YMMV / Arrow

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  • Abandon Shipping:
    • The relatively-popular ship of Thea/Tommy from Season 1 died a quiet death in Season 2; both because of Thea/Roy, and because Tommy was (posthumously) revealed to be Thea's half-brother on their biological father Malcolm's side. Of course, this also means that Tommy's already-existing Big Brother Instinct towards Thea can be explored further in fan works, assuming they don't kill him off as per canon). Or, y'know, Incest Yay.
    • Supporters of Oliver/Felicity have been steadily jumping ship across seasons 3 and 4. For some, this is not only because of the increasing drama and angst in a formerly subdued, drama-free relationship but also because they feel Olicity takes up screen time better spent on other plots and characters. Their unnecessary conflict concerning Oliver's secret son William has also turned off a lot of fans, with the audience divided over blaming Oliver for lying to his fiancee when he specifically promised he'd stop or blaming Felicity for breaking up with him when she's kept secrets herself, which caused her to lose supporters. In any case, it's gotten so bad that Olicity, and shipping in general, has became something of a Fandom Berserk Button.
  • Actor Shipping: Some Olicity shippers also ship their actors Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards even if they're just friends and Amell already married. Reportedly, some of the less-stable ones have gone so far as to harass both Katie Cassidy and Amell's real-life wife for 'getting in the way' or the two.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Well technically, it's more of "Alas, Poor Base-Breaking Character," but since said character hadn't fully been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap for some fans they still qualify for this. While many people had their reasons to dislike Laurel Lance/ Black Canary, many found it heart wrenching that the character ended up being the fallen hero in the grave before she could gain happiness and further grow into her role as the iconic Black Canary. Sadly, Laurel dies at the hands of Damien Darhk in order for him to remind Team Arrow (and the audience) that he's still a serious threat. Despite the character's status, the internet went ballistic at their death, both from its Tearjerker nature and polarizing execution. See Broken Base below.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • To some fans, Laurel's efforts to become The Black Canary during Season 3 were born not out of a desire to honor her fallen sister but Sibling Rivalry and a desire to prove herself to be "The Good Daughter".
      • Likewise, her Love Confession to Oliver in Season 4, puts into question how many of her actions were motivated by her feelings for Oliver. When attempting to join Team Arrow, was she trying to save the city or was it just a way to stay in Oliver's life or get him back, or - as she didn't actually become the Black Canary until she thought he was dead - a means to honour the man she loved when she thought she lost him? Additionally, whether she privately held her feelings to herself as she encouraged him to be happy or was she privately holding out hope he'd eventually come back to her? Given how poorly Oliver treated Laurel - cheating on her while they were together, flaunting his relationship with her sister in front of her, lying to her about his identity for years and treating her harshly after Sara's death - there's also the question of whether Laurel remaining so close to him makes her the stronger, kinder person letting go of past mistakes or a doormat who can't get over a terrible relationship.
      • There's also the flashbacks of the end of Season 1 directly after Tommy's death. Despite Laurel spiraling and grieving during Season 2, in these the flashbacks Laurel is upbeat and hopeful, pushing to get back together with Oliver, eagerly planning their lives together and even talking about how excited she is for the future. In fact she only breaks down when Oliver leaves again. So was her breakdown in Season 2 really over Tommy's death or just triggered by Oliver ditching her again?
    • Some fans see Felicity having an It's All About Me complex because she was jealous over Oliver marrying Nyssa even though they were both forced into it, she considered risking the city catching a deathly virus to save Oliver's life (though this was a thought that lasted all of thirty seconds, after she'd already done her part to help the city and she immediately let Ray save the city and rescued Oliver herself) and she wasn't willing to put Thea in the Lazarus pit in exchange for Oliver joining the league. Was that because she cared about Oliver's soul and didn't trust Malcolm Merlyn, or because she wanted to keep him Oliver with her?
      • Felicity breaking up with Oliver because he hid William from her. Was she being unsympathetic because he did it because of Samathan's ultimatum and Felicity broke up with him barely a day after Oliver discovered the truth in the original timeline? Or was Felicity justifiably hurt as Oliver could easily have lied to the unreasonable Samantha instead of his fiancee? Also Felicity hiding the fact she was helping Team Arrow while living a normal life with Oliver. Was it because Felicity wanted to allow Oliver a peace of mind to recover and put her own wants on the backburner but Diggle, Laurel and Thea really needed her help so she was trying to keep them happy and Oliver guilt-free? Or was she just being a hypocrite and secret keeping herself? (And in Season 3 she knew both The Atom and Team Arrow at the same time yet kept them secret from each other.) As seen below Felicity's character is a big YMMV.
    • Malcolm Merlyn. We know he's a Manipulative Bastard, but for awhile it was unclear whether he really cares about Thea at all or he's just a bastard who'll say and do absolutely anything to get his own way. Season 4 finally confirmed both are true, as while he does care for Thea, he places himself and his power above everything including her.
  • 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.
    • Ra's Al Ghul goes down pretty easily in the Season 3 finale, with his big plan being handled like a regular threat of the week, and his personal duel with Oliver in the finale is leagues below the one handed and unarmed beatdown he delivered in The Climb: he pauses to taunt Oliver, and Oliver just grabs his sword and stabs him fatally. It says a lot that a police sniper is more of a threat to Oliver than the actual Big Bad, and the former isn't even known to him until he fires.
    • Played with concerning Damien Darhk; the final confrontation isn't as bad as Ra's, but the way the show hyped up Darhk's power given all Oliver needed to do to remove his power advantage was rally up the city against him, the final fight just doesn't live up. It doesn't help that they'd earlier had Darhk's power get neutralised when he kidnapped William Oliver gave him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, which raises the question as to why Oliver struggles to fight him again. We then also have the ease of which Felicity disables the warheads once she has the chance to, which after all the hype about the potential end-of-the-world nature of the attack, ends up being quite a let down.
  • Arc Fatigue: Hoo-Boy...
    • 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.
    • The entire story in season 2 involving Laurel's guilt spiral and her ensuing drug and alcohol problems. It started out as a nice way to provide her with some much-needed Character Development considering she was criticized for being a little flat the previous season, but most of the story proceeded to simply show Laurel refusing to budge despite the urgings of her father and her friends. If this wasn't bad enough, this whole thing lasted from the beginning of the season to episode 14; about when the show was halfway through the season. It was enough for many to deem Laurel The Scrappy after simply being a Base-Breaking Character previously.
    • The fact that the show was nearly sixty episodes through with Thea still unaware that her own brother is the Arrow was really stretching suspension of disbelief. Especially since she knows that Roy is Arsenal and training under the Arrow, yet despite meeting the latter face-to-face she can't recognize him just because he's covered up his cheekbones. She finds out in Season 3.
    • The flashbacks suffer this during Season 3 and 4. In Season 3, not only do they progress very slowly compared to last season (making them feel like a chore the show doesn't require), their relevance to the present-day narrative doesn't become clear until the last quarter of the season, save for explaining how Oliver knows Maseo and Katana. There just isn't enough story to them, in contrast to previous seasons which have meatier flashback narratives. This problem has continued in Season 4 since, apart from setting up a meeting with Oliver and Constantine earlier in the season, they really just aren't that interesting and the relevance of the flashbacks to the present day (establishing Darhk's idol) aren't made clear until the last third of the season.
    • A good chunk of the reasons that Season 3 suffered Seasonal Rot are the Pacing Problems- elaborated in IGN's review of the season as a whole:
      • Firstly, however you might feel about Sara Lance's death and how it was handled, it took place in Episode 1 and the mystery took eight episodes to resolve; this had the unfortunate domino effect of delaying Ra's al Ghul's emergence of the Big Bad beyond cameos. It also means that the Cliffhanger with Oliver's apparent death happened right before the show went on a six-week hiatus, which made the quick resolution to it (including the Ass Pull that he survived a massive fall due to "determination and will") a Writer Cop Out - something that would be averted if it occurred 2 or 3 episodes sooner.
      • Secondly, the crossover with The Flash (2014) across the two shows, which could have happened 2-4 episodes earlier without damaging the pacing of the spin-off and also complying with the above pacing issues.
      • Thirdly, this also led to wasted potential in terms of exploring Starling City and Team Arrow trying to move on from Oliver's "death", which only took 3 episodes and thus didn't have the time to be explored in greater depth.
      • Fourth, the Brick arc offered fresh change of pace for the story, but ending on episode 12 means that over half the season is over with little progress on the main story arc - ending on episode 10 or 11 would have given more breathing room, especially if Filler were cut down on. It also meant Laurel's "arc" becoming the Black Canary culminates at the half season mark, meaning she took barely ten episodes to take up Sara's mantle.
      • Fifth, the subsequent arcs of Malcolm training Oliver and Ra's al Ghul framing him for murder, as a collective, themselves take up too much time (7 episodes overall) - more than is necessary to start with, but also further dragging down the narrative. In particular, Quentin Lance turning on Oliver could have been cut down an episode or two, made worse by the character dropping off the radar until the season finale. Furthering that issue, a pair of episodes during this time force the main narrative to take a backseat (to Slade Wilson and the Suicide Squad, respectively), which only contributes to the sense of Arc Fatigue and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
      • Finally, all these factors combined give the last arc - which features Oliver as Al Sah-him - barely any time to be developed or breath in the final 4 episodes, the final product feeling like a rushed conclusion that doesn't even fully resolve or answer all necessary questions (complete with an Anti-Climax Boss in Ra's al Ghul, whose plan isn't fleshed out enough to make sense in context). Compound this with a tedious flashback arc - that suffers Arc Fatigue due to not having enough narrative on it - and it definitely feels like the show is suffering from its own set of growing pains.
    • The H.I.V.E/ Genesis arc for season 4, a supposedly cataclysmic plot so devastating that Malcolm would willingly become Damien Darhk's Dragon just so Thea and he could survive. Despite this we only get minute references throughout the season about the plan moving forward without much elaboration to the point that, it takes until the 'twentieth episode, before we finally find out anything significant regarding Genesis and H.I.V.E.'s endgame. To top it off the fact that, for some, Damien Darhk has long since worn out his welcome as a Big Bad makes the H.I.V.E storyline even more of a chore to slug through.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The revelation that Merlyn survived his "final" duel with Oliver at the end of season 1. It turned out that Merlyn decided to do Faking the Dead because he learned how to make death an "illusion" for himself from his time with the League of Assassins. His survival isn't explained much beyond that, and it isn't even touched on when the League finally takes center stage as the main villains. This was one of the many reasons as to why Sara Lance's death in the beginning of Season 3 wasn't well-received, as she suffered a similar fate to him yet couldn't survive.
    • In Season 3, it's hard to believe that Oliver survived his Curb-Stomp Battle with Ra's al Ghul. Which included being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, kicked off a cliff, and bleeding out while Exposed to the Elements. The explanation being that he survived with Heroic Willpower. Heck, most fans actually thought reviving him with the Lazarus Pit was a more believable explanation. As noted below, it's even less believable given the fact Sara's death was considered overkill, yet is miles less gruesome than Oliver's, yet he survives. This is worsened in Season 4 when Laurel is killed after being stabbed with a single arrow, even though it would have done far less internal damage and she had access to actual medical aid, which isn't helped when one remembers a few episodes earlier Felicity similarly suffered grievous injuries but survived.
