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Lost / Tropes U to Z

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  • Underwater Base: The Looking Glass and part of The Hydra.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The show is usually very good about keeping characters' wounds consistent from episode to episode, or strongly suggesting that the island was involved when a character heals faster than expected or has a sudden, miraculous full recovery. Which makes it incredibly glaring when Ben gets pinned beneath a tree in the series finale, and this is played for drama as other characters frantically trying to dig him loose, then a few scenes later he catches up to the rest of the heroes like nothing had even happened.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Most of the characters with no history in the Myth Arc, but it's most noticeable with Frank Lapidus, especially in Season Five. Yet he's also the one who gets everyone off the island; both times.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Anytime we get any exposition, it comes with a side order of this.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It turns out that Jack omitted something fairly important from his surgery story in the pilot. It says in the enhanced version of the episode on as the reason for the unreliable narrating: "but Jack was angry with his father and had a complicated relationship with him."
  • The Unreveal: For every major reveal of the series, there's one of these as well.
  • Unseen No More:
    • The show once depicted its own cheesy Show Within a Show called "Exposé", mostly via island survivor Nikki's flashbacks to her time as an actress. In one such flashback, it had its supposedly long-running The Ghost Big Bad turn out to be played by none other than Billy Dee Williams.
    • Jacob is first mentioned early in season 3, but doesn't appear until the season 5 finale.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: While more of the Island's mysteries are solved than the series usually gets credit for, a fair amount of questions remain unanswered. The biggest one is likely involving Walt: in a series with characters having explicitly supernatural powers, does Walt indeed have some sort of power or are all the birds just a massive coincidence?
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Hurley after Sawyer jokes about being able to see Hurley's imaginary friend, giving him hope about not being crazy for half a second and then taking it away.
    • Jacob after his brother killed the Mother. That's how we got our Monster
    • Ben, after Keamy taunts him about his murder of Alex. He beats him to the ground, and then proceeds to repeatedly stab him. Made even more awesome / terrifying by the fact that Keamy is a muscled mercenary, and Ben is much shorter and slimmer, and you'd usually expect Keamy to overpower Ben.
  • Unstuck in Time: Several characters, and throughout the first half of season 5 the entire Island.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Sayid's former job title in the Revolutionary Guard? "Communications Officer". Because, see, his specialty was "communicating" with prisoners. Regardless of whether or not they wanted to communicate.

  • Verbed Title: An irregular verb.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: You remember that cheeky shot of Ben reading Ulysses? Well, Lost might as well be called Intertextuality: The TV Show. It does make sense, but if you want to understand it fully you better be prepared to do some Wikipedia legwork, because you're going to need a working knowledge of Hellenic and Buddhist philosophy, Jungian psychology, the principles of cultural clash and the process of "Othering", theories about the subjective nature of reality and the lack of absolute truth, et cetera, et cetera.
  • Villain Decay: As of the end of Season 5, Ben has been reduced to just another pawn in The Man in Black's extended chess match against Jacob. He knows it too, and isn't the least bit happy about it. It should be noted that only a few episodes after we learned Ben led the Others we found out Jacob gave the orders (the list for instance), so we should have seen this one coming.
    • Though it's implied that Ben's mere existence and free will is the "loophole" that Jacob's nemesis needed to kill Jacob, making him the most important character in the show... let's just say this: Ben in early seasons: Leader of the Others and Magnificent Bastard. Ben at the end of the series: Hurley's sidekick
  • Villainous BSoD: Ben gets one of these for about ten seconds after Keamy kills Alex.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In the season 3 opening, the manipulative and murderous Others are seen cooking themselves lunch, attending book club, and giving out marriage advice.
  • The Virus: The Sickness, as revealed in Season 6.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Used at least a couple of times. Sawyer, after he kills Anthony Cooper and Locke, when he teleports to Africa and breaks that poor, poor leg.

