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  • AB Negative:
    • Jack struggles to find a donor for Boone and, failing to find a match among the other survivors, reveals himself to be O- and performs the transfusion using his own blood.
    • Kate is later revealed to be a Universal Donor in Season 5.
  • Abandoned Hospital: The medical Dharma station "The Staff".
  • Abandoned Playground: The Barracks have a swingset, which was used happily by the Dharma kids (Ben, Charlotte) in the 70s. However, in present day it just serves as a reminder that the Others can't have children.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Anything and everything to do with Walt. Word of God has stated that he has Psychic Powers, but the full extent and how it related to the series has never been revealed. The only resolution that his plot gets is the epilogue "The New Man in Charge": the poor kid goes nuts for a while, but it turns out he really is special and is implied to be Hurley's eventual successor. Alternatively, Hurley's wording (offering Walt a "position") mirrors Jacob's proposition to Richard Alpert, suggesting Walt is intended to be the new intermediary for a new iteration of Others. The simple explanation for this happening? The actor was just growing up too fast for the extremely slow progress of the plot back then.
    • According to an interview with the actress portraying Zoe, this is the case with her too.
    • Word of God stated that Ilana was originally supposed to be Jacob's child, but they realized they didn't have enough time for this so they dropped a bridge on her.
    • Mr. Eko, who was supposed to run until season 5, but was cut in early season 3 due to the fact that the actor hated living in Hawaii, which is on the far side of the world from his family.
    • Nikki and Paulo were supposed to be on for a little longer as well, but because of the negative fan response they were written out of the show after they got their Day in the Limelight.
    • In Seasons 4 and 5, Charles Widmore was being established as the Big Bad (which was confirmed by Word of God) and Ben's nemesis for the control of the Island. Their conflict was put aside and pretty much replaced by Jacob vs the Man in Black.
  • Absentee Actor
    • Happens quite a lot over the series, especially in later seasons. "Dead Is Dead," for instance, only features seven of the main cast: Ben, Locke, Sun, Desmond, Richard, Ilana and Frank (although the last three weren't series regulars at the time).
    • "Across The Sea" takes this trope and runs away with it; the only main cast members who appear do so in archive footage.
  • Abusive Parents: In spades.
    • Ben's father, Roger, blamed him for his mother's death and spent most of his parenthood as a drunkard, ignoring and neglecting his son. Ben later murdered him with little regret.
    • Jack's father Christian always told Jack that he would never be good enough, and manipulated Jack several times, including once getting him to stay quiet about Christian being drunk during a surgery. Jack breaks his silence when he finds out the lost patient was pregnant.
    • Kate's true father, Wayne, was an alcoholic who often beat Kate's mother and even made inappropriate advances on her. Much like Ben, she later killed him.
    • The number-one example of this, however, is Locke's father Anthony Cooper. After being absent from basically his whole life, Anthony pretended to love his son to get a kidney out of him, after which he abandoned him. After this, he preys on Locke's soft spot for him to get him into a con. The cherry on the cake is him pushing his son from an 8-story window.
    • In fact just about the only blatantly positive father figure in the show is Jin’s dad, who may not even be Jin’s biological father, but loves him and treats him as his beloved son anyway.
  • Accidental Murder: After hearing whispers in the forest, Ana Lucia accidentally shoots Shannon. Later on, while Michael kills Ana in cold blood to let Benjamin Linus escape, Libby walks in and he shoots her in a panic. Desmond and Richard also accidentally kill people by vigorously shaking them.
  • Acme Products
    • Every type of food and drink employed by the DHARMA Initiative is DHARMA-brand food.
    • There's also the Widmore Corporation and its subsidiaries (Widmore Labs, Widmore Construction, Widmore Industries)
  • Action Girl: Juliet, Kate, Ana Lucia, Rousseau, Charlotte, and Ilana—Sun moved in this direction in S5. Though some already had experience in handling themselves (Kate's life as a convict, Ana Lucia being a police officer, etc.), others adapted to the constantly-dangerous life on the island.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Juliet from before she came to the island: meek, submissive, and wore her heart on her sleeve; to after she joined the Others.
  • Adult Fear
    • The season 1 finale has Michael's son Walt stolen right out of his hands and abducted by the Others for unknown purposes, before they torch the raft to ensure they can't be followed.
    • Kate losing track of Aaron in a grocery store in "Whatever Happened, Happened". She takes her eyes off him for a few seconds and when she looks around he's gone. He soon turns up being escorted to the checkout by a helpful stranger but the sight of Kate frantically running through the store looking for him is sure to strike a nerve with any parent whose child has similarly wandered off while in public.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Ben, especially at the beginning of the third season. As the story progresses, he has to deal quickly with an increasingly dangerous situation (and he loses Alex), so he becomes more frantic and less affable.
    • Un-Locke is disturbingly charming for a creature that spent the first five seasons killing people seemingly at random.
  • African Terrorists: The rebel army who forces Mr. Eko to become a child soldier.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Jack and Kate's first interaction. Following the crash, Jack needs stitches in his side that he can't do himself. Kate has to patch him up.
  • The Ageless: Richard Alpert cannot age due to being touched by Jacob. It was meant to be a gift, but Richard was glad to be rid of it at the end of the series.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by Kate at the beginning of the second season in the Swan, as well as Ben (as "Henry") consensually later on.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Christian's alcoholism affected both his relationships and his work. One of the final straws in his relationship with his son was losing a patient due to his drunkenness. His fatal heart attack was due to alcohol poisoning.
    • Later Jack, after returning from the island. The guilt and stress of leaving drove him straight to the bottle, along with drugs and suicidal thoughts.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Kate with Sawyer. For as much as they bicker, she clearly has some attraction to the darker parts of his personality.
    • Boone claims this about Shannon, and her choice of men that we see seems to support this.
  • All Just a Dream: Used only for relatively brief scenes, especially some cold opens.
  • Almost Dead Guy:
    • Subverted with Nikki's "Paulo lies!", or rather: paralysed. Quite unfortunately for her and Paulo both, they did not die, and were instead Buried Alive by mistake.
    • Not Penny's Boat in the season 3 finale. Realizing that he is about to die, Charlie spends his last moments sending Desmond a message about the boat coming for them. Unfortunately, the others on the island are incredulous about just what "Not Penny's Boat" means.
  • Alternate Reality Game
    • The Lost Experience, played during the break between seasons two and three, Find 815, between seasons three and four, and the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project, between four and five.
    • Turns out a few ARG-ish things happened, most prominently the "Damon, Carlton, and a Polar Bear" website which resulted in a clue hunt for Lost posters.
  • Alternate Self: In season six's flash-sideways, showing an alternate timeline in which the crash never happened. Or so it seems—the series end reveals that the flash-sideways is actually a sort of limbo, the characters having already died and meeting once more before "leaving" for good.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses "Here I Am by Chemistry for the first ending theme, "Losin'" by Yuna Ito for the second ending theme, and "Lonely Girl" by Crystal Kay for the third ending theme.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • It happened twice: in the season one episodes "Solitary" and "Raised by Another" and the season five episodes "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" and "316". Apparently, there are more than enough storylines to change around the order of episodes without affecting anything.
