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YMMV: Arrow

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: As of Season Three, does Ray Palmer actually care about Felicity at all, or is he just using her to further his own agendas? If the latter, is Felicity really completely oblivious to how he's buttering her up with the job promotion and giving her expensive jewelry and dresses (even if only for "business dates") due to her frustrations with Oliver, or is she aware of the fact Palmer is blatantly moving in on her and she simply doesn't care because right now he looks like a better option than Oliver?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Some claim that Deathstroke and his followers are these, as after all the build-up behind them and the fact that it took three hand grenades to kill one of them, they're defeated in a few minutes with Mirakuru cure arrows and rope arrows; then again, Deathstroke himself is able to push through the debilitating effects of the cure and give Oliver one hell of a one-on-one fight.
  • Arc Fatigue: Helena's arc, while only four episodes long, was stretched out so one part took place in Season Two. Due to Helena being The Scrappy to some, this wasn't appreciated.
  • Ass Pull: Arguably the "Thea was mind-controlled to kill Sara." reveal from "The Climb".
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Some comic fans didn't like the choice to give Roy powers via Mirakuru, so the revelation of a cure existing and Roy being the first to get it probably pleases them.
    • Casting Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle, the new Count Vertigo, following Seth Gabel's Count Vertigo being killed off during Season Two amid numerous fan complaints that Gabel's performance in the role was too hammy to take seriously as a threat.
    • Laurel's demotion from love interest to merely a supporting character in Season Two, and giving her a drug addiction storyline to have her confront her character flaws, was probably in response to the largely negative response people had to her character and her void of chemistry with Oliver.
    • Felicity is finally set to get some backstory in Season Three, which will likely add more depth to her character and is a welcomed move, given how so far she's the least-developed character in the show despite her prominence and popularity.
    • Ray Palmer advocating changing Starling City's name to the comics' Star City, after many comics fans were upset about the change when the show started.
    • After the massive fan outcry over Laurel possibly becoming the new Black Canary, Season Three takes every possible chance to make it clear that she doesn't deserve the title yet, and has to put a lot of hard work into being worthy of it.
    • Zig-zagged back and forth with the inclusion of superpowers. When the show began, one issue people had was feeling like a grounded, realistic approach didn't take full advantage to the imagination and creativity of a comic-book series. When The Flash had the Mass Super-Empowering Event of the S.T.A.R. Labs explosion, people hoped that maybe the events of The Flash would be a good entrance point for metahumans to start appearing on Arrow as well. However, Word of God stated that now that they have The Flash to do the superpowered stuff, it was even less likely that superheroes would appear on Arrow. However, when news of the crossover began, the powers that be started saying that superpowers might start showing up after all.
    • After many complaints that the show took too many villains from Batman's rogues gallery, the fact that they introduced Count Vertigo #2, Komodo, Cupid, and Brick (all exclusive Green Arrow villains) within a few episodes of each other is probably no coincidence.
  • Awesome Ego: Ray Palmer; he's like the Arrowverse equivalent of Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The theme song.
    • "The Dark Archer". Equal parts majesty, evil, and mystery, and bound to give one chills.
    • "Deathstroke". Fast-paced and energetic. And the minute you hear his two-note Leitmotif, you know something horrible is going to happen.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Thea, with the fans either liking her for being like an average teen dealing with losing her brother and father or hating 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. Season Two has mostly changed this, but not for the better.
    • 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.
      • It should also be noted that, since this version's debut, the New 52 version has also appeared. There's a very large portion of the fandom that prefer him and want him on the show, if only because he's Darker and Edgier while also being a very credible and intimidating villain. And with the casting of Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle, the Count's successor, they may get their wish.
    • The depiction of Slade is this, though really only to comic book fans of the character. Some appreciate that Slade is depicted in a manner where he gets to show off just how dangerous he is, while others find the changes made to him — the island origin, the design of his costume, and lately being the true Big Bad behind Brother Blood's armyto be insulting to his fans.
    • While both Roy and Sara are well-liked, some have disliked them for (supposedly) getting too much attention, weak acting, or poor characterization and subplots focusing on them.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show itself among comic fans: Either the show's decision to go no-superpowers route and many other changes (especially the changes made to Huntress and Deathstroke) mean 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 . 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.
    • Slade's new mask in Season Two. Some like it, thanks in no small part to how it's introduced. Others don't and think it looks cheap. Then there are those who just think it's an improvement over the old mask.
    • Season Two's increased Ship Tease moments for Oliver and Felicity. The fandom generally likes both characters and they're a popular ship, but some feel that it's being laid on thick.
    • Laurel and her role in the show:
      • A lot of it comes down to being a Distressed Damsel and the questionable acting talent and casting of her actress, but there's a large number of people who feel she's completely In Name Only from the character of the comics (doesn't help that she doesn't even go by the name Dinah Lance, making it not actually that). Despite that, there's also many fans who do love her and want to see her develop into the character from the comics, who's always been Oliver's most prominent love interest.
      • And now that Laurel is becoming the Canary, there's an even bigger split. There's some who like the idea of her becoming more like the Canary of the comics, those who don't think Laurel's character or actress are good enough for the role, and those who aren't completely against it, but think that its happening too fast. Its not helped by the fact that Sara, the first Canary in the show's universe, was killed off to make room for Laurel, especially as Sara became something of a Breakout Character in the last season and still had a lot of her character arc unresolved. Given Laurel is set to pick up the mantle in Episode Ten of Season Three, meaning she's had less than ten episodes to develop into the role, many think she's just not had enough time to develop the skills needed to be a vigilante.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The Count from Season One's "Vertigo" and Season Two's "State v. Queen" is a sadistic, sociopathic drug peddler who seeks to push a new drug on the street known as Vertigo. To perfect Vertigo, the Count kidnaps people to be his test subjects. He injects them with Vertigo to cause them excruciating agony, then offers them a gun with one bullet: 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, to the point of poisoning vaccines in an attempt to force people to buy the drug during his second appearance.
    • Barton Mathis from Season Two's "Broken Dolls", best known as The Dollmaker, is an Ax-Crazy Serial 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; later, he attempts to do the same to Lance's daughter Laurel.
  • Crack Ship: Oliver's salmon ladder and Barry's treadmill.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Laurel, as out of the cast, she's the one who needs saving the most. Granted, it's somewhat justified by both her job and her father's making her a target for lowlifes in their attempts at revenge, and the writers seem to have picked up on the dislike, as it's not happened as often in Season Two; by the midpoint of season 3, it's safe to say this has been completely abandonned.
  • Demoted to Extra: Captain Lance in season 3. He's gone from being a prominent member of the cast in the first two seasons, to missing several episodes at a time & only appearing in brief scenes in the episodes he is in.
  • 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 her father's 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 fiancÚ'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.
  • Die for Our Ship/Ship-to-Ship Combat: Between the three most prominent women in Oliver's life, there's some serious hate being tossed towards them from fans of the others.
    • Laurel tends to be heavily criticized by Felicity and Sara fans for her more selfish actions during the seasons; they declare her incompetence as a character making her "unworthy" of being Black Canary, deem her weak for her drug addiction despite having a pretty good reason to drink at this point, exaggerate her Jerkass Woobie characteristics, and ignore her character development.
    • While most Olicity and Lauriver fans tend to at least like Sara, there are some who just hate her and want her to die, complain about her getting too much attention and screentime to the point it was taken away from others, or accuse her of being a Mary Sue (dubbing her "Saint Sara"), accuse her of never adequately apologizing for the harm she caused her family while ignoring her self-loathing, and basically trash her for things the other two are far more guilty of doing than she is.
    • And Felicity, while generally liked, gets a lot of criticism from fans of the Lance sisters due to the increased prominence of her character, her replacing Laurel as the primary love interest, and (at least to them) being completely flawless as a character and having little development.
    • Oliver himself, not because he's in the way of a ship, but because he hasn't hooked up with one of the girls yet, or rather, the one they want him to hook up with. Some accuse him of deliberately leading the girls on to fuel his ego, despite him generally not trying to seduce any of them. While Oliver is no prince, he's certainly not that bad to manipulate the girls.
    • Ray Palmer, due to being teased with Felicity once he came in, has already gotten flack from Olicity shippers. Anti-Olicity shippers have, however, quickly jumped onto shipping him with her in order to keep her away from Oliver. Its noted by a few people that Brandon Routhe has a habit of moving in on people's ships.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Oliver has this reaction when Lance sarcastically asks, whilst investigating a robbery at Queen Consolidated, if they had another earthquake machine lying around, but Lance apologizes for the quip a second later anyway.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Three recurring characters in the first season became popular enough to be promoted to series regular for the following season, thus making each of them more of a Fan Favorite. And one of them became the Big Bad of Season Two.
    • He doesn't appear that often and didn't make the cut to series regular, but Walter Steele is nonetheless well-liked by the fanbase.
    • There is a sizable contingent of people who want Caity Lotz as Sara Lance to stay as the Canary, due to her Badass nature, her link to Ra's Al-Ghul and the League of Assassins, and her actually having some chemistry with Ollie. It's notable that a good number of fans have responded to her death by declaring that they killed off the wrong sister.
    • Isabel Rochev, but being played by Summer Glau will do that.
    • Deadshot, for being an Affably Evil Deadpan Snarker. It helps that his comic book counterpart is already incredibly popular.
    • Once he starts making regular appearances, Anatoly Knyazev becomes very difficult to not like. A snarky Russian, former KGB Bratva head with a Badass Beard.
    • Felicity's mom Donna has become one, for several reasons. One, her arrival gave us some much-needed backstory and development for Felicity herself (the lack of which was one of the bigger issues people had with the second season). Two, in a single episode she managed to have one great scene after another: a hilarious introduction, a tear-jerking conversation with Felicity, an awesome confrontation with the villain, and a heartwarming reconciliation with her daughter at the end. Three, Charlotte Ross has made it abundantly clear how thrilled she is about being Mama Smoak, and the cast have welcomed her with open arms.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • A common fan theory is that Detective Lance has already figured out Oliver's the Arrow, but doesn't confront him about it so he can retain plausible deniability if questioned on the matter.
    • Another theory is that John Diggle is actually John Stewart.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the Agents Of SHIELD fandom in a "Marvel vs DC: Live Action TV edition" match.
    • There's also a little bit of grumbling from the Teen Wolf fandom, as they would really like Colton Haynes back.
    • With the addition of The Flash in a spinoff and a pre-Atom Ray Palmer, there's one starting up with the DC Cinematic Universe, similar to the MCU's with the Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men films. For starters, Arrow is only able to use Amanda Waller because DC decided to scrap the 2011 Green Lantern film from the 'verse. This got worse when the powers that be at DC Comics made it clear that the show would not be a part of their DC Film Universe, with the final confirmation being a new actor to play the movie version of the Flash. Alongside the simple arguments of which is better, Arrow or Man of Steel, it's also created some frustration from people who feel like it's a strange move to not take advantage of the universe the show has already been building vs. people who feel like forcing the movie and TV verses together will only be a hindrance to both and prefer they stay separate.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Isabel Rochev's motivation for her villainy against the Queens? She was Robert Queen's mistress, and hated that Robert chose his own family over her. This received quite a bit of backlash since it turns a super-competent corrupt businesswoman struggling in a male-dominated world into another Woman Scorned, an outdated and fairly sexist trope. Of course, this was based on her villainous motivation from the comics, and at least this version removed Yandere traits (as far as we can see) and her former life as a slave.
  • Fan Favorite:
    • Ever since the second episode, Diggle has been the most well-liked of the main cast, at least until Felicity joined the main cast. There's a big reason why fans were happy to see Diggle join the comics universe, and why many were bugged by his lack of focus in the latter half of the second season.
    • Similarly, to a lesser extent, Tommy is rather well-liked, due to his Nice Guy Iron Woobie persona, who made Laurel actually likeable during the first season when she was with him due to actual chemistry between her and Tommy's actor. And when he was Killed Off for Real at the end of Season 1, fans did not take it well.
    • As noted above, the Ensemble Darkhorse characters of the first season, Roy, Felicity, and Slade, all became this when they were made main characters, with Roy joining the team, Felicity becoming the Breakout Character, and Slade the Breakout Villain (though, he also became more of a Base Breaker). Similarly, Malcolm Merlyn became this when he was promoted to main cast too.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • 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 (at the time anyway). The writers seem to be aware of this, and have downplayed Oliver/Laurel from the Season Two premiere onward in favor of teasing Olicity instead.
