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.
YMMV: Hell's Kitchen
Tropes associated with TV series:
Starting in season 2, at least one per season:
Season 2 had Rachel, who Ramsay had acknowledged as being a strong leader on the team... and almost immediately fell apart after Heather got transferred to the blue team, ending up in 7th place ultimately. Garrett also did comparatively well in the first few services, but got gradually worse as the season went on, and then crashed and burned in the first black team service (may have done even worse had Chef Ramsay not decided to switch him to a different station early on), landing in 5th place.
Season 3 had Melissa, who was the Best of the Worst after the red team's losing first service and appeared to be a strong chef and leader, but her ego and attitude took over, and she, too, ended up in 7th place.
Season 4 had Louross, who was the only chef to not be a complete joke in the blue team's first service, which stands to this day as one of the worst ever on the show. But, his teammates gradually got better, and he gradually got worse, and he too came in 7th place.
Season 5 had Giovanni, who set a decay record for this show; he was a consistent performer in almost every service until the first black team service, when he fell apart spectacularly, by messing up all of his food, accidentally burning Robert's hand, and talking back to Ramsay. This led to him finishing 6th.
Robert in seasons 5 AND 6. In Season 5, he was one of the show's leading contenders, but pulled out due to health reasons. He returned the next season, but Ramsay realised that he was not as good as before (his health problems came back as well). He was eliminated in the seventh episode, in only 10th place despite making the final 5 before.
Season 6 had Van, who was a very strong contender early on. But his last two services, he really sunk on the fish station (despite being a seafood chef) and was the first black jacket to be eliminated. Tenille started off weak, but Took a Level in Badass. Then she fell apart on her last night and got eliminated without even being nominated.
Ed in season 7 managed to rally the teams together in the first service, leading to the show's ONLY successful opening night thus far. But, his mistakes kept getting more egregious, and he got the boot in 6th place.
Season 8's Trev zig zagged on this trope a lot. Started off as strong, then became weaker when on the red team. When he got transferred back to the blue team, he bounced back and managed to finish a service by himself. Then the black jackets came on and his performance started to dip and he became very inconsistent.
Krupa from Season 9. She was by far the best performing cook in the first two episodes, and considered the early front-runner. After the second service though, her performances started getting worse and worse, until she got booted out in 11th place. It goes From Bad to Worse when she came back for the finale, where she did such a horrible job that she had been relegated to doing the desserts by the end of the night. But not soon enough as her poor performance killed Will's chance of winning.
Brian from Season 10 looked like he was going to make it to the finals, then his performance sharply dropped on his last few services, his performance on the meat station was so bad that Barbie had to step in and take over. He was eliminated in 7th place. And while Patrick was criticized for his terrible leadership skills, the night he volunteered to be the blue team's leader, he led them to their ONLY win. But he ended up making one too many simple mistake, and was booted at 11th place.
Zach from Season 11. He seemed to have a lot of promise at first as he was only one of two left in the blue kitchen on the first night, yet managed to finish service. After a few episodes, he started to degrade however. By the time he left, he had officially become The Load for Jon and Ja'Nel. Anthony was also a noticeable example. He had some nice signs of promise at first, being the only consistent cook besides Jon on the blue team. But then his performance sunk on his final week as he scored 0 out of 4 on the blind taste test and did badly during his final dinner service.
Season 12 has given us Anton, Melanie, Richard, Gabriel, Kashia, and especially Joy. All six of them have suffered badass decay to some degree.
Anton had a bit of an ego to start with, but he could back it up in the competition, and also proved to be one of the Blue team's strongest members. However, some time in, his skills nosedived and his ego spiked, causing him to perform terribly on the night where he was moved to the Red team. His performance improved a bit afterwards... but then he screwed up royally a couple of episodes later, shifting the blame to his teammates and the oven, along with talking back to Sous Chef Andi, and he was soon gone.
Kashia proved to be a great chef, especially on meats, early on. But in her last few performances, her temper went haywire, leading to mostly poor performances. She was kicked out in the first black jacket service, at 6th place.
Joy proved to be one of the best chefs from the season, doing nothing but putting up great performance after great performance... until the second Black Jacket service, where she finally started screwing up on the fish station, sending up the fish before the garnishes were complete. This actually led to her taking herself out of the competition, throwing her jacket aside and storming up to the dorms. She had a moment of My God, What Have I Done? soon after, but by then, she was already past the point of no return.
