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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Tyrell truly just a psychotic Corrupt Corporate Executive, or do some of his mental problems stem from being the Henpecked Husband to his unhinged, manipulative wife?
    • Is Elliot good at heart and truthfully looking after society's best interests, or is it all just a front to hide his selfish vengeance against E Corp?
    • Is Angela really such a Nice Girl? She has been proven to be rather self-absorbed, rarely taking the time to lend a proverbial shoulder for Elliot, and that is not even mentioning her defection to the Dark Army and flat-out exploiting Elliot's mental disorder to further Whiterose's agenda which in S3 includes Angela more or less directly killing thousands of people.
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    • Does Mr. Robot actually care about Elliot and his well-being or is he simply pulling his strings for his own malevolent ends? Even further, does Mr. Robot honestly believe his own hype about leading a revolution or is he a self-serving psychopath out for blood against a system that betrayed him, and him alone?
    • Does Irving see Tyrell as a friend or just a pawn? Considering that Irving's backstory which he recounted to Tyrell was all a giant lie, it's not hard to see the dubiousness of their alliance. On the other hand, does Tyrell view Irving in the same capacity?
    • Was Whiterose legitimately interested in Dominique and wanted to know her story out of a charitable curiosity, or was it all a mind-game by Whiterose to size up Dominique's mental state and threat potential? Seeing that two Dark Army assassins try to kill her the morning after, it is definitely worthy of skepticism as to what Whiterose was getting out of their meeting.
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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Was derided when first announced for being on USA (not known for prestige television) and starring Christian Slater (not known for appearing in quality... anything, at least since the late 80s). Suffice to say, almost no one was expecting the show to be as popular and critically acclaimed as it ended up being.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Besides Tyrell, Ray is the only "villain" in the show to have come the closest to killing Elliot, but he goes down without a fight after Elliot tips off the FBI to his criminal activities.
  • Anvilicious: Despite the show taking place in 2015, Sam Esmail has made it a habit to overtly express his views regarding U.S. President Donald Trump in season three, with an abundance of jabs against his efficiency as well as a sub-plot involving Trump being a shoe-in orchestrated by Whiterose as a method of political control.
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  • Arc Fatigue: Elliot's prison routine in season two. It drags on for eight episodes before we even learn the true nature of it and he is finally let out. By that point, the season is nearly over with a lot of ground to cover.
  • Awesome Music: Mac Quayle's brooding, techno-industrial influenced score.
  • Broken Base: Over whether the show has gotten better or worse since Elliot became certifiably insane. Same applies to the hacking, which wasn't as big of a plot element in season two. Season three seems to be appeasing both camps by balancing characterization and action.
    • "eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes" was the episode that either cemented the show as groundbreaking or arbitrarily weird for viewers. The sitcom segment that opens the episode as well as the throwback commercials that USA Network commissioned were met with polarizing reactions, with some blown away by the brilliant fourth-wall breaking and others seeing it all as rather trite and ridiculous.
    • "eps3.4_runtime-error.r00" was the subject of immense hype as it was marketed as not only a "groundbreaking episode" but that it would be commercial free. The reason? The entire episode was a single take (or given the illusion of being a single take). People were split down the middle as to whether the hype was deserved or not, with one group calling it a technical marvel and others writing it off as a gimmick that has been done before and much better at that.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Following the end of season two, many felt that the show lost traction as it failed to properly answer some of the more burning questions it set up. In response to this, season three turned itself around and began addressing the mysteries with greater emphasis.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The internet myth known as "Whiterose", actually Chinese State of Security Zhi Zhang, is the leader of the hacker-for-hire group Dark Army, and the true Big Bad of this series. Having a polite and calm discussion with the FBI Agent Dominique Di Pierro, Whiterose orders her men to murder Di Pierro the morning after for barely any reason at all. In season 3, Whiterose has her hitman Léon kidnap Mobley and Trenton and then kill both of them. Planning the "Stage 2", a mysterious but ambitious project, Whiterose manipulates people from other hacking organizations to help her with it, playing them against each other, before finally revealing what the project was all along: blowing up multiple E Corp offices to kill thousands of innocent people, just to teach them a "lesson". Due to her status as an omen who very few people know the true identity of, Whiterose has not been punished for these actions and is untouchable by the law, while her other associates such as Tyrell are wanted by the law and have their lives destroyed, a fact about which she cares nothing whatsoever. While Whiterose shows signs of sophistication multiple times, it always ends with said person dying, and perhaps she says it best himself: "Do not mistake my generosity for generosity."
