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You wanted to save the world. Did you think it would be that easy?

What I'm about to tell you is top secret, a conspiracy bigger than all of us. There's a powerful group of people out there that are secretly running the world. I'm talking about the guys no one knows about, the guys that are invisible. The top one percent of the top one percent, the guys that play God without permission... and now I think they're following me.
Elliot

Hello, friend.

Mr. Robot is a USA Network original drama-thriller series created by Sam Esmail that premiered on June 24, 2015. The series follows Elliot Alderson, a computer programmer for the cyber-security firm Allsafe who leads a double life as a hacker carrying out digital vigilantism. After saving Allsafe from a potentially lethal direct denial-of-service attack, Elliot learns of the culprits: a notorious hacker group known as fsociety. Torn between his duties and need for vengeance over his father's death against Allsafe's primary client E Corp, Elliot ultimately allows the rootkit established by the hack to stay in the infected server. This action leads to Elliot being recruited by fsociety's mysterious leader, Mr. Robot, and tasked with helping to encrypt E Corp's data, essentially deleting the world's debt to the multinational conglomerate. Elliot soon learns, however, that the economic revolution he is tasked with spearheading may be larger than he ever imagined, and that other forces could be pulling the strings...

The show is a love letter to post-modern and transgressive works such as Fight Club, The Matrix, Twin Peaks, American Psycho, and more, with many relatively obscure references to pop culture, philosophy, technology and science fiction. The presentation of the show is likened to the eccentric styles of David Fincher and Stanley Kubrick, with its use of disorienting cinematography, dark visuals, and tendency to dabble in metafiction. Mr. Robot also notably averts Hollywood Hacking by employing a dream team of technical advisers led by Kor Adana to help assist in creating more accurate, realistic depictions of the hacking and technology used in the show. Once a talking point of mainstream television, Mr. Robot has enjoyed more of a cult fandom as its plot has become more devilishly complicated and bizarre, prompting and sometimes outright demanding viewer interaction and engagement through an alternate reality game spanning from the real world to the internet. On December 13, 2017, shortly before the third season's finale, Sam announced that a fourth season has been greenlit. He later revealed that season four will be the show's last, with its release set for 2019.

A mobile game titled Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.apk was published by Telltale Games. Set during the first season, the game revolves around an unidentified character who discovers a phone belonging to one of Fsociety's more important members, and assists in bringing down E Corp. Mr. Robot: Red Wheelbarrow (eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt), a book tie-in written by Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney, was released on November 1, 2016 and details Elliot's experiences following the end of season one as well as certain events that took a backseat to season two's story arc. A prequel comic is projected for a fall 2018 release.

The recap page urgently Needs Wiki Magic Love.


We at fsociety have only sudo chopped the spoilers for the current season (3.0). If you want to experience the revolution for yourself, it is advised that you alt+f4 immediately!


Open file "mrrobot_tropes.txt":

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to G 

  • Absentee Actor: Barring two flashbacks, Tyrell is largely absent throughout Season 2 until its finale despite his actor Martin Wallström being listed as a starring role in every episode.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Leon's knife is capable of slicing and dicing neo-Nazis like hot butter without much force. However, he could just be that good.
  • Abusive Parents: Life in the Alderson family house was not pleasant following Edward's ignominious death, after which Magda began physically and emotionally abusing both Elliot and Darlene. Even Edward isn't absolved of this, as he pushed an eight-year-old Elliot out of the second story window after he revealed the former's leukemia diagnosis. The latter fact ended up being partially subverted in Season 3's "shutdown -r" in which we learn that Edward was not behind Elliot's defenestration, but by Elliot himself.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Elliot spends roughly three-quarters of Season 2 isolated from society in order to stop Mr. Robot. As to be expected, there is more to the story.
  • Action Survivor: Elliot already is burdened with a lot of mental illnesses and yet survives so many near death experiences and torture throughout the show. He was thrown off the pier and out of the window, was almost beaten to death, almost got raped, almost died from a gunshot wound to his stomach, was psychologically abused by his best friend/crush and was almost murdered by the Dark Army. It's surprising that despite the utter hell he was put through, he hasn't lost sanity or had a Face–Heel Turn unlike other characters (eg. Angela, Tyrell). By season 3, he becomes strong and brave while remaining a good hearted person.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12" focuses on the remnants of fsociety carrying out a leak on the FBI, being discovered by Susan Knowles, and scrambling to cover their tracks.
  • Affably Evil:
    • E-Corp CEO Phillip Price. Charming, sophisticated, polite...and also a hopelessly corrupt megalomaniac.
    • The first impression we get from Ray Heyworth is that he is a friendly, likable individual who seems legitimately concerned for Elliot's rehabilitation. It is only a shame that Ray is later shown to be the manager of a black market that deals in guns, drugs, contract killings, and child sex slaves.
    • Leon is always laid back, friendly and polite even to the people he's kidnapping and possibly murdering.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Ray, despite being the curator of a digital black market that contains drugs, weapons, and child sex slaves, is genuinely remorseful about his continued involvement in the business which he only kept active following the death of his wife, the site's original author. After Ray learns that Elliot has tipped him off to the FBI, Ray surrenders without protest, and allows Elliot to leave before the authorities raid his office.
    • As the series progresses, we slowly learn that Tyrell is not a total psychopath as we are led to believe, and is mostly put upon by his wife, Joanna, to manipulate the executives of E Corp. In season three, Joanna is murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Derek, which Tyrell is kept blissfully ignorant about until Santiago informs him of the tragedy and uses their infant son as blackmail to keep him from abandoning the Dark Army's plans. Tyrell then goes on to be manipulated by Price once he is cleared of Susan Knowles' murder. One can't help but lament that the guy can't have anything good going for him besides being a puppet.
    • Santiago, of all people, reveals that he is working with the Dark Army to ensure the safety of his aging mother. He later tries to avert Dominique's execution by Irving, pleading that she can still walk away. As it turns out, Santiago was the real target of this execution, in which he is butchered with an axe. Damn.
    • Grant's death is surprisingly tragic. Having let his obsession with Whiterose and jealousy towards Elliot interfere with his better judgment, Whiterose orders him to commit suicide for the cause, saying that he is not worthy to see her project through to the end. Grant then shakily tells Elliot to look after Whiterose before blowing his brains out.
  • Alliterative Name: Dominique DiPierro.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Elliot believes this to be the case in regards to Darlene, Angela, and his therapist, Krista.
  • Alternate History: By October 2015 in the show's timeline, the world is in an economic depression, the United States is falling apart due to a massive, coordinated terrorist attack that killed thousands, a multinational conglomerate is establishing their crypto-currency as a new monetary standard, and Iran and the United States are on the brink of war after the previously noted terrorist attack, despite the attack being a false flag operation perpetrated by a criminal syndicate.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Because Elliot has dissociative identity disorder, he is totally unaware of the times in which Mr. Robot becomes the dominant alter.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • Whiterose waxes rhapsodic about a universe where 5/9 never happened.
    • The FBI investigation into 5/9 is called "Operation Berenstain", possibly a nod to the most popular of the Mandela effect's examples.
    • A worker at the Washington Township plant discusses the possibility of parallel universes during a tour of the plant's facility.
    • Angela's mother alludes to this, speaking of "another world out there" where her and Angela can still be together.
  • Always Someone Better: The reason Tyrell was passed up for the verdict on the CTO position.
  • Alone with the Psycho:
    • In season one, between Elliot and Tyrell at the fsociety arcade. The same occurs in season two, but in the Confictura Industries warehouse.
    • Dominique and Irving after he murders Santiago.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: While it is established that Elliot is clinically depressed and has social phobia as well as dissociative identity disorder, the manifestations of his mental illnesses (delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, etc.) strongly indicate schizophrenic traits.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Despite being in heterosexual relationships, Angela and Shayla share a rather searing kiss.
    • In a "blink and you'll miss it" moment, you can see that Elliot has written "Obama is really hot" in his journal as he flips through the pages. Strangely, this line is not found in the Red Wheelbarrow book.
    • Tyrell has sex with another man with the sole intention of hacking his phone, and professes his love to Elliot.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Elliot has a noticeably olive skin tone which he shares with his mother, whose ancestry is not revealed. His father is white and his sister apparently takes after him. Actor Rami Malek himself is of Egyptian and Greek descent and has said that he considers Elliot to be a person of color.
    • In the Red Wheelbarrow book, Elliot writes that he wonders if a neo-Nazi thinks he's "pure white", implying that he is of a mixed heritage.
  • Ambiguously Gay: While telling someone about the day her ex proposed, Dominique uses strictly gender-neutral pronouns. She also intimately describes a woman that she had seen in one of her dreams. It is later confirmed that she is, in fact, a lesbian. She simply prefers to keep things ambiguous to avoid hassle.
  • An Axe to Grind: Irving axes Santiago to death when the latter has outlived his usefulness.
  • Another Story for Another Time: When Elliot inquires about just who Mr. Robot is, he responds, "that'll come later." [[Foreshadowing Oh, does it ever.]]
  • Anyone Can Die: By season three, we have lost 75% of the original main cast.
  • Apocalypse How: This exchange between Dominique and Alexa:
    Dominique: Alexa, when is the end of the world?
    Alexa: Unless it collides with a very large rock or a future technology goes very wrong indeed, Earth is most likely to be destroyed when the Sun swells into a red giant in several billion years' time.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Tyrell intimidates Scott's wife until she non-verbally consents to be violated (i.e. spreading her legs), at which point he politely declines her offer and leaves the bathroom. She appears disappointed at this. When he forces himself on her on the roof of an office building, she does not resist and appears satisfied until he starts strangling her.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In the pilot, Mr. Robot gets off the subway with Elliot at the Church Avenue station, saying that they need to wait for the Q train to go to Brooklyn. There are three different Church Avenue stations in New York City, and all of them are already in Brooklyn. The one that Mr. Robot and Elliot visit is underground and only serves the F and G lines.
  • Attempted Rape: Elliot becomes a target of this by the neo-Nazis while in prison. Leon arrives to rescue him just in time.
  • Ate His Gun: Following the 5/9 hack, E Corp executive James Plouffe does this while being interviewed on national television.
  • Axe-Crazy:
    • Mr. Robot is violent and unpredictable, and Elliot and company are more often than not alienated by his ruthless actions. Highlights include his willingness to kill innocent people in Steel Mountain so long as he can destroy the redundant back-up drives within, holding a gun to Romero's head to intimidate him into re-joining fsociety, and torturing Elliot for practically the entirety of his time in prison.
    • Tyrell also counts, from paying a homeless man to let him use him as a punching bag to murdering the wife of his business rival during spontaneous sex.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: A significantly downplayed example in "eps3.5_kill-process.inc" serving as Elliot's plot arc.
    • One could say that much of Elliot's plot in season two involves a long, protracted battle of attrition between him and Mr. Robot.
  • Batman Gambit: Elliot tries to hack into a correctional facility by having Darlene scatter virus-infected thumb drives around the parking lot, trusting that someone with access to the network will pick one up and stick it in their computer.
    • Elliot later uses this to track down Darlene. By correctly assuming that his computer is being monitored by the FBI, he writes a fake message to Tyrell containing a malware-infected link. Norm, Dominique's partner, opens the link and downloads the infected file within, sending Elliot his location.
  • Batter Up!: Darlene whacks Cisco over the head with a baseball bat after discovering that he was communicating her location to the Dark Army.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Most of the main characters (mainly Elliot, Darlene, Angela, Tyrell etc.) are shown to be very beautiful and attractive.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Exploited by Tyrell in his attempt to seduce the wife of E-Corp's new CTO, Scott Knowles. He insults her husband, then barges in on her while she's in the bathroom to loom over her.
  • Benevolent Boss: Gideon Goddard is a father to his employees, and Elliot even describes him as a good, honest man.
  • Berserk Button: Contemporary society seems to be the big one for both Elliot and Mr. Robot, who see it as revolting.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The Dark Army believes in this trope wholeheartedly, and promotes self-sacrifice as the ultimate gift to their cause.
  • Betty and Veronica: Tyrell's Archie to Joanna's Betty and Elliot's Veronica, even though Joanna is his sociopathic wife and Elliot has social anxiety.
  • Bi the Way: Shayla and Tyrell.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Phillip Price, Whiterose, and Mr. Robot share the stage as primary antagonists. However, Season 3 reveals that Whiterose is the true Big Bad of the series, as she is shown to have control over Price, and Mr. Robot ultimately sees the error of his ways. Now that Vera is back, he and Whiterose might become one in Season 4.
  • The Big Board: The FBI have a whiteboard detailing suspects and persons of interest related to Five/Nine.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The Wellicks, when they're alone. He speaks Swedish and she speaks Danish. The two languages have some degree of mutual intelligibility. Oddly, the captions state that she's also speaking Swedish, though a newspaper headline confirms that she's Danish.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Fsociety is at best a grey hat organization that will use anything at their disposal to achieve their goals, but are ultimately pitted against the greater, corporate evil that is E Corp and the black hatted Dark Army, who are little more than mercenaries for hire and are responsible for most of the direct carnage that occurs throughout the show.
  • Black Comedy: The sitcom-inspired nightmare in "m4ster-sl4ve".
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • E Corp is an obvious riff on that other corrupt Mega-Corp, Enron. The E Corp logo, a box-shaped capital E at a 45 degree angle, is based on Enron's logo.
    • Steel Mountain is an obvious stand-in for Iron Mountain, an actual data vault company.
  • Blatant Lies: Minister Zhang (aka Whiterose) shows off his "sister's" dresses and fawns over them. He's in his own bedroom and doesn't have a sister.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents:
    • Several members of the production crew including Angela are splattered with blood when the E Corp executive James Plouffe eats his gun on live television.
    • Dominique speeding out of Lupe's following Cisco's assassination by the Dark Army.
    • Joanna's infant son in "undo".
    • Dominique once again, when Irving murders Santiago.
  • Blofeld Ploy: Irving appears to be preparing to dispose of Dom with an axe when Santiago kidnaps her from FBI headquarters, only to instead swing it into Santiago, who has outlived his usefulness.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Angela (Blonde), Darlene (Brunette) and Dom (Redhead).
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger:
    • Season 2: Tyrell shoots Elliot in the stomach to stop him from ruining Stage 2. Elliot's fate was left unknown until the Season 3 premiere.
    • Season 3: Just as Darlene is about to enter Elliot's apartment, Vera and his minions enter as well. The gleeful smile on his face suggests that he will make the ongoing chaos worse.
  • Bondage Is Bad: The Wellicks, a villainous couple, indulge in bondage despite her late-term pregnancy and Tyrell's hesitance due to possible risks to the baby.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: Angela and Elliot first met after Angela's mother and Elliot's father died in a toxic leak at the company they both worked at.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Elliot's narration isn't just an explanation of what's going on in the show. It's actually a one-sided conversation with the audience that has Elliot regularly asking the viewers for support and confirmation.
    • At the end of the pilot, Elliot turns to look straight at the camera as his inner monologue directly asks the audience if they're seeing what he's seeing.
    • Near the end of "wh1ter0se" after learning that Darlene is his sister and he has forgotten much of his life, Elliot turns to the camera and asks, "Were you in on this? Were you?"
  • Breather Episode: Each season has one, usually following intense, consecutive episodes.
    • Season 1's "v1ew-s0urce", in which we see Fsociety having drifted apart following the Dark Army's abandonment, and a largely absent Elliot, still dealing with Shayla's death.
    • Season 2's "succ3ss0r", despite being viscerally intense, is more of a breather episode for your mind, considering the jaw-dropping plot twist in the previous episode.
    • Season 3's "dont-delete-me", which follows three back-to-back episodes of non-stop panic and turmoil, is entirely focused on Elliot as he tries to find the will to live in the wake of the Dark Army's terrorist attacks.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Elliot is quite...odd, even when he isn't dealing with a malicious alternate personality. However, what he is capable of at a terminal can only be described as legendary. He even maintained a successful employment at AllSafe until the hack.
    • Vera is abnormally spiritual for a ruthless drug dealer and murderer. Even after escaping from a prison, he finds enough time to talk to Elliot about etymology and the cosmos.
    • Dominique obviously suffers from some form of social anxiety disorder. Her behavior is also rather dry and direct, making some of her interactions awkward by nature. As an FBI agent, she is insanely driven and perceptive, being the first person to campaign that the Dark Army is connected to 5/9.
    • Whiterose engages in cross-dressing to maintain her identity as Minister Zhang, is obsessed with time, and speaks in a droll, unaffected tone but with a healthy lexicon. She also happens to be unfathomably powerful, being the leader of an organized criminal syndicate.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Terry Colby admits under pressure that he does remember the meeting that caused the death of Angela's mother, but his recollections focus mostly on the weather and the food. The meeting was dull and businesslike. It was just another normal day.
  • Bury Your Gays: Gideon is shot in the throat at the end of "unm4sk". Other LGBT characters remain alive by the end of Season 3, however.
  • Cain and Abel: More like Cain and Cain. We discover in "br4ve-trave1er" that Vera's brother Isaac wants Vera dead so he can take over their criminal empire. Elliot tries to help Isaac do this, only for Vera to have Isaac killed as soon as they were reunited, suspecting the betrayal.
  • Call-Back: In the Season 3 finale, Elliot makes an Ironic Echo of his "top one percent of the top one percent" speech from the pilot during his reconciliation with Mr. Robot, and Vera refers to himself as a "brave traveler" (the title of the episode he last appeared in) when he shows back up in The Stinger.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • In "br4ve-trave1er", blood splattering the lens when DJ shoots Isaac.
    • In "wh1ter0se", Elliot becomes enraged at his "imaginary friend" (the viewer) and shoves the camera away from him.
  • Camera Tricks: Any of the simulated long takes and the show's quadrant framing.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Subverted. The evil Megacorp of the series is called Evil Corp, but only because we see everything through Elliot's perspective. The company's real name is E Corp, but he's explicitly conditioned himself to see and hear his nickname for them instead.
  • Cassandra Truth: Justified. Dominique correctly believes that the Dark Army are the real string-pullers of 5/9, but has no evidence. After surviving two attempted hits by them, Dominique still cannot make a case to her supervisor, Santiago. This is because Santiago is a Dark Army mole, and is deliberately blocking her attempts to finger the Dark Army as anything more than boogeymen.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Joey Bada$$ plays Leon, Elliott's friend of sorts introduced in Season 2. When Darlene tries to scan Dom's FBI badge at a bar in Season 3, a Joey Bada$$ song is playing.
  • Central Theme: So far, there is one that can be deduced for each season:
    • Season one: Exposing truth, and ousting those who are pulling the strings. The general plot revolves around hacking the economy and revealing it for the "sham" that it is, while also detailing that Elliot himself is a personal victim of manipulation by Mr. Robot. This ends up becoming the plot arc for the last four episodes.
    • Season two: Control is an illusion. For the entirety of the season, Elliot tries to take back control from Mr. Robot but ultimately fails, Darlene is unable to keep fsociety together as a group when the chips are officially down, and Angela learns that all of her hard work in attacking E Corp from within was for nothing.
    • Season three: Accepting the truth, and ridding oneself of denial. Elliot's plot stems from his realization that 5/9 was a mistake, Darlene has to come to terms with her brother's mental illness, Mr. Robot has to literally be lectured about how his "revolution" was already decided for him, and Angela has to be explicitly told how much of a pawn she has become to Whiterose as well as how ridiculous her agenda is in the long-run.
  • Chandler's Law: A by-the-book example occurs in "logic-b0mb". As Dom stops to get something to eat in the hotel lobby, armed Dark Army thugs suddenly storm the place, killing everyone sans Dom.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Season 1: Elliot, following Mr. Robot's initiation of the E Corp hack and Tyrell disppearing without a trace, goes to answer his apartment door after someone knocks. Elliot opens the doo—roll credits.
    • Season 2: Tyrell shoots Elliot, Darlene is in FBI custody, Angela has seemingly joined the Dark Army, and Leon confronts Trenton and Mobley, who are revealed to be alive and with new identities.
    • Season 3: Dominique is forced to replace Santiago as the Dark Army's mole in the FBI, and Fernando Vera returns to visit Elliot at his apartment, running into Darlene on the way.
  • Clue, Evidence, and a Smoking Gun: A rare non-verbal example in Season 2. Dominique begins to suspect that Romero was involved with the fsociety hack: He was killed shortly after the hack took place, he had information concerning local FBI agents, his computer was suspiciously well-protected...and his papers lead her to a building with a very conspicuous sign reading "F Society". Her response when she sees the building is to say "You've got to be fucking kidding me."
  • Consummate Liar: Elliot has a habit of saying what people want to hear when he feels uncomfortable with the questions.
  • Continuity Lockout: Miss one episode (or even half of one) and you will be totally lost.
  • Cooperation Gambit: This is apparently E Corp's response to Angela filing a lawsuit against them. It turns out that Price ordered this to sway her from pursuing more evidence on the Washington Township toxic waste scandal. Why? Not only because Whiterose told him to, but because Angela is Price's daughter, and he was secretly priming her to uproot Whiterose's plant. This ultimately fails in the end as Whiterose takes matters into her own hands.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Par for the course with E Corp. Many of its senior board members are quite formidable.
    • Tyrell Wellick is an amoral ladder-climber who figures out Elliot and strangles a woman with his bare hands.
    • Terry Colby covered up the incident that killed Elliot's father and Angela's mother. He plays some mind games with Angela and eventually recruits her to start working for E Corp.
    • The new CTO sees Tyrell coming from a mile away, gives him a dressing down, and threatens to whip out his penis in a gesture of dominance.
    • The CEO of E Corp, Phillip Price, is as canny, ruthless and intelligent as you'd expect the CEO of an evil Mega-Corp to be.
  • The Corrupter: E Corp CEO Phillip Price is portrayed as this toward Angela, slowly drawing her into seeing the life of a Corrupt Corporate Executive is true power and all but relishing in it.
  • The Cracker: The Dark Army is a mercenary hacker organization who will take any job for the right price.
  • Creator Cameo: Sam Esmail appears in the pilot during the first subway scene and in "init_5" behind a set of bars while Elliot is being processed in prison.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Whiterose speaks effeminately but dramatically lowers her tone when she is in her Zhang persona.
  • Darker and Edgier: The show proved to be the nail in USA's "Blue Skies" programming coffin. As it progresses, we are treated to murder, drug addiction, rape, terrorism, child abuse, and mental illness.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: When Joanna's new boyfriend is talking about how he'll take her to Madrid, Joanna comments that there's no way he can or will ever be able to afford to take her there, but it's okay because that kind of material stuff doesn't make her happy.
  • Deconstruction: The core marketing for the show emphasized its insurrectionist themes, and seems to play out as a typical story of rebellion, but in a tech-dependent society not unlike our own. By the end of Season 1, the show completely abandons the revolution as its practicality and very meaning are put into question. It just spirals out from there until it becomes apparent that Elliot (and by extension, Mr. Robot) were never really the masterminds of the thing, but unwilling pawns in a grander conspiracy involving the Dark Army, a once mysterious clan of hackers now shaping up to be an elaborate and very professional criminal syndicate with extensive reach around the globe. The conglomerate once known as "Evil Corp" is absolved as Whiterose slowly reveals herself to be a person of immense power and control that has her fingerprints over a vast amount of the political theater. All things considered, this show depicts a far more realistic socio-economic revolution in the 21st century, with an uncomfortable focus on the widespread suffering, division, and absolute turmoil that such acts of sedition can cause.
  • Defective Detective: What we see of Dominique's private life is pretty sad. She turned her back on her fiancee to focus on work, seems to have no friends, reads about overcoming social awkwardness and masturbates to cybersex.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Tyrell seduces people of both genders to further his nefarious goals. As of the Season 2 finale, he's in love with Elliot.
  • Destination Defenestration: Elliot's dad Edward threw him out a window when he was a kid, because he told his mom about Edward's leukemia. In a flashback to the event, Edward seems genuinely distraught about it and claims it was an accident. After Elliot finds out that Mr. Robot is actually his long lost father, the two pay a visit their old house. While there, Elliot decides to get payback for the aforementioned incident by throwing his father out of the same window he himself was pushed out of. However, it turns out he actually threw himself out by doing so.
    • It ultimately turns out that Edward never actually threw him out of the window to begin with: Elliot jumped out by himself during a hallucination. The trauma of the event caused him to misremember the incident as his father having thrown him out.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: While sitting in on his church group, Elliot goes on a massive tirade against God and organised religion. It's only after he finishes speaking and sees everyone's horrified faces that he realises he said it aloud.
    Elliot: Please tell me I didn't say all that out loud... Shit, I did.
    • He does it again in "runtime-err0r". When his coworker has been yet again bragging about his weekend's sexual conquests, Elliot rants about how puerile, repetitive and boring he finds it, before realising he didn't tell it to the viewer as he thought he was doing.
  • Disappeared Dad: Elliot's father died of leukemia during his childhood. Darlene knew him much less intimately than Elliot.
  • Disposing of a Body: As they consider wood chippers, acid barrels, and the Dark Army's expertise, Darlene and Cisco end up deciding to have Susan Jacobs' body cremated. They do this by stuffing her body in a suitcase and taking it with them to the dog shelter, and that includes riding the subway!
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Elliot already doesn't like Terry Colby for being the CTO of E Corp, the company he blames for causing his father's death. However, when Colby is rude to Angela during a meeting, it's the final straw that makes Elliot frame Colby for a conspiracy, which he knows will destroy Colby's life.
    • Mr. Robot pushes Elliot off a pier because Elliot did not want to get innocent people killed in Mr. Robot's latest plan and tried to offer an alternative.
    • Elliot learns that Shayla is abused by her dealer, Fernando Vera, so he tips off the police and Vera ends up in prison. Vera retaliates by having Shayla kidnapped, threatening to kill her if Elliot doesn't break him out of prison and not letting Elliot know until later that Shayla was already dead.
    • Tyrell angrily fires three of his E Corp subordinates when they unwittingly insult him (while discussing workers who sleep with members of the same sex for promotions) in a casual conversation they were having. When they ask him what they did wrong, he blithely responds: "Nothing."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Joanna writhing and moaning after her beating by Scott Knowles is a little... suggestive.
