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.
Thea, the fans either like her for being like an average teen dealing with losing her brother and father while others hate her for making the problems all about her and being a Spoiled Brat (being a Canon Foreigner doesn't help her with that last part). Fans in general have now warmed up to her considerably (in due part because of her improved attitude and close friendship with Tommy and Laurel, and her relationship with Roy), so she's probably left this territory now.
Laurel, with the fandom split between those who enjoy her character and those who find her bland, unlikeable and an inferior love interest compared to some of the other fan preferred pairings.
The show itself among comic fans: Either the show's decision to go no-superpowers route and many other changes means (especially the changes made to Huntress) it's an insult to the comics, or the no powers thing makes it approachable and, in spite of those changes, it is still a decent show.
The repeated statements by higher-ups that superpowers would start appearing more often in Season Two, to the point that a pre-superpowers Barry Allen will be making appearances in the mid-season finale and the twentieth episode of the season would serve as a Back Door Pilot for a Flash spin-offnote It has since been announced that the pilot will not be an episode of Arrow, but rather a separate pilot. Some think it's good for the show to try to stay closer to its source material, while others think it ruins the tone the show established.
The casting of Grant Gustin as Barry Allen has split the fandom, with a number of people arguing that Gustin looks too young to be playing Barry Allen and would be better suited to Wally West, whilst others see no problem with the casting as Gustin is portraying a Barry Allen who has yet to gain superpowers and therefore suits an inexperienced Flash.
Count Vertigo; people either love Seth Gabel for portraying him as a Large Ham or despise him. Still, he's dead now, so it's likely a moot point.
The Count is a sadistic drug peddler who seeks to push a new drug on the street known as Vertigo. To perfect it, the Count kidnaps people to be his test subjects. He then injects them with Vertigo to cause them excruciating agony before offering them a gun with one shot: they can either shoot themselves to spare themselves the pain, or shoot him for revenge. The suicide rate, after nearly thirty victims, is one hundred percent. The Count views this as making Vertigo even better, comparing it to a wine ripened with age, and plans to flood the streets with Vertigo as a whole. He later attempts to inject it into Oliver during their fight.
Barton Mathis, best known as The Dollmaker, is an Ax-CrazySerial Killer who enjoys targeting young women. After kidnapping them, the Dollmaker murders the girls and preserves the corpses by injecting them with chemicals. The Dollmaker has a particular grudge against Quentin Lance, the cop who put him away the first time. After his escape from prison, Mathis calls up Lance and forces him to listen as he kills a girl before he attempts to do the same to Lance's daughter Laurel.
Designated Villain: Helena Bertinelli/Huntress, in her first appearances at least, when she is actively going out of her way to kill the members of the Bertinelli crime family. Oliver treats her as being in the wrong for this, as she's acting out of a desire for revenge rather than to get justice, and as such her methods are leaving a pile of bodies in her wake rather than trying to put her fiance's killers behind bars. However, his own motivation is to avenge his father, and he also racks up quite a body count. She loses the Designated part later on, when she becomes so obsessed with revenge that she's willing to hurt innocent people for it, something Oliver clearly doesn't do.
Roy Harper, for some fairlyobviousreasons. Being the future Arsenal/Red Arrow in the source material probably helps.
There is a sizable contingent of people who want Caity Lotz as Sara Lance to stay as the Black Canary, due to her Badass nature, her link to Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins, and her having actual chemistry with Ollie.
Isabel Rochev, but being played by Summer Glau will do that. "Keep Your Enemies Closer" has her opening up and explains her backstory more.
Plenty of fans have complained about Justin Hartley (Green Arrow in Smallville) not being cast as the main character despite the fact that this show is completely different and separate from Smallville. The fact that the Smallville Facebook page was posting frequent advertisements for it up to the release of the series, and them reusing multiple Smallville sets isn't helping matters.