    • Happened with two early season 3 episodes, "The Glass Ballerina" and "Further Instructions". However, this apparent change in order was denied by the executive producers so it may have simply been a mistake in scheduling that was later corrected (the episodes were switched on streaming services, so this is implied to be the case).
  • Animal Motifs:
    • In an early episode, Locke tries to help Charlie kick his heroin habit by confiscating his drugs. However, he tells Charlie that if he asks for them back, he'll return them. Charlie wonders why Locke doesn't just get rid of them and remove all temptation, so Locke tells him that there has to be some personal choice in the matter, or it ultimately isn't worth anything. To illustrate his point, Locke shows Charlie a moth cocoon, with a moth inside struggling to get out. Locke says that he could easily help the moth by cutting open the cocoon, but if he did that, the moth would be too weak to survive; the struggle makes the moth stronger. In the end of the episode, Charlie throws his heroin into the fire, and at that moment the moth breaks out and flies away.
    • Later, a misqualified job counselor in the flash-sideways tries to place John in a job by asking him "what kind of animal are you?" He is understandably nonplussed, and asks for someone else to help him. He gets Rose!
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Ben's eulogy for Locke.
    Ben: John Locke was a... a believer. He was a man of faith. He was a much better man than I will ever be... and I'm very sorry I murdered him.
    Lapidus: Weirdest damn funeral I've ever been to.
  • Anti-Hero: Every character on the show is either this or an Anti-Villain — with the exception of Psycho for Hire Keamy, there are no straight-up heroes and villains on Lost. Our "good guys" are highly flawed and rarely stick to the scruples of heroism, while the "bad guys" often have a very good Freudian Excuse or else genuinely believe they are the good guys. Although Hurley never really does anything morally questionable other than associate with the other characters, while Frank, Rose, and Bernard are just about the only good guys who don't have any ulterior motives.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • The writers initially wanted to shock viewers by presenting Jack as the main character then having him killed by the end of the first episode. However, their bosses at ABC liked Jack so much that they insisted he stay. It was Boone's death at the end of Season One that established that no one was safe.
    • Damon and Carlton said that the deaths of Jin, Sun and Sayid in Season 6 were to firmly establish that all bets were off from there on out and absolutely nobody was safe in the final episodes.
    • ABC liked to use this a lot in advertising, but it would normally end up being one of the non-lead supporting characters.
    • Of the original 14 regular on-island characters, only Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, and Walt survived, and one of them had been written out ages ago. From main characters introduced in Season 2, only Ben and Desmond survived. From Season 3, only Richard. From season 4, Miles and Lapidus. From the last two seasons, nobody of note whatsoever.
    • At least one of the original 14 main characters died per season. The final season took this Up to Eleven by having FOUR of the Season 1 originals die. SEVEN major characters die in total in the final season alone.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Locke's father abandoned him until well into his adult life, at which point he stole his kidney, re-abandoned him, used him as a courier, abandoned him again, and pushed him out of an 8-story window.
  • Arc Numbers: Also Numerological Motif. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.
    • The show's final season revealed the numbers as degrees on a dial representing candidates to care for the Island (and, by extension, all of existence.) These numbers come to the sum 108, which ties into the Buddhist themes of the Dharma Initiative. It's also the number of days the Oceanic 6 spent on the island before their rescue, and the number of minutes the clock in The Swan station counts down from. (All of these facts, considered together (especially the Buddhist connection), make it very unlikely that the numbers were merely selected at random, as does the numerological popularity of 23.)
    • The flight's name was Oceanic Flight 815.
    • The product of the numbers, 7418880, appears as part of an alert for the "Electromagnetic Anomaly". This product is supposed to represent the latitudinal-longitudinal location of the Island at the time Desmond activated the failsafe.
    • The Lost Experience Alternate Reality Game revealed that the numbers are the core products in the Valenzetti Equation, which "predicts the exact number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself."
  • Armies Are Evil: While many characters end up being rather vicious, the military institutions or quasi military institutions get the worst rep. Most notably Keamy and his goons, but also the American and Iraqi armies that trained Sayid, the terrorists that trained Eko and the Nineteenth Century British Navy. Although individual characters who were soldiers aren't depicted as inherently evil, the show does seem to suggest that organisations dedicated to killing are absolutely remorseless (the Others, while lacking the aesthetic of a military, adhere to this too, despite being in the employee of the Big Good).
  • Arc Welding: Very often two or more plotlines are tied into one. A good example would be Locke and Sawyer's backstories, when it's revealed that Anthony Cooper was the con man who killed Sawyer's parents.
  • Arc Words: There's dozens of phrases repeated throughout the show in addition to the Arc Numbers.
    • "Live together; die alone" is another very common one, appearing in episodes ranging from episode 5 to the Season 5 finale.
    • "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" seems to be the straightest use of this trope.
    • "I'll see you in another life."
    • "I hope you find what you're looking for," especially after Afterlife Bernard has said it to Afterlife Jack.
    • Also becoming a recognizable arc phrase as of "The Candidate" is "I wish you had believed me," which first showed up in episode "316."
    • "You can let go now," or some variant on that phrase.
    • "Whatever happened, happened."
    • "Now you're like me," is whipped out a few times in the last few episodes whenever someone becomes the new protector of the island.
    • "Don't tell me what I can't do" is frequently said by Locke, Jack, and others.
    • "You don't write, you don't call" said to many characters when they return after disappearing for several days without notice.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The survivors are seen gathering and eating a number of tropical fruits, especially bananas, that don't grow wild in that form, but have to be cultivated generation to generation.
  • Artistic License – Law: (crossing over with Artistic License – Medicine) In S 1 E 20 "Do No Harm", Jack marries a woman who would be crippled if not for his saving her after her auto accident. Doctors entering romances even with former patients is greatly frowned upon; many doctors have been sanctioned and their careers ended for such behavior, according to the AMA website. Further episodes reveal that this was much more than a single emergency operation, making it even more likely that Jack would face ethics charges for getting involved with a long-time patient.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The completely impossible idea that when an entire island is removed from water (as in the season four finale), it would leave a few small ripples instead of a giant void, most likely resulting in huge numbers of tidal waves, etc.
    • How did a wooden ship crash into a massive stone statue, causing the statue to break almost entirely apart but the boat to suffer only minimal damage?
  • Ascended Extra: There's a few of these, but the best example would have to be either Ben or Richard: Ben was going to die after three episodes but instead became one of the primary villains of the series, while Richard was originally just another of Ben's higher-ranking people, and went from that to a recurring guest star starting at the end of season 4, to main cast starting in season 6. The original plan was to have Jack die in the pilot, but producers nixed that idea and he became the main character.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: One way to interpret the final outcome of the series's characters. Though they have all technically died already, the flash-sideways seemed to be a limbo situation, wherein their goal was to meet again and regain their memories of what had happened on the island. Once everyone is reunited in the church, the series ends with bright light pouring in and filling everything. The track for this sequence is entitled "Moving On".
