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  • Accidental Innuendo: What does the statement giver for Episode 130 say her statement is about? "A hole. A hole filled with meat."
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Agnes' feelings towards Jack Barnabas. While Eugene is adamant that Agnes didn't feel love towards him, the fact he and others of the cult were unable to comprehend their relationship to begin with and even initially thought she was getting close to him to later bring him torment calls his interpretation into question.
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  • Arc Fatigue: As Season 5 charted Jon and Martin's journey through the hellscape remains of the UK in order to reach the archives and confront Jonah, several listeners began to grow bored with the slow pace of the story and the monotony that developed in Act 1 (MAG 161 through 176) - the protagonists enter the realm of a Power, Jon does a Statement, occasionally he'll kill an avatar, he and Martin bemoan the fact that they're literally unable to help any of the victims, and they set off again. The first time they actually find another member of the archive team, Basira, is sixteen episodes into the season — right before the first hiatus. Some of the issues bringing in additional characters were inevitable due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
  • Base-Breaking Character: Daisy Tonner. Many love her for her no-nonsense attitude, Action Girl status, and friendship with Basira, but others hate her for being a Dirty Cop and unrepentant murderer who nearly killed Jon. Her Character Development in Season Four led to another schism, of people who felt, since she'd shown genuine remorse and separated herself from the Hunt, becoming Jon's friend, she was worthy of redemption, while others feel that nothing can fix the sheer amount of damage she did in her time as a police officer. When she was finally Killed Off for Real after succumbing to the Hunt again, the fandom was divided into people who saw it as a tragedy, and people who thought she deserved it.
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  • Catharsis Factor: After learning about all the numerous and terrible things Jonah Magnus did to become immortal (culminating with tricking/forcing Jon into speaking the ritual that ruined the world) the fandom was delighted that when he comes out of his trance in the final episode saying he had a 'wonderful dream', Jon promptly beats him up and stabs him to death while he pleads for mercy and says he doesn't want to die.
  • Complete Monster: (by first appearance, after Magnus):
    • Jonah Magnus, aka Elias Bouchard, is the founder and head of the Magnus Institute, having stolen several of his worker's bodies to survive for centuries. Attempting to bring about the end of the world for the Eye in order to rule over the remains as its Avatar, Magnus conducts a ritual which destroys Milbank prison killing hundreds of inmates including his friend. Eventually realizing that the reason the rituals can't work is because the Fears are too interconnected to destroy the world alone, he manipulates Jonathan Sims into making contact with all of the Fears and uses him to bring about the apocalypse forcing him to read the ritual. Along the way, he murders anyone who gets too close to the truth and forces his employees to stay under the belief that if they leave or try to hurt him they will all die horribly, mentally torturing any who still try to rebel. This, along with him showing her father's horrible death to torture her, leads to Melanie King stabbing her own eyes out to escape him. Cruel, smug, and willing to stoop to any depth to preserve his own life and power, Magnus manages to stand out in a setting full of evil gods, monsters, and other Avatars.
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    • Mary Keay is a chillingly realistic example of a narcissistic abuser in a fantastical setting. Committing her first murder at a young age to gain power, she murdered numerous others throughout her life, binding several spirits to her book, making their very existences agony, all to force them to help her. Among them is her long abused husband, Eric, whose corpse Mary mutilated while his spirit was Forced to Watch. Seeing her son Gerard as merely an extension of her legacy, Mary forces him to help her gain power, as well as using him as a genuine pig for her experiments. Refusing to accept her own mortality sometime in 2008, Mary attempts to kill herself in order to bind herself to the book with more power than the others had, making sure to give Eric's page away so Gerard would never see his father again beforehand, continuing to force Gerard to serve her. Despite not working for the Fears, Mary is a frighteningly abusive mother who cares only for her own power, regardless of who she has to hurt and murder to obtain it.
