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YMMV: Orphan Black
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Fans took Helena's death particularly hard. Subverted in that she's not really dead, but just watching Sarah shoot her is still painful.
    • While she's more of nuisance than a villain, it's hard not to feel bad for Aynsley, especially since she was an innocent bystander.
    • You can't help but feel a little sorry for Vic, even if he brings most of the crap that happens to him on himself.
    • Probably more than a few fans were upset to see Dr. Leekie go, although that might be as much a testament to the acting skill of Matt Frewer as to people's actual opinions of the character.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: All over the place, both in-universe and out. Specifically, the show involves a mystery where no one knows whom to trust. A few characters who seemed trustworthy turned out to be traitors; a few characters who seemed like traitors turned out to be trustworthy; other characters flip-flop between the two. The motivations of most characters remain unclear, as do the extends of someone's involvement in their particular conspiracy- if they actually are involved. Many people have lied about their identities and personal histories for a number of different reasons; other people have been lied to and don't really understand what's going on. And we're only scratching the surface of either conspiracy.
    • And then when we find out that there's a third conspiracy involving the military in the series two finale, that just adds another layer of second-guessing to everyone's motivations.
  • Award Snub: Tatiana Maslany was criminally overlooked by the 2013 Primetime Emmys. Not even a nomination!
    • She did get nominated for a 2014 Golden Globe, but lost to Robin Wright.
    • And then, after another year of glowing reviews, many of them talking about how badly she was snubbed and how much she deserved the Emmy, she wasn't nominated in 2014 either.
  • Awesome Music: The music that plays over the final few minutes of "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" (the season 1 finale), starting after Sarah shoots Helena.
    • Really, most of the soundtrack. This series truly deserves an OST release.
  • Badass Decay: Donnie. In the first season, he was able to stand being tortured by Alison and not let it slip he was her monitor. By the second season, he carelessly leaves his Neolutionist contact phone in his coat pocket, and does a laughably bad job of trying to tail Alision after falling for a trap set by her.
    • This is a result of him never being a monitor who was "in the know" in the first place. In his confrontation with Leekie, it's made clear he didn't know the full extent of the monitoring or anything about the real reason they were doing it.
    • Also subverted, as he gains several levels in badass after accidentally killing Leekie and blackmailing Vic and Deangelis to stay away from his wife.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Paul. To his fans, they tend to like him for his development as a character with his relationship with Sarah. To others, he's a one-note character who holds nothing interesting to him.
    • Tony divided fans almost immediately after his introduction. Either he's a daring risk that paid off, or a gimmicky caricature who was thrown in solely to create buzz.
    • Rachel has two types of opinions about her. She's either a villain who lost all chance of being redeemed when she kidnapped Kira or she's a Jerkass Woobie who got a little too caught up in her determination to find out what makes Sarah so special.
  • Broken Base: Many fans weren't pleased with the revelation in the season 2 finale that male clones exist but many are also not against it, curious to see where the show will go with such a reveal.
  • Cargo Ship: Helena and food.
    • Rachel x Windows
  • Complete Monster: Daniel Rosen probably qualifies after 2:3, in which he cold-bloodedly murders an innocent small-town cop and then tortures Sarah by cutting her face up with a razor, even after Rachel told him not to. Most audience members were probably happy when Helena interrupts the torture by killing him.
  • Creepy Awesome: Helena
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Helena's call demanding that Sarah give up the names of the other "sheep," includes her "Baaaaaahh"-ing into the phone.
  • Ear Worm: The title theme is quite catchy.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Beth is an extremely well-liked character despite the fact she dies in the first scene of the show.
    • From the second season, Ramon has been very popular, many wanting him to become a regular character.
    • Sarah Stubbs as well qualifies, as she's just about the only person in Alison's normal life (that being outside the clones) that seems to genuinely like her.
