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Someone once told me the grass was much greener, on the other side...
The first and last lines from the show's opening credits

This Nicktoon focuses on the life of junior-high-school student Ginger Foutley. She, along with her friends Dodie Bishop, Macie Lightfoot, and Darren Patterson all try to rise from the position of school geeks as they solve many conflicts that come their way. Luckily for Ginger, the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling, has taken a liking to her, and often includes her in her social plans. She is intrigued by her (what Courtney calls them) 'Gingerisms'. However, Miranda Killgallen, Courtney's right hand woman, makes sure that she is not bumped down from her position thanks to Ginger.

At home, Ginger records her lively adventures in her diary. Her little brother, Carl, is often scheming with Hoodsey Bishop in his own side plots; and her mother, Lois, is always there for advice, which Ginger is always open to listen to. The series takes place in the fictional town of Sheltered Shrubs, located in Connecticut.

It ran for about 4 years from 2000 to 2004 (with the finale being released on DVD and a couple of the episodes leading up to the finale being left unaired in the US, although one of these episodes aired on Nicktoons in 2006, and four more of them aired on TeenNick's The Splat block in October 2016). In January 2021, the series was added to CBS All Access (now Paramount+), where the last episode of the originally unaired bundle was finally released.

It was among the Nickelodeon cartoons that were ahead of their time, featuring (relatively) realistic situations and teenage issues which soon set a mark for the future titles to come in the TeenNick time slot. The most notable among the show pointed out that it didn't follow the Limited Wardrobe trope compared to the other Nick titles. It is also one of the first shows, not just on Nickelodeon, but perhaps in all of children's entertainment, to portray interracial romance in a serious (and positive) light.

As Troped by Ginger

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    A - C 
  • Aborted Arc: The storyline of Ginger finding out that Dodie and Macie were trying to break her and Darren up was never resolved.note 
  • A-Cup Angst:
    • Courtney. She is a young adolescent, but she is not pleased about her small size. To the point where an episode's plot involves foiling a plan by two High School Alpha Bitches to expose her as a bra-stuffer.
    • Macie has a more subdued version of the trope. In "The Easter Ham" when Dodie was ranting about how Darren's Birthday Party was one of "the most important BFF thing to happen since we got to buy training bras!" Macie then replied "Those were my darker days," and then left it at that.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Blake seems to never get Hoodsey's name right, often calling him "Woodsey" much to his annoyance.
    • Courtney often does this to Dodie ("Podie") and Macie ("Stacie" or "Kacie")
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism:
    • Dodie in "Of Lice And Friends" when she replaces Chett Zipper for school announcer and uses it for gossip, becoming somewhat popular in the process, but only because she dishes dirt on other people.
    • Also occurs in the episode "About Face," in spades. The episode in which Dodie's mother ends up subbing at Lucky Junior High suggests Dodie inherited this tendency from Mom.
    • Also, Hope in the episode "No Hope for Courtney" when she becomes popular.
  • An Aesop:
    • The episode "Stuff Will Kill You" shows Ginger developing an addiction to coffee. Lois had previously gotten away with her Parental Hypocrisy about makeup and leg-shaving, but she is called out on her own dependency on coffee (which, for a nurse, is very Truth in Television) for hypocrisy as well as not setting a very good example for Ginger.
    • "Ms. Foutley's Boys": You shouldn't be in a relationship just for the sake of it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being single, and if you're going to date then it should be with someone you love. Ginger tries to force her mother Lois to date Buzz because she's afraid of her mother being alone forever despite how much she finds Buzz and his sons a headache to deal with. And when Lois does eventually remarry, it's after a full season of dating and making sure that Dave is the right man for her.
  • Alliterative Name: Sheltered Shrubs. Protected Pines. Avalanche Arts Academy. Camp Caprice. Heathered Hills. Doctor Dave.
  • Affectionate Parody: The titular play of "I Spy A Witch" is essentially a musical of The Crucible.
  • All Girls Like Ponies:
    • Ginger is quite fond of them, as her room would suggest. Along with the song she sings in summer camp involving copper-colored ponies.
    • Dodie too, she has a shelf full of them.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Noelle Sussman is largely ignored by her peers because she's a total Cloudcuckoolander, but she doesn't seem to care.
  • Aloof Big Brother / Big Brother Bully: Darren has one in the form of Will.
  • Alpha Bitch: Chantelle and Andrea, the high school girls who try to intimidate the younger girls and plan to "de-bikini" Courtney at the pool. Those two make Miranda and Mipsy look mild in comparison.
    • Sasha's girlfriend in "Ginger's Solo" debuts for a minute and she still makes her bitchiness known.
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: Carl and Hoodsey are into this in "Lunatic Lake," looking to make an epic low-budget horror movie, complete with shooting it using black-and-white Super 8 film. Hoodsey sees the opportunity with the Bishop family vacation to Loon Lake (which Ginger and Macie are already coming on as well) to bring Carl along to make such a film, especially since there are rumors that an escaped lunatic is on the loose, and Blake Gripling is on a survival campout in the Loon Lake area, so naturally Carl and Hoodsey decide to make Blake their "victim." Naturally, things go wrong for both the movie shoot and the vacation in general, at least up until Carl and Hoodsey get actual footage of the real lunatic (rather than using their Halloween mask as planned) and decide to use that footage along with what they also filmed and fake the rest at home.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Joann Bishop to Dodie.
  • Amicably Divorced: Lois and Jonas. They don't hate each other, just split up because they have radically different lifestyles. Ginger too is on good terms with Lois and Jonas too, but the same doesn't exactly apply for Carl, who resents Jonas and is rather out of touch with him, in part due to him being much younger and having known Jonas for less of his life. (It also doesn't help that Jonas wasn't making much effort to connect with his kids for the first season or two.)
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • Carl can be this to Ginger at times.
    • As can Blake be to Courtney.
    • Averted with Hoodsey and Dodie who rarely have been shown arguing, though they aren't shown interacting as often as Ginger and Carl or Courtney and Blake.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: This quote from the second part of "The Wedding Frame":
    Ginger: Dodie, you think I'm unreasonably distrusting, and maybe that's why I'm having a whole time with this whole marriage thing, and this whole...Orion thing?
    Dodie: Well, you did have your heart broken once.
    Macie: And you are a child of divorce.
    Dodie: Oh, oh, and remember when you sent away for a T-shirt using the proof of purchase from your cereal box?
    Macie: And the T-shirt never came?
    Dodie: That couldn't have helped.
    • Also, in "Summer of Camp Caprice," after Ginger and her friends violate 14 rules of Camp Caprice, Margie lists them
    Margie: Three counts of breaking curfew, one count of swimming in the lake without supervision, two counts of illegal use and operation of camp equipment, four counts of failing to report a violation of Camp Caprice rules, two counts of assisting the illegal deliverance of non Caprice Campers to Camp Caprice Grounds, one count of having a member of the opposite sex SPEND THE NIGHT in an ALL-GIRLS CABIN!
    Other Campers: (gasps and murmurs)
    Macie: Margie, with all due respect, that was only thirteen broken rules. I counted.
    Margie: And one count of chewing gum at an assembly! Spit it out, Macie!
    Macie: (spits out gum) Oh sorry, that's fourteen, yup.
  • Art Evolution: Contender for Most Triumphant Example—the show very carefully aged the characters as it progressed.
    • Darren is arguably the best example in the show, slowly developing from a scrawny teen with head gear to a really in-shape young man due to him playing football in High School.
    • Although still retaining the Klasky-Csupo look, the animation improved drastically from the pilot.
  • The Artifact: The animation during the theme song, which still has Darren's headgear well after it was removed and Lucky Junior High even after the main characters go to high school.
  • Artistic License – Education: One episode in the last season had Ginger being given Saturday detention for sleeping in class. Students usually only get Saturday detention if they did something really bad.
  • Artistic License – History: The beginning of "Next Question" has the answer to the trivia question "In what year was Abraham Lincoln first elected into office?" being "1860". Not true—he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846. Though "What year was Abraham Lincoln elected president?" was probably what they were going for.
  • Ascended Extra: This show has many examples.
    • Mipsy was originally just the popular girl in Courtney and Miranda's group who got slightly more lines than the others. It didn't take too long before she became The Dragon to Miranda and formed somewhat of a trio to her and Courtney.
    • Noelle Sussman, who can be seen in multiple episodes as a background character. Pretty much lampshaded by Carl when he can't recall her despite being in his class.
    • Hope Rogers too. Her pre-makeover self can be seen in the background in plenty of episodes.
  • Attention Whore: Dodie, to seriously ridiculous levels.
    • Courtney is a more benign example. In "And She Was Gone", she spends a lot of it dressed as an Emo Teen and pretending to be depressed when Ginger started getting attention over her poem. She even admits it- and in "No Hope For Courtney" she almost undergoes Sanity Slippage when Hope becomes the most popular girl in school instead of her.
  • Attractiveness Isolation: Discussed in "Piece of my Heart":
    Miranda: So, Ian, anyone ask you to the Sadie Hawkins dance yet?
    Ian: No, but my dad says it's probably because I'm really good-looking. See, when you're really good-looking, people are sort of intimidated by you.
    Miranda: Right. So, you want to go with me?
    Ian: Okay.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ginger and Carl.
  • Back to School
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Attempted by Hope Rogers in "No Hope For Courtney" but ultimately subverted - Hope admits she admired Courtney and the two become good friends.
  • Beautiful All Along:
    • The girls at school view Darren this way after his headgear is first removed. May be justified since a good portion of his face was obscured by metal.
    • Macie is also proven this in "Butterflies Are Free." She goes without glasses and colours her hair, looking stunning at the ceremony.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn:
    • The main trio. Ginger is the Beauty - who gets the most love interests and is liked by the popular crowd. Macie is the Brains - she sees everything and is the best at schoolwork. Dodie is the Brawn - via her sheer ambition for popularity, and her Hair-Trigger Temper.
    • The popular girls fit too. Courtney the Lovable Alpha Bitch is the Beauty. Miranda is the Brains - given her love for manipulative scheming. Mipsy is the Brawn - since she is far more outwardly bitchy and aggressive than Miranda.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Defied a few times.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Thea Mipson. While she was deceiving Ginger (she even wears a wig) she admits that she actually did come to like her and to a degree did feel guilty about the deception, and may have legitimately wanted Ginger to stay.
    • Ginger herself is in this situation in "Deja Who?" where Courtney asks her to take her place after having an allergic reaction to lobster in order to impress a senator's son. Dodie and Macie are decidedly not pleased with this.
  • Beta Bitch: Miranda to Courtney. She has one too in Mipsy.
  • Beta Couple: Varies throughout Season 3 between Lois and Dr. Dave, Carl and Noelle, Darren and Simone, and Macie and Andrew, depending on the episode.
  • Big Brother Bully: Will Patterson towards Darren sometimes, but deep down, he cares about him.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Ginger and Darren share this in the three-part special "Far From Home."
  • Big Fancy House: The Gripling family lives in one very large house as does Mipsy and Mirandas' families.
  • Big Heroic Run: In "Of Lice and Friends", Dodie finds a list of students who have lice and begins to read the names over the school's PA system. Courtney, who is on the list, begs Ginger to stop her, so she makes a mad dash to the office and dives at the microphone cord, unplugging it right before Dodie reads Courtney's name.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Hoodsey does one accompanied by a Slow-Motion Fall in "Sibling Revile-ry."
    • Hoodsey also does one in "Family Therapy" after Carl tells him that he was scared of a naked mole rat.
    • Carl does one in "Hello Stranger" after finding out that Lois drank part of his sea snake mix, which is so loud that Ginger comes running downstairs.
    • Both Carl and Hoodsey do one in "April's Fools" after Joann tells them that she threw away Blake's tonsils.
    • In "Sleep On It", a grounded Carl sends Hoodsey in his place for a sleepover with Blake with the goal of getting back Carl's petrified eyeball. Because Hoodsey has a bedwetting problem, Carl tells him not to eat or drink anything that night.
    Hoodsey: It's the eyeball. I got it!
    Carl: Good job, Hoodsey. Now, get out of there!
    Hoodsey: But what about the sleepover?
    Carl: Forget it! Come home, boy! Come home!
    Blake: Woodsey, we're in luck. Cook left us some chicken cordon bleu in the fridge.
    Carl: NOOOOOOOO!
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Respectively Chet Zipper, Ginger, and Macie in "Next Question".
  • Bigger on the Inside: Carl's doghouse hideout. Even with the extension that was added to the back of the doghouse, it still doesn't look big enough to house all the shelves, filing cabinets, the barber chair, and more than one person (the episode "Sleep on It" showed up to four people in it).
  • Bittersweet Ending: In "Stealing First", Ginger accidentally skis into Darren and breaks his leg, but he forgives her.
  • Blackmail: Miranda blackmails Ginger in "Cry Wolf" when she threatens to reveal Ginger's secret about her not being allowed to shave if Ginger doesn't do her bidding.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Used by Carl when he's blackmailing Blake.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Ginger is redhead, Macie is brunette and Dodie is blonde. The popular girls fill this too - Courtney is the blonde, Miranda is the brunette and Mipsy is light brown substituting for redhead.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played with in a couple of Carl and Hoodsey's situations.
    • In "Blizzard Conditions", they're taking care of a dog named Muffin. The dog chases after a runaway snow blower around a corner. Muffin gets in front of the blower and it catches her leash, but she breaks free as she chases after a snowplow. Carl and Hoodsey come from around the corner and see the blower spitting out the leash. They assume she got mowed down despite no sight of blood, fur, or bones anywhere.
    • In "Fair to Cloudy", Carl sets free a two-headed horse from an oddities exhibit at a fair by riding it out of the tent and across the fairgrounds. He brings it to a tank of water for a drink and one of the heads falls off the horse into the water. Carl and Hoodsey are traumatized at the sight before they realize the head is fake, even though blood would have been pouring out and the water tank would have turned red in seconds.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Lois is on the chubby side, but it doesn't stop a couple of men in the show taking interest in her. She loses most of the weight through the series when trying to fit in her wedding dress.
  • Big Sister Instinct:
    • She gets irritated with Carl very often, but Ginger gets noticeably angry when Joann calls him Hoodsey's "rotten little playmate" in the episode "Lunatic Lake".
    • Ginger even extends her protection to Hoodsey, her brother's friend and a brother of one of her friends.
    • Interestingly, Carl sometimes displays this towards Ginger, even if she's his big sister.
    • Will Patterson often picks on Darren, but he does care about his little brother, as shown in "Piece of my heart".
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Darren wears these in the first season. It resembles a reverse bear-trap.
  • Call-Back: Ginger's run-in with the police for stealing a sign is brought up constantly throughout the series.
  • Cat Fight: One happens between Dodie and Macie
    • One ensues between Hope and Courtney in "No Hope For Courtney", Macie comments she doesn't know if to be fascinated or terrified.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Happens in "Next Question" when Ginger asks, in front of an audience during a local quiz show, her teacher Mr. Gardner if he'd like to go out on a date, he's stunned and grabs his composure and replies "next question."
  • Character Development
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ginger and Darren. Especially in the Distant Finale, when we see Darren holding a baby girl with supsiciously familiar ginger-hair.
  • Cliffhanger: "Wicked Game" ended in this with a message from Dodie on Ginger's answering machine stating how sorry she is for trying to break her and Darren up, and we never got to see what happened afterwards. In the next episode, Ginger has forgiven Macie and Dodie for what they did, and it's never explained how.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Brandon Higsby, Noelle Sussman, Polly Shuster, Carl and Hoodsey. Although sometimes Hoodsey dips into Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder.
  • Commitment Issues: Ginger expresses this doubt in the finale. Ginger's mother is getting remarried, and Ginger's new boyfriend Orion is pressuring her to go steady, but Ginger doesn't want to because she doesn't feel comfortable. She wonders if this is wrong, but her friends suggest that she has commitment anxiety due to her parents being Amicably Divorced and because she once dated her best friend Darren. She and Darren had since broken up after he showed interest in Simone and felt guilty about two-timing Ginger. She also wonders how her mother could take getting remarried after being divorced once, but her mother reassures her that while nothing is certain, she's happy to remarry anyway.
  • Cool Loser: Ginger as well as her friends Macie and Darren are great people, but not as popular or "successful" at Lucky Jr. High. Subverted with Dodie—she desperately wants to be part of the "in crowd", but the popular kids can sense her wannabe attitude a mile away.
  • Cool Old Lady: With the exception of Ginger's mean teachers and Dr. Dave's Mother, some older women fill this role
    • Maude is this to Carl, even foiling a case where Ginger was framed for vandalizing a statue several episodes after she died
    • Nana Bishop may not have behaved as one to Hoodsey, but it was noted she took tai chi classes, won an award in a senior quilting marathon, gave Dodie the go-ahead on wearing her distinctive pigtails ("every woman should have a trademark") and wearing them herself, and karate chopping an ice cream man for cheating Dodie out of her change.
    • A one-off substitute known as "Big Butt" who cleverly got back on Miranda's prank phone call in a comic of the show.
    • Grandma Foutley is still spoken very fondly of by her son as a doting grandmother and devoted parent, she drove around till she ran out of gas just for baby Ginger to fall asleep.
  • Cool Teacher: Ms Zorsky, Ginger's middle school teacher.
  • Collector of the Strange: Carl, so very much!
  • Company Cross References: In a scene where Carl and Hoodsey are channel surfing in "The Wedding Frame," one of the shows briefly shown on the TV features a baby in a diaper in a playpen with a pot over his head, banging on it with spoons.
  • Continuity Nod: Another thing that made the show unlike other cartoons was the strict linear continuity. Every episode would make some reference to a previous episode.
    • Some good examples are quite subtle. "No Hope For Courtney" featured a loser-girl named Hope who temporarily displaces Courtney as popularity queen, and she shows up in "About Face" where a crowd of popular girls come to Dodie's house to confront her about how her mother, the new Home Ec. teacher, is forcing herself in their in-crowd, and Hope is mentioned by name as Dodie welcomes them like a laundry list. In previous episodes, Hope can be glimpsed in the background as well.
    • The events of the first episode "Ginger the Juvey", where Officer Kilgallen catches the girls trying to steal a sign, are mentioned in several later episodes. The second episode "Carl and Maude" begins with them going to a retirement home to serve out their community service, and Ginger later tells her father that she's "the family jailbird" when he asks if Carl has been arrested yet.
    • In "About Face", Mipsy gets hit in the eye with a rock twice that was aimed for Dodie's window, and she shows up at graduation in "Butterflies are Free" wearing an eye patch.
    • Ginger had a crush on a popular boy named Ian in the first season, but the character proved less interesting than the relationship budding between her and Darren, so he quickly became The Artifact and disappeared from the show. In one of the later episodes, Ginger sees his name drawn on the back of her locker, and comments that "That was ages ago..."
    • In the episode Wicked Game Dodie & Macie conspire with Mipsy and Miranda to break up Darren & Ginger. Courtney exposes the plot to Ginger and Darren at the end of the episode. The very next episode, Dodie, Macie, & Ginger act as though nothing happened, for a while it seem almost a discontinuity. However, it is brought up in a couple of off-hand comments, implying that the girls decided to deal with what happened by never speaking of it again.
      Dodie: The BFF's have been through it all, the good times and the bad.
      Ginger: Don't remind me.
    • Courtney is heard singing her theme-song from "Come Back Little Seal Girl" in Season 2's "Family Therapy".
    • One exception, however minor: Ginger went from being right handed to left handed sometime between season one and season two.
  • Creepy Child: Sometimes Carl dips into this. His prize collection is a Petrified Eyeball.
  • Creepy Laugh: Mrs. Bishop's laugh sounds as Ginger puts it "like a middle-aged goat being tortured and slaughtered."
    • In the series finale, Niki La Porte, the impostor disguised as Dr. Dave's ex has a hoarse laugh that scares away a flock of nearby pigeons.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • The climax of "Next Question". Ginger asks her teacher out on a date. At a public quiz competition. Which is broadcast on TV.
    • Jonas' surprise arrival to the Foutleys' Thanksgiving dinner. He is immediately met with awkward stares from everyone in the room.
      Lois: Jonas, what a surprise.
      Jonas: Ginger said you didn't mind.
      Lois: (glaring at Ginger, obviously uncomfortable) Of...course not...
