Series / Scream: The TV Series

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"You can't do a slasher movie as a TV series. Think about it: Girl and her friend arrive at the dance, the camp, deserted town, whatever. Killer takes them out one-by-one. Ninety minutes later, the sun comes up and survivor girl sits in the ambulance watching her friends' bodies being wheeled past. Slasher movies burn bright and fast, TV needs to stretch things out. Y'know, by the time the first body is found, it's only a matter of time before the bloodbath commences."
Noah Foster, "Pilot"

Scream is an MTV series that premiered on June 30, 2015. It is based on the film series of the same name and has many stylistic elements, including its postmodern take on the slasher genre, but it otherwise takes place in its own universe.

A girl named Audrey is outed as a lesbian (though Audrey labels herself as bicurious) by Nina Patterson and her boyfriend Tyler O'Neill, who record a video of her making out with another girl. The next day, Nina is found brutally murdered, with Tyler (also murdered, but currently missing) the main suspect. This incident causes all manner of dark secrets to start spilling out in the town of Lakewood, which had been the site of a horrifying massacre by a deformed boy named Brandon James twenty years earlier — and the killer is wearing a mask very similar to James'.

Season 2 premiered on May 30, 2016. It picks up three months after the events of the first season, and focuses on the survivors of the first murders, now dubbed The Lakewood Six, coping with the real world and psychological effects of their ordeal, as a new killer surfaces, with the intent on making one of them come clean about their part in the last murder spree.

A Halloween special aired shortly after season 2. Though it touched on remaining threads from the previous season, most of it took place on an isolated island that the survivors go to to help Noah and Stavo do research for their new graphic horror novel - and stumble onto a new set of killings.

On April 26, 2017, it was confirmed that, along with new showrunners, the six episode third season would be a creative reboot, with a new location and a new cast.

Warning: This page will contain unmarked spoilers for the first season, including the identity of the killer, as this is treated as common knowledge by the characters later on. Read at your own risk.

Tropes:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Lakewood General, where Brandon James was treated back in the day. The gang goes poking around it in Episode 4 and discover Ghostface's lair.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: The storage unit where Will and Jake arrange to meet Mayor Maddox. Also ends up being where Ghostface kidnaps Will.
  • Adorkable: Riley, in spades. Noah also has his moments.
    • Season 2 introduces Zoe to take up the mantle.
  • All Hallows' Eve: The Brandon James murders occurred during the 1994 Halloween Dance. Fittingly, the season concludes on the twenty year anniversary of the killings, starting off with the Halloween Dance.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Nina. Everything she does seems carefully calibrated for the viewer to not miss her when she bites it eight minutes into the pilot episode.
    • Brooke takes over as the Alpha Bitch with Nina dead. Though she has a Jerkass Realization about this in Episode 4 after Riley's death.
  • Alternate Continuity: The show is set in a different continuity from the film series. The mask has also a different origin story.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Audrey does tell Noah the reason why she's being targeted, but since she seemed willing to kill Noah earlier when he was about to see an incriminating video tape, it's not really certain if she's telling the truth.
  • Anti-Villain: In season two, Audrey is presented in this light, but gets progressively more sympathetic as the season goes on. Even more so when it turns out that she is indeed completely innocent.
  • Anyone Can Die: Similar to the film series, all bets are off. By the end of Season 2, the Lakewood Six is now the Lakewood Four, and dozens of recurring characters have been killed off.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Most of Lakewood's teen populous reacts to Nina's death with mild indifference, dry humor, or as a legitimately good thing, seeing as she was an Asshole Victim after all.
    • Riley's death changes this, sending waves throughout the town and causing many of her friends to have grief-induced breakdowns.
    • Then there's how teenagers continue to come and go as they please, even during the night, and their parents allowing it and not even checking on them despite several teenagers having been murdered and the killer still being at large.
  • Arc Symbol: The pig has been cropping up a lot in the second season.
    • Daisies in Season 1, due to Maggie's childhood nickname, and Brandon James' fixation with her.
  • Asshole Victim: Jake's death is debatable, as he showed shades of being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. However, no one will miss Haley, who spent every moment of her time being a Jerkass to all of the characters.
  • Batter Up: When Ghostface calls Emma in Episode 2, Emma grabs an aluminum bat from the cupboard under the stairs.
  • Beauty Contest: The Lakewood Days carnival includes one. Both Brooke and Zoe end up contestants in the pageant. Brooke, for her part, uses her address to the town as a platform to speak her mind.
  • The Bet: A dramatic example. In freshmen year, Nina bet Will that he couldn't have sex with 'Pollyanna' Emma in a month. Will succeeded, and his entire relationship with Emma is built on this lie.
  • Betty and Veronica: Sheriff Hudson's love interests, Maggie (Betty) and Lorraine (Veronica).
    • In Season 2, Emma has a love triangle with Kieran and Eli. Interestingly, Kieran is now the Betty, after being Veronica in Season 1.
  • Big Fancy House: Seems to be a requisite for this genre, but Brooke's lake house stands out, what with the private pier and four car garage. Justified in that it's the Mayoral mansion.
    • Nina also lives in one, complete with hotel-worthy swimming pool, hot tub and voice-activated speaker system.
  • Blackmail: Nina, Jake, Will and Tyler were involved in blackmailing some of their more prominent customers, particularly the Mayor. Sheriff Hudson and the principal of their school are also implied to have been customers of theirs.
    • Though the audience is led to believe that Mayor Maddox is being blackmailed for the sex tapes, Episode 5 reveals that Nina and Tyler were in possession of a tape showing him Disposing of a Body, possibly his missing wife.
  • Black Market: Will, Jake, Tyler and Nina ran a lucrative blackmail operation. After Nina's murder, Will forces Jake to destroy the evidence, which he doesn't do.
  • Bland-Name Product: In the pilot, "Cliplicious" and "Chirpster" are used for YouTube and Twitter respectively. However in a weird twist, YouTube and Twitter are still name dropped, as well as other social media sites.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Season two's Ghostface's confirmed kills plus the ones he commits in season two, are notably more gruesome than Piper's.
  • Book Ends: The first shot of the series is an eerie dock at night. The season 1 finale ends with Emma confronting the killer on the same dock.
  • Boom, Headshot: How Piper is killed.
  • Bound and Gagged: Brooke does this to herself in "Wanna Play a Game?", preparing for a sex session with Branson. Little does she know, it's a trap set by the killer.
    • Happens twice to Will in "In the Trenches", first when he's held hostage by Ghostface and second when he's rigged to a rotating buzz saw to die.
    • Also happens to Sheriff Hudson in "The Dance", when Ghostface broadcasts footage of his new hostage to the school dance.
    • Happens to Maggie in "Revelations".
    • And to Mr Branson by Brooke in "Jeepers Creepers". In a neat reversal of the scene from "Wanna Play a Game?", it's a trap laid for him by Brooke, but the new Killer uses it to their advantage.
    • Kieran gets this in "Village of the Damned", after Ghostface kidnaps him.
  • Breakout Character: Brooke Maddox, going from self-centered, shallow little vixen to a intelligent, resourceful, and resilient young woman.
  • Break the Cutie: The killers' main motivation is to emotionally, psychologically, and (in some cases) physically torture Emma and all of her friends, mostly out of petty reasons.
  • Breather Episode: Season 1, Episode 4, "Aftermath", deals mostly with...the aftermath of Riley's murder. Though several important plot points are explored, particularly the killer's lair, Brooke's relationship with her father, and Will and Jake's sex tape operation, it is the first episode in the series where Ghostface never appears and nobody dies.
  • Bullying a Dragon: By Season 2 Audrey has become famous as the girl who shot a serial killer in the face so of course two idiots think it's a great idea to dress up as said serial killer, stage a fake killing right in front of her and then come at her with a fake knife. This goes as well for them as could be expected.
  • Cain and Abel: Emma and Piper.
    • Eli and Kieran are a variation of this, though they're cousins, and not brothers.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: The show uses its classroom scenes to have the students discuss Slasher and Horror tropes. In the first season it was English class talking about elements of the genre.
    • In season 2 it's Psych class where they talk about the purpose of fear, as well as the meanings behind everyone's Anxiety Dreams.
  • Chekov's Gun: The pig heart left on Maggie's doorstep in the pilot initially seems to have little significance outside of scares. Season 2 reveals that Brandon's brother Troy owned a pig farm, which Maggie brought Emma to a few times when she was younger. Pigs are a recurring symbol throughout Season 2, toy pigs being used by the new Killer as distractions etc.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: "Betrayed" reveals that Maggie and Brandon James were neighbors and best friends growing up, explaining Brandon's infatuation with her.
    • To add to this, "Ghosts" reveals that Brandon and Maggie had comfort sex, resulting in a child that was born shortly after the murders happened.
  • Character Development: Since season 1, Brooke has grown the most out of the main characters. Going from a spoiled,shallow,and self-absorbed bitch to a sensitive, caring,and fiercely loyal friend.
  • Closed Circle: "Halloween/Halloween II" features the group trapped on an island, without any phone service (cell or otherwise) and with no means of leaving until morning.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: In the Halloween Special, the killer says this verbatim when he hunts Emma.
  • The Coroner: Emma's mother Maggie is a Rare Female Example.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The gang find Tyler's decomposing head in Ghostface's hospital lair. He was using it to prop up a Brandon James mask.
    • The killer also keeps mementos from his victims: a necklace of Nina's, an action figure of Rachael's, and Riley's keychain.
      • Interestingly, "Ghosts" plays up the similarity between Riley's keychain and the locket Daisy once gave Brandon James. It hasn't been explored further, however, and the explanations for the other souvenirs remain a mystery.
    • In season 2, the new killer also keeps souvenirs from their victims, Zoe's tiara for Lady of the Lake, Haley's party mask and Seth Branson's hand.
  • Crossover: One promo featured the stars of a number of MTV series note  at a party, where they've all been brutally murdered in various ways. Oddly enough, The Stinger for some episodes are one for Teen Wolf, showcasing scenes that were cut or are teasers for another episode.
  • Crowbar Combatant: When Audrey and Emma go to search Ghostface's Abandoned Hospital lair, Audrey brings along a crowbar, saying she prefers the old fashioned method of self defense.
    • When Emma and Noah go to Brooke's house to find her in "Revelations", Noah arms himself with a crowbar.
  • Darker and Edgier: The second season's killer is much more of a sadist than Piper was and carries them as a natural threat to the Lakewood Six survivors. They aren't above in psychologically torturing the kids.
  • Deadly Prank: Season 2 opens with Audrey being attacked by a pair of pranksters, with one of them wearing Piper's outfit from season 1 and pretending to kill the other. The prank was more deadly for them rather than Audrey however, as she non-fatally stabs the one dressed as the killer in the abdomen with an ice pick.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Noah and Audrey are a duo of these. Brooke is also very acerbic.
    • Season 2 introduces Stavo and Eli, who are not slouch in this department themselves.
  • Dead Star Walking:
    • Just as the Scream films have all cast a big-name actor or two to kill off in the opening scene, so does the TV series with Bella Thorne as Nina in the pilot. In an acknowledgment of the strength of this trope in the Scream series, Thorne was originally offered the lead of Emma Duval, but passed on it after being unwilling to relocate to Baton Rouge, instead taking the role of Nina on the grounds that the opening victim in Scream was an iconic part. note 
    • A lesser example, Vine star Lele Pons appears in the opening of Season 2 only to be pushed out of a window and killed in a Show Within a Show.
  • Death by Sex: Noah calls this trope an outdated genre reference in "The Vanishing." That being said, it isn't until after he and Zoe have sex when the killer targets both of them, and succeeds in murdering Zoe.
  • Delayed Seasons: The first season takes place in October 2015, but was filmed in the summer. This results in lush, green foliage all around Lakewood, and a student body perennially dressed for spring break, despite the fact that the license plates in season two imply that the show is set in Colorado. This is a consequence of the show being filmed around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an area that is genuinely like that in October. In most of the South, the chilly weather and fall foliage don't set in until November or even December, if they come at all.
  • Destroy the Evidence:
    • Audrey implores Emma to destroy the SD card from the night Nina died. The card, which features Audrey on a furious tirade about The Beautiful Elite Nina represents, obviously makes Audrey look very guilty. Audrey claims Rachael talked her out of doing anything rash, but of course she has no proof. Emma ends up giving the card back to Audrey by the end of the episode.
    • Emma also does this, in a way, when she provides false alibi that gets Audrey off and the issue of Audrey's DNA inside the Brandon James mask is chalked up as cross contamination, which the show had shown that Audrey's DNA could not have gotten inside the mask. Whether Audrey's DNA was planted inside the mask or she's actually guilty has not yet been revealed.
    • In "Revelations", Audrey burns several letters between her and Piper and documents stolen from the police station, hinting that she was involved with the murders.
      • It transpires that the Season 2 killer has saved copies of those letters, as Audrey learns in "I Know What You Did Last Summer".
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Discussed between Noah and Riley at the end of the pilot. With a dash of Leaning on the Fourth Wall, Noah explains that the mystery of who killed Nina isn't as important as the different stories that unfold and the investment the audience has for the characters so that their deaths will hurt when the time comes.
  • Disney Villain Death: Alex, the killer in the Halloween special, ends up thrown off a balcony.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Brought up by Jake in "In the Trenches" when he and Brooke are spit-balling on the killer's identity. Jake brings up the possibility that the killer is a background character like the way they do on cop shows - someone who is tangentially connected to the victim who seems harmless and concerned about the murders. Noah is one such suspect which Jake believes fits this bill. Right idea, wrong suspect.
  • Dramatic Irony: Too many instances to list. There are times when somebody is talking about where a person is (sometimes even saying nasty insults about them) while the audience knows they've been killed.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • The Mayor leads a moment of silence for Rachel and Nina before the school basketball game in "Hello, Emma". That same episode shows a memorial has been set up on a fence near the school, completely with sappy, shallow mementos from Nina's friends.
    • invoked In "Exposed", the town holds a candlelit vigil for Nina, Tyler, and Riley. Emma is set to speak on behalf of her dead friends, but is unable to concentrate when she realizes Ghostface is watching her.
  • Dumb Blonde: Brooke suggests The Castle of Otranto started the 'castle genre'. Then again, she might just be Obfuscating Stupidity to score some private 'study sessions' with Mr. Branson.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Tyler's car is found lying at the bottom of a ravine. It blows up spectacularly about ten seconds later. Justified, as it's implied Ghostface intentionally set it to explode as part of the plan to make Tyler the scapegoat.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Nina threatens the killer (who she thinks is Tyler playing a prank on her) by telling him that she has a "trained attack Pomeranian, and she will gut you on command!" Sage does bark at the killer from behind the glass, but it does Nina little good.
  • Evil Phone: Done with text messages and social media this time, though Ghostface does make some old-fashioned creepy phone calls as well.
  • Evil vs. Evil: This seems to be the case in Season 2, as Ghostface targets Audrey, the apparent surviving half of Season 1's Big Bad Duumvirate who seemingly got away clean. But this turns out not to be the case.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: Emma, Audrey and Noah discover an impromptu hidey hole in the basement of Lakewood General. Noah proceeds to explain the nature of villainous lairs to the exasperated girls, pointing out that the one they're exploring is too staged and something one would never encounter in real life.
  • Expy: Several of the main cast parallel characters from the original film.
    • Emma, Will, Jake, and Noah are direct counterparts to Sidney, Billy, Stu, and Randy, respectively.
    • "Hello, Emma" introduces podcaster Piper Shaw, this universe's answer to Gale Weathers and, later, Roman from the third film.
  • Fan Disservice: Nina, the first victim, was relaxing in a hot tub wearing a black bikini when she is attacked and killed by Ghostface.
  • Final Girl: Emma, Audrey, and Brooke. Emma's mom was one during the murder spree twenty years prior to the start of the series.
    • Emma's father, Kevin, was a Gender Flip version after the Brandon James murders.
    • Piper was planning to make herself look like one after killing Emma and Maggie.
    • Noah outright calls Emma a Final Girl in "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Emma retorts that everybody in Lakewood is a Final Girl (or Guy), for surviving the murders in the first place.
  • Flower Motifs: Maggie and Emma are associated with daisies. Emma even has a large print of a daisy over her bed, and of course Daisy was Brandon James' nickname for Maggie back in the day. Daisies are traditionally associated with purity and innocence — fitting, since Maggie and Emma were traditional Final Girls in their respective generations.
