YMMV: The Dead Zone

The film

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Martin Sheen as foaming-mad mid-westerner President Stillson during the "the missiles are flying! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" scene is especially funny due to his later role as the ideal Coastal Liberal president, President Bartlett, in The West Wing.
    • Christopher Walken as an English teacher who tells his class to read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" later plays the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow.
  • Memetic Mutation: "THE ICE! IS GONNA BREAK!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Frank Dodd's final act is to lower himself onto his own open scissors - stabbing himself to death through the roof of his mouth. Johnny's vision of Stillson's eager reaction to giving the final launch order also qualifies.

The series

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In a Season 2 episode, Johnny is hit by a car while saving a child. He wakes up in the hospital and asks Bruce if it's 2009 (i.e., if he's been in a coma for ANOTHER six years.) Bruce deadpans "no... it's 2011." Johnny then asks if the Red Sox have won the World Series yet. We now know that in fact they have won it twice in the period Johnny's second coma would have covered, adding an added punch to this joke.
  • Ear Worm: The credits song followed by "No! Yes! No! Yes! NOOO! Yes! You're grounded.". You'd be surprised how much that can get stuck in a person's head.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Malcolm Janus, the Man Behind the Man for Stilson in the latter half of the show. He's the head of a group successfully conning people into fearing them as a branch of The Illuminati, which alone grants him Magnificence. But beyond that—he constantly pulls one Xanatos Gambit + Batman Gambit after another, anticipating for Johnny Smith's significance and abilities, respecting him as a Worthy Opponent. He cleanly and effortlessly pulls Stilson out of a Despair Event Horizon, setting him back on track, and arranges that no one in a position to stop them (such as Rev. Purdy) can escape from under his thumb. And by the time the series Dropped a Bridge on Him, it ultimately didn't derail his plans, after all. (At least for now....)
  • Tear Jerker: When Rev. Purdy tearfully lays out for Johnny why Johnny's mother killed herself.
    • Sarah's breakdown at the end of "Descent"—powered both by Walt being near death and the fact that her chances of coming clean with him and making amends have just plummeted.
    • "Speak Now" has two: Sarah's reaction to Johnny demanding to know if, had she known he'd wake up, she'd have waited for him (her broken-voiced "How can you ask me that?!" is just heart-wrenching)...and Johnny's vision of her shedding tears over his unconscious form, telling him Walt's asked her to marry him.
    • "Coming Home" has similar moments involving Sarah's recounting of the context of her rift with her father, and Johnny comforting her with what his vision revealed concerning her mother.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Season 6 shows a lot of changes from the very beginning—ranging from how the Stilson arc is handled to locations and even the absence of the opening narration. Even if you like the last season, the differences are still pretty...weird.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The fact that the Season 5 finale gets our blood pumping for an epic showdown between Johnny and Malcolm Janus...which is pathetically quashed when Janus dies in such an anti-climactic way. Even if they wanted to orient the Season 6 premier around Walt dying...they could've still worked that in to the "Epic Final Duel" by having our two heroes fighting Janus heroically and Walt pulling an Heroic Sacrifice to save Johnny. Instead, we got an episode-long Mood Whiplash from what the show had been building up to.
  • The Woobie: Both Johnny and Sarah easily qualify. Johnny suffers a LOT of angst from his visions (especially in the intensely tragic "Playing God")...and from the fact that a random accident kept him from all his dreams of a life Happily Married to Sarah.
    • Sarah constantly suffers from the conflicting emotions of her love for Johnny and her devotion to Walt. And she's put through the emotional ringer in Season 6.