YMMV / Twin Peaks

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     For both series 
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Actually intended by Lynch, who never intended to solve the mystery and wanted the viewers to just become engrossed in the people of Twin Peaks. Averted when Mark Frost and the network forced him to resolve the Laura Palmer plotline.
  • Commitment Anxiety: The original Twin Peaks is a collection of 30 hour long episodes which pretty much all play into the central mystery. All of these episodes play into the The Return so that you more or less have to watch the entire show to get everything.
  • 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.
  • Counterpart Comparison: A denim clad, messy haired Humanoid Abomination who lives between dimensions and spreads hatred, misery, and death For the Evulz. Are we talking about BOB, or Randall Flagg?
  • Creepy Awesome: The Black Lodge in general, the Man From Another Place and BOB in particular.
  • Cult Classic: The series originally only lasted two seasons but amassed a strong following and heavily influenced pop culture. In fact, it's because of this that the series was revived in 2017, over twenty-five years after its initial cancellation, for a third and final season.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Twin Peaks is currently a running joke on the TV Tropes Forum, where it is regularly mentioned among anime. (The reason for this is that someone once recommended this in an anime recommendations thread where the original poster didn't explicitly ask for anime.)
    • "She's dead... wrapped in plastic." (said about Laura Palmer)
    • "The Owls are not what they seem." (Arc Words from the Giant)
    • "It's happening again." (originally referring to BOB!Leland murdering Maddie Ferguson as a repeat of his rape/murder of her identical cousin, Laura Palmer, this has become a tagline for The Return.)
    • "James was never cool" and variations became popular after the infamous character was described as "still cool" in The Return.
    • "Helloooo-oooo!"
    • After Parts 5-8 from The Return, the fanbase is pretty adamant that David Lynch is clearly trolling the fanbase and doing whatever the fuck he wanted, even going as far as Lynch has gotten crazier since Inland Empire. This comes to ahead in Part 8, which the Twin Peaks Reddit claiming that Eraserhead and Inland Empire weren't as crazy as that episode.
    • "Well. Glad that's cleared that up."
    • "Chad is such a Chad!" is a common refrain in online discussions about The Return. There couldn't be a more fitting summary of the character.
  • Uncanny Valley: Everything about the Black Lodge, especially the strange, distorted voices of its inhabitants. This is taken even further in The Return, where it's become a full on Eldritch Location.

