The Pittsburgh SOAPranos is a 2017 web series filmed in Pittsburgh, featuring the fictional adventures of Pip & Lola's Everything Homemade, a non-fictional store for vegan and vegetarian barely-scented soaps. Over the course of the first season of six episodes, Sami hires an assistant to deal with her increased workload, is targeted by a Mob soap store that sees her as a direct competitor, deals with insane upstairs neighbors, wacky customers, and her flaky husband, Bruce, and hires yet another assistant after the first one stops showing up to work. In the second season, the store deals with a dead body found in their store, and the Mafia step up their efforts...
The series is written by Samantha A. Camp and stars a wide variety of local actors in the Pittsburgh area.
This work exhibits the following tropes:
- "Begone" Bribe: Sami gets rid of an annoying busker outside her store with a bribe of soap.
- Ceiling Banger: The upstairs neighbors make a great deal of noise, leading to Sami occasionally attempting to quiet them by banging the ceiling with a broom.
- Cranky Neighbor: The upstairs neighbors are closer to insane, constantly having yelling fights with each other and complaining that the "vegan fumes" of the soaps are ruining their lives.
- Cute Mute: Bubbles never speaks. She just comes in and pops bubble wrap in the corner.
- Defector from Decadence: A recurring background customer is revealed in the fourth episode to be a member of the Mafia gang that runs the rival soap shop. It's implied that he started coming by because he prefers Sami's soap, and that he's since becoming friends with the people in the shop treat him much more nicely than his family. His body shows up at the end of the first season, but his death is largely unexplained, although it creates conflict as the Mafia is convinced Sami rubbed him out.
- Human Resources: The rival mob soap shop is hinted to be getting their soap materials from bodies of people they've killed.
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The mob hides their body disposal through soap sales. Said soap is highly decorative girly soap with names patterned after serial killers, such as The Dahmer and The Bundy bars of soap.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Quirky is the psychic sort, consulting with various spirits, deceased and not, to give Sami business advice.
- Really Gets Around: Janette's main character trait is that she's constantly out on wild dates and gleefully recounts them while in the soap shop, driving off the occasional potential customer with her lurid descriptions.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: In the fourth episode, Sami is interviewing for a new assistant. The candidates range from a drunk whose mother shows up to coach him through the interview to a young girl who tries to take over the shop to one of the mob henchmen.
- Theme Naming: After replacing assistant Tiki with a new assistant, Tavi, Samantha is working in references to an earlier assistant named Ricky.
- Unknown Rival: Sami is seemingly unaware that there is a rival soap shop, let alone that it's one run by The Mafia. One phoned threat was accidentally deleted. One in-person threat was understood as a customer unhappy with the Soap of the Month club. A third attempt, to disrupt a warehouse meeting, is ended when Old Man Calzone hears the sound of fighting in the back and assumes that Sami has muscle onhand.
- Written-In Absence: The actress playing Tiki, the new assistant hired in the first episode, was unable to make subsequent filmings, which led to an in-universe absence and eventual replacement of a new actress as the assistant, Tavi.