YMMV / Last Man Standing

The TV show

Note: Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement Applies

  • Acceptable Targets:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Kyle really a Wide-Eyed Idealist who always looks on the bright side or is he a Stepford Smiler who acts happy all the time as a way to cope with his traumatic childhood? Several episodes in season six lend themselves to the latter.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Mike, quite understandably, is one. Supporters often find that he does genuinely have some valid points to make, especially about the harms of overprotecting children, personal responsibility and achievement through merit. A Vocal Minority finds him more of a bigoted Creator's Pet whose rants about the supposed attack of masculinity and conservative values are only shown in the right because they're debated against blatant strawmen with weak opposing arguments and comes off as a bit of a hypocrite for complaining about the world trying to force him to be something he's not and yet making fun of those who don't conform to his worldview (especially other men who don't embody stereotypically "masculine" traits).
    • Even after her Character Development, Kristin is still one. Either she's a strong, independent woman who was able to make the best out of a hard situation and wind up with a fulfilling life or she's a brat who only gets by thanks to her parents going out of their way to help her and enables Ryan's Jerkass behavior by doing nothing to reprimand him.
    • Vanessa's become a bit of one post-Flanderization. Half the audience finds her attempts to be an open and cool mom funny and relatable while the other half finds it annoying and pathetic.
  • Broken Base: The episode "Hard Ass Teacher" regarding Eve dropping a class with a hard teacher that nobody gets above a "C" in and taking one with an easier teacher so she can get an "A" and get into West Point. Was she wrong to back away from a challenge similar to one she would find at the Academy and in the Army or was she smart for realizing the school will only care about what grade she got, not the difficulty of the teacher?
    • Alexandra Krosney vs. Amanda Fuller, and who was better as Kristin. Krosney generally had better chemistry with the sisters, looking and acting related to them, and was just starting to grow into the role. Fuller had a rough start since her tenure coincided with the new emphasis on conservative vs. liberal conflict between Kristin and Mike (making her seem petty and contrarian, not helping with the change in performers), but that retool allowed more emphasis on Kristin with a feisty personality.
    • Whether the increased emphasis on conservative vs. liberal values as opposed to the gender gap between males and females was a good thing or not. Some feel it's made the show more interesting and stand out more while others feel the show was fine the way it was.
    • Is Ryan intentionally designed as a conservative punching bag and an exaggerated liberal stereotype to be shown in the most negative light possible, or, thanks to some signs of character depth, is the problem more in the particular way he expresses his views rather than his character just being a strawman.
    • The direction Eve's character has taken after she gets rejected by West Point and decides to take a gap year from college while exploring her newfound talent for music. Some fans feel it's an interesting change and a great new way to explore the character (and that the writers needed to find a way to keep the character around for season six). Others feel that it's very out of character for her to just give up on a lifelong dream and the direction is more influenced by Kaitlyn Dever's interests rather than real Character Development. This was mitigated in "The Force" when Eve gets accepted into the Air Force Academy and resumes her path to becoming a military officer.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • After the the poor reception to Kristin's Flanderization in season two, the writers gave her some much needed Character Development in seasons three and four, resulting in her dropping the Granola Girl and Commander Contrarian traits. By season five, her character is essentially the same as it was in season one, aside from the actress change.
    • Eve's character began going in a different direction in season five after getting rejected by West Point, namely trying to become a musician. Many people were frustrated that she seemingly just gave up on a military career until season six when she is admitted into the Air Force Academy and accepts it.
  • Creator's Pet: Some viewers consider Mike to be this, especially those who believe his less than admirable traits are frequently glossed over to paint his beliefs in the right and whose supposed victimization at the hands of the liberal voices around him comes across as exaggerated.
  • Critic-Proof: The show was trashed by critics but it still has a large viewership and fandom.
  • Critical Dissonance: To the point where the reviewers at AV Club are legitimately stumped that it gets the viewership it does.
    • As shown on Rotten Tomatoes, critic reviews for the second season were better than those of the first. On the other hand, most fans despised the retool and still consider season two the worst season in the show
  • Ear Worm: "Pie Rack" by the Inglorious Baxters.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Chuck quickly became a fan-favorite for his ability to trade barbs with Mike and play off the White Guilt of Vanessa, Kristin and Ryan. Eventually, Jonathan Adams was Promoted to Opening Titles in Season Four.
    • Out of all the members of the Baxter family, Mandy and Eve are the most popular with fans (Mandy for her Fanservice and Eve for her snarker tendencies).
  • Flame War: Good God the entire show. If you look at the IMDB message boards you'll find two camps: one that thinks the show is nothing but an intolerant, hateful, ignorant Author Tract for conservatism and another that praises the show for being willing to take shots at mainstream liberalism and promoting conservative values such as personal accountability and meritocracy. Many of the boards will start off with no political content only to segue into a battle between conservative and liberal viewers.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • All the jokes about Eve's friend Cammy being strange and weird became this after it was revealed in "Restaurant Opening" that she's a bisexual.
    • "A House Divided" has Mike make a joke how San Diego is a great place if you're not a fan of the poor performing Chargers football team. This episode wound up airing one week after the team's owner announced he was moving them to Los Angeles.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A Running Gag in "Thanksgiving" is that Ryan bet on the Detroit Lions in their annual Thanksgiving game even though they've lost for nine years straight (and do so in the episode). After the episode aired, the Lions broke the streak in Real Life.
    • Ever since the Re Tool, one of Kristin and Ryan's favorite types of jabs towards Mike was those involving Hillary Clinton inevitable presidency. As of November 9, 2016 Mike got the last laugh with Donald Trump upsetting her in the 2016 election. Especially funny was the Halloween episode that aired a mere two weeks prior had Mike dress up as Trump and feature a number of jabs, including Chuck also dressing as trump.
    • In "Hard Ass Teacher" Eve' rejects the idea of attending Michigan or Ohio State and being a part of Mike and Vanessa's "rivalry in an irrelevant football conference". Two years later, Ohio State has won a National Championship, Michigan ended its Dork Age, and the Big 10 is considered to be the best overall college football conference.
  • Love It or Hate It: Big Time. Naturally the political nature of the show is bound to be divisive, but also split among viewers who view it as a stale and unfunny attempt to resurrect the glory days of a dated television format and who find the attempts at All in the Family-style topical humor heavy-handed and awkward, to those who love the throwback to the traditional sitcom and applaud being brave enough to make a more pointed stand on current social&political issues.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Surprisingly, the show actually has a size-able liberal viewership that finds the left wing bashing hilarious. Most likely the liberals who aren't as bad as the ones the show uses as strawmen, the strawmen most likely being those of the regressive left.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many viewers feel that Ryan crossed the line when he blamed Vanessa for the sinkhole that almost got Mike and Boyd killed, then proceeded to fuel the flames in the next episode by forcing Boyd to dress as a lump of coal for Halloween while Vanessa was going through a breakdown due to work stress.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Amanda Fuller for the reasons described above.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Eve dated Scott Summers/Cyclops during seasons three and four.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A few viewers like to paint Mike as a conservative bigot who embodies the worst qualities of white masculinity even though he has been shown to be compassionate towards other people and accepting towards marginalized groups such as black people (Chuck is able to joke with him about race because he knows Mike isn't actually racist), the LGBT community (he and Vanessa befriended a lesbian couple in season one), and females (even Kristin called him a feminist in one episode).
  • The Scrappy: Kristin, after the actress change in season two, became a Commander Contrarian who babies her son and acts like a jerk to her parents who helped support her after she got pregnant in high school making her come across as a bratty ungrateful bitch to the audience. Thankfully, she underwent some Character Development and by season five she's more of a Base-Breaking Character than a universally hated character.
    • Ryan is also despised for being the embodiment of every negative stereotype about liberals. For right leaning viewers, he goes against everything they believe in while for left leaning viewers it's a case of Stop Being Stereotypical..
  • She Really Can Act: It doesn't surprise people who've seen her other work, but Kaitlyn Dever (Eve) gets a few scenes where she gets to show off her dramatic acting chops.
  • Sophomore Slump: See most of this page.
  • Special Effects Failure: The show is pretty bad at this with several effects shots clearly being chroma keyed and CGI.
    • Crosses with Stylistic Suck for laughs in Mike's vlog; the effects are exaggerated, very low quality, and clearly done in-house. Sometimes the scene will keep going after the video showing immediately after he finishes shooting, complete with the occasional green screen where effects were added in.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In "House of Tutor", while Mike is guilty of the same thing to an extent, he's right that Vanessa hiring Ryan to be a history tutor for her kids is not a good idea since the latter has been proven to have an extremely biased view of historical events and figures that could negatively affect the students' performance on standardized exams.
  • Take That, Audience!: Eve firmly telling Mandy that she is straight in "Restaurant Opening" can be interpreted as one towards the audience members who believed Eve is a closeted lesbian.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Many fans did not like the changes that took place between season one and two (recasting Kristin, making Ryan a recurrer, putting emphasis on conservative vs. liberal values, etc.)
  • Tough Act to Follow: It's Tim Allen's first television show since Home Improvement, it was bound to get this.
  • What an Idiot: You would think Ryan would have been smart enough to take his protest pictures without wearing his beer company's uniform, seeing as displaying the logo would imply the company agrees with his views. Nope. He does it with the uniform on and winds up getting suspended from work.
    • Kyle has done a lot of dumb stuff, but trying to shoot a bear that got inside the Outdoor Man warehouse with an empty tranquilizer dart really takes the cake.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After season two's poor reception, the writers toned down the more overtly political content in seasons three and four, to positive reception from fans.
  • X Meets Y: All in the Family meets Home Improvement.

The Movie

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