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Most atoms form an octet, H, He, and Be can have 2 valence, and elements in the 3rd period and up can have expanded octets into the d orbitals. B and Al sometimes only have 6 valence. Also, I believe that free radicals can mess up the octet rule. I am guessing that there are no atoms that MUST have an octet, and that it depends on the specific molecule or ion.
All the elements with orbitals 3p and up have an expanded octet. Everything before that must adhere to the octet rule. However, elements with only 1s orbitals, and elements with only up to 2s orbitals do not adhere to octet rule and instead only need to have 2 valence or bonded electrons.
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