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YMMV / Scream: The TV Series

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  • Abandon Shipping: Emma/Kieran by the end of season 2 when the latter is revealed to be Ghostface.
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Amadeus Serafini (Kieran Wilcox) in "Aftermath" and "The Vanishing"
    • Kiana Ledé (Zoe Vaughn) in "Jeepers Creepers".
    • Santiago Segura (Gustavo Acosta) in "Let the Right One In" and "The Vanishing".
    • Carlson Young (Brooke Maddox) in "The Vanishing".
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: 2x10: Most people who found Zoe to be an unlikeable Bitch in Sheep's Clothing still thought her death was pretty sad to watch, especially due to Noah's reaction to it.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Brooke a Dumb Blonde Alpha Bitch incapable of empathy, or a calculating manipulator who pretends to be dim and vapid so people will do as she likes? There's also a fair share of speculation as to what exactly she gets out of her relationship with Mr. Branson. The most popular answer seems to be Sextra Credit, but that hasn't stopped some theories.
    • Is Jake an oblivious jerkass incapable of realizing the harm and consequences of his actions, or is he just playing at being Dumb Muscle to better manipulate the others, particularly Will and Brooke?
      • His 'bobcat and shark' speech to Brooke might be indicative of the latter interpretation.
      • His manipulation of Brooke as he attempts to pin the entire blackmail thing on Will is either him maliciously selling his friend down the river, or a Dude, Where's My Respect? reaction for legitimately trying to help Will pay his tuition. There's also some debate as to whether or not his feelings for Brooke are genuine.
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    • Why, oh why, does supposed 'good girl' Emma hang out with the likes of Nina and Brooke? One can easily say that she gravitated to the popular kids, but the fact of the matter is she just doesn't seem to fit. This is often pointed out as odd by Emma's many detractors.
      • People also point out that Riley fits with the clique despite being nicer than Emma, because she's Brooke's Morality Pet, while Brooke was supposedly Nina's Beta Bitch, thus creating a sort of "chain" between them, whereas Emma just doesn't seem to fit in there.
      • Emma may have been a part of the group due to dating Will. Brooke even makes a statement about her becoming a part of the group after she started dating Will.
    • Is Kieran a charming bad boy type with a good heart who wants what's best for Emma, or is he a creepy stalker developing an obsession for the girl who is vulnerable due to problems with her boyfriend and her friends being murdered? Turns out to be the latter, with him being a Stalker with a Crush AND a Hidden Villain, as he was Piper's actual accomplice.
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    • Many fans find Will to be selfish, antagonistic, and whiny. The way he abandons Jake after he breaks the Mayor's nose caused many fans to sympathize more than Jake rather than the 'reformed' Will. Others side with Will at least in the latter situation, noticing that he's backing out of a criminal endeavor that can only end with people getting hurt, as Jake so candidly showed and took as much pride of as he does in engaging in said criminal endeavors.
      • It is worth noting that Jake put a knife to the mayor's throat and that Will had already been reluctant to have any involvement. Jake also retaliated by attempting to sell Will out as the only culprit to Brooke's father and pinning all of the blame on him, potentially getting Will killed.
    • Whether Mayor Maddox covered up his wife's destructive drug habit to protect her or to preserve his own reputation. Brooke seems to prescribe to the latter opinion, leading to her severing ties with him in Episode 8. Of course, there are still a share fair of fans who take Maddox's explanation with a grain of salt in the first place.
    • Did Audrey betray Piper out of a desire to take over as the main Ghostface or was it out of an honest desire to protect Emma and the others? Or was it just because, as she put it, Piper "talks too much," making her a liability. It turns out Audrey was completely innocent in that senario and that Kieran was the real accomplice.
    • During their initial meeting, Haley tells Audrey she is impressed with her. It's debatable whether or not that was simply part of the prank or if Haley really did admire Audrey and the incident following the prank caused her ire towards Audrey.
    • Was Eli simply a Stalker with a Crush with a deranged obsession for Emma, or was he an emotional damaged kid damaged from having an abusive father who then abandoned him and an equally awful mother and just wanted the affection Emma gave to Kieran? The fact that Kieran was a psychotic murderer also raises the question about how much of Eli's Dark and Troubled Past actually happened.
    • Was Kieran really kidnapped and held hostage by Ghostface in "Village Of The Damned" or did he fake the whole thing to deflect suspicions away from him? The latter proves to be right.
    • Is Gustavo a well-meaning but troubled person who truly cares about Brooke and Noah, or is he a self-absorbed, insensitive Jerkass who only cares about using Noah for his writing talents? The fact that he doesn't have any problems with exploiting the brutal murders of several people to get a best-selling books doesn't help his chances.
  • Awesome Music: The bouncy tune that tends to play whenever Noah starts a Leaning on the Fourth Wall speech. It has the right amount of suspense and whimsy one would expect from a Scream TV series.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Emma, the protagonist, has received very mixed reception from fans. Some fans like her Nice Girl personality and find her to be a sympathetic-if-flawed heroine who is making the best she can of an incredibly difficult and stressful situation. Others find her to be very bland, boring, and stereotypical and also have a strong dislike for her Poor Communication Kills tendencies. It is worth noting that most fans like almost every other female teen character far more than her, even Nina, the Alpha Bitch who was murdered in the first few minutes of the first episode. The fact the rest of the cast seems to be more lively makes this much worse (namely Audrey, Noah, Brooke, Riley, Will and Jake), as when compared to them, she comes across as bland. Her actions in stealing a video and creating a false alibi for Audrey to get her freed further land her into this spot with many fans. Some agree with her actions to protect her friend who has been there for her through this tough time, while others figure that the video tape and Audrey's DNA inside the mask is too suspicious to simply ignore, and that letting Audrey remain in custody could have helped prove her possible innocence or possible guilt depending on if any more murders and calls from Ghostface to Emma happened afterwards. If Audrey ends up being one of the killers, any murders she commits would be Emma's fault for getting her freed. The reveal at the end of the season that Audrey was indeed the second killer, or was otherwise in on it with Piper, definitely casts Emma's actions in a very bad light.
    • Made ironic with the Chirpster poll on which of the Girl Posse should be killed next. Brooke has over 300 votes, while Emma has only two.
    • Detective Lorraine Brock falls either as an Ensemble Dark Horse or as The Scrappy among fans, with no room in between. Those who dislike her criticize Brock's overall lack of professionalism, including violating various police procedures, as well as the fact that she acts like an unnecessarily abrasive jerkass for no good reason. Due to the previously mentioned issues, as well as her overall lack of success in finding a killer leading her to be Put on a Bus offscreen after two episodes, many fans find her to be incredibly incompetent as well. Those who like her point out that four teenagers have been brutally murdered, one of them in the very police station, so she has to be abrasive and go on the offensive to round up any possible suspects. they also argue that she has been no more incompetent than Sheriff Hudson, who found clues but followed them up the wrong trail, going after the already dead Tyler, while Brock's prime suspect Audrey has yet to be found innocent and is revealed in the finale to indeed be guilty. Though it is worth noting that Detective Brock herself admitted that the primary evidence against Audrey could have very easily been tampered with or otherwise unreliable, something which the police later confirmed, though this stemmed from Emma secretly interfering with the investigation, leaving the mystery of Audrey's DNA being inside the mask as of yet unsolved.
      • At the end of the day, the fact that the evidence is unreliable and could have been tampered with is all that matters. Witness testimony is considered a weak form of evidence in the first place for a reason. Brock was pursuing Audrey while ignoring every other suspect on evidence she admitted was faulty.
    • Sheriff Clark Hudson also fits here. Some fans see him as likable, reasonable, and a good love interest for Maggie, and many feel he's trying his best to capture a killer with very little evidence to go off of. Others see him as bland, incompetent, and so useless at his job that Lorraine and even the teen cast (with Lorraine and Emma being examples themselves) far outclass him in actually trying to solve the crimes and find the killer's identity. Brock's fans have also criticized him for taking issue to her treatment of Audrey (in particular, interviewing her without giving her the opportunity to have a parent/guardian or lawyer present, which violates police protocol along with her constitutional rights), saying that Lorraine is justified in cutting unnecessary corners when a masked maniac is on the loose killing people. Those who dislike him also point out that all the murders have happened while he has been in charge of the case, but it's worth pointing out that Ghostface may have planned it that way all along to discredit him, or if Hudson were one of two possible killers, his perceived incompetency would be justified because he'd be doing it on purpose to take suspicion off of himself.
