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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Eva Marie is abhorred by wrestling fans, even though she isn't that badly received by Total Divas' audiences.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Due to the Girl-Show Ghetto, Smart Marks were already predicting the show would sink without a trace before it had even aired. By the third episode, Ringbelles were already predicting its cancellation. They clearly didn't expect it to last five seasons.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
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    • Eventually, the WWE began incorporating several of the elements seen in Total Divas into the wrestling shows, with TJ and Nattie's marriage being incorporated into the Tyson Kidd and Natalya characters; ramped up versions of Ariane and Trinity's personalities being incorporated into the Cameron and Naomi characters with the break up of the Funkadactyls; and Brie and Bryan's relationship and marriage being acknowledged on air and becoming part of Bryan's feud with The Authority. This effectively means Total Divas is becoming an Expansion Pack providing depth to roughly half of the Divas roster, and allows people who watch Total Divas to jump into the wrestling shows & have a degree of familiarity with the prominent figures on the reality show rather than questioning why the Total Divas cast are acting like different people on Raw or SmackDown.
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    • Season 2 tried to have matches set up on Raw by what happened on Total Divas the night before. Pretty much all fans thought this was a bad idea - since Total Divas is taped months in advance, while Raw is live. This stopped happening after Season 2.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Nattie - hard working girl who loves the business and is completely justified for being annoyed with her position, or annoying primadonna who thinks she deserves everything because she is a Hart and uses the "paying your dues" excuse?
    • Brie - down-to-Earth young woman who feels very strongly about her beliefs, or pushy Soapbox Sadie and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who can be more vindictive than her sister at times?
    • Nikki - backstage bully and Gold Digger, or entertaining Lad Ette who doesn't try to be fake and is willing to compromise for a man she loves?
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    • Eva - walking disaster who doesn't care about the business and just wants fame, or a Woobie reacting to a new and high pressure environment?
    • Summer - fake and manipulative, deliberately getting a kick out of messing with the other girls, or someone just having a little fun who just gets ostracised by the "cool crowd" for being a noob?
    • Rosa - a flaky time bomb who desperately seeks attention, or a sympathetic Woobie who owns her past mistakes and just wants a chance to prove she's past them?
    • Paige is either loved for her wacky antics or hated for her bitchy tendencies.
    • Alicia is loved for being a Large Ham or hated for that very reason.
    • Even John Cena can be this on the show. He could be seen as either a pompous control freak or an Only Sane Man.
    • Ariane and Trinity both avert this. Ariane seems to be universally disliked while Trinity doesn't have that many haters.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The raunchy and risque moments from the show are definitely the most remembered, such as Rosa's kisses to Nattie and Paige, Ariane's Baywatch run with fake boobs in her bikini, Nikki's pervy tendencies etc.
  • Broken Base: Fans can't seem to decide whether the show has been a blessing or a curse for the Divas. On the one hand, the popularity of the show has been great exposure for the constantly-overlooked roster, and the decision to turn the show into an Expansion Pack by matching the girls' TV personas to their wrestling personas has given a level of depth and dimension to the Divas' roster that's been rarely seen. On the other hand, some (such as Lance Storm on Chris Jericho's podcast,) have said that the show might be the Divas' downfall, as having to plan wrestling segments to accommodate the show has resulted in feuds being bent out of shape in unnatural ways that are damaging to characters and storylines. Not helping is the fact that the show tapes weeks in advance, so occasionally organic plot developments get put on hold until the two shows sync up. This part was at least abandoned after Season 2.
  • Critical Dissonance: Most Smart Marks despise Total Divas and any wrestling columnist that has to mention it will usually take the time to bash it. Despite this, the show still attracts a significant Periphery Demographic outside the E! network's target audience including plenty of male wrestling fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • John Cena, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), and Jon Fatu (Jimmy Uso), for simply coming off as a group of Only Sane Man observers to their significant others.
    • Sandra the WWE seamstress is a big favourite over on Diva Dirt.
    • Natalya's cat Gismo is also pretty popular in the same vein as the dog from The Room. So is Bryan and Brie's dog Josie.
    • Trinity, being the only one of the Divas who doesn't really qualify as a Base-Breaking Character.
    • Renee Young has been a big favourite among fans for years, and her being added to the cast was met with a very positive response.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Initially before it aired. Many claimed that fans would not watch a show centred around the WWE Divas. However it broke out of the Ghetto by achieving over a million viewers for it's premiere and the numbers went up each week. It even got a decent amount of people watching when it aired alongside the SummerSlam main event. It's popularity lead to WWE putting Eva Marie in a match at SummerSlam Axxess and adding a Natalya vs Brie match to the card, and some of the relationships & personalities from Total Divas have crossed over onto the wrestling shows.
