!!TV series


[[folder:Series One]]
* The kidnapper in "The National Anthem" -- an anonymous individual who with one action sows the seeds of chaos within an entire community and forces them to dance along to his tune through provocative, vulgar, and inflammatory actions, derailing all discussion until it's about him and what he's done and making everyone else do, [[spoiler:all pretty much just to prove a point about how stupid everyone else is for getting caught up in what he's done]]. So, basically a glorified {{Troll}}, in other words.
* Also regarding the kidnapper in "The National Anthem": it's possible that [[spoiler:he committed suicide because the public appeared more concerned with pressuring the Prime Minister into acceding to his demands rather than worrying about the Princess's safety. If he wasn't a sociopath, realizing [[HumansAreBastards how horrible people can be]] would make a plausible DespairEventHorizon]].
** FridgeLogic: the episode deftly avoids the questions over how one man acting alone could possibly pull off the kidnapping of a high-profile royal, or whether he was indeed acting alone.
* Either FridgeBrilliance or FridgeHorror depending on your viewpoint, but in ''15 Million Merits'', the omnipresent exercise bikes that ''apparently'' provide power to society don't appear to be connected to anything. This would make the constant pedaling totally pointless. Given the other omnipresent aspect of this society, constant entertainment on screens everywhere, the bikes could be just another way to occupy a populace that actually has nothing to do.
** It's shown that you obtain the "merits" through the cycling, but exactly what the cycling is meant to achieve is never clarified, although as a bit of FridgeBrilliance, this is the point -- the bikes are useless busywork which everyone has to do to get by, even if it's totally pointless, as a metaphor for the work everyone has to do to get by in the real world today. Ever feel like your job is totally useless and produces nothing worthwhile? That's what the bikes are meant to be.
** Isn't it suggested that cycling provides electricity to power all the screens? So people are kept compliant by watching trash to distract them from their meaningless jobs... which exist only to produce the trash that keeps everyone compliant... Consumer capitalism in a nutshell.
*** Yes, that's what the populace is led to believe, but the humans generally only provide ~250 Watts while cycling, ~400-500 Watts if they really push themselves. Now currently, a 52" TV will use about ~285 watts (varies depending on manufacturer, of course); even taking into account future improvements in energy-saving technology, it's very unlikely humans alone would be able to power the power city that includes lifts, vending machines, lights, touch-screen mirrors, and of course the omnipresent floor-to-ceiling [=TVs=] complete with motion detectors. It's possible that they are simply there to augment the power consumption, but personally I think it's just to keep the population busy and to make them think they're doing something worthwhile.
*** [[MST3KMantra It's a metaphor, nothing more.]] It doesn't make objective sense, but then it's not meant to.
** According to Brooker, they at most run the screens, and it's more about [[BreadAndCircuses preserving social structure and keeping people busy]] than actually producing any power.
*** Further evidenced by the carrot-and-stick conditioning: merits if you do keep exercising, demotion to cleaner / game-show fodder if you don't.
** It doesn't need to be connected to anything. If the wheels are constructed in a certain fashion with magnetic material and the base has an electric circuit, then it could be an induction generator, and any other work consequence of the activity can just be connected to the base, hidden wires and all (or, why not, wirelessly; it's the future!) Going into the nitty-gritty of how much power a human being can actually generate as such will probably not wield very impressive values, though, so we enter "[[Franchise/TheMatrix Matrix's]] giant human battery" territory: the message is more important than the factual nature of the mechanism.
* Either FridgeBrilliance or FridgeHorror depending on your viewpoint, but at the end of ''15 Million Merits'', the main character, Bing, is seen [[spoiler:looking out of what might be a huge fake vista of woodland]], or is alternatively [[spoiler:looking out of a real floor to ceiling set of windows showing lush green forest as far as the eye can see]]. This means that he has either [[spoiler:swapped his tiny cell for a larger GildedCage]] or [[spoiler:the endless drudgery of cycling that the majority of the populace does has enabled most of the planet to resort back to natural forest]]. Either ending can be seen as ultra depressing, but YMMV.
* In ''15 Million Merits'', the citizens all sleep in their own single cells and are bombarded with pornography every few minutes. One method of population control, I suppose...
* FridgeBrilliance in ''15 Million Merits'': it's implied, when Abi goes for her Hot Shot audition, that the Cuppliance is responsible for her [[spoiler:going into pornography]] more than anything else. But then, Bing goes on as well, [[spoiler:''avoids drinking it...'' and then goes along with the panel's offer and gets swallowed up by the machine anyway]]. Maybe the drink didn't really do that much, they just ''thought'' it did?
