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YMMV / American Horror Story: Freak Show

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  • Accidental Innuendo: Ethel telling Dell to "Stay away from my Jimmy!" sounds kind of funny, because "Jimmy" is sometimes used as slang for "penis". It probably wouldn't come off that way if it wasn't the bearded lady saying it.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: A lot of people felt bad for Dell when he was killed, due to the fact that he seemed to be trying to redeem himself but was killed before he could.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Elsa's enthusiasm when Edward Mordrake initially picks her to take back to Hell with him. Was it because she genuinely wants to die? Or did being chosen make her feel special, and she's so desperate to be important that she's willing to accept death as a price to pay for being in the spotlight?
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    • Gloria's spoiling of Dandy: is she trying to keep him happy and keep him from feeding his dangerous tendencies, or is she trying to make up for her neglect in his past? Or does she just not know how to be a proper mom due to said neglect?
    • Did Dandy deliver a Mercy Kill to his mother, or was he just looking for another excuse to murder somebody?
  • Award Snub: Sarah Paulson, for her dual role as Bette and Dot.
    • Many people felt that Naomi Grossman deserved an emmy for her role as Pepper, particularly for the episode Orphans. She failed to achieve a single nomination in any ceremony for her work, despite the fact that Orphans is often singled out as one of the most emotional and memorable episodes American Horror Story has ever produced, led by her mostly wordless performance.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Edward Mordrake's theremin-heavy Leitmotif is eerie, beautiful and terrifying all at once.
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    • The carnival-esque version of the regular theme that plays over the opening credits is pretty damn cool, especially since this is the first series of AHS to have a musical convention associated with its theme that it can exploit.
    • The characters' renditions of some songs, particularly; Elsa's take on "Gods and Monsters", Dot's rendition of "Criminal" and Jimmy's "Come As You Are".
    • The music that plays when Dandy walks onto the stage after buying the freak show.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • During Elsa's performance of "Life on Mars" in the first episode, there is a random shot of her dressed as a clown. It's never referenced in the show, is not part of her performance, and no explanation for it is given.
    • The scene with Stanley and the male prostitute dressed up as Thor only to reveal that Stanley has a huge penis.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ethel Darling. Some fans find her to be a very sympathetic Iron Woobie with Kathy Bates giving an excellent performance, others find her to be a dull wasted character stuck in an Emmy-bait storyline.
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    • Bette and Dot. Dot, for her rudeness and treatment of her sister, and Bette, for her naivete coming off as annoying to some. Generally, if you like one, you might dislike the other.
      • There's also a fairly significant portion of fans who hate both, due to their complete lack of depth and having one dimension (described above) per sister.
    • Elsa. Many fans love her for being a powerful but flawed character who truly cares about her "children" and is willing to do anything to keep them alive. But there's also a large amount of viewers who see her as a selfish, manipulative, Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who only cares about herself and will do anything to become famous. Wounding Paul and killing Ethel definitely did not help her case.
    • Maggie. Some feel she's been contributing almost nothing to the plot despite supposedly being The Dragon to Stanley, not to mention some slamming Emma Roberts' abysmal performance. Others appreciate her character development, complexity and the fact that she's a subversion of Emma Roberts' character from last season, as opposed to expy-ing an actors' characters from earlier seasons.
  • Broken Base: The season. While some viewers enjoy how serious it is (in contrast to Coven) as well as less plot and character inconsistencies, there's also a large portion who feel that the season itself is incredibly dull due to its aimless story and underdeveloped characters.
