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YMMV: Ouran High School Host Club
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Tamaki create the Host Club merely for the fun of it and in order to show off his good looks, or did he do it out of loneliness due to his background in order to gather "family members" he himself fancied, with the excuse of wanting to entertain ladies?
    • Haruhi falling for Tamaki. Did it symbolize her Character Development into a more caring, outgoing person, learning to love Tamaki for who he was rather than just be annoyed at his quirks, or was she regressed into a stereotypical shoujo heroine whose only purpose is to fall for the main male lead and blush like a maniac around him, taking away her indifferent streak that made her so interesting in the first place? The believers of the latter seems to be a minority however, and Haruhi did more or less return to her old self after calming down from her realization, keeping her snarkiness and ability to handle Tamaki just fine next to having romantic feelings.
    • Did Kyoya genuinely try to rape Haruhi, but was talked out of it, or was it just a test like Haruhi theorized?
    • There are some fans (mostly a certain type of fan) who believe that Renge might at least subconsciously have known Haruhi's secret.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Hikaru appears to get over his feelings for Haruhi really fast, going from nearly crying at the knowledge that he lost, to having no qualms about secretly following her and Tamaki on their date along with the rest of the club just a few days later. Though it might have been to symbolize how much he had grown and thus were capable of keeping his emotions in check, or he had been processing in getting over his feelings for a while.
    • In-universe: when Haruhi finds out about Tamaki's past she's impressed with how one wouldn't be able to tell by his attitude.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Renge, who is either really funny or really annoying depending on who you talk to.
    • Haruhi is this to a degree. Fans will either find her apathy and snarkiness around shoujo males whom the heroine usually blushes around 24/7 to be refreshing and serving as a better "role model" for the average teenage viewer/reader, while others finds her indifference to make her bland and hardly contributing anything to the plot other than to be a generic snarker, and her being an oblivious Dude Magnet for no other apparent reason but that she's "cute!!!" to be obnoxious. It also got turned around later in the manga when she realized that she'd fallen for Tamaki; fans who didn't find her smitten attitude around him to be hilarious believed that she had turned into exactly the stereotypical heroine they had loved her for not being. Even as she more or less returned to her old self after calming down from her initial reaction, it still didn't keep the fans who had expected her to be a unique heroine who didn't have to end up with the male protagonist from leaving and never coming back.
    • Tamaki is debatably the most popular character in the series, but there are also those who just finds him annoying.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In one episode there's a scene where the twins are lying in bed in front of their maids. One of them pulls off the covers and reveals he's wearing a colorful elephant head on his crotch, that blasts confetti into the air. This is not given any lines, and it goes onto the next scene quickly afterwards, with this never being explained or mentioned again, except for a brief moment that implies that they plan on doing it again. (The elephant head is a common way to censor out nudity, so that's probably what that was.)
  • Bizarro Episode: There was the random episode that was a parody of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland featuring random single-episode characters from throughout the first season showing up again... In the anime, the end is a Tear Jerker: the whole thing is a dream of Haruhi's, and the one playing the Queen of Hearts is actually her Missing Mom Kotoko.
  • Broken Base: The English dub: love it or hate it.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The twins' antics are sometimes seen as this.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Don't deny how cool the ending song is for a shoujo anime. The extended version used in the finale is even better.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Eclair, in the anime. As she's really the only actual roadblock between the Official Couple, she's pelted with this a lot.
    • In the manga, HoneyxMori fans wish Honey's prospect girlfriend Reiko a horrible demise, or just pretend she doesn't exist.
  • Ear Worm: The title theme, "Sakura Kiss". Just try getting "Kiss, kiss, fall in love!" Out of your head.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Who doesn't love Nekozawa?
    • Haruhi's father's friend Misuzu is extremely popular, the few times he does appear.
  • The Gadfly: Kyoya. He is frequently shown to withhold information until after it has caused chaos (usually for Tamaki) that he just coolly observes (sometimes with a smirk). He was the first to notice Haruhi was really a girl and said nothing about it. In fact, since it is unlikely that someone like Kyoya did not have insurance on such a valuable item as the vase, the very reason that Haruhi is forced to join the club could very well be his idea of a prank. That is an intriguing notion indeed...
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Averted. Despite being aimed at a female audience, many guys enjoyed watching the show, mostly because of the light-hearted humor and the constant self-parody of Shoujo clichés.
  • Growing the Beard: The series starts out as mostly a comedy and (as mentioned above) Affectionate Parody of the standard shoujo clichès, with the occasional yet brief serious or heartwarming moments, but becomes deeper and more serious the longer it goes on, revealing hidden depths within many of the Host Club members along with other characters such as their families, and testing of how strong their bonds truly are (specially in the manga, though some of it in the anime too).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An in-universe example: in Episode 14 of the anime, Akira Komatsuzawa, the newspaper president, becomes obsessed with the thought that Tamaki can't be such a perfect Nice Guy as he appears to be, and there must be something evil or scandal-like to him, or even if there isn't, he'll make something up. In the end he's thwarted by the rest of the Host Club, and Haruhi's left with her doubts that there would be anything bad to find about Tamaki. Come the last two episodes of the anime (or Chapters 25-26 of the manga) she (and the audience) learns how Tamaki does have a sad and scandal-worthy past. The short version is that he's a mistress' child, and he's forbidden from seeing his mother ever again by his Evil Matriarch grandmother. Towards the end of the manga however, it turns out that their customers knew about this, due to always wanting to check out the background of their favorite hosts, and because of Tamaki's kind and cheerful self they were fine with it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • That episode where a boy thought Haruhi was a cross-dresser. Then we meet her father.
    • The creator early on in the series said she couldn't see Haruhi getting together with Tamaki. Guess how it ends.
    • Maaya Sakamoto (Haruhi) and Kenichi Suzumura (Hikaru in the anime and Kaoru in the drama CD) (as of August 2011) got married. This way, the Hitachiin twins/Haruhi OT3 became real.
    • Haruhi is an awful actor and her music grades are apparently no better. Her japanese voice actress is a famous singer.
    • The fact that Haruhi falling for Tamaki can be applied to Truth in Television: it's proven that people have a tendency to unknowingly fall for someone reminding them of their parents.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Hikaru and Kaoru play up their Twincest.
    • Mori and Honey are adored by the club's yaoi fangirls.
    • Kyoya and Tamaki are the "mommy" and "daddy," of the club. There's also a more subtle one with Kyoya. When Tamaki calls the rest of the host club (other than Haruhi) the homosexual supporting cast, Kyoya is annoyed. However, he's only annoyed by the 'supporting' line, i.e. he doesn't seem to care that he was called a homosexual.
    • What the girls think they're seeing when Kasanoda, who joined the club as a customer, picks Haruhi to be his favorite. There's definitely something between him and his servant Tetsuya, at least on Tetsuya's side.
    • Haruhi herself has more than enough Les Yay with anyone from the Zuka Club.
    • In Chapter 73 of the manga, there's a whole slew of it between Kyoya and Kaoru, of all people, including Kyoya waking up to find Kaoru in his bed (fully dressed, on top of the covers, reading a book), Kaoru blushing as Kyoya changes clothes and Honey asking if Hikaru is mad because "Kyo-chan stole your Kao-chan".
    • Episode 9 of the live drama has Kyoya and cross-dressing Honey dressed up as a couple and fawning over each other and almost kissing all episode while following Haruhi and Hikaru in disguise.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Haruhi is officially dating Tamaki but she is often shipped with everyone else! Yes, even Renge.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kyoya, Tamaki, the Twins, and the Zuka Club all have their moments.
  • Moe:
    • Honey. He's short, sweet, gives others cute nicknames and carries around a rabbit plushie.
    • Usually whenever someone says "moe" in-universe ("someone" meaning Renge), they actually mean "Ho Yay".
  • OT3:
    • Try OT7. It's like a fangirl's dream come true.
    • Haruhi paired up with the Twins is a fairly popular OT 3 among fans of this series.
    • Those who can't decide whether Tamaki should be with Haruhi or Kyoya often combine the two ships.
  • Periphery Demographic: There are a surprising amount of male fans. The fact that it pokes fun at a genre that males might find ridiculous is a key factor. Although the guys don't swoon over most of the Host Club members, Haruhi is so cute! Plus it's just plain funny.
  • Signature Scene: Haruhi breaking the expensive vase.
    • The music room doors opening with rose petals flowing out from behind them.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Tamaki's scolding of Haruhi for trying to protect customers from a pair of drunkards, which seemed to boil down to "Girls are too weak to fight boys!" rather than "A small person shouldn't take on two brutes." Although, the Host Club points out that their main concern was her attempt at taking them on alone when she could have called for help, which needlessly put her in danger, and she really had no fighting skills to begin with anyway.
    • There's Kyoya's infamous threat of rape of Haruhi later the same episode, which is quickly shrugged off by the characters and narrative in whole, being treated as acceptable because he was "pretending in order to teach her a lesson" and Haruhi, at the very least, doesn't believe he has any intention of following through.
    • Western fans have a harder time swallowing the obsession with characters like Honey or Shiro, whose admirers specifically like that they appear to be, or actually are, a per-pubescent child and act like one.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The show-stopping anime intro is ripe of this trope.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Self-projecting fangirls hailed Haruhi as "a good female character UNLIEK THE GIRLY AND LOVESICK WHORES". When Haruhi dared acknowledge her feelings for Tamaki and acted more emotional for a while, the fangirls threw the character under the bus "BECAUSE SHE'S LIKE THE ~OTHER GIRLS~, EW".
  • The Woobie: Each of the main characters has had at least one Woobie moment, especially in the case of Tamaki.

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