  • Webisode: 13 "Missing Pieces", which were released for mobile phones and later online between Seasons 3 and 4. Also available on Season 4 Bonus DVD.
  • We All Live in America: In one particular episode, a woman is on life support and her doctor says that she will be well looked after, the which the patient's sister comments that they can't pay for that. The issue: The hospital is in New South Wales, Australia, where Medicare (or the SIRA, given that it was the result of a car accident) would take care of the bills.
  • We Just Need to Wait for Rescue: Season 1 has a sub-plot where Jack insists that the survivors don't need to make a life on the island, they just need to wait for rescue. Measures such as keeping a signal fire going, trying to give a radio signal, and staying on the beach are implemented. In the end, of course, no one ever rescues them and weirdness ensues.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Others, who's main priority is to protect The Island at all costs. If they had a bit more direct contact with Jacob, their war with the survivors may not have gotten so bad.
    • Michael, who killed two fellow survivors and led four more into an ambush, to save his son.
    • Jack and Locke have shown shades of this at times, too.
    • Season 6 implies that Charles Widmore may be this.
  • Wham Episode:
    • All of the Season Finales count in their own way.
      • Season 1: The Hatch has finally been opened, but there's no discernible way in. Michael, Jin, Sawyer, and Walt are attacked by the Others, Walt is kidnapped, Sawyer is shot, and the raft is destroyed.
      • Season 2: Michael betrays the survivors and has Jack, Kate, and Sawyer captured. Locke and Desmond accidentally blow up the Hatch.
      • Season 3: The survivors manage to send a distress call despite Charlie's death, but the Flash Forward reveals that while Jack and Kate managed to escape, Jack's convinced they need to return.
      • Season 4: The freighter explodes. Ben moves the Island. The Oceanic Six finally manage to escape the Island.
      • Season 5: The survivors in the past accidentally cause The Incident, setting the stage for the own plane crash 27 years later. In the present, Ben murders Jacob.
      • Season 6: The true nature of the flash sideways is revealed. Jack manages to kill the Man in Black, passing the title of Island Protector off to Hurley before dying. The survivors move on to the afterlife.
    • The Candidate: The survivors are all candidates for the title of Protector of the Island, and Jacob has been monitoring and controlling their every move their entire lives. Jack takes on the role as Protector.
  • Wham Line: "Because I want it to crash, Kate."
    • In the season six premiere: "Sorry you had to see me like that."
    • The following exchange from the Series Finale:
      Jack: But... you're dead. How are you here?
      Christian: How are YOU here?
    • "My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer."
    • "This time... you have to die."
    • "They're coming tonight... they're coming RIGHT NOW!"
    • "Always nice talking to you Jacob."
    • We're gonna have to take the boy."
    • "Hello Aaron."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Cindy Chandler and the kids she was kidnapped by the Others to protect, disappeared after the mortar attack on the Others by Charles Widmore. Apparently, they "scattered into the jungle" along with the few surviving Others.
    • What happened to Annie, Ben's only childhood friend? We were told in Series 3 and 4, she'd be very important to the finale, and Ben's fascination with Juliet was hinted at because she "looks just like her". But she was never mentioned again after Series 4. Did she survive the Purge? Was she merely just his girlfriend, who'd gotten pregnant and died, explaining his over the top reaction to Alex and Carl? She seemed to have been "Eaten by the Cat" to coin a phrase.
    • Walt. The Epilogue thankfully gave his character arc some much needed closure.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Richard. After Jacob's death, he desperately wants to die himself because he thinks his work for Jacob was all for nothing, but he can't. Subverted in the very last episode, when Richard learns that he is finally aging, he tells Miles that he now realizes he wants to live after all.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "The Other 48 Days", telling season one from The Tailies' perspective.
    • "Ab Aeterno", almost—it took six extra minutes to fit in the present-day part of the plot.
    • "Across The Sea", the Jacob/MIB origin story, which has one minute of non-flashback material— which is also a flashback to a scene from season one.
  • With My Hands Tied: In "Through the Looking Glass", Sayid kills an armed man with his ankles.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • Sawyer's old girlfriend Cassidy after he runs a long con on her and dumps her.
    • Kate goes through this with Jack after he gets addicted to pills and abandons her and Aaron. She eventually forgives him, though.
  • World of Badass: Everyone on the Island manages to kick their fair share of ass, even Jack the doctor and Bernard the dentist. LA in the flash sideways timeline is also one of these.
  • World of Mysteries: The Island. Though some of its mysteries are resolved, many others (like Hurley's cursed numbers) are not; besides, in-universe, characters and organisations who devote themselves to unravelling the Island's mysteries always meet a bad end.

