I rewatched all of Tracy Beaker start to finish and wtf even was this show?

How has Cam avoided going to prison for child neglect?

The Story of Tracy Beaker is beloved by young adults all over the country whose childhood in the early 2000s consisted of coming home from school and binging episodes of it on CBBC. Even if your parents reminded you every time that being in care is in no way, shape or form how Jacqueline Wilson’s characters make out, you couldn’t help but grow attached to the characters.

If you were a Tracy Beaker stan back in the day, you’ll be glad to know every single episode just got uploaded to BBC iPlayer, including the feature-length Tracy Beaker film, which we had no idea even existed.

A lot of ludicrous things happened on this show, and who could forget Elaine the Pain, the most batshit character kids’ TV has ever seen? So, whether you’re gonna binge the whole series in full right now, or you just want a little throwback for old times’ sake, here are the undoubtedly most iconic moments that made our childhoods:

Tracy steals Adele’s makeup just to look like a drag queen at their first gig

We’ve all seen this pic doing the rounds on Twitter; not even James Charles is doing it like this anymore. Tracy ultimately got done for stealing Adele’s stuff, but honestly how can you be mad at such an avant-garde look?

Ben lied about sleeping rough when he actually lives in a bloody mansion

Snakes don’t hiss they lie about their privilege

After Ben sprained his ankle, Mike took him and Tracy to his home. He’d been telling Tracy he was on the streets for weeks, so when they rocked up to his palace of a house with the perfect mum and dad, Tracy was fuming (and rightly so).

Elaine is constantly losing the plot and screams at all the Dumping Ground kids

Go off sis

We been knew that Elaine the Pain is a complete mess of a human being and an even worse social worker, and she must scream like a banshee at least once per episode. The video quality is always blurry when she’s around too which just makes her even more chaotic.

Cam’s hairdryer of a car makes everyone very uncomfortable

Shocked to say this heap of metal actually drives

Everyone knows Cam is a bit of a weirdo, so it comes as no surprise that she drives around a literal clown car. Tracy roasts it on her first day out with Cam which upsets her, but honestly where is the lie?

Justine gets a tiny TV off her dad and makes everyone pay to watch it

My iPhone 11 is bigger than that

Justine’s deadbeat dad buys her a crappy little TV for her room, so Tracy runs a hate campaign against her. Just a standard day in the Dumping Ground. Justine’s privilege doesn’t last long though because the TV’s battery soon dies, press F to pay respects.

Tracy eats her parents’ evening appointment form just to spite Elaine

Hope it was worth it hen

Tracy wants Cam to go to her parent’s evening instead of Elaine, so, naturally, she eats her appointment form. She then tricks Cam into going by creating a fake sponsored welly throw event at her school. You can’t knock her for the imagination.

Elaine then tries to break into the school to make the appointment

Sorry but you would just go home

Someone please call the police on this woman. Who would actively try to get into a school?

Speaking of break-ins, Tracy hijacks Cam’s flat and eats all her stuff

The evidence is round your mouth, Trace

God knows why Cam told Tracy where she kept her spare key, but Tracy takes Ben to the flat, moves all of Cam’s furniture round, eats all her chocolate and then has a go at Cam for not being grateful. Sigh.

Tracy convinces the new girl to cut all her hair off

Girl, you ever heard of layers?

When a new girl arrives after her mum was put in hospital for the night, Tracy turns her from a goody-two-shoes to a certified Dumping Ground G. They have a food fight with Justine, make up cringey dances not too dissimilar to the TikToks of today, and Tracy convinces her to chop off her locks. Each to their own, but this is not a look.

Cam and Tracy have a row at the swimming baths because Cam needs armbands to swim

Cam, I’m not being rude, but would those even work on an adult?

I don’t think I’ve witnessed a more dysfunctional relationship between two fictional characters in my life, imagine falling out big time over ARMBANDS.

Maxy doesn’t like his new trainers, so locks himself in the Dumping Ground’s van??

He had some nerve to test Jenny like this

Maxy has a very niche taste in trainers apparently, and even though the trainers Jenny picked out were very noughties street chic, they did not meet his impeccable standards. So he locked himself in Jenny’s minivan. You say problematic child, I say fashion icon who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers to get it.

