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.
Anti-Climax Boss: The eponymous villain in The Darkest Faerie is built up as being the toughest opponent in her game. If you decide to save your Nova Motes, she's nothing more than a pushover, and the 3 minute timer doesn't actually help her.
Arc Fatigue: Arguably, the Obelisk War has been dragging on. No storyline, just repetitive fighting. The Neopets Team seems to be catching on to this; the third bout of the war began without even so much as an announcement on the News page.
Creator's Pet: Aristotle A. Avinroo, the mascot of the Gamesmaster Challenge, is a symbol of the site's decline and focus on events rather than plots. Plus, his events have cut short the Return of Dr. Sloth (but thankfully only gave The Faerie's Ruin a slight delay).
In the pre-Viacom days, Chias were a Creator's Pet species; Adam and Donna LOVED Chias, and they got two holidays ("Chocolate Chia Day" and "Celebrate the Birth of the First Chia") to every other pet's one. Along with their rather poor design and having the much better designed Lupe as their "rival" species, they remain The Scrappy to this day.
Dork Age: It went through one from around 2007 (when the NC Mall opened and the site got a revamp) to about 2010. Consensus among the fans is that TheFaerie's Ruin yanked the site out of its Dork Age.
Ear Worm: The background music for Meepit Juice Break, Ice Cream Machine, and Hasee Bounce are three notable ones, as well as the Yooyuball theme and the little repeating jingle that plays when you have your Habitarium open.
Ensemble Darkhorse: For a species that was introduced third-to-last in order, the Xweetoks have a fairly high population. They're the fifth most popular pet, and the four before them are some of the first and most marketed pets with a five-year headstart over them.
The Xweetok also used to sell without any merch or characters to help promote it, but this thinned out gradually. Xandra also helped give the species a boost. There's also Lillian Fairwether from the Journey to the Lost Isle plot.
Some of the Faeries count, as well, especially Jhudora, The Darkest Faerie, Illusen, and the Space Faerie.
Many Altador Cup players, the big one being Team Darigan's Tandrak Shaye. Another example is Lost Desert's Vonde Cayle, who was originally supposed to be in the shadow of fellow forward Derbi Azar but ended up being the more popular of the two. Lastly, there's Jair Tollet, who has several NT stories dedicated to her thanks to her transfer from Maraqua to Roo Island.
Speaking of the Altador Cup, there's the Techo Super Fan, the bug-eyed, fist-shaking fanatic who roots for whatever team you do. He even got his own game!
mr.coconut. When both him and his "GOOD NIGHT!" were removed from the Editorial, tons of users sent letters demanding his return. Site staff responded not by restoring the Running Gag, but making the search for a replacement a Running Gag in itself.
The Sharkaw◊ was one of fifty "new pets" unveiled on April Fool's, 2005. It was in a poll to determine which of these would be an actual new Neopet, but the fellow Darkhorse Lamameeah won and became the Gnorbu, which got some major flak for changing too much from the April Fool's design and winning mostly because of a llama meme going around the Neoboards.
Fanon: Occasionally fan work published in the Neopian Times will reach this status, at least within the circle of Neopian Times readers. This is how the pink Uni working at the pound came to be known as Rose, among other examples.
Every now and then, boards pop up debating whether or not certain◊ items◊ have◊ arguably◊ sexual◊ designs◊. After several pages, it's rather difficult to get your mind out of the gutter.
You have to save some Neopets in The Faerie's Ruin plot by pulling them away from purple tendrils which are holding them and draining their life force. The tendrils can "waver strangely," "vibrate gently," "ripple oddly," "undulate slowly" or "pulse threateningly.' Also notice that they are not called "tentacles."
Foe Yay: A weird, fan-specific example: the NeopianWriters and the HelpChat had a bit of a tsundere relationship for awhile. It fizzled out, due to the HC loosening up a bit and the NW learning the merits of personal space. Either that, or both sides just got bored.
For others, it was the Customization feature. While clothing items finally had a use, many users felt that the new, more standardized (to make the clothes work on most painted pets) poses took the personality out of their pets.
Or when they sold the site and started putting ads everywhere.
General consensus is that the site Jumped the Shark the day it was purchased by Viacom, though things might be swinging the other way thanks to The Faerie's Ruin not being rushed to an early end for the GMC.
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie has some pretty creepy places. This includes a maze-like dungeon towards the end of the game that has what looks to be execution chairs.
The team did two pretend contests where their avatars were (in one case) competing in a Survivor-like game where their avatars got killed if they were voted off, and (in the other case) stuck in a murder mystery plot. While it was essentially meant to be nothing more than Black Comedy, the deaths got quite gory.
Scrappy Level: The code breaking in the Return of Sloth plot, and the Tarla plot.
From the Faeries' Ruin plot, the Barrier Shield Reinforcement step. The four tasks are already challenging, but because you have to cooperate with three other players (who may or may not be competent) while dealing with the site's horrendous lag, and the fact that it's timed sends it straight into Fake Difficulty territory. Slightly mitigated by the fact that you can form groups with users to do this step, thus ensuring a level of competence.
Scrappy Mechanic: By the late stages of Altador Cup VII, its randomized bracket system is widely considered this due to the resulting brackets not being very balanced. Take the top four teams: Kreludor, Mystery Island, and Meridell almost never had to face each other; and the fourth team, Darigan Citadel, also never got a shot at MI and Meridell but instead lost three separate rounds to Kreludor. The randomizer also put Shenkuu and Roo Island in the same bracket for every single round.
Also in the Altador Cup, the Darigan Ball. Goes off in random directions no matter what. Many score streaks are halted by this very ball. Woe to those who get it on the second round.
"Stop Having Fun" Guys: The Altador Cup. If you join a popular team, an unpopular team, or submit less than 100 wins per day, you will be mocked on the forums for it. Guaranteed.
But the best prizes are worth millions of NP, so actually trying is somewhat worth it for the poor.
The Meridell plots gave us Lord Darigan, who was the first morally ambiguous character on the site (although he's far more heroic than that fat oaf Skarl); Jeran, a Knight in Shining Armor AND a Big, Badass Wolf; and Lord Kass.
Hannah and the Pirate Caves was so popular, the eponymous Usul adventuress appeared in her own plot, which introduced another Darkhorse, Kanrik.
From the Curse of Maraqua, we have the Maraquan Aisha sisters, Isca and Caylis, and the villain, Captain Scarblade.
The Lost Desert plot gave us Prince, now King Jazan, who was popular enough to return for The Faerie's Ruin, and his friend, the Nightsteed. It also introduced the Angry Orange Yurble Foreman/Chef/Janitor/Librarian. His presence in a plot is viewed as a very good sign.
A Tale Of Woe is another interesting case where one of the central characters was already a Darkhorse. Sophie is still one of the most popular characters on the site due to being a very amusing Grumpy Bear. Bruno is another example, due to being Ugly Cute in his mutated form, and Adorkable before AND after.
Despite being a mini-plot, the Cyodrake's Gaze gave us Hoban, a grumpy navigator, and Bonju, the temperamental chef.
Although it suffered from a big-time Gecko Ending, Journey To The Lost Isle spawned Lillian Fairweather, who actually happens to be a Xweetok! Roxton was also one, and appeared in Atlas of the Ancients.
From the Return Of Dr. Sloth, Ylana Skyfire is ridiculously popular due to being a very, VERY BadassBounty Hunter.
Time can only tell if this trend will continue; over two years after the last plot, The Neopets Team has officially launched a huge six-way war for players to participate in. This is actually a very big event for TNT to host, as the last war where players had to choose sides was Curse of Maraqua, back in 2005.
Hilarious in Hindsight: One available Earth Faerie ability, Regeneration, heals 33% of your Neopet's health when used in the Battledome. Years later, the Pokémon ability Regenerator was found to do almost exactly the same thing, healing 1/3 of a Pokémon's health when switched out.
Hollywood Homely: The Court Dancer's true form is almost always described as hideous. What does her true form look like, you ask? Effectively her illusion form, only painted Darigan.
Speaking of Dr. Sloth, he arguably crosses this when he creates a cyborg that proceeds to wipe out almost the entire Neopets staff.
Most plot villains jump over the Moral Event Horizonsomehow; Galem jumps over it when he's willing to cause a species to die out of his own Greed; Scarblade is actually attempting to destroy a land and commit genocide out of Fantastic Racism; Razul cursed his own city—and his own SON—so he could achieve eternal life as a fiery demon; Krawley manipulated EVERYONE into furthering his whims so Neovia got worse; and Kass, he declares war over false declarations of peace.
Nightmare Fuel: The Shadow Wraiths gain their power by using tendrils to consume the life force of Neopets, leaving them shriveled husks. Ow.
Seasonal Rot: The overall stories, both short and overarching, were in decline from about 2007 up until 2010, when The Faerie's Ruin brought things back to a 2004-2006 level of awesome.
Out of all plots, though, Atlas of the Ancients is the best example of Seasonal Rot; poor art (which is unforgivable when there were earlier plots like A Tale of Woe, which had GORGEOUS art); a really bad, almost non-existent story that was a Random Events Plot; and being a gaming event like the Daily Dare in a crappy plot guise. About the only good thing it brought was give us Moltara.
Strawman Has a Point: Surprisingly in The Faerie's Ruin, Xandra has some good points for her evil deeds.She even has converted part of the audience to her cause (see Draco In Leather Pants).
Viewer Gender Confusion: Brynn has been mistaken for a boy by a number of users, despite other characters using female pronouns to refer to her.
Win BACK The Crowd: The Faerie's Ruin has been a smash hit upon old-school Neopets fans from the pre-Viacom years, and among newer fans.