YMMV / Black Mirror

    The TV series 
  • Anvilicious: Charlie Brooker's never been one for subtlety, but this is extreme even by his standards.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Nothing will ever turn out well for anyone, so why bother?
    • This came into play in an interesting manner after the release of Season 3, regarding San Junipero, a Breather Episode between two extremely dark episodes. Though it was critically acclaimed, it wasn't immune to criticism from fans who found it too saccharine to fit the rest of the show. The episode still had some depressing moments, but it goes to show that the fact it wasn't dark enough made it less popular among some fans.
  • China Loves Black Mirror: The show has a pretty big following in China, where the series has been subject to rave reviews, including the claim that it's "better than a masterpiece".
    • It's also apparently quite popular in Hollywood.
  • Uncanny Valley: A big part of how the series gets its creepy, unsettling vibe.
    • All the episodes (sans maybe 15 million merits) are set in a reality very similar to our own. That's the main source of Fridge Horror.
    • It's probably intentional, but in "The Waldo Moment" for all that Waldo is clearly an exaggerated blue cartoon bear, he's still incredibly creepy to look at and listen to. And that's even before he becomes the symbolic figurehead for what's hinted to be a covert global fascist / authoritarian movement.
    • The second series trailer starts off as a parody of iPhone / iPad-style commercials, but even before the 'gritty' imagery starts being threaded through the fake and hollow Stepford Smiler nature of the shiny happy people using the technology is increasingly creepy enough by itself. There's also a computer generated voice that is modified to sound almost, but not quite, like a man's voice, making the repeated mantra of '[Something] more' delivered in a blandly emotionless voice gradually unsettling.

Tropes related to The National Anthem:

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Hilarity ensued when, in 2015, a book alleged that David Cameron had "put his private parts in a dead pig's mouth" as part of his initiation into a drinking society at Oxford University. Charlie Brooker took to Twitter to comment:
    Brooker: Shit. Turns out Black Mirror is a documentary series.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Callow isn't actually shown performing the act, but there is a brief shot of him kneeling behind the pig, and later another of his agonized face as he goes about it. Both are enough to make the viewer's stomach distinctly uneasy.
    • Also, Callow vomiting painfully into a toilet immediately afterwards. It may be a Vomit Discretion Shot, but that doesn't make it any less horrible to watch.
  • Squick: Must we really clarify this?
  • The Woobie: Michael Chelmey is this crossed with a Butt Monkey.

Tropes related to 15 Million Merits:

  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Despite its dark tones, 15 Million Merits has one moment near the end: Bing ends his televised rant (with a shard of glass to his throat) by saying, in an incredibly serious manner "Farewell forever" looking as if he's about to commit suicide, then he suddenly drops to a more friendly, neutral expression and adds "until the same time next week" and salutes with the glass shard! The sudden Mood Whiplash is momentarily hilarious.
    • The Hot Shot green room bouncer deliberately winding up the silver haired Scouse auditionee by pretending his earpiece is telling him to go for the "an ethnic one"... before calling on Bing.
    • Even funnier is how, after all the build up, the Scouse girl's audition is awful to say the least.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: This PlayStation 4 patent says hello to the advertising technology depicted in this episode.
    • Bing getting interrupted a couple of times by the omnipresent porn ads while trying to talk to Abi is quite funny at first, but becomes very harsh after her audition.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The fact that such forced advertisement policy is plausible to be implemented in real life is chilling, to say the least.
  • Tear Jerker: Bing's broken and angry speech.

Tropes related to The Entire History of You:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Ffion selfish and heartless for cheating on Liam? Or, in light of Liam's increasingly irrational conduct, is she a woman desperately seeking an escape from an increasingly abusive relationship?
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In The Entire History Of You, towards the end it becomes quite clear that Ffion has been telling a whole heap of lies about her relationship (and brief affair) with Jonas. She then crosses the Horizon handily by lying appallingly badly about Jonas using a condom, heavily implying that Jonas is her baby's real father. Crosses over with Idiot Ball; come on, lying about everything from the existence of a relationship in the first place to the use (or not) of contraception when there's photographic proof that you're lying? Not the cleverest decision.
    • Submitting a man to a Mind Rape under threat of death while in a drunken stupor, wrecking a car, fleeing the police, and then going home, assaulting his wife after spying on her and humiliating her at every turn. Ffion's behavior makes a lot more sense once, in light of the above, her husband starts showing the classics signs of a domestic abuser (paranoia, wanting to know every detail of her life, trying to pit her friends against her, impulsive behavior, abandoning her for a week and giving no indication of when or if he's coming home, saying she was "making him do it" at the end...).

