** Gene Simmons: is he the single [[RatedMForManly Manliest]], [[EvilIsCool coolest looking]] and most badass and LeadBassist ''ever'', or a [[GreedyJew greedy]] [[ItsAllAboutMe megalomaniac]] [[RatedMForMoney who wastes his money]] [[TheMerch on everything he finds?]]
** Singer and Thayer after they took Criss and Frehley's makeup.
** Heck, any lead guitarist not named Ace to an extent. Vinnie Vincent in particular. Vinnie's contributions are generally liked, but his playing style is ''wildly'' divisive; he's either an incredibly original and unique guitarist who was forced down by the rest of the band, or he's an atonal, utterly tuneless hack who can't play anything that isn't an aimless, chromatic mess with gratuitous whammy bar abuse (which wasn't really that pronounced during his time in KISS, but his work in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion is a different story).
* ChorusOnlySong: Hard to find someone who isn't a hard-core fan [[note]]or who wasn't a teenager in 1975[[/note]] who knows the verses for "Rock and Roll All Nite".
* CounterpartComparison: They have some odd and interesting parallels to Music/TheRamones. New York-based (with several Jewish members), built around a simple, memorable gimmick (wearing makeup/everyone having the same last name), generally being well-behaved despite their wild image but with one member who indulged heavily in ArtisticStimulation (Ace Frehley/Dee Dee Ramone), initially dismissed as novelties but now considered icons.
** Many people forgot that "New York Groove" (the most well known track in Ace's 1978 solo album) was a song by Argent, ''originally'' by Hello.
** The PowerBallad "God Gave Rock n' Roll to You", which was ''also'' originally by Argent. When KISS covered it, they added a "[=II=]" to the title, possibly to differentiate the two songs more clearly, as KISS' version has completely different lyrics except for the chorus.
* CriticalDissonance: Critics tend to really HATE this band. Doesn't stop it from selling tons of stuff.
** Specifically, The various editions of the ''Rolling Stone Album Guide'' give good ratings to ''Alive!'' and ''Destroyer''...and that's about it.
** For ''many'', the 1979-1981 period, from ''Dynasty'' to ''Music for the Elder''. To be specific...
*** ''Dynasty'': It's unarguable that it was perhaps the biggest commercially successful studio album in the entire history of the band (if one ignores the ''Alive'' compilations), but what most people don't know is that, in the long run, ''Dynasty'' itself ''almost destroyed the band when it was first released''. With [[NewSoundAlbum the shift to the far more mainstream disco genre]], although the album proved to be a commercial success, it pretty much alienated the fans that had followed the band since its early beginnings, resulting in nearly empty arenas and stadiums when the band went on tour, something unheard of when it came to KISS concerts and their particular fame.[[note]]In fact, they ''lost'' money during this tour, as each concert cost no less than ''ONE million dollars each'' ![[/note]]
*** ''Unmasked'': After promising a return to the heavier sound they were known for they proceeded to release ''Unmasked'', which was a critical flop due to the still present "pop sound". To make matters worse, the following album was...
*** The (''in'')famous ''Music from "The Elder"'': The band's ConceptAlbum proved to be a catastrophic commercial ''and'' critical flop which lead to the outright cancellation of the album's tour, once again a first for any KISS release.
*** ''Creatures of the Night'', while successful critically due to being the heaviest KISS album yet and featuring the band's strongest songs in some time, didn't fare any better on the commercial and on the tour side of things (many people also attribute this to two founding members, lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss leaving the band around the same time).
*** ...And ''finally'', they remove their makeup and released ''Lick It Up,'' which didn't chart very high, but was still certified gold within a few months of release. This is largely considered attributable to publicity generated by the band's decision to do away with the makeup and costumes concurrent with the album's release. Then ''Animalize'' was released, went gold quickly, and the band's finances were back at normal (excluding contractual issues with Vinnie Vincent and health issues with Mark St. John), although sell-out concerts would still elude them for one more album, finally going to back to their usual tour success with ''Crazy Nights''.
** To some fans, the years without make-up were the whole dork-age.
** To others, any time when the line-up doesn't include Criss AND Frehley.
* EarWorm: Several. "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "I Was Made for Lovin' You" are very good examples of this.
* EpicRiff: You know the house is gonna come down when "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" (and others!) start playing.
** According to the ''Decibel Geek Podcast'', this is also the case with ''I had Enough'' from the Animalize album. The reason why its not played in concerts anymore is because, apparently, the band and Tommy Thayer in particular end up completely exhausted by the end of it.
** Their second drummer Eric Carr is universally beloved by the fanbase thanks for being a ''very'' NiceGuy, especially in the wake of his tragic death in late 1991.
** Ace is probably the fan favorite. Having the best 1978 solo album helps.
** Mark St. John after his death in 2007 sort of became this, although the debate of who's the best KISS guitarist will go around forever. Most fans universally agree he was a ''DAMN'' good guitar player, and perhaps the most technically skilled guitarist KISS ever had (aside from maybe Vinnie Vincent, whose style was far more divisive).
* FaceOfTheBand: Simmons and Stanley, particularly the former; justified as they're the only original members still in the band.
** Definitely the case for Stanley in the 80's when Simmons was more focused with his acting career and other outside pursuits.
** The ''Music from "The Elder"'' album sounded so much unlike anything KISS had released to that point that fans and critics alike universally panned it, and sales were so poor that anything related to the album was instantly scrapped. The band quickly moved forward and forgot about the whole fiasco as fast as possible.
*** RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Sorta. One of the songs in the album, "A World Without Heroes", entered their ''MTV Unplugged'' following a vote-in, and in a concert in Australia in 2004, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B72y_iGy3vA they tried to play ''I''... but Gene had long forgotten the lyrics]]. It is now a collector piece, and manage to have its supporters. (''Unmasked'' being the remaining main competitors for 'worst studio KISS album')
** KISS has never, ever done a disco song.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: "Dynasty" and "Unmasked" is where many around the world thought Kiss jumped the shark. However, both albums are regarded as classics in Australia.
** The United Kingdom absolutely loved "Crazy Crazy Nights", being there highest charting hit over there at #4. In fact, the U.K. is where Kiss saw the most success during the non-makeup years.
** In the early 1980s (prior to the unmasked years) KISS' popularity had severely declined all over the world... except for Japan, New Zealand and Australia, where they remained as popular as they were in the 1970s.
** The song "Shandi" was a huge hit in Australia, and to this day the band always performs it during live performances in that country. In the United States, "Shandi" is a mostly-forgotten song and only reached 47 on the Billboard charts at the time of its release.
** In the 90s, Tommy Thayer is in a KISS tribute band called "Cold Gin" and took the role of Ace Frehley. And guess which member he remplaces (makeup inclued) ?
** Mark St. John liked to tell a tale about how he was introduced to Vinnie Vincent one night and was told that he was "KISS' new lead guitarist." Mark St. John's reply? "KISS, what a shitty band!" Fast forward two albums later...
** Minor one, the album title "Unmasked" became funny when KISS would become Unmasked for real 3 years later by taking off their makeup.
* InternetBackdraft: There must be some unwritten internet rule that every Kiss video on YouTube must have more comments attacking the current lineup (namely Singer and Thayer) than talking about the band in the actual video.
* NeverLiveItDown: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jzve-Tmd70 Their 1978 interview]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvFNs3_uaUg with Tom Snyder]]. It was one of their biggest publicity fiascoes because, contrary to the band's original intentions, it exposed to the audience their true personalities for the first time. The interview was supposed to showcase the members as serious, respectable musicians with a personal mystique on par with Music/TheBeatles or Music/TheWho, but as the program went on, one could see the nasty inner tensions simmering between the original members as well as their personal flaws; e.g. Simmons' self-important dickishness and Frehley's irresponsible but incredibly hilarious party-hearty drunkenness. You can even see how Simmons is fuming over how Frehley's behavior accidentally stole the spotlight everytime, earning most of TomSnyder's attention and (undeservedly) endearing Ace to the fans even more.
* NightmareFuel: Gene Simmons' bass solo before "God of Thunder" at live concerts. Truly terrifying (the aftermath is on the cover of ''Alive II''.)
* OneSceneWonder: Mark St. John, KISS' third lead guitarist. Only played on one album (''Animalize''), got reactive arthritis, and was replaced almost instantly with Bruce Kulick. Accounts vary on how many shows of the album's tour he played in, but most agree that St. John played very few, if any, and that Kulick ended up filling up for him in most of them.
* ReclusiveArtist: Vinnie Vincent was not seen publicly from 1996 until January ''2018''. He returned to the public eye at the Atlanta KISS Expo (brought on by months of gentle prodding from a major fan, through Vincent's lawyer), and explained that his 22 year absence was a combination of his lengthy lawsuit against his former band, an abysmal marriage to his now deceased second wife, a disdain for social media, and a general feeling that no one cared about him anymore. Needless to say, he was wrong on that last part, as he got a warm reception, and even had fans fly in from all over the world to see and meet him (including one fan from Australia who had the autograph of every member of KISS except for his).
* ReplacementScrappy: Mostly averted with Eric Carr, but otherwise played straight for most part. Especially in regards to Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer using costumes/singing songs by Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Not that the fans hate Singer/Thayer as people, but they hate how they wear the "Catman" and "Spaceman" makeup after Criss and Frehley departed.
* SignatureSong: Quite a few. Best examples are "Rock and Roll All Nite", "Detroit Rock City", and "I Was Made For Lovin' You". For the non-makeup era, there is "Lick It Up", "Heaven's On Fire", and "Forever".
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: This will generally be the attitude among a vocal portion of the band's fandom whenever a personnel shakeup takes place. The current lineup especially gets people riled up, since Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are wearing the makeup of the absent original members, and there are some out there who still resent Singer for not being Eric Carr.