- Ensemble Dark Horse: Pre-rewrite!North. For a character who, at the time, was a whining Butt-Monkey O.C. Stand-in with little impact on the plot, he was strangely popular with the readers.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Grif once references the high rate of injuries and speculates that Simmons will be next because he hasn't been hurt yet. Not long afterwards, Simmons is disemboweled and killed.
- Jerkass Woobie: Wash. He's presented unsympathetically at first, being not only cold and prone to physically punishing prisoners, but also tormenting Donut in order to figure out how he killed his roommate, up to and including locking him in a room with O'Malley and not trying to intervene when it looked like O'Malley was going to rape him. But his past is filled with failure, emotional, physical and mental torture, mental illness, homelessness, suicidal inclinations and even more failure after all that.
- Mind Game Ship: Doc and O'Malley, which is little more than O'Malley constantly playing around with him and threatening to hurt other people if Doc stays away.
- Tear Jerker:
- Much to do with Tucker being separated from Junior is somewhat sad, but the worst is when Tucker gets blinded and realises that he'll never be able to see Junior's pictures again or see Junior grow up.
- Simmons' death. As well as Grif's grief over it.
- The Woobie: Several characters could qualify.
- Donut. He's immediately subjected to being threatened and beaten by practically every person in prison, at one point hospitalized for thirty chapters because of O'Malley beating him severely, and tormented even by the occasional guard, with Wash purposefully trying to place him in dangerous situations just to see how he deals with it. On top of this, he was orphaned at a young age. Qualifies as an Iron Woobie, seeing as through all this not only has he not died, but he stayed comparatively moral despite this (although he's gotten progressively more bitter).
- Doc, simply by virtue of being constantly hounded by O'Malley. He has to put up with psychological torture, rape and the occasional scarring, and O'Malley breaks him down into realising that he's harming people much more than helping them and also making sure that he can't leave the prison without causing the deaths of others through O'Malley going after them.
YMMV / Murderer's Row