YMMV / Joan of Arcadia

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Judith
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The episode "The Rise and Fall of Joan Girardi" delivers two: Joan randomly going from a revered hero to a hated outcast based on one high school reporter asking completely unfounded questions about her heroism, and Adam's boss blatantly stealing his idea (i.e. committing plagiarism) and everyone's reaction is essentially "oh well, that's the risk of being a teen."
  • Glurge: You could make a drinking game for every time two people in the show tearfully hug in slow motion.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Luke doesn't look like he's related to the rest of the Girardi family at all.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Usually at least one an episode.
  • Ho Yay: Luke and Friedman.
    • Also a Les Yay between Joan and Judith.
  • Moment of Awesome: Quite a few. To give one example, when Helen shreds Vice Principal Price for telling Joan she has no academic future
    Helen: See, I get that you are disappointed in your own life, I don't blame you, but this girl hasn't abandoned her dreams yet, and so to try to steal that from her, to try to rob someone of their future, I'm pretty sure you go to Hell for that. Tell her you were wrong.
    • And he does.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Iris' voice.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Judith starts out annoying, arrogant, callous, more than a little jealous of Joan's other friends, incredibly irresponsible, and there are even hints that she might be trying to steal Adam away from Joan (or Joan away from Adam, for that matter). However, as episodes go on it is revealed that she is actually a very loyal and caring person when properly motivated. Key moments in her evolution include her blocking the bulldozer to keep it from destroying Joan's garden, her telling Adam how much she values Joan while they're building his kinetic sculpture, and her behavior surrounding Joan and Adam's first official date, which it is strongly implied she planned in its entirety. And then, in a Tear Jerker moment, she is murdered.
  • Seasonal Rot: If the second season had continued in the same spirit as the first season, there might have been enough viewers for a third season.
  • Second Season Downfall
  • Tear Jerker: Judith's death.
  • The Woobie: Luke is very often neglected by his family in favor of Kevin and Joan, a fact he comments on frequently. His parents even forgot his birthday dinner, instead inviting Will's boss. Joan, Grace, Adam, and Friedman can all float into this territory once in a while, whereas Judith probably would as well if her problems weren't to a certain extent caused by herself.