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1[[quoteright:350:]] ²[[caption-width-right:350: Wo ist der Übergang? [[spoiler: Where is the crossing?]]]]²²-> ''Alles ist miteinander verbunden.''²-> ''Everything is connected.''²²Welcome to the beautiful, quiet town of Winden, Germany, circa 2019. There's a 98% chance of rain in the forecast. The nearby nuclear power plant is still in operation. Children are disappearing. Again. The police have no leads. Again. [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers And the birds are falling from the sky]]. Again.²²Jonas Kahnwald, a teenager struggling with his father's sudden and unexplained suicide, explores the forests and caves of Winden with his friends. But there's something else going on in the wilderness, and soon they will stumble into a conspiracy far darker than anyone could have imagined.²²Meanwhile, it's up to head of police Charlotte Doppler and investigator Ulrich Nielsen to figure out what's going on. And they can't help but think that the strange events happening around them in 2019 are awfully similar to what happened in Winden when they were kids in 1986. ²²The first German-language Creator/{{Netflix}} series, ''Dark'' is a science fiction/supernatural thriller that shares likenesses with other shows like ''Series/TwinPeaks'' and ''Series/StrangerThings''. The best way to go into this show is to look at it as the spiritual antithesis to Twin Peaks, and an exercise in GermanicEfficiency. The show itself doesn't lie to you, but the characters might. Everything shown onscreen is true -- it's just piecing it together that's the hard part. Every single character and plotline has a purpose, every piece has a meaning, and as the page quote says, "Everything is connected."²²The second season arrived on June 21, 2019. The series will conclude with Season [[ArcNumber 3]].²²!![[spoiler: When]] are the tropes?²²* AdultFear: It doesn't get much worse than your children disappearing without a trace [[spoiler: especially if they end up back in the past 33 years ago.]]²* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler: Whatever the hell happened in the timeline at the end of episode 10.]]²** Enforced in the small teaser for Season 2, with a character saying: "The Apocalypse '''''[[StableTimeLoop must]]''''' happen!"²** Goes into [[spoiler: full swing by the end of Season 2 with Adam wanting the apocalypse caused by the Dark Matter/God Particle activating and annihilating half of Winden in order to secure the timeline. And it's made ''worse'' when he '''wants''' the Apocalypse to happen so that he can "free" humanity from the bounds of Time]].²* ArcNumber: ''3'': Three generations, [[spoiler: three timelines and the fact they are connected by 33 years]]. That's more established by the [[spoiler: triquetra symbol on the door in the Winden cave systems]], the never-ending triangle on Tannhaus's book, [[spoiler: the three cylinders / circular patterns on the Apparatus]] and [[spoiler: the fact Noah kidnaps three kids, with Jonas being the only survivor of the time machine bunker]].²* ArcWords:²** "Everything is connected."²** "The question is not how/who/where, but when."²** Season 2 has "Sic Mundus Creatus Est" and "White Devil".²* ArtisticLicenseGeography: The 1986 timeline establishes Winden as a West-German town but the ruins of the housing blocks in the 2052 timeline are clearly East-German.²* ArtisticLicenseHistory: ²** Construction for the first nuclear power plant in Germany began in 1958, five years later than in the show's timeline. It seems the writers altered history a bit so that [[spoiler:it would fit the 33 year time travel cycle.]]²** In 1986, Ulrich wears a shirt of the Swedish Metal band Morbid. The band was only founded at the end of 1986, and only achieved recognition posthomusly, several years later, particularly for the involvement of their singer with the more popular band Mayhem. There's no way Ulrich would have their shirt in 1986.²* AsTheGoodBookSays: Many lines from the script and names of episodes are references to passages from the bible. The 10th episode is named "Alpha and Omega", a reference to Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."²* AutopsySnackTime: While dissecting a dead sheep's brain, the local coroner talks about a Yugoslavian dish his wife is preparing for the weekend.²* BadFuture: The apocalyptic future caused by a TimeCrash.²* BaitAndSwitch: When both Charlotte and Peter are late to pick up Elisabeth, their younger daughter, from school, she decides to walk home by herself. Peter arrives to find her already gone, and Charlotte finds her fox hat on the forest path. [[spoiler: She gets home fine, Noah just made her late by having a cryptic conversation and giving her Charlotte's old watch. Her friend Yasin, on the other hand, is not so lucky when he decides to walk to school by himself the next day.]]