  • As the Good Book Says...: Right before he gets seized by the Man in Black, Mr. Eko says "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want", which is Psalms 23:1.
  • The Atoner: Several characters.
    • Notably subverted with Mr. Eko, who appears to be the most clear-cut example in the series but finally reveals himself to be utterly unrepentant of his amoral past, which he willingly took upon himself to save his brother.
    • Richard Alpert started as this and is his reason for gaining immortality from Jacob. When he accidentally killed a doctor for not giving medicine for his dying wife, a priest told him during confession that he will never gain redemption for his sin. When meeting Jacob he was offered a job and a gift. When Jacob couldn't revive his wife or absolve him from all his sins, he chose immortality to attempt the latter.
    • Ben finally becomes this at the end of the series, helping Hugo to watch over the island in life, and staying behind in the flash sideways as he feels he is not yet ready.
    • As far as those atoning for others, we can consider Jack and Locke, who both, willingly or unwillingly, sacrifice their lives to save the world, and Daniel Faraday, who is knowingly sacrificed by his parents, perhaps to maintain temporal continuity, perhaps to give Jack the hydrogen bomb idea that will ultimately bring the Candidates back to 2007 to stop the Monster.
  • Audience Surrogate: Really, anyone who says they want answers, but also:
    • Hurley almost always, as he asks the most questions and gives the most reactions to the odder things that happen. One scene in season five has him trying to explain everything to his mother.
    Hurley: There was a smoke monster, and other people on the island! We called them the Others. And we found some hatches, and there was a button you had to push every hundred minutes or...Well, I was never really clear on that.
    • Locke often filled this role in the early seasons. For example, after Jack's speech at the hatch in the first episode of season 2, he immediately let everyone know that no matter what they were going to do, he was going down into the hatch.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: There's practically a Montage of this at the end of "Tabula Rasa" - Jin checking on Sun, Boone giving Shannon sunglasses and arguably Jack telling Kate he doesn't care what she did and Sayid giving Sawyer an apple.
  • Ax-Crazy: Claire in Season 6. Literally. Being deserted on the island with little more than the Man in Black for company seems to have done this to her. She's outright said to be "infected" by some kind of darkness.
  • An Axe to Grind: That's how Claire deals with Justin, after his inability to tell her where her son is sends her over the edge.

  • Back for the Dead
    • Enforced by the island for Michael. When he's asked what he's doing back:
    "To die."
    • Played straight with Daniel Faraday, who returns after being absent for several episodes only to be killed off.
  • Backing Away Slowly: In the episode "Sundown," The Temple is being attacked by the Smoke Monster. Sayid's just killed Dogen and Lennon and Ben comes in to say "Come on, I know a way out of here. There's still time." In response to this, Sayid smiles like a madman and says "Not for me." Ben then quietly backs out of the room without a word.
  • Badass Israeli: The traits most associated with this trope go, ironically, to a Badass Iraqi in Sayid. Possibly also Ilana Verdansky and Naomi Dorrit (see Monochrome Casting below).
  • Bank Robbery: The episode "Whatever the Case May Be" reveals Kate's participation as inside woman in a bank robbery.
  • Batman Gambit
    • Jacob does this through Hurley to get Jack to see the lighthouse mirrors in "The Lighthouse".
    • The Man in Black pulls one in "The Candidate". End result is that the Losties all cram into a tiny space and then activate a bomb that otherwise wouldn't have gone off.
    • And the first quarter of season three (the fallout of the previous finale's epic kidnapping) is Ben's valiant attempt to convince Jack to operate on his ailing spine.
    • At a certain point in Season 3, it becomes apparent to Ben that it doesn't matter whether or not the 815 passengers believe him, just so long as he's in control.
    Ben: Your heart's not going to blow up, James. The only thing we put inside you was doubt. Oh, the watch is a heart rate monitor, but nothing more. [He pulls a rabbit out of a satchel with a number 8 on its back] Look. We gave him a sedative, not a pacemaker.
    Sawyer: How do I know that's the same bunny? That you didn't just paint an 8 on another one?
    Ben: [With a derisive laugh] You don't.
  • Battle in the Rain:
    • Jack's final battle with Flocke. Complete with cliff-side setting.
    • Jack's fight with Ethan in the first season, after having tailed him to find Claire and Charlie.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jack at the end of the third season. The beard was massive, probably because it stood for alcohol and pills. It's shaved off in time for Ajira Flight 316, however.
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    • All of Desmond's visions are shown to come true unless he intervenes, but even when he does it's made clear that whatever was intended will happen eventually. It's thanks to this that Desmond has to save Charlie's life no less than five times. Charlie comes to realize this is true as well and accepts his coming death once it's obvious that he's going to die no matter what.
    • Practically all of Ms. Hawking's appearances are her describing this trope. Her Establishing Character Moment is saying that someone is going to die, watching it happen, and then explaining why trying to stop it is pointless.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Juliet was sent to the survivors as a spy for the Others, but thanks to her time there she genuinely defected to their side and became a triple agent.
    • It appears that The Lockeness Monster was also Becoming the Mask after spending so much time in Locke form (which just goes to show how special Locke really was, since the Monster doubtless has spent at least as much time in Christian form and others, and never became the mask when imitating personalities like theirs). This was foreshadowed more than once, perhaps for the first time when The Lockeness Monster shouts, "Don't tell me what I can't do! DON'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN'T DO!!" It gets to the point that, in the finale, he references the memory of Jack and Locke looking down the Hatch as though he had done it himself. And it culminates, perhaps, during the final fight with Jack, in which he hesitates for a long moment with the knife to his throat—which would make this an extremely rare case of a Killed Off for Real character who is not returning in any literal fashion whatsoever still pulling off a sort of Deus ex Machina from beyond the grave.
  • Bedouin Rescue Service:
    • Subverted when Ben teleports into the Tunisian desert and get harassed by two AK-47-wielding Bedouins who Ben promptly kills in a textbook definition of moment of awesome.
    • It happens in SEASON 5 episode: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham". Locke teleports to that same place, but his leg is broken and the pain immobilizes him. He's left there all day and the only at night do the AK-47-wielding Bedouins come and save the day, albeit they seem to have been working for Mr. Widmore, who knew Locke had arrived by setting up surveillance at the "exit", as he called it.
  • Been There, Shaped History:
    • In the flashbacks of the fifth season finale, the infamous Jacob appears repeatedly in other peoples' flashbacks, always being responsible for something important in those characters' lives: he buys Kate the lunchbox she uses for her time capsule, gives Sawyer a pen with which to write his letter to the real Sawyer, preventing Sayid from being hit by the car that kills Nadia, saying hello to Sun and Jin at their wedding, asking Ilana for help with an unspecified task, speaking to—and possibly reviving—Locke after he is thrown out a window, giving Jack a candy bar after his first surgery, and convincing Hurley to return to the island.
    • In a simply "stumbling through history" case, Nikki and Paulo's episode shows them discovering the Beechcraft and the Pearl station before the other castaways, and seeing major events of the show (the plane crash, the "live together, die alone" speech, and in a deleted scene, the discharge).
