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.
The "inspiring" work the girls are doing by modeling cannot be understated according to the show. Tragic backstories are played up at every opportunity, too.
In accordance with its theme, Cycle 13 was renamed America's Next Top Petite Model because all the models were under 5'7". While it's true girls that short are not common in the modeling world, the girls' height was beaten over the audience's head all the time.
Badass Decay: Some of the returning girls during the All-Star cycle suffered from this.
Nigel: (To the panel) "Cycle 1, I looked at all pictures of her (Shannon) and there's this fire. Now, she just gone bland."
Tyra: (To Bre and Alexandria) "Both of you are losing the strength you had from your original cycles."
Mr. Jay: (To Camille) "Right now you're just giving 60% of what you can give me. I want Camille back!"
Blatant Lies: There has yet to be a winner on the original (or any) version who can claim to be the next Cindy Crawford or Kate Upton. Apparently the fashion industry really doesn't like being told who the "next big thing" is, and the show is a kiss of death for a lot of the contestants.
The UR Example is Robin Manning from the inaugural cycle. Not only is her pictures and performances mediocre, but she also had an attitude and constantly whined on set. She managed to finished 4th.
The Trope Maker is Ann Markley from Cycle 3, who despite her strong runway walk and very beautiful looks, was always on the bottom 2 in almost every episode. And when she wasn't, the panel will usually complain something about her performance. She actually finished fourth. Jay Manuel called her out on it. Post-show, fortunately, she gotbetter.
Cycle 5 had Bre Scullark and Jayla Rubinelli. The former finished 3rd despite landing on the bottom 2 four times, while the latter survived twice in a row despite having bland photos, first because it's a non-elimination weekend and the second because the other person in the bottom 2 was perceived as arrogant. She finished 4th.
Jade Cole from Cycle 6 finished 3rd despite being in the bottom 2 four times.
Jaeda Young from Cycle 7 managed to survive elimination three times despite having lackluster photos. She ultimately finished 6th.
Ambreal Willams from Cycle 9 was actually eliminated, but ended up staying on two more weeks due to the other person in the Bottom 2 quitting.
In a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, Alisha White from Cycle 18 defied this. She was runner-up on Britain's Next Top Model Cycle 6 where she had a No Damage Run. On ANTM, she won best photo twice but landed on the bottom 2 twice as well. After she was spared for the third time, she decided to quit because she didn't want to be an Elimination Houdini and because the remaining contestants were front-runners with, at the time, No Damage Runs.
Cycle 20's Phil Sullivan escaped elimination quite a few times despite a subpar performance.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Every cycle has at least one. For the show as a whole, there's Miss J.
Elyse Sewell in Cycle 1.
Mercedes Scelba-Shorte in Cycle 2.
Amanda Swafford, Norelle Van-Herk and Toccara Jones in Cycle 3.
Kahlen Rondot, Brittany Brower and Michelle Deighton in Cycle 4.
Nik Pace and Kim Stolz in Cycle 5.
Nearly the entire cast of Cycle 6.
The Babin twins and AJ Stewart in Cycle 7.
Natasha Galkina and Samantha Francis in Cycle 8.
Heather Kuzmich in Cycle 9.
Anya Rozova, Fatima Siad and Katarzyna Dolinska in Cycle 10.
Analeigh Tipton and Lauren Brie Harding in Cycle 11.
Allison Harvard in Cycle 12.
Nicole Fox and Laura Kirkpatrick in Cycle 13.
Raina Hein, Alexandra Underwood and Jessica Serfaty in Cycle 14.
Kayla Ferrel and Jane Randall in Cycle 15.
Molly O'Connell and Hannah Jones in Cycle 16.
Dominique Reighard in Cycle 17 (All-Stars). Allison, Laura, Kayla and Brittany are here too, but Dominique surprisingly becomes a fan-favorite this cycle.
Sophie Sumner, Catherine Thomas, AzMarie Livingston and Ashley Brown in Cycle 18.
Leila Goldkuhl, Nastasia Scott and Brittany Brown in Cycle 19.
During Cycle 1, Elyse won a challenge earning a visit from a loved one. Her boyfriend was allowed to stay for a short period of time at the contestants' hotel room, where they shared some cute scenes. Around 2008, said boyfriend allegedly assaulted her in a hotel.
Cycle 4 runner-up Kahlen was told by Jay Manuel that she looks like supermodel Carmen Kass. After the show, Kahlen had a hard time booking jobs because of her Celebrity Resemblance which lead her to eventually leaving the industry.
During the All-Stars Cycle, Dominique laughed at the idea that her curse is being photographed by resident judge Nigel Barker (She was referring to her boot in Cycle 10 where he was the photographer. Nigel photographed the girls earlier). At the end of the episode, she wasn't laughing at all.
