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YMMV tropes for the Infinity Train series

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    A-C 
  • Abandon Shipping: Grace and Simon were originally a popular pairing when they debuted in Book 2, as fans loved the dynamic they had. However, the ship started losing fans as Book 3 progressed, with Grace undergoing Character Development contrasting with Simon becoming more unstable until the ending saw Simon trying to murder Grace by throwing her to the train's wheels. By that point, pretty much everyone had jumped ship.
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Book 2: "As long as you're clever and resourceful enough, it's acceptable to lie, cheat and steal to accomplish your goals even if they're entirely self-motivated." M.T. engages in very obviously selfish behavior and is willing to steal the number off a girl, potentially stranding her forever, but the narrative sympathy afforded as a result of their plight of being oppressed by the system of the Mirror World is prioritized over the ethical problems with their approach.
    • Book 3: "Mentally Ill people, particularly those with BPD, Autism or PTSD, are beyond saving, and you should just severe yourself from them if you want to avoid being dragged down with them." Simon is depicted as a broken wreck of a human being, but by the train's rules is given a violent and horrific death for refusing to change, even though Grace openly fed into and was the cause of many of his worst character traits.
    • Sometimes it's better to admit you don't know anything than continue to lie that you're an expert. The Apex was only made because Grace lied to Simon about "knowing the Train", which spread into the cult that would hurt innocent denizens for their own selfish purposes. Even Grace had to admit to herself that she didn't know everything and lied to hide the fact that she's afraid of people looking down at her.
  • Adorkable:
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The season one episode "The Past Car" sees a character in a flashback use a whistle to make free calls on a pay phone, which is based on a real practice pioneered by the famous hacker John Draper. It only worked on American phones prior to the discontinuation of in-band signaling during the 1980s though, so don't bother trying it on the off-chance you do stumble upon a modern pay-phone.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • In "The Engine", Atticus takes to the fact that he was shot in the face by the Conductor and turned into a Ghom well, all things considered. He's more concerned that he was Locked Out of the Loop and that he's missing his crown.
    • In "The Lucky Cat Car", Khaki Bottoms is seen with a big smile on his face, a jiggle-wiggle in his paws, and one of his ears lost, showing that he's not traumatized in the slightest after Amelia destroyed the Ball Pit Car.
    • Outside a scene of the Apex looking glum in "The New Apex", none of them are seemingly bothered by the fact that Grace basically screwed up their lives for years and prevented them from going home.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The reason why the show was canceled. It was very mature and complex for a kids' cartoon, featuring graphic violence, disturbing content, and heavy themes such as divorce and mourning. Cartoon Network grew increasingly uncomfortable with what the writers wanted to explore in the show, deeming them too inappropriate for children. This is in spite of the show garnering a massive teen and adult following. The deal-breaker that ultimately led to its cancellation was the showrunners wanting the fifth season to feature an adult protagonist as opposed to the kid or teenage protagonists of the prior seasons ("child entry point").
  • Applicability: Simon's character arc is often seen as a broader fantastical depiction of real-life people that refuse to give up their abusive and self-destructive habits.
  • Ass Pull: In "The New Apex", all it takes for the Apex to change their ways and open up is Grace immediately stating that Simon didn't tell who the real Conductor is. It comes off as too sudden, given how long Grace is known to be lying from her teeth and that she's indoctrinating these kids for years on end.
  • Award Snub: Despite its critical acclaim and developing a dedicated following, the only award the show was ever even nominated for during its entire run was "Best Special Production" at the 2020 Annie Awards, where "Book 1: The Perennial Child" lost to How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming.
  • Awesome Music:
    • All of Chrome Canyon's compositions for the series, but specifically the main themes for each season. Book 1's "Running Away" crafts an enchanting, otherworldly atmosphere with an underlying feeling of horror. Book 2's "Cracked Reflection" is ethereal and dream-like, reflecting the strange and fantastic cars awaiting the passengers. Book 3's "Join the Apex" paints the image of a violent, righteous uprising.
    • The train-related songs Cartoon Network used to advertise their seasons of the show are seen as secondary theme songs for their respective arcs: "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne for Book 1 and the Siouxsie and the Banshees' cover of Iggy Pop's "Passenger" for Book 2.
    • "Train To Nowhere" from the end of Book 4 (and the series) is an upbeat song about Ryan and Min-Gi’s time there and symbol of their renewed friendship.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tulip. While general opinion on her is somewhat positive, plenty of fans are split on how her character flaws are portrayed, with some thinking that she comes across as way too abrasive and whiny to be sympathetic, especially in how she deals with her parents' divorce, to the point that it isn't uncommon to hear people cite her as the reason they never bothered with later seasons. Others absolutely adore her portrayal, praising her for being a genuinely well-written Badass Bookworm and thinking that her abrasiveness and angst are completely appropriate for a girl her age.
    • Grace and Simon have a splintered reaction. While it's accepted that both characters contributed to how things ended in Book 3, some fans debate that one character deserves more blame than the other; be it Grace for putting Simon on the path to becoming a sociopath and forming The Apex, to begin with, or Simon for refusing to change his ways at every possible opportunity. Then there's a third party who blames Amelia and Tulip, since if their altercation didn't occur months prior, One-One wouldn't have been reinstated as Conductor and ordered the quarantining of Amelia's cars, which set off the events of Book 3, to begin with.
  • Broken Base:
    • Did Grace deserve to still lead the Apex after everything she did to them? On one hand, she arguably should take the responsibility of cleaning up the mess she made; but on the other hand, she was not considered parental material at all and they only got to where they were because of her lies and mistakes.
