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  • Accidental Aesop: Science Is Bad as purported by the series finale.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Cally may have been such an unpleasant shrew by season 4.0 that you might find yourself wishing for her to be eliminated, but the way it happened...
    • Kat may be an even straighter example.
  • Anvilicious:
    • While morally ambiguous enough to avoid being preachy, The War on Terror subtext is far from subtle.
    • The unbelievably corny, thankfully deleted final moments of the series finale: Be nice to your robots, or the Cylon War will repeat again. Real subtle.
    • Let's not even go to the religious angle.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Caprica-Six's spine glowing while having sex with Baltar in the miniseries, and Boomer's doing the same the first time she sleeps with Helo on Caprica. This is never shown, much less referred to again, and it seems to go way beyond Early Installment Weirdness.
    • BLAM Episode: "The Woman King," intended to lead into a storyline that ended up getting tossed out, and it also had a few scenes that would have led up to it in previous episodes deleted, so you're left with this bizarre standalone story with everyone acting out of character, which never has any more impact on the plot.
  • Broken Base:
    • As if the controversial ending and the reception for Caprica wasn't enough, there's the new announcement that, in addition to Caprica, Sy Fy is planning to launch a new show focused on Adama's young days as a Viper pilot. Cue half the fanbase saying "finally, no more frakking teenage angst!" and the other half saying "so they're substituting the ideas and complex storylines of Caprica for a show with explosions?" It doesn't help that Sy Fy is specifically pushing the action element as an alternative to Caprica.
    • The odd mixing of tone. The original series embraced what it meant to be a Space Opera while this one opts for a more realistic tone in spite of having Faster-Than-Light Travel. Interplanetary travel? They've got that down but everything else is pretty much 2003, right to the clothes, weapons, cars, and radar.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: It would be nice if the Cylons shared their plan with the writers. Or admitted if their plan has been totally derailed by now. Or how the lost Cylons became lost. Or what the significance of the Final Five were in the grand scheme of things. Or everything else.
    • Somewhat turned on its head halfway through season four when it's suggested the 'plan' is the final five's plan, not the significant seven's. The plan was finally revealed a few episodes before the series ends. It turned out that there were two vague sets of goals; the Final Five were trying to break the Cycle of Revenge between humans and Cylons, and John was out to convince the Final Five that humans weren't worth saving. And then in the Made for TV Movie The Plan, it turns out that at least one of the Number Ones/Cavils changed his mind as to what the plan should be.
  • Complete Monster:
    • While John Cavil is introduced as an amusing Deadpan Snarker, as the series goes on you come to learn what a twisted psychotic piece of work he truly is and you'll hate him for it which makes his death all the more satisfying. Solidified in The Plan, as mentioned under Moral Event Horizon. A child has been coming to, and generally getting shooed out of Cavil's chapel throughout the film. Cavil almost seems to be warming up to the kid... until he runs a knife through him. Cavil must really hate his name John, which the kid has the misfortune of sharing.
    • There's also Cain, who crossed the horizon a lot during the series. She cannibalizes a fleet of refugee ships for parts before leaving them at the mercy of the Cylons, also taking any able bodied man aboard and killing their families so they don't have an excuse to stay, witholds supplies from the Fleet, and leads the Fleet into fighting with the Cylons despite Pegasus and Galactica being the only combat-worthy ships.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: In season one's "You Can't Go Home Again", Starbuck is shot down on a moon, and Bill Adama pushes and pushes the deadline to abandon her, putting the fleet in danger. Lee, full of Angst and unresolved father issues, skeptically asks his father if he would've waited so long if Lee was down there.

 Cmdr. Adama: [calmly and with certainty] If you were down there, we would never leave.

Lee reacts basically as if he'd been slapped in the face. With his father's love.

  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • The Bear McCreary cover of All Along The Watchtower, among others.
    • Pretty much every single piece of music Bear McCreary composed for the show qualifies.
    • Let's count up some of the favorites though:
    • Miniseries - To Kiss or Not to Kiss & Reunited (both by Richard Gibbs)
    • Season 1 - A Good Lighter, Wander My Friends, The Shape of Things to Come, Destiny, Passacaglia
    • Season 2 - Allegro, Reuniting the Fleet, Roslin And Adama, Pegasus, Prelude to War, One Year Later, Worthy of Survival, Something Dark Is Coming
    • Season 3 - Battlestar Sonatica, Storming New Caprica, Someone to Trust, Heeding the Call, All Along the Watchtower
    • Season 4 - Gaeta's Lament, Resurrection Hub, The Signal, Diaspora Oratorio, The Line, Assault on the Colony, Kara's Coordinates, Earth, The Heart of the Sun, So Much Life, An Easterly View
    • Specials - Apocalypse
    • Shall I go on?
    • Bear McCreary himself considers Diaspora Oratorio his personal Crowning Music of Awesome, even though it nearly drove him to a Creator Breakdown.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Baltar is an insufferable, irritating, self-proclaimed "genius", and is arguably one of the major villains for a couple of seasons, but still the ladies swoon over his macho stubble. In show as well given his successes. Though this is helped by him being amusing, oddly sympathetic despite his narcissism, hugely charismatic and genuinely a genius, if out of his depth in the circumstances he finds himself in. And mad.
    • In the series finale, Baltar makes the leap from being Draco in Leather Pants to being a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass by being Horatius at the Bridge in his defense against the Cylon borders. Thus, he finally did something that, as Apollo demanded, didn't even indirectly benefit Gaius Baltar. Aside from proving Apollo wrong, which has got to be satisfying on some level.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Boomer seems to be a magnet for bridges.
    • Bridge magnet?
  • Epileptic Trees: It was widely speculated that Daniel was Starbuck's father and that he taught her "All Along The Watchtower". But this was never the plan, and the episodes were finished long before they were seen. Other speculations about Daniel include that he was Baltar, father of Baltar AND Starbuck, Zak, Gaeta, or responsible for the Head Characters.
    • To say nothing of the theories surrounding the identity of the Fifth Cylon. Earth, the Galactica, all of humanity (as in Neon Genesis Evangelion), the audience...
    • In fact, the series has brought out the crazy theories since Season One. For example, that Boomer was not a Cylon and everything happening on Cylon-Occupied Caprica was a Dream Sequence.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The fleet giving up their technology and living a primitive lifestyle on Earth. Even discounting how unlikely it is that the whole fleet would casually go along with this, this means giving up medical technology on a planet full of genetically compatible diseases. If Hera truly is Mitochondrial Eve, then she died quite young.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The female Cylons.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of the original don't look too kindly on this show, viewing it as In Name Only given its Darker and Edgier tone and its heavy handed religious and political overtones.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Some fans pretend "Black Market", "Hero", and especially "The Woman King" never happened.
    • Everything post the "Exodus" two-parter in Season 3 as the religious themes went into Anvilicious territory and the Esoteric Happy Ending. If one goes to read any crossover of the show, one will notice that it always seems to start just after the fleet left New Caprica.
  • Follow the Leader: The series has been very influential in popularizing (mostly) realistic Jittercam TV series, so much show that any show with said camera technique is likely to be compared to Galactica, regardless of subject matter.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The "Final Five" moniker is actually still relevant in light of the revelation that they were actually the first five Cylons, as they are still the final five survivors from the first Earth, and thus the final five members of their original race.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Given that Ronald D. Moore worked on both franchises, Star Trek fans do like this show. Even if everyone agrees that the Federation would dish out a massive Curb Stomp Battle to the fleet.
  • Genius Bonus: The Cylon-Human negotiation station that opens the miniseries is very similar to the Korean Joint Security Area.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: President Roslin's adorably naive aide Billy had a bridge dropped on him because the actor who played him decided to leave the show to pursue a role on a more mainstream show. A year and a half later, said show never even made it past the pilot stage, and the character who replaced Billy becomes a Cylon central to the show's mythology... Go figure. She's also the only female Cylon of the "Watchtower Four", which means that she's the one who ends up bedding Baltar...what would have happened if Billy had still been around?
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • It Was His Sled: D'Anna Biers is Cylon #3.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • While usually sympathetic and a protagonist, Kara Thrace can be a bitch. Her ability to be a Karma Houdini rivals Baltar's at times.
    • Colonel Tigh also qualifies - he's an already stern leader who tends to become increasingly extreme under the influence of his slightly more, well, ambitious wife. Between his drinking problems and all the things that happen to him in the last two seasons, it's hard not to feel sorry for him from time to time. Heavy emphasis on the Jerkass-part during the New Caprica-arc.
    • Sometimes Baltar, though this effect wears off as the series goes on.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Quite a few but Gaius Baltar takes home the gold. Cavil gets the silver, D'Anna Biers gets the bronze.
    • Arguably Ron Moore for creating a kick-ass story arc that plays on human emotions like a piano (though due to self-admitted asspulls in tying up the series, your opinion may change by the last episode).
    • Leoben frakkin' Conoy.
    • Don't forget Ellen Tigh, or rather, Lady Mac Tigh!
  • The Masochism Tango: Kara and anyone else, literally masochistic in Leoben's case.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Tom Zarek crosses the horizon when he orders the Quorum killed.
    • "John" pretty much lives on the far side of said horizon. John recently got one more hit with The Plan, where he kills a young boy he'd been "befriending" up until then, all because he found friends to be too dangerous. The careless way he tosses the body aside just adds to the squicky bad-ness.
    • While she should have crossed it when she tried to kill Hera, Boomer finally joins Zarek on the other side when, after emotionally manipulating Tyrol into freeing her, she brutalizes Athena, has sex with an unknowing Helo, then kidnaps their daughter and uses her as a hostage as she knowingly risks destroying Galactica in her escape attempt.
    • Admiral Cain is clearly straddling the moral event horizon from the moment she first appears onscreen, but she crosses it fully when she orders Athena, who is pregnant at the time, to be raped in order to get information about the resurrection ships out of her.

      Chronologically speaking, she crosses it in flashback in Razor when she executes her XO for insubordination when's merely trying to talk her out diving into a suicide mission. What's more, by this point we already know that she's ordered Gina raped as well--what's uncovered over the course of Razor is that Gina was the love of her life and she ordered her raped out of pure seething spite.
  • Motive Decay: Fans of Boomer complain that she has been derailed from being defiantly human to being upset by, but not stopping, the horrors of New Caprica to attempted niece-infanticide to siding with Cavil against the better elements of Cylon society without enough time devoted to what's going on in her head. For further annoyance: scenes about Boomer's motivations do exist, they were just deleted from the aired episodes.
  • MST3K Mantra: In the commentary to Razor, the showrunners admit that they have no idea how Kara and Lee could know that Kendra Shaw might think she deserved to die, since she never confides in anyone about her part in the massacre of the civilians' families. (In an earlier draft, she told Starbuck.) "It's television! Don't worry about it!
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Dualla's sudden, shocking and violent suicide after pretending to be happy will leave a mark on even the most well-adjusted.
    • In season 4.0, even though she was The Scrappy, Cally's death by airlock (in front of her son no less) is absolutely chilling. Even worse, before Tory showed up, there was every indication that Cally planned to throw herself out the airlock, along with the aforementioned infant son. Let's repeat: a baby, being subjected to all the horrible things empty space does to you before killing you. Thankfully, the writers didn't take it that far; just dangling the possibility was horrifying enough.
    • Being informed you and everyone like you will be boxed indefinitely.
    • Finding out you're a Cylon sleeper agent.
    • If you're even accused, possibly even tried for treason, good fracking luck.
    • A humorous in-universe example occurs when Baltar sees Head Baltar and is clearly only restrained from wigging out by remembering he's in public.
  • Recycled Script: Two Season 3 episodes which are definitely NOT fan favorites are often criticized for their perceived similarities to episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • "Hero" and "The Defector" (the writing of the latter, ironically, credited to Ron Moore) both revolve around someone in a small ship being chased by the enemy and seeking refuge under questionable circumstances. In both cases, subsequent review of the data shows that the enemy was shooting to miss, and as a result the crew realize that the enemy was allowing the fugitive to escape to further their own sinister motives.
    • "A Measure of Salvation" and "I, Borg" both involve the crew capturing a member (or members) of the enemy, and then plotting to return him/them to their own kind with a genocidal virus.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some like to pretend that Seasons 3 and 4 never existed.
  • Special Effects Failure: Though the budget was high and the visual effects generally very good, the Centurions never, ever look convincing.
  • Squick:
    • Ellen has (hate)sex with a Cavil in "Precipice". Gross enough. The squick really sets in in "No Exit", when we learn that Ellen created Cavil in her father's image, and considered him as a son, making this all kinds of incestuous. Unlike Ellen, Cavil knew all along, perhaps proving that he's a Complete Monster.
    • Heck, Boomer/Cavil. Cavil/anyone is kinda Squicky, be it middle-aged cougars or hot young chicks.
    • The audience heard about the Cylons moving seemingly human corpses on the Twelve Colonies into massive incinerators after the attack. When we see it in The Plan, the physical image will be guaranteed to give you Nightmare Fuel, at the absolute least. The worst part? "Corpses" do not cry out for help en mass once it appears that the Cylons around them are dead.
    • While filming The Plan actor-turned-director Edward James Olmos decided to test the limits of the term "unrated DVD" by engineering an all nude scene in Galactica's unisex head and covertly trying to get a shot of an actor's penis. And it worked.
  • Surprisingly Improved Reboot: Took the solid concept of the original series and ran with it, removing the cheesy elements and a strong emphasis on character development. It was a major critical and commercial success.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: What several fans of the original think of this version, especially when a certain gender fact about Starbuck and Boomer first came to light. Being a show full of ongoing mysteries and major plot upheavals (some of them overt and flashy, some of them small but significant twists, some of them constituting games of Chicken with hype and fan expectation), the new version leaves itself frequently vulnerable to this criticism.
  • The Woobie: Many characters but especially Lee Adama and Kara Thrace who never get to be together although she's reincarnated as a pigeon so they get to be together in a way.
    • Tory Foster. Devotedly loyal to Laura Roslin who treated her like scum, then to Gaius Baltar who scarcely acknowledged her existence and finally Galen Tyrol thanked her for saving his daughter and killing his wife whom he never particularly liked, by impolitely snapping her neck and killing her.
    • & Felix is a woobie for the entire series. He's very rudely disillusioned by his then-hero, Baltar, by the latter's actions on New Caprica. He's the fleet navigator yet never even gets an official military promotion, unless you count the time when Zarek promotes him during the mutiny, which may or may not have been official or legal. It's clear from his interview in D'Anna's documentary film that he dislikes his job and finds it very difficult to de-stress, and is something of an odd man out among his colleagues. In season 3, after the fleet returns to Galatica, he is beaten and then almost executed by The Circle for being a collaborator, and is hated throughout the fleet until Chief clears his name. Outside of the webisodes he never had any romantic relationships or love interests. And in the webisodes, his lover on New Caprica betrays him, making him think that she's getting prisoners released when in reality she's killing most of them. The loss of his leg could have been prevented; plus, no one faces any consequences for what happened to Felix. After he loses his leg, he doesn't even get many visitors while in sick bay. Later on, Dualla, who had been his friend, commits suicide right after talking to him.
      • A few points? In the final minutes of the episode, they brought Felix right back to when he was singing in sickbay. For all the blood on his hands, his execution is still Adama breaking the cutie.
  • Woobie Destroyer of the Fleet: The above discussion of Gaeta's mutiny indicates that he probably qualifies. Though 'Destroyer of the Fleet' is more a metaphorical term in this instance...
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