main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Series: Harper's Island
A limited-run weekly mystery series airing on CBS in the spring of 2009. Think of it as Agatha Christie meets Friday the 13th.

Seven years after psychopath John Wakefield went on a killing spree on the small community of Harper's Island, Henry Dunn and Trish Wellington are returning there to get married. Soon after the guests arrive, someone begins picking them off one by one in a manner reminiscent of — you guessed it — the Wakefield murders. The murderer seems to have taken a particular interest in Abby Mills, the daughter of the local sheriff, whose mother happened to be one of the original murder victims.


  • Aborted Arc: A lot of the early storylines were abandoned when A) a character died or B) when the characters started noticing the murders and (rightfully so) decided that catching a murderer was more important than their personal lives. And as a result of this the show grew the beard.
  • Acting In The Dark: Karim Zreik, co-executive producer of Harpers Island, had the job of informing the actors in this death-laden 2009 Mini Series just when their time was up. The actors, who were not informed ahead of time, gave him the nickname "Karim the Assassin''.
    • Henry's actor wasn't told that Henry was the murderer until episode 8, although he had been told that his character was secretly in love with Abby from episode 1.
    • Hell, "Karim The Assassin" used to be the original title for the trope.
  • Adult Fear: When Madison goes missing soon after Richard disappears and people start getting murdered. To make matters worse, as the guests are leaving, Shea is told that Madison will be murdered if anyone leaves the island.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Henry's death was purposefully made extremely sad.
    Henry: Abby... but I love you...
  • All There in the Manual: The character pages on their website gives information about the characters you'd otherwise never know about. Such as Lucy going to law school. Likely a way to give otherwise Living Prop characters more depth.
  • Anyone Can Die: At least one character per episode. It's amazing no one notices anything is wrong until episode six.
  • Artistic License - Geography: The show claims the island is "37 miles off the coast of Seattle". If you check a map, you will be surprised to find that 37 miles off the coast of Seattle's is... more land. Funny how the Puget Sound works.
  • Asshole Victim: Hunter Jennings, Shane, and arguably Malcolm and Richard.
  • A-Team Firing: When the wedding party finally figure out they're being attacked, they break out the guns. How many bullets actually hit Big Bad John Wakefield? Zilch. Zero. None. Over the course of the series, Booth dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Hunter is killed by a rigged gun on his boat and Jimmy is incapacitated by a bullet to the back. They're all innocent. The two killers both die by being stabbed.
  • Attempted Rape: Subverted. It looks like Richard is about to have his way with Catherine, but it then reveals that they were just having an incredibly kinky rape fantasy role playing session.
  • Bad Butt: JD is one trouble making rebel. Always wearing black, covered in tattoos, and causing chaos and disorder wherever he goes. And by chaos and disorder, I mean he likes to light fire crackers now and then.
    • He does get in a bar fight with Shane... Even if Shane started it by mocking his attempted suicide.
    • He also painted a message in blood on Shane's truck. That's not exactly a recipe for making sure that everything will stay well-ordered and running smoothly.
  • Becoming the Mask: It is implied that Henry loved Trish, even though the wedding was his ploy to get Abby back to the island
  • Beta Couple: Cal and Chloe, often pulling double duty as the Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Chloe, who jumps to her death rather than let Wakefield kill her.
  • Betty and Veronica: From the very start of the series, fans were divided over whether they wanted Henry to stay with Trish, the Veronica, or if he belonged with Abby, the Betty. He chooses Abby. She doesn't accept.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: John Wakefield and Henry.
    • And then Henry kills his father making Henry The Big Bad.
  • Bigger Bad: Subverted. For most of the series, John Wakefield is this, as he's assumed to be dead but his legacy still remains. Then it's revealed that he's actually alive and in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Henry.
  • Big Fancy House: The Candlewick Inn.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even though good does triumph in the end the vast majority of the characters were killed in the process.