  • Crossdressing Voices: Nearly all young male characters except Darren are voiced by women — Carl, Hoodsey, Blake, Brandon, Chet Zipper, all three of Buzz's sons (Lois' date in "Ms. Foutley's Boys"), and various other minor classmate characters.
  • Cultural Personality Makeover: Ginger finds a photograph of her paternal grandfather in an album and realizes she's one-quarter Jewish. Upon discovering this, she asks her family to celebrate Hanukkah in lieu of celebrating Christmas that year, until her friends declare she's taking the whole Jewish thing too far and Ginger hastily corrects this so she can celebrate both at the same time. Meanwhile, Carl, who already doesn't really believe in the spirit of Christmas, suggests celebrating Kwanzaa as well and comes to Ginger's holiday party wearing a dashiki and playing reggae spoof-Christmas songs.

    D - I 
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Jonas tells Carl in 'Ten Chairs' that the reason he left is that he thought the sting of divorce would be better than having to live with two people who didn't get along.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: The episode "Hello Stranger." And inverted in the Christmas Episode where he shows up unannounced.
  • Darker and Edgier: The show is very noticeably more adult than Klasky-Csupo's other shows, like Rugrats and Rocket Power. It's also more Slice of Life with less emphasis on comedy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miranda. Macie, at times. Also Lois.
  • Demoted to Extra: Courtney and Miranda in the second half of Season 3, both only appearing in one episode each and "The Wedding Frame". Miranda only appears briefly in "Dodie's Big Break" to tell Ginger to "get over it" when she receives minimal sympathy at school for her ruptured appendix. Courtney appears in a subplot of "Battle of the Bands" where she is bullied by two upper-class girls and fails at getting the staff to handle the situation. Although they appear in the finale itself, neither of them appear in the final moment of the series. Miranda also does not appear in either of the two "summer" episodes between graduation and high school, though Courtney appears in both.
  • Disappeared Dad: At the start of the series, Ginger and Carl's father is nowhere to be found, but is referred to as still alive. He first appears in the Christmas Episode, where he and Carl talk about his lackluster parenting. Afterwards, he resolves to be more involved in his family's lives and makes recurring appearances.
  • Distant Finale: The end of the final episode flashes forward to a few years where Ginger is a successful author, having married Darren and had babies with him. Dodie is also seen married to Chett Zipper.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Implied in one episode when Miranda and Courtney are at a skiing trip.
    Miranda: Now she's cute.
    Courtney: Focus!
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: In international broadcasts of the first episode, Ginger's voice Melissa Disney sung the theme song, but was replaced by Miranda's voice actress Cree Summer and later R&B singer Macy Gray. In the US, the first few episodes used the Summer theme, but was soon changed to the Gray version even for reruns of the first episodes.
    • For those interested, the Melissa Disney version (which, for anyone who hasn't heard it, can be found here) is slightly different in intonations and some of the background sounds can be heard.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • In "The Right Stuff" Darren calls his older brother Will: "Wilbert". This results in him angrily throwing him in a swimming pool.
    • Joann tells Carl not to call her "JoJo", but he always does anyway. Even Lois does sometimes, but not to her face.
    • As a Running Gag in "Summer of Camp Caprice", Macie keeps calling Courtney "C.G.", much to her annoyance.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Played for Laughs in "Ginger the Juvey", wherein Miranda convinces Ginger and her friends to steal the "ENTER" sign from the parking lot of the local bank so that Ginger can give it to Courtney as a birthday present. Even though they're just going to steal a wooden sign, the episode plays out as if they're planning an elaborate bank robbery, with Ginger wondering if she could handle going to prison, and the girls ultimately sneaking to the bank at night wearing black turtlenecks and watch-caps. Miranda rats them out to the police, and they do get arrested at the end...for attempted vandalism.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "No Hope For Courtney": Carl's teacher, Ms. Gordon, dies. Made sadder by the fact that she was originally going to get out of retirement, but the voice actor for her passed away during production.
    • "Driven to Extremes": Ginger stands up to Mrs. Grimley and promptly gets detention.
    • "Wicked Game" - Ginger busts Dodie and Macie for conspiring with Miranda and Mipsy in Relationship Sabotage. The episode ends with Dodie leaving a tearful apology on the answering machine.
  • Dreadful Musician: Miranda is noted by Macie as "the only person who can make a clarinet sound bitter."
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: George McGrority, the "Big Brother" Ginger assigns Carl in "Sibling Revile-ry" as part of her "Persuasion, Not Punishment" program. A former military school cadet, George constantly carries (and blows) a whistle, makes Carl turn his room into a barracks and sneaks into his doghouse when he tries to flout the 8 pm bedtime imposed by George.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Dutch dub (Volgens Ginger), many characters had their first and/or last names completely changed: The Foutleys' surname is Houtslag, Carl is Bram, Dodie is Pauline, Macie is Merel, Darren is Erik, Will is Wim, Courtney Gripling is Sophie Kibbeling, Blake is Olivier, Miranda's last name is Katkrabber instead of Killgallen, Brandon is Bernard, Noelle's last name is Cohen instead of Sussman and Mrs. Gordon's surname is Grobbel.
  • Dude Magnet: Surprisingly enough, Ginger. Of the course of the show she manages to attract Michael in "Deja-Who?" (until she shouts at him for insulting her friends), Joaquin in "In Love With a Proper Foreign Exchange Student", Jean-Pierre in "Stealing First", Fred from Avalanche Arts Academy, Camp Caprice Sasha, Although he does get back together with Clover., Jake flirts with her somewhat, Orion, and, of course, Darren.
  • Dumb Blonde: Courtney, somewhat.
    • Hope Rogers, averts it, she even lampshades the trope when she tells off Courtney as being jealous that Hope is smart, blonde, and pretty while Courtney likely has her father pay for her grades.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Bishop Family count as this. Joann is a complaining and angry housewife that behaves rudely to others and controls her children, David Charles stays out of the picture for the most part and is rarely on the show, Hoodsey is an insecure Momma's Boy who barely entertains subverting his parents' rules and isn't close to his grandmother, and Dodie is a craving, desperate teenager who is all too aware of her Mother's faults; they rarely engage in any heartfelt moments and tend to stay out each other's way.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The pilot episode "The Party" seems very strange when compared to the rest of the series. The art style is like an early draft of what is typical of most series, the some character design is odd looking at best with both Miranda and Darren get a race lift (Darren had grey hair and his headgear squeaked every time he spoke which got annoying fast). A lot of personalities are the same with the exception of Blake who seems like a normal kid instead for his typical snobbish personality, and Courtney is a lot meaner than she is in the rest of the series and she and Blake live in a normal house instead of a mansion. The episode is the only one that is never referenced to again. However, some elements of the plot were carried over to both the first official episode "Ginger the Juvey" and the fourth episode "Sleep On It".
    • The opening sequence contains behaviour from Courtney that's quite at odds with her actual character on the show. She snootily looks down at Ginger and friends as she drives off. Judging from her behaviour in the pilot episode, she was conceived as a straight-up Alpha Bitch before evolving into the sweet character she is in the show.
  • Easily Forgiven: No other way to explain for Dodie and Macie who tried to break Ginger and Darren up.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Blake Sophia Gripling!
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Carl gives one to his teacher Mrs Gordon - "Gordo". She doesn't like it but he keeps calling her that. Even Lois starts using it.
  • Embarrassment Plot: One episode focuses on Courtney Gripling having lice. Dodie wants to read out a list of students with lice and claims it's because "the students have a right to know", but Ginger disapproves because she thinks Dodie just wants to use gossip to get attention.
  • Enter Stage Window: Darren frequently enters through Ginger's bedroom window.
  • Evil Detecting Children: In "The Nurses' Strike", a few children are heard crying after hearing Miranda's Evil Laugh.
  • Evil Laugh: Miranda does this in "The Nurses' Strike," when she discovers Ginger's mom is working as a cleaning lady, effectively scaring a nearby family away.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: As Ginger finds out that Dodie and Macie are trying to break up her relationship with Darren.
    • When Ginger sees her friends defecting to the other side in Battle of the Bands:
      Et tu, Macie?
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As the main characters leave become older, leave junior high for high school and become more mature their hairstyles change. Ginger lets her hair grows out and no longer uses her yellow hairclips, Dodie stops wearing her pigtails in favour of a hairband, and Macie's hair grows out quite a bit. Courtney and Darren let their hair grow longer, too.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In-universe. Ginger wrote a poem about a girl who wants to fly and ends up vanishing. Everyone interprets it as a metaphor for suicidal thoughts, and asks her to get counseling for depression.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Courtney is the most popular girl in school, after all.
  • Exact Words: In one episode, Ginger tries to use this on her mother when she is grounded for wearing "fake up" (which looked like makeup) in her school pictures since said "fake up" (which was really made out of food and crayons) looked like makeup.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: All three girls change their hairstyles in time for high school. In earlier episodes, Dodie would wear her hair out of pigtails if she was trying to appear more mature or popular.
  • Fiery Redhead: Mostly averted with Ginger, she's usually very sweet but can be moody.
    • Lois Foutley is generally a calm and rational person, but she doesn't take no guff
    • Noelle Sussman is a psychic version of the trope.
  • First Period Panic: Menstruation gets a passing reference (the series instead focuses on the A-Cup Angst portion of puberty) when the girls watch a Sex Ed video. They're not pleased by the thought of it.
  • First World Problems: Lampshaded in a discussion between Courtney and Miranda when observing Lois and Ginger cleaning and discussing a girls' weekend one day.
    Courtney: How come Mama and I never have this kind of fun? We've had hard times too.
    Miranda: What hard times?
    Courtney: Umm, the time when she lost the Platinum card in Jamaica
    Miranda: Please, they replaced it in three hours
    Courtney: The longest three hours of my life thank you very much!
  • Flyover Country: Lois is perplexed by the idea of Dave booking a honeymoon in Omaha (as is Dave himself when the travel agent proposes it to him), prompting both of them to ask, "What's in Omaha?"
  • Foreshadowing: "The Easter Ham" has the girls and Darren watching a soap opera where a woman attempts suicide at her daughter's birthday party, a dramatic mother ruining her daughter's party plans? Later Dodie was forbidden from going to Darren's birthday party (Ginger throwing it) because JoAnn decided her life needed to be Foutley-free.
