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Emmerdale is a long-running British Soap Opera, set in the titular Yorkshire village.

From its creation in 1972 until 1989, it was known as Emmerdale Farm, the series was generally based around the farm and rural life in the village, often centring around the village pub, The Woolpack.

Notably, almost every person who moves to the village (even the illegitimate ones) either joins or is joined by their family, and so joins in the near-constant feuding among the famillies in the village.

Seen as something of a television version of The Archers, albeit set among bluff northern types rather than well-heeled country folk, the series received a dramatic Retool during the early 1990s. Starting with the name change, more and more classic "soap opera" elements were introduced, but the series was still in the shadow of its more illustrious rivals Coronation Street and Eastenders - until 1993, when writers had a plane crash onto the Woolpack, drawing in 18 million viewers.

The plane crash storyline proved so popular that Emmerdale in the last 15 years has become a rather dangerous place to live. In the 20 years before the crash, 21 characters had been killed off. Since the crash, the body count currently stands at 46 - seven of them in 2006 alone.

Tropes used in Emmerdale include:

  • Book Ends: Jack Sugden returned to the village for his father's funeral, and his biolgical son Robert returned for Jack's.
  • British Accents: Though only a few still speak with a recognisable Yorkshire accent.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Averted with Adopted siblings Scot and Kelly Windsor and Foster siblings Daz Eden and Victoria Sugden, it was almost played horribly true with unknowing half-siblings Ryan Lamb and Maisie Wylde, and even though the bullet was dodged on the incest the revelation they almost had sex led Maisie to have a break down and to the murder of their father at the hands of Maisie's mother.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Chris Tate who upon discovering his wife had been cheating on him with his enemy - and her cousin - Cain Dingle went after Cain with a gun then decided Charity was the one he truly hated so he committed suicide and framed her for murder (having recently discovered he had months to live). Cain Dingle himself definitely fits this trope: after being rejected by Angie he stalked her and frightened off any man she got involved with until she was so desperate that she tried to framed him for a crime. He also attacks and/or threatens any man who shows interest in Charity
  • Driven to Suicide: Jackson via assisted suicide
  • Dropped A Plane On Them: One of the most famous storylines.
  • Killed Off for Real: Its a realistic soap, so this is to be expected.
  • Kissing Cousins: played VERY, VERY straight with the Dingles, to the point that there's at least one definite (though slightly averted in that they were Second cousins) case of progeny, Debbie, who is surprisingly a lot more stable than either of her parents, except for her own propensity for incest for nearly 2 years. this has been lampshaded by other characters repeatedly. the main offenders being: Charity/Cain, Charity/Marlon, Eli/Debbie, Eli/Chas, a brief one-sided Eli/Gennie, the list goes on.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Applies a little bit to the village itself, but more pertinently to the nearby town of Hotton, which is as big or small and contains as many or as few bars/shops/attractions as are currently necessary for the plot.
    • Not quite, given that Hotton is a supposed copy of Haughton, South Yorkshire.
    • Location scenes based in Hotton are usually filmed in the town of Otley, close to the TV studios in Leeds where the show is filmed. Until the late 1990s, an actual village, Esholt, was used for exterior scenes of the village, until a purpose-built set was built on the grounds of a stately home close to Leeds.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The villagers have noted to themselves that the village isn't as peaceful as it should be.
  • My Local: The Woolpack.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A few times with Roxanne Pallett.
    • Maisie Wylde, no less.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Are you seriously going to threaten Cain Dingle? Yes, it's a recurring theme to use Biblical names in Emmerdale.
  • Only Sane Man: Marlon is this to the rest of the Dingles.
  • Oop North
  • Overprotective Dad: Cain Dingle is a rather dark example of this. His protectiveness of his daughter has led to him to threaten and beat several men and even on one occasion hit her.
  • Parrot Exposition: When Val is revealed to have cataracts, every character who witnesses this repeats the word "cataracts" over and over again. Harry Hill had a lot of fun with this scene.
  • Please Select New City Name: The village of Beckindale was renamed to Emmerdale in 1994: in story this was to honour the residents of Emmerdale Farm killed in the plane crash; in the real world it was to avoid viewer confusion as the focus had broadened from the farm to the village.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Jack Sugden was hastily written out after actor Clive Hornby became ill, and the character was later killed off following Hornby's death.
  • Retool: From 2003 onwards.
  • Soapland Christmas: The murder of Tom King on his wedding day (on Christmas Day) in 2006 is probably the most famous one.
  • Straight Gay: Aaron and Jackson; to a lesser extent, former characters Jason and Joe.
  • The Unintelligible: Moira Barton (well, her accent is).
  • Too Soon: The plane crash drew criticism and a reprimand from the Media Watchdogs for its parallels with the Lockerbie disaster.