Ham and Cheese: Jay Manuel was this in Cycle 14 (episode "America's Next Top Vampire").
Adrianne's victory. Especially showing how proud Tyra was on it.
Tyra: "Adrianne is the present. Adrianne is the future."
Adrianne: "I'm gonna have a good life now. My family's gonna have a good life now. A lot is going to change, and it kicks so much ass."
The lyrics of "I'm Here", Angelea's Leitmotif during the All-Stars Cycle, was about her being a Plucky Girl most of her life. At the cycle's finale, she was disqualified and wasn't even present during final judging. What's even worse for her is that she's also the alleged winner. These are words from the song..
During Cycle 4, Michelle and two other girls note (the eventual finalists) lost a challenge and had to sleep outdoors as consequence (the challenge winner will choose two contestants to take with her to spend the night at a luxury cottage). Michelle had no qualms about it, saying she watches Survivor. About three years later, Michelle will marry Survivor's infamous villain Johnny Fairplay.
During the pilot episode of Britain's Next Top Model Cycle 5, Sophie Sumner was wearing the US flag as a cape during a runway challenge.
Taye Diggs shows up for a challenge with the girls in Cycle 3 and the following conversation becomes hilarious today as the woman he was married to at the time (IdinaMenzel) is now much more of a household name:
Anamaria's pretty unpleasant to be around, but she has an obvious eating disorder.
It's hard not to feel for Alexandria in her appearance on the first live judging in Cycle All-Stars, where she is cussed by someone. She gets better from there.
Chris H. manages to rub every other contestant the wrong way at some point during C20. But you can't help but feel sorry for him when you learn of his past, which involves an abusive mother and undoubtably not enough love.
Les Yay: With girls living on the same house for over a month, it's quite inevitable to be "close".
Narm Charm: The show delights in this. There's a lot of crying going on, and so over the top that it's downright charming.
Overshadowed By Controversy: Saleisha "Scandaleisha" Stowers must have had a hard time enjoying her win of Cycle 9. Despite being pretty, bubbly, delivering mostly good and decent pictures and being far from that cycle's Alpha Bitch (a title which belongs to Bianca), most people only remember her history with Tyra.
Replacement Scrappy: Rob Evans, Johnny Wujek and Bryanboy for Nigel Barker and the two Jays for a number of fans.
Natalie from Cycle 12 is this all over. She explained to Teyona and Aminat that she grew up in "a diffrent place than they did," and wasn't used to chores (both are black, by the way). Later, on the episode where she was eliminated, she complained about how "ugly" Brazil was, and while others were happy about doing a photoshoot in a Brazilian ghetto, Natalie complained about the poor people.
The Elimination Houdini always get this treatment, especially those with lackluster performances who advanced over consistent and fan-favorite contestants. Ann over Toccarra and Norelle in Cycle 3, Whitney over Katarzyna in Cycle 10 and Angelea over Dominique and Laura in All-Stars are examples.
Clark from Cycle 11. Constantly being a bigot against Isis for being transgender and even a few down-right racists undertones against the black contestants got her hated. While there were other contestants who made fun of Isis (Sharaun, Hannah) or were simply more annoying (Nikeysha), Clark overstayed her welcome.
Judge Kelly Cutrone isn't well liked by many fans not only because of the Louise incident, but because she underrates and unappreciative of some contestants talents (Annaliese and Catherine. AzMarie at the time of her boot). Turning her back on Laura, her favorite contestant, in the Cycle 18 finale didn't help either.
Seasonal Rot: Cycles 9, 10, 12, 14 and 17 are the generally unliked seasons. Cycles 2-7, 11, 13, 16 and 18 are the popular seasons, with Cycles 2, 3 and 6 being considered by many as the series' best.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: It is universally agreed that Cycle 2 was superior to Cycle 1. Then comes Cycle 3, which is arguably an Even Better Sequel to the former. In fact, majority of the succeeding cycles are considered superior to Cycle 1, though it has become a Cult Classic to the show's fans.
Brittany and Sheena getting the first two boots in that cycle. They are Identical Strangers to former judges Janice Dickinson and Kimora Lee Simmons respectively. Tyra is on bad terms with said former judges, especially the former. Tyra and the latter are Vitriolic Best Buds.
Most people felt that Cycle 10's winner Whitney Thompson was unqualified for the win at that time. Post show, she is one of the contestants who at least have moderate success in the fashion industry. Although it's more as an entrepreneur than a model.
What an Idiot: When given the opportunity to meet a major fashion designer, Nicole Panattoni declined, because she did not feel like it.
Also for what happened to her in the All Stars Cycle. The contestants were challenged to write lyrics for their own song and perform it in a video. Allison wrote a song about her feelings about her father's death... only to find out later that footage of Tyra dancing around with a feather boa would be spliced into the video and she had to add the words "pot ledom is top model spelled backwards" into the song. Ouch.