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Whole show

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Emmett in the Season 3 opener. An Asshole Victim for sure, and there are many who would quickly say that he deserved what he got, but others think it was a bit shocking given that, by and large, the Buy More crew was a separate world from the the Spy world and any danger to them was usually done for slapstick. The flippant way Casey covered it up while pressing the Reset Button was a bit callous, even for him.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: On a near weekly basis, when the show trots out the latest guest star they just pulled the geekworld.
    • The show gets renewed for season 3 season 4 a final season 5!
    • The occasional announcements for the latest Greta, in season 4. Particularly Isaiah Mustafa and Summer Glau.
    • Surely a lot of squee and glee came from the fans right in the third season when Chuck and Sarah finally get together after many, many, many, many, many, many moments of UST and Will They or Won't They? before that.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Ellie got over Chuck ruining her wedding pretty quickly. Same for Sarah getting over Bryce's supposed death at the start of the series.
    • Viciously subverted by Shaw seemingly getting over the reveal that Sarah killed his wife. Not so much.
    • In Ellie's case, this is a Justified Trope, as Chuck fixed her wedding rather quickly, and gave her the wedding she actually wanted, as opposed to the original, which was what her mother-in-law-to-be had arranged.
  • Ass Pull: Chuck's quite quick on his feet in dicey situations.
  • Base Breaker: Jill even more so than Daniel Shaw.
  • Complete Monster: Justin Sullivan's poisoning of Awesome, and cold manipulation of Ellie.
    • Sarah's ex CIA handler, Ryker. Quite possibly the most evil villain the show has had; even worse than Shaw.
    • Nicholas Quinn, the final Big Bad. How do the writers get around his first appearance coming in the final episode before the two hour Grand Finale? By having him force the newly-Intersected Sarah to flash repeatedly until she forgets EVERYTHING from the last five years.
      • Let's not forget Quinn having the now-amnesiac Sarah convinced that Chuck is an enemy agent to be killed because of a supposed accident that Quinn claims Chuck caused to her.
  • Crazy Awesome: Casey, Morgan and Steve Bartowski.
  • Die for Our Ship: Bryce Larkin.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Carina was so popular after her first appearance that she later made return appearances in the third season episode "Chuck Versus the Three Words" and the fourth season episodes "Chuck Versus the CAT Squad" and "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger".
  • Epileptic Trees: Everyone knows that Stephen Bartowski is Orion. Bryce also mentions that he befriended Chuck in college because he owed Orion a favor. Since Bryce is responsible for Chuck receiving the Intersect, is Orion the one really behind that part of the plot? Yeah, he denies it... but it seems HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS.
  • Executive Meddling: The third and fourth seasons have suffered somewhat from pacing issues, most of which can be attributed to the network holding off on ordering anything beyond the initial thirteen episodes until well after they are plotted out (which is why the thirteenth episodes of both seasons are wham episodes; they were also designed to be Grand Finales meant to end the show). The third season, while picked up, was given an additional six episodes as opposed to the standard nine, and as such required some condensation of the arc storyline into a shorter season. The fourth season has had the opposite treatment, where it has been given an additional eleven episodes as opposed to the standard nine. Oh, no.
  • Evil Is Cool: A lot of Shaw's Hatedom liked him a lot more after his Face Heel Turn. Probably why he came Back From the Dead...
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Yvonne Strahotski.
    • Fans also christened Morgan "The Beard", which stuck.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Some fans definitely like the idea of Carina x Morgan. It also helps that she too has definitely warmed up to him, but alas, Morgan chose Alex over Carina and Anna.
  • Growing the Beard: The second season is a nice step above the entertaining but uneven first season.
    • This could partly be down to it getting cut short by the writer's strike. The third season is a step-up from the second season as well, in part because some of the story arc planned for Season 1 had to be stretched out across Season 2 as well.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Chuck's throwaway line to Ellie in the pilot that he'll get to work on a five year plan the next day. Keep in mind, the next day he meets Sarah & the show ended after it's fifth season.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Who is Orion? Stephen Bartowski.
    • In season three, even Morgan knew Shaw lived. Come on, he was shot and fell in a river.
  • Iron Woobie: Sarah
  • Magnificent Bitch: Carina.
  • Memetic Badass: As per the NBC site, God created Eve out of Adam's rib, because that's all that was left after Casey was done with him.
  • Memetic Sex God: Cole Barker.
  • Narm: Sometimes the dialogue can fall into this.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Atroxium is this literally, created by Dr. Wheelwright (played by Robert Englund, who is apparently channeling Scarecrow.
    • Casey brainwashing Lester into obeying Morgan. The red dot and Casey's soft yet Compelling Voice repeating "Morgan is your boss" is just disturbing.
    • The series' final story arc involving Sarah losing her memories of the past five years and manipulated by the Big Bad to kill Chuck is just disturbing as hell.
  • Scrappy Rehabilitation Facility: Television Without Pity recently lampshaded the fact that Chuck frequently takes actors who were mishandled on other series and makes them, in a word, awesome.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Daniel Shaw. Some fans see him as a knockoff of Bryce Larkin written in to cover Matt Bomer leaving to do White Collar, and not much else. Ignore his almost completely different relationships with all of the characters. And his Face Heel Turn.
    • In a somewhat hilarious coincidence, Shaw is played by Brandon Routh who came on board Superman Returns when Bryan Singer took over for Brett Ratner. Ratner's choice to play Clark Kent/Superman? Matthew Bomer (Bryce Larkin).
    • Another funny coincidence: In his first appearance, Routh says "I hate guns, but it pays to know how to use one." In the episode of White Collar airing the same week, Bomer's character says almost exactly the same line.
  • The Scrappy: It is very, very hard not to hate Milbarge.
  • Seasonal Rot: Fandom was split over whether season 3 was worse than season 2, but most agree that the fourth season isn't as fresh as the preceding two.
  • Sending Stuff to Save the Show: Success! Fans have sent Nerds candy to the network. In a variant, fans also rewarded product placement sponsor Subway by buying footlong sandwiches.
  • She Really Can Act: Nicole Ritchie's performance got this surprised reaction from many viewers.
  • Too Good to Last: Narrowly averted through the first five seasons. Season 3 only got a green light after a grassroots campaign and a Product Placement deal with Subway. The end of that season was actually the first time the creators have finished one and known for sure that the show was getting renewed. The fifth and final season was approved on the narrowest of ratings margins.
  • Wangst: While not as guilty as other shows, the writers do tend to hit the "Chuck and Sarah can never be" chord a LOT. Until, of course, they are.

Episode-specific

  Jeff: 4/4 time in D, and watch me for the changes.

      • In "Chuck Versus the Beard", we get Fortunate Son. Some spoilers!
      • In "Chuck Versus the Honeymooners", we get Leaving on a Jet Plane.
      • Jeffster! + Bon Jovi + Two whole weekends working on a music video = Blaze of Glory.
      • In an attempt to woo a girl in "Chuck Versus the Balcony", they perform Whitesnake's Is This Love? (Again, spoilers.)
      • "Chuck Versus the Push Mix". Maternity Ward. Salt 'n' Pepa's Push It. (And again, spoilers.)
      • And their final performance, A-Ha's Take On Me. Complete with Morgan conducting the accompanying orchestra (One final time, spoilers.)
    • Jeffster! is also building a reputation for performances at Comic-Con:
    • On the original music side, we have The Dark Side.
    • The team race to track down the poisoner who has the antidote to the truth serum which is slowly killing them to the tune of Britney Spears's "Toxic" in "Chuck Versus The Truth".
    • The Touch for the montage in "Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer".
    • Using "The Final Countdown" for the footlong eating contest in "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension".
    • "Black and Blue" by the Maids of Honor during the smackdown in "Chuck Versus the Tic Tac".
    • Nina Simone's cover of "Feeling Good" to close out "Chuck Versus the Honeymooners".
    • "Woman" by Wolfmother for the muay thai smackdown and Sarah's commando assault in "Chuck Versus Phase Three".
    • "Young Blood" for the final montage of "Chuck Versus the Push Mix".
    • "The Imperial March" in "Chuck Versus the Last Details."
  • Fan Disservice: THREE WORDS: Open shirt Jeff.
  • Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Sarah Walker. In a nurse uniform. Wielding an SMG. And hornrimmed glasses. Also when she wears a red teddy and black stockings. With wings!
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment/Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Chuck Versus Agent X," an early scene shows Casey eagerly anticipating a visit to a Vegas gun range. He even brought his "fancy" targets: Osama bin Laden pictures. By pure coincidence, the episode aired the day after Osama bin Laden was announced dead. Because of the nature of YMMV, it can be either one of these for the viewer.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: The "cliffhanger" of "Chuck vs. The Last Details"
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sarah's dad. Conning his partners, which saved his life and included his daughter, out of 10 million dollars they helped him steal? Sure, that's pretty bastardly, but managing to pickpocket the Cuban Cigar he gave Casey as a token of celebration to the success of the con, and then immediately be seen smoking the cigar while he still smokes his own?' Now that's Magnificent.
  • Tear Jerker: Orion's death in the Season 3 finale.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The murderer who also bombed Castle in Chuck vs. the Muuurder is...yep, the generically terrorist-looking brown guy! Even after they lampshaded it mercilessly and seemed to be going in another direction entirely! Thought you had more class than that, show.
    • Played with in the same example. Damian, the villain, is often mistaken for an Islamic Terrorist due to his appearance - but is actually a Greek merc-for-hire.
  • The Untwist: Agent X is Alexei Volkoff.

The comics

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