YMMV / The Chocolate War

  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Obie and Archie. Jerry is actually the main character of the first book but just look at how much he's mentioned compared to these two.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The message of the first book is pretty much that the world is run by awful, corrupt people who abuse their power because they can. But don't try to buck the system and or you'll end up getting hurt, and nothing will meaningfully change.
  • Foe Yay: Jerry/Janza and especially Obie/Archie.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Archie's actions at the end of Beyond The Chocolate War; He manipulates the Vigils to become little more than a violent gang of Drug Dealers. His motivations for doing this makes a lot of sense once you realize this was his final Take That to Brother Leon. Early in the book Brother Leon, rather smugly, brags to Archie about how little effect he actually has the school and threatens to destroy the Vigils if he messes with the status quo. The finale showed Archie retroactively setting up the downfall for both the Vigils and the school.
  • Magnificent Bastard: In the second book, Archie finally draws a black marble and is forced take his own assignment to be "the Fool" on Fair Day. One of the things the Fool has to do is sit on a chair while the other students throw water balloons at him. Only one guy dares to do it, and he misses Archie on purpose....
  • Moment of Awesome: Henry Malloran gets one in the second book when he throws a tomato into Brother Leon's face before the entire school, and then becomes class president with no opposition.
    • However, the biggest Moment of Awesome belongs to Carter, also in the second book - he fills the Assigner's box with four black marbles and one white. When Archie draws a black one for the first time, there is only a shocked silence.
    • What where's the fact that in the second book Jerry stands up to Janza without fighting back. He gets the crap kicked out of him and yet Janza feels winded. Considering throughout the book Janza brings up how sexy he feels after beating someone up, he doesn't feel it after getting Jerry that time who just took it, Jerry essentially won. Also this ties with the fact that instead of running he's going back to the same school.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Archie crosses it in the end of the first book when he manipulates the whole school into turning against Jerry, even though the chocolate sales are over, and gets Jerry beaten within an inch of his life. In the second book, he gives the overweight Tubs the "assignment" to gain thirty pounds more, and it's even worse because Tubs hates himself for being fat.
    • He crosses it over again in the very end, when he (via his proxy Bunting) moves the Vigils towards becoming a violent gang that extorts students and sells drugs, a move that will ensure the group's eventual demise since it gives the authorities an excuse to shut it down one day. It's a Moral Event Horizon because Archie decides that "if I can't rule the school, then no one will."