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YMMV: Justified
Beware of spoilers! Only spoilers from the current season are whited out.

  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • Of both the novels featuring Raylan and of the poorly received adaptation of Leonard's novel "Pronto", which featured the Raylan Givens character.
    • The pilot episode, "Fire in the Hole," takes both its name and plot from a short story from Leonard's When the Women Come Out to Dance. Printings post-Justified are now retitled Fire in the Hole and feature a big sticker letting you know that, yes, Raylan shows up in a story here.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Boyd reformed? Or was it all a scam? Is it still a scam or did he actually reform in the middle of it? Or did he actually reform first and then lose his way? We could keep going...
  • Awesome Music: You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive. It is used at the end of 4/5 of season finales, but the version that plays at the end of Season 5 deserves a special mention.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: When Roscoe delivers a profanity-laced exposition on King Lear in the middle of a standoff in "Wrong Roads".
  • Broken Base: The show's fanbase has quickly broken into those who watch it for Raylan/Olyphant and those who watch it for Boyd/Goggins. In particular, there are those Olyphant fans who hate how Goggins has stolen the spotlight from Olyphant and want him gone from the series.
  • Cargo Ship: It might be prudent to say that both people in the show and those who watch it ship Raylan and his hat. But hell, who wouldn't?
  • Complete Monster: Fletcher "The Ice-Pick" Nix from the season three premier "The Gunfighter" is a Psycho for Hire, wannabe gunfighter, and federal fugitive in the employ of Dixie Mafia boss Emmett Arnett. He is sent by Arnett to rob Delmar Coates, a very wealthy man. Nix proceeds to order a pizza to Coates' address. He then takes Coates and the pizza guy hostage, and robs Coates of his expensive watch collection. He then declares that he doesn't want to leave any witnesses, but that he'll give Coates a chance. He places a gun on the table between them, and has the pizza guy count down from ten. On "zero" they are both to go for the gun. Only thing is, Nix has an icepick under the table in his other hand. He impales Coates' hand when he tries to go for the gun, then kills him, then murders the pizza guy. He justifies this on the basis that they've seen his face, but as he admits, he could just wear a mask, but doesn't like to as he's "too pretty"; worse still his MO is known by the police, making both murders entirely pointless. When Nix is prevented from meeting up with Arnett, rather than flee with the several hundred thousand dollars worth of watches he now has on his person, Nix kidnaps protagonist Raylan Givens' ex-wife Winona, and makes Raylan play his game, intending to kill them both the same way he did Coates and the pizza guy.
  • Crazy Awesome: According to Art:
    Art: First thing we're gonna do is we're gonna acknowledge that this guy is awesome.
    Rachel: What?
    Art: I mean, he shoots Theo Tonin, fakes his own death in spectacular fashion, pushes a guy out of an airplane while he's flying it, parachutes into Harlan county with enough coke and cash to jumpstart the economy of small country, and then he has the balls to get a job in law enforcement, not once, but two times! He spends a couple days riding around with you while you're looking for him, and now he's run off with a hooker half his age. That's some badass shit.
    Raylan: It's pretty badass.
    Art: Yes, it is. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You wanna let those guys be the ones, or are we gonna be the ones to take that badass?
  • Ear Worm: The title music. Which was nominated for an Emmy to boot.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: There are plenty, due to the snarky writing and fun character actors the show often gets.
    • Boyd Crowder started out this way. Now he shares the lead billing.
    • Rachel and Tim, Raylan's fellow marshals, have their own devoted followers.
    • Wynn Duffy was so popular that he avoided death twice and was made a regular for season 5.
    • Ethan Picker has gained some popularity.
    • One-shot character Elias Marcos was very fun, due to Alan Tudyk's intense, terrifying performance. Many fans wanted to see more of him.
    • Jean Baptiste was popular with fans, especially after he threatens Danny Crowe for bullying Kendal. Unfortunately, he's killed off immediately after, due to Edi Gathegi not enjoying his time on the show..
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Early on in Season 4, Billy St. Cyr dies after a rattlesnake abruptly turns on him and bites him. About a year later, the same thing happens to Jamie Coots, who was also a snake-handling pastor.
  • Ho Yay / Foe Yay: Raylan and Boyd "dug coal" together.
    Raylan: There's nothing like the bond between two men when they work a deep shaft together.
    • Walton Goggins supposes that Boyd is pretty much gonna sleep with every girl that Raylan has slept with.
    • All of the courtroom scene in Save My Love. All of it.
    Raylan: I like the suit.
    • The invoking mentioned on the main page may be a subtle Take That at the shippers, though, because Raylan immediately rolls his eyes and walks away with an annoyed expression.
    • During their confrontation in Watching the Detectives Wynn Duffy threatens to ride Raylan "like a circus pony". Ugh.
    • In "Measures," Boyd subdues Quarles and orders him to be stripped naked and chained to a bed. Ooooookay...
    • In "Coalition," Quarles opens his robe in front of Jimmy while humming a tune. Jimmy is not amused.
    • In "Restitution", Daryl sarcastically invites Tim to cuddle with him. Later, Boyd offers to teach Tim to shoot with his hands handcuffed behind his back.
  • Every few minutes on the show, some character says a line that just screams gay subtext.
    Art: Asshole first, girlfriend later.
  • Iron Woobie: Boyd Crowder. See "Bulletville".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kendal Crowe. He might be a smart-mouthed brat, but it's painful to watch the Crowes expose him to age-inappropriate vices, Danny bully him, and Raylan use him as a pawn to anger Daryl.
