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YMMV: Sons of Anarchy
  • Ass Pull:
    • Margaret Murphy (Tara's Boss) being a biker chick in her younger years. That kinda came out of nowhere.
    • Romeo and Luis being CIA and completely negating the Potter investigation in season 4. Also the Irish suddenly refusing to work with anybody but Clay.
    • An innocent bystander being randomly killed who coincidentally has such a ruthless and powerful immediate relative that the situation becomes a real threat to the survival of the Sons as a whole. Pulled off not just once, but twice (with Pope's daughter and Toric's sister).
  • Award Snub: Katey Sagal did win a Golden Globe in 2011, though.
  • Badass Decay: Toric is introduced as a vengeful Genius Bruiser with military training, police contacts and an Ivy League degree. In the next season, it's revealed that he's a paunchy, strung-out junkie who makes a few major mistakes that ultimately cost him his life.
  • Broken Base: The Season 6 finale. Was it the most traumatic and devastating Wham Episode in the entire series that left you weeping for several minutes, or was it an absolutely frustrating finale that resulted in the death of two characters all because everyone seemed to be playing with the Idiot Ball?
  • The Chris Carter Effect: The series has an infamous amount of this and it has gotten worse as the seasons have gone on. It is common for them to stretch a single question across an entire series. A running joke amongst fans is that Jax always says he will get to the bottom of something, but doesn't. Season 6 is particularly directionless both due to FX letting every episode be 90 minutes or longer leading to a surplus of pointless subplots in every episode and the planned season long Big Bad having to be offed four episodes in due to the actor's schedule. Thanks to this there is no main driving conflict for much of the season but instead several plotlines piled on top of one another with none really taking primacy.
  • Complete Monster:
    • James "Jimmy O" O'Phelan, season 3's Big Bad (he also appears near the end of season 2), is a member of the True IRA, a Northern Irish terrorist organization and criminal syndicate mainly involved in gun running. O'Phelan previously ran current SAMCRO member Chibs out of the IRA and stole Chibs's wife and daughter (Fiona and Kerianne), years later threatening to dump Fiona and marry Kerianne next to Chibs's face. He goes rogue in the third season after receiving a demotion back in Ireland. He tries to kill all of SAMCRO and SAMBEL in an explosion, and after his family escapes his wrath he kills an IRA member in a failed attempt to get them back before torturing and executing another one to find Jax Teller's kidnapped baby son Abel. He murders the adoptive family Abel was placed with and takes the child to ensure his escape to the States, before exchanging him for another hostage whom he later kills. Aside from his bodycount, O'Phelan stands out among the show's many gangsters in that he has no real loved ones note , shows no remorse for any of his crimes, and only ever displays purely selfish motives.
    • Season 6's "Sweet and Vaded" bring us Venus's Evil Matriarch Alice Noone. It's revealed that when Venus, as Vincent, was ten and confused she was part of having Venus constantly drugged and raped, and from there it grew into a lucrative child porn ring. Alice later kidnaps Venus's son, drugs him, and is going to have him raped. When SAMCRO track him down to the studio they are sickened by portraits of the children that Alice had taken to be raped, the videos on the computers and a video camera aimed at a crib. When Alice arrives, she threatens that Venus is a freak and Venus's son is going to kill himself over it, until Jax blows her brains all over the wall. Venus is left a wreck over the emotional torture, and the Dirty Cop says she would have killed Alice if Jax hadn't.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Sets in during Season 7. After the shooting of two police officers and the massacre at Diosa, it is impossible to continue rooting for Jax or any of the SONS anymore, since their reckless actions are resulting in the deaths of innocents. And even though they're genuinely upset whenever something they do backfires, their solution to the problem is to resort to more violence and/or killing, which leads to even more violence and even more killing. Almost everyone else in the show is either a criminal, working with the criminals, or has done something that is unforgiveable (for instance, Gemma murdering Tara). Just about everyone else who comes across as being likable and hasn't committed a crime whatsoever is either a minor character, or someone who has already been killed off. And since the Grim Reaper has been having fun picking off characters since Season 5, there's not much reason to care about the characters even if they were squeaky clean and didn't cause mayhem.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While all of the Sons could qualify, it's definitely Tig.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Shortly after the massacre at Diosa, Tig jokes that people love pussy so much that customers would still come over even if they left the dead women's corpses on the floor. Even he admits it was too soon to say that.
  • Easily Forgiven: Although Gemma had a part in the murder of John Teller, Jax doesn't seemed to have any resentment towards her, instead towards Clay, since he pulled the strings.
  • Eight Deadly Words: This reviewer almost says all eight words towards the end of the review of the Season 6 finale, and frankly doesn't care about Season 7 or the characters' closure anymore due to the way this finale ended.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Chibs. Originally just a background character who might get one or two lines, he came to the forefront in season two and was given a major storyline before becoming Vice President of the club. He also gets a lot of respect for being the Only Sane Man who won't go flying off the handle and is not emotionally unstable (unlike several other club members).
    • Beyond his Kavorka Man status onscreen, Tig seems to be emerging as a lust object for a lot of female viewers.
    • Two fingered compulsive masturbator Chuck Marstein reaches darkhorse status by the end of season three.
    • Venus van Damme, the badass transsexual(thanks to Walton Goggins' incredible portrayal).
    • Opie. Not even billed in the opening credits at first. Eventually became an integral cog in the story arc.
  • Genius Bonus: The title of the episode "Capybara" counts as a mild one, since it's completely nonsensical unless you know that a capybara is an abnormally large species of rodent. The episode was about Opie being wrongly framed for acting as a ATF informant (i.e. being a "big rat"), though the title could also be seen as an allusion to Opie's innocence (a capybara looks like similar to a rat, but is a completely different species).
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Midway through the first season.
    • Also, season 4 regrows the beard after an ill-received (by fans) third year.
  • Harsher in Hindsight and Life Imitates Art: Johnny Lewis played Half-Sack in Seasons 1 and 2 (2008 and 2009). Half-Sack was Killed Off for Real at the end of Season 2. Three years later, Lewis died for real, after murdering an elderly woman and dismembering her cat.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: There's more hugging and guy love amongst the Sons than on any other show this side of Scrubs.
    Chibs Jesus Christ, two guys huggin' in a toilet.
  • Idiot Plot: Some are calling this on the season six finale. (don't read if you haven't seen it. Major spoilers) Many of those are calling it on the season as a whole.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • AJ Weston and Ethan Zobelle when they rape and beat Gemma.
    • In Season 1, Gemma goes to Jax's ex-wife, recovering from an overdose in the hospital, and slips her heroin in a bible. Then she outright tells her she's human garbage and should just end it already. Another episode has Gemma holding a baby at gunpoint and threatening to "cut this baby in half" to force a nun to tell her and Jax Abel's whereabouts.
    • In the penultimate episode of Season 3, Stahl beats out everyone on this by murdering her lover and fellow ATF agent in cold blood and pinning the safehouse debacle on her. And then she does it again by revealing that Jax cut a deal to the club, just to mess with SAMCRO. Of course, they were in on it the entire time. It could even be argued that she crossed it in Season 1 by setting up Opie to look like a rat, knowing full well the danger it would put him in. Of course, it wasn't her fault that Opie and Donna switched vehicles.
    • Clay has finally crossed it by killing Piney to keep the letters a secret and may have crossed it even further by paying the cartel to kill Tara because she's read the letters. Take it another step further with Clay beating the hell out of Gemma.
    • Pope leaps over in his first appearance, by forcing Tig to watch as his daughter is burned alive in front of him.
    • Jackson Teller crossed the line by forcibly injecting heroin into his ex-wife, a recovering addict, in retaliation for her threatening to sue for custody of their son Abel.
    • And Gemma bashes Tara and threatens she'll be fist raped in prison for aiding Otto in his murder if she tries to leave Charming or not hand over custody of her children.
    • Lee Toric crosses this in Season 6. He picks up a prostitute, spends the night with her, then shoots her in her belly, claiming she startled him. And then he executes her and frames Nero for the murder.
    • Tara, of all people, crosses it when she bangs her abdomen on the corner of a desk and fools nearly everyone into believing that Gemma kicked her in the stomach and made her have a miscarriage, even though she was never pregnant to begin with. Of course, considering all the hell's she been put through, many fans agree with Tara's decision.
    • Season 7 seems to be setting up to be one long one for Jax himself. All his plans of making the club into a gang of honorable outlaws is thrown away in his pursuit of vengeance for Tara's death. In the first two episodes alone, he goes full Cold-Blooded Torture on a man, back stabs his supposed-allies, and even fucks-over his Honorary Uncle just so he can take his sweet time in torturing Lin.
    • Despite everything listed above, there was still a small ounce of hope that Jax could've been saved. But almost every fan has lost sympathy for him now that he killed Unser just for trying to keep him from killing Gemma.
    • The Triads cross the line when they murder sixteen innocent people at Diosa all just to hurt Nero since he's an ally of Jax.
  • Narm: Some viewers reject Tig's understated reaction to his daughter getting burnt alive.
  • One-Scene Wonder: In the third season, Stephen King utterly steals two scenes of one episode with his sudden inexplicable appearance. It's amazing since he barely has any lines.
  • Padding: Seasons 6 and 7 upped the episode time to 90 minutes, causing some accusations of this.
  • The Scrappy: Discussed after the Season 6 finale, where Katey Sagal was questioned over whether or not she was worried that all the fans will hate Gemma after she killed Tara.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • Some fans and critics are starting to think this way about the Season 6 finale, stating that Tara's death, and the circumstances surrounding her death, was put in just to add more despair to the show.