** I always believed that she went through with it because Bing had spent so many merits on her for the audition, that she thought that he would've wanted her to accept it.
** This troper thinks of it more like FridgeHorror: [[spoiler:As Bing dishes out his heartfelt rant at the judges and the audience, it makes the viewer believe that he's genuinely outraged by all of it. But seeing him later, doing the same thing for fame and celebrity, not only clarifies that he didn't really mean what he had been saying, but everything he has done since has been ''of his own free will''! He's clearly that amoral.]]
*** Except he really isn't. He makes it clear during one his streams that the only reason he doesn't slash his throat out is because the producers will find a way to make it 'entertaining'. And the fact that he keeps his shard in a black casing as a reminder everyday. Furthermore, does he look very happy in his new life? Not really.
*** He did mean what he was saying: it was largely unplanned, and he countered one of the judges when he described it as an "act". The problem was that [[AndThenWhat he had no plan beyond saying it]], and the judges were "swayed", but not in the way he was expecting. They then decide to ''let him'' say all that stuff and even put it in a timeslot, while the crowd goads him into doing it. Regardless of whether it was true or not, or was a genuine tirade against the entertainment industry, a simple rant isn't going to change the system, but it's more likely the system will [[TheManIsStickingItToTheMan assimilate the person doing it.]] [[spoiler:Bing clearly feels as unfulfilled in his new role as he was on the bikes.]] That's what the scenes were meant to illustrate.
** He clearly was hoping to reach the judges and the audience and create a big emotional upheaval, which did not happen. So perhaps he figured that even though he would be absorbed into the system and reduced to one more form of pop culture, maybe he could reach at least one person, and be at least that tiny degree of successful communicating his message.
* ''15 Million Merits''? Why not 12 million? 20 million? Because in the future, [[FifteenMinutesOfFame everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes]].
* FridgeBrilliance for ''The Entire History of You''. The memory grains that store everything you're doing at every point in your life are a clear metaphor for social networking, and the habit of recording everything one is up to as a status update. Do you really want to keep all that around forever? Rendered somewhat [[{{Defictionalization}} scarier]] by Facebook's introduction of a "timeline" feature, which quite literally lets you zip around to see your exact thoughts, location, and activities at any point in your life where Facebook has data to display, from your birth onwards. Virtually everything depicted in the programme is now at least vaguely possible.
* In ''The Entire History of You'', Liam's suspicious and paranoid behaviour -- when you think that spouses in regular circumstances who [[spoiler:believe [[YourCheatingHeart their partner is cheating on them]]]] are usually 'right', then his behaviour is totally justified, and magnified, by being able to replay all the memories to pick up on all the things that triggered those thoughts over and over again over the years.
** Also a commentary on one possible and unhealthy relationship people can have with e-communication and social media: poring over our partner's texts, tweets, status updates etc., reading into tiny details, obsessing over who they are communicating with and how and when -- all of which feeds and amplifies our worst paranoid instincts.

[[folder:Series Two]]
* In ''Be Right Back'', why didn't Martha just [[spoiler:call the company that made Ash and have him taken away, rather than telling him to literally jump off a cliff?]]
** Grief does strange things to the human mind.
** Given the theme of the story, which seems to be a send-up of "Literature/TheMonkeysPaw", it's likely it's non-refundable.
** In fairness, she's clearly gone a little bit mad with grief at that point, and obviously isn't thinking very rationally.
* Why is the Ash replicant hidden in the attic in ''Be Right Back''? Because that's where Ash said his mother would hide the belongings and anything that reminded her of the family members she lost until she was able to cope with their death. Martha simply took the last story Ash told her, and did it to the replicant when she couldn't get rid of it. And judging by the presence of her daughter, she's been holding her grief for Ash's death for ''years''.
* A bit of FridgeHorror in ''Be Right Back'' is that it's possible that the replicant has emotions. He's shown being much more argumentative when he has to stand outside all night... Which makes this episode much more horrifying if you imagine it from the Fake Ash's point of view. A man who only wants to make his beloved happy, but is incapable of doing so, and he can't fight back in any way due to his programming because he has to do what he's told... And then he has to stand in an attic for YEARS doing nothing than occasionally talking to a daughter that is implied only visits him on the weekends.
** Or at least that the AI powering him is sufficiently advanced enough to simulate spontaneous emotional responses, in which case is there any difference?
