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Series / The Twilight Zone (2002)

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No peace of mind, no escape from the shadows of doubt, no light to guide you out of the murky depths...

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. You are entering the Twilight Zone."

The second TV revival of Rod Serling's classic The Twilight Zone (1959), this series aired on UPN during the 2002–03 season. It aired in hour-long installments, with two half-hour episodes run back-to-back, the only exception being the one-hour episode "The Lineman". Forest Whitaker was the on-camera host. The series ran for 44 episodes.

It featured the first sequel episode in Twilight Zone television history: "It's Still a Good Life", in which Bill Mumy and Cloris Leachman reprised their roles as Anthony Fremont and his mother Agnes 41 years after starring in "It's a Good Life". Mumy's real life daughter Liliana Mumy played Anthony's daughter Audrey in the episode.

The series also produced remakes of three other original series episodes: "Dead Man's Shoes" ("Dead Man's Eyes"), "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" ("The Monsters are on Maple Street") and "Eye of the Beholder".

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  • Abusive Parents:
    • In "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine", Darrell Hansen is a rageaholic, alcoholic security guard who repeatedly beats his wife Lorraine and son Craig.
    • In "The Collection", Danielle Randall's parents are a more emotional example. They're extremely controlling over every aspect of her life, down to her television watching and diet. It's clearly taking a huge toll on her.
  • Adults Are Useless: If you think about the premise of "The Collection" for very long, it brings up several questions about how Danielle has managed to claim that many victims already without her parents or any other adults suspecting that anything unusual is going on.
  • Afterlife Avenger: In "To Protect and Serve", a cop kills an abusive pimp to protect a woman, but the pimp comes back as a ghost and continues his evil ways and kills the woman. The cop eventually kills himself, becoming a ghost and allowing him to keep the evil pimp at bay once and for all.
  • Ambiguously Evil: "Rikki" in "Sanctuary": Was she trying to get Scott and Marisa kicked out of the sanctuary For the Evulz or was her "job" (as she calls it) to test whether they truly deserved to stay? While she acts a bit like a villain, it is ultimately left to the viewer to decide.
  • And I Must Scream: In "The Collection", Danielle Randall turns her babysitters into dolls so they won't leave her, and they are fully aware and conscious.
  • Arc Words: They appear on many occasions in various episodes (as an example, "Not Yet" on "The Executions Of Grady Finch", which is heard by Finch every time he is to be executed (and which makes the hearing of "Now!" when Finch gets his Laser-Guided Karma a Wham Line).
  • Armour-Piercing Question: In the episode "Shades of Guilt", a man who allowed an African-American professor named John to be beaten to death, when he could have saved him, is forced to transform into said black man. With no where else to go, he turns to John's family, leading to the man's wife telling him he first has to answer a question:
    Wife: If my husband was white, would you have saved him?
  • Artistic License – History: "Cradle of Darkness" portrays Alois Hitler as a German nationalist who wanted Austria and Germany united, along with being antisemitic and bigoted toward Romani. It's implied that he was the source of Adolf Hitler's views. The real Alois is not known to have had these opinions, however. Adolf Hitler first got into far-right politics after Alois died as a student in Vienna. Furthermore, his elder half-siblings Angela and Alois, Jr. are neither seen nor mentioned in the episode even though he was raised along with them.
  • Asshole Victim: The eponymous Grady Finch in "The Executions of Grady Finch" and the husband drom "How Much Do You Love Youe Kid?" come to mind. The Bully from "Into The Light" would have been one, but the teacher took the bullet meant for him from one of his victims.
  • Babysitter's Nightmare: The episode "The Collection" features a preteen girl named Danielle who has gone through many babysitters in the past. As it turns out, she's not a brat, just immature as a result of being desperately lonely and the child of controlling, overbearing parents. Unfortunately, Danielle thinks that the babysitters who come over are supposed to be her friends forever, and she finds a way to ensure that they stay—namely, permanently transforming them into Barbie dolls that can move, but not speak, and are still entirely conscious.
