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YMMV / Milo Murphy's Law

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  • Accidental Innuendo: In "Sunny Side Up" Mrs. Murawski tells Melissa she made the pencil she was holding and Melissa awkwardly backs away. "Made" can also be slang for "had sex with", not helped by her already established obsession with wood.
  • Adorkable:
    • Milo wears a sweater vest and the opening song makes it clear he thinks it's cool. Milo is also head over heels for the antique fire truck Melissa's father was taking care of and geeks out even more than usual about it, gushing about every detail as if it they were absolutely groundbreaking even when they're far less than impressive in practice. He also loves action movies, and speaks in a raspy voice like a stereotypical action hero in "The Substitute" despite the ridiculousness of it as lampshaded by Melissa.
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    • Zack tries so hard at being cool while coming off as a total goofball.
    • Amanda is obsessed with making sure things turn out well to the point of over scheduling, has an appreciation for the finer things, squees in delight at seeing her favorite cooking show host, and is occasionally nervous around Milo even without Murphy's Law.
    • Sara is a sweet, intelligent young woman who's prone to over-analysis and struggles to find a topic of conversation unrelated to her favorite TV show.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Where does Milo's unbridled optimism despite being Born Unlucky come from? Is he just used to all of his misfortunes at this point? Or is it a coping mechanism? The extended theme song implies that he actually gets some thrill from constantly having to be on his toes and ready for anything.
      "I'm not sitting here watchin' the world turn/Y'know I'd rather spin it!"
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    • Melissa has an awfully large amount of trust in Milo despite his reputation. This does bring up the question: Is she legitimately supportive of him, or has she suffered so much bad luck from him and survived that she simply tries to be optimistic about it? Or did the second one lead to the first after enough time?
      • A flashback episode shows the first time they met and how Melissa was initially afraid of Milo, but after one adventure just had too much fun to be scared of Murphy's law anymore, so yeah, pretty much confirmed to be both.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Elliot seems to have become one after "World Without Milo". Some consider him to have taken it too far in saying it would have been better if Milo had never existed and his plot in the episode wasn't enough to make up for it, while others consider him to be an entertaining character despite his jerkass qualities and think what he got was enough.
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    • In a similar vein to the titular characters on Phineas and Ferb, there are those who think that Milo's perpetually upbeat personality and resourcefulness either makes him an engaging character, and those who think he's not as interesting as the people around him. Some have even gone as far as to call him a Vanilla Protagonist.
    • Mr. Block is either an ungrateful jerk to Cavendish and Dakota or he's just simply a grumpy boss who's not too bad.
    • Speaking of Cavendish and Dakota, they're either seen as an enjoyable element to the show, or are annoying and take away the spotlight from Milo.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In "Fungus Among Us," Dakota reacts happily when told the group is going to the 1960s —what follows is a cutaway gag about four seconds long of Dakota grinning and dancing in just green underwear and faux-hippy tattoos on his limbs and chest. (For those not in the know, it was a reference to Laugh In.) When we cut back to the living room, the kids have reeled back from Dakota in shock and Cavendish asks what the heck just happened. Dakota promptly tells everyone to just forget it, and the moment is never mentioned again.
  • Broken Base:
    • The decision to integrate the show more closely with Phineas and Ferb in its second season. Some feel going beyond references to have the previous show's characters regularly appear overshadows the elements that make Milo stand on its own, leaving it in its predecessor's shadow and making the show's cast occasionally feel like secondary characters in their own series. Others are just happy to see the PnF characters live on at all, and feel that continuing Doof's story with a different series with a different set of characters is better than continuing Phineas and Ferb and having it eventually go through a Seasonal Rot.
      • The fact that Doofenshmirtz is the only one of the Phineas and Ferb characters to consistently play a big role in the show's plots. Some don't mind since he's a well-developed character who integrates with the cast well, with a subgroup noting that using any other PnF characters with more frequency would reduce screen-time for Milo's already extensive cast. Others think it's not a true integration of the two shows as is, preferring all-or-nothing, or at least that Doof needs more of his old supporting cast to better work as a character. And a third group feels like the series has become "The Dr. Doofenshmirtz Show", overshadowing both MML as a whole and the few PnF elements that he brought along with him, preferring that he and the other characters have remained in the crossover.
      • Doofenshmirtz as a character in MML Season 2 either has fans proud that he is finally getting his moment after constantly failing his projects and getting thwarted all the time, or disappointed because these moments feel forced and ignore his all character growth from throughout Phineas and Ferb. This is especially apparent in "Doof's Day Out", where Doofenshmirtz found a family in the Murphys. Some were happy that he found a family after getting abused by his parents in childhood, while others argued that he had already found family with Vanessa, Perry, and Norm.
    • Related to Milo's base breaking status, there's the matter of how well he's integrated into the show's various arcs. One side argues that he's little more than a side player/plot device who's just there to react or be tested on. The other side argues that he still gets plenty to do regardless.
    • Another point of contention is in regard to the show's much more zany, off-the-wall tone compared to its already zany parent series, especially in its second season. Though the base-breaking is less about the humor itself, though that still is a point of debate, but rather how well the goofy antics found in more standalone episodes mixes with the more pivotal episodes that advance the various story arcs. The base is split on if the constant back-and-forth works to keep things interesting and from being too serious, or if the comedy style holds the show back from telling a more captivating, serialized story.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Mrs. Murawski and her desk. According to this tweet, it's Based on a True Story.
    • Milo and his backpack, everyone knows he's never apart from it if he has a choice and he is genuinely sad when he temporarily loses it.
    • Bradley and Carla, the self-serve ice cream machine.
    • Scott the Undergrounder and Mildred, a milk carton with a face drawn on it, first seen in "Missing Milo".
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Since her first appearance, some fans have paired Mrs. Murawski up with Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
    • Sara Murphy/Vanessa Doofenshmirtz has been considered by fans.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The fandom treatment of Bradley, based on the idea that his desperation for attention stems from severely low self-esteem. This despite the fact that he's one of the few characters that acts like a Jerkass to Milo.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Amanda Lopez, a Latina Perfectionist who Milo just so happens to have a crush on (and she eventually reciprocates). She's also a Fangirl for an extreme baking TV show and is in general really Adorkable.
    • Bradley is getting a lot of attention through various fanwork, probably because he's a mix of Tall, Dark, and Snarky and Adorkable.
    • Orton Mahlson, the actor who plays Doctor Zone in-universe, was foreshadowed as playing a crucial role in the plot, leading to plenty of Epileptic Trees. Being voiced by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame helped too.
    • Veronica, applauded for being a badass who actually prevails over Murphy's Law whether as a babysitter or a pizza delivery girl. Having Danica McKellar as her voice certainly helps.
    • Lola Sondergaard, a character who appeared briefly as a joke in the episode "The Note" has quite a following for her essentially being a female Milo. Plenty of people even like to ship her with Milo, even though she's such a minor character.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: According to "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", all of the Contrived Coincidences that let the boys get away with all their wild hijinks are actually a force of nature akin to Murphy's law - when the boys are around, probability is affected to all but guarantee things will work out for them. To some fans, this Retcon has unwanted, even frightening implications. Phineas and Ferb, two boys who want to seize every day, are just passively going with the flow of a universe that must serve their interests. Their impossible creations aren't produced by the boys' own intelligence and creativity, but by a higher power compelling them to succeed and enjoy themselves. On top of that, the episode implies that it only works when they're together, undermining their powerful sibling bond and introducing some Fridge Horror since their teenage selves in Act Your Age are explicitly going off to attend college in two different countries.
  • Fanon:
    • It's not uncommon for fanworks to give Dakota heterochromia (usually with one eye brown and the other blue). The fact that this one was Jossed in "Island of Lost Dakotas" hasn't done much to change anyone's mind.
    • The frequently-cited name "Swamp City" for Milo's neighborhood (as a counterpart to Phineas and Ferb's "Danville") is unofficial and has been Jossed by Dan Povenmire via Twitter. It's been confirmed that they are in Jefferson County, which is still in Danville (just not the Greater Danville area)
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Dakota and Cavendish are more likely to be shipped with each other than with anyone else, helped by the frequent moments of Ho Yay between them in the show.
    • Despite the show going for Milo/Amanda and Zack/Melissa, there's some fans that prefer Milo to be with Melissa instead, who have yet to show romantic feelings for each other.
  • Franchise Original Sin: This show has some noticeable flaws that its parent series had, but were only magnified here:
    • The liberties and looseness taken with continuity and other story elements. In comparison to Phineas and Ferb, which had a mostly episodic structure for most of its run, only developing story arcs near the end of its third season, MML utilized an overarching story structure from the beginning. As a result, any discrepancies, contradictions, and Retcons, especially those that come from Milo sharing a universe with Phineas (for example, Dr. Doofenshmirtz being credited for creating time travel when several other characters on PnF had done it prior), are given much less leeway here by fans of both series.
    • The show sharing a universe with its parent series to its own detriment. Phineas and Ferb had itself pulled a similar shared universe trick twice in the times it crossed over with Marvel and Star Wars. While both crossovers have their fair share of detractors, they're both largely liked by the majority of fans and other viewers. And even the ones who don't like the crossovers can still agree with those who do that at the very least both of them are self contained one and done events, and that Phineas and Ferb itself could still stand on its own two feet without Marvel or Star Wars' assistance (and the fact that the Star Wars crossover in particular was explicitly labeled non canon also helped). MML, in contrast, contained a heavy number of references to PnF as far back as season 1, which in turn culminated in Dr. Doofenshmirtz appearing and playing a prominent role in the season finale, which in turn snowballed into both shows becoming heavily integrated in all the seasons that followed to the point that the connections with PnF are considered to have hijacked MML and undermined its ability to stand on its own.
    • The show seeming to be less about main character Milo himself, and more about the supporting cast. While Phineas and Ferb didn't completely escape this criticism, it was something that happened gradually over time during the show's run, with the characters still being seen as active players in many situations. In the case of this series, Milo, despite his active tendencies, tends to be someone who mostly just reacts to whatever comes his way (granted, considering how Murphy's Law works, he has little choice). Combined with the overarching story generally putting more focus on supporting characters (like Cavendish and Dakota) and not Milo himself, he's a borderline blank slate.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Unsurprisingly, many people who were fans of Phineas and Ferb immediately became fans of this show as well. The crossover episode only solidified this sentiment.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Dakota takes offense when Cavendish asks Savannah and Brick why he doesn't have a hot fellow agent. It's revealed that Dakota keeps going back in time to save Cavendish because they are partners, even if it means Dakota's alternate selves exile themselves to an island.
    • The beginning of "We're Going to The Zoo" becomes much sadder after watching "A Christmas Peril"—despite the fact that WGTTZ Dakota gleefully emphasizes how he and Cavendish are going to the zoo together, by Christmas of 2195 he's become a solo act, going so far as to change his song to "I'm Going to the Zoo".

    Dakota: Yes, the ZOO! We get to see real, live animals!
    Dakota: Happy for us!
    Future!Cavendish:"I'm Going to the Zoo"? Huh, we went to the zoo, we!

  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Milo's comment about "always wear body armor" is funnier in context if you know about Weird Al's unfortunate misunderstanding with Coolio, which, when resolved, prompted Al to say "I doubt I'll be invited to Coolio's birthday party, but at least I don't have to wear a bulletproof vest to the mall anymore."
    • On the poster for the show, there's a satellite coming down from the atmosphere amongst all the chaos. Episode 1 of a certain show featured the kids knocking a satellite out of orbit and spiraling towards Earth. "What goes around comes around" indeed...
    • Past ancestors of the Murphy Family evidently vacationed at Mt. Vesuvius, particularly funny when you consider that this show has an Expy of Doctor Who, where both David Tennant and Peter Capaldi did an episode centered around that volcano and its infamous eruption.
    • Balathazar Cavendish tries to get Milo disinterested in wanting pistachios by offering him a gummy bear, considering he’s the real life Doctor Zone, expy of The Doctor, he pretty much offered Milo a jelly baby.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Between Milo's doctor and the other guy he's playing golf with in "The Note". When the other guy asks why Milo's doctor denied he was a doctor he explains he wanted the guy to like him for who he is, which the other guy says totally worked.
    • In "Time Out", Dakota doesn't like that Cavendish doesn't think he's attractive.
    • Cavendish and Dakota fumble on answering Chad's question on whether they are parents or teachers, leading to Cavendish saying that they are "Gregory Teacher's parents". It doesn't help that in another episode we see them hiding in a closet.
    • The montage in "Perchance to Sleepwalk" after Dakota and Cavendish decide to ditch the pistachio assignment includes activities such as a rowboat ride, with Cavendish sitting under a parasol.
    • Just the entirety of the episode The Island of Lost Dakotas. Dakota repeatedly and unhesitatingly goes back in time to save Cavendish every time he dies, then his redundant self goes and lives on an island where all the Dakotas watch a live feed of Cavendish for fun. When asked why he makes such an effort all he can say is "He's Cavendish. What're you gonna do?"
    • Dakota and Cavendish's whole subplot in A Christmas Peril. The two have one fight that makes them end their partnership, both still think about it and regret what happened 20 years later, and decide to go back in time to stop that argument from starting, continuously failing but not giving up because their lives just aren't the same without each other.
    • Cavendish is a big fan boy of Professor Time, to the point of basically imitating him down to the clothes choice AKA Dr. Doofenshmirtz from the future, when he meets the present Professor Time in "The Phineas and Ferb Effect" he immediately tries to show off his Professor Time merchandise, including his underwear with pictures of Professor Time's face in them.
      • Also when the Future Professor Time AKA Doof from the future makes an actual appearance to help Phineas, Ferb. Cavendish, Dakota, his past self and Milo prevent Derek from ever executing his Kill and Replace plan Cavendish basically can't contain his excitement.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Bradley. He is a Grumpy Bear, but it ensues from Milo always causing chaos near him and stealing the spotlight. He's also honorable about bets and wagering items, like Vitamin C tablets, that Milo would value. In addition, he can't understand why Melissa would rather hang out with Milo than with him, and his one-sided crush is limited to him inviting Melissa to sit next to him.
    • Elliot Decker earns this status as of "Disaster of My Dreams". He's terrible to Milo and seems to see him as his own personal enemy, but you gotta feel bad for him when it doesn't matter how big of an effort he makes, things still don't work out for him.
    • Brick becomes one in "Spy Little Sister!" when it's revealed that he was abandoned several times in his youth: at a playground, at the zoo, and on the way to a prom.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • There have been jokes about Diogee possibly being an OWCA agent (and one possibly better than Perry at keeping it on the down low, seeing as though not even the audience gets to see his adventures).
    • Veronica from "Secrets and Pies" appears to be this in-universe, by virtue of being Milo's "last babysitter standing".
  • One True Threesome: Rather than debating about Zack/Melissa, Milo/Melissa or Milo/Zack, many fans simply ship the three all together, as unlike other Two Guys and a Girl examples that usually have the guys fighting over the girl, all three of them genuinely like each other and definitely can not leave any one behind.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you ever decide to hang around someone like Milo, you better make sure you're fully prepared for what's to come. And also have health insurance just in case.
  • Periphery Demographic: Many fans of the show are people who grew up with Phineas and Ferb. Since that show started in 2007, those fans are now outside of Disney XD's intended demographic.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Basically every ship in the fandom has one, with some of the most common being Milack (Milo/Zack), Bradlissa (Bradley/Melissa) and Dakavendish (Dakota/Cavendish).
    • Milo/Amanda is often referred to as Milanda, but Milomanda shows up often too. Sometimes, fans call it Amandilo, or even Armadillo.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything: The entire first season is loaded with examples of Foreshadowing and Chekhov's Gun. Going back to previous episodes after a newer one often results in noticing hints of the ongoing Story Arc that were littered throughout.
  • Seasonal Rot: While Season 2 isn't seen as bad by any means, a decent amount of fans see it in a much less favorable light compared to Season 1 for the Broken Base reasons stated above and then some. In short, the most common reasons include integration of Phineas and Ferb characters feeling like a crutch, giving Dr. Doofenshmirtz too much screen time to the point of being more annoying than charming, not developing the main characters enough to the point that they feel like secondary characters in the more story-driven episodes, and the shift to more overt, self referential humor and overly wacky scenarios being more annoying and confusing instead of funny and charming. This video sums up this viewpoint well.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • While mild compared to most examples for several reasons, the there's debate between fans of Milo/Melissa, fans of Zack/Melissa, and fans of Milo/Zack (to say nothing of those people hoping for a triad or who think Milo should pair up with Lola). One of the show's story artists took to Tumblr after the first episode aired and made a public statement that she would not be answering any ship questions, knowing how badly they can affect fandoms (even if she has since revealed that she does have a ship, she just emphasizes how it's by no means canon).