  • Before My Time:
    • The "after my time" inversion was used in those exact words when Locke doesn't recognize Sawyer's reference to Of Mice & Men. Since Locke is actually the Smoke Monster, who's been on the Island for centuries it kind of is.
    • And then it's played straight in season 5 when Sun asks Ben where the rest of the mysterious statue went. Ben says "it was like that when I got here".
  • Beleaguered Childhood Friend: Things didn't end so well for Kate's childhood sweetheart. He wound up caught in a car chase with her that ended in him being killed in a crash.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't call Desmond a coward.
    • Hurley's one of the nicest guys you could meet, but you're taking a chance if you ever call him "crazy."
    • Don't tell Locke what he can't do!
    • Sayid doesn't react well when told he's a killer by nature. Ben's 12-year old self can attest to this.
    • Michael had already taken a pretty brutal beating from Jin before. Still, when Jin gets a bit too rough with Sun in "...In Translation", Michael immediately runs over and threatens to beat Jin if he does it again.
  • Best Served Cold: Sawyer is constantly searching for the man he wants to serve revenge to. Coldly. And then in season three he finally gets his chance.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Claire in season six, after she fell down the slippery slope. She's really not the same person anymore, but an Ax-Crazy version driven mad by the island.
    • Sun in general. Just ask her mother-in-law (who she threatened to have killed if Jin were to find out she were alive), her father, and Colleen (who she actually shot and killed!)
  • Big Bad: The Man in Black. He believes all of humanity to be corrupt and vile, and his one goal is to escape the Island so that he can presumably destroy all of mankind. Because Jacob was keeping him trapped on the island, he made it his goal to kill Jacob so he could be free—a goal complicated by Jacob's search for a successor. Because he cannot kill Jacob directly, the Man in Black does whatever he can to manipulate events that will lead to Jacob's death, including killing any possible successor that stands in his way.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Jack has one in every finale.
    • Hurley drives into the battle at the beach and provides a distraction for Sayid in the third season finale.
    • The Others go to war against Keamy's forces in the fourth season finale.
    • Kate catches up to the fight in the series finale and shoots the Man in Black in the back.
  • Big Fun: Hurley is a very large man, but is also the most well-meaning and kind-hearted person of the cast, as well as the main source of comic relief.
  • Big Good: Jacob, later Jack, then finally Hurley, and during the epilogue it's hinted that even Walt might become this eventually. Their roles as the island's protector actually doubles as being the world's protector. By keeping "The Source" safe, they are by extension keeping all balance intact.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Dr. Arzt translates as "Dr. Doctor" in German. The literal translation is "Dr. Physician".
    • Sun and Jin's Korean isn't always subtitled, and some of Dogen's dialogue can't be understood unless he has that hippie-looking guy around to translate for him... or you're fluent in Japanese.
  • Binocular Shot:
    • Happens in "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1," when Ben communicates via mirror flashes with the other Others. We see the reply as Locke looks through binoculars.
    • "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1", has two. The first is Kate looking through binoculars at an incoming sailboat, and the second is Sayid looking at the now far-less-mysterious Four-Toed statue, both represented by a double-circular black frame.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: In "Do No Harm", Boone dies as Aaron is born.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It may also be looked at as a Earn Your Happy Ending. Lord knows they went through a lot to earn it. The ending is them, in the ultimate sense of being True Companions, together again in death and moving on together. It's sad that they're all dead, but it's happy that they're together.
  • Blipvert: Karl is strapped into a chair and forced to watch one of these when Kate, Sawyer and Alex rescue him.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Eko kills a bunch of gangsters in a church. This actually causes the parishioners to shut it down.
  • A Bloody Mess:
    • In an episode, Desmond wakes up in a flashback covered in red paint after being in an implosion.
    • Played for Drama in a different episode when Hurley is accused of murder due to police seeing burger ketchup on him.
  • Blown Across the Room: Caesar gets blasted with a shotgun and flies at least ten feet away.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Season 5 ended with a hydrogen bomb detonating in proximity to at least eight of the main characters. That said, there was only one "kill": Juliet. And even then it wasn't the explosion that killed her, it was falling down a several-hundred foot deep shaft and being crushed by several tons of steel.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Technically, no one "survived" the finale, but in the actual continuity, out of the main characters only Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Hurley, Ben, Miles, Desmond, Richard and Frank made it out alive, with Ben and Hurley staying behind on the island for good and Rose, Bernard and Vincent remaining "in retirement" on the island. Desmond was also left behind on the island, but it's inferred that Hurley allowed him to go home eventually.
  • Book-Ends: First scene of the series: Jack opens his eyes in a bamboo thicket and stands up, sees a tennis shoe hanging from a nearby tree, after which Vincent runs to him. Final scene of the series: Jack lays down in the same bamboo thicket, with the tennis shoe now more disheveled, and closes his eyes with Vincent lying down beside him.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: When Lapidus asks Sun why she knocked out Ben if she said she trusted him, her response is "I Lied".
  • Bottle Episode: Season 3 Hydra arc, with Jack, Kate and Sawyer stuck in cages for several episodes in a row resulted from the network's concerns about the show going over budget in season 2 finale.
  • Bounty Hunter: Ilana pretends to be one in order to force Sayid onto Ajira Flight 316. Once it crashes, she's revealed to be one of Jacob's most loyal helpers.
  • Brains and Bondage: Straightforward in season six with Dr. Charlotte Lewis and Sawyer. Also in the previous season, as a subtle hint about Dr. Juliet Burke.
  • Brand X:
    • Would you like some Dharma Initiative cereal?
    • Want something sweet? Try Apollo Candy Bar.
    • Or perhaps you'd like to a glass of MacCutcheon whisky?
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Pierre Chang does this to his wife, because pretending to turn into a total asshole to drive her away from the island is the only way to persuade her to leave in time before everyone's lives become endangered by The Incident.
  • Break the Cutie: The majority of the main cast arrive pre-broken, through various personal issues. Daddy troubles, mommy troubles, crime, loss, the list goes on. They generally don't get much better.
    • Sayid does this to young Ben purely out of spite, and isn't the least bit concerned that that's what turns him into the villain he is to begin with.
    • Richard's been slowly breaking down for two hundred years, but the realization that he never had any real purpose or goal to use his immortality for drives him over the Despair Event Horizon and he almost commits suicide.
    • Sun after she saw Jin "die."
    • Rousseau, 16 years before any of the main cast arrived. Her friends, including her boyfriend/father of her baby, were trying to kill her so she had to kill them first. Then Ben took her baby. Cue being alone on the island for 16 years that turned her into the crazy mess we all know and love. Which brings us to
    • Claire as of season 6. Just like Rousseau she was alone (albeit just for 3 years) and had to fend off the Others all the while looking for her baby. When she found out Kate was the one raising her baby, her reaction wasn't pretty.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Between Charlie and Claire. The two dearly love and care for each other, but Charlie's drug addiction makes Claire uncomfortable with him being around her son. His later attempt to "baptize" Aaron during a crazy trip very nearly made her cut him off for good.
