YMMV / Hawaii Five-O

  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The theme tune, considered by many to be one of the best TV themes ever. The theme song is by composer Morton Stevens. It became a hit single for The Ventures, a famous instrumental rock group.
    • A bit of trivia: That distinctive music that plays over the old "CBS Special Presentation" ident is from a cut on the soundtrack called "Call to Danger".
    • In fact, the show's only Emmys were for Stevens' scores to the episodes "A Thousand Pardons, You're Dead!" and "Hookman" (he was also nominated for the pilot) — and what's more, "Hookman" was up against two other episodes of the same series (Bruce Broughton's "The $100,000 Nickel" and Don B. Ray's "Nightmare In Blue").
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: At the end of "Tricks Are Not Treats," McGarrett orders Chin Ho to arrest the bad guys, even though he really has zero evidence against them and knows they'll probably walk.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Paniolo" climaxes with title character Frank Kuakua ("paniolo" is a Hawaiian term for cowboy) heading to the mountains he calls home, where he dies. Frank was played by Frank Silvera (The High Chapparal), who passed away in an accident in his own home not long after filming this episode, leading to a The Character Died with Him moment on his regular show.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: John Hillerman appeared in one episode that was partially filmed at the house that would later become Robin's Nest. And gets a massage there to boot!
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Much like Shaft, a pretty standard cop show became a legend on the strength of its theme song.
  • Memetic Mutation
  • Moment of Awesome: McGarrett catching the villains in "3,000 Crooked Miles To Honolulu" when they're on the plane about to leave, one of many, many moments the man racks up.
  • Narm:
    • The usually in-control Steve McGarrett becoming all weepy and relieved when he realises he won't be paralyzed after a car crash in "The Ninety-Second War, Part 1" ("I can move them! I can move them!").
    • Although it's a serious situation, James MacArthur's overacting in "Beautiful Screamer" when his girlfriend, played by Anne Archer, becomes one of the victims of a serial killer helps in no way, shape or form.
    • The two-part episode "Once Upon A Time," the only instalment other than the pilot with a script solely credited to Leonard Freeman (he has "story by" credit on several episodes) suffers from some really terrible dialogue and a particularly embarrassing scene in a courtroom towards the end of part 1... if they want to bring across how adored Dr. Fremont is then fair enough, but the crowd giving her a standing ovation while she stands there and graciously waves? Seriously?
  • Retroactive Recognition
  • Special Effects Failure: In "Anybody Can Build A Bomb," when Dan Williams insructs police sharpshooters to "Nail that plane" - the one used to extortionists in a getway plan - they do with the halp of badlly superimposed flames as the plane goes down the runway before it crashes.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Several, in fact. In "Death Is A Company Policy," Duke is framed as part of a scheme orchestrated by a criminal organisation with international scope called Bryce Halsey; given the company's representative escapes and Bryce Halsey remains out there at the end of the episode (although Duke does get his name cleared and returns to duty), the series had a golden opportunity for another recurring menace a la Wo Fat - but it never happened.