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Barbelle follows the story of a newly famous Toronto based pop-star duo, Veronica Vale and Alice O'Hara, whose meteoric rise to stardom has led to a blitzkrieg on their personal lives. When Alice decides she wants to break up with Veronica and go solo, they discover that their contract not only doesn't allow the band to break up, it doesn't allow them to break up—at least not publicly. And then the label has them collaborate with new pop singer Lulu, whom Alice finds herself suddenly—and inconveniently—attracted to.

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Tropes featured include

  • The Alcoholic: Veronica. At first it seems like she's just a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, or possibly drowning her sorrows after Alice dumps her, but as the show goes on it becomes clear her drinking is a problem. Especially in Episode 9, in which the Ghost of Girlfriends Past shows her her funeral, in a Bad Future in which she became an alcoholic recluse who drove away all her friends and drank herself to death.
  • Alliterative Name: Veronica Vale.
  • Attention Whore: Veronica wants—rather, needs—a ton of love and attention. Sometimes she gets it positively, by posting on social media or asking a fan to prom. Sometimes she gets it by setting fire to the Scientology building.
  • But Not Too Gay: Presumably, what happened when Lulu covered one of Barbelle's songs. Veronica is none too pleased about it.
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  • The Cameo: Natasha Negovanlis, star of many of the studio's other properties (most notably Carmilla the Series), puts in an appearance as the Ghost of Girlfriends Past.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Most of the named characters either are confirmed lesbians or men.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Whatever their contract might say about publicly appearing as a couple, Alice and Veronica aren't dating anymore. But Veronica would really like them to be dating again, and is really not happy about much Alice likes Lulu. She constantly mocks and attacks Lulu to the point of outing her and takes as much advantage of having to pretend she and Alice are still together as possible.
  • Creator Couple: Barbelle, in universe. Since this is a large part of their marketing appeal, this makes Alice and Veronica's breakup...problematic.
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  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Hyper-girly Lulu bakes Alice a pie as a form of flirting. Alice lampshades this but also says it's delicious. (Even Veronica likes it, and Veronica hates her.)
  • Former Child Star: Lulu used to be the star of a show called "Lulu Go Do" when she was six. While less destructive than many examples of this trope, she struggles to be taken seriously as an adult performer, not helped by parents who would apparently prefer she stay a little girl forever.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Part of what makes Veronica so insecure is that it seems like everyone at the record label is only putting up with her because she's a package deal with Alice. Their manager Karen makes several joking-but-not-really comments in this vein. (Veronica plays it off, but is clearly more affected than she likes people to think.)
    Karen [to Alice]: Nobody likes Veronica as much as they like you.
    Veronica: Thanks, Karen.
  • Gratuitous French:"La Crush"
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: It's heavily implied that one of the big problems in Veronica and Alice's relationship was that Veronica wanted Alice to be more demonstrative/attentive, and Alice felt stifled. So Veronica gets her love from the internet, which is why she's so good at social media.
  • Love Triangle: Veronica, Alice, Lulu
  • Only Sane Woman: Alice find herself in this category as more often than not she's the one who has to deal with her manager and her partner, both of whom seem determined to make her life as hard as possible.
  • Psychological Projection: Veronica has a tendency to accuse Alice of things she's mad at herself for—such as yelling at the (very quiet) Alice to stop yelling or accusing her of being selfish when Veronica is the one who just skipped out on her prom date with a fan.
  • Read the Fine Print: Because if you don't you could end up like these people.
  • Shipper on Deck: All of Barbelle's fans really love Veronica and Alice's relationship. The record label, recognizing the marketing appeal, put it in their contract that they must at least appear to be dating. At first, this was no problem, since they were so in love, but now that Alice is apparently done with the relationship, this provision makes it impossible for either of them to handle the breakup well.
    Karen [holding their hands together]: Alveronica is everything.
  • Silly Love Songs: "La Crush." Barbelle themselves seem to specialize in this.
  • Stylistic Suck: In-universe, the band's CGI-heavy music video for their new release (even without the the obvious green screen, the director went heavy on the pretentious). Lampshaded with the reviews they read the next day.
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