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YMMV: Jem
  • Acceptable Target: According to Christy Marx, the Jetta character was originally African-American. Executive Meddling on the part of Sunbow is the reason why the Jetta character is now a white British woman.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Several characters (Clash, Stormer, and Kimber) are considered lesbians by fans in fanfiction.
    • The relationship between Stormer and the Misfits. Is it simply a case of Stormer being a pushover and the Misfits being bullies who really do care about her, or is it a warped, abusively co-dependent relationship, where Pizzazz and Eric have successfully made Stormer think that, without the Misfits she is nothing, instead of the other way around, since they depend on her as the overall creative force behind the band.
  • Anvilicious: Alone Again, sadly, since the first five minutes are soul crushingly depressing. Then Laura Holloway starts taking generic red-and-yellow pills, starts thinking she's a crazy bird, and then starts looking as if she's aged forty years. The public service announcements also crossed into this territory from time to time.
  • Bizarro Episode: Several, but the strangest one of all has to be "The Day the Music Died". It starts with the opening credits being interrupted by Kimber, who tells the viewers that there won’t be a show today, and gets weirder - Starlight Records goes bankrupt (in the FIVE DAYS of Jem's disappearance) and gets bought out by Pizzazz’s father, the surviving Holograms and Stingers are pressganged into a Misfits super-group that includes three keyboardists, four guitarists and one saxophone, and the whole thing is presented as a documentary-type show (the cause of which is never explained) that frequently breaks the fourth wall.
  • Broken Base: Misfits versus the Holograms.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song is truly, truly, truly outrageous. Since the music-oriented nature of the show meant you got roughly three songs per episode and the diversity of the bands on the show meant they crossed into a few different genres, the show is practically an Ear Worm factory with pretty much any given song having fans who will sing it at given.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Stormer. Her popularity is likely due to being the only member of the Misfits who actually has standards. Yeah, she joins in whenever they pull harmless pranks and usually gets roped into Pizzazz's schemes by association, but she's never shown acting malicious on her own. She was the only one who was nice to Ashley when she tried to get the Misfits to be her friends, and later helped her prove Jem's innocence when she was framed for robbery (granted she was in disguise). If it wasn't for the fact that she's such a pushover, you'd have to wonder how someone like her ever joined a band like the Misfits.
    • This is not to say the evil Misfits don't have their fanbases. Indeed, the whole band could qualify as an Ensemble Dark Horse, even though they're the villains.
    • The entire show was one huge Ensemble Darkhorse; it originally aired as the token girl segment of "Super Sunday" (AKA: "Super Saturday" depending on what station it was airing on) an anthology series of male-centric shows (including Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines and Inhumanoids) but managed to outshine the rest of the shows and, along with Inhumanoids, was advanced to full series status (with the segments expanded to full-length episodes).
  • Foe Yay: Between Kimber and Stormer. The Bands Break Up episode was rife with Les Yay subtext, and the final shot of the episode has the two girls hugging in a way that looks like Stormer is kissing Kimber.
    • Jerrica and Eric have some too; Jerrica had something of a crush on Eric as shown in the episode "Out of the Past", and used him to try and make Rio jealous.
  • Fridge Brilliance: A lot of people complained that Jetta's cockney accent should have tipped off that she was lying about her life, but that was the point, as it was criticizing the American misconception that all Brits are posh. Christy Marx specified that the actress should NOT have a Cockney accent and went for more of a working-class British accent with actress Louise Dorsey (who she hired because she actually was British and Marx was tired of Americans doing awful Cockney accents in their demo tapes.)
    • In The Fan, Synergy has to warn the Holograms that Jem is dangerously close to revealing her secret to a group of actresses paid by the Misfits to pretend to be the Holograms and the Starlight Girls. We've seen in multiple episodes that Synergy is able to speak to Jem through the earrings, and could've just warned Jem herself. Then you remember that the Misfits had been secretly recording Jem the entire time she was in the false Starlight House, and any attempt to warn Jem would've been caught on tape.
    • As friendly as Kimber, Pizzazz and Danse are with men, you have to remember that none of them have any father figures in the picture since they are either dead, away all of the time (and pretty inattentive when they are home) or missing/presumed dead and they are with them to find a substitute for such a huge role lacking in their lives.
  • Fridge Logic: When Jerrica loses the Jemstar Earrings, everyone panics because Jem won't be able to perform on time. Since the difference between Jem and Jerrica is hair and make-up, why doesn't she just put on a wig and different clothes until the earrings are found?
    • Because with the earrings Jerrica's able to create holograms of Jem, or herself, to throw people off on her secret. Without the earrings it would be insanely easy for Jem's secret to be revealed if the wig fell off or her make-up ruined. Plus, the earrings also project much of the special effects, sounds, and other theatrics they use in their concerts that aren't possible with mid-1980's technology.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: A number of people call the show Jem and the Holograms because its the name of her band...but its not actually the name of the show. The Nostalgia Chick makes this mistake in her series review. More recent broadcasts on The Hub by Hasbro and Shout Factory's North American DVD release have released the show under this title, suggesting they have genuinely recently renamed the IP as of 2011. Fortunately, the show's title cards have not been altered to reflect this.
    • The French dub averts this with the official name of "Jem et Les Hologrammes".
