YMMV: Twin Peaks

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is the Man From Another place legitimately trying to stop BOB to prevent a catastrophe from happening, or is he an evil spirit trying to take control of BOB for his own purposes? Due to the show's cancellation, we may never know for sure.
    • His motivations remain mysterious in the show, but Fire Walk With Me lends a darker interpretation to his character. He seems opposed to BOB only in that BOB hoards garmonbozia for himself and deprives the other Lodge creatures of their rightful fill. The Man From Another Place is happy to slurp up the garmonbozia that BOB proffers after killing Laura and thereby inflicting suffering upon both Laura and Leland.
    • Further related to Fire Walk With Me, he claims to be "the arm," (likely) meaning Mike's arm - a remnant of Mike's own evil. I've always thought that the Black Lodge denizens were unhappy with BOB running amuck after Mike turned good. (If BOB was Mike's familiar, he probably had him on something of a leash.) BOB wasn't paying his garmonbozia taxes, so the MFAP and "Mrs. Tremond" etc. were therefore helping the investigation of who killed Laura more than they might have otherwise.
    • Is Denise Bryson a male Transvestite, or a Transgender woman? The show never clears it up, as LGBTQIA issues weren't as well understood in 1990 (at least, by those outside the community).
  • Ass Pull: Season 2, episode 9.
  • Base Breaker: Annie Blackburn. While she isn't without her fans, she still gets flack from Cooper/Audrey shippers.
  • Better on DVD: While it's fine on its own, most episodes seem to make up a single day of investigation. Some details from the first few days come in a little later, when you might have forgotten about it.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Season 2 episode 8 has a flashback of Ben and Jerry remembering a girl dancing around with a flashlight in their room as children. It's wordless, 4 frames per second, and goes on for over a minute. Hold on, Ben & Jerry?... Oh lord.
    • The singing scene with James, Donna and Maddy. Helped heaping them all onto the scrappy heap if they weren't there already.
    • As bizarre as the dream from "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer" was, every element of it ends up returning and being important to the plot — with the exception of that shadow that passes behind the curtain.
      • Or is the shadow an exception at all? It looks an awful lot like the outline of a certain ring (viewed from above) that shows up in FWWM, which is heavily implied to be related to the Man From Another Place...
  • Canon Sue: No matter how you look at it, Cooper is a rather idealized character: intelligent, educated, physically fit, gregarious, charming, compassionate, well-liked by just about everyone he meets and praised by every police officer in the show as an excellent FBI agent. David Lynch also admitted that Cooper is at least partly inspired by Lynch himself, noting that "He says a lot of the things I say". So one could not unreasonably interpret Cooper as Lynch's idealized self-insert character. Unlike most examples of the trope, however, Cooper is not disliked by the fanbase because, being loosely based on David Lynch, he's also an eccentric Cloud Cuckoolander, which most viewers find endearing.
  • The Chris Carter Effect
  • Commitment Anxiety
  • Complete Monster: Killer BOB (Beware of BOB) of the Black Lodge was once a vicious Serial Killer who liked to rape and murder young women. Since his death, BOB became something more. An inhabitant of the Black Lodge, BOB accesses the material plane by possessing hapless humans and forcing them to commit murder, rape and general horror in order to delight and nourish himself. Responsible for the murder of Laura Palmer that drives the series, BOB committed the deed by possessing Laura's father Leland when Leland was a child, resurfacing to have Leland molest his own daughter through her youth before using him to finally rape and murder Laura. When cornered, BOB forces Leland to kill himself. Ending the series by possessing the hero Agent Cooper and laughing maniacally after appreciating his healthy, handsome young body, BOB remains one of the most twisted products of even David Lynch's mind.
  • Creator's Pet: David Lynch liked Joan Chen's performance, which is why she gets a lot of focus despite not being very popular with fans.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The soundtrack, really. Good thing too, because most of it consists of a few tracks played over and over in each episode, and if it weren't so good it would drive people crazy. Now has its own page.
  • Cult Classic
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Audrey is one of, if probably not THE most popular character aside from ol' Coop.
    • Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfield, and Maddie Ferguson all have pretty big fanbases despite not appearing that much.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: The Cooper and Audrey pairing was preferred not only by fans, but by Lynch himself; explicit references were written out of the script at Kyle MacLachlan's objection to their relationship. Both were later given other (and fan-reviled) love interests in the second season.
