''I'm in despair! Debatable elements about this series have left me in despair!''
----
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: The soundtrack varies between hauntingly beautiful orchestral pieces as season main themes, great piano minuets for Nozomu, and the rather light, silly fare used for the rest of the show.
** The opening themes all use a mixture of punk vocals (for the main singer), J-poppy backup singers, grunge guitar and (for the fourth OP) soaring piano melodies. The ending themes are an appropriately crazy mix of styles that manages to mesh, from swing jazz to surf rock to punk-infused cabaret.
** RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUUUMBAA
*** ''Ureshii himei ga kyou mo kikoeru...''
** RINGO MOGIRE BEAM!!
*** ''Zetsubou [[GratuitousEnglish Restauraaaaaaaan...]]''
*** Also, ''Kurayami Shinjuu Soushisouai.'' Made even better by the fact that Itoshiki's voice actor does the vocals, quite well too!
* AcceptableTargets: Frequent targets including pervy {{otaku}} or {{NEET}} guys, immigrants, and [[strike:China]] "a certain country" whose constant spying on Japan goes unacknowledged by the government for political reasons (North Korea gets a similar treatment).
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: [[WidgetSeries Being the series it is]], there is a lot in the anime. One memorable moment in particular during Matoi's story in Season 1, where she runs off from Arai's office, it suddenly switches to... [[MindScrew whatever that was]].
* BizarroEpisode: More like a Bizarro ''series''.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Suicide, [[DudeNotFunny not funny]]. Suicidal teacher winning the love and affection of his students by promising to ''take them with him'' when he does it, hilarious.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Chiri gets an awful lot of fan art dedicated to her, and [[SpotlightStealingSquad she seems to get more screen/panel time]] than any of the other Despair Girls except maybe Kafuka (who's probably closer to a main character since she's explicitly Nozomu's foil). I guess people like their {{Yandere}} [[KnifeNut Knife]]/[[ShovelStrike Shovel nuts]]?
** It's quite possible to say that nearly every single recurring or main character has their own fandom.
* EsotericHappyEnding: '''Big Time!''' At least the main characters are happy...
* FanNickname: The Despair Girls, for Nozomu's UnwantedHarem.
* FridgeLogic: Lampshaded once during the whole "thank-you thievery" bit. During a rainstorm, Chiri gives Harumi a drink pouch under an umbrella (Harumi is holding it initially). Harumi then holds the drink pouch in one hand and a manga volume in the other, and Chiri has her hands at her side, visible. ''No one is holding up the umbrella''.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The last picture of Chapter 16, "The People Are At The Breaking Point", depicts the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant cracking and saying "kaboom". This predates the Fukushima Nuclear Plant crisis by 5 and a half years.
** From a few chapters later...
-->'''Nozomu''': ''To get a stable electrical supply, we have unstable nuclear plants!''
* HarsherInHindsight: The MagicalGirl opening may nowadays bring back [[NightmareFuel horrifying]] or [[TearJerker tear-jerker]] memories of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''.
** And then there's the "promotional manga" informing the public on the use of spent nuclear fuel in manga Volume 4, supposedly put out by a PaperThinDisguise for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) (complete with Maria [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic briefly turning into a marionette with visible strings]]). TEPCO of course became the most notorious utility company in Japan (and perhaps the world) after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.
* HilariousInHindsight: In response to the [[LightNovel/{{Durarara}} Shizuo and Izaya]] pairing, Ryogo Narita, the author of ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'', said that he couldn't say anything because he likes to ship Harumi and Chiri. One chapter shows that Harumi is indeed a Shizuo/Izaya fan. Although it's difficult to say which came first without a proper time reference.
* HellIsThatNoise: In Episode 4, when Meru "speaks."
* HollywoodPudgy: Not nearly as much as Nami, but Abiru sometimes complains about her weight. Despite the fact that she gives Kaere a run for her money when it comes to fanservice...infact, she's probably got one of the bigger fandoms among the girls, Kafuka and Keare also having quite big fandoms (one for being...Kafuka, and the other for the obvious).
* HoYay: Every time fanservice occurs, all of male students give attention to the girl in the fanservice scene, save Jun Kudo, who is generally reading. Maybe he is really concentrated on reading it... but some of the official art makes it hard to believe that, especially art like [[http://lh4.ggpht.com/-907lEoePV9s/SeoLYSkkfXI/AAAAAAAAELM/gT3e1MF1Uks/zetsubouboys15.jpg this]]. Not to mention [[spoiler: Kafuka can possess him too because of the blood transfusion he received from her. It's hinted that Jun was the incarnation of Kafuka that Nozomu consumated their marriage with.]] Fujiyoshi would approve.
* LesYay: Chie and Kiri on occasion.
* MemeticMutation: "X has left me in despair!", especially quoting the [[NewMediaAreEvil Meru's Introduction]] episode variation.
** Zetsubou-Sensei [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 is in]] [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Super Robot Wars]]!
** [[BrickJoke "Don't forget to laugh seven years from now,"]], with a countdown date is pretty popular on 4chan.
* {{Moe}}: The majority of the female cast in their own way, though Maria and Kiri stand out as being especially adorable. On the male side, we also have the AdorablyPrecociousChild Majiru.
* ParanoiaFuel: Episode 1 of ''Goku'' hints heavily that the things we see on air, surreal as they are, are actually just censored versions of ''much'' more [[NightmareFuel disturbing things]].
* {{Squick}}[=/=]NauseaFuel: The chocolate heart that Chiri made for Valentine's Day. How? It's a ''realistic looking'' chocolate heart. Half of it.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** Starting with Volume 5, the English edition of the manga goes from being translated by Jason Thompson to David Ury. There are now much fewer annotations for the references and cultural notes, and the wording of all the character's catchphrases has changed. It's definitely a mixed bag, though. Vol. 5 doesn't have nearly as many dense references, and a lot more of them are directly explained in the text; the really unfamiliar things are still explained. The original translation of Zetsubou-sensei's CatchPhrase wasn't exactly like what we're used to, but changing it to "I've lost faith in [whatever]" is a major downgrade. The new translation also downgrades Kafuka's blatant CloudCuckooLander-ness, although Chiri is still just as much of a psycho. Volume 9 saw Ury being replaced with Joeshua Weeks, who isn't as good at including explanations of references right in the text but at least makes sure to use the phrase "I'm in despair" more often than Ury.
** As far as the anime, if various comments within ''Zan'' and the ''No Man's Land/Bangaichi'' OVA are any indication, Japanese fans are saying this about ''Zan'', specifically how the animation quality has dropped rather noticeably and it lacks Shaft's trademark quirks that were so prominent in the first two seasons. [=THEM=] Anime Reviews complained that the pacing of Zan is lacking what made them fall in love with the series in the first place.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Kaere's YamatoNadeshiko SplitPersonality is pretty much never used despite the comedic potential.
* ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs: SliceOfLife on crack and LSD.
** It's also like tripping into drugs without taking any.
* TheUntwist: People seem to make a big deal about [[spoiler: Kafuka's real name being An Akagi]]. The series kind of gave it away in numerous scenes.
* ValuesDissonance: Or rather, cultural beliefs dissonance. Nozomu is {{Squick}}ed out by the Christmas holiday because he was born on November 4 and thus follows the still-prevalent Asian belief that the average human gestation period is 10 months and 10 days...thus he thinks he was conceived on Christmas. It's even worse for [[ButtMonkey Kageru]], since he was born on December 24 and thus believes he was conceived on Valentine's Day--two romantic holidays in one stone.
* {{Wangst}}: Played for comedy, of course.
* TheWoobie: Maria, who woobifies herself and even makes Nozomu pity her.
** [[spoiler:Then the whole class end up wanting to protect her. Even Chiri. Sometimes.]]
** Abiru Kobushi both subverts this trope and plays it straight, in that, on the one hand, all of her injuries are actually the result of her animal abuse and therefore entirely deserved, while on the other hand she was fooled into thinking her teacher returned her feelings, a notion which he coldly disabuses her of.
** The author himself. Be sure to read his notes at the ends of volumes.
-->''I think I'm creepy. I just can't stand any part of myself. If I went to a picnic and saw my ugly face reflected in the lake, I'd just jump into it. If I went shopping and saw my ugly figure reflected in the show window, I'd bang my head against the glass and cut my throat with a fragment. My TV is always on. That's because if I turned it off, I'd see my ugly reflection. On sunny days, I have no desire to leave the house. Even my shadow is ugly. I'm an ugly manga child who'll never see the day when I become a swan.\\
I changed the lightbulb over my sink to the lowest wattage.''
** Poor Minami is stuck working several dozen part-time jobs to pay off her unfaithful husband's debts, and she just accepts it all. Aw...
* {{Woolseyism}}: One scene in the series is based around portable shrines used in festivals as an analogy for hype. Certain fansubs change this to more-relatable-to-Western-audiences comparisons to things being put on pedestals and jumping on bandwagons (though it still works with the portable shrine imagery).