* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Shujinko's status as an UnwittingPawn makes it possible for him to be seen as TheWoobie, with shades of an IronWoobie. While easily manipulated, he was merely a guy who wanted to face Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat, [[AscendedFanboy actually got the chance to join that world]], [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone never meant for any of this to happen]], [[TheAtoner and works his butt off to rectify his mistake]].
* BaseBreaker: Bo' Rai Cho. Either you like him for being a FunPersonified CoolOldGuy or hate him for turning his already established ToiletHumor from ''Deadly Alliance'' turned UpToEleven.
** Kira and Kobra also count. Kira is either a cool and {{Fanservice}}y EvilRedhead or a ReplacementScrappy with the moveset of both [[MovesetClone Kano and Sonya]], and Kobra is either a subversion of the {{Shotoclone}} archetype or a blatant [[CaptainErsatz rip-off]] of [[Franchise/StreetFighter Ken Masters]] and one of the worst characters of the franchise (along with Hsu Hao, Drahmin, Mokap, and Meat).
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** Motaro appears out of the blue in a random Earthrealm village in the Konquest mode to give you some koins, then vanishes. It's a rare occurrence and the player has to be quick to make it happen, so it's more of an EasterEgg.
** Meat randomly appears with a British accent in the Netherrealm in the Konquest mode to give you some koins, then disappears.
* CrazyAwesome: Havik. How many fighters do you know crack their own necks to regain health, and slide across the floor like a penguin?
* DesignatedHero: Shujinko, mostly because he can't see through Onaga being a bigger dick, but you're still encouraged to rob everyone blind for the hell of it if you want to unlock everything, and a lot of problems are "solved" by just sucker-punching random people.
** The random punching is more an example of VideoGameCrueltyPotential.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Onaga happens to have quite a following. Despite his status as an SNKBoss for some, many liked his design, his stature, and his story. He was even [[http://www.trinidadcarnivaldiary.com/?p=2817 featured as a costume]] in Trinidad's 2009's Carnival celebrations!
** Havik, due to his unorthodox playstyle and hints of him and his people being {{Cloudcuckoolander}}s.
** Nightwolf as well, which is an interesting shift considering how [[TheScrappy hated]] he was around the time of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3''.
** Ashrah is also this, to a lesser extent.
* FanPreferredCouple: Fans seem to be fond of pairing up Ashrah and Raiden despite [[CrackPairing no tangible connections existing between the two]] aside of being members of the Forces of Light. As noted on the Characters page, this is rooted in [[ThemePairing how similar the two appear to each other]], with many mistaking originally Ashrah not only as Raiden's DistaffCounterpart, but his wife.
** Say what you want about them, but Kira and Kobra do have their supporters (see BaseBreaker above), with shippers as part of those ranks. This actually is even given a degree of canonical support in ''Armageddon'', wherein both characters' endings show them expressing affection towards the other in some manner... only to end up being backstabbed for their troubles.
* FoeYay: The intense, reciprocally personal rivalry between Jade and Tanya took off starting here and continued into the next game, where [[DesignatedGirlFight they single out the other to square off]] during the Battle of Armageddon. Jade, who was established in the ''DA-D-A'' trilogy to be [[PatrioticFervor deeply patriotic]], does have a justifiable reason for hating Tanya (who betrayed their homeland for a [[VideoGame/MortalKombat4 second]] time in ''Deception''), but the fervently negative emotion from both sides still comes on a bit too strong for some.
* GameBreaker: A '''ton.''' The majority can be corralled under two things: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQftCLpsk_A moves that lead to unduckable throws,]] and moves that can be repeated ad-nauseum until the timer runs out. It's the core reason why this game was frowned upon by the professional fighting game community.
** Dairou's Tombstone Drop is this. It's an unblockable ground pound that falls ''extremely'' fast and has a very quick recovery time, and the only way to avoid it is to anticipate it coming and jump. Unfortunately, given this game's mechanics, that's a lot easier said than done.
* GoodBadBugs: Perform a Fatality and a Hara-Kiri at the same time to get [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-egksufiao these.]]
** Possibly this or GameBreaker, but for some odd reason, Liu Kang's bicycle kick ignores Onaga's defensive stat and takes off his health like you shattered one of the ring's Kamidogu. It's easy to defeat Onaga that way.. .provided that you never get sick of watching Liu Kang's ending.
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: Mileena.
* ReplacementScrappy: Shujinko was the target of a lot of hate for replacing Liu Kang. He's [[TooDumbToLive terminally naive]] and stole the special moves and even ''appearances'' of the other characters during Konquest Mode. It doesn't help that Boon hamfisted him down the fandom's throat [[CreatorsPet by labeling him "the next generation Liu Kang"]] in an interview, or that his name ''literally means'' [[MeaningfulName "protagonist."]]
** Kira, who can basically be described as Kano and Sonya's lovechild.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Nightwolf. Prior to ''Deception'', he had just as much of a {{Hatedom}} as Stryker did when he was introduced.
* TheScrappy: Aside of Shujinko, [[ReplacementScrappy Kira]] and [[CaptainErsatz Kobra]]. Kira [[{{Fanservice}} less so]] than Kobra.
** Also [[FlatCharacter Darrius]] and [[GameBreaker Dairou]].
** [[spoiler:Zombie Liu Kang]]. Many fans saw it as a slap in the face that this is [[CameBackWrong what happened to]] the [[spoiler:Mortal Kombat Champion]], and he even made Website/ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Worst Fighting Game Characters" list.