the hollyverse: an A-Z

As we all know, Hollyoaks exists in its own wonderful parallel dimension – just like our dimension, yet turned up to 11. Here is our guide to all you need to know about the ‘Oaks…

Annual cull

Once a year, Hollyoaks does a spring clean and kills off several of its characters, who usually meet a fiery and/or vehicle-related end.

2012, for instance, had the epic #EnjoytheRide where Tony/Cindy, Doug/Ste & Ruby/Jono’s nuptials came a cropper courtesy of a runaway minibus and some very poor driving. The sixth former population was decimated. Rhys Ashworth went to the great Inappropriate Sexual Partners Support Group in the sky.

Of course, nothing (as yet) can top the 2006 explosion at The Dog that managed to wipe out Sam Owen the rohypnol rapist, two students and both of Justin Burton’s twin sisters. BOOM: classic Hollyoaks and excellent culling.

Read all posts about the annual cull>>>


Rising from the (literal) ashes of Il Gnosh, Hollyoaks’ gym-slash-beauty parlour began life as Look Sharpe, named after Tony’s paramour at the time – until said paramour left on the Unceremoniously Written Out Express. It was then bought by temporary millionairess Cindy and it was during the decadent Cinergy era that we saw the hot tub in action, most notably as a party destination for the Savagebots and a place for Broxy to man handle one another (Cor…).

Anyhoo, Cindy’s bankruptcy lead to its transformation into Atwells and, the Circle of Life, back into the hands of Tony.  Now your best place to get a back, sack and crack off Carmel.


The flipside to superfertility (see below), the Hollyverse decrees that should any bad luck befall you during pregnancy, be it a miscarriage or being pushed down the stairs by your psychotic secret half brother, you shall thus be BARREN for the rest of eternity.


Verb: To consciously divert the subject of a conversation so it is all about you, “Back To Me”

Noun: One who BTMs. Noteable BTMers include Maddie, Frankie and Steph (R.I.P)

BTMing explained

See all posts about BTMing>>>

Cat tongue

You know when cats sometimes leave their tongues sticking out and forget about it? Well, Hollyoaks types have a tendency to do this too. Particularly Warren and Brendan. We can’t decide whether we like this or not.

Read all posts about the cat tongue >>>

Close talking

If you have something important to say then you had best say it within a few inches of someone’s face. Chester’s most prolific close talker was of course Warren, who presumably needed to speak in such close proximity or else no one would be able to hear his whispering.

Since his demise, there had been a closetalking vacuum in the village, with no one having the sufficient skills to willfully violate an individual’s personal space. That is until a certain moustachioed lothario showed up…

Other close talkers of note are/were Frankie, Eli and Nige.

Read all posts about close talking >>>


Unsurprisingly, given the amount of ‘family trauma’ and the like, there is a LOT of crying in the ‘Oaks. Mostly by the men. Chief offenders: Darren, Riley and Doug. But we don’t mind, because they look so pretttttttty.

The Dog

The beating, boozy heart of Hollyoaks village, what hasn’t happened in The Dog in the Pond isn’t worth happening – robberies, fires, shagging, Fajita Fridays, you name it The Dog has seen it. TARDIS-like in its seemingly never ending supply of bedrooms, it also boasts a massive loft and dungeon – both ample size for insurance fraud and/or slut murder.

Was briefly rebranded as the Jolly Roger, when Nev Ashworth decided he wanted to weird the fuck out of everyone. Went through a trashy WAG phase when the Costellos moved in (with a dash of serial killer chic – see aforementioned dungeon).

Despite all of its other owners, however, the Dog will always be the spiritual home of the Osbornes, particularly living legend Darren. May they never again be asunder.

Drugs are bad mmm’kay

Take drugs and you will end up a homeless, incontinent, pasty-skinned, penniless gollum-alike selling your arse for heroin and, worse still, dressing like a Pete Doherty tribute act. That, or you’ll inadvertently kill all of your friends. Don’t do it kids! (see Sasha, Fletch, Bart.)

The end bit

The scene at the end of the closing credits can be amazing/infuriating – as usually you have stayed around to watch it even though you need to go to the loo. Sometimes it features a key plot or character development. Sometimes it’s a fart joke. That’s the risk you take.

Read all posts about the end bit >>>

Family trauma

A Hollyoaks tradition: introduce a new, seemingly happy and normal family and then proceed to kill them off one by one or at least subject them to the most miserable lives possible. Mwah ha haaa!

Read all posts about family trauma >>>

Film student moment

Every now and then Hollyoaks does something crazy – a dream sequence, a musical number, slo-mo, a montage, a Hitchcockian reverse-zoom dolly… and we suspect they have let their film student intern loose with the camera and editing suite. Yay!

Read all posts about film student moments >>>

The Folly

Once the hang out of the supercool sixth formers until they all died horribly, it is now the place for anything filed under ‘ILLICIT’ (usually involving Sinead).

Gratuitous nudity

Well, semi-nudity at least. With a cast as finely formed as Hollyoaks, sometimes there needs to be very little reason for them to get their kit off. Not that we are complaining.

See all posts about gratuitous nudity>>>

Hobbit boys

A relatively new phenomena, hobbit boys now roam where ratboys once held dominion. Descendants of Max and OB, they are generally short, hairy, rotund types who are perpetually involved in comedic subplots and rarely get taken seriously by anybody – see Duncan, Ricky, Finn, Doug, Seth,and the mighty Lee Hunter for fine examples of hobbitboydom.