  • Glurge:
    • While the fan tearfully meeting Paige and saying she helped her get over an eating disorder is a Heartwarming Moment, the subsequent confessional from Paige falls into this. She gives a speech about how she should be true to herself and not change just to please everyone. Except that there was never any issue of her having to change. The entire issue was brought on by her having to wear a dress for the Hall of Fame. She agonizes over dressing up for one night. Because apparently wearing a dress for a formal event is not being true to herself.
    • The Aesop about how Brie should dress more conservatively is presented as a heartwarming gesture for her husband, yet it leaves a bad taste with the Madonna–Whore Complex allusions.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Bryan's suggestion to Brie that they just pull over & get married right there and then, after Brie admits that she only wants a fancy wedding for everyone else & she'd be happy getting married in what she's wearing, is a little bit worse when one remembers that Bryan's father died a week after the ceremony.
    • "The Fat Twin" has the Divas discussing body shaming from fans. Eva says "no wonder there are so many women struggling with body issues". Season 3 later reveals that Eva herself feels this way. What's more is that a few years previously, former Diva Sunny had posted a scathing editorial about seeing "fat rolls" on the Bellas.
    • Paige and Lana drinking at a bar together (with Trinity) is this due to reports of Lana accusing Paige of bullying her while in developmental.
    • Paige tricking Natalya into thinking she'd eaten a weed brownie and Natalya subsequently freaking about possibly failing a wellness test, is this after Paige herself failed two wellness tests in the space of 6 weeks for "an illegal substance" in late 2016.
    • There's also Paige's tearful conversation with Rosa and Alicia about how she is terrified of commitment, and her relationship with Bradley goes south. In 2016 she entered a well-publicised relationship with Alberto Del Rio (which was documented on Season 5) and attracted a lot of scandal for it.
    • Previews for Season 3 employed Manipulative Editing for a conversation between Ariane and Mark Carrano - using a line "you won't be a Diva anymore". In the episode himself, he was speaking hypothetically. But she got released in 2016.
    • Ariane freaking out over Vincent taking her shopping for engagement rings in Season 1. After her release from WWE, she revealed that the two had split up.
    • A Season 2 episode deals with racy pictures from Eva's past being uncovered - that she herself is massively ashamed of. Summer Rae is the one who comes to Eva's defence. In 2017 icloud hacking uncovered alleged nude selfies of Summer (though she denied they were of her) and a sex tape of Paige. Maryse was another victim of the scandal.
    • Jane Geddes abruptly disappears from the show at some point, and Mark Carrano is the only Talent Relations person seen. It was later revealed that Jane had attempted to speak out against sexual harassment that was happening in NXT - and got removed from her position and sent to work in the office.
    • Everything about Paige in Season 6, and her mutually destructive relationship with Alberto Del Rio. By the time the season came out, Del Rio and Paige both had a foot out of the door due to failed drugs tests.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The bachelorette party in Capo. After Eva admits her past with alcoholism and the girls all bond and share their life experiences. The wrestling business has been said to be like one of the largest families in the world. It's one of the few times we get to see that the girls have really become True Companions through their time in WWE.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A plotline in season one involves Jojo and Eva Marie's friendship imploding as they both compete to make it as newbies in the business. Later on in the season, Eva Marie gets offered a job as a ring announcer, and totally botches it. Guess what job Jojo now has in NXT?
    • JoJo also advises Eva against disobeying WWE's wishes and becoming redhead instead of a Dark-Skinned Blonde. A few years later JoJo herself became blonde.
    • The 2013 Total Divas vs True Divas match at the Survivor Series had AJ coaching her team saying "Total Divas has new episodes playing on the E! Network...and none of you are on them." Three members of her team - Alicia Fox, Summer Rae and Rosa Mendes - would later join the cast.
    • In 2012 well before the show premiered, the Bellas supported opposing sides on the 'Team Teddy vs Team Johnny' match for WrestleMania 28. Nikki took the time to call Brie an idiot for supporting Team Johnny. The Johnny in question - John Laurinitis - is the same man who ended up marrying their mother, as depicted on the show.
    • The "Red & Gold" alliance crashing and burning on the show, since Summer and Eva would be on opposing teams at WrestleMania 32. And in the match Summer would hit Eva with a kick during the finishers rush, getting the last laugh on her once again.
  • Hollywood Pudgy/Hollywood Thin: Deconstructed. Nikki gets offended when a fan calls her fat on Instagram and spends the episode fretting about her body weight. Similarly Brie panics about an upcoming photoshoot and goes on a ridiculous cleanse where she drinks nothing but juice for twenty days. Nikki gives a Moment of Awesome speech about how the two of them look perfectly fine and shouldn't let these issues get to them. There's even a subtle Take That, Critics! where Eva Marie says "no wonder there are so many women struggling with body issues" in response to attitudes like the fan who called Nikki fat.
  • Narm: The Natalya storyline where she thinks she has a problem with her nose. And she's afraid she'll miss work, and starts crying. Over a nose. That's not even broken.
  • Narm Charm: Nattie trying to be Totally Radical and using ghetto slang terms is equal parts embarrassing and oddly endearing.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Fans were worried that Daniel Bryan and John Cena's feud would wind up revolving around, or at least incorporating, the Bella twins, because of this show. It did not come to pass, with Brie & Bryan's relationship only being brought up over a month later in the midst of his feud with Randy Orton, whilst Cena & Nikki's relationship didn't even get acknowledged on the air until 2016.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Nikki's reception became more positive as the show went on, thanks to some nice moments with Cena and Brie, along with her near-personification of All Women Are Lustful.
    • Eva Marie was rescued too, only towards the Total Divas demographic — towards actual wrestling fans she's quite possibly the biggest Scrappy in the industry's history. Her first two episodes portrayed her as a Gold Digger and overly ambitious. After those she displayed much more sense and maturity - one episode even revealed that she doesn't drink - while JoJo was revealed to be much more immature.
  • Romantic Plot Tumour: Any plot between John Cena and Nikki Bella often feels like this, especially in the first two seasons. It seemed like they were having the same relationship issues every other episode. The Nattie and TJ drama in Season 3 became this as well.
  • Ron the Death Eater: John Cena gets this treatment from some fans with regards to the marriage issue. Some paint him as horrible for denying Nikki her wish of getting married and having kids. This is ignoring the fact that John is up front with Nikki about not wanting marriage or children and never giving her any false hope. This gets addressed in Season 3 when Brie meddles in the relationship - and Nikki says that she is fully aware of what she's getting herself into and has accepted the consequences.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ariane is very annoying. Given that she turned heel shortly after the show premiered, it's likely she invoked this to generate heat.
    • Nattie in season 2, with some fans even saying they stopped supporting her in ring due to it.
    • Eva Marie, with the first few episodes portraying her as a Gold Digger trying to leap frog her way up the WWE ladder to get regular TV time each week. There's also a contingent who dislike her for being on the main roster for no other reason than her role on Total Divas. While she was somewhat rescued later (see above) she still attracts a lot of hate from Smart Marks.
    • Rosa was sort of a universal Scrappy for Diva fans - since she was terrible in the ring and was only used for Fanservice. She's gained some more fans of Rosa the person since joining the show.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Fans may not believe exactly how instrumental Total Divas was in getting the women's division more screen time. Prior to the show premiering, the only Diva who got any kind of TV time whatsoever was AJ Lee. WWE had previously only pushed one woman to be the centre of the division until she inevitably left and they found someone else. This opened opportunities for other women on the roster who weren't being pushed. The extra viewership enabled more Diva feuds, matches and storylines.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 2 and the first half of Season 3, specifically the introduction of Summer Rae. Her obviously staged feud with Nattie was not well received by fans. The second half of Season 3 - dropping Summer and Naomi - and introducing Paige and Alicia has been much better received.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Despite being a reality show about wrestling, some lessons are worth taking note of.
    • Body shaming is awful. Someone who is perfectly healthy can become obsessed with losing or gaining weight based off other people commenting on their figure. Commenting on someone's heaviness or thinness is still forcing someone to focus on their weight.
    • Likewise is the Aesop that Eva learns about obsessing over your looks - because you'll drive yourself crazy nitpicking every single detail of your appearance.
    • Relationships are about compromise, and it's very important that couples make decisions together. Additionally there's nothing wrong with not wanting to have children - some people just don't want them. It's also not good to hide shameful things from your past from your significant other.
    • Alcohol and drug abuse at a young age can have serious consequences, especially if you fall in with a bad crowd.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Summer's accusation that Nattie is threatened by the new crop of Divas and has wasted years of her own career, while completely bitchy, is actually a legitimate point due to how every pro-wrestler is essentially competing for television time against their co-workers.
    • Whilst Summer is treated as a bitch for refusing to let Eva tag into a 6 person tag team match & not wanting to be part of a team with her, she isn't wrong in her assessment that Eva sucks in the ring.
    • Eva is supposed to be seen as sympathetic for the other Divas resenting her being groomed to replace the Bellas (who were allegedly planning to leave). This is despite her being given private 1 on 1 training on WWE's dime in her home town rather than stopping over in Florida like everyone else has. Paige and Brie Bella also bring up a good points about her being on WWE TV for over 2 years and taking part in three WrestleManias although  despite still utterly sucking in the ring, while other talented divas sometimes struggle to get on TV, and some of them have never received a major push (Paige herself was given the Divas title immediately, but was booked less effectively in that time than she had been on NXT and has had to watch her friend Emma who got called up before her be treated as a complete joke).
