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YMMV / Saw

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Hello, troper.

I wrote this note as an... insurance policy, of sorts. If you are reading this, it is because, while adding tropes to the main page of my films, you added... a YMMV item.

You knew full well the consequences of doing so, yet you put the trope on the main page anyway, foolhardy in your beliefs as to how widespread your opinion was.

Well now you have one last shot at redemption. Below is a partial listing, started by those who came before and made the same grave mistake as you, of subjective tropes found in my films. If you wish to escape your predicament, you must complete this list, before that anvil drops. It is closer now, troper, but luckily for you, there are fewer subjective tropes than tropes that belong on the main page.

And remember, troper, all of these items are subjective; if you do not take into account the opinions of those who disagree with you while adding examples, you will not succeed.


Your opinions brought you here, and now you must put them on display for all to see if you wish to escape with your life.

Live or die, troper.

Make your tropes.

Films in general:

  • Acceptable Targets: Many of Jigsaw's victims are deplorable characters, such as thieves, druggies, racists, gangsters, killers, rapists, and lawyers. In some cases, though, the victims have only made minor mistakes in their lives, and others are completely innocent.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Jigsaw a true monster, or a legitimately sick and tragically misguided social engineer? Maybe even something to do with his deteriorating mind?
  • Awesome Music: The Series' main Theme, commonly known as "Hello Zepp".
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Hoffman, Hoffman, Hoffman. There really is no solid middle ground with this guy. Fans either find him to be devious and formidable as hell or a lousy, crooked detective that doesn't hold a candle to Jigsaw.
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    • Jeff and Bobby, the heroes (depending on whom you ask) of Saw III and Saw 3D, respectively. Even with their sympathetic backstories/fates (the former being consumed with grief from the death of his son due to a drunk driver and the latter's lies causing everyone he loves, including his wife, to be killed), they both end up doing more harm than good with the incomptency and arguably hog the plots away from more interesting characters (Detective Kerry and the returning Dr. Gordon.)
  • Broken Base: After Saw III hit the screens, THE ENTIRE FANBASE argued about it. Online and off. History repeated itself with Saw 3D.
  • Creepy Awesome: Jigsaw and his two disciples, Amanda and Mark.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: After a few films, it's hard to care about the protagonists since more often than not, they will die anyway.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Hoffman has quite a large fanbase who see him as undeniably awesome for escaping the Reverse Bear Trap. In fact, many choose to disregard Word of God saying that he dies in the bathroom. Seriously, canon vs. fanon.
  • Epileptic Trees: Mostly regarding the fate of Dr. Lawrence. Not that it matters as of Saw 3D.
  • Evil Is Cool: Jigsaw/John Kramer, a menacing and charismatic villain with an intriguing MO. Even when fans felt that the films were going downhill, Tobin Bell could always be counted on to be menacing and creepy. Some fans feel this way about the succeeding Jigsaw killers, but none could really surpass the original.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The Hoffman fanbase generally ignores Word of God stating that Hoffman dies in the bathroom at the end of 3D.
  • Foe Yay: There was some pretty strong Hoffman/Jill sexual tension at times, especially when he killed all the officers, grabbed her, and whispered "How do I look?" while getting closer to her neck.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: A lot, most notably Hoffman/Amanda. They hate each other's guts, but that doesn't keep the fans from shipping them.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Two of them in the first movie, ironically coming from its Signature Scenes at that. The 'reverse bear trap' scene, while fairly understated compared to later films (especially given that Amanda escaped the trap), arguably foreshadowed the series' descent into becoming a pure Gorn franchise. Likewise, the Twist Ending of Jigsaw being the seemingly dead guy on the bathroom floor, which didn't really affect the plot all that much but was still an awesome moment, led the sequels to pile on further twists that eventually degenerated into a Kudzu Plot.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Saw 3D featured Chester Bennington of Linkin Park as one of the victims of Jigsaw's traps. He wound up committing suicide on July 20, 2017, the same day that the first trailer for Jigsaw came out.
    • In the first film, Gordon promises his daughter that he's not going to leave her. By the time the seventh film rolls around, his wife's left him and taken the daughter with her. Not to mention that he's working with the same guy as the man that would hold her hostage. After telling her that 'The Bad Man' didn't exist and wasn't hiding in her room.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Some fans refuse to believe that Adam is dead and theorize his body in the sequels has been replaced with another one because of a continuity error (his corpse is shown to be chained by his right ankle while in the first movie he was chained by his left).
  • Ho Yay:
    • Believe it or not, it's been suggested between Lawrence and Adam.
    • Hoffman and Strahm!
  • Idiot Plot: Even people who've dealt with Jigsaw in the past turn into idiots when the plot requires it of them.
  • It Was His Sled: At this point, it's impossible to read anything about the series— including this page— without finding out that Jigsaw is John Kramer. (See?) The once-shocking twist is also naturally lost on anybody who watches the films out of order.
  • Magnificent Bastard: John Kramer aka the Jigsaw Killer was a law-abiding civil engineer before losing his unborn son, becoming estranged from his wife, and being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in quick succession. Jigsaw uses his skills and intellect to become a prolific Serial Killer, designing elaborate death traps and picking his victims on the basis of their perceived lack of gratitude for the blessing of life. Fostering multiple protegés, only some of whom are even aware of each other, Jigsaw blackmails a hospital orderly to impersonate him to allay suspicion, manages to escape from police custody by manipulating the lead detective responsible for capturing him, uses his more devoted followers as back-up insurance against those who do not follow his teachings properly, and is responsible for schemes planned so far in advance that he continues to effect events even a decade after his death.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans think that what Jigsaw does isn't murder because he gives his victims a way out, and that Jigsaw's principle is noble in that those who survive his games will become better people. This despite his ideals being so full of holes you could use it to strain pasta, his hypocrisy, his sadism, his very-much-a-murderer actions and his pretentiousness and pride of such magnitude that he never once entertains the concept that almost none of the people who survive his traps were better off for it.
    • Perhaps because of this, one of the main themes of Saw III was that Jigsaw's work was ultimately a failure, and that those who survived his games weren't changed at all. Amanda, for example, had resumed cutting herself, and still had the same psychological issues that she had before Jigsaw 'helped' her. If anything, she now had murder as an outlet for them. In fact, his two main apprentices are a good reflection of the flaws in his plan; neither changed their ways after dealing with him and made more murderous (and inescapable) traps, turning them into worse people even after supposedly "understanding life". Only one apprentice, the one from Jigsaw, actually kept his sanity and followed Kramer's work closely - and only because he was mostly sane and rational to begin with.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you have ever done something bad in your life, or are doing it right now, Jigsaw will find you and put you through a terrifying, bloody test that will drain your mental health to a grain of salt, or kill you painfully. Admit it, a lot of people had this thought after watching at least one movie.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Detective Hoffman.
    • Gibson, who replaced superior law enforcement officials Detectives Kerry, Matthews, Officer Rigg and Special Agents Strahm and Perez. Unlike the others, he doesn't even survive halfway through his introductory film.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Two cases:
    • First is Jigsaw as the main character of this Villain-Based Franchise who fans started to get behind after awhile ala Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers etc. His status as Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds wins him a lot of sympathy points, and his Affably Evil justifications for the things he does and people he does them to do at times have some merit (but are not completely foolproof).
    • Quite a few people are behind Hoffman because of his actions in the 5th and 6th movies painting him as a badass Determinator who improvises plans on the fly whenever things start going bad for him. Just as many if not more people are happy he got his final comeuppance in the finale.
  • The Scrappy: As the sequel number increases, so do the number of annoying or useless characters. The original Saw is the only one that doesn't have a scrappy in it. It gets rather frustrating when the main character being tested is the scrappy. It gets even more frustrating when scrappies are going to get out of the heap, but end up getting killed.
    • Brent; the horribly annoying and murderous character from VI. Not even having recently lost his father can make him in any way endearing or likeable, or even understandable.
    • Shelby from the Carousel trap and Simone from the opening trap of VI. Simone gets subtly Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in The Final Chapter, but Shelby? No such luck.
  • Sequelitis: Each fan of the series has his or her own opinion of just where it went off the rails. Some say it was the second film ("Saw never needed a sequel!"), others say it was the fourth ("the third movie finished the trilogy perfectly!"), and others say it was the fifth ("that movie just plain sucked!"). Averted, with the reaction to the sixth film, which many people feel is a return to form for the series. Then played straight, with Saw 3D, which was almost universally panned by fans and critics alike.
  • Squick: Lots of it. Every film in the franchise (following the first) is practically built on it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Hello Zepp" is extremely reminiscent of "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney.
  • Tear Jerker: As dark and disturbing as this franchise is, it still has a few heart-wrenching moments.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A common issue fans have with the series is that it tends to be too trigger happy with some of the major characters when they still had a lot of story left to offer, some examples incude:
    • Detective Allison Kerry in Saw III. A major protagonist for the previous two movies and appears to be stepping into a leading role.... only to fall victim to Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome and never be mentioned again for the rest of the film.
    • Detective Peter Strahm in Saw V, a badass, Determinator cop who had upgraded from supporting character to a main protagonist, survived an inescapable trap, and began piecing things together about Jigsaw and his apprentices... only to be killed in an incredibly nasty way at the end of the film, which didn't really amount to a strong impact on the A-plot anyways.
    • Detective Lindsey Perez in Saw VI. A popular character who died offscreen only to be brought back (with the previous death being retconned into an attempt at faking it).... to be unceremoniously killed off again. Though this time it was onscreen, at least.
      • The latter two are made even more confusing since Saw 3D introduced a brand new cop character to take on the role of main protagonist when either one could have taken the role on, providing a character that audiences already had an investment in (rather than wasting time developing a major, never before seen new character in the final film) while also creating a stronger connection to the previous films.
  • Wangst: Jeff Denlon, the protagonist from Saw III, suffers from this badly. Understandably, he is still grieving the drunk-driving related death of his young son, but to the point that he can't function, ignores his surviving daughter or complete any of his tasks, which results in getting several people killed, including his wife. He also kills John Kramer via a Slashed Throat, believing that he actually did some good as a means to an end. He eventually gets his from Strahm in Saw IV.


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