Melanie proved to be one of the Red (and by extension the Blue) team's strongest members, giving great performances up and down the block. Then, in the 6th episode, she volunteered to be the leader and out of the blue gave her first bad performance. Her leadership was quiet and generally ineffective, with her team barely knowing that she was there, and was so obsessed with making sure that Kashia's meat was properly cooked, she ignored her own fish and sent it up raw. This came after she looked down upon Anton deciding to be a floater, no less! She's mostly recovered since then, however, aside from sending raw chicken in 7 Chefs Compete. Though she was lucky that Gabriel was far worse that night. And she made many mistakes on the garnish station in 5 Chefs Compete and probably would've been eliminated had it not been for Joy quitting. She had nowhere left to go in the following episode, where she turned in easily the weakest performance of the four chefs who ran the pass, and was eliminated (though not until after Rochelle, surprisingly enough).
In season 13, the Red Team suffered a rather rapid case of this. They had the best first service in the history of Hell's Kitchen, making it through with no more than a minor mistake on the last ticket. This didn't last, however, as they proceeded to tank in the next two services, with both teams losing the second service and the Red Team outright losing the third.
Season 8: Russell (the only full-blown Scrappy to ever make the finals), Sabrina, and of course, Raj.
Season 9: Elise, the all-time Scrappy queen, as well as her rival, Carrie. Also Brendan, though mercifully, only briefly.
Season 10: Royce, Tiffany, Kimmie, and Robyn. Barbie started out as one with her early behavior, but later on, she kept her head down and became tolerable compared to the other aforementioned players; Dana, conversely, started out as one of the more likeable contestants, but towards the end of the season, many people got tired (and annoyed) by her constant yelling into the camera, and more than a few people were upset when Barbie was eliminated before Dana at the end of episode 18 (although Dana also went home at the beginning of episode 19).
Season 11: Susan, Nedra and Dan. Jeremy and especially Gina were brief ones. Zach started out okay, if a bit cocky, but at around the midway point his skills dropped and his ego got bigger, which made just about everyone hate him, the fans included, especially with his successfully sabotaging Ray and being very gleeful about it..
Dan got major Scrappy points at the final service, constantly acting like the jerkass he was and at the end, when it's revealed that Ja'Nel won the challenge, he goes to Mary (he was picked last for her team) and apologizes for his actions.
Season 12: Ralph, Mike and Nicole (though at least the latter two were gone within four episodes). Sandra definitely started out as this, but grew out of it, calling out her teammates for nominating Rochelle solely because the latter wanted a family (while not really putting up a fight to stop herself from being nominated), and accepting her elimination in episode 12 with class, as she knew it was her own fault. She grew back to being a Scrappy with her behavior in the finale, by being lazy, attempting to sabotage the VIP table, and generally showing a poor attitude. Anton quickly rose to becoming one of the more disliked contestants due to his ego, constant excuses and sexist attitude, to the extent he got into an argument and subsequently torn apart by sous chef Andi. His poor service that same night saw him eliminated, where he promptly declared he was still the winner anyway, and was looking forwards to the day when he would be opening a restaurant next to Ramsay's.
Elsie from Season 1. After winning the leftover challenge, she got the cold shoulder from the other competitors (Jessica, Ralph and Michael) and couldn't get their help. Even after a motivation pep talk from Ramsay, she floundered badly. When it came to elimination, she and Jessica were up for grabs and Ramsay, having observed the cold shoulder that Elsie was given, asked whether or not she got support...and said that she did.
Virginia from Season 2. She received a lot of favoritism from Chef Ramsay. But as a result, she was despised/alienated by Keith and Heather. Then there was her previous sabotage by Sara. Then there was her team demanding bribes in order for them to work for her. Finally, there was all the survivor's guilt she had over constantly dodging the bullet and wondering if she did deserve to be there.
Season 2's Larry. I mean...Goddamn. The Chew Toy doesn't even begin to describe it.
Season 3's Julia. While she became very popular in the fan's eyes later on, the first episode made you feel like any other new kid at school being left out due to her background as a Waffle House chef. Tiffany struggled with the quail eggs and Julia wanted to help, and she knew that the Red Team had problems with communication but no one came to Julia's aid. In the confession she's tearing up and when Ramsay asks what's wrong, she cries "I just want to cook!" Poor girl.
