YMMV / American Idiot

  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" bit of "Homecoming" doesn't make sense in the album's context, and was never mentioned before or after the song. It makes more sense when you realize it's about Tre's life, but it still doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album.
      • However, in the booklet it's made clear that the song is a letter from St. Jimmy to JOS.
      • If you read the liner, however, it works in that hearing about how (relatively) well Tunny is doing inspires JOS to pull himself together.
    • The very beginning of "Extraordinary Girl", which has an African drum solo.
    • For a few years after its release, several older and more hardcore fans tried to play the entire album off as a BLAM within the band's career.
    • "Wake Me Up When September Ends" doesn't really fit with the album's overall narrative. The song was written about the death of Billie Joe Armstrong's father.
  • Broken Base: Something like half of Green Day's fanbase regard American Idiot as their greatest album, and the other half regard it as the point where the band jumped the shark. To say it's a controversial album is an understatement.
  • Epic Riff: "American Idiot", "Jesus of Suburbia", "Holiday", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", "Letterbomb"
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The album did quite well overseas, unsurprisingly during the time when international opinion of the US had hit rock bottom.
  • Ho Yay: If you consider Jimmy a separate person to JOS, there's some of this as subtext, especially in Give Me Novocaine.
    Out of body and out of mind
    Kiss the demons out of my dreams
    Jimmy says it's better than here.
    • Then there's this, in the same song:
    Give me a long kiss goodnight
    And everything will be alright
    Tell me, Jimmy, I won't feel a thing
    So give me Novacaine
    • In the musical it gets a little more explicit - while JOS and Whatsername serenade each other, Jimmy leans mournfully over the balcony and sings to JOS,
      I text a postcard, sent to you
      Did it go through?
      Sending all my love to you.
      You are the moonlight of my life every night
      Giving all my love to you
    • It could likely be interpreted as JOS' thoughts/feelings about Whatsername at the time, considering the Double Consciousness interpretation.
  • Sequel Displacement: To anyone born around Kerplunk's release or later, you probably thought they were a new band for a while and this was their first album. The 4 year gap probably didn't help. Although those people are at least familiar enough with "Good Riddance".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Yes, slavishly following the government and media is a bad thing, but mindless, causeless rebellion against the establishment is just as bad, if not worse. Not a bad message from a band who was once devoted to the punk movement.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is uncomfortably close (a mere half-step down) to Oasis' most famous hit "Wonderwall". At least one mashup between the two exists, and Noel Gallagher complained, saying he at least plagiarizes from dead people, which must come as news to Stevie Wonder who got a co-writing credit added to an Oasis B-side for obvious plagiarism.
    • "II. City of the Damned" also sounds a lot like "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams.
      • And "V. Tales of Another Broken Home" sounds a lot like "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.
      • "American Edit" took notice: "American Jesus" uses samples of those songs instead of "II" and "V".
    • The opening notes of The Musical's "When It's Time" sound similar to "Wake Me Up When September Ends", though this may have been on purpose.
    • The theme song to Johnny Test is practically a reworked ripoff of "American Idiot". As with "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Wonderwall", someone saw this opportunity and mashed the two up.
  • Values Resonance: After the surprise election of Donald Trump in 2016, many people found that the album resonated again with the despair felt towards the overtly racist and discriminatory campaign Trump ran on. Because of this, the Title Track became a trending video on YouTube in the days following Trump's election win.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the middling reception of Warning, American Idiot brought the band back to the spotlight.