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YMMV: Nine Inch Nails

  • Awesome Music: If you can get past the melodrama, quite a bit. Most fans admit that lyrics can enter the state of narm fairly frequently, (the chorus of "Where Is Everybody?", especially) but state that the music itself more than makes up for it.
  • Better Than Canon: Trent's reaction to watching Johnny Cash's video for "Hurt" and hearing his cover for the first time:
    "I pop the video in, and wow... Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps... Wow. [I felt like] I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore..."
  • Broken Base:
    • Reactions to Trent Reznor's film score work range from outright hate (much of the film score community) to hyperbolic praise (pretty much everybody else).
    • A big contention amongst fans are whether any of the albums Post-With Teeth are as good as the ones that came before. A lot of the contention comes from the fact that the lyrical content and especially Trent's vocal style are vastly different than The Downward Spiral and The Fragile.
  • Chorus-Only Song: "Closer".
  • Covered Up: NIN's version of "Physical" is now more famous than Adam Ant's original.
    • Just as Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" is now more famous than the NIN original.
    • "Dead Souls" was originally a Joy Division song.
  • Ear Worm: Seriously, just try to get the drum patterns from each NIN song out of your head.
    • "Head Like a Hole," "The Hand That Feeds," "Survivalism," and "Capital G" are bound to get stuck in any fans's head.
    • "We're In This Together" is a hell of an earworm if you watched the very first teaser for The Avengers
    • I WANNA FUCK YOU LIKE AN ANIMAL!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Live guitarist Robin Finck has always been the most popular member of the live band, and his return for both The Slip and Hesitation Marks was met with happiness from the fans.
    • Also, the demos of unfinished/rejected Hesitation Marks tracks from the deluxe version interview. Especially the first and second one.
  • Epic Riff: "Wish," "March of the Pigs," "Starfuckers Inc.," "My Violent Heart," "The Warning".
    • And not just on the guitar. The bass riff shared in the songs "Into the Void" and "La Mer" are arguably some of the most memorable from the rhythm section.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Ministry. The two fanbases don't realize, however, that Trent Reznor is friends with Ministry frontman, Al Jourgensen.
  • Fan Nickname: "AWITH ATEETHA!"
  • Friendly Fandoms: As of late, the NIN fanbase is crossing roads with the fanbase of Queens of the Stone Age, of all bands. Why? Trent Reznor has collaborated with QOTSA for their latest effort, ...Like Clockwork, and the two bands have toured extensively across Australasia.
  • Freud Was Right: Some fans interpret the gun imagery in The Downward Spiral as this.
    • The "Closer" video was purposefully filled with plenty of references to this trope.
      Mark Romanek, the director: "I like how the front of [the microphone] looks like a little nipple."
  • Fridge Brilliance: "Mr. Self Destruct" and "Big Man With A Gun" both have the same tempo (100 BPM) and similar melodies. It could be chalked up to coincidence if not for the fact that "Big Man With a Gun" is the moment where the protagonist becomes fully corrupted and seemingly irredeemable- the very thing foreshadowed in "Mr. Self Destruct." Also, "Mr. Self Destruct" and "Big Man With a Gun" begin and end the first 'section' of the album (tracks 1-9, according to Trent).
  • Gateway Series: Nine Inch Nails is a lot of people's entry point into industrial music.
  • Ho Yay: Quite a bit.
    • Trent has a quite a bit of Ho Yay *and* Foe Yay with protegee Marilyn Manson, much to the joy of Slash Fangirls everywhere.
    • Trent used to make out in public with Richard Patrick, the first live-guitarist, whenever they wanted to get rid of someone. They also had the habit of jumping on each other during live shows.
      • The fact that Richard's nickname was 'Piggy' also puts several songs on The Downward Spiral in an entirely new light.
    • To say nothing of Trent's relationship with his long-time assistant and roommate, Chris Vrenna, who was probably the closest thing NIN ever had to another official member.
  • Hype Backlash: Hesitation Marks got this with audiophiles after Reznor released an audiophile master of the album, free for anyone who bought the main album off the NIN website. Then the waveforms were examined, with clipping still obvious on the audiophile version, and the dynamic range of both versions were measured: the main version comes in at DR5. The audiophile version: DR6. Excitement quickly changed to backlash for releasing something as "audiophile" when it was not.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Around the Broken era, NIN were gaining more popularity and some original fans decided they were getting too "mainstream". Trent himself didn't quite understand this trope.
  • Magnum Opus: Usually considered to be either The Downward Spiral or The Fragile. (Allmusic, on the other hand, gave their highest rating to Pretty Hate Machine).
  • Misaimed Fandom: Truly epic amounts of this surrounding The Downward Spiral as a whole. It's basically Trent exploring his nastiest impulses (hedonism, violence, Rage Against the Heavens, etc.) for 14 songs and exploring how things would end if he actually gave in to them (hint: not well).
  • Narm: "Closer", mainly because of the chorus.
    • "The Only Time"'s lame pun: "My moral standing is lying down."
    • The chorus to "Where Is Everybody?" which rhymes off words ending with "ing" and not much else.
    • From "Something I Can Never Have": "Grey would be the colour, if I had a heart".
    • The monkey noises in "Head Like a Hole".
    • "I've got my arms A FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP FLIP! I got my head on a shpriiinga".
  • Narm Charm: A large portion of the lyrics - especially during the eras of The Downward Spiral and The Fragile - often play up the angst factor all its worth. Most fans love the songs anyway.
  • Nausea Fuel: "Help Me I Am In Hell," DEAR GOD.
    • "The Downward Spiral." The detuned guitars, the flies, the screams, the ugly, clipped backing music in the distance... the lyrics...
  • Painful Rhyme: Quite a few.
    • "Where Is Everybody?"'s chorus deserves an award. It's essentially a List Song of words ending with -ing and Trent tries his hardest to stress every single syllable during the song's slow beat. "TRY-AH-YING AND LY-AH-YING, DEFY-HUH-YING, DENY-UH-YING..."
  • Second Verse Curse: "Closer".
  • Signature Song: "Closer" is the top candidate, but "Head Like a Hole" and the Year Zero album songs "Wish", "Hurt" and "The Hand That Feeds" are also common.
  • Song Association: "Came Back Haunted" appeared in Gran Turismo 6 and "Copy of A" appeared in FIFA 14.
    • And before that, "The Warning" and "The Mark Has Been Made" appeared in Need for Speed Undercover; "1,000,000" and "Discipline" (both from The Slip) appeared in Midnight Club: Los Angeles and "The Hand That Feeds" appeared in Midnight Club 3.
  • Surprisingly Similar Characters: Like Einstürzende Neubauten, Nine Inch Nails' early discography contained frequent Sensory Abuse, and subsequent works moved on to somewhat quieter forms. Both bands have easily recognizable logos and their live performances' nature matured from chaotic and destructive to relatively normal and safe. The musical and visual characteristics of Nine Inch Nails seem more varied and electronic than Neubauten's. Anyone formerly or currently in the band lineup shares clothing styles similar to those used by Einstürzende Neubauten, but Blixa Bargeld now resembles Trent Reznor with a The Fragile-era haircut and the clothing he used in photos taken during the Preformance 2007 tour.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: All of his albums have gone through this on some level, particularly more recent ones. Apparently, now that he's gotten clean, is married with two kids, is, in his own words, the happiest he's ever been, and his music isn't as full of Angst as it once was, Trent's lost his mojo, which carries some Unfortunate Implications.
  • Vindicated by History: Fan response to The Fragile was rather lukewarm despite strong reviews, most likely because it wasn't as heavy as The Downward Spiral and didn't have a song with a chorus as memetically popular as "Closer". However, a few years later fans have started to judge it on its own merits and it's now considered to be Reznor's Magnum Opus.
    • With Teeth also appears to be gaining more and more popularity nowadays. When it came out, it was considered one of his worst to date. Some fans, however, think it's a good album to introduce others to - because, let's face it, most of Trent's discography is a bit too far on the 'weird' end of the scale for people to get into easily despite his success - and recently, it appears to be earning more credibility and more people are considering one of their favorites now than there were back then.
  • What an Idiot: The protagonist of The Downward Spiral's premature celebration at the end of "Ruiner." "You didn't hurt me... nothing can hurt me... you didn't hurt me... nothing can stop-" *cue "The Becoming"*
  • Yoko Oh No: Trent getting married and having kids pretty much blew up the fangirls (and boys, as seen here). Fans blame his wife for him ending NIN as a touring project (indefinitely, though) despite the fact that he's expressed interest in trying something new years before even meeting Mariqueen, and create off the wall theories like "they're both on drugs!" among other things. Just go on YouTube and check out one of the songs in their band How to Destroy Angels and read the comments. It gets pretty ridiculous.