Tina’s the kind of woman who can drink you under the table whilst making you cry with laughter with her back catalogue of dirty jokes. She is a loud, vivacious big kid who will do anything for a laugh. In November 2017, Shirley Carter forced her to leave for Spain so that she could be sure that Tina wouldn't confess to Honey or turn herself in for leaving Janet Mitchell in hospital after mowing her down on Halloween.
Phil Mitchell tracks his ex-girlfriend Shirley Carter to Tina's rundown flat, after she has been forced out of Walford by criminal Carl White. Shirley agrees to return with Phil, and gives Tina money to escape her abusive girlfriend. She does this, and joins Shirley in Walford. They struggle to find somewhere to live as Tina and Phil do not get on, and end up sleeping on Billy Mitchell's floor. Billy develops a crush on Tina, which leads her to reject his advances as she is a lesbian, despite having been married to a man in the past and having a teenage daughter, Zsa Zsa Carter, who previously lived with Shirley in Walford.
Tina encourages Shirley to get back in touch with Shirley's estranged son, Mick. They visit his pub in Watford, but his wife Linda Carter is cold towards them so Tina steals money from a bingo competition going on. Shirley returns the money and reconciles with Mick, who then moves his family to Walford by buying the local pub, The Queen Victoria. Tina and Shirley move in with the family and help run the pub, although Tina gets a job at the local café soon after. Tina befriends her colleague Sonia Fowler. Tina sleeps with Billy when drunk, but tells him that she does not have feelings for him and they agree to be just friends. She is delighted when her father Stan Carter, who the rest of the family are estranged from, makes amends with his children and moves into the Vic with them.
Tina realises she is still in love with her abusive ex-girlfriend, Tosh Mackintosh, and reconciles with her. She brings her to a family dinner, but Tosh and Shirley argue and after Shirley tries to stop Tina from seeing Tosh. Tina rebels and starts a full relationship with Tosh again, with them eventually moving into a flat nearby with Aleks Shirovs and Jake Stone. Tina supports Sonia with marital issues, and passes up a night out with Tosh to be with her. They share a passionate kiss, but afterwards decide to just be friends. Tosh demands that Tina and Sonia end their friendship when she finds out, and accidentally causes Tina to hit her head on a door frame in a rage. They reconcile and Tosh tells Tina she wants to have a baby. Tina is reserved at first due to her bad parentage of Zsa Zsa, but eventually agrees and supports Tosh when she is inseminated. This is expensive and Tina begins dealing drugs from the café with the help of her aunt, Babe Smith, but they are forced to stop when Mick and Shirley find out. Tosh is upset when Tina's colleague, Carol Jackson, tells her about the drug dealing, and convinces Tina to raise the money by working extra shifts instead.
Tosh becomes pregnant through the insemination and they announce this at Stan's birthday party, although she loses the baby soon after. Depressed at this, Tosh accepts Tina's nephew Dean’s offer of being a sperm donor, without Tina's knowledge or consent. Tina is angry when she finds out, but forgives Tosh and supports her when she discovers she is not pregnant again. They fall out when Tosh accuses her of not wanting a baby, and Tosh punches her after taunting her. Tina again forgives her and decides to try and reconcile Tosh with her family by arranging a lunch for them. Her mother Judy comes, but her father makes an excuse, uncomfortable with Tosh's sexuality due to his Christian faith. Judy storms out when Tina tells her about their attempts to have a baby, upsetting Tosh further. Tina is devastated when Stan reveals that he is dying from prostate cancer, and is even more upset when she learns that Stan knew about his illness 3 years prior to him telling the family. She and Tosh urge Stan to see a private doctor, however he reveals that Stan's cancer is too aggressive to be cured, which leaves Tina distraught. Tina supports Sonia when she falls ill, and she confides in her that she spent the money from the charity calendar she organised on a gastric band in Bulgaria, to impress her husband Martin. Tosh returns home while Sonia is hiding in Tina's room, but she manages to sneak out before Tosh realises. When Martin fails to turn up to the Christmas party for Sonia's group "Fat Blasters", Sonia decides to announce her actions but Tina urges her not to; however, before she can, she collapses. When the paramedics arrive, Tina reveals Sonia has had an operation to fit a gastric band, which shocks Carol and Martin. Babe leads Tosh to believe that Tina is having an affair with Sonia and when Tina denies this, Tosh viciously beats her. The next day, Tina decides that she cannot forgive Tosh for what she has done and thinks it best to move back to the Vic, while Tosh leaves Walford when Tina breaks up with her. Mick stops Tina assisting Stan's requested suicide. Tina is devastated by Stan's death and delivers the eulogy. Tina and Sonia become partners, splitting up briefly when Tina finds out Sonia cheated with her estranged husband Martin. They reconcile when Sonia helps Linda after she goes into premature labour.