* FridgeBrilliance time (and crosses into FridgeHorror as per this show's norm): in ''The White Bear'', the Observers are initially set up as brainwashed masses who do nothing but give the "hunters" an audience under the influence of some malignant signal. [[spoiler:After the reveal, it's made clear that the "observers" are just extras from the public put there to enhance the terrifying experience for the condemned as well as, which is outlined in the last few minutes, to "have fun." Meaning they are there willingly doing pretty much what their characters are doing; the only difference is they have free will and are doing it ''[[ForTheEvulz for fun]].'']] This makes the already blunt TakeThat of the Observers that little bit more sinister.
* Fridge Logic: In the UK (where, judging by the accents, we assume the ''White Bear'' episode is set), the government actually signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which would forbid them practising torture of this calibre. If they broke the convention, its subsequent nations would intervene very, very swiftly, meaning the White Bear Justice Park wouldn't exist without serious argument with other countries...
** The way they did when the US started waterboarding people? The UN isn't exactly known for its ability to make its member states live up to their promises.
** Similarly, as much as people hate murderers, and would never defend the kind of torture Victoria condoned, there would realistically be a large amount of people protesting against White Bear. Amnesty International and The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights would certainly cause trouble for the White Bear justice park. There's no way that a place like that could realistically exist without at least some Vocal (and powerful) Minorities getting in the way.
** In-universe, we can possibly argue that it's a TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture-style scenario wherein there's been some kind of drastic political and social upheavals which have rendered the above legal obstacles moot, or an AlternateHistory where such legislation does not exist. Out-of-universe, it's an UpToEleven satire of the kind of NotSoDifferent mindset that tends to emerge whenever something horrible happens like a child-murderer being discovered and arrested, and there's usually a lot of 'hanging's-too-good-for-them' style rhetoric from pundits on the sidelines (both in the media and outside of it) and conversations which tend to quickly get consumed with all the kinds of nasty things that ''should'' happen to them instead of just going to jail. Brooker's constructing what is, acknowledged, a fairly exaggerated scenario to suggest that, ultimately, this kind of mindset is just as abhorrent as the kind of mindset that would find amusement in [[spoiler:torturing a little girl to death]], except it's masking a similar kind of sadistic desire to do unspeakable harm (whether physical or psychological) to another human being in a cloak of smug self-righteousness and the belief that 'justice' would be done. He's raising the question that [[PayEvilUntoEvil if you were to sadistically torture a sadistic torturer]], even if your motives were 'good', [[HeWhoFightsMonsters wouldn't you ultimately end up being just as bad as the torturer?]]
** Astonishingly, there's currently some fairly clouty tabloid-led opposition to human rights legislation in the UK, so getting out of those treaties in the near future is sadly one of the least implausible things in Black Mirror.
* From "White Bear": [[spoiler:The white bear was a symbol for Jemima's disappearance. It's also the name of the Justice Park where Victoria is imprisoned. Judging by these two facts, it's likely that Victoria and her fiancée's crime was the inspiration for the Park's existence in the first place.]]
* At the end of "White Bear", Baxter says it will take about half an hour to erase Victoria's memory of the day. She apparently spends the entire half hour in excruciating pain. If around 12 hours have passed since she woke up (which seems a reasonable estimate), then the device takes roughly an hour to erase 24 hours' worth of memories. Based on that ratio, Victoria may have spent over a ''year'' in agony having her twenty-something (or more) years wiped ''before her sentence even began''.
* FridgeHorror: In the stinger for White Bear, the sign outside the [[spoiler:Justice Park says "advance bookings essential". Advance bookings are only ever considered essential if something is ''incredibly'' popular. And in the introduction Baxter and Jem give to the visitors, there are at least five pre-adolescent children. In this universe, White Bear Justice Park is apparently the equivalent of a day out at a normal theme park...]]
** The presence of those children caused some major fridge logic for this troper. What kind of criminally negligent parent takes their kid to stand ''ten feet away'' from a [[spoiler:convicted child-murderer]]? Who can pick up kitchen knives, gasoline and a lighter, any number of blunt objects... Even if there's never a technical glitch that brings back memories of her former life, she could easily decide to lash out at the 'zombies' filming her. Taking your kid there honestly sounds like a fair reason to terminate your parental rights. Not to mention the question of why the park is willing to assume that insane level of legal liability if anything goes wrong.
** Actually, the fact they're letting people freely wander around a dangerous criminal raises all kinds of questions. What if a spectator smuggles in a weapon to kill her, either to get 'justice' for the victim or as a MercyKill to end the torture? There seem to be far more spectators than staff and guards; if they coordinated their attacks, they could probably take over the whole park.

