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Beverly Hills Is For Lovers

Relationship Lessons From 90210

Long before Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf ruled the airwaves, another group of precocious teens stormed the most famous high school halls in the coolest zip code in the country.

Beverly Hills, 90210 epitomized the '90s. From its fast cars, ridiculous fashion statements and incredibly grown-up social issues it covered — gun violence, rape, eating disorders, STDs, breakups, abortion, infidelity, murder, drugs, cults, racism, stalkers, virginity, pregnancy scares — it would be a total shame if we didn't learn something from these beautiful people with not-so-beautiful problems. Here are some valuable relationship lessons we gleaned from the show.

#1 Don't throw yourself at a guy. Andrea Zuckerman and her high-waisted jeans didn't mind that Brandon Walsh was in demand at West Beverly. That's why when Jim Walsh announced that a work promotion meant his family was moving back home to Minnesota, she immediately offered her virginity on a silver-platter to Brandon. Awkwardness ensued when Jim rejected his company's offer and kept his family in L.A. and Andrea and Brandon restored their friendship. Andrea's pride? Not so much. ...Read More

#2 Never fight over a guy who wears electric blue turtleneck sweaters. In season two, Brenda and Andrea inexplicably fall for Chris Suiter, a perfectly coiffed, pompous, turtlenecked drama teacher who develops a crush on Andrea. No one seemed to mind that the two girls couldn't have been more than 16 years old and in real life Suitor would have potentially faced statutory rape charges. This was a man worth fighting for, and Brenda and Andrea did just that, prompting the slap heard ‘round the halls of West Beverly High.

#3 Don't change for him. Brenda arrived in Los Angeles with beautiful, shiny, chestnut-hued locks, but when Dylan merely mentioned that he “always had a thing for blondes” Brenda made a beeline for the peroxide. The result: An unsightly two-toned orange disaster that she quickly changed back to her natural color when Dylan said he actually did like brunettes.

#4 Don't leave your hot, blonde, slutty best friend alone with your boyfriend over the summer. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. (Though, Dylan doesn't get off scott-free here — he was the one who cheated after all.)

#5 Don't say, "I told you so" and blame sexy clothes when your friend gets sexually assaulted. After getting dumped by her date, Kelly tries to regain her self-esteem by wearing a revealing Elvira costume to a Halloween party, despite warnings from Brenda that her dress was too sexy (“I'm warning you, you're looking for trouble”). When Kelly is nearly raped by a college student dressed as a cowboy, Brenda rushes to the scene but can't comfort a tearful Kelly without scolding her, "I tried to tell you that dress was too much."

#6 Don't trust the new girl with spiky blonde hair. She will slip you drugs and stalk your family. West Beverly newcomer Emily Valentine rode a motorcycle and partied at raves — two reasons why she was clearly wrong for straight-laced Brandon from day one. That didn't stop those two from igniting a hot and heavy romance that quickly fizzled when Emily slipped "U4EA" (4-methylaminorex) into Brandon's drink. When he broke up with her — citing "distrust" as the issue — Emily began stalking Brandon, threatening to set the school float on fire, leaving a cake on his doorstep, mailing anonymous letters to the school newspaper and breathing heavily into the Walsh's answering machine. Paging Glenn Close!

#7 Don't ask your boyfriend to decide between you and another woman. The on-again, off-again love triangle between Brenda, Kelly and Dylan was Thursday night crack to fans. And in a post-He's Just Not Into You world, it's hard to believe that women rooted for one variation of this dysfunctional threesome to work out: Brenda asked Dylan to choose between her and Kelly, then waited for him to decide — while he made out with both of them. In the end, he chose Kelly and broke Brenda's heart. Moral of the story: If you ask a man to chose, and he needs to think about it, he's already made his decision.

#8 There's strength in numbers. It's always amusing when television characters have one glass of alcohol, then immediately become falling-down drunk. But that's exactly what happened to Donna while pre-partying before Senior Prom. After collapsing in front of the school principal Mrs. Teasley, she attends a school disciplinary meeting and is denied participating in graduation ceremonies. But the entire school rallies around her, walking out on their finals, and staging a mass demonstration in front of the school board. Their stunt worked and Donna ending up graduating with a boatload of new friends. This is not to say that young kids should risk graduating in order to defend the (underage) gal who can't hold her liquor, but, hey, in banding together, these teenagers effected change for a cause they believed in.

  • Kelly and Steve make quite a good-looking pair, however we never actually got to see them date on 90210 — from the beginning of the series they were established exes.

    Capital Pictures/Retna Ltd.
Beverly Hills Is For Lovers
Relationship Lessons From 90210
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