Season 4's Christina for being targeted by the red team for purely personal reasons, claiming that they found her condescending.
In season 7, Salvatore was tasked with taking orders from the diners. His orders came in written incomprehensibly. Ramsay screamed at him: "Didn't you go to school?!" and Salvatore replied: "No, Chef." He explained after he arrived in America, he only worked to help his family and never went to school. Ramsay was so stunned he stopped scolding him and just sorta told him: "Just take your time."
Season 10's Barbie is this in the eyes of some fans, and only two episodes in, no less. At least one third of the red team (ESPECIALLY Tiffany) absolutely explodes anytime she does something. Barbie is not the best chef by any means, but her mistakes aren't any worse than the rest of the red team's mistakes.
Season 10's Roshni. Getting stranded on a zip line while her teammates thought it was hilarious (though they did help her down), being put up for elimination even though she didn't deserve it... and finally being eliminated in the eighth episode when it came down to her and Patrick, many felt that he should've been eliminated instead, considering how poor his leadership skills were. At least she held better success in Chopped.
Speaking of Season 11, Mary got this too. Sure she got second place for the whole season but it was mostly due to Dan that she lost. The kicker? He apologizes for being a jerkass and promises to make it up where he should've done that earlier at the service!
Season 12 with Rochelle, especially after episode 11. During punishment, she confesses that she wants to start a family and her team ostracizes her a bit because they feel like she's not really giving it her all and isn't serious about the competition. Then she's the deciding vote between two people in the Blue Team (having transferred there) and then has a minor meltdown prior to the "create a menu" dinner service and having Richard and Gabriel wanting to kick her out due to that meltdown. The road for her is gonna be tough. What doesn't help was that she was eliminated in "Four Chefs Compete" and she won't be able to keep her jacket (Melanie would instead). Damn it.
In a sort of Pet the Dog moment, Jason considered voting against her, but decided not to, saying she was too much of a badass that night.
Speaking of Season 12, Scott didn't have a much easier road. He was constantly nominated when he didn't deserve it - like Joy nominating him simply because she didn't want to nominate her friend Kashia (even though Kashia deserved to be gone far earlier than she was), and Anton always blamed him for Anton's own mistakes. Joy's treatment of Scott was especially grating because Scott was only ever nice to her (even consoling her during her Heroic BSOD).
Trev: Yeah, I wanna see your delicate touch again.
Adaptation Displacement: Even in the UK, the American version of the show tends to be more renowned than its UK-based forerunner, which was basically just a standard-issue "celebrity cooking challenge" show, except with a slightly more abusive chef involved (Ramsay initially, and then Marco-Pierre White in later seasons).
During one dinner service in season 10, Royce gets an earful from Chef Ramsey due to his performance on garnishes. Cue to Royce crying in a hilariously melodramatic manner, and tearfully apologizing to Ramsey for no cooking his mash right. Then it cuts back to the dinner service as if nothing happened and Royce isn't shown being emotional about it for the rest of the episode.
Designated Villain: In-universe example with Virginia from Season 2, who was despised by Keith and Heather for what they saw as blatant favoritism from Ramsay and targeted by Sara's sabotage.
Another in-universe example is Season 10's Barbie. Thanks to Kimmie, Tiffany, and Robyn, the red team always blames Barbie for their mistakes.
Ear Worm: Season 10, episode 11: it was the return of the craps challenge, and the blue team had yet to land on a protein for their dish when Robyn rolled a 'D'. Brian gave us this lovely gem:
"We need a protein...D...protein protein protein protein duck duck duck duck protein protein protein protein duck duck duck duck..."
A Face Palm followed when Robyn said "Dragonfruit" (though the blue team did manage to win nevertheless, in part thanks to Brian and Robyn's effective use of the dragon fruit ).
As far as the contestants go, Julia from Season 3. Despite her Waffle House background, she was one of the better performers from that season, and is still one of the most popular contestants ever to have appeared on the show.
Petrozza of Season 4, oh so much. The moment that people considered him a star player was his sacrifice to eliminate himself, whereas everyone else on the team was eliminating each other.
Despite her limited showtime due to her injury, Season 5's Ji is well-liked. Many hope that, like Julia, she will get to return for a second shot in a later season.
Ji actually wrote a post on her Facebook page about how she'd been asked if she'd like to come back and do another season, and had declined.
The final four of season 11 in general seem to have become this. Many fans regard them as the strongest and most likable final four in the show's history.
Rochelle from season 12 has become arguably the most liked contestant of the season — and even a strong competitor for the show's all-time most popular contestant — due to being happy, positive, likable, the epitome of Adorkable, and having great cooking skills to boot, going as far as Ramsay praising her at episode 14 stating that she cooked like she's been in the professional business for five years (when in reality she's in catering). Many a fan were not happy when not only was she not going to participate in the finals, but she was the first one nominated in "Four Chefs Compete" meaning she wouldn't be able to keep her black jacket (that would be Melanie).
Scott from season 12 as well - once Joy made it obvious that she was putting him up for elimination just because she didn't want to nominate Kashia (who was far weaker), the fans started to rally around him. After he made the final two, approximately 90% of the comments on HK message boards were in support of him over Jason, and there was much rejoicing after he won.
Sterling from season 13 has become this by basically being an over-the-top goofball who's clearly having fun and enjoying himself (to the point that punishments for losing reward challenges don't seem to bother him at all), but still showing himself to be one of the better chefs of the blue team and being quite an advocate for teamwork. The fact that the other contestants dislike him for being so goofy and optimistic is only making fans like him even more.
A lot of fans joked about season three's Aaron having some sort of health problem (ex. diabetes) due to his weight. Cut to November 30, 2010, and it was announced that Aaron had passed away due to "health complications from diabetes".
The bike punishment in Season 6. Less funny the second time around when you know that it almost killed Robert.
Genius Bonus: Sometimes it's helpful to have some culinary knowledge when watching this show, to truly appreciate how fail some of the contestants are.
Harsher in Hindsight: Arguably the entirety of Season 7, since the winner, Holli, was unable to take the job at the Savoy in London due to visa problems.
A lot of seasons in general are like this since the show's rewards usually aren't as glamorous as initially pictured. Some winners only work at the restaurants promised for a short time.
Carol from Season 5 expressing shock over her team winning, even though her potatoes were terrible. She thought to herself that she was the luckiest person in the world. She was eliminated that very night, even though she was on the winning team.
Robert telling Lacey that if she won Season 5, he would hang up his jacket and become a crack whore. A lot less of a funny comment when you realize that Robert had drug problems in the past.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: Season 3's Julia states that she never went to culinary art school but she was willing to learn. On her elimination night, Ramsay stated that he would send her to culinary school.
Hollywood Pudgy: Chef Ramsay often called Ben from Season 5 fat. He wasn't actually that much overweight.
Iron Woobie: Jon in season 11 has done very well in almost every challenge...but the rest of the blue team, with the sole exception of Anthony before his collapse, have been so terrible that he hasn't been able to enjoy any of the rewards because they've lost all but two challenges. Nevertheless, Jon took it all in stride, and managed to win the second individual challenge after black jackets were given. Unfortunately, he came up just short of making it to the finale, but he became the first male contestant that Ramsay allowed to keep his jacket, and today, he works at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas under season 10 winner Christina.
It's gotten so bad even Ramsay has taken to be less critical of the very few mistakes Jon has made, yelling at him maybe twice the entire series so far. In fairness, those mistakes only came due to the team's failures weighing down on Jon, likely the reason Ramsay seems more lenient.
Season 12's Scott didn't have it much easier. He was actually an OK cook for the most part (before the black jackets anyway). But he got very little respect from both of the teams, since he tied Elise for the most nominations in the show's history, whether he deserved it or not. Frequently, he was around as The Scapegoat. The most jarring examples came from Joy, who would frequently shift the blame to him, simply because she refused to nominate her friend Kashia (even if she had made far worse mistakes). Aside from one isolated incident where he lost his cool at Chef Ramsay, he simply rolled with it and didn't let it affect his cooking. Which is good, considering that the shit he went through only sweetened his eventual victory.
Jerkass Woobie: It's easy to assume that Ramsay's just a bitter, foul-tempered asshole. When you see what he has to put up with from some of the contestants, he becomes a lot more sympathetic.
Matt from Season 4 was arguably this. He was an ass a lot of the time, but he was downright hated and alienated by his blue team. He pleaded to Chef Ramsay to be switched to red and became a lot happier (and somewhat more competent) when he was finally acknowledged. He did deserve some of the ire from his teammates given his incompetence, but he was pitiful at the very least.
