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.
The Jacqui and Gilly rape drama. It started out as an interesting storyline due to the fact that the rape drama was showed from both points of view, and that Hollyoaks fans were offered the chance to work behind the scenes to decide if Gilly would be found guilty or not. He wasn't, and the aftermath was dealt with in an impressively realistic manner. Then it went on. And on. And on. Episodes consisted of Jaqcui bleating ''E' RAPED MEH' in the streets, and Gilly being tormented by most of his peers despite the fact he had been found innocent. While impressive drama, most viewers agreed that it went on for far too long.
Unfortunately, this storyline returned to the forefront of the show, on Gilly coming back to the village. Although it's Rhys, Jaqcui's other half, who is going around screaming that he raped her.
For some, Silas's reign of terror which has stretched out to almost a year now.
Stendan, the circles of abuse and Ste going back to Brendan without anything changing just to be abused. Again.
Will acting like a victim in a wheelchair when he's actually murdered his fiancée and his own mother and can walk perfectly well. The only people who find out what he's really like tend to end up dead, and it's been going on for over a year now.
Alternate Character Interpretation: A lot of Jacqui's behaviour, mood-swings and why her preferred mood of talking involves screaming at people, actually makes a lot more sense if you interpret her as having an undiagnosed case of severe manic-depression or borderline personality disorder.
The same is potentially applicable to Mercedes.
Jasmine/Jason. Since she wasn't born a hermaphrodite, was her desire to become a man because she had gender identity disorder and genuinely self-identified as a male? Or was it because, as Riley once suggested, all her life she'd been throwing her toys out of her pram, screaming for people to pay attention to her? While the former was ultimately shown to be the correct one, s/he had a lot of It's All About Me moments that certainly gave pause to the latter possibility.
Is it true love that keeps Ste returning to Brendan, despite all the emotional, psychological and physical abuse he's endured at his hands, or is it more likely that he's suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome?
The conclusion to the Jacqui and Gilly rape storyline. Flashbacks were retconned so that Jacqui actually said 'no', while earlier she had testified in court that she hadn't actually said no. So a clever storyline that started out as both Gilly and Jacqui being right turned into a Gilly bashing session that saw him leave the village. Needless to say, even the viewers who disliked Gilly aren't happy.
The introduction of Esther Bloom as Frankie Osbourne's grandaughter, since her father is stated to have been Frankie's son. Who was never mentioned at all during Frankie's tenure on the show, despite her having four other children as characters on the show. Said son was the one Frankie had while she was just sixteen; her parents had told her he had died shortly after birth, while he had actually gone on to eventually father Esther.
Kevin, the friend of Elliot who claimed to be an alien, created a Beacon to signal Proxima Centauri... which is located in the Southern Hemisphere.
Crowning Moment of Awesome: Louise dressed all in black making a dramatic entrance to interrupt the wedding of Mercedes and Russ to reveal that Mercedes had slept with Warren.
Designated Hero: One of Hollyoaks' main problems is that most of the main focus is on characters who are truly horrible human beings.
A good example comes in the storyline where Claire kidnapped, tortured and threatened to murder Mercedes and Paul. Given that Mercedes is a psychotic Femme Fatale and Paul is an unrepentant murderer, Claire could be argued to be actually the least villainous of them all.
Doug Carter is villainised beyond belief by some 'Stendan' fans. He's berated for acting like a normal, concerned fiancé when Ste gets tangled back up in Brendan's business, and with good reason too; Ste almost gets shot. Doug has his bad moments like anyone, but from listening to his bashers, you would think he was worse than the man who's a murderer and an abuser.
Silas, considered to be one of the most popular and interesting characters that ever appeared on the show. Oh and he's a 65-year-old serial killer.
Epileptic Trees: If one imagines Hollyoaks is actually an alien recreation of an extinct humanity, based entirely on salvaged copies of Heat magazine and Hello, it's surprising how much the plots and characters start to make sense.