[[folder:White Christmas]]
* A pretty simple one, but I only realized it later. In the Christmas Special, Greta complains that her toast is overdone and sends it back, although she (or her cookie's internal monologue, or both -- it's not clear which) worries that the woman who brought her breakfast will hate her. She's exactly the sort of person who ''would'' want a "cookie" to micromanage her environment for her (also, she worries about clearing her inbox. Maybe the "cookie" takes care of that too?). And of course, this is emphasized by Matt getting Cookie!Greta to try controlling the toaster and then eating the toast throughout their conversation. Also, considering the fact she worried that the woman who brought her breakfast will hate her, does she really understand how "cookies" work, and does she ever worry if her "cookie" hates her?
** Since Matt has to explain how cookies work ''to Greta's cookie'', and that [[spoiler:cookies are shown to preserve memories of their hosts]], it is implied that Greta doesn't know; moreover, given that he explains it ''to Potter'', it seems to be a quite closely guarded trade secret.
** It can't be that guarded if [[spoiler:the police are able to use a confession from Cookie Joe to secure a conviction. It has to be fairly known what cookies are in order for that to even be a possibility]].
* The name "cookie" itself: it's after [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#Uses browser cookies]]. You know, the ones that websites use to build a profile of your online activities and personalise all content delivered to you. Smartelligence's cookies are this very idea taken to its LogicalExtreme.
* FridgeLogic: If cookies are computer programs, why do you have to verbally explain things to them like a human being? You should be able to go into the folder with all their memory files and add a new one with all the info about being a cookie. In fact, you should be able to edit their existing memory files so they think running a smart house is a great honor that's been their dream job since childhood. Bam, no more need for psychological torture.
** Because... they're not "computer programs"..? All the technology in White Christmas is TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture-style stuff and Matt just says that a cookie is "code". Code does not equal computer program. Matt explains that the cookie just shadows the client's thoughts and desires -- that is literally the only "memory file" it has. Hence why Greta's cookie initially believes it's actually her.
* FridgeHorror: Consider how Greta's cookie was successfully broken, but there's still some slight shimmer of sadness you can see in her eyes that this is her "life" now. Now imagine if she was a parent and could never really interact with her kid(s) again. Charlie Brooker actually took this out (Greta had a son in an earlier draft), because it would be too depressing. However, that ''is'' the fate of many other cookies.
** Even better: what if the cookie ''does'' learn to communicate with the kid through their smartphone or something? Or a parent tries to use their cookie as a nanny? What if the kid decides their ''real'' mommy is the one who's with them every moment of the day?
* FridgeLogic or FridgeHorror: What happens to cookies when their original changes so much that the routines they know just don't apply anymore? Even schedule freaks like Greta can change in how they think over the years enough to throw off a cookie. It doesn't look like cookies are easy to update in this scenario. If a new cookie is made, what happens to the old one?
** You can just tell the cookie when you want something different and they'll remember it. If a cookie does stop being useful for some reason, they probably either a.) turn it off permanently, so the 'person' inside simply ceases to exist, or b.) (more profitable, and therefore more likely) they sell it to another company to be used in a video game or coordinating shipping for Amazon or something. It's pretty terrifying when you think about it. At least human slaves know their torment can only last 100 years or so before death releases them.
* FridgeHorror: While Cookie!Joe is telling Matt his story, he says that legal blocks cover offspring as well. It's quick, but Matt counters with "been there" and seems genuinely saddened for a moment. Then remember that during his story earlier, his wife blocked him at the end. It is possible that Matt was blocked from his children as well for an undetermined amount of time. He and Joe aren't as different as they seem in that respect.
* FridgeLogic: Is there really no legal recourse for a father to have access to his children after their mother "blocks" him? It seems a big divergence from LikeRealityUnlessNoted that Joe couldn't simply apply to a court for visitation or joint custody of his (supposed) daughter. The truth would've come out in court then, with no need for the violent resolution.
* FridgeLogic: What is up with the Draconian Police proceedings at the end of this special? How could [[spoiler:the cookie's confession of the deaths]] be admissible as evidence when it was clearly made under duress? Also, how is it legal that the police department can [[spoiler:block Matt from interacting with anyone as his plea bargain?!]]? Doesn't that violate his human rights, denying him basic life services and aid? This episode wasn't set up as DayOfTheJackboot premise, so what is their jurisdiction?
** Well, the confession was less under duress and more under cross-examination. The "blocked from humanity" thing is still bothersome, though.
* So, blocking. It prevents you from seeing a person as anything more as a grainy outline, and obscures the sound of their voice so you can't make out what they're saying. In other words, you are mostly clueless as to what they're doing at any given moment. If someone you've blocked (or who's blocked you) tries to physically assault you, you will have ''very'' little, if any, chance to see it coming.

