YMMV / Lost

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Nikki and Paulo. They are really hated, but to be buried alive (and for mistake because the Losties think they're dead after being paralyzed by a poison) is a scary fate.
    • Shannon to those who still considered her a Scrappy. Just when she starts becoming a compelling character and not the vapid Rich Bitch, as well as we get to learn how much her Evil Matriarch stepmother crashed her dreams... boom, shot in the stomach.
    • Ana Lucia got quite a bit of hate for killing Shannon, but she becomes more sympathetic just in time for Michael, yet another disliked character, to kill her.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: This show is probably the poster child for this trope, and it can be applied to pretty much every character with explicit grounding in the show's subtext. Keep in mind, these are just some of the major ones:
    • Is the universe really such a rational place, or is Jack Shepherd just interpreting it that way because of his compulsion to fix things caused by his daddy issues?
    • Is the Island really guiding John Locke's destiny (or sentient at all), or is he just interpreting it that way because of his compulsion to discover his destiny caused by his daddy issues?
    • Are the Numbers really cursed, or is Hurley just interpreting them that way after a string of bad luck like this guy because of his compulsion to blame himself caused by his daddy issues?
    • Is the boar in the jungle really the spirit of Frank Duckett, or is Sawyer just interpreting it that way because of guilt over the accidental murder caused by his daddy issues?
    • Is the world really such a hostile place, or is Ana-Lucia just interpreting it that way because of her accident and her overprotective mommy issues?
    • Is Sayid really in love with Nadia, or is he just interpreting his feelings that way because of his guilt and his need to be absolved?
    • Is Jacob a weary God-like character full of love whose hand is forced by fate? Or a callous, sociopathic momma's boy whose manipulations have caused thousands of deaths?
    • Is the Man In Black as much of an apocalyptic villain as Jacob says, or is he simply so desperate to escape the island that he's willing to resort to evil means?
    • How seriously are we supposed to take Ben's statement that the Others are the "good guys?"
    • Watching the series a second time knowing Locke has no real idea of anything he's talking about makes him a good deal less sympathetic, and more like he's trying to start a cult of personality around himself as the island's savior.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The Man in Black's nature and Freudian Excuse.
      • Plus his getting Mode Locked as John Locke. We never learn why, or how Ilana knows this. Basically, it was just an excuse to keep Terry O'Quinn on the show in the final season.
      • The claim that the Man in Black cannot leave the island unless he kills all the candidates. This is never really explained properly. It's essentially a Hand Wave so that the character can do evil things, and thus give the audience a reason to root against him. For that matter, how was Jacob keeping him on the island? Did Jacob wave a magic wand and make a force field erupt whenever his brother tried to leave?
    • In season 4, Hurley gets the ability to talk to ghosts out of nowhere, which is never explained. Even weirder, this is the same season that introduces a new character who can also talk to ghosts, so what was wrong with using him for these scenes?
  • Awesome Music: It has its own sub-page.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Played with in Locke's case. He goes back and forth from awesome to pathetic so many times that this duality has basically become one of his main character traits.
    • Even though his badassery was only memetic, Richard Alpert could be said to have suffered from this, having spent most of season 6 in a state of Heroic B.S.O.D. instead of actually doing anything badass. It's made worse because he BSOD'd after the first time he ever really ran into trouble. Before that, he got by on just standing around and looking badass without ever actually doing anything.
    • The Others. What started as a mysterious group of rogue jungle ninjas was soon revealed to be little more than a bunch of commune dwelling nobodies that played football and had a flare for the dramatic. Although shining the spotlight on anything scary will quickly reveal that it's just a branch scratching against a window.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Sawyer's "You too, Brutus?", from Shakespeare. Actually, Caesar is supposed to have said "You too, my son".
  • Bellisario's Maxim: Largely averted, due to the extreme amount of attention to detail and hidden clues. However, this often backfires, since fans attribute significance to every little detail, and minor things like getting the date of a real-world event wrong become central points of theories.
  • Better on DVD: For one thing, you don't have to wait an ungodly time between seasons.
  • Broken Base: See details of the criticism here. But then again this hardly scratches the surface in some people's opinion, as there are the people who will attack the detractors with unparalleled zeal. Not to mention what season did the show go off the rail, those who think the writers are making it all up as they go along, and of course those who love the Kate/Sawyer/Jack love triangle and those who HATE it and consider it to be the bane of the show.
    • Most Lost fans were a very cohesive unified base at one point. Particularly around Season 1. Mostly due to sharing Wild Mass Guessing, in addition to all the alternate reality web stuff. But around Season 2 strain was starting to show (some might even say during the last leg of Season 1). People were unsatisfied with the snail pace, the over exposure of Kate/Jack/and yes even Sawyer at the expense of everyone else. What really caused the cracks was the aggressiveness and even condescending counter attacks from the defenders of the show. It got uglier, and more hostile every season.
    • The aforementioned internet tie-in stuff was seen as more interesting than the stuff that was in the actual show by some fans. Most was ignored by the show causing a What Happened to the Mouse? situation (for those that cared about it anyways).
    • The reveal about the Others. Some say it was ingenious, while others think it was anti-climactic and destroyed their creepiness.
    • The episode "Across the Sea" has definitely caused even further division.
    • The final episode "The End" has finally broken the base clean in half. "It's all about the characters!" vs. "Where are my friggin' answers?!"
  • The Chris Carter Effect: As the show went on, more and more fans began to feel that it had become this, with this being the dominant image of the show in the mainstream media during its last couple of years. And it only became more contentious once the show ended.
    • The worst part is that the writers swore that they had the answers. As a Cracked.com article put it - "In a 2005 interview, co-creator Damon Lindelof said: "Every mystery that we present on the show... all of those are questions that we know the answers to." He also said that "nothing in the show is flat-out impossible" and that everything so far could be explained by science. Sure, he was talking in the present tense — but the present tense included the Smoke Monster, who ended up being the ghost of a 2,000-year-old guy who can impersonate dead people, and Michael's 10-year-old son, Walt, displaying supernatural powers that turned out to be... actually, we have no idea, because that was never explained."
  • Commitment Anxiety: Due to the show's Continuity Lockout, it was difficult for some new viewers to jump in at later seasons without seeing any of the prior episodes.
  • Complete Monster
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Sawyer, before he grew into a legitimately likable character.
    • Ben Linus. Even the show itself wants you to like him more than he deserves.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Desmond and Ben started out this way with their popularity earning them major roles.
    • Rose and Bernard deserve special mention. They get only one Day in the Limelight, but manage to be more compelling there than the main Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle.
    • Juliet, the resident Stoic Woobie Bad Ass Bookworm Action Girl.
    • Daniel Faraday, as is par for the course with characters played by Jeremy Davies, made a large impact with fans in the relatively little screentime he had on the show.
    • Mr. Eko came onto the scene in Season 2 and immediately earned an enthusiastic fan response (being one of the few Tailies to do so, aside from Bernard). His sudden death left many fans in despair.
  • Epileptic Trees: One wild fan theory was the Trope Namer. Yeah, it's that kind of a show. We've a very active Wild Mass Guessing page if you've got a crazy fan theory to share.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The fan speculation on this started early but several characters throughout the series espouse their own theories of this variety. Hurley, when they get off the island, thinks they died on the island and are in heaven because things are going well for everybody and he's seeing dead people. Richard Alpert thinks the island is hell after being disillusioned about Jacob, and because he can't die.
    • Most true in the flash sideways verse which turns out to take place after the main characters die and they are all finding each other again and living/working through their unresolved issues before uniting to go to Heaven.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • The show sets up a conflict between science and faith... and then comes down so hard on the side of faith that it can come off as saying Science Is Bad and you should believe everything you're told without trying to understand it.
    • The obsession with "black and white" symbolism gives us "Anyone who wears black is evil". This includes newborn babies.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Some fans prefer Sawyer/Juliet just because they're so damn sick of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle. And then it becomes the official pairing in the series finale.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The only thing that isn't guaranteed to fall under here for someone somewhere is early-to-mid season 1. Beyond that, it varies massively.
  • Foe Yay: Tons between Ben and Locke.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Seasons 2 and 3, before the show got a set end date, are often criticized for being overly slow and padded. Season 1 was actually the same way (remember that half the damn thing revolved around opening a hatch in the ground, with absolutely no progress made until the last couple minutes), the difference being that with our just getting to know the characters, the show simply couldn't help but give us new information on them in every single episode. Once we actually had a handle on who everyone was, the pacing issues were much more noticeable.
  • Funny Moments: Have their own page.
  • Growing the Beard: Many fans were hooked right from the outset. But the fourth episode of the series, "Walkabout", where we find out Locke couldn't walk before the crash, is the earliest episode to hint at deeper supernatural elements on the island and is remembered for having the series' first big plot twist.
    • After a season most agree marked somewhat of a slump in the show's pacing and quality, Jack grows a literal Beard of Sorrow in Through The Looking Glass, signaling a return to full form for the show's last three seasons.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 of Malaysia Airlines in 09 March 2014 will inevitably get people thinking of the show.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Have their own page.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The clicking noise of the Monster when its travelling, just hearing it leads to so many an Oh Crap! moment from the Losties when they realise its near.
    • The ominous, rumbling whoosh sound during the transitions between flashbacks/flashforwards and present day.
      • Even better is the sound effect for the flash-sideways transitions: a distorted, higher-pitched, stuttering version of the normal whoosh.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Since almost the beginning of the show, viewers have theorized, over and over, that everyone died in the crash and the Island is Purgatory, even after repeated debunking. The final revelation of the series? The flash-sideways timeline is Purgatory, or the next best thing — though the Island and all the events that happened on and/or off it in normal continuity was all real.
      • It makes it even funnier when you realize that after being told the Island wasn't purgatory over and over again, NO ONE theorized that that's what the FS really is.
    • The January 4, 2011 U.S. Mega Millions lottery (worth $355 million) had a very significant amount of overlap with The Numbers, with 4, 8, 15, 25, 47 and the bonus 42. Playing The Numbers would have netted a person $150, and apparently there were 9,078 people who did just that.
    • Season 3's "The Man Behind the Curtain" gave us the weird scene where Ben has a conversation with a seemingly empty chair. This may have already been narmy to some, but five years later, along came Clint Eastwood...
    • Terry O'Quinn revealed in an interview during the first season that the direction he was given for the scene where Locke first sees the Monster was "It's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen." Then during the last season-and-a-half, the Man in Black was Mode Locked as Locke himself.
    • In the episode Further Instructions, Charlie claims to know how clever polar bears can be from watching "nature programs on the Beeb" while he was high. Fast forward to 2013, and the actor who played Charlie now has his own nature program, Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, on BBC America.
    • For anyone who found Jacob Unintentionally Unsympathetic as noted below, Mark Pellegrino's role as Lucifer in Supernatural is basically exactly what they wanted him to be like, deliberately playing on people's sympathies to hide how evil he really was.
    • Compare the way Evangeline Lilly handled a love triangle on this show to The Hobbit, where she made her choice early on, and he got killed.
    • In "Some Like It Hoth," Miles laughs off Hurley's plan to write the script for The Empire Strikes Back with "improvements." Ken Leung ended up appearing in The Force Awakens.
    • In 2016, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. It was their first series win in 108 years. Especially considering that the show had the Red Sox winning as a major plot point...