    • Season 2 introduces the new sheriff in town, Miguel Acosta, who got hit with this quick. Some fans hate him for his Deadpan Snarker nature, his skepticism and his serious, no-nonsense demeanor and lack of building relations with other characters besides his son Gustavo, whereas other fans like him precisely because he's a Deadpan Snarker who shows signs of Reasonable Authority Figure, saying that in just a few episodes he has proven to be a far more competent sheriff than Clark Hudson was in all of season 1.
    • While she used to be a popular Ensemble Dark Horse, a large portion of the viewers consider Audrey The Scrappy as of the Season 2 finale with The Reveal that she was NOT helping Piper murder anyone, saying that this makes Audrey a complete moron and that her actions throughout Season 2 make absolutely no sense, as she had far easier ways to resolve her issues. Others still like her and are glad that she's innocent and thus can still be friend with Emma and Noah.
  • Badass Decay: A through and through bad boy in Season 1, Kieran became far meeker in Season 2 (barring one instance when he punched Eli). Gets hit hard with this in the Season 2 finale, where after two seasons of brutally killing people and easily manipulating everyone, he accidentally reveals his identity by a simple slip of the tongue while talking to Emma, and after shooting his cousin Eli (who Emma had injured), Emma and Audrey, the latter being shackled, manage to take him down with incredible ease.
  • Broken Base:
    • Whether or not the series should have continued the story of Sidney, Gale, and Dewey.
    • Whether the many pop culture references are a necessary staple of the franchise, or distracting name-drops meant to seem 'relevant'.
    • When the design for the new Ghostface mask was released, there was a vocal debate about whether the design was better, worse, or at least serviceable when compared to the classic mask. After the show started airing, however, things cooled down somewhat.
    • The seemingly endless streams of pop-culture references, which some people find hilarious, and others find to be grating.
    • Brooke's character development as of "Jeepers Creepers". Some fans found her Sanity Slippage Axe-Crazy bits with Branson were interesting and compelling (with some even arguing that she was in the right) while others disliked the regression of Brooke's development towards being a better person and thought she went too far.
      • Somewhat balanced out in the following episode, when Brooke has a My God, What Have I Done? moment, and tells Audrey what she did.
    • The Season 2 Finale. Specifically The Reveal that Audrey was completely and totally innocent and that Kieran was Piper's one and only accomplice. Some fans found it to be a highly satisfying, if predictable, twist, while others absolutely despise it for giving Audrey countless What an Idiot! moments, making her Too Dumb to Live, saying that it leaves Season 2 filled with plot holes, and that its a highly transparent Retcon of Season 1's ending. Many fans have gone so far to say they're quitting the show.
    • The revelation that Season 3 will be a reboot with a new cast and characters has made a huge chunk of the fanbase furious, especially given the plot threads that have yet to be wrapped up.
  • Catharsis Factor: After all the atrocities that Kieran Wilcox is revealed to have committed as Ghostface, it feels good to see him sentenced to a life in prison, then butchered by whom is presumably the original killer, Brandon James, in the holding cell. That said, some consider him to have gotten off easy.
  • Complete Monster: The Ghostfaces from the first two seasons are malevolent murderers.
    • Piper Shaw, from season 1, duplicates the killing spree of Brandon James, starting by killing Nina and her boyfriend Tyler, and later killing depressed student Rachel, making it look like a suicide. Constantly tormenting her half-sister Emma Duvall, via texts and phone calls, while being friendly and helpful to her face, Ghostface targets her friends for no reason other than to hurt her. Ghostface tries to force Emma to choose between killing two of her friends, and ends up killing Riley. Later, Ghostface has Will kidnapped and later set up in a Death Trap which Emma is tricked into triggering. Eventually framing Mr. Branson, Ghostface tortures Sheriff Hudson on a live camera, before leaving him in to be killed in a trap like Will before him. When Ghostface's identity is finally revealed, they reveal their jealously for Emma's life, and plans to kill the latter in front of their mother Maggie, before killing the latter slowly.
