YMMV / Last Man Standing

The Movie

The TV show

Note: Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement Applies

  • Acceptable Targets:
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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, to the point that 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 amongst 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.
  • 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.
    • The show has a significant political edge, the first episode of season two surrounds the 2012 Presidential Election. In the seasons since one of Kristin and Ryan's favorite types of jabs towards Mike was those involving Hillary Clinton becoming president. As of November 9, 2016 Mike got the last laugh with Donald Trump elected President. 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 ressurect 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.
  • 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "Ping Pong" drops an important one in regard to electing government officials who are the same race/gender/ethnicity/religion/etc. as you. Vanessa believes that having Hilary Clinton become the first female president outweighs any of her political positions. Chuck tells her that's ridiculous and that, while he did vote for Barack Obama, he did it because he felt he was the best candidate. If Chuck didn't like any of his positions, he wouldn't have voted for him even though he would be the first black president. Voters should choose candidates because they think they would be a good leader, not because they have a shared background.
    • "Boyd Will Be Boyd" lands with the message that parents can't enforce their personal beliefs on their children and that being a good parent means letting your children make their own choices and accepting that you'll sometimes be disappointed in those choices.
    • "Precious Snowflakes" criticizes the rise of micro-agression free language on college campuses with the message that if you restrict free speech to avoid hurting people's feelings, you can't expose people to new ideas and that people should worry less about the people they offend and more about the people they can inspire.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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