  • Freaky Is Cool: Carl certainly thinks so. He develops a crush on Noelle Sussman because she's even weirder than he is.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that Miranda is such a jerk because her own dad, who is a Policeman, is quite a hardass himself.
  • Friendly Scheming: The April Fools episode has Ginger sending a fake love letter to Dodie from Dustin, the weirdest guy in school - a joke gone terribly wrong when Dodie responds favorably, and Dustin does not. In the end, it is revealed that the joke was actually on Ginger - Dustin was in on it, along with Dodie and Macey.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Carl Foutley. A number of his capers over the series involved helping animals, from stealing a heart that was going to be used in a science class dissection to save a cow who needed a heart transplant to attempting to cultivate a flea circus, leaving a bucket full of acorns in the attic that attracted squirrels to help them out with a long cold winter ahead. When he accidentally burst the Lucky Elementary septic tank, he did it to help feed whales, but got a number of details wrong with his plan, which he fully admitted to. Carl nearly faltered with a fear of naked mole rats, but then resolved to overcome his fear by finding the missing rodent and realized she was just as scared as he was and safely brought her home. By the end of the series, he becomes a self-declared vegetarian during Thanksgiving and attempts to set a live turkey free, even though the turkey is clearly vicious and malevolent.
  • Friend Versus Lover: A platonic example, but Dodie is obviously quite jealous of how much time and attention Darren gets from Ginger.
  • Funny Background Event: "Losing Nana Bishop" has a funeral that takes place on a boat. As Hoodsey attempts to give a eulogy for his late grandmother (who he wasn't very close to), a speedboat drives past the funeral which causes the boat to rock back and forth for a while. The casket rolls from one side of the room to the other (due to Macie accidentally unlocking one of its wheels earlier), which Hoodsey never notices despite the crowd's gasps. After he finishes speaking, another boat speeds by and causes the casket to shatter a window.
  • G-Rated Drug:
    • The Mocoloco Frothinator in "Stuff'll Kill Ya."
    • In "Detention", Carl and Hoodsey partner with Blake in selling homemade tea. The leaves used in the tea are from a bush in the Foutleys' backyard and cause everyone who drinks the tea to choke. This results in the police being called to Carl's doghouse (which itself can be considered a G-rated meth lab at times) over some "bad tea in the neighborhood".
  • Generation Xerox: Courtney is just like her mother. Same personality, same obsession with fashion, and both are very much Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense.
    • Ginger fears this for Dodie. JoAnn Bishop was once a teenager obsessed with becoming accepted by the popular crowd and often alienated people with her actions.
    • Darren's older brother Will is very much like their father.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Sasha is a unisex name, but it's more commonly used on girls.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Pretty much every plan Carl and Hoodsey come up with that does not revolve around getting even or a prank.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Miranda of all people starts wearing these when she and Darren are briefly dating.
    • Dodie wears them in most episodes.
  • The Ghost: Mr. Gripling (Until the finale)
  • Girl Next Door: Switched as the lead is female and Darren is the boy-next-door, although Darren is implied to have had the crush on Ginger first.
  • Glasses Curiosity: In "Wicked Game," Noelle loses her glasses in a bet to Polly Shuster, who later wears them for a little while.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: In "Piece of My Heart", Dodie removes Macie's glasses outside the school dance to make her look "perfect". She can barely see a thing for the rest of the episode, immediately mixing up Darren and Chet through her blurred vision.
  • Gossipy Hens: Dodie.
  • Grass Is Greener: "Someone once told me the grass is much greener, on the other side..." Once even a theme in the episode "T.G.I.F"
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Carl's rivalry with Blake can be best described as such. Blake is an Upper-Class Twit willing to play dirty, though Carl is a remorseless prankster that repeatedly rebuffs or exploits any attempts of a friendship Blake sincerely wants. At least one instance had Darren side with Blake when Carl blackmailed him into being his abused underling (Darren knew enough embarrassing dirt on Carl to fend him off, such as his stuffed Lamby-pie).
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Macie's hair is supposed to be brown but is actually a greenish gray.
  • Happily Married: Lois and Dr. Dave, in the series finale, The Wedding Frame.
    • Ginger and Darren appear to be one in the Distant Finale, as seen in The Wedding Frame as well.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Darren upon getting his braces off.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Jake is usually in a leather jacket.
  • Hen Pecked Husband: Dave Bishop, although he can sometimes get his own way with Joann.
  • Her Boyfriend's Jacket: During the brief time they were dating, Ginger did wear Darrin's jacket.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Carl and Hoodsey.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Miranda to Courtney.
    • Winston to the whole Gripling family, particularly Mrs. Gripling.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Courtney and Blake, who come from upper class families, try to fit in with the lower-class kids at their school.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Dodie frequently expresses jealousy when Ginger becomes more noticed than her. The episode "Detention" reveals that she has a "Ginger wig" and sometimes stands in front of her mirror while pretending she's Ginger.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In "Kiss Today Goodbye," Dodie avoids telling Simone about Ginger's relationship with Darren, and Ginger about Darren's newfound feelings for Simone, both times using some variation on "needing to feed her ferret."
    • Darren tells Simone this one to avoid telling her about the Foutley-Dave wedding:
    Darren: I have this, uh, spinal condition that needs adjusting, or else I could wind up, uh...spineless!
  • I Read It for the Articles: Macie's reasoning for having a Knowing Your Hamster magazine in "Kiss & Make-Up".
  • Iconic Item: Darren only has his headgear in the first season, and they're off for the rest of the series. But they are still one of his most recognized features, and the opening credits stay the same throughout the show's run.
    • Dodie's pigtails were, until she ditches them for a hairband in later seasons.
  • Important Haircut: In the special "Far From Home" Ginger gets her hair straightened and given a blue streak to signify how much she's changed away from home.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Hoodsey is prone to this in "Gym Class Confidential". When the new gym teacher confronts him for not showering after class, he tells him that he has a "highly-contagious skin disease that could wash off in the shower and spread to everybody else". Later, when his mother asks him why he's moping around the house, he says that he's been feeling bad for Mary Todd Lincoln...
  • Innocently Insensitive: Hoodsey tries to comfort Ginger after her appendectomy by reading to her at her bedside—from a romance novel. Hoodsey has no idea that Ginger had been dumped by Darren immediately before being admitted to the hospital.
  • Interclass Friendship: Although she's not on the same level of friendship with Ginger as Dodie and Macie, Courtney Gripling is nevertheless on good terms with her and often tries to be Ginger's friend despite coming from a rich family while Ginger is middle-class. Her younger brother Blake has a friendly rivalry with Ginger's younger brother Carl.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Carl and Hoodsey are pals with Dwayne, a twenty-something year old garbageman.
    • Also, Maude. Carl befriends her in the second episode. She dies, but later comes back as a ghost.
  • It's All About Me: Dodie.
  • It's Always Spring: Averted; the show has many episodes which take place during the fall and during the winter. Many episodes also include rain without it being relevant to the plot.

    J - R 
  • Jerkass: Miranda.
    • Mipsy manages to be even worse. At least Miranda shows a few occasional moments of compassion. Mipsy shows nothing but cruelty towards her (except for that one time when she and the others needed her help and that was pragmatism.) She masterminded the plan to get Ginger set away (granted it was too a really prestigious boarding school but still.) she also spread nasty rumors during the time away and tried to break up the Darren relationship to make her more vulnerable (and there's the whole "defame the school statue.")
    • Joann Bishop anyone? She's very rude to Carl, to the extent she badmouths him in front of Ginger, whom she merely seems to tolerate because of Dodie and makes snide remarks about the Foutley's in general, not to mention just generally being a shrill, irritating nag.
    • Dr Dave's mother towards Lois. See Kick the Dog below.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dodie is the least likable character on the show, but even she isn't wrong 100% of the time.
    • She was a bitch about it, but Dodie did have a point when Ginger invited Darren to go with them to the State Fair without asking Dodie or Macie first, especially as it was a long-standing tradition between the three of them.
    • In the episode where Ginger's house has an infestation, she points out Lois telling the media everything they wanted to hear was probably for the best to avoid any unwanted attention or being misquoted.
  • Jerk Jock: Darren Patterson's older brother Will. Darren unfortunately bumps up to this in high school. He starts on the football team and eventually cheats on Ginger.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Carl. Hoodsey even calls him a "bad boy with a heart of gold" in "Stuff'll Kill Ya." (Carl isn't really a jerk per se, just a naughty boy who sometimes enjoys teasing other kids mercilessly. And he really is kindhearted on a fundamental level.)
    • Courtney also qualifies. She may act vain and have a big ego, but deep down, she's a nice person.
    • Dodie, although it varies.
  • Jewish American Princess:
    • Mipsy Mipson. She is part of the inner circle of popular and wealthy girls, her parents hired a sushi chef from Osaka for her 13th birthday, and in "Far From Home" she mentions Bat Mitzvah money.
    • This trope is avoided with the more working-class and less observant Lois and Ginger.
  • Junior High
  • Karma Houdini: Miranda is usually exposed for her crimes (as to let her victims off the hook) but is rarely otherwise punished. Mipsy is just as bad as her, but is never shown getting what she deserves (in fact, one episode has Ginger accuse Miranda of something Mipsy did to her). Simone also counts.
    • She did get a rock to the eye in one episode. which is something. and she's wearing an eye patch a few episodes later so it definately stuck.
    • In "I Spy A Witch," virtually all the girls in the play (besides Ginger and her friends) know Miranda and Mipsy defamed a statue and presumably framed Ginger for it. Miranda is forced to confess everything during the play, but is never shown being punished and successfully cheated Ginger out of the play. Mipsy gets off the hook, and the girls who knew what was going on should have said something, but get away with it.
    • Made even worse by the fact that her father is the Chief of Police. If anyone was going to bust her, you'd think he would eventually.
    • In "Driven to Extremes," although the jerkass substitute teacher Mrs. Grimley gets her house TP'd, she doesn't get any adequate punishment for being a mean-spirited teacher to the students, and Ginger ends up in detention instead.