  • Bribe Backfire: A particularly amusing instance. When Ilana is forcing Ben to dig his own grave because she intends to kill him herself, he tries to weasel his way out of it by buying off Miles's help. Miles asks him why on earth he would need three million dollars from him when there are "a couple of jabronis named Nikki and Paulo (whom Miles knows about because of his ability to "talk to the dead") buried alive right over there with eight million dollars worth of diamonds sitting right on top of them". Sure enough, by the end of the episode he has the diamonds in hand.
  • Brick Joke: Given the show's crazy attention to detail, a lot of seemingly one-off remarks and incidents tend to recur later on. Case in point: "Across the Sea", the third-to-last episode, picks up a thread that had been dangling from the first season, namely "Adam and Eve", the skeletons in the cave.
    • Similarly, the first scene of the pilot had a white tennis shoe dangling from one of the trees in the bamboo thicket Jack woke up. Given "Christian" was seen wearing the same shoes in the island, some fans were sure those shoes meant something. They're later mentioned in the Season 5 episode "316" when Jack says that he put the white tennis shoes on his father's corpse because he didn't consider the old man to be worth a nicer pair of shoes. Then in the Grand Finale they show up again on the island, still dangling from the tree after three years.
    • Also, we first encounter the Black Rock in the season one finale and the broken statue in the season two finale and generally see them as completely separate mysteries. Then in season six we discover the Black Rock toppled the statue when a huge wave washed it ashore.
    • A literal one through Season 2. When Locke meets Desmond upon entering the hatch, the latter asks the code phrase "What did one snowman say to the other snowman?", to which Locke didn't have the answer. At the end of the season, when Desmond returns to the Island, Locke asks what did one snowman say to the other, to which Desmond replies with a grin "Smells like carrots."
    • In the first season, Shannon experiences a problem breathing as she had lost her inhaler in the crash. In season six, Jack and Hurley find it discarded in the jungle on their way to the lighthouse.
    • In the fifth season when they travel to the past, Hurley asks who's the President in case someone asks. It's that question which gives up their ruse.
  • Buffy Speak: Hurley, frequently.
    Sawyer: What's your problem, Jumbotron?
    Hurley: Shut up, red... neck... man.
    Sawyer: Touché.
  • Buried Alive: Nikki and Paulo. The survivors had thought that they'd been killed, but they were actually paralyzed. Nikki tried to tell them, but they heard "Paulo lied."
  • Butt-Monkey
    • Everyone's put through hell on this show but Jack, Locke, and Ben seem to get the worst of it. Every major decision Jack has made has turned out to be the wrong one. Locke's pre-Island and post-Island lives were utterly miserable. And Ben has lost just about everything (power, status, friends, family, etc.) since his debut and gets beaten senseless at least twice a season. He's still one of the most dangerous characters on the show, though.
    • Michael Emerson himself helped put Ben's Butt-Monkey status into perspective during his appearance on the special episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that came on right after the finale. When Kimmel actually asked Emerson how often his character got beat up, Emerson responded, "How many episodes was I in?"
    • Among the secondary characters, of particular note is Mikhail who gets his ass kicked in every episode he appears in which includes three onscreen deaths, not including one in the afterlife.

  • Cain and Abel: As of "Across the Sea", the rivalry between Jacob and the Man in Black is this, but with the condition that neither of them is capable of killing the other himself. So Jacob just threw the Man in Black down a glowing hole instead and let the island kill him. Way to create the smoke monster, dude.
  • Call-Back: The final season was rife with them. One example is the pan from the season 1 finale of Jack and Locke peering into the hatch being used again in the Series Finale when Jack and the Man in Black as Locke looked into the Heart of the Island.
  • Car Fu: Hurley's ride to the rescue in a DHARMA minibus, effectively saving his friends from bullets to their heads.
  • Cataclysm Climax: Played with. It appeared that Lost would end like that for some time: starting with a mention of a volcano being present on the Island, then the Island being shown submerged underwater in the Flash Sideways and finally the Man In Black intending to destroy the Island near the end. The Finale appears to play this straight: after the Island's Heart is disturbed, it is shaken by massive earthquakes and several cliffs collapse into the Ocean before the majority of the heroes make their escape. The trope is then subverted, however, when the Island's Cork is put back in place and the cataclysm is stopped.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Jack: "Live together, die alone." Which makes Rose's interruption the third time he tries saying this so hilarious: "If you say 'live together, die alone' one more time I'm gonna punch you in the face!"
    • Hurley: "Dude..." As well as, "I'm not crazy!"
    • Desmond: "See you in another life, brother."
    • Sawyer's "Son of a bitch!" and many nicknames for people, particularly Freckles (Kate).
    • Locke: "Don't tell me what I can't do."
    • Ben: "I Lied."
    • Kate: "I'm coming with you!"
    • Sayid: "My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer."
    • Basically every faction in the series: "We're the good guys" (which gets lampshaded in the season 6 premiere).
  • Cannot Spit It Out
    • Kate and Sawyer both try to hide the fact that they care about one another. Most of the their confessions come while they're bloodied, delirious, or under the threat of death.
    • Libby's last words claiming Michael betrayed the group. Reason being is that she's been shot in the stomach and pumped full of heroin.
  • Cast Herd: Largely lampshaded by the phrase(s) "my/your/their people." Certain characters have switched allegiances through the course of the series. There's the 815 fuselage survivors, the tail survivors, the Others, the people from the freighter; then when everyone is in the 70's there's the Dharma Initiative and the Hostiles (the name Dharma had for the Others).
  • Caught in a Snare: A frequent occurrence, as Rousseau has set these kinds of traps all over the island in the hopes of catching the Others.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Perhaps intentionally invoked with the season 6 Others footsoldier Lennon. He wears granny glasses like his namesake and translates for a Japanese character...
  • Censorship by Spelling: It doesn't work so well.
    Hurley: [Glances at Walt] But what about the B-O-D-Y-S?
    Michael: What are you trying to spell man, bodies?
    Walt: B-O-D-I-E-S.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Jack doesn't enjoy it. He becomes the de facto leader of the survivors very quickly, which means that just about every problem is put on him to solve. Put this on top of his already strong hero complex, and he's very stressed.
  • Changeling Fantasy:
    • Alex discovering that she's Rousseau's daughter.
    • Jacob and his brother, who learn that the woman who they believed to be their mother isn't, and they actually come from a group of people who came to the island shortly before they were born.
  • A Chat with Satan: In his flashbacks, Richard Alpert is tempted by the Man in Black/Smoke Monster, who tells him he must kill "the devil," Jacob, if he wants to see his dead wife again. He ultimately refuses and sides with Jacob.
  • Character Focus: The show's bread and butter. Each episode focuses on one (or more, in a few cases) character's past and current situations on the island.
  • Characteristic Trope
    • Revolutionized the use of the flashback (and conversely, the flashforward), which is now prevalent in all of J. J. Abrams' Speculative Fiction works.
