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.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk, Nancy gets struck by lightning. It has nothing to do with the rest of the story, it's over in less than a page, and nobody ever mentions it again, and isn't getting struck by lightning something you'd want to brag about?
In The Mystery of the Fire Dragon, while Nancy is at the airport about to investigate smuggling in Hong Kong. She's tricked into getting onto a plane by a girl with the same name as the missing Chi Che Soong - and immediately kidnapped. It amounts to nothing as Ned sees the plane take off and immediately sends the air force after them. The whole thing is resolved in about five pages, Nancy discovers nothing new about the case, none of the captors' names come up later and the ordeal isn't even mentioned again.
Broken Base: Fans of the original '30s/60s version usually hate upon the late 80s version, for the way it modernized the character.
On the other hand, the late 80's version (specifically the Nancy Drew Files spinoff has its fanbase as well, and they don't take too kindly to the new Girl Detective reboot for going the other way and being too "kiddy" (usually, they like the original 30s/60s version, but feel like a certain amount of Nostalgia Filter might make them slightly biased toward everything afterwards.
Canon Sue: Nancy Drew was originally supposed to be a role model, after all. She can be taking lessons in trick riding and replace the circus star chapters later, for just one example. It depends on the book. Most later novels are victims of bad writing.
Hollywood Pudgy: In the original series, Bess is described as "slightly plump". In the "Files" series, while given a "fabulous figure", she is perpetually focused on losing five pounds. Additionally, she is consistently made out to be the weakest of the group -— easily frightened, boy-crazy, somewhat ditzy, etc. As of the newest series, Girl Detective, she's over it. She's always described as curvy, but her weight is almost never addressed. Furthermore while she is still very fashion conscious, she has also become a full fledged Wrench Wench.
Memetic Mutation: Nancy tends to get name-dropped in regards to any female character attempting any kind of investigative work.
My Real Daddy: While Edward Stratemeyer is the actual creator of Nancy Drew, all he did was create a rough idea of the character and general outlines for stories for his ghostwriters to follow. It was Mildred Benson, the first ghostwriter, who added a lot more beyond his outline and really brought Nancy to life.
Is Henry Bolet 'just' lonely and insecure, or does he have clinical depression?
Rentaro. Is he an arrogant saboteur with total disregard for the lives he tries to ruin, or a fundamentally Nice Guy who's desperate to save a failing relationship? The ending allows for both interpretations.
Is Harper truly insane or not? If so, why?
Did Clara mean to kill Charlotte, or was that an accident?
Archive Panic: Go ahead, take a little break from the franchise, don't be surprised if another 6 or 7 are cranked out by the time you get back into it. (In fairness, the release schedule is generally two titles a year.)
Ascended Meme: HerInteractive itself has made fun of the "It's locked" meme. This trope may be why they brought it back for The Silent Spy.
Awesome Music: After going about three games without using the catchy opening tune, it returns with an all-new level of awesomeness.
While we're at it, why don't we mention just about every single score for the games? Kevin Manthei is a genius.
Special mention needs to go to Shadow at the Water's Edge. While the majority of the music is appropriately ominous, go into the city and you hear this cute little J-Pop number. It especially appreciated as something of a breather since most of the rest of Shadow is absolutely terrifying.
"Mattie's house - Day" is one of the best themes in the franchise. Such soothing music, which is especially appreciated in a crime game.
The Final Scene's'Maya'. A short tune, the theme for a character you only see for five minutes, and yet it sums up everything about the game.
The composer for the newest games, Thomas Regin, has contributed some gorgeous pieces of music as well. Have some 'Electric' from The Deadly Device (unfortunately not in stereo) and 'Past' from Ghost of Thornton Hall.
Broken Base: The Silent Spy seems to be doing this for the games, specifically the revelation that Nancy's mother Kate's death wasn't an accident and she was actually a spy. Some see the whole story as completely brilliant and an interesting twist, other's feel like rewriting a part of the character's history that has been ingrained in the character and the stories since their creation 80 years ago as Her Interactive going a step too far. Not to mention the fact that the part their rewriting is her mother's death, a few are also crying Dude, Not Funny! at the same time.
Nancy/Frank Hardy has been a pretty common pairing since at least 1988, when the Spin-off/Crossover Supermysteries were written featuring the pair. Bess and Joe... not so much.
Of course, some people who follow his walkthroughs prefer Nancy/Arglefumph. Due in part to him voicing his jealousy of Ned and saying he wants to be Nancy's boyfriend.
Less so than the others, Henry Bolet from The Legend of the Crystal Skull and Mel Corbalis from Warnings at Waverly Academy.
Funny Moments: One of the bloopers after the end credits for Trail of the Twister features the dance club from Phantom of Venice. The one dancing? Pa. Doing the exact same dancing moves.
