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Series: Friday The 13th: The Series
aka: Fridaythe13ththe Series

"Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques. But he broke the pact, and it cost him his soul. Now, his niece Micki and her cousin Ryan have inherited the store... and with it, the curse. Now they must get everything back—and the real terror begins."

Despite its title, Friday the 13th: The Series (1987-1990) had nothing to do with Jason Voorhees or any of the characters or events of the Friday the 13th movies. Instead, it followed Micki Foster and Ryan Dallion as they attempted to track down all of the cursed artifacts that their uncle Lewis Vendredi had sold out of his antiques shop as part of his Deal with the Devil.

After their uncle broke the pact and the Devil claimed his soul, Micki and Ryan inherited "Vendredi's Antiques" and renamed it "Curious Goods." It became their base of operations as they set out to reclaim all of the cursed antiques with the help of Jack Marshak, a friend of their uncle. Marshak was an expert in the occult who had acquired many of the antiques for Vendredi during his world travels, and therefore was often familiar with their magical attributes.

Typically an artifact would grant some supernatural power to its owner, but the price of using the power would all but inevitably be someone's life. There was the scalpel that could be used to cure any disease after it was used as a murder weapon, the scarecrow that would produce good crops after killing three sacrificial victims, etc.

A textbook case of Gotta Catch Them All.

Tropes:

