Beverly Hills, 90210

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Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of the most popular teen dramas during the early 1990s. It ran for ten years (from 1990 to 2000), and had all but changed its entire principal cast by the end of the show's run. It is generally agreed that the show declined in quality after the cast graduated high school.

The show focused primarily on the Walsh family, particularly fraternal twins Brandon and Brenda, who had just moved into Beverly Hills and were (at least initially) suffering a certain degree of culture shock. It is worth noting that the Walshes were the only original characters absent in the finale. The action also included the twins' friends Dylan, Steve, Andrea, Kelly, Donna, and David. The show managed to touch on almost all social issues, including drug use, drunk driving, rape, unprotected sex, abortion, and even apartheid (there is a persistent rumor that Spelling wanted to license a U.S. version of the Degrassi franchise but was turned down by that show's producers).

The show's casting includes some of the most dramatic examples of Dawson Casting in recent memory, to the point where many sites often refer to the trope as "90210 Syndrome". Luke Perry was 25 when he began playing Dylan as a junior; even worse, Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea), was 29 playing 16.

Had a Spin-Off in Melrose Place (which itself had a less successful spin off in Models, Inc.) and a more recent Sequel Series simply titled 90210. The new series is mostly focused on a new cast of characters though Donna and Brenda have made cameo appearances and Kelly is an important recurring character. Also Kelly's sister, main character (Erin) Silver is technically from the original.


Tropes used in Beverly Hills, 90210 include:

