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.
Award Snub: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was nominated for Best Rock Song at the 1992 Grammy's. It lost the award to the unplugged version of Layla.
Covered Up: "Love Buzz", originally by Shocking Blue, "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" and "Molly's Lips" by The Vaselines, David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" (especially impressive Kurt says at the end This is a David Bowie song and people stillbelieve that it'sa Nirvana song), "Oh, Me" "Lake of Fire" and "Plateau" by the Meat Puppets, "Turnaround" by Devo, "The Money Will Roll Right In" by Fang, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" by Leadbelly, for some people "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks.
What's really funny about the Meat Puppets example is that 2/3 of the band played with Nirvana on the cover.
Epic Riff: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the bass riff of "Come As You Are", to name just two.
It's been proven irrefutably that she couldn't have killed him directly. However, it's more than likely that she drove him to suicide, what with all the cheating on him and pressing him into things he didn't want in his career...
And this theory is an Epileptic Tree because Kurt was depressed and self-medicating with heroin. But this seems to be too obvious for many fans...
That theory is not necessarily an Epileptic Tree. Bipolar disorder affects the severity of one's emotions; severe changes in mood usually occur when the person is reacting to the environment like the rest of us. Therefore; Courtney Love's influence in his life could have caused him to become depressed.
One of this troper's friends believes that Kurt died of an overdose and someone simply placed a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger because if an autopsy were performed on him and they found drugs in his system, Frances Bean Cobain would be taken away again. If you put a shotgun in someone else's hands and pull the trigger, people think: "Oh, he killed himself", and no further questions are asked, ignoring the fact that an autopsy was indeed performed.
The circumstances surrounding Cobain's death arepretty suspicious. His suicide note reads like a "Why I'm quitting the music business" letter until the last couple of lines, which are written in larger and different-looking handwriting, and there was a handwriting practice sample found in Love's backpack the week of Cobain's death. It is also a bit odd that Cobain had three times the lethal dose of heroin in his body (which would have incapacitated or killed him within seconds, if not instantly) and a shotgun wound to the head. Even if the theory is false, it isn't really wild and unsubstantiated enough to be granted Epileptic Tree status.
While tolerance does build to a degree with opiates, even a longtime user shouldn't be able to remain functional with such a large dose in the system. Often, users are found unconscious with the needle still in their arm when overdosing - Cobain is alleged to have taken the overdose, place all his paraphernalia in its box and close it, roll his sleeves down and button them, and then operate a shotgun without getting any fingerprints on it.
Or not to mention Eldon Hoke of The Mentors claiming publicly that Love offered him $50,000 to kill Cobain... and then dying mysteriously himself one week after going public with this...
Eldon Hoke isn't exactly the most reliable source. And nor is that site. Suicide victims often don't leave fingerprints on the gun they used. Now let's assume somebody did kill him.... how exactly do they go about doing this? Wouldn't they have to inject him with the large dose of Heroin themselves? Don't you think there would be a struggle if this was true? And even so, how the hell would they make it look like a suicide? It's pretty widely known the bullet exited through the top of his head, which would be insanely hard to do to an unconscious person without it being a blatantly obvious cover up. What, are they supposed to prop him up on the gun barrel and just hope everything goes down right? And even if we did assume that there was a cover up by the coroner, uh hello, Hippocratic Oath anyone? The man on justiceforkurt.com has never provided any evidence to the police or FBI, at least none that wasn't laughable. Plus given our celebrity obsessed culture, don't you think if he had evidence that they'd have investigated by now? And Handwriting practice document by Courtney Love? Never seen. And how do we know it was handwriting? If she was writing A's, B's, F's, D's, and she's a musician.... gee, I wonder what she could be doing there guys? Not to mention the fact that many suicide notes don't specifically mention killing ones self. And when I write, my font size changes all the time. It's not uncommon for people with poor penmanship.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Just about every Nirvana song has been interpreted as being about drugs, suicide, Cobain's childhood, or a combination of all three. Cobain himself wrote "Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second-rate Freudian evaluation of my lyrics, when 90 percent of the time they’ve transcribed them incorrectly".