    • How much sympathy Simon deserves for being a backstabbing murderer who refuses every chance at redemption while also a very clearly sick and broken man with extreme PTSD and internal self-loathing. After the premiere of "The New Apex", many fans began making memes out of his shockingly violent death while offering him No Sympathy, though in the years since the episode has aired, some have expressed more sympathy for how clearly broken he was, and recognize that even if his actions were ultimately up to him in the end, they still wished there could have been some intervention to help him, and that his death can be read as insensitive towards mentally ill people. The topic still largely divides the community, with general consensus somewhere in the middle.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Jesse standing up to Grace and Simon in "The Mall Car", vowing that he's never going to be a pushover on or off the train. Bonus points, this is what gets his number to 0.
    • MT giving Mace his well-deserved death via grinding him on the train's wheels in "The Wasteland." Even the writers said you were supposed to feel relief at Mace's death..
    • Those troubled by Grace's manipulations and apathetic behaviors in season 2 find it fulfilling to see her realize the damage of her actions unfold and bite her back throughout the course of season 3, leaving her remorseful and broken. This also serves one to those who adore Grace as season 3 gives her more depth and a Heel–Face Turn.
    • For some, it is very satisfying seeing Simon get knocked down a peg when Amelia spells it out to him what the train is really for, and that he is nothing but a child with a bad attitude throwing a temper tantrum. It is also satisfying how her Deflector Shield basically beats up Simon without her even needing to lift a finger against him.
    • Simon dies a horrible death by his childhood trauma Ghom in the season 3 finale is this for some. Though word from the writers was his death is meant to be seen as a tragedy unlike with Mace and Sieve.
    • Min-Gi being proven wrong in "The Astro Queue Car" is a very satisfying scene for some, seeing as he'd spent the entirety of the episode being an overly smug, condescending jerk toward Ryan.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • The Steward is a strange uncanny monster with the face of a porcelain woman attached to a mass of robotic tentacles. It's a dangerous and persistent foe and always makes for a tense atmosphere when she appears.
    • Though the Mirror Police are much more personable than the Steward and the Conductor, they're still distinctively otherworldly. Their true forms have no facial features other than a mouth, they wear artificial skin in order to transport between dimensions, and they devolve into half-melted malformed messes as the episode goes on.
    • The Conductor really makes an impact on the final third of Book One. A massive Faux Affably Evil robot cobbled together with a callous disregard for life and ambitions beyond her own.
    • The Docent from "The Art Gallery Car" is a Flesh Golem made of arms and looks and acts like a monster that came from Silent Hill with everything that implies.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • When One-One suspects that the Steward is his "mum", Tulip points out that it was attacking him. Sad-One's response? "The question stands."
    • MT sees a lunch lady viewing One-One's message and thinks nothing of it. When Jesse brings up a lunch lady who thought he was wasting food and wonders if she's also on this train two episodes later, MT pauses and states "Maybe?" And yes, Word of God confirms that is the same woman.
    • In "The Lucky Cat Car", one of the games is one where someone rapidly presses a button so a horse figure goes to a finish line chasing a rabbit... but replace "rabbit" with a human and horse to "a Ghom".
  • Crossover Ship:
    • People were shipping Tulip with Dipper Pines before the show even premiered, likely due to the aspects shared with both Dipper and Wendy. Such as... Others have shipped Tulip with Wirt, also based on their similarities. Similarities like...
    • Due to their similar roles, but vastly different personalities, it didn't take very long for people to ship Tulip with Reggie. Reggie canonically having a crush on a girl while Tulip's sexuality is a blank slate also helps.
      • Tulip being paired with Luz also works because of the different personalities and the fact that Luz is confirmed bi. Funnily enough, both were heading off to camp before they got sent to the Infinity Train/Boiling Isles respectively.
    • One-One and Wheatley are usually portrayed as best friends, given how similar they are.
    • Jesse/Steven, given how both are incredibly nice dudes, almost to a fault, with both also wearing varsity jackets.
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Some feel this way about The Cat after "The Cat's Car" since at the end she's understandably completely terrified for her life and seems devastated when the Steward destroys her home. It gets worse in "The Ball Pit Car" when it's clear she's little more than a terrified slave to the Conductor, desperately trying to get out of the situation she's found herself in... only for the Conductor to go back on her deal and have the Steward attempt to kill her anyway. Luckily, the next episode shows that she survived.
    • The Conductor themselves garnered sympathy from fans at the end of Book 1 when it's revealed that she had a happy life until her fiancé died young. While a cruel and callous Control Freak, everything she does stems from a desire to desperately re-create her old life, and she's spent half her life on the train unable to move on from her partner's death.

    D-H 
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • Tulip is viewed as autistic by some fans as a result of having several niche special interests in video game programming and onions, social awkwardness and obsession with comprehending rules and order.
    • Simon has obsessive niche interests in military and fantasy novels, adherence to regimented order, poor social skills and difficulty understanding social cues and a general lack of emotional intelligence in a way that goes beyond Lack of Empathy, leading many fans to believe he might be autistic.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • The Conductor/Amelia Hughes, while certainly a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, also grew bitter and borderline sociopathic over the course of their stay on the train, manipulating the train's functions to make a Gilded Cage where she can reunite with her dead fiancé, but also completely ignoring how many passengers were left without the guidance of the original Conductor, prolonging their stay. And then there's also the willingness to harm Tulip and Atticus. Many sympathize with them anyway, with many going as far as ignoring their heinous actions in favor of making them The Woobie. This only intensified in Book 3, where she's bettering herself, but still callous and aloof, even towards Hazel. A being that she created. Many fans choose to believe she becomes a Defrosting Ice Queen towards her ward despite taking her for the express purpose of research. Book 4 helps greatly with this kinder view of the character, as it shows that passengers didn't receive anything in the way of guidance prior to her reign either. In fact, One was arguably more uncaring and aloof about their well-being, while Amelia attempted to make suggestions she thought would improve passenger conditions (such as giving them back their belongings), putting into question just how awful their influence actually was on the train.
    • Simon and Grace can fall into this, though which one gets the treatment is mutually exclusive depending on how a given person chooses to give "blame" to for the events of Book Three. If one supports Simon, then expect to hear cries of how Grace was grooming them their entire life to explain away their actions. If one supports Grace, you'll have people saying that Simon's actions were them and wholly them from the very start. The show itself makes it clear that while Simon willingly threw away his chances for redemption, both were enabling and reinforcing the other's bad qualities and vices.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Multiple questions arose immediately after the pilot premiered concerning the train, and its denizens such as One-One, and how Tulip got on the train, to begin with, but the biggest one of all was "what does the number on her hand mean?" The most popular theories were that it designated her ranking in a bizarre game or kept track of the Steward's location. Only a handful of people correctly guessed prior to the show's premiere that the number was basically a direct indicator of her character growth, with some fans, still remaining uncertain about what the number meant until it was explicitly stated the following season.
    • After the poster for Book 3 was revealed and the show's creator casually emphasized Hazel's lack of a glowing hand when commenting on a subsequent piece of fanart, many theories sprung up about what this could possibly mean for who (or what) Hazel is. Between being the offspring of a former passenger or a construct of the train, the oddest of these to gain traction was her being the biological child of Grace and Simon, hailing from some sort of "future" car. It later turns out that she's a denizen made as the hypothetical offspring of Amelia and Alrick, birthed from a failed attempt of the former at cloning the latter.
    • Given how the main characters of Books 2 and 3 were supporting characters in the seventh episode of the prior season, many fans theorized that Amelia would be the main protagonist of Book 4. This wouldn't be the case, but they would still make an appearance during the season and be heard multiple times throughout.
  • Fanart at First Sight: The series had an active subreddit and fanart from the initial 5-minute pilot, released over a year before the show was officially released. There were even fan complaints when the art style changed between the pilot and the show — some people preferred "pointy-chin Tulip".
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Assuming that Tulip is the main character can be this. As a result of how the show was initially advertised, in addition to how some services continue to list it, a fair amount of people assume Tulip is the show's protagonist. While she does hold the role of the main character in the first season, that's also the only season that she appears in; the show is an anthology that follows a different cast of characters in each story arc.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Over the Garden Wall, another Cartoon Network show with dark elements starring protagonists finding themselves in another world and forced to find a way home. Unlike Infinity Train, Over the Garden Wall stays confirmed as a miniseries, while the former is continued as an anthology.
    • Also with Amphibia and The Owl House, at least on 4chan's /co/ board, due to their broad similarities in plot structure (teenage girls who star in Western isekai). Especially Amphibia, which premiered around the same time. Those series being renewed for second seasons ahead of their premieres, while Infinity Train was just a "five-night special event" (or so they let us believe) didn't help things. However, as mentioned below, there are people who watch and enjoy all three.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: The majority of Infinity Train fanfics fall into three categories:
    • Continuation fics about what happens to passengers after their time on the train, ranging from Jesse and Lake's budding friendship, to Grace making amends with the Apex for all they've done and telling the Cat about Simon's death, to Ryan and Min's lives as underground musicians, to Amelia's life with Hazel and her potential redemption.
    • Crossover fics revolving around transplanting characters from other fictional works and having them traverse the train. After all, it's already from an alternate dimension, so why not jump through several different ones? Given the straightforward requirements for boarding, fans have taken to write crossovers with everything from The Owl House, to Miraculous Ladybug, to even Pokémon: The Series and Over the Garden Wall, as characters from those series board the train to address their trauma and psychological issues.
      • It also isn't uncommon for longer crossover fics to slowly become Reference Overdosed, as such stories tend to have additional shout-outs and references to even more works outside the main crossover: Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, for example, has an entire story arc dedicated to what is essentially The Silent Hill Car.
    • For those who felt pity for Simon, there are many fanfics in which he doesn't get killed by the Ghom and instead is able to start getting his redemption and number down or Swapped Roles with Grace in a Role Swap AU where Simon genuinely grows fond of Tuba and empathize with her, only for Grace to kill her in a misguided attempt to please Simon and bring her number back up.
    • Some fanfics indulge in the idea of passengers killed on the train being recycled into denizens, often using this as a potential element in Samantha's backstory, and a way for Grace and Simon to interact again without changing the original ending of Book 3.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Some started calling Tulip's reflection "Holly Van Helsing", due to "Holly" being also the name of a plant (one that comes in silver) and "Van Helsing" as a Mythology Gag. Owen later said she chose the name Gambit, but this ended up being another example of Trolling Creator; the character largely goes by the initials MT in Book 2 and renames herself Lake in the final scene. He'd joke about the misdirect later on, posting the "original" animatic for the scene where the character actually turns into the X-Men character, theme song for the 90s animated series and all.
    • Fans quickly took to calling the cat "Kate Mulgrowl", despite her quite clearly identifying herself as "The Cat". This briefly held Ascended Fanon status, as Owen would approve of the name during a Reddit AmA held before Book 1's finale, but the character's real name would be casually revealed in Book 3 to be Samantha.
    • Some have taken to calling the Apex "Amelians", given how much they worship Amelia.