Outcry for Felicity to be the Black Canary instead of Laurel, as her skills lie in tech support and she is one of the least physically capable characters on the show. And then, ironically, Laurel isn't Black Canary anyway; her sister Sara is.
Saying that the people in the Glades deserve what Malcolm Merlyn did.
Tommy/Thea became quite popular to the point where the announcement that Roy Harper was being introduced as a love interest for Thea drew ire. Of course, Tommy's death in the Season One finale and the revelation that Tommy and Thea are half-siblings thoroughly sank the ship.
Oliver/Felicity, despite Laurel's status as Official Love Interest. The writers seem to be aware of this, and have downplayed Oliver/Laurel in the second season, in favor of teasing Olicity instead.
Tommy/Laurel is popular, despite Ollie and Laurel seemingly being destined to become the Official Couple (which, with Tommy's death, now seems inevitable), since they actually have something resembling chemistry.
Oliver/Sara has gained some fans in Season Two, thanks to the chemistry between the two and the implications of a Canary/Arrow Battle Couple, in addition to her links to Oliver's missing five years.
When Oliver first comes home and everyone welcomes him back, it's sweet in and of itself, because the idea of a man returning home after five years lost at sea would naturally be a heartwarming experience. However, later in the series, we actually see Oliver's relationship with each character, so seeing that scene again after watching a few episodes has even more kick.
The friendship between Thea and Tommy, which features numerous moments where he looks out for her as if she were his own sister, in light of the second season revelation that they actually were half-siblings.
Right from the pilot, fans have already been commenting that Oliver has more chemistry with his sister than with his ex-girlfriend. Doesn't help that by giving her the nickname "Speedy" the writers seem to have destined her to be his sidekick.
A canon instance between Thea and Tommy, though neither of them knew it and it's only revealed several months after Tommy's death.
A number of people suggested that due to her brown hair not being a trait inherited from two blonde parents, Thea wasn't Robert and Moira Queen's daughter. It was revealed in "State vs. Queen" that Thea was conceived after an affair between Moira and Malcolm Merlyn.
Roy to a lesser extent. He resents the rich and successful, refuses to let people help him, steals from people (at one point planning to rob a liquor store with a gun), and in general does what he can to alienate people. But he's got no family, he's so poor he'll be lucky to live past 21, everyone judges and writes him off as a thug, and when held at gun point and told to give a reason to be spared, he can't think of one, or anyone who'll miss him, instead telling the Savior to Get It Over With. When he's saved, he's visibly surprised that anyone would bother to save him.
Malcolm Merlyn. It goes without say that his plan to level The Glades is a horrible thing to do to people, but his genuine love of his wife, the entire situation with her, and his frustration with his inability to improve The Glades with his previous efforts are all sympathetic elements.
Sebastian Blood and his followers. They almost attack Oliver on the street, but they've also lost their loved ones and their homes, and the only hospital they have access to is being robbed by China White's Triad faction because the police can't protect them, making them take out their rage on the "elitists", especially the Queens.
Helena/The Huntress crosses this in "The Huntress Returns" as she murders several US Marshals in cold blood when trying to kill her father. Assuming that her threatening Oliver's family and friends, and coming close to killing or, at the very least, severely hurting one of them, didn't do it.
However sympathetic he might be and however noble his intentions are, Malcolm definitely crosses this line when he tells Oliver that he is going to kill his mother and sister out of nothing more than spite.
Ollie and Laurel making out after getting back together in the first season finale. It's already awkward since there's little to no romantic chemistry between Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, and it's set to "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, a song best known for being used in anAssassin's Creed III trailer, which doesn't really fit the scene. This is made even worse when Tommy shows up and sees them kissing through the window.
Some of the scenes are hard to take seriously with Stephen Amell's facial expressions (or lack thereof). He has caught a lot of flak over this.
The sheer number of times that '52' appears in the series. Whilst some can be missed on an initial viewing, even some comic book fans are getting tired of the constant use of the number, when it doesn't have the same relevance to Arrow as it does to DC Comics. It's even worse with those aren't fans of the comics, who aren't aware of the number's significance and just think its constant use is a bit silly.
Stephen Amell's attempts at speaking Russian. Also, of all the characters that were supposedly Russian, only some of the people at Koshmar actually sounded the part, the rest made every dramatic moment they were in seem cringeworthy when they spoke.
Older Than They Think: Some people initially accused this series of being a rip-off of Hawkeye from the movie The Avengers. This is despite the fact that the show is based off Green Arrow, a comic book character that has existed since the 40's and who predates Hawkeye by over two decades. The use of a hacking arrow does not help matters, but that was probably cribbed that from the New 52 reboot of Green Arrow, where it's central to the plot of the first issue. Not to mention that all of these characters homage Robin Hood to one extent or another.
Visible among the episodes, given that each one is produced only shortly before it airs. Characters that audiences responded well to were given more screen time and development (While Diggle being brought into the fold was likely planned from the start due to how relatively early it happened, Felicity likely wasn't, and her, Slade, and Roy being promoted to main cast for Season Two is likely because of audience reaction), while aspects that were critiqued (Thea's Jerk Ass and It's All About Me tendencies, and Oliver's occasional cold-blooded killing) were toned down and more focus was put on the positive aspects.
There's the most common form of base pandering, which the show delightsin doing - One such example is the first scene in "Identity", which shows Oliver working out for roughly a minute with no relevance to the episode, as the scene immediately cuts away to Roy trying to stop the Triad from stealing hospital supplies.
The posters released to promote the second season consist almost entirely of the show's male cast standing shirtless.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Thea, after getting in a car crash whilst high on Vertigo kick-started some much needed Character Development by having her begin working with Laurel at C.N.R.I. and subsequently begin developing a relationship with Roy Harper. It also helped that her relationship with Oliver had become less frosty as the season went on, as they both began understanding what the other had been through in the 5 years that Oliver was missing.
Rooting for the Empire: More than a few fans support Malcolm's plan to destroy the Glades, due mostly in part because of how everyone there seems to be a crook and a criminal.
When Island!Ollie is carrying a wounded Slade away from a fight with Fyers, he's shooting a gun. The muzzle flashes are clearly fake though this may very well have been done for safety's sake since shooting one handed with a heavy load in the other hand isn't exactly a good position to be shooting from.
Unlike Smallville and Daredevil which both heavily used it for some of their main casts, this is averted when it comes to the free running bits; likely since the actors themselves are actually very good at it while Smallville took obvious advantage of strings and Daredevil CGI, and the show's realistic tone means that they use realistic stunts rather than the more over-the-top stunts the other two used.
In Episode One of Season Two, when Oliver and Felicity smash through a window and fall to the floor, you can see the pieces of "broken glass" bouncing up and down; they are actually made of transparent rubber.
Some may feel this way about the idea of Diggle dating his sister-in-law, depending on how you see it. Others just think it's quite awkward of him to do so, considering that she's the widow of his dead brother.
Going and back and watching Season One after "State vs. Queen" might make some scenes with Tommy and Thea uncomfortable, such as his comment to Oliver about how hot Thea has gotten.
Thea to some fans. Whilst some people hate her just for being a Canon Foreigner; it doesn't help that at the start of the show, her character was defined by trying to guilt-trip Ollie over being missing for five years and how hard that was on her. She seems to have grown out of this lately, though.
Helena Bertinelli/Huntress. A lot of Birds of Prey fans, and fans in general of the comics, absolutely detest the show's depiction, primarily because it changes her from an Anti-Hero to an Anti-Villain, reduced her competence so Oliver can mentor her, and a general dislike for how she jumps down the slippery slope.
Laurel. While her mixed feelings toward Oliver were somewhat understandable given their turbulent history, a lot of fans were put off that she spent a lot of the first half of Season One telling her father to stop hating Oliver and/or blaming him for her sister's death, while using it herself as ammunition every time she and Oliver got into an argument. Others point to her lack of importance to the overarching plot making her a Satellite Love Interest at best.
Laurel has definitely taken Thea's place as the show's Scrappy in Season Two, whether it's being a useless Damsel Scrappy or just being a far less appealing love interest than Felicity or Sara.
Oliver not being called Green Arrow. Word of God states that this is because they intend to show Oliver's growth from vigilante to hero, and as such he's not Green Arrow yet.
Oliver's mask being painted on.
Dinah "Laurel" Lance isn't Black Canary, despite the possibility she could become take up the identity as the show progresses.
Unfortunate Implications: Diggle goes undercover in an attempt to ambush drug dealers... as a potential customer. Largely because they couldn't send Oliver since he's a figure in the public eye, and Oliver and Diggle refused Felicity's offer to go undercover. Wonderfully lampshaded upon Dig's return:
Diggle: Okayyy, person of color has bought you drugs.
Felicity: For the record: I offered.
Hilariously riffed on in a Season Two episode. Felicity chews Ollie out for her being "promoted" to his "personal assistant", to which Diggle replies:
Diggle: Could be worse. My secret identity is his black driver.
Ollie's reaction to this is one of the funnier moments of the episode.
Starling City's criminal elite have lots of shades of this. The second episode alone features a "legitimate businessman" threatening the life of a police detective and his daughter directly to said detective's face. Directly subverted in the very next scene: With his daughter under threat by an alleged criminal, Quentin... assigns her a police escort for the duration of the case.
In the Season One finale, while the building is coming down around her, Laurel is running to the exit... while holding a bunch of papers. Especially since that few seconds spent gathering those papers and gawking at the falling roof, if spent running, would've got her out of the building before the roof caved in, and subsequently Tommy wouldn't have died saving Laurel. To make it even worse, she'd been warned no fewer than four times to stay out/get out of the Glades, and she still waited until the building started to collapse around her before trying to leave. In Episode Three of Season Two, she even admits that she was being too stubborn and cost Tommy his life.
Something also has to be said for the residents of the Glades who made "The end is nigh" posters instead of evacuating their homes.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: In "Salvation" the way the Hood and Dark Archer kill their targets is pretty much exactly the same - from behind, straight through the chest. The other person in the vicinity is left with a marker of the encounter in their hand.
The Woobie: Lets face it, every main character, and then some.
Tommy's a guy with good intentions but at every turn, people just seem to shoot him down and don't look at what he's trying to be. His dad cuts him off from his trust fund, without so much as an advance warning, purely because he's fed up with Tommy being a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, which in a positive turn of events, leads to Tommy moving in with Laurel and taking a job at Oliver's club. Only that all blows up in his face when he learns that Oliver is the Hood, as he can't look at his best friend since childhood anymore and his own insecurities in comparison to Ollie result in him breaking up with Laurel because he thinks that if Laurel knew what he knew, she'd return to Ollie without a second thought. Oh, and his dad is also the Big Bad. Worse, when Ollie himself tells Tommy to go see Laurel, he sees them making out. Any attempt he makes to become a better person is shot down! And to top it all off, he gets Killed Off for Real in the Season One finale.
Quentin: His daughter died while sleeping with his other daughter's boyfriend, resulting in his wife leaving him. He's spent the time since blaming himself, and now he's so consumed with anger he's unable to let anything go. His remaining daughter not only insists on dating the kind of men he hates, but then she started working with the Vigilante he's trying to take down; as far as he can see it, he's slowly losing the only family he has left and he can't stop it happening.
Laurel: Boyfriend cheated on her with her sister and possibly others as well, then both of them got lost on a boat trip, meaning that she wasn't able to grieve or be mad at them. She finds herself drawn to the wrong type of men, her father's protectiveness borders on manipulation, and she's unable to really help anyone without breaking the law by aiding and abetting a killer and vigilante. Then her new boyfriend (Tommy) breaks up with her for no good reason she can see, she sleeps with Oliver, only for Tommy to die in the Glades, and then Oliver disappears for a few months.
Moira's only trying to protect her family, but to do so, she has to cross so many lines that its killing her. She had to allow her husband to be killed, an incident that also nearly killed her beloved son, and left him missing for five years. Her second husband then tried to dig into what she was doing, forcing her to sit back and allow him to be abducted. When she tried to end all of his, it ended up resulting in innocents dying in a crossfire, then forcing her to rat out her friend Frank to avoid being implicated and her family being killed.
Thea, despite coming off as bratty, had to suffer the deaths of her father and beloved big brother at 12, and with little support due to how grief stricken her mother was, wound up turning to drugs. Her brother returns home 5 years later, and doesn't seem to want anything to do with her whilst at the same time treating her like he did 5 years earlier. And to top it off, although she isn't aware, she's the product of an affair between her mother and the Big Bad Malcolm Merlyn.
Yao-Fei was betrayed by his country and used as a scapegoat in a massacre, resulting in him being sent to a prison island where he was forced to fight for his life. Then, as the only remaining person on the island, he was forced to deal with Edward Fyers and his men by himself before Slade arrived to save him, but he gets stuck too. He befriends and takes care of a shipwrecked Oliver, but he's captured protecting him and forced to betray him in order to protect his daughter, who's dragged into this because of him. He then gets killed by Fyres, courtesy of a bullet to the head by Fyers.
Slade was a special forces commando sent to an island to rescue a prisoner, only to be captured at some point, with his best friend, and god father to his child, betraying him in a heart beat. He's forced to hide out as he struggles to try and take down Fyers, or at least escape the island, where he's been for years, unable to leave and see his family. He gets one shot at escape, but ends up losing it to save Oliver's ass when he fails to rescue Yao-Fei. He still then sticks around to train the kid the best he can.
Shado spent her life looking for her father, who she knew was wrongfully imprisoned. When she believed she could save him, instead she got captured and used as a bargaining chip to make her father betray Oliver. She's stuck on an island with Oliver and Slade, but still remains, mostly, chipper and happy, even joyfully training Oliver in how to use a bow.
Diggle fought in Afgahnistan, until his brother Andy, whom he was close to, was killed by Floyd Lawton, Deadshot, with no arrests made following. He grew close to his brother's widow, but is unable to make a move at first and act on his feelings because she's his sister in law, and it'd be too taboo to do so. When he finally believes his brother's killer has been brought to justice, they find out he's still alive. And when he finds out his former CO is on the list, he tries to prove he's innocent, only to be proven wrong.
Oliver himself: Watched Sara die then had to witness his father kill another man and himself to save him, before then spending five years in hell-on-earth, struggling to survive while plagued by guilt over what he did to Laurel, a time that has ruined his ability to connect with people. He's forced to hide who he is from everyone, and it is not something he's enjoying. In spite of all this, he keeps fighting the good fight. As of Season Two, his best friend is dead (on the day before his birthday no less), his mother is facing the death penalty, the family company is nearly bankrupt, and everything he fought for in the first season was for nothing, as half the Glades has been destroyed. And then we learn that he lied about Sara dying on the boat; he did think she died, but only after their reunion one year after the wreck of the Queen's Gambit. His reason for hiding it? He didn't want to tell Laurel and her father what really happened to Sara, as he implies that it was nothing good.
Black Canary aka Sara Lance. She nearly drowns in the wreck of the Queen's Gambit, only to end up on the Amazo ship, hardened by a year of fighting to survive. Whatever happened with her on the island, Oliver did not believe she came out of it alive until they meet again, and this time she seems to be running from the League of Assassins and can't go back to her family for their safety and because she is no longer the Sara that they remember.