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.
Lady Gaga, being the person she is, is open to a lot of debate, among fans and others.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Subversive intellectual champion of gay/women's rights, manipulative artist taking advantage of those fandoms, or gullible corporate shill churning out generic unoriginal pop tunes? As often happens, the truth seems to lie somewhere in the middle.
Is she a talented singer who created her quirky personality and fashion sense to rise above the pool of unsigned talented musicians? Or is she just a generic singer/songwriter who created the quirky personality as a desperate grab for attention? Depending on how much the person making the analysis likes her and her music, she falls somewhere between all three.
Is she entertaining because she's an empowering example of women's rights? Or because she's an incredibly scary Humanoid Abomination?
How much does she really care about universal equality, this ranges from "She's just using the outcasts (gays, misfits, anybody outside the norm) and putting them on" to "She is genuinely out to better the world, but thoroughly misunderstood in the way she chooses to do it."
Is her calling freaks freaks, misfits misfits and calling her gay fans "effeminate queens" considered pandering to that audience? Is that a good thing or a bad thing, is she alienating those she's trying to help fit in, or isolating them so she can use them for their money (For better or worst). Related to her character because either she's an evil genius manipulator or someone just trying to help the world be a better place...
"Born This Way." Is it possible to be less subtle?
Part of why it's so effective is that it's someone so audacious as Lady Gaga is telling the people listening "Hey, it's okay for you to Be Yourself. If people hate you for it, don't let it get to you. You're beautiful." and whatnot. On the other hand, Fred Rogers spread that same message for four decades and never once wore a meat dress.
"BadKids" also qualifies: "You're still good to me if you're a bad kid, baby."
She lost the 2009 Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2009 American Music Awards... to Gloriana, a One-Hit WonderCountry Music group. In an awards show where country music artists almost never even get nominated in the all-genre awards.
"Poker Face" has become one of the top dance songs of the past decade, and possibly one of the biggest since the 1980s. Then "Bad Romance" came out and topped that. "Born This Way" has already no. 1 on the Billboard 100.
Not extreme yet but it's getting there. It started with "Telephone" and extended to "Alejandro". Recently some fans have been saying that she is no fun anymore.
Since the release of the "Born This Way" single, fans seem to have been locked in an endless debate as to whether is was really as groundbreaking as Gaga promised or just a rehash of Madonna's "Express Yourself", with a subtle bit of the Gap Band's "You Dropped a Bomb on Me."
The cover for the Born This Way album. Which Gaga blamed on Nick Knight and the Haus of Gaga.
Fans of The Fame vs. fans of Born This Way. Fans of the former will say that Gaga is no fun anymore, while fans of the latter will dismiss The Fame as vapid and fake when compared to Born This Way.
The Fame Monster gave us "Dance in the Dark", which was so universally loved by her fans, she actually posted on Facebook questioning whether she ought to make "Alejandro" a single or not. "Bad Kids" a la Born this Way is also getting the treatment on YouTube.
"Yoü And I", to the point of becoming a single!
"Bloody Mary", hands down. So many people on YouTube have campaigned for it to be the Lady's next single, it's insane.
As a testament to this sentiment, a fan made a nigh-professional fan video for Bloody Mary. Watch here
Epic Riff: Poker Face, Paper Gangsta, Teeth, and Bad Romance.
Fan Hater: Some of the Hype Aversion experienced by Gaga at certain point partially came down to this as Little Monsters don't really have the best reputation on the internet.
Lady Gaga fans versus Taylor Swift fans. Any thread discussing the former will bring up the latter as a point of debate, and vice versa. Gaga fans scoff at Taylor Swift's Tastes Like Diabetes love songs and "antifeminist undertones", while Taylor Swift fans dislike Gaga's hypersexual/controversial image and prefer their pop to be sweet. For the record, Gaga has said that she loves Taylor Swift, and Swift said the same, so the whole thing is pathetic. It's just the fans, not the personalities.
Also, there seems to be a rivalry between the Little Monsters and the fans of every other diva. Fans of Christina Aguilera and Madonna are particularly aggressive in their hatred. Gaga fans are nasty and elitist to these woman too. And yet again, Lady Gaga likes and respects the women (well, just respects Madonna), making the whole rivalry pointless.
Also, between Plague Rats of Emilie Autumn and Gaga's Little Monsters.
For actual friction between personalities, Katy Perry seems to have a distaste for her.
Faux Symbolism: Sometimes there are so many visuals in her day to day life, her music videos, her shows, her outfits, some of them seem meaningless or don't make sense or directly conflict with the idea she says they are for, see Don't Ask Don't Tell Clueless Aesop in the Music tab.
Fetish Retardant: Invoked. Though some have noted that she has the oddest habit of wearing makeup that makes her look like a man in drag, Lady Gaga has confirmed that she does indeed that she does this on purpose for whatever reason this may be.
Anyone else remember the "Just Dance" lyric 'control your poison babe'? Well it didn't seem important at the time, but then came the video for "Telephone"...
Internet Backdraft: Lady Gaga's hatedom is just as passionate as Little Monsters. A few of her actions has also had some backlash:
Gaga has been accused repeatedly of cultural appropriation, most recently with her song "Aura", which has drawn criticism for sexualising the burqa. The fact that Gaga has worn several glitzy "burqas" and initially referred to the offending track as "Burqa" really doesn't help.
During Pride Month 2014 she made a poorly-worded tweet that seemingly referred to herself as a straight person who supported gay rights. Basically, this led to detractors claiming that she has lied about being bisexual for a good 5 or 6 years and piggybacked fame from the gay community.
Les Yay: With her makeup artist Tara Savelo. There are pictures of them kissing on the lips and laying in bed together.