    • Made all the more heart tugging by the last clip being video camera recordings of many of the characters giving Henry and Trish best wishes and happy thoughts for their wedding day. Just to remind the audience just how much had changed and how many lives were lost.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted.
    • Except this isn't surprising, because there is only one black dude in the cast of thirty. Only four survive, so it's a pretty slim probability that he was first for the chop.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Quite a few people get blood on them when Mr. Wellington is killed, but Trish is notably shown with blood splattered on her face.
    • This appears to be the case with Henry when JD is killed, but, in reality, Henry is the killer
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Trish is murdered in her wedding dress: stabbed by her fiancÚ, no less. Indeed, she seems to have put on the dress for the sole reason to make this trope happen since, y'know, she's on the run from a vicious serial killer.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: If you watch the show, when guessing who will make it to the end pick the most cliche people. Did you guess Abby the Final Girl, her Satellite Love Interest, the child with Infant Immortality and her mother? Congratulations!
  • Brother-Sister Incest: The half-siblings, Abby and Henry. Actually, it's mostly just Henry.
  • California Doubling: The series was shot in British Columbia, not Washington. Though the environment is similar enough that you wouldn't really notice.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The Sheriff never tells anyone that John Wakefield was alive. They find out when he appears to them for the first time... after just hanging the Sheriff. Also, Sarah Mills never tells young Henry that she's his mother, which might have averted his love for Abby.
    • Also subverted by JD as he is dying. He tells Abby that it's all about her instead of the infinitely more useful information, like who the killer is. This probably saved her life, considering he was standing behind her.
  • Cassandra Truth: Kelly sees John Wakefield alive. Sadly for her, no one else does and everyone believes she is insane. Turns out he's alive and dangerous and it's likely she is one of the first to be killed simply because she knows the truth.
  • Cat Scare: No actual cats, per se, but it's in the same spirit. The cat launcher gets used a lot.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless / Cut Phone Lines: For various reasons, once the murders start ramping up, neither the landlines or cell phones work on the island. On web series Harper's Globe, the murderer has also managed to destroy the island's internet connection. The only way the survivors manage to contact the mainland is finding a boat house with a radio.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The show was dark from the start to begin with, but the head spade incident halfway through was when things got serious, and the wacky storylines involving blow up dolls and strippers lessened.
  • Character Development: Most noticeably Sully. He starts off as a bit of a Jerkass and Dirty Coward but by the last episode, he refuses the chance to escape so he can continue to fight for the others and his death at the hands of his best friend is a Tear Jerker.
    • Not to mention the only reason he didn't leave was to save said friend.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Abby effectively makes one of these to Henry when she is nine and he is eleven. Sixteen years later he tries to hold her to this... by luring her to the island and murdering all third parties. Very romantic.
  • Chick Magnet: Cal. Not only is he the boyfriend of the super-hot Chloe, but the stripper at Henry's bachelor party is also making eyes at him.
  • Closed Circle: The killer enforces this through kidnapping and extortion. And then by blowing up all the boats. Nearly all of them.
  • Closed Door Rapport: In the finale, Henry talks to Abby through her bedroom door about his fantasy of a life together on the island. She is terrified.
  • Contemptible Cover: On Netflix, the cover image used for the show features only Danny and Sully. Who are most definitely not the main characters.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Cole Harkin.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Sheriff Mills turns his wife's obsessive ex-boyfriend John Wakefield into a murderous psychopath by having him beaten up and framing him for attempted murder of a police officer. He serves 17 years of a life sentence for something he didn't do. Of course, it didn't help that Sarah Mills gave away their son, Henry. They both might qualify for Death by Irony.
  • Creepy Child: Madison, almost to the point of Narm.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Though she boasted about being a fearless badass in early episodes, Nicki is impaled by Wakefield almost immediately after he enters the room, she doesnt even have time to fire her gun.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: "A series of cramped, dark, unexplored tunnels that the killer is likely using to travel around the island? Let's investigate!"
