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  • Actor Allusion When we first find out that Shirley Manson is a T1000, she has disguised herself in the form of a urinal. During the height of her fame with Garbage, Shirley Manson wrote her Top Ten Commandments of Love, which included the immortal line "I want a man who will let me pee in his belly button".
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy ( Riley's senseless death at the hand of Jesse seemed pretty redeeming.)
  • Better on DVD (The series has dense, complex plotlines that make once-a-week watching into a memory exercise.)
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Sarah's narrative diary monologues at the opening and closing of each episode, presumably her "chronicles". These are largely absent in the second season. Catherine Weaver, aka the T-1001, is also unusually fond of long monologues with biblical overtones.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome (Samson & Delilah)
    • "When the Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash, from "What He Beheld" (1x09)
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: The show was originally conceived as a character study of the titular character who -- unfortunately -- turned out to be the flattest of the bunch. It's notable that Sarah Connor is not even in the series' final MindScrewy scene at all.
    • It's inherent in the nature Sarah and John's family relationship that one of them has to be The Hero and the other one is therefore The Chick. If John is really The Chosen One, then at some point the writers have to let him grow up. To their credit, they did, but they never figured out how to turn Sarah Connor back into The Chick and make it work, despite all the helpful precedents and examples from the first movie and the fact that The Chick is a vital and important role in a team.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Fan Nickname (The Taminator.)
    • The Toilenator for Weaver, who first appears as a urinal.
    • FrankenSummer for Cameron with a bad case of staple-face.
    • Jamsex for the anticipated sex scene with John and Cameron (derived from Jameron).
  • Foe Yay ("Your hair... it's so pretty...")
    • Not to mention the interaction between Cameron and Derek. Look at how they act in "The Demon Hand" or "To The Lighthouse"....
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Sadly, we never got to see how Cameron got her clothes when she first traveled back to the past. Fortunately, we get around this by seeing her get them the second time she time-travels.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Aside from the obvious, one recent episode ended with the possibility that there might be a Terminator in your walls. Right now. He's been there for decades. He's armed. And he wants to kill you. The fact that the Terminator in the episode was hiding in the walls of an old, abandoned hotel isn't actually better; think of how many buildings in your area are old and under renovation. Think of how many old government buildings there are, period, that you have to use. Pleasant dreams!
    • And that's not even counting the ones who wear the faces of your family and friends, the ones who can change their looks at will and slip under doors and sprout ten-foot blades, the ones who can appear literally at any time and in any place, the reprogrammed "good" ones used in every resistance base who can flip out and revert to their Omnicidal Maniac default setting at the twitch of a circuit, the one standing right behind you right now...
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Jameron"
  • Role Association:
  • The Scrappy - Riley. Possibly averted, now that it is revealed that she is an agent from the future sent to seduce John, and is just as weirded out as the viewers. She honestly doesn't really know what she's doing. Plus, attempted suicide.
    • And then she gets killed by Jesse when she realizes that Jesse was trying to get her killed by Cameron in the first place.
    • For some fans, that makes Jesse the Replacement Scrappy.
    • Also Charley Dixon during the first season.
  • Tear Jerker - Any of the character deaths. The endings of "Demon Hand" and "Born To Run".
    • "I'm sorry John I'm sorry John I'm sorry John."
    • After the Crowning Moment of Awesome in Today Is The Day, Part 2 where John Connor finally becomes John Connor, he asks Derek what people expect of him in the future. Derek tells him that all they want is for him to be human. Cue the episode's ending, where John finally lets go and curls up on his mom's lap, crying like a baby. It's a ridiculously powerful moment that somehow manages to not take anything away from how badass John was just two scenes prior.
    • Cameron begging for John not to remove her chip in Sampson and Delilah. It wasn't hard to be absolutely certain she was just messing with his head, but those desperate pleas... It wasn't so much tugging on the heartstrings as ripping them out and playing jumprope with them.
  • Uncanny Valley - Cameron, Cromartie, and just about all the other Terminators look very human, but their behavior is... off...
  • The Woobie (Allison, and Cameron when she becomes Allison)
    • Cameron ends up being a woobie all by herself later on.
    • Riley, of all people, starts becoming one of these later on, once her history as a resistance fighter from the future becomes apparent. And doubly so when it's revealed Jesse is psychologically abusing her and deliberately trying to get her killed.
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