YMMV / RuPaul's Drag Race

Tropes with their own subpage:

  • Base Breaking Character
  • Broken Base

  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Asian and Hispanic queens in particular are the target of racial jokes regarding their culture or accents. For example, Yara Sofia was criticized numerous times for her thick Puerto Rican accent.
    • N-Word Privileges: Many racial jokes will come from a queen of that race. Manila Luzon stretched it a bit by making jokes about mainland East Asians despite being Filipino, causing some debate among her fellow competitors over how acceptable that is. Korean queen Kim Chi of Season 8 also uses many controversial Asian stereotypes for humor, but in her case she admits fully her sense of humor is kind of fucked up.
    • Some challenges have a bit of racial humor baked in, encouraging the queens to play up racist stereotypes; Season 2's "Disco Extra Greasy Shortening" challenge had the queens acting like Deep South hillbillies, while "RuCo's Empire" in Season 8 had them coaching the queens on how to pop their tongue and act like ghetto black girls. The former challenge (along with that episode's cowboy/western-themed runway) actually made Texas-based Mystique concerned about her fans back home potentially feeling insulted.
  • Accidental Innuendo: It's always difficult to tell if any innuendo on this show is ever accidental; however, during All-Stars, Tammie Brown and Nina Flowers were teamed up and given the Portmanteau Couple Name of "Team Brown Flowers". As it gets pointed out during the show, a "Brown Flower" is also another word for an anus.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • RuPaul herself falls into this. Every episode, Ru roams the workroom as the girls prepare for challenges. Is her intention to give them some constructive criticism, or is it to shake them up and create more reality TV drama? Her infamous "staredown" with Season 7's Pearl, as well as Ru's obvious meddling with Violet and Fame's choices for Snatch Game, has only served to further polarize this issue with fans.
    • In one episode of season 6, Gia Gunn comforts Laganja Estranja backstage into not quitting the competition and to give it her all. Was Gia being a good friend despite the fact that they might both be in the bottom and would have to fight each other to stay? Or was Gia simply so sure that Milk would be in the bottom two instead of the both of them that encouraging Laganja would be relatively harmless?
    • 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.
    • Max is another one that could be taken a number of ways: is she a classy Nice Guy who genuinely tries to avoid drama and stay positive? Or is she just as bitchy as the other girls, but expresses these thoughts off-camera? She was certainly sanitizing herself to a degree—she has stated that she wanted to present an image her family could watch, and her brand outside the show is fairly leather-gothic and bondage-heavy as opposed to the old-school film glamour she presented on Drag Race. Untucked also feature scenes of Ginger and Kennedy claiming she is a bit of a bitch and Max herself trash talking Ginger and Jaidynn behind their backs.
    • Was Ginger Minj telling the truth when she claimed that dancing and sewing are big weaknesses for her, or was she cultivating a more vulnerable image? Outside the show, she has a theater background and choreography and costume design credits, which have raised eyebrows for some fans. When questioned about these at the reunion, she clarified that those resume items were actually 16 years old—meaning Ginger was 13 at the time—and were from a children's theater group, where "Costume Designer" could mean buying cheap clothes at a thrift shop and using them as-is.
    • Michelle and Ru's critiques of Derrick in the first episode of Season 8. Michelle says she wants to see more than the Britney Spears impersonation Derrick is known for, while Ru says it's okay for her to do Britney if that's her style. Are they really in disagreement, or are they intentionally making her question how she wants to move forward in the competition?
    • Naysha Lopez: A sympathetic queen who left too soon, when she had so much more to show? Or a condescending pageant bitch who can't dance and was sent home right on time? Her return is similarly split for the same reasons, for those who are glad she was given a second chance, and those who believe she was sent home for a reason and it was a waste for her to return (especially since said return was built up beforehand, making many people think someone else was going to join the cast instead), as she was promptly eliminated again in the next episode.
    • Alaska repeatedly saving Roxxxy Andrews from elimination in AS2: Was she just being a loyal friend and saving Roxxxy because she really believed she had more to offer and deserved to stay? Or was she trying to covertly eliminate some stronger competitors (Alyssa and Tatianna) and keep Roxxxy in the game because she knew she could beat her in the finale?
    • Valentina: Genuine Nice Guy or Bitch in Sheep's Clothing? She was sympathetic and all smiles during the show, but multiple queens (Raja, Aja, Farrah Moan and Shea Coulee) have since called her out for being fake. Doesn't help that when she wins Miss Congeniality, almost everyone in the room argues she doesn't deserve it and changes the title to "Miss Fan Favorite." Her response afterwards hasn't helped.
  • Anvilicious: Sometimes the queens going into their Dark and Troubled Past, whether it be about their families or finding love or what have you, can feel really scripted and forced. As revealed at an Untucked Panel at Drag Con 2016, it is common for a producer to walk up to a queen in the workroom, interrupt the already limited time she has for makeup, and tell her to start talking about her dead mother.
    • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: At the same time, the queens are still exposing raw nerves to a national audience and sharing their lives with troubled gay youth. Tempest DuJour has even said if their stories can help one gay kid considering suicide to live another day, then it was all worth it.
      • Happens again in the third episode of Season 9, several of the queens recount how closely the Pulse massacre affected them. Sasha invokes this by reminding us many of the victims were LGBT people of color.
  • Arc Fatigue: Season 5's Alyssa/Coco rivalry. Presumably Ru wanted to recapture the popularity of season 4's Phi Phi/Sharon dynamic, but Alyssa and Coco refused to be anything but vague about their falling out. Season 5's acting and comedy focus—not a forte for either of them—also kept them from holding viewers' attention. In the end fans were just waiting for one of them to go home already.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After complaints from Season 3 about the winner being spoiled months before the actual finale, Ru decided that instead they would film each of the finalists winning, and decide right before the episode actually airs who the real winner is. This abated complaints about leaks, but raised a whole new set of arguments about the crowning now feeling incredibly fake.
    • The season 9 finale manages to addresses complaints about previous seasons and itself:
      • The finale format attempted to make up for the "multiple endings" trick introduced in season 4 and season 9's own lackluster lip syncs. The final four were left hanging for several months after filming the penultimate episode. The finale was filmed live with a studio audience close to the airdate and featured a lip sync elimination tournament where Ru could genuinely crown the winner for the first time. Said audience immediately leaked the winner on Reddit, and the tournament twist still caused a bit of a Broken Base.
      • With season 4, the finale and reunion were combined into one live show filmed before an audience. From season 5, fans expressed concerns that being in front of a huge crowd cowed the queens into treating each other "too nicely" instead of bringing up drama from that season.note  This only got worse in Season 7 when the finale shifted even more focus on the finalists, pushing the eliminated queens Out of Focus so we barely get caught up with them at all. Season 9 saw the finale and reunion split into separate episodes again, with the reunion filmed in a closed studio setting so the fans got their unfiltered drama—and for many fans, enough of it to make up for a relatively drama-free season.
    • Some fans are applauding All Stars 3 for being the first All Stars season without an obvious winner before it even starts airing. Many decried All Stars 1 for looking like a hastily thrown together pretense to crown Chad Michaels, and while All Stars 2 was much better received, fans still accused the season of shilling Alaska too much. After the season aired, however, new concerns and complaints have arisen regarding the season.
  • 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.
    • You could make a case for any time one of the queens who was previously eliminated that season is brought back, as with Season 3's Carmen Carrera or Season 4's Kenya Michaels. Although they were fierce competitors prior to their elimination (which is why the judges brought them back in the first place) they seem a bit out of their element once they returned, and are once again eliminated the same episode they are brought back. This may also be the reason Ru skipped this little twist in Seasons 5 and 6.
    • Roxxxy Andrews was Top 3 in Season Five with 2 wins under her belt. Now in All Stars 2 she's been in the bottom four times with only one win.
      • She even experiences Badass Decay within All Stars 2, winning the first challenge and first Lip Sync For Your Legacy. Then the rest of the season happens...
    • Nina Bonina Brown won the first challenge and could top Acid Betty for unique runways. Once she lets her paranoia get to her, her progress goes downhill.
    • After the cast reveal for Season 9, Aja was a quick fan favorite, many supposed 'leaks' and predictions pegging her to win multiple challenges early on and easily be a frontrunner for the top three ... her actual run on the show, in which she never hit top three before an elimination midway through the season most certainly did not live up to these expectations.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The middle of Season 7's award show challenge, which takes a little break from the comedy writing to go into detail about Miss Fame growing up on a chicken farm. It splices together multiple interviews and makes her look like a total Cloud Cuckoolander.
    • Another example from Season 7, for the leaf blower mini-challenge all of a sudden Moby shows up to participate in the challenge. This seems really out of place since the challenge had nothing to do with Moby (or music in general), nor was Moby in any way involved with the rest of the episode. He just shows up for a guest spot, gets blown by the Pit Crew, and leaves.