    • Additionally, Maggie's death has proven extremely divisive. A large portion of the fanbase see it as an Alas, Poor Scrappy (or Alas, Poor Villain) moment, feeling that it was overly sudden, random, and taking issue with the fact that none of the other freaks cared whatsoever, even though she was trying to atone for her actions, helped expose Stanley, and was truly in love with Jimmy. That said, just as many fans see it as an absolute highpoint and a Take That, Scrappy! moment, delivering a hilariously random, awesome, and gory death to a maligned character. The fact that no one cared made it that much sweeter for them, and the fact that Maggie did come to the Freak Show with the explicit purpose of murdering freaks and selling their corpses, only to realize after many had already died it's a bad idea, meant that they didn't owe her much beyond not murdering her in cold blood.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Dandy Mott is a spoiled heir who exhibited signs of sociopathy even in childhood, and is heavily implied to have caused another boy's disappearance. As an adult, he has become bored with his lavish lifestyle. This is alleviated when he meets Twisty, a Serial Killer who has kidnapped several young children, whom Dandy is shown gleefully tormenting psychologically. Dandy later becomes a killer himself, after being introduced to "the sweet language of murder". Two of his many victims are another childhood friend and his own mother, the latter of whom he turns into a giant Dead Woman Puppet after bathing in her blood. While he asserts that he identifies with the freaks, he talks down to them and uses the term "freak" to insult them, even after correcting his Dragon for doing the same thing. After they get fed up with his mistreatment, they walk out on their contracts, so Dandy calmly strolls around their campgrounds and shoots them dead as he sees them. Despite his claims of being in love with the Tattler twins, he treats them like possessions rather than human beings, and it's quite obvious that whatever "love" he feels for them is purely narcissistic. Though he presents himself as a cultured aristocrat, Dandy is ultimately just an overgrown child who never quite grew out of the mentality that everyone and everything exists solely to entertain him and bend to his will.
    • Stanley wants to kill the freaks just so he can make money off selling their bodies to a museum. Posing as a talent scout to lure Maggie into becoming his apprentice, Stanley attempts to manipulate her into killing Jimmy for him, admitting he would kill her too if her body could be sold. Constantly dreaming of killing the freaks and the money he will make off the freaks' bodies, Stanley tries to poison Bette and Dot with cupcakes, and when he sees Dell at a gay bar, blackmails Dell into killing Ma Petite for him, taunting him about the guilt he feels. When Jimmy gets arrested, Stanley convinces Jimmy to let him saw off one of his deformed hands and sell it to get Jimmy a lawyer, only for Stanley to cut off both his hands and keep all the money from selling them to himself, leaving Jimmy imprisoned. When Maggie tells the freaks of Stanley's intention, the latter, greedy and self-serving to the end, cowardly tries to save his own life, outing Elsa as Ethel's murderer to try and redirect their hatred.
  • Contested Sequel: After Coven, this season is one of the biggest in terms of Broken Base. The fact that all seasons are essentially completely different shows is basically asking for differing opinions.
  • Critical Dissonance: While this season has garnered mostly positive reviews and boasts the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of all of American Horror Story, fans have been... less than enthusiastic.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Dandy, while primarily beloved for being entertainingly evil, has had some fans who have stated that they strongly empathize with him, seeing Dandy as somebody with obvious mental issues who feels trapped with a mother who has no idea how to deal with him and who stifles his growth and development.
    • Chester was given this treatment by fans even before his debut episode aired. It helps that he's played by Neil Patrick Harris.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • By far the biggest of the season is Dandy Mott, often being singled out as the only major good character of the entire season and often held up as one of the best characters in all AHS. Mainly for his hilarious Large Ham Psychopathic Manchild tendencies, which were immensely entertaining to watch in a season that otherwise was considered fairly dull. While obviously intended to be entertaining, it's safe to say newcomer Finn Wittrock was likely not anticipated to be upstaging series veterans like Kathy Bates or Jessica Lange, which is exactly what ended up happening.
    • Twisty has become an instant favorite among fans, possibly due to being the most directly frightening thing in Freak Show, and John Carroll Lynch gives an unnerving, almost entirely wordless performance that works almost entirely on suggestion. With his death and backstory, he's pretty much become a fan favorite. He's definitely being more talked about by audiences and critics than even Jessica Lange.
