YMMV / The Stanley Parable

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: There's quite a few for the Narrator in particular, as he behaves rather differently depending on Stanley's actions. Sometimes (as in the Confusion and Zendom endings), he seems to genuinely be on Stanley's side, while in others (like the Phone and Explosion endings) he acts as an antagonist, and in still others (like the Freedom or Insane endings), he has no direct interactions with Stanley at all and simply lives up to his namesake as the storyteller. It's rather telling that the narrator is at his most antagonistic when Stanley is either deliberately ignoring his directions (Phone ending) or trying to hijack the story (Explosion ending), while obeying the narrator generally results in favourable treatment. Is he an Omnipotent Jerk who delights in manipulating Stanley? A control-freak who cannot stand dissent? An creator who is trying to show off something he is excited about creating only to (potentially) be thwarted by an uncooperative partner who seems to be causing havoc For the Lulz? Such interpretation is largely left up to the player.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Heartwarming Moments: The Art Ending.
    Divine Being: Now, live your normal life, and wait for me in the life after this one. I love you.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Narrator, depending on which ending you get. The Confusion ending implies that he's not really in control at all and is just as controlled and trapped as Stanley.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • EIGHT! Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Narrator definitely crosses it in the pawn ending, where he railroads Stanley into a nightmarishly depressing, psychologically abusive power trip. It starts with him tempting Stanley with the chance to see his loving wife, only to tell him that he has no wife, and that nobody loves him, and then it just keeps getting worse from there.
  • That One Achievement: The HD version goes to town on parodying this. The top three "impossible" achievements require you to spend an entire Tuesday playing the game, to not play the game for five years, and the final one is completely impossible to get. The first two can be acquired by adjusting your computer's date and time settings, the third seems to be handed out at random, if YouTube evidence is to be believednote .
  • Unwinnable by Insanity:
    • Happens in the original mod if you get off of the elevator between the time when you push the button and when the elevator doors close.
    • You can get stuck in the Portal room, just like the Portal game. Unlike in Portal, the Narrator chastises you for doing so, making it also (a rare case of) Unwinnable by Design.
    • During the "Real Person" ending, you can jump out of the moving platform before the door closes, at which point there's no way to continue the story - one of the few rare cases of when Developers' Foresight does not apply. You do get a chance to closely examine the ground level of the storage room though, since the fall doesn't kill you this time.
    • In the monitor room in the HD Remix, it's possible to step onto one of the desks and jump off into the abyss. The game has no programmed response for that, and you simply stand at the bottom with no way out.