Hollyoaks High School (Formerly Hollyoaks Sixth Form, formerly Hollyoaks High School)

The ‘Oaks premier educational establishment for wayward teens. Briefly focused exclusively on supercool sixth formers until they died horribly. Now its gates are once again open to all, though it seems to act primarily as a shag pad for John Paul McQueen.

“I did it for you!”

Got some explaining to do to your other half after things have got a bit murdery? These five words will sort it right out. (See Dr Browning, Will.)

The Loft (formerly Chez Chez nee, er, The Loft)

Despite having no punters and a habit of burning down, this Hollyoaks nightspot is like catnip to local villainous types, driving them potty as they scheme, double cross, arson, murder and all manner of nefarious deeds for a (often complicated) stake in its booze soaked floors and ratboy flavoured cellars. Mmm, salty.

Malfunctioning gaydar

Occasionally the wonderfully rainbow world of Hollyoaks can overwhelm the senses, making you completely blind to the super gayness occurring right infront of you. With tongues. (see Cheryl, Phoebe and Sam)

McQueen index

As we all know, all Hollyoaks characters are required BY LAW to shag at least one McQueen. The McQueen index is a useful guide to their progress.


The long suffering better half of WLH. Claims to not be a fan of Hollyoaks, yet has a suspiciously encyclopedic knowledge of it. Occasionally feels threatened by WLH’s love for Brendan Brady.

Prostitution (part time)

Ladies: unfullfilled by stacking shelves at Price Slice or mopping up vomit at Dee Valley hospital? Then a career as a sexworker is for you! Flexible hours to suit childcare arrangements and/or mental breakdown. May be subject to judgement by shrill nurses. Note: must supply own bodycon. (See Mercedes, Sinead.)

OMG moment

When something so unexpected/shocking/insane has happened that you actually gasp ‘oh my god!’ and immediately text your friends/tweet about it.

The omnibus

The Sunday omnibus of the ‘Oaks is something of a British institution. Nothing soothes a hangover better than three hours of Hollyoaks. Fact.

See all posts about the omnibus>>>


Hollyoaks is the randomest of all the soaps, perhaps of all TV programmes ever. Where else would you get film student moments, imaginary friends, sister shagging, fart jokes, rubbish social workers, gratutious nudity, scary police officers and Darren?

See all posts about randomness >>>


Chester is heavily populated by skinny, feral, rodent-featured young men (see John-Paul, Darren, Rhys, and, of course, king of the ratboys: Ste) the polar opposite of the likes of Warren and Trevor. Maybe it’s something in the water.

See all posts about ratboys>>>


You may not be aware of this but Hollyoaks is home to a family of super-advanced robots, here to establish replicant dominion on Earth.

Read all about the Savagebots >>>

Roscoe rating

The testosteroned equivalent of the McQueen girls, it stands to reason that the perma-vested Roscoe boys are there to be sexed with. The Roscoe rating helpfully monitors the villagers’ efforts.

Sign language lady

Used to light up our screens every Sunday morning during the T4 Hollyoaks omnibus. The sign language lady had the enviable job of expressing the high drama of the ‘Oaks through the medium of sign language. Sadly, since the omnibus moved to E4, she has been tragically consigned to yesteryear.

The spin-off

Now that the ‘Oaks is a five day bohemoth, the spin-off is sadly a thing of yesteryear. We only have happy memories of what manifested itself in three ways: the spin-off video (Remember Hollyoaks: Off On One on VHS?!); the ‘late night’ Hollyoaks that usually featured mild swearwords like ‘shit’ and ‘bum’ and at least one rape; the spin-off series such as Hollyoaks: Movin’ on and Hollyoaks in the City…did the world really need a whole series about Ben and Lisa?!

And now of course there is the 5 night guilty pleasure that is Hollyoaks Later, which means YAY!  Read all about Hollyoaks Later.


It is a law of the Hollyverse that no one can have casual, underage or extra marital sex without getting pregnant immediately (see Amy, Cindy, Tina, Mercedes and Sinead).

See all posts about superfertility >>>


There’s a bit in Terminator 3 when evil blonde fembot TX takes control of the Terminator,  so instead of trying to protect Nick Stahl (we won’t call him John Connor because EDWARD FURLONG WAS JOHN CONNOR, OKAY?) the Terminator suddenly tries to kill and dismember Nick Stahl, only to then shut itself down, restart and carry on trying to protect Nick Stahl. A crazy personality change, we’re sure you’ll agree, and a commendable attempt to inject a bit of tension into an otherwise moribund entry in the Terminator series. Our point? Occasionally Hollyoaks characters have similar switches of personality – one minute good, the next evil, then back to being good again – for the purposes of whatever storyline they happen to be part of. Not that we’re saying they are being controlled by an evil blonde fembot – though that would explain the existence of Liberty. Bart, Carmel and Mitzeee are recent examples of characters who have ‘done a T3’

See all posts about the Hollyverse>>>


Specifically, Mercedes‘. The most fearsome force in the known universe, it can tear apart couples, families and planets at will. Activate it at your peril.

Read all posts about Mercedes >>>

The Vortex

See ‘Vagina’.

One response to “the hollyverse: an A-Z

  1. Just discovered Hollyoaks (as well as this site) a few weeks ago. Love that in the OMG moments you have the picture of Kieron’s death. Hahaha I definitely texted my friend right after I watched it for the first time (last week on youtube… haha)

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