    • Several of the secondary freaks fall into this, such as Paul, Amazon Eve, and especially Ma Petite. The former two are well-liked for their actors' surprisingly good performances despite limited experience, and Eve is seen as a badass for what she does to Dell and Dandy. Ma Petite is universally loved by the fanbase for her cuteness.
    • Dora for putting up with Gloria and Dandy and being a Servile Snarker. It helps that she's played by Patti LaBelle.
    • Edward Mordrake is a favorite as well, as he reveals the backstories of many of the characters, including Twisty who he takes to his circus after hearing his.
    • Ethel's doctor is also well-liked due to the fact that he treats both her and Desiree like regular people as opposed to carnival freaks.
    • Chester was extremely popular with the fans even before his debut episode. His dummy, Marjorie, also falls into this for being deliciously evil and creepy. People have also stated that Jamie Brewer was brilliant in this role.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Edward Mordrake, though he's more of an Anti-Villain than outright evil.
    • Dandy, in the later episodes. You probably wouldn't expect a spoiled heir to be a main antagonist of a freak show series rather than a Monster Clown like Twisty, but he is.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "Stars never pay!"
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Dandy can be this sometimes. Some of his clothes are stylish-looking, but a few of his outfits look ridiculous.
  • Fountain of Memes: Dandy, with his bursts of bizarrely poetic speeches and strange statements.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Elsa watching the footage of the Freak's orgy with Penny becomes this after you learn that she lost her legs in a snuff film and the footage spread through Germany.
    • Gloria's deadpan line "My son has no friends" gains a darker meaning once we learn that Dandy's childhood friend Emil disappeared and was never found. It's implied that he was Dandy's first human victim.
    • The Corrupt Cop from episode 9 is a rather uncomfortable reminder of the many instances of police brutality in the United States that have set some high tensions against law enforcement, especially considering that most police brutality cases have involved racist components and Regina is a black woman.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Elsa, in a tradition of Jessica Lange's characters in past seasons. Sure she is extremely delusional and self absorbed, but she lost her legs due to a snuff film that she didn't agree to. While she states that she was "lucky" to have lived as most people actually die in snuff films she makes it quite clear that she feels unlucky to have lived.
  • Love to Hate: Dandy.
  • Memetic Badass: Amazon Eve.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Sarah Paulson's two heads were memetic long before the show even premiered, and are used regularly in reaction images to show simultaneous emotion. There's also somewhat of a trend of photoshopping Lana Del Rey to have two heads like Bette and Dot.
    • "Oh darling, stars never pay." note 
    • Gloria's matter-of-fact "My son has no friends" in "Bullseye."
    • Meep has become a meme in and of himself, due to Jimmy's constant praising of him. It's common to respond to somebody saying something about Jimmy with either a comment that "Meep didn't do nothin'," or "know who else [insert whatever action the first person was talking about]? Meep."
      • This is usually followed by someone responding with "get out of here, Jimmy!"
  • Misaimed Fandom:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Dandy crosses this when he murders his mother.
    • Vince having his tattoo artist friend disfigure his daughter Penny with tattoos and a forked tongue when she goes to be with Paul.
    • Bette and Dot's mother's horrid mistreatment of her children.
    • Elsa crosses this when she murders Ethel and assists in making her death look like a suicide.
    • The freaks (Jimmy and Desiree in particular) cross it when they show No Sympathy for Maggie after she's brutally killed, Desiree saying that she had it coming and telling the others to steal her valuables and "bury the bitch's body", while Jimmy barely has any reaction and forms a relationship with Dot, completely ignoring the fact that Maggie loved him.
  • Narm:
    • Twisty's weird flip-out over his balloon trick failing.
    • The scene where Meep's fate is revealed is truly heartbreaking. That is until Jimmy screams at the heavens twice which just makes the scene feel longer than it needed to be and a little bit funny when it shouldn't be.
    • Bette demanding that her mother let her see Singin' in the Rain, "In Glorious Technicolor!" Sure, she's sheltered so that probably seems like a big deal, but come on.
    • Edward Mordrake is built up pretty well as being The Dreaded. However, the green mist that signifies his appearance is straight out of Goosebumps.
    • Even by Psychopathic Manchild standards, Dandy is really over the top. Drinking alcohol from a baby bottle? And the ridiculous way he throws tantrums. With a little more subtlety he could be a pretty disturbing character. Instead every scene with him is hilarious.
    • The use of songs that wouldn't exist yet. "Life on Mars" and "Criminal" are slightly excusable but "Gods and Monsters" is really pushing. The song references Jim Morrison "heading towards a messed up holiday". Jim Morrison was 8 years old on Halloween on 1952.
    • It also doesn't help that in the original version of the song the word "fuck" is used quite a bit in "Gods and Monsters" so the words "messed" "oh" and "hit" are substituted. It makes the Whole thing feel like Kidz Bop.
    • HOWDY DOODY!?
    • "Take. Off. My. Paaaannnnts."
    • Maggie demonstrating her 'fortune telling' powers to Elsa. Sure, it's probably intentional so to show the viewers how desperate Elsa is, but was the falling down at the end really needed?
    • Twisty and Dandy's Halloween performance for their victims is more funny than it is scary when you see Twisty passionately and intensely banging on the piano to accompany Dandy's act.
    • Any time Jimmy mentions Meep is a cue for the audience to groan as he practically calls him a saint. His death was certainly tragic, but Jimmy acts like he was a brave hero even though he didn't really do anything.
    • The overuse of Imagine Spots showing Stanley and/or Maggie killing various freaks, or having already killed them. It worked okay the first couple times, but it quickly becomes tiresome and somewhat comical.
    • Elsa's hysterical wailing shortly after finding Ethel's headless body. Granted, she's supposed to sound hysterical so she doesn't arouse suspicion (since she killed her), but the way she broke down made an otherwise traumatic scene worthy of a few giggles. It's especially funny, compared to her very real yet restrained grief when she saw Ma Petite's bloody dress earlier.
    • Dandy's naked tirade to Regina in "Tupperware Party Massacre." It doesn't help that it ends with him screaming "I AM THE LAW!"
    • Chester confessing to "murdering" Marjorie by hysterically presenting her "dead body" to several confused-looking police officers and begging them to "send me to the chair!" It's humorous due to the fact that the "victim" is a ventriloquist's dummy.
    • The way Dandy says "that's mine!" after Bette shoots him in the arm with his own gun is humorous because his tone of voice is the same one that a child would use if someone took a toy of theirs, and it suggests that Dandy is more concerned with the theft of something he considers "his" than the fact that he's just been shot in the arm.
  • Narm Charm: Dandy's bizarre behavior and Finn Wittrock's over-the-top performance are almost always darkly hilarious, but that doesn't make him any less horrifying, or any less of a joy to watch.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Twisty's appearance has always been Nightmare Fuel, but it can become this trope due to his three tufts of colored hair which bear a passing resemblance to the hairdo of Angelica's Cynthia doll from Rugrats. Swings right back into Nightmare Fuel territory when you look a little closer and realize he's wearing a human scalp for a hat.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Sister Mary Eunice Mc Kee. Already a fan favorite character, she appears only briefly in "Orphans". And since the appearance is chronologically several years before her demonic possession, here we only get to see her as the adorable, naive young nun from the early episodes of Asylum. To say fans were delighted at the announcement of her return was an understatement.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees:
    • Prior to the finale, you could go to any forum thread or comments section relating to the show, and chances were you'd find more than one theory about how Dandy is related to, or was the previous identity of Dr. Thredson, in spite of how implausible this is.
      • Some fans took this further by also theorizing that Dandy and the twins would have a baby that would grow up to be Lana. In addition to Dandy being Thredson's father, none of this would make any sense whatsoever.
    • Another popular theory was that Jimmy and Dandy were the same person, and that the story would end in a Fight Club-like twist. That doesn't happen.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Ethel in "Edward Mordrake, Part 1", which painted her as one of the biggest Iron Woobies of the show, and reminded a few doubting viewers that, despite the accent being a little off, Kathy Bates is still an acting talent to be reckoned with.
    • Dell begins to get rescued after he gets to know Jimmy and starts bonding with him as a son. Unfortunately, he's killed before he can fully complete his Heel–Face Turn.
    • Both Bette and Dot in "Tupperware Party Massacre." The former reveals that she's a lot smarter than she seems, and she was willing to sacrifice her own life so Dot could be happy. The latter finally Took a Level in Kindness and decided not to go through with being separated from her sister upon realizing how much of a jerk she was being to Bette.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A pre This Is Us Chrissy Metz appears in this season.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Due to the heroes falling victim to the Eight Deadly Words for many, towards the end of the season it was much easier to find people who wanted Dandy to win because the general consensus was that he had the only interesting storyline (not to mention his status as a sex magnet in the fandom).
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ethel Darling. As mentioned above, the role is seen as a waste of Kathy Bates' acting talents. Though, also mentioned above, she got better.
    • Dell Toledo, for being an abusive Jerkass of the highest order, and for how he treats Jimmy, his son. His case wasn't helped by framing Meep and getting him killed or breaking the doctor's fingers and threatening to do the same to his young grandchildren. Dell seemed to be getting rescued as well when he finally bonded with Jimmy as a father, only to become as big a scrappy as ever by killing Ma Petite. He again began to get rescued when he teamed up with Amazon Eve to break a handless Jimmy out of jail and began to seek redemption, but gets killed by Elsa from behind when he confesses to Ma Petite's murder.
    • Penny's father is shaping up to be a pretty big Scrappy as well.
    • Regina is generally disliked due to her status as more of a plot device than a character, as well as what many consider to be wooden acting from Gabourey Sidibe. A lot of criticism also comes from the fact that most of Regina's lines all basically amount to "Where is my mother?" over and over again. Also counts as Replacement Scrappy because she enters the plot right after Dora was murdered.
    • Pepper's sister and brother-in-law. While people who watched Asylum already knew that the brother-in-law killed the baby and framed Pepper for it, this season it's revealed that the sister was in on it too, and that Pepper bonded with the baby more than either of its actual parents, which makes what they did all the more heart wrenching.
    • Many of the characters introduced late in the season, such as Barbara (aka Ima Wiggles) and Angus T. Jefferson, are disliked for being semi-important for all of one episode each and then quickly being forgotten about. They're seen as pointless additions to the cast. Averted with Chester, however.
  • Seasonal Rot: Overall, it definitely fits. Very, very few fans will cite Freak Show as their favorite season, with many either arguing that it's So Okay, It's Average or an even larger number absolutely loathing it for being tediously dull and boring. Either way, the general consensus is mixed to negative, which is likely why the show began to Retool itself from Hotel onward
  • Squick:
    • In the second episode, we finally get to see what's beneath Twisty's mask. He has no jaw.
    • The same episode also shows Meep biting off a chicken's head.
    • In "Pink Cupcakes," we are treated to a scene of Dandy hacking off limbs and dissolving them in an acid bath.
    • Also from "Pink Cupcakes", Jimmy making out and nearly having sex with his father's girlfriend.
    • Stanley taking out his penis in front of Dell, and apparently masturbating. Oh god, those sounds.
    • From the same episode, we have Jimmy's sexual relationship with the morbidly obese Ima Wiggles.
    Jimmy: If you want it long and hard, I need you soft and wide.
    • Maggie getting sawed in half, courtesy of Chester. Not only is the amount of blood spilling out from the box as they are slowly sliced in half shown, the show also treats you to a very graphic image of the inside of the two boxes: the victim's torso is sliced in half, inside parts very visible. What seems to be an intestine even falls out.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Amazon Eve kicking the shit out of Dell.