The sequel series contains examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Adrianna big time. Fame rapidly turns her into an airheaded Rich Bitch.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Kelly's mom again. She got worse.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Naomi certainly does want Liam. Annie seems to either genuinely not like him, or denying/hiding the fact. Regardless, she'll fall soon with the way things are going.
  • Alpha Bitch: Naomi isn't all bad, and unlike a lot of Libbies she does have a genuinely nicer side, but she can still be an absolute bitch much of the time (and her sister is far worse).
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Silver is half-Jewish through her father's side, which traditionally would be the wrong side to make her Jewish but she did sit shiva for her mother (though this could be a case of the writers forgetting Jackie was never Jewish in the original series).
  • Betty and Veronica: The show has certain examples of this -
    • Annie (Betty) and Naomi (Veronica), with Ethan (Archie).
    • Ivy (Betty) and Naomi (Veronica), with Liam (Archie).
    • Rhonda (Veronica) and Annie (Betty), with Ethan (Archie again).
    • Genderflipped with Navid (Betty) and Teddy (Veronica), with Adrianna (Archie).
    • Then Teddy (Veronica) and Dixon (Betty), with Silver (Archie).
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jen seemed like a nice, caring older sister to Naomi in her first appearance. Right until we learn that she slept with Ethan while he and Naomi were together (she would later go on to sleep with Liam while he was dating Naomi and blame Annie for it).
    • Annie and Dixon's cousin Emily seemed like a sweet, innocent girl who looked up to Annie at first. Then she turned all of Annie's friends against her, tried to steal Liam away from her, got Annie fired from her internship, and suspended from school... all while pulling the Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • Book Dumb: A rare female example - Naomi is of more or less average intelligence but it's frequently mentioned that's she's a poor student.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Navid's father blames him for revealing information that led to the police investigating him for child pornography, Navid told his father that it happened because he (the father) broke the law.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: After Oscar completes his revenge on Laurel, he stays around to help Naomi against Mr. Cannon.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Many characters, most notably Kelly Taylor and her son, Oscar and Mark Driscott.
    • Also Ty.
  • Coming Out Story: Teddy gets one, spaced over several episodes.
  • Competence Zone: As of season four Navid and Silver play surrogate parents to Navid's sister Leila - who is all of a year younger than them but who acts and is treated like a 14 year old.
  • Complete Monster: Mr. Cannon, He raped Naomi, Tried to rape Silver, took them both hostage and presumably DID THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE AS WELL!
  • Date Rape Averted: Mark on Annie; Jasper ends up saving her.
  • Dating Do-Si-Do
  • Deadpan Snarker: Silver.
  • Disappeared Dad: The show loves this trope to the point of Unfortunate Implications - Ivy, Naomi (and thus also Jen), Liam, Adrianna, Silver, Sammy (Kelly's son) and most recently Navid, Annie and Dixon all have absent fathers. In fact none of the teenage cast have fathers much involved in their lives by late Season 3.
  • Dude, Not Funny: Adrianna says her mom is desperate to be Dina Lohan while high. Dina Lohan is probably the last person any mom wants to compared to.
  • Estranged Soap Family: Big time, even excluding those relatives who departed on bad terms. Notable examples include Naomi's mother Tracy who has not appeared since 2009 despite her daughter being raped, scammed out of her money by a cult, expelled from high school and nearly getting married.
  • Expy: At least initially the Wilsons where clearly intended to invoke the Walshes from the original series (Annie especially was very obviously the new Brenda) though it's lessened with time.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Annie is the sweet naive girl, Silver is the Deadpan Snarker, Adrianna is the one obsessed with glamor and fame, and Naomi serves as the cool big sister figure for the group.
  • Girl Next Door: Annie.
  • Granola Girl: Silver and Ivy both have aspects.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Donna. The Japanese people within the show appear to understand her; native Japanese speakers watching, not so much.
  • Happily Adopted: Dixon (mostly).
  • Hot Mom: Debbie. For that matter, we can add Kelly Taylor on this too.
  • Hot Teacher: Matthews. Arguably Harry too.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Silver - Jessica Stroup is 5'8, which isn't so noticeable next to the only slightly shorter (and usually high heel clad) Anna Lynne McCord. But when standing next to the petite and waifish Shenae Grimes can look unintentionally hilarious.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Teddy, also Marco.
  • Jerk Jock: Mark Driscoll.
  • Karma Houdini: Arguably Annie, whose punishment for a fatal hit and run (which she covered up for a whole year) is a couple of months of (offscreen) house arrest.
  • The Ladette: Ivy.
  • Last-Name Basis: Erin Silver prefers to go by 'Silver'.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Almost the exact phrase Adrianna uses to describe her developing friendship with Liam in Season 4.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Naomi evolves into this after her Character Development in Season 3.
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Love Makes You Evil: Jasper has been a good example of this.
  • Love Triangle: Annie/Ethan/Naomi (first season), Naomi/Liam/Ivy (second season).
    • Also Annie/Ethan/Rhonda (so-so), Ethan/Silver/Dixon, Teddy/Adrianna/Navid, Teddy/Silver/Dixon, Adrianna/Navid/Lyla, Debbie/Harry/Kelly, etc.
  • Mama Bear: Debbie can embrace this from time to time, especially when it came to Dixon and Sasha.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Jen.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Jen kept the fact hat she was pregnant from Ryan. And when he did find out, she still didn't want him in the baby's life.
  • Nice Guy: Dixon.
  • No Going Steady: With Annie probably being the worst offender.
    • Although Naomi looks like she might be a close second.
  • Odd Friendship: Naomi and Silver. Later Naomi and Ivy.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Ivy and Dixon form a fake relationship to show others (mostly Naomi) that they're over Liam and Silver respectively (in reality Ivy is still pining for Liam and oblivious to Dixon's growing feelings for her).
  • Out of Focus: Navid was nominally a main character from the first episode on but he had very little to do early in Season 1 before eventually being linked with Adrianna (who oddly was not an official main character at first but had a lot of early focus). In Season 2 and 3 Matthews is frequently out of focus.
  • Preppy Name: Teddy Montgomery.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Adrianna, Liam, and most recently, Ivy and Teddy.
  • Put on a Bus: Ethan. Which was totally random, though he was being replaced by Liam and no one really missed him.
    • Harry as of Season 3.
  • Rich Bitch: Jen. Adrianna develops into one during Season 3 after her new found fame goes to her head.
  • The Runaway: Dixon, escaping behind his parents backs despite that Debbie grounded him, and going to Australia with Ivy.
  • Ship Tease: Season 4 has teased Adrianna with both Dixon and Liam.
  • Smug Snake: Jen.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Focus of the show shifted from the Wilson family to Naomi somewhere between Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jasper. Surprising?
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Adrianna. And Teddy in Season 3.
    • Gia herself. It was true that there was little development up to the point where we find out but apparently all of the characters seemed to know.
  • Surfer Dudette: Ivy.
  • Taking the Heat: Austin took the blame for arson to protect Annie. Neither of them actually did it but the fire was started by Annie's friend Bree who was destroying evidence both she and Annie had been prostitutes; had Annie fingered Bree she would also have to reveal her own brush with prostitution and would have faced being kicked out of college at a minimum. Austin decided that Annie had more to live for so 'confessed' to get her off the hook.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Adrianna.
  • Teens Are Short: Both averted and played straight - the teenage characters have a decent range of heights and the tallest male and female characters (Teddy and Silver) are teens but Ivy, Annie, Adrianna and more recently Holly are all much shorter than their parents.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ivy and Naomi, initially as rivals and later as an Odd Friendship.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Adrianna in Season 3. She even went as far as swapping out Silver's medication for Bipolar Disorder with placebos.
  • Troubled but Cute: Liam.
  • Two-Teacher School: Sure there are a decent number of teachers but apparently Ryan Matthews teaches Sophomore, Junior, and Senior English.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Liam the most but Dixon is also shirtless quite often.
  • Wham! Episode: 'Confessions'.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Done with Annie's cousin Emily. Emily tells Annie's friends that she said a bunch of mean things about them (which wasn't true). When Annie calls her on this, Emily pretends to cry in front Annie's friends (who of course, side with Emily). Emily also trashes her own dressing room at the internship Annie works at and makes it look like Annie did it. The result? Emily is believed to be the victim and Annie is fired.