Everyone in the Dumping Ground comes down with a virus EXCEPT Elaine, of course

The look of terror as Elaine is left in charge

All the kids and care workers catch some kind of flu and it’s extremely triggering in the time of coronavirus tbh. At least we know Elaine would be immune to be a pain another day.

Tracy’s ICONIC birthday party goes off thanks to Ben’s immaculate skills on the decks

We’ve all seen the memes of techno beats being dubbed over the scene of Tracy’s party; a staple of British Twitter.

Tracy FINALLY gets fostered by Cam… until she burns down Cam’s flat

Talk about self-sabotage

Tracy’s dreams of leaving the Dumping Ground for good finally come true when Cam agrees to take her in at long last. By the start of series two, though, Tracy has managed to set fire to the kitchen and Cam is forced to move in with her mum, leaving Tracy on the rebound at the DG.

Bouncer and Lol set up a counterfeit sweet shop in the garden’s wendy house

Alan Sugar: You’re HIRED

We love a pair of money-making kings and who doesn’t wanna support a family business?

Justine’s dad gets married and she has to wear this monstrosity of a dress

This made me hungry for lemon meringue pie ngl

There’s no way to be polite about this dress – it’s hideous. Tracy and Louise try to help Justine but end up ripping all the frills, so generous queen Adele agrees to sew it up for them and turns yet another fashion lewk.

Justine’s peng new dress gets ruined when Amber frisbees a pizza at it

Pure innocence before disaster struck

Justine was serving before Amber started lobbing food everywhere. Why were they even having food before a wedding in the first place? What happened to Justine’s sideburns? So many questions.

Adele dates two boys at the same time and forces all the other kids to answer their calls for her two-timing ass

Why can’t she do her own dirty work?

Honestly guys just don’t answer it there is no place for cheating in Stowey House.

Ben’s iconic DJ skills make no appearance at a shitty party he throws to impress Amber

Cheese puffs? Really?

Let’s be real, everyone is intimidated by Amber including the viewers. So when she pressures Ben into throwing a party while his parents are gone he reluctantly obliges. Despite his best efforts, it doesn’t stop Amber and her mates trashing his mansion, you know, the one he pretended not to live in? An all-round disappointment.

Jenny is replaced by Shelley, the most boring care worker to ever exist

Always gotta be spoiling the fun, eh Shell?

No one could ever live up to Jenny’s legacy, especially not Shelley. She is the epitome of the white woman called Karen who wants to speak to your manager.

Tracy tries to bleach her hair blonde and ends up with mould for hair

Shame Tracy isn’t an emo or this would’ve worked tbf

Girl where was the toner? The foils? Could’ve got some advice off Shelley.

Louise doesn’t wanna make the kids jealous about her foster family so she pretends they abuse her

‘How Not To Lie 101’ with Louise

Louise’s foster mum suggests that she shouldn’t brag about her new life in front of the Dumping Ground kids, which Louise takes as meaning she should say she gets severely ignored and treated like a servant. Of course Tracy and Justine hijack a random bike to rescue her from what Louise has told them are her horrid foster family, which is evidently not the case when Tracy and Justin find them all having a picnic in the park. The only abuse happening here is dressing Louise in that top.

Jackie refuses to accept her grandpa’s Alzheimer’s and breaks him out of a care home

Tracy is such an enabler

This one’s quite sad. Jackie can’t really get her head around her grandpa’s illness and just wants him to go home so she can leave the Dumping Ground. When Tracy realises the severity of his mental deterioration, she convinces Jackie to let both him and her be cared for.

Tracy wins tickets to a gig from a cereal box radio competition, but she gets appendicitis and can’t go

We been knew Elaine is SLY

Imagine being one of the few people who will actually win a dumb competition in their lives, and not being able to reap the rewards because your appendix kicks off. Then imagine that the most annoying person in your life gets the prize themselves. Trace, you have some bad karma.

Tracy has her first kiss with Wilson but he leaves the next day without saying goodbye

The OG ghoster

It’s clearly very hard for Tracy to let her guard down, so the fact she allows herself to fall for Wilson is revolutionary for her character arc. How does he repay her vulnerability? By disappearing. Men are trash.

Cam writes a book about the Dumping Ground and bases a nasty character on Tracy

Wtf is that font please?

So Cam’s book seems fine at first, a realistic novel about life as a child in a care home. Except she bases the central character, Trudy, on Tracy. How is Cam gonna send Tracy back into care and THEN publish a book slating her behavioural problems? Honestly we would love to speak to whoever okayed this.

Does anyone remember the Tracy Beaker Movie of Me? We don’t, but it’s wild

We have no recollection of seeing this TV film as kids, but in between series three and four there was a feature-length film where Tracy’s mum actually came back to see her. There’s no confirmation of whether this story is actually canon in the Tracy Beaker Cinematic Universe, but Tracy basically gets gaslit by her mum and travels across the country to be with her, only to face rejection. Here’s some of the shit that went down:

When the Dumping Ground kids get questioned by police over Tracy’s disappearance, Hayley straight up refuses to answer and says “life’s a bitch.”

She’s a savage. classy, bougie, ratchet

Who knew CBBC would allow swear words?

Cam hijacks the Dumping Ground van with Justine to go after Tracy

Cam’s been playing too much Grand Theft Auto

Cam’s been a pretty reckless carer and irresponsible adult this whole time, but crashing a van into a police car door with a child in tow is probably the worst thing this woman has ever done. Why didn’t she get done for this?

Cam agrees to foster Tracy once again (with her mum’s permission) dressed as medieval nobility??

Which of the writers was high when they wrote this part?

A strange conclusion to a strange and unnecessary film, considering Tracy’s mum is never seen again in future series.

 With Tracy safely at Cam’s, the Wellards wreak havoc on the Dumping Ground unchallenged

Okay but they’re actually serving looks

A family of Welsh goths sounds like the final boss of a video game or something, so it’s no surprise that they make life in the Dumping Ground a living hell for the entirety of series four.

Elaine visits Tracy and thinks Cam has stabbed her with a cake knife

Elaine is such meme material

Girl, that knife is blunt af, wise up!

Wolfie, the new boy who thinks he’s a wolf or something, secretly receives grands-worth of money from his dad

Category is camouflage realness

Everyone at the Dumping Ground is shook when they find a cheque for 1000 smackers payable to Wolfie, so they all start sucking up to him. He eventually reveals that he hates his neglectful dad and doesn’t want the money, which is fair.

Tracy spends Cam’s food shop money on chicken nuggets and own-brand lemonade, so Tracy is force-fed nugs and lemo for an entire episode

This will look like a succulent, nutritious meal to uni students

Is this child abuse? We don’t know, but suddenly the idea of chicken nuggets is repulsive.

Elaine has a reality check and goes from a blubbering mess to a boss bitch


Justine finally convinces Elaine to sort herself and we simply have to stan the new Elaine. Unfortunately, she’s back to her old self by the end of the episode and we’re back to hating her.

The boys drag themselves up to pretend to be Marco’s mum for the day

Tracy Beaker’s Drag Race UK? No? Okay

The lads of the DG do a nice thing for Marco and dress up as women so Marco can pretend to have a mum and go to a flower shop to get a free toy alien or something? Weird plotline, but we’ll go with it. He chose Bouncer in the end, which is a crime considering Lol’s immaculate colour coordination.

Tracy has a batshit fever dream featuring a musical at the Dumping Ground

Mariah Carey is cancelled

Tracy dreams that Cam is an evil bitch in control of the Dumping Ground, the Wellards are good people and Elaine seductively serenades her. Did sis have too much dairy before bed?

Cam gets engaged to her new boyf Gary who Tracy hates and pours food over

Gwarn Trace

Tracy decides to move back to the Dumping Ground because Cam’s new boyfriend Gary is doing her head in, and can you blame her when he has that same vacant expression on his face 24/7? Instead of prioritising Tracy, Cam gets engaged to her fella and Tracy dumps a bowl of pasta on him in a restaurant, which is fair enough considering she’s basically Cam’s yo-yo at this point.

Tracy finally gets adopted by Cam after marrying Gary, whom we still don’t trust at all

He looks sinister ngl

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Cam decides to adopt Tracy after years of uncertainty and everything feels right in the Tracy Beaker Cinematic Universe – except for that prick on the left. Sorry, but we just don’t think his intentions are good and the way he’s looking at them is kinda creepy tbh. It kinda ruins the perfect ending to this beloved childhood TV series, but tbh we’re just thankful for the ride and the meme-able content.

Related stories recommended by this author: