YMMV: Band of Brothers

  • Acceptable Targets: Averted. The show takes on a Black and Gray Morality with its approach to World War II. The finale even pulls off a Not So Different moment with a German commander and his men.
  • Actor Shipping: Given that the series has only about two female characters with speaking parts, there's rather a lot of same-sex ships. Eion Bailey (Webster) and Ross McCall (Liebgott) get a bit of it, due to playing the two translators. The most popular ship seems to be Michael Cudlitz and Neal McDonough, possibly because they were significantly older than most of the cast. Someone in the ten year reunion interviews asked Cudlitz if he could fight Neal shirtless. James Madio gets shipped with lots of his cast members, after numerous stories about him on set were told. One in particular says he once bit Neal McDonough on the chest for no real reason.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Catharsis Factor: "The Breaking Point" is one of the harshest hours of the series, yet ends with Spiers taking command and running through the town twice without a scratch to show for it.
  • Creepy Awesome: Spiers's mannerisms are incredibly disconcerting, such as the way he applies his combat paint (three vertical stripes on each cheek), the way he wears his helmet (pulled down so the shadow from the brim covers his eyes), and his stare (wide-eyed, never breaking eye contact, and unblinking). These make him incredibly awesome, and his actor doubly so.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome - The opening credits, the choral scene in episode 7, the Beethoven piece that was extended into a leitmotif throughout episode 9, and the denouement in episode 10.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Doc Roe is one of the favourites, despite minimal appearances outside his one POV episode. He was also barely mentioned in the original book. His actor Shane Taylor even expressed surprise at the amount of fans he had, as he took a hiatus from acting for several years. His episode is also ranked as one of the best out of the series.
    • Speirs actually appears far less than you'd expect - not really joining Easy Company until Episode 7. You wouldn't know it from the amount of fans he has. It helps that he's a Memetic Badass in and out of universe.
    • Liebgott and Malarkey, especially after the heartbreak both characters have to go through. In Malarkey's case, his actor Scott Grimes was a recognisable enough name from Party of Five and a music career.
    • George Luz was one in real life too ( since he had 1600 people attending his funeral). Since he provides about 85% of the funny moments, it's understandable.
    • See One-Scene Wonder below for the minor characters.
    • Out of the actors themselves, James Madio (Frank Perconte) after numerous stories about him on set surfaced. When the ten year reunion interviews were organised, Madio was one of the first interviewed and then got brought back for a second - after the rest of the cast had so many good things to say about him. Likewise while filming, the role of Perconte was originally very small. But Madio's performance impressed them enough to give him more lines - which explains the character's extended screen time in Episode 9.
    • Matt Hickey who played Private O'Keefe was surprised that his character was so remembered - despite appearing mostly in the 9th episode and only having one scene in the 10th.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Doc Roe has quite the collection of female fans. When people were organising the ten-year-reunion interviews, a huge number of fans were inquiring about his actor Shane Taylor. In the actual interview, they comment that most of them were female. It's discussed in other interviews too, theorising that it must be down to the Cajun accent.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-Universe. In the ninth episode, Janovec is reading a newspaper as the Company is being transported by truck. Luz asks what the paper is about. Janovec replies that the paper details the reason why they [America] are fighting the war is because "The Germans are bad... very bad", which Luz finds quite amusing. Later, the Company discovers a concentration camp and find out just how bad the Germans were.
  • Genius Bonus: Approaching Bertchesgarten, Webster is seen writing in his journal. His journals were a large source of the information that was used by Ambrose to write Band Of Brothers.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The opening interviews in the very first episode, "Currahee," feature one of the men saying "Well, our country was attacked. It's different—it wasn't like Korea or Vietnam; we was attacked. And, you know, it was a feeling that, uh, maybe we're just dumb country people, where I come from, but a lot of us volunteered." The day that episode premiered? 9 September 2001. Promos were actually pulled post 9/11 due to the combat violence shown and how it might upset people.
    • The year after the show aired, Stephen Ambrose, the author of the book the series was based upon, was embroiled in a large plagiarism scandal implicating almost his entire academic career.
    • In the first episode, Muck comments that the men fighting in the Pacific Theater have it easier than them since they'll be on tropical islands with native girls feeding them coconuts. Then The Pacific came out and showed that the fighting against the Japanese was worse than anything that occurred in Europe.
  • He Really Can Act: General reaction to David Schwimmer being cast as Sobel was What The Hell, Casting Agency? - which went away within a few minutes of Sobel's first scene.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • A strange example. In Blithe's episode, he's shown getting over his trauma and fighting heroically before his injury. The show claims he died in 1948 but it was later revealed that he had managed to live another twenty years and serve in Korea too.
    • The part in Episode 6 where Eugene has a Heroic BSOD and takes a while to tend to Welsh's burns. It's a Call Back to when Eugene chewed Winters out for his Worst Aid on Moose. What's notable is that Winters doesn't yell at Eugene in retaliation, immediately realises the stress he's under and tells him to go to the aid station and get a hot meal.
    • Scenes of the men bonding can be extra heartwarming with the knowledge that the actors were like that with each other in real life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have small roles in different episodes. Yep, this stars both Professor X and Magneto before they were famous. In a dark bit of coincidental irony, Fassbender can be seen among the soldiers who discover the Concentration Camp. On a lighter note, Fassbender's character doesn't speak German - when in real life he's half German and fluent in the language.
    • Likewise Fassbender has said that he went in originally to read for the role of Speirs. If he had gotten the part, his role as Magneto would be all the more hilarious.
    • Rick Gomez's role as Luz is this to Final Fantasy fans. Not too long after this series, he would go onto voice two characters in different games. Both of them soldiers (Zack in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Gippal in Final Fantasy X-2). Gippal especially is the wisecracker of his Band of Brothers in the former Crimson Squad.
    • Eion Bailey plays a Harvard student of Literature, who went on to become a writer. Fast forward to Once Upon a Time when he's once again playing a writer who carries around a manual typewriter with him - and actually is a storybook character ( Pinocchio). What's more is that the real life Webster wrote a book about sharks and Bailey's character in Once Upon A Time nearly gets eaten by a whale.
    • A meta example. James Madio (Perconte) and Rick Gomez (Luz) bonded a lot in the ten day boot camp. During filming they then discovered that their characters had been best friends in real life too.
    • Ross McCall (Liebgott) ended up engaged to Jennifer Love Hewitt for a while. Fellow cast member Scott Grimes (Malarkey) had previously starred alongside Hewitt on Party of Five and tried to date her - unsuccessfully.
  • Iron Woobie: Bill Guarnere who finds out the day before the jump into Normandy that his brother has been killed.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sobel could be considered one in Real Life, according to The Other Wiki. He was a Drill Sergeant Nasty who proved himself wholly incompetent in the field, but eventually tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the temple. The bullet severed both optic nerves, permanently blinding him before exiting the other temple, and he lived for another twenty years. Worse yet, when he finally did die, no one came to his funeral. No one from Easy Company, not his ex-wife, and none of his children. The only person to show him any concern is Guarnere, who pays his membership dues into a veterans group composed of Easy Company vets, but otherwise has nothing to do with the man.
  • Memetic Badass: Speirs. The stories about just how many Germans he gunned down after giving them cigarettes and various other exploits get more fantastical with each telling.
  • Never Live It Down: Eugene Roe is frequently remembered for his OOC Is Serious Business moment where he yells at Winters and Welsh for their Worst Aid. You'd think it was his only scene - and it doesn't even happen in his POV episode.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Father/Captain John Maloney makes a short yet memorable appearance in episode 3 "Carentan", and later a similarly short one in "Bastogne".
    • From the fourth episode, the blonde Dutch girl in the red dress who excitedly starts kissing the soldiers when they arrive in her town. She just looks so giddy to see them.
    • The British man on the bike who gets "captured" in the first episode.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite being aimed at middle aged men, the series has a huge amount of female fans - some of whom are drawn by the appeal of numerous men in uniform (if the amount of Shipping videos on Youtube are anything to go by). Additionally it's not uncommon to find younger fans who are interested in the history - and indeed may have been introduced to it by seeing it in school.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: How the Easy Company men come to see Lt Henry Jones after he acquits himself well on his first patrol and the chaos that follows it.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The series features a ton of actors who weren't well known at the time, but went on to great careers of their own. These days, it can be hard to believe that at the time, the biggest name in the cast was David Schwimmer.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Watching the interviews of the real members of Easy Company at the beginning of each episode becomes more interesting after finding out who is who in the final episode.
  • The Woobie:
    • Most fans can agree on Malarky, particularly during and after episode 7, when two of his best friends lose limbs during an artillery barrage, two more are killed in another barrage, and a fifth suffers a nervous breakdown as a result. Doc Roe is also a common woobie for the fans after seeing Episode 6, which brutally depicts what a combat medic would have gone through in the war.
    • Luz, too. He actually has to see his best friends get blown to bits.
    • Pvt. Blithe has a mental breakdown, is not seen by the company for a long time. He finally gets over it and is shot for his trouble. Furthermore, he makes it to Master Sergeant by the Korean War, but is not given credit by the show for the accomplishment because he was believed dead (he never showed up to the reunions), and none of the Easy Company members thought to try and contact him before his death. All the surviving Easy Company members felt horrible about the situation when they learned AFTER the show aired in 2001, almost forty years after he died.
    • Liebgott for being the only Jew in the company and having to see what the Germans did to his people.