- Badass Decay: In his own storyline, Dankovsky is a fearless and determined Badass Bookworm Science Hero; but in other storylines, he's just a selfish Insufferable Genius.
- Critical Dissonance: A bit of a special example, due to Pathologic being a really bizarre game. Some reviews (even positive ones) don't even call it a game. Many critics disliked Pathologic and warned against playing it, saying that it wasn't fun in the slightest and was far too bleak. Most fans of the game completely agree with this, but love the game's plot and atmosphere nonetheless.
- Cult Classic: It's hard as hell, was notoriously difficult to find until the HD port came about on Steam, and isn't really fun at all in the usual sense of the word. But what it is is an incredibly engrossing experience that boasts incredible atmosphere and a fantastic story.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The ruling families are using the crisis as an opportunity to grab power, the citizens are all self-serving Jerkasses whose only course of action is to go on a massive witch hunt, the three protagonists aren't very pleasant people themselves and they only get more desperate as time goes on, the situation steadily goes From Bad to Worse as the Sand Plague spreads despite all your efforts, there are never enough resources for you to stay healthy, you're always in danger of rendering your game unwinnable, and the atmosphere is unrelentingly bleak and oppressive from beginning to end. Needless to say, this can be a very emotionally fatiguing game to play. It even ends up being the case for the Bachelor's scenario, as he becomes so disillusioned about everything that he decides the only thing worth saving in the town is the Polyhedron.
- Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The gameplay is generally agreed to not be very fun, and rather frustrating, but also that the game's story, atmosphere, and world are its best qualities and worth seeing.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: It's said that Dankoski was a head of the crew of the Thanatica Laboratory, whose goal was actually cheating Death, and the Laboratory was closed by the Authorities and Professor Tehlmann. Despite having so little information on it, Thanatica is a frequent object of fanart and WMG.
- Heartwarming Moments: The Changeling's scenario has a lot of these, mainly since it's largely removed from the endless political scheming and Hobbes Was Right events in the other scenarios, making for a more optimistic and upbeat atmosphere. Most of it is simply about a frightened, confused girl who is nonetheless determined to help as many people as possible.
- Specifically, the Heroic Sacrifice of her Adherents is particularly poignant.
- In the Bachelor's scenario, you can talk down a drunk and suicidal Peter Stamatin by running all over town, finding Maria, and bringing back her promise that she would fulfill his plan for the Polyhedron. Or you can just tell him that you care about him.
- Ho Yay: The Bachelor and the Haruspex have a good deal of this. When the devs did an AMA on Reddit, multiple people asked whether or not the game was trying to imply that Daniil had feelings for Artemy during Haruspex's path. The fandom seems to have a large number of LGBTQ fans. (Naturally, the studio gave no direct answers.)
- During the Haruspex's route, the Bachelor sends you a letter nearly every single day and insists on building a friendship with you from the very beginning to avoid becoming enemies. Several characters also note that his interest in you is not strictly professional, but that he's inquiring after your wellbeing personally. Even without the Shipping Goggles, that's pretty heartwarming for a game as lonely and conspiratorial as Pathologic.
- While the relationship between the Bachelor and the Haruspex is far more neutral during the Bachelor's route, the 'first' meeting (as in, the first the game will lead you to) involves a dramatic jailbreak in which the Bachelor murders three men to get to the Haruspex. The Haruspex thanks him by completing his request by giving him a tissue sample in the form of a still-beating heart.
- In the original English version, several lines of dialogue that should be serious end up becoming hilarious due to the infamously poor translation.
- If the sound of the baby crying or laughing when your reputation changes isn't scaring you, then it's most likely making you laugh.
- Paranoia Fuel: Due to the first-person perspective. There could be a disease cloud or a mugger right next to you and you won't know until it's upon you. And, of course, you can't see behind you either, so you'll be whipping around to check your back quite often...
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: The opinion of many who don't get the story. Might be just a side effect of the "Blind Idiot" Translation, though.
YMMV / Pathologic