    • Tommy/Laurel is popular, despite Oliver 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 connection to Oliver's missing five years.
    • Basically Oliver/Anyone-But-Laurel. He has more chemistry with Isabel, who is not only not even a hero, but has actually been stated to not be someone Oliver cares about at all.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Ivo and Sara exhibit signs of this in "Blind Spot"; their chat via walkie-talkie sounds eerily like Ivo is trying to sweet-talk her back into joining him.
    • And then there's her relationship with Nyssa, which is less foe and more yay.
    • While Sara and Felicity aren't enemies, Felicity's inferiority complex in "Time of Death" makes them a bit adversarial for a short while. Sara takes a Hands-On Approach when teaching Felicity how to throw a punch, and Felicity later wears Sara's leather jacket during a mission. Oh, and during this same episode and in "League of Assassins" earlier, Sara calls Felicity cute.
    • Oliver and Isabel Rochev, which is somewhat canon given the fact they slept together, but it's helped by the fact she almost flirts with him while threatening his family and stealing his company. By the same token, him and Helena, though in a Dating Catwoman kind of way, and it appears she's on her way to a Heel-Face Turn by now.
    • There really was no reason Malcolm had to have Oliver's shirt removed when he had him captured, other than to honor an agreement with his actor to have one scene of him with Stephen Amell while he's naked.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Lone Gunmen", Thea tells Oliver "You're barely my brother." In "State v. Queen", it turns out to be more true than we thought.
    • In the Season Two finale, Nyssa tells Quentin that she would die before she let anything happen to Sara. In the very next episode, Sara returns to Starling city, without Nyssa, and is killed.
  • Genius Bonus: A two-fer in "Time of Death". William Tockman quotes from War and Peace a line that he says is on the 1440th page in the book. 1440 is the exact number of minutes in a day.
    "The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience. Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace, on the 1440th page. It takes a while, but it's worth the read."
  • Growing the Beard: Many feel this happened in mid-to-late Season One. At the very least, "The Odyssey", when Oliver's Power Trio of him, Diggle, and Felicity is first formed and when Island!Oliver has his first adventure with Slade Wilson.
    • Some people think it grew the beard at the beginning of Season Two when Oliver decided to stop killing in order to honor Tommy's memory, bringing him more in line with his comic book counterpart.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Quentin and Laurel's struggles with alcoholism, given that Katie Cassidy's father David Cassidy has since experienced his own troubles, including a DUI arrest.
    • In the Season One finale, Fyers holds Shado captive with a gun to her head. In Season Two, she is offed by a Boom, Headshot from Ivo.
    • Isabel having a one night stand with Oliver. It later turns out she was a Yandere for his father, making this come off as a symbolic reclaiming of the family as hers.
    • "The Climb" begins with Laurel and Thea having a sweet conversation about Sara's death, which becomes a lot darker later in the episode when we found out that Thea killed Sara under the influence of a drug administered by Malcolm and has no memory of it.
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight:
    • 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.
  • He Really Can Act: "Time of Death" was this for Stephen Amell. Having spent the previous season and a half playing The Stoic, he's usually stiff and emotionless. But in this episode, Oliver snaps at Laurel, revealing both the anguish that Oliver has constantly bubbling beneath the surface and that Amell can give a great emotional performance when he needs to. It's also notable as one of the very few times Oliver really loses his temper, and the first time he cries that's not in response to a character's death. Not a dry eye in the house.
  • He's Just Hiding: A bit of an odd case with Sara. While she's quite unambiguously killed on screen, some fans suspect that the Lazarus Pits used by Ra's Al-Ghul in the comics could revive her. Although the Pits haven't been confirmed as existing in this universe, Ra's, when he's introduced, is seen emerging from a pit of liquid...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Stephen Amell said way back that Episode Sixteen of Season One, "Dead to Rights", was unofficially called "The Holy Shitballs Episode" due to having a large amount of this. Since then, it's been clear that he gave away that title way too soon, as following episodes have made that episode look tame by comparison.
    • The Season One finale, "Sacrifice", is made of this. Basically, take everything that comes to mind with a blockbuster action movie and condense it into 45 minutes.
    • "State v. Queen" manages to cram two HUGE shockers into the final three minutes.
    • The last ten minutes of "Three Ghosts", with Tommy's hallucination encouraging Oliver to defeat Cyrus Gold, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke revealed as the true Big Bad, Roy being injected with Mirakuru, the Flash's origin, and Oliver getting a Domino Mask.
    • "Deathstroke" lives up to its name by having FIVE (if not more) major developments: Detective Lance is put under arrest for helping Oliver, Slade tells Thea about her true parentage and Laurel about Oliver's secret identity, Roy leaves Starling City, and Isabel Rochev is revealed as a cohort of Slade's JUST AFTER taking over as Queen Consolidated's CEO due to Oliver's multiple absences, then turns their Applied Sciences department entirely towards replicating the Mirakuru from Slade's blood in order to create a planned army of soldiers. Holy Shit, indeed.
    • "Seeing Red" has the revelation that the Mirakuru in Roy's blood has driven him insane; Sara leaves Starling City because of how badly she wanted to kill Roy just to keep Oliver safe, and knowing Oliver abides by a strict "no-kill" policy with only few exceptions, she backs out believing she isn't right for him; Moira reveals to Oliver that she's suspected he's the Arrow ever since the Undertaking, and his newly broken leg has convinced her of it and that she's proud of him; it's revealed that seven years prior, Oliver had an illegitimate child and Moira, par for the course, bribed the mother with $2 million to fake a miscarriage and leave for Central City, with Oliver none the wiser. This will likely be the last secret of Moira Queen we will ever know because at the very end of the episode, Slade kidnaps the three Queens and forces Oliver to make the same choice that got Shado killed, this time between Moira and Thea, but Moira being Moira, she takes that choice out of his hands and sacrifices herself.
    • "Unthinkable" lives up to its name, too. By the end, Isabel is dead, the Mirakuru army has been cured and captured, Oliver has defeated Slade by tricking him into taking Felicity hostage so she can get close enough to inject him with the cure (and, in the process, hinted that her feelings for him are mutual after all), Sara has returned to the League of Assassins willingly, Quentin has collapsed from injuries sustained while fighting a Mirakuru soldier, Slade has been imprisoned in an A.R.G.U.S. cell on Lian Yu, and we've seen in the flashbacks that after the destruction of the Amazo, Oliver wound up in Hong Kong under Amanda Waller's custody.