Face of the Band: Cobain, of course. Dave Grohl escaped it by forming Foo Fighters. Krist Novoselic, on the other hand... (Naming the previous members or the second guitarist - who might be more known to Foo Fighters fans - is even more difficult.)
Fan Dumb - Nirvana fans tend to bash Tori Amos and her cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"...despite the fact that Kurt enjoyed it. Not to mention that it was used to open their shows.
It's been 20 years, and it's still widely believed that Cobain wrote all the songs for Hole's Live Through This album... no matter how many times, not just Courtney Love, but the rest of the bandmates have denied that.
Fridge Brilliance: In the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video, the cheerleaders wear red "A"s on their shirts. Cobain originally got the idea for the song from his friend Kathleen Hanna, during a discussion of anarchy and rock. The "A" could stand for anarchy, or be an allusion to The Scarlet Letter, which is about a girl who's alienated for her actions. Punk rock and grunge music was considered the ultimate edgy and alienating a person could listen to, and the culture it established intentionally drove itself away from the mainstream.
Another example from "Smells Like Teen Spirit": A common stereotype among troubled teenagers is that they all get bad grades in school. "Teen Spirit" is played in the key of F minor.
A song called "I Hate Myself and Want to Die" - which is actually very sarcastic, with the title taken from Kurt's deadpan response to a journalist asking him how he was feeling - was scheduled to be the b-side on the "Pennyroyal Tea" single. It was cancelled after he killed himself.
Nirvana's record company greatly underestimated how popular Nevermind would be, and they thought it might certified gold by September 1992 if everybody worked hard. This was based on the number of copies Sonic Youth's Goo had sold. It was certified gold and platinum in November of 1991. It ended up selling thirty million copies worldwide.
The record company also believed that Lithium would be the big hit off of Nevermind.
Hype Backlash / Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Given their extensive praise as important musicians and Cobain's comparatively poor guitar skill, many modern listeners fail to see the attraction.
Magnum Opus: Depending on who you ask, either Nevermind or In Utero. Cobain himself preferred the latter. MTV Unplugged has been called one of the greatest live albums of all time.
Dave Grohl: We knew something was happening because the atmosphere at the gigs just changed, they went from being cool, hipster underground people in a club to, like jocks were coming to the show. That was the first thing like 'You've got these jocks here, y'know, that's kinda strange, they like our music? You used to kick my fucking ass for listening to this music!'
Misaimed Marketing: The band has inspired T-shirts, a couple Kurt Cobain action figures, an exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, and an appearance by Cobain in Guitar Hero 5. Isn't this against what Cobain believed?
Speaking of Guitar Hero 5, Courtney complained about the Activision using Kurt's likeness and threatened to take legal action...until Activision produced the contract she'd signed giving them permission to do so. As the CEO put it: "The check's been cashed." Presumably, Courtney also signed off on the action figures and exhibit. She definitely was the one behind the publication of Kurt's journals.
Also the Kurt Cobain inspired Converse.
Mis-blamed: Courtney Love didn't exactly help Kurt's state of mind, but she wasn't solely responsible for getting him hooked on heroin; that was mostly down to Kurt's "self-medicating" for the stomach problems he had suffered for most of his life. The Charles Cross biography suggests, however, that it was the reverse — it was Kurt who got Courtney back onto heroin.
Mondegreen: Cobain had a habit of mushing his words together when he sang, lending himself easily to this trope. (It also inspired the Weird Al parody song quoted at the top of the page.)
Kurt once said on the topic of journalists interpreting his lyrics: "Why the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second-rate Freudian evaluation of my lyrics when 90% of the time they transcribe them incorrectly?"
Another reason why it's hard to nail down the lyrics to Nirvana songs is that they tended to change from performance to performance. Cobain himself couldn't keep the lyrics straight.
Actually Kurt Cobain would change the lyrics to songs after they had been recorded, most notably Smells Like Teen Spirit. "Our little group" was changed to "our little tribe". Nearly every live performance of the song reflects this change.