    • And in season 6, the flashsideways which, semantic "out" though it tried to pull on us about the purely Informed (or that is to say, ostensible) trait of its "timelessness" aside, turned out to be just more flashforwards.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: In this series, Chekhov's got more guns than a crazy paranoid conspiracy theorist preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
  • The Chessmaster
    • The Man in Black can lay strong claim to being the show's ultimate Grand Master of Xanatos Speed Chess, both in terms of effectiveness and speed, after the events of "The Candidate" in which on extremely short notice he creates a situation that causes six main characters to unknowingly place themselves in a death trap, and also keeps himself clear of his own trap and makes the six think they were double-crossing him when they locked him out. The end result: three main characters dead. Not bad work, considering he only had minutes to plan this all out and build the bomb his trap relied on.
    • In The End, Jack makes a daring Batman Gambit by which to kill the Man in Black, helping the MiB carry out his own plan the destroy the island, all on the assumption that this plan will backfire on the MiB. What makes it even ballsier is that Jack flat out tells the MiB that he's running this gambit.
  • The Chew Toy
    • Mikhail is severely hurt in every episode he appears in.
    • Despite being a very powerful Manipulative Bastard who brings it on himself, Ben qualifies because he can't go more than two episodes without being dealt a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (and he never fights back).
  • Child Marriage Veto: In the flashbacks, Sun is very reluctant when her father forces her into an arranged marriage with the son of one of the father's business partners. After a little while she opens up and falls in love in with the guy... but then HE vetoes the whole thing. It turns out that he already has a girlfriend, it's just that he hadn't dared to tell his family about it.
  • Children Forced to Kill: One character got his start in murder by covering for his brother when forced to kill a chicken. Another did the same thing, but with a person.
  • Christianity Is Catholic
    • Except for the token Muslim, every character whose religion we know is Catholic: Charlie, Desmond, Eko (of course), the Reyes family (by ethnic implication), Claire and Aaron (by baptism)... and the Christian Shepherd memorial is in a church with Catholic-looking statuary. There is not a single explicit Protestant.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
    • There are at least two rules on this show. The first rule is that until his complete Heel–Face Turn in Season 6, nobody should trust Ben. The second rule is that everybody will disregard the first rule.
    • Locke has a similar relationship with his father. Anthony takes advantage of Locke's weakness to get what he wants, from money to a kidney.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: In large part due to his unresolved daddy issues, Jack has an obsessive need to save all of his fellow 815ers. And whenever he's unable to do so, he tends to freak out. In a flashback, he gets brutally called out on it by his ex. "You will always need something to fix."
  • Colonel Bogey March: Desmond, Jin, Charlie, and Hurley whistle this in the episode "Catch-22".
  • Color-Coded Characters
    • Jacob wears white (more like beige, since they don't have bleach). His nemesis wears black (more like grayish black, but that's not the point). When he converts someone, he gives a white stone. His nemesis uses a black stone. Okay, we get it already, they're yin and yang.
    • This is done with the three main Others as well. Many of Ben's clothes are green-toned, which could represent the jealousy that drives many of his actions (not to mention that green is a Slytherin color, which Ben clearly is). Juliet is often seen in blue, which represents both her cool demeanor and inner sadness. And Richard is almost always in either black or very dark purple or brown, representing his melancholy and morbidity.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: The leader of the people at the temple speaks English, he just doesn't like doing it, necessitating a translator.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Hurley's parents decide to celebrate his return home from 100 grueling days on island by throwing him... an island theme surprise party.
    Sayid: Interesting choice of theme.
    Hurley: Yeah, Mom... really doesn't get it, dude.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Mikhail states that this is why he's never beaten his computer at chess. But he's lying.
  • Confession Triggers Consummation: Subverted since the love confession is heavily implied but not word-for-word: The infamous Love Triangle between Kate, Sawyer, and Jack is filled with a lot of pining, longing looks, sexual tension, etc. Sawyer in Kate in particular have bucketloads of Belligerent Sexual Tension up until they are kidnapped by the Others and locked in cages. Kate is adamant on getting her, Sawyer, and Jack back to the safety of their camp, not knowing that they are no longer on the same island. When pressed on the matter, Sawyer, rarely softspoken, confesses that he never told her because he wanted her to think they had a chance of living.
  • Con Man: James "Sawyer" Ford and also the "Original Recipe" Sawyer a.k.a. Anthony Cooper do this for a living. Also the much hated Nikki and Paulo.
  • Conspiracy Theorist
    • Frank Lapidus, the pilot who was supposed to be flying Flight 815, after seeing footage of the recovered aircraft and noticing that the body in the cockpit didn't match the man who was supposed to be flying it.
    • Also, "The Lost Conspiracy" feature in the DVD set, a parody of "truthers" everywhere which starts with true premises (Kate did not "look" four months pregnant at the airport; no way did they stay in shape on a diet of fish and coconuts) to draw thoroughly far-out conclusions.
  • The Constant: The Trope Namer. Desmond had to find Penelope in his past and present to stop the side-effects caused by him leaving the island. Desmond is also Faraday's Constant.
  • Consummate Liar: Ben's Catchphrase is "I Lied". It proves to be a bit of a stumbling block after his Heel–Face Turn.
    Ben: What? Oh, for the fourth time, I was gathering mangoes and she was already unconscious when I found her. Why won't you believe me?
    Ilana: Because you're speaking.
    • Hilariously, Ben seems unable to be sincere even in little throwaway moments when nothing is at stake - he even lies about his zodiac sign!
    • In another throwaway line he mentions having learnt to read from his mother - who in fact died at giving birth to him.
    • At one point Sun asks him if he knew what happened to the Statue, and he says it was broken before he got there. Sun asks why she should trust him, and he straight up says she shouldn’t, yet come Ab Aeterno and we find out he was telling the truth. Even in cases where he’s telling the truth, he still tells people not to trust him.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: The Swan Orientation film noticeably had a snippet removed the first time Desmond and Locke watched it. The missing snippet - which clarified why the computer was not to be used for anything other than entering the Numbers every 108 minutes - was later explained as an edit made by Razdinsky and stored in a hollowed-out Bible in another station across the island, which was later found by Eko. The reasons why the film was edited were never clarified, but Michael's use of the computer to communicate with Walt set off the entire series of tragic events in the second half of Season 2.
  • Continuity Lockout: Don't even think about trying to jump into the middle of this show. (Although, most fans believe the plot is better off for it.)
  • Contrived Coincidence: One of the shows themes is the concept of coincidence versus fate. Flashbacks with Jacob in the last episode of Season 5 have kind of ruined most of the debate.
  • Convenient Cranny: Banyan trees are often used to hide from the Smoke Monster.
  • Conversational Troping: Locke and Boone have a discussion regarding the Red Shirt trope, dropping it by name and explaining where it came from. In a case of Dramatic Irony, Boone becomes a Red Shirt himself not long afterwards.
  • The Con Within a Con: Done by Sawyer (naturally) in "The Long Con". In this case, Sawyer was himself a tool of revenge because someone else gave him the potential target and information he would need.
  • Cool Car: The Hurleymobile. Which turned out to be the same car where Ben gassed his own father.