    • Kieran Wilcox, from season 2, maintains a façade of being a friendly albeit troubled teenager, and loving boyfriend to Emma, but is in fact a needlessly cruel and brutal copycat killer and the accomplice from season 1. As the accomplice, this Ghostface is personally responsible for killing Audrey's girlfriend Rachael; putting Will in a Death Trap for Emma to trigger, and the torture and murder of Sheriff Hudson—their own father. In season 2, Ghostface torments both Emma and Audrey for her connection to the first Ghostface; begins a new killing spree by disemboweling Jake with a scythe, before dropping his mangled corpse in front of his girlfriend Brooke; hacks off Branson's hand, burning the stub with an iron, before leaving him to burn to death; kills two cops for getting in their way; kills his other girlfriend Hayley; has both Noah and Zoe Buried Alive while Emma and Audrey struggle to rescue them, even though they had already drowned Zoe; and frames Emma and Audrey with Mayor Maddox's murder. In the finale, upon being exposed, Ghostface shoots his own cousin, whom he had tormented and framed throughout both of their lives. Ghostface then reveals that both Ghostfaces had a bond based solely around their hatred for their parents and the fun of killing. Ghostface then taunts Emma and Audrey with a plan to kill them and frame them.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: While Riley's death was incredibly sad, the inclusion of the oblivious janitor on his headphones made the whole thing perversely funny.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Riley's death in "Wanna Play a Game?" pushes several characters over it, creating room for definitive Character Development for the first time in the series.
    • Jake's death is a huge one for Brooke.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Noah became one of the most liked characters from the very beginning as the show's Randy Expy.
    • Riley is easily one of the most overall liked characters by fans. While most characters, even others on this trope, have people who dislike them, Riley was the one character most, if not all fans genuinely liked and cared for thanks to her pleasant nature and chemistry with the other characters. As such, many were not happy at all to see Riley killed off in Episode 3 of Season 1.
    • Brooke has also proven to easily be amongst the most popular characters on the show, mainly for how entertainingly bitchy she is. A lot of people are rooting for her to be the Final Girl instead of good girl Emma. She is now liked even more after Episode 4, where Riley's death shows the audience that she does have a good side and genuine depth to go with her bitchiness, and for being one of the most well developed characters in the show.
    • While initially The Scrappy for being the resident Jerk Jock, Will won over a lot of fans by the end of season 1 as his Jerk with a Heart of Gold status was emphasized. Particularly due to his multiple heroic feats as well as his Cruel And Unusual death being caused by Emma's terrible decision making.
    • Both 'Stavo and Eli have proven exceptionally popular as of the end of Season 2. the former gained a lot of fans after suffering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from the other students in his highschool, to say nothing of his romance with Brooke or Troubled, but Cute vibe (while managing to remain a Nice Guy). Eli was more divisive early on, but the fact he's overall more interesting than Kieran and his massive woobie status help him a lot. Particularly after the finale where it turns out Kieran had been framing and tormenting Eli all his life, not to mention that Eli had genuinely been trying to protect Emma. The fact he's killed/nearly killed trying to save her from his psychotic cousin also gave him a notable boost in popularity.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Brooke and Jake are rapidly becoming this, largely because of the moral greyness/outright bitchiness of both characters compared to the milquetoast Emma and her rather bland love interests. Many are rooting for them to redeem themselves and make it to the end.
    • "Exposed" killed the buzz for this after Jake's actions. Placing a knife at Brooke's father's throat to blackmail him for more money, breaking his nose, and then lying to Brooke about who is even responsible tends to kill shipping more than anything else.
    • "In the Trenches" seems to make it go back on track when Jake agrees to go with Emma, Brooke, and Noah to rescue Will, while also confessing to Brooke, offscreen, that he lied about it being just Will blackmailing her dad. Jake gets stabbed in the chest and Brooke is extremely worried for him, doing her best to help him out and accompanying him to the hospital.
