bird” gets mentioned, he says he'll jump out the window.
  • Teacher/Parent Romance: One of the love interests is Eiko, Zoey’s science teacher.
  • This Cannot Be!: Chapter 3 has Vanessa and her posse be stunned if you took both premium options to cook rugelach and the premium dress as you make over $900.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Tara has this to say to Vanessa in Chapter 11.
    "I'm not here to play bake sale games, bitch. If you try to take my kid from me, I will snap your skinny ass like a Kit Kat bar."
  • Throat-Slitting Gesture: In Chapter 13, if you pay to have Zoey confront August, one of the choices is to point out that her mom's in the car, which has Tara give one of these to him.
    • In Chapter 15, One of the choices is to have Tara give one of these to Tallulah for framing her and lying about it.
  • Title Drop: In Chapter 17, you get the "Mother of the Year" achievement if Zoey's rocket launches successfully.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Zoey is girly, loves bright colors and dressing up, while Luz is often seen wearing pants and plaid shirts. If Zoey gets the premium dress for the picnic, Luz admits that she would wear it, while Thomas mentions that she usually hates girly dresses.
  • Tranquil Fury: In Chapter 15, when Guy takes the stand, even though he's speaking utter lies, you get points by choosing to remain calm.
  • Triple Shifter: By Chapter 7, Tara is working as a salesperson at a clothing store and a waitress at the Drafthorse Bar.
  • Undisclosed Funds: In Chapter 17, if you were successful in getting Guy to pay back child support, Tara checks her bank and her reaction says it.
    Tara: "Whoa. That's... a lot of zeroes..."
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 8 ends with Vanessa personally delivering Tara the news that Guy is suing for custody of Zoey and she's representing him.
    • Chapter 11 has Vanessa outing Eiko's homosexuality and Zoey having an allergy attack from eating a candy bar from Guy's company.
  • Wham Shot: Chapter 7 ends with Tara finding Levi has 3 missed calls on his phone...from Vanessa.
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