²* BeeAfraid: In the [[spoiler: devastated future of year 2052]], there are large wasps nests ''everywhere.'' This was actually predicted as a consequence of global warming in RealLife; wasp populations don't all die during the winter, and instead keep breeding to produce massive hives.²* BigDamnReunion: Between Mikka and Ulrich in 1986 with the latter having endured [[TheSlowPath 33 years]] at an asylum to see his son again. The reunion is short-lived though as authorities quickly drag the old man back to the institution.²* BigSecret: Pretty much any character who finds out about [[spoiler: time travel]] starts behaving secretively and would sound crazy if they tried to explain, bringing them under suspicion of the child abductions and murders. Characters hiding this secret include [[spoiler: Tronte, Peter, the Stranger, Ulrich, Charlotte, and eventually most of the cast]]. In addition, many characters are hiding secrets that are unrelated or not directly related:²** Tronte, Peter, and Ulrich are all hiding [[spoiler: extramarital affairs]].²** Jurgen is secretly [[spoiler: selling drugs]].²** Bernd, Claudia, Aleksander, Torben, and Bernadette are hiding [[spoiler: barrels of nuclear waste from an unreported accident at the power plant]]. At least one of these characters is also hiding the fact that this secret enables [[spoiler: time travel]].²** Franziska is secretly [[spoiler: selling hormones]].²** Hannah is secretly [[spoiler: seeking revenge on Ulrich for rejecting her, first by falsely accusing Ulrich of rape and later by blackmailing Aleksander]].²** Aleksander is hiding [[spoiler: his true identity, apparently having committed a murder in 1986]].²* BilingualBonus: Winden is both the name of a real town in Germany, but can also mean "to twist" or "to wiggle".²* BloodFromTheMouth: Both [[spoiler:Noah and Martha]] have blood running from their mouth after getting shot in the chest in the Season 2 finale.²* CentralTheme: Determinism. Is it possible to alter past and future events? And do humans have free will or are we slaves to desires that are casually determined?²* ChildByRape: [[spoiler:Probably Helge. His mother - who doesn't feel much love for her son because of that - implied as much when talking to Noah.]]²* ChildrenAreInnocent: Averted. The children and teenagers of the town are shown to be just as messed up as the adults.²** Various teens at the local high school, including Magnus (the principal's son) and Franziska (the daughter of the local chief of police), are consuming and/or peddling drugs.²** Charlotte's young daughter Elisabeth steals from her older sister and bluntly admits that she doesn't care about Mikkel's disappearance, calling him "a showoff and an idiot."²** [[spoiler:Hannah]] accused Ulrich of raping Katharina out of pure jealousy when the three of them were still teenagers in 1986.²** Averted surprisingly enough with Mikkel. Mikkel is the '''only''' kid in the series that comes off as an actual ChildrenAreInnocent, being interested in stuff like magic and even showing a liking to Jonas, [[spoiler: his future son]]. When he does [[spoiler: end up in 1986, he takes it with stride too]], although it should be also noted [[spoiler: in his suicide note as Michael that he never really felt at home when trapped in 1986]]. Season 2 [[spoiler: shows him simply wanting to go home, but his adoptive mother refusing to let him leave, even to the point of drugging him]].²* {{Cliffhanger}}: ²** [[spoiler:Season 1 ends with aged Helge going back to 1986 and driving his car into his past self to stop him working for Noah, incapacitating his past self and killing his present self in the process; Stranger Jonas's and Claudia's plan to cancel out the black hole failing for reasons that remain unclear; Hannah plotting to ''continue destroying Ulrich's life'' and blackmailing Aleksander/Boris with her knowledge of his true identity; and Jonas getting stuck in what seems to be 2052]].²** Season 2 as well [[spoiler: with the Apocalypse happening when a nuclear waste barrel is opened in the power plant and forms the God Particle portal that exists in the future; some characters being saved in the bunker and some arguably ''killed'' by the activation of the God Particle; Stranger/Future!Jonas taking Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska to an unknown timeline to form Sic Mundus; and young Jonas witnessing Martha die at the hands of his future self Adam, who needs Martha's death to occur to secure his own timeline; and another Martha from ''an alternative dimension'' taking Jonas with a new compact portable device]].²* ContemplateOurNavels: Adding up all monologing about the intertwinement of past, present and future would probably amount to a full episode.²* CosmicDeadline: In season 2, the number of characters who know about [[spoiler: time travel]] rapidly approaches 100% during the week leading up to [[spoiler: the Apocalypse]].²* CosmicHorrorStory: The series veers into this if you subscribe to Noah's theory that [[spoiler:free will is nothing but an illusion and everything was already predetermined from the beginning of time itself]].²* CrapsackWorld: Winden is referred to multiple times as a "festering wound'', and it's telling when [[spoiler: the collapse of the space-time anomaly wiping out the town in the future]] feels like a MercyKill. To delve into the specifics:²** [[spoiler: In 1953 Winden is a hopeful young town with a nuclear power plant about to give its economy a major boost, but it's also a place where birds are falling from the sky, and children are showing up dead in construction sites.]] The townspeople still hold [[TownWithADarkSecret dark secrets]] among themselves.²** [[spoiler: In 1986, a false rape case and]] a missing child have put the town on edge, turning the inhabitants against one another. Livestock and birds die in droves, and the power plant and the people still hold their secrets...²** In the present day, Winden is a town full of depressed, pathetic, paranoid, secretive, violent, and spiteful people. Children go missing, and the power plant is rumored to be unstable. And then the conspiracy kicks off and sets everyone against each other.²** [[spoiler: In 2052, the collapse of the space-time anomaly at the power plant has led to the devastation of Winden and seemingly much of the world as well. The surviving inhabitants are now scavengers straight out of ''Film/MadMax''. There are giant wasp nests everywhere, something that is predicted by global warming.]] ²* ADayInTheLimelight: The third episode of Season 2, "Ghosts", focuses primarily on Claudia and her relationships with her acquaintances and family members (particularly her father) throughout various time periods. [[spoiler:It also qualifies as ADeathInTheLimelight, as it ends with her old self being shot dead by Noah]].²* DeadGuyOnDisplay: In 2052, Jonas walks through a forest where bodies are hanging from the trees.²* DontGoInTheWoods: [[spoiler: Or you might end up in another time period]]. Surprisingly, despite the fact that a child has gone missing and a dead one has appeared, the forest is still not made off limits to children leading to Yasin (and almost) Elisabeth's abduction.²* DroneOfDread: Can be heard on the soundtrack during tense scenes in the forest or in the cave.²* DysfunctionJunction: ''Everyone''. Even the more reasonable characters like Charlotte and Jonas, have some sort of angst. Most of the rest have far worse problems than mere angst.²* {{Epigraph}}: A couple of episodes, like the pilot and episode 8, start with a famous quote.²* EternalRecurrence: One of the major themes of the series is the idea that the universe expands and collapses on itself in a never-ending cycle.²* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether: Justified as the story plays out in a small town and despite the feeling of SmallTownBoredom, the stable environment created by the power plant gave many of the children from 1986 a reason to stick around until adulthood.²* FaceDeathWithDignity: The older miner in the opener of Season 2 knows that he about to be killed but doesn't resist the attack by young Noah.²* FalseRapeAccusation: [[spoiler:Hannah]] accuses Ulrich of raping Katharina after seeing the two of them having consensual sex, for no other reason than getting revenge on Ulrich for choosing Katharina over her. [[spoiler:And then she lets Regina take the fall for it.]]²* FirstGirlWins: As well as the gender-flipped version. For some reason, the people in Winden seem to permanently end up with their partners (and be in fairly dysfunctional relationships with them) they were or started dating 33 years ago. At least that's the case for Hannah and Michael, or for Jürgen and Katharina, or for Regina and Aleksander.²* FoldThePageFoldTheSpace: Tannhaus uses a rolled-up sheet of paper to demonstrate time travel via wormhole to The Stranger.²* ForcedIntoEvil: ²** At the end of the first season, [[spoiler:Hannah blackmails Aleksander into ruining Ulrich's life by threatening to make public that he has been living under a false identity for the last 33 years]].²** [[spoiler: Adam attempts to do this to his past self, Jonas. Jonas doesn't take it.]]²** [[spoiler: Noah's past self as well, but only because Noah is killed by Agnes after [[YouveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's fulfilled his purpose]]]].²* FreeRangeChildren: Everyone in 2019 is ''remarkably'' chill with kids running around all by themselves, even after multiple disappearances and one dead body. For example, when Elisabeth's school day ends early, there is no teacher watching to make sure all the kids get picked up safely, [[spoiler: which leads to Elisabeth walking home by herself and running into Noah.]] The same goes for 1953, with even worse consequences.²* GratuitousLatin: The arc words "Sic Mundus Creatus Est". There's no reason given why the cult used this Latin line for their name other than it sounding mysterious.²* HappyMarriageCharade: Charlotte and Peter's marriage has been slowly falling apart ever since Charlotte found out that Peter [[spoiler:is a closeted gay man and was seeing male prostitutes behind her back]]. However, they refuse to split up for the sake of their children, and outwardly pretend to be a happy couple (which, as pointed out by their daughter Franziska, only makes things worse for her and her sister). ²* HistoryRepeats: In Season 2, young Claudia in 1953 tells Tronte that she doesn't have a good relationship with her mother and proclaims that she won't do the same mistake with her children. Skip 33 years ahead, Claudia is now MarriedToTheJob at the power plant with an estranged daughter just like herself 33 years before.²* HollywoodLaw: ²** By German gun laws, only the military and the police are allowed to possess and carry automatic firearms. The Winden nuclear power plant is privately owned, and if you had your private security wield submachine guns in plain view of a bunch of cops, their search warrant for your power plant would be the least of your worries, but the cops in the show don't bat an eyelid.²** It is highly unlikely that Ulrich, a man with a rape charge on his rap sheet, would ever be allowed to join the police force regardless of whether the charge was later dropped or not.²* HotMenAtWork: Season 2 starts with a presentable scene of two shirtless miners at work. ²* IfICantHaveYou: [[spoiler:Once Hannah realizes that Ulrich has no intention of leaving Katharina for her, she decides to completely destroy his life in retaliation]].²* ItsAllAboutMe: Bartosz is apparently very hurt by the fact that Jonas stood him up for Bartosz meeting his drug dealer in the middle of the woods at night for a small bag of weed. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Martha is having a nervous breakdown in front of half the town over the fact that her brother is missing, and he's nowhere to be seen.²* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The series revolves around four different families and their associates [[spoiler:throughout ''five different time periods'']]. Keeping track of all the characters and their relationships to each other can be quite a challenge.²* MeaningfulName: The name Winden means "to twist", which makes sense considering the show's endless twisting between [[spoiler: 1953, 1986, and 2019]].²* MisterSandmanSequence: More subtle than in other stories, but still present:²** When Erik awakens in a mysterious room, the first clue that [[spoiler: he has time-traveled]] is [[spoiler: the TV playing 1980s songs]].²** The opening scene of episode 3 is a TV ad for a candy bar that changed its name after the 1980s. Indeed, pretty much that whole episode is an extended Mister Sandman Sequence, particularly the scene where Mikkel walks into the school.²** The exterior of the cave looks different in each time period: [[spoiler: In 2019 there is a chair. In 1986 there is no chair. In 1953 there is a gate half-blocking the entrance. In 1921 the tunnel system is still under construction.]]²** A ticking sound effect is often used to indicate a switch in time period (though not always, for example not during the frequent montages which already have audio from either music or narration).²* {{Montages}}: Usually at least OncePerEpisode, reminding the viewer who the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters are and what they are up to. The montages are overlaid by either a sad song, or a narration by (in series 1) H.G. Tannhaus or Ariadne or (in series 2) Noah or Adam. They often come at a DarkestHour and include themes such as ContrastMontage, FailureMontage, HappierTimesMontage, HardWorkMontage, LostLoveMontage, LovedOnesMontage, MontageOut, OpeningMonologue, ProgressiveEraMontage, ReallyDeadMontage, RightNowMontage, SadTimesMontage, SexMontage, TravelMontage, etc.²%%* MysteriousMist: A staple of the town. - ZCE²* MostWritersAreAdults: The kids and teens in the series talk too eloquently for their age. Some of their lines are stilted as you would expect from a ClassicallyTrainedExtra in a Shakespeare drama. E.g., this is Franziska in the gym's changing room lamenting about her parents being DeadSparks:²-->"Their marriage is over, but no one will say it. Instead, this big fat secret is always with us at the table. It eats our bread rolls, the butter and the homemade jam. It gets fatter and fatter, until there's no space left in the room. Until you can't breathe."²* MyOwnGrampa: [[spoiler:In Season 2, its revealed that Elizabeth Doppler is not only Charlotte's daughter, but her ''mother'' as well. This means that the trope literally applies to both of them.]]²* NextSundayAD: ²** The "present" timeline in the show is set in 2019, two years after the show was actually created. The reason for this seems to be the [[spoiler:33 year lunar cycle informing the show's time travel plot, as the previous year in the loop is 1986, the year of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Chernobyl acts as an important background event to several of the scenes taking place in that year.]]²** And in Season 2, released on June 21 2019, the "present" timeline is set in June 2020...beginning ''exactly'' one year after the date of release.²* NiceJobBreakingItHero:²** [[spoiler:Ulrich's venture into 1953 ends in a complete disaster, as he's arrested by the police after trying (and failing) to kill a young Helge in order to prevent the future murders. To make things even worse, it's implied that the brain damage Helge suffered from Ulrich's attack is what made him more susceptible to Noah's influence]].²** If Noah is to be believed, the Stranger's [[spoiler:a.k.a. Future!Jonas']] attempt to [[spoiler:destroy the TimePortal]] is what led to its creation in the first place. [[spoiler: In addition, Katharina choosing ''that exact moment'' to call Ulrich's phone (which had been repurposed by Tannhaus to control the Apparatus) may have been what disrupted Jonas' plan to destroy the wormhole.]] ²** This whole trope might be subverted [[spoiler: since the universe may be operating based on StableTimeLoop where whatever you do, nay, even what you ''think'', is already determined. However, Jonas and Claudia later claim that forcing small changes in the loop may be possible, providing some hope to fix the situation.]]²* NotHelpingYourCase: After being arrested by Egon Tiedemann [[spoiler: in 1953]] while covered in blood, [[spoiler: Ulrich]] proceeds to make himself look as crazy as possible, ranting about [[spoiler:time travel]] and even quoting the lines of a song that talks about [[ItMakesSenseInContext how much he enjoys killing.]]²* OneWomanWail: Can be heard on the soundtrack during emotional scenes.²* OneWordTitle²* OpeningMonologue: The first episode opens with a monologue informing the audience that time is not linear. Many other episodes also begin with different monologues by various narrators.²* OutDamnedSpot: Claudia desperately tries to wash off the blood from her hands after the [[MurderByInaction not-so-accidental]] death of [[spoiler:her father.]]²* PoliceAreUseless:²** Even in 2019, Ulrich is still bitter about the fact that the police were unable to find his missing brother 33 years ago, blaming it on former chief of police Egon Tiedemann's [[TheAlcoholic drinking problem]] and general incompetence. Subverted in that, unbeknownst to Ulrich, Egon really was trying his hardest to solve the case and actually came pretty close to identifying the culprit, but obviously had no way of knowing that [[spoiler:time travel]] was involved. Further subverted in season 2 when [[spoiler:a retired Egon finally starts getting enough puzzle pieces to start putting them together, but is KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade]].²** Completely averted with Charlotte, who, by the end of Season 1, [[spoiler:has managed to figure out the mystery all on her own, without any explicit help from the future]].²* PoorCommunicationKills: Hoooo boy does it. Franziska and Martha both complain about the townfolks keeping to themselves instead of coming forward with whatever leads they had to solve the mysterious disappearings.²* PortalToThePast: [[spoiler: Windener Höhlen/Winden Caves]].²* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler: It turns out that the kidnapped children are being used as guinea pigs to test a prototype time machine of some sort.]]²* RageAgainstTheHeavens: [[spoiler:Noah]]'s motivation essentially boils down to this: [[spoiler:By building a time machine of his own, he hopes to rewrite the laws of the universe, creating a world in which humans are no longer at the mercy of forces beyond their control]].²** Later on revealed to be [[spoiler: Adam's motivation too: Due to losing Michael/Mikkel, Martha, and arguably ''everyone'' else that he cared for, an eightysomething Jonas decided to "free" humanity from Time by making a sect and taking up the moniker "Adam". But judging from Noah's disgust in the Season 2 finale, it seems more or less that Adam is simply becoming an OmnicidalManiac to a world that was unfair to him]].²* RaincoatOfHorror: Jonas, the ''de facto'' protagonist, wears a conspicuous yellow raincoat (which even gets featured prominently on the promo poster).²* RescueRomance: Aleksander rescuing Regina from Katharina's clutches in 1986 leads to them dating and later marrying. They wind up being the only HappilyMarried couple in Winden in 2019.²* RevisitingTheColdCase: As the plot progresses, the ties to the Mads Nielsen case from 1986 become stronger until Ulrich decides to fetch the old files from storage and review them for clues to the current case. ²* RewatchBonus: Going back through the series with the knowledge that [[spoiler: the Stranger is Jonas from the future]] puts a lot of the conversations in a different light. ²* RightForTheWrongReasons: Fed up with everyone pretending Mikkel will just "walk in the door as if nothing happened," Martha angrily declares that he is dead. [[spoiler:And she's right, though not in the way she thinks. Mikkel went back in time and eventually became Jonas's father Michael, who had indeed committed suicide before the start of the series.]]²* RomanticRain: ²** Season 1 has a kissing scene between Jonas and Martha in the street while it's pouring. Only partially romantic as he knows at this point [[SurpriseIncest how wrong this move was]].²** Season 2 gives us Ulrich and Hannah making out outside the house after getting caught in a rain shower.²* RoomFullOfCrazy: The Stranger has his room at the Waldhotel pinned up to the brim with notes about time travel. Regina is not amused when she visits the room later.²* RunningGag: A very understated one, considering the relentless grimness of the show, but Ulrich and Katharina seem to be unable to enjoy their sex life without someone or something getting in the way one way or another.²* SequelHook: ²** [[spoiler:The first season ends on Jonas arriving in the desolate, post-apocalyptic looking future. A scarred girl tells him 'Welcome to the future' before she knocks him out with her rifle.]]²** Season two ends [[spoiler: with Jonas being rescued from the destruction of Winden at the last second by an alternate version of Martha, who claims to be from another universe entirely (not just another time period).]]²* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Future Jonas' goal is to prevent the BadFuture from happening which he unwittingly helped to create in the first place.²* ShamefulStrip: In 1953, Helge's mother makes him strip to his underwear as punishment for making his clothes dirty.²* ShootTheRope: In 2052, when Jonas is subjected to [[spoiler:a PublicExecution for treason, Future Elisabeth shoots the rope to save his life.]]²* ShoutOut:²** When Martha notes that she just had a déjà vu, Jonas jokingly refers to it as [[Franchise/TheMatrix "a glitch in the Matrix."]]²** [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]] is referenced during an autopsy scene.²** The inventor of [[spoiler:the original time machine]] is named H.G. Tannhaus, referencing both Creator/HGWells and possibly TannhauserGate.²** While explaining the mechanics of TimeTravel to Jonas, the Stranger sarcastically remarks that it doesn't work like the [=DeLorean=] from ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture''.²*** Another ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' is made in Season 2, when Egon mentions "that film where a boy and an old man travel back in time in a car..."²*** While as a clockmaker, H.G. Tannhaus has every right to sport a wall full of clocks running on time, it also reminds me of the opening scene of "Back to the Future". HGT is also roughly the same age as Doc Brown, sports rather wild grey hair for his age in the 1980s, and gets pushed further into working on time travel by a visitor from the future.²** Jonas's distinctive bright yellow raincoat seems like a nod to ''Film/It1990'' with the stories sharing a few similair elements like disappearing children and 30-year cycles.²* SistineSteal: During the climax of Season 2, Charlotte and her Elisabeth touch each other's fingertips through the portal which seems to initiate a TimeCrash.²* SmallTownBoredom: Ulrich from 1986 harbors this sentiment towards Winden. However, he decides to stay and join the local police force after his brother disappeared in the woods.²* SmashToBlack: Season 1 ends with the Girl from the Future giving Jonas a TapOnTheHead with the butt of her rifle leading to a cut to black.²* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''Series/StrangerThings'', ironically given that the show was initially marketed to Creator/{{Netflix}} viewers as being quite similar. And on the surface, they are: both are about the disappearance of a young boy in a small town that turns out to be connected to supernatural phenomena and {{alternate universe}}s, with a group of townsfolk (including his friends, his grieving parents, and the local police chief) searching for him and at least part of the story being set in TheEighties. ''Dark'', however, can easily be seen as the NordicNoir version of ''Stranger Things'' (albeit German instead of Scandinavian) for its DarkerAndEdgier attitude, especially with its more cynical take on the {{nostalgia|Filter}} that ''Stranger Things'' embraces. Their respective opening scenes are a study in contrasts: both shows open with a man dying, but whereas on ''Stranger Things'' he [[MonsterMunch gets killed by a monster]] via a clicheed VerticalKidnapping, on ''Dark'' he [[DrivenToSuicide hangs himself]].²* SplitScreen: Numerous montages show characters in split-screen.²* StableTimeLoop: The show tries its best to establish a coherent set of rules and adhere to it faithfully, frequently lampshading [[spoiler:Bootstrap Paradoxes such as the following]]:²** [[spoiler: Mikkel goes through the time portal, ends up in 1986, and grows up to be Jonas's father Michael. And Jonas, haunted by hallucinations of his dead father, inadvertently loses track of Mikkel in the woods, which is what leads to Mikkel going through the time portal in the first place.]] Adding to that, in Season 2, [[spoiler: we learn that Mikkel was deliberately taken through the time portal by a slightly-older future version of Jonas, in order to maintain the loop and ensure his own existence.]]²** Helge [[spoiler: was manipulated into helping Noah kidnap and murder the missing kids. Ulrich tries to kill the child version of Helge, and the attempted murder causes the brain damage which made Helge susceptible to being manipulated in the first place.]]²** [[spoiler: Tannhaus's machine is only completed in 1986 after the Stranger allows him to study a completed future version of it. And he only started it in 1953 because Claudia came from the future with the blueprint and asked him to build it.]]²** [[spoiler: Jonas eventually becomes the Stranger. And he sets himself down the path to becoming the Stranger, by giving him a map explaining where the time portal is, giving him the letter explaining his father's true identity etc.]]²** [[spoiler: According to Noah, the Stranger's attempt to destroy the black hole somehow leads to its creation. Possibly Noah is referring to the fact that it sends Jonas and Helge off on their respective journeys to manipulate the timeline.]]²** In Season 2 [[spoiler: the aged Future!Claudia takes a number of steps to manipulate and influence her younger self into becoming the time-traveling mastermind that she is. She's the one who abducted Claudia's dog Gretchen from 1953 and brought it to 1986, to spark her younger self's curiosity about time-travel. She then tells her younger self about time-travel, gives her the time machine, and sends her protegee Jonas to guide her younger self after her death. Claudia even leads herself to her own death - arranging for her younger self to receive a copy of the newspaper article of her death so that she knows when and where she needs to be for it to happen.]]²** [[spoiler: In Season 2, Jonas uses the advanced time machine of his oldest future self Adam to travel to 20 June 2019, in an attempt to prevent the suicide of his father Michael the following day, which he believes kickstarted the entire tangle of causal loops. However, not only does he fail to prevent the suicide, but it turns out that he's the one who gave Michael the idea to commit suicide in the first place, which Michael willingly does in order to preserve the chain of events that leads to his son's birth. Moreover, even Michael's suicide note is a product of a predestination paradox - he only writes it because Jonas shows him the future version of it. It turns out this was all part of Adam's plan.]]²** [[spoiler: Egon's death in Season 2 is a particularly tragic example of this trope. Claudia, while visiting the future, learns that Egon is found mysteriously dead in his apartment on June 26 1987. Returning to 1987, she's determined to prevent her father's death, believing that he's murdered by someone connected to the time-travel conspiracy. She goes to his apartment, trying to get him to come live with her and give up investigating time-travel, and during an argument with him, accidentally pushes him and causes the very death she was trying desperately to prevent.]]²* StartsWithASuicide: Michael Kahnwald commits suicide at the start of Season 1 which kicks off the plot.²* StringTheory: Future Claudia has [[ photos of all characters]] pinned to the bunker wall with strings highlighting connections between them.²* SurpriseCarCrash: When Helge from 2019 [[spoiler:tries to kill his 1986 counterpart]] by t-boning his car at a junction.²* SurpriseIncest: ²** [[spoiler:Jonas and Martha are in love and have been consumating their relationship. Then it turns out they are nephew and aunt (due to Martha's brother Mikkel and Jonas' father Michael being the same person in different timelines)]].²** Gets weirder in Season 2 [[spoiler: with the reveal that Elizabeth is Charlotte's daughter...''and'' her mother. This means that Charlotte's husband Peter essentially slept with his granddaughter, as did Elizabeth's husband/lover Noah.]]²** Also, in Season 2 [[spoiler: its revealed that Noah is Agnes Nielsen's brother. Given that he is Fransiska's grandfather, this means that Magnus and Fransiska are related as well. A downplayed example since none of the characters seem to really be aware of this.]]²* TangledFamilyTree: Mikka getting TrappedInThePast in 1986 leads to a tangled relationship between the Kahnwald and the Nielsen family, with Jonas being Hannah's son and at the same time Katharina's grandson. And Hannah ending up sleeping with Katharina's husband and son. ²* TitleDrop: ²** Episode 10 has [[spoiler:Father Noah call Claudia "the Dark" while he is "the Light" in regards to her determination and plan to stop him]].²** [[spoiler: Season 2 reveals the time travel is fuelled by "Dark Matter".]]²* TownWithADarkSecret: Winden apparently is this, as is [[spoiler: shown to already have problems in 1953]] and that's not even counting on [[spoiler: the power plant]].²* TrappedInThePast: ²** [[spoiler: Mikkel, who disappears from 2019, is stranded in 1986. He is adopted by Ines Kahnwald, is given the identity of 'Michael Kahnwald', and eventually marries Hannah and fathers Jonas.]]²** [[spoiler: As of the end of Season 1, Ulrich is trapped in 1953 - though in his case, its not because he can't find his way back to 2019, but rather because he's been incarcerated as a murder suspect by the police of the era.]] In Season 2 [[spoiler: we learn that Ulrich is still incarcerated in a psychiatric facility in 1987]].²* TVTelephoneEtiquette: Characters tend not to say "hello" or "goodbye" on the phone.²* TheUnReveal: Ines is in possession of a letter to be opened at a particular minute on a particular day. When the right minute arrives and she finally opens it, the viewer doesn't yet get to see what is in the letter.²* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: [[spoiler:Noah believes that the creation of a world in which humans are free in their actions instead of being "slaves to time" justifies the brutal killing of several children in questionable scientific experiments]].²* WalkingSpoiler: Several, in fact. Revealing anything about the Stranger, Noah and especially Adam beyond what they look like spoils pretty much the whole story. Just look at the amount of spoiler tags in their respective chapters on the character page.²* WhamEpisode:²** Episode 5 reveals that [[spoiler: Mikkel who couldn't get back to 2019, was adopted by Ines in 1986, and grew up to be Jonas's father Michael.]] As a result, this makes [[spoiler:Magnus Jonas' uncle and Martha (his ''love interest'') his aunt.]]²** Episode 8 reveals that [[spoiler: Helge as a child had his face almost bashed in by Ulrich, who was attempting to kill him as a child to prevent his future child murders - but this is what led to Helge becoming recruited into the time-travel experiments that ended up killing the children.]]²** Season 1 finale: [[spoiler: The Stranger is Future!Jonas, who doesn't want to interfere with his younger self's timeline so that he still grows up to form his current plan. He plans to cancel out the wormhole caused by the power plant in 1986, using a new time-travel device Tannhaus created on the instructions of Claudia (who is still alive despite being presumed dead in 2019). However his plan backfires, and actually turns out to be [[StableTimeLoop what sent his younger self off on his journey to become the Stranger]]. The episode ends with 2019!Jonas ending up in 2052]].²** Season 2 Episode 4 reveals that [[spoiler:the leader of Sic Mundus is actually ''Jonas'' from 67 years into the future, who's set on causing the apocalypse for his own unclear goals, something to do with freeing humanity from the bounds of time or maybe just wanting to kill all of existence.]]²** Season 2 Episode 6 reveals [[spoiler: Jonas is the ''cause'' of Mikkel/Michael's time-traveling and suicide, the two events Jonas had previously aimed to prevent. It turns out it hadn't even occurred to Michael to commit suicide until Jonas told him not to.]]²** The Season 2 finale reveals (though it was hinted two episodes earlier) that [[spoiler:alternative realities]] might play a role in the events of the show, as in the final scene Jonas is [[spoiler:rescued from the apocalypse by another version of Martha, after having just witnessed Martha being murdered by his older self.]]²* WhamLine: ²** "I am you" is said by multiple characters, most notably when [[spoiler:Adam is revealed to be an elderly Jonas]] in Season 2.²** The very last line of the first season: [[spoiler: "Welcome to the future". The scavengers are [[BrokenMasquerade aware of the existence of time travelers]], and are ''[[OhCrap not]]'' friendly to them.]]²** Likewise the very last line of the second season: [[spoiler: "The question is not from what time, but from what world."]]²* WhatYearIsThis: Standard question by anyone arriving in the past.²* WhenThingsSpinScienceHappens: The time machine built by Tannhaus is based on ClockPunk and has lots of cool spinning elements.²* WildWilderness: The town of Winden is surrounded by dense, dark woodland, with a large system of partially unexplored caves beneath it.²* YouAlreadyChangedThePast: [[spoiler: In full effect. The fact that the various timelines are separated by exactly 33 years provides an at least reasonable justification of why various characters, in the future, won't remember having meet in the past various characters who were actually time-travelling from that future]].²* YourCheatingHeart: Infidelity abounds in this tiny town. This plays into the show's theme about the destructive nature of secrets.²** One of the first scenes shows us Ulrich sleeping with Hannah, cheating on his wife Katharina.²** Martha [[spoiler: briefly cheats on Bartosz with Jonas.]]²** [[spoiler:Tronte cheats on Jana with Claudia.]]²** [[spoiler:Doris cheats on Egon with Agnes.]]²** [[spoiler:Peter has cheated on Charlotte with a transvestite prostitute.]]²----


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