    • To be fair, their investigation of the tunnels was an attempt to save a friend, not the impulse of curiosity. In addition, nobody was killed while in the tunnels. Their friend's corpse was there though.
  • Death by Looking Up.
  • Death by Sex: Chloe and Cal die fairly shortly after their last make-out session.
    • Trish dies almost immediately after having wedding dress sex with Henry.
  • A Death In The Lime Light: They were pretty heinous about this with some of the characters, once leading to the organization of a massive search party for a character whose name (Beth) had never been mentioned before, and who only looked vaguely familiar once they found her. It was downright Narmtastic.
    • Actually Abby and Sully do say Beth's name in the pool scene at the beginning of episode three...
  • Despair Event Horizon: Henry crosses this up on the cliffs, when Abby screams that she doesn't want him, and earlier Chloe crosses it when she sees Cal murdered in front of her, so she kills herself rather than let John Wakefield do it.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Let's just say that when they want a character to seem suspicious, they aren't subtle about it.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Henry fails at his main goal of getting Abby. In fact, she kills him to protect Jimmy.
  • Dirty Coward: Sully, though he does eventually become less of one. By the end of the series, he refuses a chance to be rescued to go after the killer and save his friends, while convincing the mother of the girl he was originally willing to let die to flee the island to protect her daughter.
  • Disney Death: Booth. Subverted in that he stays dead despite his death's ambiguous nature.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Jimmy, Henry, Cal. Okay, two out of three isn't bad. Lucy's unseen boyfriend Ryan is also implied to be one of these.
  • Drawing Straws: The groomsmen decide who buries the bag of money by this method. It doesn't work at first since they forgot to cut the straws first. Poor nervous Booth gets the job and dies in the process.
  • Driven to Suicide: Part of JD's backstory. He made a suicide pact with his girlfriend a few years prior. Henry was able to save him in time, his girlfriend wasn't so lucky. Not to mention Chloe's final rebellion against John Wakefield.
  • Dumb Blonde: subverted. Chloe and Lucy at first appear like this, but it soon shows that there is a lot of depth to Chloe. And Word of God says that Lucy had recently started attending law school.
  • Dwindling Party: One of the defining parts of the show's premise was the fact that there would always be atleast one person killed in each episode.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Sully and Wakefield, when they are killed by Henry.
  • Expy: Sheriff Charlie Mills has an uncanney resemblance to another character named Charlie who is also the sheriff of a small town in the Washington state peninsula, who also has a daughter protagonist who is cold and distant with him.
  • Eye Scream: Danny gets a memo holder through the eyeball.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Mr. Wellington is killed by one of these. OK, it's with the head spade in it, but it's close enough.
  • Faking the Dead: Henry in the final episode.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Lots of 'em.
  • Fanservice: Hoo boy. The majority of the female cast end up in their undies or bikinis at least twice before episode five and lots of the men get their shirts off. The fanservice drops considerably post-headspade, but there's still a couple of Unmentionables incidents past there.
  • Final Girl: Abby, who is clearly sign-posted as this.
  • Flat Character: Beth and Danny never really had anything particularly special about them, besides being the extra friend in the bride and groom's respective friends list. Maggie, the wedding planner, has no other traits besides being...well, the wedding planner.
  • Foreshadowing: Some hints are given to viewers who are perceptive enough to pick up on them, such as Henry's poor anger management skills and even cousin Ben's murder (he was killed on the boat the party used to get to the island, which killer John Wakefield was most definitely not on, proving he must of had an accomplice who arrived along with everyone else. (Henry)
  • For the Evulz: Henry planted the money on the boat for the Malcolm to find. Just to see what they would do before he would eventually kill them anyways. To top it all off, the money was going to be for Malcolm anyways.
  • Freudian Excuse: Henry's whole reason for going psycho is that he was given up for adoption by his mother... a.k.a. Abby's mother.
    • While this is what sends him completely over the edge, Henry mentions that he had homicidal urges (and that he admired Wakefield) before he discovered Wakefield was his father and Abby's mother his mother.
