* EpicRiff: Many, but some notable examples are: "Jesus Christ Pose", "Holy Water", "4th of July", "Like Suicide", "Beyond the Wheel", "Outshined", "Let Me Drown"...oh, we could go on.
* FaceOfTheBand: Cornell, and possibly Matt Cameron.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** "Black Saturday" is about asking for a MercyKill instead of being a decayed old man. Five years later, Chris Cornell died suddenly at 52, way before he would need such a treatment.
** "Blow Up the Outside World" has the protagonist mentioning that he attempted suicide and failed.
** "Like Suicide" and ''especially'' "Pretty Noose" counts as well, especially given Cornell's death was later confirmed to be a suicide by hanging. The band also covered an early 70s metal song called "Homicidal Suicidal" by the band Budgie.
** So many of the band's songs, really:
*** "No one sings like you anymore" ("Black Hole Sun")
*** "There must be something else/There must be something good/Far away" ("Boot Camp")
*** "I'm thinking of your highness/And crying hard upon the loss I've found/And on the plus and minus/Zero chance of ever turning this around/They say if you look hard/You'll find your way back home/Born without a friend/And bound to die alone" ("Zero Chance")
*** "Nothing seems to kill me, no matter how hard I try" ("Blow Up the Outside World")
* IronWoobie: Ben Shepherd. He's the youngest member of the band, and has talked about how he was effectively still growing up and maturing when he first joined, barely aged twenty-two, and took the band's dissolution the hardest. He ended up struggling with years of drug and alcohol abuse and, to top it all off, he lost all of his gear in 2008 after the warehouse that Soundgarden's gear was being stored in was sold. He was so despondent he quit music altogether until he was coaxed back to record his solo album, shortly after which Soundgarden reunited. Yet despite everything he's been through, post-reunion interviews show him as just being grateful that he gets to play music and earn a living.
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: Some of their oldest fans feel that the song the band created for ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', "Live to Rise," sounds too mainstream.
* NightmareFuel: The intro to "Searching With My Good Eye Closed". An overly cheery narrator says seemingly random things with animal noises... and then...
--> "This is my good eye! Do you hear a cow? *moooooo* A rooster says: *cuck-oooo* '''Here''' is a pig! *pig squeal* ''TheDevil says...'' *whooshing followed by two '''horrifying''' [[MetalScream Metal Screams]]*
** While nightmare fuel may have been the intent, some see this as pure {{Narm}} more than anything else, considering how out of place it is.
** "Applebite" is very unsettling, due in part to its strange melody, Cornell's haunted and heavily processed vocals, and its bizarre arrangement. There is something that feels slightly ''off'' about the song.
** "Room A Thousand Years Wide" may qualify. Three chords, an incessant beat, and some of the most nightmarish vocal layering from Chris. The song is so hypnotic it sounds like Chinese water torture put to music. Not to mention during the end during the breakdown it sounds like the world is about to come apart.
** "4th of July" is possibly the heaviest song the band ever recorded, and it has a suffocating atmosphere throughout.
* SignatureSong: "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman"
* SoBadItsGood: "Circle of Power" from ''Ultramega OK'', due to Hiro Yamamoto's hilariously awful singing.