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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Charlie was originally inspired by Bill Nighy's performance in Love Actually and was supposed to be an over the hill rock star. When Dominic Monaghan auditioned they reworked the role as a younger man.
    • Sawyer was originally conceived of as a slick big city con man, but the producers liked Josh Holloway's audition so much that they reworked the character as a sexy Southerner.
    • Kate was originally supposed to be a 30-something business woman who had lost her husband in the crash. They eventually cast a younger Evangeline Lilly as Kate and decide to portray her as a criminal.
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  • Acting in the Dark: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were very sparing with details of the characters' backstories, only divulging them when absolutely necessary. For instance, Terry O'Quinn initially had no idea why his character was in a wheelchair.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Naveen Andrews came up with the idea of Sayid and Shannon's love story.
    • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje came up with his own character's name, "Mr. Eko", while he and the writers were developing the character.
  • Breakthrough Hit: You can thank this show for making J. J. Abrams a big name.
  • California Doubling:
    • Nearly the entire series was filmed on Oahu, with urban areas (mixed with CGI) doubling for anywhere from London to Baghdad to Seoul to Sydney.
    • Averted for two scenes shot in London (granted, only one was on location) featuring Charles Widmore, as actor Alan Dale was doing Spamalot on the West End and unavailable to fly to Honolulu. Also averted in the season 3 finale, which had scenes shot on location in Los Angeles (notably Jack's aborted suicide attempt on the Sixth Street Viaduct bridge) and on sets from Grey's Anatomy.
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  • Cast Incest: Michael Emerson played Ben. His wife, Carrie Preston, guest starred as his mother. This is made slightly less icky by the fact that the two actors never actually shared a scene.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Dominic Monaghan originally auditioned for Sawyer, who was originally supposed to be a suit-wearing city con man. The producers were so enthused by Monaghan that the part of Charlie was altered to accommodate him - Charlie was originally going to be a 45-year-old washed-up rock star.
    • Yunjin Kim originally read for Kate. The producers felt she was not what they were looking for in Kate, but decided to create a new character for her, along with a spouse.
    • Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia also auditioned for Sawyer.
  • Completely Different Title: In France, it is known as Lost: Les Disparus. The additional French tag is due to a governmental ruling that imposes the use of French in all titles. "Les disparus" literally translates to "the missing" but 'disparus' means; gone, missing, vanished, lost, extinct, dead or departed. Depending on context.
  • Creator Backlash:
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    • Harold Perrineau made it clear in interviews that he didn't like the circumstances surrounding his character's death. In particular, the actor complained that there was no closure to the plot between Michael and his son Walt, that few characters reacted to his death, and that his death was not heroic enough and that there was no real redemption. Perrineau also believed that that there were some Unfortunate Implications involving the fact that the black character didn't have a happy ending.
    • Evangeline Lilly revealed that she was often unhappy with the Jack/Kate/Sawyer Love Triangle and that she felt so uncomfortable filming a semi-nude scene in season three that she refused to ever do such a scene again.
    • Paul Dini, who worked on the series during its early days, wrote this gem for The Joker in Batman: Arkham City as a sort of Take That!.
      The Joker: I can hear you all now. "How did this happen? Can I get me some of that crazy cure? I want answers, dammit! Now!" Well, here's the thing. Answers don't give you everlasting satisfaction. Sometimes, you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Now, think about it. Imagine your favorite show. You've been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences. And then, BANG! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Averted with Tania Raymonde, who started the show at 16, the same age as her character Alex. She experienced a touch of this though four years later playing the character at the same age. Later played straight with Alex's boyfriend Karl, played by 25-year-old Blake Bashoff.
    • Daniel Faraday's age is an odd subject: Assuming he was born in late 1977, that still means he was no older than 19 when Desmond visited him at Oxford where he was a professor. The fact that he's a super-genius could maybe justify that, but it still means that Daniel was probably 18 when he graduated, and in his graduation scene he is played by 39-year-old Jeremy Davies.
