Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
(Redirected from Eastenders)
Eastenders is so unlike the actual East End that it may as well be set in Narnia. The real East End has got Hawksmoor churches and fashionable nightclubs and a thriving Bangladeshi community; Walford's just got Keith Miller swabbing windows with a rag on a stick.

DUN. DUN. DUN DUN D-D-D-D- de de de di de dun de...

EastEnders is a popular Soap Opera on The BBC, created as a competitor to ITV's Coronation Street. Since 1985, it has followed the lives of the inhabitants of Walford, a fictional district in the East End of London. Renowned for the absolute misery it inflicts on the characters, especially during the Christmas season.

Famous plotlines:

  • Who's Michelle's baby's father?
  • Den & Angie's divorce.
  • "Sharongate"
  • Who shot Phil Mitchell?
  • The return of Dirty Den.
  • Dirty Den gets killed off again.
  • The Secret Mitchell.
  • Who Killed Archie Mitchell/Eastenders 25.
  • Syed and Christian's affair.
  • The Lucas Johnson Murders.
  • The Queen Vic burns to the ground.
  • The New Year 2011 baby plot.
Tropes used in EastEnders include:
  • Accidental Murder: Two notable examples being the death of Saskia Duncan by Steve Owen using an ash tray to defend himself and more recently the death of Heather Trott by Ben Mitchell using a photo frame. Both examples also involved a cover up.
  • Accidental Pervert: Billy Mitchell was hazed on the day before his wedding and found himself wearing nothing but his boxers. He tries to ask a woman for some spare clothes, but then her dog tears off his boxers and she calls the police (even though she could clearly see the dog did it).
  • All Asians Are Alike: The Ferreiras (South Asian, but still).
  • Alone with the Psycho: Stella and her treatment of Ben Mitchell. Also Mad May.
    • Ben also does it to Lousie.
  • Away in a Manger: The 1990 Christmas Day episode.
  • Back for the Dead: Owen.
  • Badass Family: What the Mitchells believe themselves to be (with the exception of Billy).
    • And Danielle and Ben.
    • Ben might not be quite 'badass'. But he's ruthless and heartless.
      • Even Billy has his moments, occasionally.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Mitchells.
    • The Beale/Fowler clan, the Butchers, the Brannings, the Slaters, the Masoods. Every single family fits this trope.
  • Bottle Episode: The famous two-hander episodes, and their variants - including four-handers and even a one-hander; these are also usually Locked in a Room.
  • Bus Crash: Mark.
    • Kathy and her death to bring in Ben Mitchell.
  • Christmas Episode: Soapland Christmas at its most cruel, but it doesn't stop the characters from thinking it's going to work this year. "This'll be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!"
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Sasha.
  • Cliff Hanger: If the episode ends in the famous 'Doof doofs...", it's most likely one of these.
    • "You aint my muvva!" "Yes I am!!" Dun Dun dundundundun...
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Honey.
  • Crapsack World: Crappier than the crappiest crap that a crap did when it took a crap in a bush, in winter! Every week someone is either murdered, having an affair, in trouble with the law, in trouble with the tax man, hurting their children; you would go mad from depression. You wouldn't go near Walford with a ten foot barge pole, with crap on the end!
  • Death Is Cheap Dirty Den, or Grant Mitchell for who it is not so much cheap, as buy one, get one free...
  • Defictionalization: The E20 postcode was fictional in 1985 when the show began, but was allocated in 2011 to a certain development in Stratford.
  • Depending on the Writer: One of the factors some consider part of the show's more surreal evolution is the occasionally extreme swings in characterization. Perhaps some of the best examples are Phil Mitchell or Janine Butcher, who can switch between rough-edged but somewhat humanized Jerkass types or completely ruthless borderline psychopaths who will revert to any monsterous tactics for their own self gain.
  • Domestic Abuse: Several storylines have focused on this. The early 2000s saw a notable one between "Little Mo" Mitchell and her husband Trevor, which ended in spectacular fashion with Mo being sent to jail when she finally tried to defend herself by hitting Trevor over the head with an iron.
  • Dramatic Irony: Ronnie unwittingly persuading her secret daughter Danielle to have an abortion when she was haunted by the lost of said daughter.
    • Ben pretty much killing Heather as he lost his temper with her, because he thought she'd told the police when it was actually his own brother who did.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Nasty Nick and his heroin addiction.
    • Phil and Cocaine. An EXPLOSIVE mix.
    • Phil and alcohol (it's still a drug).
    • Janine on cocaine (turning to prostitution).
    • Lauren on alcohol.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jodie Gold takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Dysfunction Junction: So much so.