Fan Nickname: Among those watching the show as a guilty pleasure worthy of mocking, anyway. Popular in forums, as some cast members are easily defined by one unique feature/personality trait; among them: "Speak n Spell" (Sasha), "Potato Head" (Zak), "Skoda" (Mercedes), "Bitchtits" (Justin), "Dull & Duller" (Tina and Dom), "Spock" (Ste), "Easter Island"/"Angry Pederast" (Warren), and "Rubbish Tranny" (Kris).
Foe Yay: Walker seemed to enjoy his various revenge plots against Brendan, a little too much.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Sinead once openly mocked Jaqcui McQueen's fashion sense to the point of almost breaking up with Jacqui's cousin Bart over it. Few months down the line and Sinead's sense of style is the exact same as hers, tacky leather trousers, animal print tops, scraped back hair and all.
Ho Yay: The early days had a lot of this. Kurt Benson (Jeremy Edwards) and Jambo Bolton (Will Mellor) spent rather a lot of time together topless and standing close to another.
Lauren Valentine. She ruthlessly turned against Anita, her own best friend, because she dared to be friends with her boyfriend at the time, Newt. She not only teamed up with Gaz to bully her, she also made out that Anita was bulling her, getting her into trouble, and turning Newt against her. Lauren finally comes clean, Newt clearly wants her to suffer for what she did, only for Anita to say that it's okay.
Magnificent Bastard: Silas. He manages to get away with murdering his wife and three young girls while coming across as a lovely old man, and makes it look as if Lynsey is going mad for trying to rightfully out him as being a murderer. He set up cameras in her home to watch her every move, and was Genre Savvy enough to remove them before the police searched the place. When Lynsey knocks Silas unconscious in the woods, he even manages to make out that he's been in France all morning. He then gets Brendan arrested for the murders, because he was starting to suspect him, and had warned Silas to stay away from Lynsey.
Narm: Some of the storylines tend to feature this;
Jacqui's repeated declarations of "E' Raped Me!" during the Gilly storyline, Steph using "But I've got Cancer!" as justification for pretty much everything and Myra's hysterical wailing "But I'm dying!" when she actually wasn't.
Narm Charm: Texas' tragic death by defenestration. Due to the magic of slow-motion, the three seconds it should take to fall from a second storey window, gets stretched out to nearly half a minute and as a result, accidentally goes from horrifying to almost hilarious in how over the top it's played.
Sarah Barnes dies when she goes parachuting & both parachutes fail. As she plummets to the ground, the camera stays with her for several minutes as she realises she's going to die & helplessly screams for help. The camera only cuts away several seconds before impact.
This scene is made even worse when the camera pulls back, and if you've got a sharp eye, you can see blood staining the stalks of corn in the field where she fell, and covering quite a wide area.
Rae is strangled by Silas just feet away from where her friend Theresa and crush Will are kissing. She tries to call out for help, but can't.
Portmanteau Couple Name: Jacqui's actress coined one for the relationship between her character and Rhys Ashworth; Ja-Rhys
In universe, Lee comes up with 'Lamy' for him and Amy.
Also in universe, Esther comes up with 'Rono' for Ruby and Jono.
There's 'Stendan' for Ste/Brendan, and 'Stug' has become the name for Ste/Doug.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: For many, Ruby was redeemed for her past behaviour due to how badly she was treated by Maddie for no good reason. Some even want her bitchy behaviour to return, just so she can get even. However, her actions in the Esther bullying arc may have somewhat reversed this.
Phoebe has gained some popularity after being helpful to her surrogate mother figure Jacqui, by calmly dealing with finding an unconscious and bleeding Carmel in the house when Jacqui is too shocked and upset to think clearly, and for trying to help Jacqui and Rhys sort out their relationship.
