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- Covered Up: "Smokin' in the Boys Room", featured in Theatre of Pain, was originally from Ann Arbor, MI band Brownsville Station.
- Critical Dissonance: Mainstream music critics hated Motley Crue, but that didn't stop them from being one of the biggest bands of the 1980s.
- Dead Horse Genre: Glam, of course. Their resurgence in the Turn of the Millennium says maybe not so.
- In a 1989 (!) interview with MTV that would be later used in the special "It Came from the 80s II: Metal Goes Pop", Nikki Sixx hangs a lampshade on the glut of copycat glam rock bands at the moment, and infers that this was the same type of "dinosaur music mentality that punk rebelled against in the '70s". He goes on to say that somebody has to do something original. Guess who followed in the Answer Cut in said special? The band responsible for the genre's eventual demise, Nirvana.
- Dork Age: The Nineties.
- Dude, Not Funny!/Gallows Humor: Despite Neil's car accident that killed Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, they titled their box-set series Music to Crash Your Car to...
- ..which also happened to be part of a lyric in the song "Crash" by Methods of Mayhem, Tommy's Nu Metal side project from 1999.
- Epic Riff - Shout at the Devil, full stop.
- Though if you want to continue the sentence, Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart, Girls, Girls, Girls, Wild Side, Looks That Kill and Live Wire are the other most recognizable ones. Even their earlier stuff was full of kickass (if less well known) riffs, such as Too Fast For Love and Piece Of Your Action.
- Face of the Band: Lee (the drummer), and in some cases Sixx (the bassist). Neil does get his due, but Mars is almost unknown.
- Hilarious in Hindsight or "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: "Girls Girls Girls" mentions the Crazy Horse in Paris, France. Pamela Anderson would actually work there for a time years after her split with Tommy.
- Jerkass Woobie: Vince Neil. For all his arrogance, infidelity, violence, drunk driving and - according to his bandmates - being a habitual liar, it's impossible to read about his daughter's death from cancer and not feel sorry for him.
- The Scrappy: A few of their albums:
- Girls, Girls, Girls was recorded at a time when the band members were so addicted to alcohol and drugs that they could barely function, and it shows. Even Nikki Sixx has commented "If it hadn't been for the title track and 'Wild Side', this album would have ended our careers."
- The band's self-titled album released in 1994 with John Corabi on lead vocals and a more raw, "grungy" sound. The album was an attempt by the band stay relevant at a time when the public had abandoned glam metal in favor of grunge and alternative rock. The end result sounded nothing like their previous albums, alienating their longtime fans and failing to secure new ones.
- Generation Swine in 1997. Although the album featured the return of Vince Neil, it was poorly received by critics and audiences and sold poorly. Vince Neil would later call the album "terrible" due to "too much experimenting."
- Nikki Sixx has gone on record as saying that he hates the song "Smokin' In The Boys' Room" and only agreed to record a cover of the song because Vince demanded it.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Multiple times; the discography kept getting better, leading up to Dr. Feelgood. Between then and Saints of Los Angeles, not so much.
- Tearjerker: When reading the band's autobiography, The Dirt, just try to get through the story of Vince's daughter or Nikki's sister without getting choked up.
- The Woobie: Mick Mars. If You never thought a depraved, hard partying glam rocker could be one, You will after reading about him.
- X Meets Y: The band has been described as "Kiss meets the New York Dolls."
- Yoko Oh No: Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil blame Pamela Anderson for Tommy Lee's decision to leave the band in the late-1990s.