  • Ho Yay: By union set:
    • Jack and (Sawyer, Locke, Sayid, Hurley);
    • Sawyer and (Sayid, Hurley, Jin);
    • Charlie and (Hurley, Desmond)
    • Kate and Claire
    • There was definitely a good amount of Ho Yay between Charlie and Desmond. There's the way Desmond repeatedly tries to save Charlie's life even though he believes this could prevent him from reuniting with Penny. Then, in the flash-sideways, it was Charlie who triggered the beginning of Desmond's memories of the island.
    • Also, Ben and Locke in the flash-sidways/alternate universe afterlife. Of course this can also be seen as No Yay
    • Plus, there's Richard/Jacob. And In "The End" there's some implied Miles/Richard. Miles' actor even said that Miles would be the one to take care of Richard after they left the island.
  • HSQ: Pretty much guaranteed to double during season premiers and finales.
    • Locke, Desmond, and Ben episodes also tend to be slathered in HSQ.
    • Listing all examples, it will need its own page. However, the crowner has to be when Ben moves the entire fricking ISLAND!
  • Internet Backdraft: Lots. Specially after the finale.
  • It Was His Sled: Even if you haven't finished Season 1 (or just haven't bothered watching the show), by now you should know that the monster on the island is made out of smoke.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sawyer, at least for the first three seasons. After that, the jerkass part tones down.
    • Ben. Definitely a villain, Manipulative Bastard, unrepentant liar, and murderer, yet his Freudian Excuse and the fact that the writers seem to enjoy having him constantly get the pulp beaten out of him (even though most of the time, he deserves it) have the side effect of making him somewhat sympathetic. It also helps that he was redeemed in the episode "Dr. Linus".
    • Locke, at times. He's not a bad guy, but he definitely comes across as one to his fellow survivors on several occasions, most notably after attacking Sayid, killing Naomi and becoming slightly tyrannical once assuming leadership of a group of islanders. He only does all of this, however, because he knows that the Island is special and he feels he needs to protect it at all costs. It's the first time he felt he had a real purpose, as his life before the Island was one big heap of misery.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Claire. Paired in Fandom with just about anyone she shared a frame with.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ben, Jacob and the Man in Black.
    • Also in a flash-sideways, Ben gets out-magnificent-bastarded (!) by the principal of the high school where he works.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Richard. Most cite his "beginning in badassery" to the episode "La Fleur", where Richard simply walks into the DHARMA Barracks compound, holding a torch, which he then slams into the ground and sits on a bench as if he owns the place. Not to mention the sonic death fence that surrounds the Barracks, which apparently doesn't harm him. Because he's Richard Alpert.
  • Juliet Burke has her own website all about her awesomeness.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moment of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Man in Black tricking the main characters into activating his timebomb, resulting in the deaths of Jin, Sun and Sayid.
    • Martin Keamy shooting Alex dead right in front of Ben.
    • Anthony Cooper crossed it when he threw his own son out of a building just for trying to reason with him, even after his son gave his kidney to save his life.
    • Jonas (in Richard's flashback) crossed it when he murdered his prisoners after they get stranded on the island.
    • Ethan Rom crossed it when he hung Charlie.
  • Narm Charm: One would argue that Michael's repeated shoutings of "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!", given their justification, come off less narmful than anybody else in the same situation.
    • Granted his son has gone missing at the time, but it's the ten thousand other "WAAAAAALT!" moments throughout the first season, when Walt is only ten feet away is the reason it comes across as so narmful. There is being a Papa Wolf and there is being simply annoying.
    • Similarly, Claire's "MY BAY-BEE!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The ending of Season 6, while having an uplifting mood, may be this if you apply it to real life. Here you are sitting behind your PC reading this TV Tropes article... but actually you've died long time ago, your life is just a flashback of your past on Earth, and you have to move on to afterlife. Unlike most other Dead All Along endings, there is absolutely no way to prove to yourself that this isn't the case, since the "flash sideways" are a perfect imitation of reality.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything: Despite a lot of the show's criticism claiming the contrary, anyone who actually watched the show through all 6 seasons knows that way too many things do add up for it to all be "made up as they go along". Locke's black and white stones. Adam and Eve. The DHARMA Initiative. They planned quite a bit of everything YEARS in advance.