    • Maxwell Rayner, Avatar and chief servant of the Dark—and possibly Edmund Halley—is an arrogant, petty fanatic. Having failed to give the world to his master in 1715, Rayner spent the next 300 years preparing to ensure the Extinguished Sun succeeded, expanding his lifespan by acquiring a series of children whom, upon his old body nearing the end, he would transfer his essence into, killing them. Creating the People's Church of the Divine Host, a massive international cult of Dark worshipers, Rayner directed them to perform countless ritualistic sacrifices to his master. Forcing Robert Montauk's killing spree, Rayner used their deaths to create the Still and Lightless Beast, and was the driving force behind the creation of the space station Daedalus, so that through months of torturous human experimentation he has Manuela Dominguez build him the Dark Sun. Convinced he was on the verge of victory, Rayner had his cult kidnap thousands of victims and subject them to "a week of horrors", sacrificing the victims one by one to empower the Dark Sun, to allow his master to spill out and consume the universe.
    • John Amherst is a slimy, faux polite Avatar of the Corruption, known for his mocking grin, who delights in spreading sickness and decay. Possessing the unique ability to return from death, Amherst, during the Boer War, caused several wounded men to die in agony and is implied to have worsened the disease outbreaks at the concentration camps. Over a century later, taking advantage of the closing of the Ivy Meadows Care Home, Amherst took over, infecting the residents, staff, and the building itself with a horrific disease that caused their bodies to slowly rot and flies to grow inside of them. Returning a final time, arriving in Klanxbüll, Amherst infected the entire town with his worst plague, causing the residents' flesh and muscles to grow progressively looser until they sagged off their bodies, leaving bones and organs exposed, and causing the rotting flesh to fuse to the ground. Not content, Amherst compelled many residents to drag themselves through the town, so he could meld them together to form himself a twisted throne, his victims alive and conscious throughout but unable to do anything but attempt to scream.
    • Season 3: Nikola Orsinov is a creature of the Stranger created to bring about the end of the world through the Unknowing. Murdering her creator because she found him "boring", Orsinov took over the Circus of the Other, leading them to terrorize entire towns. In preparation for the ritual, Orsinov has her followers abduct and flay potentially hundreds of people, keeping them alive for months, if not years; she personally skins several people, including Tim Stoker's brother. Orsinov is also behind Breekon and Hope delivering the Not-Them, causing the death of Sasha James and the invasion of the Archives. Delaying completing the ritual due to enjoying the sadistic fun too much, which makes even her own followers uncomfortable, Orsinov is a childish sadist who lives only for her own sick pleasure.
    • "Chosen" (Episode 139): Eugene Vanderstock is an unpleasant, smug, thuggish Avatar of the Desolation, who despite his minor role stands out as the worst member of the Cult of the Lightless Flame. A sadist and a serial arsonist even before joining the cult, at only 5 years old, Vanderstock set buildings full of people alight during the Blitz, his fires providing targets for the Nazi bombers. Happily giving up his humanity to become an Avatar, Vanderstock was chosen to provide regular sacrifices for Agnes Montague, picking a nightmarish way to do so. Murdering his way up the corporate ladder at a steel factory, Vanderstock used his new authority to set up a secret "workshop". For decades, Vanderstock would kidnap vulnerable workers, often ones with the highest aspirations, melting their mouths shut. Dragging them to his workshop, he would slowly and agonizingly melt them down, molding special candles out of their liquid fat, which when lit would emit his still conscious victims' screams for several hours before burning to nothing. Vanderstock later admitted he didn't care if Agnes never received the candles due to the sheer enjoyment he got from creating them.
  • Continuity Lockout: The series embodies this in its later seasons. Seasons 1 and 2 are, for the most part, episodic, with each episode consisting of a standalone horror story and a few minutes of commentary at the end. But starting with season 3, the show begins to embrace an intricate Myth Arc and focus more on a recurring cast of characters, and by season 4 it's nigh-impossible to know what's going on in any given episode if you haven't listened to all the previous ones. (Each episode still includes a standalone horror story, but it's usually a backdrop to whatever the main characters are doing that episode, and will probably reference characters and events first introduced tens or even hundreds of episodes before.)