    • Irving is a psychotic yet falsely affable hitman for Whiterose, but unlike the aforementioned León, has no redeeming qualities. At first glance appearing slightly goofy, Irving eventually fully participates in and finances the events of Stage 2, and while other participators showed some sort of remorse for the murders or may not even have known about the final effects of the project, Irving was fully aware, showed no remorse, and still carried it out. In the season 3 finale, Irving brutally axes the Dark Army mole Santiago, and then gets the FBI Agent Dominique Di Pierro to replace the former, psychologically tormenting her by threatening to kill her family.
  • Creepy Awesome: Elliot Alderson as an individual is frankly unnerving, but there is little doubt that he can do incredible things at a terminal, and boy, does he do them with style and precision. Not to mention that he's played by Rami Malek.
  • Funny Moments:
    • The show is mostly drama, and very cynical drama at that, but the scene during Elliot's Mushroom Samba in which he talks to his fish is actually quite funny, despite taking place during one of the most terrifying sequences in the entire series.
    • The entire season 2 episode that darkly parodies a sitcom.
    • Rami Malek opening his Emmy acceptance speech by asking if everyone else was also seeing it.
  • Cry for the Devil: It is impossible not to feel a bit bad for Tyrell in season 3. Guy is chased by the police all over the country over something he wasn't even fully aware of making it next to impossible for him to do anything, his family is lost (wife is dead, son has been taken away from him), and breaks down upon having it coldly revealed to him.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As the series progresses and it is slowly revealed that the "good guys" are in way over their heads, it becomes incredibly difficult to have any hope that they can do anything to change things for the better. That isn't even mentioning how laughably unstable and critically flawed these characters are, and how often they push the boundaries of what is "good" and "evil", with no definitive moral paths. Combine that with a near-omnipresent sense of anxiety and paranoia which both serve to mystify an already emotionally/psychologically-complicated show, and you can kind of understand the intimidation this presents to certain viewers.
  • Designated Hero: Angela considering she exploited Elliot's mental disorder and psychologically and mentally abused him (which drew parallel's to domestic abuse) to further Whiterose's agenda despite the fact that she knew that Elliot loved her and cared about her. Worse was that she was his best friend since they were kids and that she knew his family history as well as that he was mentally ill and that she was hurting him but did nothing to stop herself anyway. And even after her father Price begs her to stop getting revenge on Whiterose after everything she did for her was all for naught, she refuses to listen despite the fact that she knows that Price is affiliated with Whiterose which leads to her death.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Season one, as it goes on, shows that a revolution of the kind that fsociety wants to perpetrate may not be entirely sunshine and roses. Even further, it dares to accuse the very notion of being more harmful to the oppressed than the oppressors, who end up showing that they have plenty of contingencies for such a scenario. By season three, it's practically spelled out that 5/9 was a huge mistake and waste of effort.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Tyrell, full stop. Despite being a psychopath who is willing to murder people (and does), he reigns supreme as the other half of OT Ps with Elliot.
  • Ear Worm: Used to be, you could trust in the story, villify the villains and celebrate the heroes...
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Leon was an instant hit among fans, mainly for his charming personality and intellectual discussions of popular television shows. Even after coming out as a Dark Army operative, his reputation continues to grow.
    • Irving, also a Dark Army fixer, for being such a big psychopath in his final scene that the scene nearly becomes hilarious rather than horrifying.
    • Gideon and Shayla also recieve a lot of love from the fandom for being the one of only kind characters of the show and caring about Elliot's well being. People were heartbroken when they died.
  • Epileptic Trees: With the reveal about Mr. Robot's identity as well as Elliot's mental instability, a lot of this is natch. The secretiveness of Whiterose has only amplified the theories surrounding what is really going on in the show.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The show's subreddit is infamously prone to this, although some observations are not without merit.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Had a rather dubious one with Suits for simply having back-to-back slots.
  • Genius Bonus: This show is a gold mine for tech-savvy viewers to examine.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The tagline for season one is "our democracy has been hacked". Barring subjectivity, this takes on a very different meaning following the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
    • An In-Universe one in which Elliot says that Angela is "one of the good ones". While it is initially true and heartwarming it's also horrifically negated by her actions to him in Season 3.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Elliot's beautiful dream in season 2 in which one of them shows Darlene being engaged to Cisco becomes more heartwarming when 2 years later, her actress Carly Chaikin announced her engagement with her boyfriend.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Leon, one of the more qualified "badass" characters in the series, is played by none other than a rapper by the stage name of Joey Bada$$.
  • Ho Yay: Tyrell's fixation on Eliot is hinted at being homoerotic for some time before it's essentially confirmed in season 2 and continued into season 3.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Believe it or not, but Leon is actually Joey Bada$$'s first acting role.
    • Craig Robinson as Ray, averting his comedic type-casting as a sinister criminal overlord.
    • Wallace Shawn (a.k.a Rex from Toy Story) as Dark Army member Mr. Williams.
    • BD Wong as Whiterose. Holy shit.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The reveals that Mr. Robot is not only Elliot's dead father, but an alternate personality that Elliot has been hallucinating as real, and Darlene being his sister. Even if you see the twists coming, it is meticulously executed with Hitchcockian precision, and gives season one a mind-blowing Rewatch Bonus.
    • The China hotel shootout.
    • The prison twist in season two, for many of the same reasons as season one's twists.
    • Joanna being killed only two episodes into the third season.
    • Fernando Vera's reappearance in The Stinger of "shutdown-r". Complete with an army of gangsters ready to take down Elliot.
    • Angela being killed only five minutes into the fourth season.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Zig-zagged; Mr. Robot appears to be the name of a supporting character but is in fact an alias of the protagonist.
  • I Knew It!: Santiago is working for the Dark Army.
    • The fact Edward Alderson never pushed Elliot out the window was a popular fan theory at least as far back as Season 2. It was only confirmed in the Season 3 finale.
  • Iron Woobie: No one could've survived the endless hell Elliot is put through everyday.
  • It Was His Sled: It is quite difficult to get into the show without having one of the major twists spoiled by default, such as Mr. Robot being Elliot's dead father and his alternate personality, Darlene being Elliot's sister, and Elliot being in prison for most of the second season.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Darlene. While she may be a bit selfish and ruthless at times, she has gone through a lot of crap. She was abused her whole life by her mom, lost her father, she was later kidnapped as a child and then as the series progresses, she witnesses her boyfriend Cisco get killed in front of her, is forced into being an FBI mole and later she gets kidnapped and is almost executed by the Dark Army.
    • Phillip Price. He's the amoral, corrupt executive of E Corp but it's hard not to feel sorry for him after he's forced to sell out his daughter Angela to Whiterose (while trying his damndest to get her to not go after Whiterose for revenge) and eventually know that she's been executed. Hell in that scene you'll feel more sorry for him then for Angela herself.
    • Tyrell is a violent scumbag but it's hard not to feel sorry for him from Season 3 onward considering he was essentially a pawn/puppet to almost everyone he worked with, chased by the police and the FBI all over the US for something he wasn't fully aware of, tortured psychologically into joining the Dark Army, lost his wife and has no idea where his son is (and becomes a sobbing wreck when both of their fates are revealed to him). Also, when he finally gets the position in E Corp he so desperately wanted he looks so bored and empty. Finally, he gets fatally shot in the stomach by a Dark Army agent and despite Elliot wanting to save him he solemnly accepts his fate and walks off into the woods to die a cold and lonely death.
  • Les Yay: Darlene and Dom.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Given that the show was renewed for a fourth season mere hours before the season three finale aired, it was safe to say Elliot would survive being held hostage in the barn.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Bonsoir, Elliot." Explanation 
    • "BRAVO ESMAIL!" Explanation 
    • X is another personality of Elliot.
    • The last ten minutes of Suits. Explanation 
    • Martin Wallström getting credits for breathing. Explanation 
    • The already-existing Hackerman meme was boosted by a photoshop of Rami Malek on set in a comedic pose.
    • "SWEDISH SCUMFUCK." Explanation 
    • Angela's Thousand-Yard Stare. Explanation 
    • The Sandwich Guy, whose image is often combined with the "It's Wednesday, my dudes!" meme.
    • Everything about Elliot's adderall binge. Explanation 
      • "Damn, these dishes look imaculate."