Tina and Sonia enjoy their relationship despite Tina's jealously. Sonia realises that she wants another child and tells Tina. Tina is shocked and tells Sonia that she does not want children after messing up with Zsa Zsa. Sonia is angry when Tina drunkenly embarrasses Sonia's daughter Bex Fowler when she is singing in public. When Sonia and her co-workers win a Pride of Walford award, Sonia decides she does not want to speak but Tina, drunk again, takes the microphone and humiliates Sonia by revealing she had previously stolen charity money. Tina and Sonia argue, and Tina then confides in Sophie Dodd and they kiss and then have sex. She goes to Mick for advice and when she returns home, she starts packing but Sonia then appears and reveals that she has found a lump on her breast so decides not to tell Sonia about Sophie. However, when she goes home, Sophie is with Sonia, asking why Tina has not replied to her messages and has told Sonia everything. Sonia shouts at Tina to leave, but after they talk, they reunite and Tina promises to discuss her feelings and help out more. Sonia tells Tina that she wants a double mastectomy regardless of the result of her tests.
Tina is fired from the café when her bosses Ian and Jane Beale decide to sell their restaurant, but eventually they decide not to sell and Tina gets her job back. Sonia starts to have doubts about her relationship with Tina. Sonia returns from a doctor's appointment to discover that Tina has moved her mother, Sylvie Carter, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, into the house. Sonia vows to tell Tina their relationship is over but when Tina says she wants to care for Sylvie, Sonia promises to help. However, when Sonia arranges a Carter family dinner for Sylvie's sake, Martin tells her that Tina is not treating her properly. Martin tells Tina to be there for Sonia, mentioning Sonia's elective breast surgery that Tina did not know about. Tina asks Sonia about it, and Sonia says she cannot talk to Tina as she never acts grown up, so Tina insists that she can change. Tina considers asking Social Services for more help caring for Sylvie, but after a good day with her mother, Tina believes the family are the only people who should help, leaving Sonia frustrated. When Tina is forced to leave Sylvie alone, she becomes scared and bites Sonia when she gets home, but Sonia hides this from Tina. Later, Sonia admits to her step-grandmother Dot that she no longer loves Tina, and the next day, Sonia ends their relationship saying she has fallen out of love; Tina is devastated and cries to Linda. Sonia then leaves for a new job. Tina struggles to cope with caring for Sylvie and tells Shirley how lonely she feels; Shirley invites Tina and Sylvie to move in with her. Tina is later annoyed when she discovers Shirley is allowing Sylvie to sleep all day to avoid caring for her, and when Shirley goes to prison to help alleviate Mick's debts, Tina accuses her of doing so just to avoid Sylvie. Tina then struggles on her own, and eventually decides to place her in care. The day before she is due to be assessed, Tina throws Sylvie a party. After Tina puts Sylvie to bed that night, she gets in the bath and ends up being electrocuted. Tina is devastated by her mother's death and is then forced to move out of the flat, so she stays with Michelle Fowler for a while, before moving into The Vic.