  • Age Without Youth: How Uncle Lewis' Deal with the Devil falls apart.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the villains in the Time Stands Still episode, "13 O'Clock".
  • Artifact Collection Agency: Micki and Ryan's general mission and line of work.
  • Artifact of Doom: One of the series' central tropes.
  • Astral Projection: The modus operandi of the wheelchair in "Crippled Inside."
  • Attempted Rape: The episode "Wedding in Black" had Micki being captured by the Devil in a fantasy world from inside a magical snow globe and that he had attempted to impregnate her with a demonic child. Fortunately, she was able to get away before things got worse.
    • The episode "Crippled Inside" had a young teenage girl named Rachel Horn being attacked by four teenage boys during a "supposed date" with one of them. When the leader of the group has Rachel pinned to the ground so that he can attempt to have his way with her, Rachel knees him in the groin so that she can immediately get up from the ground and attempt to escape from him and his friends.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: When you have a slew of Artifacts of Doom which either require someone to die in order to grant miracles to their users, or it just makes it easier to straightout kill someone, it is nearly impossible to use any of these items to do good, and the villain of the week is usually some unrepentant sociopath who uses the artifact to kill people or kills people to use the item.
  • Back from the Dead: Some of the antiques allowed this. One in particular, the Coin of Ziocles, killed and then later resurrected a main character.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The artifact-user in "My Wife As A Dog" gets what he wants and survives. The fact that's he been tossed in prison for murder doesn't seem to upset him too much.
  • Baleful Polymorph: "My Wife As A Dog", where one man uses it to turn his wife into a dog, and his dog into a wife.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Vendredi" happens to be French for "Friday."
  • Body Horror: Notably "Faith Healer," directed by David Cronenberg.
  • Brown Note: Sometimes, the objects will control an innocent into doing something terrible, even committing murder or suicide.
  • Butt Monkey: In the first season, if something bad happened, it was generally to Ryan. Later, Micki began to show signs of Butt Monkey-hood, repeatedly getting the dirty end of whatever Artifact of Doom they were after that week.
  • Car Fu: "Night Hunger"
  • Cartwright Curse: If you date a main character on this show, make sure your life insurance is paid up.
  • Clip Show: "Bottle of Dreams"
  • Contractual Immortality: Again, Lewis Vendredi.
  • Cool Old Guy: Jack Marshak.
  • Couch Gag: Every episode ends with a still shot of the artifact it centers around.
  • Creepy Doll: The pilot episode. Ironically, this was one of the very few items where it didn't actually require a death to operate (though it did kill people)
  • Christianity is Catholic
  • Deal with the Devil: Lewis Vendredi's Faustian pact, which set up the main premise of the show.
  • Death by Materialism: If not used to get revenge against a greedy individual, the cursed object may provide some sort of material gain to the user. In other words, your death is used to satisfy someone else's material gain.
  • Death by Mocking: This is why you shouldn't pick on customers of Vendredi Antiques.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: During Time Travel episodes, the past is in black and white.
  • Demonic Dummy: Surprisingly, the dummy itself wasn't one of the cursed items. Rather, the curse was on the boutonniere it was wearing, which brought it to life.
  • Devil but No God: Usually played straight, but notably averted in one episode, when the Virgin Mary appears and acts as a literal Deus ex Machina.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The show was originally titled The 13th Hour, but producer Frank Mancuso Jr. changed the name in an attempt to draw in audiences familiar with the popular Slasher Movie series. Mancuso Jr. was also the producer for many of the Friday the 13th movies.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side / Evil Feels Good: Some of the cursed objects apparently cause the wielder, most of whom are already unbalanced, to become addicted to using them or to actually want to use them to their dark intent. For example, the cursed boxing gloves give the Villain of the Week a great thrill even before he really uses them, and when Ryan briefly puts them on he becomes overcome with bloodthirstiness.
  • '80s Hair
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: "The Sweetest Sting"
  • Fantastic Racism: "The Shaman's Apprentice" had a Native American doctor who faced discrimination from his fellow doctors who had disrespected his Shamanist faith.
    • And of course, there's "Hate on Your Dial".
  • Finger Twitching Revival - Ryan gets one in "Vanity's Mirror", followed by a case of Worst Aid from Micki, who jerks him to his feet without checking the extent of his injuries at all (he fell a good 20 feet, had a bleeding head wound, and could very well have had a broken neck).
  • Groin Attack: Near the end of the episode "Better Off Dead", Ryan and Jack are able to rescue Micki from the villain of the episode, but Micki, who was experimented on earlier by the villain who had the episode's cursed object in his possession, savagely attacks her friends from within a feral-like state and during the scuffle, Micki strikes Jack in the groin with a back mule kick, knocking him down to the ground and leaving him in a state of extreme pain for a few minutes.
    • At the beginning of the episode "Crippled Inside", a young teenage girl named Rachel Horn is attacked by four teenage boys during a "supposed date" with one of them. When the leader of the group has Rachel pinned to the ground so that he can attempt to have his way with her (in other words, Attempted Rape), Rachel knees him in the groin so that she can immediately get up from the ground and attempt to escape from him and his friends.
  • Gotta Catch Them All
  • Halloween Episode: "Hellowe'en"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The show's villains frequently die when their own evil antiques backfire on them.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Utterly averted in "The Voodoo Mambo".