[[folder:Series Three]]
* In ''Playtest'', Sonja appears in the horror house, calmly explaining the situation [[spoiler:before morphing into some crazed monster.]] Why is this? [[spoiler:It's probably because she texted him this information earlier; the AI must've used this in conjunction with his mother's call to use it against him.]]
* FridgeHorror from ''Playtest'': [[spoiler:Keep in mind that the demo wasn't necessarily a horror game. The whole experience was caused by the AI in conjunction with interference from the phone and Cooper's own mind. Just think of all the trauma it forced him through in just 0.04 seconds... just ''what the hell'' could this system be capable of if used intentionally?]]
* In ''Shut Up and Dance'', Hector tells his story and reveals that the hackers copied his whole hard drive and every bit of correspondence between him and "Mindy". Kenny breaks down heavily. At first, it can be seen as just his general shame. [[spoiler:However, considering the pictures he was looking at, it's possible he realized the hackers probably got enough on him (through hard drive or other means) to really make the case he was looking at child porn.]]
* FridgeHorror from "Shut Up and Dance": Kenny is involved in a very cute scene at the beginning when he helps to retrieve a lost toy to a young girl and they share smiles with each other. [[spoiler:It becomes quite creepy after the end of the episode, which reveals that Kenny is a pedophile.]]
* Even the most optimistic episode, ''San Junipero'' is not immune from FridgeHorror: [[spoiler:What if one of the residents -- who is a deceased person whose brain has been uploaded -- wants to ''leave'' San Junipero?]]
** [[spoiler:It's actually answered in the episode. You can just choose to leave. It's still a bit weird to think about, though, but basically in the same way as regular mortal existence is weird. But, you know, imagine if you were planning on having eternity together with the love of your life, and then they were like, "Eh, I'm sick of this," and disappeared forever. Would you leave too?]]
* FridgeLogic from ''Men Against Fire'': [[spoiler:The MASS system turns out to make military people think [[FinalSolution "undesirable" people]] are these [[HumanoidAbomination monsters]] [[NotUsingTheZWord known as Roaches]] [[{{Dehumanization}} to make it easier to kill them]]. However, it's [[strike:a good assumption]] explicitly stated towards the end that the public at large doesn't have MASS implants in their head. There ARE villagers who have been conditioned through just word of mouth over the years to treat these undesirable humans as monsters, but nothing beyond that. How the heck is civilian murder justified beyond the military and those villages, then? This would be a major scandal.]]
** [[FinalSolution The parallels to Nazi Germany]] aren't used very subtly...
** Another possible allusion is the name, given to undesirables: "roaches". The same name was given to Tutsi militants, which were fighting against Hutu opression in Rwanda some 30 years before the infamous genocide.
** Regardless of parallels to Nazi Germany, even a war-ravaged world at large probably wouldn't condone [[spoiler:the murder of civilians (regardless of how much conditioning is attempted)]].
* FridgeLogic / FridgeHorror from ''Hated in the Nation'': [[spoiler:It's almost impossible that everyone on that near 400,000 long list of hashtag participants used an image of their face to go along with their social media. So, if the {{[=ADIs=]}} use facial recognition, then how did it find the ones who didn't put up a picture of their face? Even with those who WERE using a face, it might not have been their face. Could have been the face of someone innocent, or some random celebrity.]]
** When they were discussing the kill list, which is the tracked [=IMEIs=] of the posters, while in Granular's headquarters right before Li hits OK, Blue realizes that the NCA backdoor worked both ways. Allowing the system to track [=IMEIs=] tied to the social accounts, Blue notes that those would have been then used to cross reference identities with the registered owners of the [=IMEIs=] with the NCA database/GCHQ for their ID photos, if they weren't already known. The real horror would be whether or not someone was using someone else's devices or accounts.
* FridgeLogic in ''Hated in the Nation'': I find it hard to believe that nearly 400,000 people has been using the hashtag against public figures. What would happen to someone who used the hashtag for an abstract concept or social construct like '[=#DeathTo=]: patriarchy' or '[=#DeathTo=]: gender roles' or for absurd daily struggles like '[=#DeathTo=]: that bastard who just took up two parking space. You, sir, are an asshole'. Also, hashtags rarely stay local to their country of origin: what is to say someone non-British, like an American, for example, has used the hashtag outside of UK? [[spoiler:Are the [=ADIs=] gonna fly over the Atlantic Ocean to find their target?]]
** The ''Game of Consequences'' video states that the tweet must contain the hashtag [=#DeathTo=], as well as the name and photo of the victim. Cross-examining that information using the NCA database would allow the tweet to be filtered if no such person exists in the UK.