  • Bad Boss: Rick of "Mr. Motivation" to begin with, he gives Charles an impossible task, which Charles must complete in less than a day.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A recurring theme of the show, particularly in "The Pharaoh's Curse". An up-and-coming magician tries to learn the secret to a trick performed by the world's master at sleight of hand. Only after performing the trick does he realize that it's true magic, and he's now trapped in his aging mentor's body.
  • Broken Aesop: "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine" teaches having courage. However, when Craig showed his courage by standing up to his father, the father had no fear of retaliating and Craig was only saved from him because he used Azoth's magic sword to turn his dad into an action figure. Believe it or not, in the real world kids don't have power like that.
  • Call-Back: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont sets George on fire and mind rapes Lorna. In "It's a Good Life", it was mentioned that Teddy Reynolds and Aunt Amy suffered these respective fates.
  • Color Me Black: "Shades of Guilt": A man avoids picking up an African-American man (which allows some racist skinheads to beat him to death) and he keeps trying to avoid blame... and the Twilight Zone twist is him slowly becoming a twin of the guy, starting with his skin color changing, up until somehow he ends up living what precisely happened that night, and himself/a copy of himself picks him up out of mercy.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • In "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine", how does a regular Joe security guard (and abusive husband) defeat a Conan the Barbarian Expy? By splashing hot coffee in his face and not stopping his beat-down with a night stick until the other guy stops moving.
    • In "The Chosen", the protagonist gets his hands on a shotgun and blows away one of the mystery men that is making people disappear by shooting right through the door the moment he sees him about to knock. Unfortunately the guy turns out to be an angel that can heal from being shot in about five seconds and doing that made the angels decide to leave him behind to die in a nuclear war, but that's beyond the scope of this trope.
  • Continuation Fic: "It's Still a Good Life" is a direct continuation to the original series' "It's a Good Life", showcasing that Anthony Fremont has grown up and has a daughter named Audrey, who happens to be his Superior Successor in terms of powers. The conflict of the episode comes from the rest of town noticing this and Anthony's mother Agnes deciding to try to use her as a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb to take out Anthony and his reign of terror once and for all.
  • Continuity Nod: In "It's Still a Good Life", Lorna mentions how much Anthony loves tomatoes. In "It's a Good Life", Bill Soames brought two of the last cans of tomato soup in Peaksville to the Fremonts' house because he heard Anthony likes it.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scott Crane in "Burned" is an agoraphobic real estate mogul who had an apartment building he owned burned down, and doesn’t care that the fire killed two kids.
  • Creepy Child:
    • The ghost kids from "Burned".
    • Danielle in "The Collection". Miranda found out the painful way when the other dolls alerted her to the kid's true character.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine", what Craig wanted Azoth the Avenger to do to his abusive dad (and it's not unusual for him (and the audience) to believe it's going to happen, with Azoth being a Conan the Barbarian Expy and Craig's dad being a regular security guard). Turned out that it went the other way around, and Craig's dad gives Azoth a beating with his nightstick so bad that Azoth asks Craig to put him back on his home dimension immediately (although not before telling him that this is a situation where only Craig can save himself, if he is brave enough to confront his father).
    • In "The Collection", Miranda Evans (a fully-grown human female) squares off against a collection of living Barbie-sized dolls. No points for guessing who wins, although Miranda really should have let the dolls get her out of the house instead...
  • Dark Is Not Evil: "The Chosen": An unpleasant asshole is followed around by two intimidating people in dark leather trenchcoats telling him he's been "chosen." Eventually the asshole's friends get in on the act and say the same thing. It turns out in the end that the two pursuers were angels rescuing mankind from an impending nuclear war, and the asshole is subsequently left to die in atomic fire.
