Where Are They Now?

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The Cheerleaders series abruptly ended in 1988 with its 47th book. Based on what we know about the characters when the series ended, I tried to envision how everyone turned out in the future.

Where they left off…

Tara and Patrick were still together and engaged, and Tara wasn’t planning to go to college. They were building a house and hoping to get married by the end of the year.

Pres and Mary Ellen were still happy newlyweds, with Pres working for his father and Mary Ellen coaching the Tarenton squad.

Hope was dating Tough Tony, Sean was still with Kate, and Olivia was still juggling David Douglas Duffy and Walt. Peter and Jessica were single. No one had spelled out their post-graduation plans too clearly, with the exception of Tara.

Last we heard, Angie and Nancy were still off at their respective colleges. It was unclear whether Angie had ever broken up with Chris, her boyfriend from senior year. Nancy was still dating the math teacher Nick Stewart, and she was visiting Tarenton to see him pretty regularly.

Where they ended up (in my mind!)…

Patrick and Tara break off their engagement after she graduates from high school and realizes she’s way too young to settle down. She ends up marrying a rich businessman at the age of 23 and thoroughly enjoys continuing the coddled, rich life she’s always been accustomed to. Bitter about all of the women who have spurned him, Patrick realizes he’s only 20, shuns his serial monogamy, and starts seeing as many women as he can.

Pres moves up to vice president of Tarenton Fabricators, preparing to take over the company once his father retires. Mary Ellen quits coaching and becomes one of those Ladies who Lunch, doing all the fancy, rich lady things she’d longed to do when she was just a poor high schooler. Unfortunately, that life isn’t as wonderful as she’d imagined, and neither is Pres, whose deep-rooted womanizing rears its ugly head during the third year of their marriage.

Discontent and lonely, Mary Ellen falls prey to nostalgia for the good old days when she was cheerleading queen, and Patrick was madly in love with her. Patrick and Mary Ellen embark on a torrid affair, but when she STILL has reservations about ever ending up with a garbage collector, Patrick dumps her once and for all.

Mary Ellen and Pres divorce before their fifth anniversary. Pres marries another blonde within a year. Mary Ellen moves to Chicago, enrolls in that modeling school that was recommended to her once back in high school, and settles in the Second City as she starts getting small modeling jobs. Patrick meets a local schoolteacher in Tarenton – who has never once been a cheerleader – and marries her around the age of 30… a husband at last, 11 years later than he originally planned.

Nancy graduates from Brown, goes to law school, and later marries a gorgeous, Jewish musician who played basketball in college. He is the perfect combination of her three high school boyfriends – Ben (basketball), Alex (music), and Josh (Jewish).

Angie moves back to Tarenton after college and becomes a kindergarten teacher. After a chance meeting at the grocery store with her old boyfriend Arne, who is visiting home for the holidays, Angie reconnects with him and they end up getting married. Arne, who was obsessed with computers in the mid-80s, gets a job with Microsoft and they move to Seattle, where they become very rich.

Olivia finally realizes what a monumental idiot Duffy is and chooses Walt. They get married after Olivia graduates from college, and they settle in New York City, where she trains gymnasts and he works on his parents’ television show. They have six children.

Jessica goes to college in California and never returns to Tarenton except for occasional visits to see her mother. She becomes an accountant and remains happily unmarried, never being willing to settle down or commit to one guy.

Hope becomes a professional violinist and moves abroad to play with the London Symphony Orchestra. She marries a hot British guy who her parents only slightly approve of.

Peter and Diana Tucker go off to the same college, where she undergoes intensive therapy for all of her issues and is redeemed of her psychotic ways by Peter’s unconditional love. The two get married right out of college. The rest of the cheerleaders are mildly amused, mildly horrified, and all have excuses not to attend the ceremony.

Sean and Kate break up when she goes off to college, and Sean follows in his dad’s footsteps to become a perennial bachelor. He even gets a job as a salesman at Tarenton Fabricators like his dad, with help from his connection to Pres. One day, Sean is knocked upside the head when he runs into Kate, who has become a museum curator. He immediately turns his life upside down to pursue her, and after a few months – when she’s convinced he’s good enough for her – she gives in, and they reunite.


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