  • Cool Guns: Other than with Keamy and his mercenaries (who have some pretty sophisticated firearms), this trope is averted; guns are mainly scarce and not at all fancy (especially in the early seasons on the Island). Keamy & crew have such flashy toys because they do this for a living and they brought them for a specific mission. Although Ben's piano-bench shotgun is pretty sweet.
  • Cool Old Guy: Locke, in spades. Even if he was just another pawn the whole time, he still saved several lives and helped countless others.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Turns out that the show is basically this.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Begins with the flaming arrow on the crash survivor's camp in season 5. From there on through the end of season 6 almost every single every newly-introduced character will snuff it before the final episode.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The true nature of the Island. It also has its own Cosmic Keystone.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: There's the odd soldier or convict (okay, maybe about a third of the passengers), but most of the other castaways are normal, middle class people, albeit with an awful lot of trauma in their pasts.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Either after 10 seconds they cough up a mouthful of salt water and spring to life or "there's nothing else I can do". Or Jack punches the hell out of Charlie's chest for nearly a minute and miraculously revives him. There are a couple of aversions, though, such as Jack to Sayid in the first episode of Season 6.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ben has a shotgun hidden in his piano bench. Although he does not have a code for "there's a man in the closet with a gun to my daughter's head".
  • Cross-Referenced Titles
    • "One of Them" and "One of Us"; "The Constant", "The Variable" and "The Substitute"; "What Kate Did" and "What Kate Does"; "Everybody Hates Hugo" and "Everybody Loves Hugo".
    • The episodes "...And Found" and "...In Translation" could be seen as a version of this are both are part of phrases that begin with the word "Lost"
    • "The Beginning of the End" and "The End".
  • Cryptic Conversation:
    • "Are you him? What did one snowman say to the other snowman?"
    • "What lies in the shadow of the statue?"
    • Whenever Christian appears in a non-flashback. Except in the finale, where he explains the truth of the "Alternate Universe".
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: People get handcuffed or tied up a lot. Of special note is Jin, who went for over a season wearing one shackle of a pair of broken handcuffs.
  • Cut Apart: Season 4 spends a whole episode's flashforward with Sun preparing to have a baby, and Jin buying a stuffed panda for a new baby. It isn't revealed until the final flashforward that the scenes with Jin were flashbacks, with the panda being for the newborn child of the Chinese ambassador and Sun left to have the baby alone in the future.

  • A Day in the Limelight: Everyone gets their day. Except Libby, Charlotte, Ilana, and Frank Lapidus, all of whom had at least one flashback (and a flash-sideways for all of the above except Frank), but not their own episode.
  • Dark Action Girl: As of S6, Claire, apparently. We don't see too much onscreen.
  • Dead All Along: Everyone in the flash-sideways world — though it's clear that they didn't all die at once.
  • Deader Than Dead: Jacob was stabbed by Ben and cremated by Man in Black. However it doesn't stop him from returning as a ghost.
    • And Man in Black himself was first shot by Kate and then kicked off the edge of the cliff by Jack.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Desmond and Penny's son is named Charlie.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Keamy sets up one of these before leaving to capture Ben Linus.
  • Deadly Nosebleed:
    • A symptom of time travel indicating that cumulative damage is being done. Poor Charlotte.
    • Along with bleeding ears, this is the visible effect of the sonic fence on its victims.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miles.
    Miles: What happened to him?
    Horace: He fell in a ditch.
    Miles: He's got a bullet in his head. The ditch have a gun?
    • In commenting on Miles' use of this trope, Hurley reveals his own qualifications for the position:
      Miles: Where the hell did they go, Tubby?
      Hurley: Oh, awesome. The ship sent us another Sawyer.
    • Ben Linus also gets his fair share.
      "No, John, we don't have a code for 'there's a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter's head'. Although obviously we should..."
    • Edward Mars, the US Marshall who chases Kate, has gotten his fair share in in the few times his been onscreen.
      Kate: I have to go.
      Mars: Hold it.
      Kate: I can't.
      Mars: [Dryly] Sure you can, kiddo, I believe in you.
    • And Richard can be this too:
      Locke: [After handing Locke a compass] What does it do?
      Richard: It points north, John.
    • Lapidus, after seeing Locke alive again:
      "As long as the dead guy says there's reason, then I guess everything's gonna be just peachy. And forget about the fact that the rest of your people are supposedly 30 years ago. Now the only ones that are here to help us are a murderer and a guy who can't seem to remember how the hell he got out of a coffin."
    • Don't forget about Sawyer himself.
      Libby: How did you get shot?
      Sawyer: With a gun.
  • Deal with the Devil: Sayid makes one with the Man in Black.
  • Determinator: Sun and Jin. Try and separate them. I dare you.
    • Also Jack since the beginning. Season 1 examples: Edward Mars, Boone, and "Come on, Charlie. Come on. Come on, Charlie! Come on! Come on!! Come on!!!! COME ON, CHARLIE!!!" He just can't let stuff go.
  • Death by Cameo: Zoey Bell.
  • Death by Materialism: Nikki and Paulo.
  • Death by Sex: Shannon after sleeping with Sayid, and Ana Lucia after sleeping with Sawyer.
    • More like death by romance Charlie, Libby, & Charlotte died when their relationships were finally starting to work out.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: At least not with Sayid.
    • Also the case with The Man in Black, who was killed by Jacob but immediately reincarnated as the smoke monster.
    • Although Jacob died and stayed dead, that didn't stop him from coming back as a ghost and talking to the main cast.
      • Same goes for Michael.
    • Also seems to be the case with Locke at first, but It's later confirmed that Locke is 100% dead and the man we've been seeing is actually The Man in Black.
  • Death Seeker: Many account for this, but especially Sawyer comes to mind.
    Michael: Since the day you told me you wanted on this raft, I couldn't figure it out. Why does a guy who only cares about himself want to risk his life to save everyone else? Yeah... way I see it, there's only two choices. You're either a hero, or you want to die.
    Sawyer: [Gruffly] Well... I ain't no hero, Mike.
  • Deserted Island: The entire show is the subversion.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Richard Alpert skirts damn close to this in season 6, but is eventually pulled back from the edge by Hurley.
    • Heck, the entire latter half of season 6, especially from the sub explosion to the last episode would probably count as this. It comes to a head when Desmond puts out the light at the heart of the Island. Fortunately, it quickly turns around after that when Jack discovers that without the light, he and the Man in Black are mortal again.
  • Destination Defenestration: This is how Locke became paralyzed. From the eighth floor, no less.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: During Season 4 episode "The Constant", Sayid and Desmond only find out it's Christmas Eve when they spot the date on a calendar, while being far too busy with much more important things.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Ben to Jacob in the season 5 finale.
    • Ironically, Richard tried this earlier and got an ass-kicking for his trouble.
  • Dies Wide Open: Numerous times. One minor motif is someone closing a dead person's eyes out of respect, as Ben did to Horace Goodspeed.
    • Also consider the final image in the series finale - one could say the show, or perhaps the island, does this to Jack.
  • Disappeared Dad: Hurley, Claire (which plays a role in the plot), Miles in Season 5. And Locke's entire storyline and character development was based on how his father abandoned him over and over again.
