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.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: When the main characters are all evil tyrants of variant selfishness and sadism, and even the supposed innocent character turns out to be a monster too, this trope practically describes every single page.
Iron Woobie: In a weird way, Golgoth becomes one of these.
Hakeem and Jamal's duets from the first two episodes, "Living In the Moment" and "No Apologies". The fact that the two brothers have such great chemistry—both personally and musically—is one of the most heartwarming aspects of the show, even if the rest of the family is actively pitting them against each other.
"You're So Beautiful", both versions. Lucious' original version is smooth and sensual, and Jamal's is fun and celebratory. And the latter has the edge over his father, since he also his coming out into the lyrics.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Nearly every character in the series is a lying, cheating, backstabbing scumbag with the notable exceptions of Jamal and, surprisingly enough, Cookie (she may be spiteful and quick to anger, but she isn't dishonest). Lucious himself is an abusive, conniving murderous crook. Given all of this, it's all too easy for this trope to set in. However, it is also noteworthy that there are several who are loving the show exclusively because of this.
Narm: While Hakeem and Jamal normally make great music together, their performance for the investor showcase where they sample "Money for Nothing"...complete with backup dancers wearing TV's on their heads...was more than a little ridiculous.
Nightmare Fuel: Lucious' reaction to toddler Jamal trying on his mom's heels and scarf - he stuffs his own son in the garbage can. All while Cookie begs for him to stop and has to fight him off before she can rescue Jamal.
And the worst part? This actually happened to the co-creator Lee Daniels.
Unfortunate Implications: Without a doubt, some viewers cringed when Cookie said, " What, you gonna Ray Rice me?", when Kidd Fo-Fo almost attacked her for criticizing his music.
Same could be said when while drunk, Hakeem hears police sirens outside and jokes about the police, saying "Oh, so the po po comin' to shoot me now?", considering this episode premiered a month after the non-indictment of the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown and the two cops killed in their cars weeks later in response to said non-indictment.
Rhonda's "I don't do the short bus" comment regarding having relations with a disabled person. YMMV since she was drunk and irate and we're supposed to be shocked that she would say something so tactless, but it's arguably still in poor taste for the show.
Cookie in the first episode, saying to Lucious that she's going to prove to him that 'a faggot' can run Empire. The 'previously on' segment of the second episode replaces the slur with 'sissy.'