    • Ava in season 5. Even though Ava exploited women in the sex trade, abused Ellen May, and tried to have Ellen May killed, it's painful to watch Ava endure violence, humiliation, and framing in prison.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Boyd is arguably a downplayed example. He's an expert Manipulative Bastard. He comes up with great plans, and can alter them on the fly, surviving everything the rest of the criminal world can throw at him. Yet despite that, he never really wins out, and most of his energies are directed at just staying afloat.
    • Drew Thompson/Shelby.
    Art: He shoots Theo Tonin, fakes his own death in a spectacular fashion, pushes a guy out of an air plane WHILE he is flying it, parachutes into Harlan county with enough coke and cash to jump start the economy of a small country. And then he has the BALLS to get a job in law enforcement, not once but two times. He spends a couple of days riding around with you while you're looking for him. And now he's run off with a hooker that's half his age.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Bo Crowder passes with flying colors, first when he gets Johnny to beat the crap out of Boyd and executes his entire band of merry ex-cons, and later when he shoots Johnny for working with Boyd behind his back. Arlo doesn't quite win father of the year either, agreeing to sell out his son to the cartel.
    • Mags Bennett crosses it by the end of the first episode of season two when she poisons a man at his own kitchen table in punishment for bringing in the police.
    • Boyd and Ava arguably get theirs when they arrange to have Ellen May murdered.
    • Mob hitman Fletcher Nix goes from cool to asshole in ten seconds flat, when he cheats his way to victory in the "fair duel" he promised one of his victims, then kills a witness after promising to let him go—completely unncessesarily, as the police instantly recognise his very distinctive MO.
    • Robert Quarles crosses the line when he's outed as a kidnapper and Serial Killer of male prostitutes.
    • Daryl Crowe Jr. manipulating his teenage nephew into taking the fall for shooting Art.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Maggs, fueling our nightmares with poisoned moonshine and mutilated hands by way of ball peen hammer.
    • Limehouse's slaughterhouse, where he can be found slicing up hog carcasses and the limbs of evil blond men as he intimidates his foes.
    • Quarles, who brutally killed two drug dealers in "Measures" and regularly tortures male hustlers.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Due to the sharp writing of even the most minor characters, there are a few.
    • Fletcher Nix the Ice Pick, a hitman for the Dixie Mafia and dark counterpart to Raylan. With his slow speech, sadistic games, nifty hat and terrifyingly cool demeanour, many want him back.
    • Sarno, another Dixie Mafia hitman, who has the virtue of being played by treasured character actor Michael Ironside. He's badass, very affable and practical.
    • The hilariously trashy Truth family, a group of redneck criminals who are an appealing mix of Too Dumb to Live and The Family That Slays Together.
    • Other one scene wonders tend to crop up again until they become recurring characters. Wynn Duffy, Shelby Parlow, Dewey Crowe and Ellen May were all somewhat minor characters that might have stayed that way, except for the impact they made in their first appearances.
    • It looks as though Detroit mobster Elias Marcos will also be added to the list, courtesy of a brief, but terrifying performance from Alan Tudyk.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In season 2, Ava's role was reduced and she hooked up with Boyd allowing her to lose some of the ire she drew. Of course, now all of that is being directed at Winona...
  • Stoic Woobie: Raylan Givens, most of the time.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ava, although many would agree that she's been rescued since season 2.
    • Winona, for being very whiny, hypocritical at times, and for putting Raylan under unnecessary stress due to her idiotic actions (the money incident from season 2 stands out).
    • Danny Crowe, for being a Fat Idiot, a Dirty Coward, a Jerkass to just about everyone, a bully to Kendal and Dewey, and a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Coover Bennett back in season 2. Add on how he abruptly killed Jean-Baptiste because he couldn't stand up to him, and you've got who is arguably the most hated character in season 5.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 4, in the eyes of some. Though it has been met with critical and popular acclaim in general, the lack of an overall Big Bad, and the seeming ineffectualness of longtime villains Boyd Crowder and Wynn Duffy did hurt it.
    • Season 5, with its numerous bridge droppings, uneven pacing, unclear villains, and tendency towards forgetting that Raylan possesses actual human emotions, has its own set of problems.
  • Squick: In season 5, we learn than Teri/"Candy" has a bed trick involving Pop Rocks you-know-where.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In "Weight", Danny Crowe ends up stabbing himself in the chin because he tripped down a hole while sprinting towards Raylan with a knife in hand.
  • Tear Jerker: The beginning of "Reckoning" when Raylan walks into his former home where Aunt Helen's body lay and the end scene where he is unable to kill Dicky because of what she taught him as a child.
    Raylan: (hushed voice) Goddamn you, Dicky.
    • Let's not forget that Arlo Givens' last words to his son were "kiss my ass." Raylan has done an excellent job of hiding how torn up he is over the fact that even in death, Arlo was still a rotten piece of shit and wouldn't show him anything resembling affection.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Jean-Baptiste, Daryl Crowe's cool and collected Haitian right-hand man. He's given a neat persona, a couple of good scenes, and is then randomly bridge-dropped by Danny Crowe, a far less interesting character. Apparently the actor wanted out, but there had to be a better way to handle it.
  • Too Cool to Live: Rosco, gun toting, D.A. headbutting, Shakespeare quoting henchman of Hotrod.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Even creator Graham Yost has acknowledged that it's unlikely they'll have another season as great as season 2, let alone another villain as great as Mags Bennett.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The show's treatment of women leaves a lot to be desired. In particular, Boyd letting Ava's attempted rapist go because the man professes to love her is completely unforgivable.

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