* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: While many view Emily as a tragic and deeply flawed AntiHero, nobly seeking revenge by questionable means, the sheer amount of DisproportionateRetribution probably makes her more of an AntiVillain than an AntiHero. If taken this way, she is clearly a BigBad VillainProtagonist whisle [[spoiler:Takeda is the BiggerBad]]. This isn't to say that her enemies, the Graysons and the conspiracy that brought down her father are good, only that Emily is ALighterShadeOfBlack. She even puts together a FiveBadBand of sorts. Although several of its members aren't consciously aware of their complicity, they fit the archetypes pretty well in practice--
** TheBigBad: Emily Thorne (real Amanda Clarke)
** TheDragon: Nolan Ross serves in this role for the first season, but [[spoiler:Aiden Mathis seems to usurp this role during the second season.]]
** EvilGenius: [[spoiler:Mason Treadwell seems to take this role later in the first season, although he isn't fully aware of his role in Emily's scheming. When he starts to become a SpannerInTheWorks during the second season, Nolan Ross seems to take over this position as Aiden becomes Emily's number 2.]]
** TheBrute: [[spoiler:Jack Porter]]
** DarkChick: Amanda Clarke (real Emily Thorne)
** SixthRangerTraitor: [[spoiler:Ashley Davenport, although she also isn't fully aware of her role in Emily's scheming and is at least partially loyal to the Graysons.]]
* AwesomeMusic: Seven Devils by Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine used in the finale of the first season. During the events of that episode is nothing but this. If this show had a lyrical song theme, it'd be that song.
** It ''does'' on the other hand have a non-lyrical theme ([[http://www.televisiontunes.com/Revenge.html a very moody piece by weekly composer iZler]]) which gets into the scores and plays over each episode's end credits and ultimately suits the series more.
* BellisariosMaxim: Executive producer Mike Kelley has stated that they are aware of the problem with the dog's age but would prefer if the viewers simply ignored it.
--> '''Kelley:''' We get a lot of flack for how old that dog is but, you know what, as far as Iím concerned, he can stick around for the whole run.
** And then they killed him off anyway.
* BetterOnDVD: Definitely worth a rewatch, they are more foreshadowing and themes then the first time around. May also develop your opinions of who's the real big bad of the series out of Conrad and his wife.
* CompleteMonster: Dr. Michelle Banks, the psychologist who was in charge of Amanda after her father's arrest. It's not only that she caused Amanda to be institutionalized [[spoiler: after accepting a bribe from Victoria]], but the glee she took in telling Amanda how she could never see her father again, that she was a bad girl, and could never do anything more than pretend to be good. After Amanda's revenge ruined her practice [[spoiler: kidnapped her, and locked her in a shipping crate for several hours]], the only complaint fans had was that the doctor had gotten off too easy. Although her revenge is pure NightmareFuel - with everyone else, the damage is done by the end of the episode. Dr. Banks still has no idea who kidnapped her or why, and ''will likely spend the rest of her life terrified they'll come back.''
** Grandpa Grayson blackmailing Charlotte, a seventeen-year-old girl who's just suffered severe emotional trauma, into not visiting a therapist Ö simply because of the possibility of the therapist blabbing the family secrets to the media and ruining the Grayson reputation. HarsherInHindsight in light of [[spoiler:Charlotte's attempted suicide in the season 1 finale.]]
** Victoria's mother, Mary. She attempted to con her way into a man's wealth and when he refused, shot him, then ordered a fifteen year old Victoria to shoot the body postmortem and claim "he came at you". After spending six months at a psychiatric hospital, Victoria was returned to her mother only to be raped by her mother's boyfriend, who ''blames her'', throws her out and marries the guy. Certainly explains why Victoria is the way she is.
** Conrad could be said to qualify, as he never once shows any remorse for ''any'' of his actions. By the end of Season 2, there is nno question that the man is pure evil, out for nobody but himself, and willing to [[spoiler: commit terrorism]] to get ahead.
* DamselScrappy: Charlotte. People were not fond of her by the end of the series, but she arguably got the most blow back from every revelation Emily reveals.
* DieForOurShip: Quite common in the Emily/Daniel fandom in regards to Jack (or on occasion Aiden).
* DracoInLeatherPants: Daniel often has his greedy and amoral actions handwaved by fans in favor of relationship between him and Emily, who has a stark opposition to everything he stands for. The fact that he is played by Josh Bowman, who is dating Emily [=VanCamp=] in real life, doesn't help.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Nolan seems to be going this way.
* FanPreferredCouple: Emily and Nolan.
* JerkassWoobie: Emily. It's hard not to root for her after all the Graysons have done to her father, and her by extension. Their actions, however, have led to Emily becoming a TragicMonster who's bent on making sure they suffer, and she cares very little for collateral damage. [[spoiler:At first, anyway.]]
** Tyler has a bit of this, when you remember that he's genuinely mentally ill (and when you find out that he only got violent because Emily was deliberately pushing him into a breakdown to get rid of him).
** The other Emily/Amanda is also not hard to sympathize with; she has a tendency to cause problems for Emily, but most of her actions seem motivated by a desperate fear of losing Emily (and later Jack). Given that it's heavily implied, if not outright stated, in her second episode that the entire reason Emily became her friend in the first place was for a convenient lackey, she's not really wrong to be afraid.
* LesYay: Amanda and the real Emily Thorne.
