* BrokenBase: Gaiman notes in the 10th Anniversary edition how this is one of his most controversial books. Many fans find Shadow too unlikable and the plot too wandering, but many others consider the book to be quite good and don't mind the wandering plot.
* CaptainObviousReveal: In hindsight, the fact that Low-Key Lyesmith is [[spoiler: Loki]] is ridiculously obvious and many readers (as well as Shadow) kick themselves for not seeing it sooner.
* EndingFatigue: Some releases of the book just ''keep'' going. [[spoiler:Depending on the release, the plot can be followed with two epilogues and a continuation through a spin-off short story. Firstly, the named "Epilogue" chapters appear to tie up the remaining loose ends and character threads; the "Post Script" chapter, which sees Shadow visit Reykjavik and briefly chat with the original incarnation of Odin; and ''then'', in some releases, a few chapters that see Shadow visiting Scotland and taking on a single job.]]
* GeniusBonus: Anyone who knows the origins of the names of the days of the week (etc. "Friday is Frigga's day") can figure out Mr. Wednesday's real identity pretty quickly.
** Not only that, but in general the more mythology you know the more you will get. In a book that explicitly contains Norse gods it would be unusual for there to be two redheads with scarred lips, eh?
** Hinzelmann [[spoiler:is based on the legend of a kobold named Heinzelmann, whose true form was of a small child with two swords impaled in his body]]. Also, it was said that [[spoiler:if he was ever chased out of his house, evil luck would follow. In the end, it's implied without Hinzelmann alive the town of Lakeside will no longer be the idyllic, slice-of-heaven town it is now]].
* HilariousInHindsight: The Technical Boy is always seen smoking a cigarette that is described as giving an odor of "burned electronic components". Years later, electronic cigarettes and vaping became a major fad, including in the tech crowd...and sure enough, the TV series' incarnation of TB has a vape pen.
* JerkassWoobie: Even Shadow feels a little sorry for the Technical Boy in the HellHotel.
** In the 10th-anniversary edition audiobook version of ''American Gods'', [[spoiler: Mad Sweeney's]] FinalSpeech is ruined for Jewish viewers because the way he pronounces "boobies" is identical to the Yiddish ''bubby'', or grandmother. What kind of fortune teller would let [[spoiler: an old drunken leprechaun]] play with her grandmothers? Perhaps he just really wanted some ChristmasCake...
** This audiobook in particular has some bad moments, including Bilquis' line delivery in general. She has a bad over-the-top hiss, an unidentifiable fake accent, and sounds more like an extremely bad attempt at a campy 60's Catwoman than she really should.
** The audiobook version take most of the pun-filled aliases from quite translucent to "you were trying to hide something?" level. "Low-Key" and "Jaquel" specifically, as they are pronounced identically to "Loki" and "Jackal".
* NightmareFuel: Hinzelmann. The story of the tribe that creates its own god from [[spoiler:[[PoweredByAForsakenChild a murdered child]], who in turn, a few thousand years later, settles down in Lakeside and kills another child each year.]]
** Many examples: a man eaten by a vagina, that very man-eating goddess being [[spoiler: ground into a bloody smear by a limousine,]] almost any scene in the last half of the book involving Laura...
** Media taking over Creator/LucilleBall's image on an episode of ''Series/ILoveLucy'' and offering to show Shadow Lucy's breasts. Thankfully, Shadow turns the television off before she can do it.
** Wednesday [[spoiler: getting half his head blown off. Followed by instant replay!]]
*** Wednesday's earlier KavorkaMan antics at Christmas with the poor hapless waitress, which Shadow watches with growing discomfort. Two peak points: Shadow likening the waitress to a fawn too young to know that it met an extremely hungry and crafty wolf and if she doesn't run ''now'', she will be ripped apart, and Shadow telling Wednesday she is barely even legal by the looks of her, to which Wednesday glibly answers he was never concerned with legality and though the women he picks generally have fathers and often brothers or even ''husbands'', he will skip town before they find out. Even worse when he reveals that he put two charms on her, one to lure her in and one to make sure she will never love another. And he has done this to many others. [[spoiler: Including Shadow's own mother. Which Shadow gets to see in part.]]
* TheWoobie: Poor Shadow doesn't catch a break throughout. [[spoiler: When he finally dies by hanging from the World Tree for nine days, just like Odin/Wednesday before him, his last request is to be left alone in TheNothingAfterDeath. Of course, that doesn't last long, since Eostr/Easter brings him back to life for the final battle.]]