    • Penny's father, Vince, is kidnapped by Penny, Desiree, Legless Suzie, and Amazon Eve, and is tarred and feathered, and nearly castrated in "Blood Bath."
    • Maggie being sawed in half, with none of the freaks intervening or even mourning for her.
    • Dandy's shooting rampage at the campgrounds in the last episode could be seen as one of these towards the freaks. While none of them are particularly bad characters, many of them were disliked due to the fact that most of them didn't really get much characterization ( Ima Wiggles being the most glaring example).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Though he was popular with the fans, many felt that Chester's storyline felt too rushed and that it would have been better if he'd been introduced earlier in the season.
    • There's been complaints of this nature about most of the secondary characters; they're all interesting in their own right but are never fully explored.
    • Twisty has also gotten heavy complaints that he was killed off far too early and that the show wasn't the same after he was gone.
    • After Coven received criticism for sidelining the talents of Evan Peters and Denis O'Hare in order to tell a female-centric story, this season made up for it by giving them both rather juicy parts. However, this time around Frances Conroy falls into the trap, spending a lot of time Out of Focus before being killed off two-thirds of the way into the season, and never appearing again (unlike Ethel, who died in the very same episode but appeared several more times).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The kids Twisty kidnapped. Until they were ushered away by the police, they were all about as developed as the rest of the characters. Bonnie is an unexpected Action Girl, Corey is immediately a Woobie after his parents are brutally murdered (which he correctly guesses) and he is endlessly terrorized by their killer, and Mike a Big Brother Bully who gets his comeuppance. There's also the fact that Bonnie actually sees Dandy's face. The idea that she could identify him, a pretty notable figure in Jupiter, never resurfaces after the kids are saved. Dandy using his resources to hunt down and finish his game with those kids might have been an interesting road to take with his character, or even theirs.
      • For that matter, we never see those characters again after Twisty's death. We're left with the townsfolk thanking the freaks for saving them, but we never know if any of them ever recovered from that exceptionally traumatic experience.
    • Dandy becoming Twisty's evil fanboy apprentice is dropped with Twisty's death just as it's starting to get good.
    • There's also Dandy's brutal murder of Andy, and the possibility of Dell trying to avenge Andy by going after his killer. But since Dandy apparently melted down poor Andy's body parts with acid, the whole Dell-Andy thing just kind of fades.
    • As much as they teased that Elsa was likely destined to be part of Edward Mordrake's collection of phantom freaks. Turns out, no. He actually just shows up to tell her she is, then instead send her to her own personal heaven.
    • Many felt that they mixed up the respective defeats of Stanley and Dandy. The general consensus seems to be that it'd have been better if Stanley had been drowned in the glass tank, and Dandy had been disfigured and turned into a freak himself. Both would've suffered Laser-Guided Karma (although it's questionable how much Dandy would have minded).
    • Regina seemed as if she'd make a big impact on the being of the Mott family, but not really. Earlier commercials showed a scene where Gloria is standing behind Regina with a gun, leading people to believe Gloria would try and kill her, but it never happened. Regina doesn't really get any revenge or serve any major problem to Dandy. In fact, very soon after she's introduced, she's killed off by Dandy. For returning cast member Gabourey Sidibe, it seems a bit of a waste to have her play such a bland character whose story doesn't really do anything for the show.
    • Many felt that this season's plot in general was a good one that had been wasted. When it was announced that it would be taking place at a freak show, there was much rejoicing because fans felt that it was the perfect setting for a show like this. However, the actual season has received mixed reviews, with many citing pacing problems and a lack of engaging characters (besides Dandy, of course) as this season's two biggest faults.