    • The solution to the Sara Lance murder mystery requires Malcolm Merlyn having access to a perfect, amnesia-inducing mind control drug, a bit of Phlebotinum whose existence was never even hinted at until the episode the mystery is solved, and that would have presumably come in handy for him during the first season.
    • The Season 3 finale has a few:
      • Felicity piloting the ATOM suit to save Oliver comes across as more than a little contrived and ridiculous when she is able to fly it well enough to save Oliver while Ray still has issues piloting it (assuming Ray wasn't remotely piloting it, though that's unlikely given the reason why he didn't do it himself). Nevermind the fact that the suit fits Felicity perfectly, despite the fact that there is a significant height difference between her and Ray...
      • Oliver's "League Armor" saving his life from the gunshots he sustained on the dam. His armor is the same armor that League members have been wearing since their first appearance on the show and several of them have been gunned down wearing it, and they were shot with handguns, while Oliver was shot with a police sniper rifle. Though, see Reality Is Unrealistic on the main page concerning this.
    • Samantha forcing Oliver to not tell anyone about William as the only way to spend time with him, for little reason except to make Oliver not look like a complete jerk for keeping the secret. Felicity even points out how little sense it makes once she finds out.
    • Curtis working on technology to enable Felicity to walk again is not foreshadowed in the slightest and not even giving anything of an explanation on how it could happen, and the show doesn't even bother trying to develop it as the next episode after the idea is brought up, Felicity can suddenly walk.
  • 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.
    • Attempted by 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. If anything, though, Stormare's performance is even more over the top.
    • 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.
    • Zig-zagged with the fan outcry over Laurel becoming the new Black Canary. Initially the beginning Season Three 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. Subverted by the rest of the season, when she only takes a few episodes of after-work boxing classes to hit the streets in Oliver's absence and is soon leaping off buildings with ease, and even in her training with Nyssa is beaten by street thugs in one scene and taking on the League of Assassins in another. She also gets her name and costume a lot faster than both Roy and Thea.
    • 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.
    • As noted above, many people were getting sick of waiting for Thea to find out Oliver's secret, so "Canaries" not only has him reveal it to her, but also has her avoid typical reactions by hugging him and thanking him for saving her, then tops it off by having her chew out Malcolm for deliberately trying to push them apart. The episode ends with the two Queens returning to Lian Yu, ready to train into being a team.
    • "The Offer" seems to have been specifically set up as a response to the problems people had with Season 3. Laurel keeping Sara's death secret from her father has just as much fallout as you'd expect when the truth comes out, everyone's on Laurel's case that she's not as good a Canary as her sister, Malcolm's Karma Houdini status is further obliterated as Thea gives him an even more devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech that leads to him offering to let her kill him, Ra's al Ghul moves out of Designated Villain territory by turning his back on Nyssa and framing the Arrow for murder, and most of all everyone in Team Arrow not only talks honestly about their issues, but they listen to what each of them is saying and grow past the Wangst that had been bogging everyone down.
    • Some fans are less than pleased about the show's tone, saying that it's more akin to Batman in terms of angst and grimness. The end of Season 3 has Oliver driving away from Starling City with Felicity, proclaiming that he's actually happy. Combined with Word of God hints that Oliver will return as the Green Arrow and that the series will be a little more upbeat probably indicate a move toward the more humorous, friendly Green Arrow from the comics. This, like many above, is subverted, with Season 4 still maintaining a bleak outlook, has one of the darkest moments in the show, and the only real change being the badguy being a magician with a large evil organisation.
    • Legends of Tomorrow has addressed many Arrow fan rage points just in the trailer. Sara is shown to be alive, and just in case someone thought it wasn't the same Sara who died in season three, the trailer shows her death and coming to life in what looks like the Lazarus Pit. Atom's suit also allows him to shrink now.
    • Season 4 was announced to have added Mr. Terrific to the cast, along with clearly stating he would be the show's first homosexual male. This goes a long way to appeasing any still lingering resentment about Sara's death.
    • A minor one: Throughout season 3, it was a running joke/pet peeve that Flashback!Oliver kept his hair long despite having plenty of opportunities to get a haircut. "The Candidate"'s flashbacks end with Oliver cutting his hair down to its modern-day length.
    • "Restoration" includes a slightly shoehorned-in line explaining why Nyssa never brought up putting Sara in the Lazarus Pit in the previous season, followed by the pit being destroyed to remove any further issues like this.
    • Season 4 has been incredibly quick in putting any secrets out in the open, the reveal of Sara being revived only being hidden for 3 episodes and Lance working for Darhk only being a secret for 4. Being that this comes after Arrow "Locked Out of the Loop: The Show" season 3, this looks to be the producers saying "sorry" for taking Poor Communication Kills to its logical extreme.
    • The aptly titled "Sins of the Father" repeatedly has numerous characters lay out Malcolm's crimes that it seemed the show was expecting us to just overlook for the past couple seasons, and while Oliver responds to them with hope that he can still be redeemed for Thea's sake, he ends the episode with such a deep betrayal that this will undoubtedly go out the window once Oliver learns about it.
    • Subverted with how the grave plotline is resolved. Though Laurel was once a character many wanted to be killed off, over the last half-a-season she'd risen in popularity thanks to becoming a more supportive big sister-type to the team. As a result of the hate for her dying out combined with another character becoming The Scrappy of the show (*cough*Felicity*cough*), when it was ultimately revealed that Laurel is one who gets killed, the outcry was comparable to her sister's fridging or the death of Beth in The Walking Dead in terms of backlash.
    • After many fans had trouble getting past the silliness of Oliver's new costume in Season 4 lacking sleeves, they were promptly put back for Season 5.
  • Awesome Ego: Ray Palmer; he's like the less Casanova, more Adorkable Arrowverse equivalent of Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Malcolm Merlyn in Season 3 has been downgraded from the Crazy-Prepared Magnificent Bastard he was in Season 1 to a coward willing to idiotically sacrifice the daughter he wants to love in order to save himself, and eventually sinks low enough to beg for his life in front of Ra's al Ghul. Zig-Zagged, as things turn out quite well for him, but during Season 4 Oliver quite effortlessly beats him in a fight. This one's at least justified though as Oliver had spent weeks being trained intensively with Ra's Al Ghul in preparation for him to succeed him, so Ollie being a bigger badass at this point makes sense.
    • Slade Wilson became this in season 3 where he is defeated by Oliver and Thea in one episode (which is also the only appearance he has for the entire season), which was bad enough to the point even his actor complained about it and didn't use Slade to his full potential.
    • Ra's al Ghul has this in the Season 3 finale. His second Duel to the Death with Oliver acts as a complete mirror of how they fought in "The Climb", which while likely intended to show Oliver is back, really just showed how stupid Ra's is for falling for the exact same tricks he himself used.
    • Ollie himself seems to be getting hit with this in Season 4. At least some of it is justified, what with him not having fought for the last six months before the beginning of the season, not wanting to even cripple people anymore, which he was still more than willing to do as the Arrow, and trusting his comrades to have his back. Also, a good part of his defeats this season are against Damien Darhk, who is basically Ra's Al Ghul on magical steroids. Out of universe, its largely due to the show now having to coordinate four fighters in stunt scenes and give new members Laurel and Thea something to do, which means Oliver looks less competent given he used to be able to take on missions alone or with back up from just Diggle or Roy.
    • Nyssa as well. By all rights, she should be a better fighter than both Merlyn and Oliver. She's been training her entire life as a member of the League of Assassins, and in this universe, she's apparently Ra's al Ghul's only child, and in her first few appearances she fights Oliver to a draw, and is shown holding her own against Malcolm and Ollie at the same time. By Season 4 though, she needs Oliver's help to fight Malcolm, and it's acknowledged that he would kill her in a fair fight. Seemingly the only justification for this is the two Took a Level in Badass without her (for Ollie, we know this happened since he can now effortlessly curb-stomp Malcolm, but Malcolm doesn't seem to have, unless exposure to the Lazarus Pit made him a better fighter... somehow), her time as a prisoner weakened her skills (as she was apparently starving herself, but this is unlikely as she appears healthy and well-kept, and is still able fight Katana without effort), or she was never as badass as she appeared (though their fight ended in a draw, Oliver was winning beforehand, and it's entirely likely Ra's didn't give her as intensive training as he gave Malcolm and Oliver, given his sexism).
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • 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. At the very least, by Season 3, when she becomes a core component to the show's Myth Arc rather than Trapped by Mountain Lions like she was previously.
    • Laurel, who constantly swings from being likeable and annoying as the show goes on. She started off disliked, but became tolerated mid-Season 1 thanks to her relationship with Tommy, then spiralled into The Scrappy Heap in Season 2 thanks to her drug storyarc leading her to become a Jerk Ass, before Character Development made her become more well-liked. Season 3 similarly has her act in an irrational and idiotic manner when venting her grief for Sara's death with many finding her journey to becoming Black Canary loaded with Character Shilling, only to eventually become more tolerated after spending time bonding with Nyssa. Season 4 then has her set out to resurrect Sara using the Lazarus Pit, which split fans with some thinking she's an idiot for doing something so risky (especially as she insisted on not telling Oliver) while others supported it for undoing Sara's controversial deathnote , followed by her then demonstrating her improved character as she avoided being angry at Quinten for his own secret keeping and became a more balanced character within the team, leading to her actually gaining quite a fandom.
    • 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. However, this seems to have been abandoned in his favor with The Flash (2014) premiering, and it's actually within the Flash series that this particular issue becomes addressed via a critical plot point.
    • 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, many wanted to see the New 52 version of the character, Werner Zytle, to be introduced, which then happened, only to then make him exactly the same as Seth Gabel's Count, only with a funny accent. It doesn't help that in both cases, he's a massive In-Name-Only to the Count Vertigo, both classic and New 52, as noted bellow in They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • 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. There's also a split between those who felt his motivation for turning against Oliver, namely Shado's death (which he blames Oliver for) combined with Mirikuru rotting his brain and PTSD from the island making him unable to let go of his hatred for Oliver; to some, it makes sense and makes him ultimately a Tragic Villain, while others feel its a weak reasoning that essentially boils down to 'He's crazy!' rather than actually having a legitimate motive.
    • 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. In Roy's case, it seems to be down to his Mirikuru subplot taking too long combined with the awkward manner in which his anger issues were depicted, while Sara's comes down to disagreements on if she was an Iron Woobie or Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
    • Felicity: Initially Felicity was very popular for being an Adorkable source of levity to the otherwise serious show and being the only female character who wasn't regularly yelling at Oliver, though had a small number of detractors who called her a Creator's Pet. During Season 2, Felicity was generally still popular for being adorable, fun and the most innocent member of the team, although some felt she lacked any depth compared to the others because she didn't do many things wrong. Season 3 made Oliver/Felicity the Official Couple and brought the typical relationship drama that made fans turn off of the originally planned Oliver/Laurel, which resulted in making her more emotional and call out Oliver over any morally questionable act he did, further splitting fans between those who sympathized with Oliver and those who agreed with Felicity. By season 4, she regained her fun quirks and with it some of her fan-adoration, but by this point had built up enough morally questionable actions herself that she's never called on while the rest of the cast regularly have What the Hell, Hero? speeches.
    • Malcolm Merlyn by Season 3:
      • First season, he was an engaging and tragic Anti-Villain, Season 2 had him become something of a Nominal Hero, but the third season has made him this. Manipulating Team Arrow into protecting him from Ra's Al Ghul, betraying Thea's trust to use her as a murder weapon, kill Sara in order to do so, has caused a lot of fans to turn against him.
