YMMV / Bonanza

  • Complete Monster: Damion, unquestionably so, the maniac villain from the second part of "Forever", one of the last and fittingly scariest characters in the series. He was a cultured, sadistic and crazed zealot. who lived by a corrupted "do unto others" and "eye for an eye" view of the Bible, spoke with a chilling charisma and proper tone to his voice, and frequently lapsed into a horrifying Death Glare and a Hair-Trigger Temper. His murder of the Harper siblings put him squarely into monster territory after he strong-armed John for money to pay up a gambling debt, causing him to rat out his newlywed and pregnant sister Alice, Joe's wife. He immediately shot John the second he tried to protect his sister Alice, then stole Joe and Alice's treasured music box to try and compensate for the debt, and when she resisted, he unleashed his henchman Harley, a silent giant, on Alice to kill her with his bare hands and had their house burned to the ground. Later, he showed how unstable he was even further when he poured a glass of wine over one of his other henchmen like the blood of the host to cleanse him of his sins and "forgive" him. Finally, he reached the height of irredeemable when he had Joe and Harley fight to the death in "trial by combat" because he thought it would be just for Joe to have a shot at payback, but when Joe didn't have the heart to deal a killing blow to Harley, Damion began screaming at Joe to kill him because it was his right, and was disappointed when he didn't follow through. That's when Harley realizes he's being used and thrown away without a second thought and thus turns against Damion and purses him with coldblooded hate all the way into a river. Spindly Daimion begins flailing in the river current in vain as Harley easily gains on him when the river can't do much to slow down a big, beefy man, the sick monster begins screaming for mercy on his own life in terror and receives his just dues in the form of a broken neck and meets his end exactly as he deserved.
  • Ear Worm: DUN dudu DUN dudu DUN dudu DUN dudu DUN DUN!
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Bonanza was aired in Poland during The '60s (or was it The '70s?...), when people desperately craved anything other than the official propaganda. This was said to result in almost total depopulation of streets around the time of airing. And it can't be wholly dismissed as Nostalgia Filter.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The fourth Cartwright son, Jamie, who was adopted some time after Adam's departure. He wasn't all that liked due to being a Kid-Appeal Character, but he eventually got more respectable as he matured. "The Grand Swing" and "A Home For Jamie" are the two episodes that showed Jamie was not a replacement for Adam, but that Ben had come to love him like one of his own sons. These episodes helped him become a much more welcome addition to the Cartwright crew.
    • Griff, on the other hand, was disliked for being a Replacement Goldfish for Hoss, and in his second episode, he made enemies out of the entire Ponderosa ranch because he was so volatile after spending a long time in a corrupt prison. That didn't earn him much sympathy from viewers, either. He never really outgrew his abrasiveness because the show didn't last long enough to portray him growing out of it.
  • Seasonal Rot: In the final season after Dan Blocker's death, which featured only Lorne Greene and Michael Landon out of the original cast. Not all of the stories were bad, per se (the two-part opener is even recognized as one of the best specials to ever air on television by TV Guide), the main complaint was that Hoss was one of the most beloved characters of the bunch, and his death put out the spark that fueled the series up until now because it felt much colder and lonelier without him, and none of the new additions could ever fill that void. With the loss of Dan Blocker kicking out a bunch of planned episodes and a resulting network decision to bump the show to a less-coveted time slot because that season would run short, the show was dealt a killing blow. Sadly, even though there were follow-up specials and a short-lived prequel series decades later, the surviving cast never got to return.
  • Special Effects Failure: There's an episode where some bandits use dynamite to blow open the safe at the bank. It looks like they just stuck a sparkler on it and rigged the door to fall down.