YMMV / Desperate Housewives

Character Tropes
  • Creator's Pet: Susan, Susan, Susan. Marc Cherry has made it clear that she's his favourite character. A lot of fans retaliated by speculating that her clumsiness finally killed her soon after the end of the series, given her strangely being left out of the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
    • Ironically, Teri Hatcher proved to be hugely unpopular among her co-stars. According to Daily Mail, the other leading actresses made a farewell card to thank the crew, and they left Teri's name out.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The characters act so unsympatheticaly that it's hard to pick one side in their conflicts. Bree cannot accept her son Andrew's homosexuality and tries to cure him but Andrew is also a big jerkass who would do anything to piss off his mother and that's only one early example. The neighbourhood goes through so much craps that there's no hope of getting a happy life.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Orson Hodge, who went from being a one-off character, to a short-term villain, to one of the main characters on the show.
    • Edie Britt's role was increased when she proved popular with the fans.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Katherine and Susan suffers a bad on-and off one-sided rivalry for two seasons over Mike. In the 1996 film Fly Away Home, Katherine's actor, Dana Delany, played a character named Susan.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In season 3, Nora's Death Equals Redemption by telling Lynette that her daughter was the "only good thing" she did in her life, only for Lynette to take care of Kayla on her request and discover that she's an Enfant Terrible.
    • A season 5 episode deals with Juanita wearing make up to school in order to look more like her mother Gabby. On being asked why she did it, Juanita claims that a couple of girls at school told her she couldn't possibly be Gabby's daughter as she wasn't pretty enough. Two seasons later, and it's revealed that Juanita isn't Gabby or Carlos' daughter; she was accidentally switched at birth.
    • Mrs. McCluskey dying of cancer in the finale is even sadder now that Kathryn Joosten herself died of cancer shortly after the show ended.
      • Of course, given the actress most likely knew she was terminally ill when the episode was written/filmed, it is highly possible that her character's fate was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot.
  • Hollywood Homely: Gabrielle supposedly loses her beauty after becoming a mom, but c'mon—this is Eva Longoria we're talking about. Not even sweats can make her look bad. It gets even more ridiculous when other characters comment that she's out of shape.
    • One episode of season six had Tom wanting to get plastic surgery to remove the large amount of wrinkles on his face. Coincidentally, that was the only episode that season where Tom's actor wore fake wrinkle makeup. Even though he chose against the surgery, he still looks ten years younger again the next episode.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Christine Estabrook, who played Mrs. Huber, was referred to as the "fat lady" on the show. She is indeed, more rounded than the main characters but not overweight. She looks as though she keeps in good shape despite middle-aged softness. The actress however, does later play the mother of the very curvaceous (and above a US size 8) and sexy Joan Holloway Harris whom she shares in common regarding waist-to-hip ratio.
  • Iron Woobie: Bree. More like adamant woobie. She lost 3 husbands and 2 boyfriends, her son hated her with passion for several seasons, her daughter doesn't like her much either, and she succumbed to alcoholism. She managed to get back on her feet each time, despite the odds, the people, and the universe working against her. That is, until season 8, when she finally snaps, and is on the verge of suicide a la Mary Alice by the end of the 9th episode.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Paul Young, as of Season 7.
    • Orson is defintively this in season 8.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Marc Cherry was disturbed, to say the least, that so many LGBT viewers took to Andrew Van de Kamp, whom he considered a sociopath. The disconnect was most evident in the second season, where Andrew's most despicable behavior coincided with an onslaught of praising fan-mail. Shawn Pyfrom, however, saw it as a good thing, commenting that, for all Andrew's flaws, he was always totally at ease with his sexual orientation and completely broke the stereotype of weak, ineffectual gay men.
  • The Scrappy: Renee Parker is considered this by some. The fact that the promotional posters all featured Vanessa Williams in the front and center did not go done well amongst those who felt her character stole much of the spotlight.
    • Susan for much of the fandom due to her frequent clumsiness, childishness and stupidity, particularly during the final season.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Paul Young. Granted he killed the woman who drove his wife to suicide but it is difficult not to feel at least a little sorry for him given the estrangement of his son, his long stay in prison and the constant hostility and distrust of the people who were supposedly his friends and neighbours. In fact, read that back. His most unsympathetic trait is that he killed the woman who blackmailed his wife into shooting herself.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Katherine Mayfair in Season 5, who, after being rejected by Mike, goes insane. She generally acts like a bitch to Bree, who then fires her, but she's treated as a nutcase. Later, however, she is shown framing Mike for attempted murder, complete with her pointing to him as the ambulance drives off. He is arrested. Later, after Susan reveals her at a nutcase, all of the major women show up to forgive her for going crazy. Susan is reluctant, but does so. The show goes to great lengths to show that Katherine was desperately lonely and in need of affection, and, in fact, Mike is criticized when he doesn't want anything to do with her, when she framed him for assault and didn't even apologize.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Eva Longoria playing a former catwalk model. She is an extremely beautiful woman, yes, but she is also 5' 2".

Episode-Specific Tropes
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: At the end of the season 3 episode "The Miracle Song", was Arthur telling Lynette the truth about being a pedophile, or was he lying as a means of getting back at her by scaring her?
  • Angst? What Angst?: So the sweet Woobie everyone's known for years turns out to be the town serial killer, who holds Lynette hostage, delivers her baby, and turns himself in. Meanwhile, the new neighbor blows up a guy in a car right in front of your house and takes off. Yet the next day, all anyone cares to talk about is that Susan is moving ten blocks away. Just another week on Wisteria Lane...
  • Ass Pull: Mike's death, heartbreaking as it may be, was still dealt with in a rather ridiculous way. First, he needlessly puts himself in danger by walking into a house that's being robbed instead of just calling the police, and proceeds to piss off the intruder he knows is from the mafia. The crowner however is when members of that mafia decides to kill him by driving through the street in broad daylight and shoot him for anyone to see on the off chance that he's out on his porch at that moment. What kind of mafia were we talking about here?
  • Fridge Brilliance: Season 6 finale: Why did Angie spill one of her precious seconds by throwing the car door shut? To keep Patrick in the car.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The shooter in 'Bang' played Debbie Salt aka Mrs. Loomis, one of the main killers in Scream 2.
  • Narm: Angie saying "Rimanga bene" while she's at the phone with her mother. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Italian can tell you that this greeting makes no sense. Angie should have said something like "Stammi bene", which is the equivalent of "Take care".
  • Nightmare Fuel: The riot against the ex-convicts home which Paul Young set up. Including having Susan trampled, Lee and Bob trapped in a car which is being beat up, Juanita, a child screaming in terror whilst in the car, and the good old fashioned claustrophobia of being pushed along by masses of people. For parents, there is also Juanita being lost in the mob. This was surprisingly scary stuff for a normally comedy and drama driven show.
    • The reveal that Karen has been keeping her dead husband in the freezer for years in order to keep recieving his pension checks.
  • Wangst: The first half of Season 8. Oh so much. Especially considering how they handled everything else they've been through for the past seven seasons.

Show-Wide Tropes
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Mike and Susan in the fifth season.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some fans have noted a decline in quality in season five, although the Paul Young storyline was praised in Season 7
    • Season 8 was criticized by many because of characters behaving absurdly (especially Susan), various Ass Pull shockers ( Orson becoming a murderous stalker, Mike's death and so on) and a highly divisive finale with the four housewives leaving Wisteria Lane for good.
  • Testosterone Brigade: Just read the first sentence on the main page. At the height of its popularity, ABC even ran an ad with a guy admitting he watched it... and (unconvincingly) claiming that it was for the story. Riiiiiight.