     The original run 

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Dale Cooper a good guy or is he not or at least by the prequel... urh sequel? Fire Walk With Me. With Phillip Jeffries we saw what the Black Lodge can do to a man. In the film Future!Dale warns Laura from taking the ring, while taking it ensures her death it protects her from being possesed by BOB who has been catering her for years by that point, if Laura doesn't takes the ring she doesn't die, but she gets consumed by BOB; that means that Dale doesn't have to go to Twin Peaks and get send to the Lodge. Was he trying to save Laura or trying to do a temporal fix and save his own ass at Laura's innocence expense?
    • 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? Even with The Return, we don't have any answers, yet.
    • 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.
    • There are a couple of possible interpretations for Albert's involvement in Blue Rose cases as authorized by Gordon Cole. One is that it's necessary to have a skeptic on board so that the more supernaturally-attuned agents don't go too far in suggesting or pursuing supernatural explanations where there may be none, and Albert helps pull them back down to reality where necessary. Another is that in cases that do involve the supernatural, his lack of sensitivity to spiritual or supernatural matters makes him a less likely victim or target, with those who are more inclined toward less empirical and more spiritual/supernatural explanations (such as Cooper) serving as Designated Point Man: this in turn would allow Albert to keep the necessary investigation ongoing and to serve as a witness if it falls through (which The Secret History of Twin Peaks implies is also Tamara Preston's role). If the latter of these explanations, Albert might be considered to have the sixth sense equivalent of a Disability Superpower.
    • Is Denise Bryson a male Transvestite, or a Transgender woman? The show never clears it up, as LGBT issues weren't as well understood in 1990 (at least, by those outside the community). The 2017 revival definitively states that she's a transwoman.
      • Can also be a shout-out John Edgar Hoover if he was in 2017.
    • Even some of the minor and one-off characters are subject to debate. For instance: "Do you want to hear about our specials? We don't have any!" The Movie leaves it very vague as to whether these are the words of a Deadpan Snarker or an outright Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Base-Breaking Character: 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...
    • Ben Horne losing his mind for a few episodes and dragging his family into civil war reenactments. Any explanation they gave would probably cause more questions than answers.
  • 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.
    • David Lynch wrote a scene where Gordon Cole (played by himself) ended up in a makeout session with Shelly (Madchen Amick). David Lynch has stated it wasn't entirely because he wanted to kiss her.
  • 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.
  • Fair for Its Day: Denise is portrayed by a cis man and it's never quite clear whether she's a male crossdresser or a transgender woman. However, she is treated with a surprising level of respect, Cooper has no problem accepting her, and Audrey is in awe of the first female government agent she's encountered.
  • 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.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Leo Johnson with his '80s Hair and love for plaid.
  • 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, The X-Files, and Life Is Strange.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: 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.
  • 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.
    • The series features a dead girl named Laura, other characters named Audrey and Lucy, and an actor who would later be on The X-Files, David Duchovny. Fast-forward to Season 3, when Twin Peaks shares a timeslot with American Gods, which features...a dead girl named Laura, other characters named Audrey and Lucy (well, at least someone impersonating Lucy), and an X-Files alum, Gillian Anderson. Which has led to a few people joking about a Crack Ship involving Denise Bryson and Media, Duchovny and Anderson's respective characters. Not that weird, when you consider a few already shipped Denise with Scully.
  • Hollywood Homely: David Lynch lampshades this in-character:
    Gordon Cole: THIS WORLD OF TWIN PEAKS SEEMS TO BE FILLED WITH BEAUTIFUL WOMEN!
  • 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.
  • Narm: James, Donna and Maddie singing a cheesy song whose lyrics are "Just you and I... together... forever...". The song is heard again later when Donna is looking for James to the same effect.
    • Windom Earle in general. He's such a goofy Card-Carrying Villain that he feels like he walked right out of a Scooby Doo episode. His penchant for wearing wacky disguises during his crimes doesn't help matters.
  • Narm Charm: A big part of the show's initial appeal. The soap-opera melodramatics, which were (at least initially) parodying other shows of the time such as Dallas, were executed well enough to genuinely endear the characters to audiences while keeping a comedic edge to the show.
  • 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: 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!"
    • While Annie has some fans for at least having a role in the central plot, the same can't be said for John Justice Wheeler, who only serves to break up the Cooper/Audrey ship and reduces Audrey's involvement in the main storyline in favor of a romance subplot.
  • 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Yes, that's a pre-The X-Files David Duchovny as Denise Bryson.
  • 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.
    • 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. There is, however, also general agreement about that the series (if only barely) managed to avoid Jumping the Shark and actually found some of its original form again in the final episodes of Season 2.
  • Signature Scene: The Red Room scene at the end of the third episode. Apart from a famous reference to this scene in the two-part "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episode of The Simpsons, 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 also became iconic of the show.
  • Special Effect Failure: The cup in the Black Lodge in the final episode that changes from a liquid, to a solid, and back to a very viscous liquid again. Upon closer inspection the solid tea is just a lump of plastic.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Both Cooper/Annie and Audrey/Jack are viewed this way by a sizable amount of the fanbase.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The intro theme.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: A chronic issue in Season 2, especially with the James and Horne subplots.
  • Villain Decay: Ben Horne goes from a manipulative Corrupt Corporate Executive in Season 1 to a comical Cloud Cuckoolander barely involved in his own business in Season 2.
  • 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: Laura Palmer is the quintessential example as she was molested as a child by her father, became addicted to drugs to deal with the pain, and became a prostitute as part of a scheme to get out of town. Oh and she was also menaced by an Eldritch Abomination from adolescence up. This is all before she was found murdered and wrapped in plastic.

