* AlasPoorScrappy: Sure, [[FaceHeelTurn he betrayed the protagonists]] and was an annoying, sarcastic punk who loved to run his mouth, but the way [[spoiler:Roland's]] death was executed in the show is pathetic enough for you to pity the man.
* ArcFatigue: Though the season was reduced to thirteen episodes, the third season was criticized by some for trying to repeat the magic of the first season but failing to fully replicate the tension or excitement, and instead felt ''longer'' than the first season's full slate of episodes.
* AssPull: It's hard to imagine the [[spoiler: returns of Sara and Kellerman after they were both presumed dead]] were well thought out in advance. Also is that [[spoiler: the fourth season opening shows us that the Sona prisoners escaped; C-Note's happy ending in season 2 is ignored; the company's very public reveal in season 2 has been ignored; Lincoln is revealed to have been a killer in his backstory - when it was repeatedly established that his character was incapable of doing so; Kellerman [[DeusExMachina comes up with a contrived way to resolve everything]] at the end of the series with no foreshadowing; Michael and Lincoln not actually being biologically related]], the list goes on.
** [[spoiler:Sara's death in general feels like a WhatAnIdiot AssPull and most found it hard to believe that the kidnappers would be so shortsighted as to immediately kill the love of Michael's life (as he had barely begun breaking Whistler out at this point) after Lincoln tries to intervene as a warning and threat instead of just cutting off body parts, as they threaten to do to LJ just moments after telling Lincoln this. There had to have been a more logical way to kill the character off.]]
** Near the end of series four, [[spoiler:it's revealed that Michael and Lincoln aren't even brothers. Neither of them cares and it's not even brought up again.]]
* CompleteMonster:
** [[ScaryBlackMan Wyatt Mathewson]], from season 4, is a [[ProfessionalKiller professional hitman]] working for [[TheSyndicate the Company]] under its leader [[BigBad General Jonathan Krantz]]. He's the worst and most chilling PsychoForHire the Company has to offer, with nearly every scene involving him killing someone or [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing people to death]] while talking to them in a [[DissonantSerenity calm, soothing tone]]. He kills or tortures many people (mainly, anybody working against Krantz); this includes [[WouldHitAGirl women]] and even [[WouldHurtAChild murdering Cameron Mahone]] and [[BoomHeadshot blowing the child's head off]] post-mortem to mutilate the corpse just to spite his father Alexander Mahone further. When he's given intel on Scofield and his crew by the SixthRangerTraitor Roland, he [[FalseReassurance promises to give Roland $1 million and to let him go in exchange for the others]]. Once there, Wyatt progressively shoots Roland in the kneecap, then his thigh, and then in his stomach to watch him bleed out.
** [[EvilMatriarch Christina Rose Scofield]], who first appears in season 4 but is mentioned earlier, is a high-ranking leader of the Company and [[BigBadDuumvirate along with General Krantz]] is revealed to [[TheManBehindTheMan have been behind most of the events in the show]]. She's a [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] {{insufferable genius}} who [[ItsAllAboutMe only cares about her own advancement]]. She sacrifices her whole family; [[ParentalAbandonment she abandoned both her sons Lincoln and Michael]] while they were kids without saying a word, rejected her husband after [[DefectorFromDecadence he turned on the Company]] and had him hunted down, and arranged for her adopted son Lincoln (whom she despised for his relative lack of intelligence) to be {{frame|Up}}d and executed for a staged political assassination of Terence Steadman. She tries to [[EnemyCivilWar kill General Krantz]] to steal a device called "Scylla" and sell it for its [[{{Greed}} profitable military use]], then kills her conspirator [[YouHaveFailedMe when he botches the hit]]. She pretends to sell the technology to a renowned Indian scientist/politician, but instead has him assassinated in public and frames Lincoln again, along with Michael, Mahone and Don Self. Christina intends to unleash a decades-long war between India and China [[WarForFunAndProfit so she can sell the tech to both sides for a quick profit]], knowing that it would quickly escalate into a global conflict. When Michael steals Scylla back from her, she kidnaps Lincoln and gives Michael [[HostageForMacGuffin an ultimatum for its return]] by shooting Lincoln in the lung to watch him die slowly. She later tries to kill Michael when he's ruined her plans one too many times.