    • The Season Three premiere, ironically named "The Calm", really sets the tone for the whole season. In the final scene, Sara is killed when an unknown assailant shoots three arrows into her stomach and sends her plummeting off the roof, landing right near a horrified Laurel.
  • Ho Yay: Roy's interactions with Oliver can come across as a little "Man Crush" from time to time.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Oliver was regularly called "Arrow" or "The Arrow" during Season One by some reviewers despite not using that name, though he does pick it up during Season Two.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Thea. Sure, she's selfish, annoying, and a huge Jerk Ass, but she did also lose both her fathers, have her brother return from an island mentally distant, and have her entire family keep secrets from her. She gets better later in Season One and during Season Two.
    • 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.
    • As of Season Two, Laurel to some extent has crossed into this. She is VERY vicious about the Hood, having seemingly forgotten all the good he's done, but when he finally goes to see her, she recounts how she went back into CNRI after it collapsed and found Tommy dead, and saw the Hood leaving, believing he left him to die. The fandom is split on this, with the half saying that it's not a real reason for her to be angry while the other half say that Laurel has some justification to be angry at the Hood. However, she herself stops blaming the Hood at the end of the next episode and instead goes into a huge guilt spiral. Unfortunately, the Woobie part is applying less of late; see The Scrappy.
    • 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.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Felicity. In addition to the constant Ship Tease with Oliver, there have been hints of stronger feelings between her and Walter, her and Dig ("You're irreplaceable, Felicity."), and her and Sara (the former saved the latter's life, and the latter thinks the former is cute, AND is Bisexual in canon). She's somewhat this in universe, in a much darker way, as she casually hinted a couple of times at having problems with stalkers in the past.
    • To take this even further, there is a sizable portion of the fandom that wants fellow DCU fandom bicycle Dick Grayson to show up, mainly to be a love interest for her. Even Oliver/Felicity shippers support this Crossover Ship, if only to invoke jealousy in Oliver. It also does not help that the show creators as well as Stephen Amell have stated that they would love to have Nightwing on the show.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: "The Climb" ends with Ra's al Ghul stabbing Oliver and pushing off a cliff, seemingly killing him. Sure enough, he's alive by the end of the next episode.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Malcolm Merlyn. He was careful enough with planning the Undertaking that he ultimately managed to destroy half the Glades. He's also able to survive it all and, while in hiding, he's been able to get Thea to join him, using the fact that everyone's lied to her in order to tempt her to the dark side. While he didn't kill everyone in the Glades like he planned, it is notable that, technically speaking, he's gotten exactly what he wanted without any punishment.
    • Slade Wilson, as of Season Two's present day. He's been several steps ahead of Oliver ever since he was revealed as the Big Bad of the year, with his manipulations and influence extending back to the start of the season. He's only defeated by Oliver doing something he truly never would've expected: using Felicity as bait (with her consent, mind you) so he can be injected with the Mirakuru cure, allowing Oliver to fight him on even ground.
  • Memetic Badass: Slade, while plenty Badass in his own right, seems to get this treatment from the fandom.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "You have failed this city!"
    • Variations of the "My name is Oliver Queen..." opening narration
    • Pictures of Diggle accompanied by "I can dig it".
    • The nicknames "Black Driver" and "Bitch with Wi-Fi" were originally throwaway remarks by those two respective characters. Fans have since taken these remarks and run with them.
    • A common response on Reddit to the frequent absence of Roy in the middle of the second season was that Roy was busy shopping for hoodies.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Sara. The daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul found it hard to get over their breakup, and plenty of shots of her working out in an outfit that shows off her beautiful muscular body have cemented her hotness both in-universe and out.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Despite the attempt to make Helena look colder than Oliver, most fans considered her a Designated Villain until she turned up again later in the season, at which point she crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Sara was only intended to set up the Black Canary mantle for Laurel to take it later after some Character Development. Instead, she ended up becoming so beloved that, save for some pockets of fans, most had wished she stayed the Canary rather than passing the mantle to Laurel.
  • Moe: Thought Felicity was already the epitome of Adorkable? Just look at her when she's hopped up on painkillers in "Time of Death". The sight of her giggling and slurring her speech in an oversized shirt is cute enough, but her pure joy at Oliver stroking her face and telling her "You will always be my girl" is just Cuteness Overload.
    • Against the Action Girl training montages of Laurel and Thea, Felicity is happy to do five sit-ups in her jammies.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Helena/The Huntress crosses this in "The Huntress Returns" when she murders several US Marshals in cold blood while 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.
    • If the Undertaking isn't possibly this, 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.
      • And for those audience members who were suckered into thinking Malcolm had redeemed himself by taking in Thea, he recrosses and then obliterates the MEH by brainwashing Thea into killing Sara and forcing Oliver's hand to save his cowardly butt from Ra's al Ghul.
    • Anthony Ivo crosses it when he offers Oliver a Sadistic Choice — spare Sara or Shado. When Oliver attempts a Heroic Sacrifice, he kills Shado out of spite. It's later noted that he didn't even know Shado's name, and it was likely he didn't even care.
    • And as fate would have it, Slade Wilson crosses it in the same way, mirroring Ivo's Sadistic Choice by trying to make Oliver choose between Thea or Moira. However, Moira takes the choice out of Oliver's hands and gets Slade to kill her, leaving her children utterly devastated — and worse, Slade vows that one more person will die before this is over. This death is especially bad because he makes a point of killing her with his sword instead of with the handgun he was thinking of before, though it could be interpreted as him wanting her to have a clean death, as he seemed compassionate towards her for her sacrifice.
    • Amanda Waller keeping Oliver from trying to escape her by threatening to kill the wife and young son of one of her employees. Oddly enough, this is chronologically earlier than any of her previous appearances.
      • And then it turns out she was actually The Man Behind the Man of the first season's island plot, willing to kill a whole plane full of innocent people just to get China White.
  • Narm:
    • A lot of the scenes are hard to take seriously with Stephen Amell's lack of facial expression. He's caught a lot of flak over this. Many feel he got better over the course of the first two seasons, though.
    • Ollie and Laurel making out after getting back together in the first season's penultimate episode. 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 you couldn't throw a stone at in TV or film and not hit it at some point, and doesn't really fit the scene. This is made even worse when Tommy shows up and sees them kissing through the window.
    • 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 it's 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 cringe-worthy for those who can actually speak Russian.
    • Similarly, Stephen Amell's attempts at speaking Mandarin Chinese. In one particular scene, Oliver intimidates a blinded Triad member before making a getaway, and all the man can say to his fellows is that the man "must be Chinese" because "his Chinese was perfect." Obviously this would throw them off of Oliver's trail, and yet the line delivered is nigh incomprehensible to a Chinese speaker without the English subtitle. This Sinophone troper had to pause the video and laugh for a solid minute before being able to continue with the episode. (All other Chinese-speaking characters do speak authentic-sounding Chinese, however.)
    • Arguably The Reveal of Slade Wilson as the Man Behind the Man to Sebastian Blood. The scene is typical of a big reveal, framed and shot to not show Slade's face until the end, but Manu Bennett's distinct accent is rather a dead giveaway — that or seeing his face in the reflection of his computer. It could've been Slade now looking like his comic-book gray-haired, eyepatch-wearing self that they were trying to reveal, though.
    • People not recognizing Oliver under the hood is at least semi-plausible. But then there's Laurel not recognizing the Canary as her sister just because, as the Green Lantern movie put it, she can't see her cheekbones. The wig and mask help, but Sara has a very distinct chin and way of speaking that her sister she's known for years should have noticed right off.
    • "Deathstroke" (the episode, not the character) ends with Laurel being visited by Slade, who was just identified on the news as Thea's kidnapper and now reveals to her that Oliver is the Arrow; her reaction is to pause, blink several times, and look around like she's trying to remember her line, before he turns and just walks away, with the show's ending tune playing in a very over-dramatic way. It's as ridiculous as it sounds.
    • Isabel Rochev's Ravager mask. Apparently they wanted to make clear it was her, but it brings up the question of why Slade would make her a mask different from everyone else's, and seeing the lower half of Summer Glau's face makes it look rather puffed out.
    • Laurel's "inspiring speeches" to Oliver, with lines like "I know you like I know my own name" and "I know who you are in your bones" getting mocked mercilessly. That said, some of Felicity's similar speeches can fall here.
    • Al-Owal, while a genuine threat, is just a bit hard to take seriously, since the shaping of his headpiece makes him look like he's wearing a recolored Brown Bag Mask.
    • The subplot of "Draw Back Your Bow" which introduces Chase, Thea's new love interest; the whole plot comes down to Chase, an obnoxious DJ, proving that Thea should hire him despite not having any proof he's as good as he says he is and being a complete ass, by making the patrons of Verdant get hyped by his music choice. However, there wasn't anything particularly bad about the DJ before him's performance, nor anything amazing about him, yet the crowd goes from bored to dancing after he plays less than five seconds of music. As well as wasting Thea's screentime that she could have spent developing her current character arc, it's just a laughably bad collection of scenes in an otherwise solid episode that does nothing to endear Chase's character.
    • Despite Queen Consolidated being all Oliver has left of his parents, his reaction to it being rebranded into Palmer Technologies in "Draw Back Your Bow" is simply a grumpy look. When he sees Felicity & Ray kissing later in the episode, his reaction is to start throwing things around the Foundry like a petulant child throwing a tantrum.
    • "Left Behind" and its endless hammering in of Oliver is dead sadness, despite anyone whose ever read a comic book knowing the hero always comes back.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The Arrow taking out Ted Grant by shooting a boxing glove into his face. An image straight out of a Silver Age comic book, yet it's still low-key enough to work in the show's tone.
    • Every single second Carrie Cutter is on screen. While she, like Al-Owal, is a legitimate threat, her insanity can be hard to not find funny, which is probably intentional.
  • 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 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.
    • The show has gotten flak from comic fans for using a large number of Batman villains, and many other DCU villains (particularly Deathstroke) rather than sticking to Green Arrow's rogue's gallery. This is despite the fact that Green Arrow has regularly gone up against most of the villains featured himself (with Deathstroke and him in particular having a long-standing mutual hatred for one-another that lasted several years; in fact, all the show did was give their mutual hatred a legitimate reason for existing rather than the poorly explained reason in the comic), and that Green Arrow and Batman have regularly shared villains (with several of Batman's villains actually starting off as Green Arrow villains before transplanting onto Batman, and vice-versa).
  • One-Scene Wonder: Harley Quinn in "Suicide Squad" gets a five-second one-line bit part with her back turned to the screen.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • 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 delights in 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.
    • Making Laurel the target of a few What the Hell, Hero? rants concerning her attitude to her problems and drug use seems to be a bit of this (for the fans who resented the subtle tendency for the female cast members, especially Laurel, to give these out to the male characters) and Take That, Scrappy! for the fans who consider her as such.
    • Felicity and Oliver's many Ship Tease moments in the second season, to the point she seems to be promoted to the Official Love Interest, seems to be them pandering to the very vocal Olicity fandom. This actually got toned down later in the season when the rest of the fandom complained about it.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Thea, after getting in a car crash while 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 five years that Oliver was missing.
      • However, her behavior in the second half of the second season after discovering that Malcolm Merlyn was her real father, which caused her to quickly return to an It's All About Me attitude and refusing to forgive anyone for keeping the secret from her, wound up firmly placing her back into Scrappy territory.
    • A lot of fans feel that this show rescues Nyssa Al-Ghul. Nyssa debuted in the "Death and the Maidens" story arc in 2003 as a previously unknown daughter of Ra's who becomes his "true heir". The storyline was very unpopular for a number of reasons, most of all for killing off a beloved Batman villain for a short time. Nyssa rarely appeared after becoming the new Demon's Head, and was killed quietly in four panels during the "One Year Later" event. However, fans seem to like her character here much better. It helps that the show's version of Nyssa is not her father's enemy, but is instead a loyal and honor-driven character more like the classic version of her sister Talia, a much more popular character in the comics.
    • Laurel, after discovering Oliver is the Arrow in the climactic episodes of the second season & finally shedding the Damsel Scrappy role as she finally makes the leap to becoming Black Canary in the third season. Whilst she's still got a hatedom, it mostly seems to consist of Olicity fans who hate Laurel for being an obstacle to their ship.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Season One's Oliver/Laurel was a thoroughly hated romantic element, but was thankfully sunk in Season Two.
