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YMMV / Escape the Night

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Joey is an unknowing Villain Protagonist, according to Film Theory. This theory, though, is Older Than They Look, as fans have suggested this since Season 2, aka 2 years prior.
    • Season 4 Episode 4: Is the Emperor from Episode 4 a selfish Jerkass, or does he indeed display some degree of somewhat-Confucian appreciation for foreigners? note 
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    • The Pirates of Season 4 Episode 8. Colleen and Ro received rings that protected them from the challenge. Were they indeed, as the pirates claimed, worthy of being pirates, or Everyone Has Standards (and they Wouldn't Hit a Girl, to a limited extent)?
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Contestants are typically more preoccupied with accusing one another of betrayal and saving their own skin than they are with even really caring that people are dying, besides acknowledging that it means the place is dangerous. This gets averted a lot in season 3, however.
    • Looks to be continuing into Season 4, with Colleen (rightfully!) pointing out that Joey's determination to save the deceased contestants is somewhat marred by the fact that his actions got them all killed in the first place.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Since there were three Seasons worth to choose from, there were always going to be fans disappointed by the guest list for the Fourth All Stars Season. However, the full trailer reveals that past contestants who aren't playing again may still appear (with Liza especially showing up several times in the trailer), and even some Survivors!
  • Awesome Music:
    • The soundtrack to Season 3, No One Escapes.
    • The Season 4 theme, Warning Rune, remains the cause of a Broken Base, though reviews appear to be mostly positive.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Multiple.
    • Joey. He's the show's protagonist, thus giving him Plot Armour (perhaps....), but isn't an NPC, and the fact that he's an active participant but the show does not clearly state whether he is in the danger that the other contestants are in is frustrating for some viewers. He's further divisive in Season 3 where he is trying to come back to life by saving the town of Everlock, which requires his friends to die, essentially throwing them under the bus to save himself.
      • Is he the host? Is just another contestant? The show never really makes it clear what his actual role is, zig-zaging between both at different times.
    • Season 1: Matt Haag and Lele. Whether or not you support them is very much up for debate to most fans - many a Flame War have begun in the YouTube comments because of the feud between their respective supporters. Some just say "I love all my babies, both included" and end with that.
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    • Season 2: Jesse for badassery versus lust, DeStorm and Andrea Russett for moral ambiguity.
    • Season 3: MatPat, at least when it comes to his resurrection. While reception was overall positive, some people felt that someone else (either JC or Colleen) should have come back, as they weren't able to fight for themselves, or that he shouldn't get to win the season given that he was fairly eliminated.
    • Season 3: Nikita, according to this video. It is said that half the fandom likes her, and half the fandom hates her.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: MatPat deciding to EAT POPCORN while watching the death challenge in Season 3 Episode 9. It's as petty as it is hilarious. And then he gets up to get more in the middle of the challenge.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Oh, God, so much.
    • Season 1: Vincent has gained quite a bit of popularity in the fandom, probably because he was a bit of a Woobie. Tim's mysterious wallet too.
      • On a darker note, Calvin the Sadist and Serial Killer made quite the impression on the fandom in the opening Flashback, but sadly never appeared in the episode that his actions were the catalyst for.
    • Season 2: Sampson and Vera. Jetpack Girl and Riley. Tana's lollipop. People also ship the leaders of the Dark Army (Arlyn) and the Confederates (Cash).
    • Season 3: Darling Blueberry and Blanche. Sally Slaughter is also quite popular with the fandom, and the Killer Clown Leader has become a bit of a meme on Discord (see below). Benjamin and Cindy are also loved by the fandom, likely because of their sympathetic backstories and status as an Official Couple, revealed in Episode 12.
    • Season 4: Merlin was pretty awesome.
    • As for guests, Lauren and Justine are surprisingly popular despite their early demises. Liza was also EXTREMELY popular, but she made it to the half-way point of the season.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Oddly enough, even if pretty much all of the cast members have lives outside of the series and are in relationships, or even have children.
    • Some believe that Rorik/Jezebel from Season 4 Episode 8 is too problematic (considering how they sword-fought due to conflicting allegiances and stuff, and he proposed to her in an hour and she accepted, this is rather understandable) and prefer Alex/Jezebel instead.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The intros to every season actually give clues to what happens to the cast members. However, it is only after the whole season has aired that it can all be put together. There were some viewers able to guess the deaths of a few characters from the season two intro prior to the end.
    • When you realize that the YouTubers were essentially Dressing to Die unknowingly at the beginning of every season, and double if they look glamorous, like Lauren.
    • Season 2 Episode 1:
      • Episode 5: Liza dies behind a door, though in a brightly-lit room.
      • Episode 9: Alex dies in the Dark Dimension.
      • The kicker is that she's the Mystic!
    • Either this or Hilarious in Hindsight (the latter if you keep telling yourself "it's just a show"); in the finale of season 3, they have to lure a "grieving mother" zombie into the Maiden of Madness that had previously been used to kill Colleen. Colleen was actually pregnant at the time the episodes came out (though not during filming), making that two mothers the iron maiden has killed.
  • He's Just Hiding!: A weird one considering it's just a show and no one actually dies, but you can find a fair amount of people in denial about Liza's "death" in Season Two.
  • It Was His Sled: Overall, all the deaths.
    • Season 1: THE STAFF ARE F**KING EVIL!!
    • Season 4: Ro marries The Emperor.note  COLLEEN CAME BACK!!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Overall: Various quotes across the seasons. Case in point -
    GloZell: I rebuke you, Satan!
    • Season 1: Eva's stunned expression during the Episode 4 voting procedure.
    • Season 2: Tyler's shooketh facial expressions.
    • Season 3: The face of the Killer Clown Leader, on Discord. It began on 7 June 2019 with a single picture and escalated within a month. It was declared a meme 11 days later, and a cult a month afterward.
      • Ro running from Benjamin in the dark.
    • Multi-Season: Tim's Wallet. Mentioned twice throughout the course of Season 1, then triumphantly returns to a Call-Back in Season 4.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Several of the eliminations.
    • Season 1: Justine, Lele
    • Season 2: Lauren, Gabbie, Alison
    • Season 3: Colleen
    • The second teaser for Season 4 that features the revealed All-Stars. It features Joey walking through a dark, open space with a torch...only for Joey to soon realize that Alex, Rosanna, Justine, Colleen, DeStorm, Gabbie, Tana, and Tim are all trapped in glass boxes, making them appear like exhibitions at a museum. The creepy factor is upped a bit when you realize that they're displayed in clothes that they didn't initially die in.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: DeStorm was the most hated character in the show for being the only guest to betray the group as well as his arrogant behaviour. Come season 4, and he's a lot more helpful and delivers several funny moments in his commentary. Many fans felt sorry for is Heroic Sacrifice and wanted Alex to lose instead of De Storm. It helps that his arch-nemesis Alex comes of as less of a team player and more of a smug jerk this time around, at least in the earlier episodes.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Monster actor Alex Ward, who plays the Devourer in S2 and The Man With No Name in S3, may now be recognisable to some as Jasper from LA By Night
  • The Scrappy: Destorm in season 2 for betraying the group and being an arrogant jerk and Andrea in season 1 for not knowing what a fixer is but the biggest example is Teala for being the biggest load the series has had so far.
  • Special Effects Failure: The gingerbread woman "chopping off the hand" of her assistant in Episode 5 of Season 2. They attempt to hide it with shaky camera movements and body blocking, but you can see on her first chop that she completely misses his hand, and after the fact his fingers are still intact, just reddened as though they had been squeezed too hard.
    • More like "prop failure", but in season 2 episode 7, the guns used to shoot the targets for one puzzle are very clearly painted Nerf blasters with some steampunk additions. The main clue for this is that they're loaded with orange-tipped foam darts, something easily visible, though it's covered somewhat in editing by added muzzle flashes.
    • The dinosaurs in Season 4 look a tad fake from some angles.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: One could say the voting system itself is a simple Luck-Based Mission where even if you have at least one vote, you still could be voted into elimination challenge due to bad luck....
    • The "False" elimination tasks in seasons 1 and 2, in which those voted in for will decide which among the "safe" players will die, could be seen as an unfair Ass Pull to keep Joey in the game, seeing he was voted in those tasks both times. Plus, it gave no time for GloZell and Tana to plead their case or say goodbye.
    • The final task in episode 2, season 2 where two voted-in women compete in a challenge in which the winner will decide which of two randomly "Captured" male guests will be eliminated, can be seen as unfair to Jesse seeing how he was nominated and killed without a true vote.
  • Shocking Elimination: MANY.
    • Lele's death in Season 1, Episode 9 is considered one, especially since she'd survived at least two death challenges in the Season up until that point. Please note that this particular one should also be taken literally.
