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YMMV / Raising Hope

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  • Awesome Music:
    • "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the season two finale. Perfect for both the Tear Jerker of Lucy winning custody of Hope over the Chances and the Awesome Moment of Lucy getting hit by a bus.
    • Both instances of "Danny's Song".
    • All three songs in "Burt Mitzvah - The Musical".
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Burt Mitzvah - The Musical" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. People (and even bagels) break out into songs and choreographed dancing at the drop of a hat. Somewhat explained when other people who hear about it are skeptical.
    Burt/Virginia: "Well, that's how I remember it."
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Lucy. Not the character herself per se, but many people hated the way she was used in the show after it was revealed that she wasn't quite dead, twice.
  • Broken Base: The second season finale. It was heavily debated among the fandom whether or not the twist that Lucy survived her execution was a good idea, or if it was well-handled. Not to mention how she tried to murder Sabrina in her Villain Ball moment, just to be (supposedly) killed at the end of the episode, no matter how funny this scene was to others.
  • Crazy Awesome: Maw Maw, full stop.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Frank punching his and Jimmy's former bully (who is an apologetic post-op transgender woman)? Not funny. Said transgender woman delivering a Curbstomp Battle to Jimmy and Frank at the same time? Hilarious.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Frank for his creepy behavior and Hidden Depths. Shelly is also one even after she was Demoted to Extra.
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Burt and Virginia have tried to get Maw Maw into a nursing home, but none of them would like to take her. In a later episode, however, she is taken away by Social Service and gets sent to one. After believing she was better off there, Maw Maw eventually violently assaults several aids and threatens to kill a therapy cat. That's clearly a reason why none of the nursing homes would accept her.
  • Growing the Beard: Fans agree that the second half of the first season is the point where the series starts growing on its own as the humor gets less cliché and inconsistent.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "Say Cheese", Sabrina states that all of her family pictures are not genuine family moments, and that they all are "fake". As the series progresses, this phrase takes a new whole meaning when her family background gets explored in later seasons.
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  • He Really Can Act: Katy Perry guest-starred in an episode playing a deranged prison guard. Between her acting, the padding, and makeup, a lot of people didn't realize who was actually playing the character, at first sight.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Every single scene of the Chances with Maw Maw from the first season becomes strangely touching when it is eventually revealed that they all could live on their own, but decided not to so they could take care of her when she started to present symptoms of dementia, heck, they even fought to stay with her!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In one episode of Greg Garcia's My Name Is Earl, Earl tried to make amends to his former teenage babysitter and her boyfriend who got pregnant when he poked holes in the guy's condom. When he visits them, he finds out that they not only got married (when they were still teenagers), but they actually have a happy marriage, and they even have a slacker son who lives with them. They essentially are the Chance family prototype, with all and the reason that Burt and Virginia got married (including "poking holes to the condom").
    • There was another episode where Earl was helping Randy to find a girl he had a summer romance with when he was a kid. And it turns out that the girl was Joy. That "summer romance" couple would then guest-star in Raising Hope as a married couple.
  • Hollywood Homely: Kate Micucci isn't really any less attractive than Shannon Woodward, despite Shelley supposedly being the ugly duckling of the two cousins. The producers tried to accentuate this in the first season by giving her character a bad tooth. It didn't work.
  • Moe: Shelley (she is, after all, played by Kate Micucci).
  • Nightmare Fuel: Jimmy's nightmare about Hope killing Virginia and Burt is very surreal. Especially the part where Burt has a Jack-In-The-Box crank in his ear and a clown puppet pops out of his mouth.
  • The Scrappy: Lucy. Mostly because she came Back from the Dead one too many times.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Both in-universe and out, the idea of spiders entering your ear and laying eggs while you sleep.
  • Shipping Bed Death: Humorously referenced by Burt and Virginia when Jimmy and Sabrina got together, wondering if their relationship would be as interesting now that the Unresolved Sexual Tension was resolved. Burt jokes that there is a girl at the copy place with a boyfriend, so he can transfer that same pattern somewhere else. To the show's credit, Jimmy/Sabrina was never a mainstay of the plot and that same episode went out of its way to demonstrate that there is still plenty of story to tell about the couple.
  • Squick:
    • Maw Maw's entire schtick is based around this. Several examples include a scene of the second episode where Jimmy walks in on Maw Maw attempting to breastfeed Hope, when she french-kissed him as she was believing him to be her long-dead husband... and where she thinks she's in labor (and Burt ends up helping deliver... something).
    • Burt giving Jimmy a several seconds-long kiss on the lips, then requesting he takes off his pants.
    • Maw Maw's Magic Brown, which is milk chocolate mixed with loads of bacon grease. Seeing the grease be squeezed from stacks of bacon is stomach churning.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: From "Burt Mitzvah - The Musical", we have "Rock the Torah", which seems to be the St. Elmo's Fire theme with different lyrics.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Shelly. She has several connections to many characters in the show (she formerly worked at Howdy, she is Sabrina's cousin, she was also Jimmy's one night stand, she run a daycare where Hope was going, etc.) and was a major supporting character in the first season. However, she was later Demoted to Extra and never got A Day in the Limelight episode of her own.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Sabrina once found out that Jimmy is the goth guy that she had a crush when she first worked at Howdy. It could have been a good plot for an episode or at least a Running Gag, but she never says anything else about it even when there's also (off-screen) evidence that supports this discovery.
    • While understandable because she is a dangerous psychopath, Lucy's prison life and her eventual execution could have been explored much better. Especially considering that her character's role (Hope's biological mother) is reduced to a plot device rather than any genuine development. Instead, the writers constantly made her survive with increasingly contrived reasons in order to justify her later appearances.

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