    • Ben and Danielle are also supposed to be the same age (as are Michael Emerson and Mira Furlan, who are both in their 50's). Yet when they're seen together in a flashback, Danielle at 29 is played by Melissa Farman, while Ben at 29 is played by Michael Emerson (wearing a wig).
  • Enforced Method Acting: L. Scott Caldwell and Sam Anderson were kept separated on set until their reunion scene in order to emphasize the separation the characters suffered until then.
  • Executive Veto: Jack was supposed to die in the first episode; ABC nixed that idea and the rest is history.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Naveen Andrews (British of Indian parentage) plays Sayid Jarrah (Iraqi Arab)
    • Evangeline Lilly (Canadian) plays Kate Austen (American)
    • Daniel Dae Kim (American of Korean parentage) plays Jin-Soo Kwon (Korean national)
    • Mira Furlan (Yugoslavian/Croatian) plays Danielle Rousseau (French)
    • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (British of Nigerian parentage) plays Mr. Eko (Nigerian)
    • Alan Dale (New Zealand) plays Charles Widmore (British)
    • Fionnula Flanagan (Irish) plays Eloise Hawking (English)
    • Andrew Divoff (Venezuelan) plays Mikhail Bakunin (Russian)
    • Zuleikha Robinson (British) plays Ilana Verdansky (who is presumed to be of Russian descent)
    • In the flash-sideways verse, possibly Jeremy Davies (American) as Daniel Widmore (British) (though he still has an American accent)
  • Fan Community Nicknames: Lostaways. Or Losties. Both names refer to the Flight 815 islanders as well.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Being on network television and with good critical and audience reception, the show soon gathered a huge fanbase and was recognizable for even those who didn't watch it. Then it ended in an unarguably divisive manner, and the fandom went into the "Oblivion" stage, regressing and with the show not remaining a subject of conversation following its finale like Star Trek or Friends. New viewers still emerge with the show being on Netflix and the like, but it's unlikely Lost will return to its popularity peak.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Head writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are generally referred to as "Darlton" or "Team Darlton".
    • Fenry for Ben when he was "Fake Henry," becoming "Benry"
    • Losties or Lostaways for the original group
    • Tailies and Boaties for those who arrived in the plane's tail and the freighter, respectively;
    • Guyliner for Richard Alpert—though he's not actually wearing any at all; Nestor Carbonell's eyes are naturally like that.
    • Smokey for The Monster. Sawyer eventually calls the Monster 'Smokey' in the series finale.
    • The Man in Black has a whole bunch thanks to having no name revealed at the beginning:
      • Esau
      • Un-Locke
      • Flocke
      • Smokey
      • "The Locke-ness Monster" probably wins for creativity.
      • Finally, his name was revealed to be 'Barry'.
    • And of course the Muppet Dr. Chang in Lost Untangled has his own series of nicknames for everyone, several of them possibly borrowed from the fan community.
  • Filming Location Cameo: When the Oceanic Six are rescued, they land in Hawai'i.
  • Flip-Flop of God: No one seems to actually know what caused Eko to be written off the show. Official statements from different sources have stated that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje asked for too much money, that he felt the character had nowhere else to go and asked to be written out, that he got tired of living in Hawai'i and quit the show completely, and that he needed to leave the show due to a death in the family. Aside from the Real Life Writes the Plot aspect, there's no consistency to anybody's stories. Even on this wiki, all the options are used interchangeably.
  • Foiler Footage: Three versions of the final shot from "There's No Place Like Home, Part 3" were filmed to disguise the identity of the person in the coffin. The fake shots showed Desmond and Sawyer in the coffin instead of Locke. According to the writers they were nervous during the first airing that the editor might have spliced the wrong footage into the final cut and left them with a bear of a problem to write their way out of.
  • Fountain of Expies: The number of shows from various networks (including ABC itself) that have tried to capture Lost's magic in a bottle again. Lost is nearly becoming the Doom of television shows.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Quite a few episodes were altered for their first reairing, which is the version on DVD. Most of these corrected small goofs, such as a gloved hand directing the horse in "What Kate Did" and a white car clearly visible on the island in "The Other 48 Days." "Adrift" added a shot of the World Trade Center towers, to help better establish the timeframe of Michael's flashbacks.
  • God Never Said That:
    • The producers never said that the show would never have time travel. They once said that the then ongoing season two had no time travel — and it didn't — but never that there would never be time travel. Additionally, they never stated that there was one huge clue left in the pilot — in fact, they explicitly said there wasn't, and the last one to be made significant was the single white tennis shoe Jack found. Yet this is repeated until today.
    • In an example of "Word of Mistaken God," an excellent way to see if someone is making something up about a producer comment is to see if they attribute it to J.J. Abrams, who has had little involvement in the series since season 1, helping to set it up, write and direct the pilot, and contributing to only a very few episodes after (the last being a webisode between seasons 3 and 4).
  • I Knew It!:
    • Speculation was that based off his nickname, "Mr. Friendly", Tom's full name was Tom Friendly. Eventually the producers confirmed this was true.
    • A number of fans also speculated that Tom was gay after he told Kate, "You're not my type," and the actor apparently changed his portrayal based on the fan reaction to that line. The episode "Meet Kevin Johnson" later confirmed that Tom was gay.
    • On a more plot-relevant level, a lot of fans, upon finding out that post-return to the Island, Locke is not really Locke anymore, speculated that he was actually the Smoke Monster in Locke's form. Sure enough, in the Season 6 premiere...
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Claire Littleton loves peanut butter, but Emilie de Ravin is allergic to it.
  • Name's the Same: The show's Theme Naming:
    • John Locke
    • (Desmond) David Hume
    • (Danielle) Rousseau
    • (Daniel) Faraday
    • Edmund Burke
    • Mikhail Bakunin
    • Jeremy Bentham
    • Anthony Cooper
    • (Boone) Carlyle
    • Richard Alpert
    • (Eloise) Hawking
    • C(harlotte) Staples Lewis
    • Dogen
  • McLeaned: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje asked to be written out of the show so he could return to London and take a break from acting following the sudden death of his parents. The writers had envisioned a long, "Yin and Yang type" relationship between Mr. Eko and John Locke, but were forced to re-write it, which probably put more emphasis on the antagonism between Locke and Jack as the series went on.
  • Playing Against Type: Yunjin Kim (Sun), who gained fame in Korea playing Action Girls. Of course, Sun's character began to show some of those traits in later seasons.
  • Referenced by...: In December 2016, the Professional Wrestling promotion CHIKARA recorded several matches and released them in installments as the "lost" Season 17, with all nine events titled after episodes of Lost.
  • Romance on the Set: Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan dated from 2004-2009.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Unusually, for composer Michael Giacchino more than for any of the people in front of the camera.
    • Playing Kate Austen was a big boost to Evangeline Lilly's career.
  • Teasing Creator: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.
  • Viral Marketing: The Lost Experience is the biggest example, but also the other between-seasons games.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its own page.
  • The Wiki Rule: Lostpedia, and another Lost Wiki.
  • Word of God: Now that the series is over, most of the burning questions fans have had will have to be/have been addressed in this way, if at all. In particular, the original plan for Ilana's character (which may or may not count as canon) was that she would turn out to be Jacob's daughter.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The pilot and first six episodes were written with only the vaguest of long-term planning (i.e. "Locke will find a hatch sometime, and there's a science compound, and maybe we'll reveal two gods were playing a game the whole time.") because Damon Lindelof admitted he didn't think the show would last. He just cribbed the flashback structure from Watchmen and wrote whatever interested him while waiting for the cancellation notice. However, when the ratings came in, he teared up in exasperation and asked, "You mean we have to keep doing this every week?!" He put in a call to his old boss, Carlton Cuse, who came onboard after "Confidence Man" and helped him sketch out a very rough outline, but they soldiered through the rest of the first season by ad-libbing it, including the infamous "numbers". It wasn't until the summer break that they spent a month planning out the rest of the Myth Arc.

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