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YMMV / Hoarders

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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Matt Paxton. Cory Chalmers is liked for also being a bit hard hitting when his temper flares and being a deadpan snarker.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The story of Al, a widowed father who lost custody of his son, Frankie, because of his hoarding, is ultimately this. His cleanup is unsuccessful, and Cory Chalmers predicts that he will never get his son back. However, a follow up episode reveals that Al did manage to regain custody of his son. It is also revealed that the county inspector who had Frankie taken away in the first place provided help and support to Al during the whole process, even while suffering from advanced prostate cancer. He died shortly after the follow up was filmed, and the episode is dedicated to his memory.
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  • Memetic Mutation: The possum from the Carolyn/Jo episode.
  • Narm: The melodramatic reactions the hoarders have to the prospect of parting with things, as well as the family arguments that result from their hoarding. note 
  • Nausea Fuel: And plenty of it!
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • One old lady had cat skeletons in her house.
    • Hanna kept dozens of animals stuffed into small cages and barely cared for them at all. At one point, the cleanup crew found a dead chicken that had been squashed completely flat by the weight of the cages and junk piled on top of it.
    • Sir Patrick, who turns out to be a sex offender who kept dolls because they reminded him of his 9-year-old neighbor.
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    • Shannon, a woman who suffered from paranoid delusions who thought her house was full of demons. She tried to keep them away by wrting 'JEHOVA' and 'YASHUA' on her door in red paint that looked like blood and praying to a cat's skull she named 'Friend'. She also gave Friend offerings of bones, dead rats, and vacuum cleaner dust.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • At least I'm not that messy, one may think as they make a way through the corridor of boxes between the kitchen and the living room. I will definitely get this Christmas stuff put away by Cinco de Mayo!
    • Try watching this show and then looking at any type of collection you might happen to have. Just try.
    • If you are a book person, watch the book episode, Claire and Vance.
  • Squick: With a show like this, it's a given. These people's houses are positively littered with trash like milk cartons and old newspapers, and that's not counting bedbugs, moldy food that's beyond rotten, and pet feces. Need we say more? invoked
    • The cleanup crew often finds large amounts of the hoarders' own urine/feces around the house if the plumbing is broken or the water has been shut off. Shanna took it up to about 11,000 and ended up doing so much damage to her house that the costs of repair and of demolition/rebuilding were almost the same.
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    • Rotting animal corpses are sometimes found at the bottom of hoards.
    • The phrases "fecal dust" and "dead cat juice" being used when describing a particularly filthy home.
    • One episode featured a woman who ran a ramshackle poultry farm cooking and eating unrefrigerated excrement-covered eggs. Even worse, she makes her living selling said eggs, which makes you wonder how many of her customers have contracted salmonella.
    • While cleaning out a mansion whose former owner was about to be evicted, the crew found a hidden passage whose walls were lined with decades' worth of mold - and evidence that the hoarder had recently been down there to stuff it full of junk.
    • One animal hoarder's house had a carpet that was so thoroughly impregnated with urine and feces that it was too heavy to pull up by hand. The cleanup crew had to cut it into pieces and haul it out in chunks.
    • Sherry's garbage-filled home was essentially a giant cockroach hive, epitomized by the scene where an exterminator takes a portrait down, revealing that there's dozens of roaches clustered together behind it and presumably every other picture hanging on the walls.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Laura, a wife and mom fighting cancer whose aim was to get her house cleaned up and her hoarding under control before she died. She didn't live to see the episode air, but she was at peace having achieved her goal.
    • Ray and Tony, a pair of elderly brothers living in a squalid San Francisco rowhouse. The night before the cleanup starts, Tony dies in his sleep, leaving Ray to deal with both his passing and cleaning their condemned house.
    • Ruth, whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack (she was unable to remove his trousers from where he left them before he died) and whose son committed suicide by hanging himself in the bathroom. Seeing her talk about how she's been in recovery from hoarding for five years as of early 2017 can turn her story into one of happy tears.
    • Wilma's children's reactions to their mother saying she doesn't love them. Her son Ben later says he has given up hope on having a loving relationship with her.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The season 6 episode featured Manuel, an older gentleman whose hoarding caused a chain reaction that resulted in his son John and daughter-in-law to lose custody of their four children (social workers discovered the horrid condition of Manuel's house and his son's house, neither of which was deemed fit for children to live in.) Although you can understand the pain and anger felt by all family members (and the son possibly getting his own habits from his father), the fact that John refused to accept ANY responsibility for his own actions resulting in him losing custody his own children (leaving them in his father's care in spite of the conditions of the home, making him the primary and sole caretaker, not being bothered to clean up/repair his own home, etc.) made him this trope. Even the cleaning crew members were quick to call him out on this.
  • The Woobie: A number of family members and spouses who just can't seem to fight back against the hoarding on their own. Some of the hoarders are woobies themselves. The biggest woobies are probably the children of hoarders though with #1 being a middle child who basically left a suicide note to her mother. The child's age: 7.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Hoarders that had some really traumatic childhoods can also have the nastiest reactions to the cleaning process.
    • Glen, whose escaped fancy rats had completely overrun his home, was unable to bring himself to capture any of the escapees once they'd started breeding. At one point he breaks down and, weeping, reveals that he's terrified that the female rats' litters, hidden in the walls or flooring, will starve to death if their mothers can't get back to them. Later, a rat that's had its belly ripped open in a fight is found, and poor Glen has to give the nod to its euthanasia.
      • Producer Jodi Flynn later revealed that the crew went to considerable lengths to save as many rats as possible, working with the Humane Society to capture them alive, bringing in special trucks and taking them all to a facility in northern California. From there, they were sent to rat rescues all over the country. There were well over a thousand.


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