    • Elliot's first time at a terminal since the 5/9 hack plays like an addict getting a fix after a period of abstinence.
    • Tyrell gussying up to go meet Elliot is eerily similar to a teenage girl getting ready for prom.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Angela exploits Elliot's mental illness by working with Mr. Robot and keeping Elliot in the dark. Worse still, she never seems to face any direct consequence of this, let alone seem to regret it.
  • Driven to Madness:
    • Mr. Robot attempts to do this with Elliot while in prison by actively tormenting him and mocking his confused exasperation at his blackouts. His efforts prove unsuccessful in the end once Elliot accepts that he is still very much himself regardless of Mr. Robot's influence.
    • Scott Knowles gaslights Joanna by sending her miscellaneous gifts and calling her, trying to sell the impression that Tyrell is still alive and maintaining contact with her. Joanna ultimately realizes the truth and confronts him later on.
    • Angela is made into what can only be described as a Manchurian candidate by Whiterose, who instills within her the (false) belief that her mother can be resurrected by the Washington Township project. Price has to snap Angela out of this fantasy by admitting his parentage of her and revealing that the project is a giant lie.
    • Angela herself tried to do this with Elliot after being brainwashed by Whiterose. She exploited his mental illness and was working with Mr. Robot behind his back for Stage 2. And when he doesn't remember anything about it she gaslights him so that he doesn't remember any part of it. When he finds out, she tries to weasel herself out of it and taunts Elliot for his DID.
  • Driven to Suicide: E Corp executive James Plouffe shoots himself on live television following the Five/Nine hack.
    • The Dark Army believes in this as a twisted form of martyrdom that serves a higher power. It also helps that it is a pretty effective tactic to avoid loose ends.
    • Subverted by Elliot in "dont-delete-me", who seems intent on overdosing on morphine to stop Mr. Robot but is interrupted by Trenton's brother, Mohammed. The two bond and become friends, which gives Elliot hope again.
  • Driving a Desk: Done during the sitcom sequence in "m4ster-sl4ve", and attention is even drawn to it when Tyrell Wellick crashes into the green screen at the back of the set while trying to escape.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Once it is revealed that Mr. Robot is a split personality of Elliot, quite literally everything that happens in Season 1 is given new light.
  • Dysfunction Junction: It is no exaggeration that literally every major player in the show has serious issues. Rounding up established characters that haven't been through life-altering trauma and/or carry unstable personalities is an easier task.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The series opens with Elliot confronting a child pornographer with evidence he obtained by hacking him, and refuses an attempted bribe by the man, saying that he doesn't care about money. Elliot then leaves as cops storm in, acting on the anonymous tip he made just shortly beforehand.
    • Tyrell shows his true colors when he pays a bum to let him beat him up.
    • E Corp CEO Phillip Price first shows the audience that he's not some ignorant goober when he fires Tyrell. He takes great relish in it and talks about how he'd been looking forward to seeing how he'd react.
    • When we first meet Leon, he fearlessly squares off with another man at the basketball court, establishing that, Seinfeld obsession not withstanding, he's not someone to be messed with. This foreshadows him carving through Elliot's attackers and revealing that he's been protecting Elliot for the Dark Army this whole time.
  • Exact Words: Promotional material for later episodes of Season 3 do this.
    • The description for "fredrick+tanya" says that "Angela hits the rewind button." She sits in front of a television and obsessively watches the aftermath of stage two, rewinding the broadcast.
    • As for "dont-delete-me", it is stated that "Elliot tries to get ghosted; it is the day of all days." Elliot tries to get ghosted in that he engages in suicidal ideation, while "the day of all days" is that the same day, he watches his favorite film, Back to the Future Part II, in a theater.
  • Expy: Fsociety is based on Anonymous. They are both "hacktivist" organizations with a smiling mask as their logo, prone to making video threats and masked appearances.
  • Everything Is Online: Apparently. Elliot can use his unusual hacking skills even to open prison gates.
  • Evil Corp: It's the actual name of the company (in Elliot's head at least).
  • Fake Guest Star: Pretty much every recurring character gets credited as a guest star, even though they're integral to the plot, such as Whiterose.
  • False Flag Operation:
    • The Dark Army organizes the E Corp riot as a smoke screen for Angela to access the code-signing machine on the twenty-third floor.
    • They later implicate fsociety as Iranian terrorists who carried out the cyber-bombings through extensive stage-setting and the use of a funded patsy.
  • Fingore: Cisco gets a needle jammed in and broken off under his fingernail after questioning the Dark Army's true intentions with the femtocell.
  • Five-Man Band: fsociety's original roster can be summarized as:
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • A few can be found when Elliot is hacking, such as Krista's brutally honest dating profile and Gideon's emails about cookies.
    • When the camera is following Susan Jacobs around on her jog back home, you can briefly see Darlene watching her.
    • Pausing when the camera skims over Elliot's journal reveals some funny entries, such as him trying out potato latkes for the first time, and an entry stating that "Obama is pretty hot."
    • When Elliot is receiving a beatdown in "h4ndshake", you can briefly see that Mr. Robot is taking the hits for Elliot.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Mr. Robot only interacts with other people when Elliot is in the same scene, and he is always front and center when doing so. Elliot on the other hand is hanging out in the background.
    • Darlene somehow knowing where Elliot lives despite him being a ghost in the digital world. Darlene also knows Angela and the two seem to act like BFFs.
    • Elliot's routine at his "mother's house". A bit odd that Elliot would voluntarily sit down to watch basketball games, go out to eat three times a day with the same guy, always chat with visitors at the same table and not somewhere else more convenient, and attend a church group despite being a fervent atheist. Even further, that Elliot would even consider staying with his mother!
      • The dream that Elliot experiences while being pummeled by Ray's cohorts features the line, "I hear prison jumpsuits are in these days" by Mr. Robot himself.
    • Elliot's ideal future ends with E Corp crashing to the ground. By the end of Seaon 2, we are shown that Mr. Robot and the Dark Army are planning to do just that by blowing it to smithereens.
    • While being seduced by Darlene, Dom mentions needing melatonin supplements to get to sleep. The morning after, Darlene tries hacking Dom; she doesn't get very far.
  • From Bad to Worse: Season 1 is a moody tech-noir drama, but hardly reaches the level of dread in Season 2, with Anyone Can Die in full effect, an even darker aesthetic, and some seriously twisted plot developments that catapult the show into a Lynchian nightmare. Season 3 ups the ante with more action and tragedy, as well as characters having to come to terms with themselves and their actions so far.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Elliot hadn't needed the suboxone to avoid getting addicted to the morphine (which he got addicted to anyway), then Shayla would never have had to go to Fernando Vera, who she describes as a "fucking psychopath", as a supplier and therefore never would have ended up caught in the mess that ended with her being Killed Off for Real.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: At the end of Mr. Robot's rant in "da3m0ns", he says: "But first, a word from our corporate overlords." The show then cuts to a commercial break. When it returns, the scenes begins with an Evil Corp. commercial.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "d3bug", Elliot promises his psychiatrist he isn't going to do morphine again. Cut to him railing morphine in the back aisle of a bodega.
  • Going Cold Turkey: The premise of "da3m0ns". Elliot loses his supply of morphine and suboxone, forcing him to detox while on a road trip to hack into Steel Mountain's climate contol system. The results are not pleasant whatsoever.
  • Gone Horribly Right: By the start of Season 3, this is how Elliot feels about Season 1's big hack.
    (Flashback to Season 1): "Fuck society."
    Present Elliot: "Yeah, I fucked society alright."
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Wellicks are Scandanavian. When they're alone, he speaks Swedish and she speaks Danish. Tyrell also occasionally peppers his speech with random bits of French.
    Tropes H to M 
  • Hacker Cave: The Fun Society arcade, which served as the original base of operations for fsociety. Combined with the arcade being stuck in a legal limbo of sorts after the odd number of tragedies that befell its previous owners and Romero siphoning electricity from the city's power grid, it made for an ideal safehouse. After Five/Nine, fsociety abandoned the arcade and went on to take over Susan Jacob's house as their new HQ.
  • Hacker Collective: fsociety is a hacker group with which the protagonist is affiliated. They are highly secretive, ideologically anti-corporate and members only communicate in person to minimize traceability. The Dark Army, by contrast, is an apparently bigger/more professional operation of hackers for hire.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Terry Colby.
  • He Knows Too Much: After a BOLO is issued for Cisco, the Dark Army quickly dispatches an assassin to gun him down for this reason.
  • Hero of Another Story: Hot Carla, whom Elliot describes as his "personal totem", is never given any focus in season two aside from a couple appearances. However, in the Red Wheelbarrow tie-in book, it turns out that she was the most important figure in Elliot's life while he was in prison, and ultimately steers him in a more rehabilitative direction.
  • Hitler Cam:
    • Of sorts. After James Plouffe's suicide, Phillip Price gives a public eulogy while the camera lifts up to show him looking down upon an onlookng crowd from a balcony. The whole scene gives off an eerie Bohemian Grove vibe as Price's voice echoes through the hall.
    • When fsociety takes over Susan Jacobs' house, there is a shot like this of Darlene as she enters.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The writers go through great lengths in order to ensure that techies will not roll their eyes at what transpires. Details are glossed over in the hacking scenes, and hacks are shown to occur much faster than they would in real life however. The trope is referenced several times, however:
    • In one scene, two members of Fsociety laugh at the inaccuracies of Hackers.
    • In "br4ve-trave1er" (1x06), it's deconstructed when two gangsters force Elliot to hack a prison in less than a day. While not explicitly referenced, it's made implicitly clear that the characters got their idea of hacking from pop-culture.
  • Hollywood Healing: Elliot is shot in the stomach by Tyrell in "Python" and later wakes up in "Power-Saver-Mode" in Angela's apartment after one week with only a bandage on his stomach. He at first had a slight discomfort while walking due to the stomach pain but while going to the defcon with Darlene, he is perfectly fine and also has no scarring from the wound.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Played with. While Elliot and his father are both portrayed as being traditional nerds in the sense that they are enthused by computers and technology, they also are shown to have respectively cosplayed as Marty and Doc Brown from the Back to the Future series. However, Elliot makes it clear on several occasions that he is not swept up in popular geek culture like comic books, video games, and so on.
  • Homage: Dominique is frequently seen holding a lollipop in her mouth, an almost certain homage to Kojak
  • Honey Trap: Tyrell's preferred method of manipulation, showing himself being both willing to seduce a man so he can hack his cellphone and his rival's wife with the intention of sabotaging his rival's career.
    • Darlene attempts to hack Dom by getting her badge number via a hidden NFC device; when it doesn't work she seduces her, which still doesn't work as Dom locks her badge in a safe and hears Darlene attempting to break into it.
  • How We Got Here: "eps3.2_legacy.so" finally reveals what became of Tyrell during all of season two, leading up to the present.
  • I Am Your Father:
    • Mr Robot is revealed to be Eliot's father before he's revealed to be a figment of Eliot's imagination who looks like Eliot's father.
    • Phillip Price is Angela's biological father.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Tyrell and Joanna Wellick both have some eerie, piercing blue eyes. Fitting, given the cold, calculating, almost alien nature shared by the two.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • All the episodes are named as if they were computer video files. For example, the pilot is titled "eps1.0_hellofriend.mov". Each episode in the first season has a different extension.
    • The second season uses encryption file extensions — ".tc" for the now defunct Truecrypt, ".p12" for a PKCS12 file usually containing an RSA public key and an X.509 certificate, ".hc" for Truecrypt's successor Veracrypt...
  • The Illuminati: While not the actual Illuminati, the season one finale shows that a similar-looking enclave of the rich and powerful exists, and seems to convene rather often.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Elliot spoofs a fax saying that he is a police officer to exploit the exigent circumstance procedure and have Tyrell's phone traced.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Much of Tyrell's instability stems from this.
  • Informed Loner: Possibly due to being an Unreliable Narrator, Elliot is constantly talking about how lonely and alienated he is, yet has maintained a close friendship with Angela since childhood and has casual sex with Shayla in the pilot. It's eventually revealed that his Mr. Robot personality is more personable and interacts with more people than Elliot normally does.
  • Insistent Terminology: Elliot refers to E Corp as "Evil Corp", because that is what he visualizes them as. As our ever-so-unreliable narrator, that also means that other people in Elliot's life do the same. By season three, Elliot grows past his petty hatred for them, and begins seeing E Corp as normal.
  • Instant Sedation: When Elliot briefly lapses into his normal self while in the Red Wheelbarrow basement, Angela uses a syringe to inject him with a sedative. It does not take more than ten seconds before he collapses.
  • Insufferable Genius: Elliot's technical expertise often gets brought up in comparison to how others navigate the digital world, which is almost always inferior.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: After Tyrell successfully seduces Sharon Knowles, they meet on the roof of the E Corp building and begin making out. Halfway through, however, Tyrell loses it and begins to strangle her, resulting in her death. The same sultry love song is playing throughout the whole scene.
  • In the Hood: Elliot, to the point where you have to wonder if he was born in that thing.
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • In 1994, Mr. Robot says that he's never heard of this movie Pulp Fiction, but he'll reluctantly give it a shot.
    • The villains Price and White Rose watch Trump's media appearances in 2015 and take cracks at his intelligence while pondering how useful he'd be as a political puppet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Elliot comes across as difficult to engage with because of his scathing views regarding modern civilization and his laundry list of personal impediments, but he is a legitimately decent guy trying to keep people happy through his vigilantism.
  • Jerkass: Quite a few on this show, and on different sides of the spectrum, whether it be the people that Elliot hacks or the corporate drones in E Corp.
    • Former E Corp CTO Terry Colby is your average, loathsome business executive and a misogynist who thinks of himself as intelligent when it comes to technology, but as Elliot points out, he is an arrogant moron. The worst kind.
    • Lenny Shannon cheats on Krista and abuses his dog Flipper.
  • Scott Knowles is portrayed as more smug and confident than Tyrell is, and that is actually saying something.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: The paper records facility in New York turns out to be a red herring designed to keep Elliot distracted while the other facilities are leveled by the Dark Army.
  • Kavorka Man: Leon gripes that Frasier of Frasier isn't handsome enough to be "getting more butt than an ash tray."
  • Kent Brockman News: Let's Be Frank with Frank Cody which appears to be an obvious Infowars parody, complete with a frenzied host, unhinged conspiracy theories, and doomsday prophesying.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Krista's boyfriend yanks his dog into the air by the collar while yelling at her to poop.
    • Colby rather callously has Angela dismissed from a meeting, causing Elliot to decide to frame him for the hack after all.
    • Tyrell pays a bum to let him beat him up, establishing that he's not just a corrupt executive but a real scumbag.
  • Kicked Upstairs: At the end of season 3, Wellick has been offered a promotion to CTO, in which capacity he'll have no power and do exactly as Price says.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Tyrell has an Establishing Character Moment where he pays a bum to allow Tyrell to pummel him. Tyrell is played as a physical threat in a few later scenes.
  • Klingon Promotion: While people don't usually get murdered, the board of E Corp is extremely Darwinian. The execs are constantly sizing each other up, looking for weakness.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Elliot has a very pessimistic view of modern culture and humanity in general. That doesn't stop him from being a dedicated hacker vigilante who takes down people who cross his moral code, or make him okay with innocent people getting hurt.
  • Lack of Empathy: A startling quality of E Corp executives is their complete absence of anything resembling understanding to personal tragedy. One example is when the CEO of the company gives Angela a thousand dollars in cash to buy some new shoes after hers get blood on them following a suicide she witnesses.
  • Lady Macbeth: Mrs. Wellick seems to wear the pants in the family and is constantly urging Tyrell to push harder for advancement. On the day of their child's birth, she threatens to leave him if he doesn't fix the professional mess he's made. She even gets a very subtle Out, Damned Spot! allusion in a scene where she's scrubbing a stain off her dress while scheming with her husband. In spite of everything that happens to Tyrell and some infidelities on her part, she stays loyal to Tyrell and continues trying to advance his interests.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The official Twitter account makes no attempt at hiding Elliot and Mr. Robot being the same person, despite it being a major plot reveal later in the season.
  • Laugh Track: The beginning of "m4ster-sl4ve.aes" parodies 90s sitcoms, complete with one.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • During a scene of "da3m0ns" (1x04), when two Fsociety hackers are laughing at the Hollywood Hacking in Hackers, Romero says, "I bet you right now some writer's working hard on a TV show that'll mess up this generation's idea of hacker culture."
    • In "power-saver-mode" (3x01), when Elliot rants about how It's All My Fault, he looks quickly at a few posters on the wall. They are about "a new TV series, based on fsociety. Coming to NBC this fall." It's named SHIFT+CONTROL. During the same rant, as often, he also turns to face the camera and talks directly to it.
    Elliot: Televising our revolution with commercial breaks.
  • L33t L1ng0:
    • Most episode titles feature numbers in place of certain letters.
    • Elliot will occasionally drop common chat lingo into his speech, like "Why meet IRL?" or "I'm doing this AFK." This is almost entirely limited to the first episode.
    • The episode summaries on Amazon Prime are also styled this way.
  • Lipstick and Load Montage: "Legacy" has a rare male version, with a sequence showing Tyrell shaving and putting on a suit to look his best for Elliot.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Elliot's pet fish Qwerty and later on, his adopted dog Flipper.
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: The show makes fun of itself for doing this during the Season 3 premiere, by having an In-Universe NBC show about the 5/9 hacks called Shift+Control:
    Elliot: They packaged our fight into product. Turned our dissent into intellectual property. Televising our revolution with commercial breaks. They backdoored into our minds and robbed our truth, refurbished the facts, then marked up the price. This is what they do. It's what they're good at.
  • Malevolent Masked Man:
    • Fsociety has created a market with their iconic "The Gentleman" masks. In-universe, they are based off the mask the serial killer wears in a very obscure horror film, The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie. Out-of-universe, they resemble Uncle Pennybags of Monopoly and the Guy Fawkes masks of Anonymous.
    • The Dark Army also utilizes their own masks, with the muscles' masks modeled after the Japanese folkloric oni and assassins simply wearing ski masks.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • The Wellicks are a Machiavellian power couple. Tyrell sleeps with a male secretary in order find information on the favored candidate for CTO of E Corp and later sets a dinner party with the man purely to gain leverage. Meanwhile, Joanna is shown to have put Tyrell up to some of these actions. Following Tyrell's disappearance, she begins dating a bartender so she can use him as a means to absolve Tyrell of a murder charge against him. It works, but it ends up leading to her own murder by the bartender when Joanna reveals her true love for Tyrell.
    • Elliot and pretty much everyone else in Fsociety kind of have to be this to carry out social engineering for their hacks.
    • Whiterose is the ultimate manipulator, having been responsible for Price's implementation as CEO of E Corp as well as supposedly having U.S. President Donald Trump elected.
  • Manipulative Editing: The entirety of "runtime-err0r" was filmed and edited to make it look like it was done in one take a la Birdman. Appropriately enough, USA aired it with out any commercial breaks.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • During his sitcom delusion in 'eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes', Elliot can hear the laugh tracks and censor bleeps, and is understandably freaked out.
    • At points, Elliot addresses the audience in a more intimate manner, sometimes appearing to interact with us.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Alderson loop is a term for an infinite loop that would normally have an exit condition, but because of the current code implementation, such an exit is impossible. Elliot's current "code" prevents him from exiting the infinite loop that is Mr. Robot.
    • A ridiculously wealthy CEO named Phillip Price.
    • The white-dressed Angela Moss, who ends up manipulating Elliot. Moss is also a flowerless green plant without any true roots.
    • Vera believes in these. When he escapes prison, he tells Elliot he plans to live up to his name, which means "brave traveler".
    • Gideon is the name of a minor but heroic biblical figure. Gideon Goddard is a minor character, but is one of the most moral and honest characters in the series.
    • Tyrell is the name of the primary megacorp in Blade Runner, which produces replicants (androids) that are "more human than human".
  • Mega-Corp: E Corp, obviously. Their role in the economy makes them "too big to fail," as they are behind many, many, many commercial ventures.
  • The Men in Black: A product of Elliot's delusions
  • Mental World: Elliot dissociates himself from the harsh surroundings in prison and projects his own perspective onto everything. The cell is his bedroom in his mother's house. His mother and Lone Star are prison guards, Ray is the warden, and everyone else besides are inmates. His routine is random work around the prison, three meals a day, and writing constantly in his journal.
  • Mind Screw: Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia make the plot of this show. It'd honestly be easier to count the number of times when the show isn't trying to confuse or throw you for a loop.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: The first season takes only a very brief detour into 1994, and during that detour never even leaves a single store, but within even that brief scene is a Super Nintendo with game cartridges, a Sega Genesis, a pile of floppy disks, a reference to the latest Pentium 90 with an 800 megabyte hard drive, a discussion over whether to see Time Cop, Star Gate or Pulp Fiction, a man on the radio talking about the pending 1994 Major League Baseball strike, and no less than two giant posters that say 'Rated 1994's best buy of the year!'. All that's missing is Nirvana playing in the background.
  • Mushroom Samba: An interesting inversion; in "eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4", Elliot experiences this during drug withdrawal. The delirium combines with a fever dream to create a twisted, chaotic step into Elliot's mind.
    • This is later played straight when he overdoses on Adderall, although it is fairly brief.
    Tropes N to T 
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The "top one percent of the top one percent" that Elliot warns us about in the pilot episode turns out to be more than just a deranged conspiracy theory. The season one finale shows that such a group actually exists, and that Price and Whiterose are a part of it.
  • Neon Sign Hideout: In season one, Fsociety operates out of a derelict arcade on Coney Island. Once known as "Fun Society", the continued decay of the arcade's marquee led to the U and N letters falling off, leaving behind "F SOCIETY". Dom later quips that the FBI were probably the weakest link in the situation purely because of its hilariously belated discovery.
  • Never My Fault: Ollie comes off as this, rarely ever attempting to level with Angela about anything and trying to excuse his infidelity as part of a larger problem.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Nancy Grace makes an appearance as part of her current affairs program, commenting on the investigation into Tyrell Wellick as well as the fallout from Operation Berenstain.
  • No Name Given: Despite telling Elliot that it will come in due time, Mr. Robot never reveals his name to him. This is because Mr. Robot is his name, given that he does not actually exist.
  • No Medication for Me: Elliot neglects to take his psychiatric medication, instead opting to rail morphine and smoke marijuana. He later hacks his therapist Krista, and learns that she also forgoes taking her medication.
    • Averted in season three, when Elliot begins to take Prozac, although it is presented as being not as good as what everyone assumes.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Whatever good things Elliot does, he ends up facing brutal consequences for it.
    • Elliot also helped Angela throughout the series and is one of the only people who is caring towards her, And what he gets from her ? Angela starts to psychologically abuse him and work with Mr.Robot behind his back, despite knowing that Elliot loves him and how much is it going to hurt him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • In "eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc", Elliot gets the ever-loving crap kicked out of him courtesy of Ray's goons.
    • Scott Knowles dishes one out to Joanna in "eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z" after she slanders Scott's wife. It later turns out that she intentionally provoked him into attacking her.
    • Tyrell nearly gives one to Mr. Robot in "eps3.8_stage3.torrent"
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Because of Elliot's anxious personality, anyone who touches him or otherwise invades his bubble is portrayed as such.
    • Tyrell, however, blatantly uses this as a method of intimidation with Elliot as well as Sharon Knowles.
  • No, You: When Mr. Robot accuses Tyrell of being a puppet to the Dark Army:
    Tyrell: "No puppet! No puppet! You're the puppet!"
  • N-Word Privileges: Vera doesn't care.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Ernesto Santiago is one, and seems to actively stonewall Dom from pursuing credible leads or stepping back to look at the bigger picture. It turns out that Santiago is actually working for the Dark Army, and that he really is stonewalling Dom.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: A tell-tale sign that Elliot is experiencing a hallucination or Mr. Robot is about to take over. fsociety also uses this as a gimmick in their propaganda videos.
  • Once a Season: So far each season has ended with a post-credits scene that begins on a lingering shot of a Cadillac, with the passenger of said vehicle always being a big reveal.
    • Medication plays a significant role in Elliot's life each season. Season one followed his addiction to morphine, season two featured a brief experiment of overdosing on adderall to stop Mr. Robot, and season three shows that Elliot is finally taking sertraline: a proper medication and anti-depressant that is prescribed by Krista. This last example is depicted as the most negative of the three; Elliot is at his worst, even after suffering agonizing withdrawals and intense hallucinations.
    • Speaking of Krista, each season builds upon the relationship between her and Elliot, and dedicates a decent chunk of the plot to their continued development. Season one established Krista and Elliot's relationship while showing their revealing interactions as the two learn truths about themselves. Season two examined their relationship after much of Elliot's life and his consequences on Krista's life are laid bare. Season three revealed a major twist in their relationship, with Krista finally meeting Mr. Robot, who confesses his and Elliot's involvement in 5/9. Krista attempts to report Elliot but is denied based on hearsay and coincidence.
  • The Oner: The show is very fond of this cinematographic technique.
    • In "eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4", there is an uncut shot that begins with Mr. Robot dragging a delirious Elliot from a cab and sending him into a drug house.
    • The shootout at the hotel in China is also done in one take, starting with Dom descending a flight of stairs.
    • "eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h" has a sequence that follows Elliot and Darlene through the CTF tournament. However, this is given the illusion of a single take, with cleverly hidden cuts.
    • The entirety of "eps3.4_runtime-error.r00" takes place in real time, but, much like the above, is just post-production sleight-of-hand.
  • Order vs. Chaos: Invoked by Price in a conversation with Minister Zhang.
    Price: Order will not protect you anymore, my friend. I will rain chaos, even if it hurts me. Because I would rather see you lose than win myself.
  • Parody Episode: "eps.2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes" opens with a twisted sitcom parody of the show, complete with a different theme song, laugh tracks, shoddy effects, and censor bleeps. Justifed in-universe as the sequence is playing out in Elliot's head.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Done much more realistically than is typical. Elliot benefits a lot from the slovenly approach to password safety of the people around him, but to the non-tech savvy the passwords they choose might actually seem reasonably safe, such as his therapist using the name of her favorite artist combined with her birth year backwards (Dylan_2791). The most straightforwardly moronic password (Angela's boyfriend, with a password of 123456Seven) is used to emphasize that he is, indeed, kind of a moron.