    • A lesser example would be Bobby's storyline at the beginning of season 6. Season 5 ends with him cutting off his VP patch seemingly in disdain of Jax framing Clay after Bobby had gone to great lengths to make sure Jax didn't cross the line to kill him. Season 5 starts off with Bobby seemingly trying to set up another chapter to get back to the roots of what the club should be about. Then all of a sudden a few episodes in it turns out that Bobby was actually trying to recruit new members for Jax. Why he had to stop being VP and distance himself from the club to achieve this is never explained.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • It's easy to tell that Opie shooting Clay was fake, especially due to the time delay and the obvious CGI blood.
    • Clay getting his ink filled after losing his patch has a shot with a really crappy effect.
  • Squick:
    • Tig's apparent attraction to both the dead and to livestock.
    • Jax and Tara getting it on about 5 feet from Agent Cohn's gently cooling body.
    • Chuck hides a severed head inside a pot of chili so the cops won't find it, and then later serves some of the same chili to two police officers.
    • Otto biting off his tongue in the Season 5 finale, and then flicking it at a window.
    • Tara's death, which features a Gross-Up Close-Up of her getting stabbed in the back of the head with a carving fork.
  • Too Soon: The season six premiere episode, "Straw", was criticized by many, especially the PTC, over its school shooting scene, considering it premiered 8 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Producer Kurt Sutter did apologize to viewers upset with the episode because they have been either personally involved in one of the school shootings while defending the purpose of said depiction.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Gemma (and, to a lesser extent, Tara) in Season 3. After being framed for a murder in Season 2, Gemma (oblivious to the fact that her grandson was abducted) is on the run at some hideout while Tig watches after her. Gemma breaks loose and visits her dad who's suffering from dementia. While Tig is screwing his caretaker, he gets shot in the back by Gem's father. Gemma calls Tara who stitches him up. The caretaker gets wind of Gemma being wanted and tries to alarm the police. Gemma locks her away. Gemma's father runs off, and Gemma is looking for him. Tara accidentally frees the caretaker, Gemma comes back home and accidentally kills her. They call a cleaner. Gemma brings her father to a nursing home, has a breakdown and decides to turn herself in. As she gets back to Charming, she gets a call from Maureen that Abel is in Belfast. She falls unconscious and awakens in a hospital, tied to the bed. With the help from Tara, she escapes and joins the Sons on their way to Ireland. And that was only the first half of the season...
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When the members are told Clay was shot by two black men (In reality: Opie avenging his father), Tig feels responsible and decides to enact revenge on the One-Niners by going after their leader. Like most dramas, Tig doesn't kill the intended target but his girlfriend, who happens to the daughter of the most dangerous gangster in town, Damon Pope. Had he not been irrational, Damon Pope's daughter wouldn't have been dead, Damon Pope wouldn't have caused hell for the Sons, Tig's own daughter and Opie would have been alive today.
  • What an Idiot:
    • In the Season 6 finale, Unser clearly doesn't want Gemma to drive anywhere because she's high, drunk, and overall, unstable. So why did he carelessly leave the keys to his truck right there on a counter where Gemma can see them?
    • And then there's Roosevelt from the very same episode. Even if he did see Unser's truck in Tara's driveway and thought it was him, why didn't he, at the very least, check Tara's house in advance to make sure the coast was clear, and then let her go inside?
    • Juice, via Unser, arranges a meeting with Chibs on whether he can return to the club or not. Wrong move from Juice, since the club and the police has put a APB on him. To be fair, Juice is a lost cause without the club, to the point of lampshading it.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency: Charlie Hunnam? The British pretty boy from Undeclared? As a biker? More to the point, the Geordie twink from Queer as Folk, who became famous in the UK for taking it up the wrong 'un from a much older man?
  • The Woobie:
    • Tig becomes this in season 5. No matter how you felt about him before, if you didn't feel heartbroken for him during the scene where he was forced to watch his daughter die, you're not human.
    • Juice, as of Season 5. Everything he does is out of loyalty to the club because he cannot stand to be alone, and every one of those decisions backfires on him. By the final season he's a suicidal wreck all alone in the world.
    • Tara. Just look at her life: Her mother died when she was nine years old, and her dad was a worthless drunk. She goes to medical school and becomes a gifted surgeon, and gets the hell out of Charming, only to return because of her abusive, stalker boyfriend. Said boyfriend follows her back to Charming under the guise of investigating SAMCRO, but he's really after her. He breaks into her house, she shoots him, and she calls Jax in to finish him off. They wind up getting back together, but her in-laws stop at nothing to make her life a living hell. Then she stumbles upon a long-lost family secret, which leads to Clay hiring hitmen to shut her up. She survives, but her hand is crushed and her career is ruined. Then she unwittingly becomes an accessory to murder, which leads to her becoming the target of the district attorney and a sociopathic former US Marshal. Just when her husband announces his plan to give himself up so she can raise their sons in relative peace, she is murdered by her mother-in-law in an extremely cruel and brutal way, and all because Gemma was too messed up to make a phone call! Who WOULDN'T feel sorry for her?
    • Otto. The guy literally lost everything for his club.

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