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     The games 
Note: This is for series-wide YMMV tropes. Individual games and movies' examples go on their own page.
  • Acceptable Targets: The evil mega corporation doing research into biological weaponry, and with contacts in the government, Umbrella. The government does drop the hammer on them rather magnificently, though.
  • Arc Fatigue: The mystery of who Ada Wong is has been dragged on for several games, with no concrete answer being given. Supplemental materials and Resident Evil 4 stated that she was part of an anti-Umbrella organization. Come Resident Evil 6, due to the death of Umbrella, we still are no closer to any answers about the character. This has caused some fans to stop caring about the situation. The fact that her portrayals are inconsistent hasn't really helped. What makes it worse is despite the fact that Ada acts in her own self-interests, Capcom seems quite adamant on portraying her as a sympathetic badass anti-hero, though her actions in the games are in no way heroic, and based upon her choices and her lack of loyalty to anybody, you probably shouldn't be feeling any sympathy for her. The lack of reveal about her past or her motivations also makes Leon S. Kennedy's feelings for her come off as incredibly superficial, as he knows virtually nothing about her, including her real name.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rebecca Chambers is either a character who deserves another game or a completely annoying Scrappy whom some fans are glad was never seen or mentioned after the first game.
    • Fans are very divided on whether Ada is an Ensemble Dark Horse or The Scrappy. Capcom doesn't help with their inconsistent portrayals of her.
    • There are fans who want Steve Burnside back from the dead in a sequel. But a lot of fans also find his whiplashing moods, brashness, and oftentimes his voice rather obnoxious and annoying.
    • Sheva Alomar generally is very polarizing with most Resident Evil fans. To some, she's a typical bland, one-dimensional, and uninteresting character whose main purpose in the game is to be eye candy and to push the new "partner" system in the game.note  She is also a victim of the racial controversy of Resident Evil 5. On the other hand, Sheva also has a few supporters who liked her characterization as a loyal soldier who had been pushed into a situation that was way over her head. She is completely locked out of Chris and Wesker's history and provides a fresh perspective against the monsters that Chris is so jaded with fighting. Perhaps due to her reputation with fans, she has yet to make any other appearances in the franchise.
  • Bizarro Episode: One of the stories in Wildstorm's anthology comic series based on the games had the S.T.A.R.S. team taking on a werewolf. Not a B.O.W. that resembled a werewolf, but an actual supernatural "human that transforms on full moon" one.
  • Broken Base:
    • The series' trademark "tank controls" have been a divisive issue for gamers for years (case in point: see article and the comments section here). Some defend the controls because they work in conjunction with the series use of pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera angles. Others couldn't understand why Capcom stubbornly refused to allow for normal 3D controls, until almost 20 years later, when Capcom finally relented in the HD remake of the original Resident Evil.
    • There is an extreme divide between fans of the classic style games (0-3 and Code: Veronica) and fans of the action-oriented games (4-6). Publicly announce that you prefer one and expect angry tirades from fans of the other. There is a subset of fans who will only accept RE4 out of the above "actionized" titles, seeing everything else that came after as the point where the series went downhill. And don't think you can get off easy by claiming that you like the merits of both the "classic" and "modern" games; certain fans will put you on blast for this, too. The in-between entries that go with a bit of both (Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, and the two Revelations games) tend to be more generally accepted by everybody, but some would adamantly reject them too.
  • Cliché Storm: The games proper manage to avoid it; the dialogue, on the other hand, can get pretty bad. Especially any game with Leon in it, whose every other line is some kind of cliché. For example, in RE4, one of the most notable occurrences of this is him being a Deadpan Snarker when the situation calls for it.
  • Complete Monster: See Albert Wesker and the rest here.
  • Continuity Lockout: Not too much of a problem, but some of the games, like Resident Evil 5 and RE6, do require the player to be familiar with previous entries to understand the Call-Backs.
  • Creator's Pet: Rebecca in S.D. Perry's novels, who is the Alice of her books, especially Caliban Cove.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Wesker, obviously, but William Birkin gets a bit of it, too. Both men are utterly amoral sociopaths who spent half their lives perfecting bioweaponry by testing it on human subjects, and Wesker goes on to become a megalomaniac bent on elevating himself to godhood over the mutated remnants of humanity. Both characters have a heavy following in the shipper and slash communities, and Wesker in particular gets redeemed an awful lot, usually by his star-crossed love for Chris or an OC. It's not unheard of for the same thing to happen to Jack Krauser.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Resident Evil Zero-era Rebecca is well-liked by the fandom for being Bravo Team's cute plucky young recruit.
    • Barry Burton became an especially popular character, largely for his memorably ridiculous lines and tendency to show up at the last second to save Jill throughout her scenario in the original Resident Evil, making him one of the standout characters of the franchise.
    • Ada counts as one to her fans for obvious reasons.
    • HUNK due to his Memetic Badass status.
    • Nemesis is one of the series' longest-standing popular monsters. He is highly regarded as the best thing about Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and for contributing a Paranoia Fuel feel to the game that was unlike the series ever had before.
    • Nicholai Zinoviev is surprisingly popular with a great deal of the fanbase. Sure he's a huge jerkass, but he's also a deliciously Large Ham and extremely Russian. He also has the distinct honor of being the only surviving Umbrella operative besides HUNK.
    • Billy Coen made enough of an impression that fans have asked what became of him after he and Rebecca parted. A popular fan theory is that he survived and eventually settled down with her, but this was (unfortunately) Jossed in Vendetta.
    • Jack Krauser, so much so that he made another appearance and got some more backstory in The Darkside Chronicles.
    • The Merchant. Aside from a number of catchphrases and the gameplay importance of him being a reoccurring Item Shop, we know nothing about him beyond face value.
    • Manuela Hidalgo. She has a wonderful singing voice which fans are very fond of. To top it off, she managed to accomplish what Alexia could not in her life-long mission: become one with the T-Veronica virus.
    • Josh Stone. Reasons include his accent; his knack to save Chris Redfield and Sheva multiple times, especially from Jill Valentine; the spectacular wrestling moves he performs in the Mercenaries Reunion Mode; and the fact that he's the only minor character in the whole game that makes it out alive and was there to save Jill after she was released from Wesker's mind control and piloted the helicopter to rescue Sheva and Chris along with her. By the way, did you know that he's A LEGEND!!!
    • Jake Muller due to him not only being Wesker's son, but also him being a badass mercenary with a heart of gold also helps out. His relationship with Sherry is also really well-liked by fans.
    • Piers Nivans. So much so that many fans outright refuse to believe that he's dead. IGN knew the reaction that would follow to his apparent death, warning before their video for the final Piers and Chris chapter that it could cause "table-flipping."
    • Mr. X, ever since Resident Evil 2's remake turned him into one of the most memorable monsters you have to face.
    • Lickers, from the 2nd game, were beloved for their creepy design, tongue attacks, and freaky nature, and future games often had fans asking if Lickers would be included. When the remake was created, many a reviewer focused on their new look, and their inclusion in the 3rd game's remake was beloved by fans.
  • Evil Is Cool: So cool that Word of God states Wesker is the most popular male character in the series because of it.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Wesker is very popular with female fans.
    • William Birkin. There's tons of fan art all over the internet of him drawn by swooning fangirls, even for his mutated forms.
    • Alexia. There's a lot of fan art of her.
    • Excella due to her being an evil Ms. Fanservice.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Given the fact the newer generations of the series strayed far away from the Survival Horror genre, it's never a very good idea to tell any of the older fans of the original series that it's always has been about the action, since doing so will savagely get mocked.
  • Fanon:
    • George A. Romero's unused screenplay for Resident Evil has Chris as half American Indian. This seems to have leaked into the fan community somehow, and a lot of fanfic authors will depict Chris and Claire as such. The name Redfield is Scotch-Irish, and Claire going full redhead by Code: Veronica seems to support the notion that she and Chris are entirely Caucasian.
    • There are a lot of supplementary sources of information on RE's settings and characters that can be found in translated design documents and obscure interviews, some of which never make it into a game's narrative. This includes Jill being French-Japanese (this was apparently intended by the original designer, but was quietly abandoned around the time Julia Voth became her face model) and Ada's background (there's a Japanese audio drama that gives a version of her backstory where she's Vietnamese). Whether or not these make it into fanworks usually comes down to individual preference.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Chris and Wesker. Tons of it, especially in Resident Evil 5. It's fair to say they're equally obsessed with each other, prone to tons of Say My Name.
    • Leon and Krauser in RE4. Their multiple duels are rather....suggestive, thanks to Krauser being so enthusiastic about the ex-partners trying to kill each other.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Barry is this thanks to his aforementioned memorably ridiculous lines.
    • Wesker. This is due to his Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Hammy tendencies.
    • Leon becomes one after the release of RE4 thanks to his personality in the game.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The shift from Survival Horror to Action Horror, exemplified in the eyes of most fans by RE4 and then taken to its heights by RE5 and RE6. In fact, despite the vitriol aimed at them, the shift began as early as Resident Evil 2, where ammunition is vastly more plentiful compared to the original Resident Evil. This trait continued into both RE3 (where it was actually possible to craft your own ammunition from gunpowder) and into Code: Veronica.
  • Genius Bonus: The Black Tiger does exist as a form of Australian Wildlife — specifically, a snake. Its pattern is similar, and the spider's design is based on the Sydney funnelweb, which is an Australian spider.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Saturn version of the original Resident Evil's Battle Game, the final zombie to face is a zombified Albert Wesker, implying that he was infected with the T-Virus. While Battle Game itself is non-canon, Wesker being infected with a virus certainly is, and it actually makes Wesker even more dangerous than before.
    • The reason behind the Nintendo exclusivity — Capcom wanting to have all of the core franchise playable on one console — on two counts. Firstly, for the longest time, many of the subsequent games after RE4 weren't released on Nintendo consoles; and secondly, despite their desire to have all of the core entries playable on the same console, every game that was supposed to be exclusive would eventually be re-released for other consoles.
    • The director of the Center for Disease Control in the USA during the 2020 COVID-19 epidemic is named Redfield.
  • Inferred Holocaust: As the series goes on, the events of most of the games have been accompanied by increasingly severe amounts of ecological damage that the series has yet to address. The Mansion Incident and the Raccoon City outbreak both introduced a hefty dosage of T-Virus into the forests and rivers of the American Midwest, Rockfort Island remains heavily infected, the Spencer Rain went down with a full complement of infected passengers and crew in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the T-Abyss is loose in the Mediterranean Sea, Javier Hidalgo released the T-Veronica Virus into the South American rainforest, the sixth game concludes with a massive C-Virus spill in a city on the Chinese mainland, and even the seventh game features the Louisiana bayou being extensively infested with a mutated strain of fungus. It's easy to presume that there are probably people working to minimize the damage, but it's very likely that much of the game world's ecosystem has already been warped beyond repair.
  • Its The Same Now It Sucks: Fan reaction to the GameCube ports of Resident Evil 2, 3, and Code: Veronica fell under this, as they came after the REmake and happened to be straight ports of the initial PlayStation and Dreamcast releases. Releasing them at full price instead of making them budget titles, without changing anything about them, did not help either.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Leon seems to get all of the action. Of course, his canon lover is Ada, but he also can be found paired with Alfred, Angela, Ashley, Chris, Claire, Hunnigan, Jill, Kevin, Krauser, Luis, Steve, Manuela, Mendez, Mike the Helicopter Guy, Saddler, Salazar, Helena, Sherry, Wesker, a Licker, a Ganados, an Iron Maiden/Regenerator, a Tyrant, and Mr. X.
    • Jill is probably the female counterpart. She's usually paired with Chris, but it's not hard to find fans who support her with Wesker, Leon, Claire, Rebecca, various members of the S.T.A.R.S. team, Carlos, Sheva, Excella, or any of the monsters (most notoriously Nemesis). In fact, it's difficult to find a femslash pairing in RE fandom that doesn't involve Jill.
    • Chris is definitely not a slouch in this department either. Jill, Rebecca, Sheva, Jessica, Wesker, Carla, Jake, Leon, Barry, Forest, Piers, Ethan... hell, not even Claire is safe.
    • Wesker's as bad or worse than Leon. He's practically assumed to be asexual in the games, but gets more ass in fandom; virtually every major character has a reasonably popular pairing with Wesker, including characters that he's never met such as Leon or even Jake.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Ada Wong is a mysterious and morally ambiguous spy who has used her wits, skills, and charisma to always come out on top in the horrifying world of Resident Evil. First appearing in 2 posing as a civilian in Raccoon City (FBI agent in the Remake) where she manipulates Rookie cop, Leon Scott Kennedy, into helping her steal the G-Virus sample from the Umbrella Corporation before making her escape from the zombie-infested city. Sent by Albert Wesker to Spain to retrieve a dominant species Las Plagas from the Los Iluminados cult in 4, Ada betrays Wesker by giving him a simple subordinate species, while giving the dominant species to her true superiors and help Leon kill the cult's leader, Osmund Saddler. Ada would later be sent to The Easter Slav Republic in Damnation disguised as a BSAA representative, where she would help Leon expose President Svetlana Belikova's tyranny while also making a deal to have her arrest warrant expunged. When Ada learns of her doppelgänger's identity in 6, Carla Radames, and Carla's plan to cause global scale destruction and frame Ada for it, Ada tells Derek Clifford Simmons of Carla's location in China pitting the two against each other, while discreetly helping the heroes to ensure the two’s downfalls, before destroying Carla's lab and taking a job soon after.
    • HUNK is a high-ranking commander of the Umbrella Security Service known by the monikers "Mr. Death" and "Grim Reaper" for always surviving and completing Umbrella's most dangerous missions. First appearing in 2 (and its Remake), HUNK leads Umbrella's Alpha Team to Raccoon City to retrieve the G-Virus from William Birkin. Despite losing his team to the mutated Birkin, HUNK remains committed to completing his mission and successfully delivers the G-Virus to Umbrella after spending days surviving the zombie-infested city. He also delivers a special container from Antartica to Rockfort Island on Alfred Ashford's request, though he does question Ashford on what's inside it. Although Umbrella collapses in 2003, HUNK's legacy would remain where he becomes a legendary mercenary whose skills are second to none.
  • Memetic Mutation: Not surprising, considering the series is almost filled to the brim with Narm.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • According to the Internet, HUNK could take on every zombie in the universe. And Wesker. And every protagonist. At once. And still win.
    • It would be a sin not to mention Albert "Why Haven't I Died Yet until RE5?" Wesker.
    • Leon and Chris jumped to this level thanks to their respective outings in 4 and 5. It's hard to link Leon to a singular moment, but Chris was most certainly defined by one scene and one scene alone: the Boulder Punch.
  • Memetic Molester: Thanks to the Resident Evil 2 (Remake), Mr. X has achieved this status due to being a Super-Persistent Predator with hints of an actual personality. Probably best represented by the Beach Boy mod, which features an oiled-up Tyrant in a thong. (Leon gets a matching mod, because....reasons.)
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • One gets suspicious that Capcom has caught on that the voice acting and dialogue from the first game was bad, and are now doing it on purpose. Dead Rising suggests that a couple of the more infamous lines were thrown in just because of how B-Movie horror flick terrible they sounded.
    • Barry's lines in The Mercenaries: Reunion in RE5 are his old Narmful lines from the original Resident Evil, as well as having "HERE'S Barry!", to address RE1!Jill's question of his whereabouts, and a melee attack called Barry Sandwich.
    • The live action B-movie horror intro to the original Resident Evil is sorely missed in this day of CGI.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Given the loads and loads of characters, in addition to the loads and loads of shipping, there are some permutations of this in the fandom:
    • Valenfield: Jill/Chris.
    • Aeon: Ada/Leon
    • Cleon: Claire/Leon.
    • Cleve or Staire: Claire/Steve.
    • Creva: Chris/Sheva.
    • Leona: Leon/Helena.
    • Nivanfield: Piers/Chris.
    • Vestiani or Paray: Raymond/Parker.
    • Shake: Sherry/Jake.
  • The Scrappy: Ashley is not well liked due to her Damsel Scrappy status and complete helplessness in Resident Evil 4. It's little wonder she has not made any other appearances in the series.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Fans of Leon x Claire and Leon x Ada are not known to get along very well. These two are the most populated ships with Leon. A lot of fans do agree that they see Leon's attraction to Ada as nothing more than superficial (as he basically knows nothing about her even after so many years). Not to mention that because of Ada's inconsistent portrayals, it seems that Ada seems to treat Leon as nothing more than a plaything so they use this basis to support Leon with Claire. On the other hand, fans of Leon x Ada will only have to state the story for their ship since Leon is canonically still a sucker for Ada.
    • If you are one of the handful of fans who like Steve Burnside, don't even try to mention his name in front of Leon x Claire fans. Seriously, just don't.
    • Chris x Jill vs. Chris x Wesker. Typical fight of fans of straight pairings against fans of slash pairings.
  • Values Dissonance: The use of green herbs as healing items. In Japan and other Eastern countries, this is a staple of traditional medicine. In America, the most common medicine associated with this is illegal in 37 states (and all 50 at the time of the first few games' release). Cue tons of weed jokes at the expense of the characters, and sometimes the developers — especially since later games depict the ground-up herbs as resting on a sheet of paper that looks remarkably like a rolling paper. The Newgrounds game Pico's School spoofs this by having its "medicinal herb" literally be a marijuana cigarette, complete with a short animation of Pico smoking it and getting high when he uses it.
  • The Woobie:
    • Stoic Woobie: Leon. Almost everyone he likes dies or betrays him. No wonder he's so mopey.
    • Rebecca was the youngest and only member of Bravo Team to survive the events of Resident Evil 0, thanks to Billy. Only to be thrust straight into the Raccoon City incident mere hours later, where she was nearly killed twice: first by a hunter, then after being shot by Wesker.
    • Sherry Birkin. Her entire life story is basically things going From Bad to Worse for her. The sheer horror this girl goes through would be enough to drive one insane.
    • Poor Jill who sees her entire home nuked in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and in the three years before and during Resident Evil 5 is in an And I Must Scream state, being forced to work for Wesker under mind control and aware of it the entire time.
    • Steve. He meets Claire at Rockfort Island and starts to develop feelings for her. Unfortunately, Steve dies after he finally tells Claire that he loved her.
    • Manuela. The circumstances surrounding the attempts to cure the disease that she and her mother had is tragic.
  • Woolseyism: The series' Japanese title Biohazard was changed to Resident Evil when first localized overseas because the Western localizers at the time could not copyright "Biohazard" as that was already done by an unrelated rock band. The name change is actually somewhat fitting in the initial game, as the game took place inside a residential area (specifically a mansion) with stuff that, until a certain point in the game, was initially believed to be supernaturally evil.

     The film series 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Many know of the films as only hit zombie flicks. They don't realize that they're based on a series of video games.
  • Ass Pull: Has its own page.
  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: The series has permeated popular culture to such point that people whose only contact with Resident Evil was through the movies often believe Alice is a character from the games and/or the games are all about her as well.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Alice herself is the most controversial character in the films. Some like her because of her badassery and Ms. Fanservice status, while others (usually fans from the games) hate how she is a Invincible Heroine who steal the spotlight of the game characters and has little personality aside from her revenge against Umbrella.
  • Cliché Storm: The films feature every major action cliché in the book. This includes the main character becoming an Empowered Badass Normal, Easy Amnesia, Expendable Clones, Guns Akimbo, Stuff Blowing Up, Bullet Time, and a villain having familial ties with the main character.
  • Complete Monster: Albert Wesker is a high-ranking member of the Umbrella Corporation and Dr. Alexander Isaacs's chief subordinate. Years ago, Wesker murdered the kind-hearted Dr. Marcus for Isaacs and aided Isaacs in his unethical experiments. When Isaacs plans to release the T-Virus to kill all of humanity except his chosen few, Wesker agrees to run Umbrella while the rest are cryogenically frozen. When Alice and her clones attack Wesker's Tokyo facility, he floods parts of it with neurotoxin, murdering his subordinate for pointing out that this will kill his own men, and blows up the entire facility, killing everyone inside. Wesker leads survivors to The Arcadia, pretending that it's a safe haven from the infection, so he can experiment on them with mind-altering chemicals. After injecting himself with the T-Virus, Wesker turns to cannibalism to maintain control of himself. After failing to eat Alice, Wesker consumes his loyal subordinate and attempts to destroy the Arcadia and the countless people on it. When Alice is kidnapped by the Red Queen, Wesker sends a team to save her and destroy an Umbrella facility filled with clones. Wesker posed as well-intentioned in order to lead Alice, his own team, and countless others into a trap that killed everyone but Alice. Wesker then organizes attacks on the last survivors on Earth, and personally kills Alice's allies when they try to release the antivirus.
  • Creator's Pet: Alice, to the point that the franchise has been referred by some as the most expensive fanfic ever.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite being reviled by critics and many fans of the games,note  the films have done quite well at the box office and it is still one of the highest grossing film franchises around.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Plenty of viewers only watch the films to see Milla Jovovich be a ass-kicking Ms. Fanservice.
  • Narm Charm: If you don't take the over-the-top action seriously, it becomes worth for some laughs.
  • Never Live It Down: Good luck trying to find anyone who does not associate Jovovich with this franchise (or, in particular, her character).
  • Sequelitis: The first film does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the franchise, albeit with its own original characters. Aside from a couple bits of baddassery, the characters' abilities are pretty realistic and the film generally focuses on the dreadful atmosphere the games are known for. After that, Alice gets increasingly more powerful, killing off any potential drama, becomes pretty much the only character who gets to be a badass, and the series ramps up the action to exaggeratedly cartoonish levels, basically ripping off the physics-defying stunts in The Matrix without any of that film series' in-story justifications. The critical response to the films dipped after the first movie as well. It really doesn't help that the films seem to care very little for continuity, seeing how it constantly retcons and contradicts central plot points and Sequel Hooks from the previous installments with every film that comes out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A major criticism of the films is the fact how off the rails it goes by the third movie by trying to ape other zombie apocalypse stories. Most have noted that one of the more major potentials should've been that the films be original stories that happened alongside the stories of the games. That way it could still be original but would've made more sense for game characters inclusions rather then just throwing them in there just because. Or at the least continue doing what they did with Apocalypse, make a Broad Strokes versions of the games' story but just having Alice involve in some fashion, preferably where she doesn't overshadow the other characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A good amount of the characters from the games not only have their spotlight stolen, but end up not really contributing much if at all or just outright dying.
  • Video Game Movies Suck: Zigzagged; they're disliked by critics and many fans of the games, but they do very well at the box office, save the last movie which was barely advertised and had a short run in theaters. In addition, some fans of the games have a soft spot for the films in spite of how loosely-based they are. At most, general consensus is that the first two films are are least a high point for the series. Past that point, however, is very divisive with most complaints being how far from the source material it becomes what with the zombie apocalypse, the nonsensical plot with Umbrella trying to take over what is essentially a dead planet, including game characters without context to the overall story and inconsistency with the writing.
  • What an Idiot!: See here.
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     The first film 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Red Queen: Homicidal AI on the fritz or brutal but effective AI trying to contain the T-Virus outbreak at all costs? You decide.
    • For the Laser Hallway incident, Caplan suggests they may have triggered extra defences when they came in. But note how the laser only turns on after he explains what they're going to do to her. Perhaps the Queen was listening in and killed off the commandos to stop the loss of power.
  • Awesome Music: One thing that can't be denied is the fantastic music score by Marilyn Manson. He manages to compose tracks that blends apocalyptic horror with powerful heavy metal. The best example is "Seizure of Power", which is considered an iconic track for the film.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Alice's most Iconic Outfit is her sexy red dress, which she does her fighting in. It's often forgotten she spends the first two acts of the movie wearing a jacket over it.
    • Alice waking up completely nude in the shower is also quite remembered.
