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"We can fix this."
Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan is an American television crime drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season aired its premiere episode on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of viewership, becoming the biggest premiere of all time on Showtime.

Most of the series takes place in Los Angeles, where Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber), who is originally from South Boston, is a ‘fixer’ for Goldman & Drexler, a powerful law firm that represents the rich and famous. However, he experiences his own problems when his father, Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight), is unexpectedly released from prison and FBI agents try to find him in order to bring down Ray and his associates.

The series relocated to New York City in its sixth season at the request of Liev Schreiber, who wished to be closer to his family.


Its seventh season finished airing in January 2020, and the series was cancelled a month later. Facing an an overwhelming response from fans and critics alike, Showtime announced a TV movie finale in February 2021. Titled Ray Donovan: The Movie, it aired on January 14, 2022.


  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: How Ezra pronounces ‘rodef’. Fittingly, he’s Hiding Behind Religion when he cites this concept.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Mickey!
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Van Miller starts talking too much after a few beers. Also Bunchy gets Lethally Stupid when drunk. He burns his house down and shoots Father Danny.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Van Miller seems to have OCD or some variation of thereof considering his odd mannerisms, cleanliness obsession and tendency to arrange everything in perfect order, but the show never confirms or denies this.
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  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Depending on your interpretation of his actions, but the point is Ray is a very morally ambiguous person.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: In season 3, Andrew Finney finds out the hard he isn't "fuckin' gay" when he kills his former lover, his ex-son in law.
  • The Atoner:
    • Ezra Goldman really comes off as this in his conversations with Ray. Subverted somewhat, given his occasional slip-ups in his dedication to making amends.
    • In the season 2 finale, Terry is fully willing to accept punishment for his role in the botched robbery, having recently rediscovered his faith.
  • Armed Legs: In "Same Exactly", Sully attacks Tiny with his shoe. He does apologize for it later.
  • Badass Israeli: Avi is a former Mossad.
  • Badass Family: No words needed for Ray. All of his brothers are more or less badass. Abby isn’t someone to mess with too, while Conor is growing up to be one. Mickey is pretty tough too, despite his age.
  • Bad Boss: Sully treats his men like shit. Cochran, in season two, has a open marriage with his wife, that allows him to sleep with the wife of his agent in charge and generally treats his AIC like shit.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ed Cochran is poised to become the head of the FBI and has a cover band that plays in bars, but in reality, he is a affable sociopath who is willing to kill loose ends.
  • Big Applesauce: Parts of Season 5 take place in New York City, while the show moves there full time in Season 6 ( after Abby dies).
  • Big Bad:
    • Mickey was this in the first season, with FBI Agent Van Miller, treating Mickey as his Dragon. It went as well as you think. Towards the middle of the season Sully came into the picture to take care of Mickey and assumes the role of Big Bad throughout the rest of season 1.
    • In season 2, Ed Cochran has become this after the death of Sully in season 1. Cookie Brown also qualifies for this role in Season 2. He's much more of a threat than Cochran is because he's willing to do his dirty work himself, evidenced when he personally kills Re-kon and Marvin. In the season 2 finale, he even makes no promises to Ray that he wont come after Bridget later on due to her witnessing his murders, despite Ray paying him off with the money Re-kon owed him. Ray knew damn well the type of person Cookie is (having already tried to warn Lee not to double cross him, who proceeded to do so anyway which led to said killings) and stashed a gun in the duffel bag he had the cash in, ensuring he'd never get the chance to break their deal.
    • Andrew Finney is this for season 3, as he subtly secures this role after murdering his daughter's husband and his former lover. Then Ed Cochran comes back into the picture after being disgraced, thanks to the controversial sex video and his underling Volchek having killed himself. Cochran is now a lowly cubicle worker who is assigned by his company to locate Strauss, as "it's what he used to do."
    • Like Season 2, Season 3 features a secondary big bad who is much more of a threat. In this instance it's the Minassian Family of the Armenian Mafia (especially Mrs. Minassian, their Evil Matriarch leader), whom Mickey gets involved with to get loans for his new pimping operation (and drags Daryll and Bunchy into it as well). Mickey being Mickey, he incurs enough of their wrath over the season to the point where they send two hitmen after him. They shoot up his apartment while he's having a "hookers and blow" party, resulting in the death of Daryll's new girlfriend, and the near fatal shooting of Terry (the only reason it wasn't a total massacre is because Ray happened to show up right afterwards and drive them off). The next day Ray and Avi (and Mickey, acting on his own) return the favor at their restaurant HQ.