  • Death Is the Only Option: In "To Protect and Serve", a cop kills an abusive pimp to protect a woman, but the pimp comes back as a ghost and continues his evil ways. The cop eventually kills himself, becoming a ghost and allowing him to defeat the pimp once and for all.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: The premise of "One Night at Mercy". Death, here depicted as a middle-aged man who's grown depressed after countless eons killing every living thing on Earth, tries killing himself, but it doesn't work. The doctor treating him afterward mockingly suggests that he "quit," and Death decides to do just that. While the doctor initially thinks this is a good thing, he changes his mind when a group of burn victims are brought into the hospital in horrific, agonizing pain, but unable to die. He finds Death and begs him to go back on the job. Death is reluctant—"One day off in a four and a half billion years"—but ultimately agrees. The first name on his list? The doctor who was treating him.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Implied with Death in "One Night at Mercy". When Dr. Jay Ferguson rushes to find him and convince him to take up his old job, he finds him on the roof, murmuring about how he has to visit every living thing: "I kill flowers, too. Did you ever think about that? It's not just animals and people. It's grass, trees, roses..."
  • Divine Intervention: "The Executions of Grady Finch". Played with in that said divine intervention kept Finch from being killed via execution for a crime he committed (but he kept insisting that he didn't)... up until he was allowed to walk away (because seeing him survive unharmed that many times made the witness who had implicated him recant, so Finch was found not guilty in a new trial) and it made him brave (and arrogant) enough to think he was chosen by God as a result, admitting he did it too his lawyer, which was when the divine intervention intervened to have a statue of the goddess Nemesis (who represents vengeance) fall on him and kill him.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: "One Night At Mercy": Death is a kindly fellow who doesn't like his job at all and is happy to quit. When the doctor eventually dies of an aneurysm, Death comforts him, admits that he's tempted to just let the doctor come back to life, and shows admiration for the doctor's ability to give life to the patients.
  • Downer Ending: As per the standard of The Twilight Zone:
    • "Evergreen": the "rebellious" teenage girl gets turned into fertilizer.
    • "Chosen": after accidentally shooting the angel trying to rescue him, the man ends up being disintegrated on the exploding remains of Earth.
    • "How Much Do You Love Your Kid?": the woman "wins" a million dollars and the game show by killing the man who kidnapped her son...who turns out to be her husband, who did it to solve their money problems. She is arrested and has to use the money to hire a lawyer to get her off.note 
    • "Night Route": an engaged-to-be married college professor who survived being hit by a car ended up dying in the accident due to rejecting the bus of life that kept trying to save her. Worse, she wasn't really able to become a professor or engaged because of her death.
    • "Future Trade": the man that switched lives with a successful and wealthy executive with a beautiful wife ends up being murdered by the said wife, who along with her boyfriend set him up to look like he drowned instead.
    • "The Lineman": the mind-reader who comes to hate his new power is stuck with this ability and has been driven crazy by it, to boot.
    • "Rewind": the man with time-travel abilities that uses them to cheat at the casino ends up being caught by the mobsters after him.
    • "The Collection": Miranda Evans gets turned into a doll and the little girl Danielle Randall gets away with it.
    • "The Executions of Grady Finch": good news, the titular criminal is given a Karmic Death by the Divine Intervention that kept him alive long enough for him to slip up and finally confess. The bad news? The son of the man Finch killed will go to jail for trying to pull a Vigilante Execution and there's no telling whether or not Finch's lawyer will reveal Finch's confession, what with attorney-client confidentiality and all (usually, the privilege is held to end at death, so she might disclose this).
  • Dream Within a Dream: "The Pool Boy": Throughout the episode, the main character keeps waking up screaming each time that a mysterious man kills him. He gradually goes insane when he can't figure out if he's really awake or not every time the loop resets. In fact, everything he experiences is a dream; he was sentenced for murder and placed in a virtual prison. The man who kills him over and over again is the man he had originally murdered.