    • Some consider Oliver/Felicity to have taken its place in this regard, though it's not viewed nearly as poorly, seeing as they don't waste much screen time (most of their conversations, even the Ship Tease ones, are about the vigilante side of things rather than soap-esque conversations with Laurel), and Felicity is a popular character in her own right, as opposed to Laurel's status as The Scrappy.
  • Rooting for the Empire: More than a few fans support Malcolm's plan to destroy the Glades, mostly because of how everyone there seems to be a crook and a criminal.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: People have already started shipping Quentin with Felicity's mom Donna even though they've never met.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: As of the second season, fans are split between Oliver/Sara and Oliver/Felicity; Sara and Oliver are currently canon (that is, until "Seeing Red", when she breaks up with him and leaves Starling City), but the writers aren't very subtle with hinting at Felicity's strong feelings for Oliver, so both sides have been arguing quite a bit about it.
    • Sara's death in Season Three effectively sinks that ship, leaving Laurel to pick up the slack for the Lances.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • 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 "City of Heroes", 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.
    • In "Heir to the Demon", two characters are poisoned with a venom which causes a haemorrhage in the eye. Rather than portray this realistically (a blood-red patch would appear on the victim's eye), it's shown by some crudely CG-ed golden sparkles.
    • And "Suicide Squad" has the drone strike. The Conspicuous CGI of the drone might be excusable, given the budget, but the idea that a drone missile would go off with as little force as a firecracker has raised a few eyebrows.
  • Squick:
    • Some feel this way about the idea of Diggle dating his sister-in-law. Others just think it's quite awkward of him to do so, considering that she's the widow of his dead brother. They break up between Seasons One and Two, so it's not really an issue anymore.
    • Going and back and watching Season One after "State v. Queen" might make some scenes with Tommy and Thea uncomfortable, such as his comment to Oliver about how hot Thea has gotten.
    • Watching Sin pose as a prostitute in order to draw out a serial killer gets a little creepier when you see "Time of Death" and realize that she's only seventeen.
    • The ending shot of "The Promise" is a deliberate case; it shows Slade Wilson facing the camera without his eyepatch, and his missing eye is not covered by shadow.
    • The Reveal in "The Man Under The Hood", meaning that Oliver had sex with Isabel, who had sex with his father. He himself is visibly horrified and disgusted by this.
    • In "Seeing Red", Oliver's leg gets broken at an extremely painful angle, on screen. To the point where it's almost 90 degrees at the knee... sideways.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Thea to some fans, albeit mostly in Season One. 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.
      • Sadly, she's begun to get more of this in Season Two, what with her letting both her family's and her own assets be lost just because she was too angry at Oliver and Moira to sign a piece of paper and being so unforgiving of her non-biological father choosing to stay over running away with Isabel.
    • 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, making her come off as a total Hypocrite. Others point to her lack of importance to the overarching plot making her a Satellite Love Interest at best. The dislike has increased in Season Two, with Laurel spending the first few episodes wrongfully blaming the Arrow for Tommy's death and having very little relevance to the major plotlines of the season's first half. Then there's her reaction when Sara returns; while her being upset is understandable, the fact that she blames her for everything that has gone wrong in her life makes her come off as immature, especially since both Sara and Oliver have gone through much worse and not turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. Things eventually got so heated that Oliver finally called her out on her behavior and it seems that since then steps have been taken to improve her particularly after Slade reveals Oliver's identity as the Arrow to her, where she worked with Diggle and Felicity to keep Oliver from going on a suicide mission, though only time will tell if this can get her away from the Scrappy label.
      • Laurel is so hated, in fact, that numerous fans have said that they'd rather not have Black Canary appear at all (at least now that Sara's dead) than have Laurel don the costume. And now that Laurel is slowly getting ready to become Black Canary, she's quickly become a Replacement Scrappy for Sara, making her quite possibly the first Replacement Scrappy for a character who got introduced after her.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • A lot of people don't like the attention that the romance between Laurel and Oliver is given, particularly due to the lack of chemistry between them. It largely isn't helped by how the show pushed their romantic development to the back-burner during the first season due to the lack of fan interest combined with her and Tommy being much better received, thus making the sudden hook-up during the final few episodes of the season feel completely forced.
    • Some feel the same way about Felicity and Oliver, despite their having more chemistry, after Season Two laid it on a little too thickly that she was attracted to him. Made even worse in that the spinoff show, The Flash, makes a big deal about how Barry and Felicity are perfect for each other, despite him liking Iris and her liking Oliver.
    Felicity: What is wrong with us? We are perfectly perfect for each other.
    Barry: Yet we're sitting here pining for people we can't have.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Moira's campaign for mayor has been seen as ill-advised by several people, most of whom are either villains (Sebastian Blood) or at the least considered in the moral gray area (Moira herself), whereas several of the good guys (Walter, Thea) see it as a great idea. She initially brings up the very valid point that she was involved in the Undertaking that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. After some prodding, she relents, then Blood brings up the (again, very valid) point that during her trial, she painted herself as a fragile creature living under Malcolm Merlyn's thumb, which won't help people believe she's strong enough to hold public office. The points that convinced her to run? Being told that she has high name recognition (to which she snarks "so does Charles Manson"), that she was able to successfully run Queen Consolidated, and that people love redemption stories. A lot of people seem to agree those justifications are a little thin and wonder how anybody thinks it's a good idea.
    • As Starling City descends into riots in "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak," Laurel (as Acting District Attorney) makes the order to send a riot squad to an riot outside a bank, which is roundly criticised by her father and (not knowing it was Laurel's order) Team Arrow for escalating the situation, and is supposed to be another sign of her anger issues. A number of people have pointed out that the crowd were already trying to break into the bank before the SCPD arrived, so it feels unjustified to criticize Laurel for sending a riot squad to do their job.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The Darker and Edgier feel from the first trailer caused many to call this a bad attempt at adapting Green Arrow.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The verbal beatdown that Oliver delivers to Laurel in "Time of Death" is essentially a list of the fandom's biggest complaints about her.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The city has been renamed Starling City.
    • 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.
      • Mostly averted when Oliver finally donned a mask in Season Two's mid-season finale. Whilst the reception was positive, you can still find people disappointed that Oliver dropped the face paint in favor of the mask.