      • The season 3 finale only helped divide things more with him becoming the next Ra's al Ghul. Some fans are happy, given it shows that he is still the same old Magnificent Bastard he once was, while others are infuriated with how that story-line ends, given many hoped for the likes of Nyssa to inherit it, not to mention how it seems everyone has forgotten that Malcolm is the reason Sara is dead.
    • Ray Palmer, once he finished the suit and it became blindingly obvious that the show is trying to make him an Iron Man knock-off rather than anything like the comics' Atom. Though in fairness, this likely has a lot to do with his being planned as the Blue Beetle until DC wouldn't let them use the character. The fact he's also romantically linked to Felicity probably doesn't net him many fans, save for the anti-Olicity fans.
    • Quentin Lance has become this in the latter half of season 3, with many finding his vendetta against the Arrow and eventually Oliver once he discovers his identity to once be understandable, but now being taken a step too far, especially as its such a drastic flip from how he was in the second season. Not to mention never giving a second thought to the way he discovered Oliver's identity, which should've all but given away that continuing the manhunt would make him the Unwitting Pawn that he spared no expense in becoming. Many people especially turned on him during "Broken Arrow" where he not only states Oliver was a failure of a hero, but was a villain and that all of the deaths were his fault, where he goes on to list all of the lives a grief-stricken Oliver failed to save. Shortly after not seconds after informing Oliver of Roy's "death", he cruelly immediately pins the blame on Oliver for such. Making it more frustrating is that he knew it was likely Roy would be attacked in prison and did nothing to transfer him to a more secure facility.
    • While the Arrow character is extremely loved for his Adaptational Badass, the way this version so heavily takes after Batman has left the base extremely divided. While the darker tone, use of Batman villains, and many of the similarities to Batman have been present with Green Arrow comics for years at different points; Oliver's more reserved personality tends to make him much more along the lines of Bruce Wayne, as well as his tendency to sneak around at night and being a much more violent vigilante hero, rather than the daytime hero he's usually portrayed as. As of Season 3, with Ra's Al Ghul encouraging him to take his place, something he often does with Batman, it's getting glaringly obvious that the writers of the show are wishing they were writing a Batman series.
    • Felicity's mother, Donna Smoak was beloved come the third season when she first appeared, but has become quite polarizing in season 4. She's been bumped from a minor character to recurring character and as a result, there are people who find her character being bubbly and perky a clash to the show and rather annoying. Her romance with Lance was also wanted when she first appeared, but many have also deemed very useless and takes up screen-time. There's also a group of people very worried it will end up being her in the grave, not out of concern for the character, but rather just a hope that this big death they're hyping up the whole season doesn't end up being given to a side character. This was at least appeased when it was revealed she wasn't in the grave
    • After Episode 9, a lot of fans are split about Damien Darhk. One half think of him as a kickass man who can wipe the floor with anyone in his way. Others, mainly Jewish fans are extremely angered that he's a proclaimed nazi and tried to gas Felicity, a jewish woman during Hanukkah and proclaims he sympathises with the Nazi's ways and tried to test his gas attack by placing Diggle, Thea and Felicity (again, a Jew) in a gas chamber. Also Episode 9 aired DURING Hanukkah.
      • Some fans have already stated that they are tired of the character, because he was introduced in the first episode of season 4 and to the latest episode is still the Big Bad. This contrasts with previous Arrow seasons in which the main threat wasn't introduced until episode 9 or so, as many feel Darhk's character has run its course and also makes the good guys look like idiots or weak with how he constantly gets away.
    • Vixen. Fans either love the fact that another badass superhero joined the Arrowverse and played the most important part in taking away Damien Darhk's powers or absolutely hate her for being less impressive than given credit for, played a role that any character could have had, and basically having zero characterization to fans unfamiliar with her web series. Fans also feel that the only reason why she was even involved in the show at all was to advertise for her animated shorts. Not helped by the fact that a commercial for her own show appeared right after her guest appearance.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The closing scene in Broken Hearts. After not speaking for the entire episode, Damien Darhk is last seen being forced into his prison cell, but reveals that he secretly hid a ring in his mouth the entire time. However, this ring he stashed away does absolutely nothing plot-relevant since he utilizes his magic without it and has never required anything outside his enchanted idol to grow his powers. So what was the point of showing that he brought a ring with him into prison in The Stinger seeing as how it never gets referenced ever again?
  • 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 fanbase has become largely split into two camps: comics fans who hate the show post-Season 2 (or in some cases, post-Season 3's mid-season finale) and those who don't. Critics of modern Arrow tend to cite poor writing (especially the elevation of Felicity), low production values and disrespect for the comics, while fans tend to appreciate the show for focusing more on Felicity and the drama aspects of the show. A quick look at Twitter and Tumblr versus YouTube and Reddit shows how polarized opinions on the show have become. *** Even the comics have seemingly jumped in on the debate by erasing Felicity's existence from the canon with the DC Rebirth (while keeping Diggle) and reuniting Oliver with the Black Canary.
      • There's also a third, more moderate camp who also dislike the drop on quality and poor plotting (the Idiot Plot of Malcolm/Ra's in Season 3 and baby mama drama in Season 4 are the biggest complaints) but like Felicity, and are fans of the original, more gritty grounded nature of the show in Season 1 and 2 when the focus was on Original Team Arrow and Oliver. The group generally want the show to return to it's core focus on Oliver's journey rather than the endless line of new superheroes - both on Arrow and in spin-offs.
    • 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.
    • Felicity's treatment of Oliver in season three is also proving divisive. Some feel it's great Character Development for her, helping her move beyond her little crush on him by standing up to Oliver more and being her own person, while others feel that she is being unfair and insensitive, even callous, to Oliver, who admittedly is no saint himself but currently has a lot on his plate, especially when it comes to his sister and his admittedly questionable decision to reach out to Malcolm Merlyn for help in dealing with Ra's Al Ghul.
    • Deadshot's death, especially after the episode prior gave him a sympathetic backstory. The reveal that his death was the result of Executive Meddling. Marc Guggenheim pretty much confirmed that they had to kill him off because the big boss has something else planned for the character.
    • In general, Season Three has this in spades: Sara's death and the following murder investigation, Laurel becoming the Black Canary, Quentin being left in the dark about Sara's death, Ra's Al Ghul's appearance, massive drama between Oliver and Felicity (who were popular as a ship because they lacked this), the original Team Arrow dynamic being played down, an increased emphasis on comic book characters, Ray Palmer and his relationship with Felicity, Malcolm joining the team, Deadshot's death... it's easier to list what storyline hasn't been controversial in season three.
    • Nyssa being forced to marry Oliver/Al-Sahim has received a lot of mixed (mostly negative) reactions. Most of the fans are extremely angry that the writers force the only living LGBT character as of Season 3 into a heterosexual relationship. Other fans however note that it's meant to be a horrible event that we're clearly meant to find appalling. It's really a matter of if it suits as a Moral Event Horizon for the villain forcing this or if it crosses a line into just too disgusting.
    • Another example is the characterisation of Ra's al Ghul. Some fans LOVE his character as a villain, other's think that he's nothing but a sexist, homophobic hypocrite for not only wiping Malcolm's debt even though he killed over 500 people, but for wanting a male heir, disowning Nyssa, only for him to bring her back and force her into a marriage with Oliver that she clearly doesn't want. It doesn't help that he seems to be VERY inconsistent on his motives and his Blue and Orange Morality just comes off as a means to allow the writers to do whatever they want.
    • Whether or not Oliver is right to refuse the mantle of Ra's Al Ghul— people for him taking the mantle point out that Ra's himself notes that the League will adopt a Thou Shall Not Kill path if Oliver wills it, and it would have made things a lot easier (as well, as Ray points out, Oliver was still killing people just two years prior). People against it believe it goes against his character development from the last few seasons and point out that it essentially makes Oliver Batman in all but name if he goes down that path— which many people feel would weaken the show's quality.
    • Felicity becoming paralyzed halfway through Season 4. Supporters of the development say it's an incredibly brave narrative choice that can do a lot for the representation of disabled people on television, and lets the mid-season cliffhanger have meaning despite Felicity being confirmed as not being the dead person in the flashforward. Those against it say it's a pointlessly cruel twist after the season's first half took some real steps away from the "dark for its own sake" leanings of Season 3, and only serves to add another layer of drama where it wasn't needed. Both sides also have their suspicions of whether she'll actually stay paralyzed, considering some of the other miraculous recoveries seen in the 'verse.
      • On that last part the fact Curtis is in the process of apparently making a cure has made people some people even more angry than when Barbara Gordon herself was announced to no longer be paralyzed. You have people happy simply because they don't want to deal with the needless drama, then people who wonder what was even the point of paralyzing Felicity in the first place (which just furthers the point that this was just unnecessary drama) and then people who think that it's going to end up failing in some way because how else could they cure Felicity of being paralyzed and not have this stunning technology delivered to the rest of the world to end paralysis for everyone.
    • Fans are divided on who they want being the heroes of this show. There's the "Original Team Arrow" concept, with there being quite a lot of fans who are annoyed with the way the show is with more people on Team Arrow and wishing it would revert back to being the adventures of Oliver, Diggle and Felicity as it was during the first season. Detractors of this are against it due to Diggle and Felicity basically not existing in the comics (Diggle being a completely original character, while Felicity is just an In-Name-Only usage of a Firestorm character) and not being actual Green Arrow characters and prefer how the later seasons actually included the likes of Arsenal, Black Canary and Speedy, characters of which play a serious part in the Green Arrow mythology, arguing that Arrow would be a terrible Green Arrow adaptation if he didn't actually work with his allies from the source material. Then there is a third team who miss the earlier days of season 1 in which Oliver was more of a lone wolf, who went out into battle by himself and no one else due to some feeling that Ollie takes a big step back from the action with everyone else involved (not helped by Oliver getting his ass kicked regularly in season 4 by the Big Bad, and the ability of villains to get away or evade him in-spite of his increased skillset and backup).
    • The grave plot and how. On one hand, some felt the introduction of the grave was a cheap way to drum up interest, especially after promises that season 4 would be a lighter season compared to season 3. On the other, some felt the death promised to stir character development or trim the huge cast. This only splintered the fanbase further when it revealed Laurel was in the grave. Some took offense to killing off Laurel and, by extension, the Black Canary only a season after she donned the suit. Some didn't mind and thought if it had to be someone were relieved it was a characters the writers had repeatedly struggled to write for. Many took offense to the manner in which she died rather than the death itself. And others simply felt it served nothing more than shock value and fridging an iconic character. The fact Laurel's final scenes include her propping up Olicity, already a Fandom Berserk Button, has only fanned the flames, with even fans of Olicity feeling she deserved better. Marc Guggenheim's comments after, in which he denied that it had anything to do with the internet or shipping reasonsnote , rationalizing that they 'already developed the Oliver/Laurel relationship arcnote , and their claim that they "didn't want to kill the character off, but had to fulfill the plot-line they had built-up from the premiere" which basically translated to "someone had to die", all of which have turned fans against him.
    • Many question if the show has even taken the lighthearted turn promised for season 4. While Oliver has his Green Arrow alias at last, many fans have noticed that his personality doesn't seem to be that much different than how he was in the prior season, being a little more open and occasionally jokey, but still resembling nothing to his wise-cracking comic self. The show has not edged for much of a lighter tone with very few episodes being dedicated to having fun, with the drama and relationship antics pushed to the moon even more. Oliver and Felicity's continued relationship drama and the death of Laurel who is in the grave have not helped at all.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Nyssa snapping the neck of Isabel Rochev, just after the latter had her butt kicked.
