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: Is Murdoc truly the completely reprehensible bastard that he claims to be, or is he a sad little man who was never given a chance at a normal life and is thus incapable of understanding others as a result. Does he actually enjoy being on Plastic Beach due to it being his "kingdom", or does he secretly miss having anyone to talk to? Did he kidnap 2D out of necessity of producing the album, or did he do it because he was the one person who didn't completely hate him and was thus the only person he could call a friend? Phase 3 manages to provide support for all sides of the argument.
Is 2D an Idiot Savant, or an intelligent young man whose mind was destroyed by severe head trauma and constant pain killer usage?
Just how bad of a person is Paula Cracker? Was 2D really in love with her?
Ascended Fanon: Wikipedia's article on the song "El Mañana" noted that the helicopters in the video didn't match the ones from "Feel Good Inc", and proposed an explanation for it. This article was quoted in Rise of the Ogre, with Murdoc replying, "Er... yeah. That sounds about right."
Broken Base: The last single from Plastic Beach, Doncamatic, is shaping up to be this. Half the website/YouTube comments are lauding it as a spiritual successor to DARE, and the other half are criticizing it for its lack of Damon Albarn and similarity to current pop. Its release as a single also provoked anger, as it was chosen over fan favorite "Empire Ants". Then Doncamatic had a video made for it, which was considerably less epic and plot-advancing than the canceled "Rhinestone Eyes" video.
Cargo Ship: The Feel Good Inc. commentary makes reference to Murdoc's "bass-shagging action".
Die for Our Ship: Paula, 2D's ex-girlfriend, is absolutely loathed by the fandom - though this may be subjective since she's not all that pleasant a person, and isn't supposed to be.
Ear Worm: Stylo, DARE, On Melancholy Hill, Feel Good Inc., Clint Eastwood, Superfast Jellyfish, Doncamatic... and that's not close to all of them. While their songs in general are extremely catchy, special mention goes to Rockit, a song where half the lyrics are blahs.
Epic Riff: Every Planet We Reach is Dead, the bass riff in Feel Good Inc.,Clint Eastwood, and the violin riff that comes in halfway through the song in Sound Check (Gravity).
Ensemble Dark Horse: Song variety - Rhinestone Eyes and Empire Ants are almost universally beloved among fans, and neither were ever official released as singles, though Rhinestone Eyes came close.
Many of the tracks off of the Self-Titled Album - most notably Sound Check (Gravity),Punk,Slow Country, and 5/4 - are quite popular among fans, though rarely played live.
Paula Cracker received quite a bit of attention from fans - though not necessarily the good kind - despite only being mentioned in Rise of the Ogre and a few fleeting moments in interviews.
Face of the Band: 2D and Noodle in the videos, Murdoc in interviews. 2D gets thee lion's share of the screen time in most videos barring a few which star Noodle. Stops being the case in Phase 3, where the focus is on Murdoc while he hangs in the background, but back in full force by Do Ya Thing.
Fan-Preferred Couple: It's a tie between 2D×Murdoc and 2D×Noodle - Murdoc×Noodle is also popular, but not to the extent of the other two. In the earlier years of Gorillaz, 2D×Noodle was more popular, but 2D×Murdoc has gotten more popular these days, mainly due to their large number of interactions and all the Unfortunate Implications.
Foe Yay: Murdoc with both of the other male band members, particularly 2D. Murdoc has practically destroyed 2D's life, but the latter views him as a role model and looks up to him, as to an older brother, in spite of the fact that Murdoc abuses him physically and mentally. 2D has even declared at one point he loves Murdoc. Still, in Phase 3, 2D gets smarter and realizes he was actually mistaken about him.
Jerkass Woobie: Preadolescent Murdoc. He grew out of woobiehood pretty quickly, and by all accounts he was a horrible little boy, but ... poor kid. He gets a little bit of it back in the Pirate Radio broadcasts, in which a reoccurring theme is how depressingly lonely he is. Every time it hits him he chugs more rum to put it out of his mind, but since it comes up at least three or four times per broadcast it's clearly not helping much anymore.
From the 12 minute version of DoYaThing, Andre's repeated shouts of "I'M THE SHIT!"
Mary Sue: Some people have accused Noodle of being this, what with being widely talented with musical instruments, having a pretty good singing voice, being quite attractive, cheerful and optimistic even after finding out about her unpleasant past, possibly the most intelligent and strongest (both physically and mentally) out of the band despite being the youngest, being treated very well in the band in comparison to the way the other members regard each other and havingpurple hair. However, the whole story doesn't evolve around her, she isn't what made the band be successful and her character is not based around the concept of Wish Fulfillment. She might have certain traits of a Mary Sue, but she lives in an environment where most of those traits are not considered of importance, which in turn makes her quite tolerable, even likeable.
The first video of the Murdoc's Dressing Room three-parter shows you more of Murdoc than you ever wanted to see, as does the band's segment on MTV Cribs. Not to mention Rock the House, Feel Good Inc, and The Eel G-bite.
Replacement Scrappy: EMI lost a lot of the fans' esteem when the originally-intended, storyboarded and plot-advancing music video for Rhinestone Eyes was cancelled in favor of Doncamatic.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Phase 3 could be called "The Murdoc show featuring 2D" considering how basically all material from it is simply the two bickering while Murdoc battles demons. Russel and Noodle don't get a single line of dialogue throughout the entire phase.
About a quarter of the comments on some website/YouTube copies of the DARE video are people asking if Noodle is a boy or a girl, and another quarter are people telling the aforementioned that she's female, with varying levels of politeness. She was even more ambiguous in Phase 1, before she reached puberty. In Phase 3, she wears a much more feminine ensemble - a dress, stockings and lipstick - and Cyborg Noodle wears belly shirts and hot pants, so presumably that'll stop now.
This is the newest Gorillaz song, "Doncamatic". Listen to it without looking at the comments. Good? Now read the note.note The singer? It's a guy.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Animation Age Ghetto seems to have worked on them some, as parents have mistakenly brought their kids to live concerts. It's an animated band with and ridiculously catchy music... that features a character like Murdoc Niccals. Many of their songs and videos have prominent adult imagery: the Stylo video features a shooting scene and the Boogieman, On Melancholy Hill has a discretion gore shot and Cyborg Noodle throwing up an octopus, "Feel Good Inc." has Murdoc's "bass-shagging action" and the tower gives off a general feel of a nightclub or a brothel. Most of the lyrics are highly ambiguous, and it's not rare to see Murdoc with emptied tequila bottles, 2D switchblade knives and cigarettes, and dead animals. One early, unreleased music video for the song 5/4 would have started off with a view of a girl masturbating, and the video treats the viewer to a naked Murdoc with a very much visible penis.
You have to feel bad for 2D. First off, he got put in a coma and got an eye fractured after Murdoc hit him with a car, and had to be taken care of by Murdoc whilst in the coma, not to mention the rumors of what happened during that time. Then Murdoc managed to crash the car trying to 360 to impress a girl and 2D was thrown through the windshield. This woke him from the coma and shattered his other eye. Murdoc abused him all the time, then drugged and kidnapped him for Plastic Beach. During the iTunes sessions, Murdoc bragged about nailing his girlfriend and proceeded to chloroform 2D when he attacked. Finally, in the DoYaThing video, there is a final twisting of the knife - 2D reads a newspaper with a cartoon called The Gorillaz in which Murdoc gives him a hug and says "It's good to have friends." 2D smiles at this, but then the real Murdoc comes downstairs and brutally smacks him across the head with a shoe. The heartbroken look on his face is awful.
The whole band, really. Russel's friends were killed and then he got possessed and expelled from school for mauling some other students, Murdoc whilst being a complete dick did have an admittedly abusive childhood, and Noodle's life has been crap since Phase 2 although she's now back with her bandmates as of DoYaThing.