Robert from Season 5. He was a bit of an ass sometimes. But dropping out of the competition due to health complications right when you visit the restaurant you get when you win stings bad. And even after all his devotion, he skipped out on his WEDDING in order to compete on the show so he could secure a good future for him and his wife. He did get a second chance in Season 6, but sadly he suffered Badass Decay. Then he went to the hospital because his health problems arose again. When he finally got back, he got a cold welcome from his team who had bonded without him around and felt like he hurt the team dynamic. He got eliminated that very night.
This is pretty much Andrea from Season 5's reaction after she has a turn running the pass.
Suzanne from Season 6 was somewhat pitiful. She was alienated from her team and tried to be a better team player halfway through. But her efforts to be accepted were continuously rejected by everybody. She was widely hated by all the contestants, and they often said it right to her face. Still, she was an annoying Smug Snake who continuously tried to take control and throw other people under the bus. And often came off as a suck up. Even after she tried to be nicer.
Arguably, Season 12's Ralph. Sure, he was quite a jerk sometimes. But getting a lack of sleep due to Gabriel's snoring, trying to do well in the next service, then doing so bad he was eliminated (with Gabriel lying about the nominees and nominating Ralph instead of himselph as well) made him seem a bit sympathetic.
Les Yay: Implied to have occurred with Heather and Rachel in Season 2, although Heather subsequently clarified that there was only ever a bit of good-natured flirting between the two, and that Rachel had a long-term girlfriend, meaning that nothing would have happened anyway. Many fans suspected this was also the case with Bonnie and Jen in Season 3, although it ended up being disproved in the season finale when Bonnie pretty much confirmed that she was heterosexual.
Ho Yay, on the other hand has been averted so far. While there's actually been at least half a dozen gay male chefs on the show (so far as is known), there's never been more than one per season, yet.
Magnificent Bastard: Michael Wray from Season 1. Testing the final chefs with deliberate screw-ups? He did it first. Hiding ingredients to make the other chefs look bad? He magically found them. Deliberately nominating your strongest competitor to get them thrown out? He's the only person ever to successfully pull it off on this show (though this was before Ramsay could just kick out anyone he wanted). No one since has been so successful at cutthroat.
Chef Ramsay himself proved to be this in the first episode of the seventh season and again at the first episode of the ninth season. Just look and you'll see.
Moral Event Horizon: Season 10, episode 10: Robyn certainly skirted the edge of this at least, after she almost came to physical violence with Kimmie (who was trying to avoid such a situation) after everyone on the red team was kicked out during service, mostly due to their constant arguing with each other.
Kimmie was not exactly trying to avoid such a situation, seeing as how she instantly got in Robyn's face and both just kept screaming at each other, also combined with how Kimmie is often in the middle of loud confrontations and even causes some of them herself, like in the 12th episode where she yelled at Barbie during the red team's punishment for seemingly no reason, and her antagonizing and bashing Danielle in front of the whole team due to Danielle not being able to eat bull testicles as easily as Kimmie could.
Ramsay accuses Jen of crossing it in season four, when after her attempts to sabotage voting led to the remaining chefs conspiring to have her eliminated (by having Corey, one of their best chefs, against her) she was so pissed off that she allegedly sabotaged Petrozza's chances of winning.
Russell's consistent threats of violence throughout the series, then the threat of sabotaging the other chef's careers because he did not win.
Season 4's Jen constantly talking loudly over everyone else nonstop
Season 7's Benjamin's constant use of, "Oui, Chef."
Dana's denial of her fish being prepared improperly during the Season 10 finale, even though they were very overcooked. She kept insisting "No, they're not. No they're not." at least half a dozen times. It got to the point where Andi and Chef Ramsay had to intervene.
Season 11 has Mary with her very squeaky voice, which some people consider as this. To her credit, she seems to realize this and has, a couple of times, jokingly deepened her voice only to go back to speaking normally.
Season 12 has Simone, whose voice is both breathy and squeaky at the same time.
Season 3's Tiffany was an okay chef. However she'll be forever known for her utter dislike of fan-favorite Julia, being one of "Hell's bitches", and how she stated about how Julia, "works in a fuckin' Waffle House."
Most of the time, Season 4's Rosann wasn't too bad (personality wise). But she'll forever be remembered for joining Corey and Jen in constantly trying to throw Christina under the bus, and actually managing to throw Shayna under it.
Season 5's Ben telling Danny "You couldn't cook my cock!"
Season 12's Jason pretty much destroyed any chance he had of the fans rooting for him to win when he blew up and threatened Sandra after the red team were sent in to bail the blue team out of a terrible service. Aside from that he was shown not to have that much of a problem with women (certainly no more than several of the women, especially Melanie and Joy, did with the men), got along well with Rochelle and Melanie and respected Joy as a contender, but the image of him as a raging misogynist was just too firmly planted in the minds of the show's fans. It even resulted in some accusations about the nature of his relationship with his girlfriend when she showed up in the penultimate episode.
Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Andrew of Season 7, just...Andrew of season 7. The sound effects Lampshade it, thankfully he left the show in the second episode.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After Season 1's Jeff quit, he got into a physical fight with Chef Ramsay and ended up being injured. Sadly, the cameras weren't around. Urban Legend has it that a similar thing happened to Season 6's Joseph.
Replacement Scrappy: Gloria, the red team's sous chef in Seasons 4 and 5, was nowhere near as popular as her predecessor Maryann, mostly because Maryann had shown she could kick ass as well as Chef Ramsay and Scott, whereas Gloria seemed to spend most of her time on the show standing by the pass and looking as if she'd rather be elsewhere. The red team's following sous chefs, Heather and Andi have mostly averted this; Heather already had a lot of fans from her original appearance on the show, and Andi gained a lot of respect when she helped Chef Ramsay and Scott rescue a service that the red team had screwed up royally. It probably doesn't hurt that Andi is among the best-looking sous chefs to appear on the red team, and she can also kick ass when it comes to dealing with contestants' attitudes. For the most part, she is quiet. But she has shown a few times that she is just as Badass as Chef Scott as she will give lip to contestants who disrespect her. Such as kicking a cook out of the kitchen, something no sous chef in the show's history has ever done.
Many also see the new Maitre D James as this in comparison to Jean-Phillipe, as most of the time he dosen't seem to have a grasp of what's going on and he comes across as rather bland and is nowhere near as funny or charming as JP was.
James is even considered this in-universe. Season 8's Emily was very disappointed when he showed up, and called his accent "unsexy".
Season 11's new male sous chef, James, is also seen as this by many, as he has generally little presence (at times you may even forget he's there) and just doesn't have the inherent badass attitude, authority and presence that sous chef Scott has and fans love. Time will tell if this will become a case of Growing the Beard
Narm Charm: The narration and sound effects can be hilariously over-the-top at times.
Padding: Season 10 is extremely guilty of this. The usual events that unfold during each episode in previous seasons - the post-elimination cooldown, the reward challenge, the reward/punishment, the dinner service, etc. - get stretched out into two installments, and it shows. The extra time doesn't really give more insight into the groups, and exist only to produce more episodes. The only exception to this was the opening episodes, and the episode that aired before the MLB All-Star Game (the latter making the Padding all the more obvious).
Season 11 brings padding back in spades, now stretching out the elimination segments so that viewers have to wait until next week just to see who is getting kicked out.
Averted for the most part in season 12, which only had two cliffhangers (though only one was for an elimination, while the other was just to see who won a challenge).
The Problem with Licensed Games: The show received a PC game adaptation which is considerably milder than the show. Ramsay looks very odd (Spoony's description was that he looks like he's made of Play-Doh) and doesn't swear or even really raise his voice unless you deliberately screw up repeatedly. There is no competition factor, and seating people is one of the challenges. The game isn't really bad per se — as Spoony pointed out, it would be pretty decent for an iOS app or a free flash game — but it isn't worth the $30 asking price.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Bobby from Season 4. In the first service of that season he was assigned to be the Blue Team's captain, and screwed up royally, to the extent that Ramsay took the captain's badge off him and gave it to Louross halfway through the service. The only real reason he survived elimination that week was because he was put up against Dominic, who was probably the worst chef ever to have appeared on the show up until that point. In the following weeks he improved, though, and was named the Best of the Worst in the fourth service. After that he became one of the more liked chefs from that season's bunch, to the point where many fans were genuinely upset when he got kicked off the show in favor of Jen.
