The video game series:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Due to Itoi's penchant for leaving a lot of elements of characters' personalities, motivations, and stories implicit or merely hinted at rather than stating them outright, as well as the relative drought of direct interactions between major characters during the first two games, you can find any number of interpretations of just about any character in the series.
- Cult Classic: The whole series.
- Discredited Meme: Among the fangame circle, naming your fangame along the lines of "Mother /insert number 5 through 10 here/" has become this, thanks to a long list of parody fangames poking fun at people trying to follow the success of MOTHER 4's attempt at being an Original Flavour fangame for the series. It's gotten to the point that attempting to post such a game on the Starmen.net Forum, whether serious or not, will get you temporarily banned after posting it unless you change the name for it almost immediately.
- Hype Backlash: The Newbie Boom that happened after the Wii U Virtual Console re-releases of EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings caused some newcomers unaware of the Sacred Cow status of the series to point out its otherwise overlooked flaws, some even going to the point of calling it overrated. This more affected EarthBound and MOTHER 3 though, since EarthBound Beginnings being a divisive game has made it an Acceptable Target for criticism. This has not gone well with the older fans. Even the newcomers who praise it have been given backlash because...
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Surprisingly, given the series's Sacred Cow status over the years. Upon EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings being released on the Wii U eShop and thus allowing it to be known to a larger audience, a Vocal Minority of old guard has been in an uproar about it the more newcomers get into the series. It's gotten to the point where a few have proclaimed they don't want MOTHER 3 to be rereleased in America, so it can "stay something unique" to the people who were in the cult fanbase years before the above rereleases. note
- Memetic Badass: The art style being what it is, it often overlaps with Memetic Badass Adorable. Ness and Lucas are strong kids with powerful psi, but fans would have you believe their bats could kill gods and Rockin'/Love Omega would damage the fabric of the universe if both were done at the same time. Princess Kumatora is joked to be a powerful spellcaster that other princesses of Nintendo franchises would do well to stay away from, even if the princess part isn't technically accurate. Cue jokes that the likes of Zelda, Lucina, and Palutena gave sighs of relief when she was clearly too powerful to join the Smash roster.
- Flint qualifies too. He survives two PK Love Omega and is shown standing perfectly. Also helps he's dressed the same as Chuck Norris.
- Memetic Mutation:
- You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas' attack! Explanation
- Clay models means we totally mean business, guys. Explanation
- We've been taking Shigesato's nostrils too lightly! Explanation
- His nostril hair already has a vice grip on our heart! Explanation
- "No problem here!" Explanation
- Sacred Cow: Boy, was it ever...Though this status has become increasingly downplayed over the years thanks to more people getting into the series (and pointing out its flaws).
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The cartoony style and odd sense of humor make it hard to believe at first that this is one of Nintendo's darkest franchises. On the other hand, those traits can serve to make it even darker.
- To show how dark it is, the third game begins with the player's wife dying, the player having a mental breakdown, and the player's son going off to fight the creature that killed his mom.
- Zero-Effort Boss: Quite a few under certain conditions.
- The Reconstructed Caribou is a force to be reckoned with when you fight it...until you pin it down with Wall Staples and unload the bombs you got from the Bazaar on it. Or if you don't have bombs but are great at comboing, just do that.
- The Fierce Pork Trooper can cause a ton of damage to you, but if you have any DCMC merchandise, he's a joke. This is the case for both of his fights.
- The Cactus Wolf may be a bit difficult, but keep in mind that Fassad can bum-rush for much more damage than your attack or Monkey Mimic. He also occasionally throws a Bomb for an easy 300 damage. Not to mention you probably got a few bombs of your own...
- Magnificent Bastard: Jin-tae blaming Do-joon for vandalising the expensive car, knowing he canít recall anything else. Quite a dick move, considering how poor Do-joon and his mother are.
- Tearjerker: Oh yes:
- Ah-jungís background.
- Do-joon recalling his mother trying to commit murder-suicide.
Do-joon: Donít bother coming to visit me again; I donít want to see you.
- Near the end, when the mother asks Ah-jungís boyfriend if he has a family; he says he doesnít, with an ignorant smile, and she breaks into tears, knowing that no-one will save him from the murder accusation.
- At the end of the film, when Do-joon reveals the pins his mother forgot in the house where she killed the only witness who can confirm that Do-joon actually killed Ah-jung, and the mother finally uses them on herself.
- The Woobie: Poor, poor Ah-jung...