    • Episode 7 of All Stars 2 has Anastasia of Anastasia Beverley Hills Cosmetics come in to show the queens and their loved ones how to do their eyebrows for about five seconds. She then leaves and this is never spoken of again.
    • Lisa Kudrow's appearance in Season 9. At first, Ru's story of having run into her on the lot seems like a joke, but it quickly becomes clear that it's the truth.
  • Consolation Award:
    • 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. Some say the same is true for Alaska in All Stars 2.
    • 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.
    • Happens again in Season 9 with Valentina, who had a massive voting bloc of fans who lobbied for her to win Miss Congeniality despite not being particularly congenial. The other queens quickly call this out and even suggest that she be called "Miss Fan Favorite".
  • 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.
    • For that matter, most judge roles on Project Runway seem to have a Drag Race counterpart. Michelle Visage shares this with Nina Garcia, in that both are deeply embedded in the culture they judge while not actually being a part of the core culture (Nina is a fashion editor, not a designer, and Michelle is a drag show MC, but not herself a drag queen), while also being considered too mean/bitchy in their critiques by fans.
    • Ru meanwhile covers two bases; Workroom Ru, who wears fine suits and gives helpful guidance to the queens as they work, fills the role of Tim Gunn. Judge Ru, on the other hand, is a lot like Heidi Klum in that Ru is the face of the show, and is considered the 'nice one' in comparison to the other judges, not to mention they are both models. Only difference is, Ru is the lead judge and can make any decision without input from the others, whereas Heidi can be outvoted.
  • Creator's Pet: Some controversy regarding favouritism occurred 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.
    • Some argue that Rebecca Glasscock was this in the first season, as Ru admitted outright she was 'blinded by her beauty' and the judges state on-camera that they think they probably gave her a pass when she just wasn't anywhere near the same level as Nina and Bebe.
    • 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 lip-synched, but saved due to her raw charisma, or as Ru would sometimes call it, her "It Factor".
    • In Season 7 Violet Chachki started out as the unlikable bitch, and seemed to develop over the season and show her Hidden Depths. However, a few fans have noticed that Ru really seemed to spoon-feed the audience this so-called 'depth', explaining what she assumed were Violet's quirks and reasons for acting the way she does, with Violet just nodding and agreeing with her.
    • 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 ex, 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.
    • The fans believe Alaska Thunderfuck is this for All Stars 2.
  • 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 often says "We're born naked and the rest is drag."
    • Something extremely similar happens in season 6 with Milk. While it still is very hypocritical Milk could have probably been smarter 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.
    • The second season of All Stars shows Michelle Visage reading Adore Delano to filth on-stage for her outfit while seemingly dismissing the song Adore herself wrote and sang live, leading Adore to be in tears backstage. Seeing how Adore is one of the most beloved queens of the show fans were livid with Michelle, calling her a bully. Even the queens backstage agreed the critiques were very harsh, and Katya has said afterwards on her Youtube channel that she was shocked at the display, also stating she felt Michelle was outright bullying Adore.
    • In the Snatch Game for the second season of All Stars, Alyssa was deemed safe for her take on Joan Crawford, when many fans felt she should have been in the top three that week. Detox was placed in the bottom for her take on Nancy Grace, but fans and the other queens felt otherwise. Alternatively, many fans also thought Phi Phi deserved to be on the bottom for her Theresa Caputo and swimsuit/rubbery ducky runway as opposed to her spot in the top three, especially over the aforementioned Alyssa and Detox.
    • In All Star 3's Divas tribute, Chi Chi DeVayne was placed in the Bottom 3 despite the rave reviews she received from the judges for her portrayal of Patti LaBelle. Meanwhile, Milk managed to remain safe despite making the questionable choice of referencing Cťline Dion's look at the 2017 MET Gala, which Trixie remarked was nothing close to as iconic and recognizable as Milk seemed to believe it was (she had dark hair for this outfit despite being best known as a blonde). There were, of course, numerous other complaints about the decisions of this episode, but most of them fall firmly within Broken Base territory.
    • Many fans thought the critiques Aja received for the Andy Warhol runway were far too harsh, as Ru and the judges seemed intent on belittling and embarrassing Aja for not knowing how to pronounce France Joli and her look reading too 60's instead of 70's, saying this means Aja doesn't know her references. However, even though she cannot pronounce it, she still used France Joli as a reference, and even if her look read 60's many fans argue it was still the most gorgeous and well-constructed garment on the runway. Not only that, but in defense of Aja's reference pools, many fans will happily point out Aja did do a spot-on Crystal LaBeija for the Snatch Game, a very obscure drag reference that should earn her some points.
  • 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. Her return to All Stars 2 had her hoping to shed this designation, but it didn't work out. Although in the case of AS2, fans are more split on if Phi Phi was really getting a bad edit, or if she has more fault then she's willing to admit and is trying to pass blame onto the show.
    • 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.
    • Pretty much whenever there's a conflict between a pageant queen and a comedy queen, the editing will make the pageant queen out to be a petty, close-minded bully and completely gloss over any apologies or legitimate gripes.
    • In Season 7, Jasmine Masters suffered from this when it was made it look like she was going off on several younger queens for no reason other than being bitter, when afterwards she has had the chance to explain her comments were not unprovoked, it was just the parts beforehand were edited out. To make matters worse, the unflattering editing and her subsequent elimination caused many fans to lash out at her on Twitter, using racial slurs and making death threats (to the point Jasmine legitimately feared for her safety). Eventually RuPaul herself had to step in to tell fans to back off.
    • Invoked by Acid Betty in season 8 who outright stated in her confessionals that she was a such a bitch that "even Bianca Del Rio wouldn't mess with her". She also made it a big deal to be rude to the queens and throw them under the bus if she could. However Betty started showing a softer side and was a very Graceful Loser so it's clear that it was more of a Jerkass FaÁade.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Covergirl! Put the bass in your walk!
    • Don't be jealous of my boogie!
    • You're a champion, greatest of them all!
    • She's a female phenomenon/She's a glamazon!
    • This is the beginning!
    • I bring the beat/I bring the beat
    • Can I get an amen?/Can I get an amen?/If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
    • This groove is for my girls, little ladyboys and girls/ (This groove is for my ladyboys) Ladyboys and girls!
    • Now sissy that walk! Dun-de-dun-de-twoing-de-dun-dun!
    • We're all born naked, and the rest of drag!
    • Guess who's back in the house?/Heels click-clacking about./Fine, fresh, feminine, style to eleven/I'm divine, so heavenly, gentlemen sweating/It's dimes across the board, no doubt!
  • Elimination Houdini:
    • 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 lip-sync (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 lip-syncing 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.
      • Roxxxy gets hit with this even harder in All Stars 2, though unintentionally on her part. She placed in the bottom five times, more than anyone ever has, and coasted through into the top 4 since neither Alaska nor Detox were about to eliminate their friend over their more competitive opponents. Poor Roxxxy seemed just about ready to finally leave every week, too.
    • Shangela being saved from elimination in the first episode of Season 3 has been cited 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.
    • Kandy Ho, who has been a non-entity for most of Season 7 but has managed to hold her own in two lip-syncs (sending home veteran queens Tempest DuJour and Mrs. Kasha Davis in the process, both of whom arguably brought more to the table), and somehow avoided lip-syncing for the Spoof (There It Is!) challenge when many fans agree she deserved to be more than Trixie Mattel.
    • Miss Fame has taken Kandy's place, she's pretty much a non-entity in any acting or comedy challenge thrown at the queens (and Season 7 has quite a few), but seems to be saved purely by her runway looks. She's avoided the bottom 2 several times, which is probably a good thing for her since Fame has said outright she is not a performer and doubts her ability to survive a lip-synch (which ends up being the case when she finally had to lip-synch in Episode 9)
    • Certainly a Broken Base depending on if you like her or not, but Pearl has been very lucky it seems, either avoiding lip-synchs even if she performs poorly, and when she couldn't avoid them, she manages to make it through despite her odd and limited dance moves. The first time vs. Trixie she pulled through since at that point the judges hadn't seen her dancing yet, and against Fame, Fame just wasn't a performer and was wearing a very movement-limiting costume. Even the other queens have called her out on her dancing, calling it "PEARL SMASH!" (fans, on the other hand, like to refer to it as the "Stoner Robot").
    • Farrah Moan doesn't know how to sew in Season 9 and is called out, twice, for wrapping "fabric around her dress and calling it a skirt." After spending half the episode moaning and complaining about the process...she's just barely declared safe in the bottom. Conspiracy theorists assume the producers wanted Aja to send Kimora home.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: All of the contestants are met with a sizable following to some degree, but none so much as Sharon Needles. Although in recent years her popularity has waned after circumstances regarding alleged racism and drug abuse has come to the light, not to mention her break-up with the also very popular Alaska.
    • 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.
      • Alaska has come in at #2 in RuPaul's Drag Race: 15 Fan Favorite Queens of All Time, beating both her ex-boyfriend Sharon Needles and her season's winner Jinkx Monsoon (who both didn't even break the top 10). In fact, the show even asked Alaska to provide running commentary on Season 4 and 5's Untucked episodes and two episodes of season 7.
    • 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. Fan polls for casting All Stars 2 has Mimi 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!
    • Willam Belli. Being a polished Jack-of-All-Trades Stealth Parody of divas kept her in the public's eye.
    • Milk. While her style didn't win her many points with Ru, she became a hit with fans in season 6.
    • 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.
    • Despite her Base Breaker status during her season, Adore Delano took the #1 spot on RuPaul's Drag Race: 15 Fan Favorite Queens of All Time out of every single drag queen from the past 6 seasons.
    • Max was an early standout for Season 7 for a few reasons due to being one of the most unknown queens (she only has a Twitter and Instagram) and for her goth/old Hollywood style and quirky personality. This was only further cemented in the show proper when she has gone out of her way to be one of the most optimistic and least shady queens of the entire series (even if her dislike of "crude and sexual humor" has gotten her a bit of flack).
    • Katya was originally a Willam wannabe from the first trailers, but the moment she made her surreal Tumblr and her CoverGurlz video premiered she shot to likely one of the most popular Season 7 queens. Her hammy personality and good attitude during her actual season has only further inflated her fanbase.
    • Trixie Mattel was eliminated in episode 4 of Season 7, yet so many Drag Race fans felt her departure was a Shocking Elimination that they bombed social media with #JusticeForTrixie. It was little surprise that fans were overjoyed when she earned a spot back on the show in Episode 8 (many claiming the fan outcry had something to do with it ... despite the fact the show was filmed months in advance).
    • Chi Chi DeVayne is Season 8's darkhorse in the most traditional sense. Several queens this season already had substantial fanbases before appearing on the show, while Chi Chi was a local queen unknown outside Shreveport, Louisiana. Her good nature, creativity with unconventional materials, and fierce dancing skills cemented her place on the show, and her struggles with poverty made fans want to see her do well and make a name for herself. The fact that Chi Chi makes a rather handsome man doesn't hurt either.
    • Cynthia Lee Fontaine is another Darkhorse, as fans loved her kindhearted, sweet, outgoing nature, calling her "diabetes in human form". In fact, despite only lasting three episodes she won the title of Miss Congeniality for Season 8.
    • Vanessa Vanjie Mateo has already managed to cement herself as Season 10's first darkhorse. While almost every first eliminated queen has a subsection of fans complaining that she was sent home too soon, Miss Vanjie stood out for having a large presence and an effusive, endearing charisma. However, what really brought the fans out in droves was her unexpectedly early elimination, being the first out and leaving the fanbase wanting more. And then the memes happened.
  • 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 Hater: A number of queens have been public in their dislike of certain aspects of the Drag Race fandom, Bianca Del Rio has stated she has no patience for fans who are rude to other queens and dislikes fans who only ever bring up the show when they speak with her. Season 2 winner, Tyra Sanchez, has gone on record as saying she refuses to accept fans thinking of herself as a role model. This is invoked on the show directly during the Season 9 reunion, where the queens talk at length about Valentina's toxic fandom, and scold Valentina for not doing her part of curb her aggressively rude fanbase.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: At least as far as the transgender fanbase is concerned, referring to an openly trans contestant by her former male name (even using née, a feminine term for "formally") is met with harsh criticism. While most queens have never spoken up on their opinion on if they do find this personally offensive, general consensus is if a trans queen has legally changed their name (or just publicly requests to go by a different name) then it is just polite to refer to them by that name, and disregard a birth name they chose to disassociate with themselves.
  • Fan Nickname: When a queen is not in drag, the fan will sometimes refer to them as being in "Boy Mode".
    • "VisageGate", when despite winning the first challenge Violet Chachki started the next episode by declaring that "I hate Michelle Visage".
    • "She-MaleGate" in response to the 'Female or She-Male' mini-challenge from Season 6, which is still a sensitive topic to this day. Some people also refer to the incident as "TrannyGate", although that term is derided by the trans community.
  • Fanon: Between seasons 4 and 8, the winner was crowned from the Top 3, with no final placement announced between the runners-up. However, fans can generally agree who was second and third. For example:
    • Season 4: Chad Michaels clearly placed second, evidenced by the fact that she came back for All Stars (and won), while Phi Phi O'Hara was one of only two runners-up (out of eight at the time) who did not.
    • Season 5: Even though the Top 3 were pretty neck and neck (all three had won two challenges and had their own strengths and weaknesses), Roxxxy's poor attitude towards Jinkx caused her to lose fan support, making it a toss-up between Jinkx and Alaska. While Roxxxy and Alaska both returned for All-Stars 2, the fact that Alaska won the season while Roxxxy fared poorly only confirms their placement.
    • Season 6: Courtney Act admitted on her "Besties For Cash" episode on WOWPresents that Adore came second. Once again, Adore returned for All Stars 2 while Courtney did not.
    • Season 7: Ginger Minj was, for many, the implicit frontrunner, to the point that Violet's win was quite shocking at the time; Ginger was quite clearly second. That said, Violet is of the opposite opinion, believing the Top 3 should've included Katya in Ginger's place, who she thinks probably would've beaten her. Once again, Ginger (and Katya) returned for All Stars 2, Pearl did not.
    • Season 8: Kim Chi was the runner-up for Season 8, as she won two challenges and never landed in the bottom, compared to Naomi's single win (no All-Stars point of reference can be made since no Season 8 queens appeared in All-Stars 2 due to the close proximity of filming).
    • Season 9: Fans seems seem to assume because Trinity technically went home first, that Trinity took fourth place and Shea took third. This is in spite of the fact both Trinity and Shea were eliminated in the semi-final rounds of the lip-sync finale, meaning they should logically share third place. This may be influenced by the fact that Shea was the frontrunner going into the finale, with the best track record of the four girls, with Trinity and Sasha close behind and Peppermint a somewhat distant fourth.
    • All-Stars 1: Jujubee placing third and Shannel placing fourth is taken as canon gospel among fans, so much so that even The Other Wiki noted it as fact for a long time, despite the fact that both queens were eliminated at the same time with neither one ranked above the other. Interestingly, if these placements are the case, it means that Raven, Jujubee and Shannel all finished the season in the same position they did in their original seasons.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: From Season 5, Jinkx Monsoon developed a crush on Ivy Winters, 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 anything going on. Fans continue to ship them, of course.
  • Forced Meme:
    • Vivacious' alien headpiece, Ornacia, seemed to be heading in this direction at first. 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. As of 2015 however, Ornacia has joined Lil' Poundcake as one of the most popular non-living drag queens on the show.
    • 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.
      • For better or for worse, "Come on Season __, let's get sickening!" will probably be brought back at the start of each season for the rest of the show's run.
    • Cynthia's "cucu" catchphrase, which she usually uses several times per episode she appears in. Annoyance over her using it ironically became something of a Memetic Mutation within the fandom itself during season 8 and 9.
  • 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 long after her original season. Her drag daughter Laganja tries to invoke this herself, and while fans were heavily resistant to her at first she eventually joined her drag mother in being one of the most memorable and quoted queens on the show.
    • Jasmine Masters has become this after her season thanks to her YouTube videos, providing, for example, "My name is Jasmine Masters and I have something to say", "Ru Paul's Drag Race have fucked up drag", "#thatpart", and the Get a Job Challenge.
  • "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.
    • Season 7's Mrs. Kasha Davis doing an impromptu Joan Rivers impersonation, likely filmed just before or just after Rivers tragically passed away.
    • In Season 8 Bob is making fun of Acid Betty's inability to take criticism by making a joke that one day Betty will come into a club with a shotgun just because somebody badmouthed her ... considerably less funny after the incident at Pulse nightclub (which happened right after this season).
  • 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 started appearing in season 3, marking how the show would start becoming known for the larger-than-life personalities.
    • Happened with the All Stars seasons. All Stars 1 is near-universally considered to be the show's worst season, due to the poorly though-out "teams" twist, confusing challenges that didn't make sense in the context of the show, and a run of six episodes giving almost no time for any real plot or drama to develop. In contrast, All Stars 2 is ranked among some of the show's best due to simply not doing anything All Stars 1 did, while still developing an interesting story of redemption and legacy among its cast of 10 queens who lost their first season.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In season 2, as Sahara Davenport and Morgan McMichaels are about to lip-sync for their lives to "Carry On" by Martha Wash, RuPaul tells them why the song is special to her: she played it "incessantly" around the time her mother died of cancer. She concludes by saying: "I want each of you girls to know that even through adversity and death, love and energy lives forever." Sahara Davenport would pass away in 2012, making the speech doubly heartbreaking.
    • 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 lip-sync 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.
    • During the build-up to the Season 7 Grand Finale Ginger Minj during one of the many interview Youtube videos on WOWPressents sheepishly but jokingly asks fans to please like her. As it turns out, the fans really didn't like her that much due to her antagonistic attitude towards the younger queens on the show (#AnyoneButGinger), and this arguably was the main reason she lost the season, despite the majority of season 7 playing to her natural strengths of comedy and acting (not to mention a lot of people felt it was time a Big Beautiful Woman won the show, which was also Ginger's major selling point for the crown).
    • In the Season 7 recap episode, Adore Delano jokes(?) in an interview that if Ru ever critiqued her as harshly as she critiqued the queens after the ShakesQueer challenge, she would cry, and then "Jasmine Masters it up", pack up her things and leave. Come All Stars 2...
    • There was a Broken Base after queens like Naomi Smalls and Bob the Drag Queen would read Season 9's Aja for her skin. While some people thought the jokes were immediately in bad taste, others argue they were obviously not meant to be malicious (reading is practically a pastime in the drag world) and Aja was being too sensitive. Then "Good Morning Bitches" airs, and Aja reveals how cruel people have been to her, and that people have been outright calling her ugly to her face for years due to her facial scars and skin complexion.
    • Noah Galvin appeared as a guest judge for the tv pilot challenge. The episode aired a week after Galvin's own show, The Real O'Neals, was cancelled by ABC.
    • In Season 9, when Valentina offers to share a disorder she's been struggling with, Eureka immediately makes a bad joke that it's an eating disorder. In the next episode when Eureka apologizes, Valentina reveals she really is struggling with anorexia.
    • Season 3 was blatantly transphobic at times, which while wasn't acceptable at the time, has aged even more poorly after the "She-Male/Female" scandal of Season 6 or Peppermint's fear of being ostracized in Season 9. This includes the queens quite rudely accusing Stacy and Mariah of being trans in a very negative way, and Shangela and Alexis even having an entire conversation in Untucked about how trans people have no business being on the show, stating the show is called 'Drag' Race, not 'Tranny Race'.
    • In Season 7 Ginger Minj received what seemed to be a very touching video message from her then partner, even going on at length how he's the only person who's ever made her feel beautiful. Before Season 7 even finished airing, the two broke up and Ginger actually admits the two had an incredibly toxic and verbally abusive relationship, and while she admits the fault rests on both of their heads it does make what was originally presented as such a touching moment darker on a rewatch.
  • 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.
    • 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 4's "Queens Behind Bars" sitcom challenge, celebrity guest Max Mutchnick wasn't a fan of Sharon either, saying "I hate the name, I hate the look, nobody wants to go to a drag show to see the little girl from The Ring!" Sharon not only won the season, but is one of the most popular winners to date. Even if she hadn't won, Mutchnick's statement was extremely uninformed; goth drag has been around for ages. Though to be fair, Sharon did clash with him during the challenge and he may have still been agitated from that.
    • 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.
    • Also in season 5, Alyssa Edwards once proclaimed that America's Next Drag Superstar wouldn't be traveling the country "being a comedian" as a way of excusing her own shortcomings in comedy. Cue Bianca Del Rio winning the very next season and doing just that.
    • 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 breastplates 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 one of those awful breastplates." 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 ...
    • The first episode of any season consists of an unconventional materials sewing challenge, where the queens are tasked in making a fabulous dress in just a few hours using random fabrics such as thrift store clothing, dollar store junk, or holiday decorations. For Project Runway fans, they will recognize the unconventional materials challenge as a rather difficult task for even professional designers, and again, this is the first challenge of Drag Race, with Ru knowing full well many of her queens can't sew. This can border on Harsher in Hindsight at times, especially when an otherwise capable queen (such as Victoria Parker and Kelly Mantle) get eliminated in their premiere episode.
    • Kelly Mantle in season 6 says she won't 'go around quoting her IMDB page like some previous queens' and she's right... she got eliminated her first episode.
    • After receiving a touching video message from her husband in one episode of Untucked, Ginger Minj (understandably) tears up, causing her makeup to run. She jokingly laments that now she looks like Tammy Faye Bakker. Tammy Faye would end up being Ginger's Snatch Game character in All Stars 2, complete with fake runny mascara and a box of tissues.
    • During Season 7 Ru fakes out the other queens by making it seem like she's bringing Trixie Mattel back into the competition ... before she brings all seven of the eliminated queens back for a chance at coming back. As this was filmed months in advance, the fake out becomes doubly hilarious as Ru could only have guessed Trixie's elimination would have caused such a ruckus in the fandom as well.
    • During the reading mini-challenge in season 7 Trixie says that she doesn't believe that Violet stole Sharon's crown and that states she doesn't think Violet will be taking the season 7 crown. Fast forward to the reunion...
  • Hollywood Pudgy: This goes hand-in-hand with the concept of "gay fat", where a man is under a lot more scrutiny to not even be slightly overweight if he is homosexual due to social standards and expectations.
    • 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".
    • Season 7's Sasha Belle may have been a bit chunky, but Pearl goes as far as to refer to Sasha as looking like "John Goodman in a wig".
    • Season 8 really didn't have a 'big queen', and as a result the biggest of the queens, Kim Chi, was often referred as the 'big girl' of the season by default. This is actually a bit harsh when you realize Kim used to weigh over 350 pounds before dropping a lot of weight, and didn't really consider herself as 'fat' anymore (coupled with the reveal she has low self-esteem due to her previous high weight). Near the end of the season she actually accepts this is how people view her though, and turns it around to shame the gay community for degrading what they see as "fats" (in addition to "femmes" and "Asians").
    • Played with in Season 9 with Alexis Michelle. Several of the queens would make reads about her weight, but specified they were only kidding and didn't really think she was actually fat. Alexis took this very hard though, as she admitted to suffering from body image issues.
  • 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 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.
    • Alaska, one of the most beloved queens prior to All Stars 2. Then the season aired, and many watchers grew upset with how the show seemed to be just handing Alaska the win on a silver platter, giving her lip-sync wins that many fans argue she didn't deserve, and the judges seemingly ignoring any of her shortcomings while constantly nitpicking her competition. After her temper tantrum in the penultimate episode Ru urged viewers to post on social media for who they wanted to win, but despite an overwhelming online support for Katya, Alaska was still crowned. What was worse, it seemed the finale and Alaska's crowning were already decided months ago, leading many fans to feel the request for social media support was completely pointless. Despite winning the whole season, Alaska may actually come out of All Stars worse in the eyes of fans than when she entered.
  • Hypocrite: RuPaul caving under the pressure from the transgender community in Season 6, after she has derided several celebrities for the exact same thing (like when she laid into Lance Bass after he issued a public apology over his use of the word "tranny").
    • The singing challenges. The queens are expected to sing flawlessly while RuPaul in her own songs is Autotuned to within an inch of her life. Although this is to a lesser extent, as Ru will normally target queens who underperform before those who just can't sing but still have fun with it and give it their all (Compare Katya with Trixie and Pearl in the SPOOF! episode).
    • Season 8's Robbie Turner describes herself as "the nicest queen you'll ever meet" during the intro. Two cuts later, she's criticizing New York queens for being loud and talking over each other, and reading Laila for wearing "flats" (actually platform sneakers).
  • 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).
  • Iron Woobie: What made Jinkx Monsoon such an endearing Ensemble Darkhorse was the fact that no matter how much the queens tried to read her or throw shade her way (which happened a lot), she always let it roll off her like water off a duck's back.
    • Season 3's Stacy Layne Matthews was another one, especially in light of her as a likable but nervous Country Mouse being bullied by Raja and her "Heathers" for being, as they put it, a "Booger".
  • 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.
  • Love to Hate: The Vixen is quite divisive for being "The Bear" and self-appointed whistleblower of the season, with many fans pegging her as the villain of Season 10 (although there is some contention if that is completely legitimate or if The Vixen received an unfair Villain Edit). In spite of this, even after her elimination there is still quite a bit of a buzz about her character on the show, as well as a swelling campaign for The Vixen to be Season 10's Miss Congeniality, seeming to prove fans love her as an advocate, love her as The Bear, or just love to hate her for stirring so much drama during an otherwise low-drama season.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • RuPaul herself deserves this title for Season 7, in which she announces she plans on bringing back a previously eliminated queen back into the competition. Despite the fact the title of the next episode ("Conjoined Queens") was common knowledge by this point, everyone just assumed Ru would pick a queen a bring back, meaning there would be four teams of two ... instead, Ru brings back every single queen eliminated that season, pairs them up with the remaining half, and has them earn the spot back into the show through having to win the main challenge.
    • Come All Stars 3, Ru ends the fifth episode teasing at the eliminated queens being eligible to return to the competition, but only shows three of the five eliminated queens in identity-hiding garb, setting the Drag Race community on fire wondering who was going to return and which two queens actually declined the opportunity. Come episode 6, and the first thing that happens is the last two remaining queens run onto the stage (claiming they were late) revealing that indeed all five eliminated queens wanted to return.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Lil' Poundcake. During a Season 5 mini-challenge where the queens had to dress up mannequins as child pageant stars, Alaska and Lineysha's creation took on a life of her own.