  • Complete Monster: Percival Spencer "Spence" Parks is a member of Umbrella Corporation's security force and the one responsible for the outbreak. Overhearing his lover Alice and an activist planning to expose Umbrella's illegal activities by stealing the T-Virus, Spence decided to steal the virus himself and sell it on the Black Market so that he and Alice can spend the rest of their lives in luxury. To prevent the theft from being discovered, Spence purposely causes an outbreak inside the laboratory so that the A.I. system puts the whole place under lockdown and kills the whole staff. Having temporarily lost his memories as the side effect of a knockout gas, he's found by a squad of Umbrella soldiers sent to investigate the incident. Eventually, his memories return, and he holds the remaining survivors at gunpoint, while trying to convince Alice to join him. When she refuses, Spence locks them up and leaves them behind to die, showing that he cared more about the money than about his lover.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite critics hating it, the first film grossed over $100 million worldwide.
  • Critical Backlash: The film is hated by critics and fans of the games alike. Quite a few reviews on IMDB are from those who are surprised at the hate.
  • Critical Research Failure: Hair and nails don't keep growing after death; they appear to, because after death, a body dries out, causing soft tissue to shrink slightly. This wouldn't be so bad if one of the human characters said it, but a supercomputer making the same mistake is a different story.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The last fifteen minutes of the film are almost needlessly dark. Kaplan's Big Damn Heroes is All for Nothing, as he's killed by a Licker. Even though Rain is injected with the Anti-Virus, she becomes a zombie anyway. Although Matt and Alice make it to safety, the latter is infected and taken away to become Nemesis - while Alice wakes up in a deserted Raccoon City where the virus has escaped.
  • First Installment Wins: The general consensus among many fans is that the first movie is the only one that manages to be decent and even enjoyable, due to a variety of reasons. To name a few: Alice isn't ridiculously overpowered, the movie doesn't go overboard with the action, there's virtually no relation with the games' canon, and yet it manages to do a pretty faithful job of capturing the spirit of the games.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Rain is a major protagonist so she doesn't qualify for Ensemble Dark Horse status, but there's no denying she's a kickass female lead played by Michelle Rodriguez at her most badass. Many tout her as a highlight of the film. They ended up bringing Rain back in a later film.
  • Memetic Mutation: Marilyn Manson's "Seizure of Power". While being awesome in its own right, it has been adopted by several internet communities especially the Resident Evil fandom for being the unofficial anthem of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Narm:
    • The Red Queen commenting she has been "a very bad girl". It's as if the writers couldn't resist the temptation to exploit her child interface to make that kind of joke despite the in-universe improbability of her being programmed to do it.
    • Rain's Dull Surprise reaction when the zombie chomps at her hand. Her line about how he ripped out a chunk of her flesh is so nonchalant that sounds instead as if the zombie merely spat on her boot.
  • Narm Charm: The infamous moment where Alice runs up a wall and kicks a doberman zombie in the head. At this point in the franchise, Alice doesn't have powers from the T-virus leaving a big question of how and why she was able to do it too. That being said, it's sure as hell cool to watch.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • A given in a zombie film, but the Laser Hallway decapitates one person, slices another's fingers off and splits One into little pieces. You even hear the sounds of the fragments falling to the floor. Thankfully his remains aren't shown.
    • At one point, Rain is dangling her wounded hand over a hoarde of zombies and letting them drink the blood dripping down.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Eric Mabius will be recognisable to Ugly Betty fans.
    • She might not be recognisable with blonde hair and an American accent, but Lisa is in fact Mia from Love Actually.
  • Signature Scene: The Laser Hallway is what most people remember first of all about this film. If not, the ending.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Licker, particularly when it breaks out of its crate. Early 2000s CGI, folks.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A major reason for the hate towards the film was fans of the game disliking the cast being made up of original characters and only having a few Mythology Gags rather than being a direct adaptation (though this was partly Executive Meddling on the part of Capcom - who feared a more faithful story would turn people off buying the games).
  • Vindicated by History: At the time, the first film was divisive for not being a direct adaptation of the games and its reception only plummeted with the decreasing badness of the sequels (which some of the creators were admitting only got made because of the money. Years later, fans can admit that the film was better than it was given credit for; featuring some sweet action scenes, a cast of likable characters and Alice being a cool protagonist who is not super-powered (and is far more interesting for spending half the film wondering if she's responsible for the whole incident).
  • The Woobie: Poor Caplan has to watch four of his teammates die partly thanks to him being too slow to deactivate the Red Queen's defences, and the guy shakily has to complete the mission on his own.

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