YMMV / Cthulhu Mythos

  • Broken Base: Almost all of the works in the Cthulhu Mythos that weren't originally written by H.P. Lovecraft count for this.
  • Complete Monster: Although the shared universe of H.P. Lovecraft and his contemporaries generally eschew conventional morality, many characters still go the extra mile to stand out in the bleak universe:
    • Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos and the dreaded voice and soul of the Outer Gods, is a malignant sadist of a god with an all too human-like personality. A devious trickster by nature who enjoys playing sadistic games with mankind for its own amusement, Nyarlathotep wanders the Earth in a thousand avatars, stringing the night with the screams of those plagued by the horrid nightmares he induces wherever he walks. On record, Nyarlathotep ruins entire societies in the form of the Black Pharaoh, possesses and murders men as the Haunter in the Dark, and personally attempts to spirit Randolph Carter away into the throne room of great Azathoth itself. Nyarlathotep seduces men into worshiping his many avatars and orchestrates madness by the masses wherever he goes, differing from his fellow Outer Gods by virtue of being a wholly evil entity hindered by none of his brethren's eldritch mindsets and possessed of nothing more than a lust for reaping the chaos that defines it.
    • Y'golonac, the Defiler, is the god of depravity and a Great Old One reviled even by the priests of Cthulhu for its unspeakable perversions. Gathering cults of those with carnal hearts, Y'golonac has his followers engage in whatever grotesque fantasies they can imagine in tribute to it, hoping to eventually break out of its walled prison and walk free among men before wiping out all humanity with the other Great Old Ones. A sadist fully able to understand and manipulate humans, Y'golonac possesses people at its own merriment and gruesomely devours all those who do not pledge themselves to serving it. In Ramsey Campbell's Cold Print, Y'golonac possesses a bookseller in lower Brinchester and drives a man to insanity to draw in more victims for it to subvert or eatóchildren among them—and ultimately closes the story by devouring the protagonist himself.
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward has Joseph Curwen.
  • Creepy Awesome: Any and all of the gods.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Cthulhu has so little role in Lovecraft's work, yet is the most famous now. The fact that he lent his name to the franchise should be evidence enough.
    • Despite showing up in about two Mythos stories, Cthylla is pretty well known.
    • Nyarly is this for being one of the only truly evil beings in the Mythos. And well, being one of the few who is more a character than a force of nature.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Interpreting the end of The Dunwich Horror to be a parody of the Crucifixion.
    • Until you re-read it, and realize that it undoubtedly IS a parody of the Crucifixion...
  • Fanon: A lot of the "mythos" could be considered this, since so much was built up by later authors, rather than Lovecraft and his contemporaries. Of particular note is the belief that "Dagon" is a Lovecraftian God and a servant of Cthulhu. Pretty much any reference Lovecraft makes to "Dagon" in his own stories could be read as in-universe mythological allusions, out-of-universe mythological allusions, or a code name used by Cthulhu worshippers to avoid attracting attention.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: While there are plenty of canon disputes within the fandom, Bloch's "Shadow From the Steeple" is commonly held in low regard.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: In an odd inversion of this, "misspelling" a Great Old One's name in a fan work is actually a handy way of showing off your knowledge of the Mythos, since it complies with Lovecraft's reminder that there is no definitive way of spelling the Old Ones' unpronounceable names in any human language. Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, for example, frequently references the Mythos, but it always spells the eponymous character's name as "Ktulu".
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Parodies tend to have Cthugha and Nyarlathotep (mortal enemies in the main mythos) as friends or trying to pair them up.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Lovecraft described Azathoth as a monstrous indescribable thing which resides in the center of the universe, often described as "gnawing" and "chaotic". Scientists now believe that the center of our galaxy (and, by extension, other galaxies), is a supermassive black hole. Perhaps Lovecraft was on to something...
    • In the 1931 short story The Lair of the Star Spawn by August Derleth and Mark Schorer, the characters manage to stop the Great Old Ones Lloigor and Zhar with the aid of the Star Warriors from Orion, described as monstrous-size glowing beings that "shot great beams of annihilation and death".
      In 1966, Tsuburaya Productions created Ultra Series, a toku series about heroic aliens, also known as giants of light, with many abilities, including shooting powerful beams from their arms. And by sheer coincidence, their homeworld is located in nebula M78 in the Orion Constellation.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The bodies most commonly associated with the Yithians? Those belonged to beings native to Earth before the Yithians used their mind-swapping powers to leave their own dying world for ours...
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Plenty of people probably have heard of Cthulhu, but have not read Lovecraft.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • A lot of portrayals of Nyarlathotep.
    • Thsathoggua.
  • Memetic Molester: Y'golonac (You fool! You've doomed us all!), who is essentially the god of the bad touch.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • CTHULHU FHTAGN!
    • IÄ! IÄ!
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Hastur originally came from Ambrose Bierce's Haita the Shepherd. Chambers used the name in The King in Yellow. In spite of Hastur's prominence in the works of later Mythos authors, H.P. Lovecraft only used it once as a casual name-drop in "The Whisperer in Darkness".
    • The term Fire Vampires were first used for Fthaggua's servitors. Latter, Call of Cthulhu used the term to describe Cthugha's Flame creatures, and became the depiction that most associate with.
  • Praising Shows You Don't Watch: Receives a lot of praise from people who know little about it besides that it's where Cthulhu comes from.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Similar to Slender Man in present day, some are considering the character of Cthulhu to be so overused and well-known that he's become a cliché of the Cosmic Horror Story genre. Fortunately, there's plenty of other monsters and villains in the Mythos for writers to use to avert this.
  • Squick: In Japan, Atlach-Nacha has been associated with this thanks to a certain video game.
    • One could consider the interbreeding between humans and the Deep Ones to be this since it's basically people having sex with giant fish.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The protagonist of "Fane of the Black Pharaoh" by Robert Bloch. Being led down by a cultist, the archeologist sees centuries of prophetic events, notably of visitors being lead down the Fane and soon killed. Guess what happens next?
  • Word of Dante: Several common aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos (such as the good/evil dichotomy and the Necronomicon as a powerful Brown Note) come from Lovecraft's friend, August Derleth, rather than Lovecraft himself.

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