    • Season 2 kills of Jake in the premiere, sinking the ship for good and all. Brooke's budding romance with Stavo is quickly gaining popularity, moreso than other new couples Zoe/Noah and Eli/Emma.
    • Emma/Audrey is also a very popular ship, especially after their relationship is explored more in season two.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "In the Trenches", while talking to Will over the phone, Emma says, "I think it's about time we got on Netflix." This line becomes unintentionally meta now that Scream's first season is available to watch on the streaming service.
    • Also, Nina outing Audrey and Rachel by posting a video of them kissing online becomes very ironic now that Bella Thorne has come out as bisexual after a photo was leaked onto Snapchat of her kissing a girl.
    • Amy Forsyth was originally cast as Audrey before Bex Taylor-Klaus replaced her. The two would star together in Hell Fest a few years later.
  • Hollywood Homely: It's a bit hard to buy Noah as having trouble finding girls when he's played by the modestly good-looking John Karna.
    • Also applies to Rachel, who's biggest character trait is that she's insecure and views herself as ugly, despite being played by the relatively attractive Sosie Bacon. This might be intentional, though, to illustrate that Rachel's self-image is a result of her low self-confidence rather than on her physical appearance.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ghostface killing Riley just to punish Emma for refusing to continue playing his game, and the way he did it, is certainly a candidate for this.
    • Nina goes over it in the first three minutes of the pilot, when she proudly defends her posting of Audrey and Rachael's makeout tape as a necessary part of the high school social hierarchy.
    • Jake assaulting Mayor Maddox for not bringing the full $100,000 blackmail money to the drop off. Will calls him out, as no one was supposed to be hurt, but Jake just brushes it off as always.
    • Kieran crossed this long ago with the reveal of his bullying of his cousin Eli and aligning himself with Piper, but his sadistic mental and physical torture of Noah and murder of Zoe is what pushes the gang over the edge with Emma even telling him that he's going to pay for what he's done (though she doesn't know it's him at the time.)
  • Narm:
    • The dialogue, especially that of the teenage characters. Most people seem to agree that the way people talk in this show, especially the teenagers, is not how people actually talk in real life. Whether the dialogue is So Bad, It's Good or just plain terrible is entirely up to the viewer. One particular line from Episode 5 garnered much eye-rolling even from fans of the show:
    Emma: You sound like a bad romantic comedy. Except we didn't "Meet Cute", we met "Sick Twisted".
    • Emma's hallucinations of mutilated Will in Episode 8 straddle a line between this and Nausea Fuel.
  • One-Scene Wonder: In the Scream tradition, Nina Patterson is very much this, due to Bella Thorne's performance and the fact that she is just so unrepentant in her bitchiness.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Like the film series, the show has its fair share of examples.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Will Belmont. Initially hated for his overall douchebaggery and seeming lack of redemptive qualities, Will slowly grew into a more likable person and redeemed himself over the course of the first season, even placing his life at risk to save others three times in just two episodes — two of which were while he was critically injured, no less. His shocking and brutal death also gained a lot of sympathy for him, especially because of the well-deserved blame fans had for Emma, due to her stupidity getting Will killed after he'd completely redeemed himself for his past actions.
    • Eli came off as incredibly creepy at first glance, especially with Kieran telling Emma about all the creepy things he did back when they were younger. A lot of people are warming up to Eli now, though, since it's been revealed that Kieran is the killer and has been blaming Eli for all of his own crimes for years, thus meaning that all those times Eli tried to warm up to Emma were genuine. A few fans are even hoping that Eli will pull a Not Quite Dead and return for Season 3.
    • Even though some people don't like the reveal that Audrey wasn't the accomplice killer, many agree that it turning out to be Kieran was the best thing that could happen to his character, since as soon as he reveals it he finally starts developing a personality.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There's extra layers of Dramatic Irony once you know that Kieran is in on the whole murder spree.
    • Another with Eli. He's actually standing up to Kieran, who's a legitimate psychopath. And he's the only one who knows how evil Kieran can be.
    • Haley's antagonism of Emma, for which there doesn't seem to be much of a reason, makes more sense upon the revelation that Kieran was the killer, and was cheating on Emma with Haley.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • The love triangle between Emma, Will, and Kieran in the first season. Besides widespread opinion that Emma isn't a very good protagonist, it also takes time away from the actual serial killer plot and nabs screen time from other characters, all of whom tend to be more popular than these three.
    • Discussed by Noah and Riley while stargazing on the football field. Obviously, it's played for irony.
    • Many also feel that way about the romance between Clark and Maggie.
    • And in Season 2, there's now another love triangle between Emma, Kieran and Eli starting.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Piper Shaw ranged between this and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character amongst fans, simply because there seemed to be no reason for her to be around at all. She had little in common with film series counterpart Gale Weathers while also having very few distinguishing traits of her own, seeming to exist merely to remind us that Gale also existed and to add yet another suspect to the "who is the killer or killers" pool. What really solidified her scrappy status, however, was the season one finale. Besides being an incredibly obvious killer, Piper was also essentially a gender-flipped copy-and-paste of Scream 3's Roman, better known as the most hated character and killer in the entire film franchise. This is further solidified by Amelia Rose Blaire's heavily criticized performance, primarily for being rather lifeless pre-reveal and downright Narm-tastic post reveal. She's even given a Take That, Scrappy! scene in the opening of Season 2.
    Girl in theater: "It's so crazy how no one even suspected Piper, right? That's what everyone says."
    Audrey: "You know, that's what they say."
    • While Emma started out as a Base-Breaking Character, she progressively became more and more hated as the series went on due to her stupid decisions and getting two of the most well-liked characters killed.
    • Jake Fitzgerald. Like Emma, he began as a Base-Breaking Character, and while he does have a Vocal Minority fanbase, most viewers found him intolerable due to his actor's very weak performance as well as his Jerkass tendencies and inconsistent characterization. It reached the point that the very first thing the new Season 2 showrunners did was kill off Jake as soon as it was humanly possible to do so.
    • The two teenagers in the season 2 premiere who prank Audrey, especially the girl, who thought it was a fun idea to pull a mean spirited prank on a person who went through a traumatic experience with a serial killer, and then get indignant when Audrey injures her friend and co-conspirator in the prank in an act of self-defense and tries to get Audrey arrested.
      • The Girl (Haley Meyers) hate only skyrocketed throughout the season, as she would periodically pop up to be a stupid, irrational bitch (even implying that Emma was the real murderer of S1) with absolutely no redeeming qualities. The fact such a loathesome Hate Sink felt out of place in a series based on the Scream movies didn't help.
    • Kieran Wilcox: There were some signs of him falling into this category in Season 1, but it became much more apparent in Season 2. Many fans consider him the least interesting character on the show. Some would say being the killer and Piper's accomplice got him out of the Scrappy heap.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Some fans view the entire series as this, finding its many flaws and Narmy qualities to be part of the appeal.
  • Special Effects Failure: The fire from the ending of "Let The Right One In".
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In the season 2 premiere, Jake is dumped by Brooke after being put through an incredibly Cruel and Unusual Death. Very few viewers were upset by this, and quite a few cheered as well.
    • Emma slapping Haley in "Dawn Of The Dead" is definitely portrayed as this.
    • As of episode 2x09, The Orphanage, Haley is stabbed to death by the killer she was dating and her body is strung up for the cops to see. Pretty much the entire fanbase was happy to be rid of her.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • One must begin to question Emma's soundness of mind when she accompanies Kieran (a mysterious newcomer who she knows virtually nothing about) to a lonely field outside of town when she knows a maniac is stalking her. She proceeds to have sex with this mysterious and handsome stranger, right out there in the open and without once checking if he still has a loaded gun in his pants.
    • In Episode 7, when the gang is searching the bowling alley for Will, Emma and Jake both suggest they split up in teams of two to cover more ground. Both times, Noah tries to point out what a stupid thing this is to do, but they ignore him.
    • Will was stabbed, kidnapped, and ended up facing a psychotic masked killer twice to save his friends while badly injured. His kidnapping was essentially to use him as bait to make Emma go to the killer. After Will has been rescued and the police help the teens out, Sheriff Hudson and Maggie discuss putting protective detail on Emma. Putting protective detail on Will, after he was kidnapped and stabbed, never goes through their minds. Will ending up dead at the end of that very same episode comes across as rather unsurprising in that regard.
    • In Episode 8, Branson and Brooke are together in the school auditorium, when they hear a suspicious noise. Branson breaks one of the cardinal horror movie rules and gets up to investigate, leaving Brooke entirely unguarded and making her easy prey for Ghostface, who comes very close to killing her.
    • In Episode 9, Sheriff Hudson gets a lead on where the creepy calls that Emma's been getting have been coming from. Instead of doing the sensible thing like sending his people out in teams to knock on doors and investigate the area (Even the town's coroner who has no police or tactical training thinks of this as the logical, common sense thing to do.), he hops in his squad car alone without telling anyone and proceeds to get bludgeoned, kidnapped, tied up and killed by Ghostface.
    • Emma is essentially a living form of this trope, particularly when it comes to dealing with the killer. It makes its first major appearance in Episode 3, where Emma inexplicably chooses to not warn Riley that the killer is about to attack her, resulting in her grisly demise. It continues as the show goes on, with other notable moments being in episode 7 (firstly, Emma goes off, on her own, while a serial killer is attacking her and her friends, to listen to a tape recording at the location rather than wait to find a safe location. Secondly, the killer specifically tells Emma she will be the cause of Will's death. Upon finding him tied up near some dangerous farm equipment..... Emma blindly rushes towards him without taking two seconds to even look at her surroundings. She triggers a tripwire.... and inexplicably STOPS after it's triggered rather than continue to run towards him.), and the finale (Emma has seen the killer use booby traps at least twice to kill her victims, one of which was a tripwire. Upon seeing her mother tied to a chair... Emma instantly rushes towards her without looking, showing that she learned nothing from what happened to Will. Luckily for Emma's mom, there's no trap this time.) This girl really just makes one poor decision after another, and got two innocent people killed because of that. Then there's also her habit of wanting to do everything by herself without confiding in the police and sometimes not even telling her own friends or her mother, which inevitably always ends badly and either people get hurt or killed and she has to be bailed out by others.
    • In the season 2 premiere, two teenagers thought it would be cool to prank Audrey, someone who has gone up and survived a violent serial killer and even shot said killer, by pretending that the boy is a new killer. He "stabs" the girl and pretends to attack Audrey in order to make it look convincing. They're actually surprised that Audrey defends herself by non-fatally stabbing the pretend masked killer with a very real ice pick, and the girl is indignant and tries to get Audrey arrested for what was clearly an act of self-defense, which the new sheriff makes quite clear while at the same time pointing out their idiocy.
    • Most of the characters are this, mainly the teens, in that in both seasons it is eventually made crystal clear that there is a violent killer loose in town, and yet people continue to go to secluded and/or deserted places in small groups or all by themselves despite the clear and obvious danger, which has resulted in actual deaths and several very close calls throughout the whole show. The town even makes big events (a school dance in season 1 and a town festival in season 2) despite the presence of a killer with at least one person (Piper in season 1 and Gustavo in season 2) pointing out how idiotic it is to hold a big event with a killer stalking the town.
    • Kieran in season 2, where he takes and keeps a loaded gun in his locker at school. Granted, he wishes to keep himself, his girlfriend and his friends safe, but doing so by taking a gun to school, especially in this day and age, is genuinely baffling.
    • Again in season 2, basically the entire teen population in town is this when they decide to attend a party supposedly being thrown by Emma and Audrey. A party where they get to wear masks, among them the Ghostface mask, all while a killer is loose in town, when they've seen firsthand what this killer can do and with the knowledge that last time someone threw a party with a killer on the loose (Brooke's party in season 1) people were attacked and murdered.
    • Mayor Maddox in "Heavenly Creatures". Not only does he go to a barn in the middle of nowhere when a serial killer known for hijacking phones and text messages is on the loose, he decides to go into said barn without a weapon of any kind. He then tries to find the dude by texting his phone and listening for the notification, going farther into the barn until he finds the unattended phone. He gets stabbed through the chest seconds later by a pitchfork.
    • Audrey throughout all of Season 2. Before the season even begins, she knows there's an accomplice as Piper had been with her while her accomplice murdered Rachel, but due to her letters with Piper, Audrey was afraid of being labeled as the accomplice.
      • You'd Expect: Audrey would come forward about these suspicions immediately and explain her relation to Piper (inviting her to Lakewood to do a documentary together), at least to her close friends. They could then work together to keep her safe and discover the identity of Piper's accomplice instead of hoping the person decides to retire from being a serial killer.
      • Instead: Audrey keeps everything to herself, allowing a serial killer to go free. Not only that, but she actively stifles investigations into who this accomplice She is then completely blindsides when said accomplice starts murdering people in Season 2 and targets her for killing Piper, despite knowing (s)he was still out there and might seek revenge.
      • It gets worse from there. Once the killings begin, the killer is very clearly tied to Piper, accuses Audrey of being a murderer, and even kills one of the Lakewood Six members to show her he means business. At this point, Audrey is the only person to know a killer is on the loose.
      • You'd Expect: Audrey would realize that now she has to come forward to save her life, her friends lives, and the lives of an incredibly large number of the people in Lakewood. She does what she should have done after Piper's reveal and explains that she invited Piper to Lakewood, but thought she was innocent and that there is another killer out there who they desperately need to find. Fast.
      • Instead: Audrey, once again, covers everything up and doesn't inform anyone of what is occurring. She lies to all her friends on a constant basis about exactly how involved she was with Piper, she herself doesn't come forward about any of it until forced to, and she continually allows the killer to manipulate and further incriminate her with every passing episode.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rachel Murray to a T. Bullied because of her sexuality and forced to retreat into her house, it becomes very clear Audrey is her only friend. That she is brutally murdered while talking to who she believes is Audrey is even worse.
    • Emma is also showing signs of becoming one. Not only does she have to deal with her Disappeared Dad, her mother's dark past, her cheating boyfriend, and the guilt of allowing Nina to spread an embarrassing video of her former best friend, but she also must deal with the killer stalking and harassing her and, as of Episode 3, the guilt of inadvertently causing Riley's death. Her reaction upon discovering Riley's body makes it clear that she's close to reaching her Despair Event Horizon, and the subsequent leaking of her sex tape with Will pushes her over the edge. From there, she accidentally causes, and then witnesses, Will's brutal death, right after she had done so much to rescue him to begin with. Episode 8 reveals she is developing paranoid insomnia, which plagues her with surreal hallucinations as she continues to convince herself that everybody who tries to help her is doomed.
      • Only gets worse in season 2. She comes back after being in therapy for three months after a public breakdown following the killings, and is still suffering from severe PTSD. Her Disappeared Dad comes back only for it to be revealed that the reason he left her behind in the first place is because he was struggling with alcoholism and was abusive towards Emma's mom, shattering her perfect image of him. A new killer is targeting her and her friends again, and she's afraid to tell anyone for good reason this time, as most of the authority figures in her life dismiss what's happening to her as delusions due to her previous struggles with mental health until the new killer makes their presence very obviously known. In addition to that, her boyfriend, who was previously one of the only people she felt she could trust, is now working with the very police attempting to victim-blame her and is essentially being forced to snitch on her.
    • Audrey straddles the line between this and Jerkass Woobie in season 2. She may exhibit some extremely shady behavior, but she's also being stalked and psychologically tortured by the new killer who's doing everything possible to make her look guilty. Not only that, but it's becoming more and more obvious that however involved she may have been with Piper's plans, she never wanted to hurt Emma and she likely wasn't at all involved in Rachael's death, despite feeling extreme guilt over it.
    • As of the Season 2 finale, Eli would definitely qualify. With the revelation that Kieran had been framing Eli and making everyone think he was the psycho since they were kids, his actions toward Emma that could once be seen as mannerisms of a Stalker with a Crush turn into the actions of a concerned guy who wants to protect someone he cares about from being hurt. The fact that Eli (seemingly) dies while trying to save Emma (and that Emma herself non-fatally shot him earlier when she thought he was the killer) only adds further salt to the wound. All Eli wanted was to protect Emma and he winds up getting killed because of it. Poor guy.


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