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.
YMMV: Ouran Highschool 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? Though it was probably a bit of both.
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 did the author just regress her 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? Although, the believers of the latter seems to be a minority, 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 her romantic feelings.
Did Kyoya actually try to rape Haruhi, but was talked out of it, or was it just a test like Haruhi theorized?
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. Although, 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 them 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're either really funny or really annoying.
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. People either find his quirky hamminess funny and charming, or obnoxious and 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 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.
There are almost as many people who ship Kyoya/Haruhi as there are HikaHaru shippers- if not more.
Or Kyouya/Tamaki shippers.
Girl-Show Ghetto: Somewhat 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 serie 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 actually 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 however (or chapters 25-26 of the manga) she (and the audience) learns how Tamaki does have a sad and rather scandal-worthy past, the short version being 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.
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) recently (as of August 2011) got married. This way, the Hitachiin twins/Haruhi OT3actually became real.
Haruhi is an awful actor and her music grades are apparently no better. Her japanese voice actress however, 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, Mori and Honey. Kyouya and Tamaki are not without subtext as well (being "mommy" and "daddy," and so on...)
There's also a more subtle one with Kyouya. When Tamaki calls the rest of the host club (other than Haruhi) the homosexual supporting cast, Kyouya is annoyed. However, he's only annoyed by the 'supporting' line, he doesn't seem to care that he was called a homosexual.
Also what the girls think they're seeing when Kasanoda, who joined the club as a customer, picks Haruhi to be his favorite.
Speaking of Kasanoda, there's definitely something between him and his servant Tetsuya, at least on Tetsuya's side.
Haruhi herself has more than enough Les Yay, particularly with anyone from the Zuka Club.
And then in chapter 73 of the manga, there's a whole slew of it between Kyouya 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 Kyouya changes clothes and Hunny asking if Hikaru is mad because "Kyo-chan stole your Kao-chan."
And episode 9 of the live drama has Kyouya 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.
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 does point 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 also Kyouya'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. Fan opinions differ on whether this was a valid reason or not.