Comedy, Tragedy, Technology, Sex,
Lexx (known in its first season in America as Tales from a Parallel Universe), is a German-Canadian co-produced Space Opera.
The series revolves around a huge insectoid living spaceship called the Lexx, which can destroy planets at will. The Lexx, created as the ultimate weapon of the series' Big Bad, His Divine Shadow, somehow ends up under the control of security guard Stanley Tweedle, a Casanova Wannabe, occasional The Cassandra, and general loser. In the process, he joins forces with:
- Xev/Zev, a woman who had been sentenced to be turned into a love slave, and only escaped thanks to a Freak Lab Accident , which turned her into an Extraordinarily Empowered Half-Human Hybrid in the process.
- 790, a disembodied robotic head. He was a subversion of the Robot Buddy in that he was self serving and disdainful of the others - except for a programmed crush on Xev/Zev caused by the love-slave brainwashing originally intended for her. He would later have his affections switched to Kai, which was about as weird as it sounds.
- Kai, the last of a Proud Warrior Race, the Brunnen-G, who were prophesied to defeat His Divine Shadow. Of course, Kai had been defeated and killed centuries ago, and only existed as the emotionless, indestructible Dragon to the Big Bad. An accident freed him from His Shadow's control when he was sent to kill Stanley and Zev, and he decided to join them instead as their protector.
After somehow escaping, the unlikely quartet begin to roam the two universes in search of a new home. Stanley and 790 want Xev/Zev, who is disgusted by both of them; Xev/Zev wants Kai, who is both incapable of and uninterested in returning her affections. They discover strange new worlds -- and blow most of them up—along the way.
The original four TV movies were followed by three more seasons. The second season was similar in style to the first. The third season was entirely set on two planets called Fire and Water. The fourth season was set on Present Day Earth.
- Acting for Two: Almost all the actors played at least two different roles over the course of the series, since people who died first got reborn on Fire or Water in Season 3 and later on Earth in Season 4.
- Action Bomb: Thodin's Bugbomb.
- Action Dress Rip: Zev does this after her transformation into a love slave.
- Affectionate Parody: A few episodes contain parodies of/homages to certain other types of media:
- All There in the Manual: From a DVD feature; 790's chunk of human brain really did come from a woman. Specifically, one who propositioned a young, attractive Divine Order priest only for him to turn her in for breaking the law in doing so; she thought he'd made a pass at her, but it was actually his old and unattractive mentor that did so.
- This feature was commissioned by the Sci-Fi channel as an introduction to Lexx when they first broadcast the second series since, while they had run on cable years earlier, the original movies were relatively unknown in the US at the time.
- Alternate Universe: The Light and Dark Zones.
- And I Must Scream: The "permanent studio audience" in "Lafftrack".
- ...And Show It to You: The prisoners on the crashed transport in 791 have their hearts removed and their bodies put on life support to make sure they can't escape. And they're conscious when their hearts are removed.
- Animation Bump: The full-CGI shots in the first season aren't great, but there's a huge jump in quality starting with the second season, and it goes uphill from there.
- Anyone Can Die: If an episode has guest characters, chances are they're going to be dead by the end of the episode (or several episodes later). See Red Shirt below.
- And it's not just for guest characters, even the main cast is fair game.
- Apocalypse How: It's pretty telling of how dark this series is that the very first scene features a Class X, spends the next two seasons running up and down the scale, with at least one EVERY EPISODE, and culminates with a nice big Class X-4.
- Armored Closet Gay: Farley Knuckle, the Jeff Probst-esque reality show host from the Season 4 episode "Xevivor." He is in extreme denial about his erotic thoughts toward other men.
- Arranged Marriage: Zev was bought as a present for an adolescent boy prior to the start of the series, after spending her entire life "in a box" at the Wife Bank after her parents abandoned her to it. The wedding doesn't go well, to say the least.
- Ass Shove: The alien probes from Season 4, which look like carrots with mechanical legs, attach themselves to a host by burrowing into an unfortunate person's rectum.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Wist (or, rather, the queen worm in Wist form) in Eating Pattern, Lyekka in Lyekka Vs Japan, the latter of which is an Affectionate Parody of both the western perception of Japanese crazyness as well as Godzilla.
- Attempted Rape: In "791", Stan is very nearly raped by the body of the ship's pilot (after 790 re-animates it by attaching his head - er, himself - to it, and things go very, very wrong), until Kai intervenes just in the nick of time.
- Auto Kitchen: I suppose you could call the phallic appendages that extrude tasteless grey paste that.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Black Pack, a pincer-shaped disintegrator that always seemed to be awkward to use and showed consistent Special Effects Failure.
- The Lexx itself, the only weapon at its disposal is its Wave Motion Gun, which is ludicrously overpowered for ship to ship combat or self-defence.
- Badass Boast: Kai has a standard one that he likes to use, that is varied from situation to situation. The vanilla version goes:
Kai: I killed mothers with their babies. I've killed great philosophers, proud young warriors, and revolutionaries. I've killed the evil, the good, the intelligent, the weak, and the beautiful. I have done this in the service of His Divine Shadow and his predecessors, and I have never once shown any mercy.
- Let's not forget that Kai has more than his fair share of such boasts.
Kai: The dead do not poo.
- Big Bad: Season 1 has His Divine Shadow, Season 2 has Mantrid who is influenced by His Divine Shadow's essence making him His Shadow's spiritual successor, Season 3 has the Prince of Fire, a being with more than a little in common with Satan. While Prince seems to be this at the start of Season 4, the role eventually goes to the invading, carnivorous plants.
- Big Damn Heroes: Stanley, of all people, gets one of these in "Giga Shadow". Kai, however, is a master of this trope.
- Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Kai performing a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the asteroid (presumably saving all life in the universe) and the Lexx dying of old age, but Stan and Xev survive on "little Lexx" and set out to find a home.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Lots, but the Lexx itself takes the cake. It's a Manhattan-sized genetically engineered insect with a planet-killing Wave Motion Gun, Fetish Fuel accommodations, and it reproduces by mating with a dragonfly from Holland.