    • The lesser Proletheans, Mark and Bonnie, qualify as this for the creators because their actors put in such good performances- Mark turns out to be a male clone, giving Ari Millen the reigns of several characters and Word of God says Bonnie will be moving up in villain status come Season 3.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Any role Tatiana Maslany played outside of Orphan Black would make for a good crossover.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Sarah/Paul isn't an unpopular ship by any standards but Sarah is more shipped with the likes of Cosima/Rachel/Alison compared to Paul. And just about everyone accepts Beth and Alison as an actual thing.
  • Foe Yay: Rachel and Sarah.
  • Fridge Brilliance: When Leekie says that Cosima could end up on the cover of Scientific American she replies that they don't put scientists on the cover. Leekie covers, but it's obvious he was referring to her as an experiment, not a scientist. He knows she's one of his clones.
    • Why is Helena wearing Sarah's shirt in the finale? Because she stole it when she broke into Beth's apartment.
    • Helena and Rachel are the only clones who know the score up front (even if Helena was taught she was the original) and they're also the two clones with the most extreme hairstyles, both having gone blonde, Helena with her crazy perm and Rachel with her severe bob. It's their way of expressing their individuality from the others.
  • Fridge Horror: Aynsley wasn't Alison's monitor. She really was trying to be Alison's friend and Alison alienated her and allowed her to die for no good reason. As bad as Alison took it when she thought Aynesley was The Mole, how bad will it be when she learns the truth?
    • As seen with Alison's arc in season 2, the answer to that question is "horribly".
    • The children in the Prolethean nursery are all Hank's children. Confirmed by Word of God.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Whenever someone is outed as a monitor, all their words and actions beforehand look very different. This is especially true with Donnie, given that Alison's fear and paranoia led to Aynsley's death.
    • A Real Life example from episode 2.07. Co-creator John Fawcett revealed that the stuntman playing Vic crashing face-first through the crafts table actually broke his nose in the process.
  • He's Just Hiding: This is what a lot of fans assumed for Helena and Beth. Also called the ballpit of denial.
    • Helena's fans were right. Not dead, after all. In fact, despite being shot a point blank range, she walks into the ER and calmly informs them that her sister shot her. Explained later thanks to the Proletheans - her organs are on opposite sides.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Expect every episode in Season 1 to have this but the Season 2 premiere seems to top this off with DYAD not being the ones to kidnap Kira, Helena being alive and Delphine going against Cosima's wishes and dropping off a vial of her blood to Leekie. And then the further episodes in Season 2 just take it further.
  • I Knew It: A lot of fans expected Helena wasn't dead and they ended up being right come Season 2.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Science Girlfriends for Cosima and Delphine; Soccer Cop for Alison and Beth; Propunk for Rachel and Sarah; Lumberpunk for Sarah and Cal; Proscience for Rachel and Cosima
  • Jerkass Woobie: Even though she kidnapped Kira and even at one point tried to stop all research going into finding a cure for Cosima you can't help but feel sorry for Rachel when she starts becoming more and more unhinged over the season in her determination to try and find out what makes Sarah so special from the rest of the clones. Turned Up to Eleven in the season 2 finale, when Ethan Duncan poisons himself and dies right in front of her.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Pretty much all of the clones though Sarah and Cosima are the biggest contender.
  • Les Yay: Alison and Beth could come off to having this by Alison's reaction about her throughout the series. Upon hearing about her suicide, she all but brandishes a knife towards Sarah who informs her on the situation. She also says she admired Beth and they shared gun lessons. For someone who she claims to have barely knew, Alison takes Beth's suicide extremely hard and can come off as someone who just lost a romantic partner in her actions.
    • Before the reveal that they were sisters there was some definite vibes of this with Helena towards Sarah with her talking about feeling connected to her, getting in her personal space and at one point even kissing her leg.
    • Subverted with Delphine and Cosima. They gave off vibes of this constantly. Then they hooked up.
