main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Fridge: Fringe
Fridge Brilliance
  • In the first season episode "Inner Child", Peter brings the bald child the Roadblock action figure from G.I. Joe. "Funny, I remember his scar being on the other side." In the alternate universe where Peter grew up, it probably was.
  • The entire episode of "Brown Betty" in Fringe. At first glance, this episode may appear to be funny and a bit out there (which makes sense seeing as the majority of the episode is a story that Walter is telling Ella while he is high). But if you penetrate the subtext his bizarre story is actually very close to home.
    • What subtext? By the end, the subtext IS the text.
  • There's a brief moment in the Season 2 finale when we get a look at some of the comic books that are popular in the Alternate Universe, and we see that Denny O'Neill's "Green Lantern and Green Arrow" is called "Red Lantern and Red Arrow" in this world. At first glance, the color swap appears to be a one-off joke. In Real Life, though, comic book writer Martin Nodell got the idea for Green Lantern after he went to a train station and saw an engineer using a green lantern and a red lantern to signal to trains when to run and when to stop. So there was, in fact, a pretty good chance that the famous superhero could have ended up being called "Red Lantern" in our world too.
    • Of course it could also be suggestive of the darker world that is the alternate universe. A Red Ring's power is fuelled by rage rather than willpower and essentially makes the wearer a lethal warrior. Significantly, the rage must be rage motivated by personal loss, an allusion to the more dangerous world that the universe is.
  • This troper isn't finished with season 3 yet, but the fact that Peter appears to Olivia while she believes she's Fauxlivia. At first this Troper thought it didn't make much sense, and it implied Olivia needed Peter to save her—but it actually works. Fauxlivia would only consider seeing Olivia a sign of raging insanity because Olivia was her enemy. Peter is more neutral and thus a far more credible source of information.
  • In season 3, Olivia's only ally in her quest to return home is Henry, a cab driver. So he's really just doing his job.
    • After finding out that Nina Sharp and William Bell had a "complicated" relationship and after seeing Nina kiss Broyles in the Season 2 premier, the argument Nina and Broyles have in "The Road Not Taken" comes across as less of a accusation of terrorism and more of a lover's spat.
    • Fauxlivia's ruthlessness can be explained by the nature of her job. She was remarkably undisturbed in "Over There" when she and thousands of others (including her friends) were almost sealed in amber. Her job demands that some lives (including her own) must be sacrificed for the greater good. She does this sort of thing every day.
    • Ella's strange lack of discomfort with the (fictional) murder of her mother and overall bizarreness of the world of Walter's story in "Brown Betty" is actually suggestive of the fact that one day, she'll make a great Fringe Division agent, much as we see in "The Day We Died."
    • The changes to the timeline because of Peter's Ret Gone are made of this. There's a list on the WMG page with space reserved for speculation.
      • An example of this: without Peter, the cortexiphan trials collapsed inconclusively, leaving most unaffected and others in a Season-1-Cortexiphan-Child state. Why did they collapse? Because Olivia ran away. Why did she run instead of get help from Walter? Peter never convinced her to.
      • Walter also lost Peter at relatively the same time. "Subject 13" happened at roughly the same time Peter crossed over. During the episode, he's still dealing with the changes from crossing universes. If Peter died at Reiden Lake when Peter and Walter crossed over, then Subject 13 never happens because Walter is recovering from losing not one, but two Peters.
  • The Season 4 episode, "And Those We've Left Behind." I recall that Raymond was taking some sort of medication, but Kate, his wife, would have to remind him to take it, as he supposedly forgot every time. He would apparantly forget the reminders too. But of course he would be unable to reminder these reminders, for he never recieved them, and wouldn't for at least a few years... For each time we see Kate reminding Raymond to take his medication, she was actually talking to Raymond's future self. Raymond was intercepting his own reminders!
  • That the Observers were all white men always bothered this troper a bit, but she wrote it off because they also never struck her as quite human. When their greater nature is revealed in Letters of Transit, this troper wondered if maybe this lack of diversity should not have been a handwave, but a subtle clue. That there were so many allusions to Casablanca and the Nazis in the episode confirmed this in her mind, and now the Observers always seem downright Aryan to her.
  • One thing I realized about the alt-verse some time ago: Their Statue of Liberty is brown-gold, that, like the Red Lantern exampe above, could be easily mistaken as just a one-off quirkiness. But then again, our own Miss Liberty was that same color in its early days, only acquiring its verdigris crust over time. So, it's easy to assume that, since the alt-verse's technology is higher in a bunch of aspects, they had at the time some way to keep the statue's original coloring, or at least recover it at some point.
    • This editor saw it as suggesting their Statue of Liberty is new, having been replaced after 9/11 saw it destroyed, taking the plane intended for the World Trade Center either intentionally or unintentionally. The latter more likely, since the plane that crashed in a field in our world made it all the way to the White House over there.
      • I thought it was because they have better technology and were thus able to prevent it from developing in the first place.
  • "Be a better man than your father" was foreshadowing the events of season 5, episode 4, where Peter has to choose between trying to save his daughter and trying to save the world.
  • Upon entering in Bell's safeplace, Walter stumbles upon a vinyl disc that Bell stole from him, said disc is David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World. The lyrics for that particular song (in one interpretation) talk about two men in a journey of self-discovery and what they found there, a perfect epithomy of Bell's and Walter's friendship.
  • The reason the Observers seemed relatively benevolent and allowed September to help out at first was that if the universe was destroyed, they'd be doomed too.
  • Remember that mystery guy on the zeppelin from Olivia's subconscious, and how Olivia said at the end of the episode ""...But, I think he's the man who's gonna kill me." Well, the image on his shirt is the same image that appears on William Bell's nanites at the end of season 4, and Bell was indirectly responsible for killing Olivia then.

Fridge Horror
  • If you think the people of Edina are deformed now, wait until after a couple of generations of inbreeding...
  • What have the observers done to humanity if things like Joy, Individuality, Imagination and Free Will are fringe sciences.
  • Blue!Nina lost her arm trying to stop Walter from crossing universes and William Bell made her the replacement. She was "a mess" afterwards according to Sam. Learning to use that arm properly may have taken years. Alternate Nina was crazy enough to agree to cutting off her own hand.
  • The Observers are from the future. An evolution of humanity. So where are all the women?
    • The most recent episode suggests that Observers are artificially grown and created. This might not only imply that they are a single-sex species now but it might even indicate that they are sexless.
  • Upon analyzing a few elements of the story, the Observers' origins and powers, and September's explanation to Peter, this troper has reached a terrifying, but enlightening conclusion: The Observers are the ultimate Bigger Bad of the story in more ways than one. If one analyzes the Vaccum Doomsday Device, they will see that the glyphs on it match some of the Observers' language symbols, and its design seems exactly the same as many of their tools. While it's stated that Walter created the machine and sent it back in time, he had no way of creating it with modern technology, even if he is a genius, as there's no technology in either universe that could cause the destruction the machine does, but the Observers have that technology, as well as the technology to travel back in time. They are the real creators of the machine. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, read below.
  • The Observers may have never invaded their own universe in season 5. It's possible that they were created in the Red Universe, consider: In season 3's The Plateau scientists create a drug that allows vast intellect that eventually erodes emotion altogether and the Observers, while spending a decent amount of time in the Redverse, don't interfere there nearly as much as they do in the Blueverse - they don't want to mess with the events that will lead to them being created in the Redverse. at the end of season 5 Walter and Michael may very well be going to the future of the Redverse, not the Blue one. The Redverses future may have a different but similar version of the drug we see in The Plateau.
  • Edwin sacrifices his life to help the Fringe team to defeat the Observers so that his son River will have the possibility of a better world, right? Except that the plan all along was to stop the Observer invasion in the first place, preventing that timeline from ever coming into being. Edwin only really manages to prevent his son from ever existing.

Fridge Tear Jerker

  • At the end of "Making Angels" we meet Astrid's dad - an older man, overweight, unsteady on his feet, and with likely heart and diabetes issues. It's very likely that the two universes are going to match a bit more, very soon.

Fridge Logic
  • Episode 2 has a woman given a muscle paralyser before she died, which somehow halts the neural transmission in her eye so that Fringe can recreate the image of the last thing she saw. Excluding the fact that neurotransmission does not work that way, skeletal muscles have nicotinic receptors and the receptors in the retina are glutamate receptors.
  • A Mad Scientist Of The Week put himself in a wheelchair by draining too much of his own spinal fluid, apparently to a point where his spinal cord began to die. But the fluid in question is properly called cerebrospinal fluid, and it circulates freely between the spinal and cranial cavities: losing enough of it to damage the spinal cord should've damaged his brain as well, rendering him incapable of the work he did with Walter in the episode. Furthermore, when Walter extracts more fluid from the man, it does damage his brain... but many hours after his previous extraction, by which time his supply should've replenished itself naturally.
  • I haven't finished the series yet, so maybe this is answered, but I can't help think that there's a couple of really big problems with the whole "Time Traveling Invaders from the Future" thing in season 5. Among other things...How it is possible for them to lose, when they know what will happen in advance, so it shouldn't be difficult to stop the rebels from ever gaining any ground because they should already know who the rebels are and what they plan to do, then go back and stop them before they do it. There's also the inherent problem with going back 600 years and wiping out massive chunks of your own ancestors to claim the world for your own. What exactly keeps you from not wiping your own future/present out in the process? Because I can only imagine how much you've changed the future by killing 50-90% of your ancestors.
    • Given how it works out (a Reset Button ending), it's seems there's something like the Paradox Machine in Doctor Who at work. We only catch glimpses of their future and how it works, especially regarding their actual plans for the invasion, but them having that sort of technology makes sense given how even detonating anti-matter in the time tunnel couldn't shut down their operations.
    • September actually said that they are from one future, one of the timelines branching off from now. The one they come from and the one they create by invading the past are probably not the same but existing parallel, so they don't know what will happen in this one.
  • The Observer's plans in season 4 don't make too much sense. Because they polluted and ruined the planet of their future timeline beyond repair, they went and colonized the past timeline before the environmental destruction occurred. However, they haven't stopped using the same methods to turn the past timeline into a replica of the previous one they inhabited in 2609, which was precisely the reason they invaded the past in the first place. That alone suggests a crippling lack of foresight, since it is only a matter of time before they eventually destroy the environment of the timeline in 2015 like what was done to their previous future. And this coming from beings who are supposed to be genetically engineered into super intelligence.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy