* CrossesTheLineTwice: Their very early barely-even-released album "Baby Sex" features a picture doctored to resemble a woman fellating a baby on the cover. It was considered artistically rude at the time, but now, it would legally qualify as child pornography. Also, the titular song is a story of a daughter on father rimjob. The album's more or less disowned by the band, though this probably had more to do with them not being satisfied with the music than being offensive.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: ''High Horses'' is supposed to simulate, through sound, the effect of riding a carousel [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs while tripping on LSD.]] whether you consider the portrayal accurate or not, it's still very believable carousel music, and it is delightfully trippy.
* EpilepticTrees: For a time, there was constant speculation regarding the identities of the bandmates.
* GrowingTheBeard:Their early unofficial releases are [[CreatorBacklash more or less]] [[OldShame disowned by the band themselves]] and range somewhere between "awful noise" and "good" with even hardcore fans. They've gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better.
* HellIsThatNoise: Both of their "guest" guitarists tended towards this very strongly. The band themselves have such tendencies, but not as markedly.
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: In the early years, this was the band's opinion on themselves. They weren't all that happy when Duck Stab attracted a fandom.
* NightmareFuel: They are very well known for being incredibly creepy. Later albums (1990's and onwards) were especially horrifying. In fact: [[NightmareFuel/TheResidents they got their own page]].
* [[HePannedItNowHeSucks They Panned It, Now They Suck]]: Wormwood. The "They Panned It" bit was subverted; The album dealt in the more disturbing tales of the Good Book, but was not meant as an insult. The "Now They Suck" bit was exaggerated; The tour was... chaotic, to say the least, courtesy of many a pissed-off crowd member. It got worse when the tour started playing in Europe.