    • Season 4 has an even worse counterpart to the Armenian Mafia's Minassian Family: The Russian Mafia. Specifically Dimitri Sokolov.
    • Season 6 has Ed Feratti, the corrupt mayor of New York City. Sam Winslow also becomes an antagonist after she orders the death of Lena's girlfriend Justine after she gets caught up in Winslow's power struggle with Feratti.
  • Beard of Evil: Sully sports a very thin goatee.
  • Big Eater: Tiny. And how.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Donovans. For what it's worth, Bridget and Conor aren't completely screwed-up... yet.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Armenian speaking fans (as well as fans of Armenian pop star Sirusho) will easily and hilariously notice that the song Hasmig performs in Season 3, Episode 10's "One Night in Yerevan" is not, in fact, about what happens "When Thighs Go Boom."
  • Bittersweet Ending: The movie: Ray (presumably) survives his gunshot wound and goes to jail for Mickey's murder (actually committed by Bridget), but seems to be satisfied at seeing his father disposed of, and might be content for the rest of his life in prison. Terry seems to overcome his suicidal impulses, but Smitty is still dead, Bridget is a murderer, and Daryll probably has to flee the country permanently.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: It's much easier to count the undeniably good guys in this series.
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Mickey cheated on his dying wife with Claudette, resulting in the birth of Daryll.
  • Boggles the Mind: Mild example. Cochran and his wife have friends over and play Scrabble with them, and Cochran’s wife spells out the word ‘suck’. While it’s a fairly simple word, she emphasises it meaningfully, and Cochran seems to get the message.
    Cochran: That’s a great word, honey!...
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Avi at his happiest is basically this.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Van Miller’s death, and later on Sully, by Mickey.
    • Father O’Connor in ‘Bucky Fuckin’ Dent’, by Ray.
    • Re-Kon and Marvin, by Cookie Brown.
    • Self-inflicted by Cochran’s underling Volchek — in front of Cochran and his wife, no less.
    • Avi and Ray do this to confirm their kills, Kate McPherson and Cookie Brown, respectively, after shooting them in the torso.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Avi is a Momma's Boy who is also an avid cooker and treats everybody with respect and kindness. He also happens to be a former Mossad agent with a kill count numbering in the dozens.
  • Cain and Abel: In the second season, there’s a cataclysmic clash between Terry and Ray due the fact that Terry is a righteous, principled man who’d never break the law, while Ray is... not. However the situation is a lot more morally complicated than the usual example, and Terry does give in and join in on Mickey’s robbery plans, but later wants to accept his punishment and atone for it.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Daryll has this moment with Mickey, still mad at him after Mickey bet against him in the bout he lost to Miguel ‘La Fuerza’ Montago in Mexico.
    Daryll: Like, why do you got to be so fucked up, Mick? Why do you got to be such an asshole?...
  • Cancellation: Occurred February 4, 2020, a little over two weeks after the conclusion of the seventh season
  • Career-Ending Injury: Terry got Parkinson’s as a result of his last bout years ago. Ray believes it was due to Mickey insisting that Terry keep fighting despite being obviously on the losing end of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the pilot episode, Ray warns Abby about the type of person Mickey is. Abby ignores Ray, even saying he has no heart. After the realistic consequences for the rest of Season 1, Abby realizes that Ray was right all along.
  • Character Development: Practically everyone by the end of the first season: Mickey realizes his mistakes as a father and tries to make amends, Bunchy stops wallowing in self-pity and starts trying to live his own life, Abby realizes she’s been selfish on some matters with Ray, and so forth.
  • Catchphrase: Whenever tested by Mickey, Ronald Keith will sometimes utter the phrase, ‘violate your ass’.
  • Car Fu: Ray has been invoked this trope on several occasions.
    • The first time, to send a message to sleazy photographer Marty Grossman, who took incriminating photos of Tommy Wheeler, Ray runs over his bodyguard in a dark garage.
    • Subverted the second time was when he was about to run over the father of the kid that was pushed down a flight of stairs by Conor because the father was being an absolute Jerkass earlier in the episode when Conor tried to apologize for his actions.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Abby catches Conor using his mattress and boxspring. When she tells Ray, they are both very amused by the novelty of the act.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the show was darkly comedic in its first season, most of the humor was Black Comedy but by seasons 2 and 3, the humor is still there just used for Mood Whiplash to lighten the mood.