    • Dinah "Laurel" Lance isn't the Black Canary, despite the possibility she could become take up the identity as the show progresses.
      • As the show has progressed, fans have actually begun to turn on the idea of Laurel ever becoming the Black Canary, and would rather the show strayed from the comics and kept Sara Lance in the role.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Count Vertigo is one of Green Arrow's more prolific and frequent villains, being something of DC's own Doctor Doom, and a member of the Suicide Squad; however, the show used him as a small, minor threat that fans are split on either being entertaining or annoying. So, given that he's killed off after his third appearance, it's a bit wasteful. This is probably the reason Vertigo is being made into a Legacy Character with Werner Zytle taking on the mantle and presumably being more faithful to the comic book version.
    • After spending a season being made of Badass, having actual chemistry with Oliver and making friends with all of Oliver's allies, and slowly coming to terms with her own low view of herself, Sara deciding to leave with Nyssa, forgoing her Character Development so Laurel can start to take her place as Black Canary, is a pretty lame way of leaving her character, especially since it makes the build-up of her story arc all for nothing. And then she's killed off anyway at the start of Season Three.
    • While Felicity is still popular, there are a good few fans who feel she was wasted during Season Two. While she was easily one of the best parts of Season One, Season Two had her Promoted to Love Interest due to the large amount of Olicity fans; however, they spent very little time actually developing her character during the season, resulting in her having very little character development compared to the rest of the cast, despite having the second most screentime, after Oliver. Almost every conversation she had with anyone in the season was to do with Oliver, rather than herself or any other topic (the exceptions being Sara, Diggle, and Caitlin and Cisco in their guest episode). While Diggle, Sara, and Laurel all had storyarcs and subplots about themselves and their personal development, Felicity spent most of the season just being "Oliver's girl".
      • Severely fixed with Season Three, however, with Felicity getting her own romantic interests outside of Oliver (primarily Ray Palmer, along with building on her past Ship Tease with Barry Allen into making them a potential canon Crossover Ship), along with her own story arcs and fleshing out her backstory. In only five episodes, Felicity has gained more depth than she got in the entirety of the second season.
    • Werner Zytle, the second Count Vertigo. After the first Vertigo ended up being just a hammy drug dealer rather than a Doctor Doom-esque dictator like he is in the comics, the news that they'd introduce a Legacy Character and giving him the name of Vertigo's New 52 counterpart got people excited for the chance to get someone closer to that. Instead, he's...a hammy drug dealer, just like the first Vertigo, but now with even more similarities to Scarecrow. Not exactly what people were hoping to see.
    • Similarly, Komodo in the comics was a Magnificent Bastard who completely ruined Oliver's life and nearly took over the Outsiders, a collection of clans all dedicated to different weapons, and was also responsible for Oliver's father's death. But, in the show, he's a typical killer-for-hire who just so happens to also be an archer. Of course, Komodo was largely inspired by Malcolm Merlyn from the show during the first season, so introducing him as he is there would result in just bringing in someone who's almost identical to Malcolm. Funnily enough, the show's depiction of Komodo is more along the lines of what Merlyn is like in the comics, making the two essentially just the other character with different names.
    • Captain Boomerang. A prominet member of The Flash (2014) rogues in the comics is reduced to a standard Villain of the Week during the crosover between the two shows and his beef is more with Team Arrow than Team Flash.
      • In fairness, the fact that he survived the episode (and was explicitly sent to the same prison as Slade who is to return later in Season 3 means he might return in a future episode; until then though he does scream of wasted potential (including that he's a former member of the Suicide Squad).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Some fans are disappointed in the Season Two finale because despite Malcolm appearing in it, he never did much aside from persuading Thea to join him and never encountered Deathstroke himself. Of course, with John Barrowman recently being promoted to a series regular and Slade definitely still around, even though he's heavily incarcerated at the moment, that doesn't mean they won't still be able to meet up sometime in the future...
    • Thanks to killing her off, Sara's character arc becomes this as they get no real conclusion to it.
    • The Reveal that Malcolm actually was one who orchestrated Sara's death, with a drugged Thea being the actual killer was met with this; largely because Laurel's arc throughout the first half of the season was her desire to avenge her sister's death, and the reveal essentially robs Laurel of the logical conclusion to her becoming Black Canary since she won't gain vengeance against the title character's archenemy.
  • True Art Is Angsty:
    • Between the show's first two season finales, Sacrifice was much more acclaimed, as it dealt with Oliver being unable to completely stop the Glades from being destroyed and ended with the death of his best friend leaving it very downbeat. While Unthinkable was still positively received, most reviewers and fans felt it was the weaker of the two. That episode ends with Oliver defeating Slade without suffering any more major casualties on his side and without resorting to kill again, ultimately ending on a much more optimistic note.
    • Also seen with the Fandom Rivalry with Agents of SHIELD; fans of Arrow are very quick to criticize the other show for its lighter tone and feel (which is ironic, given that the show got a lot darker later). Conversely, AOS fans are quick to fire back with accusing Arrow of being too dark and angsty.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • In the early part of the series, Oliver's main targets were corrupt businessmen rather than mobsters or supervillains, implying that the Mooks he killed were not career criminals but legitimate security personnel, which made the fact he left the corrupt businessmen alive quite questionable. This was likely the reason they had an episode taking on a corrupt security company who's leader was on The List, thus implying that the security personnel were similarly corrupt.
    • While Helena was by no means sympathetic, her Villainous Breakdown and discovery that Vengeance Feels Empty was obviously invoked for sympathy and possible foreshadowing to a Heel-Face Turn. However, her cold-blooded acts (including torturing Tommy), Smug Snake attitude, and the Arc Fatigue that came with her made it not work for most fans. The fact that she's also more trigger-happy has resulted in some fans going "No, seriously, why doesn't someone just shoot her?"
    • There are some pockets of Laurel fans who feel this way about Sara; despite the hell she went through, many of them feel she brought it on herself by going on a sex-filled getaway with her sister's boyfriend even though she knew Laurel wanted something serious with Oliver, and accuse her of ignoring the way her actions effected Laurel. However, this blatantly ignores Sara's own feelings for Oliver, as well as her guilt complex and self-loathing over what she did, as well as Laurel's own similar tendencies to not think about how her actions effect others.
