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[[caption-width-right:350: "The future is bright", indeed.]]

->''"The future is broken."''
-->-- [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke5AKVtvkdc Season 2 trailer]]

''Black Mirror'' is a UK [[ScienceFiction science fiction]]-{{horror}} [[GenreAnthology anthology]] series produced (and primarily written) by ''Series/DeadSet'' creator Creator/CharlieBrooker. The series is inspired by ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' and [[MeaningfulName is named for]] the reflection visible in a blackened digital screen. The episodes [[ThematicSeries all]] explore techno-paranoia and general unease with the world. They are usually set in an alternative present or the near future and often have dark and satirical tones, although some are more experimental and even lighter.

The first series premiered on December 4, 2011, and ended up winning the International Emmy for best TV movie or miniseries. The second series started on February 11, 2013. There has also been a ChristmasSpecial, released in the UK on December 16th 2014. Creator/{{Netflix}} picked up the third and fourth series, which were released on October 21st, 2016 and December 29th, 2017, respectively.

Here are the trailers for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0TmXRrDpP8 Series 1]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke5AKVtvkdc Series 2]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3RHYNZplWg the Christmas Special]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDiYGjp5iFg Series 3]], and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ELQ6u_5YYM Series 4]].

As each episode is set in its own continuity, only recurring tropes can be found on this page. There's a '''[[Recap/BlackMirror Recap page]]''' for the episodes, please put episode-specific examples on the appropriate page. For more details on specific series, there is:
* BlackMirror/SeriesOne
* BlackMirror/SeriesTwo
* BlackMirror/WhiteChristmas2014
* BlackMirror/SeriesThree
* BlackMirror/SeriesFour

Vote for the best episode [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/BlackMirror here]].

In case you prefer reading to those dangerous televisions, Brooker is also editing a literary series of original ''Black Mirror'' stories. [[https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1114175/black-mirror-volume-1/ Volume 1 is to be released September 2018]], Volume 2 in Winter 2018, and Volume 3 in 2019. A fifth series has been announced, but no other details (like the release date) have been put out.

!!Recurring tropes throughout the series:
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Most episodes are set just far enough in the future to allow the advanced technology to exist. "The National Anthem", "The Waldo Moment", and "Shut Up and Dance" are exceptions as, due to no visible tech advancement, they are presumably set around present day. Indeed, a FreezeFrameBonus shows they take place at about the same time -- Carlton Bloom's "agitation exhibit" is mentioned during a broadcast during the Waldo Moment.
* AdultFear: Surprisingly prevalent. There are only a few episodes with more outlandish threats. Mosty, ''Black Mirror'' deals with things like the fear of losing a child or a spouse, the fear of heartbreak and infidelity, the fear of losing your social standing, etc. and how human reaction to these things is twisted by new technology.
* AlphabetNewsNetwork: UKN, the fictional news channel which reports on stories throughout the series. In 'The National Anthem' it is said to exist alongside the BBC, ITV and Sky in the Black Mirror universe.
* AuthorTract: The entire point of the series, when you get down to it, is making a point on [[CentralTheme the effects of technological advancement on our humanity]]. Charlie Brooker was never a subtle man.
* AssholeVictim: Occasionally played straight, but [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed more often than not,]] particularly in "White Bear", "Shut Up and Dance", "Hated by the Nation", "White Christmas", and "USS Callister". The assholes often do things that make them seem unsympathetic such as being rude overall to [[spoiler:engaging in child murder or pornography,]] but the events they go through are so utterly horrific that any sense of schadenfreude is drained right out. Meanwhile, their tormentors, those that have designated them assholes, are very clearly little better than those they attack and humiliate, [[KnightTemplar often using pretensions of vigilante justice]] [[YouAreWhatYouHate to engage in being assholes themselves]].
* AIIsACrapshoot: Notably averted. The artificial intelligences depicted on the show always do their best to fulfil exactly the purpose they were made for; nothing more, nothing less. Any evil the artificial intelligences end up doing is either the result of their human operators deciding to use them [[ForScience for a sinister purpose]] or [[GoneHorriblyWrong misapplying them out of ignorance]].
* BreatherEpisode: A few of the episodes have the endings be more bittersweet so that the viewer can't constantly assume the worst possible thing will happen every time.
** "San Junipero" [[spoiler:straight up ends on an unambiguously happy note, and also features an incredibly optimistic and sweet romance with virtually no hints of malice or cynicism]] (and is fittingly sandwiched between two rather bleak episodes).
** "Nosedive" is also considerably less far-fetched, dire, and depressing than other episodes.
** "USS Callister" has a dark premise, but [[spoiler:ends with the protagonists victorious and the villain earning a well-deserved KarmicDeath]], on top of its numerous {{homage}}s and {{shout out}}s to ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.
** "Hang the DJ" is a straight-up love story, with the catch that every relationship has a pre-determined expiry date. [[spoiler: The world of the episode turns out to be a simulation inside a dating app, where the main characters defy that limit, fall in love and escape 998 times out of a 1000. Said app is the only tech used in the episode, neither real or virtual people are hurt, and our main characters find each other in the real world, standing a few feet away from one another.]]
* BritishBrevity: The first two seasons total three hour-length episodes per season, and a Christmas Special. The first season was only meant to be a mini-series, but it proved to be so successful that the show was commissioned for another one. The Netflix run has longer seasons, but at six episodes each, they still fall well within this ballpark.
* ContinuityCreep: Originally, each episode was completely standalone, their settings often being mutually incompatible. Later however, episodes started having direct references to each other, with much of the technology being similar, suggesting that many, if not all, do share the setting after all.
* CreativeClosingCredits: Combined with TheStinger, the credits sometimes show the aftermath of each story.
* {{Cyberpunk}}: Played with. The show features many of the Cyberpunk genre's signature elements (dystopian near-future settings, sinister technology that crushes human souls, a general cynicism about humanity's motivations). However, it almost totally lacks the stylish exaggerations and film noir trappings that are also very typical of Cyberpunk, and the protagonists are usually everymen, not the romanticized outcasts of Cyberpunk lore.
* DownerEnding: Most of the endings of the episodes end on a bleak and depressing note, with some of the endings being [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Before technology became ''the'' central theme of the series, rather than "just" an important motif. The first two episodes, by contrast, featured dystopian scenarios where technology was an important element, but certainly not the central focus. The first season finale, "The Entire History of You," was the first story where technology actually had a central role, and the second season cemented and codified the "horror stories about technology" theme that has continued ever since.
* EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture: The futuristic technology seen is generally sleek (with intuitive touchpads and few external features like buttons), professional-looking, and aesthetically stark and minimalist.
* ExistentialHorror: Very often plays on this, especially in episodes with plots concerning the possibility of digital simulations of human minds, asking, amongst other things, the classic questions such as "It is even possible to perfectly simulate the intricate workings of a human mind?", "What if the simulated human mind discovers that it is a simulation?", "Do the feelings and thoughts of a simulated human matter?", and of course "For what purpose would someone go through all the trouble of simulating a human mind?" The answer to that last one is rarely ever very pleasant.
* ExtraLongEpisode: Consider that the "episodes" are more like shows and aren't episodic, nor regular outside of the particular series.
** Most of the episodes of the first two series, broadcast with ad breaks on Creator/Channel4, are 45 minutes long, but the second one, "Recap/BlackMirrorFifteenMillionMerits" is over 60.
** The 2014 Christmas movie, "Recap/BlackMirrorWhiteChristmas", coming in at 75 minutes (internally split into three parts that depict related story lines).
** The third series "series finale", "Recap/BlackMirrorHatedInTheNation", was just short of full feature film at 89 minutes, compared to the about 60 minute average of series three shows.
** "Recap/BlackMirrorBlackMuseum" at 70 minutes, and "Recap/BlackMirrorUSSCallister" at 75 minutes, are run as feature-length, compared to the standard for the fourth series shows (between 40 minutes and an hour).
* FinaglesLaw: A feature of Charlie Brooker's writing. He often says that he likes to imagine what is the [[FateWorseThanDeath worst thing]] [[AndIMustScream that could happen]], given some hypothetical new technology or societal trend. However, some [[LighterAndSofter episodes in later seasons defy this.]]
* GutPunch: When it comes to Black Mirror, the episodesí dark tones are almost always cemented by either {{Plot Twist}}s or [[TheReveal horrifying reveals]].
* HumansAreBastards: A common interpretation of the series, as the characters are prone to horribly abuse each other. Interestingly, creator Charlie Brooker believes that most people are [[RousseauWasRight inherently good]], they act in horrible ways simply because they're [[HumansAreFlawed afraid, ignorant, short-sighted]], or unable/unwilling to oppose the few characters that ''are'' [[TheSociopath evil]].
* HumansAreFlawed: One perspective is that the way humans treat each other in this show occurs simply because we've begun developing technology without first taking into account the potential ethical consequences they may cause.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Possibly by complete accident, but one episode every series is named for a song (The National Anthem, White Bear, White Christmas, Shut Up and Dance, Hang the DJ).
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Mostly hard SF, falling around 5 (Speculative Science) or even 5.5 (Futurology).
* NeverTrustATrailer: The series adverts, which are a cocktail of [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Guns]] and {{Red Herring}}s. It's worth watching them again post-series to see what was and wasn't {{foreshadow|ing}}ed for the plots.
* NewMediaAreEvil: A recurring theme, as technological advancement often causes more harm than good to the human characters. [[PlayedWith But]] is it more the technology [[HumansAreFlawed or the people who use it]], and/or ''how'' they're choosing to use it?
* OnceAnEpisode: Characters looking into mirrors and/or darkened screens. Doubles as a visual TitleDrop for the series as a whole.
* {{Pastiche}}: Towards ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' and ''Series/TalesOfTheUnexpected,'' among others.
* PreserveYourGays: Gets special mention for being a show that's utterly miserable, except for the happy relationships of [[Recap/BlackMirrorSanJunipero Kelly & Yorkie]] and [[Recap/BlackMirrorHangTheDJ Frank & Amy]]. Yorkie is a lesbian, Kelly and Amy are bisexual.
* RousseauWasRight: The series overall shows this quite often, though rendered through a heavily cynical lens. Humans are generally portrayed as more or less decent or well-intentioned, but the presence of technology brings out the worst in them. Charlie Brooker once described this in an interview:
-->'''Brooker''': "I think most people are inherently good. When they throw themselves behind some ugly cause, it's usually out of fear or because they're not availed of all the facts. The show generally reflects that. [[HumansAreFlawed It's usually just people with a weakness who end up fucking up.]] We don't have many mustache-twirling villains. But I am a worrier and I do think things are going to go horribly wrong by accident."
* SlidingScaleOfCynicismVersusIdealism: Tends to be more cynical. Technological advancement paves the way for humans mistreating and taking advantage of each other, to great consequence. "San Junipero" and "Hang the DJ" are exceptions, falling somewhere on the idealist side of the scale.
* TakeThat: Far too many. The main target is humanity's propensity to uncritically adopt new technology without taking into account the ethical and societal consequences, but other favorite targets are harsh justice systems and vigilantism, consumerism and mass entertainment, over-controlling parents and jealous spouses, our declining faith in politics, and general apathy in the face of other people's suffering.
* TakeThatCritics: A mild-mannered one -- a journalist mocking the show's NewMediaAreEvil theme and its plots tweeted "what if phones, but too much". Brooker read it, thought it was funny, and used it as a plot point to "Playtest", one of the episodes in the third season.
* TechnoDystopia: An anthology series that has the main theme of nasty consequences caused by the use of technology, so most of the episodes set in the future would at least somewhat count, but the most notable example is in the episode ''Fifteen Million Merits'', where people live underground, having to ride exercise bicycles to generate energy, while television literally rules the society.
* ThematicSeries: The episodes are stand-alone films with technology and society as central themes.
* VillainProtagonist: As a result of the series' YouBastard attitude toward humanity, several episodes feature this sort of protagonist.
* YouBastard: As observed in numerous reviews of the series, Black Mirror's stories take ''many'' digs at the selfishness and pettiness of contemporary humans as amplified by technology.
-->''"It's hard to imagine a bright future, but we can and we must."''