The Baby Sitters Club

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Highly successful and popular series of books aimed at pre-teen girls, about a group of kids who run a club that offers their services as babysitters. The series was written by Ann M. Martin and published between 1986 and 2000. It also inspired a 1995 film, a TV series and several spinoffs. Every story was told from the first-person perspective of the protagonist, and began with a description of the rest of the club members.

In most of the books, the title club consisted of:

  • Kristy Thomas - Rags to Riches tomboy with an endless supply of "Great Ideas"
  • Claudia Kishi - Japanese-American, artistic, defied the "Model Minority" stereotype by being hopeless at school
  • Stacey McGill - stylish kid from New York, but most importantly...diabetic. Dun dun dun.
  • Mary Anne Spier - Author Avatar and Kristy's shy best friend
  • Dawn Schafer - stereotypical "California girl," becomes Mary Anne's stepsister. Eventually leaves to be replaced by Abby, and gets her own spinoff series.
  • Mallory Pike - wannabe writer who comes from a huge family
  • Jessi Ramsey - the token black kid, aspiring ballerina
  • Abby Stevenson - Final and latest Sixth Ranger; Jewish, twin, asthmatic, athlete, prone to cracking jokes that are So Bad It's Good

Secondary characters included:

  • Logan Bruno - Mary Anne's boyfriend from Kentucky and part-time club member
  • Shannon Kilbourne - Part-time club member and rich-kid friend of Kristy
  • Cokie Mason - Popular girl who was a rival to most of the club, who often attempted to win Logan away from Mary Anne
  • Laine Cummings - Stacey's best friend from New York
  • Sunny Winslow - Dawn's best friend from California
  • Anna Stevenson - Abby's identical twin sister

There were at least three spinoff series: Baby-Sitter's Little Sister (about Kristy's seven-year-old stepsister, Karen); California Diaries (about Dawn and her friends in California); and Friends Forever (in which the club was reduced to its original four members). As well as these and the main series, there were additional Mysteries and Super Specials books. Little Sister also had its own spinoff, The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class.


The books provide examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Alliteration: The softball teams that Kristy and Bart coach are called, respectively, Kristy's Krushers and Bart's Bashers.
  • Aesop Amnesia: A number of examples, but one that stands out in particular is the relationship between Claudia and her genius sister Janine. There were many books where the two of them bonded over junk food, had a heart-to-heart talk, and realized that the two of them were Not So Different. By the next book, their relationship was back to where it was.
    • Also a feature in many Little Sister books, where Karen learns not to be a brat only to promptly forget it by the time the next book comes around.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. The parents are generally pretty good parents, and the sitters will not hesitate to take advice from them. Sometimes played straight in the Mysteries series, if the girls going to an authority figure would break the plot.
    • However, also often played straight in that the parents of charges are frequently clueless about problems their children are having, until told by the BSC. For example:
      • Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
      • Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
      • Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
      • In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behaviour and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
  • The Alleged Car: The Junk Bucket, The Pink Clinker. (To be fair, the Pink Clinker works well - Nannie just likes to call it that.)
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Mallory and Jessi
  • Alpha Bitch: Cokie Mason. In the Little Sister spinoff, Pamela Harding.
  • Always Identical Twins: Abby and Anna, Marilyn and Carolyn, Mariah and Miranda, not to mention the Pike triplets.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Ducky, in the California Diaries. His best friends are all platonic teenage girls, and his last scene in the series has him buying a ton of books from a bunch of gay authors.
    • Some fans suspect that Kristy fits this trope. She could occasionally be persuaded to wear a dress, and did have an on-off "boyfriend" named Bart, but never seemed to take as much of an interest in him as the other girls did with their own boyfriends (then finally broke up with him.) And in the movie, as The Nostalgia Chick noted, there's what can only be described as a Longing Look between her and Claudia.
  • Amicably Divorced: Watson and Lisa
  • Arc: Some plotlines spread over a couple of books, such as Kristy adjusting to her stepfamily. At the end of the series Mary Anne's house burned down, which was the background for the Friends Forever spinoff.
    • The Dawn-considers-moving-back-to-California plotline lasted for so many books that many fans were extremely glad when she ultimately did move back and she finally stopped agonizing about this decision.
  • Ascended Extra: Mallory, who started out as a baby-sitting charge.
  • Asian Airhead: Claudia. Early books treated this very mildly; later books made her seem almost borderline developmentally delayed.
    • Made worse in the movie. One movie critic stated the theory that she was "basically a functional retard."
  • Asian and Nerdy: Janine Kishi
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults
  • Beauty Contest: Little Miss Stoneybrook
  • Bechdel Test: Passes with great ease.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mary Anne gets extremely vindictive when pushed too far.
  • Big Applesauce: Stacey is constantly reminding the readers how awesome New York is. The other book narrators make a big deal out of Stacey being from the city as well.
  • Black Best Friend: Jessi to the other girls.
  • Blithe Spirit: Abby is noticeably sassier and more irreverent than the other girls, particularly where (post-Flanderization) Kristy's rules and bossiness are concerned.
  • The Board Game: Two, actually. A regular one and a mystery one.
  • Book Dumb: Claudia. Poor, poor Claudia.
  • Bookworm: Mallory
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Karen. Dear god, Karen. Jenny Prezzioso is seen as such by the sitters.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Dawn has probably the worst example of this trope in Here Come the Bridesmaids! when her father is getting remarried. She all but pitches a fit because her stepmother-to-be doesn't want to have Mary Anne as a bridesmaid as well as Dawn. Remember, Mary Anne is Dawn's stepsister on her mother's side and is not remotely related to Dawn's father, let alone his new bride.
  • Busman's Holiday: Probably the worst example was when the girls were in New York and a British diplomat oh-so-conveniently staying in the same building as Stacey's friend Laine needed two thirteen-year-old baby-sitters to show his kids around the city.
    • They even assume that they will be taking a Busman's Holiday wherever they go, such as when Dawn goes to visit her dad in California and remarks that she may babysit for some of her old clients while she's there. You know, because their parents wouldn't have found new sitters since she left the state, and would be so thoughtless as to intrude on her two weeks with her non-custodial parent by asking her to work.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Mallory! Here's a list.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: This series practically owns this trope.
  • Child Prodigy: Naturally the kid gets paired with Claudia.
  • Christmas in July: The BSC throw a "Christmas in Summer" party for sitting charge James Hobart, who is Australian, to cheer him up when he has a broken leg. This happened again at summer camp.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: This is pretty much the case for most of the girls' non-BSC friends, with the major exceptions being Laine Cummings, Stacey's on-again, off-again best friend from New York, and Sunny Winslow, Dawn's Troubled but Cute best friend from California. But Sunny started her own baby-sitting club, anyway, so she doesn't really count.
  • Class Trip: Several, most notably the school-wide ski trip.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Dawn shows a dose of this in Mary Anne's Makeover, in which she admits that she's jealous of all the time Mary Anne's been spending with her father and that it makes her miss her own terribly. Dawn comes off as being resentful of Mary Anne for having her father around...apparently forgetting that this is Mary Anne's only living parent.
  • Comic Book Time
  • Cool Old Lady: Nannie
  • Costume Porn: Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters Fridge Logic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: Happens to Kristy in The Movie.
  • Death Glare: Kristy's "Look"
  • Darker and Edgier: The California Diaries series. However, the use of this trope surprisingly didn't come off as cheesy or overdone. It allowed for more character development and exploration of realistic adolescent themes, like depression, drifting away from childhood friends, and (arguably) closeted homosexuality.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Notably on diabetes, autism, Judaism, body modification, ballet, Australia, the UK... the list goes on.