  • Pastiche: While the plot of the show borrows some obvious elements from Fight Club, the color filters, framing of characters, and shot choices in general are very much in the style of David Fincher.
  • Pet the Dog: When Elliot confronts the man who is two-timing his therapist, his only demands are that the man tell her the truth—and give Elliot his dog, whom we saw him mistreating earlier in the episode. Considering he frequently expresses his hatred for 90% of human society, he seems very fond of Flipper.
  • Playful Hacker: While Elliot is certainly not "playful," his interest in hacking is benevolent. He wants to help people and punish wrongdoers.
  • Product Placement:
    • A more low-key example, but most of the browsers we see used in the series are Firefox
    • Most of the phones are Android-based, Blackberry is mentioned in pilot.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: Begins in a tech-dominated world easily comparable to our own, but as 5/9 tears the world to pieces, this trope slowly becomes more and more subverted. By season three, martial law has begun to sweep over the United States, with other countries experiencing civil unrest and utter chaos due to the global economic depression.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Averted in the season one finale with Plouffe's suicide, complete with brain matter and blood gushing from the nose.
  • Properly Paranoid: Elliot frequently "wipes down" his computer rigs and destroys any traceable components following his hacks. Elliot only becomes more paranoid once he learns the truth about Mr. Robot, allowing himself to be arrested by the police and incarcerated to prevent the alternate personality from causing any further damage.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Tyrell Wellick. He actually pouts before smashing a vase on the countertop during his talk with his wife in the aftermath of his disastrous encounter with Scott. And then, later, he strangles Scott's wife and it's clear he didn't intend to do it, but was provoked into it by her insinuation that he doesn't have what it takes to impress her.
  • Punchclock Villains: A common occurrence at E Corp.
    • Angela has a pleasant dinner with several nice executives of Evil Corp. Afterwards, Philip Price comments that they were "ordinary people" who even participate in charities. However, they also signed off on the action that killed Angela's mother and engage in other white collar crime.
    • When Angela sits in on a meeting with the Risk department, who handle lawsuits and liability against the company, the executives are remarkably banal and much more interested in the snacks being late than talking about business.
    • Leon is a laid-back, television-obsessed contract killer and enforcer for the Dark Army. He doesn't seem to have any ill-will toward anyone and just does as he's told.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Fernando Vera has Shayla and Isaac murdered, musing that either way, he is a wanted man with nothing left to lose.
    • Elliot is arrested for hacking Lenny Shannon when he takes Flipper to be examined by a veterinarian and unwittingly has the dog's microchip scanned in the process.
    • It turns out, when you wipe out all records of debts owed to an enormous corporation in the aim of bringing down the top one percent of the top one percent and fomenting a revolution, what actually happens is the economy collapses and the elite you were fighting can still work the system to their benefit. Who would have thought? This one point ultimately becomes the driving arc for the latter two seasons.
    • Being followed by the Dark Army, Elliot is unable to sabotage stage two at the hacker tournament.
    • Stage two targets the other seventy-one recovery buildings instead of the one Elliot labors to save because of his decision to divert the paper records.
    • Trenton and Mobley are made sacrificial lambs for the Dark Army once their identities are ousted in the national media.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Elliot gives a brutal one to Bill to get him out of the way:
    Elliot: Think about it, Bill. If you died, would anyone care? Would they really care? Yeah, maybe they'd cry for a day, but let's be honest. No one would give a shit. They wouldn't. The few people that would feel obligated to go to your funeral would probably be annoyed and leave as early as possible. That's who you are. That's what you are. You're nothing to anyone, to everyone. Think about it, Bill. 'Cause if you do, if you let yourself... You'll know I'm telling you the truth. So instead of wasting any more of my time, I need you to go call someone that matters, because, Bill... You don't.
    • Elliot, coming down off of Adderall after having not slept for six days, unleashes one against God, and the people of his church group, after listening to a man's story about God "forgiving" him for beating up an Indian store owner, and then thinking about Gideon Goddard's senseless death.
    Elliot: Is that what God does? He helps? Tell me, why didn't God help my innocent friend who died for no reason while the guilty run free? OK. Fine. Forget the one-offs. How about the countless wars declared in his name? OK. Fine. Let's skip the random, meaningless murder for a second, shall we? How about the racist, sexist, phobia soup we've all been drowning in because of him? And I'm not just talking about Jesus. I'm talking about all organized religion. Exclusive groups created to manage control. A dealer getting people hooked on the drug of hope. His followers, nothing but addicts who want their hit of bullshit to keep their dopamine of ignorance. Addicts. Afraid to believe the truth. That there's no order. There's no power. That all religions are just metastasizing mind worms meant to divide us so it's easier to rule us by the charlatans that wanna run us. All we are to them are paying fanboys of their poorly written sci-fi franchise. If I don't listen to my imaginary friend, why the fuck should I listen to yours? People think their worship is some key to happiness. That's just how he owns you. Even I'm not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So fuck God. He's not a good enough scapegoat for me.
    • Angela gives one to an old family friend who insults her for working for E Corp.
    Angela: You're a plumber, right, Steve? You've had, what, 60 years at life? And that's the best you can come up with. Literally cleaning shit for a living. I'm 27, and I've got a six figure salary at the biggest conglomerate in history. And I'm just getting started.
  • The Red Baron: Susan Jacobs, a lawyer for Evil Corp, is known as "Madame Executioner", because she's proficient in killing lawsuits, usually involving deaths, against the corporation.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Irving, somewhat. Irving is introduced in season 3 as working for the Dark Army. In season 3 episode 3, it's revealed that he's the one who kept Tyrell Wellick hidden during season 2 and confronted them when they were enacting the hack.
  • Retraux: "eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes" featured an intro designed to parody 80s-90s sitcoms, especially Full House; in fact, the guys who wrote and sang that series' theme did this one. Also in the mix was Paul Fusco- the guy who created and puppeteered ALF! And to complete the night, USA Network itself got in on the act- using recreations of their 80s-90s idents and promos from the "America's Favorite Cable Network" era, including voiceovers from Alan Kalter, a different logo bug, and a promo for USA Up All Night!
  • The Reveal:
    • Darlene is Elliot's sister.
    • Mr. Robot is Elliot's father, Edward Alderson.
    • Mr. Robot is Elliot's hallucination of his father, which acts as his split personality.
    • White Rose is China's Minister of State Security.
    • Leon is a member of the Dark Army.
    • Elliot has been in prison for all of Season 2.
    • Angela is working with Mr. Robot.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Elliot's experiences in prison are turned into an illusory world where Elliot can relish in his own self-created comfort while getting through his sentence and attempting to annihilate Mr. Robot. He snaps out of it upon going free, despite Elliot himself disagreeing, going as far as to doubt that Tyrell is even real.
    • Angela spends all of season three slowly entering what can only be described as a permanent fugue state. She hides in her apartment, slowly obsessing over resurrecting her mother, Elliot's father, and the innocents who have paid the price for the revolution. Her paranoia reaches a breaking point, and eventually she voluntarily abandons her apartment to live on the streets, disguised as a vagrant.
  • Sanity Strengthening: By the end of season 3, Elliot has grown to become more sane and strong and is more aware about the happenings around him.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: A defining character trait of Elliot, established in the very first scene, is that he cannot be bought or bribed.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • The entire story arc of "eps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf". After going through with a complicated and risky hack to break Fernando Vera out of prison so he will let Shayla go free, Elliot finds Shayla in the car trunk with her throat slit, revealing she had already been dead throughout the whole ordeal. Mr. Robot invoked this trope midway through the episode when he advised Elliot to abandon the hack and let Shayla die.
    • Eps 3.5kill-process.inc ends not only with Elliot failing to stop the Dark Army's terrorist attack, but with SEVENTY-ONE buildings being obliterated by the UPS exploit instead of the one he has spent the entirety of season three trying to rescue.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Season 1:
      • Angela shows up with a DVD of Back to the Future Part II, which she says is Elliot's favorite movie. Whether this is true or not is unconfirmed. Elliot seems to have no interest in art or culture. In the eighth episode, we see a picture of Elliot and his father cosplaying as Marty McFly and Doc Brown, respectively.
      • Shayla shouts "Keep the fish ya filthy animal" to Elliot minutes after she gives him Qwerty.
      • One of the games found in the arcade is called Intergalactic Planetary.
      • The ninth episode, in which Elliot learns that Mr. Robot was a hallucination of his dead father and he was responsible for all of his actions, ends with an instrumental version of "Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies.
      • Mr. Robot asks Elliot if he wants to see Time Cop or Stargate, but Elliot chooses Pulp Fiction.
      • When asked if he is okay, Eliot responds "I am pretty fucking far from okay": a memorable line from Pulp Fiction.
      • The masks worn by Fsociety and its supporters are an obvious allusion to the Guy Fawkes masks worn by Anonymous, who themselves were inspired to wear them by V from V for Vendetta.
      • The use of a talking fish in the withdrawal hallucination sequence, and the use of Time Zone's "World Destruction" during the season finale, both shout out to The Sopranos.
      • In the final scene in the 1% gentlemen's club, while Price and White Rose discuss the hack, a harpist plays "Nearer My God to Thee," purportedly the last song played on the Titanic before it sunk. Appropriate.
    • In Season 2:
    • In Season 3:
      • When they were kids, Elliot and Darlene once made a snowman that they named Kevin McCallister.
      • Leon has moved his 1990s sitcom commentary to Frasier, which he doesn't like because he finds Frasier Crane to be unbelievable as a Kavorka Man.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Earlier in the season, Angela mostly dresses in pale colors but once she takes the job at Evil Corp she is shown going to work in a black business suit but wearing white heels. After her shoes are ruined by the blood spatter from the Evil Corp executive's suicide she witnesses and Phillip Price talks to her, she says she doesn't think she'll be able to return for the press conference later that day. However, after he gives her money to buy new shoes and following her Out-of-Character Moment in the shoe store, she does return to Evil Corp in time for the press conference wearing black heels. Upon seeing her present in her new shoes, Price comments: "Very nice, glad you reconsidered."
    • A promotional poster for season two has Elliot wearing Mr. Robot's jacket over his hoodie.
    • Elliot experiences one of Mr. Robot's takeovers as Mr. Robot's shirt and jacket replacing Elliot's hoodie.
    • Mr. Robot's appearance reflects his legitimacy and how much control he has over Elliot. His strongest is when he sports his hat, scarf, and glasses, but when the two become disintegrated in season three, he loses hit hat, glasses, scarf, and slowly becomes more grungy.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Operation Berenstain, a (highly illegal) mass surveillance program orchestrated by the FBI and designed to tap into thousands of innocent Americans' phones, all in a bid to stop Fsociety.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Ray and Elliot play chess together, and Ray convinces Elliot to play chess against himself to sort out his problems.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Elliot smokes a joint in bed after sleeping with Shayla.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: The Stinger at the end of the Season 1 finale reveals that this is where The Illuminati meet.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: A scene in Season One has Tyrell throwing a tantrum while Joanna calmly eats dinner in front of him, not even looking back when he smashes a vase behind her.
  • Spot the Impostor: In "power-saver-mode", when Mr. Robot asks Angela how she can tell him from Elliot:
    Angela: Your eyes. You're never trying to look away.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tyrell is revealed to be in love with Elliot in the season two finale.
  • Starter Villain: Terry Colby, despite representing the obnoxiously conceited jerkasses that run the E Corp gamut, is shown to be totally oblivious to information technology and a pitiful, digital victim of Elliot.
  • The Stinger: Each season thus far has concluded with one that teases an oncoming facet of the plot.
    Season one: Whiterose (as Zhang) meets with Price at a lavish club to discuss a response to Five/Nine among other political conquests. Price then reveals that they know of the person responsible behind the hack.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Shayla is found with her throat slit and stuffed into the back of Isaac's car, with Vera stating beforehand that she'd been in there the entire time Elliot was working to bust him out of prison.
  • Stun Guns: Darlene uses one on Susan Jacobs, killing her. It is later revealed that Susan had a heart condition which required a pacemaker to treat, and the stun gun shorted it.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Elliot is shown to be cynical and aloof most of the times but deep down, he is actually a kind-hearted person and deeply cares for other people.
  • Suicide Attack: The Dark Army's protocol for dealing with being potentially burned is immediate suicide. Every one of their direct attacks have ended in the assassins turning the guns on themselves.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The mask worn by Mr. Robot in his public addresses as well as the logo of fsociety resembles a certain other anarchist anti-hero whose image has been taken by certain other anonymous computer hackers.
    • Midland City is pretty much an amalgamation of darknet markets such as the Silk Road and Black Market Reloaded.
  • Surprise Incest: Elliot has forgotten that Darlene is his sister when he plants a kiss on her. Her reaction begins a sequence of events that ultimately makes Elliot confront his dissociative identity disorder. To the audience, however, it is a major reveal.
  • Take That!:
    • Elliot can tell that Colby knows nothing about technology because he uses a Blackberry phone.
    • Two Fsociety hackers watch Hackers and talk about how stupid its Hollywood Hacking is.
    • Season three is littered with potshots at Donald Trump. Price and White Rose watch him on television and decide that he'd make a useful puppet while also mocking him for a buffoon. They later spend several scenes at Mar-a-Lago mocking its tasteless decor. White Rose later contracts an Alex Jones expy to endorse his presidential campaign. There's also a scene where Tyrell snaps, "No puppet! No puppet! You're a puppet!" which was a comment made by Trump during a 2016 presidential debate against Hillary Clinton.
  • Talking to Themself: Whenever Elliot talks to Mr. Robot, he is really doing this, much to the concern of the people around him.
  • Tempting Fate: In the final moments of "pyth0n-pt2", Elliot begins ranting about how he's finally going to "take back control" from Mr. Robot. Anyone who's seen the posters for Season 2 can anticipate this won't end well.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: We experience the entire show through Elliot's perspective. Knowing how unstable he is, it is safe to say that some of what we see in the show should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Angela in season 3.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Elliot spends the first half of 'eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes' stuck on a 90's sitcom roadtrip with his family, complete with laugh track, swear bleeping, and ALF. It's a delusion created by Mr. Robot to distract him from his near-fatal beating at the hands of Ray's thugs.
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: While the show Mr. Robot has been running on for a number of years, in-series the plot has only taken a number of months. As of season 3 (which aired during 2017) the show still takes place during 2015, which allows the show to indulge in some It Will Never Catch On trope examples.

    Tropes U to Z 
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  • The Unfettered: Tyrell Wellick, but his pregnant wife Joanna fits the bill even better than he does. When the police come to their door asking about the murder of Sharon Knowles, she immediately realizes Tyrell killed her and, while preparing drinks in the kitchen, forcefully induces labor with a fork to prevent the unstable Tyrell from answering their questions. Yeah.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Wellicks. They indulge in bondage sex despite his misgivings over risks to the baby.
  • Unreliable Narrator: While this is a no-brainer and could fill a Doorstopper with examples alone, it is still very much justified considering that Elliot legitimately suffers from a laundry list of mental disorders, one of which has psychogenic amnesia as a symptom.
    • Elliot seems to think that random men in black are following him at all times, but Krista asserts that they are born out of delusion. It is never known whether the men in black are actually there or just Elliot's paranoia.
    • According to Elliot, he has underwent "intensive self-reprogramming" to see visualize any mention of E Corp as "Evil Corp", as it is all he sees and hears.
    • Elliot's withdrawal nightmare definitely indicates that there is a much deeper method to his madness as his hallucinations become more cryptic.
    • Despite seeing a picture of only him and his mother early in season one, Elliot later finds that the same picture now features his father and sister.
    • Elliot discovers that Mr. Robot is an alternate personality of his, and that every single one of their experiences was really Elliot taking charge.
    • Played straight in season two, where Elliot purposely lies to the audience about being in seclusion at his mother's house and the circumstances surrounding it when he was actually arrested and locked in prison for hacking Lenny Shannon.
    • Early in season one, Elliot mentions that he strictly controls his drug usage to avoid "turning into a junk". However, Vera later mocks him for not admitting to himself that is a junkie already.
  • Victim Blaming: In "Kill Process" after Elliot finds out about Angela's involvement in Stage 2 and exploitation of his mental illness, she blames him for the whole thing happening and taunts him of being Mr.Robot.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fsociety is an anti-capitalist hackivist organization that wants to bring down Evil Corp and other Mega Corps who cross their moral code. They are indifferent to the upheaval this would cause if they should actually succeed, which is something that Eliot is not comfortable with.
  • Wham Line:
    • "wh1ter0se" (1x08): "Did you forget me again?"
    • "m1rr0r1ng" (1x09): "Who are you talking to?"
    • "h4ndshake" (2x07) has two: "When you see Whiterose, make sure you say I did good," and "Where do you think you are right now?"
    • The Season 2 finale has two pretty big ones at once after Tyrell is told by Mr. Robot to shoot Elliot and picks up the phone to call someone afterwards:
    Angela: Tyrell, you did what you needed to do.
    Tyrell: [crying] I love him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Usually when characters are in life-threatening situations, their fates are left ambiguous until much later. This has happened with Tyrell, Angela, Dominique, Elliot, Trenton and Mobley, Cisco and Darlene, Mr. Sutherland, and Krista.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Infidelity is apparently a motif in Elliot's hacking escapades.
    • Ollie has been cheating on Angela with another woman he met online.
    • Tyrell thinks this is the case with Joanna, but she is really holding out hope for his return, and is only using Derek to ensure Tyrell returns.

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