     The Return 

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Janey-E a cool, awesome doberman of a woman who refuses to be cowed by mafia hitmen or the general suckiness of her life or is she a severely self-absorbed who completely misses her husband has been literally replaced by another (albeit an Identical Stranger) man? Add to that the Questionable Consent of her initiating sex with a clearly mentally challenged version of "Dougie", and this helds lead to the Base-Breaking Character about her character.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Fans either love or hate Janey-E due to the fact she's strongly involved in keeping the real Cooper away from Twin Peaks. This is doubled after Part 10 when she had Questionable Consent sex with him, thinking he's her husband. A lot of fans still love her, though, because she's The Determinator and played by Naomi Watts.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Return Episode 8. An hour long wall of Mind Screw like nothing before seen in either incarnation of the show, which for good measure features its own internal BLAM in the form of a Nine Inch Nails performance
  • Broken Base: Despite season 3 receiving nearly universal praise from fans and has been cited as the best revival of the revival craze, there's still some things the viewers can't get along.
    • Some didn't like the full fantastic plot of the new season and said it destroyed the ambiguous interpretations of the original like Sarah Palmer's visions being the result of the drugs Leland gave her to sleep when he raped Laura, Laura hallucinating due to trauma, or Leland just repeating the behavior he received when sexually abused as a kid by a man named Bob while the rest of the fanbase prefer it because of how surreal it is, and for providing some definite answers.
    • For those who had any expectations to the new series and wanted the light hearted by comparison feel of the original, or those who wanted it to be darker, especially those who still consider Fire Walk With Me as the Darker and Edgier installment of Twin Peaks with the new season just being Bloodier and Gorier at best, or just plain raunchier at worst.
  • Character Rerailment: There were implications MIKE was just as evil as BOB in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me but he's back to being a good guy in The Return.
  • Creator's Pet: Tammy Preston is slowly becoming this in the 2017 revival.
  • Creepy Awesome: Part 8 could be this in its entirety, but in particular we have the Woodsmen and everything they do. There's also the sequence of the Trinity Nuclear Tests, almost 10 minutes of Visual Effects of Awesome that feel like they came out of 2001: A Space Odyssey scored to the Psycho Strings of "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima".
  • 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.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The entire conversation with Lucy, Andy, and Hawk in Part 3 about how something is missing that is tied to Hawk's heritage. Lucy and Andy are Innocently Insensitive taken to the 11 as they point out Hawk is an Indian as well as debate whether chocolate bunny eggs could be related to Native American stomach gas cures. Hawk is clearly trying to debate whether he should be offended or acknowledge they're too stupid/nice to be doing this deliberately. It is HILARIOUS.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: As of The Return, Diane Evans, mainly due to being a Deadpan Snarker Lady Swears-A-Lot who steals every scene she's in.
  • Evil Is Cool: Despite being a murderous Diabolical Mastermind, implied rapist, and Serial Killer, Doppel Coop has quite a few fans. This is due to Kyle Mclaughlin's amazing performance. It's notable he tends to Pay Evil unto Evil with the majority of his on-screen victims so far having tried to either kill him or being involved with his criminal schemes. The fact Complete Monster BOB chooses to let Doppel Coop remain in charge of their body shows this is true in-universe.
  • Fan Nickname: After The Return premiered, the fandom was quick to create several nicknames for Cooper's evil BOB-possessed doppelganger including but not limited to: BOB!Cooper, Evil Coop, Doppel Coop, Coopelganger and Mr.C. Also to a lesser extent, Dougie!Coop for the other Cooper doppelganger; Dougie Jones or for Cooper after he takes Dougie's place.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Doppelganger with his Danzig-like mullet and leather jacket. Though in the latter's case it arguably adds to his Uncanny Valley nature to make him even creepier (the costume designers explicitly stated they were inspired by the design of Anton Chigurh).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The 2017 revival was filmed at the exact right time, with three major actors (Catherine Coulson, Miguel Ferrer, and Warren Frost) living just barely long enough to be part of it. This also makes the 25 year prediction in the finale even more eerie.
  • He Really Can Act: Matthew Lillard's performance in The Return has been pretty well-recieved, especially with people who were only familiar with him as Shaggy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The final line of the original series was " I'll see you again in 25 years. This prediction is almost exact for the revival of the series.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Diane is hostile and snarky towards everyone in the FBI, which becomes more understandable in her conversation with Doppelganger!Cooper when it's all but stated that he raped her.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Richard Horne hitting a little boy with his truck and driving away without even slowing down definitely counts if his Establishing Character Moment doesn't.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Wally Brando, Andy and Lucy's grown child is already gaining this reputation, based solely off of his bizarre, stilted monologue delivered in Episode 4 of the revival.
  • The Scrappy: Just as in-universe, nobody, nobody in the fandom likes rude, mouthy Man Child Chad except for a few viewers who mostly just love to hate him or enjoy watching him make his co-workers uncomfortable.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The beginning of Season 3 is taking it's time in moving the plot along. Most notably 6/18 episodes in and Cooper is still in an Empty Shell state though he does look like he's slowly starting to shake it off. By Episode 7 the plot has picked up a bit and Episode 8 is....well... Episode 8.
  • Signature Scene: For The Return the entirety of Episode 8 is on it's way to becoming the revival's "Signature Episode."
  • Special Effects Failure: Some of the effects in The Return have drawn criticism as looking cheaply-made and unnatural, particularly the new form of the Arm and the figure in the Buckhorn jail floating away. Others have argued the unnaturalness creates an appropriately uncanny and otherworldly feel.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Averted somewhat with The Return. Gone is the campy, soap opera-like humor and quirkiness of the first 2 seasons. The new episodes are much more darkly comedic and unnerving, sharing thematic elements with some of Lynch's film work such as Eraserhead, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr. and Inland Empire. While you would expect this to turn off fans of the original seasons, this doesn't seem to have affected the hype and enthusiasm not one bit.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The atomic blast, hell everything in Part 8 of The Return is appropriately awesome and terrifying.
  • Wangst: Done again in The Return in Hastings' interrogation. He's understandably upset over the death of his mistress, but his meltdown takes a turn for the ridiculous when he starts reminiscing about their plans to go to the Bahamas and SOAK UP THE SUUUUUUN, and go scuba diving.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Subverted big time with Michael Cera cast as Andy and Lucy's son Wally Brando. Many find this to be one of the greatest casting decisions in recent television history if not in general.
    • Matthew Lillard is playing the role of falsely accused high school Principle William Hastings. This despite the fact Matthew Lillard has made the majority of his career for the past decade voicing Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Subverted because he's almost unrecognizable from his time in the live action Scooby Doo movies and does an incredible job.


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