American Horror Story

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American Horror Story is a 2011 Horror series created by Ryan Murphy (creator of Nip Tuck, another FX series) and Brad Falchuk (Two of the Glee co-creators) . It follows the story of a couple from Boston, Ben and Vivien, and their daughter, Violet, who decide a change in location to sunny Los Angeles will help heal the wounds left by Vivien’s miscarriage and by Ben’s affair with a former student. Their nightmares are far from over, however, as their new dream house turns out to be full of dark secrets.

The series is known as a "movie buff's delight", as its plot, soundtrack and visual style thrive on numerous classic movies and horror stories (including, but not limited to, The Shining, Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Sixth Sense, Twisted Nerve, Taxi Driver) as well as pay homage to American urban legends and folklore.

Four more seasons were made, focusing of different setting and circumstances:

  • Asylum, set in 1960s Massachusetts.
  • Coven, set in contemporary New Orleans.
  • Freak Show, set in 1950s Florida.
  • Hotel, set in contemporary Los Angeles.
Tropes used in American Horror Story include:


  • Abusive Parents: Constance locks Adelaide in a closet full of mirrors after she interrupts Constance's "business meeting". She also chains her son Beau up in the attic because of a genetic deformity. It's further implied that she physically--and certainly emotionally--abused Tate.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Ben walks in on a young!Moira doing this and quickly exits to his bedroom to do a little of his own...
    • Vivien enjoys herself while she has a Dream Sequence about Luke, Ben and the Rubber Man.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Rubber Man". Explains the origins of the rubber suit and reveals that Tate had donned the suit to kill Patrick and Chad, then to father one of Vivien's twins, just because Nora wanted her baby.
  • Adults Are Useless: Violet walks around public areas of the school smoking and is never confronted by any authority figures about it, she is also repeatedly attacked in those same public places and no authority figure ever steps in. Given one of the writer's other show, the high school's Darwinian approach to discipline isn't too surprising.
  • Affably Evil: Larry Harvey plays this to disturbing effect. Every once in a while during his friendly chats with Ben, he says something to remind us how insane he is.
    • And then he goes completely off the deep end. He tries to burn the house down, until Chad interrupts.
  • Alpha Bitch: Leah, a girl at Violet's school who tries to make her eat a cigarette for smoking on campus.
  • American Title
  • And I Must Scream: Unlike most examples, Moira has the opportunity to actually scream.
  • Anti Christ: According to Billie, this is the result of a spirit, conceiving a child with a living person. Like one of the twins Vivian is carrying...
    • And he's starting in early, as three years after Constance decides to raise him, he murders his nanny.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Artistic Title: The opening credits manage to be both creepy and fascinating.
  • Ass Shove: Tate shoved a fireplace poker up Patrick's ass before killing him.
  • Ate His Gun: How Nora Montgomery committed suicide after killing her husband out of grief over her mutated baby.
  • The Atoner: Larry.
    • Tate as well, if his conversation with Ben in the finale was him being genuine about redemption.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Oh yes it is. From Moira getting a gaping bullet hole in her eye, to Violet's rotting corpse with a mouth full of blow flies.
  • The Bechdel Test: Pass.
  • Birds of a Feather: Tate and Violet, who bond over the cuts they've given themselves.
  • Bitch Victim: Hayden, Ben's former student/mistress and a budding Manipulative Bitch. Larry Harvey beats her to death with a shovel.
    • Shows up at the end of the first part of the Halloween two-parter, as another of the house's ghosts. Yeah, killing her on the property was a terrible idea.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of the Harmons die and are trapped in the House with all the other ghosts forever, but are actively working to make sure no other family ends up like them and are finally happy, Together in Death. Constance is also finally happy, but is raising the Anti Christ. Tate, finally remorseful, is left alone, pining for Violet from afar but may earn her forgiveness one day.
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Blatant Lies: Larry Harvey claims that the horrible burns he received when he supposedly killed his family were from saving children from a burning school bus.
    • Larry's just full of these! Ben checked up on his past, forcing Larry to confess that he didn't kill his wife and children. Upon confessing to his wife Lorraine that he had fallen for Constance, Lorraine locked herself in a room upstairs with their daughters. They died in the fire she set. He wasn't even burned there, he was burned sometime later when Tate set him on fire.
    • Tate pulls one of these in the pilot. Yes, he did see Thaddeus. Yes, he knows exactly what happened.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Constance and Nora, although both of them seem to be driven this way by sheer desperation.
  • Blonde Guys Are Evil: Tate
  • Breather Episode: It's an odd show where an episode featuring multiple characters being shot and another attempting suicide is the breather episode, but "Piggy Piggy" was much less chaotic and downplayed following the big grand Halloween episodes, and had more answers than questions.
  • Bury Your Gays: The last couple to die (that we know of) before the Harmons move in was a gay couple, in an apparent murder/suicide.
    • Revealed to have been the work of the rubber suit man.
    • In the flashback in "Home Invasion," the nurse who is referred to as a "lezzie" is drowned in the bathtub later that same scene.
  • Bury Your Disabled: Adelaide, who has Down Syndrome, is fatally hit by a car in the fourth episode.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Violet does this to her parents, though it remains to be seen if they got the message. Tate also did this to his mom.
  • The Calls Are Coming From Inside the House: Well, under the gazebo anyway.
  • Came Back Wrong: Charles and Nora Montgomery's child, Thaddeus, AKA the baby-thing in the basement. Charles used a still-beating heart to resurrect it, but it came back with a craving for blood, resulting in Nora attempting to kill it.
  • Camp Gay: Chad
  • Cassandra Truth: Adelaide directly told the twins that they would die in the house. They didn't listen. She also tells Vivien that she'll die in the house. She didn't listen either.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The rubber suit Vivien discovers in the attic. Later worn by the father of one of Vivien's twins.
    • Chekhovs Cupcakes: the cupcakes Constance brought over for Violet. One is eaten by one of the home invaders, which makes her ill and results in her not joining the other two in the basement.
    • Chekhovs Crime: A subtle one, but the cop at the end of the second episode said that Bianca was found blocks away from the murder house, cut in half. He said that it looked like her friends tried to do a Black Dahlia on her. Which famous crime is said to have happened in the murder house in episode 9? And how do they carry Travis' corpse out of the house?
    • The realtor had an actual gun which Vivien later stole and accidentally shot her husband with In fact, quite a lot of the onscreen deaths are caused by guns.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The young woman Ben is counseling in the second episode. Later one of the three people who invade the house, and is the only one who escapes alive. She is later found dead by the cops who believe she was murdered by her accomplices whose bodies haven't been found.
  • Chick Magnet: Ben, bordering on Even the Guys Want Him. Ghosts in particular seem turned on by him.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: The Anti Christ subplot is played out in definitely Catholic terms.
  • Creepy Child/Womanchild: Adelaide.
  • Creepy Twins: Creepy dead twins.
  • Creepy Basement: Where the twins meet their fate. Also where Violet and Tate teach Leah a lesson.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Pretty much everyone, but points go to the Harmon family, whose problems could count as Deus Angst Machina.
  • Dead All Along: Moira, killed by Constance long before the series began.
    • Tate, killed by a full-on SWAT team after shooting up his school. This is how Constance knew about the house's power, as they were living there at the time.
    • Violet did not survive her overdose!
    • This trope could possibly apply to almost anyone in the cast, there's a lot of ambiguity about who's alive and who's dead.
  • Death by Childbirth: Vivien, along with one of her twins.
  • Death by Sex: Travis hooks up with Hayden twice. She stabs him to death after the second time.
    • Travis' death is also a callback to a previous episode, where she does the same to Constance's late husband. As he was dead, it didn't affect him.
    • Constance murders both her husband and Moira when she catches them in bed together.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After her encounter in the Harmons' basement, this seems to have happened with Leah and Violet.
  • Demoted to Extra: After being a large part of Violet's subplot for the first episode, Leah only makes sporadic appearances for several episodes afterward. She's phased out entirely after Violet dies.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Seems to be a chronic problem for Ben.
  • Does Not Like Men: Older Moira is pretty convinced that all men are out to hurt women. She isn't ever impolite to men in general, but when alone with a sympathetic female, she tends to rant a bit.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The girl in the second episode who kept dreaming that she got cut in half? Can you guess how she dies?
  • Dream Sequence: Vivien's prone to these. In one episode, it was her baby's hand being visible through the skin of her stomach. In another, it was having sex with Luke the security guard, Ben, and the rubber suit man.
  • Dressed All in Rubber: The man in the rubber suit. Thinking it's Ben, Vivien has sex with him and conceives one of her twins.
  • Driven to Madness: Violet shows signs of this after she discovers the truth of what Tate had done. It's further compounded when she looks for Tate in the basement and instead finds one of the nurses, the two home invaders, and Charles, leading to her being Driven to Suicide.
    • What is being done to Vivien by the ghosts.
    • Constance is starting to show signs, especially after she discovers that Tate raped Vivien. It resurfaces in her monologue near the end of "Afterbirth".
  • Driven to Suicide: After being Driven to Madness, Violet intentionally overdoses. Tate, screaming and sobbing at her not to die on him, drags her to the bathroom...but is unsuccessful in saving her life.
    • On subsequent tours of the house, Marcy says this is what happened to Ben.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Sweet Jesus, the Harmons.
  • Easy Amnesia: Ben, during the third episode. Coupled with spacing out. Caused by Moira spiking his coffee with laudanum, in an effort to get him to dig up her bones.
  • The Eighties: The beginning of the third episode takes place during this time period.
  • Enfant Terrible: The baby-thing in the basement that attacks Leah, nearly attacks Violet, and is responsible for the death of the twins. If Tate can be believed, this is Thaddeus, the son of Charles and Nora Montgomery, killed in revenge for an abortion and resurrected using a still-beating heart by Charles.
  • Mr. Fanservice: All things considered, Tate has a rather large fanbase.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Hallie, Vivien's dog, which leads Violet to the basement the first time they visit the house and bites Adelaide.
  • Evil Redhead: The twins, though they were more Jerkass than outright evil.
    • Moira, who appears as a young woman to Ben and seems to be trying to seduce him. Somewhat subverted in that all she really wants is for someone to find her bones so she can pass on.
    • Hayden, a victim of Love Makes You Crazy and Love Makes You Evil.
  • Expy: Tate is a (literally) Axe Crazy, lying, young man who has obsession with a younger girl and a mentally challenged sibling, and is first introduced with the Kill Bill whistle tune playing and who is clearly not the lead character in the 1969 movie Twisted Nerve.
  • Fan Disservice: Hey, remember that scene of young!Moira playing with herself? Hot, right? At least until you remember that she's actually an old lady who appears young to Ben.
    • Though considering she's a ghost, it's ambiguous which appearance is real and which is false.
      • Consider what she says in the third episode; men see what they want, whereas women see into a person's soul. Thus why Ben sees her as a young woman and Vivien as a remarkably older one. Both are the real appearance; Ben sees her as she looked before she died whereas Vivien sees her as how she looks after the fact.
  • Fan Service: This seems to be young!Moira's main purpose in the show. We also get a few shots of Ben's naked ass.
  • Fetus Terrible: What is most likely the situation with one of Vivien's twins, specifically the one Vivien and Rubber Man conceived during the pilot.
    • It started kicking at eight weeks, then was revealed on the ultrasound to be much further along...and made the nurse faint. The nurse later quits her job. When Vivien meets her again, she claims she saw what can be interpreted as The Antichrist.
    • The jars in the basement invoke this trope.
  • Foreshadowing: The basement incident gives subtle hints that Tate already knows he's Dead All Along. He switches places with Thaddeus several times before appearing next to Violet to watch.
  • French Maid Outfit: Moira wears a highly-eroticized version of this as her younger self, complete with garter belt.
  • Genre Savvy: Marcy invokes this when she pulls a gun on Larry during the open house. Too bad she's Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Elizabeth and young!Moira attempt to invoke this on Ben. It doesn't work.
  • Ghost Shipping: Violet and Tate.
  • Glasgow Smile: Given to both Elizabeth Short and Travis' corpses by Charles Montgomory.
  • Going in Circles: Violet flees the house but keeps ending back inside no matter how many times she tries because she died and is now a ghost trapped in the house.
  • Groin Attack: Moira's part of the plan to kill the Armenian man. Under the pretense of fellatio, she bites his penis off.
  • Haunted House: According to the show's website, murders and suicides have been taking place in the house since at least the 1920's.
  • Has Two Daddies: In a way. Vivian's twins were fathered by Tate and Ben.
  • Haunted House Historian: Tate.
  • Here We Go Again: After Ben is killed, another family buys the house. Ben and Vivien effectively save their lives by convincing them to leave shortly afterward, scaring the ever-loving hell out of them in the process. Marcy has to redouble her efforts to sell it. As the show has been confirmed for a second season, this will possibly happen again.
    • Somewhat averted in that Murphy has stated that the next season will feature a different location and a different story, with some of the actors staying but even then only to play brand new characters.
  • Historical Domain Character: Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, in "Spooky Little Girl". Raped and killed inside the house.
    • Her appearance is also Foreshadowing, as Travis' body is mutilated the same way hers was.
  • Hope Spot: For Moira, after Larry Harvey discovers her bones while digging a hole to bury Hayden in. Dashed when her bones are not removed, Hayden is buried with her, and Ben builds a gazebo on top of them!
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Both the twins, who don't look older than twelve years old, are brutally murdered, and Vivien had a miscarried son. Killing children and infants in horrible ways is a common theme.
    • Nora's son Thaddeus was butchered and sewn back together. One of Vivien's twins is stillborn.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted hard with Adelaide. She is not nice or innocent; she is every bit as messed up and creepy as the other characters on the show.
  • In the Blood: Tate's son apparently inherited his dad's psychotic tendencies, if the nanny he murdered at three years old is any indication.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Tate to Violet. However, he has several major misconceptions about how to go about it. Like trying to kill off the new owners' son, who had only displayed a passing interest in her, so she wouldn't be alone.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: When Ben was shot, he didn't go to the hospital because it was just a through and through.
    • Justified, as being shot in the thigh is one of the places you can take a bullet, without sustaining a terrible injury.
  • Kill'Em All: None of the Harmons survive. Except the dog. Really, this show has killed off almost every cast member. Constance and Larry are the only major characters who are still alive.
  • Killed Off for Real: The entire Harmon family, Hayden, Travis, and several others are killed and return as ghosts. Adelaide is the only one who died who did not return as a ghost, as she died off-property.
  • Kiss Kiss Slap
  • Large Ham: Dylan McDermott, natch.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The dozens of people who have died in the house are all still there.
  • Look Both Ways: Addie is struck by a car while trying to join other trick-or-treaters.
    • The brutal irony is that the accident was caused by the mask Addie's mother gave her to look like a "pretty girl", which blocked her peripheral vision.
  • Locked Into Strangeness: The incident in the basement causes Leah's hair to start turning white.
  • Mad Doctor: Charles Montgomery, driven insane after his son is murdered.
  • Malevolent Masked People: The home invaders in the second episode, who are intent on reenacting one of the murders that had occurred in the house. Two are lured to the basement and dispatched by the victims of said murder. The third, seriously injured by Tate, manages to get away and dies off-property.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Or rather, "Mad Man"
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Travis handles being murdered rather well, only being bummed that he won't be famous now.
    • He even asks if he was in the news after his body is found, then requests newspaper clippings. He plans on starting a scrapbook.
  • Mama Bear: Despite her obvious contempt for her daughter, Constance threatens to break Vivien's arm if she touches her again.
    • Constance's reaction to Adelaide being hit by a car is heartbreaking.
    • She is this way with Tate and her second son, Beau, as well. Tate hates her.
    • Constance will kill to keep her family together. She even allies with Larry and Moira to off a possible buyer, as he was going to tear the house down.
  • Manly Gay: Patrick. If it wasn't for his massively promiscuous nature, you would never know.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You're gonna regret it", said by Adelaide to the twins, is heard again a few minutes later in the episode as Vivien confronts Ben. Considering this was the main catalyst that caused them to move to the house and everything that happened afterward, it's quite safe to say they're regretting it.
    • The music that played as the twins wrecked the place is heard again, midway through "Afterbirth". It plays as the new buyers flee the house.
    • Tate's whistled theme? Heard again as Constance finds his son and the body of the boy's nanny, who he had killed.
  • Mercy Kill: Moira ends her mother's life by disconnecting her oxygen.
  • Moe Greene Special: How Constance killed Moira. She's even impressed with her own marksmanship.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Young Moira
  • Murder-Suicide: According to the realtor, the gay couple who lived in the house before the series started died this way.
    • Revealed in the first part of the Halloween two-parter to have been at least partially caused by the man in the rubber suit, who first tries to drown then snaps Chad's neck. After Patrick walked into the room, he killed him as well..