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Melanie being brought in for a performance review that has Elias implant knowledge of how her father actually died, reducing her to a sobbing wreck? Horrifying. Elias saying that she can take the rest of the day off because of the state she's in, and actually sounding somewhat concerned? Horrifying, but kind of funny.
    • Elias's commitment to making his service of the Beholding as bureaucratic and managerial as possible is full of this. Sending the archive crew on a half baked scheme to stop the Unknowing, and openly making plans for their replacement if they die in the process? A chilling reminder of how everyone is disposable to him. Following that up by reminding them to save receipts if they want to be reimbursed for their expense in case they do survive? Hilarious.
    • Peter Lukas is full of this. Him and Martin wandering through the maze-like underground of the Archives and holding a Leitner, unsettling. His cheery reply that the blood on the book is a Leitner too? Crosses it back to funny.
    • In a bonus episode of What the Ghost, Georgie reads an ad for a dating service called SparksFly, which steals its customers' data and uses their browser history, and is heavily implied to be an agent of the Beholding. This is incredibly creepy, and only gets worse the more you think about it, but the fact that the ad openly admits to its datamining, with lines such as "Privacy is just another word for loneliness" and "What the Ghost listeners get a month's membership for free. No need for a code; they already know who you are!", alongside Georgie's increasingly horrified reactions pushes it right back into funny territory.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Jared Hopworth, the Boneturner, got a lot of Evil Is Cool / Evil Is Sexy treatment from certain fans and tended to be seen as a more harmless avatar for not wanting to trigger a ritual to change the world (if only because he simply likes the world as it is and not out of any concern for others), especially after an episode revealed that he had started a gym and used it to help willing people get their ideal bodies. What sympathizers might overlook is that, while not willing to aid in a ritual, Jared was still a bully even before he became an avatar, and after becoming one, he spent some time running around taking bones from unwilling victims and eventually led an attack on the Institute. Episode 171 ("The Gardener") almost feels like it was written to address this image of Jared. We see (or rather, hear) him torture several people by twisting their bodies into new, horrific shapes while whistling a jolly tune. He makes a homophobic joke about Jon and Martin, reminding the audience that he is a jerk. And the gym? Jared makes it clear that he only did that because it was easier than going out and grabbing people himself, and he still fed on their fear; while they weren't strictly speaking afraid of him, they were still driven by a fear and disgust of their own bodies and of how horrified others would be if they saw them.
    • Basira isn't a villain, and she isn't as corrupt as Daisy, but a lot of fans tend to overlook that, as Daisy's friend and partner, she is an accomplice to countless crimes, up to and including murder, and that she is just as guilty of abusing her position—and when she resigns from the force, it's not due to a change of heart. Basira is less violent and easier to get along with than Daisy, so more fans are willing to let her actions slide.
  • Dry Docked Ship:
    • It's a nearly universally accepted piece of Fanon that Peter and Elias were together at one point before the start of the series. A common Fandom-Specific Plot is them having been married and divorced multiple times, often Played for Laughs.
    • Daisy and Basira's relationship is left ambiguous, but it's clear that they've been very close for many years; quite a few fans like to speculate that they were romantically involved while working for Section 31.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Elias Bouchard, particularly at the end of Season Two when his true nature becomes apparent.
    • Gerard Keay due to being one of the nicest people involved with the Powers and his sympathetic backstory.
    • Sasha is well-beloved, making her Kill and Replace by Not-Sasha more heartbreaking.
    • Gertrude Robinson. Not only for her statements but also for single-handedly foiling the Powers rituals and defending humanity before her death.
    • Georgie Barker's cat, The Admiral, for being an adorable cat that even Jon finds cuddly.
    • Despite not even appearing in the flesh, being long dead by the time of Season One, the real Elias Bouchard, nicknamed "OG Elias" by the fandom, is popular in fanworks, mostly thanks to him and his original personality being wildly open to interpretation, and his sympathetic fate.