  • Disposable Pilot: In the pilot episode, the co-pilot dies on impact and the pilot is killed off soon after being found.
  • Distant Finale: Technically, the series finale. There is no 'now' in the sideways-verse, but Hurley and Ben especially may have taken a particularly long time to get there.
  • Disney Death: Charlie pulls one in the middle of season one.
  • Disney Villain Death: Man in Black, who was pushed off a cliff by Jack, though he was already mortally wounded after being shot by Kate.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Others go barefoot, in keeping with their "simple" lifestyle. Of course, this is merely a ruse to trick the survivors (Tom even goes as far as wearing a fake beard!). Played straight with the Others who reside at the island's Temple, like Dogen and Lennon. This tradition seems to stem from Jacob himself, who lives an extremely simple and humble existence. He's only seen wearing shoes when off the island.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jacob, who believes that Rousseau Was Right, doesn't interfere with the decisions of the people of the island and enables free will. While the Man in Black, who believes that Humans Are Bastards, tries to tempt the same people with visions, apparitions of the dead, and impossible promises that appeal to their deepest desires.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Charlie to Claire.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Many mystical elements gained scientific explanations after the first season, only for the show to return to mysticism in the final seasons. Check the entry for details.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: When everyone else runs off to watch Jack playing golf on the course Hurley made during the Season 1 episode "Solitary", Deadpan Snarker Sawyer remains unimpressed.
    Sawyer: Doctor playing golf! Boy howdy! What's next, cop eating a donut?
  • Door to Before: After previously thinking that the only way into the hatch is through the door that the characters have to use dynamite on in order to open, it's revealed once they're inside that there's a back door.
  • Double Aesop: "The best way to find something is to stop looking."
  • Downer Ending: Although the show doesn't usually have "happy" episodes (and when it does they're usually bittersweet or subverted at the last moment), but the "The Candidate" is just miserable. Three of the major characters (and candidates) explode or drown and the rest of the remaining cast cries on the beach. End episode.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: Happens at least three times: Charlie reluctantly helps Jack, Kate reluctantly helps Juliet, and Libby goes for the surprise version in "The Other 48 Days" while telling the injured Red Shirt a story about skiing.
  • The Driver: Abaddon eventually turns into this.
  • Driving Question: A good summary would be "What the hell is going on?!"
    • "Guys, where are we?"
  • Dr. Jerk: Jack (sometimes) has a terrible bed-side manner and often brutally honest with his patients about their chances, but otherwise is a miracle-worker. His father Christian, on the other hand, was a snarky, condescending drunk who got a patient killed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Several examples, most notably Ilana.
  • Duct Tape for Everything:
    Miles: I don't believe in a lot of things — but I believe in duct tape!
  • Dynamic Entry: The Black Rock was catapulted onto the island by a colossal tidal wave, knocking over the giant Taweret statue as it makes landfall.
  • Dying Alone: "If we don't learn to live together, we're gonna die alone."
    • Eventually inverted in the best way — though they might die alone, they move on together.
  • Dysfunction Junction: More like Dysfunction Scramble Crossing.
    • And, as of 6x16 ("What They Died For") this was justified- Turns out Jacob purposely picked screwed up people to bring to the island so that they'd have a reason to want to replace him, as opposed to someone who was torn from a happy life.

  • Easy Amnesia:
    • The main character of the video game, though he got his in the plane crash.
  • Easter Egg: On the 6th DVD of season one, if left too long on the first screen, the plane lodged in the cliff falls.
  • Eat the Dog: Locke serves Ben one of the cute fluffy bunnies left over from the DHARMA Initiative upon running out of chickens.
    Ben: ...This didn't have a number on it?
  • Establishing Character Moment: After the plane crash, we see several in quick succession: Jack is running around trying to help as many people has possible, displaying Chronic Hero Syndrome. Boone is, too, but failing, while Locke actually joins Jack in helping one of the others. Michael is crying hysterically for his son, a la Papa Bear. Charlie is walking around the crash while high and has no idea what's going on. In the aftermath, Jin quietly commands Sun to stay by him and away from the others. Hurley makes himself known as the Nice Guy when he goes passing around food to everyone, giving two to the pregnant Claire. Shannon is quickly established as a stubborn Alpha Bitch when she refuses the food offered by her stepbrother.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The appearance of the polar bear and the smoke monster, our first indications that this is not an ordinary island.
    • The series's many upcoming Mind Screw's are best summed by Charlie's quote:
    "Guys... where are we?
    • Also summed up by Hurley in season 5, during his famous "truth-moment" :
    "See, we did crash, but it was on this crazy island.[...]"
  • Eternal Recurrence: People coming to the island, as one can guess by what Jacob and the Man in Black's mother stated. People always seem to arrive by "accident." It's never by accident; it's because the island and/or Jacob want them to be there.
    • Also to a lesser extent Jacob summoning people to the island in order to 1) prove that Rousseau Was Right while the Man in Black's wager is that Humans Are Bastards and 2) to gather candidates for his role as protector of the island.
  • Euphemism Buster: Overlaps with Censorship by Spelling. Hurley doesn't want to talk about the dead in front of a kid (Walt), so he spells it out:
    Hurley: But what about the B-O-D-Y-S?
    Michael: What are you trying to spell, man, "bodies"?
    Walt: B-O-D-I-E-S.
  • Everyone Is Related: Although you may not know it for a few seasons.
    • To a point where you ask who is not related.
  • Evil Brit: Charles Widmore
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Vincent knows when serious crap is about to hit the fan. Frequently subverted as well; Vincent will seem to be freaking out, but it turns out to be a red herring.
  • Evil Matriarch: Jacob and MIB's "Mother," played by Allison Janney, who killed their real mother just after she gave birth to them.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Ben versus Charles Widmore in season three and four. Then in season five it was revealed that it has been Jacob versus his enemy all along, and now it is Jacob's enemy versus Charles Widmore and his men who arrived to island on a submarine.
    • Depending on character interpretation, particularly after seeing the events in Across the Sea, Jacob versus his nemesis still qualifies.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Dharma Initiative generic food products.
  • Exact Time to Failure: The countdown clock in the hatch.
  • Expanded Universe: Consisting of a few books, two online games, and a computer/video game. The canonicity of all of them is questionable, however.
    • Word from The Powers That Be is that the only true canon is the show itself. The mobisodes are kinda canon, same goes for the Orchid video from Comic Con 2007, but not for the Pierre Chang Video from Comic Con 2008. So yeah.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Everyone.
    • Not all characters employ this trope to its full definition, though. For instance, most of Hurley's flashbacks, rather than adding a new period to his otherwise-undefined past, flesh out a period in his life that was alluded to over a season prior.
  • Eye Scream: In "The Package" Jin shoots alternate universe Mikhail in the eye. For bonus irony points, it's the one he's missing in the main timeline.
  • Exposition of Immortality: The character Richard never ages, which we first see in a flashback when Ben meets him as a child and Richard looks exactly the same. Through time travel and more flashbacks, we see Richard in various eras, still looking exactly the same as he does in the present.


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