YMMV / Foster the People

  • Ear Worm: Quite a few to be found on Torches. Try getting the whistled hook from "Pumped Up Kicks" out of your head upon hearing it... it's not easy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite not being as well-known to mainstream audiences as "Pumped Up Kicks", many fans consider "Houdini" to be the shining point of Torches. "Pseudologia Fantastica" and "A Beginner's Guide To Destroying The Moon" are also considered this for Supermodel.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Each member of the band brings this in different flavors; Mark Foster has an Adorkable quality to him, Mark Pontius is the cute, blonde one, and Cubbie Fink is the brooding, dark haired hottie.
    • Lampshaded in the "Call It What You Want" video; throughout it, Mark (Foster) is shown being stalked by a horde of rabid teenaged girls wearing shirts that spell out "Foster" collectively.
  • Face of the Band: Mark Foster, seeing as how the band is called ''Foster'' the People.
    • Discussed in an interview around the release of Supermodel:
    Interviewer: (to Foster, who had answered every question thus far) "You're clearly the spokesperson for the band," *gestures to Cubbie and Mark Pontius* "these two guys, they do — you do speak, from time to time?"
    Mark Pontius: "No, we don't speak."
    Cubbie: "We're mute."
  • Follow the Leader: "Pumped Up Kicks" was the first of many radio hits to feature a whistling melody
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Pumped Up Kicks" is about a guy who acquires a gun and plans to shoot people for it. This becomes much harsher in hindsight, due to the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and especially due to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The song pretty much vanished from radio playlists after the latter tragedy.
    • Not really that harsher. It was written with Columbine in mind, so it's kind of Exactly As Harsh In Hindsight.
  • Memetic Mutation: Pumped Up Kicks has become a meme as of recent. Mostly because of Black Comedy.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Pumped Up Kicks", being known for its Lyrical Dissonance about gun violence, one can't help but be reminded of the Columbine High School massacre, because many peoples' comments wondered if this is what the song's about (among other shooting attacks); due to this, I've done a lot more of research on the massacre... and now will never be able to listen to "Pumped Up Kicks" again without picturing Eric Harris' and Dylan Klebold's school shooting taking place.
    • Mark Foster was in high school when Columbine went down. Rest assured: There's no way he wasn't thinking of it when he wrote the song.
      • Even more so, since Cubbie Fink has a cousin who survived Columbine, who he flew out to see the day after it happened.
    • There's an available instrumental version of the song. At minute 1:02, right before it gets to the chorus, you can hear a brief, distorted voice. It's hard to understand what it says. To me, it sort of sounds a bit like, "Leave here when you die." What's creepier is that I - nor even many of us - noticed this bit in the original! Worse, it sounded like people were shouting during the chorus... turns out it was rhythmic clapping.
    • Crosses over with Harsher in Hindsight when the song is taken in context with the shooting at Chardon High School.
    • The ending to "Goats in Trees".
    • The video for "Best Friend". Trippy visuals of the band playing, tons of Body Horror and Uncanny Valley, a woman plunking herself up and it ends with her choking on a dress. Good lord, they've truly topped themselves with this one.
      • Not to mention the whole video is about supermodels getting Eaten Alive by a woman who is trying to obtain their beauty. We even see one of the supermodels getting Swallowed Whole with her legs sticking out of the woman's mouth and desperately kicking as she tries (and fails) to save herself.
  • Painful Rhyme: Their lyrics make use of oblique and assonant slant rhymes so often it's part of their signature style, but "Houdini" rhyming "stress" with "ability" is... kind of a stretch.
    • The first couple of lines of "Are You What You Want to Be?" rhyme "Champs-Élysées" with "...from Belize said", mid-line, which would be easy enough to miss and not qualify as one if they didn't deliberately mispronounce "Champs-Élysées" to make it work.
  • Signature Song: "Pumped Up Kicks", being their breakout single and their only Top 40 hit to date, is the song by which most people tend to identify the band.