* {{Anvilicious}}: Violence against women is bad, mmkay?
* CompleteMonster: Rose's husband Norman has been beating and sexually abusing Rosie for ''fourteen years'', including causing her to miscarry. After he finds out that she left him, he is determined to hunt her down and torture her to death. His methods for locating his ex-wife are tracking down, torturing, and murdering the people who helped her. His favourite method of killing is biting his victims to death. He is also a racist, sexist, homophobic creep who thinks all feminists are lesbians and despises one of his victims as soon as he finds out he's Jewish. His feelings about women are summed up in the fact that when he is in disguise and has to come up with the name of a woman who's protected him, he uses the first and last names of his two favourite porn actresses
* CrazyAwesome: Gert.
* MoralEventHorizon: Before the events of the book, Norman has crossed this line.
* NightmareFuel: Rose Madder's [[spoiler:true spidery form]]
** Norman is a heavy dose of nightmare fuel. "I want to talk to you up close", anyone?
* TheWoobie: Both the Roses though in different ways
** IronWoobie: Rosie becomes this by the end of the story