  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • "Gabe's Story": The titular character has been having a severe run of bad luck lately. As his life is about to crumble apart for good, he learns that he and everyone else are having their "stories" written for them, as - supposedly - nothing would ever happen to them otherwise. Gabe convinces his Writer and her boss allowing him to take control of his own life - allowing him to reconcile with his wife and get a fresh start.
    • "Mr. Motivation": Charlie stands up to his abusive boss and exposes his illegal scheme. He then gets promoted to his boss' job and starts going out with a coworker he has a crush on. In addition, he still has Mr. Motivation on his desk to prevent him from becoming a jerk to his new underlings.
  • Enfante Terrible: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont's daughter Audrey didn't fall far from the tree. She gets fed up with her grandmother Agnes trying to use her as a Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb against Anthony and banishes everybody who was still remaining in town to "the cornfield".
  • Even More Omnipotent: In "It's Still a Good Life", Audrey Fremont is even more powerful than her almighty father Anthony, as she can do the only thing that he cannot: return things to normal. She displays it by bringing back a watch belonging to her grandmother that Anthony erased from existence. In the end, she is even able to restore the entire world that Anthony caused to vanish.
  • Expy: In "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine", the title character is one for Conan the Barbarian.
  • Failed Execution, No Sentence: A variation in "The Executions of Grady Finch", which has the titular man sentenced to die, even when he insists that he's innocent of the murder that put him there. Divine Intervention prevents him from getting killed multiple times (even when the victim's angry son walks up to Finch and tries to shoot him) and thus it is decided to retry Finch's case in court and the key witness of the previous trial recants his testimony, which nets Finch a "not guilty" sentence. The truth is that Finch was the murderer and he finally gets the courage to confess, to his lawyer, when he's let go... which is what the Divine Intervention wanted all along, so it kills him by dropping the courthouse's statue of Nemesis, the goddess of Vengeance, on him.
  • Fake Identity Baggage: In "Future Trade", Martin Donner is offered a deal from a strange business called Future Trade that will allow him to trade his life for another man's. Martin is dissatisfied with his mundane life and jumps at the offer when he finds out that the man Jack is wealthy and married to a beautiful woman named Francesca. Martin does briefly wonder why the other guy was willing to trade this seemingly perfect life for Martin's own unsatisfying life, but he ignores his doubts. Just as the trial period of one day is about to end, Francesca reveals that Jack had been a serial adulterer and she was sick of it. She reveals this right when she poisons Martin and has her new beau throw him into the pool to drown him. Martin realized too late what Jack was trying to escape from when he made the deal.
  • Grand Theft Me: Mario becomes the victim of this in "The Pharaoh's Curse." Harry uses the titular magic trick every thirty years to stay young while his wife does it more frequently.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Body Surf-capable Secret Service Agent on "Time Lapse". Played for horror because the nurse that keeps getting possessed by the Agent doesn't knows what the hell is going on and (quite understandably) fears that whoever is possessing his body will assassinate the President of the United States unless he does something about it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In "Into the Light", the teacher stopped one of her students from shooting his classmates after being bullied. She tries to grab his gun, which caused them to fall from the roof. As honorable as that was, you have to wonder why though, considering the kid in question, in addition to being a bully, is a racist who laughed at the news of his Hispanic classmate getting fatally hit by car, even quipping how there was "many more of him at home".
  • Historical Domain Character:
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: "Cradle of Darkness". Subverted in that the time traveler succeeds, only for the nanny to replace baby Adolf with a baby from a beggar woman on the street, who grows up be the Hitler we know.
  • Hollywood Law: "How Much Do You Love Your Kid?" revolves around an Immoral Reality Show that kidnaps children and forces their loved ones to solve puzzles to recover them (and earn the prize money) or else they will never be seen again, and something this insane can be allowed by a single parent without any knowledge (let alone consent) from the other. Even the closest approximation to the Trope in Real Life still requires the consent of both parents if children are involved and cannot put them in the kind of danger an adult can consent to (read: potentially lethal).
  • Hypochondria: The episode "The Placebo Effect", where a hospital patient becomes convinced he has a fictional alien disease from a novel he read. The patient's belief soon manifests in reality, causing the illness to spread around the hospital. The doctors eventually give the man a placebo cure, allegedly created from a fallen meteor-only for the patient's paranoia about the meteor strike to create a new ice age...