    • Despite never being heard talking and and being dead years before the show started, Agnes Montague is this due to her sympathetic backstory, her soulbond with Gertrude, her enigmatic background and being a conflicted Anti Anti Christ. Because of this and some Epileptic Trees about her death and conection with Hill Top Road, many fans are hoping to get a statement from her before the podcast ends.
    • Although it only appears in the Season 5 trailer, the "Not-Tea" (so called because it's something that was pretending to be a cup of tea) is an incredibly popular subject for fanart, usually conceptualized as an Ugly Cute monster in (naturally) a teacup. It even has its own merch now.
    • Oliver Banks is well-loved for being an interesting foil to Jon, and being an avatar who isn't really all that evil and is in fact pretty polite. Many fans were pleased he survived the show, and joke that with the events of the finale removing the Entities from the world, they hope he can finally get some sleep.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Nearly every avatar gets this treatment. (With Agnes, it's practically canon, at least if you ask Jude Perry and Jack Barnabas.)
  • Fanfic Fuel: Tons.
    • Many fics explore the fates of the more popular statement givers, since the follow-ups often leave rather large gaps to be filled in.
    • The life and times of Gertrude Robinson, and her time as Head Archivist.
    • A popular AU is taking pretty much any mildly popular character and asking, "What if they were claimed by this Entity?"
    • Jonah Magnus' Body Surfing exploits, which leaves decades of uncovered ground.
    • After the finale, what happens to society after the apocalypse is reversed? How do they rebuild from there? How does society fundamentally change? Especially tantalizing as it's made clear everyone fully remembers what happened—and even know who at least some of the Avatars were.
    • And, of course, what happened to Jon and Martin? Did they die? Were they changed somehow? Or did they end up in an alternate universe—and if so, where are they now?
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • Peter Lukas and Elias having been married and divorced multiple times. After the reveal that Elias is a vessel for Jonah Magnus, a common idea is that Peter first met and married the real Elias, and eventually caught on to his replacement. While the multiple marriages is usually Played for Laughs, if this specific element is included, it is nearly always Played for Drama.
    • Time travel fix-it fics are very common. Typically with Jon and/or travelling from the apocalypse back to season 1. Expect reminiscing about seeing the season 1 gang, comments about Jon or Martin being cooler and general attempts to thwart Elias' plans.
    • The Mechanisms being Jon's university band, either with Jon still in the band and trying to hide it from his co-workers or with Jon having been in the band in the past and one of the assistants being a fan but not recognizing Jon.
  • Fanon: The Magnus Archives being a podcast and all, listeners have little to no idea what the characters look like. Nevertheless, a few characters have consistent representations in fan works.
    • Jon is almost invariably portrayed in fan art as having light brown skin, short black hair (often getting longer as the seasons go on), and always wearing glasses and a green sweater, as well as various scars from the times avatars have beaten him up. Visible manifestations of his powers usually include a third eye or a halo of eyes, often bright green.
    • Martin is portrayed as having curly red hair and a short nose, and is generally either tall and skinny or short and round (depending on how the artist interprets "not the smallest guy").
      • Over time, these seem to have combined into a prevailing portrayal that is both tall and heavy-set, contrasting with Jon, who tends to be drawn as short and skinny.
    • Basira is almost always portrayed with a Muslim headcovering of some kind, usually either a Hijab or Al-Amira, despite the fact that there's not any indication that she's actually Muslim beyond her name.
    • Anything Beholding-associated is usually green, often the same green as the show's logo, despite the fact the Beholding iconography is never described in more detail than "an eye".
    • Melanie's usually assumed to dress like a punk or Perky Goth, often with dyed blue hair. Depictions of Melanie after she quits the Institute invariably include either sunglasses or a bandage around her eyes, as she was forced to take extreme measures.
    • Sasha is often portrayed with cute, round glasses. Michael Shelley is also usually portrayed as bespectacled.
    • Tim is almost always shown wearing a Hawaiian shirt for some reason. No one's 100% sure how it started, but it's easily one of the most universal details in fanart.
    • Georgie is often depicted as Locked into Strangeness as a result of her experience with the End, having either white streaks or completely white hair.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • When the Web Table is delivered to the Magnus Archives, several characters bring up the possibility of destroying it while Jon disagrees with the idea of destroying knowledge. Jon later destroys the table and shows that was the worst thing to do when he accidentally releases the Not Them.
    • The Reveal in Episode 160 that the reason all the rituals have failed is because a single Power cannot be brought into the world due its connection to the other powers. This means all the sacrifices to stop the rituals - including Tim and Micheal - were all for nothing. Worse, by trying to prevent rituals like the Unknowing, Jon played into Elias' hands in successfully bringing all the Powers into the world.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Gerard Keay, who shows up in multiple statements, is supposed to have died of brain cancer shortly before the beginning of the series. Many fans weren't buying it. They were right. Sort of.
    • A good chunk of the fandom is pretty sure that getting tricked into the eldritch coffin didn't kill Daisy, on account of her going full avatar. Confirmed in Episode 128.
    • Since they Never Found the Body, a lot of fans don't believe that Mikaele Salesa is actually dead. Confirmed in Episode 180.
  • I Knew It!: Several fans predicted that Elias was actually a vessel for Jonah Magnus long before Episode 158. Likewise, the theory that the Beholding ritual could only go ahead after Jon got a mark from each Power was widespread before Episode 160 dropped.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Martin is a kind, unsuspecting archival assistant with a penchant for bad poetry and crush on Jon. He gets put through the wringer multiple times, from being trapped in his apartment by Jane Prentiss for weeks, to having his darkest traumas brought up by Elias. He doesn't let any of that stop him, though.
    • Gerard Keay has spent the majority of his life under her mother's thumb, unable to leave due to his knowledge about the powers making having a normal life difficult, even more so after he was nearly convicted for her "murder". But unlike most others forced into this life, when he appears in statements he's often helping others or destroying the Leitners his mother was obsessed with and was assisting Gertrude when she was looking into how to stop The Unknowing before allegedly dying of a brain tumor at a relatively young age. He's more of a Jerkass Woobie by the time Jon meets his spirit since Gertrude binding him to a book made existing painful and he's been used as a "monster manual" by Hunters ever since she left him behind—but honestly, his behavior is considerably less jerkish than it could have been, under the circumstances.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Most incoming fans of the series are already aware of the existence of the Dread Powers and the fact that Jon's an avatar of one of said Powers, despite this being a major twist that isn't explicitly alluded to until the end of season 2.
    • Similarly, the fact that Jonah Magnus is the main villain and uses Jon to start the apocalypse at the end of season 4 is well-known even among people who haven't listened to the podcast - probably because it exploded in popularity on sites like Tumblr and Reddit right after the season 4 finale was released.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Several character qualify, but especially members of the Archives staff.
    • Jon Sims is cantankerous and paranoid at times, but he also gets put through the wringer thanks to his position as head archivist, particularly by Season 3 where he's framed for murder, kidnapped and threatened by avatars of the Powers multiple times, and he's put into a coma where he's forced to watch nightmares of statements over and over He gradually becomes more approachable, right as things start getting even worse for him.
    • Melanie and Tim. While they want to leave the Institute, they're unable to, making them more than a little bitter.
    • A lot of the avatars are this, since most of them became avatars via horribly traumatic experiences, and often because they felt like they had no other choice. Even some of the ones that embraced their status are still worthy of a little pity. Julia Montauk was once an innocent child who lost her parents to the Dark and grew up being known as the daughter of a Serial Killer. Trevor Herbert has been homeless most of his life, lost his brother to a vampire, and later loses Julia. Michael was betrayed and sacrificed by someone he thought was his friend. Honestly, so many of the avatars are sympathetic despite their actions, it just makes Hate Sinks like Elias and Simon stand out even more.
  • Love to Hate: Elias Bouchard /Jonah Magnus.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Joshua Gillsepie, despite only appearing in a single episode, is treated by the fanbase as a genius, and is one of the most beloved one-shot statement givers due to his admittedly very sensible and clever handling of the coffin.
    • Similarly, the statement-giver from Episode 100 who leaves The Spiral because he's late to dinner.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Good Cows."
    • Going kayaking.note 
    • "Dig"
    • "The Magnus Archives is a podcast..."note 
      • "FUCK, YEAH, DUDE, IT SURE IS!"
      • After the finale, "The Magnus Archives was a podcast," often accompanied by crying.
    • Jared, 19note 
    • "Hello, Jon. Apologies for the deception, but I wanted to make sure you started reading, so I thought it best not to announce myself."note 
    • "Keep thotting it up in Heaven, king. Hope you enjoy your kayaking trip."note 
      • "I miss him so much... Ohhhh my God... press F for respects..."
      • This in turn has led to the joke that the song is Martin reading Tim's eulogy at his funeral... often with the added joke that Tim wrote it himself and put it in his will.
    • "Jurgen Leitner? Stupid motherfucking idiot Jurgen Leitner God damn fool book collecting dust eating rat old bastard shithead idiot Avatar of the Whore, biggest clown in the circus laughed out of town cowboy motherfucking JURGEN LEITNER?"note 
      • Statement of Gerard Keay...note 
      • Additionally, one edit of Gertrude's tape in Ep. 161 has the Leitner Rant play instead.
    • "Ceaseless watcher, turn your gaze upon this wretched thing" has spread to corners of Tumblr who don't know where the phrase originated.
    • "The Magnus Archives is a workplace comedy!"note 
    • Kermit Eliasnote 
      • On that note, Fozzie Bear Peter. This one even got a nod from Alasdair Stuart, who found it hilarious. He also confirmed that Jonathan Sims (the real one) is aware of Kermit Elias, leading to a Mass "Oh, Crap!" from the fandom.
    • "The Fine Print" by The Stupendium has caught on as Elias and the Institute's unofficial theme song, despite it being written as a Filk Song for The Outer Worlds and thus completely unrelated to TMA. To be fair, the lyrics do fit quite well...
      Perhaps you have simply forgot what you signed.
      Oh, honestly! Did you not read the colony policy
      that defines you as company property?
      That wavers your say and autonomy?
      The conglomerate's got you in lock and key!
      We put the "dollar" back into "idolatry."
      If you're upset, you can rent an apology.
      We are a family forged and bureaucracy.
      No "I" in "team," but there's "con" in "economy"...
    • What's the K stand for?note 
      • Martin Knife Blackwoodnote 
    • "BPM," short for Brutal Pipe Murder, has become incredibly common fan lingo. Usually but not always referring to Leitner's death at the end of Season Two.
    • #cursedtmacosplaysnote 
    • Outside of the fandom itself, Nikola's dialogue in "We All Ignore the Pit" has become the framework for a somewhat popular TikTok challenge (lots of spooky clown/ringmaster makeup) and has drawn some people into the podcast at large.
  • Obvious Crossover Method:
    • "Character Y from Fandom X has an encounter with one of the Entities and gives a statement" is a very popular crossover fic format.
    • "[Character or scary thing from other fandom] is an agent of this Entity" also gets a lot of mileage.
    • The final season confirms that alternate universes are a thing, and the finale has the Entities being forced into another universe—and it is possible, assuming they didn't die, that Jon and Martin went with them. Cue loads of speculation about what other fictional world Jon and Martin may have been spat out in, and how that world would cope with the Entities. Night Vale, Hatchetfield, and Gravity Falls have all been touted as possibilities—though, of course, you could also make a case that they ended up in our world.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Peter and Elias have never actually talked to each other "on-screen" until 158, anyway, but given their similarities (both Affably Evil and extremely powerful) and the possibilities for hilarious personality clashes (Elias seems more serious, while Peter is faux-cheerful), plus the fact they apparently have an alliance going on, it's a fairly popular ship.
    • To a lesser extent Gerard and Micheal are a surprisingly popular pair for a guy who's allegedly been dead for years before the series started and an active but inhuman Wild Card. Whether it's due to both being popular characters on their own that are both currently out of the picture with the whole "being dead" thing and the latter replaced by Helen, the irony of putting a contrary monster with someone who knows how the powers it serves works, or their shared past traumas with Gertrude specifically can vary. Sometimes presented as having them know each other from when Micheal was still Gertrude's assistant, considering Gerard's father fondly remembers working with Shelley when his ghost asked Gertrude to take care of Gerard, who she hadn't met yet, that's very unlikely to have been the case.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: John Amherst has no spoken lines, never appears long enough for any prolonged interactions with others, and does not reappear in any of the Corruption's domains after the Change, leaving that Power doomed to be Out of Focus for the show's entire post-Season One run. In Episode 184 ("Like Ants"), featuring one of the Corruption-controlled domains, Jon tells Martin that Amherst basically shriveled up and died after a few years of not being able to feed on anyone's fear, cementing this status for Amherst.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: None of the avatars encountered by Jon in Act I of Season 5 put up a fight. For that matter, neither do the domains themselves. Jon can see his way through the Dark's domain despite it being antithetical to the Eye, and can also see his way around the Vast too, despite there easily being an opportunity to inhibit his powers due to trying to See too much at once. Simon flees the scene before the possible consequences of Jon over-extending his powers can be explored, and Jared's case is particularly noticeable. As he had one of Jon's ribs inside of him, there was easily room to try and conceive of backlash produced by trying to turn the Ceaseless Watcher on him. The writers seem to have caught onto this, like with Amherst, and played with it when it came to Daisy and Helen's domain.
  • Uncanny Valley: Pretty much everyone in the statements who's a servant of the Powers is described as having something off about them— too tall, too short, too broad, too thin, that kind of thing. Naturally, this is taken Up to Eleven with the servants of The Stranger.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The Pig from Episode 103. While it's a monster, its fondness for the statement giver ends up making the statement giver's solution feel cruel to some.
    • Jared got much the same Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy treatment as, say, Jude Perry—but as his third appearances portrayed him as a cheerful jock who ran his own gym to help people get their ideal bodies, this dampened a lot of his fright factor and drew lots of fans to the possibility of a relatively harmless avatar. Trans fans were for this reason particularly sad to see him offed by Jon, and even more shocked to realize a wisecrack from him was supposed to be a homophobic one.
  • The Woobie:
    • Martin is put through the wringer. He was abandoned by his dad and his mother loathed him, despite him making every effort to be a good son and care for her, because he looked like his deadbeat father. Now that she's in an assisted living facility, she refuses to see or even speak to him. He's in love with Jon, who for the first two seasons treats him like crap, and all his friends die or go crazy. Or go crazy and then die. And that's before Peter gets his hooks into him.
    • Poor, poor Michael Shelley. Betrayed by a woman he cared for and trusted wholeheartedly, devoured and changed by the Distortion and twisted beyond the point of no return, but still just enough of himself to be angry about what happened to him. Made worse by the fact that Gertrude's reasons for the betrayal, while necessary from her perspective and somewhat understandable given that she thought the alternative was The End of the World as We Know It, she turned out to be wrong. The ritual never would've worked anyway. Michael was sacrificed for nothing. In spite of what he became, it's difficult not to shed a tear for the sweet and innocent person he was. And when his current form gets too emotional about it, he's unceremoniously wiped out and replaced.
    • A good chunk of the statement givers are this, since a good majority of them are ordinary, decent people who had the bad luck to stumble across an agent of an Eldritch Abomination. Some of them manage to get away and go on to live normal lives, but are still traumatized from their experiences, while many others aren't that lucky.
    • Jack Barnabas in particular will break your heart, for reasons connected to his Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds girlfriend. He had a brief romantic relationship with Agnes Montague and they genuinely liked each other, but then she left with the cult after accidentally melting his face. He just wanted a kiss...
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