- The Insect Civilization is also worth mentioning; they naturally secrete a substance that re-animates dead human flesh. They have organs that allow the passing of life-essence from one body to another, and it even works across species, but it isn't without risks; an essence passing to a body that still has a mind of its own combines with it and is permanently altered, as seen by the final His Divine Shadow with its improperly prepared human host, as well as Mantrid.
- Black Comedy
- Black Comedy Rape: Quite a lot.
- Happens to 790 in "Luvliner".
- In "791", 790 attaches himself to and reactivates a cyborg body which turns out to contain the consciousness of its original owner, a Depraved Homosexual rapist who goes after Stanley. Once he's about to force himself on Stanley, a helpless 790 briefly takes over to express his utter embarassment at the situation with the most comically deadpan tone of voice possible.
- Later in "769," he has every intention of raping Kai when Kai doesn't express any interest in taking advantage of his new "parts," and is about five seconds away from doing it right in front of everyone before events conspire to stop him. Kai's reaction to this entire chain of events is hilariously apathetic, while Stan protests that it's Sick and Wrong.
- Stan in seasons 3/4 repeatedly goes past trying to talk people into sleeping with him and into threats, blackmail or actually laying hands (and tongues, etc) on women who have no idea what he's doing or are visibly disgusted by it.
- In "P4X" we see a porn site which apparently kidnaps people, chains them up, and then mashes them together in front of the cameras in order to be rape on both sides.
- Tricking a blindfolded man into having sex with a (semi-sentient) corpse instead of Xev. Not sure if the corpse consented either.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Happens to those possessed by His Divine Shadow. Also, in "Lafftrack", the host has soulless black eyes.
- Black Widow: Xev discovers she is one in the fourth season due to being part Cluster Lizard when she goes into a mating cycle. Unfortunately, she had also just met Kai's living reincarnation on Earth. It isn't until she wakes up from a blackout that Prince shows up to explain to her what happened.
- Non Sequitur Episode: A Midsummer's Nightmare.
- Note that an unfamiliar viewer trying to start the show somewhere other than the beginning is likely to think they've caught 'the' Non Sequitur Episode.
- Bond One-Liner: Kai seems to like these. In Super Nova alone he uses a couple:
(after subduing Giggerota) "Dinner is canceled."
- Book Ends: Compare the beginning of the first episode to the end of the last.
- There's a subtle one in the same two episodes; when the Lexx takes its final shot and blows up Earth before it dies, the music is a less hopeful-sounding remix of the track that plays in the premiere when the Lexx first escapes from the Cluster.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Giggerota and the Brains attempt this with Stan's hand and the Lexx in the second movie.
- Briar Patching
- Brain In a Jar: And they talk. A lot.
- Broken Bird: Stan is revealed as this in the fourth movie, when we learn how he was made to reveal (part of) what he was carrying. He was raped, repeatedly, over a relatively prolonged period, by someone who REALLY ENJOYED raping him. Nobody is ever the same after that kind of thing.
- Bug War: The war between the Brunnen-G and the Insect Civilization in the Backstory.
- Bury Your Gays: Brother Trager in "Nook" seemed to be Too Good for This Sinful Earth, and moved Stanley to genuine regret that he couldn't return Trager's feelings and genuine remorse over Trager's murder.
- And when the men of Girltown (Who seemed to be 'guilty' of nothing more than being drag queens) escape their Hell and seem set for a more happy life in Garden, they are promptly consumed by Lexx.
- Butt Monkey: If anything bad is going to happen, it will happen to Stan. If other crew are affected, it will happen to Stan first.
- Also true about the Predecessor brains ... eaten, stomped on, continually disconnected from their life support ... they spend more time shrieking in terror than imparting wisdom.
- 790 gets a lot of this, mostly in the form of being thrown/punted/hurled across the room.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth
- Call Back: If you pay careful attention to the credits of Lyekka Vs Japan, you'll notice that the usual blurb about location shooting now says "Filmed on location in Nova Scotia, Canada and Japaneseland," a reference to "Apocalexx Now" where President Priest gives a speech about driving the Japanese out of Vietnam and back to Japaneseland.
- At the end of season three, we learn that Earth is in the dark zone. The protagonists are from the light zone. So the first season really is "tales from a parallel universe."
- Camp Gay: A lot, but there was a guy in "Nook" that was actually pretty sympathetic.
- Puck and Titania from Midsummer's Nightmare.
- Feppo and Smoor.
- Camping a Crapper: One of the teens from the episode "Wake the Dead" meets his end while sitting on the toilet.
- Can't Have Sex Ever: Xev and Kai as a couple.
Kai: My sex organ has not functioned for over two thousand years.
- Can't Kill You - Still Need You: Stan's status as a potential informant kept him alive in the Cluster despite habitual poor performance in his duties. Unfortunately for him, he learns in the pilot that said status expired five months ago.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Prince gleefully describes himself as "evil" and is out to cause as much suffering as possible just 'cause.
Kai: Why do you want to destroy the Planet Water?
Prince: I tempt those who can be tempted and I punish those who deserve to be punished. That is my function, my occupation. My job. My joy. What is wrong with that? I also punish some who have done nothing wrong. Who slipped through the cracks. But then ... no system is perfect.
- Catch Phrase: "The dead do not [insert almost any possible completion of the sentence here]."
- The dead have no need for completed sentences.
- Prince has one that doubles as a Phrase Catcher: "(I'm/He's) very good with pain."
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Dr. Longbore thinks so, anyway. Fetish Fuel outfits aside, whether or not the girls he places on the Noah after they pass his panty-sniffing "hystamine test" are catholic is not clarified.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The second season gets a lot more serious as the crew realizes how big a threat Mantrid is. Happens again in the second half of the fourth season, with at least half of the jump in the finale itself.
- Chess with Death: Prince & Kai.
- Chew Toy: Stan. The Divine Predecessors qualify, too (literally, in one case, when Giggerota gets her hands on them).
- Child Eater: Cluster Lizards prove to be this in the Pilot Movie. Kinda not a problem, since the kids were all the cream of the crop chosen by His Divine Shadow who probably would have been like outer space Hitler Youth or something.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The environmental effects of the planet the crew lands on turns Kai into one of these in "Twilight."
Kai: The wheel, it turns, it ... rolls around, it makes an ancient ... rumbling sound.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: What the doctors do to Zev in "Terminal", in order to make her give up the Key to the Lexx. It doesn't work.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Field Commander Moss.
- Continuity Drift: In Season 1 it's established the the key to the Lexx is transferred from one captain to the next at the point of death, in Season 3 it's established that the most intense of sexual experiences is sufficient, and Prince disguised as Xev spends a big chunk of an episode trying to coax it out of Stan. In Season 4 the fear of impending death (i.e. having a gun pointed at you, or hanging on for dear life above a 50-foot drop), or making out with someone you're really hot for (although the latter primarily happens with Bunny) is enough to cause the transfer. This is strange considering that Stan had been near death countless times and has had sex over the course of the previous seasons, and the key had stayed firmly put.
- Could be Fridge Brilliance in that as Lexx becomes more and more senile, the key becomes less stable and more prone to transfer.
- However, in "I Worship His Shadow", Thodin is shown voluntarily transferring the key to one of his rebels before facing off with Kai and it's suggested in "Terminal" that releasing the key could be done voluntarily. It should be noted that there's never a situation where the person with the key actually wants to give it to someone else so the edge of death/absolute sexual pleasure is really more of the circumstances they know will force the key to transfer, not necessarily the only means of transference.
- The first series also establishes that the key is located in your hand (hence Giggerota and the brains hijacking the Lexx with Stan's), but come the latter series' it is located in the brain.
- Continuity Nod: Things would often come back to haunt the crew to varying degrees.
- Cool Starship: The Lexx.
- Corrupt Church: The Divine Order. 'Course this is deliberate, due to the fact that His Divine Shadow is really a survivor of the Insect War.
- Crapsack World: His Shadow's realm. Late fees are paid in organ donations and the government expects religious fanaticism. Also, what can one really say about a regime crazy enough to have built the Lexx in the first place? And this is in the Light Universe. For a while, it seems like the propaganda about the Dark Zone being worse on account of not having a universe-spanning government is just that; propaganda. It turns out the propaganda is true.
- It isn't just His Shadow's realm that's a Crapsack World - the entire universe - well, both of them - definitely apply for this trope.
- Crippling Overspecialization: The Lexx's only weapon/defense is its Wave Motion Gun. This has caused its fair share of problems during the series, most involving unwanted boarders.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Many - for a good early example, look no further than the several unlucky bastards having their organs harvested from their bodies while they're still alive in "I Worship His Shadow".
- Curse Cut Short: An example of this occurs in one of 790's attempts at Xev-centric poetry:
790: On a branch there is a fruit, plump and ripe for sucking. In a bed there is a body, hot and ripe for - [he is interrupted by a broadcast]
- Dark Action Girl: Vlad. Kai is a Divine Assassin, an indestructible cyborg-like being who can survive being blown up with a planet. Vlad is a Divine Executioner, the being created to destroy Divine Assassins who have gone rogue.
- Made all the worse by the fact that Vlad has gone rogue.
Kai: If a Divine Assassin is Death Incarnate, the Divine Executioner is the Apocalypse Made Flesh.
- Dark Is Evil: His Divine Shadow is evil. You can tell, because his title has the word "shadow" in it and he and his Mooks dress all in black.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Kai is an undead, de-carbonized Divine Assassin with the blood of millions on his hands. His skin is deathly pale and he dresses entirely in black, giving him the look of a bizarre Edward Scissorhands. Scary, to be sure, but by the end of the first movie he regained his memories and had a Heel Face Turn. For the rest of the show's run he is a noble, if aloof, hero (except for the episode where the idiot teenagers messed with his protoblood and turned him temporarily into an axe murderer).
- In the episode "Woz", the crew (and the audience) is led to believe that the Dark Lady (whose real name is never given, and who wears all black, with only her eyes showing) is an evil woman manipulating innocent young ladies into becoming love slaves, selling them into sex slavery, and setting their expiry dates for seven days after their love slave transformations. This couldn't be further from the truth - the women come to her willingly to be transformed into love slaves, and they last a lot longer than a mere seven days after their transformation.
- A Day at the Bizarro: Invoked when the crew tries to reach the center of the universe as a way of fighting Mantrid, solely on the idea that things are different at the center of the universe, and may give them some sort of advantage. All of season three can be seen as this, as it takes place in the afterlife, which is a solar system ours, actually at the center of the Dark Zone. A traditional example comes in form of A Midsummer's Nightmare.
- Deadpan Snarker: 790. Kai also has his moments.
- Death By Pragmatism: While he never actually dies, Stan does tend to be the Chew Toy, even though he's usually the most pragmatic one aboard.
- Deal with the Devil
- Death by Sex: Kai's living reincarnation on Earth had the bad luck to meet Xev as she was experiencing a Cluster Lizard mating cycle.
- Death Is Cheap: Invoked, subverted and Lampshaded; many of the characters who die in the second season are alive on Earth six thousand years later after the Lexx blows up the afterlife. It Makes Sense in Context. Subverted again by Kai, who dies in the first scene and stays dead, but animate, through the whole series until the finale, where he's brought back to life just before an event he can't possibly survive.
- Deep South: The second-season episode that introduces Norb, "White Trash". The funnin's just begunnin'.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "I'm Pa, but you can call me Pa."
- Depraved Bisexual: Jihanna is implied to be bisexual - and no-one would dare argue that she isn't depraved.
- Depraved Homosexual: The mercenaries in "Giga Shadow", Feppo and Smoor.
- Devil but No God
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
- Dirty Coward: Stanley, for the most part.
- Disaster Dominoes: The first movie.
- Disposable Sex Worker: The villain of the episode "Luvliner" thinks nothing of vaporizing the eponymous space brothel's employees on a whim. Not much later, an employee of a pleasure cruiser is murdered by the grand prosecutor to demonstrate that she's turned on by killing people. Despite the entire episode taking place on the pleasure cruiser, no other workers show up to protest or seek revenge.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Season 2 episode 9, clearly a bit of a Alien spoof. Well other than the sexually deviant robot ... oh wait ...
- Doppelganger: Prince impersonates both Xev and a living Kai at different points in Season 3.
- Double Entendre:
Xev: You may still only be a head, 790, but you're the best head I ever had.
- Downer Ending: A few of them. Every season, including the Season One movies, ends with the total destruction of its setting. Yes, that includes the fourth and final season's setting ... and that frees the Big Bad, who gets away scot-free in the end. Also, way too many likable Recurrers wind up Killed Off for Real for a show that's supposed to be comedic.
- Dueling Shows: Farscape.
- Dug Too Deep
- Eagle Land: The setting of much of Season 4. Bizarrely, it's an amalgamation of both flavors of Eagle Land.
- In the second season episode "Lyekka", the Lexx encounters three explorers from the planet Potatoho, which is a Flavor 1 Eagleland (with a potato obsession).
- Earthshattering Kaboom: Literally.
- Multiple times for other planets.
- Epic Song: "Yo Way Oh" is this. "A Good Way To Die" from Brigadoom also counts. Both get bonus points for being Courage Songs.
- Episode Code Number
- Erotic Dream: Xev is having a rather prolonged one at the beginning of "Luvliner", though we never get to see who she's dreaming about. The dream is likely brought on due to Xev's sexual frustration.
- Estrogen Brigade Bait: Kai, both in-story and among the fans (female and male), despite being mostly inorganic and having really goofy hair.
- Eternal Recurrence: Big theme, much of it based on a universe where the Big Crunch will happen to ignite the Big Bang. Prophets don't look forward so much as remember previous cycles.
- Ethical Slut: Zev/Xev is extremely horny and not very discriminating, although her attempts to get laid are often scuppered in some way. However her raging libido is not treated as a character flaw. She is easily one of the more ethical characters on a show with plenty of Black and Grey Morality.
- Similarly Bunny, who especially in her Season 3 incarnation treats sex like a handshake but is portrayed as more of an Innocent Fanservice Girl. Her Season 4 incarnation is similarly horny, but she saves it for her husband, President Priest, who she is inexplicably nuts over.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Longbore pulls this in Season 4 when it's revealed that he's not building the rocketship Noah for him and his science assistants, but for him alone and a bunch of (probably underage) schoolgirls. When the assistants object, he holds them at bay and tries to escape only to be thwarted by President Priest and Bunny.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The primary form of locomotion for a Cluster Lizard is curling into a circle ouroboros-style and rolling around. As part-Cluster Lizard, Xev also does this on occasion. The baby Cluster Lizard, Squish, also did it once, as part of a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Gigashadow, the fully grown Insect from the eponymous episode, actually propels itself through space this way.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: "Twilight".
- Evil Overlord: His Divine Shadow; Prince.
- Oberon tries to be one in A Midsummer's Nightmare, but falls flat.
- Exposition of Immortality: The Divine Predecessors have a sort of immortality. During "I Worship His Shadow" the Predecessor who was the host to the Divine Shadow when the Brunnen-G are destroyed shares his memories of the events of 2008 years ago with the other Predecessors.
- Eyes of Gold: During his brief stint as an Ax Crazy lunatic, Kai sports sinister yellow eyes.
- Facing the Bullets One-Liner: Kai, in "Supernova":
"Would you care to join me in watching the supernova? It is a once in a lifetime experience."
- Fake American:
- Many of the American characters in Season 4 are portrayed by Canadian actors.
- Rolf Kanies plays the American President Priest in S4, complete with his own German accent.
- English actors Craig Charles and Hattie Hayridge of Red Dwarf fame play Texans in P4X. Hayridge (badly) attempts a Texas drawl, while Charles doesn't bother.
- English Josh Hartnett lookalike Rupert Evans plays Midwestern boy Cleasby in Prime Ridge.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The entire crew (save for 790), by the end of the series.
- Foregone Conclusion: Subverted. Kai is dead. Kai needs Protoblood to remain animate. All sources of Protoblood are gone. It's a foregone conclusion that Kai will, eventually, use all of his Protoblood and his friends will have to deal with the fact that he won't be around after that. Until Prince lives up their bet at the last minute and boy howdy, the foregone conclusion doesn't seem like it was so bad ...
- Foreshadowing: Notice that in the first episode, His Shadow makes note of the fact that the Brunnen-G tried to fight him with Insect technology? Notice that the Lexx is, though engineered and thus not a member of the actual civilization, an insect?
- The ship used by His Shadow to destroy Brunnis-2 is actually called the Foreshadow.
- Gender Bender: For an episode. But only the organs, not the rest of their bodies.
- Genius Cripple: Dr. Longbore.
- Genocide Backfire: Even though His Divine Shadow does wipe out the Brunnen-G, the one cadaver he reanimates as a "screw you" to the race ends up bringing down the empire.
- The plants of Season 4 are ultimately destroyed when the heroes attempt to protect Earth from their appetite; if they'd bypassed Earth (or only eaten Japan as agreed, instead of going back on their word,) they'd have gotten away.
- Subverted by the Insects, who win, pyrrhic victory though it may be. Though His Shadow is killed, he does succeed in his actual goal, uniting humanity under a slave-driving government to worship him and happily throw themselves into his belly when the time comes.
- Grand Finale: "Yo Way Yo".
- Grappling Hook Pistol: Kai's brace is both this and a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
- The Grim Reaper: Prince. He always knew what he was supposed to do, but he didn't realize why until the end of the series.
- Groin Attack: In "769," 790 gets a new body and wants a nice, big willy to go with it. Prince summons a group of servicemen whose below-decks firepower was especially impressive. The one that 790 selects has his removed and it is grafted onto 790's new body. The unfortunate serviceman is thanked for his sacrifice and given a Purple Heart.
- Gunboat Diplomacy: The Lexx crew will often do then when they don't get their way. They'll destroy some nearby moon or planet to demonstrate to the uncooperative schmuck what will happen if they don't start being more helpful.
- Subverted in that it usually doesn't work. The witness to the demo will start thinking about what they could do with that kind of power and just pretend to start being more helpful just to get the crew out of the way.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Zev/Xev was turned into one of these when her love slave transformation process went wrong. Her other half comes from Cluster Lizard DNA.
- Healing Factor: Kai is nearly indestructible, and being already dead, returning him to un-life isn't that difficult if he's damaged. Gets cut in half? Put the halves back together and watch his body return to normal in seconds.
- Hero of Another Story: Thodin.
- Hollywood Pudgy: A research assistant who is smitten with Kai in Season 4, the disciples of "Woz", others. Tended to meet bad ends of the innocent victim variety, whereas anybody with supermodel proportions meets a bad end due to bad choices.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Stanley and Xev meet two in the episode "Luvliner". They are almost immediately vaporized by a villain.
- Howl of Sorrow: Zev lets out one in "Giga Shadow" when Kai temporarily dies after running out of Proto-Blood. Also, Giggerota does so when things don't go her way, but it's more like a Howl of Rage.
- Human Popsicle: Stan, Xev and Kai place themselves in suspended animation between Seasons 2 and 3 ... and don't wake up until thousands of years later. To a lesser extent, Kai has to keep periodically freezing himself over the course of the series, to ensure that he doesn't run out of Protoblood too quickly.
- Human Resources: In "Eating Pattern", the eponymous Pattern is made from processed body parts.
- A running theme with Cluster society - harvested organs from criminals are used as components in the construction of bio-mechanical robots, while the remainder of the body and any leftover organs are used as food for the living ships Lexx and, later, the Gigashadow. Residents are not aware of the full extent of this use, instead being told only of a 'protein bank' into which the corpses go and from which robots are produced. Seen in all it's gory detail episodes one and four of Season 1.
- Brizon's life support methods, especially that tank in his castle. Brrr.
- Humiliation Conga: Hilarity Ensues when Stanley makes the spare Shadow brains sing an ode to him and of how much they suck.
- "I Want" Song: Kai's first song in "Brigadoom".
- I'm a Humanitarian: Giggerota the Wicked, whose dress is made of the skin of her victims.
- On rare occasions, Zev/Xev can involuntarily transform into a Cluster Lizard. While in this form, she has devoured other humans.
- In "White Trash", the redneck Gollean family are cannibals, and end up killing and devouring the space miners from "Love Grows".
- Lyekka, constantly, despite being sort of on the "good" side. Let's just say eating people is a frequent theme.
- Immortality: Kai was Type III and His Divine Shadow was Type IX.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Kai, big time, as well as the rest of the Brunnen-G.
- Insectoid Aliens: The Insect Civilization, of course, as well as the Lexx itself.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet
- Intercourse with You: Xev/Zev's theme song.
- Because you look so DAMN good.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Zev/Xev's ability to transform into a Cluster Lizard.
- Ironic Echo: "Oink." (It Makes Sense in Context.)
- Ironic Nursery Tune: Many of the musical numbers are actually nursery rhymes from various countries.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stan and Xev have their moments in different episodes.
- Jerkass: 790.
- Jump Scare: Used in "Norb" when one of Mantrid's drone arms suddenly flies past Stanley on the bridge of the Lexx.
- Karma Houdini: Prince, at the end of the fourth season. Considering the damage they do, Stanley and Xev may qualify as well.
- Averted in "Stan's Trial". Just as it looks as though Jihanna, the episode's villain, is going to get away with everything, she - along with everyone else aboard the pleasure cruiser - is destroyed by Mantrid's drone arms.
- Kill All Humans
- La Résistance: The Brunnen-G attack squad led by living Kai and, years later, the Ostral-B Heretics were the only ones to oppose the rule of His Divine Shadow.
- Lampshade Hanging: Several instances. Some of the standouts:
- Regarding Prince's ability to teleport:
Xev: How did he do that?
- Season 2, with its higher budget, sees a complete overhaul and re-design of the cardboard sets making up the Lexx' interior. At the beginning of the episode "Norb", Stanley actually asks the Lexx why it looks different. The Lexx explains that it wasn't quite fully grown when they took off, and the new look means the Lexx has reached full maturity.
- Large Ham: Many, but any role played by Ellen Dubin (Giggerotta, Queen, Pope Geneveive G. Rota) certainly qualifies.
"Put on a show for Giggerotta. PUT ON A SHOOOOOOOW!!"
- Mantrid also qualifies, combined with a good dose of No Indoor Voice.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: When 790 transplants his head to the headless body of a cyborg pilot in "791", the sadistic, rapist pilot's consciousness frequently takes over that of 790 and attempts to force himself on Stan. After Stan manages to hold back the pilot's consciousness (or so he thinks ...), a horribly embarrassed 790 says "... I won't tell if you won't."
- Limited Wardrobe: All the main characters.
- Location Doubling: In the fourth season, a shot of a meat-obsessed American town was actually a shot of the main street of Wolfville, a small University town in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Love At First Sight: Well, not necessarily at first sight, but it certainly didn't take long for Zev to fall in love with Kai. Also, in the Season 2 episode "Luvliner", Varrtan, a male prostitute, falls in love at first sight with Xev. The poor guy is vaporised by the episode's main villain just minutes later.
- 790's first words upon seeing Zev after being programmed with the love slave personality meant for her. Same goes for when he fell in love with Kai who fixed him in Season 3.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Largely consistent, but if the show had to choose between keeping details in line and being silly, it would choose the latter. Lampshaded in A Midsummer's Nightmare where everyone seems to notice the fact that Oberon and his kingdom don't quite fit into the normal cosmology.
- Meaningful Echo: The Hymn of the Brunnen-G is sung several times in the series, always as a beautiful heroic sacrifice. The final reprise itself is just wow ... Heartbreakingly, the first and last times it's heard are the only times where its actual meaning (namely, "Victory or death") comes all the way into play.
- Marshmallow Hell: Once used by Xev to keep Stan from addressing the Lexx.
- Meaningful Name: Doctor Longbore talks in a monotone for long stretches. The First Lady is named Bunny, as in, a Playboy Bunny. The Prince of Fire is Satan.
- Mood Whiplash: The show frequently varies between being extremely serious and extremely silly, often multiple times within a single episode.
- Mummy: They're made by His Divine Shadow and are really good at doing a Neck Snap on members of the Mafia.
- The Multiverse
- Musical Episode: "Brigadoom".
- Naked on Arrival: When Zev is regenerated into Xev, she emerges completely stark naked, save for her old rubber harness (and thick goo to censor her lady parts). Earlier in the same episode, Lyekka is first shown completely naked, although as she possesses neither sex organs nor nipples, no censoring is used (her body is just smooth and blank all over).
- Never Say "Die"
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Lexx crew give Mantrid the means to escape from his prison, and in a Humongous Mecha body, at that.
- No Biological Sex: Lyekka's race.
- The Nth Doctor: Zev, played by Eva Habermann, dies in the second season and is reborn as Xev, played by Xenia Seeberg. In her pre-love slave appearance, she is played by Lisa Hines.
- Numbered Homeworld: Averted, Brunnis-2 actually was the second planet named Brunnis. The first Brunnis, located in the Dark Zone, was abandoned when its sun entered the final stages of its life cycle and began to go nova. The inhabitants, the Brunnen-G, migrated to the Light Universe and settled on a new world, which they named Brunnis-2.
- Obviously Evil: The shady doctor from "Terminal".
- Off-the-Shelf FX: You'll occasionally recognise some every day objects being used as props, such as a bicycle wheel or an N64 controller.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Mantrid.
- 790 gets this, culminating with him having Lexx destroy Earth because people there potentially wanted Kai for themselves.
- Opening Narration
- Organic Technology
- Organ Theft: Standard execution method on the Cluster. Harvested body parts are used to build the robots seen around the place.
"You have been sentenced to have your individual life terminated. However, His Divine Shadow will allow many of your vital organs to live on as components used in the making of robotic drones."
- Orifice Invasion: By bad carrots.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Priest is an absolute buffoon, puppet ruler, and possibly a shameless pastiche of George W Bush and John McCain.
- He becomes President Evil when he starts nuking countries just for pissing him off in frivolous ways. This is understandable when you remember that he was Prince's priest in an episode during Season 3.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Kai the undead assassin as an arguable example, Vlad / Dracula as the real deal. Kai could also be called a revenant-analogue.
- Panty Shot: Zev/Xev has a fair few.
- Parental Abandonment: Zev's parents sold her to the Wife Bank as an infant because she didn't meet their expectations.
- Parental Incest: Very, very heavily implied to be going on between Pa Gollean and his daughter Sissy in "White Trash".
- Plant Aliens: Lyekka's race.
- Planet of Hats: Surprisingly rare, but played ludicrously straight when it shows up, such as a planet of hillbillies. Subverted by the Insect Civilization, who are defeated because their methodical nature makes them too predictable, but one Insect thinking outside the box manages to unite humans across 20, 000 planets under an oppressive government that literally feeds its own rebirth, essentially using humans to defeat themselves.
- Platonic Prostitution: In the episode "Luvliner," the crew travel to a brothel IN SPACE, where Xev meets a male prostitute who falls in Love At First Sight with her, and refuses to have sex with her because "[her] first time should be special."
- Pluto Is Expendable: Even included in a planet count of 8, maybe 9 planets.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child
- Precision F-Strike: Kai in "Wake The Dead", when he is temporarily turned into a crazed axe murderer.
- Psychopomp: Prince turns out to be one of these all along in addition to being the Lexxverse's version of Satan.
- Psycho Lesbian: Lomea.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The Queen Worm's brood become these in "Eating Pattern".
- Red Shirt: ANYONE who tries to have sex with Xev, and then delays for ANY reason. Honestly, if these idiots would just get biz-AY, they wouldn't get killed/crushed/eaten/turned into a woman, etc.
- Actually the Entire Series was a long Running Gag almost solely based on this trope. Lexx's creators were admitted fans of Star Trek and made most of the episodes in the not so subtle gag that ALL of the supporting characters die while only the main cast survives to the next episode. Unfortunately the entire main cast only consisted of 5 characters (including Lexx itself) so the entire universe(s) and their inhabitants became expendable.
- Refuge in Audacity: How most of the more outrageous moments work.
- The Reveal: A few:
- Season One: His Divine Shadow is actually the last Insect, and he orchestrated the entire run of the Divine Order as a way of using humans to defeat themselves.
- Season Three: Water and Fire are Heaven and Hell, although it's obvious from early on. The bigger reveal is that they're also Counter-Earth.
- Season Four: The Lexx has been nearing the end of its natural lifespan since the third season, and it's been pregnant since Dutch Treat. A meta-reveal happens when the mass of the Higgs Boson is shown as .13 repeating; the characters almost certainly know, but no one actually cares and thus, no one says it for the audience to hear.
- Reverse Polarity: Norb.
- Rousing Speech
- Royal We: "We are Pope Genevieve I, formally known as G. G. Rota."
- Rule of Symbolism: In the final episode, the image on the Lexx' viewscreen as it dies is a single, bright, completely white star; the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Running on All Fours: Well, Rolling on all fours in Xev's case.
- Sadist Show
- Samus Is a Girl: The Lexx is actually female, and gets pregnant after mating with a dragonfly from Holland. Less of a spoiler for German viewers, where the Lexx is voiced by a woman.
- How can you tell?
- It very clearly has sex with the dragonfly; not just animal/insect/what-have-you mating, it's a blatant sex scene with a blatant vagina analog on the Lexx. The other characters even realize what's going on.
- Subverted by 790; the cube of human brain that functions as his CPU is from a woman, and he sometimes cites his femininity when it helps his arguments (like when he needs Xev to sympathise with him) but his personality is male to the point where he doesn't even entertain the possibility of getting girl parts instead of a penis when he gets the chance.
- How can you tell?
- Sapient Ship: Lexx can speak directly to its crew, and its hobbies include blowing up planets.
- Satan: Prince rules a hot desert planet where the souls of those who made bad decisions in life go after they die.
- Scenery Porn: Most of the time the show was pretty much stage-bound, but the episode "The Game", shot in Iceland, easily qualifies.
- School of Seduction: The Wife Bank.
- Screwed by the Network: Not to a FOX level, but the Sci-Fi channel's commercials - and airing of episodes wildly out of order, showing all the raunchy ones back to back though they did show them in order eventually - would lead you to believe that it's porn dressed up as Space Opera.
- To be fair to the network, they did give us the fourth season out of fan demand when word got out it wasn't going to happen, which is more than they did for Farscape. Also, when the September 11th attacks happened during the middle of season four and a new episode was preempted for a network-spanning broadcast about it, many fans found the tribute show ultimately depressing instead of uplifting and stayed up in the hopes that the late-night encore would be the new episode; it wasn't, but instead of just re-running the previous week's show, they had the thought to re-run fan-favorite Brigadoom.
- Screw Destiny: Kai and His Shadow try and fail. Then Stanley succeeds. The Time Prophet predicts that after the Gigashadow there is "nothing", and indeed Gigashadow/Mantrid seems well on course to destroy all of creation. Then in Brigadoom Stanley grows a spine,turns around and fights Mantrid successfully, thus saving about half of creation. And it's still there thousands of years later too.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Kai and the Divine Shadow tried to avert the Time Prophet's prophecy for the exact opposite reasons. The prophecy could not have been fulfilled without both of them trying to avert it.
- Serious Business: The TV ratings in Lafftrack resulted in a war, which then resulted in the annihilation of two races.
- She's Got Legs: Hello, Zev/Xev!
- Shiny New Australia: Newfoundland, England.
- Shotgun Wedding: Very nearly happens to Stan and Sissy in "White Trash", after they are caught in bed together by Sissy's father.
- Shout-Out: Apocalexx Now to Apocalypse Now, though it's mostly In Name Only.
- More subtly, the chess game between Kai and Prince is copied from a game played by famous players.
- Super Nova has Tim Curry saying: "So, you're on the slab ..."
- In exchange for his assistance, President Priest promises to make Stan the "king" of Newfoundland. Stan's actor, Brian Downey, is a Newfie.
- In "Terminal", look closely at the control panel used by the Villain Of The Week to flush one of his poor hapless former patients into space. It's an N64 controller.
- The episode "Xevivor" contains a quick shout out to The Blair Witch Project.
- From "Fire and Water":
The Lexx: I am sorry, Stanley. I cannot do that.
- Shower Scene: Used to show boobies. About one per season.
- Show Within a Show: "Lafftrack", "Xevivor".
- Single Biome Planet: Fire and Water.
- SI Prefix Name: Foreshadow, Megashadow, Gigashadow.
- Slasher Smile: Kai sports one when he temporarily goes crazy in "Wake the Dead".
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: As previously mentioned, Zev/Xev is not very discriminating due to her love slave programming - but she absolutely refuses to sleep with Stan.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Poetman from "Super Nova".
- Smarmy Host / Depraved Host: The host on the TV planet in "Lafftrack".
- Smug Snake: Brizon.
- Something Completely Different: Brigadoom, the musical episode in Season 2. Incidentally also a minor use of the Vanishing Village trope, surprisingly.
- The third and fourth seasons depart from the episodic Space Opera format and are centered around one location each.
- The Song Before the Storm: The entirety of Brigadoom is this, and above all the song "Final Stand".
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The early seasons play this straight from His Divine Shadow, to the Gigashadow, to Mantrid who wants to consume two universes. It's debatable whether or not Seasons 3 and 4 are a subversion. While Prince is physically limited to a single solar system, his influence could be seen as greater than any of the previous Big Bads because he's the devil, and later revealed to be death itself.
- Space Opera: Of a particular gothic-tinged and cynical kind.
- And of course literal Opera in the case of Brigadoom.
- Space Trucker: The episode "Love Grows".
- Speech Impediment: Bog from "Eating Pattern" has a fairly bad stutter.
- Spock Speak: Kai does possibly the best Spock Speak in television history, superior even to the Trope Namer. Lexx, the titular ship, does a pretty decent job of it itself. Pretty much the only ones who don't talk this way are the thoroughly human characters of a quite low level of knowledge about things, Stanley and Xev/Zev, the ones who are typically having things explained to them in perfect expository Spock Speak.
- Spoiled Brat: Zev's fiancé, whose parents bought Zev as a present for him. He ends up getting a very satisfying punch in the face from his bride-to-be.
- Starfish Robots: The pilot movie has a small dragonfly-like robot.
- Stealth Parody
- Steampunk: Most of the third season features goggles, grit, balloons navigated from Fire to Water, and steam. Did we mention goggles?
- Stock Sound Effects: Kai's brace shoots with a slightly tweaked version of the familiar Red-tailed Hawk cry.
- Suck Out the Poison: Twilight.
- Synchronous Episodes: The Web & The Net.
- Syndication Title
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The Time Prophet.
- Team Pet: 790, and, briefly, Squish the baby Cluster Lizard.
- Teens Are Monsters: In "Wake the Dead" and "Haley's Comet" teens invade the Lexx and prove themselves to be vacuous, self-centered, sex-obsessed (this is Lexx), and absolutely cruel little shits to the insecure Fat Idiot that enables them to get what they want in the first place. Both episodes also have said fat idiot snapping and causing both the deaths of the other teens and nearly the deaths of the crew, so no one is sympathetic.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When Mantrid promises to save the crew of the Lexx for last, he's not kidding; he waits until he's converted the entire universe into Mantrid Drones, then chases them with those drones. All of them.
Mantrid: Overkill? It is my style. I think ... big.
- Third Person Person: Giggerota.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Category 13 biohazards and Type 13 planets are among the most dangerous kinds of each. The mass of the Higgs Boson is .13 repeating, but the process that discovers this will reduce the planet on which the research is being done to an ultra-dense ball of matter the size of a pea.
- Those Two Guys: Feppo and Smoor.
- Toilet Humor: The show has a lot of it and Bad Carrot is pretty much one big poop joke.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Brother Trager from Nook, and Bunny from planet Water are examples.
- Transparent Closet: Farley Knuckle, the Jeff Probst Expy from Xevivor is obviously gay but in heavy, heavy denial about it, almost but not quite to Armored Closet Gay proportions.
- Treacherous Spirit Chase: A gift from an alien species causes each member of the crew to experience hallucinations designed to evoke jealousy. Stanley discovers Xev and Kai together in bed, while Xev stumbles upon Stan and Kai in the same position. Enraged, they come within seconds of murdering each other before the real Kai intervenes.
- True Companions: The Lexx crew (with the exception of 790) slowly becomes this over the course of Seasons 2 and 3 and is this in Season 4.
- The screwed-up kind, but true nonetheless. Character Development is slow, but it's obvious that by the end of the series, Xev and Stanley have gone from bickering neighbors to actual friends, and both consider Kai as such instead of the eyecandy / useful utility he starts off as. Stanley even seems genuinely broken up when the Lexx dies of old age, although he could just be fretting the inconvenience of it.
- TV Head Robot: 790 he has three screens with multiple functions.
- The Vietnam War: Apocalexx Now, although President Priest seems to confuse it with World War II with the assertion that America drove the Japanese back to "Japaneseland".
- Villainous Breakdown: Mantrid's final moments. "I destroyed a universe! I destroyed a universe! I DESTROYED A UNIVERSE!!"
- The Virus: Mantrid's drones.
- Viva Las Vegas: Viva Lexx Vegas, appropriately enough, although the plot concerns itself more with the Mafia than the usual sights of Sin City.
- Volleying Insults: The bragging insultfest between Brizon and Mantrid is just downright infantile, especially since Mantrid seems to be doing more than Brizon with his evil.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Lyekka is a shapeshifting plant alien, but for most of her on-screen time she takes the form of a girl Stanley once had a crush on, having learned of the girl's name and appearance from his dreams. She also tends to shift into outfits that feature in Stanley's dreams, too (which, given that this is Stan we're talking about, are rather tight and quite revealing outfits).
- Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere: Lyekka is very matter-of-fact about this: she'd "prefer" not to eat her human friends, but deprived of other food sources, she would.
- Warrior Poet: The race of the Brunnen-G went from Proud Warrior Race to a race of Warrior Poets after the Insects were believed destroyed for all time.
- Before Who Wants to Live Forever? sets in.
- Wave Motion Gun: Several, but the most important is that on the Lexx itself.
- Wetware CPU: 790 has a small chunk of human brain matter kept alive with a similar substance to protoblood, when he had a Wetware Body that is what allowed him to control it but nowadays it's used to store Zev/Xev's loveslave programming. And the organs of criminals are used to make most of the Cluster's drones as well.
- What Could Have Been: Eva Habermann could've been Zev for the entire run; she left because news about season two was taking so long that she had to choose between taking other work or banking on the show getting picked up.
- On a smaller scale, the original plan for Lyekka Vs Japan was to have Wist from Eating Pattern come back, but the actress was unavailable.
- What Have I Done: Stanley occasionally has moments of genuine regret and remorse concerning the consequences of his actions and the fact that his incompetence and cowardice have killed billions. The emotional weight of the destruction that earned him the name "Arch-Traitor" is revealed in "Stan's Trial". Giggerota points this out in "Patches in the Sky" when he accidentally blows up a mining planet staffed by robots.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Brunnen-G are an example of this. After defeating the Insects, they build a new homeworld and put a shield around it and work out immortality. But it's only agelessness, not accident or disease proof, and thus as a culture nearly all of them are so risk averse they don't get out of bed or their bunkers for fear of a germ or a falling brick. They also live far beyond their brains' ability to remember and have problems. They can still breed though, and the younger generations have issues with what has happened.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Woz is The Wizard of Oz In Space and on drugs. A Midsummer's Nightmare is Shakespeare not in space, but on more drugs.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: The Gigashadow talks too much for its own good.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: The Lexx is a Living Ship, so it needs to feed. It would usually eat large inhabited chunks of planets to satisfy its hunger. Since the Lexx provided food for the crew, if Lexx didn't eat nobody ate. Sometimes the search for food would be the plot of an entire episode.
- Kai, once he was turned into an assassin by the Divine Order, needed proto-blood to survive. Season 1 had an ongoing subplot of trying to locate a supply for him.
- The Worm That Walks: The Queen Worm in "Eating Pattern".
- Would Hurt a Child: Many. Mantrid proves this with Norb when he tricks the kid into flying into a candy-cane built structure that's really composed of drone arms. When the arms attack him, you never see the death.
- Played for Laughs in "Lafftrack" when Stan punts the head off of an android child and sends it flying across the room. The difference is that Stan knows the kid isn't a living being in the first place.
- Yandere: 790 shows signs of being this, but thanks to Flanderization, he knocks it out of the park in Season 4.
- You Can See the Explosion from Orbit: When the Foreshadow nukes the Brunen G homeworld in the beginning (and as a replay in the musical episode).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: After her love slave transformation, Zev sports blue-ish/purple-ish white hair.
- You Have Failed Me...: Inverted in I Worship His Shadow, after the theft of the Lexx. To atone for his failure to his predecessors, the current Divine Shadow cuts his own freaking brain out!
- Actually, it's more because he needs his brain to stay on the Cluster while his body (which he is fully capable of operating without his brain being in it) needs to be sent off to try and stop the Lexx. Things do work out ALMOST the way they were supposed to ...
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Most bad guys do this.
- You Never Asked: After Kai explains the function of 790's brain cube:
Stan: Well, why didn't you tell him?
- You Suck: The portrayal of the United States in Season 4 could be this, or it could be a cruelly Affectionate Parody. It's hard to tell.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: The Narcolounger.
- Zeerust: In "Super Nova", the memories on Brunnis are stored on ... compact discs.
- Several of the spaceship designs.