** [[SmugSnake Jacob Anton Ness]] is a noted economics professor from the University of Ithaca who is also known as [[RogueAgent Poseidon]], a [[ItsAllAboutMe narcissistic]] deep-cover {{CIA}} agent who serves as the BigBad of the 2017 revival. Revealed to be TheManBehindTheMan of the DirectToVideo movie ''The Final Break'', he tries to press Michael Scofield into faking his death and joining his rogue cell 21 Void by threatening to imprison Michael's family and friends for life without parole. When Michael initially refuses, Jacob has Michael's pregnant wife Sara Scofield incarcerated for Christina Scofield's death. After Michael is forced to fake his death, Jacob enslaves him into breaking out terrorists and rogue agents—including the head of Yemen's [[TheTheocracy ISIS]]--who act against America's interests. Knowing Michael would eventually betray him, Jacob kills CIA Deputy Chief Harlan Gaines and [[FrameUp frames Michael]] for Gaines's death before he leaves him to die in Yemen's Ogygia prison. Over the next four years, he erases Michael's identity and marries his wife. During this time he proceeds to [[{{Gaslighting}} gaslight]] her into believing Michael is dead, going as far as framing Kellerman for hacking her phone after he has him killed and hiring his henchmen A&W and Van Gogh to terrorize her and Michael's son Mike before having the henchmen imprisoned to prove Jacob's "innocence." When she finds out Jacob is indeed Poseidon, he kidnaps Mike and Sara and tricks Mike into teaching him how to draw maps in the shapes of child-like drawings, all while planning to have Michael and Sara trapped and killed in a vacation home. When they escape the home, Jacob abducts Mike and brainwashes him into believing that Sara died in the house and that Michael is a terrorist named Kaniel Outis.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** T-Bag. He was originally a guest star only slated to appear in two episodes but quickly became the most popular character on the show.
** Mahone has quite a large fanbase, enough for fans to be disappointed that he wouldn't be returning for season five due to the actor's prior commitments.
** Sucre, for his unflagging loyalty and sweet demeanor. When he wasn't featured in the first trailer for season 5, many took immediately to comment sections demanding to know where he was.
* FoeYay:
** Canonical, if unidirectional. T-Bag has had "designs" on Michael since their first meeting. It's not subtle. His nickname for Michael is 'Pretty'.
** Gretchen and Sofia. Gretchen continuously comments on how pretty Sofia is and seems to have NoSenseOfPersonalSpace with her. Also, there is Gretchen and Sara.
** And Gretchen and Linc is canonical, if also one-sided. There are two points when Gretchen wants to have sex with Linc and tells him so.
* HarsherInHindsight: Tweener's actor Lane Garrison went to prison for real after killing a girl while drunk driving shortly after finishing filming his role on the show (the timing was so tight that he was still appearing on the show for a couple months after going behind bars).
* HoYay: T-Bag and ''everyone'', especially Michael, but it's completely one-sided on his part.
** Female example: Gretchen with any adult female character she interacts with. Just watch "The Final Break".
* IdiotPlot: As strange as it sounds, arguably [[RefugeInAudacity part of its appeal]]. Viewer warning: disengage your WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief to effectively appreciate this series.
* JerkassWoobie: T-Bag is an almost perfect definition of this.
* MagnificentBastard: Kellerman, T-Bag, the General.
* MoralEventHorizon: Poseidon ([[spoiler:aka Jacob Ness]]) from Season 5 is a psychopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. As a result, it's not a question of if Poseidon has crossed the MEH, but ''when''. Here are a few milestones:
** TheReveal that [[spoiler:he had Sara incarcerated for the murder of Christina Scofield when Michael initially refused his [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse loaded offer]]]]. This act makes him directly responsible for the torment [[spoiler:Sara]] suffers in ''The Final Break'' and makes his marriage to her even more sickening in hindsight.
** The fact that he allied himself with ''[=ISIL=]''. While it's one thing to want to change foreign affairs, it's another to willingly support a death cult looking to impose a brutal caliphate on Yemen's population.
** Just when you think Poseidon wasn't bad enough, the finale has him brainwashing Mike into believing that his father is dead and that Micahel is a terrorist imposter. [[spoiler:Hearing a brainwashed Mike scream at his father to stay away from him on phone was a ''heartbreaking'' scene, and one that made many fans scream for Jacob's blood]].
* {{Narm}}: Callies refused to return for season three [[spoiler:just to be killed off]] and it's extremely obvious a body double is being used for Sara in her scenes [[spoiler:(not to mention the head in the box really doesn't look anything like her)]], making them somewhat hard to take seriously and distracting.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: Reviews suggest that the game ''Prison Break: The Conspiracy'' is not so good.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Bellick in Season 4. He TookALevelInKindness, helped the protagonists, saved Lincoln from getting killed, and even redeemed himself by [[spoiler:sacrificing his life so the team could acquire Scylla]].
* TheScrappy:
** Bellick in Season 2, when his SmugSnake nature was finally revealed. It got even worse in Season 3 when he was reduced to a whiny, cowardly inmate in Sona.
** Almost every character introduced in Season 3. At best, Gretchen and Whistler are {{Base Breaking Character}}s.
** Roland, a sarcastic, stuck-up computer hacker [[{{Narcissist}} who thinks he's better and smarter than everyone else]].
** After his FaceHeelTurn, [[spoiler:Don Self]] became a very {{egregious}} SmugSnake who wasn't liked by ''anyone''. [[spoiler:Killing Miriam Hultz]] didn't help his case either.
* SeasonalRot: Seasons 3 and 4. The latter is more of a BrokenBase.
* ShockingSwerve: Near the end of the series, we find out that [[spoiler:Lincoln isn't Michael's biological brother]]. Since no one (Michael included) seemed to care, and since this was revealed at the last second, [[AssPull it's pretty obvious that this reveal was pulled out of the writers' asses]].
* {{Squick}}:
** [[spoiler: Caroline Reynolds and Terrance Steadman's [[BrotherSisterIncest incestuous relationship]], and the General and Gretchen's relationship.]]
** After having his hand cut off by Abruzzi, T-Bag forces a veterinarian (at knife point) to reattach it, and goes half a season before he has to abandon his hand. [[RunningGag The terrible condition of his hand is commented upon by various characters.]]
** Everything T-Bag does falls under this.
* TheWoobie: '''Many''' of the characters.
** Alex Mahone, who is a brilliant detective, but is manipulated by forces beyond his control, is addicted to his medication and then loses his young son.
** Michael: he's a good decent guy who suffers ridiculous levels of abuse for doing the right things.
** Sucre is always the sweetest of the lot, going though ridiculous amounts of trouble for Michael and his [[YankTheDogsChain attempts to be reunited with his girlfriend Maricruz and his daughter are constantly thwarted]].
** Bellick: He starts off as an egotistical SmugSnake and a {{Jerkass}} who isn't above doing petty things to the prisoners when he doesn't get his way. But after an elaborate HumiliationConga, and the reveal that he [[spoiler: [[MamasBoy still lives with his mother]] and [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas cares deeply about her]], and goes to such lengths as to write a note for her for Sucre to pass on]] have made him far more sympathetic. [[spoiler: [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Dying to ultimately save]] and help the team at the end helped too.]]
* UnintentionallySympathetic: While many fans hate Roland for being a narcissist computer hacker [[spoiler: who ends up betraying the team]], many other fans actually feel sorry for him. Michael and the group already seemed to hate Roland from the start for no real reason, with Lincoln calling him douche the minute they met. Roland was constantly bullied by the team, especially Lincoln and Sucre just for even opening his mouth. Roland was also very important to the team because they wouldn't have gotten the Scylla keys without him, yet the team didn't show him any ounce of appreciation. While Roland's [[spoiler: betrayal was wrong]], many viewers felt the team pushed Roland too far because of their sudden bully mentality. Not only that, [[spoiler: his death at the hands of Wyatt was horrible.]]
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic:
** Mahone barely subverts this. It can be a tall order to feel sympathy for Mahone after the death of his child considering all the people he killed back in Season 2. But to be fair, he goes through so much crap before the death of his son and the company was blackmailing him to things he didn't want to do. Plus, he goes through some great development.
** It can be even harder buying Kellerman's redemption after all the people he's killed in both Seasons 1 and 2. It's even harder to like him when you remember he [[KickTheDog taunted LJ with the deaths of his mother and step-father]]. Not to mention, he tortured many people including Sarah. And unlike Mahone, Kellerman was shown to have no remorse for any of his actions, until he failed for the last time.
** Any possible redemption for Bellick in season 4 can be difficult to swallow, especially after some of the shit he pulled for the first few seasons.
** The whole team in the first half of season 4, especially Lincoln, for their sudden bully mentality towards Roland, which many fans feel came out of nowhere. It's even worse that they hated him the moment they met him. Plus the endless IdiotBall moments they get themselves in can get especially grating.
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