** In August 2016, there was a storyline where Marla missed a company meeting because her car broke down. Stuart believe she was lying, while Brice gave her the benefit of the doubt. Turns out [[spoiler: that Stuart was right, and Marla did skip the meeting because she's become that jaded about her professional life. Many readers were upset because it was so uncharacteristic of Marla, and that Stuart's jerkass attitude was actually justified for a change.]]
** Readers were also opposed to the storyline where Scott is intending to propose to Marla because Val blamed Cooper for the rest of the Grumbel's staff finding out before Marla did, and for Marla assuming that the real rumour was that Stuart was quitting and she was going to get his job. ''This was entirely Val's fault''. Cooper told her about the engagement, and she was the one who told everyone else. She was also the one who made up the lie about Stuart, despite knowing that Marla has wanted the manager's position for ''years''.
** A storyline dealt with Val finally admitting to her father that she's been lying about being a professional writer and that she really works at Grumbel's. She tells Cooper that she's going to tell her father over dinner that night, and oh by the way, Cooper ''has'' to be there for back-up, despite the fact he's never met her father before. When Cooper expresses concern that maybe it wouldn't help matters if he was there, Val gets all passive aggressive on him and walks out. Readers were outraged by her attitude, especially since she gave Cooper literally ''no warning'' that they were having dinner with her father that very night, and were even more put out when Val was never called out on how badly she had acted. She then ditches him at an awkward moment during the dinner, leaving Cooper to fend himself against her annoyed father. Granted it's sweet that Cooper defends Val despite it all, but not once does Val get called out on how badly she's treated him.
*** Val ''does'' however realise that she might have been out of order [[http://retailcomic.com/comics/november-21-2012/ further down the line]] and Marla is quick to agree.
* JerkassWoobie: Marla's new assistant, Brice Tanner, tends to micromanage everyone and be a thorn on every employees' sides, but he is portrayed more sympathetically than Josh ever was, especially when he is in the receiving end of Stuart's idiotic policy.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: The health care plotline in 2008 depicted the fate of most US service workers by showing Cooper facing medical bankruptcy after a hospital trip due to the fact that most retail workers (as part-timers) do not qualify for and cannot afford health insurance.
* WomenAreWiser: For the first several years of the strip, women in positions of authority (Marla, Val, Connie, Lara) were always portrayed positively, as intelligent, caring, sensible, and fair-minded leaders. By contrast, men in positions of authority were all depicted negatively - Stuart and Josh are arrogant Corporate stooges, Jerry a misogynist, Gary insisted on holding annoying and useless training seminars, and Bradley a gloating, insufferable jerkass who tried to steal his competitor's employees.
** As of late 2013, this trend has diminished somewhat, with Cooper's promotion to stockroom supervisor and the introduction of the Delman's managers, the sympathetic Greg and the manipulative backstabber, Mina. Additionally, in 2014, the Grumbel's got a competent, non-prickish male assistant manager in Arthur (in an early interaction with Marla, Marla realizes that Arthur basically is what she was as AM).