    • Alicia is presented as being unreasonable for not making amends with Eva, considering that all the other Divas (including Paige) had done so. But she brings up a good point that she waited nine months before trying to make amends with the other Divas and is only doing so when it's convenient for her.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In one episode, Alicia states that the reason why she refuses to be around Ariane because she's annoying, even comparing her to Sheneneh. Even when they try to get on better terms, which they eventually do, Alicia spends the majority of the episode making potshots towards her.
  • Testosterone Brigade: While a E! production marketed at women, the copious fanservice and wrestling elements have attracted a very large male fandom.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Fans of other Divas were naturally a little annoyed that they weren't featured on the show - especially seeing how entertaining they are in interviews. A lot of fans wanted Layla to be added to the cast. However a few ones such as Alicia Fox were added after fans were clamoring for more of them.
    • Lots of fans viewed JoJo's demotion as this, especially after footage was released showing her actually wrestling. In stark contrast to Eva Marie, JoJo at least looked like she was taking to the ring. Then before she even gets to wrestle on NXT, she ends up as a ring announcer.
  • Undermined by Reality: The short version? A lot of the tricks reality shows use to rearrange and orchestrate events to fit certain narratives depend on the audience not knowing too much about the cast and general subject matter to begin with. The problem is, wrestling fans are not the audience lacking in attention to detail, so anything that's inconsistent to prior knowledge will be picked apart. The long version? Click here.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Brie tends to get painted as the responsible sister to Nikki's impulsive behaviour. This is presumably to reflect that Brie usually is the face on TV and Nikki the heel. Despite this, Brie rather often comes across as a smug busybody who seems more concerned with forcing her opinions and beliefs on others than actually helping. Notable is the 'tell John to break up with Nikki for her own good' deal. Another minor one is the small issue of Bryan frequently bullying Nikki. While he is being playful, Nikki says numerous times that it hurts her feelings and Brie merely laughs at her. And while Bryan eventually apologises, Brie never does for allowing him to do his bullying and not intervening at all.
    • Nattie is the one we're supposed to root for, if we take the fact that she's the face on TV and TJ the heel. But half the time she sucks TJ into her schemes and antics and then complains whenever he's not doing enough to appreciate her. He's the one that often has to make grovelling apologies to her - which she rarely does in return.
    • Paige a lot of the time comes across as an Entitled Bastard who's rude to everyone else. For example is her falling out with Alicia Fox. While Alicia acts petty for Paige deciding to move in with her boyfriend instead of her, Paige fires back with even pettier insults. And when it comes to the Nikki Bella UK tour business, while Nikki does act a little silly and ignorant, Paige instead resorts to Slut-Shaming and Real Women Don't Wear Dresses. And when it comes to boyfriends, Paige can be afraid to get too close to someone after bad endings to past relationships and it's fine, but when it's the guy that doesn't want to rush a step beyond what he's ready for due to similar history, suddenly he's the problem.
    • Bryan Danielson even sometimes slips into this. For example there is the episode where he has the bank send him texts whenever Brie uses the credit card, notably him phoning Brie and demanding to know why she spent $100 - when she had been paying for dinner for her mother's birthday. There's also his teasing of Nikki which, while playful, can sometimes seem especially mean-spirited - underlined by Brie alluding to him disliking Maryse because he felt she was rude to Brie, making him come across as a massive Hypocrite. And in one episode he gets annoyed about Brie apparently dressing too skimpily. The outfit in question is Bare Your Midriff and some short shorts. While it's revealing, it's not exactly Stripperiffic and it mainly comes across as Bryan Slut-Shaming his wife. The Aesop about Brie dressing more conservatively is even more at odds with a similar deal later on where Naomi's husband gets annoyed at some of the Hotter and Sexier stuff she's doing - and this time Naomi is shown to be in the right. It might be fine if the difference between the two cases were referenced to make a combined Aesop about different couples finding different solutions to the same issues, but reality shows seldom have time for such self-examination, so Bryan still looks bad to the show's female-centric audience.
  • Wangst: Natalya's frequent crying fits can sometimes feel like this.
  • The Woobie: As the seasons of the show have gone on, viewers have come to see Eva as such. Whether the conflict with her family over her marriage to Jonathan was real, it's still very sad when Eva discovers that her father has cancer. It's later revealed that she's a recovering alcoholic who has massive issues with body image. Reports of her interactions with fans list her as one of the friendliest and most accessible employees too - with a general attitude of "It's a shame that someone as lovely as Eva is so bad at wrestling."
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