    • Even in the first couple of episodes there was Foreshadowing of the events of the last couple of seasons, including the sounds of the Monster playing on the soundtrack during the final close-up of Locke at the end of "Tabula Rasa", and Locke's dialogue about backgammon in the very pilot ("a game played between two sides, one light, the other dark").
    • Locke mentions seeing a bright light after his encounter with the Monster in the first season, and later tells Mr. Eko that he looked into the heart of the Island and what he saw was beautiful, referring the light he mentioned, in season 3. Towards the end of the series, it's revealed that the Island DOES have a "heart" filled with a glowing bright light, and it needs to be protected from The Man in Black/The Monster.
    • The Mr. Eko centric episode "The Cost of Living" basically foreshadows the fact that The Smoke Monster is the true Big Bad of the series. There is the aforementioned conversation with Locke, in which Eko replies "That is not what I saw" in reference to his encounter with the Monster. And at the end of the episode, after Mr. Eko refuses to confess his sins and says he did all he could to save his brother Yemi from the same fate, "Yemi" responds "You speak to me as if I were your brother", revealing that he is not Yemi's ghost. When Mr. Eko asks who he really is and follows him, he sees the Monster and realizes it was the Monster posing as his brother all along, right before it kills him. In his dying breath, he whispers something to Locke, which Locke claims to be "We're next".. In the season 5 finale, we see that Locke is not really Locke (the real one having been killed by Ben after all), but The Man in Black who was seen earlier in the episode vowing to kill Jacob, and in the season six premiere the Man in Black is revealed to be the Smoke Monster, and the true Big Bad of the series.
      • Even the brief image after Eko's death of young Eko and Yemi as children walking off happily together foreshadows the fact that the afterlife, where loved ones will be reunited, will be a factor at the end of the show.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Jack's popularity within the fanbase significantly increased during Seasons 5 and 6.
    • Kate became much more likable throughout the last two seasons ("Whatever Happened Happened" in particular is considered very good for a Kate episode). Then she had enough awesome moments in the Grand Finale to put her in this category.
    • Shannon, to the point where her accidental death actually saddened many people.
    • After the pilot aired, Sawyer was said to be the character audiences hated the most, and he spent the rest of the season as a unsympathetic, antagonistic Jerk Ass. But thanks to character development, he's become popular for reasons other than how hot he is with his shirt off.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle took up significant story time. Became especially grating when the series committed to a definite endpoint, and every second spent on this was one less second that could have been used clearing up the show's numerous mysteries and dangling plot-threads. Also because the writers proved that they could write relationship arcs that are well done and popular among the fans (see: Desmond & Penny)...yet suddenly they couldn't do the same with the main one. This is taken to insane levels in the Season 5 finale, where Jack wants to erase the entire timeline by blowing up a nuclear bomb... because his relationship with Kate didn't work out. He doesn't seem to realize that this would mean they'd never meet in the first place! Juliet was also added to this romantic plot tumor. Additionally, Juliet suddenly changed her mind about detonating that hydrogen bomb because she thought that her relationship with Sawyer might end because Kate came back to the island. Really, the way Kate, Juliet, Sawyer, and Jack felt about detonating that hydrogen bomb was extremely arbitrary and depended entirely on how they felt about their role in this love polygon from hell at a given moment.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Jack, the show's main character, is intensely disliked by many fans who view him as a Designated Hero. It doesn't help that practically every other character on the show is more interesting than him. He finally gets better in Season 6, but for many fans this was too little, too late.
    • Nikki & Paulo were introduced in the third season because the producers of the show were often asked what some of the other survivors of the crash were doing. Viewers and TV critics wasted no time flaming them to hell and back.
    • Some other Lost fans hated Ana-Lucia when she was introduced to the cast, but she had shown a slightly more likeable side right before Michael (yet another disliked character) killed her.
