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.
YMMV: Mark Does Stuff
Applicability: Everything seems to map to class struggle and/or Mark's personal experiences.
"Angel wanted to escape his horrific past, so why shouldn’t he get to decide how to portray himself to others? It reminded me of my first year of college."
Big Name Fan: The site was brought to Neil Gaiman's attention while Mark was reviewing American Gods, and Gaiman read through a few pages and loved them.
To quote Mr. Gaiman, "I enjoyed your American Gods read so much. It was like getting to look through a reader's eyes & find out what worked."
And then he warned Mark on Twitter that he didn't think The Sandman really got good until volume 2.
J. August Richards Tweeted that of course Gunn would marry him.
Seanan McGuire alerted her Twitter followers in record time when he started reading Newsflesh.
And at the same time, Tamora Pierce was alerted that he was starting the Tortall Universe and quickly wrote back. She later said that Mark's reviews made her re-love the series in a way she hadn't for years, and sincerely thanked him for them. She's now a regular commenter on the site, under the name "Scrivener212."
NK Jemison managed to find him and become a fan before he even started reviewing her own work.
Broken Base / Hypocritical Humor: Some of Mark's discussions about social justice can cause heated debates in the comments of the posts. These tend to come down to violent differences of opinion between pro- and anti-social justice warriors, with the former defending Mark and latter attacking him.
Ensemble Darkhorse: The commenter "enigmaticagentscully," actually a British woman named Alice, got a sizable fanbase of her own while writing her own thoughts on viewing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel for the first time. Mark got several questions asked about her, and some even suspected they were the same person.
Fan Dumb: Once he reached the period of Buffy where Spuffy became canon, the really ugly side of the show's fans came out, with equally vitriolic arguments on Buffy or Spike being the worse of the two, including Mark getting spoiled for Spike's Moral Event Horizon attempted rape of Buffy when he came out in support of Buffy by a person who somehow thought it would make him understand Spike better (yeah, that didn't make sense to him, either). The result was the biggest mass banning in the site's history. Some people also thought it was somehow a good idea to send rape threats to people who had defended Spike. Mark quickly came down on them as well.
Harsher in Hindsight: While reviewing the Buffy episode "Blood Ties," he says that with as depressing as the show is at that point, at least Joyce is still alive. He quickly posted in the comments that he'd already seen "The Body," and rereading the review before posting it made him cry all over again.
It quickly happened again as during his review of "Spiral," he said the only thing he was sure of about the season finale was that Buffy wouldn't die.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Many of the comments Mark's make during his reviews will be quite amusing to him upon later viewing, due to it inadvertently predicting or being ironic about something which will happen in the future of said book/show. Of course, to readers who know the work, it's funny in the present.
From his first reading of Harry Potter, his early comments in Philosopher's Stone about spiders and his readers' amusement about them became clear with the reveal of Aragog in the next book.
Also during Harry Potter, Mark frequently requested that certain characters he disliked "DIE IN ALL THE FIRES". This was quite funny in light of Crabbe's eventual fate.
In The Hunger Games review, Mark wonders whether Suzanne Collins will be able to kill off a character, especially children; he then read her kill off about half of her cast of characters in a single chapter.
Another common wish for particularly vile characters is that the earth would open up and swallow them. This paid off with the fates of Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter in His Dark Materials.
From his review of the last chapter of The Hobbit: "Would you let me walk into a volcano if you knew a certain path led straight into it?" Even better, the review is actually a Real Person Fic of Tolkien reading the book to his son Christopher, so you can easily read it as how he got a certain idea.
Plus, Tolkien insisting there are no ghosts in Middle Earth.
From his review of Lord of the Rings Book II chapter 8 — and note that Mark read the books before watching the LotR films —
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the time he wrote an entire paragraph all about how Willow was straight but he still wanted to be big gay friends with her. For bonus irony, this all happened one episode before Tara was introduced.
...I refuse to be judged for projecting my big ol’ gay life all over you Willow. I don’t even care that you’re straight, you are my big ol’ gay best friend and this is all I want from you...