Genius Bonus: Knowing how to read sheet music will make one of The Silent Spy's most annoying puzzles much easier. There is sheet music translation in the bagpipes book, but having it already memorised will mean you don't have to take the book out constantly. Knowing the layout of the keys on a piano wouldn't hurt either, since that's used in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.
If you know how to speak some of the featured foreign languages, some puzzles can go faster. For example, in Danger By Design, you won't need to buy a dictionary to translate the list of photos for Dieter if you know a bit of French. The stakeout in Phantom of Venice is also much easier if you speak Italian going in.
In Alibi In Ashes a lot of people suspect Alexei Marcovic for framing Nancy and lighting the town hall fire, because he's an ex-amateur-detective who could be understandably jealous of her success. Alexei doesn't help this accusation by being excessively grumpy all the time. So what does he do when Nancy finally gets out of jail and goes to speak with him? Asks her if she's okay and tells her he'll do absolutely anything to help her out. He's been framed before too, and he's probably happier to see her freed than anyone else.
Hilarious in Hindsight: If you fail to catch the culprit at the end of Secret of the Old Clock, a Spinning Paper shows up with the headline mentioning it. Since it takes place in the 30's, there is also a small article mentioning Pluto's discovery. Pluto's demotion happened only a year after this game came out.
Ho Yay: When Dwayne Powers explains himself to Nancy Drew in the end of Ransom of the Seven Ships, he mentions a man who did voluntary work in his prison. "We got to be friends. Good friends". The way he emphasises "good" is rather... ambigious. Also, here's the fact that it took place in a prison.
Hype Backlash: Some of the fans were a bit underwhelmed when they finally met Sonny in The Shattered Medallion after he's been The Ghost for so long and wasn't what they were expecting.
Narm: In Curse of Blackmoor Manor, one of the puzzles you must complete involves moving a giant statue across the alchemy lab (don't ask) to capture all four wind clouds which keep trying to push the statue into pits of doom and you must start over. This would be a little more frustrating...were it not for the hilarious Big "NO!" the statue cries out.
Also, in one of the Game Over scenarios for Creature of Kapu Cave, if you make too much noise and wake up the grumpy professor, he growls " You young lady would appear to be in very. Deep. Trou-ble. " Trynot cracking up.
Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Some of the mini-games are insanely fun to replay on their own. The scopa card game from The Phantom of Venice is one example.
Surprise Difficulty: Often. For example, the thought process of a new Blackmoor Manor player will probably run something like this: "Wait, what's that noise? Did the walls just move? And why are there six doors out of the room? (takes another step) Oh, God, it's moving again! (looks back) Wait, that's not the door I entered through! Where the f*k am I supposed to go?!"
And the Wire Portrait puzzle in Shadow at the Water's Edge, as well as the Master Sudoku. Not only that, but it's not limited to Senior Detective (i.e. Hard) level. You have to solve five connected sudoku puzzles on Junior Detective level - easy.
There's also Noisette Tornade and Dirk Valentine and Frances Humber on this list. Jake Hurley's story is nothing to sniff at either, not to mention the entire Penvellyn family, whose six hundred years of history are so fascinating that a character in the game is writing a book about them.
Uncanny Valley: Has slowly becoming more averted - early on, the characters looked fair (For the time) but the fact that they stopped dead in motion when they weren't speaking to you looked odd, and how they had such stiff movements like animatronics. However, the more recent games have been averting this - despite making the characters seem more active in moving around and speaking, they look far more approachable than the earlier titles.
The Untwist: In Trail of the Twister, Scott, the suspect with the most obvious evidence and the rudest personality is the culprit.
Which may actually rate as a twist ending if you've played several of the other games first, as it's far more often the nicest suspect who turns out to be the culprit!
Values Dissonance: In Shadow at the Water's Edge, Miwako's ranting about Yumi being selfish for moving out of the Ryokan and wanting to have her own career instead of taking on the one expected of her only makes sense if you understand the general Japanese attitude about independence versus doing what's expected of you.
Oddly enough, it was just Miwako and her grandmother, Takae, who frowned on Yumi being her own person; their (deceased) mother, Kasumi, actually didn't mind if her daughters did what they wanted, as revealed in the letter to the girls found at the end of the game. Then again, Takae did describe Kasumi as being just as free-spirited as Yumi, showing that not every Japanese person holds the same attitude about a particular issue as the traditional attitude would command them to.
Tropes in the movie include:
Harsher in Hindsight: Dehlia Draycott was based on Natalie Wood, both dying from a drowning that was suspected to be a murder. Though Wood's death was eventually filed as an accident, five years after this movie her death was reinvestigated upon the discovery of new evidence suggested she may indeed have been murdered.
Mary Sue/All-Loving Hero: Nancy in this depiction, is an unfailingly polite and proper girl who can turn and befriend those who are wary or dislike her and easily excels at all her endeavours.