    • Widmore's henchman, Zoe, in season 6, is widely hated for being a pointless, annoying character, eating up valuable screen time... and also for the actress claiming that she's the key to all the show's themes and is on "every page" of the series finale. In the penultimate episode, Flocke kills her by slitting her throat quite violently, pleasing everyone who hated her.
    • Kate could also qualify. Her constant swapping between Jack and Sawyer did her no favours whatsoever. Not to mention she got captured so often and was rather useless in any situation, that it made Princess Peach look competent.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some say Season 2, some say Season 6, some say the first half of Season 3 (especially the six episode "pod" at the beginning), but 2 and 3 got back on track as they approached the finale.
  • Shocking Swerve: "We have to move the island." Of course, that plot line was tied up quite well and it did prove to be invaluable to the Myth Arc, but at the time it was pretty weird.
  • Special Effect Failure: Not common, but glaring when it happens.
    • During the scene in which Locke is falling out of a building after his father pushes him. The green screen/CGI is pretty blatant.
    • Also happens any time one of the polar bears is shown closely. They look like they were modeled on a 10-year old Macintosh.
    • A rather unfortunate submarine in the fifth season is conspicuous, especially since they usually have good or at least passable effects, especially since the entire shot may have been CG and looked like a screensaver or something. The worst part of that effect was that it was completely superfluous, and seemed to be showing off.
      • In a way, the CGI to tell the viewer where a certain scene takes place. Really, his apartment has a view over the Eiffel Tower? This backyard somewhere outside of the town really has an unobstructed view of the Kremlin? Your band practices in an alley directly next to the Tower Bridge? Did you go for a walk to see the Sydney Opera House, even though you've been living in this city for years?
    • The freighter explosion doesn't really look that convincing, especially when watched on Blu-ray. Usually the production values are pretty high though...
    • Compared to other underwater scenes, the Island underwater in the Season 6 premiere looks like an old screen saver.
    • Ben's smoke-induced vision in "Dead is Dead" was terrible.
    • The source from "Across the Sea" looks like a bad photoshop.
  • Stoic Woobie: Juliet was a brilliant fertility expert with an ex-husband who controlled her every move, and had a cancerous sister who she was helping. She came to the island because she was mislead into thinking she was going to conduct experiments for a scientific company in Oregon. She found out her duty on the island was to try to prevent pregnant women and their children from dying, and she failed countless times. She then slowly became Ben's slave while her chances of leaving and seeing her sister became slimmer each year. Despite all these hardships she maintains a stoic demeanor, but when she slips you just want to give the girl a big fat hug.
  • Strangled by the Red String: In the series finale, it bizarrely turns out that Shannon and not Nadia is Sayid's true soul mate. Nadia doesn't even appear in the episode. The fans were not happy.
  • Take That, Audience!: Some fans were not amused by the character Arzt, who abruptly appears in the season 1 finale to voice several popular fan complaints about the show, and then gets blown up due to his own stupidity.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Cindy the flight attendant. After mysteriously disappearing during the Tailies' trek to the main characters' camp, she's later confirmed to have been abducted by the Others, though it's also kinda/sorta hinted that she actually is one of the Others and was deliberately put on the plane. Then she disappears again until the final season... where she does absolutely nothing and just stands around in the background, to the point where you wonder why they even bothered getting the actress back.
    • Matthew Abaddon, the mysterious figure from Locke's flashback who turns out to be working for Charles Widmore. His surname is a reference to Judeo-Christian entity that is either an angel or a demon (usually a demon), and he is hinted to know a lot more than he lets on. He is killed in his fourth appearance and nothing about him is ever explained or elaborated on.
    • Jacob would qualify. The character basically is the secret master of the Others and has been interacting with the core main characters at vital points in their lives. He's the brother of the Smoke Monster and his overall goal is to find someone to take over as caretaker of the island in his place. Instead the character is barely seen (and is initially introduced as an empty chair, which led many fans to speculate there was no person named Jacob and that Ben basically made up a fictional leader to cloak the fact that he was the real Big Bad) and killed off without any fanfare. While he does get his own full-length episode ("Across The Sea"), it doesn't happen until the very end of the series and comes across as a last minute info dump for fans.
    • Libby's untimely death was a sore spot for fans who expected that late season 2 might finally give them a glimpse into her backstory. The other prominent Tail Section survivors - Ana-Lucia, Eko, and Bernard - all got episodes filling in a good chunk of their story, while Libby only appeared briefly in a few other characters' flashbacks. A canonical reason was never cited for her being in the Santa Rosa Mental Institution (though the flash-sideways in season 6 hinted at one), or for her being on the plane. The writers may have initially had plans to flesh out her character more, but due to the negative fan response to Ana-Lucia, they decided that her death alone would not be tragic enough, and decided to have Michael accidentally kill Libby as well.
    • Ilana, being a prominent recurring character in Season 5 and promoted to the main cast in Season 6, was set up to be important to the mythology, with the writers even planning to reveal that she was the daughter of Jacob, until they realized they didn't have enough episodes left to tell this part of the story and they killed her off rather abruptly, Arzt-style, with an errant stick of dynamite.
    • Frank Lapidus, despite being one of the few main characters to survive the entirety of Season 6 and escape the island, basically spent most of that time hanging around the other Losties and snarking on the general weirdness of the story unfolding on the island. He never got his own centric episode, nor did we ever see him in a flash-sideways.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Towards the end of the second season, there is a major cliffhanger where Sawyer turns evil and, with help from Charlie (who had been shunned by the group after a drug relapse), steals ALL the guns the group had acquired to defend themselves. And then declares himself new man in charge, since he was the only one with the weapons the group desperately needed to fight off the Others. The plotline is flat out killed off the next episode, with Sawyer's Heel Turn being ignored and everyone effectively deciding to ignore Sawyer's proclamation that he is the new leader of the group. The closest thing to a pay-off is Hurley, who is the only member of the group who interacts with Sawyer in the next episode, calling him an asshole no one likes while engaging in a forgettable and meaningless B-Plot for the episode and the guns soon end back in the hands of the group with zero fanfare.
    • Jack's idea to build up an army with Ana-Lucia in Season 2. This is introduced as a big cliffhanger after a confrontation with the Others, but nothing really comes of the "army" other than Sawyer snarking about it. By the time another confrontation with the Others rolls around in Season 2, it's initiated by Michael, who is secretly working with the Others to kidnap specific survivors in exchange for Walt, and who deliberately turns down willing participants like Sayid. Presumably with everything else going on, Jack never had time to get the whole army thing off the ground, but the writers knew at that point that Sawyer was plotting to steal the guns (see the other wasted plot mentioned above) and Ana-Lucia would be dead by the end of the season. So what was their purpose in even bringing it up to begin with?
    • Walt's storyline in general could be seen as a waste, given how much emphasis was placed on his apparent psychic abilities, his tendency to appear as a vision in the middle of the jungle, the Others kidnapping him and running some sort of tests on him, etc. A lot of this was emphasized after Malcolm David Kelley was removed from the main cast of the show due to the actor aging too fast compared to the pace of the story. For the rest of the series, viewers got the occasional rare appearance from Walt (including one after a Time Skip when story time had caught up to the actor's age), and the occasional reminder that he was important from other characters mentioning him, but we never truly found out exactly why he was so "special".
    • Michael's ability to communicate with ghosts, and how this may or may not have had anything to do with Hurley's similar ability after leaving the island, was never really explained.
    • The outrigger chase, in the midst of all the time flashes in Season 5. The writers had actually penned the other side of that scene, that would explain who was shooting at the Losties, and then decided they didn't have enough time to circle back around to it later in Season 5 or 6.