  • Idiot Plot / What an Idiot: Many a Jem episode had our heroes' ignorance/inexperience of what's going on around them come off as downright stupidity (although this may be Fridge Brilliance due to the fact that they are all teenagers at the beginning of the show and Jerrica and Kimber's father and the other girls' guardian, Emmet Benton, died around this time or earlier and wasn't able to teach them about how to handle more adult situations like finances and the like). Sadly enough, this continued down to the final episode where they were looking for Ba Nee's biological father and came across this sleazy guy in Las Vegas who was a little too eager to be her Dad and he isn't; he just went along because he thought they were rich and he could exploit them and Ba Nee to his benefit and to pay off his debts. Even after the bad vibes the women got from him and the fact that he kept mispronouncing "his" daughter's name, they still had no insight or common sense that would have allowed them to stop him from taking her away (and Unfortunate Implications abound here, since it can also look like they were too trusting of this stranger they allowed into their home and eager to hope he was her father, not out of concern for her welfare, but to just get her out of their hair.)
    • Possibly the best example was the episode "The Fan", where a rich, spoiled brat of a fan had a newspaper ad where he was willing to pay anyone to help him discover Jem's real identity which The Misfits took advantage of and together, they ended up bringing Jem to an exact replica of the Starlight Mansion, holding an elaborate birthday party in her honor (although she knew it was not her birthday) and hiring fake actors to pose as the Holograms, Rio and even the Starlight Girls. Despite the fact that "Kimber" and the other Holograms kept asking her about her real identity, they could not play their instruments, "Rio" knew the secret of her identity AND she saw "Jerrica" come into the house, she never had the common sense to just walk out of the door and get out of a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Les Yay: The song "I Like Her Style" could be construed as a lesbian love song, especially since Pizzazz and Jetta seem to have a bit of chemistry in the video.
  • Memetic Mutation: The scene of Rio kicking over a potted plant in frustration.
    • "I HATE DECEPTION AND I DESPISE LIARS!"
    • Riot and Minx were in Nirvana before "that Cobain kid" came along.
  • Moe: Raya comes pretty close. Innocent. Super shy. Adorable. They even drew her with Tareme Eyes.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Eric Raymond and the Misfits should've crossed this multiple times with the way their schemes endanger lives, but the Misfits cross this in The Fan, when their latest plan to have Jem reveal her identity almost causes her to suffer a complete mental breakdown. It actually makes the easy acceptance by Jem of the Misfit's Heel-Face Turn in the finale a little inexplicable.
    • It is implied that Jem forgave the Misfits for Stormer's sake.
    • Eric crossed it when he burned Jerrica's dead mother's master tapes of her music after holding them for ransom note 
  • Narm: A lot of the content in the series can be considered this, including the terrible animation, some of Jem's music videos which cross into Tastes Like Diabetes territory, Rio's tendency to throw temper tantrums concerning Jerrica and Jem, and the Alone Again episode.
    • Narm Charm: But a lot of it makes the show enjoyable.
  • Painful Rhyme: The first bridge in "Time Is Running Out".
    "We'll never stop, there's too much at stake, come on, baby, let's go for it!"
  • Periphery Demographic: It was aimed at girls, but there's no question that Jem had a large male fanbase, mostly due to boys who had a crush on Jem or one of the other girls in the show.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The Stingers were introduced to phase out the Misfits in Season 3. Reportedly, this was due to parents finding the Misfits dolls too scary for their children. This didn't go over well with the fanbase, who generally far preferred the Misfits.
  • Rooting For The Misfits
  • The Scrappy: Kimber, on account of being the little sister and her annoying habit of yelling "outrageous!" whenever anything happens.
    • There's also Rio, and a lot of people on YouTube don't like Ba Nee.
    • A lot of people hate Jetta for being a complete witch to fan-favorite Stormer, who was the one to got her in the band, and to a lesser extent, how she treats Roxy.
  • So Bad, It's Good
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In Video Wars, Video explains that her career as a filmmaker is quite difficult, since she has to constantly work hard at maintaining her success. Despite everything, she doesn't give up on it and loves her work. This wasn't presented in an over-the-top, ridiculous sort of aesop, nor was it even the main message of the episode, but it acts as a nice way to tell kids that having careers and jobs are never easy, but if you love what you do and keep at it, it's all worth it. The show itself seems to be an example of that message; disregarding the animation, the staff obviously put a lot of effort into the characters and gave them distinct personalities.
    • With the exception of Eric Raymond, Techrat, and Zipper, the writers made it a point that neither the Misfits or the Stingers were pure evil and had their soft sides (especially Stormer), and that there was a reason why they were like that. The Holograms weren't pure and had their flaws. This seems to say that people have multiple aspects to their personalities, and that even so-called perfect people have their hang-ups, and the worst offender might not be so bad given the chance.
  • Values Dissonance: It's hard to imagine that as late as 1985, writers had trouble portraying foreigners as much more than cultural stereotypes.
    • Subverted in Raya's introductory episode. Raya's father actually encourages her to play the drums and join the Holograms. Her mother plays it straight when she states that playing the drums is not feminine.
  • Unfortunate Implications: All of the dangerous situations that the Holograms found themselves in were all worked out by being rescued by Rio (or some other man, often working with Rio), sheer luck or using the Jemstar earrings to summon a hologram or tell Synergy to help them (this also counts as a Family-Unfriendly Aesop as well as being a broken one.
    • In the Misfits song "Designing Woman", Pizzazz sings about not being the kind of girl who is obsessed with/dependent on a man/men, yet in several episodes, particularly any with Riot in them, she is seen as having her head easily turned by a man in an attempt to get a guy to notice/fall in love with her (case in point, the song "Love Sick".)
  • Writer Revolt: Christy Marx originally envisioned the Misfits as a trio of self-absorbed sociopaths that Eric found and forged into a band, which could fall apart at any moment due to Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer being willing to betray each other at a moment's notice if it would advance their respective careers. Similarly, to appease moral guardians, their songs would be "anti-moral" as far as promoting the worst aspects of human nature. The other writers rejected this outright and we got the kinder, gentler, vitriolic True Companions Misfits everyone loved.

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