Do You Have to Watch American Horror Story in Order Before Season 12?

How much American Horror Story lore do you need to know?

by Mike Bedard
Image: FX

The American Horror Story franchise has turned into a juggernaut in the world of television. The series is currently on its 12th season, subtitled Delicate, and it’s spawned a spin-off show called American Horror Stories. That’s a lot viewers may feel they have to catch up on, especially if they feel so inclined to check out AHS: Delicate as their first foray into this new world. Maybe they want to see how Kim Kardashian handles psychological horror. But if you’re wondering if you’re going to miss anything diving into Delicate first, here’s what you need to know.

You Can Watch American Horror Story: Delicate Without Seeing Anything Else

American Horror Story is an anthology series. That means every season tells a completely new story with entirely different characters. Even if actors appear in multiple seasons, they typically play different people. For example, Emma Roberts is an AHS veteran at this point, appearing in previous seasons like Coven and Freak Show. However, Delicate sees her play a new character named Anna Victoria Alcott, who has nothing to do with her previous performances.

While you can watch Delicate without seeing anything else from AHS, there may be Easter eggs and inside jokes that go over your head. Occasionally, there are recurring characters, like Evan Peters playing James Patrick Marsh in Hotel and Apocalypse. It remains to be seen if Delicate has anything like that, but even if it does, even casual viewers will likely still be able to follow along.

At the end of the day, you can start watching AHS: Delicate without having seen anything from Ryan Murphy before. And if you really like Delicate, there are many other seasons of the show to check out. You may like some and dislike others, but with so many themes and monsters over the years, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

- This article was updated on September 21st, 2023

About The Author

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Mike Bedard has written tens upon thousands of articles online in all kinds of spaces. Some of his previous writing credits include Cracked, Ranker, and StudioBinder.