** The real Emily Thorne has apparently turned out to be BiTheWay, or maybe just AnythingThatMoves.
* HoYay: Nolan with Jack. Their relationship started with Nolan essentially bribing Jack to be his friend for three months, but as it's progressed, Jack seems to have developed some genuine affection for Nolan. On Nolan's part, it wouldn't be a far-fetched interpretation to believe that he's head-over-heels in love with Jack; he is willing to go above and beyond to help and protect Jack in a way that far surpasses his interest in any other character, even Emily. In fact, Jack being put in danger is one of Nolan's few [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]]; while he will usually stick loyally by Emily no matter where her plan for revenge takes her, as soon as she puts Jack at risk, Nolan is no longer on board, and the few moments that he has actually gone [[WhatTheHellHero head-to-head with her over her lack on conscience]] have been about Jack's safety. It probably has to do with the fact that Jack is one of the few people Nolan has ever met who doesn't have either a fortune or an agenda, and at this point, their relationship is the only one in the series free of schemes or duplicity.
* HolyShitQuotient: Constantly, and then some. The entire series is a non-stop succession of [[WhamLine Wham Moments]].
** The producers and creators of this series have revealed they loved coming up with the most insane idea, picking it, and then making it "real".
** The last 10 minutes of Reckoning. The second "Seven Devils" kicked in, you knew shit was about to get insane. And it did.
* MagnificentBastard: Emily Thorne, which comes naturally from being based on Edmond Dantes. For starters, she arranges an affair for the husband of Lydia, who gave testimony against her father, exposes Lydia's own affair with the husband of her main target, obtains photographic evidence to make sure Lydia gets nothing in the divorce she started after discovering her husband's adultery, has her publicly exiled from the Hamptons at the hands of a scorned Victoria and walks away with a perfectly established cover and full ownership of Lydia's former beach house. And that's the ''start'' of her plan.
** Victoria ascends to the position in season two by [[spoiler:framing Conrad for her own murder.]]
* MoralEventHorizon: Nearly every character crosses this at one point or another
** Both the Graysons, Amanda (the real one's) Uncle Bill and [[spoiler: the Initative]] cross this by framing David Clark for funding terrorist activities
** Their son (Daniel) crosses this as well when he [[spoiler: decides to keep the family secret after his father tells him everything]]
** Charolete [[spoiler: Victoria and David Clark's daughter]] comes dangerously close when she [[spoiler: ruins a girl she THINKS her Ex is in a relationship with out of Spite/Jelousy then tries to commit suicide]]
** Tyler, David's roommate from Harvard, either when he [[spoiler: goes off his meds and holds everyone at Daniel's birthday at gunpoint trying to force a confession out of Conrad]] then again when he [[spoiler: tries to kill Daniel and frame (fake) Emily for the crime, Takeda however intervenes]]
* TheScrappy: Declan Porter, an angsty EmoTeen with ParentalIssues (his father had a heart attack after hearing how Declan hates him and blames him for their financial troubles) who is also in love with a girl way above his social standing - so far, the weakest storyline on the show.
** Special mention must go to the moment where, after it's revealed that [[spoiler: the father's heart attack was fatal]], Declan is utterly cold and uncaring, claiming that he still thinks [[spoiler:his father]] is a pathetic loser. He nearly tops this in a later episode when he bitches out Emily for "leading Jack on"... while at a dinner party at the Grayson's with Daniel, Victoria, Conrad, Emily and Charlotte in attendance, making him look like a petty child (and ruining the dinner).
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Too soon to say for certain, but Declan's sensitive and mature efforts to help Charlotte deal with [[spoiler: the revelation that she's David Clarke's daughter]] and his attempts to prevent Jack from being recognized as the guy on the beach suggest that the character may be salvageable.
** This show seems to have a special gift in rescuing Scrappies. Both Declan and Charlotte have gone through a lot, and since then have become a lot more level headed and likeable as characters. Charlotte recovered from her BitchInSheepsClothing personality since getting out of rehab.
* ReplacementScrappy: Declan has become a lot more likeable and stronger as a character, while Charlotte has become a veritable BitchInSheepsClothing. [[spoiler:''Reckoning'' hits us with a very bad AlasPoorScrappy for her.]]
* TearJerker: [[spoiler: Amanda's DiedInYourArmsTonight moment with Emily.]]
** [[spoiler: Declan's posthumous FinalWords to Jack via smartphone.]]
** His actions are terrible, but the InsaneEqualsViolent portrayal of Tyler's psychosis is pretty hard to watch.
** The fact that kisses and sex between heterosexual couples were shown in abundance, but the show instantly cut away from the first kiss between [[spoiler: Tyler and Nolan]] has made more than a few fans rather annoyed.
* TheWoobie: Poor Daniel Grayson, who is genuinely trying to be a good person, but is being manipulated by his best friend and girlfriend, becomes a pawn in his parent's divorce, [[spoiler: is framed for murder]] and has to choose [[spoiler: whether to reveal the truth about David Clarke and thus destroy his family]]
** At least at first.
*** Now he's somewhere between [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Prince Zuko]] and [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]]. [[spoiler: Fully aware that his choice to work with his father was wrong, yet still not entirely turned to the side of darkness.]]
** Nolan is pretty Woobie-ish himself, seeing as he has to ''pay people to be his friends.'' You can't help but cheer when Jack decides he actually wants to be his friend for real.
*** Nolan is arguably the series' biggest example. He's so devoted to Emily's cause out of gratitude to her father that he gives up his company for her plot, and then the incident which results in [[spoiler: Padma's death and the Initiative taking control of an extremely dangerous program]] happens.
** Charlotte: She may have gotten in her own way towards the end, but the majority of the collateral damage happens to her, and she lost her father before she knew them and suffers from being out of the loop most of the time.
** Jack. His business is failing, his father died, he was sent to prison and he was finally reunited with his childhood crush, only for it all to be a lie. Made worse by the fact that he's possibly the only fundamentally decent and good-hearted person on a series filled with liars, con artists and killers.
** [[spoiler: Amanda dies, and then Declan dies in the season 2 finale, sending Jack over the edge and on his own RoaringRampageOfRevenge.]]