    • In "Jeepers Creepers", Brooke remarks that carnations are 'depressing af'. Red carnations symbolize deep affection, and Brooke is currently mourning Jake.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the pilot episode, Noah explains to Riley how slasher TV shows use the personal lives of their characters to make you care about them so that it'll hurt when they get murdered. Two episodes later, Riley get killed by Ghostface and Noah is very heartbroken about it.
    • At the start of "Betrayed", Emma has a nightmare in which Ghostface kidnaps Kieran to get to her. At the end of the episode, Emma's other Love Interest, Will, is kidnapped by Ghostface as part of his latest 'game' for Emma.
    • Early in the series, Jake and Will have a discussion about collecting the money from Nina and Tyler's blackmail operation. The camera lingers on the tractor Will is piloting. In "In the Trenches", Will is hooked up to a similar device and hacked to pieces.
  • Foster Kid: Tyler is mentioned as being one.
  • Frame-Up:
    • Ghostface rather ingeniously pulls off one of these in "Ghosts", separating Brooke and Branson in the auditorium, chasing and causing minor injury to Brooke, and having her run right into the suddenly returned Branson's arms just as the cops, who already have evidence to suspect him of suspicious activity, show up.
    • Ghostface doesn't stop there, as "Revelations" has her kill a guard and get Branson out of jail, making it look like he did it. And during The Reveal Ghostface, aka Piper, explains that she will kill both Emma and Maggie, then Branson (who is Bound and Gagged inside the trunk of a car at the time), and be the Final Girl who escapes to tell the police that he was Ghostface all along. She had even planted her glasses at Brooke's house in order to help her story. Luckily for Branson, though, her plan backfires.
    • Happens again in season 2, with Ghostface successfully pinning all the murders on Audrey and Emma in the penultimate episode, with the finale being spent having them try to undo it.
  • Girl Posse: Emma, Riley, and Brooke are a Girl Posse without their Alpha Bitch.
    • In Season 2, Emma, Audrey, and Brooke have formed one of their own, illustrating how their ordeal has broken down any social barriers there may have been between them originally.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Riley develops a crush on Noah. The two have a first date and kiss in "Hello, Emma".
    • In Season 2 it's Zoe who develops a crush on Noah, forming a geek couple with him.
  • Gorn: "In the Trenches" introduces some real splatter rather than just stab wounds as Will is sawed in half by an industrial wood cutter and his blood sprays all over Emma.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see Will as he's cut in half with the wood cutter. However, the camera cuts over to Emma, who is immediately splattered by all his blood.
  • The Grotesque: Brandon James, whose facial deformities made him an outcast and required him to wear a mask. He eventually snapped and went on a rampage.
  • Gutted Like a Fish:
    • In "Revelations", Sheriff Hudson is tied to a tree and when Maggie unties him, she pulls a piece of tape off of his stomach, opening a wound that causes his intestines to fall out.
    • In "I Know What You Did Last Summer", Jake is tied up upside down and gutted with a scythe.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Will, who's sawed in half by industrial machinery.
  • High-School Dance: The subject of the aptly named Episode 9: "The Dance". It's a Halloween party, and of course the gang is all totted up in costume... but no masks, by order of the Sheriff's department.
  • Hope Spot: After Emma and Kieran rekindle their romance in "The Dance" they share a dinner with their parents and things seem on their way to hunky-dory. Alas and of course, it is not to be.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episodes of Season 2 all take their titles from famous horror and slasher movies. Each title reflects in some way on a central theme or element of the episode.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Quinn Maddox, who's impaled with a pitchfork.
  • Improvised Weapon: Emma believes she's being stalked in a dark alley and wastes no time picking up a nearby wooden plank, which she nearly clobbers Will with as she tries to get away.
    • Noah clumsily ductapes a knife and stick together in "In the Trenches" to make a 'Knife Stick'. Brooke points out that he just made a spear.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: How Nina outed Audrey. The video of "Audrey's FACE SUCK EXTRAVAGANZA" winds up getting 721 views before being taken down.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Not quite a nursery rhyme, per se, but the Victorian ditty Daisy Bell plays at the start of the pilot, alluding to Emma's mother Maggie, aka 'Daisy', who was the Final Girl of the Brandon James murders.
  • It's All My Fault: Brooke blames herself for Riley's death, believing that if she hadn't been out answering a booty call, everyone wouldn't have been looking for her, and thus would have been able to protect Riley.
  • Jerk Jock:
    • Jake is one of the school jocks, with his douchiness serving as major comedic relief.
    • Will's an even bigger one. Jake plays a role designed for comedic relief, whereas Will's just a douche and antagonizes almost every single character. He's eventually shown to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, though which makes his death even more sad.
  • Kill the Cutie: Riley gets stabbed in "Wanna Play a Game?" and bleeds out while facetiming with her boyfriend, Noah.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • At one point in the pilot, Noah explains how expanding a slasher movie into a TV series is impractical. Of course, as the Meta Guy he should at least have known this had already been done with Harper's Island (which Show Runner Jill Blotevogel even had a hand in writing for).
    • From "The Dance": "What? He's not gonna kill her during the dance sequence!"
    • In "Revelations", Ghostface tells Emma that it's the big finale, and everyone's expecting something big to happen.
    • In "Happy Birthday to Me," Eli shows Emma a fake ID and says he's twenty-three, but looks younger than he is. Sean Grandillo, Eli's actor, is twenty-three, and he certainty doesn't look like it.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Or "like father, like daughter." Like her father, Brandon James, Piper goes on a killing spree, though Piper's lasted longer than her father's. Both are also shot and killed on the same dock, fall into the water, and their bodies can't be found.
  • Local Hangout: The Grindhouse coffee place, where Emma works as a barista.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Piper is revealed to be the killer AND Emma's maternal half-sister.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Between Emma, her boyfriend Will, and mysterious newcomer Kieran in Season 1. Emma and Kieran become an Official Couple in "Exposed", when Emma leaves Will upon learning that their relationship was built on a bet. She and Kieran have sex that same night. She starts to reconcile with Will, only for Ghostface to Murder the Hypotenuse in "In the Trenches".
    • Season 2 introduces Kieran's troubled cousin Eli to make trouble for Emma and Kieran. Zoe thinks there's one going on with her, Noah, and Audrey, but Audrey seems uninterested in a relationship with Noah.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Played with. The murderer could've easily passed the death of Audrey's girlfriend Rachel as a suicide, but by moving the body afterwards to her room he makes sure that the autopsy will reveal that she died elsewhere.
  • Meta Guy:
    • Noah, taking the place of Randy from the first three films and Robbie from the fourth, albeit this time directing most of his snark at horror TV shows.
    • Season 2 introduces troubled loner and artist Gustavo, who shares Noah's fascination with horror both real and fictional, and quickly becomes his rival for meta jabs. His interests lie more with horror comics than film and TV, but he still holds his own against Noah.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Multiple murders copying Brandon James → an underground blackmailing market being covered up
    • In Season 2 Jake's murder reveals a longterm scheme involving Mayor Maddox, Jake, Branson, and an abandoned housing development.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Nina, who spends more than half of her screen time in a bikini.
    • Brooke, who the promos even refer to as "the sex object" in a horror/slasher story. She has repeatedly been shown in her underwear.
  • Mushroom Samba: In "Happy Birthday to Me", the killer, posing as Jake, sends a bottle of tequila to Kieran's birthday party. Little does the gang realize it's been spiked with a Peruvian hallucinogenic that causes them all to trip out, with some people being affected worse than others.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Emma gets hit hard with this in "Hello, Emma" when she visits her mom at the job to give her some coffee, and walks in to find her mom examining Rachel's body. It hits Emma quite hard especially because at this point she doesn't know Rachel was murdered and she believes Rachel's death is in big part her fault for not stopping Nina from filming Rachel and Audrey.
    • Emma takes another hit when she discovers Riley's body and realizes she inadvertently made the Sadistic Choice Ghostface gave her, sealing Riley's fate.
    Emma: (upon discovering Riley's dead body) "I didn't mean to choose!"
    • As if to keep pushing this, in "In the Trenches" Emma accidentally trips the Rube Goldberg Device Will is strapped to, causing him to die right in front of her.
    • Happens in "Revelations", though not to Emma this time: rather, her mother, Maggie, has this reaction when she attempts to untie Sheriff Hudson, which opens the wound the killer had covered up, killing him instantly.
    • Audrey apparently had this reaction after she realized Piper was a murderer, since she had brought her to Lakewood. That is, if the story she tells Noah is true.
  • Mythology Gag:
    Jake: A landline? What is this, 1996?
    • Brooke is lured to the garage of her home and then confronted by Will in the pilot. This is a direct reference to the death of Tatum Riley at Billy Loomis' hands in the original.
    • Like Scream 2, the second season opens with a campy horror film being shown in a movie theater.
    • In "Jeepers Creepers", Noah goes to meet somebody at a deserted fairground, but realizes it's probably a trap and goes back to his car where he is grabbed by Ghostface, in a reference to Randy Meeks's death in Scream 2.
      • Averted, however, as that particular Ghostface was just Audrey, as part of a scheme to convince him she was innocent.
    • Like the first movie, in the second season, it turns out that the boyfriend of the protagonist was Ghostface all along.
    • Kieran's plan to murder Audrey and Emma and pin all the murders on them has shades of Billy and Stu's plan from the original film.
  • Never Suicide: Rachel appears to have hanged herself from her ceiling fan, but Maggie points out that her neck had snapped, meaning she fell from a longer distance, and was later strung up inside.
  • Nice Girl: Riley, who is easily the nicest of the characters introduced so far.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Emma's attempt to outsmart the killer in "Wanna Play a Game?" ends up with Riley being murdered.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • Noah freely admits a rapt fascination with serial killers, particularly Brandon James.
    • More subtly, Audrey has a picture of James pinned to her wall, possibly hinting at a secret interest of her own. And then Season 2 reveals she was working with Piper, James' daughter.
    • In Season 2, Stavo shares Noah's fascination with the horror genre, and is also obsessed with the killings from the first season. His tablet contains grotesque drawings of the "Lakewood Six" being brutally murdered, ostensibly for a graphic novel he's working on. Unlike Noah and Audrey, however, his fixation is overtly suggested to actually be a sexual one.
  • Nightmare Sequence:
    • "Betrayed" starts with Emma and Kieran, fresh off their romantic entanglement at the end of the previous episode, going to explore the Brandon James house. Kieran vanishes and Ghostface calls Emma, taunting her. Emma tries to escape but is cornered by Ghostface who stabs her twice. Dying, Emma removes the mask only to see that Ghostface was her all along. She promptly wakes up.
    • Dreams are a big theme in Season 2, as Emma begins experiencing repressed childhood memories through her nightmares, and begins hallucinating again.
    • Audrey, Brooke and Emma are all hit hard with vivid hallucinations after drinking spiked tequila in "Happy Birthday to Me".
