These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Archive Binge: Beyond the already lengthy singles, the group has tons of stage songs.
Not to mention the many songs from its sub-groups and soloists!
Broken Base - There are fans who think the group's switch to King Records made them more "mainstream" and think their older singles were much better. Then on the other side you have the fans who think the sellouts prove that AKB is finally getting the attention they deserve. And then you have everyone in between.
Ear Worm: Good luck forgetting some of their songs like Heavy Rotation!
Ensemble Darkhorse: Sato Amina. For someone who is neglected by the management, consistently placing in the top 21 for senbatsu elections is surely something. However, she dropped to rank 33 in the 5th Sousenkyo, but that makes her the Center of the Next Girls.
Some really popular members from sister groups, like Jurina Matsui or Sayaka Yamamoto.
Watanabe Miyuki was unranked in 2011, then suddenly shot up to #19 in the 2012 election and raised to 15th in the 2013 election. However, her popularity decreased after she was involved in an scandal, with most of the NMB fans votes going to Yamamoto Sayaka instead
Face of the Band - Maeda Atsuko. Probably the most promoted member of AKB48. She's the center for almost all AKB48 singles to date.
After her graduation, despite Yuko being named new leader of AKB, Shimazaki Haruka has taken Acchan's place in most promotions and songs she was featured in. Also Takahashi Minami is the member who represents the group in TV programs and interviews. Yuko keeps the center in AKB-exclusive events and concerts.
After Yuko's graduation, and since she ranked #1 in the elections, Watanabe Mayu is now the face of AKB.
Good News, Bad News: The management seems to love giving surprise announcements at the end of major concerts.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In 2011, AKB had this comedy show called Bimyo, and the first episode had a skit in which Sashihara was the group's center. The idea was ridiculous at the time. Fast forward to 2013 though...
Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "Iiwake Maybe" is about love, but the video is about Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko's fight and cooling-off attempt by having a cycling competition.
"Manatsu no Sounds Good!". The song is about sunbathing on the beach and having a great summer, while the official PV (not the one in AKB's Youtube channel, that's the dance version) is about a sudden alien invasion, with the girls being killed brutally. Only Acchan and Mayuyu survive (one of them badly wounded), but see their friends in bikinis in the distance, probably in heaven.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: No one expected HKT 48's Sashihara Rino to beat fan favorites Watanabe Mayu and Oshima Yuko to get the first place in the 2013 General Election preliminary results as well as in the actual election!
The Scrappy: After predicting that AKB's popularity will probably wane in 1-2 years a lot fans bashed Sashihara Rino for being the "negative idol" and "unsupportive of her group." Thankfully the backlash seems to have died down by now. She's managed to make a fanbase of her own now that she's in HKT, and has been appointed as its manager.
Yokoyama Yui, mainly because of her heavy promotion despite her status as a newly-promoted member.
As of late 2012, Yui is mostly accepted by the fandom due in part to the effort she puts in, even being mostly accepted by the NMB48 fandom when she was put in their senbatsu. Currently the AKB scrappy is Shimazaki Haruka, while a large number of SKE fans are annoyed at the likely prominence Kitahara Rie will soon have in the group.
Yui and Rie have both been transferred back to AKB, despite mostly being accepted by the NMB and SKE fandoms and their team members. Newest scrappy is Ichikawa Miori, transferred to NMB. Many fans believe her cute appereance and behaviour doesn't fit with NMB's more sexy style.