    • Malcolm Merlyn catching up to Brick and giving him a Curb-Stomp Battle after most other fighters had struggled to take him down.
    • Oliver dishing out a Curb-Stomp Battle to Merlyn, finishing by cutting off his hand.
    • Two episodes later, after spending all this season curb-stomping Oliver and co, the totem that Darhk draws his power from is destroyed, and Oliver effortlessly beats him unconscious. His Oh Crap! expression before it happens sells it.
  • Character Rerailment: Felicity is noticeably more focused in Season 4, and also forces Diggle and Oliver to sit down and discuss their issues, rather than continue being passive-aggressive. Was swiftly undone but worse by her eventually getting caught up in the team's general hypocrisy surrounding trust in her reaction to Oliver's son William, in "Legends of Yesterday" "Taken" and "Broken Hearts".
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crack Ship: Oliver's salmon ladder and Barry's treadmill.
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Laurel for a lot of fans, particularly in season one and two. Granted, it's somewhat justified by her job, her father's job, and her known association with the Arrow, making her a target for lowlifes in their attempts at revenge but some fans would prefer other characters don't rescue her at all. This has been toned down through Character Development and gaining experience and training as the Black Canary, enough that she graduated from taking beatings from everyday thugs to being capable of taking on League assassins.
    • Somewhat subverted with Thea; she's the second most-likely target for kidnapping in the show and was the show's original Scrappy, but this tendency largely cropped up after she was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap due to Character Development, and she evolved into a Damsel out of Distress who'd be able to defend herself a lot better than most CW damsels, including nearly killing Slade Wilson note  and holding off an attack from one of Ra's assassins.
  • Designated Hero: A good chunk of characters in Season 3, who for various reasons feel the need to keep secrets from each other and form elaborate webs of deceit out of misguided love for others.
    • Oliver spends a good deal treading in this territory by protecting Malcolm Merlyn, a mass murderer who has long-since crossed the Moral Event Horizon; first based on some distorted sense of honour (that Malcolm is a citizen of Starling and Ollie must protect all life), and later after finding out the guy brainwashed Thea into killing Sara Lance for the most cowardly of reasons his friends become incredulous that he's so ready to pull an Enemy Mine (especially since Ra's al Ghul is only Oliver's enemy because he's defending Malcolm), even if to him the reasoning makes sense: only a student of the Demon can teach him to defeat him, and he must in order to guarantee Thea's safety since he fears Ra's will hold her responsible for Sara's death even if she was unwilling. Ollie constantly defends Malcolm no matter what, even to the point that he gets angry over others attacking Malcolm, until it finally comes to a head in "Nanda Parbat" where everyone calls him on it; he finally admits that he wants to prove himself against Ra's rather than any noble reasoning for his actions.
    • Also in Season 3 you have Laurel, who keeps her dad in the dark about Sara's death for reasons not unlike Oliver's. Her reasons for becoming the Canary are a way to feed her adrenaline addiction rather than out of a sense to do good, at first anyway.
    • Then we have Felicity who is keeping all of Team Arrow in the dark about Ray Palmer and the ATOM project, and likewise keeps him in the dark about her involvement with Team Arrow. It gets even worse in the season finale, where she says that she thinks Ray should go save Oliver (one person) instead of the entire city from a bioweapon. Of course that train of thought lasted about thirty seconds and she lets Ray save the city (having already done her bit to help him) and goes to rescue Oliver herself..
      • Laurel falls back into this in season 4 with her trip to Nanda Parbat to revive Sara via the Lazarus Pit while (A) keeping it a secret from the rest of Team Arrow, and (B) ignoring the warnings of both Nyssa and Merlyn (before he decides to get manipulative about the situation). Despite the fact this leads to multiple deaths, she doesn't even tell the team when Sara gets out, leading to further deaths and making it difficult for the team to handle the situation. While Oliver does call her out on this, she fires back with the Double Standard about his own past mistakes, and in the end it's him apologizing even though he's the one who risks his life and saves the situation. While some sympathise with Laurel given that Oliver was being hypocritical, Laurel should have accepted guilt in the situation, and realize if you want to have a chat to someone about them thinking about your feelings maybe don't do it just after your actions have put their little sister in hospital.
  • 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 fiancé'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.
    • The show rather bizarrely tries to turn Sara into one after her death in a desperate and futile attempt to make Laurel more palatable as the new Canary, with Felicity saying out of nowhere that she wasn't a hero and was only hiding from her inner demons (in direct conflict with her entire storyline in season two).
    • Ra's al Ghul (and by extension the League). On the surface, he appears to be pretty textbook Well-Intentioned Extremist. He outright says his mission is to "replace evil with death". While not the worst thing, that's also not the most moral path. However, the problem arises when you consider that not only did Team Arrow do the same thing for the first season, but when offered the opportunity to take Ra's' place and informed that should he do so the League would renounce killing and stick to his designated morality, yet its still treated as if he'd be turning evil doing so. Of course, the end of "The Offer" has Ra's truly show he's a bastard, it still wouldn't have hurt to have him do it earlier.
  • Die for Our Ship: 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 put on a pedestal (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 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 Routh has a habit of moving in on people's ships.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Felicity, Roy and Slade, three recurring characters in the first season, became popular enough to be promoted to series regular for the following season. Slade even 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.
    • Isabel Rochev, but being played by Summer Glau will do that. This started to reverse itself with her reveal as Ravager, due to her entire motivation being little more then petty revenge against a dead man.
    • 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.
    • When she finally suited up in "This is Your Sword", Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana quickly became a fan favorite.
    • "Haunted" brings back Matt Ryan as John Constantine. It didn't take him long to completely steal the show.
  • 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.
  • Escapist Character: A person could argue that Felicity's popularity (and by extension, that of the Olicity ship) was a result of this (Felicity was initially a cute, quirky genius with a hopeless attraction to Oliver and a lack of backstory — just enough lack of depth to become an avatar for someone). If you look at Arrow Fan Fiction, there is a distinct lack of the poorly disguised Mary Sue Self-Insert Fic that typically plague every fandom. Then you find the tropes common in those stories in Olicity fan fics, particularly the Mary Sue ones with Felicity, and realize that the authors don't need to create an Original Character to live out their fantasies because they can live vicariously through Felicity instead. Then the show started taking advantage of this by giving Felicity more focus (to the point of making her Oliver's new official love interest) and her popularity dropped significantly, going from Ensemble Dark Horse to The Scrappy in quick fashion.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Among Olicity detractors, calling Felicity a 'feminist character' or anything of the sort, or accusing haters of being sexist, has become a huge point of controversy, especially among those who consider themselves feminists. A big part of it is Felicity's questionable writing (such as her lack of depth beyond her relationship with Oliver in the earlier seasons and her wangsty and The Unfair Sex writing in the latter), while the more radical Olicity fandom has often engaged in decidedly non-feminist behaviour (such as attacking the other female characters, obsessing over Felicity's relationship with Oliver, and harassment against the actresses and other women (particularly against Katie Cassady and Stephen Amell's real-life wife Cassandra Jean), among other points). As a result, many non-Olicity-supporting feminist fans consider radical Olicity fans to be using feminism/sexism as a scapegoat and shield to protect Felicity from criticism while acting in a hypocritical manner, which essentially plays into stereotypes about feminists that others would like to escape from.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom in a "Marvel vs DC: Live Action TV edition" match.
    • Also with Daredevil, for the same reasons. Although Arrow has more in common with DD than S.H.I.E.L.D., due to them both being Darker and Edgier superhero shows.
    • 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. More fuel got thrown with the deaths of Deadshot and later Waller, with many suspecting they were forced to do it thanks to the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. This also raises questions as to what will happen to The Flash (2014) by the time the Flash movie comes out.
  • 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.
    • The reveal of who killed Sara, Malcolm flew back to Starling City, and is the reason Sara showed up in the city to start with. He had the foresight to bring with him a drugged and brainwashed Thea, who would be able to catch Sara by surprise and kill her without question. Thea remained completely unaware of what happened and Malcolm had the perfect blackmail to pit Oliver against the League of Assassins. It was a fairly stretched out Gambit Roulette and it didn't help either that it was vital to the season's story arc.
  • Fan Discontinuity: A lot of people pretend that the show ended after Season 2. The farthest many will accept is the Season 3 episode "The Climb".
  • 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, while Roy and Thea became a fairly well-liked Beta Couple.
    • 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. By season 4, however, the ship had become something of a Fandom Berserk Button because of how poorly it was handled.
    • Tommy/Laurel is popular, despite Oliver and Laurel seemingly being destined to become the Official Couple, 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.
    • Nyssa/Laurel as of "The Offer", although Nyssa/Sara is still more popular.
  • 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.
    • Nyssa and Laurel have a lot of chemistry in season three as they bond over Sara, to the point that they go out to eat together. And lets not even get started on how protective of each other the two have gotten by the end.

    G-M 
  • 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.
  • Ham and Cheese: Much like season 3, season 4's reception has been somewhat mixed (compared to the positive reception for the first two seasons), but many reviewers have consistently praised Neal Mc Donough's hammy performance as the season's Big Bad, while also not being afraid to criticize how the character is written. It is likely that the character's charismatic portrayal was a direct response to the generally negative reception for the season 3 main antagonist, who was often considered a dull and boring character.
  • 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.
    • The altered arrow in Season 3's title card is ultimately revealed to be the brand put on Oliver when he joins the League of Assassins.
    • Laurel and Oliver's more toxic interactions during Season 2 and 3 - in particular Oliver saying he's done with Laurel and getting together with Sara, Laurel repeatedly trying to join Team Arrow while Oliver pushes her out of his vigilante life, and Laurel watching Oliver fall in love with Felicity - look lot worse after Laurel admits she's been in love with him the whole time.
  • 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.
    • Oliver and Felicity's first meeting was already adorable enough, but gets even sweeter in Season 3 when Oliver admits that she was the only one he saw as a person rather than a threat or target.
  • 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 gets a second moment in "Beyond Redemption," when he chews out Lance for working with Damien Darrkh. Coming off the previous season, where Amell was probably at his least emotional, it's both a highlight of Amell and the writers for managing to come out of the previous season's slump.
    • While Willa Holland's acting was never called into question, "The Return" is where she really shines, including her breakdown over Sara's death and her vicious verbal beatdown of Malcolm.
    • Paul Blackthorne gets his moment to shine in "Beyond Redemption," when he breaks down after almost shooting Sara.
  • 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. These suspicions seem to be confirmed with Caity Lotz being cast in Legends of Tomorrow, as Sara with her character being brought back by a Lazarus Pit.
    • Deadshot in "Suicidal Tendencies".
    • Not many actually believe that Felicity is dead. Reasons being stated range from we never do see any proper fatal bullet wounds on her, the preview for the next episode of the season shows that she is alive but in critical condition, and that her actress has been spotted recently on set as well as in cast photos posted online. In fact many theories are actually springing up on how she ''will' be hiding, and that Oliver will keep her being alive a secret from the public to keep Darhk off his back temporarily. This turned out to be the case as she was only paralyzed, and not even permanently.
    • The payoff to Season 4's "Who's in the grave" story being Laurel. Many fans latched on to how oddly the death scene was filmed, with our not getting to hear a promise that Oliver made to her, followed by an abrupt cut to her in a violent seizure despite getting a positive prognosis just minutes earlier. Plus, the show runners had admitted by this point that they made the flashforward not knowing how they would resolve it. On the other hand, there's the accusations that if she did fake her death, it would be incredibly cruel to keep the secret from the rest of the team, especially her father Quentin (who already went through this with his other daughter, even), and Diggle (who blames himself for her death thanks to refusing to suspect his brother). Aditionally, Word of God has stated repeatedly that Laurel is really gone as they want death to actually mean something again, thanks to all the previously mentioned characters that didn't stay dead.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • McKenna Hall's comment that Fall Out Boy broke up, in response to Oliver's questioning if they are still cool in "Dead to Rights". They had actually announced their reunion nearly a month earlier.
    • In the pilot, Oliver's disapproval of Tommy pursuing Thea when we learn that Thea is also Tommy's sister.
    • Felicity blurting out "Tahiti!" in "Keep Your Enemies Closer".
    • The show had an arc wherein Roy's exposure to Mirakuru made him unstable and a threat, right around the same time as that OTHER work featuring a hero reluctantly fighting his unstable, erstwhile sidekick.
    • In the Japanese dub, Satoshi Hino voices the archer Oliver, who also previously voiced Saito Hiiraga: In the first season of The Familiar of Zero, Saito almost got killed by a Rain of Arrows.
    • In the Blackest Night crossover event, the Flash tells Ray Palmer that he is now Superman. Palmer's actor Brandon Routh previously played Superman in Superman Returns, making the inverse true.
    • Neal McDonough plays Damien Darhk, the Big Bad of Season 4. He previously played Oliver himself in DC Showcase: Green Arrow.
    • In Season 4, Felicity finally got a codename, Overwatch. Later that year, a video game of the same name was released.
    • Stephen Amell plays Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Not only is he another masked vigilante, but Oliver's long hair from the island flashbacks actually would have fit better with him.
    • Constantly, when characters talk about working with Malcolm Merlyn, they refer to it as 'getting into bed with' him, which, if taken out of context, implies that Malcolm Really Gets Around. John Barrowman is more well known for playing Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood, a character who was known for, well, how he Really Gets Around.
    • This show has typically had a Fandom Rivalry with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Season 4 of Arrow and season 3 of S.H.I.E.L.D. are both airing concurrently, and the Big Bad happens to have the same name in both cases: Hive. Taken further when it turns out both Hives' final plot towards the end of the season involves a giant missile.
    • Thanks to this series, by almost complete coincidence, this is at present count the second incarnation of Oliver Queen to end up with a blonde, computer-savvy female who became popular amongst the show's fandom and who were (largely) created for their respective series', instead of his canonical Love Interest from the comics. Unfortunately crosses over into Harsher in Hindsight as of the Season 4 finale, since the method in which they apparently sealed it here was by killing off said canon character.
    • There's something darkly hilarious contrasting the earlier seasons to the later seasons in terms of fan perception on Laurel and Felicity. In the first two seasons Laurel was the major polarizing character while Felicity was beloved. Come seasons 3 and 4, Felicity is the widely disliked character while Laurel has earned herself many fans.
  • "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. Comes back to the fore again in Season 4, with him taking on Green Arrow as his code name to distance himself from the Arrow.
  • 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.
  • Informed Wrongness: A lot is brought up about how wrong it is for Moira and Oliver to keep lying to Thea to protect her, however the moment she found out about Roy she sent him a message leading him right to her endangering the lives of a lot of innocent people. Thea is repeatedly shown not to be able to handle the truth well so it’s understandable why they would keep it from her.
  • Internet Backdraft: The fandom was decidedly not happy about the writers killing off Sara. Partly it was seen as a case of Bury Your Gays, partly because it was obviously done to cram the unpopular Laurel into Sara's role (who came to be viewed by many as an inferior Canary) and partly just because they threw away a popular, complex character with an intriguing backstory. The writers seemed to be aware of this as Sara is returning as a main character on Legends of Tomorrow.
    • The same has happened now in season 4 with Laurel, ironically Sara's own sister being killed and ultimately revealed to be the one in the grave. Many fans are not pleased, and rightfully so, given that Laurel is the Black Canary and one of the few actual comic book characters on the show. What's worse is that Laurel had rebounded from a shaky start to the season and was actually more liked than ever, with many even coming to terms and enjoying her as a vigilante. It doesn't help that it reeks of shock-value (the writers freely admitted that they had no idea of who to put in the grave, and the death episode itself only traveled in that direction due to the entire cast grabbing a massive Idiot Ball, making it seem like Laurel was a random choice with no thought into it) and fan pandering, with Laurel's final scene alive being dedicated to praising Felicity as a romantic partner for Oliver as opposed to her actually getting to say a goodbye to her father, or literally anyone she is close with. Killing her off was bad enough for comic book fans, but having her final moments being her telling the love of her life to get back together with a character with no bearing on the decades of Green Arrow mythology was seen as a giant slap in the face.
    • Season 5, mainly because even though Word of God said Barry rewriting time affected the whole Arrowverse, Laurel's still dead. Not to mention the new team members (sans Curtis) all come off as Replacement Scrappies for Laurel, Thea, and Diggle.
  • 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 Afghanistan, 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. Especially since she can catch arrows fired by much better/faster archers than Thea.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Thea. Sure, she's selfish, annoying, and a huge Jerkass, 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. He then finds out that he killed the wrong man and that her killer is still out there.
    • 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.
    • Nyssa al-Ghul becomes this in Season 3. She loses her girlfriend Sara, struggles to cope with her grief, gets coldly brushed off by her father, then imprisoned and finally disowned by her father.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The ratings spike for the season 4 episode "Haunted," which featured a guest appearance by John Constantine can probably be attributed to this.
  • 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.
    • "Suicidal Tendencies" ends with Maseo aiming an arrow at Felicity, then it cuts to black just as he releases. Yeah, sure.
    • "Broken Arrow" gives us two separate incidents with the apparent death of Roy, the actual death of Thea. One is resolved by episode's end (though he is off the show as a regular). The other is resolved in the next episode.
    • "This Is Your Sword" ends on Laurel, Diggle, Felicity, Malcolm, and Ray all being exposed to the Alpha/Omega bioweapon and seemingly dying. Aside from the simple fact that it would mean killing off the majority of the show's supporting cast, everyone already knew Ray was in the Legends of Tomorrow cast, and then the teaser for the next episode immediately revealed that they survived as it played next to the episode's end credits.
    • The mid season 4 finale ends with Felicity getting shot by Damien's men and Oliver frantically checking her for a pulse. Although the grave mystery was still front and center, the events of the episode took place months before Oliver's "six month later" scene so unless Felicity was in a coma for the whole second half of the season she was clearly going to survive.
  • 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. Taken even further in season three, when a season's worth of manipulation, Enemy Mine scenarios and humiliations see him become the new Ra's al Ghul and leader of the League of Assassins. He openly admits that his main goal was to secure his own freedom and safety, but since the opportunity presented itself...
    • 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:
    • 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, the first as a gag, the second as a Badass Boast. Fans have since taken these remarks and run with them, to the point of making them into pseudo-aliases as superheroes.
    • 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.
    • The Deathstroke Dance.
    • During Season Three, Roy and his flips became memetic.
    • During Season Three, Austin Butler's Jerkass character, Chase, has been collectively known as Douchebag DJ and is jokily treated as a Greater Scope Villain to everything happening during Season Three. More so than the Reverse-Flash.
    • "It's Iron Atom", a reference to how the Atom is an obvious copy of Iron Man. There's also "Iron Ant" as his appearance comes fairly close to the announcement of Marvel's Ant-Man.
    • A few hours after the first official picture of Dig's helmet came out on the Internet, fans have already taken to calling him Digneto or variants of that name.
    • After several characters seemed to go out of their way to shill Felicity, many started to go out of their way to refer to her as a "strong, beautiful, powerful woman".
    • It became common to joke about or just point out the name of a writer and co-executive producer of several later episodes: Speed Weed.
    • "What! No! Ray! Oliver!"note 
      • The pronunciation of "Oliver" in the line has also become memetic, leading many fans to nickname him as "Olibur".
      • Want to spend five years in hell like Oliver did? Here you go.
    • Showrunner Marc Guggenheim frequently refers to decisions he makes in regards to the plot as being "organic". Naturally, many fans have jumped on using organic to describe many aspects of the show.
      • The green filter often added to Oliver in season 4 episodes post-production and the corn field that Damien Darhk points to in the season 4 mid-season finale tend to get this label more than anything else.
    • Felicity Smoak is the greatest villain in the Arrowverse. A joke used amongst the anti-Felicity portion of the fandom after "My Name Is Oliver Queen"note  that received more use after "Legends Of Yesterday"note , "Progeny"note , and "Monument Point"note .
    • "Felicity and Friends" has become a popular nickname for the show in recent times due to the show's increasing focus on Felicity. Consequently, it is often joked that Oliver has become a supporting character in his own show.
    • "Tom. C'mon."note 
  • 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.
    • The writers repeatedly and clearly explained that although the show was based on the comics, it would develop in it's own way and wasn't beholden to comic canon. (Not to mention the numerous deviations from the comics right from the pilot, including Diggle and Thea's existence and Moira being alive). Despite this there was a vocal contingent of comic fans waiting for the show to become "real" Green Arrow and follow the comics more closely. The backlash over Laurel's death comes out of this, as killing off the Black Canary is the biggest deviation from the comics so far.
  • Misblamed: Marc Guggenheim was heavily criticized for making Laurel's last scene a declaration of love to Oliver and focusing on their relationship in the flashbacks after her death. (With Olicity fans also getting flack because Laurel's final scene was about shipping). However subsequent interviews revealed it was actually Katie Cassidy - Laurel's actress - who pushed for the Oliver/Laurel love declaration and wanted more of a Oliver/Felicity/Laurel love triangle while Guggenheim was reluctant to do so.
  • 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.
    • Edward Fyers obliterates the line when he shoots Yao Fei in the head right in front of his daughter after he fullfilled his end of the bargain.
    • Malcolm Merlyn had a good number of events that could consider this, but toed the line of redemption and became a Token Evil Teammate (albeit, one most fans were annoyed at). This ends when he refuses to give up the Demon's Head ring, at the cost of Thea's life, to the point Oliver has to cut off his hand to do it, and responds to Oliver's attempts to spare him by selling him out to Damien Darhk.
    • 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.
    • Maseo crossed it when he joined the League; he gave Ra's Al-Ghul the Alpha/Omega Virus in order to become a member.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul officially crosses it not when he orders his massacre on Starling but when he personally kills Thea in cold blood as the "proper" motivation for Oliver to become his heir.
    • If General Shrieve hadn't already crossed it when he ordered his men to murder Oliver and the Yamashiro's then he definitely crossed it when he released the Alpha/Omega bioweapon in Hong Kong, killing hundreds of people, including Akio.
    • Conklin either crosses it when he starts killing labourers to force a confession out of the rest or when he manipulates Ivan into attacking Oliver by telling him he killed his sister, which forces the latter to kill him in self-defense.
    • Baron Reiter has a few possible moments, but him destroying a plane full of his slave labourers who were trying to get away simply to spite Oliver and Taiana and further fuel his magical powers is the absolute point of no return.