  • I Choose to Stay: "Found And Lost".
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In "The Collection", this is Danielle's justification for transforming her babysitters into dolls—she's so desperately lonely for any sort of companionship that she'll do whatever it takes to make people stay with her...whether they want to or not.
  • Immoral Reality Show: In "How Much Do You Love Your Kid?", the titular reality show kidnaps people's children and forces the parent selected as a "contestant" to Race Against the Clock to locate the kid by answering a number of questions that will lead them to where the kid is... and a million dollars. And there's the implied threat that if the parents can't find their child in an hour, they'll never see them again. It becomes more sadistic when it turns out that in order to legally allow children to be taken in such a way, at least one of the parents must agree, even with said implied risk on the line.
  • Immortality Immorality: "Pharaoh's Curse" has a great magician perform the trick of the same name to switch bodies with a protege when he gets too old.
  • Ironic Echo: In "It's Still a Good Life", Agnes Fremont tells her son Anthony that he is a bad man, a very bad man. This is the same thing that Anthony said to Dan Hollis in "It's a Good Life" over 40 years earlier.
  • Irony: Alois Hitler had displayed racism toward Romani in "Cradle of Darkness". When his real son has been replaced with a Romani woman's, the chief inspector pronounces him a "pure Aryan". Possibly a dig at not only the racist pseudoscience of the "Aryan" theory, but also the fact that Alois Hitler's true paternity is uncertain.
  • Karma Houdini: Danielle in "The Collection", who turns her babysitters into dolls, and her parents merely think that they bail on her halfway through the night. And yet, her father complains that this is the third time this has happened through one agency, and no one has noticed that over a dozen girls have disappeared after babysitting this one house...
  • Karmic Death: In "Burned" the ghosts of the kids killed in an arson caused by Scott Crane get revenge by killing Crane, the arsonist, and a Dirty Cop who covered it up by burning them to death.
  • Kiddie Kid: Danielle from "The Collection" has shades of this—she's stated to be ten, but occasionally acts extremely immature, lashing out when anyone touches her toys and assuming that every babysitter she has naturally wants to be her very best friend. Justified in universe by her parents being overly controlling and treating her like a baby, suggesting that she hasn't matured because they won't let her.
  • Knight Templar: The people who run the Evergreen community. They kill troubled teens that couldn't be helped and in their mind were beyond saving. They then turn them into soil, because that's the most beneficial thing they could ever be. Of course, every small deviation is considered troubled by their standards.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: "The Executions of Grady Finch" has the eponymous character, who managed to evade multiple execution attempts for the previous murder he committed and was found not guilty at his retrial, end up being crushed by a giant statue that fell from the top of the courthouse.
  • Living Doll Collector:
    • "The Collection" featured a little girl who turned all her babysitters into Barbie dolls because she was lonely and didn't want them to ever leave.
    • The end of "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine" sees Craig transforming his abusive father into an action figure with a magic spell.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Danielle in "The Collection", to the point of being a Living Doll Collector.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The reveal of "The Pool Boy" is that the endless nightmare the main character finds himself in, where he's repeatedly murdered by a mysterious man, is actually a virtual prison that he was put in after being convicted of murder.

  • Mind over Matter: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont plays the piano in his house without touching the keys.
  • Mind Rape: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont punishes Lorna for keeping the secret of Audrey's power from him by destroying her mind, a more extreme version of what he did to Aunt Amy in "It's a Good Life".
  • Missing Mom: In "It's Still a Good Life", the adult Anthony Fremont has a daughter named Audrey. His mother Agnes mentions that he sent his wife to the cornfield.
  • Missing Time: In "Time Lapse", an orderly named Zack Walker finds himself suffering repeated blackouts where another consciousness takes over his body and travels out of the state, acquiring a weapon to be used in an apparent assassination attempt on the U.S. President. The other person is in fact a Secret Service Agent who was trying to stop a plot to kill the President, but ended up in a coma and discovered that he could project his mind into a nearby body.
  • Morality Pet: In "It's Still a Good Life", Audrey Fremont seems to be the only thing capable of stopping her father Anthony from sending people to the cornfield.
  • My Greatest Failure: In "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine", the title character reveals that in his youth, he fled a demonic attack that killed his whole family. His shame over his action continues to motivate him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bad Boss Rick of "Mr. Motivation" gives a motivational doll to Charles. This doll that turns out to be alive, motivates Charles to stop being such a doormat and show that his boss committed fraud.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont has grown tired of always winning at bowling and challenges Joseph to a game. When Joseph deliberately sends his ball into the gutter twice in a row, Anthony becomes angry at him for letting him win. He is about to punish him but his daughter Audrey asking him to play Pinball with her stays his hand.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Craig says this word for word to his father in "Azoth the Avenger is a Friend of Mine." His mother doesn't quote the trope name, but her standing up to her husband to defend Craig implies this.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When the husband and wife in "Sanctuary" realize that by using Rikki's only working cell phone, they have given into temptation and as a result, they forfeited their chance to live in a real-life garden of Eden.
    • In "The Collection", Miranda Evans when she discovers driver's licenses that match the names and appearances of Danielle's dolls, and realizes that they're all former babysitters who were permanently transformed by the child's desperation.
  • Only Sane Man: Several examples, such as the Mama Bear of "How Much Do You Love Your Child?", who instantly questions what kind of maniac would think of a contest where the life of a child is at stake to force contestants to participate.
  • Playing with Fire: In "It's Still a Good Life", when Anthony Fremont confronts Timmy's father George over Timmy accidentally knocking Audrey out of a tree, George begins to say to Agnes that it was a bad idea to let the children play together. Anthony realizes that George does not like him and sets him on fire to punish him. At Agnes' urging, he soon sends George to the cornfield. Having seen everything, Timmy is naturally devastated.
  • Police Are Useless: "How Much Do You Love Your Kid?" has Donna screaming at police officers to do something, but they all shrug and say the show is perfectly legal.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: Deconstructed in "The Pool Guy". The main character is a professional pool maintenance man, and he's more than aware of the "Rich MILF bangs the pool boy" scenario. So when someone's Trophy Wife comes on to him, he's just annoyed, pointing out that he's there to do a job, which really isn't anywhere as glamorous as going to mansions and scoring with hot women all day. It later turns out that he and the wife did have some sort of sexual encounter (it's ambiguous whether she tried to seduce him and he refused, or he tried to score with her after misreading her signals), and he murdered her husband to get rid of him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "The Collection", Miranda thinks the dolls are trying to hurt Danielle. In reality, they are trying to get her to leave before she is also turned into a doll, and Miranda doesn't realize it until it's too late. This was not helped by how the dolls ominously tried to warn her, by underlining a passage in her college textbook that was pertinent to the situation.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In "Evergreen", the Evergreen community turns unruly teens into red plant fertilizer disguised as a 'reeducation camp' especially for them.
  • The Powers That Be: In "One Night at Mercy", Death remarks that while he wants to quit, forces even more powerful than him (which he simply calls "They") won't permit him to do so.
  • Psychic Static: In "It's Still a Good Life", Agnes Fremont has developed the ability to shield her thoughts from her son Anthony after more than 40 years. She taught Audrey to do the same thing, though in her case it proved unnecessary as Anthony couldn't read her thoughts.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont has matured somewhat over the previous 40 years but he has retained his spoiled attitude and overly simplistic worldview. He is still very quick to punish people who don't like him and think mean thoughts about him.
  • Pygmalion Plot: In "Dream Lover", a bored artist decides to create the literal girl of his dreams to help him unwind after drawing her on a sheet of paper. She gradually becomes more rebellious and starts to ignore him until she reveals that he didn't create her, she created him. She erases him when he becomes jealous of her romance with a real man.