    • Jesse, Liza, Gabbie and Alex's deaths in Season 2, Episodes 3, 5, 7 and 9 respectively are also considered this, but ESPECIALLY Liza and Alex's deaths out of them all, given how Liza had been doing particularly fine up until her death challenge and how Alex had survived THREE death challenges (going against DeStorm, Gabbie, and then being one of the fastest three people in the gauntlet) until finally dying in the fourth one against Andrea.
    • JC's death in Season 3, Episode 2 is considered this, given how useful he'd been in helping solve a puzzle in Episode 2 that unlocked a box containing one of the parts needed to cleanse the first artifact, and was simply unlucky to be put into the challenge because MatPat voted for him.
    • MatPat's elimination in Season 3, Episode 5 was also this and a Tear Jerker.
    • Safiya's elimination in Season 3,Episode 7 was DEFINITELY this. This is because the twist in this episode was that whoever won the challenge (in this case, Nikita) resulted in the death of the person who initially voted them in (Safiya).
    • Justine's elimination in Season 4, Episode 2 counts as this In-Universe, mainly because many of the other guests thought she would win against Tana in the death challenge. They were wrong.
    • Destorm's elimination in Season 4, Episode 4 was this as well, because he deliberately broke the rules and sacrificed his life for Alex in memory of Lauren's previous elimination in Season 2. This is the first time a guest deliberately chose to lose a challenge, especially since it wasn't even one of those "choose yourself or choose your friend" situations like in Season 3 Episode 9 or Season 1 Episode 6.
  • Spoiled by the Format: If you've watched the previous seasons, it's easy to pick up that there is always one male and one female survivor (not including Joey, who will always at least make it to the final episode). This means that when Rosanna dies three episodes from the end, Nikita becomes a guaranteed survivor by merit of being the only remaining girl. Sorry Manny.
  • Tear Jerker: Some of the eliminations. Particularly if you're a fan of the YouTuber being "murdered". As well as other scenes.
    • Now has its own page!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Alison being a vampire has next to no impact on the plot after the first episode of Season 2. Any implications of this (such as needing blood or reacting to the bloody deaths of several of the Youtubers) are never explored.
    • Speaking of vampires, the fact that Joey was captured by vampires and the impacts that it left on him seemed to be entirely ignored, and even in the two vampire-relevant episodes, it was barely mentioned. Sadly, even the fandom has forgotten this kind-of Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, choosing to make Wild Mass Guessing at his true allegiance and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder instead. To this day, barely anyone appears to acknowledge that it happened in the first place.
  • Too Cool to Live: Calliope, the only helper to actually attack the lieutenants and even the Big Bad, plus a member of the Society Against Evil, gets killed in episode 9.
    • Many felt like this for Lele, Liza, Gabbie, Alex, Safiya and Colleen as they were really or even the most useful characters, were entertaining and with the latter being the only character to stand up against Joey and confront him for his faults.
  • Uncanny Valley: Episode 4 Of season 1 is titled "Mannequins" and oh boy, there are mannequins.
    • The room full of dolls in Episode 7.
    • Season 3, Episode 6: "Twin Dolls" DEFINITELY counts as this. Everyone ends up torturing dolls to get new clues in one scene, get chased by life-sized twin doll guardians wielding knives throughout the episode, AND end up having to vote one of their own to die in an Iron Maiden of all things. All of this arguably makes this episode the most disturbing in the series so far AND a Tear Jerker on top of that.
  • The Wiki Rule: Needs more love, as it's VERY amateurish.
  • The Woobie: Technically, everyone qualifies (watching people - friends - die, dying themselves, getting betrayed/conspired against, getting captured and held against their will, even killing their own friends directly…), doubly so for the All Stars… but the highlights are:
    • Colleen. She watches a friend get pummeled to death, finds out another friend's dark secret and think of him as a liar, said friend led the charge of pushing her into an Iron Maiden (and NO ONE objected vocally). One season later, she wakes up in a museum as an exhibit broken out, finds SAID friend that betrayed her to be there to "save" her and the crew, has to go through the process she had been through last time AGAIN, got on the wrong end of a Combat Pragmatist (who was also one of the ones who betrayed her, to boot) and got killed AGAIN because of a SABOTAGE; and got held hostage by a hostile Pirate Girl the moment she got Back from the Dead. Damn.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Joey. He was a bit of a Jerkass with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, but who can blame him? The poor guy's friends die over and over again (and even killed some himself), and when he tried to make things right, it turned into another round of the death games that he was trying to atone for. And that's not counting the whole captured-by-vampires incident back at the start of Season 2. Who knows what happened back then. Did I also mention the Evil that latched onto him after he took the deed in Season 1? Sh*te, guy's been through a lot of stuff.

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