      "You're not my real daddy and you never will be!"
    • Ornacia, Vivacious' alien hat which served more face than she did, and is developing quite the online following.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Untucked, especially in the pre-Season 7 seasons, was a breeding ground for these. Several of the show's most iconic monologues come from this.
      Shangela to Mimi Imfurst, season 3: "Wait, where did this bitch hear that I have a sugar daddy? Time out, hold up. Hold up, sweetheart. Let's get it together before you wanna read. I am not even in a relationship, let alone have some old man shacked up with buying me all my drag and costumes. I don't have a sugar daddy, sweetheart. Everything that I've had, I've worked for, and I worked for to get and I've built myself. So you need to know that, 100%. I don't have a sugar daddy, I've never had a sugar daddy. If I wanted a sugar daddy, yes, I probably can go out and get one, because I am what? SICKENING! You could never have a sugar daddy because YOU ARE NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL. Baby, everything I've had I worked for, and I've gotten myself. I built myself from the ground up, you fucking BITCH!

      Kennedy, season 7: "After a long night of hooking, trade didn't like the session, so he had gutted me and set me on fire. But you know I didn't die, I had crystallized, and now I'm a Glamazon bitch ready for the runway."

      Aja, season 9: "You're perfect, you're beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista, you're a model. Everything about you is perfect, did you stone those tights? Oh, you're smiling! They eat her up every single time she's on that damn stage. She doesn't even have to- She could go out there in a fucking diaper and they'll be like 'Valentina! Your smile is beautiful!'"
    • Mystique Summers' love for a two-piece (fried chicken) and a biscuit.
    • Alyssa Edwards' "backrolls??"
    • After Trixie Mattel got a rather early elimination from Season 7, fans started bombing social media with #JusticeForTrixie. Soon After, whenever a queen would get eliminated, you'll be sure there'll be a similar (although normally smaller) reaction, such as #JusticeForMax, #JusticeForFame, etc.
    • "KimonoGate", for when four queens coincidentally walked the Madonna-themed runway of episode 5 of season 8 wearing kimonos.
    • Many of the queens' catch phrases, such as Alaska's "Hieeeeee!", Laganja's "Come on Season _!", and Violet's "Come throooooough!"
    • Purse Purse Imfurst, Bob's gaudy curtain clutch he made in the first challenge, and subsequently the phrase "walk into the club purse first!", exploded on the Internet and has successfully evolved beyond the fandom, where it became a trending search on Google and was referenced by Anna Kendrick before the 2016 Met Gala.
    • Carson's reaction to Violet's reversible tartan jumpsuit. The sheer campiness of his gestures has made it a popular .gif
    • Kandy Ho's genuinely surprised "what the fuck!?" has been used A LOT by fans in their videos.
    • "Rigga Morris", after Alyssa Edwards' mispronunciation of "rigor mortis" in All Stars 2, has become popular on forums like Reddit to express the belief that the season is rigged in favor of one contestant in particular, who has won numerous challenges and lip-synchs despite some fans feeling that she should not have.
    • Coco Montrese's "I'm not holding shit back... Oh, at all!" line from her elimination in All Stars 2.
    • Valentina's mask over her mouth and her epic showdown with Ru has been immortalized in internet memes and parody drag performances.
    • "Aja won the reunion challenge" has also been catching on as she was one of the most active participants during the Season 9 reunion with lots of quotable moments, several cutaways for her facial expressions, and calling out Valentina winning Miss Congeniality.
    • "Miss Vanjie...Miss Vanjie...Miss Vanjie," Vanessa Vanjie Matteo's sorrowful swan song has been memed to hell and back.
  • Misblamed: Often happens when a season favorite gets sent home, the fans will usually berate and attack the queen who was up against them when they were eliminated (Darienne Lake against BenDeLaCreme, for example). However, it is much more rare for the fans to place blame on RuPaul, despite the fact she has said time and time again that every decision on the show is hers, and her alone.
  • Mondegreen: From Season 5's "Beginning"; "This is the beginning of the rest of July!" or "...of the rest of your life." (the actual lyrics are: This is the beginning of the record you like!)
    • Actually the lyrics begin with "...of the record you like" but the chorus features the line "...of the rest of your life."
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Tyra Sanchez's singing is acknowledged as such in-universe. While preparing for the wedding dress challenge, she emits what can only be described as the tuneless wailing of a dying cat, and in the rock challenge, while she's now singing an actual song with identifiable lyrics, it's...still pretty bad.
      • Alyssa Edwards' singing. After hearing her sing, the judges told Alyssa she was a great dancer.
      • Gia Gunn's singing
      • Mrs. Kasha Davis' singing
    • "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?"
    • Cynthia Lee Fontaine's usage of "cucu", which she manages to slip into an alarmingly large amount of her vocabulary.
    • Kim Chi's strange inflection when she says "What a fat-ass!" in the political smear ad. Even when the director tries getting her to say it more normally, she doesn't catch on.
    • When The Vixen is captain of her lip-syncing team, Ru refers to them as "Team The Vixen" instead of "Team Vixen". For any viewer that's a grammar nazi, it's a tad bit maddening.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mimi Imfurst lifting up a screaming India above her head during her lip-sync.
    • 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?
    • While Tyra Sanchez may be the most hated winner in the show's history, she does have a few devoted fans. However, her comments about suicide being "cowardly" killed of a huge part of her fan base (such as it was). When she was called out by fans and other Drag Race members, (specifically Michelle Visage, Mimi Imfurst, Darienne Lake and Joslyn Fox) she refused to take back her comments and instead attacked them online. Considering the LGBT community has long struggled with high rates of depression and self-harm, the backlash against her has been swift.
      • Her racist rant against Raja did her no favours, but her DragCon scandal may have finally pushed her over. In May of 2018, she posted "Fair warning: DO NOT attend RuPaulís DragCon on May 12, 2018. Donít say I didnít warn you" on her Facebook page, drew a picture of the convention centre exploding and earlier posted a video seemingly threatening Phi Phi O'Hara and Tatianna with physical violence. Shortly afterwards it was announced that she had been banned from DragCon until she issued an apology, to which she replied that people were simply "overreacting to some drag queen drama", and accused people of trying to push a "narrative" about her being an "angry black queen". She then continued to make vague threats against the convention, writing "Second Warning: DO NOT attend Ru Paulís DragCon on May 12, 2018. Donít say I didnít warn you. Iíd hate to say I told you so", and allegedly said she "could not confirm or deny whether anything would happen, but warned [fans not to be at the convention at a certain time]". Some fans believed it was simply a poor attempt to drum up interest in her upcoming single "B.O.O.M.", but on May 13, after being contacted by the police (who she threatened to sue for "harassing her over a Facebook post", then proceeded to post the email chain to her Instagram story), she claimed the threats were a form of "art", saying:
    "It's meant to be left up to the interpretation of the viewer. Itís not my fault how you or anyone else interprets my work. If you or other people donít like my work, you guys donít have to follow or engage with it. Itís that simple. I couldíve been warning them about the weather. [I] heard itís supposed to rain that day. I couldíve been warning them about the racism involved with that event. From experience, I know how they treat people of color. Iím sorry everyone doesnít have a mind as abstract as mine. Again, thatís their problem, not mine. ITíS ART! I HAVE BLACK GLITTER FINGERNAILS, I WEAR A 'BEYONCE WASNíT BUILT IN A DAY' T-SHIRT AND I WALK WITH A TWIST! Yet you think Iím a threat? Come on now, man. Iím sure you have more serious cases you could be working on other than a guy who dresses as a woman for a living."
    • Michelle Visage's unusually harsh critiques of Adore Delano's dress during the first challenge of All Stars 2, which caused the latter to have a breakdown. Worsened by the fact that the main challenge was to showcase a talent and not a design challenge. Notably, both Katya and Phi Phi felt that Michelle was bullying Adore.
    • Yet another Michelle moment: she read Dusty Ray Bottoms to filth for her signature makeup aesthetic, and told her that it was essentially an overused crutch. This was the first episode of the season.
  • N-Word Privileges: There's an ongoing argument on the use of words like "tranny" and "cross-dresser", especially when they are used moreso as playful insults hurled between the queens, as the transgender community will take issue on whether the culture of drag has right to use those words as freely as they do.
  • Narm Charm: Possibly the reason the show is so popular, is that although the show in and of itself is Serious Business, it does not take itself seriously, and has no problem flaunting it's Camp and hilariously narmy humor proudly for it's fans to enjoy.
    RuPaul: "Drag never, ever takes itself too seriously!" note 
  • 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.
    • The "Night of a Thousand Kimonos" for Thorgy, Kim, Derrick, and Naomi.
    • Meghan Trainor was a poorly received guest judge for a variety of reasons (cf. Unfortunate Implications on her own YMMV page). The point fans really rail on, though, is the fact that she showed up in a unicorn onesie. While no one expects the judges to turn out looks on par with the contestants or Ru, turning up to a fashion TV show in a cartoon plush jumpsuit that could be found Target was seen as a faux pas, to say the least.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: For the most part every queen who has taken part of the show has gone on to more success than they would have had otherwise, whether they went home too early or were edited into being the villain of the season.
    • 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.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Averted, the replacement of Santino with Carson and Ross didn't elicit that much anger from the community. Which of the two is better on the other hand...
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Probably the most successful rescued scrappy has to be Alyssa Edwards. During Season 5 many fans were sick to death of her feud with with Coco, her not-funny shade, and lack of acting skills ... but after her season between her Stupid Statement Dance Mix and her hilarious Youtube show on WOWPresents "Alyssa's Secret" she is now one of the most popular and referenced Drag Queens of all time on the show.
    • While Phi Phi O'Hara is one of the most infamous "villains" in Drag Race history, since the show she has gained a substantial online following due to her cosplay and nerd culture references in her drag. This never made it onto the show because contestants are forbidden from referencing copyrighted characters, but she is quite Proud to Be a Geek.
    • Serena ChaCha, despite coming off as elitist and borderline racist during Season 5, actually has seemed to learn from her mistakes and better herself and her art of drag. She's actually pretty well accepted in the drag community now, with many queens (even from the same season) admitting while she was an unbearably annoying bitch during the show, she took the criticism afterwards and matured considerably.
    • Gia Gunn was The Scrappy of Season 6 (one of them at least), but due to her odd choice of words being turned into a Memetic Mutation thanks in part to Alaska, a lot of fans have started to warm up to her.
    • Violet Chachki quickly spiraled to sprappydom with fans and the other queens after just the first episode due to her arrogance and the fact she's always giving, as the other queens put it, "stink face". However as the season progressed she was called out on her bitchiness and she noticeably worked to improve herself. In the end she was still a bitch, but more of a Bitch With A Heart Of Gold, and ultimately became the Ensemble Darkhorse of the final three, winning Season 7's crown.
  • 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.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Phi Phi O'Hara for MANY fans in Season 4, it got so bad that viewers created a special Facebook page called "Phi Phi O'Hara, Sashay Away" in support of her getting the boot from the show.
    • Rebecca Glasscock in Season 1, due to her poor attitude and lack of character beyond just being a 'pretty face'. She and Phi Phi were the only runners-up who weren't voted back for All-Stars, and unlike Phi Phi she also wasn't invited to participate in All-Stars Season 2.
      • Shannel to a slight lesser extent than Rebecca, she even comments on her return to All Stars how everyone thought she was an arrogant bitch during her season.
    • 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 lip-sync, 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). 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.
      • Several seasons later, Kimora Blac gets this for the same reasons as Gia. She has no idea what an adjective is, throws shade consistently in the confessionals, asks the other queens to sew for her, and doesn't bother memorizing her elimination song. Fans weren't sad to see her go early.
    • 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.
    • After Season 6 and the transgender controversy, Season 3 contestant Carmen Carrera came under fire with fans after she spoke out and said she was "disgusted" with the show for not respecting the transgender community. Many fans called her a hypocrite since she never expressed any issue with the show beforehand, and even during her season had no qualms dancing to the song "Tranny-Chaser" (a song many transgendered people found in poor taste well before Season 6). This only got worse after the edits occurred from Season 7 onward, fans again partly claiming Carrera for the changes.
    • Season 7 had quite a few:
      • Jasmine Masters got this hard due to the shade she constantly threw, to the point that she received actual death threats and ethnic slurs on Twitter that caused even RuPaul to step in and say enough's enough.
      • Kandy Ho, due to her Elimination Houdini status for the first half of Season 7. Plus, not only was she rude to Tempest about her age, she even later bragged about sending home the two oldest contestants after lip-synching against Tempest and Kasha. Thankfully, Ru has an unspoken "Three strikes you're out" rule, and Kandy's luck runs out against Jaidynn.
    • In the first season of All-Stars, Alexis Mateo and Shannel were generally disliked by fans, which is sad since they were something of fan favorites otherwise. The reasons for this range between the two being The Load in their individual teams (with Yara Sofia and Chad Michaels, respectfully) to some viewers just having the opinion that the two had no right to have made it as far as they did in the season over "true" treasured favorites like Latrice Royale and Pandora Boxx who were eliminated early on.
    • Derrick Barry from Season 8, which is a bit of a surprise because as a Britney Spears impersonator she was well-known and highly anticipated to appear on the show, only to be a piddling performer with an overall bad attitude, constantly failing to grasp that the judges want to see more from her than just Britney. Add to that the fact she was constantly in the bottom three and just avoiding having to lip-synch, and the only challenge she won was when she was paired with Bob.
    • Subverted by Acid Betty, who was initially dubbed "Asshole Betty" due to her abrasive nature. But as the season went on, she displayed a few Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments and was surprisingly a Graceful Loser about her elimination. The other queens, on the other hand, were glad to see her go.
    • Charlie Hides got this after her intentionally lackluster lip-sync performance, especially with all the other queens in the background yelling for her to do something. It didn't help that the excuse she gave in the show—that most London queens sing live rather than lip-sync—was pretty pathetic. This would have been averted as it turned out she cracked a rib during the earlier cheerleading challenge but then she proceeded to give other excuses on social as well including: she was channeling Britney Spears circa 2007, the song was about masturbation so she was trying to emulate masturbating, she knew that as soon as she was in the bottom she was going to be sent home, she had only slept for 1 hour, her heels were too big to dance with, she didn't want to send anyone home, and she had diarrhea. Many fans on social media and the other queens thought it was extremely disrespectful to the show, the viewers, and the queens who didn't make it on.
    • All-Stars 3 saw Milk become this after some of her behaviour during her appearance on the season came off as entitled and pompous, including breaking down in tears after being announced as safe in one episode, and in her elimination was convinced the judges wanted her to stay.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 7 (besides the new Untucked) is generally not as well-received as the previous seasons, with many citing the preponderance of team challenges (the most of any season thus far aside from All Stars) and that the show's started referencing itself too much rather than satirizing pop culture or the reality competition show format. Other people just think this particular season is a miss due to a lack of dynamic queen relationships, as there's been a serious void of any true rivalries (like Sharon and Phi Phi, or Alyssa and Coco), any deep friendships (like Raven and Jujubee, or Adore and Bianca), or a presence of a Team Mom (like Chad, Latrice, or, again Bianca).
    • Season 9 has gotten a serious amount of flack for its poor editing. Much of the interactions among the queens before the challenges and with Ru in the workroom have been relegated to online exclusives, so the personalities of the queens don't really come through until way past midway through the season. Worse, certain episodes with team challenges concentrated purely on the losing team, making for cringe-worthy viewing experiences. The elimination of the mini-challenges hasn't been very well-received either.
      • As season 9 continued, a new criticism has popped up as fans have said the lip-syncs this season have been hands down the worst in all seasons, especially in light of the fact three lip-syncs saw queens giving half-assed performances because they already knew they were going to be eliminated and decided to not bother trying. This included Charlie Hides because 'lip-syncing isn't what she does' later revealed to be because of a cracked rib, Valentina due to not thinking she was going to be in the bottom two and therefore not even bothering to learn the lyrics to the song, and Nina Bonina Brown falling victim to self-doubt in her third time on the bottom and deciding she didn't deserve to be there anymore. It's been noted by fans as being an incredibly disrespectful display by the contestants, when it's been said time and time again, there are queens who have auditioned for years who would give anything to be on the show at all. The "lip-sync for the crown" finale format, which Ru explicitly said was designed to address the season's lackluster lip-synchs, has become a Base Breaker in and of itself.
    • All Stars 3 has received a lot of flak from fans, mainly due to the fact that it attempted to capitalize on the success of All Stars 2 and failed miserably.
      • For starters, there were only two new seasons worth of queens to choose from in between All Stars 3 and 2, and many of Season 9's high profile queens turned down an offer to compete due to AS 3 filming a mere month after Season 9 had finished airing. This led to what many considered to be a weaker All Stars cast composed of queens from earlier seasons that failed to make the cut for All Stars 1 or 2. Many of the contestants were chosen based on the success they had achieved outside of the show (Milk, Trixie) rather than success on the show. Barring the surprise reappearance of Bebe, this is the only All Stars season where no queen made Top 3 on their original season.
      • Beyond that, many of the challenges this season were half-hearted riffs on formulas used in All Stars 2 and other such seasons. With the exception of the Bitchelor, every challenge this season had been done some way in another season, and even then, having challenges like a Snatch Game with only 7 people or a ball with only two looks (and one of them being a giant soup can which every queen had the same silhouette for) left something to be desired on the challenge front.