  • Chef of Iron: Turns out Avi is a excellent cook.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Steve Knight.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Evident in the series, especially with Ray.
    Ray: What’s the first fucking thing you learn when you’re five years old on Dorchester Street? Huh? You don’t fucking talk to the cops! Jesus fucking Christ, Tiny...
  • Cool Old Guy: Mickey definitely comes across as this, as his charisma and charm make him very likable, but it makes it easy to forget how dangerous and ruthless he can be.
  • Country Matters: When Sully’s girlfriend complains repeatedly on the drive to California:
    Sully: (In nonchalant annoyment) Shut the fuck up, you cunt.
  • Creepy Good: Bob Lepecka, Ashley’s stalker, genuinely wants what’s best for her and resents her new fiancé for being abusive, saying he would never lay a finger on her. Ashley seems to realise this eventually and waves him a friendly yet somewhat melancholic hello from her window when she sees him.
    • However, he ends up getting killed by Steve Knight after he intervenes during one of his bouts of abuse towards Ashley. Ray is finally able to convince Ashley to turn him in to the police after this.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ray’s childhood. Losing his mother to cancer, being abused and molested by Father O’Connor, Mickey being a terrible father and Bridget committing suicide.
  • Deadly Sparring: In "Sold", Mickey and Daryll help a client named Jay White who accidentally decapitated his trainer with a sword during a training session for a samurai movie he was starring in.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Sully and Ray’s deal. It is also struck in a church. Ray does this again, to strike a deal with Cochran regarding Mickey.
    • Ray's contract signing with Finney is this to other people, including Terry whom Ray gotten out of prison so he wouldn't get killed by the Nazis in there.
    • Mickey getting involved with the Minassians proves very costly later on, directly leading to the main conflicts of Season 3 and 4.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Despite Van Miller being a fairly credible threat, he is unceremoniously shot in the head by Mickey before the first season even ends.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Bridget, who's named after Ray’s sister, who committed suicide when she was young.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A few characters have their moments, but Lena stands out most of the time. You could tell when she is, or could be holding something back.
  • Dirty Cop: Ronald Keith, parole officer/The Gambling Addict, winds up working for Ray to pay off his debts (which continue to accumulate), and later in the season he joins Mickey’s bank heist.
  • Dirty Old Man: Mickey. And how.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sully’s girlfriend makes a call without his permission. Sully’s reaction is brutally strangling her with a dog’s leash, although whether or not this is a case of this or a brutal prevention of Have You Told Anyone Else? is a matter of debate, as she had been very irritating throughout the ride and he did nothing about it, but took this extreme measure when she said something that could’ve been extremely harmful to him.
    • Steve Knight. He beat up a waiter, Manuel, just for bringing him a sandwich.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: Bob Lepecka. All his bones in his arm were shattered from the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he received from Ray in season 1 because he kept stalking.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ray’s sister and Volchek.
    • Abby in Season 5. She overdoses on pills (with assistance from Terry and Bridget) after her cancer becomes too painful to live with.
    • At the end of Season 5, Ray himself. He jumps off a roof after following another vision of Abby that does the same thing, but he ends up landing in the East River next to the building and survives the impact. Season 6 opens with Officer Sean McGrath seeing him hit the water and subsequently pulling him out.
    • In episode 11 of Season 6, Sean McGrath shoots himself in the head after he gets the kidnapped Bridget back to Ray, and gets told off by his ex-wife after he apologizes for being a shitty father and husband.
    • In the Season 7 finale, Terry ascends the Empire State Building, presumably with the intention of ending it all. There is no resolution to this, as he is seen again with the Donovan brothers at the beginning of the movie; so he either had a change of heart on his own, or he had lost the nerve after getting the news about Smitty.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Generally, Mickey doesn’t seem to have grasp on humor given he is from a time where his style of humor was generally not frown upon. He likes to make pedophile priest jokes; the fact that two of his sons (actually, all three — though Terry managed to fight back and break the priest's fingers) were abused by a priest and he knows this, and he tells them these jokes directly, as well as to other known abuse victims, really pushes it into this territory. While his sons can take it, and Bunchy even smirks at one of his jokes, he tells a particularly gruesome one to Bunchy’s friend and he is reduced to tears.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Best demonstrated in ‘Walk This Way’. Ray lampshades this.
    Ray: Conor wanted the family. Conor got the family.
