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YMMV: Harper's Island
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Malcolm.
    • Shane. He was such a jerk that many fans were looking forward to seeing the killer get him, but the way he died redeemed him for a lot of people.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Henry an obsessive, deranged pyschopath, or a misguided, mentally ill person who just needs a little love?
    • Is Shane just a Jerkass by nature, or does he have some Freudian Excuse the rest of the island doesn't know about?
    • Did Chloe care as much about Cal as she said, or was she just glad to have a man so devoted to her she could get away with anything?
    • Did Malcolm ever feel guilt about what happened to Booth, or was he just afraid he would be found out?
    • Was Hunter trying to break up the wedding for Mr. Wellington's money, or was he really in love with Trish all along?
    • Did Katherine love Thomas as much as she said she did, or was she a bored trophy wife looking for some excitement?
    • Likewise, did Richard love Shea or Madison at all, or was he just married to her for the Wellington money?
    • Is Maggie a sweet old lady who just wants to make Trish and Henry's dreams come true, or is she a greedy Dirty Coward who got what was coming to her?
    • Was Nikki really as much of a badass as she claimed, or was she just as frightened and helpless as all the others?
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment - Cousin Ben's death is shown in the first scene of the pilot and he's never mentioned again.
    • Chloe mentions him when she's making a list of the people who have been killed/people they have not seen for awhile.
    • And later, a goodie-bag with his name on it was left in the lobby for him to pick up when he arrives, and it showed Madison tearing up his name tag.
    • Cal's violent tendencies were hinted at in the official bios, but only displayed once when he dunked Chloe's head in the water in Episode 1. They are never mentioned again, and Cal is devoted to Chloe for the rest of the series.
  • Canon Sue: Abby. So much, Abby. Reinforced by the suggestion that she might be 25-year-old virgin.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Letters from the Sky" by Civil Twilight, during Cal and Chloe's death scene.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Henry has been getting this a lot, creepily enough.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Due to the large cast but very narrow character focus just about everyone is this. Some examples include Joel Booth, Beth Barrington, Uncle Marty, and Nikki Bolton.
    • Of the main characters, Chloe and Cal tend to be the most popular. Sully isn't far behind
  • Evil Is Sexy: Henry, but of course, to the point where many fans vilified him based on that alone.
    • Weirdly, some fans also think this of Wakefield.
  • Epileptic Trees: Amongst some truly bizarre theories, there was a widespread belief that Booth was alive and the killer until the producers openly refuted it.
    • Booth actually being shot by one of the killers is also a theory.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: A bizarre number of fans ship Henry/Abby.
    • Due to Malcolm's Scrappy status, lots of fans ship Beth/Danny.
    • Katherine/Hunter is also popular in fanfiction.
    • Lucy/Sully is also popular, though the two never interact on screen.
    • Malcolm/Booth, probably derived from Malcolm's breakdown after shooting Booth.
    • For a long time many fans believed Maggie and Wakefield were lovers...
    • Kelly/Wakefield is another of the weird ones.
  • Fanon: Ask the fan base and you'll find that Abby was unconscious for three days, Henry meant for JD to survive locked up in the jail cell and Henry deliberately gave his middle initial as "W" on the wedding invitations to stand for "Wakefield" (his middle name is established as "James" in episode 13), despite this last one being a production error.
    • The fans have also dubbed Abby's full name "Abigail", Katherine's maiden name "Shepherd", Beth's full name "Elizabeth", and Maggie's full name "Margaret".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one of the early episodes, Henry and the groomsmen are entertained by a stripper. Henry is embarrassed by the fact that it's his friend's little sister, which is awkward. Sully says "that's what makes it dirty". In the last episode, Henry is declaring his undying love for... his own little sister.
  • Idiot Subplot: The bag of money that the groomsmen find and their efforts to keep it result in a nervous Booth being sent into the woods in the middle of the night to bury the money and carrying a gun he's clearly unfamiliar with. For good measure, Malcolm follows him and surprises him. Booth shoots himself in the leg out of fright and dies. No one in this sub-plot has any intelligence!
    • To top it all off Henry planted the money there for them to find it just to see what insanity would ensue amongst each other, as he was going to kill them all anyway.
  • Memetic Mutation: Among fans: "Who the hell is Beth?!"
    • Uncle Marty is the coolest dude in existence.
    • "Gigi is people!"
    • "It's gonna be okay!" or some variation thereof.
  • Narm: This season contains comedy deaths, after comedy deaths, after comedy deaths.
    • Shane is just written as so unrealistically mean, especially in the second episode, that it is hard not to laugh at his lines.
    Shane: "Boohoo, John Wakefield killed my mommy! Get over it! Now Get out, I gotta pee!"
    • Madison's scenes where she is supposed to be ominous and creepy would have worked if the actress was a few years younger, but instead she just ended up looking... a little silly.
    • The first third of the show before the murders are discovered contains an absurdly high number of Cat Scares, especially episode one.
  • Nightmare Fuel: What turns out to be the reason all of it happens? Henry killing everyone because of a promise Abby made when they were kids? And then trying to hold her to it? Definite nightmare fuel for some people.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Uncle Marty, despite getting killed off in the very first episode, is frequently a fan favorite.
  • The Scrappy: Madison and her mother Shea. Incredibly, they both live because Executive Meddling stated that the writers couldn't kill a child or every member of her family.
  • Shocking Swerve: Kelly's eyes being dyed red in the third episode proves to be just a distraction for the viewers and doesn't actually have any impact on the story at all, even though it was supposed to implicate Kelly's tattoo artist boyfriend Shane.
    • Along with all the scenes of Madison and the fortune teller giving prophecies of supernatural doom.
  • Tear Jerker: Sure, it's a murder mystery and there's enough death to go around, but you have to admit you hated the killer a little more when Cal and Chloe died.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Cole.
  • The Woobie:
    • JD is a genuine one. A mentally-troubled and bullied loner whose parents died in the back story, who everyone thinks is dangerous and who is blamed for all the murders. He is finally killed by his adoptive brother Henry and refuses to speak to protect Abby. Word of God says Henry murdered their parents too.
    • Kelly is another. Loses her mother in the 2001 murder spree, suffers abusive boyfriend Shane and sees John Wakefield alive. No one believes her, which is how he gets away with it for a long time. She is hanged by him before anyone realises she wasn't mad.
    • Trish is one as well. Not only does she watch her dad die horribly in front of her, but in the end, she's murdered by the one man she loved the most and trusted with her life.

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