      • "Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen, amen, amen, amen, AMEN!!!"
      • "The ball goes into the hoop. Of course."
      • "WHOOOO! SLAAAAM DUNK!"
    • "Uh huh." Explanation 
    • "Just hit rewind and everyone/everything will be fine/okay." Explantation 
    • "Alexa, (insert relevant command here)." Explanation 
    • "Mind awake, body asleep." Explanation 
    • "DICKS OUT FOR TYRELL" Explanation 
    • "We at fsociety..."Explanation 
  • Misaimed Fandom: Mr. Robot has a few supporters, particularly when it comes to his insurrectionist attitude... even though that same attitude sparked the powder keg that was 5/9, and left the world to fend for itself as its economies capsize.
  • Moe: Elliot is so damn adorable that most of the fandom are so protective of him and want to hug him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If Vera didn't cross it when he raped Shayla (though that'd be impossible not to think so), then he definitely did it when he held her hostage to get Elliot to bust him out of prison, and then had her killed anyway when Elliot upheld his end of the bargain.
    • Whiterose is even worse, when she causes 71 ECorp buildings to blow up, killing thousands. And why did she do this? Because Phillip Price did not stop Angela from continuing her crusade.
    • Tyrell and Irving cross it by suggesting, organizing and going through with blowing up 71 E Corp buildings and killing innocent people during what is essentially one of the worst terrorist attack on the U.S.
    • Angela crosses it by psychologically abusing Elliot to complete Stage 2 and drugging him out of her own volition.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Elliot's rant on God and religion in "eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd" comes off as melodramatic and a touch pretentious, but it is a monologue from a young man battling insomnia and withdrawal from amphetamines, after all.
    • "I'm hacking the FBI." Coming from anyone other than Elliot, this statement would be laughed to scorn.
    • Any time Mr. Robot and Elliot actually "fight". On the surface, it appears almost slapstick, but the circumstances are anything but comical, especially when Elliot actually begins to injure himself.
  • Nausea Fuel: Elliot eating Adderall pills out of a puddle of his own vomit in an attempt to silence Mr. Robot.
    • After Whiterose reveals how Lester Moore was killed she pisses on his grave.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Due to plot reasons and it understandably being very hard to pull of his usual appearances, Mr. Robot only appears in one scene in "Runtime Error", but damn if it isn't cool.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Elliot's never-ending struggle with dissociative identity disorder is made as terrifying as humanly possible. While artistic liberties are inevitably taken, the idea of not being able to trust yourself and remain in control of your own mind can reasonably freak anyone out.
    • "eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12" cranks the dread the season has been riding on to eleven and rather succinctly depicts just how screwed everyone in Fsociety is as they try and clean up after themselves.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Angela, for some.
    • Ollie Parker.
    • Fernando Vera.
    • Terry Colby.
  • Squick: Elliot frantically grabbing half-digested Adderrall pills out of his own vomit and swallowing them again. He ends up with his own puke all over his face and clothes.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Angela and Elliot. Early on in Season 2 The Mr. Robot side of Elliot doles out some ship tease of the pairing during Episode 6's sitcom hallucination sequence. Mr. Robot also suggests however that there are other fish in the sea as Angela has turned to the side of E Corp. A later season 2 episode has Elliot finally kiss Angela, just after she declares that she will be going to the FBI to confess to her role in the Five Nine hack.
    • In the beginning of Season 3's third episode, Tyrell tries to tell Elliot that he loves him. However, Mr. Robot cuts Tyrell off before he can finish, stating "Subtext, you know?".
  • Ship Sinking: Due to Surprise Incest: Elliot misinterprets Darlene's advice and closeness as romantic, and kisses her. After an initial moment of disgust, she quickly realises that Elliot has completely forgotten who she is, and prompts him to remember that Darlene is his sister. Unsurprisingly the moment utterly destroyed whatever developing fanbase existed for the pairing.
    • Angela and Elliot is completely destroyed after the former's abusive behaviour to the latter in Season 3, and then by her death in the start of Season 4.
    • Tyrell and Elliot after 4X04 "Not Found" due to Tyrell's abrupt death, and his bickering with Elliot throughout the episode.
  • Shocking Swerve: Joanna Wellick's death.