"Hush" was the one episode whose title had been spoiled for him as one of the most popular episodes, so he posted the notes he took while watching it, preceded by an introduction written before he saw it, where he worried that there wouldn't be any interesting dialogue to make the approach worthwhile. One of those notes is "WHY DID I SAY THAT? I REGRET EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE."
In his review of "Conversations with Dead People" he told Andrew to give up, as the Scoobies would never let him join them.
The epic Wendy Davis filibuster took place shortly before he reached "The Stackhouse Filibuster" in The West Wing.
One that skirts the border between this and Harsher: One of his first comments about Alex Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist was to note how he seemed to be an exaggerated version of Mark himself. And from all we've heard, the relationship between Mark and his sister is rather similar to Alex and Olivier's.
Noted himself in his previous remarks about Selim in Fullmetal Alchemist that were wildly off course.
While watching the Veronica Mars episode "You Think You Know Somebody", he notes that he's regretting saying so much nice stuff about Troy
His very first comment about Aaron Echolls: "Much nicer than his son."
Ho Yay: It naturally comes up a lot, but reached particularly epic levels in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood with the meeting of the Armstrongs and Curtises. He declared Alex and Sig's flex-off "the gayest thing I've ever seen."
He decided to write about The Princess Bride as if the metafictional S. Morgenstern story was actually true. Inevitably, some people didn't get the joke, resulting in every single chapter getting comments telling him that it wasn't real.
During The Sandman, his inexplicable (even to himself) habit of calling the Endless "the Eternals."
After branching into video games, he quickly picked up a new one with his references to GLaDOS as "they."
Did you know Song of the Lioness feels so rushed because Tamora Pierce had to conform to maximum page limits of the time?
Calling rear attacks in Dragon Age "butt stabbing."
"I am not a villain created by Disney." Originally said by someone who got into an argument with Mark before being banned, and constantly parodied thereafter. From October 24 to Halloween, Mark and several long-term commenters changed their icons and usernames to those of Disney villains. Mark's was "Killer of Bambi's Mom" and had no picture.
"Jet is a cop?" Referring to how he managed to miss and/or forget the several references to this in Cowboy Bebop until Jet's past was explicitly part of the story.
Mixing up "buffet" (a self-served meal, where the "t" is silent) and "buffet" (to hit something, where it's not).
His complete inability to remember if the word "fief" is pronounced "feef" or "fife" (it's the first one).
Never Live It Down: He managed to completely avoid meeting Leliana in his first time playing Dragon Age: Origins. Many commenters now love to bring up how awesome she is just to taunt him.
The Princess Tutu reviews brought out the Ahiru/Fakir shippers in force. You'd expect that they'd call themselves Team Fakiru, but thanks to the fact that Ahiru is called "Duck" (a literal translation of her name) in the dub, they called themselves Team Fuck instead.
So Bad, It's Good: His opinion of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "I Robot, You Jane": This is not the worst episode of Buffy. It’s so awful that it loops around to becoming an abstract art piece about the archaic nature of human interaction. It’s so awful that it’s as if the people made it specifically to appear on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s so awful that…well, it’s a waste of time and energy to spend one second hating it.
His opinion about The Room. Its especially good if you're surrounded by thirty drunk friends while watching it.
Spoil At Your Own Risk: Mark's spoiler rules are very simple; if he's going to review it, and hasn't seen it yet, do not mention it. His fury shall be hard and swift.
Look at the number of comments on the Mockingjay chapters: They go down and down and down (or just say 'Can't talk or spoilers will fall out')... until the last two chapters, when people can finally talk about what happened.
Mark calls River Song his soulmate because of their similar attitudes toward spoilers.
It's now become general practice to write spoilery comments in rot13, as it's easy to just paste them into rot13.com and do it again if you want to read them.
There's also a Spoil Blog which acts as a "Place To Contain Yourself" if you want to discuss stuff. Also filled with lots of fan art and discussion related to the stuff Mark's reviewing.
The Woobie: He'll occasionally go off on a tangent about his early life if a scene in something he's reviewing hits close to home. From all evidence, his first 20 years or so were ridiculously depressing.