* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* NauseaFuel: You will never look at Q-Tips in quite the same way again.
* 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.
* WhatAnIdiot: While it has already been established that Hannah has NoSocialSkills, 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.