Tina is attacked by a group of men with knives but she escapes in her car. Shaken, Tina accidentally hits someone with her car but she drives off, thinking it was Dot's cat, Dave, unaware the person she hit was Billy's daughter, Janet Mitchell. When Tina finds out that she ran over Janet, she becomes plagued with guilt. She confides in Shirley, who orders Tina not to go to the police. When Billy and his fiancée, Honey Mitchell, have an argument, Billy finds solace in Tina and they spend the night together. The next morning, Billy feels guilty and begs Tina not to tell Honey. Tina agrees, not wanting to destroy Billy's relationship after putting his daughter in hospital. Tina confesses to Billy that she hit Janet. Billy agrees to accompany Tina to the police station, but Shirley stops them, declaring that if Tina confesses to the police, she will tell Honey about their one-night-stand. Shirley later gives Tina a ticket to Spain for two weeks. Although Tina doesn't want to go, Shirley forces her to leave, saying she needs to clear her head. When she returns, Tina tells Shirley she could be pregnant by Billy, but a pregnancy test is negative.
Tina is involved in the break-up of Billy and Honey after a mix-up in the launderette when Honey receives Linda's underwear with her own washing, and sees Billy and Tina hugging, then accuses Billy of having an affair with Tina, forcing Billy to admit to the one-night stand. Shirley sees Honey and Tina talking and assumes that Honey knows Tina hit Janet so reveals this. Tina helps a pregnant girl, Georgi, in the café and finds out she is a friend of Zsa Zsa's.
Tina delivers Georgi's baby and then calls Zsa Zsa. Tina tries to reunite Billy and Honey but it backfires when Honey flirts with Jack instead. Tina then visits Zsa Zsa and when she returns, Stuart Highway, an old friend of Mick's, is visiting the Carters. She goes with him to a 1980s night and he is annoyed when she gets a woman's phone number instead of him so he requests the song "We Call It Acieed" and when it plays, Tina has a terrifying flashback. Tina breaks down at work; she tells Sonia that when she was 19 or 20, she would play a game with Stuart and his friends that involved mild "torture", but once she was locked in a car boot, tied up and gagged, and feared she would die when she smelt burning; Tina realises that the same song was playing in the car that day and believes that Stuart is responsible. She tells Stuart this, but he says it must have been someone else and he will find out who it was, to which Tina agrees. Sonia encourages Tina to tell Mick about what happened to her but when she goes to tell him, Stuart has already spoken to him and Linda. Mick says he will help find out who did it, Stuart mentions that Tina was called a "slag" by the person who did it despite her not telling him, so she accuses him again but he still denies it. Tina gets drunk in the club and gets angry when someone calls her a "slag", she goes missing and Billy tells the Carters what happened in the club. Linda later finds Tina at the police station. Mick then overhears as Tina tells Linda that it was Stuart. Mick finds Tina's old diary and they recall what else happened that day; they remember getting new football kits and Tina recalls her abuser wearing shirt number 9, which Mick says Stuart was wearing that day. Mick confronts Stuart who still denies everything. Stuart keys his own car, claiming that Tina has done it, and accuses her of starting a hate campaign against him. He makes various threats and teases her, saying she is lying about everything and that one day she will wake up in the boot of a car again. He sings "We Call It Acieed" whilst goading her with a wrench, which she takes and whacks him on the head with it, knocking him out. Tina is arrested and tells the police about being locked in the car but they ignore this as she has no witnesses. Tina is released while Stuart tells various people that Tina attacked him. Stuart decides to flip a coin to decide if he should retract his statement, while Mick tries to track down old friends to find witnesses for Tina. Stuart comes to the Vic and says he was going to withdraw his statement but Shirley attacks Stuart and he proclaims that Tina will go down. However, one of Mick's old friends, Dylan Box, visits and says Stuart once did the same to him as he did to Tina and has already reported him to the police. Stuart is arrested but continues to deny everything.