Tropes that apply to this actor include:
- Album Title Drop: "And that just makes me a dumb human, like you."
- Affectionate Parody: A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel are among the most affectionate.
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Averted. The guy has Glee, writing songs for Team StarKid, performing live shows for either Glee, StarKid or himself, tons of photoshoots, and a Twitter feed to maintain, as well as side projects like voicing "Life of Leopold" for Funny or Die.
- Award Bait Song: "Not Alone"
- Band of Relatives: Darren used to play for his brother Chuck's band Freelance Whales.
- But Not Too Foreign: He's also half-Filipino, partly with Spanish and Chinese heritage from his mother's side.
- The Cameo: In Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"."BEST PARTY EVER! WOOOOO!"
- Camp Straight: He doesn't act camp, but he is the first one to tell you he is obsessed with musical theater, and grew up in gay-friendly San Francisco. When asked about playing a gay character on Glee, he often mentions that he had to "come out as straight" to his theater friends. Taken Up to Eleven with his attire◊ from the Coachella music festival, where he walked around shirtless covered in multicolored body paint and wearing clip-on earrings and rainbow nail polish.
- Companion Cube: Darren is never without his trademark pink sunglasses. He even got them into a scene on Glee.
- The Cover Changes The Gender: Averts it in virtually every song he does, whether it's Disney, Glee or his own work. He notably keeps the female POV in "Teenage Dream" and "Bills, Bills, Bills" on Glee, and has sung "The Coolest Girl" at concerts without modifying the lyrics.
- "Teenage Dream" and "Bills, Bills, Bills" make the aversion work all the better given that he plays an openly gay character.
- He fabulously does a cover of "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm", a song sung by a woman who dreams of being the ultimate housewife. Not only does he sing the song as a gay man to his husband, he also changes some of the lyrics to show his support for gay marriage.
- Cover Version
- Has an old YouTube account under the name of Iclemyer, where he does covers of Disney songs. Included are "Belle", "I'll Make a Man Out of You", and "Part of Your World".
- Lampshaded in AVPS. "I make weird covers of Disney songs. Who does that?"
- His cover of "Teenage Dream" is widely considered to be far better than the original.
- Deadpan Snarker
Darren: Looks like we finally did what everybody was waiting on for so long... A Hey Monday song! Boy, I sure hope people liked it!
- He and Chris Colfer were snarking jointly on Twitter after "Original Song" aired, in which their characters kissed. Oh, boys.
Chris: I fo' sho' thought "RIP Pavarotti" would be trending before "They Kissed". Tisk tisk. He is rolling in his bedazzled grave.
Reporter: How has your life changed since Glee?
- He does this all the time, really.
Darren: How hasn't it changed?!... I bought a new sweater.
- Duet Bonding: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
- Mr. Fanservice: His photoshoot for Out Magazine caused one hell of a mess on the Internet. Not to mention fans' reactions to his GQ Magazine photoshoot.
- Glee: Auditioned for the part of Finn when the show was originally being cast. Is there actually anyone out there who isn't glad he got Blaine instead?
- "I Am" Song: "The Coolest Girl". Written (as quoted by Word of God) by Darren to be another "Part Of Your World" or "On My Own", sung by Bonnie Gruesen (Hermione) in AVPS.
- Important Hair Cut:
- Incredibly Long Note: "To Have A Home", AVPS.
- Intercourse with You: "When I Get You Alone", from Glee. Kurt is not amused, as it's not sung to him.
- "I Want" Song: Most of his songs, of the romantic variety.
- Looped Lyrics: "Don't you want the way I feel/Don't you want the way I feel/Don't you want the way I feel for you".
- Love Nostalgia Song: "Sami"; "Don't You"
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Jealousy", a sunny and energetic song about Envy so consuming that he can't stand looking in the mirror, and he tries unsuccessfully to drown it out with alcohol.
- Mean Character Nice Actor: Harry Potter is, by his own admission, a total douchebag. Darren Criss, on the other hand, is running neck-and-neck with Tom Hiddleston for the title of "nicest human being on the planet".
- Nerds Are Sexy: Likes Disney, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, showtunes, and pink sunglasses. Has hazel eyes to top off his pale skin/black hair, and an Adonis-like build.
- Obsession Song: "The Muse"; "Jealousy"
- One of Us: Admitted fanboy of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Lord of the Rings, Flight of the Conchords, musical theatre, comic books, Disney movies, and of course, Harry Potter. The vids of the StarKids nerding out at Infinitus and Wizarding World of Harry Potter are some of the cutest things ever. He even cosplayed to the Deathly Hallows premiere (well, he cosplayed to others too, but this one was after he got famous). Oh, and he's voted for "KurtCoBlaine" as the official Portmanteau Couple Name for Kurt×Blaine.
- Performance Artist: He plays something like six instruments, sings, acts, and writes his own material. And he's talented at all of it. Subverted in that he's straight.
- Promoted Fanboy: A Very Potter Musical became so popular that he was invited to the Deathly Hallows, Part. 1 movie premiere... which he attended in full Harry costume, and then spazzed out about being there.
- Rewritten Pop Version: "Not Alone", "Sami" ("Harry"), "Even Though" and "Stutter" all have solo versions.
- Self-Backing Vocalist
- Similarly Named Works: His EP shares its title with one of Death's albums.
- Wild Hair: The curls just CANNOT BE CONTAINED. He sheared down to a more debonair look for Glee, but they're making something of a comeback anyway as of "Blame It On the Alcohol." Some witty person even listened his trademark as "his outrageously curly hair" on his IMDb profile.