[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lostlogoresize.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: They're not the only ones.]]

->''"Welcome to the wonderful world of not knowing what the hell's going on."''
-->-- '''Kate''', summing up the series

An [[GenreBusting action/adventure/all types of speculative fiction/mystery/dramedy/crazy show]] (2004-2010) created by Jeffrey Lieber, Creator/JJAbrams and Damon Lindelof, and show-run by Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

On September 22nd, 2004, Oceanic Flight 815 breaks up in midair and crashes on a tropical island. Only forty-eight passengers somehow survive. Unfortunately, this is no ordinary island they've crashed on. To start with, there's a polar bear roaming about somehow as well as something in the jungle which is capable of uprooting trees. This monster mutilates the pilot, but not before the pilot reveals that the plane was already a thousand miles off course when it crashed, which means the odds of rescue are pretty much nil.

The survivors must learn to work together if they want to survive in this strange and hostile environment. This isn't easy, mainly because the most prominent characters are [[DysfunctionJunction so utterly screwed up]]. All of them have [[DarkAndTroubledPast something they're hiding in their pasts]]. There's [[BewareTheNiceOnes the seemingly nice woman]] who's actually a fugitive who was being brought to trial. There's the [[OneHitWonder one-hit wonder]] [[CelebritySurvivor ex-rockstar junkie]]. There's the former Iraqi government torturer who's searching for the woman he loves. And so on.

Their backstories are revealed in flashbacks, with each episode tending to focus on a specific character. In general AnachronicOrder is also expected, both with the story of the island and anything before and ''after'' the island. If there is a method of skewing the audience's perception of events by rearranging the order of the scenes, [=LOST=] has used it.

As the show goes on, more and more questions arise as [[MythArc the secrets of the island are slowly uncovered]]. The island seems to have magical properties as well as a unique abundance of super-powerful electromagnetism. Furthermore, flashbacks reveal more and more connections between the characters' pasts as if to suggest that it may have been more than coincidence that this specific group of people was all on Flight 815 together with each other.

The show was famous at the time for its high production values (the pilot alone cost $14 million and led to the firing of a ABC executive for greenlighting such an expensive endeavor), [[SlidingScaleOfContinuity inhumanly dense plotting]], [[KudzuPlot a tendency to raise more questions than it can answer]], and somehow remaining a smash hit despite all these "hurdles". The show also heavily involved its fandom in the storytelling process through the parallel Alternate Reality Game ''The LOST Experience''. The success of ''Lost'' inspired network TV to commission [[NoughtiesDramaSeries a slew of imitators]] (''Series/TheEvent'', ''Series/{{Jericho}}'', ''Surface'', ''Series/TerraNova'', ''Series/{{Invasion}}'', ''Series/FlashForward2009'', ''Series/{{Revolution}}'', and Creator/JJAbrams's follow up show ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}''), all serious and densely plotted serialized dramas based around a central mystery and tinged with a sci-fi edge. Unfortunately most of these shows have failed to recapture the lightning and almost all of them were cancelled after one or two seasons. Honorable mention goes to ''Series/PrisonBreak'', while not a sci-fi show, it was the first out of the gate to capitalize on TV audience's newfound love for serialized dramas, it was also arguably the most critically-acclaimed and successful of the ''Lost''-clones, running for four seasons.

[[http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Lostpedia]] (which the producers themselves occasionally namecheck in [[DVDCommentary DVD commentaries]] for its expanse of knowledge) has exhaustively catalogued (''almost'') every aspect of ''Lost''. If you want insight into the show or just want to learn some random statistics, it's definitely worth checking out.

'''Recaps and summation of the show [[Recap/{{Lost}} here.]]'''

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!!This series features examples of:

[[index]]
* Lost/TropesAToE
* Lost/TropesFToJ
* Lost/TropesKToO
* Lost/TropesPToT
* Lost/TropesUToZ
[[/index]]

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[[spoiler:''God loves you as He loved Jacob.'']]