Phoebe also won major points by sticking up for Esther when no-one else would. She also attacked Maddie for bullying Esther, and has even threatened to go further if Maddie just doesn't back off.
Leanne is becoming increasingly popular since the writers realised her comedy potential and evolved her into The Ditz. So that's three Scrappies who they've managed to rescue. Hollyoaks are good at one thing at least.
Rooting for the Empire: Due to many of the characters being insufferable or villainous at the best of times, many people where actively rooting for Silas during his killing spree. To the point where at least one magazine even ran a poll asking which annoying character the viewers wanted most to die!
During a fire at The Dog in The Pond, Joe Spencer saved both Zoe and and Kris, before going back to help Olivia. Zoe rings his mobile to check that he's okay, and they hear it ring. Kris remarks that 'People like Joe are just born lucky' right before they realise the ringing is coming from a bodybag.
Hannah's friend Melissa dying in hospital from anorexia. Melissa wasn't the nicest of people, but it's heart wrenching watching Hannah put on her make up for her, because she's just too weak to.
It got even sadder as the storyline went on. In the episode when Melissa died, Hannah was crying over her corpse and desperately hoping that she was still alive, and in a later episode Hannah saw Melissa's ghost/her memory of Melissa waving goodbye to her.
Tina dying in Dom's arms after the church explosion, her last words begging him for forgiveness after cheating on him and breaking his heart. Made even worse, when he finds that he can't forgive her, even after he death.
Mercedes, John Paul, and Carmel volunteering their lives in said incident to both protect Tina, a mother, and Michaela, the youngest.
Max dies on his wedding day by running out into the road to protect his little brother Tom.
Mike Barnes being told of eldest daughter Sarah's death, in The Stinger of the episode. No dialogue, just the silent shot of Mike breaking down as he realises what happened.
The Costellos reactions to finding out their mum had died.
Nancy losing her baby is one hell of a Tear Jerker storyline.
Lynsey's death. It's even one in-universe and she was basically The Messiah compared to everyone else in the village, with no-one having a bad word to say about her.
Esther's suicide attempt was an absolutely heartbreaking episode.
Hannah Ashworth definitely qualified. She suffered from an eating disorder and tried subtly to talk to her friends about it, but they didn't notice. She was deeply in love with her boyfriend John Paul, but he was struggling to come to terms with being gay. Hannah later befriended Melissa, another girl with an eating disorder, and saw Melissa die right in front of her. Then there's her being sectioned, finding out about her best friend Sarah's death, almost dying herself in a fire... and that's not even a complete list! More recent examples include Doug after contemplating suicide, and Carmel during her facial scarring storyline.
Esther, oh poor Esther! The poor girl can't seem to catch a break, especially when Maddie starts to spread rumours about her, and then acts innocent when Esther calls her on it. And punches her. Then you get the normally laid back Darren blaming her for Jack's heart attack, when it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then Esther ends up in situations where she's picked on, somehow ends up with her underwear showing, and is filmed and the resulting video is put on YouTube.
It manages to get even worse after Esther's main tormentor is killed; Esther is instead blamed for the crash that killed her, and is tormented further by Ruby and Sinead. The entire school turns against her, her own grandparents believe Ruby, a known liar, over her, and there are no adults on her side whatsoever. The only people to stick up for Esther are Tilly, George and Phoebe, and even then teachers refuse to believe that Esther is being bullied when bottles of piss are thrown at her in the corridors on a regular occasion. Then Esther tries to kill herself.
Tom Cunningham. In order, his father, mother, baby niece, older brother/surrogate father figure, and sister-in-law/surrogate mother figure all die, his parents within weeks of one another; his widowed sister-in-law's second husband & Tom's second surrogate father figure is accused (But eventually cleared) of rape, but leaves the village anyway following the Retcon that he did commit rape. And all before he's hit puberty. Then another potential father figure, Darren, is tricked into believing he's nothing but a little pervert and a liar, and has too left him behind for the time being.