  • Genre Blind: Shane; doesn't he know how the Jerkass in a slasher movie always ends up?
    • He does now.
  • Genre Savvy: Danny.
    Abby: We should split up.
    Danny: Ain't no version of this that ends good.
    • ...and then they do it anyway. D'oh!
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Henry. Take a drink every time he punches someone or something. It's an early sign that he's also a bit mad.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Uncle Marty. Also Beth.
  • Heroic Sacrifice / Redemption Equals Death: Shane, of all people, faces off against Wakefield to give the others time to escape. Also Sully, a former Dirty Coward who refuses a chance to escape the island and stays in order to defend his remaining friends.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Booth.
  • Honorary Uncle: Uncle Marty declares that for the entire week, everyone on the island must call him Uncle Marty.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Booth's death. Notable for being the only accidental death in the entire series. Possibly.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Crackle. Thwack. Gurgle.
    • The sounds made in deaths in the episodes, according to The Other Wiki.
  • Idiot Ball: Abby picks it up for the final third of the series and never lets it go. Primarily because the other holders are dead. Also Madison, who does everything Wakefield tells her to even after he's proved himself to be untrustworthy by kidnapping her.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Trish and Henry, in the first episode; notable in that it's used for a false scare.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Richard, Nikki, Shane, Cal and Henry.
  • Infant Immortality: The writers felt they could not call off Madison on a network show- or everyone she knew, so saved her mother too.
  • In the Back: Henry literally and figuratively stabs both Sully and Trish in the back. Unusual in that he does this just after revealing his betrayal to them.
  • I Owe You My Life: Spoken by Abby when she remembers how Jimmy saved her from John Wakefield seven years ago when he was about to kill her. Jimmy never told her because he didn't want to make her think she owed him anything.
  • Jack the Ripoff: If the killer isn't actually John Wakefield... "Then someone's doing a hell of a job imitating him!"
    • Turns out it was John Wakefield after all.
    • But there's also a Jack the Ripoff: it's Henry.
  • Jerkass: Shane.
    • Hunter Jennings.
    • Richard Allen.
  • Kill 'em All: Of 25 main characters and several minor ones, 4 make it out alive. There are 29 deaths on screen.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Wakefield's philosophy regarding Sarah Mills and his instructions to Henry regarding Abby.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: There were always moments of the wedding party splitting up, whether for wedding games or running for their lives.
  • Libation for the Dead: After Jimmy is apparently killed when the marina explodes, Shane drinks a Scotch despite the fact that he obviously doesn't like it. When asked why, he says that it's because Jimmy drank scotch, and he's having a drink for Jimmy.
  • Lingerie Scene: Part of the Fanservice. Played straight with most of the female cast, most notably Trish and Chloe who are both overt flirts. Then inverted with Abby in the last episode when waking up in her underwear, as opposed to being naked, shows that Henry hadn't raped her while she was unconscious.
  • Living Prop: If they weren't the main characters, or blatant obvious suspects, then most of the characters sort of just stood around doing nothing until they die.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Necessary with a body count this high.
  • Location Doubling: The fictional Harper's Island is played by an island in Canada, with various locations on it in the Vancouver area.
  • Loners Are Freaks: JD and Kelly.
  • Love Freak: Uncle Marty, when he wasn't being the wild party animal, constantly reminds Henry about how fantastic love is. And flat out states to Mr. Wellington that he takes pride in defending true love for those that truly deserve it.
  • Love Makes You Evil: John Wakefield and his son, Henry.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Wakefield and Henry's back story.
  • Mama Bear: Shea Allen won't let anyone so much as talk to her daughter Madison about the goings on, even though Maddy can clearly see what's happening around her (and, furthermore, almost seems to be getting quite a kick out of it).
  • Man on Fire: Or rather woman with Lucy's death.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Chloe seemed to be this for Cal.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: For the first few episodes it gave off hints that there might be something supernatural on the island, and that Madison might have something to do with it.
    • Brought to the max in the episode "Bang" where half the plot consisted of a fortune teller freaking out and giving Abby cryptic messages of doom.
  • The Medic: Cal, who patches up the others' wounds but tragically turns out not to be a good fighter.
  • Mirror Scare: Kelly.
  • The Mole: Henry
  • Motive Rant: Henry gets a fantastic one, frequently punctuated with You're Insane! comments from Abby.
  • Mrs. Robinson: reversed with Mr. and Mrs. Wellington; she's roughly the same age as her step-daughters.
  • Never One Murder: Obviously. The grand total is 29 deaths, although one is self-defence, one is accidentally self-induced, and the other is suicide to avoid murder.
  • Never Suicide: Kelly.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Chloe is very fascinated by serial killers, and knows a lot about John Wakefield. She would rather go off to the forest to find his gravestone than go to an open bar with the boys.
  • No Medication for Me: Henry mentions that JD needs to take pills regularly for his mental illness, but sometimes goes without them because it makes him feel foggy.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Maddy tries to warn the adults that the killer is approaching. Their brushoff allows the killer to get the drop on them and cash out Nikki the bartender.
  • Not Quite Dead: Wakefield
    • Shane, after Wakefield stabs him and leaves him for dead, proves to have enough life left in him to go save Trish.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Thomas Wellington is quite your typical wealthy man who disapproves of his future son-in-law. Going so far as to hire Trish's old flame to try and break up the wedding. But in the episode Thwack, he shows to give in and be happy for his daughter.
    • Of course Henry's family members are pretty obnoxious too, Uncle Marty's party animal nature, JD's pranks, his dad killing everyone...
    • Also, Wellington's reason for not liking Henry was apparently that some "instinct" told him Henry wasn't trustworthy. That was spot on, so it's hard to dislike him too much for his belief that Trish shouldn't marry Henry.
  • Odd Friendship: Madison and JD share a penchant for nasty pranks, but they do seem to genuinely care about one another as well.
    • Turns out she also has a friendship with Wakefield.
    • Jimmy and Shane are also kind of an odd pair, but their friendship also seems to be genuine.
    • Jimmy also has a unexpected friendship with Abby's dad. Despite the fact that the sheriff hated him when he was dating her. These days though they have breakfast and chat over coffee every week. Much to Abby's discomfort.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Not abused to the extent of Friday the 13th and its ilk, but this trope is still there. Justified to some degree by the fact that the killer uses Prohibition-esque tunnels to move unobserved about the island.
    • And even with that consideration, the trope pops up. At one point the gang, running from the killer, huddle in the church, in a group, in a wide-open area, with all of them clearly visible. Two or three seconds later: "Where's Chloe?" They discover that she'd been snatched into those tunnels; however, the trap door leading to said tunnels has a large pew parked on top. And in Beth's disappearance, the killer takes her into the tunnel system and manages to replace a trolley in front of the door after they've gone.
    • Also Justified in that for most of the series there are two people doing the killings.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted with poor Booth, who accidentally shoots himself in the leg and hits his femoral artery, bleeding to death within a minute. Played straight later when Henry is hit in the leg and, after being patched up, suffers no ill effects.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping
    • Abby's natural Irish accent is noticeable on a few occasions
    • Cal's likely more well-spoken than his actor since towards the end he becomes very estuary in his pronunciation as the stress rises.
    • Matt Barr can't quite keep Texas out of Sully's voice.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Abby's mom allowing her to secretly go off "camping" with Jimmy as a teenager was essentially sending her daughter off to get laid.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Wellington.
    • Subverted when Mr. Wellington's gut feelings about something being wrong with Henry turn out to be true.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Abby, who has little bearing on the events for the first twelve and a half episodes. Then she kills Henry at the end of episode thirteen.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Cal and Chloe were the amusing light hearted characters that kept the show from getting too melodramatic at first with all the mysterious soap-opera plots going on. When they both died it was the ultimate symbol of the story being completely dead serious from now on.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Jimmy and Sheriff Mills get one in Episode 5, having previously been credited as guest stars.
  • Red Herring: at least one per episode, usually more.
    • Cole Harkin's entire existence seemed to be one big red herring.
  • Red Herring Mole: Only JD, the Sheriff and Jimmy are explicitly made suspects, but the very premise of the show is that one of the 25 main characters is the killer.
  • Retirony: Cal and Chloe: "Will you marry me?" *ghack!*
    • Also the two state troopers, who have about five minutes of established personality before being shot in the chest.
  • Rich Bitch: Lucy, complete with accessory dog.
    • Although averted somewhat in that she is actually a nice person who gives Trish good advice.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Sheriff Charlie Mills has an attic dedicated to information about John Wakefield, the man who murdered his wife 7 years earlier before being shot, mainly because the Sheriff knows that Wakefield is still alive. It's full of boards covered in newspapers clippings and photographs and boxes of police files, and creeps the hell out of Abby when she finds it.
  • Rule of Scary: Why did someone put Abby's mom's obituary on her bathroom mirror, why did she get those two random calls playing "Ave Maria"? Well... no reason, really. But it sure was creepy wasn't it?
  • The Starscream: Henry, who starts as Wakefield's accomplice but ends up killing him and taking his place as Big Bad.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Henry Dunn, who kills his biological father John Wakefield, is complicit in the murder of his step-father Charlie Mills and according to Word of God murdered his adoptive parents Frank and Karen Dunn.
  • Serial Killer: John Wakefield and his son, Henry.
  • The Sheriff: Charlie Mills.
  • Shirtless Scene: A few of the hotter guys get a few of these. Most notably Jimmy, Sully, and JD.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: After Cal and Chloe die, it's pretty much a given that there will be no more light hearted moments from here on out.
  • Smug Snake: Richard
  • Soaperizing
  • Sleight of Tongue: Abby slipping Jimmy a pin to pick the lock on his handcuffs during their supposed goodbye kiss.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: During the end of Thwack, cheerful organ music playing the bridal chorus goes on while it shows the police pulling out the dismembered body parts of Reverend Fain.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jimmy's uncanny knack of surviving No One Could Survive That situations.
  • Spotting the Thread: Abby realises that Henry is lying when he claims not to have seen Sully, when Abby knows that the pair spoke to the coast guard together over the radio. Sadly, it's a bit late at that point.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Trish Wellington comes from a wealthy family, but despite her socialite status, she falls in love with the guy who cleaned her dad's boat, and she seems to be a genuinely nice person.
  • Stab the Scorpion: The show used this trope nonstop all the way up until the last episode. And it only stopped by then because they ran out of characters to fool us with.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Hunter Jennings appears to be one, but he's really just a jerk out for money.
    • Uh, Henry anyone?
  • Tar and Feathers: Sully gets covered in honey at a spa and promptly coated in feathers as a prank in one of the first episodes, causing him to run after the assailants wearing only the feathers.
  • Tattooed Crook: JD who is covered in spooky tattoos all over his body. To a slightly lesser extent, Kelly, who has several tattoos about John Wakefield as a sign that she is unstable.
  • Tempting Fate: Maggie the wedding planner: "He's after you, it has nothing to do with me!" *urk*
    • Also Sully ("Life's too short to be guarded!"), although his hasn't caught up with him yet.
      • It has now.
  • Tears of Fear: Chloe, who despite her fascination with serial killers and John Wakefield, becomes one of the first to lose it when things go down.
  • The Tease: Chloe likes doing some suggestive dancing with Uncle Marty, and she is frequently almost-flirting with Sully during early episodes, but she is still absolutely devoted to her little Englishman.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: In bikinis, to correct Radio Times reviewer Alison Graham's description of the show as "Poirot in bikinis" (Poirot's not in that novel)
  • They Were Holding You Back: Henry to Abby. She's not impressed.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Sully says this in episode 11. Generally, it's the reaction everyone has to everything.
  • Together in Death: Cal and Chloe.
  • Token Wholesome: While the other women don't go out of their way to sleep around, Abby is clearly this.
  • Tragic Dream: Oh Henry, no. However many of her friends you kill, Abby is not going to want to get all "Flowers in the Attic" with you.
  • Trophy Wife: Katherine Wellington. She even admits it.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Apparently "going camping" with someone is teen-speak for sex amongst the younger islanders.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Madison Allen, who gets several people killed by going along with what Wakefield told her to do, which is lie that the Sheriff kidnapped her. Justified in that she's only nine and can be expected to be a Horrible Judge of Character.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Sheriff Charlie Mills, who covers up the fact that John Wakefield is alive and leaves information in his attic that leads everyone to suspect Jimmy.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Trish knew Henry since they were little kids. They dated through out all of high school. And now they are having a fairy tale wedding in their childhood town. Only it turns out Henry had his eyes on his OTHER childhood friend, Abby, the entire time.
  • Webisode: Harpers Globe is a series of small videos made to show some of the weird goings on before and during the official episodes. It also showed that it was very likely that most if not all the island locals were killed too.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Cousin Ben will not be forgotten for all he supplied to the show... when we can think of what exactly that was, we'll stop forgetting him.
    • Uncle Marty, Reverend Fain, Kelly, and Lucy, who all died in the first two episodes of the show, also apply for this trope.
    • Cole Harkin. He's given an interesting backstory and has a lot of potential as a character. in Episode 8, he's given his first real scene with character development and dialogue, and it turns out to be his death scene.
  • Wham Episode: Thwack. Where with all of the crazy things going wrong and the missing guests can no longer be ignored after Mr. Wellington is killed off in front of everyone.
    • "Snap" and "Gasp" as well. In Snap, John Wakefield is revealed as the killer, and in Gasp, Henry Dunn is revealed as the second killer, which he reveals to Trish seconds before killing her.
    • "Sploosh," too. After all the hints that John Wakefield is alive and well and back at it again, Abby and Henry dig up his grave to see once and for all what's really down there... only to find Wakefield's skeleton, proving definitively that Wakefield really has been dead this whole time and the current murderer is someone all together different. Bam. End of episode. Though we later find out that Wakefield actually is the current murderer. Well, one of them, anyways...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A lot of weird stuff that happened in the beginning wasn't ever clearly explained. Like, who broke all the fine china? Who left the various animal carcasses lying around? Why was Madison so creepy and prophetic in the first two episodes and then suddenly an innocent normal kid again?
    • The girl who got set on fire in the second episode, there apparently was going to be a scene explaining why no one seemed to care that she just up and vanished without any warning, which would have actually made sense, but they apparently cut it.
      • If you pay attention Beth has several conversations with Malcolm where she's worried about her not answering her phone, he mentions everyone thinks she's on the mainland with a guy and will be back for the wedding, much like Uncle Marty.
  • Who Is This Guy Again?: Beth. She has no story lines, almost no dialog, and her outfits manage to make her blend into the wall spectacularly. When she goes missing, people spend an entire episode looking for her, while the audience could only think, "Who the hell is Beth?"
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The director, when asked how Cousin Ben could have been harnessed to a boat propeller with no one noticing, he admitted it's just easier to accept it than try to explain it.
    • Also how on earth Henry managed to carry Jimmy and Abby to the island house, which is by his account "miles away from anyone", before legions of police arrived on the helicopter.
  • Yandere: Henry. I mean, come on, the whole plot is because of this. Also Wakefield, proving that it runs in the family.
  • You Remind Me of X: When Wakefield first appears to Abby, just after hanging her father, he says "You look so much like your mother". Given that he dated and fathered a child on Sarah Mills, this is incredibly creepy.

  This page has not been indexed. Please choose a satisfying and delicious index page to put it on.  

alternative title(s): Harpers Island
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