    • And, in contrast to that, everyone but Laurel fans feel this way about Laurel. Many feel that her constant bitterness and Holier Than Thou attitude makes it hard to sympathise with her, especially considering that a lot of the crap she goes through is brought on by herself (after all, she did kind of know that Ollie was an infamous womanizer with commitment issues, and everyone, including Sara, pointed this out to her). It doesn't help that she's quick to blame others (with incredibly twisted logic and reasoning) and finds incredibly self-destructive ways to vent her angst. Hell, even when she's grieving for Sara's death, many have found it hard to sympathise with her because of how much she's acting like a villain with it (such as trying to kill Komodo, torturing a man who was nearly assassinated, and urging Nyssa to go behind Oliver's back to kill Malcolm, which puts Thea in danger).
  • Villain Sue:
    • Slade Wilson is practically an evil Marty Stu Draco in Leather Pants type throughout season two. After a while you have to wonder if he's really just that good or if the heroes are simply too dumb to keep up with him. Somewhat justified given he had half a year at least to plan his revenge, combined with the good guys (who, save for Oliver and Sara, don't actually know anything about Slade or what to expect) basically following Oliver's lead (who is too wrapped up in the emotion of fighting his former friend-turned monster to think straight), but it does raise some questions, namely how Slade knew so much about Oliver's operation (like, where the Foundry is, everything about Diggle, and his connections to the Russian mob).
    • Malcolm Merlyn. Despite his 'defeat' in Season One, his plan still goes off without a hitch and he escapes to be a Karma Houdini. When he shows back up in Season Two, he convinces Thea to join his side despite all of the murders he committed. Speaking of murders, it turns out he drugged and controlled Thea into killing Sara, and despite the fact that he's a blatant mass murderer, Oliver protects him from the League. THEN, when finally given proof that Malcom is, OF COURSE, responsible for Sara's death, Oliver lets him slide again, despite having Malcolm by the throat, and goes to fight freaking Ra's Al-Ghul to defend him. On top of all of this, he now, magically, somehow knows about Oliver's prison on the island. Villain Sue of the highest level.
      • His Sueness continues in the latest episode, where he is able to waltz in and out of the Foundry and troll the heroes over Oliver's death. When Slade tried that, they fought him and shot at him. Malcolm? NOPE! (To be fair, Slade came looking for a fight, whereas Malcolm explicitly says that he only wants to talk.)
  • What an Idiot:
    • 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. This is quickly migated by the later villains, who tend to be Dangerously Genre Savvy.
    • 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.
    • Ollie himself gets in on the act in "Birds of Prey" by making Roy break up with Thea. One, not a good idea because she was the only thing keeping the Mirakuru from driving him insane. Two, it leads to her getting kidnapped by Slade.
    • Ollie appointing Isabel Rochev as CEO while he is busy, a woman he hardly knew. Somewhat mitigated by the fact that the two had developed a friendly working relationship, but given how many times Moira and Felicity warned him about her, it still wasn't his smartest move. Then again, Thea had just been kidnapped by Slade, so he's not unjustified in being distracted.
    • Sara's death was also handled in a pretty clumsy way. While standing on the rooftop, she turns and sees the person in question, asks "What are you doing here?" Then she simply stands there while the person in question draws back their bow and fires three arrows into her chest. Never once does it occur to her to duck or move out of the way of the arrow pointed at her.
      • In "The Climb", its confirmed that the killer was a Brainwashed and Crazy Thea; given that the last time Sara saw Thea, she was young, skinny, and had virtually no combat skills, nor was she an experienced archer, Sara being caught off-guard by the fact Thea Took a Level in Badass makes her death far more understandable at least. Doesn't mean it's not an Ass Pull though.
  • 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 third person in the vicinity is left with a marker of the encounter in their hand.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Matt Nable as Ra's Al-Ghul. Not necessarily directed at the actor himself, but the fact that they're casting a white guy to play Ra's Al-Ghul. Again. Of course, when he appears for the first time on the show, and instead of the traditional Ra's Al-Ghul look or even Liam Neeson's look, he's some scruffy white guy with an awkward accent, the criticism becomes more understandable. Then he goes and proves himself an Affably Evil Badass Grandpa who easily defeats Oliver yet shows no malice toward him, which may well lessen the skepticism.
    • There was a similar reaction to the casting of Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller. Again, not at the actress herself, who does a fine job playing her, but rather, casting a slimly built woman in her twenties, rather than one with the Wall's traditional build and age. While this is largely due to Waller on the show being modelled after her New 52 counterpart, who is younger and thinner, her New 52 counterpart's design was controversial when it came in, so modeling her after it raises some questions.
  • The Woobie: Dear lord, yes. An incomplete list of characters who qualify:
    • 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. He's briefly reunited with Sara, and learns she's the Canary, but has to tearfully keep her secret and watch her go back on the run, because if she stays her family will be in the League's crossfire. What's more now that Sara's dead, Laurel can't bring herself to tell him the truth out of a justifiable fear that, thanks to his poor heart, the stress will literally kill him.
    • 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, and she winds up sleeping with Oliver, only for Tommy to die in the Glades, and Oliver to disappear for a few months. And just when things look like they're about to pick up for her in Season Three, having coming to terms with Tommy's death, learning about Oliver's identity as the Arrow, helping him, and making up with Sara it comes to an abrupt end: someone kills Sara and Laurel is there to see her fall to her death, if hitting her head or three arrows to the stomach didn't do the job already.
    • 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, she found out that she's the product of an affair between her mother and the Big Bad Malcolm Merlyn. On top of that she was brainwashed and forced to murder Sara, who she considered a friend, by Malcolm
    • Iron Woobie:
      • 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 Fyers, courtesy of a bullet to the head.
      • 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. He also loses the woman he was starting to fall in love with after she tried to save him, and at some point he and Oliver turn on one another, resulting in him becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
      • 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. Then she gets a bullet to the head thanks to Ivo.
      • 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.
      • The Canary aka Sara Lance. She nearly drowns in the wreck of the Queen's Gambit, only to end up on the Amazo prison 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. And since they lacked the manpower to stop Deathstroke's Mirakuru army, Sara had to make a deal with the League of Assassins: in exchange for their help, Sara has to go back to Nanda Parbat and return to a life she is not happy living. She returns to Starling City in Season Three, just in time to be killed off and buried in the grave they made when she disappeared six years prior.