  • Signature Scene: If there is one thing in the show that will be remembered above all else, it is guaranteed to be Elliot's "fuck society" monologue in the pilot.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Elliot's "bug-free life" in season one and his fairy tale future in season two.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: For some, Angela's death was this after they grew to hate her for her treatment of Elliot.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • A lot of people saw Mr. Robot being a delusion coming. Elliot accuses the viewer of knowing all along. This theory was heavily discussed by pretty much everyone from the beginning since Elliot points out that he's prone to delusions and he and Mr. Robot are never seen interacting with anyone at the same time. Because of this many people dismissed the theory due to how obvious it was.
  • Elliot (to the audience): "You knew all along, didn't you?"
    • Correct fan theories regarding relationship between Darlene and Elliot were far less widespread, leading many people to view that twist as far more of a surprise/shock than Mr Robot.
    • Similarly, many people predicted Elliot being in prison during Season 2 quite early on. A couple of people even worked it out after the first episode of the season.
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks: Season 2 shifted focus from hacking to character conflict, which some audiences and critics didn't respond to as warmly towards.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Season one received minor criticism for borrowing much of the plot elements from Fight Club and The Matrix, although this sentiment has ceased since the airing of season two.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Angela trying to obtain evidence of E Corp's crimes in order to continue the lawsuit in season two. For the most part, it has its own ebb and flow and doesn't really affect the long game, at least until the finale, when it becomes a spark for Angela's Hazy Feel Turn in season three. However her Hazy Feel Turn is all for naught as she demands revenge to Price against Whiterose and refuses to listen to him trying to talk her out of it and is eventually killed.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Possibly Angela. We are supposed to feel sorry for her over the fact that she lost her mom at the hands of the Washington Township Toxic Leak thanks to the carelessness of E Corp and how hard she tries to file a lawsuit against the company. But come season 3 and her Face–Heel Turn makes her more of a horrible person and ends up putting herself before others. For the sake of getting revenge on E Corp with the help from the Dark Army, she starts to psychologically abuse Elliot, who has always been nice and friendly to her by working with Mr. Robot. Even if she knows that it will hurt his feelings, this doesn't stop her from continuing to do that. And when Elliot and Darlene find out and call her out on her manipulation, she takes no responsibility and instead blames them for her actions. Given how badly she treated Elliot knowingly throughout season 3, it makes it hard for viewers to sympathize with her. Not only that but when her father Price tries to talk sense into her about her getting revenge on Whiterose she refuses to listen and gets killed for it. Hell, you'll feel more bad for Price.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: "eps3.4_runtime-error.r00" features an impressive simulated one-take that lasts the entire episode. Naturally, this is a nigh impossible feat to accomplish, so transitions are seamlessly hidden in quick camera pans and close-ups that could sneak by even the most aware of viewers.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Season 2's episode 6 has Mr. Robot name drop the trope in the bizarre sitcom opening, in regards to Elliot and Angela.
  • The Woobie:
    • Bill Harper, a one-off character that nonetheless earned the sympathy of many a viewer for the absolutely brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech Elliot gives him, that is so utterly crushing that Elliot still feels bad about doing it a full season later. He's a perfectly friendly, cheerful middle-aged man whose only 'flaw' was his crushing loneliness, and yet Elliot nearly brings him to tears by pointing out how nobody cares about him and how, if he died, nobody would miss him. The speech was justified in context as Elliot just needed to get him out of the way, but it's still hard to watch. Hell, even Elliot felt horrible afterward.
    • Elliot himself also counts. He's isolated, in over his head and suffering from a wealth of mental illnesses, the most notable of this being the manifestation of his dead father who seeks to undermine his control at every turn. Throughout the series he is thrown off a pier, goes through painful morphine withdrawals, gets thrown out a window (twice), gets arrested, overdoses on Adderall, hallucinates being force-fed concrete, gets beaten half to death, almost gets raped, and finally gets shot in the stomach. And it only gets much worse for him in Seasons 3 and 4.
    • Dom due to having to being kidnapped, being psychologically abused and being forced to work with the Dark Army by the end of Season 3. The fact that she has a pretty miserable life before all of that even happened makes it even worse.
    • Joanna and Tyrell's child as well. With both Joanna and Tyrell dead, he has a difficult life ahead of him.
    • Olivia in "406 Not Acceptable".

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