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.
Gary is usually seen as a good guy who just needs to grow a little backbone and learn to stand up for himself. A few people have argued that Gary's supposed "niceness" is nothing more than passivity, and the only reason he's not a jerk is because being a jerk would require more initiative than he's got. After he went through several hours in Paris basically ignoring the continuous verbal catfight between the two women he was with, and paying little attention to the one with whom he was nominally on a date in favour of the other, his clueless passivity perhaps ascended to a kind of rudeness all his own. And when he made an amazingly tactless remark to Senna about having broken up with her, some readers felt that she couldn't be blamed for hitting him in the face.
For a long time, DiDi was one of the strip's sweetest characters, before her quest for an orgasm brought out a nastier side to her personality. Reexamining how she treated her past boyfriends, along with implications that their failure to satisfy her may be partially her fault, some readers still think that she's a genuinely nice woman whose ditziness makes it difficult for her to know how to properly interact with people. Others began to feel that she's a selfish person who only knows how to act nice, and that she ultimately only cares about her own gratification.
Combining this with Ambiguously Bi... Sandra's character page entry describes her as straight (mostly, anyway) and her relationship (and intimate moments) with Matt demonstrated she's no slouch when it comes to men. But her night out and subsequent dinner date with DiDi raised a number of questions about precisely how straight she really is. Although the girls decided they weren't as bisexual as they thought, there were several moments that suggested romantic/sexual attraction was in fact taking place (most notably #438); it's possible there was genuine chemistry between them offset by inexperience with women and fear of the unfamiliar, or alternatively that DiDi had a childish infatuation with her friend that didn't transfer to the sexual while Sandra's suspect moments were platonic affection mixed with shock, confusion and embarrassment, coalescing into Stupid Sexy Flanders.
Author's Saving Throw: For years, fans had been getting increasingly tense at how Zii seemed able to do whatever she wanted with no repercussions, while Gary suffered terrible luck often through no fault of his own, and even some of the good things that happened to him ended up having drawbacks down the line. This culminated during volume five with Gary and Yuki's one-sided relationship, which led to the fanbase blowing up and an increasing number of readers complaining that Gary's suffering had long since crossed the line from slapstick to Dude, Not Funny!. Volume six has things going fairly smoothly for Gary, with most of the bad things that happen to him being clearly because of his own blunders instead of bad luck. Zii, by contrast, has her past coming in to bite her in the ass from multiple directions, along with her worldview being seriously shaken when she finds out what Gary's been up to. While some fans are skeptical at how long this more balanced state of affairs is going to last, for now most readers are enjoying it.
Base Breaker: This comic's discussion boards see a fair amount of squabbling among readers...
Have a strong opinion about Zii? Don't worry, by all appearances, so does just about everyone else. Examples of these diverging opinions can sometimes be found scattered across various pages on TV Tropes, too.
Both Yuki and DiDi have also inspired arguments; Yuki over whether or not she's nuts or a psychopath and deserves to be locked up, DiDi over whether her search for an orgasm has made her completely unsympathetic or not. The strip "A hundred times more" (September 22, 2012, NSFW) added more fuel to the fire in Yuki's case, and now the fanbase is divided over the nature of Yuki's feelings for Gary, and whether their on-off relationship is healthy or not. Her stint as Gary's girlfriend, a relationship that took a lot of strips to work through, did NOT help matters either way.
Also, Sonya. She's either disliked for being a jerk and tactless for petty reasons and for her constant advances on Zii, despite Zii being on a relationship with Erik, or still liked for her ditzy sexiness and ability to bounce back from setbacks. However, nearly everyone sees this as Zii's former seduction of Sonya coming back to bite her in the earlobe. Sonya has slipped down the moral scale with her ruthless pursuit of Zii, although her vulnerable or sentimental sides emerge just enough, from time to time, to at least keep her interestingly complex for some readers.
Since the "Amber tricking Gary into giving her oral" incident, readers have been divided over whether Amber is likeable or not — although that's no longer much of a live discussion among fans, and a lot of readers have warmed up to her.
