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YMMV / Serenity

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  • Cult Classic: The movie didn't perform very well financially, but it is almost universally loved among the show's original fans.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Included in the blooper reel is an extra take of the shot in which Mal orders his crew to mask their ship as a Reaver's. The original scene is very nearly a Kick the Dog scene, but the moment Mal's improvised orders change from the script is the moment that he takes the line and guts it with a screwdriver. Seen here.
      Mal: Put Book front and center; he's our friend, we should honor him. Kaylee, find that kid who's taking a dirt-nap with baby Jesus—we need a hood ornament. Jayne! Try not to steal too much of their shit!
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    • More canonically, after Mr Universe's Heroic Sacrifice, we see him lying dead... in the arms of his own love doll. With his final message recorded in it.
  • Ear Worm: The Fruity Oaty Bars commercial might only be designed to trigger Manchurian Agents, but it'll worm its way into anyone's brain.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jayne snaps at River, uttering "I'll show her good and all, I got man parts" in "Trash". Fast forward to the Curb-Stomp Battle of Maidenhead, and...
    • In a very dark way. Wash gets killed just to prove Plot Armor doesn't apply here. Now, go to Rogue One and who is the first character killed to prove there's no Plot Armor? Yup. Played by the same guy.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Ceiling River is Watching You Fornicate."
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Operative's destruction/massacre of anywhere/anyone Serenity might go to for help.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Solomon Northup is the Operative.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped; Belief in something greater than yourself, be it in God, or just in a moral cause (such as justice for the settlers of Miranda), is essential if you want to live and not merely survive.
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  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans of Firefly were not pleased that the "space western" elements from the TV show were dropped in favor of a more traditional sci-fi feel. This is ignoring the fact that many entire episodes of Firefly are largely sci-fi and had little "western" to themnote  and the entire intro sequence of the movie is as pure "space western" as you could get.
  • Uncanny Valley: This is where the lovedoll designers of the future are situated.
  • The Woobie: Both River and Simon.



  • Designated Monkey: The audience is supposed to pity Serenity because she hasn't found God, but with her notorious streak of bad luck and how the prayer club treats her sometimes, they pity her for completely different reasons.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sure, Serenity may act like a jerk at times, but that doesn't mean we can't feel sorry for the things she's putting up with.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Whoops! Can't show that in a Christian manga!" Considered by Christian and secular readers alike to be a bit insincere, it caught on as a stock joking self-censor.
  • Narm Charm: The stories are cringe-inducing, awkward, and questionable, and the characters are as cliche as you can get. That said, there's also a lot of sincerity and charm in the characters, which can get you genuinely invested in their stories.
  • Never Live It Down: Even after the prayer club becomes friends with Serenity, they never cease reminding her of how bad she used to be. Granted, good friends can make fun of each other in a friendly way, but judging by how the prayer club used to treat her...
  • The Scrappy: Kimberly was originally Serenity's rival and foil. But while Serenity becomes a better person and addresses her flaws, Kimberly only gets more and more hostile as the story goes on. By the end of the story, most fans turn against her.
  • Strawman Has a Point - Serenity's harder questions to the youth group are rarely answered in a substantial way, and the plot relies heavily on her forgetting them when she's brushed off or fed a poetic-sounding line. Ms. Baxter also falls under this. At several points she makes attempts to restrict Serenity's exposure to Christian information on campus, or during school hours in recognition of separation of church and state. She provides condoms to Serenity, while the theme of the comic is to insist on abstinence only, equating owning condoms with premarital sex. She also calls Serenity's mother in the final arc, warning her that Serenity's conversion to Christianity has come at the abnormal price of forsaking her sense of self. None of her efforts to help Serenity are portrayed in a good light, though there is nothing inherently wrong with these actions, and as a stern teacher, is to be expected.
  • Snark Bait: It's subject matter alone inevitably made it a favored target of /b/, /a/, and /co/. Then actual Christians joined them in making fun of it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot - Several potential subplots involving the other members of the youth group are brought up but never explored. Tim's self-loathing, Lori's sexuality, Derek being in rehab, etc.
  • What an Idiot!: Two men were trying to pass off scouring powder as drugs to sell them at a Christian rave. There even was a big sign at the building! They obviously got arrested.
  • The Woobie - Serenity, largely due to her horrible luck, but the Woobieness reaches critical mass in the final volume, which she spends much of moping around, feeling empty. The miserable girl seen post-conversion is a sad sight after so many volumes getting to know her as the plucky young punk girl. Fortunately...

Example of: