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: RuPaul's Drag Race
Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Asian and Hispanic queens in particular are the target of racial jokes regarding their culture or accents. For example: Manila Luzon, although of Filipino descent, liked to rely on Asian stereotypes for comedy, and Yara Sofia was criticized numerous times for her thick Puerto Rican accent.
Alternative Character Interpretation: When Gia Gunn is comforting Laganja Estranja backstage into not quitting the competition and to give it her all, was she doing so as a good friend despite the fact that Laganja might be lip synching against her and one of them would be going home, or was she sure that Milk would be in the bottom two instead of the both of them, so she did not see the harm in pushing Laganja to try her best?
Rupaul herself falls into this. Is Ru coming into the workroom to see how the girls are doing meant to help push them in the right direction or is it meant to shake them up and scare them to make more drama in the main challenge.
Regarding Magnolia Crawford's attitude towards the show, especially as seen setting up for the Reunion; is she really that bitter about going home first, including refusing to watch her own season and keeping the experience 'hers alone'? Or is she just faking it as another attempt to get people to talk about her and boost her ego with negative fan recognition?
Laganja Estranja has actually given three separate reasons in regards to her over-the-top behavior during the show; first she claimed that the way she was acting was her "real" personality, the way in which she acts with her close friends (which may also have been a dig at her 'friend' Adore Delano). Then, during the reunion, she insinuates that her on-air personality was fake, and that she was trying to be funny for the camera, but doesn't outright take back her previous statement either. Finally, perhaps in response to accusations from the fans, she also claims that her behavior was the result of marijuana withdrawal, when she says she's much calmer during the reunion because she's 'medicated'. In the end, no one really knows what was up with Laganja's kiki "OKRRR" personality and quick-to-tears drama.
Badass Decay: Nina Flowers in her original season was a powerful and intimidating (but likable) genderfuck queen, come All Stars she seems to have lost her edge, the judges say outright they don't see the same badass Nina Flowers they came to admire from season one.
Base Breaker: Oh boy. Grab an Absolut Vodka and sit down. This'll take a while. And due to the flexible/nonexistant nature of fourth wall on the show most of these apply both in-universe and out.
Bebe Zahara Benet is either an elegant diva or a total bore who stole the crown from Nina Flowers.
Shangela is either hilarious the second time around and much more polished, or an annoying mess who still didn't deserve to be in the competition.
Raja is either one of the fiercest queens in the history of the show, or a talentless washed up old model whose only claim to fame is Tyra Banks.
Sharon Needles is either a spooky queen who's not afraid to be different, or her brand of humor is a little too close to Unfortunate Implications for comfort.
Phi Phi became one in universe, due to her verbal attacks on the other queens.
Coco and Alyssa. You either support one and hate the other, wish both queens and their drama would sashay far away, or consider their feud the most interesting thing about Season 5. Roxxxy Andrews echoes the thoughts of many fans when she tells them both to their faces that she wishes one (or both) of them would just go home already since she's sick of the drama.
Detox's lip-sync "mouth wiggle" is either hilariously genius or an annoying gimmick that got her further in the competition than it should have. There's really no middle ground, you either adore it or abhor it.
Milk and Vivacious. You either love or hate their high-concept drag acts. With Vivi, even the judges argue over whether she continues the tradition of the 90's New York City rave scene, or is an outdated relic thereof. With Milk, you either think she's a hilarious comedy queen with her own style or that she tried too hard to be The Weird One.
Bianca is either hilarious or hateful, in universe or out.
Adore is either a spunky ingénue honing her skills and rising to the challenge of Drag Race or a sloppy queen coasting on her charisma who might have been a better competitor in a few more seasons.
Courtney Act is either an amazing fishy queen, or she looks so much like a natural woman that it's no longer drag.
Pageant queens vs comedy queens is a frequent one, both in-universe and out. Ru lampshades this in Season 6's musical theater challenge.
Among the queens, the notion of having sex with other drag queens becomes this. Some do it all the time and imply that it's a turn-on, while others see it as no better than sleeping with a woman. Sharon Needles' and Jiggly Caliente's argument in Season 4 is a great example of this divide, with Jiggly saying how gross she finds it, meanwhile Sharon was at the time in a long-term relationship with future contestant Alaska.
In addition to being a Base Breaker, Milk's out-there genderfuck drag has become a hot topic among the queens, judges, and fans. In two of her runway struts (Party Box Eleganza where she wore a billy goat beard, and the RuPaul Runway in which she dressed as boy Ru) the judges say outright Milk is either absolutely brilliant or completely off the mark in delivering too much masculinity and weirdness in her look.
The removal of the "You've got she-mail" soundbite in the wake of the "Female or Shemale?" controversy. An appreciated gesture towards the transgender community, or Political Correctness Gone Mad? Flame wars over the loss of this two-second clip got ugly.
Trans contestant Monica Beverly Hillz speaking out against the term "Ladyboy", which has always been an accepted nickname for a naturally feminine queen out of drag and is a translation of "kathoey," the Thai term for a trans woman or effeminate gay man (hence why a lot of Asian queens are known as such). While "She-Male" and "Tranny" are understandably offensive, is trying to dismiss ladyboy as an acceptable term taking things too far?
The fact that since Season 4 RuPaul asks for fan input regarding who they think should win has caused a split in the fandom. Half the fans enjoy the change, believing it is important for a queen to be considered the "Next Drag Superstar" they need to be popular with the fans, and avoid a winner that will ultimately be considered The Scrappy (See: Tyra Sanchez). On the other hand, the other half of the fandom firmly believe They Changed It, Now It Sucks applies here, and that despite Ru stating the choice is her's alone, she's influenced to pick the fan favorite as the winner which is what Miss Congeniality was supposed to be, and that the winners are, in the end, not the best choice.
Quite a few fans have accused All Stars of just being an excuse to give Chad Michaels a crown after losing Season 4 to fan favorite, Sharon Needles.
It's pretty clear that BenDeLaCreme only won Season 6's Miss Congeniality because fans were still upset that she didn't make the Top 3. Before her elimination, Joslyn and Trinity were the most likely candidates.
Counterpart Comparison: Santino initially came into the public spotlight on Project Runway, and as a judge on Drag Race frequently ends up playing the Michael Kors role in terms of critiquing the runway presentations and snarkiness.
Creator's Pet: Some controversy regarding favortism occured after Raja was crowned, when it was revealed that not only had RuPaul and Raja worked together in the past, but were reportedly friends in real life.
Invoked in all but name in-universe when the queens were certain Willam was this to the judges, as she constantly received high marks for what they considered to be nothing more than a talent for buying shoes and label dropping. Regardless of if this accusation had any merit, it did not save Willam from being disqualified for breaking the rules.
Invoked, discussed, and ultimately averted when Michelle Visage was asked if she chose Carmen Carrera to return to the show because she was from New Jersey, like she is. Michelle balks at the notion that the only reason she would like Carmen was because of where she lives, and says the very idea is just silly.
In a subversion that is more like "Sponsor's Pet", Roxxxy Andrews was apparently adored by then sponsor Absolut Vodka. It's even rumored that they had demanded that Roxxxy be the winner of Season 5, and when the crown was instead given to Jinkx, they dropped the show come Season 6.
Adore Delano. There been multiple times where she was safe when she arguably should have lipsynched, but saved due to her raw charisma, or as Ru would sometimes call it, her "It Factor".
Surprisingly averted in two of Drag Race's Spinoff shows, Drag Center with Pandora Boxx and Alyssa's Secret with Alyssa Edwards. Darienne Lake is Pandora's drag mother, and Alyssa is drag mother to Laganja Estranja, and although given clear opportunities to shill them, Pandora and Alyssa show no bias towards Darienne and Laganja, and don't even mention their relationships outside of the show.
Critical Dissonance: In Season 5, Alaska was criticized by Rupaul, the judges, and the other queens for dressing like a man in a competition to stage a children's show parody. However, if the comments on Logo's website are any indication, most viewers loved her "Buffalo Bill" persona and felt that the "drag only" critique was against the spirit of the show, as Rupaul herself once said "We're born naked and everything after that is just drag."
Something extremely similar happens in season 6 with Milk. While it still is very hypocritical Milk could have probably been more Genre Savvy about this considering the response to Alaska doing the same thing. However Milk probably didn't get faulted as hard because she was still dressed as Ru.
In Season 6's Glitter Ball, BenDeLaCreme's "Platinum Card Executive Realness" look inspired by Bette Midler from the movie Big Business was hated by the judges, Michelle saying outright although it's pretty, it's a cocktail dress and did not fit the challenge. The fans, as well as both of RuPaul's official recappers, John Polly and Pandora Boxx, adored the look and were upset that the judges not only outright ignored the Midler reference, but sent DeLa home for it.
Furthermore, the judges also hated her "Dripping in Jewels Eleganza" showgirl costume, calling it basic and predictable from DeLa at this point in the game. Raja and Raven, who have been reviewing the runway fashion each week, loved the look and singled it out as their favorite.
Phi Phi and Sharon's lip sync may quite possibly the most intense in Drag Race history, aided by the season-long tension experienced between the two as well as the extremely high energy song.
Coco and Alyssa's lipsync, for the same reasons.
Raven and Jujubee's lip sync due to the raw emotion involved, doubling as a Tear Jerker. Unlike most lip syncs, there's no dancing, no drag gimmicks, just two friends holding each other as they both burst into tears. It's so heartbreaking even Rupaul isn't able to send one of them home, telling them 'fuck it, they can both stay!'
Designated Hero: For any queen that receives an unusual amount of favorable editing to make them look like an underdog/darkhorse, this may apply. For example, Sharon Needles, despite a very large fanbase, constantly got into screaming matches with Phi Phi (with all the blame usually lumped on Phi Phi), was all for the plan to bribe Latrice to send Willam home, and has said herself she likes to stir controversy, regardless who she ends up offending.
Designated Villain: On the flip side of Designated Hero, some queens will get an unusual amount of negative editing to make them look more shady than they may actually be (at least compared to their competitors). An example would be Roxxxy Andrews, who although doesn't deny the things she said, seems to always have a negative cam session interjected into any scene to make her look bad, especially if said scene was with Jinkx.
Phi Phi O'Hara got this HARD in Season 4. While she certainly had moments where she was manipulative and needlessly bitchy, the two queens she had the most conflict with were Sharon Needles and Willam, who by many accounts are not the easiest people to get along with.
Season 6 Facebook favorite Darienne Lake was also hit hard by this, especially against BenDeLaCreme, whom seemed to have her more egotistical side edited out in favor of making her look good, and Darienne look like a jealous bully. During the show DeLa actually admitted outright she let her wins go to her head and that she considered Darienne an extremely talented queen, and many of the queens after the season have said Darienne is actually a wonderful person.
Delta Work's comedy routine, at one point she starts talking about how she doesn't want to lose weight because she is afraid of being raped on the street. Cut to the audience, you can literally see their smiles disappear.
Phi Phi O'Hara calling Latrice Royale and DiDa Ritz "The Help"note they are both black during the presidential debate challenge.
Tammie Brown, occasionally. She is quite eccentric, and the judges love to watch her to see what she will do next, but sometimes she will just scream or say inappropriate things during a heavy moment, seen often in Untucked episodes. It's hard to tell if she is just acting, or really is not all there.
In the same vein as that, Akashia commenting that the way Tammie Brown applies her lipstick makes her "look like a retard".
Happens again in All-Stars, after Mimi Imfurst calls Tammie "Rutarded", quite a few fans were not amused by the quip.
Some fans felt that RuPaul's teasing Alexis that her long-lost military lover was backstage (and in drag) was in poor taste, since Alexis had said he is most likely dead and although she claims to be over it, it seemed a very somber topic for her during the competition.
Season 5's Roxxxy Andrews came under fire after she started making fun of Jinkx Monsoon's narcolepsy, up to the point where she starts meanly acting out Jinkx's handicap. Interesting note though, Detox, who was also making fun of Jinkx, did not get the same reaction from fans, possibly because she was sent home by Jinkx in the same episode.
Invoked by Trinity during a runway when she overheard Santino talking in an exaggerated lisp assuming he was making fun of the way she spoke while wearing her dental flipper, and was genuinely hurt that he would make fun of something she was obviously struggling with. This trope was averted, however, as in an Untucked first RuPaul has an audience aside where she explains Santino wasn't making fun of Trinity, he was making fun of the way she herself was speaking, which she was ok with.
Laganja Estranga crosses this when she makes several inappropriate jokes regarding the elderly audience members invited to watch them during the Stand-Up challenge. It wasn't even the fact they were elderly, several other queens had made jokes towards them that were received quite well. Laganja just could not make her quips funny, so her jokes came off as insulting instead.
While mock-interviewing Cher's mother, Georgia Holt, Joslyn decides to bring up a very private matter in casually mentioning that as one point Georgia had considered giving her child up for abortion and asking her stance on Pro-Life/Pro-Choice now. Obviously, Georgia Holt was completely uncomfortable answering the question, and on the main stage Michelle Visage scolded Joslyn outright for talking about things that just should not be talked about.
RuPaul herself has come under quite a lot of criticism for her seemingly lack of understand of the difference between a Drag Queen (someone who dresses up as a woman in a more flamboyant style most of the time they're cis gay men) and a Transsexual (someone who identifies as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth). Her Catch Phrase "You've Got She-Mail" and her songs "Tranny-Chaser" and "Responsitrannity" were bad enough, but things finally escalated clear over the line into Dude, Not Funny! in Season 6 when a mini-challenge called "Female or She-Male" asked contestants to guess if an extreme close-up photo was of a biological woman or a "psychological woman" i.e. a drag queen and not a transsexual. Fan outcry became so bad that the episode in question has been pulled and the she-mail sound clip as been removed from future episodes completely.
It probably was also helped by the fact that former trans contestants Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz spoke out against it.
Whenever a queen would have been up for elimination if she didn't have immunity after winning the previous challenge. Tyra Sanchez in particular stands out. The judges flat-out said she would have been on the line after failing the punk rock challenge if she hadn't won the week before. Instead, she went on to win the second season without ever landing in the bottom two. As of Season 6, however, Ru has done away with immunity.
Rebecca Glasscock, who was widely considered to have avoided elimination due to luck and her pretty face.
Phi Phi O'Hara, especially when she beat fan-favorite Latrice to the final three.
Coco and Alyssa. A more cynical viewer might think Ru has only kept them over other queens who put on an equally-strong lipsync (particularly Jade Jolie and Ivy) because of the drama they stirred up. It's also notable that Coco gets eliminated only one week after Alyssa, which might be taken as the result of her no longer having Alyssa to play off of (though it was her fourth time in the bottom 2).
Inversion: One could argue that Coco didn't deserve to be up for elimination for the Telenovela challenge, and that Ru simply took that moment have Coco and Alyssa square off.
More than a few online comments have accused Roxxxy Andrews of this. After lipsynching against Alyssa, she tearfully confessed being abandoned by her mother when she was a child, which ultimately led to Rupaul in tears announcing that both she and Alyssa would not be eliminated that week and no one would be going home.
Shangela being saved from elimination in the first episode of Season 3 has been sited as this, which is also unfortunate for competitor Venus D-Lite, whom many fans believe was set up for failure in having to lip synch against Shangela. It's obvious the judges would show at least a little bias towards Shangela since it was her second time on the show (and nearly her second time being eliminated for the same challenge).
Come Season 6 we have Adore Delano, who in the first challenge was read on having the hands-down worst dress of the group, yet doesn't even get put in the bottom two for an "It Factor" the judges like from her. Happens again in her next challenge, where she avoids the bottom two despite being the team leader and miscasting April and Vivacious in their roles (which landed them in the bottom instead), as well as having an un-cinched waistline on the runway (again, with April delivering a flawless runway look). A more cynical viewer could argue the point that Ru gave Adore a pass on the first two challenges to make sure she would make it to episode 4's Musical Theater challenge, in order to play up the "Battle of the Idols" between her and Courtney Act.
Although no one was too surprised when she sent Magnolia Crawford home, Darienne Lake has been cited for performing badly in a number of challenges (including the Musical, rap challenge, talk show, and wedding makeover challenge) and not being in the bottom two when she arguably deserved to be. She also sent home fan favorite BenDeLaCreme, who the majority of Drag Race fans felt was a stronger queen than Darienne.
Ensemble Darkhorse: All of the contestants are met with a sizable following to some degree, but none so much as Sharon Needles.
Rupaul calls this trope by name when describing Alaska (partly for arriving to the show wearing a horse mask), due to the fact she was coming on the coattails of her boyfriend, Sharon Needles.
Anyone who wins Miss Congeniality has to be a fan favorite to win the voting.
Rupaul's All Stars Drag Race had previous contestants voted on via Facebook by fans. Not surprisingly, Sharon Needles was at the top of the list, with Season 2 Miss Congeniality, Pandora Boxx, right behind her.
Jinkx Monsoon in season 5, especially in light of criticisms from the other queens. Especially since she won the entire season.
Mimi Imfurst. Despite being hated by pretty much all of the queens in Season 3, she had the third-highest votes to be brought back for All-Stars, much to the disbelief of the other queens.
This seems to have worn off. During the voting for All Stars 2, Mimi is dead last.
Tammie Brown. Despite being the second queen eliminated in Season 1 (even Mimi lasted longer in her season), she was popular enough to be voted back on for All-Stars.
Latrice Royale. Aside from her larger than life positive personality, she quickly became this for her strong sense of sisterhood and level of polish not quite seen with any of the big girls in past seasons. She even mentions on the reunion being overwhelmed with fanmail!
Milk. In the poll for who should be brought back for All-Stars 2, she is the highest-ranking Season 6 queen.
It certainly helped that she's good friends with last season's winner and darkhorse Jinkx, but BenDeLaCreme was loved by the fans for her campy drag persona and showgirl-style fashion, and was a favorite for top three from the very first week ... which made it even more of a shock when she was sent home by Darienne Lake before even hitting the top four.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: A rather odd one given the usual open-mindedness the show tries to convey, but when a Drag Queen refuses to show what the judges want to see as 'versatility' (i.e. giving into the judges' aesthetic) they are usually critiqued negatively for it. Guest judge and superfan Gillian Jacobs has even pointed out that when a queen decides to 'stay true to themselves' they usually get sent home pretty soon thereafter.
This is could be another Broken Base, since many argue that queens who claim to be "staying true to themselves" really do use that as an excuse for not being versatile. For example, while Sharon Needles is normally a goth queen, she was able to produce different looks when necessary, and went on to win Season 4.
Fan Nickname: When a queen is not in drag, the fan will sometimes refer to them as being in "Boy Mode".
Fan-Preferred Couple: From Season 5, Jinkx Monsoon and Ivy Winters were ship-teased by the producers, which caused the fans (and RuPaul) to ship them. Come Season 6, many fans shipped Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano due to the friendship the two had during the show. For the record, both sets of queens were questioned about this during their reunions, and both have denied having any romantic feelings for one another whatsoever (not that it stops the fans from continuing to ship them).
Forced Meme: Vivacious' alien headpiece, Ornacia, seems to be heading in this direction. It garnered a little popularity online since it's reveal, but not even a week after Viv's elimination, RuPaul conducts a full interview with the bejeweled Styrofoam head, and Vivacious is slinging Ornacia T-shirts on the World of Wonder website for $35 a pop.
Laganja Estranja was desperately trying to emulate her Fountain of Memes drag mama, Alyssa Edwards, in Season 6, as she continuously spouted would-be catch phrases, like "Come on <whatever>!" and "Gag on my ele-ganja!". In the end all she ended up doing is coming off as fake and annoying, being called out as such by the judges and the other queens.
She even (perhaps unintentionally) tried to emulate Roxxxy's famous wig-under-the-wig. However Laganja's version lacked the subtly and drama of Roxxxy's.
Friendly Fandoms: With Project Runway, partially due to the presence of Santino Rice on both shows and the fact that the two shows combined may have the most LGBT contestants on television.
Fountain of Memes: Alyssa Edwards, who continues to be quoted well into Season 6. Her drag daughter Laganja tries to invoke this herself, but doesn't realize memes don't work that way.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Manila talking fondly about Sahara in the first episode of All Stars becomes this since Sahara died right around the time the episode aired, while it had been filmed some time before she died.
Sharon and Alaska's relationship. They both spent their respective seasons talking lovingly about each other, and how they both feared that their drag careers would cause their relationship to end. Come 2013, the couple has officially split up, with many fans speculating it was at least in part to Sharon winning Season 4, and Alaska finishing as runner-up in Season 5.
In the first episode of Season 6 the girls are asked to make outfits based on several popular TV shows, including Duck Dynasty ... filmed before the incident involving Phil Robertson making comments against the gay community.
In a similar vein, Darienne's Paula Deen impersonation for Snatch Game was filmed literally the day before Deen's racism scandal exploded across the media.
Growing the Beard: Season 3 was arguably where the show really took off. Season 1 had a much lower budget and was filmed at a different location and even though Season 2 began to resemble the current Drag Race, it was still a diamond in the rough, and a lot of the iconic, Ensemble Darkhorse queens came in season 3, marking how the show would start becoming known for the larger-than-life personalities.
Harsher in Hindsight: Detox's jokes about the various plastic surgery she's gotten become this when she reveals that she had to get major reconstructive surgery on her face after a horrific car accident that nearly killed her, and can't grow her left eyebrow as a result and has to paint it on. Generally, the joke line is drawn where the reconstructive surgery ends and the purely cosmetic surgery (ab implants and so on) begins.
Jinkx Monsoon being delegated to play Mimi Imfurst in the spoken lipsync challenge, it wasn't soon after that Jinkx started getting the same criticisms every week of being too camp with no glamour that Mimi had been getting her entire run of the show.
Meta examples: Both sets of drag couples that have appeared on the show—Sahara Davenport and Manila Luzon; Sharon Needles and Alaska—have gushed about their respective relationships, leading to some heartwarming moments. Both relationships have now since ended after their seasons have aired: Sahara and Manila's due to Sahara's death in 2012, Sharon and Alaska breaking up in 2013.
In an early season 6 episode of Untucked, the queens get into a discussion about who would sleep with whom. Darienne Lake insists sleeping with a drag queen is disgusting and Trinity K. Bonet looks almost hurt by her statements. A few episodes later, Trinity reveals she is HIV positive, casting the whole discussion in a different light.
Darienne Lake's status as a Scrappy in Season 6 becomes painfully ironic when you remember that she was the contestant voted in by fans.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: Rupaul's parting words to Shangela in Season 2. "I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of you yet. Good luck my dear. Now, sashay away."
Hilarious in Hindsight: Upon arriving in her monster getup, Raja was scoffed at and judged for being "not on the same level" by the competitors. She went on to win.
Also in Season 4, Phi Phi O'Hara commented that Sharon Needles was the weakest and would be sent home on the first day. Sharon ended up winning the first challenge, three more challenges in future episodes, and then the entire season.
Even more hilarious, Sharon Needles herself has said she fully expected to be sent home the first week of the competition, feeling that the judges wouldn't get her spooky-weird drag style.
In Season 5's "Can I Get an Amen?" Coco Montrese and Jade Jolie lip synced for their life to "I'm So Excited" by The Pointers Sisters. That same year, Pedro Almodovar's film "I'm So Excited!" was released, featuring an extended sequence of three male flight attendants entertaining passengers by lip syncing to the same song.
In response to her Lil Kim-inspired Hip Hop drag, Michelle Visage tells Alexis Mateo that her outfit to her seems more like Hannah Montana does Hip Hip, much to Mateo's confusion what with her cut-outs and (fake) breasts exposed with pasties on them. Fast-forward to Miley Cyrus now and the comment takes on a new hilarious depth!
Michelle Visage makes it no secret that she hates breast plates and once flashed her own boobs to show how real ones (her implants notwithstanding) look completely different. Fast forward to season 6's woman-or-drag-queen mini challenge, and Darienne thinks an extreme close-up of cleavage has to be a drag queen because it looked obviously fake, like a breast plate. Turns out it was Michelle! Ru was hysterical at that.
While impersonating Paula Deen for the Snatch Game Darienne calls Ru a peach, to which Ru jokingly asks "what did she just call me?" As mentioned above, this was filmed the day before Deen's racism scandal hit the news, in which Deen calls someone else something that would give them pause ...
in Season 2 Raven would be read on her weight by the other queens (Jujubee in particular: "And you, legendary you think you are. Legendary, looks like Leg and Dairy."), despite the fact that although she might be 'stocky', she was not fat.
In season 5, Roxxxy Andrews keeps going on and on about being a "big girl," but she looks like an average-sized person in and out of drag. She might be curvy, but not fat by any means, especially compared to previous queens who were considerably heavier.
In the same season as Roxxxy, Jade Jolie claimed Alyssa Edwards was overweight when she said Alyssa had "backrolls?!" In reality, Alyssa has a very average build, and while the outfit she was wearing at the time wasn't the most flattering, she certainly was not one of the heavier girls in season 5.
Adore Delano, of all people, is a victim of this trope due to having a weird proportion that gives her what she likes to call "hog body".
Hype Backlash: Sharon Needles. Come the end of Season 4 Miss Needles was probably the most fan beloved contestant of Drag Race ever and she gained quite a bit of exposure ... and then the whole N-Word Privileges and Unfortunate Implications in Germany happened. None of this was at the fault of the fame going to Sharon's head either, this was the way she had always acted as an underground goth queen ... only now, everyone was watching her.
Hypocrite: The singing challenges. The queens expected to sing flawlessly while Ru herself is Autotuned to within an inch of her life in most of her songs.
Informed Real Life Fame: Courtney Act was runner-up on Australian Idol, and even went on the tour afterwards, touring around Australia to millions of fans ... in the U.S. however she's just another drag queen, so her shilling of her Aussie fame can come off as an informed attribute (and a bit arrogant).
Jerkass Woobie: Laganja Estranja is loud, arrogant, and resentful, and rubbed most of the other queens the wrong way during her season, but during her last Untucked she felt personally attacked when Michelle Visage and RuPaul, and then Bianca and Adore, get on her case for her annoying voice and fake personality. It ends up with Laganja screaming at the girls that they've finally broke her down and leaving the gold lounge sobbing, looking desperately in need of a hug ... of course whether this was a genuine breaking point or Laganja just trying to get more attention even the queens weren't totally sure of.
Mary Sue: RuPaul, no matter what she says or does she is always considered flawless, and the only time she gets any critique is when she invites it upon herself as a joke. It certainly helps that she has her own personal stylist and make-up artist (unlike the contestants who need to do it all themselves), writes a lot of her jokes beforehand, and usually has three takes for any line she delivers so the editors can pick the best one. Still, she is the single most successful Drag Queen in the business bar none, and she does keep her attitude on the right side of camp, so Tropes Are Not Bad may apply.
"Iveeeeeeee Winterrrrrrrs." It was cute when Ru did it the first time, but she does it every time she announces Ivy for anything, making it grate on the nerves. As sad as it was to see Ivy get eliminated, at least it meant not having to hear Ru say it three times an episode.
Finally gets an explanation in the Season 5 finale. Ru was referencing, of all things, LaToya Jackson introducing Edgar Winter at a concert in 1988. LaToya herself barely remembered.
Similar to her Iveee Wintuuuurrrs schtick, Ru's low, drawn-out "Mag-nooooolia Crawford". Thankfully, Magnolia was first to be eliminated, saving the viewer from hearing it too much.
Joslyn Fox's voice and laugh, which gets compared to a dial up modem in the reading challenge.
Langanja Estranja's hyperactive "kiki" Verbal Tic that seemed entirely forced. "NO MOMMA, C'MON GURRL, OKRRRR?"
Mimi Imfurst lifting up a screaming India above her head during her lipsync.
Phi Phi deliberately sabotaging Jiggly in the Dragazines challenge
Santino mocking Trinity's speech impediment on the runway as described earlier is made out to be this, necessitating Ru to interrupt the show to clarify what Santino supposedly really meant. Apparently, in six seasons Santino waited until he was in front of a queen with well-known speech issues to make fun of Ru's speech barely-noticeable lisp. Lying Creator or worst timing ever?
Never Live It Down: Mimi Imfurst and her infamously lifting another drag queen over her head during a lip sync. When she is invited back to take part in Rupaul's All Star Drag Race, even though she said she's put the incident behind her, it's obvious the other queens have not.
Outright invoked by Magnolia Crawford, who said she had no desire to even try and win Season 6. Magnolia had no aspirations for the crown or the money, she just wanted to boost her ego with fan recognition, even if she had to make a fool out of herself during the show to do so.
One-Scene Wonder: Doubles with Early-Bird Cameo. In a Season 4 episode of Untucked, Alaska steals the show in a video message to then-lover Sharon Needles, introducing her famous "Hiiiieeeee!" and trashy style of drag.
Retroactive Recognition: Alyssa Edwards was featured on a documentary called "Pageant", following the Miss Gay America contestants. Drag Race viewers surely know what happened with that.
Rebecca Glasscock in Season 1. She and Phi Phi were the only runners-up who weren't voted back for All-Stars.
Season 3's Mimi Imfurst was disliked by almost the entire cast of other queens, mostly for living up to her drag name by always acting self-entitled and needing to cut the other queens off to make everything about her. By the time she's eliminated after lifting India up against her will during the lipsync, it looked like the judges had had enough of her as well.
Her scrappy status haunts her when she joins Rupaul's All Stars, as immediately none of the other queens want to be teamed up with her, stating that she is not an All Star and shouldn't be there. When Pandora Boxx is forced to take Mimi as her partner, Pandora pretty much stops putting in any effort to win, and they end up being sent home in the first episode. .
In season 5, we have Serena ChaCha, who wasn't liked by any of the queens for being elitist, classist, and borderline racist; she harped about being in art school whenever she could, acted as if she were better than the other queens since she had a college education, and outright stated that the rest of the queens were uneducated by repeatedly telling them to "read a book". She also didn't seem to understand drag culture as anything more than an academic exercise; she got fed up with the other queens using terms like "sickening," told them it made them sound "ghetto," and then got rightly read to filth for it.
Season 5's Roxxxy Andrews, as far as Drag Race's online community is concerned. Many commenters have called Roxxxy out on her well timed emotional breakdown right before she looked like she was going to be eliminated, as well as her sudden apology for constantly picking on or putting down Jinkx Monsoon, when earlier in the same episode Roxxxy gleefully reveals she was purposely playing on Jinkx's insecurities to throw her off her game.
Of the season winners, Tyra Sanchez is the most hated by far, as most viewers feel that her flawless runway looks did not balance out her poor attitude, and she conveniently had immunity when she would have been in the bottom two. Ru seems to have learned her lesson; one of the benefits of letting the season run before choosing a winner is being able to consider fans' opinions before making her choice.
Season 6 gives us Magnolia Crawford. She horrified the other queens when she got in a heated argument with the judges, flat-out refused to consider the judges' critiques and thinks queens who adapt are spineless, and said she was only on the show for the exposure and to boost her ego with fan recognition (Trinity even explained to her how she could have phrased that without sounding like an entitled bitch). The girls are quick to point out that hundreds of other queens—including some that have auditioned for every season—would give anything to have her spot. Then there's the fact that she entered the challenge claiming she loved to be a trashy queen, and shared a kinship with Peg Bundy... but completely gave up when handed a Hoedown theme for the Party Box Runway Challenge, bitching about how she couldn't possibly work with things like denim and red checker and instead taking the stage in a rather uninspired cow-print dress. Unlike Kelly Mantle, Magnolia's elimination wasn't the least bit controversial.
As if the producers wanted to cement her into scrappydom, in a later episode of Untucked they once again show Magnolia in the Confession Cam complaining that she doesn't like celebrity impersonation (a fan favorite) and hates Cher (after the episode featuring Cher's son and mother). To add insult to elimination, Adore Delano then quips that although she never met Magnolia, that she sounds dumb.
Gia Gunn isn't very popular with fans or the other queens, coming off as airheaded, elitist, unpolished, rude, and downright annoying. The only Pet the Dog moments she has are usually with Laganja, and only when Laganja is making a scene and no one else is buying her Attention Whore bullshit. It also doesn't help that she's Pandora Boxx's personal least favorite contestant in Season 6 as seen in her recap series, Drag Center.
Darienne Lake took Gia's spot as the bitch of the season, when she suddenly Took a Level in Jerkass towards the other queens and was spared from elimination by Ru more than once despite poor showings in challenges and on the runway. The viewer hate was taken up to eleven when she sent home fan favorite BenDeLaCreme.
Laganja Estranja seems to be a bit of this in-universe. Her immaturity, insecurity, and constantly jumping between a loud bombastic (and arguably grating) personality and sniffling, crying, overly emotional child drove fellow competitor Bianca Del Rio up the wall. Even her friend Adore Delano was concerned because, to quote, she didn't act like this in real life at all.
Shocking Swerve: When the 3rd Season gets down to its final 4 competitors, Rupaul announces that spoiler: the judges will select a previously eliminated contestant to come back and compete.
Willam's disqualification in season 4. It's not the first time Ru decided not to send anyone home from the Lip Sync before, sure, but...
In the fourth episode of season 5, Ru sends both Honey Mahogany and Vivienne Pinay home for underperforming.
Season 6 has two in just the first episode! First, the premier was split into two episodes as the queens were split into two groups of seven, to help avoid queens who fly under the radar during the early competition. Second, there's no immunity awarded ... at all! Every queen will be eligible for elimination each week.
When the season came down to the last four contestants, Ru made all four lipsynch for their lives. Less shocking was the decision to eliminate Darienne.
Squick: The "Chicken or What?" mini-challenge where, among other things, the queens had to eat deep fried cow brains. Worst is when Morgan McMichaels vomits and forces herself to keep eating to win the challenge. Ru herself has admitted the challenge made her nauseous, and it's telling that there has not been an eating mini-challenge since this.
Averted by Jujubee. Half the time, after being told what she was eating, she just nodded and kept going ... at least until Morgan vomits on her.
Moments before her disqualification, Willam's stomach turning and her vomiting over the side of the main stage, the editors didn't show the vomiting itself, but were kind enough to give us all the sound effects, as well as a close-up of Willam as she spat over the side of the stage afterwards.
During the Season 6 make-over challenge Joslyn Fox's drag bride, "Bradonna Fox", had to excuse himself off-stage before he also started to throw up from the stress brought on by his feminine transformation. Again, although nothing was actually shown, the audience still gets to hear all of the sound effects.
In reaction to Joslyn's tuck on the runway, wearing what was basically akin to a crotch and asscrack pastie: "That was a meaty tuck."
Not for the show per se, but for the reunion. Starting Season 4, the reunion has been filmed in front of a live audience as opposed to the intimate studio setting of the first three seasons, and engages in much more filler and is significantly less insightful regarding the contestants. Furthermore, since the reunion is filmed ahead of its airing, each of the final three are filmed as being announced of the winner (with the actual winner's crowning sequence being aired), causing the reactions to look rehearsed and fake. Sharon herself admitted that she didn't feel anything during filming the crowning since it felt very fake to her.
Some of this is because months pass between the rest of the season and the finale, giving the queens plenty of time to mend fences in private.
As of Season 6 all signature challenges have been moved an episode earlier than they normally appear, which means fan favorite Snatch Game was played with 10 queens, instead of the normal 9. At first glance, this would appear to be a good thing, an extra queen to play the game ... however, the show seemed to have serious issues with time management, and most queens barely got to answer one question (or in the case of Darienne Lake, no questions at all!). What's worse, there was no bonus footage offered for the Snatch Game this season, so what we saw during the show is all we're going to get, it seems.
The removal of the You've Got Mail segment (which was itself a rather unfortunate play on the phrase) as mentioned above was removed in attempts to show more sensitivity towards trans people has been received an extreme amount of backlash. Even a large amount of queens from past seasons have complained about it. What's truly strange about it is that the segment in question is only 20 seconds and isn't necessary to the show yet it has probably received the most fan backlash of any change made to the show.
Trailer Joke Decay: Happened in Season 6 with Laganja Estranga's "Come on Season 6, let's get sickening!!! *death drop*", as it was played in just about every preview trailer before and during the season. Especially annoying in that afterwards it became obvious Laganja was purposely trying to invoke herself as a Fountain of Memes, and most likely said the line because the clip would be obvious trailer-bait.
Unfortunate Implications: In five seasons, RuPaul has never had a straight drag queen participate on the show. Every contestant has been gay, bi, or transsexual (though that has only been revealed during filming or after the season aired). Most seasons have a heavy focus on the gay community, so it is possible Ru just does not accept straight queens on the show, and may only be looking for gay queens, although she never says this outright and still accepts audition tapes from straight queens, as shown during the casting specials. It may also have something to do with the show airing on LOGO, a network designed specifically for people on the LGBT spectrum.
It is also worth noting that Ru has never accepted a queen older than she is. But since she's in her mid-50's, this could be justified by the more physically demanding challenges, such as the pro wrestling episode in Season 4.
The show it's self seems to have a rather narrow definition of what "drag" is considering there are so many different types (like the already mentioned straight queens, as well faux-queens, drag kings and even more transgressive "genderfuck" type drag which even though it has appeared on the show the queens who do it often catch some flack for not abiding to a more uniform idea of what "feminine").
There seems to be a Double Standard that a queen who is trans is not allowed to compete (though that is mostly relegated to wild mass guessing) or that it's considered "unfair" for a trans queen because she may have an "advantage" (like hormones or any sort of surgery like breasts or genital reassignment surgery). Meanwhile some of the queens especially ones who are celebrity impersonators have admittedly to having surgery to look more like the celebrity they aim imitate.
However, in subversion to this point during the All Stars fan favorite vote on Facebook, in which the fans could vote for a particular queen to be given a guaranteed "in" for the season, several queens who had previously come out during their reunions as trans and have started medically transitioning into a woman (namely Sonique, Carmen Carrera, and Kenya Michaels) were not barred from the vote. Granted, they did not get voted in, but it is interesting they would still be included as possibilities despite no longer adhering to the original rules of the show.
The "Female or She-Male" mini-challenge in Season 6—where the queens had to look at an extreme close-up and decide if the person was a cis woman or a drag queen—has offended members of the transgender community, including former contestant Carmen Carrera. While no transsexual women were included in the game, the use of a slur has rubbed many the wrong way. The "You've Got She-Mail" segment is borderline enough. In the wake of this the episode with the mini challenge has been removed and the show has promised to be more sensitive to the use of slurs like this, the first such change being that the "You've Got She-Mail" sound clip has been removed from the already filmed episodes.
It appears that a majority of people who were offended by the removal of the mail segment are not trans and wouldn't really get to decide if it's harmful or not. That says a lot.
Unpopular Popular Character: Mimi Imfurst is a real world example, as she was disliked by about every queen in both seasons she participated in (Season 3 and All Stars) but is very popular with the fans, in a recent poll she even ranked third just behind Sharon Needles and Pandora Boxx.
The Untwist: Every season since Season 2 during the themed Drag Ball the queens have to perform in an original Broadway-style lip-synch, and every single season the queens act like this is the biggest twist ever, acting nervous and upset that they are being taken away from their dressmaking for the challenge, and that it's a totally unexpected twist they are expected to perform in the number.
Lampshaded by Pandora Boxx during her review show, Drag Center, complete with air quotes when talking about the so-called "twist".
Vindicated by History: During the Season 4 Zombie Apocalypse challenge Phi Phi O'Hara was upset when her outfit, a costume modeled after a sort of road warrior drag queen complete with battle scars, went ignored by the judges and was only deemed "safe". Later that season during the look-back, Phi Phi's battle queen outfit was actually one of the top looks according to RuPaul, and even better, during a series of top lists regarding all of the past 5 seasons, Phi Phi's look again makes it onto the list.
Season 6 sees a similar situation involving Darienne Lake's Tony Awards inspired dress, in which the judges don't give it much positive feedback. During the top 10 outfits of the seasons, Darienne's "pond-scum green" outfit makes an appearance.
Wangst: Coco Montrese and the whole Alyssa Edwards thing, although Alyssa instigates it as well it never seems to bother her much, whereas for Coco it was always a Berserk Button. Many Drag Race fans got tired of watching Coco rant and cry and bitch about it every episode, and Alyssa even calls Coco out on the fact whenever things get too real she'll turn on the waterworks.
The Woobie: Jiggly Caliente. So much. To put it mildly, Jiggly was in over her head as far as the sewing and costuming challenges, and hadn't fully processed her mother's death and her own emotional issues. But the other queens were fairly ruthless to her, with an almost Once an Episode screaming match in the interior illusions lounge. It got so bad that Kenya Michaels sent a letter several episodes after Kenya was eliminated continuing to trash her. And ultimately she is undone when Phi Phi O'Hara sabotages her by picking on her body image. In her final Untucked, she looks practically broken.
And then you get to the reunion. The reunion where you learned everything about Jiggly and Phi Phi's past. How they lived together and how they were sisters and how betrayed she felt when Phi Phi sabotaged her. And then all Phi Phi could do was bounce it off saying that this was a competition and she was in it to win it. It legitimately hurts to watch how much she seems to adore and support Phi Phi O'Hara after the competition.
Also, several of the queens become this when they tearfully recount difficult pasts such as abusive or dead parents, childhood bullying, dead boyfriends, etc.