DT is one of the most polarizing bands in Prog Rock. They're either the best musicians performing today, writing some of the best music out there, or they ramble through overly technical, endless solos. Or they may be both. That's left to your choice.

See also:
* [[AwesomeMusic/DreamTheater Awesome Music - Dream Theater]]
* [[Awesome/DreamTheater Moment of Awesome - Dream Theater]]
* [[TearJerker/DreamTheater Tear Jerker - Dream Theater]]
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* BigNo: Mike Portnoy leaving the band.
* BrokenBase: Generally in the form of Older Stuff vs. Newer Stuff. The line dividing both parts is pretty unclear.
* EndingFatigue: "Six Degrees"'s final chord fades out over the course of two minutes, and Finally Free's outro riff repeats twelve times before the song ends... leading into a minute-and-a-half long epilogue that cuts to lingering static. Subverted by "Octavarium", which sounds like it's about to end on the last chord of "Intervals", but transitions into "Razor's Edge", which is epic enough to defy this trope.
* FaceOfTheBand: Mike Portnoy was pretty much the face of the band. He acted as the spokesman and did the bulk of the interviews and other things, and interacted with the fans more than any of the others. Petrucci is a sort of [[TheLancer second in command]]. Jordan also does a lot of face stuff, but usually in the context of a solo artist. John Myung mostly stays out of the limelight. Labrie himself was only going to be a guy who did vocals for them, rather than being a full on member who worked on songs.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Just about every fan ignores a few albums. ''Falling into Infinity'' is the receptor of most of the flak, but ''Systematic Chaos'' can also be a victim of this.
** ''Images and Words'' and ''Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory'' seem to have the most immunity to this, being accepted by most fans and considered the defining sound of Dream Theater, but the rest of the albums are often ignored by various fans.
** ''Awake'' is also generally well received, although debating whether it's ''better'' than the two aforementioned albums is a great way to kick off a BrokenBase.
** Depending on who you ask, the responses you'll get for favorite and least favorite albums tends to be almost random. Every single album will be at the top or bottom of someone's list.
** ''When Dream and Day Unite'' suffers from this as well, due to its fairly jarring EarlyInstallmentWeirdness.
* FunnyMoments: The commentaries the band do for their [=DVD=]s are hilarious. Also any time Derek Sherinian is on screen during the 5 Years In A Livetime DVD. What's he doing? "Making history! And ''you?''"
** James [=LaBrie=] rapping about [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BKmnlvO47E being Canadian]].
* {{Growing The Beard}}s: As one might tell by the plural, played literally, too. Their breakthrough, ''Images and Words'', was released in 1992 and peaked at #61 in the United States. Nobody had any facial hair. Compare that to 2007's ''Systematic Chaos'', their first Top 20 album (#19) and 2009's ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'', their first Top 10 (#6) which by then, everyone except Myung is more often seen with big beards and other facial hair.
* HeartwarmingMoments:
** "The Spirit Carries On".
** The finale of "Finally Free" ([[spoiler: before the ending kills the mood]]) from Metropolis, pt 2. "We'll meet again my friend...someday soon..."
* HellIsThatNoise: The solo and [[FakeOutFadeOut outro]] of "Misunderstood".
** The extended ending to "Panic Attack".
* LargeHam: The ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'' album treats us to thunder, dissonant piano, heavy guitars, choirs, and organs. Oh, and that's just in the first minute of over an hour of music.
* MemeticBadass: John Petrucci, likely due in large part to the Psycho Exercises videos mentioned above. Most videos on Website/YouTube featuring Petrucci either performing or just talking about his rig, music, etc. have a number of comments referencing absolute world-dominating awesomeness, usually in ways obviously influenced by Website/ChuckNorrisFacts.
* MemeticMutation: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evTTHS9hwvU John Petrucci's Psycho Exercises]]. You suck if you can't play five million notes a second like he can.
* MoralEventHorizon: Edward in ''Metropolis, Pt. 2'' crosses it when he [[spoiler: kills Victoria and Julian.]]
* NarmCharm:
** The lyrics on the song "The Count of Tuscany", from ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'', are some of the most ridiculous in the band's history. [=LaBrie=] sings this like it's the most sinister and creepy thing in the world. The lyrics are undeniably cheesy:
--> ''COME AND HAVE A TASTE!!!''
--> ''A RARE VINTAGE!!!''
--> ''ALL THE FINEST WINES!!!''
--> ''IMPROVE WITH AGE!!!''
** Another example:
--> ''Let me introduce-''
--> My ''brother
--> ''A bearded gentleman''
--> '' '''HISTORIAN'''!!!''
** The NarmCharm is there, but the song as a whole is about fear of difference, or in that particular case, fear of different livestyles that seem very bizarre to strangers. Said narm could have been removed and the song wouldn't have suffered much. On the other hand, ''Black Clouds and Silver Linings'' does go into LargeHam territory, as noted just a little higher on this page, starts with that modd from the start, and ends on a similar feel.
* NightmareFuel:
** "Caught in a Web" can ''really'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VCPdhom8V4 inspire this sort of thing]].
** Their cover of "Flick of the Wrist" by {{Queen}} on the special edition of ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'' too, specifically the way James [=LaBrie=] sings the verses.
** [[spoiler: Open your eyes, Nicholas. AHH! *record scratch* *static*]]
* ReplacementScrappy: Ex-keyboardist Derek Sherinian, who replaced original keyboardist Kevin Moore. Sherinian's own replacement, Jordan Rudess, was better received.
* TheScrappy:
** Charlie Dominici
** Derek Sherinian
** James [=LaBrie=], as far as metal is concerned.
* StunnedSilence: A common response upon first hearing ''Scenes from a Memory'' or "A Change of Seasons".
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** Kevin Moore's departure from the band.
** Some fans had this attitude after Mike Portnoy was replaced by Mike Mangini. Although it's gotten better since the release of the self titled, since Mangini feels more open with his drumming.
** Subverted by [=LaBrie=], who replaced Dominici. This was immediately followed by the release of ''Images and Words'', their biggest mainstream success.
** Subverted again with Derek Sherinian, who replaced Kevin Moore before they released "A Change of Seasons", widely regarded as their best song to date.
** And once again subverted by Jordan Rudess, who replaced Derek Sherinian. after it, they released ''Scenes from a Memory'', which is regarded by many fans as their absolute greatest album.
* ToughActToFollow: ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' is a very underrated album, mainly because it was unfortunate enough to come after ''Scenes From a Memory'', which is widely considered their best album.
* TrueNeutral: "The Great Debate" seems to take this viewpoint on stem cell research. The lyrics provide equal backing for both sides of the science vs. morality debate surrounding the topic.