- Anti-Climax Boss: The final game against Mira, the Queen of Hearts was definitely rough, but not for anything about the game. Arisu nearly loses due to Mira's mind games, but once he overcomes her mind games, all he has to do to win is play a simple game of Croquet. He doesn't even have to win to clear the game. Mira takes her failure to mentally break Arisu without concern and happily plays through the game knowing she will die at the end.
- Complete Monster: Suguru Niragi, the sadistic second-in-command of Beach's paramilitary wing, gleefully commits atrocities out of a nihilistic belief that all Humans Are Bastards. Once a weak-willed victim of bullying before he joined Beach, Niragi is in charge of executing "traitors" of the regime alongside his boss and gladly supports the Military Coup against Hatter by forcing the members of Beach's executive council to accept Aguni as their new leader, going as far as to try to rape Usagi. When Aguni decides that purging the vast majority of Beach's population is the best way to solve the Ten of Hearts game, Niragi casually murders a fellow militiaman for refusing to shoot innocent civilians and leads the massacre across the colony, bringing the residents outside for him to snipe all of them from the rooftop before throwing a Molotov Cocktail at the survivors and gunning down several people in his path in an attempt to kill everyone to win the game by himself.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: In the series, it's definitely Chisiya, Niragi and Karube.
- Earlier on, Karube as mentioned above and Chota are beloved by most fans because of their dynamic personalities, being True Companions to Arisu but also sadly performing their Heroic Sacrifice in a Sadistic Choice for Arisu in the heartrending Seven of Hearts game in episode 3 because they know they that Arisu's intelligence and moral conscience can make a difference for himself and ask him to live life to the fullest devastating Arisu as they die.
- Fanfic Fuel: What are the games associated with all the cards we don't see? For instance, no ace card games are ever seen - would they be the simplest games as presumed by its value, or more difficult than the 10s just like its placement in some card games?
- Friendly Fandoms: With Sweet Home, another horror series that aired on Netflix in December 2020.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In chapter 43, Arisu and Usagi find a hot spring shooting out of the wreckage of a baseball field. They take a bath there and shortly later have sex in for the first time in the ruins. It's supposed to be rather romantic. However, when you consider the fact that in one of the side stories, 6 people were instantly killed when said hotspring initially erupted and the lone survivor had to amputate her leg and suffer a lot to survive, it becomes less so.
- Magnificent Bastard:
- Manga: Ginji Kyuma, revealed to be one of the citizens of Borderland, ran a dangerous treasure game called "King of Clubs". A charismatic and jovial musician who, despite his troubled life, retains a positive outlook towards life in general, Ginji accepts his fate as one of the citizens of Borderland after playing several dangerous games. When Arisu and his companions try to challenge him in the treasure hunt, Ginji and his companions outwit Arisu's team several times despite their advantages over Ginji's team at first, which leaves Arisu and his companions in complete disarray. Despite being outwitted by Arisu at the end of the game, Ginji accepts his defeat and praises Arisu's performance during the game, proving himself to be one of the most compelling enemies Arisu had ever faced.
- Live-Action series: The mysterious Shuntaro Chishiya is a cunning manipulator who allies himself with anyone he can to further his agenda of acquiring all of the playing cards to escape from Borderland. Chishiya first appears at the Five of Spades game, where he is one of the two people to figure out the location of the building's saferoom, and helps Arisu and Usagi in taking down the game's tagger. Later joining the organization "Beach", Chishiya works his way up into the organization's ranks, and when the leader of Beach dies and is replaced by the militant Aguni, Chishiya uses Arisu as bait to figure out the hiding spot of the playing cards. When Aguni decides to purge Beach of all non-militant members, Chishiya confronts the insane Sugaru Niragi, burning him with a homemade flamethrower, retrieves the Ten of Hearts card, and joins Arisu and Usagi in playing the next stage of games to track down the Game Master.
- Narm: The killer in episode two wears a mask in the shape of a horse's head. It looks very silly and detracts from the Nightmare Fuel of the situation.
YMMV / Alice in Borderland