Tropes related to Be Right Back:

  • Ascended Fridge Horror
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is it possible that the fake Ash might actually have some sort of emotion? He seems awfully intelligent to be complete inanimate.
    • His/Its moment on the cliff with Martha as she tries to get rid of him layered under all the supposed data gaps could also be interpreted as its own way of saying he doesn't understand why Martha took him there and is trying to get rid of him, based on its on fear of death conflicting with his/its desire to do as she says, leading some credence to it being sentient.
    • Then again, the whole point of this episode is Martha debating this with herself.
  • Fridge Logic: Rather than trying to fling him off a cliff couldn't Martha have just called the company she got fake Ash from and had him taken away?
    • Probably, but she's clearly not thinking very rationally by that point.
  • Tear Jerker
  • The Woobie: Both Martha and Ash share this role.

Tropes related to White Bear:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Whether or not you think the protagonist is truly sorry for her actions, if she's just desperately pleading, or if you think she deserves the hell she is stuck in.
  • Broken Base: There are lots of online debates as to whether the heroine really deserved her fate. On one hand it's giving her the chance to feel the pain she inflicted on Jemima and her poor family. On the other hand, it's still brutal torture and makes the viewer just as bad as her for taking amusement out of her pain. You could also argue that the park is exploiting the death of a six year old for money - or you could say that the money might go to good causes preventing murders like that happening again. However, punishing someone for a crime that they can't remember seems... a little merciless, regardless of your opinion of Victoria, especially as whatever "lesson" she could learn from the punishment can't stick due to the amnesia. Whatever side you come down on, expect to have your perceptions of revenge and punishment changed forever.
  • Fridge Logic: In the UK (where, judging by the accents, we can assume this episode is set), the government actually signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture bill, which would forbid them of practicing torture of this calibre. If they broke this bill, the convention and its subsequent nations would intervene very, very swiftly, meaning the White Bear Justice Park wouldn't exist without serious argument with other countries...
    • Similarly, as much as people hate murderers - especially child killers - and would never defend the kind of torture Victoria condoned, there would realistically be a large amount of people protesting against White Bear. Amnesty International and The UN universal Declaration of Human Rights would certainly cause trouble for the White Bear Justice Park. There's no way that a place like that could realistically exist without at least some Vocal (and powerful) Minorities getting in the way.
      • Given the science fiction nature of the series as a whole, it's possible we can chalk the above points up to being the result of social and political changes occurring 20 Minutes into the Future.
    • In part one, to get through the door and chase Victoria, the "hunter" has to break a window. It is implied that exactly the same routine is done day-in day-out. It would be awfully expensive to replace a window (especially of that size) every day. And ordering and replacing new windows takes time too. It couldn't have been realistically delivered and fitted by the time Victoria takes to wake up to rinse n' repeat.
    • And for a meta Fridge Logic, the show was obviously criticizing the "Media Circus" effect, when news programs exploit and sensationalize tragedy for ratings. Except... other than social media, news media hardly ever comes up in the episode. And the one time it does, It actually serves to clarify the fuzzier details of the plot and back story. Essentially doing the job that the show wants to imply it's strayed away from. WHOOPS.
      • That's probably intentional. Brooker told Ken Plume that Twitter and its mob mentality are far, far worse than anything even the worst and most sensational crusading tabloid could manage. It's not about the media circus, it's about the mob mentality.
  • Fridge Horror: A minor example; The White Bear Justice Park has at least a whole estate of houses in its vicinity for its audience to watch Victoria from. How many people were evicted so that the park could be created? Made worse by the fact they were council houses for the financially disadvantaged.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Victoria, if you're still deciding whether her fate was justified or not.
  • Paranoia Fuel
  • Rewatch Bonus: Having all of the protagonist's memories finally pieced together allows for this through Fridge Logic and Fridge Brilliance.
  • The Woobie: For some, Victoria, if you were still on her side by the end of the episode...

Tropes related to The Waldo Moment:

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Certain comparisons have been made between this episode and Donald Trump's 2016 US presidential campaign.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Probably intentional, and overlaps with Jerkass Has a Point; Liam Monroe is presented as every inch the stereotypical young Tory professional politician — ruthless, humourless and a bit of a dick. He's also entirely correct that Waldo standing for office and becoming the main competition makes a mockery of the British democratic process and is potentially quite dangerous.
    Monroe: If that thing's the main competition, the whole system looks absurd. And that may be the case. But it built these roads.
  • The Woobie: Several, actually.
    • Jamie, of course, is a obvious example. A failed comedian, Jamie is sidelined by his more famous friends to only play roles on the show he's on behind the face of a blue bear. He is pressured into turning Waldo into a political protest, more a joke than anything, and then watches it go out of hand before his eyes, ruining his chances with his crush and being blackmailed into carrying it on afterwards. When he finally takes a stand against it he is beaten up as commanded by his so-called friends, who betray him and steal his character, leaving him no money to his name. He later ends up homeless. And beaten up by the police for sleeping under a bridge.
    • Gwendolyn Harris also qualifies. All she did was hold off dating Jamie until the elections were over (less than a week, basically), but loses her chance of winning the election and is humiliated on live TV by the man she confided in, who blabbed her secret to everyone. She comes last in the elections, despite seeming to be the least immoral candidate.
    • A case could even be made for Liam Monroe. Sure, he's not likable, but he is tricked and humiliated several times in front of large crowds and national television, and has a shoe lobbed at him.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Monroe, full stop. We're supposed to hate him for being conservative and an extremely British kill-joy. But it's hard to not feel sorry for him when he's harassed and bullied throughout his campaign, and still refusing to fall to cat-calling and slander, up until he's provoked into a surprisingly believable "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Especially compared to our protagonist, who's a bitter, Jerkass alcoholic who, often out of spite, does little more than harass people who are trying to make a difference, including his not-girlfriend, who was too busy with her campaign to date him.
    • Arguably intentional. Despite being an unlikeable conservative, Monroe is the only character who believes in and defends British democracy in a speech that makes him appear to be an Author Avatar.

Tropes related to White Christmas:

Tropes related to Nosedive:

  • Anvilicious: Rating people is a bad thing. It's a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but so heavy-handed and steeped in a slippery slope (social media ratings will lead to people being denied life-saving medical care!) that it can be a bit much.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Apparently the real life Chinese government decided that this episode is a good example to implement a "social credit" system plan for their people. It's still plan, but still...
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: From two complete strangers saying fuck you to each other, no less.

Tropes related to Playtest:

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Katie's statement, "I haven't killed anybody... yet."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Subverted with Katie, as her manipulation of Cooper is all in his head.
  • Narm: The ending is heartbreaking, but Katie typing "CALLED MOM" in the report feels like a pretty cheap and manipulative gut-punch. It's clearly supposed to be an ironic reference to Cooper finally "calling" his mom back after ignoring her calls for so long, but 1) it's bizarre that Katie would use "mom" considering she's British and the episode already referenced the difference between "mom" and "mum", and 2) the phrase in general feels like unusual language to use in an official report, instead of something like "called out 'mom'", "yelled 'mom,'" etc.
  • Shout-Out: When seeing if Cooper has been "broken" to follow instructions without question, the phrase used to give the instruction is "Would you kindly...", a clear Bioshock reference.
    • There's a subtle one to an earlier episode too, one of the marker/target cards for the whack-a-mole game has the White Bear symbol from series 2 as part of the QR code-esque design.
  • The Woobie: Cooper. Poor, poor Cooper.

Tropes related to Shut Up and Dance:

  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Hector's relationship with Kenny. He does seem genuinely to try to help the younger man and goes beyond self interest to comfort him in their hellish situation.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Radiohead's Exit Music (for a film) plays during the ending.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: What seemed like an establishing character moment to make Kenny sweet and likable - giving a little girl a toy - becomes chilling after his crime is revealed.
  • Spiritual Successor: Thanks to the big revelation near the end that changes everything, people are already calling this a spiritual successor to White Bear.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The huge revelation near the end allows for this through Fridge Logic and Fridge Brilliance.
    • In the Google search bar right before Kenny masturbates, it's a bit difficult to see what he entered. On a rewatch after the revelation, it's the first four letters of the word "child".
  • Tear Jerker: Despite the revelation that Kenny was masturbating to child pornography, it's not hard to feel sorry for him, especially with the way things end.
  • The Woobie: Young Kenny has to go through a lot of shit, all for having a wank that happened to be caught on camera. Of course, once you figure out exactly what he was masturbating to, he loses a lot of his sympathy. Still, in the vein of White Bear, the audience has to ask itself if it's all even justified in the end.

Tropes related to San Junipero:

  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The episode itself is this for the entire series. After story after story about mankind using technology to its detriment, we get a love story where technology is used to effectively live forever.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Heaven is a Place On Earth" by Belinda Carlisle is used in the ending, putting a neat bow on the most optimistic episode of the show so far.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Already the episode has one with The 100, thanks to its subversion of the Bury Your Gays trope. "Heaven is a Place On Earth" has been used as the title for quite a few Clarke/Lexa fics in the few days the episode's been out.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Some found the episode to be a bit saccharine compared to the darker nature of the rest of the series.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Yorkie has been one for over 40 years with the reveal that after being rejected by her family for coming out as a lesbian she got into a car accident that put her into a coma.

Tropes related to Men Against Fire:

  • Anvilicious: Even by Black Mirror standards, this is definitely one of the least subtle episodes of the show.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Could be as well as a better implementation of the brainwashing techniques that similar to Haze, and the Twilight Zone episode "Hearts and Minds".
  • The Untwist: Charlie Brooker uses the idea of advanced augmented reality so often in the series that roaches actually being people becomes obvious very early on.

Tropes related to Hated In The Nation:

  • What an Idiot: Even after it's established that ADIs use facial recognition no one attempts to wear sunglasses or masks.

    The Video Game