      • The return of the Lip Sync for your Legacy format was knocked especially hard this season. Even in All Stars 2 it was met with trepidation, but AS3 saw queens really being emotionally distraught over the format, while others used it to their advantage to boot queens who arguably didn't deserve it. Further, many argued this twist led to lower quality lip-syncs due to the contestants not having as much motivation to do well as they would if they were up for elimination.
      • BenDeLaCreme eliminating herself, while massively shocking at the time, cast a shadow over the last two episodes. When the person who was clearly going to win says Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, it makes it kind of hard to take the fight of the remaining contestants seriously.
    • Finally, the finale twist: Rather than Ru picking the Top 3 queens, it's revealed that a jury made up of the eliminated queens would vote on which of the remaining 4 would advance to the Top 2. The only issue is, many of these queens voted based on who needed the title of winner most rather than who had actually performed best in the competition. This left fans pissed by not only taking Shangela out of the competition without a chance to fight, but also because one of the queens who made it into the Top 2 of the season over her had been in the bottom in 4 of the 7 challenges. Although the season's eventual winner, Trixie Mattel, was a massive fan favorite in her own regard, people left the season upset that the winner was the person who statistically performed third best.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The show ends up doing this to itself quite a bit. The popularity the show has gained combined with the publicity its given to the drag community means drag is evolving a lot faster than it used to. Every season, the new batch of queens come in more polished and prepared than the last, and as a result the fashion and runways exhibited by queens even a few seasons ago looks dated by comparison. For example, Tyra's "crowning look" for Season 2 was essentially a bathing suit with a cape tied around her waist, something a queen would get read to filth for if she tried to pull off today.
  • Shocking Elimination:
    • Ongina. It was particularly heartbreaking since just the week before, she had won the Viva Glam challenge and confessed to having lived with HIV for two years.
    • Jessica Wild, who also went home the week after winning a challenge.
      • Stacy was also sent home the week after winning a challenge, although this was less shocking as she had been an underdog for most of the season, but was praised when she finally "came out of her shell" during the Snatch Game.
    • Kenya Michaels being eliminated, when she was a major favorite for Top 3 in Season 4.
    • Pandora's elimination remains the biggest one of all the seasons when many fans expected her to at least reach the final three. The trope is called out by Ru herself during the reunion.
    • Vivienne Pinay and Honey Mahogany were the victims of the show's first double elimination.
    • Kelly's elimination in the season 6 premiere was quite a shock, as she was an early fan favorite and was expected to make it to the final three before the season had even started.
    • According to the fans, Ben's elimination is on par with Pandora's. Ru said that her elimination caused the fans to "flip the fuck out" when she didn't even make it to the top four, even though she was an early favorite to take the whole competition.
    • Season 7 saw early favorite Tempest DuJour eliminated the first episode, when many fans thought with her theater background, her campy style, and college professor smarts she would have been a real contender for the season.
    • Trixie's elimination, as many fans loved her quirky style and thought her lip-synch was much stronger than Pearl's. "#justicefortrixie" became a running joke online. Fortunately for those fans, she gets to return in episode 8... and then leave two episodes later through yet another controversial lip-synch against Ginger Minj.
    • When Max got eliminated for a poor showing on the Snatch Game, even fans who were sure she was going to hit a wall sooner or later didn't think the theater queen would be sent home for what was basically an acting challenge of all things.
    • Although the rumours throughout the season turned out to be true, it still didn't stop Katya's elimination form being this, the elimination of arguably the season's most popular and social media-savvy queen put a lot of fans off the rest of the season, despite even Katya herself insisting that her time was up.
    • Ginger Minj losing the crown to Violet Chachki, as even fans who didn't like Ginger just assumed this was her season to win, since it played heavily to her strengths of acting and comedy. Add to that the fact many viewers thought Ru would want to finally crown a Big Beautiful Woman, as fans have been complaining for years that Ru's neglected her plus-sized queens when it comes to picking a winner.
    • Dax ExclamationPoint and Laila McQueen were the second double elimination for the same reason as the first: a deeply lackluster lip-sync that made Ru send them both home.
    • Thorgy Thor. Many fans had Thorgy pegged as top 3 material but were surprised when she only placed sixth. She was also a fan favorite and many felt she did well all competition up until episode 7. This of course is one of many conspiracy theories about season 8.
    • Inverted by Naomi Smalls and Chi Chi DeVayne. Michelle and Ross both admitted that they never would have predicted that the two of them would have made it to the top 4. Of course, this was phrased in such a way to praise their growth, and not to throw shade.
    • Subverted in Season 9's premiere. Ru declares NO ONE is going home. The girls rejoice. Inverted when he shockingly adds a queen to the competition.
    • Valentina's elimination. While the actual elimination was well-deserved after dropping the ball in the tv pilot challenge, for most of the season she was praised for being "perfect" to the point of Memetic Mutation. In addition to failing the challenge, her runway look included a mask, which she refused to take off both during the lip-sync and when RuPaul stopped the music and told her to. She did reluctantly take it off, but it was immediately obvious she didn't know the words and gave up, being sent home. After spending the entire season as a favorite for the top 3, it's hard to think of another queen who fell from grace so harshly.
    • In All Stars 3: Aja's elimination is this. To lay the groundwork here, she had a mostly strong performance that was widely viewed as a major comeback for a queen that failed to live up to expectations in her original season, to mention nothing of the extremely short turn-around period she had to work with. And yet in her elimination episode, not only was the garment she made herself considered to be far and away the best-looking of all the queens' looks by many of the fans and the other contestants themselves, but the queen who eliminated her, BeBe, won the challenge and the lip-sync in an outfit designed by Aja which she refused to acknowledge when asked about it point-blank by the judges.
    • Also from All Stars 3, Ben won four challenges in five episodes and it was starting to become a Foregone Conclusion that she would likely take the whole season effortlessly. However, so distraught with the emotional toll having to eliminate her colleagues in addition to the constant pressure of having to give 100% every episode, Ben shocks even Ru herself when she chooses to cross out the name on a lipstick and write in her own, eliminating herself!
    • Finally, with Ben gone it became obvious Shangela was the frontrunner of the season, with the most wins and only a single stumble in the sewing challenge. Once she made it past the penultimate episode, it seemed Shangela was the only queen to for sure be in the final running, with maybe Bebe and Trixie behind her and Kennedy a distant fourth. Then Ru changes all the rules and decides there will only be a final two and those two will be selected not by her and the judges, but the eliminated queens! In a surprise twist they pick Kennedy and Trixie to lip-sync for the crown, and Shangela is eliminated in spite of having the best stats for the season (and Kennedy having the worst).
  • Shocking Swerve: When the 3rd Season gets down to its final 4 competitors, RuPaul announces that the judges will select a previously eliminated contestant to come back and compete.
    • She did this again in Season 4, so when she announced in Season 7 she would be bringing back a queen again, no one was all that surprised ... until Ru brings back every queen eliminated in the season so far, pairs them off with the remaining half of queens still in the competition, and announces the only eliminated queen who gets to stay is the one who wins the main challenge!
    • 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 lip-synch for their lives. Less shocking was the decision to eliminate Darienne. A similar situation also occurred in Season 7, with the elimination of Kennedy decidedly more shocking as many believed her to the best dancer in the music video.
    • Similarly, in Season 9, Ru decided not to eliminate any of the Top 4, making all of them finalists.
      • Further compounded by the completely overhauled Finale format, which pitted the Top 4 against one another in a tournament-style series of lip sync battles. A fully dedicated Reunion episode, not seen since Season 3, was created to allow for the Finale to focus exclusively on the Top 4 and the crowning. The change in direction was so unanticipated that attendees of the filming spoiled virtually every major detail on social media in the ensuing hype before the episode had a chance to air.
    • In the sixth episode of All Stars 3 Ben decides to eliminate herself, after having won five out of the six challenges and proving herself. She notes that the title of All Star means more to the other competitors and gives way for them to win.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Season 9 is seen as having an overall lack of drive and drama previously seasons had, what with a lot of lackluster lip syncs, too many queens seemingly giving up, and the cast acting too nice for the cameras (with only Trinity seemingly willing to stir up drama, normally resulting in her being shot down).
  • 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."
    • Season 7's "Leaf-blower" mini-challenge in which the girls have to give face while being blown in the face ... normally right into their mouths to give a wide shot of all their teeth and gums. Special squicky mention goes to Miss Fame, who looks like she ate Oreos right before her turn with the leaf-blower.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • 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.
      • The reunion took a drastic shift again in Season 7, where the eliminated queens were given a major push to the sidelines to make room for the final three to give one last original performance. Although unlike the above, this one was more of a Broken Base, as some people are fine with more spotlight to be given to the final three.
    • 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.
      • In Season 7 they moved Snatch Game back an episode instead, possibly in response to Season 6, so now it was only played with 8 queens, giving every queen more spotlight. However, this also meant there was an extra challenge before the Snatch Game, and since almost every challenge from Episode 2 to the Snatch Game was a team comedy/acting challenge, many fans grew tired with the tedium in waiting for their favorite challenge.
      • Come All-Stars 2, Snatch Game was moved to the second episode; since the season only had 10 queens to begin with, it seems it's meant to be played with 9 queens again. However, due to Adore Delano's unforeseen departure at the beginning of the episode, it was once again played with only 8.
    • 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.
    • Inverted with Season 7's "Untucked 2.0" which has a reduced budget but a much more intimate setting for the queens to relax, especially after complaints that Untucked had started becoming overproduced and overly dramatic, not to mention the intro would normally spoil several future eliminations
    • Season 7 lacking a challenge dedicated to society education, as every previous season tried to have at least one challenge with a focus on a current event in the world (Season 1's Viva Glam challenge where the queens had to film an AIDS PSA, Season 2's makeover challenge with elderly gay gentleman, Season 3 and 5 having a challenge focused on gays in the military, etc,) It made Season 7 seem a little too self-referential and somewhat shallow as a result. Even in the proceeding seasons, social awareness challenges have returned (Season 8 had a challenge about the plights faced by height-challenged individuals, and Season 9 addressing multiple issues such as eating disorders, surviving with or losing loved ones to cancer, and the struggles of homosexuals in other countries).
    • While for the most part Season 8 seems to have been winning back fans after a controversial Season 7, come the final elimination episode, many fans were not happy that there was no Tic-Tac lunches with Mama Ru, after every previous season had given the final queens a chance to sit with Ru and really open up and normally make them more appealing to the fans. Granted, this season didn't really seem to need that since final four queens had spoken about their issues multiple times before, it was still an unwelcome change from the normal flow of things.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many fans feel this way about the inclusion of high fashion/high concept queens like Miss Fame, Violet Chachki, and Max in Season 7, since the season seemed to focus a lot more on Camp, acting, and teamwork as opposed to fashion and glamour. Ironically, the exact opposite was the complaint about Pandora Boxx in Season 2, as her campy comedy and acting skills were an ill-fit for a season more focused on fashion and polish.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The teams twist that was added to All-Stars can come across like this, as Ru claimed it was to force her queens to be teamed up with someone with talents and traits the other lacked and vice-versa ... but then let her queens pick their own teams. Most of the queens expectedly picked a partner that was already similar to their style (Chad and Shannel are both Vegas Showgirl queens, Yara and Alexis were both Season 3 Peurto Rican queens, etc.) which meant the dynamics that Ru seemed to be hoping for were ultimately subdued (or outright lost) with some teams.
    • With the announcement by Ru that she would have a new queen entering the competition after the second double elimination in the history of the show many fans got excited at the possibility of a new queen entering the competition. However once episode 3 leaked it was revealed that the new queen was actually Naysha. While some felt that it was good that she was getting a second chance many agreed that it would have been more interesting for someone new to come into the competition.
      • History repeats itself when a queen returns in season 9's premiere.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ru and Michelle both rubbed the queens (and, in Michelle's case, fans) the wrong way in the All Stars 2 premiere; Ru by announcing that the contestants would be eliminating each other, quite possibly the most transparent effort to build up drama for TV in Drag Race history (and one that was met with not just the usual incredulousness that Ru's twists bring but actual sadness and disappointment by the queens), and Michelle by reading Adore's outfit to filth and dismissing her original song (the outfit was very typical to Adore's style), showing an inability to accept queens without an established aesthetic.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Roxxxy Andrews and Phi Phi O'Hara, two of the more detested queens of their respective seasons, both admitted in the All Stars 2 premiere that they were too competitive and bitchy in their seasons and strive to be friendlier. Roxxxy even says the editing of season 5 didn't really distort anything; she really did act like that and she really is sorry. Goes on to prove it when she meets one-on-one with the bottom 3 prior to their elimination and feels extremely guilty when she makes her choice.
    • In the case of Phi Phi, the show's editing says this is Subverted, but Phi Phi disagrees. See Broken Base above.
  • 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 trailer-bait.
    • Also happens with runway outfits. Courtney's angel wings would have been absolutely stunning if we hadn't seen them in every preview.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • As pop culture is typically a huge part of both gay and drag culture, this is unavoidable. Some challenge themes and lip-synch songs will only be popular in the moment that season is airing, and really have no staying power after the fact.
    • Can end up being one in the case of popular drag trends, as many queens of a particular season may utilize an up and coming technique that previously wasn't as mainstream. For example, seasons 3 and 4 had many queens using silicon breast plates, while seasons 7 and 8 show more queens painting breast cleavage on their chests instead, which has risen in popularity since the previous seasons.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Season 2 really seemed to attempt to paint Tyra Sanchez in a sympathetic light, bringing up the struggles she faced being kicked out of her home and having no money, and struggling for legal custody of her infant son. In addition, any highlight of her poor attitude seemed to be twisted around to instead be made out that she was "too real" for her competition, that she worked differently than they did and had a drive to win that forgave her questionable behavior. The audience quite loudly proclaimed the opposite, calling Tyra rude and unprofessional, that her talent does not make up for her bad attitude, and that same drive that got praised by the show (including ripping Raven's wig off twice and nearly gouging out Jujubee's eye with a stiletto heel) as borderline sociopathic behavior. She is quite infamous now for being the most despised winner of Drag Race in all seasons, and Ru in spite of shilling Tyra constantly on the show, even acknowledged the fan's outrage for the Season 2 winner during the reunion.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Season 9's Valentina, the other queens saw her as anti-social, overly driven, and accused her of putting on a fake cheery persona for the cameras. Fans, however, are incredibly protective of her, voted her the fan favorite of the season, and have even attacked other queens on social media for the audacity to not offer themselves up for elimination so that Valentina could have stayed on the show.
  • The Un-Twist: 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".
  • Values Dissonance: RuPaul still considers sewing and dressmaking to be a pivotal skill for the 'Next Drag Superstar', which is moreso derived from her own generation when drag was much more underground, and queens had to make or tailor their own dresses, or find rare hole-in-the-wall shops that catered to drag queens. Nowadays, between internet shopping and drag becoming much more mainstream, it is a lot easier for queens to build a wardrobe without needing to learn sewing skills, leading to a lot of otherwise capable queens being eliminated just because they can't get past the first challenge on the show (which is usually an unconventional materials sewing challenge, consisting of anything from thrift store goods to holiday decorations).
    • It seems more from annoyance that you would even tryout if you know you won't be able to get past the first challenge. For some of the alumni queens and fans, not knowing how to sew when you know that the show would include a sewing challenge is just plain poor judgment.
    • Inverted in Season 7, many fans were unhappy with the relative lack of sewing challenges relative to the previous seasons.
  • 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.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Season 8 seems to be going for this, with two extended episodes, a more even spread among screentime for queens, and the first challenge not needing to be blurred out. Also helped that Queens with an already devoted fan following - Such as Kim Chi and Bob the Drag Queen - were cast as well.
    • Season 9 tried this with the Finale reformat: two-fold, in fact. The single traditional episode was split into a Crowning episode and a Reunion episode. The former seemed to attempt to mitigate the long string of lackluster lip syncs throughout the season with a tournament between the Top 4 finalists, who were pretty much guaranteed to put on a good show (especially considering the season's two arguably strongest lip syncers, Trinity and Peppermint, were among the Top 4). The Reunion episode addressed the long-standing concern that since Season 4, the crowning process has gradually grown to overshadow the actual reunion, where the non-finalist queens would talk about the events of the season after having seen their airing and subsequent fan reactions. With the reunion portion of the season finale being given its own dedicated episode in Season 9, the messy dramas and controversies of the season were allowed to breathe to an extent not seen since Season 3, and the fandom was sated with a veritable armada of Aja reaction faces.
  • 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. She's also transgender, which was never mentioned in the show at all. 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, in which Jiggly talks about how she and Phi Phi lived together and how they were sisters and how betrayed she felt when Phi Phi sabotaged her. 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. After the show though, they became friends again.
    • Also, several of the queens become this when they tearfully recount difficult pasts such as abusive or dead parents, childhood bullying, dead boyfriends, etc.
    • Joslyn Fox after her hero Courtney Act continuously insulted her drag. Courtney later explained that she was just making jokes that would be acceptable in Australian culture, and that she felt very guilty watching the show and realising how mean she had come across as.
    • As much as people considered Magnolia Crawford The Scrappy in part due to her attitude, her style, and the fact she refused to watch her season, many viewers actually felt for her when she finally was coerced into watching her elimination. The look of regret and embarrassment is pretty evident on her face, and afterwards she officially quits doing drag altogether. Magnolia also doubles as a cautionary tale towards fans who think they can pull a Shangela and start doing drag and immediately get on the show, if your heart isn't in it then you shouldn't take the chance away from a queen who really does want it.


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