    • If Lonnie Machin didn't cross it when he tortured the girl he kidnapped even though he had no reason to keep her in his clutches, then he definitely crossed it when he tried to kill Damian Darhk's wife and daughter as revenge for firing him.
    • Cupid was an already unhinged, but somewhat sympathetic villainess when first introduced. In Season 4 however, she rolls hard over the line after deciding that love only leads to death and starts killing innocent couples simply for being happily in love.
    • While Damien Darhk had many possible moments, him killing Laurel Lance just to get back at her dad seals the deal of him being a psychopathic bastard.
      • And if at this point you still had any sympathy for him, in "Monument Point" he destroys the city of Havenrock, killing tens of thousands of people, granting himself considerable magical power in the process. And what's worse? His original plan was to destroy the entire world!
    • Andrew Diggle crosses it when he leads Team Arrow, including his own brother, right into Darhk's hand, having played them all along.

    N-S 
  • 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, and his acting in the third has been one of the more consistently praised aspects.
    • 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 given its lyrics are describing an apocalypse. 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 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 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. (All other Chinese-speaking characters do speak authentic-sounding Chinese, however.)
    • In the scene when Oliver is being flogged on Lian Yu; instead of a genuine reaction of pain, Stephen Amell just blandly says 'AH', over and over again, with no emotion in his voice and barely any on his face.
    • 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. Throw in the fact that his name Al Ow-Al is essentially the spelled-out form of "LOL", and you have one threatening villain you can't take seriously.
    • 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. Then it's revealed Chase is really a member of the League of Assassins. That's right, the Demon's Head sent one of his own to carry out a hit posed as a nightclub DJ.
    • 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 and 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.
    • Any time Ray puts on the Atom suit. It turns out an Iron Man type power suit is a lot sillier when you can always see the face of the guy wearing it, and the ropy CGI doesn't help at all.
    • Felicity's constant crying in season 3 which is practically Once an Episode has made many scenes tedious to watch for fans.
    • Laurel's Canary Cry, which makes her look like she's trying to use the toilet most of the time. It doesn't help that its severely under-powered (in the comics its an exceptionally powerful attack, while here its a mild stun attack), and rather sparingly used (and when it is, its very ineffective), and was introduced on The Flash (2014), meaning that, without watching that show, the inclusion of it comes out of nowhere.
    • Felicity in the A.T.O.M. armor provided many a laugh for fans at how ridiculous it looked.
    • Oliver's speech in Season 4's first episode crosses into Narm pretty easily. It seems it was partially an attempt at deliberate Narm Charm, and it really should be, given Oliver was publicly announcing his new identity as The Green Arrow and focus on being a beacon of hope, but his method of doing it, the way he looks when delivering the speech, and making said announcement without having any In-Universe build up, making it look like he's just some Arrow copycat with a camcorder and a dark basement. Which, of course, the characters in-universe would assume he actually is.
    • Thea/Speedy playing bad cop. Its hard to take her seriously when she's waltzing to thugs twice her size and breaking their arms with an arm bar that anyone with a basic understanding of combat would know would've been ineffective.
    • In "Haunted," Oliver and Laurel inexplicably take forever just to climb up onto a ledge to rescue Sara's soul, in a contrived method to give Constantine a fight scene after going to the trouble of Arc Welding him into the Arrowverse.
    • The Bloodlust that comes from being revived by the Lazarus Pit should be Nightmare Fuel, and they try to treat it as such, except, the way it's depicted has Thea and Sara not doing anything any more violent than they would in a normal fight, and the only indication that they're acting out of character is the fact they're panting and acting like feral animals while they fight, while the violent outbursts seem to just come out of nowhere without any build-up, which comes off as poorly paced rather than shocking like intended. The fact it's essentially identical to Roy's previous struggle to control the similar violent anger brought on his Mirikuru exposure, which had the same problem, makes the narm all the more noticeable as it just looks like they're reusing the same story.
    • The promo for season 4, episode 15 "Taken" features our first footage glimpse of Vixen. Unfortunately the character gives us the eye-rolling line of "how about I kick your ass like a woman" towards a thug. Especially when you think of all the backlash the Supergirl TV show got for all the "women can be heroes too" lines it threw around early in the first season. And even more so, Arrow isn't a show where you need to enforce some type of girl-power thing, given you have Laurel and Thea out there every week fighting alongside Oliver and Diggle. Though to be fair, the thug confronted her first with the equally-cliche line of "how about you fight like a man?"
    • Oliver and Felicity break up, and during this Felicity realizes that she can move her legs, meaning she can now walk. Despite spending weeks in a wheelchair with this being the first time her legs have moved since then, she gets up and practically struts out of the room with little to no issue with Oliver just gaping after her like a fish and doing nothing else. What makes this more Narm-y is that this is the final scene of the episode with Arrow now going into a one-month break before the next episode airs. Compare this to Flash and it seems like the writers thought fans would think their break up and Felicity's regain of her legs to be as shocking as the reveal of the Big Bad as the sister show did.
    • The supposedly massive reveal at the end of 'Beacon of Hope', which features Malcolm Merlyn having a conversation with a mysterious figure in a car. The camera pans around to reveal...Andy Diggle, who mutely stares at Merlyn with a look on his face so stupid it defies explanation.
    • The fact that the HIVE's Evil Plan for Season 4 somehow involves corn.
    • Diggle's Spartan helmet, which seems too small for him.
    • The final fight between Oliver and Damien, which is literally them taking turns punching each other, and ends with...
    • Damien Darhk's death might have carried a little bit more weight had he not flopped to the ground in a bizarrely perfect star shape, like he was in the middle of a jumping jack.
  • 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.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Oliver's "MY NAME IS OLIVER QUEEN!" response would otherwise be cheesy, but Amell's delivery sells it.
    • Oliver calling Curtis terrific is incredibly cheesy but the sincerity of it sells it.
  • Older Than They Think: Some people initially accused this series of being a rip-off of Hawkeye from The Avengers (2012). 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 Darker and Edgier tone too. A lot of people accuse the show of derailing Green Arrow to make him a darker character to justify the tone, but Green Arrow being a dark antihero willing to kill and torture isn't a new idea, and had been played with before hand during the Mike Grell run and other subsequent runs. The only thing the show can really be called on is making Oliver so somber and stoic, given Ollie is typically a loudmouth who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
    • The similarities to Batman. While the darker tone, use of Batman villains, and many of the similarities to Batman have been present with Green Arrow comics for years at different points, Oliver's more reserved personality tends to make him much more along the lines of Bruce Wayne, and with Season 3 now Ra's Al Ghul trying to encourage him to take his place, something he often does with Batman, it's getting glaringly obvious that the writers of the show are wishing they were writing a Batman series.
    • 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 rogues 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.
    • Andy Diggle in "The Return" who briefly appears with his brother in a flashback.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Many fans of Arrow feel the show was at its best under Andrew Kreisberg's hands, and feel Marc Guggenheim is responsible for the Seasonal Rot that plagued the show afterwards.
  • 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 Jerkass 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 was eventually Promoted to Love Interest thanks to the popularity of Olicity; ironically, this got to the point that the rest of the fandom has largely turned on the couple over it.
    • Laurel's Dying Declaration of Love to Oliver is seen as an attempt to throw a bone to the comics and Lauriver fandom, but given there's been no evidence of Laurel's feelings for several seasons, she actually gave her blessing to Olicity and fans would have preferred her to say goodbye to Quentin, Sara or one of her friends, the scene is actually viewed as a disservice to her character. Likewise the flashbacks next episode with Oliver and Laurel reuniting after Tommy's death, have annoyed her fans more than pleased them thanks to the retcon and unsympathetic context.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Evelyn Sharp, a teen wunderkind who stole Laurel's identity as Black Canary (including the Canary Cry which In-Universe was made only for Laurel to use per Cisco's design) to kill Ruve Darhk as revenge for Hive killing her family, nearly destroying Black Canary's legacy in the process. Many were hoping she'd never been seen again, only for it to be announced she'd be joining Team Arrow in Season 5 as Artemis.
  • 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 biological father, which caused her to quickly return to an It's All About Me attitude and refuse to forgive anyone for keeping the secret from her, wound up firmly placing her back into Scrappy territory.
      • Then comes "Canaries", the thirteen episode of Season Three, and she is rescued seemingly for good, what with Oliver telling her the whole truth (except for her having killed Sara) at last, her lovingly accepting him and even thanking him for saving her life, and her coming to her senses about Malcolm and turning against him for having manipulated her into abandoning the people she loves.
    • 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.
    • Season Three introduced Chase, an obnoxious, cocky DJ working at Verdant who was teased as a love interest for Thea. Nobody wanted another Romantic Plot Tumor when there were way more interesting storylines developing, so fans were thrilled when it was revealed that Chase works for the League of Assassins.
    • After her Character Development in Season Three, Laurel appears to have achieved this status in parts of the fandom. It initially faltered back during the the first half of Season 4, but ultimately seems to have stabilized in the second half Season 4 as she became the Cool Big Sis of the group and didn't any plots of her own . Since Felicity drew most of the fandom's ire, Laurel conversely got more popular for being more supporting of the rest of the team. When she finally turned out to be the person in the grave, most of the fandom was TREMENDOUSLY displeased, with some even claiming the show had Jumped the Shark, whereas a season and a half ago fans would have been all too happy to have Laurel killed instead of Sara, and not nearly as many would've complained just half a season ago.
    • Sadly, it seems as if this trope was inverted for Felicity Smoak. Fans of the show used to like her for being Adorkable and bringing some humor to a Darker and Edgier show, but, starting from season 3, she was given too much focus, and took Laurel's place as Oliver's Love Interest. He had better chemisty with her than he did with Laurel, but it soon became a Romantic Plot Tumor. Many people think she's become a Creator's Pet, receiving a lot of Character Shilling in this show, The Flash (2014) and Legends of Tomorrow. Even some of the "Olicity" shippers were probably glad when they broke up midway through season 4, and wished that it was her in the grave instead of Laurel.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: A common criticism of the show is how much unneeded drama is mined from romantic foibles, especially Oliver's, mostly because a lot of it comes down to one party lecturing the other (often with them presented as right to do so, while the audience often disagrees) or them arguing over issues that could be avoided by talking it out like adults. Oliver/Laurel was the first to get flak for this with cheating, sleeping with the sibling, love triangles and romantic angst, but Oliver/Felicity, previously a popular Fan-Preferred Couple, to get heat for it as well when it became not only canon, but a huge part of the show (with many finding it causing a negative effect on Felicity's character), while other couples like Carly/Diggle and Donna/Quinten have gotten similar complaints for being needless subplots. The only romantic couples that seem to be universally liked are Diggle/Lyla and Roy/Thea, in large part because of their comparatively less drama (at least, Roy/Thea grew out of their drama and became probably the healthiest couple on the show, while Diggle/Lyla apparently worked out their drama before the show started), with Sara/Oliver and Tommy/Laurel being mostly well liked (with the exception of shipping-related issues), for similarly having little drama that they didn't work through in a healthy manner and only breaking up due to plot reasons. As a result though, the show has became infamous for its focus on complex romance, to the point that talking about shipping among fans of The Flash (2014), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Legends of Tomorrow, and/or any other comics book show, to result in arguments due to it 'ruining' Arrow.
  • Ron the Death Eater: As of Season 3, Oliver's been getting this from certain parts of the fandom. While he is being rather idiotic in his willingness to work with and protect Malcolm, some act like he's became completely devoted to it even at the cost of the others, despite the fact that one of the primary reasons he's doing this is to protect Thea.
  • 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.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Showrunner Marc Guggenheim has been blamed by fans who stopped watching the show for the Seasonal Rot that began in season three and these include: Sara being Stuffed into the Fridge in the season three premiere (later Back from the Dead and became one of the main characters for spin-off Legends of Tomorrow) in order for Laurel to become Black Canary (though she managed to get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap), the Romantic Plot Tumor involving Oliver and Felicity (which resulted in Felicity going from Ensemble Darkhorse to Base-Breaking Character), the increasing irrelevance of flashbacks, Roy being Put on a Bus, mediocre plots and most controversially, Laurel Killed Off for Real in season four. Unlike many examples of this trope, however, he is responsible for some of the more controversial decisions and has flat-out stated as such, even defending his decision to kill off Laurel because the character had "no further role" in the story.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Thea to some fans in the first 2 seasons, due to being a brat who's main redeeming traits were her occasional Heartwarming moments with her family and her surprisingly endearing relationship with Roy Harper. This completely changed in Season 3 when she Took A Level In Bad Ass, combined with her improved relationship with Oliver (including discovering Ollie's secret and thanking him rather than getting angry) and her excellently acted character arc with Malcolm Merlyn.
    • 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 started off as a Base-Breaking Character in Season 1 who devolved into the Scrappy in the first half of Season 2. She became more likeable by the end of the season and after fading in-and-out of this over the next season, by mid-Season 4 she was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap enough that when she's killed off, the internet went ballistic.
    • Malcom Merlyn starting Season 3. There is a whole buttload of people who wish nothing more than to finally see him die in Season 4 for everything he has done.
    • William, Oliver's son. Mainly because he's less a character and more of a plot device to create unnecessary drama between Felicity and Oliver. Not to mention that he won't carry on his father's legacy as the Green Arrow. That honor goes to John Diggle Jr.
    • By season 4, Felicity had grown into this. Though she's still well-liked by the Olicity shippers, she's received considerable hate for her more annoying traits. Notably, the problems people had with Thea and Laurel in the first two seasons seem to have been completely absorbed by Felicity over the third and fourth seasons. It's gotten to the point more than a few fans have stated they wish it was Felicity in the grave instead of Laurel.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • After a well-received first season and even better second season, the fans turned on the show in droves during Season 3. Starting out with a combination Stuffed into the Fridge and Bury Your Gays with Sara was bad enough, but they followed it up with a spectacularly misguided attempt to prop up Laurel as the new Canary by posthumously tarnishing Sara's reputation and denying she ever deserved to wear the suit, in what's basically a canonical Ron the Death Eater, although Felicity's words on that fact are open to interpretation. Add in a quite controversial take on the Atom which many pegged as a cheap attempt to piggyback on the popularity of the MCU's Iron Man and Malcolm Merlyn finally becoming a full-blown Karma Houdini. Then you've got the original Team Arrow (Oliver, Diggle and Felicity whose dynamic was considered the core of the show) fractured and barely talking to each other, unnecessary relationship drama between Oliver and Felicity who were popular because of their affectionate, angst-free nature, Laurel's presence bringing down the mood in Arrow cave, fan-favourite Felicity pulling double-duty propping up the unpopular Ray and Laurel at the cost of her own characterization and you've got many accusations that its newly launched spinoff The Flash is now the far superior show. There is also the constant propping up of Olicity by multiple characters in-universe, including Ra's Al Ghul himself, which has really angered many fans who would prefer a return to the strengths of Season 2. Ironically, the Strangled by the Red String and Romantic Plot Tumor of Olicity in Season 3 has echoed many of the complaints of Oliver/Laurel in Season 1, going against why Olicity was a Fan-Preferred Couple in earlier seasons.
      • The season 3 finale doesn't appear to have won back the crowd either. Between an anti-climactic showdown (complete with a nearly blow-for-blow Meaningful Echo of a former duel that, while likely meant to make Oliver seem like He's Back, really just showed significant Badass Decay on the part of the Arc Villain), more angst-ridden scenes, a lack of tension that the previous finales had, Team Arrow further broken apart, and Oliver leaving Starling City to literally ride off into the sunset with Felicity, reactions to the season have been less-positive. Many of the fans that do seem happy with the finale appear to be the Olicity ones... and even a lot of them are suspecting that once again, most of Oliver and Felicity's relationship will occur unseen over hiatus and Season 4 will bring yet more drama.
    • Season 4 unfortunately also falls into this. Initially it was well-received, with Oliver finally taking the identity of the Green Arrow, a well paced plot, a fantastic villain and the writers seemed to be going out of their way to avoid everything that made Season 3 so hated. But then, they brought Ollie's secret son William into mix during the season's crossover with the Flash. When Felicity found about him, she randomly turned into her Season 3 self, breaking up with Ollie right there and then. Luckily Barry's time travel reversed it, but it sounded a few alarm bells. Then Felicity found out about him for real, and the damage was done. Then the time came for the show to reveal who was in that mysterious grave. Turns out it was Laurel Lance, the Black Canary herself. Naturally this enraged a lot of people, not only because had the writers killed her sister Sara off and met a similar backlash, but the only reason they killed her was because she was essentially picked at random just to fulfill that particular plot point. Other points of contention were the decaying fight choreography (say what you will about Season 3, but that aspect of the show was still on point for the most part during that season), the Romantic Plot Tumor that has more-or-less swallowed the plot, and increasing focus on the Smoaks, leading to jokes about how Ollie has become a supporting character on his show. All this culminating in the Season 4 finale, almost universally regarded as the worst in the show's history. While Season 3 may be So Okay, It's Average in the eyes of many fans, Season 4 was decreed as horrible by almost all fans barring the Olicity shippers.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: People have already started shipping Quentin with Felicity's mom Donna even though they've never met, including Paul Blackthorne himself. They finally meet in the ending of "Lost Souls" in season 4, and it's heavily implied a romance will indeed develop.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • During the second season, fans were split between Oliver/Sara and Oliver/Felicity: Sara and Oliver were made canon during the season but the writers weren't very subtle with hinting at Felicity's strong feelings for Oliver, so both sides argued 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.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Some fans have this reaction to Season 3, arguing that it's simply "okay" in comparison to seasons one and two, with some strong moments and weak moments in equal measure.
  • 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.
    • Oliver swimming to the sunken Amazo in "Dark Waters". It looks like something out of a Tomb Raider game, and not one of the modern ones...
    • Most of the CG in "Taken", with Oliver's zip-lining and Vixen using her totem to fly and leap like a cat all rendered with very obvious, rubbery CGI.
    • For some unknown reason, in certain scenes the Green Arrow suit is given a highly unnatural green filter towards it that is very noticeable and stands out like a sore thumb (especially so given the suit comes off as near black in color during scenes set at night or in dark areas and even when in regular lighting it is a very dark green). Particularly in the episode "Broken Hearts" during a scene between Oliver and Diggle where the brightness is obviously done and hard to not notice to the point it's as if the whole thing was CGI. And in the next episode in a moment where Laurel places a hand to the shoulder of said outfit you can see her gloves turn green the moment she touches it. It makes you wonder why they didn't just design the suit originally with a lighter green if they are so determined to make it stand out more with such a color.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Even leaving aside the Like You Would Really Do It factor, Oliver joining the League of Assassins doesn't hold much tension thanks to a preview of the rest of The Flash's first season showing that the Arrow would be making another appearance on that show.
    • As well as Diggle, Laurel, Malcolm, Ray and Felicity supposedly being infected/killed by the Alpha/Omega virus. Fans might have believed that if the preview for the finale didn't show them all appearing in it. Plus Ray has his own approaching spin-off to appear in.
    • Nicely averted by Ray blowing himself up at the end of Season 3. His presence in the upcoming spinoff, Legends of Tomorrow, gives away his survival.
  • 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.
    • Oliver's Nightmare Sequence in "Left Behind", which has him spit Blood from the Mouth while kissing Felicity. Which means he may have spit blood into Felicity's mouth.
    • In "The Candidate", Laurel opening Sara's coffin so the audience can see inside it.
  • 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.
    • Further exacerbated by the news that Ray Palmer is being considered for his own show next season, meaning Felicity's been hit with this twice.
  • 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) and 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.

    T-Z 
  • 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.
    • On a more specific level, news spread that the beginning of Season 3.B would be very Laurel centric following her Black Canary arc, which discouraged a lot of fans interest. (Reviewer John Campea even dubbed it the 'Laurel-pocalypse). Leading to the producers assuring everyone other characters would have their moments and they weren't sure where the Laurel-focus idea came from. This was averted, of course, as the episodes had good ratings.
  • 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.
    • When it finally comes time for Laurel to don the Canary outfit, she has an impressive first outing... and then the following episode makes it clear over and over that she sucks at being a vigilante and that first success was only due to surprising the guys with a Canary Cry.
    • "The Return" keeps it going as Quentin gets to lambast her for real about concealing Sara's death from him, saying she broke a trust that had built over a lifetime, and ending by forbidding her to come to the same AA meetings as him.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The city has been renamed Starling City. This changed with the fourth season premiere.
    • 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 - as such, Oliver finally took the name in the first episode of season four.
    • 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.
    • The Huntress being an Anti-Villain who Jumps Off The Slippery Slope rather being a hero.
    • 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 progressed, fans actually began 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.
    • In Season 3, Team Arrow changing from the Oliver/Diggle/Felicity trio to including heroes-in-training Roy and Laurel as well. The change has definitely caused some unease as "Original Team Arrow" was considered one of the strongest aspects of Season 1 and 2.
    • Changing The Atom from a Size Shifter into a man in generic Powered Armor has a few fans miffed. Fortunately, see Author's Saving Throw above.
    • Taking Anarky, an Anti-Villain who's known to be a deconstruction of the typical violent sociopathic Bomb Throwing Anarchist villain type who shows the pros and cons to an anarchist political view, subverting the idea that anarchy is about chaos and violence, and turning him into... a typical violent sociopathic Bomb Throwing Anarchist type played completely straight, focused entirely on spreading chaos and violence rather than expressing any political views.
    • The direction that the show has taken since Marc Guggenheim took over as its main showrunner in Season 3. The episodes that have been produced under then are often criticized for shoddy writing, poor fight choreography, and especially the increasing focus on Felicity and her romance with Oliver. The biggest breaking points have been introducing Oliver's long-lost secret son William, the decision to kill off Laurel, and the Season 4 finale, which was so heavily disliked that the Arrow subreddit turned into a Daredevil subreddit in protest.
  • 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. Subverted with the news that Caity Lotz will be a regular on a second spinoff series, Legends of Tomorrow, with Sara being brought back by a Lazarus Pit.
    • Felicity:
      • 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.
      • Unfortunately the complaints are back after the first few episodes, as Felicity has spent most of the season propping up other less popular characters rather than getting her own character arc. Between helping Ray build his Atom Suit and her Character Shilling of Laurel, she's had little chance to shine on her own. Even her Love Triangle between Ray and Oliver has been more about their respective issues and decisions than her own agency. It's an improvement but not by much.
      • This carried over to the end of season 3, even after Ray leaves and the Love Triangle between her, Oliver, and Ray is resolved. Felicity's own development takes a backseat to her position of Love Interest and most of her scenes are relegated to being about her relationship with Oliver, which follows straight into Season 4.
    • Diggle's also been hit with this in Season 3. Despite the possibilities of his links to Argus and H.I.V.E, relationship with Lyla, new-born daughter and the fact he's the longest-standing member of Team Arrow he's been relegated to a background presence while Laurel and later Ray take centre-stage. (The pair being Base-Breaking Character bordering on Scrappies does not help matters.)
    • Captain Boomerang. A prominent member of The Flash (2014) Rogues in the comics is reduced to a standard Villain of the Week during the crossover between the two shows and his beef is more with Team Arrow than Team Flash. And because this character will be appearing in the upcoming Suicide Squad (2016), this is probably the last we'll ever see of him. At least he wasn't killed off like Deadshot and Amander Waller.
    • The League of Assassins as a whole are this. We never find out exactly what their believes or mission are - save they are never allowed to leave the League without Ra's permission. Most of their conflict with Team Arrow stems from them trying to get Sara back and punish Malcolm for the Undertaking, what they do outside of their interactions with Team Arrow we never now, and considering Nyssa disbanded the League we probably never will know.
    • Laurel. Especially grating since the writers killed her off only to fill out a random plot point and because they felt her story was done. Yes, The Black Canary, a character with more history than the Green Arrow himself, has nothing to show.
  • 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. Thankfully this is saved by the spin-off.
    • 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.
    • Oliver's recovery from the events of the Climb (namely, being stabbed twice, once in the side and Impaled with Extreme Prejudice through the upper chest, by Ra's Al Ghul and then kicked off a mountain over what must have been at least a one hundred foot drop, all exposed to the elements of a snowy mountain peak) is too quick and "normal" considering the grievous nature of his wounds. While the show has constantly shifted between "realistic" and "fantastical," this situation has dual disappointments: in a "realistic" setting, Oliver's wounds should be fatal, or at least seriously debilitating, while in a "fantastic" setting, they neglect to use either the Lazarus Pits or Mirakuru, both of which come with major and engaging caveats to their usage. Instead, he just gets a bandage and some nursing and he's fine.
    • Ra's and Merlyn's plotlines are getting this from a lot of people in Season 3:
      • In spite of Merlyn's habit of tap dancing over the Moral Event Horizon, and the numerous personal injuries he inflicts on Ollie and co., he's never really confronted or fought by the heroes, in spite of being the instigator of the entire Season 3 conflict, instead being in an Enemy Mine with them throughout. While he ends the season promoted to leadership of the LOA, it doesn't come off as any real grand plan, and required the heroes to hold the Idiot Ball for the majority of it.
      • Ra's, meanwhile, has a strong start to his storyline, but ends up just being Strictly Formula, both for the character and the show: like in the majority of his old Batman stories, he tries to marry a daughter to the protagonist and force them to take his place in the organization while threatening a cataclysmic terrorist attack on the heroes city. There's no attempt to subvert or twist his tale at all, unlike with Merlyn's Season One plan or Slade's visceral feud with Oliver. He does everything he's done in other shows and comics, causes the least amount of damage, and loses a confusing fight with little build-up.
    • Arguably Oliver's supposed Face–Heel Turn and brainwashing into becoming Al Sah-him. Despite the fact that the writers could have very easily done this earlier in the season, which in turn would have increased the conflict between the heroes and the League, as well as make the audience second guess whether Oliver was truly good or crazy, he instead adopts the alias in the twentieth episode of the season does some evil acts in the next episode and then the episode after that reveal he was faking it all along. Marc Guggenheim and co. admitted that they wished they had made Oliver join the league sooner.
  • 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.
    • Averted with Season 3 which takes a much darker tone than Season 1 and 2 but is viewed as very poorly written and by far the weakest season.
  • 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 affected 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, not that she would know that as by this point she was not aware that Malcolm was Thea's father). However, it does turn out that she was right about Malcolm being responsible for Sara's death. And the first thing Oliver does when he finds out? He tries to kill Malcolm anyway.
    • Some feel Felicity is slipping into this as well. While some support her standing up to Oliver, even making snide little insults, over his decision to join forces with Malcolm Merlyn in order to defeat Ra's Al Guhl, others feel she's being both self-righteous and insensitive to what Oliver is going through.
      • Fans also find it hard to see her point on the subject of Oliver's son. Many feel like it is just another instance of Felicity being jealous that Oliver's life exists outside of her, or that once again Oliver has a bond with a pretty girl.
  • Vindicated by History: Season 3, or at least the first half up until Ra's al-Ghul demanded that Oliver become his heir. Initially it was considered the weakest season, and Season 4's first episodes showed a lot of initial promise. Then they introduced Oliver's son William. And then they killed off Laurel., and everything went to hell. By the end of that season, people looked at the first half of Season 3 far more fondly than they did before.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Ray Palmer's ATOM suit.
  • 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 mitigated by the later villains.
    • 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.
    • When the Arrow appears to have resumed killing, Quentin Lance (who just broke ties with the Arrow over being Locked Out of the Loop regarding Sara's death) orders a manhunt to bring him to justice. During the course of this manhunt (and as the killing spreed), Arrow insists to any and all of his newfound lawful enemies that the killer is an impostor from a really bad crew. Quentin is suddenly kidnapped by a couple of dark and cryptic individuals, who then proceed to tell him that Oliver Queen is the Arrow and that Sara was with him in Lian Yu. So, does the police captain figure out that these guys aren't feeding him the Arrow on a silver platter out of the goodness of their hearts, temper the manhunt and try to get in touch with Oliver to get some answers about all of this? No, he ignores all signs that there's more to the story than meets the eye, carries on the manhunt Up to Eleven and turns into a total dick, all because of his hatred for Oliver— thus becoming the perfect tool for Ra's al Ghul's machinations to force Oliver to take over the League of Assassins.
    • In "The Candidate", Laurel eagerly grasps the Idiot Ball and hugs it to herself. See, Thea has been dealing with major rage issues lately and they have gotten so bad that they had to physically restrain her from attacking Oliver. Laurel finds from Thea that her rage issues are because of her dip in the Lazarus Pits last season. Laurel's first idea? To go with Thea to dig up Sara's corpse and take it with them to Nanda Parbat to ask Merlyn, the current Ra's Al Ghul and the man who brainwashed Thea into killing Sara in the first place, for help. Oh, and they aren't telling Oliver or anybody else about it either. Yeah, there's no way this will backfire.
      • This only gets worse in "Restoration". Merlyn and Nyssa refuse to do it, explaining the ramifications of the Lazarus Pit to Laurel and Thea across several scenes. Turns out the revived comes back with bits of the souls pit's previous users mixed into their own soul, and the clash causes a bloodlust that can only be sated permanently by revenge on the person's killer/assailant, or for a few weeks at a time by killing others. Also, the Pit hasn't been used to revive a long-dead person in thousands of years, so in that case it's possible for the original soul to be entirely lost. Nyssa in particular is no fan at all of the idea of Sara being brought back in such a corrupted state and urges Laurel to instead grieve properly and move on. Thea comes to realize just how horrible this all is when her father lies to her about an old sage in the mountains who may have an idea how to fix this, only to set her up to slaughter two of his own men to sate her forced bloodthirst, and now even she is against the plan. And suddenly Malcolm changes his mind, coming with flowery words about how bringing back Sara will help sate Thea's issues somehow. This should be the part where Laurel and Thea understand that they shouldn't have come, promptly tell the man to go fuck himself, put back Sara's corpse and return to the team and Star City. Instead, it's the part where Malcolm's words sway them just enough and they use the Pit to bring back Sara, who emerges in an absolutely feral state of mind and whose first instinct is to try and and kill anything that moves—with a particular fixation against Thea for aforementioned reasons. Nyssa is appropriately horrified at this and thus promptly destroys the pit to spite Laurel for her decision and make sure Malcolm can't worm his way into getting anyone to use it to bring him back to life when she finally does kill him.
    • Everyone in "Eleven Fifty Nine". A few episodes earlier, the team managed to break the idol that gave Darhk his powers, with Vixen's help. Rather than doing something sensible like destroying the pieces of it completely, or scattering them around the world (the team knows the Flash, who could do that for them in an afternoon), they glue the idol back together and put it on display in their lair. Malcolm is then easily able to steal it. Fortunately, the team at least hid one piece...under Diggle's couch cushions. Despite Diggle living with his brother Andy, who formerly worked for Darhk. Then Diggle tells Andy about the hidden piece, which lets him steal it and deliver it to Darhk. Now, with his idol reassembled, Darhk has all of Team Arrow at his mercy. However, he too is an idiot, so instead of killing them all, he just kills Laurel and lets the others go free with a warning. And that's not even mentioning that Malcolm could have just taken the idol for himself, rather than giving it to Darhk like a faithful lapdog.
  • 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.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Reception for Matt Nable as Ra's Al-Ghul was initially mixed, but come "The Climb" his performance and first fight scene won back many of the critics. By the end of the season, fan consensus was They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character, but Nable himself was held in extremely high regard.
    • Season 4 tried doing this when they had Oliver become the Green Arrow, and brought Sara back to life. Unfortunately the drama caused by William, Oliver's son coupled with Laurel's death and a lackluster finale means Season 4 comes off worse than Season 3 ever was.
  • 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 casting of Bex Taylor-Klaus as Sin and Vinnie Jones as Brick have been criticized as whitewashing, given the Sin and Brick of the comics are respectively Asian and African-American, and Taylor-Klaus and Jones are white. The news that Madison McLaughlin's character, Evelyn Sharp, would become Artemis is Season 5 also caused this, as many figured this was based on the Young Justice Artemis, who was half-Asian, and was called out as another case of whitewashing, though others are defending the choice, pointing out that the YJ character was a case of Race Lift herself and the comics' Artemis Crock is white.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Diggle's new costume in season 4 became pretty divisive rather quickly, in large part because it looks like Magneto. Which veers straight into Hilarious in Hindsight (if not Teasing Creator) when he uses some kind of magnetic device to deflect an enemy's Drop the Hammer attempt. The crew took notice and a redesign was teased in a Flash crossover episode halfway through the season. Notably, Cisco doesn't even have to ask what should be changed, like he already knew he didn't do his best with it.
  • 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. For starters, he loses his best friend to a shipwreck, and when he goes to Hong Kong to find him, he gets kidnapped by said best friend as part of a plot to cover up the fact that he's still alive. 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... by an earthquake caused by his dad.
    • 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.
      • Season Four doesn't make this any better by killing off Laurel too.
      • The comedy/parody series CW Slamfest highlights this in the episode "The Empty Quiver" by pointing that not only has the show killed off both of his daughters (sure, Sara is revived, and Laurel has an Earth-2 metahuman doppelganger in The Flash, but still), it has also put him in a relationship with Donna Smoak, one of the most unpopular characters in the show, a move which has seemingly furthered Felicity's Mary Sue status. It's heartbreaking to see him break down into tears because of what the show has done to 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. She is also manipulated into thinking she is crazy about Sebastian Blood during her addiction arc in Season Two. 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 this, 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.
    • Tatsu, who watched her son die, soon after which her husband abondonded her to join the League of Assassins. She is so distraught by these events she goes in to self exile, living years in solitude. She only comes out of the solitude to help Oliver and Maseo. To help Oliver's friend's she is forced to kill Maseo and is taken prisoner by the League. When she is freed she decides to simply go back into her life of solitude. It's clear that she has hit the Despair Event Horizon.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Arrow