    • The train itself is called "The Therapy Train" due to how the train is meant to help people confront their traumas.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: When MT gets dressed up for a fashion show in "The Parasite Car", she's clearly uncomfortable, since the combination of the blue wig and the frilly outfit makes her look ridiculous. Many fans stated that they actually like the way she looks in that outfit and said that she should've at least kept the wig.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: At the end of Book 3, Simon dons a makeover that actually suits him quite well, his loose hair and muscular arms give him a good sense of authority and make him more intimidating. The cape though? Overkill; he looks like he's trying to cosplay Sephiroth with a budget of 20 bucks. Though, considering Simon's personality and overall character, it might have been intentional.
  • First Installment Wins:
    • Non-fans are more aware of Tulip's storyline and its elements. Not only were they the most recurring in advertising and promotional material during the show's run, but her season was also the only one other than Book 2 that was available on multiple streaming services for months after the series ended. Said streaming services, and a fair number of official videos on Cartoon Network and HBO Max's YouTube channels for that matter, also used the synopsis for the first season to apply to the show as a whole.
    • Averted within the fandom itself, where most of the love is directed towards Book 3.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With both Gravity Falls and Over the Garden Wall, due to the similar story structure of kid protagonists finding themselves in a mysterious environment, which may or may not be otherworldly. It was even briefly billed as a ten episode mini-series like the latter.
    • Tulip is also commonly seen alongside Luz and Anne, since all three are teenage girls Trapped in Another World. Some also like to throw Reggie/Twelve into the mix. Fans of Infinity Train and The Owl House became closer together when Book 3 of Infinity Train premiered on the same weeks as the last three episodes of Season 1 for The Owl House with the penultimate episode(s) of their series ending on a huge revelation of one of the characters shapeshifting into a creature and a massive Cliffhanger Downer Ending and both having very strong feelings for someone committing terrible acts (Simon for Infinity Train and Lilith for The Owl House). Bonus points: both shows have Matthew Rhys as important very characters: he plays both King Aloysius and Alrick for Infinity Train and Emperor Belos for The Owl House.
    • There's a bit of fandom overlap with Victor and Valentino, as some consider them "sister shows" due to their pilots being released at roughly the same time.
    • Judging from the amount of crossover memes, a lot of Infinity Train fans really enjoy Portal. Given that both have a relatively futuristic setting, and have a bumbling, British Robot Buddy as part of the main cast, this actually makes a lot of sense.
    • Just like many other Cartoon Network shows, fans of Infinity Train get along with fans of Steven Universe, especially after Book 2. Some have already thought of scenarios like MT meeting the Gems or Steven boarding the train. In a Reddit AMA for Book 3, Owen outright described MT Eating Optional as "Gem rules", implying that he himself is a fan.
    • After its move to HBO Max, fans of Infinity Train began to meet up with fans of Glitch Techs as both shows are cartoons that Channel Hopped from cable to streaming and have their fandoms petitioning for renewal. Helps that Kirby Howell-Baptiste voices characters in both. A third fandom also comes from Final Space, thanks to the creators of that show also calling for future seasons.
    • There has been a good overlap with the Phineas and Ferb fandom, due to the release of Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe a day after the final episodes of book 3 with some Infinity Train fans needing a good pick-me-up.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Tulip enjoys eating entire raw onions like other people would eat apples. Onions and tulips are both members of the lily family.
    • The way that the environments inside the train cars are constructed clearly draws inspiration from coding, with the blue spheres serving as the "data" to encode individual elements.
    • The train itself bears a strong resemblance to Dante's interpretation of Purgatory in The Divine Comedy. People arrive at the train after near-death experiencesnote  and go through various trials to "purge" themselves of flaws in order to be released. Both even have physical markers placed on their bodies to show their progress.
    • The Train is essentially a physical representation of Georg Cantor's diagonal argument, which proved that there were an infinite number of numbers between any two real numbers. The train has a beginning, and presumably an end, but is still infinite. Also, the Cat's ability to traverse the infinite train is a representation of the calculus concept of the converging series, which showed that an infinite series of steps can add up to a finite number.
    • While the media on which the memories of passengers are copied and stored look like LTO data tape cartridges, they're actually based on Cartrivision, an obscure and short-lived United States home video format from the early 1970s that predated both Betamax and VHS.
    • Perry the Parasite is a reference to Cymothoa exigua, a louse that consumes, and then becomes, the tongue of a fish. Nausea fuel warning; glimpse at your own peril.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: If participation in fan campaigns to get the show uncancelled are of any indication, Infinity Train has a substantial Brazilian following. Particularly of note, since until June 2021, Books 3 and 4 weren't officially available in the region.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "The Beach Car" becomes a lot harder to rewatch after we get to meet the Conductor. If Tulip actually gave One-One away, it would've probably killed him, and Tulip would've been trapped in the claws of the Conductor, with no-one to assist her (Randall would've probably been turned into a Ghom if he tried to interfere). Even worse, One-One was the true Conductor so Tulip pretty much would have killed the only being capable of stopping the Conductor's machinations.
    • Prior to Book 3, someone made this fanart. That would eerily predict the end of "The Color Clock Car"...
    • Remember the two times Tulip had her life force sucked by a Ghom? "The New Apex" reveals what happens if a Ghom is successful. Tulip is very, very lucky to have escaped from this even once compared to what happened to Simon.
      • In regards to this, one of the games in the "Lucky Cat Car" is where you have Ghoms chasing after a human figure. The Cat, once the partner to Simon, inadvertedly caused Simon to have a fear of Ghoms when one chased after them and she abandoned him in his time of need and Simon dies to a Ghom at the end of Book 3.
    • In "The Mall Car", Grace introduces Simon by saying that she "trusts him with her life". She won't be saying that after what happened in "The New Apex" when he tried to kill her after she saved him.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The passenger seemingly obliterated in the first episode was actually successful in his attempts to find redemption and return home. Particularly so since Amelia was actively halting the progress of other people.