    • When Stacey moves back to NYC, it's questioned whether her father can't simply commute to NYC from Stoneybrook for work, the answer being no, as it's "Too far". Enter the Stevenson family, who move from the non-specific "Long Island", New York to Stoneybrook supposedly because it's 'easier' for her mother to commute to Manhattan for work from Stoneybrook, and it's established that she takes a train, which was previous established in earlier Stacey books as being a two hour trip each way.
  • Different As Night and Day: Abby and her twin sister Anna. Anna is musical, bookish, and introspective; Abby is athletic, noisy, and enjoys babysitting. About the only things they have in common are that they both have scoliosis and poor eyesight.
    • Kristy and Mary Anne are also described like this; they're not sisters, but have been best friends practically their entire lives.
    • Janine and Claudia.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Stacey is not fond of being called Anastasia. Additionally, King, one of Logan's football teammates does NOT like it when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The whole plotline about Stacey's diabetes and the associated stigma leading to her moving away from New York lest she lose all her friends. In retrospect, the series' origins in the late eighties makes it likely the diabetes stood in for something else.
  • Drunk Driver: One of their classmates, Amelia, is killed by a drunk driver in Mary Anne and the Memory Garden.
    • Abby's father was killed by a drunk driver prior to her series debut. According to Abby's Book, his death is the reason their mom moves Abby and Anna to Stoneybrook in the first place -- to distance herself from the memories.
  • Egg Sitting: One book focuses on this.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Dawn's middle name is Read. Figure that one out.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn), Shannie (Shannon)
  • Enhance Button: In one of the Super Mysteries specials.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: There are two out of four white girls from out of state: Stacey, the sophisticated New Yorker, and Dawn, the breezy Californian. Lampshaded in one book where Kristy reminisces about how she first met Shannon (whom she intensely disliked at first) and snarks about the trope in relation to Shannon and her friends, who are all blonde.
  • Everytown, America: Stoneybrook
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Lampshaded by Jessi in Hello, Mallory, when she snarks that naming a babysitting club "The Baby-sitters Club" is incredibly obvious.

Jessi: I mean, it's like calling a restaurant The Restaurant.

  • Extruded Book Product: What eventually happened to the series.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The BSC were allowed to succeed most of the time, but once the problems got big, like trying to keep an autistic savant from being sent Off to Boarding School or reform a racist family, the Aesop was always along the lines of You Can't Make A Difference When You're Thirteen Years Old. Little Sister was even worse about this, with Karen failing at nearly everything she tried to do because You Really Can't Make A Difference When You're Seven Years Old. The only time Karen actually succeeded was during a Whole-Plot Reference to The Secret Garden, since you can't very well have your Mary Lennox surrogate not shake things up.
    • To be fair, it is unlikely that they would have been able to reform the racist family - the children did seem like they wanted to play with the other kids, but given how controlling their parents were, there probably wasn't a good chance that they'd be able to.
  • Fan Nickname: "K. Ron" (after L. Ron Hubbard) for Kristy and "BSCult" have become popular on some snark communities.
  • The Film of the Book
  • 555: All phone numbers in this series begin with 555 (or KL5, to be more specific).
  • Five-Man Band: In early books, before the introduction of Mallory and Jessi.
  • Five-Token Band
  • Flanderization: All of the girls' quirks suffered this to some degree with the ghost writers, most notably Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's passion for environmental causes and Claudia's bad spelling.
  • Food Porn: Especially prominent in Dawn and Claudia books.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey in the first four books.
  • Frozen in Time: The girls spent literally dozens of birthdays, holidays and summers in eighth grade. At one point Claudia was demoted to seventh grade, but the others stayed in place. They finally finished middle school in the last book of the Friends Forever spinoff.
  • Full-Name Basis: Gabbie Perkins refers to everybody by their first and last names.
  • Funetik Aksent: Used for Jessi's ballet teacher, who is French.
    • Also Logan's southern accent, the Hobarts' Australian accent, and any allergy speak.
    • And in the Super Special where they go to camp, and one girl has a pronounced lisp.
  • Genki Girl: Abby, Karen
  • Girl Posse: Grace and Bebe for Cokie Mason, Jannie and Leslie for Pamela Harding.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Claudia and Janine; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold; Dawn and Mary Anne exhibit signs of this in the early days of their stepsisterhood.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Liberal use of "darn" and "heck" in place of actual swearing.
  • Granola Girl: Dawn
  • Hair of Gold: Stacey and Dawn
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In one of the 2010 reissues, "thongs" was changed to "flip-flops", for obvious reasons.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Mallory sees herself as this.
  • Informed Ability: Claudia is supposed to be a great artist, but since the books don't have any illustrations, we're not given much evidence.
  • Informed Attribute: Dawn is supposed to be the "individual" of the group, but she changes her appearance and behavior not once, but twice - just to get a guy.
  • Informed Judaism: Abby
  • Jerkass: Kristy's dad is portrayed this way in the Forever Friends book where he remarries, and even moreso in The Movie. It's also hinted at in Claudia's Book, where she notes that as a little girl she seriously disliked Mr. Thomas.
  • Junior High
  • Kid Detective: There was an entire spinoff Mystery series based on this trope.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The classmates of the baby-sitting charges (especially Charlotte's classmates), though this is existent in the BSC's classmates as well, especially in Mallory and Jessi's sixth grade class.
    • Some of the charges have this too - though mostly they're of the prank-playing kind. One of Claudia's charges once played a prank where she didn't tell Claudia that the chain of a swing was broken, thinking it'd just break under Claudia's weight when she sat on it. Instead, it held, the kid forgot to warn her, and the chain finally broke mid-swing, leading to Claudia breaking her leg so severely, she had to stay in the hospital with the leg in traction. The rest of the book switched between Claudia recovering and the club joining forces with some of their other charges to get the kid to stop playing pranks.
  • The Klutz: Jackie Rodowsky, AKA "The Walking Disaster"
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: The Club had Andrew, who was pretending to be a monster, terrify the life out of one charge because she didn't want to wear a smock and paint.
    • Jessi accused one kid of being racist because the kid didn't want to play.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Little Sister series. The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class was even lighter and softer than that.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: In Jessi's Wish. Other books had children with deafness, Down's Syndrome and autism. In one of the Super Specials, Stacey befriended a wheelchair-bound boy who was about to have surgery for a heart condition. May extend to Stacey herself, who was diabetic. In another book a babysitting charge has to adjust to blindness.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Many, many minor and background characters who changed with every book.
  • Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Several times.
    • In the Very Special Book that warned against drunk driving, a new character is introduced as one of the nicest, friendliest girls at SMS. She is killed almost immediately in a drunk-driving accident.
    • In Jessi and the Awful Secret, we meet a new character, a girl in Jessi's ballet class, who is then revealed to be anorexic.
    • New, never-before-seen families ask for sitters in the books dealing with racism (Keep Out, Claudia!) and autism (Kristy and the Secret of Susan).
  • Long Running Book Series: At least one book a month for more than ten years!
  • Lost Wedding Ring: One book involves Stacey being accused of stealing a valuable ring. As it turns out, it was the cat's fault.
  • MacGuffin: In some of the Mysteries books
  • Massive-Numbered Siblings: The Pikes have eight children, including identical triplets. The Brewer-Thomases and the Barrett-DeWitts are also examples of this trope, although they are blended families.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Appears pretty much whenever the girls deal with something weird. They usually get a mundane explanation that covers most--but not all--of what's been going on. Particular examples would include The Ghost at Dawn's House and Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery.
    • Also, the first book in the Little Sister series, where the only undebunked evidence Karen has at the end is that she saw the lady she thinks is a witch flying on a broom... and that might have been a dream.
  • Meaningful Name: This is most likely completely unintentional, but "Mallory" is Norman French for "unlucky".