On the male side, we have Erik. People think that Erik is either cool or terribly bland. And there's also the matter of his relationship with Zii; it either worked well and was a good thing for the story, or didn't quite work out.
Gary too inspires debate. It's not exactly a love/hate division, but he's still pretty base-breaking in the sense of having readers who like him the way he is, readers who like him but wish he'd grow a spine already, and those who find him bland and boring due to his lack of assertiveness. The fact that he bordered on Cosmic Plaything with his Butt Monkey credentials does NOT help, and his escape from that status is more a matter of luck than effort on his part.
Senna has been seen by readers as, variously, cute if vain and ditzy through to cute but downright psychopathic, but that's not her really base-breaking feature. The trouble really blew up when she let Gary get drunk (arguably through carelessness and inattention rather than deliberately), and then seduced him. (To be fair, she was pretty drunk herself too.) This led to, let's say, a fair bit of debate on the boards over issues of consent and responsibility. Her transgender status confused the issue further, as Gary identifies as heterosexual; some readers doubted that he's willingly have sex with someone with a penis while he was sober, even if she did look like an international lingerie model, whereas others noted that he always seems to have found her very attractive when she was dressed, despite having seen that penis.
"'Gently Caress' You" features, from the main characters, only Zii and Gary while any other appearing character in that episode never returns. It's solemnly focused in a revenge-based plot that has never been mentioned again in the comic.
Similarly, in "Babes in Toyland", the never-to-be-brought-up-again plot focuses on Zii and DiDi accidentally "breaking" one of Gary's Transformers and seeing what to do with it. Some consider this to be a payback to Zii for her actions in the previous Bizarro Episode.
Crack Pairing: We have a cast mostly consisting of good-looking people, many of them bisexual. And then we have Eulice the hideous landlady (even if she does suffer from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome). Hence, "Eulice and <somebody else>" has become fans' standard joke response to any suggestions about possible pairings.
Zii is this to a number of fans, due to never facing any sort of repercussion for her actions pre-Character Development.
Yuki for some. She too rarely seems to face any real consequences for her violence and self-absorption.
Cry for the Devil: Sonya had developed stalker-ish tendencies towards Zii, and her relationship with Gary was largely about using him for sexual satisfaction and to make Yuki jealous, (and she dumped him, fairly politely but in the middle of sex, when she realised that she found him boring). But then, when she realized that Zii didn't reciprocate her feelings, she went back to sleep in Gary's bed, weeping and in need of a hug (February 19 2013, strip 710, NSFW).
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: While more mundane than most instances, as the rest of the page can attest, every significant character is heavily flawed, or at least heavily controversial. There have been some readers who gave up on the strip because they reached the point where they felt that they couldn't truly sympathize with anyone. Alternately, some readers only find Gary symphathetic, and get fed up because they feel the nicest character is the one who suffers the most.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Junghan is really popular among the fanbase. During his long absence, people kept wondering if he'll ever come back and how he's the best character of the comic. Since his return, each of his appearances (including a brief but entertaining cameo in Sticky Dilly Buns) is welcomed with much rejoincing. People acknowledge that he's a better character if he doesn't get too much focus, though.
Evil Is Sexy: Most characters in this comic are good-looking and get a bit morally unreliable at times, but Senna, who is probably the most flagrantly amoral recurrent character, in a petty sort of way, also happens to be the one with an international modelling career. Matt, who's just a bit of a jerk, seems to have slightly less spectacular success as a model, but still rates high for looks.
If you pay attention to Gary's shirts they often reflect his moods or what's going on in the comic, or provide a humorous punchline. For example, in early comics he often wears an X-Men logo, marking him as the only virgin in the cast; when Dillon moves back in he usually wears a Fantastic Four shirt, reflecting the four people who then live in the apartment; when he finally loses his virginity he's wearing a shirt that says WWWYKI; when Yuki forces him to touch DiDi's breasts in an effort to help improve his art he's wearing an Adventure Time one; when Yuki explains to him why she decided to move in he has Decepticon logo, because she's lying to him; and he wears a Kirby one when he visits Amber, refering to him continuously eating Yuki out.
If you pay attention Gary is almost never standing up straight, but is usually hunched over. This reflects how extremely meek and beaten-down by life he is.
In-comic example: Here, Zii ponders over who to bring to Dillon's play, and imagines Sonya, who would likely be very angry with her, having a blow-up and trying to strangle her. But then Zii stops and wonders aloud "Wait... why would she wait until we got to the play to get mad?"
And for another in-comic example, that some readers didn't pick up on for days: in strip #489 (August 20, 2011, NSFW), Gary thinks his gay ex-roommate is giving him kissing tips. Instead, he just used the "oral technique" to give three of the greatest ever orgasms to his favorite porn starlet. The comic had recently started titling individual strips, so if you read the name of the strip before you read the comic, it dawns on you before you even see it.
Also, when DiDi is trying to seduce Gary so that he uses the "Swirly-Go-Round" technique to give her an orgasm, she tells him that she will be showering alone and naked. Gary asks her how she normally showers.
Fridge Horror: Given that DiDi's orgasm is apparently strong enough to makes fingers sprain, what do you think would happen if it was a man's penis that was inside her vagina at the time? (Though it's more probable that it was her thighs that hurt Kiley's hand, rather than her vagina per se.)
Yuki's lines inthesefourstrips, considering the path her relationship with Gary took, count as either Harsher or Hilarious, depending on how one views the situation as a whole.
Talking of hindsight hilarity — Zii promised to have Gary up to his neck in naked women by the time he was thirty. On his thirtieth birthday, Gary ended up discovering the drawbacks to being more or less literally up to his neck in naked women.
Mary Sue: Some say Zii is one, of the Jerkass Sue variety. Such readers see her as a sex-obsessed sociopath who enjoys manipulating straight men into performing acts of gay sex on camera for her amusement, as well as stopping anyone else from getting into relationships — especially if she's sexually attracted to one (or both) of them. The complaint is that she receives (or at least used to receive) little or no comeback or negative feedback for any of her actions, which would arguably be Moral Event Horizon moments if performed by a male character. See also the notes on Double Standard, Protagonist-Centered Morality, and Questionable Consent on the comic's main page. Whether she's a Mary Sue rather than, at worst, a Creator's Pet, might be arguable, though, and later strips have seen a fair bit of Character Development biting her pert backside.
Zii was the original prime candidate for this status in this comic. A kiss from her can apparently turn women lesbian — cases in point, DiDi and Sonya.
Although DiDi subsequently decides that she's straight (mostly — her occasional experiments with lesbianism don't go well).
And in Sonya's case, it could just be that someone as experienced as Zii cares more about Sonya's pleasure than her boyfriends ever did. It seems to be more of an Armoured Closet Gay problem there, anyway: if you look closely at the strip which shows her first seduction, she's already got her hand up Zii's shirt, and her catchphrase rapidly became "I'm not a lesbian!" Sure you aren't.
Then there's Gary's favorite (ex)porn star Amber-Amber, who also happens to be Zii's old highschool best friend. The reason she became a porn star? Zii made love to her so good that she decided that she had to make a career out of sex.
In addition, Matt comes pretty close to Zii's accomplishments, and sometimes seems set up to be her male counterpart.
Gary also seems to qualify, despite originally being a virgin, and never yet mastering any kind of deliberate seduction skills. It's complicated.
Primarily, a good portion of the fanbase sees his "swirly-go-round" kissing/oral technique (which Amber pointed out is different than Dillon's, and can cause greater effects) as an addictive drug. That's right, Gary can get women addicted just with swirly tongue-work.
He also manages to attract international lingerie model Senna through nothing but his geeky goofiness, and she subsequently comes up with a series of bizarre delusions and half-truths to explain what's going on in their relationship. By strip #912 (July 24, 2014, distinctly NSFW), Gary literally has multiple women queuing up for his tongue, and the issue isn't really memetic any more. The core gag, though, may be that Gary can't handle female interest — in large quantities — any better than he can handle female indifference.
His memetic status has also been acknowledged within the comic; in strip #925 (September 09, 2014, NSFW), Peggy refers to Gary as an "urban legend of sex" (causing Matt's brain to crash, as Matt last knew Gary as a hopeless virgin geek, and Matt has a hangup on the subject).
Yuki. True, she's screwed up in the head having been traumatized by being exposed to her father's tentacle hentai at an early age and has nymphomanic lesbian tendencies towards Zii. But, when she's not having one of her episodes, she really is cute. Especially when she tries.Assuming you're a fan, that is.
Moe Couplet: Yuki and Kiley. Each is moe on their own, together, they bring out each other's positive traits. By making to the call to Kiley and agreeing to therapy, Yuki shows her willingness to change for the better by overcoming her fear of penises in order to pursue a relationship with Gary. While Kiley's efforts to help Yuki emphasises her supportive nature (despite her own issues) and her willingness to help. Bonus points for sharedwoobie moments, which ups the moe factor ten times over.
Kiley and Gary too, in their appearances together since hooking up there's usually at least one exceptionally cute/heartwarming moment
Also Gary and Yuki; of particular note is their first kiss.
Never Live It Down: Though it's maybe been a while since the last time she's done it (much less in comics time than in real-world time), Yuki's infamy for kicking guys in the nuts (due to her extreme phallophobia) has become established to the point where various members of the cast are quick to snark on her for it, including Jung and Sonya. And when she went to Kiley's place for more therapy, Matt remembered and recognized Yuki as "the crotch kicking girl" and dove for cover.
One True Threesome: Around the start of volume 7, Gary and Zii began to show slight hints of a new mutual attraction, while Yuki referred to both of them together as her loves. This caused some fans to note that a relationship between these three might actually work quite well and even be stable.
Pandering to the Base: A harem comic filled to the brim with Ho Yay and Fanservice, where sex and hardcore situations are teased constantly, but nothing seriously explicit ever occurs, some think mainly for purposes of building a fanbase who will wait patiently for "the big moment." And until that big moment comes, the artist has made some softcore porn of the characters for sale while they wait.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Multiple cases. Basically, while few readers would consider this comic a masterpiece of subtle characterisation, most of the cast have both virtues and flaws, which are amplified for comic effect. Hence, some of them garner a bit of fan hatred when they do something bad early in their time on the comic, then confuse the readers who dislike them by doing something good.
To some, Zii gets rescued from the heap when she acts supportive of Gary's budding relationship with Kiley and preventing DiDi from sabotaging it — and then consoles him after Kiley dumps him.
Amber, while not a Scrappy per se, falling more into the Base Breaker category, had readers who previously disliked her warm to her when she supported Gary over Yuki's failure to give him any form of physical affection.
Matt, with his nigh-pathological inability to remain faithful in a relationship, is unpopular with a lot of fans — who then get very confused when he provides Gary with genuine help with understanding his sexuality, or shows a sensitive, intuitive side in his dealings with Kiley.
Sonya recovered some fan affection when, after finally getting and enjoying Gary's oral attention, she reminded him that there were advantages to dating a woman without Yuki's weird phobias — by cheerfully jumping him for conventional sex. Compared to his relationship with Yuki, this constituted Gary catching a huge break.
Admittedly, she then dumped him a few days later — relatively politely, but with terrible timing.
And she caused some to take said affection back and punt her back to the Scrappy Heap hard enough to score a Field Goal come Chapter 6, when she shows glee at having apparently caused Zii and Erik's break up through her manipulations (combined with Zii's alcohol-driven loss of inhibitions). As this not only is likely to leave Zii crushed, but also imperils Zii's (and for that matter Sonya's) dreams of following a musical career, Sonya's joy looks short-sighted as well as selfish. Though some were happy to see Zii hit with what they see as Laser-Guided Karma...
Gary appears to be firmly stuck in a ghetto by his own choice. He's a wannabe artist, in Paris and offered a chance to visit a whole range of classic and modern art galleries and collections — but his first instinct is to dive into a video games shop. To be sure, he wants to be a comics artist, and he subsequently displays a broad, informed knowledge of that specific field, but the idea of drawing inspiration from any non-comics artists, or even just admiring non-comics art, doesn't seem to occur to him.
Conversely, Senna demonstrates an old-fashioned high culture disdain for comics art here. Apparently, she's never heard of Pop Art, or any of the fashion designers (i.e. people working in her own field) who are influenced by comics styles, or anything else on those lines. Given that Roy Lichtenstein was producing comics-based "high art" a good fifty years ago, some readers wondered what the writers were thinking there (and also shared her exasperation with Gary to some extent). One possible conclusion is simply that Senna is nuts.
The Scrappy: Being a long running comic, it has many characters in constant competition for this spot:
Dillon, post flanderization, with a recent increase in cloudcuckoolander tendencies and campiness, and taking his flirting with Gary a bit too far, which can be nerve-grating for some readers.
Matt, due to his jerkass ways so far as romantic monogamy is concerned, plus his Karma Houdini moments.
DiDi, thanks to her efforts to undermine Kiley and her willingness to break up her own (admittedly casual) relationship with Matt just so Gary could give her an orgasm or two, and by her attempts to persuade Yuki to let her have use of Gary. It almost seemed like she was trying to invoke this trope.
Yuki, who was already a scrappy for those who weren't fond of her self-centeredness and childish tendencies, became an even bigger scrappy after the events following "A Hundred Times More" (September 22, 2012, NSFW), having Gary continuously give her Swirlies, while not giving him any form of physical affection.
Seasonal Rot: Volume Five received complaints of this nature, due to an overfocus on Yuki, along with seemingly switching the focus of the strip from "People having sex" to "People getting interrupted while trying to have sex." Volume Six may have reversed this problem for many with a massive plot switch and the return of some popular minor characters, albeit maybe at the cost of some loss of a sense of realism.
Stop Helping Me!: There's a sense among some readers that Gary should have said this to Zii at some point when she was supposed to be helping him get a girlfriend. Yuki also demonstrated how not to carry somebody downstairs when in search of medical attention.
This. The blonde is Dillon crossdressing for a play, for those unaware.
And they seemed so happy together... You can almost hear both their hearts break: Gary, because Kiley is the first girl he's had actual sex with and he seems to be really, genuinely attracted to her, even though they have only known each other for a day; Kiley, because she really likes Gary, who does not mind (and actually likes) her boobs' size, and she is doing it to prevent Yuki (who she has been helping to get over her phobia, and is getting better) from relapsing.
An In-Universe one on Nov. 8th, 2013, when Gary talks to Dillon and (a topless) Amber about his relationship with Yuki.
Amber: Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her?
Gary: Well, it's not like any other girl ever wanted to share my life. (Next panel has Dillon and Amber, on the verge of Inelegant Blubbering, hugging Gary) Okay... what's with the hugging?
The comic's more or less total disregard for any arbitrary ideas about "karma", especially relating to some of Zii's sexual escapades in early strips, has inspired some criticism; see, for example, this review.
The comic has just two significant characters who are visibly overweight, and neither of them is exactly grossly obese; the apparently asexual Jung, and the creepy and unsuccessful Casanova Wannabe Yvan. It seems that, in a setting where almost everyone is sexually hyperactive, the best way to be too hideous to find love is to have a few extra pounds round the waist.
Wangst: Gary is prone to outbursts of self-pity, as in the very first strip. And yet, he not only has a job and friends and family who care for him; he has remarkably good looks for a nerd who never seems to take any exercise, and an increasingly interesting love life. His attitude in early strips might be forgiven in that his plot-driven luck hasn't kicked in fully yet, but his pessimism in strips such as this one ("I just know I'll mess up!") makes this look like a bad habit which likely causes a lot of his problems.
Gary, throughout. Though his woobie status becomes highly questionable in Volume Six, when he's having sex with a lingerie model while on a free trip to Paris. The fact that many of his problems actually arise from his lack of backbone, rather than the hostility of the universe, has not only become increasingly obvious at this point, it ends up being explicitly lampshaded in strip #795 (September 24, 2013, marginally NSFW).