- Jerkass Woobie:
- Steve's father could be seen as one initially, due to the implication he began drinking heavily after the death of his wife, whom he truly loved. However, he loses sympathy when it's revealed he beat his own son to death in a drunken rage.
- Geraldine. Although she's a cold and bitter religious fanatic and not a very nice mother to Cat, her backstory explains a lot about why she acts this way. Her family was very controlling and arguably abusive themselves, to the point where her father practically arranged her marriage to Howard, who manipulated the family into thinking he was a Nice Guy Family Man. She believed herself to be in love with her own uncle (though she was actually adopted and so they weren't really related). Her mother had an affair with the uncle and got pregnant, and Geraldine's father browbeat her into adopting her half-sister and raising her as her daughter. She is genuinely horrified when she finds out Howard has been sexually abusing Cat and tells her that she would've liked to see him in jail, only he threatened to reveal her family's Dark Secret to everyone and drag everything up if she pursued a case against him, which would probably only make things worse for her and Cat. And then to top it off, Howard murders her by slowly poisoning her in secret to get her house and access to Cat again. It's also implied that Geraldine's overly-strict and controlling behaviour of Cat is just her trying, in her own way, to raise her as best she can, as it's how she herself was raised and she wants Cat to avoid the fate of other women in their family.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Child abuse and neglect are terrible and can ruin lives.
- The Woobie: All four girls.
- Misty got front row seats to her parents' divorce drama, including overhearing/witnessing her mother accuse her father of cheating, her father confronting her mother about her secretly taking birth control when they were meant to be trying for another baby and so on. They use Misty as a weapon against each other and constantly bitch about each other to her (this includes her father telling her about her mother's aversion to sex). Her mother tries to guilt trip her into taking her side, whilst her father lies to her and cancels their visits last minute. She feels rejected by her friends and is manipulated into sleeping with a boy she thought understood and liked her, who promptly discards her after taking her virginity. She then impulsuvely runs away with her new boyfriend, only to get arrested when he robs a store to get cash for them, with everyone finding out.
- Star grows up in poverty with mutually abusive parents who care very little for her and her little brother. After her father walks out on her, she's left to raise Rodney by herself due to her mother's alcoholism and is eventually abandoned by her too. She falls in love with a nice boy who understands what she's going through and helps her to cope, only for him to be hospitalised by his abusive father. When she goes to see him she witnesses him flat-lining and proceeds to become near-catatonic and runs out into traffic.
- Jade is a Lonely Rich Kid, who has no close friends and who's parents barely acknowledge her. When they get divorced, they fight over who gets what, to the point where they both refuse to move out, leaving Jade stuck in the middle of it all. They even fight over who gets custody of her, as if she's a posession rather than their child and is made to testify in court during the divorce proceedings. Out of loneliness, she begins using online chat rooms and meets a boy who seems to like her and understand her. She eventually decided, against her better judgement, to meet him in person, only to discover he's not only not who she thought he was but he's also a clearly delusional and dangerous man, who kidnaps her, strips her naked and keeps her tied to his bed for a whole day. She manages to get home, only to discover no one even noticed she was gone, causing her to down a whole bottle of sleeoing pills. She still has to go into court once she's recovered, where, when the judge asks her which parent she would prefer, she honestly answers that she doesn't care because she hates them both. And then, when she begins group therapy, some of the other girls are initially judgemental, believing she couldn't possibly know what real suffering is simply because she's wealthy.
- Cat possibly takes the cake. Her mother is a religious fanatic who controls everything she does and makes her feel ashamed of her body. At a sleepover party, her so-called friends get her drunk and 'jokingly' grope her against her will. The only one she feels loves and understands is her father, whom she only gets to see briefly due to his work schedule. He then begins teaching her about sex and boys, which is a thiny veiled excuse to sexually abuse her. She knows deep down it's wrong, but due to her naievty and desire to please her father and get attention from him, she goes along with it. This culminates in him raping her. He then drops another bombshell by revealing she's actually adopted, which she never knew. She suffers what amounts to a psychotic break and winds up in hospital, where she is forced to confess everything. The first time she makes real friends is in group therapy to help her come to terms with this. But, it's gets worse. She finds out she's the product of an affair and was adopted her half sister and her husband to cover up her biological mother's "shameful" secret, her mother/half-sister who, despite being emotionally abusive, is the onky family she has left and cares about her in her own way, is murdered, meaning she could end up in foster care and she is left terrified her adoptive father will come after her. Sheesh.
YMMV / The Wildflowers