* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Quite a lot of it.
** Occasionally averted when the music doesn't seem to match the dance- sometimes dark dances have upbeat music, or dances have music with lyrics that are the opposite of the intended meaning.
** KPop was used in a routine in season 10! [[http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0qupMqgrk4A It was about as awesome as you'd think it would be.]]
* BaseBreaker: Season 10's Jenna and Makenzie. Consistently in the bottom three votes, consistently saved by the judges.
** This isn't the first time it's happened. There was Lauren from Season 3, Comfort from Season 4 and Ryan from Season 8 who were also constantly saved.
** To clarify, Jenna was saved by the judges after being in the bottom three for the third time in five weeks at that point, forcing Malece (who had never been in the bottom three before) and Amy (who also was never before in the bottom three and the eventual season-winner) to "dance for your life." Additionally, this was the cut for the Top Ten, so Jenna was essentially given a free pass to All Star status, with all that entails.
* CreatorsPet: A crap ton of people still can't figure out why Tony Bellissimo ever made it into the Top 20.
** Some fans feel Nigel shows favoritism to attractive young blondes, and those contestants, such as season 4's Kherington or season 6's Mollee, can attract a {{Hatedom}} as a result. That doesn't stop Nigel from lauding them. Season 3's Lauren also fits into this territory, as many fans hate her for either her stupid comments, her costing the fans their favorite girl (Jessi, Jaimie, Sara...) or for her [[http://community.livejournal.com/_sytycd_/446778.html reported bitchiness to Lacey]]
** Melanie and Eliana, the winners of Seasons 8 and 9, were definitely this. Their winning was obvious from day one and made the season considerably less enjoyable to watch.
** Cedric in Season 3 was definitely this. He was in the bottom the first two weeks of the Top 20 and was kept over more capable dancers, and he stayed out of the bottom in week three because of a routine specifically tailored to make him look good, before finally being voted off in week four.
** Nigel commented that he's had several battles on Twitter defending all the times the judges saved Season 10's Jenna from elimination.
* EliminationHoudini: Comfort Fedoke from season 4 is often considered this because she stayed on for several weeks even though she struggled with every routine that wasn't hip hop and landed in the bottom three several times.
** To elaborate: After auditions and all, Season 4 was 9 weeks long. Comfort was in the competition for 7 of those 9 weeks. Of the 7 weeks she was in the competition, Comfort was in the bottom 3 or 4 or eliminated in 6 of them. She holds SYTYCD's record for most appearances in the bottom, beating out season 3's Lauren, who was her season's Houdini.
** This can apply to anyone who gets paired up with a much-more-popular partner. Kherington, also from season 4, wasn't terribly well-liked, but she was paired with the wildly popular Twitch. As a pair those two were only once in the bottom three, but once it became an individual competition she was immediately voted off, even before Comfort, who had been voted off the previous week but had come back due to Jessica getting injured.
** Season 10's Jenna and Makenzie. Consistently in the bottom three votes, consistently saved by the judges. At top 10, both of them landed in the bottom two and Nigel had to make a hard decision. [[spoiler:He chose Jenna.]]
** Epic example: Season 10 finalist Aaron was actually cut during the audition process. He only made Top 20 because another contestant was injured prior to the premiere. He made it all the way to the finale without ever being in the bottom three.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: It's all but inevitable that viewers will disagree about the dancers, the choreography, the choreogra''phers'', the execution, the musical selections, the judges, and even the stage. One thing many fans agree on, though, is Cat Deeley. She is a ray of sunshine no matter what's going on.
* SugarWiki/FunnyMoments: In Season 5, Jeanine and Philip did a dance that involved the two of them being constantly connected by a chain. After they performed, Cat brought up some of the problems they'd had, such as the chain breaking. Jeanine said that they spent four hours trying to work out everything that could go wrong, and then mentioned that 'there are chains all over our apartment." To which Cat responded, "I thought that was only in certain clubs on the weekend!" Hilarity Ensued, including Nigel holding his hands up and repeating "TooMuchInformation!"