  • Meat Versus Veggies: The Schafer-Spier family deals with this a lot.
  • Melodrama: There's no other word to describe the scene in Boy-Crazy Stacey where the girls are saying goodbye. They're all going their (temporary) separate ways and the waterworks are endless. Sobbing, hugging, wailing. How long will they be apart? Two weeks.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Tiffany Kilbourne
  • Missing Mom: Mary Anne's mother died of cancer when she was very little. She left a letter to Mary Anne that she was to have received on her sixteenth birthday.
  • Mistaken Age
  • Mood Whiplash: Claudia and the Terrible Truth, where the Very Special Episode-esque main plot (the girls finding out that two of their new charges are being abused by their father) is interspersed with the sitters helping kids preparing for a St. Patrick's Day parade.
  • Most Writers Are Adults
  • Multigenerational Household: The Thomas-Brewers and the Kishis before Mimi's death.
  • Must Have Lots of Free Time: Charlie, Kristy's seventeen-year-old brother, who apparently has all the time in the world to drive Kristy, Shannon, Abby, etc. wherever they need to go.
  • Naive Everygirl: Mary Anne and, to some extent, Mallory.
  • The Namesake: The title club is sometimes the only thing its members have in common.
  • Name's the Same: Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier - a child beauty queen that BSC meets in Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn, and later a classmate at SMS.
    • Lampshaded in Here Come the Bridesmaids! where the narrator acknowledges that both the BSC and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan DeWitt, and no, they're not related.
  • New Year's Resolution
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Several, although Mary Anne's cat Tigger is probably the most frequently showcased -- partly because Mary Anne, unlike the others, is an only child.
  • No Periods, Period: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that none of them would have started menstruating by that age.
    • Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents). One has to wonder, though, how it was deemed allowable to mention bras and bra shopping.
    • Kids would know what a bra is ("It's like a double-barrel slingshot!"), but it would be unlikely that their parents would have had the talk with them. Or maybe they do have periods, but it's just not mentioned.
  • Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: When Kristy's mom gets married, her underwear is her "something blue." Too Much Information.
  • Off to Boarding School: Mallory, although this was actually HER decision.
  • Official Couple: Mary Anne and Logan. Kristy and Bart are an official sort-of-couple, and Stacey's part of a few.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Kristy, Stacey (short for Anastasia), Jessi, Abby, and many minor characters.
  • Only Sane Man: Jessi and Mallory in some of the later books.
  • Playing Pictionary: It is suggested that one say something along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."
  • Poisonous Friend: Ashley, who encouraged Claudia to leave the club and spend more time on her artwork. Also the "bad girls" group that Stacey falls in with later in the series.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: In book #12, the girls get bitchy over Claudia spending time with a new friend and go as far as to short-sheet her bed, mess with her belongings, and leave her a series of nasty notes. But in the end, Claudia is the one who owes them an apology for "being a bad friend."
    • The girls also viciously shun Mary Anne in another story after she commits the mortal sin of... getting a stylish new haircut. Everything's back to hunky dory by the end of the book.
  • Pungeon Master: Abby
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: In one of the books when Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett refuse to eat cookies after having been teased for attending a "girly" sewing class.
  • Retcon: Early on, Jill, a member of the We ♥ Kids Club, is established as serious and thoughtful; at one point, Dawn describes her as being like Mary Anne. In the first California Diaries book she is portrayed as very childish, which contributes to Dawn, Maggie and Sunny drifting away from her.
    • The Brewer children's mother and stepfather are named as Sheila and Kendall in an early book, later retconned to Lisa and Seth when they feature more prominently in later titles.
    • Similarly, Mary Anne's late mother was named Abigail in the fourth book, but later books identify her as Alma. This is also fixed in reprints.
    • There was a short spinoff series where each of the girls writes an autobiography. They must have been written by different writers, because Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have conflicting memories of their elementary school years (when they all knew each other).
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Vanessa Pike
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Claudia frequently writes like this.
  • The Rival: Cokie. Also, one book featured the girls facing off against a rival babysitting club.
  • Same Sex Triplets: The Pike triplets
  • Sand in My Eyes: Kristy pulls this one in The Movie, claiming to her mother that "I've got allergies!"
  • School Play: One of the specials was about the club members and babysitting charges appearing in a musical.
  • Secret Santa
  • Shrinking Violet: Mary Anne; Kristy's little stepbrother Andrew is presented this way too.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Claudia and Janine, Abby and Anna, Karen and Andrew
  • Sixth Ranger: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby.
  • Snooping Little Kid
  • Spin-Off: The Little Sister and California Diaries series. The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class is a spinoff of LS.
  • Spoiled Brat: Jenny Prezzioso; to many fans, Karen Brewer also qualifies.
  • Start My Own: When the BSC goes crazy testing Mallory about whether she's a good enough sitter, she and Jessi start up "Kids Incorporated."
  • Straw Fan: Believe it or not, one of the books deals with Mallory claiming to be the biggest fan of a fictional children's author, meeting the author and giving her a hard time about not 'writing what she knows.' Fortunately, she learns her lesson in the end.
  • Sweet Tooth: Claudia
  • Switching POV: And the "I" in this book refers to...
  • Technician Versus Performer: Kristy and Abby, with sports. In Kristy's own words, she's a sportsperson, while Abby is a natural athlete.
  • Technology Marches On: A big deal is always made of Claudia having her own phone line for them to use as the Babysitter's Club number. Nowadays they'd probably all have cell phones.
  • Teen Genius: Claudia's sister Janine
  • Theme Twin Naming: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, Abigail and Anna Stevenson, Mariah and Miranda Shillaber, Terri and Tammy Barkan, Ricky and Rose Salem. Averted with the Pike triplets Adam, Byron, and Jordan.
  • Token Minority: Jessi.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kristy and Mary Anne, Abby and Anna, Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold
  • True Companions: No matter what happens, the girls are there for each other.
  • Tuckerization
  • Twin Switch: Marilyn and Carolyn did this once while Mallory was babysitting.
  • Two First Names: Kristy Thomas; Logan, Hunter and Kerry Bruno; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold
  • Very Special Episode: Several books showcased a particular social issue, including racism, hazing, eating disorders and single parenting. They did not deal with topics like illicit drugs and sexuality, and only briefly touched on alcohol, which might have been considered inappropriate for the target audience.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The main characters got repeatedly introduced and described in every book. Lampshaded by the various snark communities as being the standard contents of chapter two.
  • Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note: Mimi in Claudia and the Sad Goodbye.
  • Wedding Day: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother...
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?:
    • Stacey's dad is a workaholic who rarely spends time with her.
    • Abby's mother is like this too. Possibly justified to an extent, since she's a single parent with two teenagers to support.
    • Shannon Kilbourne's father is never home, either.
    • One book had a subplot in which the sitters begin taking care of two kids who are constantly forced to attend extra-curricular classes and sports activities because their parents are always at work.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The number of bedrooms in Watson's house never seems to add up. Kristy says his house has 9 bedrooms, which should mean one each for Watson and Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, Charlie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Emily Michelle and Nannie. However, in another book Kristy says that each of her brothers could have a whole suite of rooms if they wanted, and occasionally they've had entire families stay over with no discussion of people moving or sharing rooms. However, possibly the "9 bedrooms" refers only to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. It's mentioned that there is a third floor and an attic that are never used (which is most certainly not because the ghost of Ben Brewer haunts them), so her brothers could have suites, but would have to move to the upper floors.
  • Written Sound Effect: Ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
  • You Meddling Kids: The basic plot of the Mysteries specials
  • You're Not My Father: Kristy drops this one on Watson in The Movie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Shows up in one book when Jessi pet-sits a hamster.