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YMMV / The Stand

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  • Awesome Music: From the miniseries:
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the book, while Larry and Rita leave New York City, they come across a man in only his shorts laying on top of an abandoned car. When they think he's dead, he sits up and waves at them, they wave back at him, and he goes back to sunbathing. Not only does this feel out of place in the story, but it's also never brought up again.
  • Complete Monster: Randall Flagg. See here.
  • Cry for the Devil: The things General Starkey does during the superflu outbreak are terrible but he is presented as a broadly sympathetic figure trying to cope with an absolutely impossible situation. In the novel his son-in-law, realizing that they're all doomed, commits suicide during the opening stages of the superflu epidemic, adding further to Starkey's anguish.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The first-edition cover (seen on the main page) depicts an angelic figure battling a demonic birdlike figure who could easily be a Taheen from the The Dark Tower series. Though considering the Dark Tower mythos' strong ties to The Stand, it might not be a coincidence...
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    • In the novel, Larry's mother tells him his singing makes him sound black, and several others who hear the song think this to the point that it's a running gag in his first chapter. Larry is being played by Jovan Adepo, who is black, in the second miniseries.
    • Stu and Tom rig up a projector and watch a film called "Rambo IV: The Firefight", which from its brief description sounds a lot like the actual fifth film in the series, Rambo: Last Blood.
  • Hollywood Homely: The miniseries casts Corin Nemec as Harold. As a result, the whole arc about how Harold started out universally hated for being fat and ugly with a personality to match, and later begins losing weight and taking better care of himself as he becomes more accepted and valued by his peers, suffers a bit when he's actually a quite handsome guy who just has a slightly nerdy hairdo and outfit before a subtle attack of The Glasses Gotta Go.
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  • Ho Yay: The scene where Larry is leaving Stu in the desert with his broken leg in the miniseries. They come off as intimate lovers, with Stu comforting a crying Larry and holding him to his chest.
  • Iron Woobie: Lloyd Henreid. He's a criminal, but he's not a psychopath and Flagg has given him the first taste of real respect anyone has ever given him. Even more woobie-ish at the end, where Lloyd knows that Flagg's empire is crumbling and won't be around much longer, but refuses to abandon the man who saved his life (though he allows some of his friends to make a run for it).
  • Memetic Mutation: Many fans took to calling the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic "Captain Trumps" after the book's Captain Tripps. King, never a fan of Trump, gave his full approval. (Though he did also firmly remind people that for all the misery it's caused, COVID-19 is still not nearly as bad as Captain Tripps.)
  • Narm:
    • When Randall Flagg rapes Nadine, many readers found the description of his cold, cold semen to be more funny than horrifying.
    • The intro scene that shows all the dead staff at Project Blue is extremely eerie and effective, except for one guard who died while playing ping pong, but his dead body is positioned in a way that comically defies gravity. Some of the dead scientists also look like they're just taking a nap from the way they're sitting in their chairs.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Kid, with King going so far as to say he felt the character's loss was the only cut in the original edition that made the book noticeably weaker.
    • The various media personalities who defy the government's attempts at censoring news about what's going on.
      • Bob Palmer leads an armed expulsion of the soldiers, locking down his television station, then goes on the air while his cohorts guard the door and reveals everything that's really been going on (and about how he only made his previous broadcasts at gunpoint).
      • Ray Flowers locks himself in his radio booth when he's the only employee to show up for work, then urges anyone with a story about Captain Trips to dial his number, broadcasts their stories over the air and won't budge when soldiers start breaking down his door.
      • Small-town newspaperman James Horgliss, with information about the origin of Captain Trips, drives around town leaving newspapers outside of houses he isn't sure anyone is left alive in as he succumbs to the final stages of the virus himself.
    • George McDougal, a survivor who lost all eleven of his children to the flu and can't bring himself to do anything but numbly jog around town in depression. The jogging-induced heart attack that kills him comes to him as sweet relief.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The best way to read this book is when you are sick in bed. Or during a flu season. You will wince when you hear somebody cough in your presence.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: Whenever there's a major wave of sickness going around (such as SARS or the Coronavirus), the beginning part of The Stand with a disease killing 99% of the population starts seeming much scarier (and more plausible) than Randall Flagg's supernatural menace.
  • Squick:
    • We learn a lot of information about Harold's lack of a sex life throughout the book.
    • In the book, King graphically describes Harold and Nadine's sexual relationship. This includes a short paragraph of him sodomizing her.
    • In the full-length version of the book, the Trashcan Man is sodomized with a pistol barrel.
    • Trash's skin is melting off from radiation poisoning when he arrives back in Vegas with a leaking nuke. It even sticks to his goggles.
  • Too Cool to Live: Nick Andros manages to outsmart and kill a deranged criminal despite suffering from a gouged eye and a bullet wound. He then meets and starts taking care of Tom Cullen, who he comes to see as a brother. Finally, he becomes a key member of the Boulder Free Zone Committee, and his plan to send Cullen to spy on Flagg marks the start of the villain's mental breakdown. Easily one of the most intelligent and badass characters in the novel, but a Heroic Sacrifice long before the climax means only his spirit is allowed to play a role in the final chapters.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Bill Fagerbakke's portrayal of Tom Cullen is widely agreed to fit the character so perfectly that any upcoming adaptation will have a hard time topping it.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The book features some "dated" racial politics. The army of monstrous and almost nude black men who sadistically execute an army platoon one by one on live TV is especially uncomfortable.
    • One of the vignettes about the survivors of Captain Trips features a 17-year-old girl who was pressured by her parents into getting married at the age of 15 to the college-aged man who had impregnated her. Needless to say, in modern times this is considered statutory rape and child marriage—disgusting, but by no means uncommon even in this day and age.
  • Values Resonance: The portrayal of Tom Cullen is far ahead of its time as a positive portrayal of a mentally disabled person, including Nick having distaste for him being called a "retard" long before that word was more publicly recognized as an offensive slur.


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