  • Xanatos Speed Chess:
    • Michael Emerson pretty much said himself (in layman's terms) that Ben is doing this throughout Season Five:
    "I think Ben has a lot of layers of plans, but I think we're way off the main stem of anything that works for him. I mean, Ben's doing like moment-to-moment scrambling now."
    • The Man in Black can now lay a good claim to being the master of Xanatos Speed Chess after the events of "The Candidate"; see The Chessmaster above.
  • Year Zero: Season 2 Finale established that Oceanic 815 crashed and started the whole thing on September 22, 2004, the same day that The Pilot, Part 1 episode was first aired and, you know, started the whole thing. Since then, fans were able to give all events of Seasons 1-4 an exact date based on the clues within the series. However, a Time Skip followed and events on Seasons 5-6 can only be put down to the year they happen in, with no precise dating except in relation to each other.
  • You Already Changed the Past: Whatever happened, happened. Maybe.
    • In a sense, this is double subverted. It appears to be the rule until the finale of season 5, when the bomb creates an alternate reality. However, in the series finale, it is revealed that the "alternate reality" is really the afterlife and it wasn't actually caused by the bomb. So, in the end, the trope is used consistently.
  • You ALL Share My Story: Many of the characters have knowingly or unknowingly encountered each other before coming to the island.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: At the end of season 3 of, Sawyer's in a funk after finally killing Cooper. Sawyer repeatedly addresses Kate by her name instead of "Freckles" or another nickname when she confronts him about what's wrong:
    Kate: Ever since you got that tape from Locke it's like you've been sleepwalking. You don't care about our friends, fine, but it's like you don't care about anything anymore. And since when did you start calling me Kate?
    • It's a sign that things are getting really serious when almost everyone begins referring to Sawyer and Hurley by their given names (James and Hugo, respectively) instead of their nicknames.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The debate of free will vs. fate is a recurring theme in the series, with Eloise explicitly telling Desmond that one's destiny cannot be avoided.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Once some of the survivors make it off the island, at least Jack and Hurley end up convinced they shouldn't have left in the first place.
    • Also happens, from the other side, to Ben at the end of season four after he moves the island, meaning he can never return to it.
    • Until he does. He admits that he broke the rules by doing so, and that there would be consequences (which he was ultimately spared from).
  • You're Not My Father:
    • Claire's response to her father.
    • Walt's exact words to Michael when they're in the hotel.
  • You Killed My Father: Averted. Jacob isn't Ilana's biological father, but "the closest thing (she had) to a father." Nevertheless she didn't kill Ben.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me:
    • Subverted when Sawyer has Tom at his mercy. After he surrenders, Sawyer (remembering his capture and threatening of Kate, as well as his involvement in kidnapping Walt, shooting Sawyer, and attempted murder of everybody on the raft) takes deliberate aim and kills him.
    Hurley: Dude... he'd surrendered.
    Sawyer: I didn't believe him.
    • Also, Colleen and Sun in The Glass Ballerina.
    • And Locke pulls an interesting subversion or twist on Sawyer: "If there were any bullets in that gun, why would you have held a knife to my throat?"
    • Also subverted by Jack in the Season 4 premiere.
      Locke: You're not gonna shoot me, Jack, any more than I was gonna shoot...
      Jack: [Click]
      Locke: It's not loaded, Jack.
    • However, it works for the undercover cop when he tries it on Locke.


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