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Hello, troper.

I wrote this note as an... insurance policy, of sorts. If you are reading this, it is because, while adding tropes to the main page of my films, you added... a Subjective Trope.

You knew full well the consequences of doing so, yet you put the trope on the main page anyways, foolhardy in your beliefs as to how widespread your opinion was.

Well now you have one last shot at redemption. Below is a partial listing, started by those who came before and made the same grave mistake as you, of subjective tropes found in my films. If you wish to escape your predicament, you must complete this list, before that anvil drops. It is closer now, troper, but luckily for you, there are fewer subjective tropes than tropes that belong on the main page.

And remember, troper, Your Mileage May Vary on any of these tropes; if you do not take into account the opinions of those who disagree with you while adding examples, you will not succeed.

Your opinions brought you here, and now you must put them on display for all to see if you wish to escape with your life.

Live or die, troper.

Make your tropes.


  • Acceptable Targets: Many of Jigsaw's victims are deplorable characters, such as thieves, druggies, racists, gangsters, killers, rapists, and lawyers. In some cases, though, the victims have only made minor mistakes in their lives, and others are completely innocent.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Jigsaw a true monster, or a legitimately sick and tragically misguided social engineer?
    • Given his capabilities, more like an anthropomorphic personification of a force of nature. A few myths come to mind as well for more specific possibilities.
      • There's another dimension to him as of the sixth movie. The main character was employed by the company that denied his insurance claims. In four and five, his lawyer and the man who (accidentally, but was still a horrible person) killed his unborn kid, the second movie was about the cops that were after him, and the first film featured his doctor who didn't even bother to remember his name. On top of that, many of the other victims are people he was jealous of. Not saying he didn't kill some truly rotten people, but the more the series goes on, the more it seems like the entire series is his petty revenge list.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Cary Elwes returning as Dr. Gordon in Saw 3D.
  • Anvilicious: The sixth film. Released right in the middle of a bad recession and a heated debate on health care, the writers give us an opening trap featuring two bankers who gave loans to people they knew couldn't pay, and the main game's victim, William, is an executive at a health insurance company who gets to make some fantastically gory life-or-death decisions for his co-workers before getting killed by the widow and son of a man he denied coverage. One scene is an outright Author Filibuster in which Jigsaw, in a flashback in William's office, states that it's hypocritical to attack the government for trying to make life-and-death decisions away from doctors and their patients when the health insurance industry does this regularly by denying coverage.
  • Ass Pull: Hoffman being Jigsaw's second/first (depends on how you look at it) apprentice in Saw IV.
    • Dr. Gordon being the third apprentice was an Ass Pull the size of a small moon.
  • Badass Decay: Jill Tuck in Saw 3D. In Saw VI, she Took a Level In Badass and placed an upgraded Reverse Bear Trap on Hoffman, and then leaves him to die without any sign of remorse. After her plan fails, her badassness immediately goes away and she willingly puts herself under Witness Protection and spends most of the movie sitting at a safe house or in a jail cell. But the worst part was at the end where she literally starts screaming and wailing for help at the top of her lungs when Hoffman finds her in her cell.
  • Broken Base: After Saw III hit the screens, THE ENTIRE FUCKING FANBASE argued about it. Online and off. History repeated itself with the final movie, Saw 3D.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Many film critics have expressed their disdain for the Saw series, but at least they watched a couple of installments. Not Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum, who wrote not one but two articles about how much she loathes the Saw series, despite admitting that she never watched any of them. Normally, this would be grounds for serious attacks against a movie critic. After all, when even the beloved Roger Ebert wrote a review on Tru Loved, a movie he admitted walking out on eight minutes into the film, he got criticized for it until he watched the entire film and re-submitted the review. With Saw, given the series' bloody reputation, Schwartzbaum's opinion was mostly praised, since the dissenters only see the series as artistically bankrupt as a romance novel or actual porn; therefore, it doesn't deserve to even be recognized as a "film" (nevermind that this opinion could accurately describe many mindless action/rom-com/horror films).
  • Continuity Porn: Much of the later films had flashbacks that explained details from previous films, such as how Jigsaw and his apprentices set up their "games". A large chunk of Saw V had this as it tried to retroactively fit Hoffman into the previous installments.
    • In particular, the "reverse bear trap", first appears on Amanda's head in the first film, then in the background in III and IV, plans can be seen for it in V, then on Hoffman at the end of VI and finally on Jill in VII where it finally goes off as John intended, and it looks awesome. Of course, John never intended for it to go off at all.
    • Saw 3D starts with a flashback to Gordon escaping the bathroom in the film and gets progressively more referential from there on out. The SURVIVE Group, the aforementioned reverse bear trap, and the final bathroom scene just cinch it.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Saw II: Xavier Chavez is a cold-blooded, sociopathic thug who was dealing drugs before he's put into a test by Jigsaw among other survivors. His carelessness initially causes the death of one of the victims who ended up blasted away with a mounted shotgun. He, however, truly demonstrates his cruelty by callously throwing Amanda in a pit of needles that was meant to be his (test). Later, he brutally murders a survivor with a spiked baseball over a minor inconvenience and attempts to kill both Amanda and another man before he's killed. An uncaring egotist who caused many deaths that could have been avoided if it wasn't for him, Chavez would have sacrificed anyone around him to save his own skin.
    • Saw IV: Brenda is the first victim of Rigg's test. She's far from being innocent though, as she's a cold-blooded pimp who routinely trafficked and prostituted children, as well as murdered people who threatened her network, before her capture. When Rigg saved her, she still attempts to kill him to remain scot-free. A truly disgusting woman with no sense of morality whatsoever, Brenda stands out in her willingness to hurt children and adults alike, and utterly deserved her gruesome demise.
    • Saw II: Flesh and Blood (videogame): Zeke is a vicious child molester who regularly preyed on young girls. Abducted and tested as such, Zeke manages to survive but loses both hands in the process. Although he could've walked free since Jigsaw and one of his minions chose to heal him after he passed out from the shock, Zeke instead chose to chase Michael, the man who saved him earlier, for the amputations, and promised him to slice him alive with the blades he attached at his arms' extremities. Repulsive and violent, Zeke stands out as one of the most hateful character of the whole franchise.
  • Contested Sequel: Saw 3D gained a lot of hatred from the fanbase for the widespread 3D gimmicks and sacrificing of the plot for more Gorn. Some see 3D as falling straight into the Torture Porn nadir that the series used to mostly avert. The well-documented Executive Meddling didn't help things either.
  • Crack Pairing: A lot, most notably Hoffman/Amanda. They hate each other's guts but that doesn't keep the fans from shipping them.
  • Creepy Awesome: Jigsaw and his two disciples, Amanda and Mark.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The Series' main Theme, commonly known as "Hello Zepp".
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: The later sequels have a real problem with this. The plotline involving the actual protagonist is generally seen as far less interesting than the side plots.
    • In III, many fans care a lot more about Lynn, Amanda and John than they do about the supposed protagonist, Jeff.
    • In IV, most fans care a lot more about the Jigsaw flashbacks than anything that happens with Rigg.
    • Many find the Fatal Five in Saw V much more interesting than Strahm talking to himself about the plot.
    • And in 3D, Hoffman, Gibson, and Jill are much more interesting than the actual protagonist, Bobby.
    • Oddly, Saw VI avoids this entirely. William is actually an interesting character. Of course, many view VI as a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, partially for this reason.
  • Epileptic Trees: Mostly regarding the fate of Dr. Gordon. Not that it matters as of Saw 3D.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Adam fprom the original film and Ryan from Jigsaw.
  • Growing the Beard: Saw VI was considered a huge improvement over the previous two films by fans (and critics) alike.
    • Unfortunately is one of the least successful financially because the poor quality of the previous few entries had turned people off the series.
  • Hate Dumb: A TON. It's no secret that the Saw series is universally loathed by non-fans more often than not (see Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch), despite the overabundance of extremely violent action and horror films that have been produced now and in the past.
    • The rants against the videogame adaptations are equally vexing. Beyond the legitimate complaints of the games themselves (which mostly fit under various elements of The Problem with Licensed Games), some gamers fit the Saw games under a category of abysmal, industry killing titles reserved for games like E.T. As any reasonable gamer can prove, the existence of the Saw games don't threaten the industry's integrity anymore than any licensed title, nor has it been the most controversial title when it comes to on-screen gore (e.g., Grand Theft Auto, Gears of War, and Manhunt), and yet, the games' reputation is as badly received as the movies.
  • Ho Yay: Believe it or not, it's actually been suggested between Lawrence and Adam.
  • Idiot Plot: Even people who've dealt with Jigsaw in the past turn into flailing idiots when the plot requires it of them.
    • Subverted with Hoffman at the end of Saw VI, who gets right to work escaping the reverse bear trap 2.0 and manages to find a creative way of preventing it from opening fully when he can't get it off in time. The subversion is justified since he is Jigsaw's second apprentice, after all, and the more stable-minded of the two.
    • Also, the tape players. People always play them, even though that starts the timer. While some automatically start when they wake up, the ones that have to be started manually could be bypassed, given them more time to figure out the trap, and how to beat it. (Though in Saw II the Needle Pit timer was already on when the group entered the room.)
    • It seems that the law enforcement will always follow this. Jigsaw giving clues as to where he is? You can bet your ass the police will go charging in, despite the fact that he's known for TRAPS. That, and they can't seem to catch a terminally ill old man. (They did in Saw 2 but as usual he managed to get away.)
      • This is actually subverted in Saw IV. As soon as they recognize a potential trap they send a robot drone in ahead to scout and secure the area first. Rigg charges in as soon as the body's found, but that's because he lost his head when he realized who the person was. And then they go right back to drooling idiots in Saw 3D.
  • I Knew It!: In Saw 3D, it's revealed that Dr. Gordon survived the first film and had been disciple of Jigsaw working behind the scenes since then. Some fans theorized this originally based on a brief part of the video shown to the key-behind-the-eye victim in Saw II. A cloaked figure with a limp (assumed later to be Jigsaw) is seen next to an operating table. Saw 3D reveals that this WAS in fact Dr. Gordon.
  • It Was His Sled: At this point, it's nearly impossible to read anything about the series-- including this page-- without finding out that Jigsaw is John Kramer. (See?) The once-shocking twist is also naturally lost on anybody who watches the films out of order.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bobby Dagen in 3D, never more so than when he fails his final test. It was bad enough seeing him lose all of his friends and co-workers; seeing him lose his wife -- in one of the franchise's most disturbing death scenes -- was just icing on the Woobie portion of the cake.
  • Les Yay: Well, kinda. Amanda and Lynn in Saw III had some serious tension between them in the movie. Amanda certainly looked like she enjoyed Lynn shoving her up against a fence.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Jigsaw and Hoffman.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans think that what Jigsaw does isn't murder because he gives his victims a way out, and that Jigsaw's principle is noble in that those who survive his games will become better people. Perhaps because of this, one of the main themes of Saw III was that Jigsaw's work was ultimately a failure, and that those who survived his games weren't changed at all. (Amanda, for example, had resumed cutting herself, and still had the same psychological issues that she had before Jigsaw 'helped' her...and now, thanks to Jigsaw, she had murder as an outlet for them.)
  • Moral Event Horizon: Chavez throwing Amanda into the pit of needles and forcing her to solve his test for him.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Right now, you're feeling helpless.
  • Motive Decay: A potential glaring example in Saw 3D with Bobby's final test, which flies straight in the face of John's philosophy by effectively murdering Joyce through an impossible test.
  • Nightmare Fuel: And how. See this page for examples.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Detective Hoffman
    • Take That Scrappy: The end of Saw 3D finally has him getting his just desserts.
    • Gibson, good lord.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Two cases:
    • First of course is Jigsaw as the main character of this Villain Based Franchise who fans started to get behind after awhile ala Freddy Kreuger, Jason, Michael Myers etc. His status as Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds wins him a lot of sympathy points, and his Affably Evil justifications for the things he does and people he does them to do at times have some merit.
    • The second is more Your Mileage May Vary but quite a few people are getting behind Hoffman because of his actions in the 5th and 6th movies painting him as a Badass Magnificent Bastard Determinator who improvises Xanatos Speed Chess on the fly whenever things start going bad for him. Of course just as many if not more people think of him as a Complete Monster and are happy he got his final comeuppance in the finale.
  • The Scrappy: As the sequel number increases, so do the number of annoying or useless characters. The original Saw is the only one that doesn't have a scrappy in it. It gets rather frustrating when the main character being tested is the scrappy. It gets even more frustrating when scrappies are just about to get out of the heap, but end up getting killed.
  • Sequelitis: Each fan of the series has his or her own opinion of just where it Jumped the Shark. Some say it was the second film ("Saw never needed a sequel!"), others say it was the fourth ("the third movie finished the trilogy perfectly!"), and others say it was the fifth ("that movie just plain sucked!"). Averted, however, with the reaction to the sixth film, which many people feel is a return to form for the series. Played straight, however, with Saw 3D, which was almost universally been panned by fans and critics alike.
  • Special Effects Failure: In several shots it's quite obvious that the "glass" shards in the box at the end of Saw V are actually made out of rubber.
    • The much maligned "pink blood" in 3D is often described as this. Behind the scenes shots show that the blood actually did look pretty real, but was changed to a pinkish color in editing for unexplained reasons.
  • Squick: Lots of it. Hell, every film in the franchise (following the first) is practically built on it.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: Some fans feel this way about Jigsaw.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Saw VI
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Saw 3D had two potential interesting plot points: what made Dr. Gordon join Jigsaw and the Jigsaw survivor group. Both of them were pretty much ignored in favor of Bobby Dagen's storyline; the survivor's group goes nowhere and Gordon's role amounts to little more than a cameo and doesn't tell us anything that the fans hadn't already guessed years ago. Tragically, both of these would have been explored further (the survivor group would have continued to carry on Jigsaw's work) but they were scrapped as a result of the final two movies being crammed into one.
    • The seventh movie also begins with a new concept: A trap appearing in public, where three victims are sealed behind bulletproof glass in front of a busy street. This would've been a very intriguing subplot (how does the crowd react, the societal impact, the added difficulty of setting these traps up without being discovered etc.) Sadly, it's never followed up on, and is hardly even mentioned after the first scene.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Numerous characters, major and minor. The biggest offender is possibly Lieutenant Rigg, who - even after being constantly shouted at by Eric Matthews to not enter a door - enters the door anyway. And he was even warned once before his game even begun to not go through unsecured doors, either.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Saw VI has the implications that men don't deserve to live (the only male survivor of a trap in the movie is The Bad Guy Hoffman).
    • Then on the flip side, Saw 3D was accused of being misogynistic because six out of the ten people we see killed in the traps were female and their deaths were much more brutal than the ones the male victims experienced. Though take the series as a whole, it's actually the opposite case (especially, as stated above, Saw VI).
    • The series as a whole is seen by people who don't know the saga as promoting the idea that 'torture is cool' when it's clearly not. Of course, since the films themselves spend so much time on the gory details, this last point is easily missed by some of the actual viewers as well.
      • This issue happened mostly from two things: 1) the first two movies had elements of Bloodless Carnage, which at least avoided any possible fetishization from the more extreme Gorn of the later movies, and 2) the sequels after Saw III tend to streamline the obvious fact that Jigsaw's philosophy is flawed to the core. And of course, since Hoffman became Jigsaw, it's easy to ignore the shaky moral pretense formed by the first trilogy.
  • Villain Sue / The Bad Guy Wins: Don't expect Jigsaw to ever get his comeuppance or fail in his plans. The same generally goes for his followers/"apprentices" as well, with rare exceptions.
  • Wangst: Jeff Denlon.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel sorry for Jill as she struggles and fails to escape the Reverse Bear Trap at the end of 3D, with her happier times with John flashing before her eyes.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Arguably Jigsaw with his tragic backstory in the later sequels. Doesn't excuse the murderous course he took with his life; but it's still pretty damn sad.
    • Applies to Amanda in Saw III. Also can describe Hoffman, at least until he goes Ax Crazy.
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