    • In "Battle of the Bands" (Courtney's only appearance in the high school era other than "The Wedding Frame"), two upper high school girls flush both of Courtney's cell phones down the toilet and roll her in a trash can. The girls get off scot-free. What makes it worse is that Courtney scolds the assistant principal for not doing anything about it, but he still doesn't care. If that wasn't enough, she protests by blocking his parking space with her portable bathroom, and while using it, Carl and Hoodsey push it down the hill where it lands in the middle of a football game. Courtney crawls out covered in toilet water and running mascara and the entire crowd laughs at her as she runs away crying. Protesting the staff's negligence towards bullying actually made things worse for her.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In "New Girl in Town", Brandon hands out several invitations to his birthday party. When Carl and Hoodsey tell him they won't be attending, he goes ballistic and shows them a trash can full of his invitations. Just then, two twins skip up to the trash can, drop their invites to his face, and happily skip off.
    • In the series finale, Dr. Dave's mother sets up an evil plan to keep him from getting married to Lois.
    • Macie accidentally makes Dodie's nose bleed before graduation, given Dodie's status amongst fans, many might see it as karmic retribution for all the times she was a load on her friends.
    • In the previous episode, Mipsy gets an eye injury after Courtney's attempts to throw pebbles at Dodie's window to alert her of their presence, this is again seen as retribution for her previous attempts to send Ginger off to a posh academy and for trying to split Ginger and Darren up.
    • In "Lunatic Lake" Macie (in an attempt to scare off a deranged escapee from an asyulm) tosses her bucket of maple sap and ends up getting Joanne...because why not? Earlier than that Joanne gets food poisoning from overindulging in stuffed clams.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mrs. Gordon And Maude, too, in the second episode no less, and in the middle of dinner! Her death became a part of "I Spy A Witch" where Carl uses her gallstone to conduct a séance to help him prank his mother and help Ginger.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Ginger gets addicted to this in "Stuff'll Kill Ya." It makes her into a major Motor Mouth with an extremely short attention span and a tendency to oversleep.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Stately-sounding oboe music plays every time Blake Gripling enters the scene.
    • Carl's doghouse scenes had a very eerie sounding theme as well.
    • Most episodes would end a distinct guitar melody, particularly when Ginger writes in her journal at the end. Nearly every episode ends with the same five-chord melody, often modified to fit the mood of the final scene. It is sometimes also used before a commercial break.
  • Lesbian Jock: The gym teacher in "Gym Class Confidential" is implied to be this way.
  • Lethal Chef: Subverted when Carl tries cooking. He turns out to have quite a flair for it - though his lack of hygiene makes him a quasi-example anyway.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Implied with Ginger and her friends when its deals with Dodie and Macie trying to break her and Darren up as by the next episode, no one wants to talk about it.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted, notable because most cartoons don't. The main characters had about 5-6 outfits they rotated through. Even minor characters had at least 2 outfits.
    • This actually becomes Played for Drama in "Stuff'll Kill Ya", where Ginger wearing the same outfit she wore yesterday was alarm-causing.
    • Played straight with Carl and Hoodsey, who always wear the same things unless there's a change in weather, with the implication that they don't bathe too often. Justified in Hoodsey's case as shots inside his room reveal he owns several identical purple hoodies.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • In "Ginger's Solo", Carl starts a fortune telling business and charges kids "100 cents" a session. Most kids payed a dollar, but Brandon pays Carl 100 pennies.
    • In "Come Back Little Seal Girl", Mrs. Gordon tells Hoodsey to show Carl the door. He gestures at the door and says, "It's here, Carl."
  • Little Professor Dialogue: Carl and Blake both indulge in this, bordering occassionally on sesquipedalian loquaciousness. Blake talks like this because he was raised in the very-proper Gripling family, but Carl talks like this because he's just slightly eccentric.
    • Called out a couple times by Hoodsey, claiming he knows what those words mean because he learns the same vocabulary as Carl does.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Macie teeters on the edge of this since her only friends are Ginger, Dodie and Darren. She lives in a big house complete with pool and tanning room and her parents are rich psychologists whom she has to make appointments to see and they even forget her birthday.
    • Courtney seems to become this in high school since Miranda disappears from the picture and she's almost always seen by herself.
    • Brandon Higsby as well.
  • Loose Lips: Dodie.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Courtney.
  • Lovable Rogue: Carl.
  • Love Epiphany
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: "Fast Reputation" examines the trope. Ginger gets fed up with being called a 'nice girl' and decides to crash a high school party. This leads to a Not What It Looks Like moment where a high school boy is seeing giving her back her house keys. All of a sudden Ginger has to deal with Slut-Shaming, including graffiti that says "Ginger Foutley is fast."
  • Magic Realism: It's an achingly accurate portrait of junior high, yet it also has things like ghosts and telekinesis every so often. Go figure.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: In "The Wedding Frame", Lois's bridesmaids are Ginger's friends Macie and Dodie while Dr. Dave's groomsman is Carl's friend Hoodsey. Whether that's cute or sad depends on the viewer.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Lois- she goes absolutely nuts when she finds out one Carl's teachers tricked him into thinking he was going to die.
    • Nana Bishop was one to Dodie, she karate chopped an ice cream man for cheating her granddaughter out of her change
  • Manipulative Bitch: Miranda.
    • Polly also counts, having managed to convince Carl, Blake and Brandon to give up their prized petrified eyeball, pickled tonsils and monkey tooth necklace respectively in the school time capsule saying that clinging to them would be childish and immature. She nearly succeeds in taking them all for herself if the three boys weren't so shocked and had second thoughts as they all showed up to exhume the time capsule to retrieve the objects, only to find that Polly was there first squawking "Finder's Keepers!"
  • Market-Based Title: Some episodes have different titles outside of the US.
    • In other countries, "Summer of Camp Caprice" is known as "Season of Caprice", its originally-planned title.
      • Each part actually has its own unique title even though in the international version where all three parts are aired as separate episodes as opposed to one long "movie", they are referred to as "Season of Caprice Part One/Two/Three" on-screen. The individual titles are "Season of Caprice", "Thicker Than Bug Spray", and "Break a Lake".
    • "Foutley's On Ice" was referred to as "Far From Home" in US television promos and on the DVD release. However, airings still had the former as the on-screen title at the beginning (although it was edited out entirely on the DVD version). On Amazon, the episode's listing was titled "Far From Home (formerly Foutley's On Ice)".
    • The two-part graduation special "Butterflies Are Free" was renamed "No Turning Back" in the US, although its first airing retained the former title before eventually being changed. All promos for the special and its listings on iTunes and Amazon used the latter title.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: In the Dutch dub, most characters had their first and/or last names changed from English to Dutch names (Carl became Bram for example), but the main character Ginger kept her original English first name even though "Ginger" is not a common name in Dutch.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Lucky Junior High.
    • Also, Ginger. She's a ginger.
    • Miranda is the daughter of a police officer, after all.
    • Courtney derives from an aristocratic English surname.
    • Hoodsey's nickname (presumably) originated from the purple hoodie he always wears.
    • "Lunatic Lake" takes place in a vacation spot named Loon Lake. It's presumably named after the aquatic bird but the area is also the home of an insane hermit known as "Crazy Floyd" or simply "The Lunatic". "Loon" is often used as a slang term for a lunatic or crazy person giving the lake's name a double meaning.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Ginger invokes this trope in the Thanksgiving episode "Ten Chairs" where she invites Jonas (her Mother's ex-husband) to the Thanksgiving dinner where Lois's fiancee Dave will also attend.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jonas Foutley, Ginger's Dad. His answering machine mentioned him living with a guy named Ben. Until it is revealed Ben is his dog.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In "And She Was Gone", Carl manages to track down the school Noelle moved to and they share a tender moment and it looks like they might kiss, with Noelle saying, "Carl..." then she abruptly shouts in a weird voice, "This is what my voice would sound like if we were underwater!". Carl finds this endearing.
    • In "Never Can Say Goodbye" Miranda and Darren have a fight and Miranda immediately goes from angry to romantic because they had their "first fight" as a couple.
  • Motor Mouth: Dodie, sometimes.
  • My Beloved Smother: Dr. Dave's mother.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In "Never Can Say Goodbye" when Blake addresses Carl, Hoodsey, and Brandon.
    Blake: Gentlemen... Woodsey.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: How Macie's parents react when they realize they forgot her birthday.
    • Also Dodie and Macie have one when they realize that Ginger was listening in on their plan to break her and Darren up.
  • Mythology Gag: The Distant Finale shows the now adult Ginger reading from her novel, the cover of the said novel has a picture of Ginger as she appeared in the pilot episode (which has a very different art style than the rest of the series and is otherwise never referenced to.)
  • Naive Every Girl:
    • Ginger, of course.
    • Courtney is a rare Alpha Bitch (well, more like Lovable Alpha Bitch) example. She is extremely sheltered due to her wealthy upbringing and hadn't even seen a vacuum prior to "Carl and Maude". Her naïvety causes her attempts to communicate with and befriend less wealthy kids to be awkward and uncomfortable, to say the least.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • If you interpret Miranda Kilgallen's last name literally, it starts with "Kill," which is essentially what she constantly tried to do to Ginger, mentally and emotionally, that is.
    • Mrs. Grimley. The classroom is definitely a grim place when she substitutes for Ms. Zorski.
  • Naughty Is Good: Carl, Ginger's brother, is notorious for causing trouble and breaking rules, but he's got a good heart nonetheless, and sometimes his rulebreaking is for a good cause (e.g., in "Piece of My Heart," he steals a pig's heart to save a cow's life via a heart transplant).
  • Near-Death Experience: The episode "A Lesson in Tightropes".
  • Nerd Glasses: Macie.
  • Never Say "Die": Zigzagged, but mostly prevalent in early episodes:
    • In "Carl and Maude", Maude drops dead onscreen at the Foutley's dinner table (Courtney is also present) and no derivative of "die" is ever used in the scenes that follow.
    Ginger: Grandma...napping?
    Lois: I don't think so, Ging...Somehow, I really don't think so.
    Courtney: Poor dear!
    • However, the words "dead" and "killed" are used when referring to the situation several episodes later in "I Spy a Witch".
    • In "The Right Stuff", Courtney asks two high school girls, "Who retired and made you crossing guards?", even though the phrase is typically "Who died and made you __________?"
    • In "Blizzard Conditions", Carl and Hoodsey think they accidentally killed a dog with a snow blower (it only ripped off her leash as she ran away from it). Not once do any of them say that they "killed" her or that she's "dead".
    Carl: Dr. Randall, I regret to inform you that Muffin has met her maker.
    Hoodsey: Yeah. Three horsepower of maker.
    • At the end of "No Hope For Courtney", Principal Milty announces that Mrs. Gordon "passed on" that day.
    • In "And She Was Gone", it is obvious that the concern over Ginger's poem is that she is suicidal, but only the word "depressed" is used. Also, words like "go away" and "disappear" are used by Dodie, Macie, and the school psychologist as obvious euphemisms for "die" and "commit suicide".
      • Despite this, Dodie uses the word "suicide" in "The Easter Ham" after watching a woman attempt it on a soap opera.
    • "Losing Nana Bishop" is one big aversion, with several uses of "die" and its derivatives, and even showing a funeral and an open casket (but not the body itself).
    • There is also a rather creepy aversion in "New Girl in Town". Ginger befriends a new student whose father is a mortician. Courtney's posse tries to spread a rumor that they had to flee their old home because her father "embalmed someone who wasn't dead yet". In a later scene, Carl, Hoodsey, and Brandon sneak into the mortuary and see a body (only its foot and toe tag are shown). Carl and Hoodsey are fascinated, but Brandon freaks out at the sight and runs out screaming.
    • Subverted in an episode title: "Stuff'll Kill Ya", with Carl's subplot involving his science teacher making him think he only has 48 hours to live.
    Carl: (nonchalantly) My blatant disrespect for the rules has finally caught up with me and now I must die.
    • Lampshaded by Hoodsey in a conversation with Carl in "The Easter Ham", where he is worried that disobeying his mother (who recently had/possibly faked a heart attack) by continuing to see Carl (by selling Easter candy together) could make her "go like that" and he "doesn't want to lose her".
    Carl: But what about Hoodsey's Karaoke Den? [a dream business Hoodsey wished to start with all the money they were making]
    Hoodsey: That dream will have to die, Carl...Oh! I didn't mean to say "die"! Never mind!
    • In "A Lesson in Tightropes", Dodie bluntly asks Ginger in her hospital bed, "Did you almost die?". Ginger does not answer this with a direct "yes", but she later mentions the whole thing as a "near-death experience".
      • When Lois is worrying about what could've happened if she hadn't been home when Ginger needed medical attention, she says "She could've...", but Dr. Dave cuts her off.
  • Nice Guy: Darren.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The three popular girls. Courtney is the nice one, often giving Ginger advice, Miranda is the mean one who is always jealous and doesn't want her spot taken, and Mipsy is the inbetween who is devious, but a little lazy.
  • No Dress Code: Heathered Hills Junior High, apparently...
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Courtney's mother has one.
    • Courtney herself has a posh giggle.
  • Noodle Incident: Many examples, most of which involve Carl and/or Hoodsey:
    • At the very beginning of "Sleep On It"...
    Ginger: Well, we can't have the slumber party at my house. Our VCR's still broken know.
    Dodie: Someone has to tell your brother that maple syrup and electronics just don't mix.
    • In "The Right Stuff", Carl and Hoodsey are kicked off the school bus offscreen...
    Hoodsey: You really shouldn't have done that to the bus driver, Carl. This is a long walk.
    Carl: That woman has no business being behind the wheel in the first place.
    • In "Come Back Little Seal Girl", Mrs. Gordon's class is eager to see a mummified hand that is believed to be cursed...
    Hoodsey: I don't want to see the hand, Carl. I can't afford another curse. I told you about the black cat incident that led to a whole semester of summer school.
    • In "Summer of Camp Caprice", Hoodsey apparently did something bad at his aunt Myrna's pig farm.
    Hoodsey: ...And after last summer, my mom was all, "Aunt Myrna's never going to invite you back again", but now I got to go.
    • In "Gym Class Confidential", an ambulance is called to the school (offscreen) after a "geometry class accident".
    Macie: Those protractors should be outlawed if you ask me!
    • In "Stuff'll Kill Ya", Carl did something so horrible to a remedial math class that a student's father, who is also Carl's science teacher, scares him into thinking he'll die within 48 hours.
    Ms. Zorski: What you did to that remedial math class, that was wrong, Carl.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Notably averted for a cartoon. The characters all age throughout the series, and show subtle signs of physical changes as they grow into their teen years.
  • Not So Above It All: Lois of all people does get involved in some of Carl's schemes - like selling the Easter Candy and starring in his horror movie.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Despite its reputation for being much more mature than other Nicktoons, they were still not allowed to say "God" in any form.
    • In several episodes, Carl and/or Hoodsey mention the "Big Guy" or "Big Guy Upstairs". A notable example is in "A Lesson Tightropes", where Lois sees Carl leaving a hospital prayer room.
      Lois: Carl, I thought you were an atheist.
      Carl: I needed to have a talk with the Big Guy.
    • In "An 'Even Steven' Holiday Special", Ginger proclaims "Happy Birthday Baby J", which is probably the closest any Nickelodeon has been to saying Jesus' name.
    • In Heat Lightning, "gods" does manage to slip in.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Dr. Dave's mother towards Lois Foutley.
    • A slight example with Lois's late ex mother in law, who overly doted on her grandchildren and was full of unsolicited advice about how to get Ginger asleep.
  • Official Couple
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: You know something is up when Hoodsey asks Carl to call him "Robert" when he gets a concussion in "Deja Who?"
    • Dodie is only called "Deidre" by her mother.
    • Melissa Mipson is only called Mipsy, except by teachers.
  • Only Sane Woman: Ginger and Macie can be this.
    • Lois is often this as well, especially in the episode "Deja Who?"
    • Darren can be an Only Sane Man.
  • Opposites Attract: In the last episode it is revealed that Dodie, the peppy and energetic girl marries and has a daughter with the guy who was pretty much the slowest character in the show.
  • Pair the Spares: Dodie ends up marrying Chett Zipper, of all people.
    • Averted with Miranda and Darren; Miranda finds Darren very attractive once his braces come off and Darren is flattered that one of the most popular girls in school likes him. They do seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company for a time, but eventually break up because they want to spend time with their friends. (And because Miranda can't stand Ginger.) But they do part on relatively pleasant terms, telling the other they made a decent match.
  • Our Founder: A statue of "Revolutionary War hero" Nathaniel "Lucky" Winslow stands between the namesake Lucky Jr. high and high schools. It's unsure weather or not he's a founder or not.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • "Wicked Game", while Dodie conspiring to break up Ginger and Darren sadly isn't that much of a stretch, Macie actually getting involved with it too is quite out of character.
    • Several characters throughout the episode "Battle of the Bands", especially Ginger and Darren.
    • In "Ten Chairs", Dodie of all people is the one who finally convinces Ginger that inviting Jonas to Thanksgiving dinner is a bad idea. Normally, given her numerous examples of Toxic Friend Influence in the previous seasons, Dodie would have probably encouraged Ginger to do such a thing.
  • Painful Rhyme: Lampshaded in "The Easter Ham". Carl's song selling the Easter candy tries to rhyme "chocolate creams" with "jelly beans" . Brandon sings it as "jelly beams", much to Hoodsey's annoyance.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Detention", Dodie disguises as Ginger so that Darren doesn't realize Ginger isn't able to attend his football game because of Saturday detention.
    Macie: This is good. This is going to work.
    Chet: Hey, Macie... Dodie.
    (the girls exchanged worried looks)
    (at the football game)
    Darren: Hey, Macie. Hey, Dodie. Uh, why are you wearing your Ginger wig?
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Lois forbids Ginger things like using makeup and shaving her legs, but it's immediately shown that Lois has a whole bathroom full of beauty products that she keeps locked. Although she has implied that she forbids Ginger from doing so because she feels she's too young for them - which isn't too far-fetched, but since it's never outright stated, it comes off as hypocritical.
    • This even gets pointed out in "Stuff'll Kill Ya" when Lois bans Ginger from drinking any more coffee. When Dr. Dave asks if this isn't a bit hypocritical of Lois, she replies, "But Dave, I'm an adult!". She is met with silence from Dave and Carl, and then is shown throwing away her instant coffee-maker. This use of the trope makes it a much more straight (and less explainable) example of the trope.
  • Parental Substitute: Winston is implied to be one for Blake.
    • Dr. Dave is one for Carl (he even goes as far as to call him dad a few times). And by the last scene of the final episode, even Ginger called him her "soon-to-be-dad."
  • Pet the Dog: Miranda, just once in "Ginger's Solo". Ginger is in the bathroom sad, and when she explains why to Miranda, Miranda tells Ginger exactly what she needs to hear, for no apparent benefit to her.
    • However, she had done so before in the TV movie, when she had tried to swim across a lake, but couldn't get very far due to a cramp. Dodie and Macie then came to the rescue, and in the cabin, was nice to her. They question this, and Miranda said that they did save her life, after all, with a smile of gratitude on her face.
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Miranda was originally going to be a white chick but was changed to African American due to the casting of Cree Summer as her VA.
  • Plot Hole: Miranda's knowledge of Ginger's feelings for Sasha are an important part of the plot of "Ginger's Solo," when Miranda consoles Ginger in the bathroom after Ginger has a run-in with Sasha's Alpha Bitch girlfriend Clover and Sasha rejects Ginger, leaving her heartbroken. However, Miranda and Courtney left Camp Caprice before the first time Ginger confesses her crush on Sasha, which is even more puzzling given that Miranda knows about the lyrics to Ginger's song:
    Miranda: Sasha? Camp Caprice Sasha? 'There were copper-colored ponies'-Sasha?
    • Courtney knew she had a crush, it's quite possible she told Miranda. And when Miranda is present in the cabin at night, Ginger giggles while saying "you're so funny, Sasha". She also sings the song through a microphone moments after Courtney and Miranda walk from the area, they easily could have heard it, or stopped to listen to it.
    • More egregiously, even though the dognapper is discovered at the end of the summer of Camp Caprice special, Carl and Hoodsey mention having caught the dognapper in the previous summer, and Milty has The Duchess back. How did they catch her? And did any other recently kidnapped dogs (such as Muffin) return? We never find these out - only that she was caught, and that Milty was reunited with The Duchess.
  • The Pollyanna: Brandon Higsby, especially in relation to his monkey.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • In "Piece of My Heart", Winston hand-delivers an invitation to the school dance from Courtney to "Mr. Patterson". Darren accepts it and assumes it's for him (even though she barely knows him). Ginger finds out at school that Courtney actually meant to ask his older brother, Will, but doesn't tell her that Darren thinks it's him. When she tries to tell Darren about the mix-up, he accuses her of lying out of jealousy (as he was going to go with Ginger if neither of them got dates). Ginger tries to explain, but Darren doesn't let her finish her sentence. As he storms off, Ginger is speechless (even though she had plenty of time to say "Courtney asked Will to the dance, not you." in the time it took for Darren to climb down from her window). Ginger desperately asks Will himself to give him the news before he's humiliated at the dance (and Will wasn't even interested in attending a junior high school dance anyway).
    • Carl and Hoodsey's arc in The Summer of Camp Caprice could have been completely averted had Milton simply told Carl and Hoodsey "I have a dog, I want you to clean up after her". He could have simply said "I'm keeping her safe from the petnapper" and still not have been lying to the boys. Making this even worse is the fact that she is kept in the basement. Sure, she is potty trained, but shouldn't Milton have at least told them to check up on her maybe once or twice in the day to make sure she's alright, or let her out and clean up after her?
  • Popular Is Dumb: Aside from Miranda, none of the popular kids seem all that bright.
  • Power Trio: Dodie is the Id, Macie is the Super-Ego and Ginger is the Ego.
  • Potty Failure:
    • Hoodsey in "Sleep On It" and "Blizzard Conditions", the latter offscreen.
    • Blake in "I Spy a Witch" after he witnesses a ghost take over Hoodsey's body.
  • Precocious Crush:
    • Carl develops a crush on an eccentric old lady he met at a nursing home, even considering their friendship to be a May–December Romance. He was about to propose to her with a worm shaped into a ring, but she died suddenly at the dinner table. He keeps her gallstone as a memento of her.
    • Courtney has one on Will for a while, even trying to ask him to Junior prom in "Piece of my Heart". Darren thinks she's asking him out, though.
    • Ginger gets a crush on her teacher Mr. Gardner in "Next Question". And one on Jake in "Fast Reputation."
    • Hoodsey has one on Macie, even anonymously asking her to the dance in "Piece of my Heart."
  • Prelude to Suicide: Subverted. Others think that Ginger's depressing poem is a cry for help, but it's just fiction and doesn't correlate to her state of mind.
  • Race Lift:
    • According to the creators, Miranda was originally white, but they redesigned her as black to introduce more diversity to the cast.
    • Can be seen in the pilot.
    • Darren too. Curiously in his original form he had gray hair.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Ginger gives Dodie one in "Of Lice and Friends" for her actions, and another one in "Far From Home" when she refuses to be happy for Ginger getting accepted into an elite arts school.
    • Darren gives Dodie a minor one in "The Easter Ham" for pressuring Ginger to cancel Darren's birthday party because she can't attend.
    • Ginger gives Mrs. Grimley a major one in "Driven to Extremes". Unfortunately, she lands in detention for doing so.
  • Recurring Extra: Several. Noelle Sussman a frequently seen classmate of Carl is was often seen long before she became a main cast member. Another background classmate of Ginger's, Hope, gets her own episode and made appearances even afterwards.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Courtney is the Red to Miranda's Blue.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ginger and Darren. For a while.
    • And then the Distant Finale shows us that they get back together, and have a baby girl.
  • Repetitive Name: It's confirmed in "The Wedding Frame" that Dr. Dave's full name really is Dr. David Dave. A variation with Macie's parents - Bobby and Bobbie Lightfoot. They're also both psychologists, so they both have Dr in front of their name.
  • Subverted with Courtney. She's a little bitchy early on but quickly proves to be kind. Any really mean spirited stuff is carried out by Miranda.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Courtney.
  • Riches to Rags: The Gripling family in the finale.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mr. Licorice, Brandon Higsby's adorable (but feisty) pet monkey.
  • The Rival: Carl and Blake are this to each other, though Blake seems to harbor more of a jealous admiration for Carl, while Carl just finds Blake bothersome.
  • Rule of Three: A running gag in "Summer of Camp Caprice" is saying a word three times for emphasis: "Camp spirit, spirit, spirit!" ... "Lights out is lights out is lights out, Ginger" ... "That is all, all, all" ... "It's over, over, over!"

    S - Z 
  • Sadist Teacher:
    • In "Driven to Extremes", Ginger's class get an extremely strict substitute teacher, Mrs. Grimley, when Ms. Zorski comes down with the flu. Mrs. Grimley makes the entire class push their desks against the wall and forces them to write progressively longer essays for infractions. It gets so bad that Miranda and the others decide to TP her house and pelt her with eggs.
    • Also, the high school Ms. Zorski, who greets Ginger with, "Let me guess, you're an ex-student of Eleanor' cousin and I have nothing in common except the last name." Her actions from that point forward could just be considered a bad case of Stern Teacher, but the fact that she doesn't seem to notice or care that she scares Ginger and the other kids to death and stresses them out is a red flag.
      • She calls Ginger a "lazy freshman" and throws her "chicken scratch" homework in the trash right to her face after Ginger accidentally missed her class that morning.
      • Then there was the fact she gave Ginger a full days suspension for sleeping in her class which she only did because she had a caffeine crash which she started just to get through her classes. But worse of all pretty much telling Ginger to get over it and giving her no sympathy after she returned from recovering from a burst appendix. Almost every character seems to admit that Ms. Zorski has a personal grudge against her.
    • And we can't forget Carl's middle school science teacher, Mr. Brooks, who was so anxious to set the poor kid up to fail that he convinced Carl that he had contracted a deadly virus that killed victims within 48 hours from the off-limits lab freezer. There was no such thing, and Lois chews Brooks out over it.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Maude in the episode "Carl and Maude." Even other seniors her age aren't safe from her.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man - Hoodsey and Carl.
  • Serenade Your Lover - Ginger confesses her crush on Sasha in the first Camp Caprice special by playing him a song she had written for him on the guitar.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Most Season 2 episodes state or imply that the girls are now in 8th grade (and Carl in 5th), but "Family Therapy", which is more than halfway into the season, states that Macie and Mipsy are turning 13 in April and Ginger, Dodie, and Courtney are still 12, which would mean they're back in 7th grade. It is also said in "Love With a Proper Transfer Student" that Ginger is "almost a teenager".
    • Some Season 1 episodes suggest that Lucky Junior High starts at 7th grade, but later episodes imply that it starts at 6th, and Carl and Hoodsey beginning attending the school when they reach 6th grade in the second half of Season 3. Of course, it's possible that the system changed shortly after the series began.
    • Mrs. Gordon appears in "And She Was Gone," three episodes after her character died. Since this was a case of the voice actress dying as well, this is probably a production vs. airdate error, but is still bizarre.
      • In the US, "And She Was Gone" was moved to premiere before "No Hope For Courtney", although the official episode order keeps "Gone" after "No Hope" as the season finale. Mrs. Gordon was originally supposed to return, and "Gone" was recorded before Kathleen Freeman's death, so they probably kept her in it (assuming she returned) so that they wouldn't have to sacrifice anything from the episode's subplot.
  • Series Fauxnale: "Butterflies Are Free" serves as this in many respects—for a show largely centered around the junior high experience, it focuses on graduation from junior high, and even contains a retrospective montage with clips from earlier episodes at the very end.
  • Shady Real Estate Agent: Buddy Baker. He has a method for "repackaging the truth", which is code for him trying to sell a rundown house with a hole in the roof ("tree top views") to an expecting couple. Carl (who's following him for Career Day) thankfully informs the wife that the front yard tire swing could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry an infectious disease.
  • Shower Shy: In "Gym Class Confidential", Hoodsey is not too fond of showering after PE, but Carl manages to convince him otherwise at the end of the episode.
  • Shown Their Work: Somebody on the writing staff grew up in Connecticut, or else put a ton of research into the setting. The subtle-but-present suggestion that the rich kids (Who make up almost the entire cast) are mostly W.A.S.P.s, and that the working class kids are mostly Catholic or Jewish is definitely Truth in Television.
  • Shrinking Violet: Macie is an interesting variant. She's pretty mousy in general, especially when she's around the more popular kids, but when she's with her closest friends, she's quite the Snark Knight and Little Miss Snarker.
  • Sick Episode:
    • When Courtney gets an allergic reaction to the school lunch's mystery meat in "Deja Who?", forcing Ginger to pretend to be her to impress a potential new student.
    • When Ginger gets appendicitis in "A Lesson in Tightropes".
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Miranda and Darren for the episode they dated.
  • Sickly Neurotic Geek: Macie.
  • Silent Credits: "No Hope for Courtney" has no music during the credit roll due to the episode ending with the passing of Mrs. Gordon, followed by a memorial for her voice actress, Kathleen Freeman.
  • Slumber Party Ploy: Carl and Hoodsey lie to their parents that they are staying over each others' houses in order to tag along on the junior high field trip to the mountains for a skiing trip. However, Joanne later calls Lois to remind Hoodsey to take his nasal medicine before going to sleep. Lois is visibly confused since Hoodsey is supposed to be there with Carl until Joanne reveals that she was told that they are sleeping over at her house, thereby giving away to Lois that she had been lied to.
  • Small Reference Pools - In "Battle Of The Bands"
    Ginger: (in reference to Darren) Who does that guy think he is? A couple months on the team and he thinks he's...what's the name of a famous football player?
  • Speech Impediment: Brandon has a little bit of a lisp, which Carl finds very annoying. It doesn't help Brandon insists on talking in a high-pitched, sing-songy voice most of the time.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The credits for some episodes misspell Joann Bishop's first name as "Joanne"
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Principal Milty's dog: The Duchess.
  • Spit Take: Dodie does this while drinking the girls' traditional "pre-country fair lemonade" after Ginger breaks the last-minute news that she invited Darren to go to the fair with them.
  • Stalker Shrine: Blake has a lot of pictures of Carl.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Dodie gives off this vibe towards Courtney.
    • Blake also has this vibe towards Carl.
  • Status Quo Is God: For the most part, surprisingly averted for a Kid's show. (Notably with Darren's headgear) But on the plus side, the episodes are disconnected enough that one won't suffer Continuity Lockout. There are sometimes passing mentions to past episodes, and often make for a bit of a Rewatch Bonus when you see characters in the background that had A Day in the Limelight the previous episode.
  • Stink Bomb: In "Sleep On It", it is revealed that Carl and Hoodsey had been storing a jar of moldy, rotten eggs deep in Hoodsey's closet since 2nd grade and they didn't plan to open it until 9th grade. Carl gets the idea of using the jar in Blake's room so that Hoodsey can take back Carl's petrified eyeball. The stink is so bad that merely twisting the jar lid loose stinks up the entire Bishop house in seconds, sending Joann's book club downstairs running and screaming out of the house.
  • Stock Audio Clip:
    • Hoodsey's noisy eating.
    • Many of Ginger's groans and yells are recycled among various episodes, especially "Aaaah...Ow" whenever she falls.
    • Dodie has a distinct whimpering cry that sounds like "Boo-EEE-ooh!". The same audio clip of this cry is used in three episodes: "Summer of Camp Caprice" (when she gives her whistle back to Margie), "Love With a Proper Transfer Student" (when she runs out of the auditorium after Ginger kisses Joaquin during a play rehearsal), and "The Easter Ham" (when she rides off on her bike after Darren tells her how selfish she is).
  • Stuck on a Ski Lift: Ginger's brother pays off the operator to stop it in order to break the world record for the longest time stuck on a ski lift. Unfortunately for him, Lois shows up minutes later and threatens to have the operator fired if he doesn't start it back up.
  • Stupid Evil: In "I Spy a Witch", Miranda vandalizes the school statue and tries to blame it on Ginger so that she can take her place as the lead in the school play. At first, the plan works, and Miranda probably never would have been caught if Mipsy hadn't photographed the misdeed and sent the picture to some of the other girls, including Courtney, who uploaded it on the Internet. Inevitably, Ginger eventually sees the picture and Miranda is forced to confess during the play that she was the true vandal.
  • Sucky School: The Lucky School District falls into this trope. Sadist Teachers are often hired, a few principals including Milty are Dean Bitterman types who spend their time playing golf when they're not punishing students, the discipline is poor, and one episode shows Milty complaining that all they really do there is punish and humiliate students.
  • Suicide Watch: Ginger is forced to see the school psychologist after she writes a poem that is interpretable as being about a teenager who was Driven to Suicide. Everyone worries that Ginger is suicidal, despite her insisting that she isn't.
  • Supreme Chef: Carl, surprisingly enough.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In "Driven to Extremes" after dealing with a sadist substitute teacher, Ginger gets fed up and verbally stands up to her. This just results in Ginger being sent to detention, thus making the episode a Downer Ending. This is due to Ginger's actions to the teacher being viewed as insubordination and disrespect to the authority (whether the student is right or wrong).
  • The Talk: The episode "Gym Class Confidential".
  • Team Mom: Macie. She even lampshades it and calls herself a "den mother" in one episode.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Bizarrely, Ian Richton has very feminine eyelashes for some reason, even though almost all the other males on the show are drawn without them. (Except Brandon.)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich:
    • In "Stuff'll Kill Ya", Lois confronts Ginger as she walks out of a cafe with six Mocoloco Frothinators (her recent addiction). She takes all six of them, which Ginger bought just moments ago and didn't even start drinking yet, and throws them in the trash.
    • In "Mommie Nearest", Ginger plans to surprise Lois with a glazed donut and coffee. When she sees that Courtney just gave Lois a box of biscotti, she hides the coffee and bag behind her back, then throws them in the trash as soon as Lois leaves the room.
    • In "Love With a Proper Transfer Student", Carl and Hoodsey try to trick Ginger into drinking their homemade love potion by pouring it into a root beer bottle. When Hoodsey brings up the possibility of Ginger being in the mood for another drink instead, Carl dumps all the beverages in the refrigerator in the sink leaving the single root beer bottle. Both Ginger and Lois make comments about the disappearance of the other drinks.
  • Those Two Guys: Carl and Hoodsey.
  • Token Minority Couple: Darren and Miranda in "Never Can Say Goodbye," and Darren and Simone in the latter half of season 3.
  • Token Rich Student: The Gripling family is very rich and influential, yet their kids go to the same public school as the other kids. Courtney is your typical airhead, flaunting her riches and fashion style, while her little brother Blake actually seems to like getting his own money, even if just to show that he can.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Many comments on YouTube state how Ginger has gotten even more bitter and behaved like a Woman Scorned during her Soapbox Sadie act, she and Macie being less understanding of Dodie, Dodie's bid for cheerleading, and Darren behaving more Jerk Jock and for cheating on Ginger. All during the High School episodes.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Darren's older brother Will.
  • Town Girls:
  • Toxic Friend Influence: A lot of Ginger's problems seem to stem from Dodie giving really awful advice; perhaps the most obvious example being the episode 'Next Question', when Dodie encourages Ginger to ask out a teacher she's crushing on. She's also incredibly self-centered, such as when she tries to break up Ginger and Darren, and in the very next episode she thinks Darren's party (organized by Ginger) shouldn't go ahead because she's not allowed to go (never mind all the inconvenience it would cause to the other guests). Even Courtney, who is billed as the popular ditz, often proves herself to be a more supportive and caring friend to Ginger than Dodie.
  • Trauma Swing:
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: In one episode the girls try to look glamorous by wearing makeup they made themselves. The fact that they have no prior experience in applying makeup is made very clear. They end up looking like clowns.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Hope. She tries to tell Ginger that she'll be a loser if she hangs out with Courtney. The only reason she's now the most popular girl in school is because Ginger helped her gain confidence and advice on how to improve her image. This may arguably a case of Peer Pressure Makes You Evil, since before Hope was a Shrinking Violet who was so unpopular nobody even knew her name.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: The series finale, "The Wedding Frame," ends with Romantic False Lead Niki La Porte being exposed as a cross-dresser.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Dodie.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Claire.
  • Valley Girl: Mipsy is the most obvious example.
  • Verbal Tic: Chett Zipper always talks very slowly and tends to end sentences with question marks.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Subverted with Ginger and Darren. Double subverted with Ginger and Darren, as seen in the Distant Finale where they've gotten back together and with a baby girl to boot.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Ginger and Carl's dad shows up in a handfull of episodes. He is shown to be more than a little flakey, and it is probably for the best that he wasn't the one with custody of them, considering he doesn't even remember Carl is deathly allergic to peanuts. But he is shown to genuinely care about them.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Happens twice with Courtney.
    • In "Gym Class Confidential", she throws up on Miranda's shoes at the sight of a childbirth scene in an educational puberty video. While she technically vomits off-camera as the current focus is on the girls sitting below her, Courtney's torso can be seen in upper-right corner of the shot the entire time and doesn't even move until the camera pans up to focus on her afterwards.
    • In "Fair to Cloudy", she throws up on a ride at a county fair (she foreshadowed this earlier by saying that she might go on a "nauseating ride" and "toss [her] cookies in a metal rubbish bin"). The camera cuts to the ride operator as soon as she begins to vomit. Ginger, Dodie, and Macie all scream and the ride operator stops the ride immediately. Although splashing sounds can be heard, no vomit is scene on the ride, falling from the ride, or on any of the girls.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: Ginger gets fed up with being called a nice girl and crashes a high school party. This leads to a rumour getting started about her and a bad boy called Jake. Ginger realises she preferred being known as a nice girl.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Carl actively tries to get bad luck on Friday the Thirteenth.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Ginger understandably feels this way about Miranda in the episode "Trouble In Gal Pal Land." When Miranda falls out with Courtney and loses all her friends, she desperately clings to Ginger, Dodie, and Macie, thus annoying the three.
  • Wham Episode: “A Lesson in Tightropes”; Darren breaks up with Ginger, and she nearly dies when her appendix bursts.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted, Sheltered Shrubs is located in Connecticut. This is only mentioned on various envelopes and packages addressed to Ginger in a few episodes.
  • When Elders Attack: Mrs. Dave fought with Hoodsey
    • Nana Bishop in life didn't hesitate to karate chop an ice cream that cheated her granddaughter on her change.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Both Macie's parents are quite distant and they even forget her own birthday. Although uniquely for this trope they are horrified when they realise, and the episode is about them trying to make it up to her.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In Macie's case, learning about female reproduction.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Miranda unsuccessfully tries to convince Ginger of this in "The Wedding Frame", due to Miriam Baccelli, the girl whose locker is next to Miranda's, recently getting a jerk for a stepfather.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Carl, on occasion.
    • Blake is apparently quite booksmart - He is depicted in Carl's class, yet the series ends with them entering Middle School in grade 6 - before Blake had mentioned that he was "Seven and three quarters" - meaning that he was in grade 6 and is at most nine or ten years old.
  • With Friends Like These...: Dodie to Ginger, and Miranda to Courtney.
  • Women Are Wiser: Played with in that Lois is more reliable than her ex-husband and more able to speak up for herself than her current husband, but also that Dodie and Hoodseys' father shows in one episode that he is more clear-eyed and nicer than his wife Joann. (Not that that's hard.)
  • Written-In Absence: Macie does not appear in the episode "Ten Chairs", though she is mentioned to be visiting her aunt. This makes Ginger, Dodie, Carl, and Hoodsey the only characters to appear in all 60 episodes.
  • You Are Fat: In "About Face", Dr. Dave's Mother comes for dinner and when Ginger comments that Lois is a great cook, Mrs. Dave snipes: "She has to be from the looks of her" and "I guess good nutrition falls by the wayside when you're a working mother."
    • Hoodsey gets these from Polly Shuster and Blake Gripling when he abstains from lunch while he and Carl save money.
      "Hoodsey Bishop: Skinny Genius"
  • Your Television Hates You: Happen so to Ginger in "The Wedding Frame." She is still reeling from her break-up with Darren and is hesitant about entering into a new relationship, is at home watching a music video where the curly and titian haired chanteuse is singing about being abandoned by the man she loves. This trope is soon turned Up to Eleven where Ginger soon imagines herself and Darren in place of the characters in the song and she finally drowns.