    • Charles and Nora Montgomery, after Nora discovers just what their child had become. She kills him, then herself.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: That scene in the trailer for episode 6 where Vivien's baby's hand is clearly visible pressing against her stomach? It's a Dream Sequence!
    • The trailer for episode 10 implies that Tate is going to kill Violet. He does not, instead revealing that she's been Dead All Along since her overdose.
  • Nice Guy: Travis. Yes, he cheated on Constance with Hayden, but he genuinely seemed to care about her and wanted to adopt a child with her. He was also one of the few to treat Adelaide with dignity, and after he dies, he even spends time playing with Larry's daughters.
    • Even in death, he cares about Constance. He asks Larry about her, and in "Afterbirth" forcibly takes Vivien and Tate's son away from Hayden so that Constance can have him.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • Violet only wants to move in the house after the real estate ladies tells the family about the murders.
    • Tate, who has many macabre fantasies and interests. Some of which he has acted on.
    • The reenactment group in the second episode.
  • The Nineties: Episode 6 starts here in a very shocking way.
  • Nonhuman Lover Reveal: Revealed to Violet but not to Tate.
    • And revealed to Violet by Tate, along with the fact that Tate knew he was dead the whole time.
  • Parental Abandonment: While her parents spend all their time and energy on their shattered relationship, Violet seems to be left to fend for herself.
    • They don't even notice her being Driven to Madness, overdosing, and dying. In her own words, they think she's depressed.
  • Pet the Dog: Constance doesn't have many redeeming qualities, but you feel damn sorry for her when Adelaide gets hit by a car and she tries desperately to keep from losing her.
    • What she says to Adelaide's ghost.
    • Nora rescuing a young Tate from Thaddeus.
  • Room Of Mirrors: The "Bad Girl Room".
  • Police Are Useless: The dozens of murders and disappearances over the years certainly don't seem to have inspired the police to do anything like thorough investigations.
  • Racist Grandma: YMMV on whether or not the realtor is old enough to be considered a grandma, but she is apologetically racist and a bit homophobic. As of "Birth" Constance also counts.
  • Resigned to the Call: Billie Dean. She certainly didn't sound happy about having to accept it, from what she told Violet.
  • The Reveal: The opening for "Rubber Man". The Rubber Suit Man who fathered one of Vivien's twins and killed Chad and Patrick is Tate!
  • Rich Bitch: Billie Dean, the medium who Constance contacts after Violet discovers that Tate's dead.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Some of the ghosts complain about not being able to leave (due to their bones interred on the grounds) but they seem more interested in staying to torment each other (and the new living residents) for their perceived "crimes".
    • Why don't they make the effort to tell someone where the bodies are for proper burying so they could go to rest?
    • This seems to only be the case with Moira, we don't know why everyone else is stuck there and it's not possible that all of their bodies are buried on the grounds since there are records of their deaths, meaning that someone would have had to have found their bodies following said deaths (or else the records would have just said that they disappeared.) The only condition for someone becoming a ghost in the house is that they die on the grounds, not that their bodies remain there.
      • It's explained that the only reason Moira wants her body found is so that Constance will finally be caught and face retribution for what she did. It won't get her out of the house, but it would probably make it easier on her mind frame if she didn't have her murderer mocking her at every turn.
  • The Seventies: The beginning of the pilot takes place in this time period.
  • Ship Sinking: Tate and Violet, torpedoed near the end of the season once Violet learns that Tate killed Chad and Patrick and raped her mother.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Ben's patient Derek from "Piggy Piggy" definitely falls under this.
  • Shout-Out: The man who has half of his face burnt has the surname of Harvey... as in Harvey Dent.
    • Larry Harvey says that when he murdered his family under the influence of voices, he felt like an obedient child. The character played by Laurence Harvey in |The Manchurian Candidate murdered people under the influence of his mother.
    • Larry Harvey is also the name of one of the founders of Burning Man. And what happened to the show's Larry Harvey?
    • The second episode uses the score from Psycho and is reminiscent of The Strangers.
    • In episode five, Tate and Violet are confronted on the beach by five teenagers: A jock, a cheerleader, a nerd, a goth girl, and a guy dressed in a leather jacket. Come on, that can't be a coincidence!
      • Violet even calls them "The Dead Breakfast Club".
        • And they really are dead!
    • Tate axes a serial killer groupie named Bianca. Anyone familiar with the Manson case will recognize those names.
    • Hayden in "Halloween, Part 2" subverts a Fatal Attraction shout-out.
    • Tate gives a Shout-Out to Taxi Driver right before he commits Suicide by Cop.
    • The show uses the score from Bram Stoker's Dracula, particularly in the scene where Nora opens the door to see her "baby" in his room.
    • The show also gives a couple of subtle shout-outs to The Shining. Tate's practically an homage to Twisted Nerve, whistling the theme tune and everything. Then there are all of the Rosemary's Baby references...
      • One of those The Shining shout-outs happens with Beau's ball. He rolls it to an unsuspecting person while hidden in the shadows, like how a tennis ball is rolled unsuspectingly to Danny.
    • "Twisted Nerve" plays over Tate's shoot out, the theme to the eponymous film about a psychotic boy who does crazy things for a girl he loves.
  • Shovel Strike: How Larry Harvey kills Hayden.
  • The Sixties: The beginning of the second episode takes place in this time period.
  • Sleepwalking: Starts happening to Ben after they move in, coupled with a disturbing fascination with fire. Later, Larry Harvey, former owner of the house, confirms that this happened to him as well. In his case, he claims it led to him killing his family and horribly burning himself... and later reveals that he'd lied about killing his family.
    • It's also mentioned in the Rubber Man episode that Patrick started sleepwalking after he moved in, suggesting the house tends to have this effect on its residents.
    • And the new owner of the house, Miguel, does as well. He doesn't stick around long enough for anything to develop from it.
    • In "Afterbirth" we learn why, It's Loraine waking them up and leading them down to the stove. She wants them to burn themselves and feel her pain. Pretty creepy. It was one of the examples of how the ghosts in the house work, trying to get others to feel their pain. She's been the one doing it.
  • Sole Survivor: Hallie, the dog. Adopted by Marcy after Ben is killed.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tate, towards Violet. Likes to stare at her while she sleeps. He's not breaking in, though.
    • Larry is a platonic version of this to Ben. He keeps appearing out of nowhere and talking to him. Though Ben is repulsed by him, he apparently just wants to be buds. In episode three, he even helps Ben out by killing Hayden.
      • Took a turn for the worst in episode 4. He really wants his thousand dollars. In episode 5, he willingly teams with Hayden to get revenge on Ben.
        • Larry claims the whole reason he wanted the Harmons out of the house was so he could stay close to Constance. When she discovers this, Constance is fairly disgusted.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Tate and Violet, due to Tate being Dead All Along.
    • Resolved now that Violet is also Dead All Along.
      • And promptly sunk, when Violet finds out Tate killed Chad and Patrick, and raped her mother.
  • Sticky Fingers: Constance has no qualms about stealing from Vivien, and does so twice during the pilot.
    • As of the third episode, make that just about every time she enters their house.
      • And other people's houses as well.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: Elizabeth Short, AKA The Black Dahlia, was accidentally killed during an operation, and her body was dismembered by a ghost for easier transport. She is now one of the ghosts haunting the house.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Patrick
  • Straw Misogynist: The Armenian man who plans on buying the house displays this behavior, especially towards Constance and Moira. However, this isn't the reason why Constance, Moira, and Larry team up to do away with him. He planned on tearing the house down.
  • Suicide by Cop: Tate.
  • Supernatural-Proof Father: When Hayden shows up in episodes 4 and 5 after Larry killed her the episode before, Ben jumps to the conclusion that they are working together to get money out of him, despite the fact he held her dead body in his arms and built a friggin' gazebo over her burial place.
    • When Vivien starts seeing the ghosts, he thinks she's gone crazy.
    • He only believes Vivien's story about the Rubber Man after speaking to Luke. And even then they both think it's someone who broke in!
    • Doesn't even notice that Violet is dead, believing that she's only depressed.
    • It's only after he dies that he believes. He then uses that knowledge to help prevent the same thing from happening again.
  • Surreal Horror: Bondage monster. That is all.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Even discounting the ghosts, it seems there is always at least one person in the house who shouldn't be there. The only thing missing is the creepy phone calls, which show up in the Halloween episode.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Tate causes all sorts of tangles when it's revealed that he is the Rubber Man and the one who had sex with Vivien.
  • Teacher-Student Romance: One of the reasons for the tension between Ben and Vivien.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Up to Eleven. Her first day at school, Violet is confronted by a group of girls who give her an insane rant for smoking on campus. Leah tries to make her eat her cigarette and promptly screams "YOU ARE SO DEAD!" in a high-pitched wail once Violet manages to get away.
    • Minor subversion in the fact that even Leah's friends thought she was going too far in trying to make Violet eat the cigarette.
    • Tate, who may very well be a literal monster. His backstory has not been revealed, but he just appears at times, has a history with Constance, and from what he said at the end of "Home Invasion," he seems to have an ulterior motive at the house other than receiving therapy.
      • Some of his backstory is revealed in episode 5: he's Constance's son. Episode 6 reveals that he did shoot several of his fellow students, including the ones who had hunted him down in the episode before, to the point where a full-on SWAT team was sent to apprehend him. This led to a Suicide by Cop.
    • Violet, as well. She can be exceptionally cruel to her parents, and was willing to go along with Tate's basement plan without asking too many questions.
      • Though to be fair, she was horrified when she found out what he was doing and never thought he'd go that far.
      • She also lied to her father and the police about what she and her mother saw, allowing them to conclude that her mother is insane.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, as Ben is one. It doesn't help a whole lot.
  • Title Drop: "Spooky Little Girl". The song of the same name plays in the background during a flashback sequence where Ben and Hayden first hook up.
  • Together in Death: Tate and Violet...at least until she finds out the truth about him.
    • Ben, Vivien, Violet, and the deceased twin.
    • Chad and Patrick. However, this is not a happy ending for them. They were about to split up when Tate murdered them.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Happens to Violet in Smoldering Children, although subtle hints are dropped in past episodes that she is a ghost trapped in the house.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Probably literally. It's not like Violet can't guess that continuing to stay in that house will likely lead to the deaths of her and her family, but she really doesn't seem to want to leave.
    • It's not wanting to leave. She can't leave.
      • That's only after turning down several opportunities to leave and even threatening to run away if she can't live in Murder House.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "The procedure", for abortion. Justified in that, during the timeframe Charles and Nora Montgomery lived in, one did not discuss such things openly.
  • Urban Legends: One of Ben's patients, Derek, recounts one of these, about a man with a pig's head. Ben has him enact the legend. Instead of the pig man, he sees one of the nurses from the second episode. Later on, he does it again. This time, he surprises a burglar in the act and is shot.
  • Viral Marketing: Several videos, referred to as clues to the show's content, have been released on the show's YouTube channel. These directly hint towards Vivien's miscarriage, her later pregnancy, and the rubber suit man's involvement, among other things. There was also a chance to sign up for a "house call" to come face-to-face with one of the show's characters.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Episode 3, Ben after Hayden gets whacked.
    • Episode 6, when Tate shoves his fingers down Violet's throat to try to keep her from dying. Thank goodness, too. Who knows what would have happened if she had died in that house.
      • Episode 10 reveals what would've - and did - happen. Tate wasn't able to save her, and she became one of the house's ghosts.
  • Wham! Episode: "Rubber Man". The Rubber Suit Man's identity is revealed, Hayden tries to marshal the ghosts against Vivien and Ben, and Ben has Vivien committed.
    • Less of an example, but still wham-worthy, is "Smoldering Children". Larry takes the fall for Constance, who is suspected of murdering Travis, and it's revealed that Violet did not survive her overdose.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Violet calls both of her parents out on their neglectful behavior towards her.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Violet, eventually. The rest of the house's ghosts start appearing to her, but Tate instructs her to tell them to go away when they do. They listen. Of course, by then she's actually one of them too, but doesn't know it at that time.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Nora was apparently this for Charles. Too bad Charles was a drug-addicted mad scientist who murdered a girl to put her still beating heart into the resurrected body of his formerly dismembered child. Nora did say he was a genius before she shot him in the head.
  • White Dwarf Starlet: A subversion. Constance never quite made it as a movie star, but the way she acts puts you in mind of a vintage film star.
  • X Meets Y - American Beauty meets The Shining.
  • Yandere: Hayden shows some shades of this in the second episode, but the third episode is where she really shines. Thank God for that shovel...
    • The shovel made it worse. She's now taken to tormenting the holy hell out of Vivien.
    • Tate is gradually gaining shades of this.
      • He turns full-on Yandere after Violet rejects him.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Violet thinks gay porn is hot. Tate agrees, though he didn't seem sincere.