  • Not Quite Dead: As should be expected from the Scream franchise, the killer, Piper, comes back for one last scare after being presumed dead, only to be shot and killed immediately after. Lampshaded by Emma.
    Emma: They always come back.
  • Oblivious Janitor Cut: In "Wanna Play a Game?", Riley crawls onto the skylight of the police station, bleeding to death from a gash down her leg. She tries to get the janitor's attention, but he can't hear her over his music.
  • Off with His Head!: The first kill is of Nina's boyfriend Tyler getting his head chopped off and tossed into Nina's hot tub.
  • Oh, Crap!: Noah and Audrey have the same similar reaction when they accidentally upload a Sex Tape of Emma's first time to the entire GW High student body.
    • The very last line in the Season 2 Finale as heard over a prison telephone: "Hello, Kieran. Who told you you could wear my mask?"
  • Old Flame: Sheriff Hudson's old partner/girlfriend Lorraine Brock comes to Lakewood halfway through to take over the murder investigation. Her stay in town is short lived, however.
  • Parental Neglect: Very much the case with Brooke's parents. Brooke's dad, the Mayor, is rarely around for her and only knows his daughter on a superficial level, while her mother is away on a never ending stream of meditation retreats, giving Brooke free reign to throw lavish parties at their house and engage in sex games with her English teacher.
    • "Aftermath" explores this further, showing that Brooke comes to resent having parents that, frankly, have other things to do.
    • "Exposed" takes a darker turn, suggesting that Brooke's mother was Dead All Along, at her father's hand no less.
    • "Ghosts" reveals that Brooke's mother is alive and the dead guy was her drug pusher who OD'ed in the family home.
    • Kieran's aunt Tina becomes his guardian in Season 2, though she only visits once or twice a month...that is, until Maggie convinces her to stay-longterm. Her relationship with her actual son, Eli, isn't much better, as he apparently was parenting her a lot of the time growing up.
  • Parting Words Regret: In season two, Brooke goes through this twice. First, she and Jake have a nasty break-up...right before he's murdered by Ghostface and she doesn't find out about it for at least four episodes. Then towards the end of the season, she pretty much tells her father she hates him right before he gets it too.
  • Police Are Useless: Several people have been murdered and the police have no leads other than suspecting Tyler, and then Riley gets attacked and murdered by the killer, in full get-up and with Tyler's car, right at the very police station without anyone noticing a thing. Also counts in that Riley, a person of interest in this case, was left without any protection or supervision.
    • Noah cites this reason in the following episode when he, Emma and Audrey go to explore Lakewood General. When Sheriff Hudson catches them and chastises them for tampering with the evidence, Emma points out that things didn't go so well the last time they came to the cops.
    • Noah also wasted no time in screaming at the cops about how Riley could get murdered in the very police station, and Sheriff Hudson is now facing the press and also facing legal charges pressed by Riley's parents over it.
    • Sheriff Hudson ends up looking so incompetent that Mayor Maddox brings in a state police detective, Hudson's Old Flame, to take over the case. This despite the fact that Lorraine and Clark have previous history and don't get along, making this a conflict of interest.
      • Said Old Flame, Lorraine, falls under this trope as well. She does have clues and evidence that she follows up on, but does so in a way that is completely gung-ho and unprofessional, mainly violating Audrey's constitutional rights, which Hudson is quick to point out since that can make any evidence found during the interrogation utterly void at the trial. Her case is sabotaged by Emma stealing circumstantial/possible evidence and giving a false alibi to get Audrey off, but Lorraine herself admits that the only non-circumstantial evidence against Audrey could have easily been tampered with and was completely unreliable (which makes one wonder why the higher ups even allowed her to run with it in the first place). Ultimately, due to things mounting up (and thanks to Emma's alibi for Audrey), Lorraine's case is demolished and she's unceremoniously Put on a Bus, offscreen at that.
      • Even with Lorraine off the case this trope continues, as no sooner is Sheriff Hudson back on the case that despite the police arriving on time to save the kids and forcing Ghostface to flee, a recently kidnapped and rescued Will gets kidnapped yet again and brutally murdered, this after Sheriff Hudson and Maggie were talking to Emma about putting protective detail on her. This makes it so all the murders so far have happened under Sheriff Hudson's watch.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Emma's refusal to talk to any adults about the guy who's been harassing her and her suspicions that it wasn't Tyler communicating with Riley are some of the reasons why Riley ends up murdered.
  • Ransom Drop: Mayor Maddox is instructed by his blackmailers to bring $100,000 to an old storage unit outside town. He only brings $10,000. Nose breakage ensues.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Brooke delivers a drunken one to the entire town in "Village of the Damned" for holding a carnival and acting like nothing is wrong and nobody has died.
  • Rejected Apology: Throughout the pilot, Emma tries to reach out to Audrey (since they used to be friends) by doing things like inviting her to Brooke's party. This culminates in her showing up at Audrey's house to apologize because she was there when Nina made the video and didn't stop her. Audrey is not having it.
    Audrey: "So this whole 'let's be friends again' thing is because you felt guilty? You bitch."
    • Happens to Will, with a slap in the face at that, when he tries apologizing to Emma about the sex tape and she tells him she found out about the bet between him and Nina.
    • In "Jeepers Creepers", Audrey attempts to apologize to Stavo for inadvertently getting him attacked by a mob during the school lockdown, destroying his tablet in the process. Stavo isn't amused.
    Stavo: Next time, I'll destroy something you love.
    • Later, she tries to apologize to Emma for a whole raft of bad decisions, which prolonged the killing spree in season 1 and put suspicion on Audrey in season 2. While they did reconcile, it took a while, and likely wouldn't have happened had they not barely rescued Noah and failed to rescue Zoe, during their fight.
  • The Reveal:
    • In "Revelations", the killer reveals herself to Emma and Maggie in the season finale. It's Piper!
    • The final scene of season 1 depicts Audrey burning letters showing she was secretly in contact with Piper.
    • In "When A Stranger Calls" Piper's accomplice, and the killer of season 2, is revealed as Keiran.
    • The final line of season two reveals there's at least one more killer out there, and it might even be Brandon James.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Any scene featuring Kieran following the Season 2 finale revealing that he's the second killer takes on an entirely new light on a rewatch.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: The manner of Will's death is very much this, complete with tripwire-activated rotating buzzsaw.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ghostface lets Emma choose which of her friends to spare. Suspecting he means to kill Brooke who is inexplicably alone, Emma begs he doesn't hurt her, inadvertently sealing Riley's fate.
  • Sanity Slippage: "Ghosts" reveals that Emma is developing insomnia after witnessing Will's death, and is experiencing a series of increasingly surreal hallucinations as a result.
    • These hallucinations continue well into Season 2, coming to the point where even the audience isn't sure which of Emma's encounters with Ghostface are real, and which are her imagination.
  • The Scapegoat: While Nina's body is found, Tyler's ends up mysteriously missing. He is therefore presumed responsible for his girlfriend's murder, and the Sheriff sets up a manhunt for him. Several of the characters express doubts, however, and it remains to be seen how long the ruse will last. Tyler's body, sans head, is finally found in Episode 4 in the ruins of his crashed car. Everyone is convinced the killer has died and it's all over... until the kids come across Tyler's severed head in an Abandoned Hospital, reopening the investigation.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Casey James, Brandon James' mother, is like this. Emma assumes that Branson is Brandon's son because she prompted Casey to tell her, thus leading Casey herself to believe it was true, before Piper figures out that Casey meant Kieran instead (except Piper actually made that up).
  • Sequel Hook: Piper/Ghostface is killed by a bullet to the head at the end of the Season One finale, but Noah, narrating a final episode of her podcast, notes that she herself was attacked by Ghostface. While he admits that it's entirely possible that she simply banged herself up to make herself look like a victim, he also points out that Will confirmed the attack and raises the question of who was wearing the mask that night. The final scene implies that it was Audrey.
    • Season 2 ends with three. The first of which has Maggie discover a note she wrote to Brandon James, who she believes may still be alive, pinned to the tree in her backyard by a knife with a bloodstain on the paper. The second shows Kieran, revealed to have been Piper's actual accomplice, receiving a phone call while in prison, with the caller using the killer's voice changer to ask him "who told you you could wear my mask?" implying that Brandon James IS alive. There is also the matter of what actually happened on the night of the Brandon James murders, and whether Brandon James was able to survive into the present day thanks to Maggie and Miguel helping him.
    • The Halloween Special has two: One where it's heavily implied that Kevin Duvall killed Kieran, as he's seen at his grave with a stern look on his face and another where someone checks into a motel under the name the surname James, heavily implying that either Brandon James or Troy James has returned to Lakewood.
  • Shout-Out: When discussing how the Gothic genre is alive and well in the present day, the literature teacher mentions American Horror Story, Bates Motel, and Hannibal. The Walking Dead and George A. Romero also come up.
  • Six Student Clique: The central characters loosely fit into this mold, depending on who you count:
    • The Head: Emma
    • The Muscle: Will
    • The Smart One: Noah/Kieran
    • The Quirk: Riley/Audrey
    • The Pretty One: Brooke
    • The Wild One: Jake
    • Season 2 has a similar set up:
      • The Head: Emma
      • The Muscle: Kieran
      • The Smart One: Noah/Zoe
      • The Quirk: Eli
      • The Pretty One: Brooke
      • The Wild One: Eli/Stavo
  • Sleazy Politician: The mayor of Lakewood is a mild example. He does want to catch the killer, but only because the longer Tyler O'Neill evades them, the worse off he'll look. It's made worse by the apparent revelation that he disposed of the body of his wife's drug pusher some time before the show started, to protect his family's reputation.
    • Season 2 reveals a more conventional version of this trope, involving an abandoned housing development Maddox presumably wanted to get rid of cheaply. It's heavily implied he made a deal with Jake to burn down these houses. Jake was going to use the money Maddox paid him to bribe Branson to leave town, for Brooke's sake. However, Jake is killed before he can complete the task. Later, Quinn enlists Tina to finish the job.
  • Soaperizing: The show has been criticized for focusing too much on teen drama and not enough on the slasher elements, with some describing it has having more in common with 90210 than the Wes Craven classic.
  • Sole Survivor: Emma's Disappeared Dad is the only survivor of the jocks who ganged up on Brandon James on Halloween, 1994. Apparently, he doesn't like talking about it.
  • Stalker Shrine: Ghostface's hospital lair comes complete with an array of photos clipped from the '94 Lakewood high yearbook, depicting the victims of the Brandon James murders. And Emma.
    • Emma discovers a similar set-up when she visits an abandoned farmhouse that had once belonged to Troy James. When she returns there with Maggie, all traces of it are gone.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Eli toward Emma, in Season 2, by all appearances.
  • Take That!: The show gets in a few digs at the more improbable elements of other horror/mystery series (sometimes crossing over into Self-Deprecation, as the writers and showrunners of Scream have at least some minor involvement in some of them).
    Noah: I mean, how does A get ahold of four Victorian dolls that look exactly like the main characters? Where do you shop for that?
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Kieran teaches Emma some practical self defense in "Exposed", culminating with them having sex under the stars.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Brooke is having a sexual relationship with Mr. Branson, the English teacher.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Reaction to the murders of several local teenagers range from indifference to outright cruelty.
    • A rival school dubs Lakewood "Murderville" during a basketball game.
    • A Chirpster poll is set up where people can vote on which of the remaining Girl Posse, Emma or Brooke, should be killed next, causing Brooke's Jerkass Realization.
    • This also applies to the backstory, where Kevin Duval and his friends attacked Brandon James simply because of his appearance. Of course, that backfired on them rather spectacularly. It is later revealed that there is more to this than initially appears, however. Kevin learned that Brandon and Maggie had slept together, and he and his friends attempting to get revenge, triggering Brandon's final rampage.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: You know that habit we have of skipping web ads on YouTube? Ghostface isn't happy.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Seriously, those kids who tried to prank Audrey. Dressing up as a murderer and chasing around one of their former targets? It would have been a miracle if somebody didn't end up stabbed.
    • Jeremy pulling basically the same crap in the Halloween special. He got off easy, compared to the above - just knocked on his butt and chewed out. Until the real killer showed up, and killed him because that idiocy had resulted in his being separated from the rest of the group.
  • Town Girls: By Season 2, we have Audrey (Butch), Brooke (Femme), and Emma (Neither).
  • Tragic Villain: Brandon James a deformed killer from years before. It's best summed up with this quote:
    Noah: "Some say he was born a monster, I think he was beaten and bullied into one."
  • Two First Names: Brandon James.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: In "I Know What You Did Last Summer", Jake proposes to Brooke to have sex in the pool but she refuses and breaks up with him.
  • Villain Protagonist: As a result of the final scene of season 1, for almost half the second season it seems that Audrey is the half of the serial killing duo that got away clean in Season 1. But this turns out to be a Red Herring, as the actual uncaught accomplice was Kieran.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Several characters in "Happy Birthday to Me" start puking after drinking tequila spiked with hallucinogens. Audrey in particular throws up right near the camera before it cuts to commercial break.
  • Waif-Fu: During self-defense class Audrey is able to throw Will around with ease, even though he is twice her size. This was one of the facts that led credence to the suspicion that she was one of the killers.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 3, "Wanna Play a Game?", for a number of reasons: Emma finally confides to her friends that someone is stalking her. Emma and Audrey start repairing their friendship as they become a pair of amateur teenage sleuths. Riley and Noah almost seal the deal. Emma tries to get Ghostface to stop harassing her, causing Riley's murder and pushing several characters over the Despair Event Horizon.
    • Episode 7, "In The Trenches", is this, very much so, featuring some of the main teen characters facing off against Ghostface in person for the first time in order to rescue Will. They are successful... until the very end, where Ghostface kidnaps Will yet again, puts him up on a Death Trap and sets it off exactly so Emma activates it and watches Will die, and Will, who is tied up and has duct tape over his mouth, can do nothing but watch Emma activate the trap, which tears him to shreds. The episode ends with Emma pretty much covered in Will's blood.
    • The season finale, "Revelations": Sheriff Hudson is killed, Ghostface is revealed to be Piper Shaw before being killed, and the last scene all but states that Audrey was working with her all along.
    • The Season 2 premiere, "I Know What You Did Last Summer": Many new characters are introduced, Audrey's stalker begins to torment her, and Jake is killed off by the end of the episode.
    • Season 2 Episode 4 "Happy Birthday To Me": This season's Ghostface attacks Emma for the first time and Jake's murder is finally made public when his mutilated body is dumped on the school stage in front of Brooke during a school assembly.
    • The last bulk of season 2 is one Wham Episode after another, a flashback reveals that Brandon James actually survived his shooting, Zoey is killed, Audrey wasn't in on the killings, Emma and Audrey are framed by the killer over the death of the mayor, and finally, the New Ghostface killer reveals themselves to be... Kieran.
  • White Mask of Doom: Naturally. This time, Ghostface's mask is modeled after the face of Brandon James.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Will and Emma were high school freshmen in the fall of 2014 (they watched The Maze Runner on their third date, which came out in September of that year), but by the fall of 2016, Emma is in her senior year.
  • You Monster!:
    • In the first season finale, Piper calls her mother a monster for letting her father be killed.
    Piper: For twenty years, you have let everyone think that my dad was the monster, but you were the monster.
    • In the season 2 finale, Emma calls the killer a monster after they reveal their identity.
  • Your Cheating Heart: At the party in the pilot, Brooke accidentally reveals that Will slept with Nina. He justifies it by saying he and Emma were "on a break", but she counters that they were "on a break" for less than a month and clearly considers it cheating — especially because the two apparently continued to flirt on Facebook, and he's continuously used the excuse of his phone being dead to avoid her calls. And then after learning this, she makes out with Kieran (though it seems to be because she's upset and tipsy, rather than trying to get back at him).
    • Emma's father Kevin was apparently cheating on his girlfriend Maggie with one of her best friends. When Maggie's best friend Brandon James learned about this, he decided to confront Kevin. It didn't end well.

"You gotta remember that the whodunit may not be as important in our story...you need to forget that it's a horror story, that someone might die at every turn. You see, you have to care if the smokin' hot lit teacher seems a little too interested in his female students. You have to care if the team wins the big game. You have to care if the smart, pretty girl forgives the dumb jock...You root for them, you love them, so when they are brutally murdered...it hurts."

Alternative Title(s): Scream

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/ScreamTVSeries