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YMMV: House of Cards (US)
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: While Lucas' investigation of Zoe's death with Connor was deemed by some as one of the less interesting aspects of Season 2, it's nonetheless chilling to see him sent off to prison. The fact that he ends up getting discredited so that no one aside from Janine believes him makes it an even more dire case of this.
  • Award Snub: Corey Stoll's performance as Peter Russo was seen as the highlight of the first season by many, yet he ended up being one of the few things not to earn a nomination at the 2013 Emmys.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Claire goes on her morning jog, taking a route through a cemetery. Halfway through, she runs into an old lady who chides her for disrespecting the dead. It freaks Claire out a bit and that's about it. Nothing much comes of it, other than adding to the minor theme of respecting the dead that episode had.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Some viewers have complained that the show becomes difficult to watch after a while because many non-deserving people (such as Peter, Zoe, Lucas, Freddie, Adam, Megan Hennessy, President Walker) end up with their lives ruined or are even killed because of the Underwoods. The Underwoods, meanwhile, only gain more and more political power as the show goes on.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Gavin's long haired guinea pig Cashew has a strong following with both crew and fans. #House Of Cashew
  • Evil Is Cool: Frank of course.
  • Faux Symbolism: The scene with Underwood confronting a screaming, deranged homeless man trying to get into the congressional office building. He says: "Nobody can hear you. Nobody cares about you. Nothing will come of this." The homeless man could be seen as a representation of the American people, whose interests never play a part in Underwood's calculations throughout the series.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Of course Frank Underwood would enjoy the power fantasies found in video games.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Seeing Frank Underwood playing video games becomes much more amusing now that Kevin Spacey is confirmed to lend his voice and appearance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, for a character that seems to be very close to Underwood in personality to boot. People have even wondered if Underwood will at some point play COD:AW on the show.
  • Idiot Ball: In the season 2 premiere, for some reason Zoe keeps Frank apprised of her whole investigation into his shadier dealings, leading to her death. Basically, the smart, savvy character of this series was suddenly turned into the clueless rube that her counterpart in the original series was.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Peter Russo
  • Love It or Hate It: The show is very polarizing amongst both critics and audiences.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Frank Underwood, the man knows every trick in the book and then some more of his own invention. He amorally trumps everybody with style.
    • His Worthy Opponent Raymond Tusk often matches Frank in Magnificence—enough that Frank himself can't help but admire his ability.
    • He makes it a point to hire men with signs of Magnificence of their own to be his dragons. Doug seems to be a good Basterd-in-training in Season One, but ultimately gives in to his feelings for Rachel far too much. When Seth comes along in Season Two, he proves to be quite an effective successor to Doug.
    • His wife Claire Underwood was probably intended to be pretty much his female counterpart. Alas, she often proves far too emotionally involved in the situation—which sometimes leads to unfortunate complications.
    • Zoe Barnes showed promise of becoming a Magnificent Bitch throughout Season One, before she ultimately turned against Frank—leading to her death in Season Two.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While hardly a Boy Scout to begin with, Underwood only definitely crosses it in chapters 10 and 11, where he orchestrates Russo's publicly falling off the wagon, and then murders him when he becomes a threat. To make things worse, it's heavily implied that all of it (except probably the murder) was part of the plan all along.
    • Claire's betrayal of Megan is definitely this.
  • Narm: Some of the scenes where Frank is being his intimidating self are a bit much. (Although apparently LBJ, of whom Frank has framed photos on his wall, really did work like that.) The scene where he towers over Russo demanding his "complete, unquestioning loyalty" comes to mind.
    • The Deep Throat-like character who contacts Goodwin appears on Goodwin's iPad with a vaguely-humanoid avatar with a bird's head wearing an upside down bucket for a hat. It removes any amount of menace or mystery the scene was meant to convey.
  • The Scrappy: Some viewers were less then riveted by the Lucas the Hacker arc in season 2.
  • Villain Sue: Frank, to the point that it has been the major critical complaint of the series. In the first season, Frank is about a billion times smarter and more competent than anyone who does, or might, stand in his way; only Raymond Tusk comes close to being a credible threat, and when he and Frank are in open opposition to one another, the problem fixes itself within an episode.
    • Gets a bit better in the second season, as several pawns start to realize Frank is a completely untrustworthy Smug Snake, and Frank has to deal with opponents he can't easily charm, bribe, or bypass. He still wins, though, and repeatedly manages to persuade people who really should know better.
  • The Woobie:
    • Peter Russo.
    • The Walkers' life is repeatedly poisoned by the Underwoods, but they still consider them genuine friends.
    • Pity poor Freddy.
    • Lucas.
    • Adam, as of the end of Season 2.
    • Poor Rachel becomes the epitome of this trope.

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