  • Inertial Impalement: In "Night Prey", a vampire hunter attacks a vampire but the vampire knocks him down. The vampire then leaps onto the man but is impaled on a crucifix the man is holding up, killing it. Watch it here.
  • In Name Only: The series' tenuous connection with the movies.
  • Instrument of Murder: One episode featured a cursed violin. The violin itself wasn't used as a weapon, but the hidden blade in the bow certainly was.
  • Jack the Ripper's scalpel was the artifact in "Dr. Jack", and a syringe supposedly belonging to him was the artifact in "Better off Dead."
  • Liquid Assets: "A Cup of Time"
  • Living Shadow: "Shadow Boxer"
  • Love Makes You Evil: The Cupid of Malek seems to have this as its curse—its "arrows" cause the target to fall in love with the cupid's owner, but then said owner is driven to kill the one who now loves him. Although the fact said owners seem to only be Love Hungry ugly men (because the original creator was himself an ugly man rejected by women who wanted Revenge against them) and that the one the episode centers around is a creepy Stalker with a Crush even before he gets hold of it suggests the cupid doesn't have to push its owners' obsessions very far.
  • Magic Mirror: The mirror of Louis XIV, which acted as a portal between Earth and the Realms of Darkness.
  • Murder by Cremation: An episode dealt with a lonely mortician who came into a magical embalming device which could alternately kill someone or bring them back to life. He uses it to revive a recently-deceased woman whose funeral he took care of, then uses it to kill her snooping boyfriend. He then disposes of the boyfriend's body in this manner.
  • Necromantic "Epitaph for a Lonely Soul"
  • Noodle Incident: Occasionally we get a mention of a cursed antique that isn't the focus of an episode-for example, the start of "Wedding Bell Blues" has Jack and Ryan dressed in cold weather clothing and Ryan complaining about chasing after cursed snowshoes.
  • Ominous Jack-in-the-Box Tune: In this case, "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor." Usually a cheery shanty, it becomes much more sinister when played slowly.
  • The One With: The one with the cursed [X].
  • Only One Name: Louise Robey, who plays Micki Foster, is only in the opening credits as "Robey"
  • Our Vampires Are Different: "The Baron's Bride" and "Night Prey."
  • Paranormal Investigation
  • Portal Picture: Used in the last episode. A painting that allows a obsessed history professor to contact the Marquis de Sade in the past, where the two exchange bodies of their victims.
  • Politically Correct History: Beyond averted in "Hate On Your Dial"
  • The Power of Blood: Often, this is used to make an object work when simply killing someone isn't enough.
  • Psycho Electro: "The Electrocutioner"
  • Scary Scarecrows: "The Scarecrow"
  • Shower Scene: Micki, in the second episode, takes a shower in the monastery, which is how one of the monks find out that she was being a Sweet Polly Oliver.
  • Stage Magician: "The Great Montarro"
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When actor John D. LeMay left the show at the end of the second season, his character Ryan was written out of the series (by being transformed into a little boy!) and replaced by Steve Monarque as Johnny Ventura (who had appeared as a Sixth Ranger in previous episodes).
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Occasionally. "Badge of Honor" and "Crippled Inside" are two examples, with the added bonus of all of the victims being deserving of their fates.
  • Tele-Frag: A combination of this and Portal Cut happens to the villain in "Eye of Death". The slide projector he'd been using to travel to the past gets shut off just as he tries to jump through the portal to the present, leaving him embedded in his wall. Ouch.
  • Temporal Paradox: "Hate On Your Dial" ends up being an example of the Reverse Grandfather Paradox. The villain goes back in time to stop his father from being convicted of murder, but inadvertently informs the prosecution's star witness of the crime, because he does know the identity of the witness... his mother.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Aside from the name of the show itself (both the original and that forced by Executive Meddling), when the stopwatch from the Time Stands Still episode was activated, a ghostly 3 would appear next to the 1 to create the "13 O'Clock" of the title.
  • Time Stands Still: "13 O'Clock"
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of Lucifer.
  • Victim of the Week
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Near the end of the episode "Shadow Boxer", the villain breaks into Curious Goods and takes Micki hostage, threatening to hurt her if Ryan and Jack don't give back the cursed boxing gloves. Ryan gets the gloves from the Vault and instead of giving it to the villain, he decides to use them in order to help save Micki. Of course, Ryan must've forgotten earlier on that in order to make the gloves work, he needs to use a random opponent as a punching bag so that his shadow can simultaneously attack its targeted victim and since Jack was near him during the time of the incident, it's safe to say that Jack got the short end of the stick and that he wasn't too pleased by Ryan's actions.
    • Another example of this trope is Johnny during Season 3 of the series. He was able to get the cursed wheelchair in the episode "Crippled Inside", but decided to give it back to the Sympathetic Murderer of the episode out of sympathy and pity of her plight. "Hate on Your Dial" had Johnny carelessly selling a cursed car radio to the brother of a racist man and "Bad Penny" had Johnny getting the cursed coin from the villain of the episode, but instead of giving it to Jack and Micki, he decides to use it in order to resurrect his dead father.
  • Who You Gonna Call?
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Ricky from "A Friend to the End," whose abusive background has made him hateful of all adults.
  • You Look Familiar: Several actors were recycled, with Denis Forest being a particular standout, appearing in four different episodes as four different characters.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: "The Quilt of Hathor" and "And Now the News"

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alternative title(s): Friday The13th The Series
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