  • Race Lift: This revival was targeted towards a more African-American audience; the host Forest Whitaker was black as were a lot of the main characters in its episodes, and it featured episodes such as "Shades of Guilt" in which a racist white man slowly turns black, or "Memphis", in which a dying black man who finds himself in 1968 tries to save Martin Luther King. Tropes Are Not Bad, of course, and being on UPN might have had something to do with it.
  • Reality Warper:
    • In "It's Still a Good Life", Audrey Fremont proves to be an even more powerful reality warper than her father Anthony, who made the world outside of Peaksville disappear before he was six years old. Audrey is able to do the one thing that he can't do: bring things back from the cornfield. She eventually brings back the entire world.
    • In "The Collection", Danielle Randall can transform adults into dolls while under extreme duress.
    • All of the bad things that happen in "The Placebo Effect" occur because a hypochondriac happens to have this kind of power, as the doctor who swindles him with a placebo (supposedly obtained from a meteor that hit Earth) to stop a fictional disease discovers the hard way - the damned worry-wart stopped imagining a disease, sure, but he started imagining a new ice age.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: If you think the soundtrack from the series sounds oddly familiar, it's because the series' composer was Mark Snow and he reused some of his music from The X-Files.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Lampshaded in "The Lineman." Shannon tries to convince Tyler that he can use his ability to read minds for a greater cause than just making money in the stock market. She says he could determine the truth in courts, help mental patients, or possibly even reach people in comas. Unfortunately, Tyler has become Drunk with Power, and quite literally drunk, by that point.
  • The Remake:
  • Resurrection/Death Loop: The episode "The Pool Guy" is about a man who is murdered by a mysterious stranger at the end of each day before he wakes up in his apartment again. It's all a Mind Prison meant to serve as an Ironic Hell, as he's really a murderer.
  • Ret-Gone: In "Upgrade", an overstressed woman named Anne MacIntosh complains about her rebellious teenagers Sean and Tess, disobedient dog Zonka and her family's bills. After falling and hitting her head, she gradually comes to witness the dog, her children, her husband Philip and eventually herself upgraded into superior versions of themselves. It then is shown to be a Video Game that a little girl named Lizzie is playing and she decides to keep the new family. Be Careful What You Wish For, indeed.
  • Rewriting Reality: In "Upgrade", after moving into a new house, Anne MacIntosh discovers that her dog Zonka has changed breeds and she is the only one who realizes it. She soon finds that her previously obnoxious family, consisting of her husband Phillip and two children Sean and Tess, has been similarly replaced. Their physical appearances are entirely different and their personalities have become essentially perfect. Anne can't get anyone to believe her and she is eventually replaced herself. The final scene reveals that Anne and her family are characters in a little girl named Lizzie's The Sims-esque people simulator Video Game.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "The Monsters Are on Maple Street," which aired in 2003, updates the original episode's script to explore the prejudice and unjustified hate crimes against American citizens of Middle Eastern descent after the attacks of September 11th, 2001. The only house spared by the mysterious power failure belongs to a Middle Eastern family, and it's clear that the rest of the neighbors are openly suspicious of them as terrorists. The fact that the culprit isn't aliens, but rather the U.S. government running an experiment on paranoia in the age of terrorism, only increases the parallel.
  • Satanic Archetype: "Rikki" in "Sanctuary" seems like some kind of Devil figure. From the moment she arrives, she's associated with snakes, scorpions, and wasps, constantly tries to tempt the main characters to use her phone (the only one that works) to call the outside world, and calls them "mortals" during her "The Reason You Suck" Speech. It is left ambiguous whether she's trying to get them kicked out of the sanctuary because she's evil or whether her role was to test whether they deserved to be there in the first place.
  • Setting Update: "The Monsters are on Maple Street" uses the fact that it's 2002 to add more things to the blackout that freak out people like cell phones being unresponsive. It also explores the paranoia behind profiling (the only house that still receives light belongs to a Middle-Eastern man). On top of that, it uses the fact that The War on Terror is fresh to change the creators of said blackout from aliens to a U.S. Government Conspiracy that was testing how normal Americans would react to a situation that fired up their paranoia. It only takes several hours for them to turn on each other.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rod Serling is featured in the opening credits.
    • In "The Collection", Danielle Randall tells Miranda Evans that she and Jenny used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer together and that Jenny wanted Buffy and Spike to hook up. Both The Twilight Zone and Buffy aired on UPN during the 2002-2003 season.
  • Superior Successor: In "It's Still a Good Life", Anthony Fremont's daughter Audrey manages to be a Superior Successor to a nigh-omnipotent Reality Warper. She can restore things that her father has willed out of existence (which he himself cannot do) and is immune to his telepathy.
  • That Sounds Familiar: In "Hunted", a virtually crime-free future society is suddenly menaced by a mysterious creature called a Kreetor, believed to have long been extinct. The leader of the team tasked with finding and killing the Kreetor finds out that the Kreetor is actually a human, possibly the only one left on Earth, and all the other apparent humans are actually cyborgs who wiped out the human race and took over their civilization. The word "Kreetor" came from "creator."
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In "It's Still a Good Life", Agnes Fremont mentions that her son Anthony sent his father Bill to the cornfield years earlier.
  • Too Clever by Half: The doctor protagonist of "The Placebo Effect" becomes one of these as a Cruel Twist Ending: once she figures out that the hypochondriac who is Patient Zero of a disease ravaging the hospital is a Reality Warper and that the disease (which the man imagined he had after reading a sci-fi book) did not had a cure in said book, she creates a cure by swindling the hypochondriac into accepting a saline solution injection by telling him that it's a classified substance obtained from a crashed meteor. The disease disappears, but the hypochondriac gets so worked up over the "meteor struck Earth" part of the lie that he sends the Earth into a new ice age, as the doctor discovers once she steps out to the parking lot for a cigarette break.
  • Too Good to Be True: In the episode "Future Trade", the main character realizes this only after he finds out that the man he traded futures with had cheated on the beautiful trophy wife and now she is getting her revenge by poisoning who she thinks is her husband.




Video Example(s):


"You are a bad man."

Agnes finally tells her son the what for, omnipotent powers be damned, going as far as to say the very same words he uses before sending people to the "cornfield".

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech

Media sources: