These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternative Character Interpretation: The Show, the Hosts, and the Experts do not take this show seriously and know that it is primarily "for the lulz". But they act as if this is Serious Business (taking into account the number actors who show up as experts) for the entertainment purposes. This goes double for the higher profile fights, like Israeli Commandos Vs. Navy Seals.
Broken Base: Are the new Season 3 format and hosts better or worse?
Canon Defilement: In the season 3 finale, Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, is brought in. The aforementioned survival guide clearly states that the zombie virus can ONLY infect the living cells of a living being, a category which the undead Vampire does not fall into. It should have been dismissed as impossible immediately... yet the ability for the virus to infect the Vampire is continually discussed throughout the episode, and the final Vampire ends up zombified in his Pyrrhic Victory.
Worse, the on-screen zombification takes only a matter of seconds. The first zombie virus symptoms (muscle pain, hypothalamus damage) don't set in until at least four hours, and the virus doesn't kill until after at least sixteen hours. Reanimation doesn't occur until at least two to four more hours after death (any death, not just death from the virus itself).
There is some justification: the Vampires are ported straight from 30 Days of Night, and are implied (during an Off with His Head! moment) to have a still-functioning brain. They're also stated to have still-functioning hearts and circulatory systems, which would transport the virus to the brain. The brain is the zombie virus' favorite "food" so to speak, and the zombie's only remaining vital organ.
Freud Was Right: Most of the Zande weapons in Aztec Jaguar vs Zande Warrior are purely phallic symbols and it is noted by Max and Geoff in the show.
As a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer, when demonstrating the exploding cigar, the CIA expert quips, "Sometimes a cigar is not a cigar."
Game Breaker: Spartan's shield (382 kills PLUS a strong defense); Shaolin Monk's Hook Swords (566 kills; more than ANY weapon ever).
The halberd, the Knight, Vlad the Impaler, and Hernan Cortez'note His was a Spanish variation called the Alabarda mid-range weapons. It devastated it's target in every test and was one of the few weapons to consistently dominate in the sim. The one time it lost was when it was up against the Pirate's Blunderbuss, it's most effective firearm.
In the game, the new DLC warriors look set to become this:
The Shaolin Monk has a just plain ridiculous damage output. A simple 3-hit combo can take half of the health from a knight in fullplate.
The Zande has a shield as a guerilla. When you can play a guerilla without even dodging... The penis blades do pretty heavy damage.
The Rajput doesn't look all that much on the surface, but he has a combo that is almost guaranteed to break an enemy's legs and another one that is although less likely, still likely to break an enemy's arm.
Growing the Beard: The show has gone through a nearly complete redesign. Season 3 seems to put more emphasis on comparing warrior battle tactics, with a new, apparently more accurate sim, which includes X-Factors by giving things like "Leadership" a numerical value. The show consults warrior experts to comment on battle tactics. The battle simulations are also run 5,000 times as opposed to 1,000. This seems to address some complaints about the secrecy regarding the simulations and the amount of testing done.
Arguably made worse when you realize that the Green Beret experts were almost certainly hamming it up for the show and didn't really mean most of it.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In the Mafia vs. Yakuza: Aftermath show, a viewer writes in that the British Sten was lighter than the Tommy Gun and thus would have been quicker on the draw. Max Geiger then mocks the comment by saying that it's not a quick-draw fight and it isn't a Western-style battle at high noon. Annoyingly enough, in the next season, we have Jesse James vs. Al Capone, where Jesse James being quicker on the draw compared to Capone and his Thompsons is given as a reason why he won the fight.
In the Aftermath with Richard Machowicz, Kieron Elliot states that Genghis Khan couldn't be an opponent for Hannibal Barca because Genghis was represented by a generic Mongol in Season 2. In a podcast for Season 3, Snake Blocker mentioned that the DW crew were looking for experts on Genghis Khan. Furthermore, three guesses who he faced.
At the end of IRA vs. Taliban, after the winner was revealed, Skoti Collins said "No one's ever beaten the IRA. And no one ever will." Then came the Back for Blood matchup, where the Spetsnaz beat the IRA in the most one-sided fight to date.
In Season 2, the X-Factors were constantly said to be "something that can't be measured in a lab," and only one per warrior was examined. Come Season 3, the computer that analyzes the battle data takes into account at least 100 of them, and the experts even discuss a few X-factors with each other.
In Pancho Villa vs. Crazy Horse, it was mentioned that Crazy Horse was inspired by a vision that bullets couldn't kill him. He died when Pancho ends up stabbing him with a bolo knife. And in real life, Crazy Horse died from a bayonet stab. So technically he was never killed by a gun.
Hype Backlash: Not in regards to the show itself, but after saying that they'd have BIG NEWS in three days, it turned out to be announcing season 3 next summer... which they'd already announced, just not officially.
Another example might be the Vampires vs. Zombies match. Out of the thousands of replies on the Facebook page, the majority are flames and hate.
Idiot Ball: The Gladiator picked it up vs. the Apache. When Gladiator had Apache on the ground, he hit him a few times, then, instead of finishing him off, got off him and let the Apache get his knife into play for the win.