    • The crash of the Ajira Flight 316 survivors could have brought in a slew of new characters forced to deal with a situation they didn't understand, with the normal cast members forced to deal with them as well. They're unceremoniously killed off-screen by Widmore's people.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Man in Black can invoke this response, especially after seeing "Across the Sea." When you consider that he's been trapped on the island for thousands of years, with Jacob determined to keep him there, it's possible to see him as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who has simply lost any empathy for those who stand in the way of that goal. Especially because the show never gets around to explaining why his leaving the island would supposedly cause the end of the world.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: By the same coin, Jacob can come across as this. When discussing the episode as part of the web series "Totally Lost", Mark Pellegrino basically admits that Jacob knew sending his brother into the cave would have dire ramifications for his brother's well-being. But he did not care, as he wanted revenge for the death of their mother and since he could not kill him (and had been given vague warning that going into the cave would have dire consequences from his mom), he chose the next best thing to harm his brother and permanently trap him on the island.
  • Wangst: Jack, though he gets significantly better in Seasons 5 and 6.
  • What an Idiot:
    • A great deal of the fan backlash against Kate is due to her seeming inability to think through the consequences of her actions, or explain what she's doing to others. Certainly she couldn't have disobeyed Jack's instructions to not follow him into the jungle and ended up needing rescuing that many times, but her stubbornness on insisting "I'm going with you!" is probably the #1 screw-up viewers tend to remember her for, and it's even lampshaded by both Jack and Sawyer later in the series.
    • Michael makes a string of increasingly poor decisions in Season 2, starting with crashing through the jungle screaming "WAAAALT!!!" at every opportunity despite being instructed to keep quiet by fellow survivors who have been terrorized by the Others. By the middle of the season, he's holding his friends at gunpoint and insisting he's got to run off into the jungle all by himself to find Walt, despite Jack offering to help and not trying in any way to prevent Michael from looking for his son. When this plan results in him being manipulated into doing the Others' bidding in exchange for Walt, he ends up fatally shooting two of his fellow survivors (which he was never explicitly asked to do) and framing Ben for it by shooting himself in the arm and letting Ben escape. Then in a feeble attempt to get the specific survivors to come along with him that the Others requested, he doesn't even come up with a good explanation for why he wants Hurley involved and not someone like Sayid who has actual combat experience, which tips Sayid off that Michael might be selling them out. (Which in turn leads to a "What an Idiot" moment for Jack and Sayid when they decide to play along with Michael's ruse, resulting in the Others kidnapping Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, and Michael making a clean escape from the island.) Pretty much all of this could have been avoided if Michael had let Jack and/or some of the other survivors come with him in the first place.
    • Ana-Lucia's worst decisions can pretty much be chalked up to her blood running extremely hot all the time. She wants revenge on the man who shot her, so she persuades her captain (who is also her mother) to let the perp go so that she can hunt him down and kill him in cold blood later, without much of a real plan to cover her tracks. On the island, she further agitates and already terrorized group of survivors by constantly bossing everyone around, and her response when she thinks the Others are nearby is to shoot at the first sound she hears coming her way in the jungle, resulting in the death of Shannon and a less than ideal introduction to the rest of the survivors (and of course she spends half the season moping about how they all probably hate her). She eventually signs her own death warrant by being unwilling to kill Ben despite his attempt to strangle her, by not communicating to anyone else about this attempt on her life, and by handing the gun she went to so much trouble to steal from Sawyer over to Michael, who she knows to be unstable and willing to do anything in order to get his son back. He then shoots her. The end.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: See below. Some people think that there seems to be a little too much religious symbolism for it not to have some sort of message. Not only are there mentions of yin and yang, the I Ching, dharma, karma...
  • The Woobie: Every. Single. Main. Cast. Member. Even the Big Bad during his Day in the Limelight.
    • Danielle Rousseau, arguably the most tragic character seen. She was forced to kill her friends including the love of her life, had her baby taken away, spent 16 years as The Aloner going nuts, and when she was finally reunited with her daughter she got killed off.
    • Benjamin as a child.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/LOST