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.
      • 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.
    • "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. This and the above BLAM moments were the result of the album starting off as each band member contributing 30 second snippets and then stringing them together after the fact.
    • 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.
  • Epic Riff: "American Idiot", "Jesus of Suburbia", "Holiday", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", "Letterbomb"
  • Epileptic Trees: The band made it entirely clear that the plot of American Idiot is not important and they allowed fans to decipher and decide what the album's story line is in their view. The result? Numerous theories about the damn story, the most popular being whether St. Jimmy or JOS are two different people or if St. Jimmy is an alter ego for JOS. While the limited edition hardcover of the album did help this kinda, it unfortunately lead to the musical with complicated matters more. And that's not even getting to whether or not 21st Century Breakdown even connects to the plot.
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The plot is essentially Fight Club in rock opera form.
  • Spiritual Successor: "Bang Bang" from the Revolution Radio album resembles "St. Jimmy" both musically and in the way the lyrics are sung by a narrator who resembles the St. Jimmy persona.
  • 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. Not to mention Neil Innes, who is now co-credited as a writer for "Whatever".
    • "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.
  • Tear Jerker: "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is a tear-jerker when you know what it's about: the death of Billie Armstrong's dad. Though, some find it as such because they think it's about the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Heather in the stage version (depending on your interpretation of the characters' age)
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the middling reception of Warning, American Idiot brought the band back to the spotlight.