* BestKnownForTheFanservice: Most of the show's media attention is centered around Lena Dunham's penchant for nudity and its frequent, CringeComedy sex scenes.
* CriticalDissonance: The critics almost universally love the show, while the normal audience is split between absolutely hating it, and loving it along with the critics. Additionally, the show gets very poor ratings, with its highest rated episode getting just over 1 million and most episodes getting 0.8 million viewers, which is somewhat low even for HBO's standards; it's AdoredByTheNetwork despite the abysmal ratings due to having a lot of social buzz, even if it's of the "hate it" variety.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Ray, who began as just 'Charlie's friend' and grew into a popular character, to the point of being promoted to a series regular for season 2.
** Adam, too, given his increased, sympathetic presence in Season 2.
** Elijah, who went from being a seemingly expository character concerning Hannah's troubled romantic past to one of the gang's regular friends and the show's main comic relief, thanks to his many memorable one-liners often snarking about the flaws of the other main characters.
* FanPreferredCouple: Marnie and Jessa. And it's practically canon.
* HilariousInHindsight: Marnie's mediocre singing, after Allison Williams' performance was one of the few generally praised things about the 2014 live show of ''Theatre/PeterPan''.
* HypeBacklash: It got a LOT of this, mainly as a result of the "voice of a generation" quote (which was taken out of context). Perhaps the most legitimate, ongoing criticism is that of the lack of diversity in the cast; as [[http://www.nerve.com/tv/the-four-things-i-simultaneously-could-and-couldnt-relate-to-abouti-girls-i an article at Nerve pointed out]] it's weird even for privileged, white 20-somethings to have such a homogenous group of friends when they live in a city as diverse as New York. (Granted, this is a problem with [[SexAndTheCity a lot of]] [[HowIMetYourMother shows set in]] [[{{Friends}} the Big Apple]], but most of them had older casts.)
* LesYay: between Marnie and Jessa, they [[spoiler: make out during an attempted threesome in one episode (and seem a lot more into each other than the guy who propositioned them)]] and because of this some of their earlier fighting/dislike of each other seems more like UST
** Marnie and Hannah even though it's mostly friendly.
* MemeticMutation: "I think I may be the voice of a generation." Though not in the best way, as it was widely misunderstood as an earnest statement by the show's creator through the character, when it's really ludicrous babbling while high on opium.
* {{Narm}}: Most sex scenes with Marnie; as Allison Williams is apparently refraining from nudity, most of her attention in those scenes is focused on maneuvering her arms and hands to keep herself covered, which can reach highly ludicrous levels at times.
* NauseaFuel: You will never look at Q-Tips in quite the same way again.
** Hannah and Cleo going to get frenulum piercings. Cleo goes up first and every gory detail of the piercing is shown. It's so bad that Hannah chickens out of getting hers.
* RealitySubtext: [[http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/02/that-sex-scene-on-last-nights-girls.html This article]] suggests that Hannah and Sandy's conversation about her essay (he says nothing happens, she argues that what happens is that "a girl’s whole perspective on who she was, and her sexuality, changed") could be a pre-emptive response to criticism of the episode "One Man's Trash." Though it could just as well apply to several other episodes, or the series as a whole.
* TheScrappy:
** Marnie went from being a BaseBreaker like all of the main girls to this by season 3, as even many previous sympathetic fans saw her almost complete disregard to the thoughts and feelings of those around her reaching nearly sociopathic levels, especially noted in her severe (but brilliantly subverted) BreakTheCutie moment with Shoshanna when she non-chalantly [[spoiler: reveals she had a fling with Shoshanna's ex, Ray]].
** Jessa has incurred quite a bit of hatred due to some of her more selfish actions in Season 4, namely [[spoiler: setting Adam up with Mimi-Rose while Hannah was in Iowa, all for the purpose of getting with Mimi-Rose's ex-boyfriend Ace]].
** While most of the girls still have defenders and fans despite their bursts of awfulness, Desi arguably takes the cake as the most universally despised character on the show. This is due in combination to how manipulative, pretentious and unabashedly selfish he is, surpassing most of the main characters in levels of sheer narcissism.
* SeasonalRot: A BrokenBase about whether season three was this or GrowingTheBeard, as while some decried some percieved {{flanderization}} of the main characters, less CringeComedy-type creative risks and excessive plot focus back on Hannah, some liked the more mature and subdued plot-lines and the overall more cohesive feel episode-to-episode. Season 4, however, is already proving to be even more divisive.
* {{Tearjerker}}: "Sit-In" is one big episode of this, as [[spoiler: Hannah deals with the fact that Adam got a new girlfriend while she was in Iowa]]. Particularly heartbreaking is the conversation between Hannah and [[spoiler: Adam]] at the end, when they manage to [[spoiler: have an honest, heartbreaking conversation about their dead relationship]].
* WhatAnIdiot:
** While a whole lot of Hannah's actions provoke this reaction, her impious behaviour at [[spoiler: David's]] funeral stands out. She actually does try to act appropriately, but then she winds up expressing concern only for herself and her book project, in front of the widow, no less. Adam has to call her out several times during that story-arc.
** Marnie [[spoiler:getting engaged to Desi. They've only been together for a few months (to be fair, not counting the time when he ''cheated on his previous girfriend'' with her...), are far from being functional in any way whatsoever and getting married is one of the most stupid ways to fix that.]]