Barbie from season 10. At the beginning, the fans could not stand her passive-aggressive demeanor as much as her teammates. However, once the red team turned increasingly dysfunctional, Barbie decided that she's better off keeping her mouth shut, and just focus on the cooking. A wise move, since it kept Barbie away from the excessive drama that befell her teammates, while she improved her cooking abilities in the kitchen. This was most notable when Barbie picked up Tiffany's slack during prep and dinner service later on, despite Tiffany blaming her failures on Barbie, and also very notable a little later on when she had a great service alongside her teammates and then was ordered by Ramsay to take over the blue team's meat station, where she led the team into finishing their service by cooking and communicating flawlessly. As a result, the fans have warmed up to Barbie considerably.
Dan from Season 11 might have become this. Known for being a complete jerk with bad ego problems throughout his run at the season, he still kept those traits for the final service. However, at the end when it was revealed that Ja'Nel won (he was working on Mary's team for the service), he shows a true Pet the Dog moment by hugging the sobbing Mary, apologizes to her and promises to make it up to her one day.
Stop Helping Me!: It's not uncommon for contestants to get angry at their team members for trying to help them with their station, exclaiming that they knew how to cook. It's pretty common for them to then proceed to fail because they rejected outside help.
Although for some contestants, they reject other people's help and then prove that they really could cook by themselves. One of the best examples is Dave from Season 6, who continuously rejected people's offers to help him with his broken wrist. He said that he could and had to do things by himself. He proved that by winning the competition.
Jason from Season 12 is also a notable example, but unlike the other contestants, he actually did not need the help at the time and only screamed at Sandra because she took over without communicating with Jason first.
Matt from Season 4 accidentally cutting off the tip of his finger.
Again in Season 6, when Andy accidentally cut off the tips of his fingers.
Also done in punishments, especially when contestants have to sort through dumpster trash or eat things like Balut(duck fetus) and lamb testicales.
Suspiciously Similar Song: The show's theme song, "Fire" by the Ohio Players, gets this when the show is rebroadcast outside of the US. It's also used on the DVD releases, as they apparently couldn't get the rights to use it on them.
Take That, Scrappy!: One of the show's biggest appeals is to see Chef Ramsay scream at TheScrappy for their performance and bad attitude. Usually, one or two make it pretty far. But a lot of them tend to be eliminated early.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Jean-Philippe not returning to the show for season 8 for some mysterious reason (being replaced with another guy with a similar accent) had several fans spouting this trope.
Unofficial word is that Jean-Philippe may eventually be back - he was called away to deal with a situation in one of Ramsay's restaurants in France. However, as of season 9, James is still the maitre'd.
Ramsay has now stated via his Twitter that JP will be back for season 10.
Good news (really): JP is now back on the crew for Season 11, however, Blue Team Sous Chef Scott Leibfried is committed somewhere else, so he is replaced with James Avery.
Too Cool to Live: In a non-fatal example, Cha Ji-Hyun, due to her twisted ankle.
Averted with Dave, who went on despite his injuries, and won.
Also averted with Kevin, also from Season 6, who went on despite his injuries and made runner-up.
Jason in season 9, who managed to impress Ramsay with tacos, appeared to be an all-around great chef and had a beard worthy of a Viking; unfortunately, he suffered the same fate as Antonia. After starting to have trouble breathing in the prep for the first service, he was rushed to the hospital and never came back.
Thankfully, Jason came back in season 12, and proved himself to be one of the strongest chefs on the blue team, managing to get all the way to the final two but was defeated by Scott.
Wangst: Lacey from Season 5, who had a tendency to start whining and crying after performing poorly, and would frequently complain about how her teammates hated her (in reality, it was this that was the cause of most of it).
Elise from Season 9 would immediately start to cry if her team lost a challenge, or if it looked like she might be eliminated. Because of this, you'd usually see her tear up at least once an episode. Ramsay immediately called her out on it and her fellow contestants mocked her for doing so (unlike Lacey however, she was often grumpy if things didn't go her way)
Season 12's Beth also. It seems as if she'd cry at any moment when things weren't going well. Every time she was up for elimination, she'd cry. This was usually limited to the Confessionals, however.
What an Idiot: Season 6's Joseph during his Elimination Statement, saying that anyone would be proud to hire him...immediately after he blew up on national television, displaying a horrendous temper and an inability to follow instructions. (Oh, and threatened to beat up his boss, I'm sure that would go over great in interviews.)
Off-screen example: The winner of Season 11, Ja'Nel, was unable to take up the job at Caesar's Palace because they tested positive for cocaine.
And now a similar thing has happened to Dave from season 6, who was found in possession of massive amounts of heroin and cocaine, as well as sharing company with a known drug baron. How...disappointing.