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.
Damsel Scrappy: This is the characteristic once strongly associated with her. Ironically, it can be argued that Lois' role as a Distressed Damsel was far more important to the Superman plot than her role as a love interest, Depending on the Writer. In the 1940's, she did need to be rescued a lot (usually while pursuing a news story), but was fairly intelligent and could sometimes get herself out of scrapes by kicking ass and taking names. Once the 50's, 60's and early 70's came around though... Yeesh. She was an empty headed twerp who was constantly putting herself in danger for no reason, and whose sole goal in life was to trick Superman into marrying her. She took Too Dumb to Live to uncharted levels. In recent comics and other media she's a much more well rounded and developed character, who is extremely competent and able to take care of herself. She still needs to be rescued sometimes, and the trope may pop up occasionally, but for the most part she's a very independent, intrepid and intelligent reporter who just needs a little help against super powered aggressors from time to time.
The sixties-era book Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane seemed dedicated to making sure every single reader hated poor Lois. If you Google around, you'll find scans of multiple letters columns where readers asked for Superman to spank Lois (which would in fact occur, though in the context of Super Dickery). A few may have had other motives than scrappyhood, though.
Even when there's neither any Super Villain's ill will nor a big scoop one jump away from her window, she can be trusted to find something dangerous. Letters on the label are bigger than her eyes, so... they just don't fit in, right?
Starting late in The Seventies comics, Lois was written to be more assertive to avert this trope, and needed rescuing much less often, including in her solo stories in The Superman Family. This included Lois having mastered a Kryptonian form of martial arts named "klurkor."
Being associated with this trope is probably what spurred John Byrne, in his Post-Crisis retelling of Superman's origin, to make it very, very obvious that Lois was now an Action Girl. This eventually led to an Inversion immediately after her wedding to Clark when he was kidnapped after temporarily losing his powers. Lois took her Army brat background to extremes, becoming a G. I. Jane in order to come to the rescue.
Fair for Its Day: The "I Am Curious (Black)!" story was actually widely praised for being a sensitive look at racial relations... when it was first published. Similarly, there was at least one story where Lois was rendered temporarily blind, and it dealt with the subject in a non-patronising manner... by the standards of the Silver Age.
Older Than They Think: The Xenafication Lois received with the John Byrne Post-Crisis 1986 reboot didn't actually invent the idea of her being a Badass and Damsel out of Distress, it was actually returning her to her Golden Age roots—where she really was quite the badass—and undoing the wimpification that the Silver Age had inflicted on her (this is very similar to how the 1980's also saw Batman shed his goofy Silver Age persona and return to his gritty roots). Indeed the only part of her badassery that was actually new was the part about her coming from a military family, as this provided a backstory for how she achieved her toughness.
What an Idiot: In one story, Lois gets an interview with Superman... by jumping out of a window, completely certain that he would show up to rescue her. (He does, but what if he'd been in outer space?)
Amusingly referenced much later, when a powerless Clark does the same thing to get an interview with the new hero Supernova, and Lois berates him for taking such a stupid risk.
She repeats this stunt in Superman II, as an attempt to force Clark into revealing himself as Superman to her, with humiliating results.
And of course, the simple fact that in most incarnations she can't see that Superman is Clark Kent and vice versa.
What Could Have Been: Jerry Siegel intended to have Lois learn Superman's dual identity early on and get a Relationship Upgrade back in 1939 or so; as it happened, this didn't occur until the mid-1990s. By refusing to let Siegel go this route the publishers of DC at the time may very well have ruined her for decades to come.
However, Man of Steel follows this idea. Not even 20 minutes (film-time) after she meets Clark does she find out who he is and where he's from (she visits Smallville and the Kent farm herself).
Smallville also finds a way to go back to Mr. Siegel's original idea: since most of the series occurs before Clark becomes a publicly-known superhero, the mysterious rescues Lois is involved in remain a total mystery to anyone not in on Clark's secret at first, and then after Clark goes public, he initially does so by super-speeding around as "The Blur", whose face is not visible thanks to his super-speed. By the time Clark becomes Superman, Lois is already aware of his secret and actually coaches him on ways to protect it.