  • The Dreaded: Ray himself strikes terror whenever he goes. Cookie Brown is also an example, as even Ray pulls all his tracks not to fuck with him. Subverted in the season 2 finale, as Ray kills Cookie right inside his house.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sean Walker. Ray doesn't blame him for killing his old girlfriend, Colleen Dawson, and instead blames Mickey, who got Sean high in the first place.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Ray takes care of two A-list celebrities’ problems (one with a dead woman and the other with a gay sex tape) within minutes.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Sully and Avi both dedicate a fair amount of their time to taking care of their elderly mothers. Meanwhile, one the biggest sources of the hatred Ray has for his father stems from Mickey spending time with his mistress while Ray’s mom was dying of cancer.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Although Kate poses a threat to him, Ezra and Cochran, Ray won't kill her, even warning Ezra or Cochran if they do, he'll ruin either of them.
    • When Terry wants to join the bank heist, Mickey is hesitant at first because Terry doesn’t possess a criminal mentality.
    • Cookie's henchmen. They were a bit ticked at Ray bringing a gun at Cookie's house, since it was his young son Alfonse’s birthday party. Though they show their true colors after Ray kills Cookie and then leaves them with a bag containing a million dollars, and one gun.
  • Expository Hair Style Change: Bunchy gets a new, groomed look after father Danny is killed.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Terry joins Mickey’s robbery plan to raise money to move to Ireland.
  • Fall Guy: Mickey was set up by Ray and Ezra for the murder of Colleen Dawson, Ray’s old girlfriend when it was actually Sean Walker.
    • Terry. He gets locked in the room with the security guard.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In season 2, Cochran presents himself out to be this by stating how he was able to get the drop on Sully, who was hiding in Los Angeles for six months.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kate.
    • Ambition: She wanted to bring down the FBI for fabricating what happened to Sully.
    • Pride: She took great pride in her work as a reporter and didn't care whether people sent death threats about her stories on priests molesting children or warned by Ray that FBI will "shut her down". She is later killed by Avi.
  • A Father to His Men: Ezra is this to Ray.
  • Faux Affably Evil: To others, Mickey comes off as being a fun and laughable grandfather who is trying to spend time with grandkids after serving in prison for twenty years. Ray personally believes this is all just a mask to the real Mickey. It is only until the end of the season through the aforementioned character development that he starts to see the error of his old ways. By season 2, he is Affably Evil, if not just grumpy.
    • A clearer example is Sully, who talks and acts like a overall affable (if grumpy and snarky) old man, but is actually a ruthless murderer. His brutal murder of his girlfriend for something that seems relatively minor in hindsight attests this, especially after it’s revealed in the Season 2 finale by Colleen's mother to Kate that he did the same to both of his previous girlfriends.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: In an attempt to set up Cookie Brown, Jim pulled him over for running a red light. Even his partner felt that it was a bit too much.
  • The Fixer: Ray’s job.
  • Foreshadowing: Ray compares his The Lost Lenore with Bridget’s love for Marvin. Marvin is later brutally murdered, much like Ray’s lost love was.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Jim unsuccessfully tried this on Cookie Brown.
  • Freudian Excuse: Discussed and ultimately defied in season 2. Bunchy is afraid he might molest his new girlfriend’s five-year-old son, and she leaves him when he tells her about it; later on he discusses this issue in therapy and is told that these fears are prevalent, but it’s probably not actually going to happen, given that he’s never been aroused by a child, but his girlfriend still won’t take this risk after he confides in her.
  • Freudian Trio: The three main Donovan kids, with Ray as the stone-cold, logical brother, Bunchy as a broken, but eager and passionate brother and Terry striking a happy medium.
  • Generation Xerox: A running theme. Much is examined about Ray’s life compared to his father, and Conor’s youth and if he's doomed to follow Ray's path of crime.
  • Genius Bruiser: Ray is a frighteningly strong man, but also happens to be the best fixer of L.A.
  • Genocide Backfire: Mickey, ratted out Sully’s family, except Sully, who through Ray, comes to LA to enact revenge on Mickey.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Examined in season 2 with both Ray, who seems to sleep with other women mostly as part of his job, and Abby, who does it because Ray does and because of her increasing frustration with him, with no real answer about the issue for either.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Anything will send Sully in blind murderous rage.
    • Conor has two notable moments that can come off as this, when he attacks two boys on separate occasions when they seriously challenge his credibility, but are clearly subversions. Given how damaging their remarks could be, his actions come across as the wisest decisions he could make given the circumstances, and, given the relatively minor consequences he suffers, it seems he’s right on both occasions.