    • It's rumoured that the decision not to move forward with the Cooper and Audrey romance was down to Lara Flynn Boyle (who was involved with Kyle at the time). It was confirmed by the producer-writer Robert Engels. Weirdly enough, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle's character) and Dale never actually interact all that much, if at all.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Name anything that cites Twin Peaks as an influence, and odds are, its fans get along pretty well with the T.P. fandom. Deadly Premonition, Gravity Falls (and by extension, the entire "Mystery Kids" fandom, which extends to Coraline, Invader Zim, Paranorman, Psychonauts, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, among others), Welcome to Night Vale, and The X-Files.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Don S. Davis being part of a secret military project involving aliens years before being part of a secret military project involving aliens is hilarious on its own, but the best part is when he advises Cooper against keeping secrets for the sake of the greater good, which was the crux of a lot of drama and the opposite stance he and most of the cast took on SG1.
    • "I'll see you again in 25 years." "Awesome In Hindsight", frankly. One frankly can't help wondering if this may have been Lynch's plan all along....
  • Hollywood Homely: David Lynch lampshades this in-character:
    Gordon Cole: "This world of Twin Peaks seems to be filled with beautiful women!"
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Extremely high.
  • Japanese Love Twin Peaks: While Twin Peaks is more along the lines of a Cult Classic in the U.S., it was VERY popular when it aired in Japan. It even influenced the creators of a popular Nintendo game you may have heard of and a certain long-running video game series by Konami.
    • Lynch even filmed a series of Japanese coffee commercials, starring Agent Cooper and the rest of the gang. Can be seen here
    • Deadly Premonition is a spiritual adaptation.
  • It Was His Sled: Mostly averted, but those who have never seen the show should still be wary of spoilers. Many fans who saw it when it first aired believe the show is now too old for anything to be a spoiler, despite the fact that many new fans, too young to have seen it the first time, are trying to catch up in preparation for Season 3 (or because they became curious after playing Deadly Premonition).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Leo arguably becomes this over the course of his captivity in Windom Earle's cabin, during which he comes to understand firsthand the sort of horrifying abuse he inflicted upon Shelly. See Redemption Equals Death below.
  • Memetic Mutation: "She's dead... wrapped in plastic."
  • One-Scene Wonder: Jimmy Scott only shows up in the last episode — in one of the most haunting scenes in the series.
  • Pair the Spares / Crack Pairing: There is a small following for Annie Blackburn x John Justice Wheeler. The two never even meet, but Dale x Audrey shippers sometimes like to pair their respective replacement love interests together, just so Dale and Audrey can become a couple again.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Annie Blackburn, who was wheeled in out of nowhere purely to supplant Audrey as Cooper's love interest. Her winning the Miss Twin Peaks pageant is likely to produce the same reaction from viewers that it did from Mayor Milford: "She's been living in this town about fifteen minutes!"
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Almost. After spending Season One as a weak-willed pawn being manipulated by Catherine and Ben Horne before running crying to Sheriff Truman, it is revealed that Josie has secretly been working with Ben to frame Catherine for the mill fire, and also had a hand in her husband's death, which gave her the mill in the first place. Then, in the following season, it is discovered that Josie did all this at the behest of another person, turning her back into the easily manipulated victim. One step forwards, two steps back.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Several. Primarily to blame for the general consensus that the second season would've been much better if it had been half as long.
  • The Scrappy: James Hurley (for being monumentally stupid, even by the standards of Twin Peaks teenagers) and Josie Packard (for being a hysterical victim and nothing else); take your pick. Or Nadine (although some more recent fans love her for her eerie resemblance to Crazy Awesome secret agent Molotov Cocktease from The Venture Bros.). Annie and John Justice Wheeler, especially if you're a Cooper/Audrey fan.
    • Lana Budding Milford also gets a lot of flack.
    • Arguably the series' biggest Scrappy is Evelyn Marsh, who served no purpose to the main storyline and was probably only added to write James off the show.
  • Seasonal Rot: It is generally agreed that the series loses focus after the main story arc is resolved in episode 8 of season 2. A new, related story arc emerges in the rest of the second season, but much of it suffers from having been neglected by Lynch and left to less competent writers and directors, causing a vast drop in quality and major inconsistencies in characterization. Kyle MacLachlan became impatient with Lynch's non-involvement and cast member Kimmy Robertson admits to having stopped watching due to Seasonal Rot.
  • Signature Scene: The Red Room scene at the end of the third episode. Both Gravity Falls and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated have done explicit Shout-Out scenes to it, with Mystery Inc. even having a dog stand-in for Laura, and getting the same actor for The Man From Another Place!
    • The image of Laura's body wrapped in plastic from the first episode became iconic of the show also.
  • Uncanny Valley: Everything about the Black Lodge.
  • Villain Decay: Ben.
  • Wangst: Done intentionally with Leland in season 1.
  • What an Idiot: Laura is a tragic example, Andy is a comic one, and Maddy, James and Bobby are just dumb.
  • The Woobie: A good chunk of the characters, actually.