These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The Fall Classic saga got hit hard with this trope.
The first arc exhaustion came about during its preliminary challenge where ten or so chapters are devoted to showcasing every curry dish made by the major AND side-characters introduced from the first-years at Tootsuki. Fans agree this is to develop the latter, but some just wanted the plot to move along and re-focus on Soma again.
The second exhaustion came around with the main elections itself due to dragging on for over 30 chapters (and still counting), and every match-up getting explained in great amounts of detail; causing every cooking match to last for three to five chapters each. By the time of the finals, people were wishing for the story to just move on.
Ass Pull: A portion of the fanbase is less than happy about how the Shokugeki between Subaru Mimasaka and Takumi Aldini went, not necessarily due to the match results, but from the former's dish - in the words of some, it's a "Deus ex Machina it-has-everything" dish.
Either Erina is an excellent rival and female heroine to the series or she doesn't deserve the spotlight because of her Jerkass qualities and rarely appears in the plot; what doesn't help is she gets top billing in promotional materials. Many consider Megumi Tadokoro to be the real heroine thanks to ascending to Deuteragonist by the Fall Classic. On the other hand, Japanese readers love Erina, having placed second on the first popularity poll. It's a well-known fact the Japanese fanbase adores the Tsundere archetype, and Erina has shown several signs of being one despite coming off as an AlphaRich Bitch to the rest of the fandom. However, it's worth noting Megumi was only fifty votes behind in third.
Subaru Mimasaka has quickly become a vastly despised character after his "perfect" win over fan-favorite Takumi. It doesn't help he's established to be a great cooking competitor, yet comes out from nowhere to take the eighth spot in the Fall Classic finals. Additionally, he doesn't follow usual culinary methods others find to be biased and unfairnote In-Universe, it's not illegal to make the same dish as your opponent during a Shokugeki, nor does Subaru have a food-based Signature Style like the rest of the students. On the other hand, others state this simply propels Subaru into Magnificent Bastardry: he thrives on the fact a Shokugeki is simply, at its core, "which dish tastes better" and runs with it. Beating Takumi isn't entirely an Ass Pull when the judges state Subaru goes above and beyond with the recipe to surpass and outstrip Takumi's own. Effectively, the win is Subaru's Establishing Character Moment, setting him up as a top contender and rival to the rest of the first years.
Akira had a large enough fanbase to earn him the 9th spot in the manga's first popularity contest (despite being a newly introduced character at that point of time), and many does still like him for his appearance and cool attitude. However, he has a fair share of detractors who thinks his overconfidence in his sense of smell obnoxious, or finds the way his specialty in aroma and spices seem to give him almost effortless victories boring.
The title for the official English translation "Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma". Many hate it for attempting to be "extreme" in a time when that is looked down upon, while some defend it for being an accurate translation.
Who's the true female lead - Erina or Megumi? Discussions are often coupled with Ship-to-Ship Combat.
The winner of the Fall Classic's curry challenge for the preliminary round. For Akira Hayama defenders, many find him being the winner is a given since his Signature Style is creating curry dishes, but having him lose so suddenly to a group of amateurs in what he specializes in is unrealistic by a story standpoint. However, in Soma's case, people tend to argue that while he did lose by a single point, he received the second highest overall score on a dish he had only begun working on for a few days, and is warranted to be a greater overall achievement compared to Akira's winning dish.
How Subaru Mimasaka wins his match in the Fall Classic main tournament. Some think it's a believable follow-up to his pre-established Signature Style, while others see it as an Ass Pull of massive proportions.
Crazy Awesome: The vast cooking techniques, culinary know-hows, knowledge of food and multiple ingredients and the orgasmic eating. There's a reason why this series is a contender for being Trope Codifier of Food Porn for manga.
Creepy Awesome: Subaru Mimasaka, the "King of Stalkers". He is a creepy stalker who often has the expression of a devil, but the fact how good he's at doing that rivals or surpasses Yuno Gasai's level.
Dude, Not Funny!: Some fans are not pleased to see an angry Kurokiba intimidating Sonoka who isn't able to decide whether his or Hayama's dish is better? Although, his reaction is justified, since there is a reason why an odd number of judges are in the jury, and even the crowd gets angry at her and wants a decision.
As of the first popularity poll, Shun Ibusaki was placed tenth despite having few lines of dialogue and scenes. Likewise, Akira was placed 9th, even though he's one of the last students among the first-years to be introduced.
Jerkass Koujirou Shinomiya is ranked 5th; the unofficial Shokugeki between him and Soma/Megumi helped, but also because of Character Development. Western fans seem to be more receptive to him, to wit his Chou Farci dish is placed second in the dish poll.
Alice Nakiri and Ikumi Mito have been gaining a noticeable fanbase, too, largely from the former being The Ace and The Tease, the latter being Ms. Fanservice, and both having occasional Ship Tease with Soma.
Ryou Kurokiba has quite a fanbase due to his badass bandana-wearing persona he turns into when he decides to get serious.
Takumi/Soma, arguably the biggest one online courtesy of the Jump Yaoi Fangirls. He is obsessed with Soma and does not appreciate Soma taking any other rivals, but himself. Make of that what you will.
Satoshi Isshiki/Shun Ibusaki, after a brief interaction where the latter ousts the former he wasn't really giving his best in his impromptu cook-off with Soma. Additionally, Satoshi is the one whom Shun has talked to the most.
Following the preliminaries, Akira/Soma
Gin Doujima with Jouichirou or Koujirou
There's also the Twincest fangirls do about the Aldini brothers: it's as popular as Soma/Takumi
Subaru has collected data on Soma and Takumi, including shoe size AND underwear pattern.
The new character, Mitsuru Soutsuda, is a middleschooler who has a big admiration for Soma. He even prepared lunch for him, with some girls questioning if they have "that kind of relationship".
Freud Was Right: The characters' reaction to dishes are often orgasmic-like or erotic. The only exceptions are children.
Some have also begun to think that the "Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga" meme has worn out its welcome as well. It's why some people decided to start going with the second version of the meme.
Jerk Sue: Erina is arguably the best cook of the first-years, has god-like sense of taste (hence, "God's Tongue"), beautiful, the granddaughter of Headmaster Senzaemon Nakiri and part of the Council of Ten Masters, meaning she can virtually do whatever she wants at school and get away with it; rarely does she get called out for anything. Her only "human traits"? She's a Tsunderewith a crush on Soma's father.
Foodgasmnote For bloody obvious reasons. The meme itself, however, existed before this series began.
Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga.note Whenever readers come across a panel of two characters "fighting" during an Imagine Spot, their reaction is usually to remind themselves that what they're reading is a cooking battle.
Shokugeki no Soma is a _______ manga.note A branch off of the original meme where people will actually describe the image they are looking at rather than claiming it's a cooking manga.
Poor turtlenote The reaction of many readers when a living little turtle is beheaded by Hisako to be made into a hamburger dish
Viewers Are Morons: Nearly everyone in the audience, including the judging panel, are surprised when Megumi cuts and prepares a monkfish live in the preliminaries, as if no one believes it can work with curry. However, a search online about "curry" and "monkfish" yields the following results...
Megumi: There are times where readers just want to go and give her a hug for all the negativity she's forced to endure, with a prime example being Koujirou setting her up for expulsion despite doing the right thing for her test dish, and for the amount of heckling she receives throughout the Fall Classic for "being in a position she doesn't belong".
The turtle from Chapter 73 butchered without hesitation by Hisako while it was alive. It becomes part of a hamburger; Double Standard ensues as readers have already seen plenty of dishes containing other bizarre animal meat (such as monkfish).