  • Handicapped Badass: Terry suffers from Parkison’s, which is attributed to his taking too many blows to the head during his last boxing match. He’s still an excellent trainer and can seriously throw down when he needs to. Subverted, as Ray points out at the end of Conor’s birthday party that he was actually a pretty poor boxer back in Boston.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Van Miller does this unwittingly to himself, by telling Mickey that he’s the only one who knows about the Donovan Case. He gets killed for it.
  • Hero Antagonist: Van Miller is just a cop doing his job to pursue justice. He’s at worst a Inspector Javert. In the second season, Cochran is a borderline example. He’s technically FBI and seems to be effective at his job, but he’s also very ruthless, ambitious, manipulative and a Bad Boss.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Tiny, Having witnessed his uncle killed at the docks in Season 1. In Season 2, he returns, get arrested for shoplifting (at a supermarket) and telling police what really went down at the docks to avoid being killed by affiliates of Sully. However, he is fatally shot by Frank.
    • The question of how Frances should be treated after witnessing Ray killing father O’Connor is discussed in season 2. Frances herself is well-aware of this and tries to keep away from Terry, partially for fear of what Ray might do to her.
    • Cookie Brown shoots Recon to death, then shoots Marvin because he witnesses. Bridget narrowly averts this just because Cookie doesn’t notice she’s also in the car (although he finds out later when he sees the cell phone footage of Bridget leaving the scene, forcing Ray to finally do away with him).
    • Kate. She had all the evidence to bring down the FBI, Ray and Ezra. Ray even warns her repeatedly throughout the season that if she digs too deep, she's gonna end up dead. Ultimately, she is gunned down by Avi at Ezra's behest.
    • Averted with Bridget—Ray shoots Cookie Brown before he can get to her.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: Ezra brings up the concept of din rodef to justify killing Kate McPherson, once with Ray and once again with Avi after Ray isn’t convinced. He doesn’t even pronounce it right—it’s ‘ro-DEFF’, not ‘RO-deff’.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Witnessing another episode of Steve's abuse toward Ashley, a reduced Bob Lepecka comes to the rescue, only then to be killed by Steve.
  • Horrible Hollywood: Ray’s job as a fixer for Hollywood shows, of course, the lowest of the low of that world. From Manchild actors with severe mental issues to blackmailing and thieving producers, this show's got it all.
  • Hypocrite: From time to time, Ray calls out Mickey for cheating on his dying wife with Claudette, although he's committing the same offense against his wife, Abby.
  • Idiot Ball: Bunchy shoots Father Danny O’Connor by mistake.
  • If I Wanted X, I Would Y: Mick encourages Conor after the latter got caught in a compromising position and teased about it by Bridget.
    Mick: If God didn’t want us to masturbate, he would have given us shorter arms.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Bunchy befriends a man in his support group, whom he later tells about the woman he starts seeing. The man repeatedly tells Bunchy that he might be taking it too seriously, given how new it all is, and finally kisses him during Conor’s fourteenth birthday, leaving him shocked and deeply dismayed.
  • Innocent Bystander: After being fatally shot by Frank, Tiny falls down the stairs and onto an example of this trope, crushing his leg and probably the rest of his body. Obviously on a Leave No Witnesses mentality, Frank kills the bystander.
  • In-Series Nickname: Bridget is called ‘Snowflake’ by Cookie Brown.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Kate, in season 2. Not so intrepid, as Avi kills her.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Sully had this moment with one of his brothers.
    Sully: All right, he was half a fag. I walked in on him once. Scared the shit out of me. I didn’t know what the fuck they were doing...
  • Ironic Nickname: Tiny. And how.
  • It's All My Fault: Ray blames himself for not protecting Bunchy when he was abused by Father Danny O’Connor.
  • I Warned You: Ray warned Lee that Cookie wasn't the type you tell what to do and he was dangerous, he basically does what he wants and telling him no is a risk even Ray didn't want to take. Lee didn't listen and tried paying him off anyway to leave Marvin alone. Cookie then responds by killing both Re-Kon and Marvin.
    • Ray also warns both Ezra and Cochran that he'll ruin them if Kate is killed. When they have her killed anyway, Ray makes good on his threats by uploading the sex tape of Cochran's orgy online (killing his chance of becoming FBI Director), and telling the police that a body is buried at the construction site of the Ruth Goldman Center right in front of Ezra.