  • Enfante Terrible: Dotty Cotton.
  • Estranged Soap Family
  • Ethical Slut: Zainab Masood, who considers herself the most pious Muslim woman despite cheating on her first husband (and getting nearly burnt up for the trouble) and getting divorced twice. And the gay son is the bad one in this family?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The morally dubious (at best) inhabitants of Walford consider Janine, and before their deaths; Archie, Donna etc. to be repugnant.
  • Everyone Is Related
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Zoe and Kat Slater.
  • Fat Girl: The downtrodden Heather Trott. But she has faith-a, faith-a, faith-aaaa.
  • Freudian Excuse: Surprisingly, it's rarely used.
    • Except from Ben. He seems to blame his Dad for everything. Not to mention Steven Beale, who blamed his Dad for his problems too.
    • Unless you're Janine, but even she doesn't believe that excuse anymore.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Round 1: Pauline hits Arthur. Pauline wins. Round 2: Joe hits Pauline. Pauline dies.
    • Some weeks Peggy Mitchell would only pop on-screen to say this line. Here's her greatest hits.
  • The Ghost: The launderette owner, Mr Oppadoppalus, and Big Mo's erm...friend Fat Elvis.
  • Hope Spot: Done deliberately straight with Danielle and Ronnie.
  • I'll Flaming Well Kill You!
    • Invented for Peggy Mitchell, along with "GET OUTTA MOY PAB!" (above)
    • Pat: You bitch! *slap*
    • Peggy: You cow! *slap*
  • Internal Reveal: The show uses this technique for almost all of its major episodes.
  • Karma Houdini: Janine Butcher avoiding punishment for Barry's death. She did almost get sent down for Laura Beale's death wrongly thought before Pat changed her mind about testifying in court.
    • Janine's ability to dodge trouble (legal trouble at least) has been frequently lampshaded, and ensured that (minus about 4 people), everyone despises her openly, leading her to at least suffer several unpleasant (but comparatively insignificant) moments in life to balance things a little.
      • After Christmas 2010, the fact that she's now a permanent pariah, despised by her family and her husband (who even she acknowledged as her last chance at redemption), who tried to kill her; might be regarded as the Karmic Down-payment.
  • Killed Off for Real: Oh, so many... including Den, this time permanently, and Danielle.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Played straight, Averted and Subverted, oh so very much.
  • Live Episode: The 25th Anniversary episode.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Obviously.
  • London Gangster: "The Firm". Truth in Television in that Barbara Windsor was at one time, married in real life to an associate of the Kray Brothers
    • Derek's actor was also acquainted with The Krays.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Danny Mitchell and millions of others.
  • Long Bus Trip: Yolande.
  • Long Runner: 2010 marked the 25th anniversary.
  • Love Triangle: Dear God! It is like there is an unwritten law that states that at least one love polygon should at in effect at all times! Examples included:
    • Bradley, Max and Stacey.
    • Bianca, Ricky, Sam, Minty, Heather.
    • Christian, Syed, Amira.
    • Gary, Dawn, Jase.
    • Pat, Frank, Peggy.
    • Pat, Harvey, Peggy.
    • Jack, and virtually, the entire female cast.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Danielle.
  • Malaproper: Honey.
    • Ethel Skinner fulfilled this role in the series' early days.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Most of the cast.
  • Metaphorgotten: Honey is so stupid she's always getting well known metaphors wrong.
  • Monochrome Casting: The East End hasn't been this white in nearly half a century.
  • Mutually Fictional: In Eastenders, Doctor Who is fictional (Bradley goes to a Doctor Who Convention). In the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Planet", it's vice versa (the Doctor refers to "This is gonna be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!" as an example of Tempting Fate; the Show Within a Show piece with Peggy telling Dirty Den's ghost to get out).
  • My Local: The Queen Victoria Public House.
  • Never Found the Body: Den Watts. (The first time.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Phil Mitchell's abusive treatment of his son Ben, who was quiet, intellectual and introverted, thus not a "real man". Eventually this caused Ben to snap under the pressure, attempt to toughen himself up, causing him to get into fights and get sent to juvenile detention facility. He then recieved more flak for coming out as gay. Eventually Ben grew so tired of the abuse he conspired to frame Phil for murder, which was overturned, leading him to accidentally kill Heather in anger.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: A few domestic abuse storylines end in a rather dramatic showdown, perhaps most epically with Little Mo (against Trevor) and Zainab (against Yusef) who both mentally tear apart their monstrous boyfriends to breaking point after being pushed too far.

Little Mo: "What's wrong, Trevor? Cat got your tongue?!?

  • Not Blood Siblings: Dennis Rickman and Sharon Watts.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Yusef, after being tricked by his abused lover Zainab into searching for his daughter in a house he set alight, looks out to see her safe outside, he merely stands still in the burning room, with a small, almost impressed looking smirk before the house collapses around him.
  • Oh Crap: Done at least once per episode, usually followed by those closing drums.
  • Orient Express: Den and Angie Watts spent their honeymoon on the train.
  • Parental Abandonment: Oh so very much...
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: Stacey Slater.
  • Put on a Bus: Or more commonly, a black cab or a train.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Spencer was hastily written out after actor Chris Parker attempted suicide. Similarly, the actor playing Gavin Sharp was abruptly axed so Gavin's storyline was wrapped up with a throwaway line of dialogue.
    • An exit storyline every time an actress falls pregnant.
    • Jim Branning's stroke was written in due to John Bardon unfortunately having one in real life.
    • The Ferreira family's exits began when the actor playing Dan, who is an Indian citizen, ran into problems with his permit to work in the UK.
  • Really Gets Around: Pretty much every female Slater (even Lynne for some reason), Roxy Mitchell, Bianca (but not anymore), Kim Fox (she'd like you to think so anyway), Lauren Branning.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: played straight with Jack and Michael, the owners of the boxing club and childhood friends - Jack is aggressive and passionate, wears his heart on his sleeve and exudes a serious and intimidating demeanor. On the other hand we have Michael, who is almost constantly calm and collected (even when being beaten to a pulp) and seems to enjoy a good laugh yet remains dead inside, hording secrets and lying compulsively as he happily sets he sets his Gambits in motion. Accordingly, whilst they both wear black suits, Jack wears orange shirts with the top button undone whilst Michael wears lavender shirts with a tie.
  • Scandalgate: In the mid-1990s, the show ran a storyline nicknamed "Sharongate" where Sharon confessed to cheating on one of the infamous Mitchell brothers with the other brother.
  • Smoking Is Cool: I don't know how Dot Cotton hasn't keeled over yet with her penchant for the puffies.
  • Smug Snake: Janine.
  • Soapland Christmas: Oh yeah - Trope Codifier.
  • Spin-Off: EastEnders: E20.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The huge Branning-Jackson clan and the Mitchells as well. The fact that Jack Branning has managed to impregnate sisters Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell AND their cousin Sam Mitchell, must make things even worse! Through Blood, marriage and adoption, Big Mo and Little Tiffany are related to about 70% of the other characters.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Loads. Sonia Jackson, Kat Slater, Lucy Beale, Lisa O'Brien and Demi Miller to name but a few.
    • Michelle Fowler was the Ur Example. The resultant child, Vicki, ended up in the same situation herself, but opted for an abortion.
  • Television Geography: The London Underground station, Walford Mosque (which has only appeared once) and the speedway track where Rickaaaaaaaay raced in one arc, have all come and gone as locations.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Count the number of times characters order tea in the caff or drinks in the Vic without drinking them.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Subverted at times, when they insert fake spoilers into their trailers to throw fans off the scent.
  • Trash the Set: The Queen Vic was burnt to a crisp just to rebuild the set for high definition broadcast, and NOT to kill Peggy Mitchell (to the disappointment of some).
  • Trauma Conga Line: ALL THE TIME! Especially if your last (maiden) name is Slater. Or Cotton. Dear God...
    • Ronnie Mitchell. that is all.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Janine's normally a few steps from this at the best of times. and Christmas 2010 was most definitely one of her worst.
    • A fair amount of the series' most ruthless villains end up driven over the edge in their closing moments, most explosive examples (literally) include Trevor, Yusef Khan and May Wright.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Heather and her baby. Teenage Darren disappointingly turned out to be the father.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Would it KILL the producers to actually give Ronnie a happy ending where her baby DOESN'T die?
  • You're Not My Mother: Zoe screeching about her sister Kat not being her mother... funny thing about that.