  • Love to Hate: Rachel gets this reaction from a rather substantial portion of the fan base. So did Helena before her Heel-Face Turn.
  • Memetic Mutation: Everyone is Tatiana Maslany
    • Also "Have you accepted Tatiana Maslany as your lady and savior?"
    • Saying sister in Helena's accent: sestra.
    • Another Helena-ism: "_________ is problem. I fix problem."
    • You're damn right.
    • Actual Puppy Delphine.
    • #SaveCosima - in response to Cosima's worsening autoimmune disorder.
    • The fandom has a very strange meme where Rachel Duncan seems to be obsessed with R'n'B music. (Apparently started by Maslany herself...)
    • "Clone Club Selfies", people taking selfies dressed up as different personas and photoshopping them together.
    • The ballpit of denial
    • Thanks to (allegedly) this Tumblr post, "Titty Malaysia" is now a thing.
    • This Tumblr artist has made "skateboarding Cosima" accepted head canon.
  • Moe: Delphine is often compared to a puppy.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • If Henrik and Bonnie didn't cross this with their treatment of Helena earlier in the second season, then they leap gleefully over it in 2.05 when they threaten Gracie, their own daughter, with forced impregnation with Helena's child. It's implied they've been abusing her for quite some time, however, so they probably crossed long before the show started.
    • Rachel's character arc since she was introduced seems to have driven her closer and closer to the Moral Event Horizon (lying about having Kira in an attempt to manipulate Sarah into compliance, for example), but if she hadn't crossed it by 2.05, she unquestionably did so in that episode; her reaction to Daniel's death is to frame Felix for a murder Daniel committed and use this to blackmail the rest of the clones. Oh, and she basically rapes Paul at gunpoint too. When Helena plots to kill Rachel at the end of the episode, quite a few viewers will likely be rooting for Helena to succeed, even though her doing so would have disastrous consequences for Felix. Of course, she only crosses the line further when she poses as Sarah and kidnaps Kira and reassigns Delphine to Germany purely to spite her and Cosima.
  • Narm: Tatiana's acting is usually spectacular, but she does get one big piece of this with her Shatner-esque delivery of "Because you BLEEEEEEW the roofer at the cabin!"
    • This is perhaps justified because Alison blowing her tightly-wound top is bound to be pretty explosive. It was also probably meant to be comedic in the first place.
    • Two, if you include her scream of "KIRRRRRRRAAAAAA!!" in the Season 1 finale.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Beth counts for this. She only appears for one scene (the very first one of the show in fact) and she dies not long during it and from then on proceeds to appear in a few short video logs but holds many fans who are hoping that she really isn't dead.
    • Ramon, Alison's gun buddy.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Where to begin? The notion that you are not completely unique? The idea that some company has a patent on your DNA? Being hunted and not knowing why? Spending every day in a state of existential crisis? Nearly everyone in the world has been told once that they look like someone else...this show takes that and runs WILD with it. Enjoy thinking on that next time someone says you look a lot like a friend of theirs...
    • Its extremely unsettling how far-reaching the neolutionists are. And the whole concept of monitors-your friends, family, and/or lover might be spying on you. Imagine a group of scientists capable of watching your every move, performing tests on you in your sleep, or taking away your child because someone you trust is working for them.
    • Also applies In-Universe to the clones themselves, to the extent that Alison lets her former friend die because she erroneously believes the latter is her monitor.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Cophine for Cosima/Delphine.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Many people weren't fans of Alison during the first few episodes because of how she seemed to just be mad at Sarah for everything. But her perfect persona coming undone, her paranoia over Donnie or Aynsley possibly being her monitor, and her developing friendship with Felix have won most people over now.
    • Donnie's grief over accidentally killing Dr. Leekie, combined with his learning the truth about what he was doing as Alison's monitor (he thought it was just a sociological experiment he'd signed up for), likewise seems to have won over many people who were skeptical of him. He even manages to threaten DeAngelis into leaving Alison alone, showing there's at least a little bit of a Badass in there.
  • Sci-Fi Ghetto: Very much so. The show has received rave reviews but was overlooked by the Emmys and many other awards show (although Tatiana Maslany did receive a Golden Globe nomination - and won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Drama Actress two years in a row).
  • Ships That Pass In The Night: Delphine and Sarah haven't interacted on screen yet but hold a fair-enough amount of supporters for their ship. In 2.01, they actually kiss, but Delphine thought it was Cosima.
  • Special Effect Failure: Tony's goatee looks rather unconvincing, as many have pointed out. Possibly justified as he is still in the process of transitioning.
  • Squick: Felix and Tony kissing, given that Tony is a FTM transsexual clone of his adoptive sister, and looks and acts almost exactly like her. Even Felix seems a little freaked out by it.
  • The Scrappy: Paul, mainly due to the character's Heel-Face Revolving Door tendencies making his actions confusing (such as aiding Sarah in escaping DYAD, then blackmailing her by framing Felix for murder) before the Season 2 finale.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the season 2 finale, we discover there was a male clone base, the Castor to Sarah's Leda/Pollux. It would have been epic if it had turned out that Felix was from that gene base, but no, it's Mark, the Prolethean who has a much less personal connection to...basically any female clone in the show than Felix would have.
    • The creators said they considered it this but decided it was a bit pat and obvious, as well as not fitting with their other ideas.
  • The Woobie: Almost every clone counts to a certain degree, along with quite a few of the people in contact with them.
    • Sarah - Unable to be with her daughter whom she loves. Watching her real birth mother die after a lifetime of wondering what she was like. Now she and Kira are on the run from both the religiously zealous Proletheans and the cold, calculating Neolutionists.
    • Alison - Just wants to be normal, is unable to cope with her life being a science experiment and her husband who she really does love is actually her monitor. Now she has to live with the guilt of letting her friend die. Arguably the last of these brings her into Jerkass Woobie territory, though she'll probably get better. She does after her guilt leads her to drink herself into rehab, where she is currently being blackmailed by her husband.
    • Cosima - Feels heart broken finding out Delphine search through her things and revealed to Leekie she was in contact with the others and has now developed an Incurable Cough of Death.
    • Beth - In relationship with someone she loved but did not love her, worse yet he was only with her to watch over her for someone's science experiment.
    • Helena - Abused all her life, both physically and mentally to the point of being turned into a serial killer. She has never been shown any true affection or love and is eventually shot by one of the few people she ever felt a connection to - her twin sister. She survived, but her Woobie status has since been upgraded after being taken by the Proletheans, getting forcibly married to Hank and having her eggs extracted by him against her will. Also qualifies as Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Katja - Has all of one scene in the series before being shot in the face, and then her body is fed through a rock grinder accidentally.
    • Jennifer - Slowly died from a respiratory disease while seeking treatment with the DYAD. She never found out that her boyfriend was her monitor, or that she was a clone.
    • Incidently, all the other clones that are killed by Helena; they died because of a religious zealot conspiracy that thinks that they are sub-human.
    • Gracie. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor girl whose parents are religious-nutcases and are too focused on Helena to care about her daughter. Especially more when she finds out that if they don't get Helena back, then she'll have to be the one to carry the eggs they took from Helena - which is a lie, as they forced her to do it anyway after Helena was recovered. She might also count as a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Ethan Duncan lost his family because of his and his wife's genetic experiments and now he lives in fear for his life. All he wants is to be with his daughter, but he hasn't seen her in twenty years because she thinks he's dead. When they finally reunite, she refuses to let him reconnect with her as she insists they keep their relationship "professional".
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Any scenes where there are more than one clone featured are done brilliantly to the point where you forget that all of these characters are being played by the same woman. They get four clones on screen at once in the season 2 finale, and as usual, it's seamless.

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