!!The show as a whole contains examples of:
* AcceptableTargets: Used with varying degrees of intensity: the more the writers hate it, the meaner they'll be. So far, everything has been ripe for parody.
* AwesomeMusic: In the second season episode broadcast on Oct. 2, 1976, the musical guest was singer Music/JoeCocker. At one point, he started singing "Feelin' Alright". Then, for the second verse, he was joined by Creator/JohnBelushi...as Joe Cocker. The result was a highly memorable duet.
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: ChanningTatum's first time hosting (who actually ''was'' a stripper for a year before becoming an actor), [[http://snltranscripts.jt.org/11/11mmono.phtml the monologue especially]]. The only non-stripper bits people remember from this episode is the ''Newt Gingrich: Moon President'' cold opening and the Weekend Update segment with KristenWiig as Music/LanaDelRey trying to defend herself against claims that her performance on ''SNL'' was a disaster because of her atonal caterwauling and inability to move around.
** Inverted in the monologue as Tatum (the stripper) remembers all of his customers (an allegedly religious woman named Denise, a married woman named Bridget [whom Tatum remembers as "Flithy Bridget" because of all the filthy things she would ask for], a man named Leslie [who ends up dying when Tatum uses his stripper moves to refresh his memory], and Leslie's doctor, Dr. Matthews), much to their chagrin.
** The episode hosted by AlecBaldwin and his wife at the time KimBasinger on February 12, 1994 will forever be remembered as the episode that had the "Canteen Boy Gets Molested" sketch (and the episode after that, hosted by MartinLawrence, will be remembered for Martin's raunchy monologue about women's hygiene [which was so tasteless, it nearly got everyone on the show fired and is often cut in reruns and replaced with title cards explaining the gist of the monologue and why it can't be shown on TV anymore]).
** Likewise (for a nonsexual example) for the Tim Robbins episode from season 18, which was the notorious episode in which SineadOConnor rips PopeJohnPaulII's photo and screams, "Fight the real enemy!"
* BrokenBase: Dick Ebersol's era. Some regard it as the high point of the show after the original cast; others think of it as a bastardized version of the original concept, designed to pimp EddieMurphy and Joe Piscopo (and later, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, and ChristopherGuest) at the expense of everyone else. [[TakeAThirdOption And there are those who say that it may not be as great as]] LorneMichaels' [[TakeAThirdOption original cast, but it is worlds better than what Jean Doumanian turned out in her short stint as executive producer]].
** Every season after the first five years has a BrokenBase (save for the seasons that were universally bad -- season 6, season 11 [[note]]though it does have some fans, if only for DennisMiller as Weekend Update anchor, and much like season 6, is viewed today as "It sucks, but it's not as bad as everyone else says."[[/note]], and season 20).
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: There is a common misconception that SteveMartin (one of ''SNL''[='s=] most frequent hosts) was a cast member. He was on LorneMichaels' failed ABC sketch show ''The New Show'', but he was never an ''SNL'' cast member.
** TinaFey's monologue begins with her saying she is excited to do all of her characters, but she she then says didn't have any. She actually had three original characters and some celebrity impressions she did twice
* CreatorsPet: Not so much in the past, but these days, Lorne most definitely has his favorites. Some of these favorites include JimmyFallon, TinaFey, AmyPoehler, Fred Armisen, WillForte, KristenWiig, Taran Killam and Kate [=McKinnon=]. There were surely some from the past, but it seems even more blatant now.
** For Dick Ebersol, EddieMurphy was his pet UpToEleven, and he wasn't shy about letting you know that. SNL was basically the Eddie Murphy Show from Season 7 to 9 (until Murphy left). After that it became the Billy Crystal / ChristopherGuest / Martin Short show. Ebersole definitely thought in terms of "This person/people are the lead(s), and everyone else is backup."
* TheCastShowoff: There have been past cast members who have proved that they can do more than just funny characters and spot-on celebrity impressions:
** Garrett Morris was a talented singer who would occasionally get to sing classical music on the show. One segment featured Morris singing a Schubert aria whle captions rolled on the screen explaining that the show only let him sing because everyone was scared of him.
** Charles Rocket from the Jean Doumanian era was an accordion player (on the Season Six premiere, there was a sketch where he played a deranged man who killed his dates with accordion music, only to get killed by bagpipe players) and an actual news anchor (making Rocket the first and, so far, only Weekend Update anchor who actually had experience as an actual news anchor).
** Creator/MayaRudolph has shown off her singing ability (she was in a band prior to being on ''SNL'' and had parents who were involved in the music industry).
** Fred Armisen is another cast member who has shown he has music ability (plays drums and guitar, though whenever he played Liberace, he faked playing the piano).
** A. Whitney Brown (a writer-cum-feature player from 1985 to 1991 who often appeared on Weekend Update's "The Big Picture" segment) can juggle, as seen in [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/271790 this video]], a talent he picked up while doing time in a Texas prison.
** Jason Sudeikis was a basketball player for the University of Kansas, so that scene on the [=LeBron=] James episode from Season 33 where he plays a boom mike operator who challenges James to a game of basketball was just an excuse for Jason to show off his moves.
* DudeNotFunny: Some of SethMeyers' jokes on Weekend Update are often met with the audience groaning over how tasteless the joke is. In fact, a lot of past Weekend Update anchors have had this happen to them (particularly Brad Hall, DennisMiller, [[Creator/NormMacDonald Norm [=MacDonald=]]], and Colin Quinn)
** In a 1995 "Weekend Update" sketch, Creator/DavidSpade, as part of his "Hollywood Minute" segment, said "Look, kids, a falling star! Make a wish!" as he mocked Creator/EddieMurphy's (then-)lackluster career. This made Murphy so mad that he called SNL about it. To this day, Murphy still hasn't forgiven Spade. It should be noted that, years earlier, Murphy did a bit during "Weekend Update" on a possible return of the military draft. Concerned that he might get drafted, and deprive SNL of its token black cast member, he suggested someone else get selected. Someone he said whose very name scared him: notoriously-underused original cast member Garrett Morris, whom he pointedly noted wasn't very busy at that time. Making the Creator/DavidSpade joke LaserGuidedKarma, perhaps?
** The cheapkids.net commercials are about parents who don't want to spend money on raising children and buy them extremely inferior products. The ads reek of child abuse, though that was probably done to take the edge off the fact that ParisHilton was hosting the episode and wasn't doing a good job of it.
** Season 38 had Jamie Foxx's monologue began with a segment called 'How Black is That?' which was filled with racially charged comments. His most appalling comment of the night, "[[DjangoUnchained I get free. I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the movie, how great is that?]].
** Despite talking about how awesome it was for America to rise up from adversity after the Boston Marathon Bombing and 9/11, ChrisRock's monologue during the 40th season alienated a lot of people when he joked about the new Freedom Tower (one joke being, "who was the sponsor, Target?") and "the last thing you want to hear after you run 26 miles is...run!" In fact, the audience's stifled and delayed laughter says it best. The worst part is when you realize Pete Davidson's (someone in the cast who was born in 1993) dad was a firefighter and died in 9/11.
* FollowTheLeader: Creator/NormMacDonald has admitted that "Celebrity Jeopardy" was inspired by the recurring "Half Wits" sketch on ''{{Series/SCTV}}'', but says that he got Creator/EugeneLevy's blessing before debuting it.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: [[FunnyAneurysmMoment/SaturdayNightLive Has its own page.]]
* HellIsThatNoise: Bill Hader's cat/snake hissing, which he used when he played James Carville and Stefon.
* HilariousInHindsight: [[HilariousInHindsight/SaturdayNightLive Also has its own page.]]
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: [[DefiedTrope Defied]]. Improvising is a good way to find yourself banned from the show by Creator/LorneMichaels if you're a guest (unless something really goes wrong and you have to do something to keep the dead air at bay). Just ask Creator/AdrienBrody (who introduced musical guest Sean Paul while dressed as a rudeboy and rambling in a Jamaican accent when he hosted during the penultimate episode of season 28[[note]]2002-2003[[/note]]).
** Damon Wayans had a rather dull part as a prison guard in a "Mr. Monopoly" sketch (based on the game). He decided to ad-lib and play the character as a gay stereotype (who sounded like his Blaine Edwards character from the "Men on Film" sketches). He was immediately fired by Lorne Michaels, which is why he was available when ''Series/InLivingColor'' premiered.
* JustHereForGodzilla: Most people who watch the show only watch it just to see one thing (be it a favorite sketch/recurring character/cast member/favorite host) and cite it as the main reason to watch the show. Weekend Update is commonly cited as the best example of this, since the simplicity of the sketch means it can be consistent even as the rest of the show wobbles.
* MemeticMutation: Nearly every other sketch has spawned a meme. See the MemeticMutation page for more details.
* NostalgiaFilter: As noted on the main page, those who grew up with the show are among the most vocal critics of its current shape. Also, because 60-minute cable reruns and video compilations have trimmed a lot of the weaker material from the older shows, it's easy to forget that even during its good seasons ''SNL'' had bad moments (from lousy hosts and musical guests to recurring characters and sketches that suffer from being underdeveloped and/or annoying though this can apply to the stuff that people actually remember or have currently seen). The DVD box sets of uncut and complete seasons of the show, in the original order and from the beginning, may be helping to undercut this; check out the reviews at [=DVDTalk.com=].
* PanderingToTheBase: When Bill Hader hosted the show in 2014, a new Puppetry 101 skit with his puppet Tony was done, as Bill had appeared on HowardStern's show shortly before that episode, and Stern told him that the previous skit with Tony was his favorite of all time. Bill even hinted that Tony may make a comeback when he hosts, and even said if he did, people could thank HowardStern for it.
* TheScrappy: Colin Jost, one of the current Weekend Update anchors. Unlike the other cast members, he only appears in Weekend Update and has drawn numerous criticism for being wooden and unfunny. When it was announced that the show was changing Weekend Update for the 40th season, people were thrilled...until it was revealed that they were removing EnsembleDarkhorse Cecily Strong from the desk and keeping Jost.
* SeasonalRot: Just like in the NostalgiaFilter entry, there are former fans who believe the show hasn't been the same since whenever the last time they saw it usually, it's Seasons 1-5 (Fall 1975 to Spring 1980), but there have been other claims of when ''SNL'' started to seasonally rot, like when a fan favorite cast member (such as Creator/DanAykroyd, Creator/JohnBelushi, Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/TinaFey, etc.) leaves. The transitional periods between old casts and new ones are usually low periods, with Season 6 (1980-81), the first without any original cast members, widely considered the most disastrous in the show's history. Season 20 (1994-95) is also infamous due to the departure of Phil Hartman, reports of backstage tension between cast members, and the weak ideas for sketches (most of them were about the O.J. Simpson murder trial).
** Season 11 (when Lorne Michaels came back and tried to assemble a cast of semi-famous people to be cast members, only to almost get canned due to plummeting Nielsen ratings) from 1985-86 also counts. According to the book "Live From New York: The Uncensored History of ''Saturday Night Live''", a lot of the staff (including AlFranken and then-future ''TheSimpsons'' writer George Meyer) view Season 11 as terrible because the first episode hosted by {{Madonna}} wasn't well-received, which led to plummeting ratings and reviews stating that ''SNL''[='s=] new cast at the time wasn't funny, the writing was too weird and thin, and the show as a whole has run its course and needed to end.
** Season 35 is an unusual example in that it wasn't seen as ''too'' bad while airing, but several years later, the writing does seem very unusual and geared towards certain cast members (usually Fred Armisen and KristenWiig). Some other seasons are usually seen as of low quality as well, such as seasons 28 (due to Creator/JimmyFallon's constant cracking up and the absence of Creator/WillFerrell), 30 (had very mediocre political sketches during the 2004 election, the Ashlee Simpson lip-synching fiasco had people asking if the show was even live anymore, and everything just seemed kinda slow and dull. The upside of season 30 was that TinaFey and AmyPoehler did a good job on Weekend Update), 33 (but only because the Writers Guild strike caused a lot of potentially good episodes to go unwritten), season 38 (the Music/JustinBieber ValentinesDayEpisode, too much reliance on Bill Hader and Fred Armisen), and (to some extent) season 39 (criticism for not having a more ethnically diverse cast, the sketch-writing quality is too unbalanced, pretaped sketches seem to dominate over the live ones, absence of Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, too many new cast members who aren't seasoned to be on the show[[note]]though Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Noel Wells, and Sasheer Zamata have been commended for their performances. John Milhiser is slowly improving, Colin Jost just started as a Weekend Update anchor, and not that many people care much for Mike O'Brien or Brooks Wheelan, though Brooks is starting to be featured more in sketches and not just as a background character[[/note]]. Basically, if a fan-favorite cast member leaves, then the show will go through what's called a "rebuilding season," which means that the show's humor quality will either be mixed to in the toilet. See "TheyChangedItNowItSucks" below.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: One of the show's many curses (the curse of not being considered an edgy sketch show, thanks to the many DuelingShows that always try to one-up the humor the biggest offenders being ''Fridays'', ''InLivingColor'', and ''Series/{{MADtv}}''), besides the "cast members dying" curse and the {{Funny Aneurysm Moment}}s it's accrued over the years.
* ShallowParody: Zigzagged. Some sketches (particularly the ''Film/HarryPotter'' parodies) are fleshed-out and on-point; others are just there to serve as the backdrop for an ''SNL'' recurring character to interact with other fictional characters, to be a DeconstructiveParody, or [[WriterOnBoard to speak out on a certain topic]].
* SpecialEffectsFailure: ''SNL'' has always been known for flimsy sets, cheap costumes, and obvious StockFootage (LorneMichaels even said on an ''E!'' special about ''SNL'''s history that the show had this problem), especially in the 1970s and 1980s episodes (not so much in the episodes of the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 20-Teens, but it does crop up occasionally). More recent seasons have occasionally added in bad {{Chroma Key}}ing as well. Some sketches have used this and ended with the cheap set getting destroyed in some way.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: The near-constant changing of writers and cast members is one of the most common reasons why fans have a love/hate relationship with the show.
* WereStillRelevantDammit: Considering the series is 40 years old and its heyday is long LOOOONG passed it's no surprise that they'll latch onto whatever the Topic of the Month is. Gamergate, Ferguson, Drawing the Prophet Muhammad, etc etc etc.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: A lot of ''SNL'''s sketches from the 1970s were drug-influenced (such as one that had an Abraham Lincoln portrait calling Richard Nixon a "dip.") and a lot of the writers and cast members at the time were high as kites. These days, the writers and cast members aren't like their 1970s counterparts (at worst, they get high from sleep deprivation in writing and planning the show; at best, some of the cast and crew members smoke weed, but only in their off-hours), but there are some crazy sketches and characters that seem like they're the product of a drug-influenced mind (''Toonces, The Cat Who Can Drive a Car'', WillFerrell's impression of Harry Caray, Bill Hader's Stefon[[note]]who is heavily implied to be on cocaine, meth, prescription pills, and possibly ecstacy, according to [[WordOfGod Bill Hader]][[/note]], just to name a few).
* TheWoobie: Willie, Kenan Thompson's recurring character on Weekend Update. His whole shtick is recounting horrific memories of his life to Michael Che, his neighbor. And yet, he never once complains about them and is always so undyingly optimistic that you just want to give the guy a hug. Also counts as an IronWoobie.