  • Justified Criminal: Mickey stole a half-million dollars from Sully after their last heist together and gave it all to Claudette.
  • Karma Houdini: Season 6 ends with Ray ending up working for Mayor Ed Feratti, the main villain of the season. Although Feratti's main enforcers on the police force end up dead thanks to the Donovans, Ray is ultimately forced to cut a deal with him to solve his most pressing issues.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Ray advises Bridget not to tell the cops that she saw Cookie Brown kill Recon and Marvin, out of fear he’ll seek revenge against her if she does.
  • The Lancer: Avi is this for Ray. Lena later becomes this after Avi is forced to flee to South America.
  • Manchild:
    • Bunchy isn’t capable of taking care of himself, which is exemplified when he uses his over-a-million-dollar settlement from the Catholic Church to buy a dilapidated house, which he then decides he doesn’t want to live in anymore.
    • Tiny seems like this, especially in Season 2.
  • Manly Tears: In ‘Bridget’, Mickey sobs over the picture of his deceased daughter, Bridget.
  • Meaningful Name: Marvin’s full name is Marvin Gaye Washington. His mom used to sing backup for Aretha Franklin.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Officer Sean McGrath is a corrupt police officer under Mayor Ed Feratti, but hates it, and largely only goes along with it out of fear of retribution on his estranged ex-wife and son. He's also forced into being an informant for an FBI agent.
  • Murder by Mistake: Mickey killed a priest, whom he believed to be the one who abused his sons when it was actually his brother.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: In season 1, Ray wants Mickey killed just for being Mickey. It is never achieved!
    • Primarily evident in Season 2.
    • Cochran avidly encourages this trope whenever someone, dead or alive, threatens his chances of FBI director. For example, Cochran has Tiny, along with an innocent bystander, killed by Frank because he knows what really happened at the docks, where his uncle Sully was killed.
    • On the orders of Ezra, Avi killed Kate to ensure that his boss, Ray, won't be heading for prison.
    • Abby wants Cookie Brown killed to avoid going after Bridget, who witnessed Recon and Marvin's murders. Ray finally does kill Cookie in the season finale.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ray feels responsible for Bunchy’s abuse, as he went to a baseball game to meet Mickey (who never showed) on the night Father O’Connor first molested him.
  • My Nayme Is: It’s Conor, with one n. This is brought up when Abby wants to get him an impromptu cake from an upscale bakery, and they get his name wrong on the frosting.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Avi is really Just Following Orders. From time to time he even desperately tries to act as Ray’s conscience.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Sully is clearly meant to be the show's incarnation of notorious Boston gangland chief, Whitey Bulger.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In the season 2 finale, Steve tells Ray that they’re ‘the same’ when he rambles nonsense to try and manipulate him out of giving him his just desserts for abusing Ashley and killing Bob. It holds absolutely no water, and Ray is far from convinced.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: At the start of season 3, Ezra is dead, Ray had sold his company and the show in turn, heads down a darker road.
  • Nothing Personal: After Daryll mentions the night Avi beat the crap out of him and stapled pictures to his chest to a guy who both Daryll and Avi were helping him get out of the country, Avi mentions this trope by name to Daryll, who feels it was otherwise. To be fair, Avi was Just Following Orders.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mostly evident in Season 2.
    • Cochran is a victim of this trope on two occasions. One being when his wife, Donna, who mourns over Tommy's death hysterically at the press conference, to the point she supersedes his wife that the reporters are left befuddled and causing Cochran to end the press conference early. Another being finding out that the sex tape of him, his wife and the Volcheks being leaked out to the media, therefore ruining his chances of becoming FBI director.
    • Also, Ray, has this moment when he finds out Cookie has seen the video of the Rekon/Marvin shooting, the one that shows Bridget witnessed the whole thing.
    • Ray has another one in Season 6 after he finds out that Mayor Ed Feratti (who he'd just earlier punched in the throat for having Sam Winslow assaulted in her own apartment) has the Staten Island police force in his back pocket, several of whom being his personal enforcers (the one who assaulted Winslow being one such cop).
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Mickey is this to some people around him. Even when he’s reminiscing about the good times, someone (mostly Ray) will remind him of the terrible things he has done in the past.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Potato Pie.
  • Papa Wolf: Both Ray and Mickey.
  • Parents as People: In season 2, both Ray and Abby forget Conor’s birthday, and both are extremely guilty over it.