  • Too Cool to Live: Twisty, devastatingly.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Real Life clowns have taken offence at Twisty’s character, since he continues the long standing trend of every clown in fiction to be portrayed as a monstrous psychopath.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Dandy, despite being a psychotic, spoiled brat, can actually manage to be a relatable character, especially if one has actually suffered from some form of mental illness. Some fans will make the case that much of Dandy's villainy comes from the fact that he is mentally ill and has been denied help for it all his life, being stuck living with a mother who does not understand exactly what is wrong with her son or how to deal with him. She does attempt to get help for him, but only after it is much too late to do so. Additionally, in the second episode, when Dandy's refused entry into the Freak Show, we're clearly supposed to read him as a spoiled, entitled brat. However, anyone who's ever had a period of unemployment in which they were supported by their parents can relate to his boredom, and his desperation to actually DO something.
    • Michael Beck, and the studio in general. They make Elsa rich and famous,exactly what she wanted, and she still won't be cooperative.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Meep delightedly biting the head off of a live baby chicken made it hard for some viewers to see him as the innocent that the second episode tries so hard to portray him as. It doesn't help that earlier in the same episode the reveal that Dandy was killing small animals was used to tell the audience that something was wrong with him. The difference between the two is that Meep is too mentally deficient to understand that he's hurting living creatures, while Dandy's actions are fueled by sadism.
  • Wangst: Jimmy moaning about Meep's death and how he should have done more to protect him. It's almost Once an Episode!
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Some of Dandy's sweaters look rather ridiculous.
  • The Woobie:
    • Poor Meep...
    • Bette. All she wants to do is sing and be happy.
    • Gloria Mott as well. She feels utterly helpless with Dandy becoming a serial killer but to an extent it's her own fault for how she raised him.
    • Pepper. Mercy Lord, Pepper. Abandoned at an orphanage by her sister, loses her fellow pinhead and husband to a stroke, is left with aforementioned sister and framed for murdering their deformed child. Dies in an Asylum a few years after actually gaining intelligence due to alien intervention. Was finally able to speak about what really happened, but no one in the asylum actually cared at that point (it was run by a demon, a Nazi, and a serial killer).
    • Maggie to some viewers in later episodes. She was taken in by a stranger who coerced and manipulated her into doing as he wanted and who was fully willing to kill her if it would benefit him or if she tried to back out on him. In the present day, he sends her into a freak show to help him murder the freaks there and collect their bodies, even though Maggie doesn't want to and especially doesn't want to kill anyone. She is terrorized and almost killed by Dandy and Twisty, then is pressured by Stanley into almost killing the lovable Ma Petite. Maggie becomes attached to the people at the freak show, and falls in love with Jimmy and wants to save him, only to (in order) walk in on him having sex with another woman, learn that he's been arrested for murder, that his hands have been chopped off by Stanley, and accidentally get his father killed as a result of her finally finding the courage to betray Stanley and come clean about what's been happening (again, something she knows would get her killed by Stanley if he could get his hands on her, and could well have gotten her killed by the freaks themselves). Jimmy now hates her and no one at the freak show likes her anymore. Maggie desperately wants to redeem herself to all them. She is killed horribly by mistake when she tries to fit in by volunteering for Chester's magic trick, panicking once she has realized that he's cuffed her so that she can't pull her feet into the box and that Chester is totally Ax-Crazy, and dying in terror and agony from Chester sawing her in half. The freaks make no move to save her when any of this is happening, and no one shows any sort of mourning or pity for her afterwards; Desiree actually says she had it coming. She has the freaks steal Maggie's jewels off her body before burying it, and Jimmy is utterly unmoved by her death and becomes romantically entangled with Dot.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Twisty. A man who started off as a simple clown who worked his heart out to entertain children, had his career ended when his coworkers spread rumors he'd molested the children he entertained. Despite his attempts to make a living making children smile, he became increasingly frustrated and depressed when people were creeped out and angered by his insistent and enthusiastic behavior. A botched attempted suicide caused him to lose his jaw, and after that incident, he completely snapped, abducting children and killing their parents so he could entertain them.

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