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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Walternate - Unholy fusion between Complete Monster and Magnificent Bastard with a touch of Omnicidal Maniac for spice; or simply a man who saw a series of attacks on his entire universe - that have killed thousands, if not millions, starting with the kidnapping of his son, and may possibly culminate with a Class X-4 Apocalypse - and believes this to be the result of a deliberate attack by "our" side, and thus regards himself as fighting a war. John Noble sees it as both.
    • Played with in Season 3: Walter says he no longer sees Walternate as pure evil after facing the choice to seal a soft-spot with amber. Walternate, in turn, says he will never authorise experiments on children, a line Walter crossed a long time ago. In Season 4, with the alternate timeline, Walternate is no longer a bad guy, but remains mistrusted by "our" side.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced:
    • Judging from the enormous amount of smut that appeared on the internet afterwards, "6B" had this effect on the shippers.
    • The end of "Os" certainly had many fans rejoicing.
    • Scarlie. Charlie's still alive! ...Sort of!
    • David Robert Jones is BACK BABY!
    • And so is William Bell!
  • Award Snub: John Noble's lack of even a single Emmy nomination has left many fans howling.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Singing Corpses!
  • Complete Monster: Evil Brandon suggests killing Olivia pretty much for the hell of it.
  • Cop Out: The whole thing with Mr. X feels like the biggest cop out ever. Not to mention, NONE of it was even remotely clarified within the show - Wyman had to get on Twitter to tell us the connection.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Walter. This man cured a virus that wiped out the mammoths with horseradish.
    • William Bell. Planned his little Body Surf months in advance.
    • Peter has his moments. He used the amount of adrenalin in a woman's brain to calculate where she had been killed.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Fauxlivia's theme. "Newton's Last Mission" on the soundtrack.
    • Peter and Olivia's theme. "Love In the Time Of Crossing Over."
    • "The Equation."
    • "Devastation Nation."
  • Die for Our Ship: Alternate!Olivia is not exactly well liked by the Peter/Olivia shippers.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Thomas Jerome Newton is arguably, the most popular villain in the series. And why not?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Charlie, Lincoln (in both universes), Gene the cow , Scarlie, William Bell, Brandon, Sam Weiss, Henry Higgins the cab driver, and Asteroid! Er... I mean Astrix! Oh wait no. Astro! That's it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Most everyone would love to see Lincoln (alternate universe) and Fauxlivia together.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment:
  • Growing the Beard:
    • After the episode "Peter", the series generally lost its monster of the week formula and the alternate universe angle became much more prominent. The show has been far better ever since.
    • There's a lot of first season contenders for which episode Grew the Beard, all of them being episodes that introduced some element of the Myth Arc.
      • "The Arrival", which introduced the Observer.
      • "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones", which gave us the first Big Bad of the series.
      • "Ability", which fleshed out ZFT and the concept of the War with the Other Side, and introduced Olivia's cortexiphan abilities.
      • "There's More Than One of Everything"[1], which revealed that Walter abducted Peter, introduced William Bell and featured the series' first trip to the Alternate Universe.
      • "Momentum Deferred", in which the stakes of the series are very explicitly laid out for the first time.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Watching "Unleashed" (S1-E16) after "A New Day In The Old Town" (S2-E01): the episode is about trying to save Agent Charlie Francis from being killed by the larvae of a hybrid monster inside him. It also shows his family. Then, in A New Day in The Old Town, the writers Dropped A Shapeshifting Assassin On Him.
    • William Bell warning Olivia about how terrible and horrifying the Shapeshifters are becomes a little bit unsettling when we find out Bell invented the damn things.
    • Walter locking up our Olivia in the dark in "Subject 13" is much more disturbing when you think about the light deprivation torture that was inflicted on her by Walternate.
    • "Everything In Its Right Place" was full of these.
      • "You'd do the same if it was your partner."
      • "I've never seen her barf or shed a tear."
      • "That's the difference between you and me. My universe wouldn't survive without me."
    • William Bell flirting with Astrid is suddenly not funny any more.
  • Ho Yay / Les Yay
    • Walter/Bell. Walter even has an affectionate nickname for "Belly." In 3.20, Walter tells Bell that he needs him. Now imagine that whole conversation between a man and a woman who've known each other for a long time...
      • "We could have been so happy together." It's like they forgot to be subtle about it.
    • Lincoln (the one from the original universe) with both Peter and his late partner Robert Danzig.
    • Astrid and William Bell-possessed Olivia.
    • PI Olivia and Esther Figglesworth.
  • HSQ: To the extreme at points.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Walternate, proven in Bloodline.
    • David Robert Jones. Plays both Fringe teams (including Walternate) and wins half the time.
    • Thomas Jerome Newton. "Now I know how weak you are."
    • William Bell, who successfully outplays David Robert Jones.

 Walter: You brilliant bastard, Belly.

 "She tricked my son with her carnal manipulation and he fell right into her vagenda!"

(Watching SpongeBob SquarePants with Gene and Astrid) "It's surprisingly profound... for a narrative about a sponge."

(smiles) "I just got an erection. Oh, fear not. It's nothing to do with your state of undress. I just simply need to urinate."

"Hello, Peter. This is me...your father....Walter Bishop."

"Don't be such a prude Peter, I'm sure Agent Dunham knows what a penis looks like!"

  • Paranoia Fuel: Frequently.
    • There is a chemical that causes your orifices to seal themselves shut. It's most commonly distributed on plain 'ol American paper currency. If some attempts to trach-tube you, your skin could simply grow over the trach. A two-dollar bill to be exact. Though Walter posits that they were just "showing off"; there's nothing to stop them from putting it on any given bill. Say, you got change for a twenty?
    • Right now, people from another universe could be watching you. And you'd never know it.
    • A shape-shifting assassin may have killed and replaced someone you know. Maybe a co-worker, maybe a friend, maybe a loved one. They look the same, act the same, and even have all the same memories. By the time you realize something's wrong, it's probably too late.
  • The Scrappy: Sanford Harris
  • She Really Can Act: Many viewers who were underwhelmed by Anna Torv's performance changed their minds at the end of Season 2, when they saw just how convincingly she could play Olivia and Fauxlivia as two separate characters.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • "Of Human Action" has some jarring twists:
      • The kid turns out to be behind everything.
      • The anti-mind control headphones turn out to not work.
      • Moreover it turns out there are several Tylers.
    • "6:02 am EST" was full of these.
    • The season three finale. Yeah.
  • Squick:
    • It's okay to squirm during scenes like Flight 627, the shades-of-Alien pregnancy scene, or when people's skin start growing over their eyes...and ears...and mouth...and other places. Really.
    • The mutant shapeshifter fetus thing.
    • The tearing sound. Oh god the tearing sound!
    • William Bell wanting Peter and Olivia to be his "Adam and Eve". Does the term "genetic bottleneck" mean anything to you?
  • Tear Jerker: Has it's own page.
  • Too Cool to Live
    • Captain Lincoln Lee.
    • David Robert Jones. Twice.
    • Thomas Jerome Newton.
  • Toy Ship: Young Peter and Young Olivia in "Subject 13".
  • Uncanny Valley: The Observers. They're pale and hairless, speak in a Creepy Monotone and have an odd way of staring at people. They're more in the "off-putting" rather than "scary" part of the Valley.
  • What an Idiot!:
  • The Woobie:
    • As much as Walter deserved to be locked away for his experiments in the past, one can't help but feel for him when he starts crying or suffers a Heroic BSOD as a result of his inability to deal with the skeletons in his closet.
    • Peter:
    • A lot of the minor characters come to mind. Christopher Broyles and Joseph Meagar just to name a few.
    • Rachel Dunham, Olivia's sister. Her husband is a jackass.
    • Olivia. She spends the whole third season premiere alone in the alternate world, desperately trying to get home, only to have her hopes crushed at every turn. She tries to resist Walternate's brainwashing, even when it means rejecting the comfort of her alternate's mother (who has been dead years in Olivia's world), only to tearfully break down and succumb. After escaping a horrific death by the skin of her teeth, she finally gets home... and then realises what Peter and Fauxlivia were doing. Young Olivia was even more Woobie-ish. After Walter frightens her into blowing up a room, she runs away. Not because she doesn't want to be experimented on any more... but because she thinks that she "messed up" and that Walter will send her away. That's right folks. She's so terrified of her stepfather that she'd rather be in an illegal drug trial. Seriously... just look at her.
    • Alt-Astrid, after her father dies.
    • Lincoln.
    • Nina Sharp, considering her daughter can't remember her and she may or may not be in love with an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • If Fauxlivia wasn't upgraded to Jerkass Woobie status at the end of Season 3, she definitely was when Lincoln gets shot..
    • The alternate universe is quite literally a World of Woobie.

Notes

  1. This troper's pick
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