YMMV / Father Brown

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Being to some extent an Author Tract in favor of Catholicism, this sometimes pops up, often combined with Acceptable Ethnic Targets.
    • Calvinism and its associated sects are portrayed as self-righteous, morbid, and borderline misanthropic. Father Brown goes so far to say that Presbyterianism isn't really Christianity (in an ironic twist on No True Scotsman).
    • New religious movements are portrayed as faddish occupations for bourgeois people who want to be trendy and modern. If their leaders are present, they're either villains, Straw Hypocrites, or both.
    • Atheism is almost always referenced as a quirk of the French national character, and predicated on their sentimentalism: in one story, an French atheist feels so strongly about it that he kills a man simply for being an avid patron of religious societies. Any other atheists are scientists whose overly-mechanistic view of the world makes them lack in common sense.
    • Non-Abrahamic religions are given the Hollywood Voodoo treatment, as was typical for Europeans at the time. Chesterton admits that any "tribal" practices in his stories are made up and have little, if any, elements of truth to them, but they still play up stereotypes for all they're worth.
    • The Church of England is subtly mocked in some stories as an inferior version of Catholicism that stole a lot of the Roman church's property in England. This comes off as more of an Affectionate Parody than the others, which isn't surprising given that many of Chesterton's close friends were Anglican (and he himself was at one point).
  • Accidental Innuendo: The Red Moon of Meru features a doctor peddling the then-popular, now long discredited practice of measuring intelligence by the curves of a person's head. He walks up to a fashionable lady and offers to "feel her bumps".
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Father Brown is very awesome, but one moment that stands out is in "The Queer Feet," when he calmly tells a roomful of rich and privileged aristocrats that the Gentleman Thief has not only escaped, sacrificed his loot, but repented, the reaction is disbelieving. Father Brown calmly answers, "Odd, isn't it, that a thief and a vagabond should repent, when so many who are rich and secure remain hard and frivolous, and without fruit for God or man?"
    • From the same story, we have another CMOA when Father Brown delivers An Aesop:
    "Yes," he said; "it must be very hard work to be a gentleman; but, do you know, I have sometimes thought that it may be almost as laborious to be a waiter."
    • In the story The Two Beards, everyone is convinced that an ex-thief in the neighborhood must be the culprit. Father Brown insists that the man is innocent, and when they persist he shuts them up with a single sentence:
    Bankes: "Hang it all! After all, he was a convicted thief!"
    Father Brown: "Yes. And only a convicted thief has ever in this world heard that assurance: 'This night shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.'"
  • Fridge Logic: In the first story, when Flambeau asks for the package, he reveals that he actually swiped it some time ago in the next sentence. Why would he then stay with Father Brown and ask for it at all?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The season one episode, The Man in the Tree comes across as this with the revelation that Sid has spent a year in jail in series 5.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The staff of St. Bridgit's Moral Welfare, featured in "The Bride of Christ", cross it through their stealing babies from their mothers over any moral deformity, and they even had at least some of said mothers locked up in insane asylums, effectively scarring them for seven life terms. Worse, the murders of the week took place because of it—the murderer of the week happened to be one of their victims. It's telling that even Father Brown thought the whole operation was morally reprehensible, well beyond anything he had ever encountered as an amateur sleuth.
  • Running Gag: At this point Lady Felicia screaming bloody murder at each body is becoming a borderline one.
  • Spoiled by the Format: The first mystery, "The Blue Cross", is told through the Sympathetic P.O.V. of the great French detective, Valentin. So when the unremarkable, seemingly bumbling priest (who isn't even named Father Brown untill near the end) solves the mystery, it would've been a huge shock to readers when it was first published in a magazine. But the most likely place for a modern reader to pick up this story isn't titled The Complete Detective Valentin Stories, so it ain't that much of a surprise.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Flambeau is mentioned to have "casually and almost abruptly fallen in love with a Spanish Lady".
  • Uncanny Valley: Evoked in several stories, e.g., "The Head of Caesar."
  • Values Dissonance: Chesterton's racial and national attitudes were actually very moderate for the early twentieth century, but some will often strike a sour note for modern readers in the midst of his most enjoyable works, as for example in "The God of the Gongs." His religious views, on the other hand, were entirely conscious, and will strike the reader as either refreshingly forthright or offensively aggressive, according to taste.
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