    • As of "Smooth Opera-tor," Milo being shown to have a crush on Amanda has been met with mixed reactions from people who ship Milo/Melissa and Milo/Zack. The latter shippers probably didn't take too kindly to Jackie either.
    • As of "Family Vacation" there are people who ship Milo with the Brulee twins.
    • Oddly enough, fans of Bradley/Melissa and Zack/Melissa tend to get on pretty well, with a fair amount of people shipping both.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song
    • The song in "World Without Milo" sounds a lot like the song "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
    • The chase song in "Cake 'Splosion!" and "Doof's Day Out" is almost but not quite "Yakety Sax".
    • The "Substitute Teacher in Space" song sounds similar to "Space Oddity".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • There are those who think Isabella could've done more in "The Phineas And Ferb Effect" given how exceptionally skilled she is in a grave situation due to being a Fireside Girl. Instead, she has only two scenes, both near the end, and it's never explained how she managed to help the others survive. The creators admitted that the lack of Isabella was a result of needing to squeeze what would otherwise be a 90-minute story into half the time.
    • Bradley Nicholson was an Ensemble Dark Horse from day one, but after a memorable role in the first handful of episodes as resident Grumpy Bear to whom Milo was a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, his role over the first two seasons was largely relegated to walk-on appearances and one-off gags. Even after his arm was permanently turned into a plant!
    • Heck, one could say the entire Phineas and Ferb cast of characters, besides Doofenshmirtz and Perry, were completely wasted. They quite literally disappeared after the crossover season premiere, with nary even a mention of them.
  • Tough Act to Follow: To the creators' previous series, Phineas and Ferb, which served as Disney's most popular animated series during its run, and even years after its conclusion, is still pushed as a flagship series. In contrast, Milo Murphy's Law is seen as disappointing to some fans of that series, to say nothing of the treatment the network gave it during its second season.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Odd for a show where all the characters have large eyes, Sara's seem a little too big.
    • One of Melissa's eyes goes halfway off her face when she's in 3/4 view.
    • Really, if you're coming to this show fresh off from Phineas and Ferb, where nobody in the show had pupils outside of special circumstances, you're going to find characters with pupils 24/7 slightly unnerving. Even more so when they interact with the characters with the more common "PnF"-styled eyes.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Many people were surprised that moments from "The Island of the Lost Dakotas" could be aired on Disney XD, such as the montage of Cavendish deaths, thinking the whole concept was a bit too twisted for the channel.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: In general, but moments like the song from 'The Llama Incident' are especially trippy.
  • The Woobie:
    • Milo Murphy. And It Runs in the Family, since every male has the curse; he's a Walking Disaster Area who makes his classmates cower, even though they like him. He has no idea what living without bad luck is like, and has to handle regular emergencies. And he does it all with a smile!
    • Zack in the meantime is a Logical Latecomer to Milo's problems. He's just adjusting from a bad breakup from his boy band, who has moved on without him, he has an irrational phobia of fish, and he has claustrophobia.
    • Agent Cavendish. He joined the time travel agency to save the world, but he's got butterfingers about dangerous devices and can't seem to complete simple missions. Thanks to other agents cleaning up his messes, Cavendish doesn't even remember what he did wrong. His boss tells him to his face that he's nothing but a joke and his pistachio mission is the least harmful one that he can mess up. No one blames him for hoping that Milo is a counter-agent, to give him a purpose for the mission. Cavendish's woobie status is worse upon "The Island of Lost Dakotas", where it is revealed that he keeps dying over and over again during missions. The only reason Cavendish is alive is due to his partnership with Dakota, who keeps saving him from certain death through time travel.
    • Dakota after "The Island of Lost Dakotas", where the audience learns that Cavendish died multiple times through what appears to be the crueler variant of Murphy's Law. He is alive just thanks to Dakota, who goes back in time to prevent his friend's constant deaths creating new versions of himself that are forced to live on a deserted island to minimize temporal irregularities. Because Cavendish doesn't know, he still treats Dakota harshly and calls him selfish at the end of the episode, and Dakota looks clearly hurt by this.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: While no one is really against it, people have said that Weird Al's voice sounds weird (no pun intended) coming out of Milo, who's supposed to be about 12-13 years old.


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