    • After hearing her story of how Alrick died, Hazel doesn't hesitate and runs up to hug Amelia, who pushes her away in a matter of seconds. Later, it's revealed that Amelia created Hazel, so technically Hazel was hugging and empathizing with her mom.
  • He Really Can Act: Isabella Abiera really sells the sorrow Hazel feels upon learning how Simon murdered Tuba. Even Kyle McCarthy(Simon's VA) himself stated that this was a very difficult recording session to be in. And then she ups the ante in Tuba's funeral.
    • Kyle McCarley wowed everyone at the climax of "The New Apex" showing off Simon's Laughing Mad/Cry Laughing to how he attempted to murder Grace.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • During Book 1, someone made an Infinity Train/Amphibia crossover comic, where Anne turns out to be the Conductor. Only one episode later, we learn that the Conductor really is a female human. Bonus points for Anne piloting from the head and both "Anne" and "Amelia" starting with an A.
    • Book 4's themes of strained friendship, communication problems, forgiveness, chasing dreams, running away from your problems and having a Flesh Golem based monster (with it presumably based off a dead passenger) with an arm motif and numerous Alice Allusions are very similar to those found in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail which was first uploaded before Book 3 premiered. Hell, both the fanfic and Book even have a denizen named Morpho (albeit the fanfic depicts them as a fairy whereas the Book has them be a butterfly sheriff)!
    • In Book 4's episodes "The Astro Queue Car" and "The Party Car" both featured denizens that only wore spacesuits, never taking them off. This led to several jokes off the memetic hit game Among Us, and these jokes would become even more hilarious once it was announced that Infinity Train's creator Owen Dennis would be working on an animated series for Among Us as the executive producer.
    • The most remembered scene of Book 1 is the scene of the Conductor shooting Atticus in the face. Maybe that's where Jack Horner got that idea.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Between Special Agents Sieve and Mace. Sieve is always trying to be supportive and caring for Mace and only gets pissed off when he wants to kill MT for killing Mace.
    • In "The Map Car" MT blushes when the mermaids complimented her hair (she's shaved most of it at this point, for those wondering).
    • Ryan and Min-Gi blush a lot when around each other and Ryan tends to get pretty touchy-feely with Min. Their entire book also revolves around them fixing their relationship and in the final episode Min states that he won't leave the train as long as Ryan is still on it.

    I-R 
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming:
    • "Travelfriends" for MT/Jesse, based on the improvised song Jesse was singing in Episode 2.
    • “Mall Rats” for Grace/Simon, based on their introduction in The Mall Car.
  • I Knew It!:
    • After Book 1 ended with an announcement that "Infinity Train will return", many people speculated that Tulip's story was over and the second season would have a different protagonist. Turns out that is exactly what happened, with the show undergoing an anthology format.
    • Two major reveals that fans correctly guessed prior to Book 3's premiere were that Hazel would turn out not to be human and that Amelia would return.
      • A certain camp of people correctly predicted that Tuba would die.
    • Quite a number of people predicted that Book 4 would chronologically take place before the previous three Books, and would feature an appearance from Amelia, prior to her attempting to take control of the Train.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • Each book/season being only ten, 11-minute episodes long. Some fans like the brevity of each story arc, feeling they allow the plots to be succinctly told without overstaying their welcome and that they make recommending the show much easier due to the smaller time commitment. Others believe that 110 minutes worth of episodes for each story arc results in the story coming across as too rushed at times, and leaves far too much story potential with any given cast of characters unrealized.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: The villains of the show have their fans: Amelia for being a Tragic Villain who only wants to be with her beloved Alrick, the Mirror Police are Creepy Awesome and even Simon gets love for being such a despicable bastard and some pitied how he died after pushing away everyone he ever loved. The same sentiment can't be said for Grace's parents, who are emotionally abusive, neglectful, and had a tendency to not take responsibility for how their hands-off parenting is what got Grace onto the Train and become leader of a denizen-slaying cult.
    • Another set of jerks that fans hate are Jesse's "friends" who didn't care how Nate broke his arm, and seemingly get away with their crimes. Again, this is in contrast to the Mirror Cops who are willing to grind down Lake and the apathetic cult who wheels denizens.
  • LGBT Fanbase:
    • MT has drawn the attention of some LGBT fans both for her obviously flustered reaction to the mermaids complimenting her hair during "The Map Car" and the trans subtext in her story: She was forced to live out a role that she didn't want and even answer to a name that wasn't hers, then broke away to find an identity for herself while other people keep trying to force her back into her "intended" role. Not to mention that she's derided for being "different" or lesser than self-proclaimed "normal" people. Her redesign makes her also quite popular with lesbians. In addition, her chosen name of Lake is very similar to the names chosen by younger nonbinary people.
    • As much as the mere trailer of Book 4 came out, gay fans swarmed to ship Min and Ryan, the protagonist duo of the season, with a big belief that they were supposed to become a couple over the course of the show. It wasn't explicitly depicted as such, to considerable consternation.
  • Love to Hate:
  • Memetic Psychopath:
    • As mentioned before, MT's violent tendencies are often exaggerated for comedy, considering how she was responsible for at least one on-screen death.
    • Again as mentioned before, Simon has become this after his murder of Tuba but this is not played for comedy.
  • Moe:
    • Tulip when she was younger. Even though most of the memories involving her are likely fabricated, she's still absolutely adorable. It helps that she's the only thing that doesn't become distorted.
    • Jesse's younger brother Nate is pretty much just a smaller, cuter version of him and also The Woobie.
    • Even when only a promo picture of Book 3 was revealed, people were already noticing how cute Hazel is. Even when morphing into a turtle creature, many just wanted to give the poor thing a hug.
  • Narm Charm: When Grace sees Simon again in "The New Apex", he's being carried on a throne that looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones, doing a Slouch of Villainy, and is dressed in such a way that it’s painfully obvious he's trying to look edgy and cool. None of this takes away from how disturbing it is to see how evil he's become.
  • Nausea Fuel: Grace yanking out the memory tape from her head results in yellow-white goo coming out from that area and her vomiting up some saliva. Her disgusted reaction sells it.
  • Never Live It Down: Amelia will forever be remembered for her desire to shoot a puppy in the face.
  • One-Scene Wonder: For Book 1, it's Alrick, due to him being the catalyst for the Conductor's machinations on the train.
  • One True Pairing:
    • Tulip/Mikayla is this for anyone who wants to ship Tulip in a realistic way, given that the two of them are shown to be close friends, which could potentially evolve into something more.
    • MT/Jesse popped up as soon as the trailer revealed that they're going to be co-protagonists. Book 2 then turned out to be loaded with Ship Tease, despite Word of God saying they wrote them as platonic friends. It definitely helps that the season ends with Jesse being so torn up about leaving her behind that his guilt sends him back on the train so they can reunite, and that when explaining their platonic bond, the creator also didn't dismiss the possibility of romance in the future. Cartoon Network even acknowledged the duo as such a few times, such as this Valentine's Day-related tweet.
    • Grace/Simon has also become highly popular, thanks to the close bond the two of them have demonstrated over the course of the series. However, see Abandon Shipping to see what happened.
    • Ryan/Min-Gi bascially exploded overnight when the official trailer for their book was revealed. Many fans theorized that the story would revolve around two friends having to grapple with the realization that they had caught feelings for each other. Although that ultimately wasn't the plot of Book 4, the ship itself is still pretty popular, see Ho Yay above for why.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • There is a sentient train that stalks anybody and everybody who might be going through a mental health crisis, from something as small as a dead lizard to a person who is ready to end their lives. There is nothing you can do to escape it; it will appear in an empty area, inside a building, or inbetween subway cars. Pray that you end up in a car that's nice and not ready to kill you, and double pray that the people you meet on the Train know what you're supposed to do to escape.
    • The Chrome Car can make those with spectrophobia crawl into a hole. Reflections are sentient and they see everything that you do. The only way out of the car is swapping places with your reflection and that's only if your reflection plays nice and is willing to swap back with you after it's over. Oh and if the reflection happens to escape the car? Well, you've just lost your reflection forever!
  • Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading: Owen Dennis has claimed that the relationship between MT and Jesse was meant to be a platonic friendship, but they receive so much Ship Tease that fans don't exactly have to squint to see something more going on between them. From her blushing around him several times (such as when he promises to bring her off the train with him), to him putting his arm around her and them often standing close together, to lots of Holding Hands and hugging, to Jesse being so upset about accidentally leaving the train without her that it picks him back up a second time, there's enough romantic tension there that MT/Jesse is one of the most popular pairings in the fandom.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Jesse/MT = Jesslake
    • Grace/Simon = Grimon
    • Ryan/Min-Gi = Rymin
  • Preemptive Shipping: As far back as Book 4's concept art being leaked, people shipped Ryan Akagi and Min-Gi Park. This boosted once the trailer for the book was released, and when the book itself actually aired, Rymin became the most popular ship in the fandom.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: The show has a fair amount of this, but peaks in Book 3, which is part of what makes it as dark and frightening as it was. The concept of the series revolves a little girl traveling with an individual that might attempt to kill her if he finds out that she's a member of a minority group that she despises. The Apex's cult tactics are disturbingly similar to real-life cults, relying on emotional manipulation, validation and isolating individuals from their friends and families. Simon's motivation for hating denizens is also realistically petty, motivated by his extrapolation of the actions of a singular immoral person onto the entirety of the group.
    • This also is the reason Simon is such a horrifying character, that constantly dances between sympathy and detestability. He is incredibly similar to many real-life racists, domestic abusers and individuals with unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-destructive habits. He is so obscenely broken and pitiful that many characters try to and want to help him, but are unable to as he continually pushes away every single attempt at assistance and spirals deeper down into a near-addictive spiral of madness. He also has a realistically obsessive and vindicative relationship with Grace that stems from his fear of abandonment, viewing that she doesn't act like she's "supposed" to and attempts to discover information about her that he can use without her knowledge or consent.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • When the first trailers for Book 2 came out, Jesse failed to make a good first impression in the eyes of many fans, thinking his adventurous portrayal contrasting Tulip makes him look somewhat inferior by comparison. After the Book premiered however, many fans praised his portrayal of being a genuinely likeable and sympathetic character who still has flaws to balance him out. It helps that he wasn't the definitive protagonist in the first place, instead serving as the Deuteragonist. It's outright hard to find someone who actually dislikes him nowadays.
    • Some fans initially found Amelia to be an uninteresting and ultimately entirely unsympathetic villain in Book 1. However, her redesign and Reformed, but Not Tamed characterization in Book 3 won over some of her detractors. Pitting her against Simon, a delinquent created as a result of her neglect of the train and delivering a well-earned "The Reason You Suck" Speech. That said others were still annoyed as Amelia let a dangerous individual created as a result of her own actions roam free and felt she should've taken more responsibility for the Apex.

    S-W 
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Some already ship Tulip/Jesse, even though the two have never met, based on the fact that they're both protagonists with opposing personalities. Though the ship tease between MT and Jesse could potentially make a relationship between them seem plausible. Or even between all three of them.
    • Some are already interested in Amelia/Grace, given how much the latter worships the former. Again, the two have never met, and even if they did, their meeting would probably end at a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the latter's expense. In the show, it turns out they did meet when Grace was a child, though Amelia doesn't remember the encounter. In addition, it's Simon that gets chewed out, as he starts screaming and attempting to attack her after she explains everything, claiming that she's lying, while Grace tries to stop him.
    • While not a "ship" in the romantic way, many are interested in the scenario of MT and Hazel meeting and the former becoming a Cool Big Sis to the latter, considering how both are humanoid denizens who want to be recognized as being just as valuable as humans.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • The end of "The Wasteland" where MT murders someone (Mirror Cop Mace) by grinding his face to the train wheels and "blood" splattering her face.
    • The end of "The Color Clock Car" ramps it up when Simon kills animal companion Tuba without remorse just when it looks like they were getting close (although it cuts away before Tuba gets grinded by the wheels).
    • "The New Apex" kills off Simon, when the Ghom sucks away his life force.
  • Signature Line:
    • MT's breakdown in the Tape Car, "Look at me! I am a person! I DESERVE A NUMBER!!!"
      • Also from MT, "I'm Lake."
    • Simon's line to Tuba in "The Color Clock Car". "Teamwork starts when two people trust each other. But you? You're no person.
  • Signature Scene:
    • "The Grid Car": Tulip running away for coding camp.
    • "The Ball Pit Car": Atticus being shot by the Conductor before being turned into a Ghom.
    • "The Mall Car": MT trying to leave with Jesse to the real world, holding hands as Jesse is swept up by the vortex.
    • "The Wasteland": The death of Mirror Cop Mace by MT's hands.
    • "The Numbers Car": MT finally free and stating that her name is now Lake.
    • "The Color Clock Car": Tuba's death by Simon along with Simon's scowl at the deed.
    • "The Campfire Car": Hazel's eulogy for Tuba.
    • "The New Apex": Two of them involving Simon: him Laughing Mad while he has numbers on his face after kicking Grace into the wheels or when he is being killed when a Ghom sucks his life out.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus to Book 4 "Duet" seems to be that it's good overall, but doesn't really hold a candle to the previous books, especially Darker and Edgier Book 3, being a much more tame and self-contained story.
  • Squick: The scene in "The New Apex" where Grace has to pull out the tape of her memories to the point where she's gagging when she sees what looks like a chunk of her brain at the end.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Many have described Infinity Train as a Lighter and Softer adaptation of the Silent Hill franchise due to the shared premise of surviving and eventually escaping the eponymous Epiphanic Prison — the Infinity Train basically being a much nicer version of the town of Silent Hill. The show often draws comparisons to Silent Hill games with more personal, psychological storylines, in particular the second entry of the series. Book 1 is similar to that of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories as its main plot involved Cheryl Mason struggling with accepting that her father is dead and she can't focus on the Frankenstein's monster she made which is a parallel to Amelia trying to create a car that would mimick the past so well and forget Alrick died (Bonus points as both have dark hair. Meanwhile, Tulip struggles with her parents and their divorce, which is one of the endings of the same game. Moreover, Shattered Memories was themed after snow and ice, and Tulip ended up running away onto the Train in winter and woke up in the Snow Car, not to mention that there's a theme of memory tapes and "snow" like Cheryl kept replaying her home movies and reliving the happy memories of her dad, before she finally places the last part once she comes to understand that her father is dead and nothing she can do can bring him back.
    • Speaking of Silent Hill 2, Book 3 can be considered an adaptation of that one given how the main characters of that arc actually fit the characters from Silent Hill 2: Grace is Angela (for having abusive parents and she later ends up a Broken Bird like Angela does (Although she ends up living whereas Angela ascends a fiery staircase to her death, Simon is Eddie (a blond Psycopathic Manchild who is in deep denial of his wrongdoings), Hazel is Laura, a blond Cheerful Child who gets along with the Eddie parallel and ends up broken when her closest friend gets killed like when Laura learns that James killed Mary, Tuba is Mary Shepherd due to her bond with Hazel, and Amelia is James Sunderland who takes in Hazel like the "Leave" ending of implies that Laura will be adopted by James. Meanwhile, Book 2 is a lighter version of Silent Hill 2 as MT can be seen as Maria who struggles over the idea that she's not a real person. The storyline can be seen as a happier "Maria" ending in which Jesse (the James Sunderland parallel) not only goes back for MT, but MT eventually escapes to the real world without any negative reprecussions, allowed to have her own name and be together with Jesse.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Grace is a manipulative sociopath with backwards morals, believing improving your morality and understanding your problems is a weakness. However, she does have a point when she says that the train doesn't care how old the passengers are, kidnapping children away from their families and forcing them to understand something nobody expects them to understand. This ends up falling apart, however, when Grace clearly doesn't have the moral high ground, as she gaslights children into chaotic little brats, making their stay on the train longer than it needs to be.
    • In "The Origami Car", Grace's father does chew out the mall cop in how their daughter is not a thief, but considering that he and his wife are ambassadors, he is making a valid point that if word gets out then it would ruin their reputations. Which, in turn, would also ruin Grace's reputation among her peers as well if rumors spread that she was a thief.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • The first half of "The Ball Pit Car", which consists of Tulip, One-One, and Atticus going on an adorable pretend quest with a living stuffed animal in a car that's just one giant play area. It's guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies… as long as you stop the episode before the second half begins.
    • In a way, the premise of entire show manages to be this, as the train is filled with friendly creatures and whimsical landscapes, once one manages to ignore the Nightmare Fuel (literally) surrounding it. Especially after the reveal that the train works like therapy and only abducts people whose lives really, really suck.
  • Tear Jerker: See here.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Tulip's redesign for the show did receive some criticism when initially shown, both in storyboard form and in the SDCC 2018 teaser trailer. Especially the glasses looking more like normal glasses, rather than being infinity-shaped. Opinions improved upon seeing the Cartoon Network 2019 sizzle reel, which showcased the new design in a better light.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some of the car inhabitants from Book One qualify, since they have interesting designs and concepts that are just used for one episode, or worse, a quick montage. Thankfully "The Lucky Cat Car" in the following season shows many of them in cameos.
    • The other passengers, when it's shown that the train has multiple passengers at once at the end of Book 1. Tulip encountering other humans on the train could've been interesting, allowing characters who are more grounded in reality to accompany her. Though she did meet one passenger in Amelia. Future seasons would have multiple passengers interact, however.
    • The Apex are only seen in four episodes and we know next to nothing about the individual children aside from a few names or the fact that Lucy lost an eye. In fact, we never see what the heck they're doing during Book 3's events while their leaders are separated or what happened during the time Grace was stuck in her memories and Simon usurped the position of Apex leader for himself.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While Book 3 was praised, there are some aspects that could've been expanded on.
    • While we know what happened to Simon on the train, fans never discover what his life was like to make him enter it in the first place (as we see that his number was only at 55 when he met Grace). It could've been interesting for Grace to use the nanites and tape reader on him to pay back for what he did to her.
    • Amelia only shows up in three episodes of Book 3 and has little to no interest in the Apex at all. What would it have been like if she actually did try to stop the Apex?
    • When Grace has to review her memories in "The Origami Car", we never see her actually bringing up the idea of "kill the denizens to get our numbers up" or proof she actually killed a denizen. It would've made Hazel's accusations of Grace being a coward and the one who planted that idea in Simon's head much more impactful if we saw her spilling blood.
    • Whatever the Apex was doing during the time that Grace and Simon were gone is never brought up. The worst they get is being crushed and suppressed by Simon before a simple question by Grace immediately wakes them up from their brainwashing.
  • Too Cool to Live: Tuba, the gentle yet sometimes sarcastic motherly gorilla who Hazel bonds with. Fans hoped that she'd survive till the end of the book only to watch her die by the hands of Simon halfway in.
  • Trans Audience Interpretation: Lake, since she has an alternative fashion choice and a consistent narrative of not being accepted as real. Most in this camp say non-binary, specifically.
  • Ugly Cute: Turtle-Hazel has a somewhat odd-looking face, but she's still a 6-year old child and incredibly cute.
    • There's also her surrogate mother, Tuba, who is a gigantic gorilla with an amusingly simplistic facial expression, who is nevertheless an incredibly caring parent, which makes her death even more horrifying.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley:
    • The Steward. A human-like face on a Starfish Robot body with a distorted voice and Fireball Eyeballs.
    • Tuba's very cartoony face atop her somewhat realistic gorilla body can be quite strange to look at, especially compared to previous animal companions who had more natural looking faces. Overall, this makes her look more like she came straight out of Adventure Time.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • One-One can come across as this in "The Beach Car", as we're supposed to think of him as a good friend to Tulip and are supposed to feel sorry for him when she gives him away to the Cat. Even though his "advice" made her think she's going to die on the train and his attempts at being a good friend feel more like he's trying to guilt-trip her. While he is friendly towards Tulip and they both have the same goal, the Cat was (seemingly) trying to help Tulip getting off the train and never indicated that she's planning to harm One-One. Besides that, Tulip and One-One were familiar with each other for a few days at most.
    • As of Season 2 and "The Mall Car", Amelia is now heading towards this direction. While yes, her losing Alrick is horrible and she was in a state of mourning, that does not forgive the fact that her usurping One-One as the Conductor for thirty three years in order to get what she wanted meant that people are fumbling in the dark trying to figure out how to get off the train — when she could've made the instructional videos instead of going "You're all on your own, farewell" in Book 4 — and led Grace and numerous kids to see her as a god and equate bigger numbers as a sign of status along with destroying numerous cars and killing its denizens just for some thrills. One-One can't undo what she's done, only help guide new passengers to (hopefully) move forward. Even after she learns about the Apex, she doesn't feel the least bit sorry as to what she caused, doesn't even remember "saving" Grace all those years ago and tears Simon's reality into confetti without doing anything to confine this dangerous youth for both the safety of himself and others.
    • While Simon's clearly supposed to be monstrous, he's also supposed to be seen as a misguided Tragic Villain and his death is meant with horror instead of rejoice. However, considering how despicably heinous he was, he instead came across as a Hate Sink who got exactly what was coming to him, and many fans both memed on how satisfying his death was and how surprisingly graphic it was. This has dissipated somewhat in the years since, but is still held by a large portion of the fanbase.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: From promotional material alone, some aren't quite sure of Tuba's gender. The name sounds feminine but promos seem to alternate between "he" and "it". It's later revealed that Tuba is female.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • The show talks about very heavy subjects like divorce, mourning, and passivity in the face of violence and wrongdoing. Owen Dennis has stated in interviews that the mature subject matter despite the show being marketed towards children rather than teens is one of the bigger hurdles faced when attempting to pitch further seasons. Unfortunately, this is exactly what ended up getting the show cancelled.
    • The deaths in this show are nothing short of horrifying and makes you wonder how Owen got away with it. From Atticus being "shot" in "The Ball Pit Car", to Mace being wheeled in "The Wasteland", to Simon getting reduced to nothing but ashes in "The New Apex."

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