  • Persona Non Grata: Tiny feels if he goes back to Boston, Sully’s men will kill him, thinking he set Sully up.
  • Pedophile Priest: Bunchy, Ray’s brother, was abused by one named Father O’Connor, and Terry was almost abused by him too but he broke the priest’s fingers. He did get to Ray, though.
  • Pet the Dog: Cookie Brown tries comforting Bridget for the death of Marvin (which he committed). While the audience (and pretty much everyone in the room) can tell that he’s lying through his teeth, it was a nice effort for a brutal thug like him.
  • Plethora of Mistakes: Mickey’s heist. #1: Shorty forgets to order another oxygen tank in time for the heist. #2: Turns out the safe was emptied a day before the heist was initiated.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Sully (and his mother) are racist against black people; they’re more disgusted with Mickey for cheating on his wife with a black woman than for the infidelity itself. Sully is also homophobic.
  • The Quiet One: Ray doesn’t talk much. This is already lampshaded in the first episode.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Cochran tells Volchek he's moving to a remote town in North Dakota, and that his wife probably won’t follow, as she’s already having an affair with him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ray ignites one after Kate is killed by giving the sex tape of the Cochrans and Volcheks to the Stalkerazzi, ruining Cochran and snitching on Ezra by reporting the body to the police.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: A minor example—the contract Ray signs in ‘Come and Knock on Our Door’ has a few typos, misspelling ‘and’ as ‘an’ and ‘Hills’ (as in Beverly Hills) as ‘Hill’.
  • Sanity Slippage: Terry, after his Parkison’s worsens in Season 3. A stint in prison followed by the Aryans wanting his blood after he killed one of their own, makes him believe they are coming for him once he gets out of prison.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A metaphorical version. Sully was isolated in Boston on the run from the feds, unable to go anywhere else or do anything, but Ray makes the foolish mistake of freeing him and giving Sully means to roam free across America without having to worry about the feds. Ezra even lampshades.
    Ezra: We’ve released a monster!
  • Scary Black Man: Cookie Brown.
  • Scenery Porn: The show takes place in Los Angeles, California.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "One Night in Yerevan", Cochran reveals to Ray that his wife left him for a landscape architect.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Mickey to Mrs. Minassian, when he slits her throat while she's threatening Ray's family
  • Silver Fox: Women seem to like Mickey.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: During a night of passion in a hotel with an NBA player, the woman secretly puts some of his semen in a vial and passes it to a limo driver who has a freezer in his trunk. Donovan discovers it's an ongoing scam: "Every time he pulls up, some girl hits the NBA lottery nine months later".
  • The Bus Came Back: Sean Walker returns in the movie in flashbacks after being killed off at the end of the first season. We see exactly what happened with the murder he supposedly framed Mickey for...
  • The Gambling Addict: Ronald Keith.
  • The Lost Lenore: It happened to Ray (over 20 years back), Bridget, and Daryll respectively.
  • The Stoic: Ray doesn’t change his expression much.
  • Southies: Ray, his wife, and his family are all from South Boston.
  • Skyward Scream: After winning $20k at the racetrack, Mickey screams at the sky for Shorty, who died in a explosion the night of the heist.
    Mickey: Shorty, did you see it? Did you see it?! Huh?! I told you!
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Van Miller shares with Mickey the secret that no one else other than him knows about Ray’s misdeeds. Less than thirty seconds later he is promptly shot in the head by Mickey.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:Although it seemed that Ray and Cochran settled everything, Ray wants to take down Cochran for having Tiny killed.
  • Those Two Guys: Avi and Lena have this relationship.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: This happens several times, most notably when Ezra Goldman hallucinates that Micky is a Golem, and another time when the FBI agent was laced with LSD and was seeing a monkey.
    • Mickey himself, goes through this during season 2, seeing — actually hearing animals talking in her voice — the ghost of a woman he had known and saw be killed by Sully.
  • Throwing the Fight: Mickey tries to recruit a man training at the gym to fight for him, telling him he could earn a lot of money if he can bring himself to do that. Terry quickly tells him to leave the gym, stating that he's running a clean business.
  • Token Good Teammate: Well, not exactly good nor exactly evil, but out of Ray’s associates, Avi seems to be the most rational, friendly and supportive of them all, going as far as to give Lena genuinely helpful love advice.
    • Meanwhile, out of the Donovan family, Terry has the strongest moral compass and most concrete sense of right and wrong.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ray, in season 2, becomes more of a Jerkass over the course of the season, especially towards the end. Justified as it is the stress of the events of the previous season and the events that transpired over season 2 is making him lose control for the first time.
  • Two First Names: It is revealed in a conversation between Ray and Abby that her maiden name is Kelly.
  • Title Drop: The majority of the episodes.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A rare case of Inverted Trope with Cochran and his wife. While his Mrs. Cochran is not exactly hideous, she’s rather chubby and plain-looking, while Cochran has a much more traditionally handsome appearance.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Abby. She reveals to Ray that she sent letters to Mickey and inviting him to come to LA.
    • Lee Drexler. Had he not interfered in the deal with Cookie obtaining the rights to Marvin at the last minute, Recon and Marvin would have been alive instead of murdered by Cookie himself.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Daryll, whom Mickey has been treating poorly all his life, to the point of betting against him in a fight, is furious and deeply hurt about Mickey giving his Cadillac to Conor, who just turned fourteen, as a birthday present. His mother tries to console him and tell him ‘it’s just a car’, but he ultimately bashes the car with a baseball bat at the end of the party. Conor feels really bad about the whole ordeal and returns the gift.
    Daryll: This is my fucking car!
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Mickey and Ray are pretty much polar opposites. Despite this, Mickey claims that they’re not that different when it comes to what really matters.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Terry decides to get in on Mickey's heist, it's like he suddenly forgot about his plans for Ireland, and particularly Frances.
  • Wham Episode:
    • For its first season, it had a couple of ones.
      • ‘Fite Night’ has Mickey saving his own ass in-order to stay alive by telling the truth to Sully, who ends up killing Sean Walker over events that happened twenty years prior.
      • ‘Bucky Fuckin’ Dent’ has the reveal that Ray was abused and molested by the Pedophile Priest.
    • In Season Two:
      • ‘S U C K’ has Tiny being killed in-order to keep the Sully business a secret.
      • ‘Walk This Way’ ends with Ray and his entire family completely Dysfunctional Family.
      • ‘Sunny’ ends with Recon and Marvin being murdered by Cookie, with Bridget in the backseat.
      • ‘Volchek’ ends with Volchek attempting to kill Cochran at a restaurant but instead shoots himself in the head and Ray swimming naked in the ocean as Steve cheers him on.
      • ‘Rodef’ has Mickey’s bank heist go awry, Terry is trapped inside the bank, Shorty is accidentally killed in an explosion, Same explosion leaves Conor with a broken arm, Ray getting arrested for attacking Mickey twice, and Abby stroking her gun.
      • ‘The Captain’ has Kate shot and killed by Avi, Cookie finding out Bridget is on the video of Re-Kon and Marvin’s murders, Ray reports the body buried at the RGOCC after finding out Ezra was behind Kate's murder, gives the sex tape of the Cochrans and Volcheks having sex to Lena to hand over to Stalkerazzi and kills Cookie, Bob Lepecka was killed by Steve, resulting in his arrest.
      • "The Octopus" has disgraced former FBI director Ed Cochran come back into the picture to investigate the disappearance of Varick Strauss, Paige Finney's husband and the ex-lover of her father.
      • "Horses" is the mother of all wham episodes: Ray gets Abby into the clinical trial, but not before she dies from assisted suicide. When he comes home and finds Abby dead, he goes to the bar and gets into a bar fight with his family.
  • Wham Line: From "Bucky Fuckin' Dent". It's particularly surprising due to who was the recipient of the line:
    Father O'Connor: I loved you—
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Avi is played by a Cuban-American and does not sound remotely Israeli.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: After Frances shows up with a black eye from her husband, Terry and his brothers head over to his house and Terry beats him up. Bunchy get's to beat up the neighbor who tries to break the fight up. Frances get's angry at him for it saying she didn't ask him to do it, and she hit her husband first.
  • Wild Card: Patrick ‘Sully’ Sullivan, who ends up not killing Mickey as he was contracted to and killed Sean Walker, the actor who had killed one of Sully’s past flames and blamed it on Mickey.
    • Ronald Keith, who at first joins Mickey’s heist but after the security guard tells Ronald that the safe was emptied a day earlier before the heist and knowing no payoff is coming to him, he decides to help Ray get Micky back in prison for another 20 years in exchange for $100,000..
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: While he can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it, Ray is clearly not pleased when Mickey tells him that he’s his favorite son.