** Season 7, after contestant Lauren and All-Star Dominic (known for his crush on hostess Cat Deely) performed a hip-hop piece about abusive relationships, the judges remarked how Lauren had gone to a deeper place emotionally for the routine. Cue Cat turning to Dominic and coyly asking, "Want to head to a deeper place?"
** EllenDegeneres filling in for Alex for his hip-hop piece with Twitch. Doubles as a SugarWiki/MomentofAwesome as well.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcpQyI-MH8&t=4m46s antics]] of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcpQyI-MH8&t=6m2s the judges]] after Mellanie and Marko's season 8 kiss.
** The DramaticThunder after Cat announces that Eliana and Ryan will be dancing [[ScrappyMechanic Quickstep]].
** After Chehon and Tiffany's rumba, Nigel notes that they were finally able to afford a shirt for Chehon, though, not the buttons. Mary chimed in saying it made sense, as the routine had been choreographed by Dimitry Chaplin, who frequently likes to dance sans shirt. The camera panned to Dimitry and Travis (sitting next to Dimitry) doubled over in laughter.
** Nigel and Mary's dance in the Season 10 finale.
** Katee and Twitch's contemporary dance, wherein Katee was a crazy, psycho, co-dependent girlfriend while Twitch was her calm, accepting boyfriend who simply refused to get angry no matter what she did. Their main prop was a door, and in the dance Twitch had to repeatedly throw her out, walk her out, and there's this priceless moment when he opens the door and she's clinging onto the top of it… and then he slams it.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Lauren Gottlieb wasn't exactly the most well-liked dancer in her season, and many felt she outstayed her welcome, but she's one of the most successful SYTYCD alumni, and has been working in India since 2012.
* HarsherInHindsight: During Season 9, Cyrus was wearing a shirt that said "I love you, but I've chosen {{Dubstep}}". That seems pretty innocuous, given that dubstep is his preferred music when dancing to his preferred style. And he'd worn similar t-shirts advocating the style. Fast-foward to Season 10's Jasmine, who indicated she was romantically involved with Cyrus, and he ended the relationship during Season 9...
* HoYay: Watch Kent & Neil's contemporary piece by Travis. Then try to convince the Youtube commenters that it was just about "friends." Good luck.
* SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome: In Season 7, host Cat Deeley gets one for coming to Adechike's, a trained contemporary dancer, aid after the judges bash his Bollywood routine for infusing it with too much of his own personality. This came about two weeks after Jose, an untrained b-boy, did a routine in the same style and was praised for infusing it with his personality to hide his lack of training. After said judge-smackdown, the audience, including the Bollywood choreographer, was on its feet cheering for both Adechike and Cat. Emmy Committee, give that woman a nomination!
** Good News (and another [=CoA=], to boot: After six years, and said judge-smackdown, Cat Deeley got her first Emmy nomination in 2011.
** Alex's first hip-hop dance ever in season 7 will make you weep the following week. Of course, any routine can be this, depending on the viewer's tastes.
* MonochromeCasting: The Top 20 ladies of Season 11 are all rather...vanilla.
* MostAnnoyingSound: [[NoIndoorVoice Mary's laugh can turn off some fans.]]
* PortmanteauCoupleName: Many of the longer lasting pre-Top Ten couples. Also applies to choreographer couple Tabitha and Napoleon (officially known as "Nappy Tabs", but called "Taboleon" by fans). Occasionally acknowledged by the show, such as Season 2's "Benjelle" (Benji/Donyelle), which was parodied at the end of the season with "Tranji" (Travis/Benji).
** Danny and Lacey became "Dancey," complete with rhinestone wristbands.
** In the first Top 20 episode of Season 4, Twitch (aka Stephen Boss) officially dubbed himself and Kherington "Twitchington." Cat promptly started using it.
*** Also from season 4: "Katua" (Katee/Joshua), "Gevney" (Gev/Courtney), and "Marksie" (Mark/Chelsie). These three couples, with Twitchington, are all wildly popular, and seem to be the golden couples of the season.
** UK season 2: Katie Love and Lee B became "Team LoveLee". Thankfully, Cat's attempted portmanteau of Rithy (pronounced "rich-ee") and Shane as "Shane Richie" (the name of a well-known soap actor and light entertainment host in the UK) didn't last.
** Season 9 has "Cheney" for Chehon and Witney, as given by Chehon himself.
** And 'Wamelia' for Will and Amelia, as well as 'Casemierczak' for Audrey and Matthew (Audrey ''Case'' and Matthew Kaz''mierczak'').
** Season 10: Team Tuna (Jenna and Tucker), Team Pakman (Makenzie and Paul) and Team Jalan (Jasmine M and Alan), and Team Tall (Aaron and Jasmine H.)
* SeasonalRot: Most viewers will have some seasons they like less than others, often depending on whether their favorite dancer did well. Season 8 was a low point for a number of viewers; most liked Melanie but were annoyed at her seemingly effortless victory (with only Sasha providing her any competition), as well as the overabundance of contemporary, increasingly infrequent ballroom, and lack of some of the big-name choreographers like Wade Robson and Mia Michaels. All this is ''hugely'' subjective, though.
* {{Shipping}}: Katee and Joshua, anyone?
** Mark and Chelsie, and Gev and Courtney are also popular.
*** Check the SYTYCD Fanfic boards to see just how ardently Marksie fans believed Mark and Chelsie were a real life couple. Boy, did they believe...
** Ivan and Allison, much to the displeasure of Ivan's girlfriend.
*** There are also some moderatedly sized ships for Ivan + Travis and Allison + Travis.
** Jeanine and Jason from the fifth season.
*** There are also quite a few shippers of Janette and Jason, especially ever since [[http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25393-Minneapolis-Dance-Examiner~y2009m10d19-Exclusive-Interview-with-sytycd-tour-finalists it]] [[http://twitter.com/Jglove988/status/5177630346 was]] [[http://twitter.com/JManrara/status/5280839855 revealed]] that their love is {{canon}}.
** Lauren and Kent
*** Poor Kent seemed to have a large, one-sided crush on Lauren, who is now apparently dating Dominic (as of the Season 7 tour).
** Ashley and Robert get some shipping as well
*** While I don't think there's a large following for them, this troper is partial to Robert/Kathryn, thanks to that lovely Stacey Tookey piece.
** I believe Hok and Lacey also dated for a time, adding to the several [[RealLife Real Life]] [[RomanceOnTheSet Romance On The Set]] examples that have occurred (the two reportedly began dating on tour).
*** Allison and Twitch are married now.
** Mellanie and Marko prompted this when they were partners for the Top 20-12 portion of Season 8, especially after a dramatic kiss during a Nappy Tabs routine set to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcpQyI-MH8 "I Got You"]]. It helps that they were ''both'' individually talented and popular enough to be in the finale. Eventually Mellanie [[ShipSinking pointed out she had a boyfriend]].
** Cue [[PortmanteauCoupleName Pormanteau Couple Naming]].
** In Season 10, Makenzie/Paul and Jasmine Harper/Aaron got this the most.
* [[SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct She Really Can Dance]]: Comfort didn't exactly light up the stage in season 4 (see EliminationHoudini above), but her return as an all-star in season 7 (as the designated hip-hop female) allowed her to show off how good she was in her style as well as, perhaps, some improved partnering skills.
* ShockingElimination: Will happen at times, with a most recent one being Jasmine Mason in season 10, who had two well liked routines, and just one subpar routine after those two had her be the second girl eliminated.
* {{Squick}}: Some fans find actual kissing in a dance very inappropriate. The judges appear to love it, though.
* TearJerker: Season 5's "breast cancer dance" (at least, to those viewers who didn't find it blatantly emotionally manipulative)
** Same goes for Mia Micheal's “Addiction” performed by Kayla and Kupono.
** Travis Wall's piece dedicated to his mother. The song used is "Fix You" and Travis' mom has been suffering severe health issues, thus RealLifeWritesThePlot.
** "A New Day Has Come," featuring Twitchington; dedicated to / inspired by chorographer Jean-Marc's daughter. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPLb7LT9Rq0&t=1m32s He explains it better than I could.]]
** Season 2 of the [[TheRemake Canadian version]] of the show had a dance about mental illness that qualifies, especially for judge Rex Harrington.
** Alex's departure due to injury. He was dominating his season, and probably had the purest desire for learning and growth and exploration of anyone in the show's history. For him to leave like that... *sniff*...
** And Ashley's departure a week after that was equally sad. She'd just started proving herself as a serious contender and then she was just cut short. It irritates this trooper how everyone remembers how sad Alex's departure was, but so few people acknowledge that Ashley's was equally sad. She didn't even get a mention in the finale, while Alex was all over it.
*** To be fair, it was said that Ashley would recover in time for the tour while Alex's injury was more severe. He required surgery to fix his tendon and recovered for about a year (He wasn't medically cleared for Vegas week in Season 8)
*** True, but I think people get more worked up about Alex being removed from the competition - often with the added suggestion that they think he would/should have ''won'' - than about him also missing the tour. (Which one bothers ''him'' the more is another matter.)
** The dance that Marko from Season 8 dedicated to his mom.
* [[ThatOneBoss That One Style]]: The Quickstep has been the bane of contestants because of the sheer, well, quickness of the steps. Krump routines also tend to send dancers into the bottom as well.
** The quickstep tends to be an all or nothing dance- i.e., contestants will either nail it or fail it. Krump can be a disaster if not done well.
*** Even when they do a ''good'' quickstep it can kill them. Vitolio's and Karla's quickstep in season five was praised by the judges, but they were still gone the next night.
** Worse, tap. Season 6 had three tap dancers in the top 20. They were all eliminated consecutively, and apart from a solo and a performance on the 'Meet the Top 20' episode, we never saw any tap performances on the show.
*** Nigel has acknowledged that they will probably never have tap as a random draw, because if the dancers don't know how to do it already, it would be virtually impossible to pick up in less than a week.
** The jive now seems to have replaced the quickstep as the 'kiss-of-death' style. Bollywood is also not very popular.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: Happens quite a bit in Contemporary. Sometimes it works, such as the beloved "Hummingbird" routine form Season 3. Other times... let's put is this way: Season 5 gave us an alien who just [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroyed Earth]]. Now she wants to [[MarsNeedsWomen mate with the last human]] left, [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale and won't take "Somebody help me!" for an answer]].
** Season 8 gave us a hip-hop routine that was allegedly about children forced to fight in the war in Uganda. The ''only'' things that even remotely hinted at this, other than the explanation in the intro bit, were the T-shirts for a relevant charity worn by the dancers. At least the audience wasn't the only one left utterly confused by this; the judges were just as befuddled.
* TheWoobie: Season 5's Evan. The judges' often unnecessary criticism of him (too short, droopy eyes) caused thousands of "Kasprzaktivists" to vote for the poor guy, with him finishing in 3rd and never having been in the bottom.
* WTHCostumingDepartment - The 90's hip-hop routine from Season 3 with Danny Tidwell and Sara Von Gillern is an example the judges even commented on, but they've suffered from it on and off since season one.
** For clarification the costuming was actually perfect for the New Jack Swing that Danny and Sara performed. The judges and most of the audience probably didn't know why the costuming was used and there was no one on the panel to explain that gaudy outfits with loud colors was normal and appropriate for the song.
** Judge Sisco Gomez on the UK version, often as not. He's a man who knows the power of RefugeInAudacity.
* YokoOhNo: While they were both filming ''CampRock 2'', Season 4's Courtney Galiano was occasionally seen in public with [[TheJonasBrothers some dude named Nick Jonas]]. Among other things, this resulted in a slew of "we hate Courtney Galiano!!!" groups popping up on Facebook.