"Sexxx Dreams" seems to be about a female friend who she had a sexual dream about. She mentions her boyfriend being out of town so maybe they could experiment?
Magnum Opus Dissonance: She feels that ARTPOP is her best work yet, but many Little Monsters think she reached her apex in Born This Way. Some fans, and most not so ardent/fence sitting fans prefer her The Fame Monster work the most.
It is common for Little Monsters to use 'ü' instead of 'you' or 'u', due to Lady Gaga saying "this album [Born This Way] is for ü [Little Monsters]."
Laurieann Gibson, Gaga's choreographer, becoming a laughing stock in the Little Monster community after she went on an unintentionally hilarious Twitter rampage. Two tweets that went memetic were "listen u disrespectful fuck they had an issue on set I don’t lie!!!!!" and "ignorance breeds all this bad tweeting about someone u don’t know.", which morphed into just "you disrespectful fuk" and "ignorant breeds" respectively.
Mondegreen: "One second I'm a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me" (Koons being the artist Jeff Koons) from "Applause" is commonly heard as "One second I'm a kunst, then suddenly the kunst is me". Fridge Brilliance and Bilingual Bonus kicks in when one realises "kunst" is German, Dutch and Estonian for "art".
In the Bad Romance video, towards the end, we get a shot of her draped in a polar bear rug, pulling an epic pose with fire in the background. It's hilarious, jarring and it's one of the best moments in the entire video.
So much of "Telephone", but especially the dialogue.
Beyoncé: You've been a very bad girl. A very, very bad, bad girl, Gaga.
Another "Telephone" example:
LET'S MAKE A SANDWICH
The Gagacycle on the cover of Born This Way is arguably this.
Speaking of Born This Way, "Hair" qualifies. It's about comparing her desire for individuality with her hair. it works!
"Work it, Black Jesus."
Gaga's ham-tastic speech at the beginning of "Bad Kids."
"Dirty pony I, can't wait to hose you down."
I could be your girl/Girl, girl, girl, girl, girl/But would you love me/If I ruled the world, world, world?
I'll dance, dance, dance/With my hands, hands, hands/Above my head, head, head/Like Jesus said.
The Meat Dress. Years after she wore it, people still bring it up when chastising her outlandish dress.
Her SXSW performance of "Swine", in which guest performance artist Millie Brown chugged a bottle of neon-green-colored milk, then purged her throat and puked it all over Gaga.
The perceived flop of the ARTPOP era. The lead single "Applause" didn't see as much success as smash hits "Roar" and "Wrecking Ball"note Although "Applause" was successful in its own right.. ARTPOP got rather low American debut sales for an album that was heavily promoted note Rumors that said Gaga's label lost $25 million due to the album and had to lay off staff didn't help. and anticipated, while Prism and Bangerz did much better. BEYONCÉ's massive success despite literally no prior promotion made before its release made ARTPOP look worse in comparison. Naturally, Gaga's haters are thriving in their opportunity to call her a flop note Which is inaccurate. While the argument could be made that ARTPOP underperformed, it still became the ninth best-selling album of 2013 with 2.3 million copies sold. "Applause" and "Do What U Want" did well on the charts (only moderately in the latter's case), and artRave: The ARTPOP Ball has been a success thus far..
She's offended quite a few people and organizations. While many are strict conservative groups, a surprising amount of race and gay right activists don't appreciate her having appointed herself their spokesperson (words taken from a magazine article). While her methods are...somewhat unorthodox, she did play a part in getting the U.S military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy reversed, but public opinion of her has been (and more than likely will be) divided for some time.
Her influence on DADT is open to interpretation, some think she just jumped on the band wagon, some think she caused it to change, some think it was just going to happen and she just helped it happen faster.
Uncanny Valley: Wears incredibly thick makeup, unusual hair, and ridiculously high shoes.
Try not to cringe at the horror that is Goose-Gaga in the "Applause" music video.
Win Back the Crowd: "Aura", a considerably more fun and less serious track, drew back many folks who had dismissed Gaga after "Born This Way" took a turn into the preachy and serious. "Artpop" also regained many fans who ditched her due to Born This Way.
Some of her recent costumes have been less flashy and more "normal", likely as a way to avoid alienating her more casual fans.
Les Yay: The scenes between Beyonce and Gaga seem to reflect this.
Faux Symbolism: On top of her usual incredibly dense (and somewhat confusing) symbolism, this one is packed full of red skintight nun habits, Knight Templar robes (though the trope itself doesn't quite apply), and EATING rosary beads.
She told Larry King before it premiered there was a central theme about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. While it might be hard to pick that up on its own, knowing about it in advance and applying the context could result in a Tear Jerker.
Other sources, like the director, have said that it's about moving on after losing your love, and that the Rosary eating was symbolic of wanting to take holiness into one's self. The video is...layered.
She's recently taken a hit for refusing to let Weird Al release a parody of "Born This Way" after insisting to hear a finished song before she gives it any further consideration (something Al took time off of his family vacation to do). While refusing the parody is understandable (Al's been turned down by other artists before with no genuine hard feelings) the fact that all proceeds from the sale of the song and its video would go to the Human Rights Campaign (a LGBT group that Gaga would presumably support) is where the real controversy starts to kick in.
Faux Symbolism: The number of Biblical/Christian allegories in the music video (and the song itself) is astounding, see Theme Naming in the Music tab.
Misaimed Hatedom: This song got a whole lot of flak from evangelical Christians... Even though Gaga clearly states in-song that "Jesus is my virtue" and "Judas" is used as a metaphor for the kind of people that good people should avoid.
Marry the Night
Les Yay: Gaga mentions the nurses who are wheeling her bed - "You see that nurse on the right? She has a great ass." *nurse bends over* "Bam."