Internet Backdraft: Every single episode has this in some form, for varying reasons. As mentioned before, some people have legitimate complaints about historical accuracy, testing, and the way the warriors are represented. Others are just nerd raging.
The "Spartan versus Ninja" episode provoked a lot of this.
The claim in the first episode that Gladiators were specially trained to kill set the show on the wrong foot for some, since they were much closer to being very... aggressive actors—actual execution in combat was much rarer than pop culture made it out to be.
The "IRA versus Taliban" episode also provoked a fair bit, with people accusing them of glorifying and/or exploiting terrorism. Since there's no such thing as bad publicity, the show embraced the controversy and advertised the episode as "the most controversial episode yet."
However, every time they returned from commercial break, it came with a disclaimer denouncing both of their policies. They even made a donation that helps civilian victims of landmines.
Host Max Geiger stated that the show would not attempt a Ninja vs Pirate episode because of this very reason.
One of the most frequent pasttimes of viewers is to post reviews/responses on YouTube that critique various claims made by the show, some attempting to debunk and others just ranting for some time.
This trope is a good part of the reason that episodes that pit controversial and bloodthirsty figures against one another, such as Al Capone v. Jesse James or Saddam Hussein v. Pol Pot have a very specific disclaimer explicitly stating that nobody is praising the subjects, only assessing them, and that anything that might be construed as praise is not endorsed by the producers or staff of the show.
As for the licensed game, Deadliest Warrior: Legends, quite a lot of people complained about Hannibal being black. Even though modern historians have no idea as to his race, and him being African actually makes a little sense considering Carthage was in Africa. That said, he was descended directly from Pheonician seafarers from what is now Lebanon, and any locals that his ancestors could have procreated with were ethnically Berber. That said, it's well known that Carthage had regular contact with black Africans, so who knows?
Dr. Dorian (and sometimes Geoff) goes into every little detail about what the weapons will do, describing how arrows and spears will pierce veins and vital organs and how the movement of them will cause more damage, and what the cuts from the throwing weapons will do bones and innards.
The IRA's flamethrower (and the Waffen SS' Flammenwerfer) seem to be the worst of them all.
Seeing the test of what exactly Vlad did to his enemies when he impaled them. It may have been a ballistic gel torso, but still.
The Taser test, seriously those prongs look NASTY especially compaired to the short range arching variety I used to picture.
Anytime torture is shown. Especially in the Saddam Hussein vs. Pol Pot episode.
Kilong Ung mentions how Electric Torture is one of the less horrific tortures Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge used. Also, the fact they murdered a quarter of Cambodia's population.
The scene in Vampires vs. Zombies where one Vampire gets torn apart by a horde of zombies. Sure, it's a blood-sucking predator, but you can't help but sympathize with it in its final, painful moments. Most of that episode was this.
Pandering to the Base: It's likely the inclusion of Richard "Mack" Machowicz as a tactician specialist and data into the strategies and mentalities of the warriors being tested in the third season is meant to address criticisms of the show being more "Deadliest Weapon" than "Deadliest Warrior".
Replacement Scrappy: Among those who did like Max for his nerdiness and gleefulness, Mack and Robert Daly weren't too well received.
The Scrappy: Slings, to many of the fans. Not as much as seige/artillary weapons though.
Max Geiger was, at least for the first two seasons, allowed to weigh in on tests, give the edge to weapons, and give commentary on simulations and tests. The data-entry drone was treated as an expert. Combine this with his horribly unprofessional dress sense (appearing on the Aftermath several times in...questionable at best attire and once even with a blatantly-unshaven neckbeard) and his corny jokes, and his removal from Season 3 was mourned by few.
Geoff, with his obnoxiously loud countdowns and overly enthusiastic reactions to skills demonstrations, annoys many a viewer and causes ringing in a few ears.
American warriors are becoming such, due to their constant winning streak ever since Spetsnaz VS Green Beret—a couple people are even accusing the show of having an American bias. This is made fun of in the Aftermath of Theodore Roosevelt VS Lawrence of Arabia, in which the director wonders if he should include an X-Factor called "Being American". And then Geoff cracks that, being Canadian, he has no American bias.
Squick: The Viet Cong's punji sticks were smeared with shit.
Truth in Television combined with Combat Pragmatist. It's a cheap way to ensure the sucker that steps on them gets an infection that'll require extensive medical treatment, instead of a simple puncture wound that could be dealt with by a field medic.
Tear Jerker: The younger vampire screaming in pure terror as he's eaten alive by zombies, as his friends can only look on horrified.
For some fans, watching the warriors they support die, especially when they hold these warriors quite close to their hearts. Let's take a moment to remember those who weren't fortunate enough to make it this far: the Ninja, the Viking, Shaka Zulu...
They Changed It, Now It Sucks/Tough Act to Follow: Some fans are very angry that they replaced Max Geiger with Richard Machowicz and got a new simulator in Season 3. It doesn't help that the first few episodes of the season featured shorter, less frequent weapon tests.