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.
Alternate Character Interpretation: A great deal of Aunt May's scenes (particularly the scene in Spider-Man 2 where she tells Peter why Spider-Man is important to the city and the scene in Spider-Man 3 where she acts shocked that Spider-Man killed Sandman) led fans to believe she's a Secret Secret Keeper who knows Peter is Spider-Man. Nothing in the series or Word Of God confirms it, but it fits really well.
Did Norman tells Peter not to tell Harry he was the Green Goblin because he didn't want Harry to know his secret...or because he wants Harry to take up his role as Spider-Man's enemy ignorant of why he killed Norman? If so...was Harry seeing his ghost?
Kirsten Dunst herself got sick of being the Damsel in Distress, to the point where Sam Raimi apologised to her for making her do it again in Spider-Man 3, though to make it up to her, he had her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by having her actually do things to help Peter (hitting Venom with a cinderblock) and try to get herself out of peril (jumping to avoid the falling truck and debris.)
A number of people were rooting for an Ursula/Peter romance. Arguably, other than Aunt May, she's the only female in the second movie who loves Peter for being Peter.
Thomas Haden Church plays the Sandman to utter perfection in the third film. In fact, of the entire series' rogues gallery, Church's Sandman looks the closest (read: EXACTLY) like his comic book counterpart.
Evil Is Cool: Played with to the point of parody or deconstruction in the third movie. Once Peter's bonded with the Venom symbiote, his moral restraint plummets, his feelings of aggression and confidence shoot through the roof and he adopts a dark, callous attitude and black leather wardrobe to match. However, since Peter is still, at heart, a lovable geek with no real idea what "cool" is, his new attitude's actually a goofily overdone caricature that draws eye-rolling disbelief from the people around him.
Also in the third, when Peter pulls off his dark suit in the church. At one point, his arms are up and out from his sides, crucifix style. Complete with the church bells ringing. And Eddie praying to kill Spider-Man below. Yeah...
Not to mention the shower afterwards. Recognition of sin, repentance, and baptism, perhaps?
And Spidey sure mustnīt have noticed that big, flaming US flag when he chose to make his comeback...
Foe Yay: Spidey and the Green Goblin in the first film, though only on Gobby's end of things.
Fridge Brilliance: The genetically-engineered spider was created by combining the DNA responsible for the attributes of 3 species of Spider. We see a graphic that the strands overwrite the Host DNA of the species it was implanted in. Because Peter's DNA is Human, thats why the mutation only causes him to develop the abilities, and not turn into a Seth Brundel abomination.
Ham and Cheese: With a stupid-looking, limiting costume, the best thing Willem Dafoe could possibly do as the Green Goblin is go completely over the top.
The second movie features Mary Jane almost marrying J.J. Jameson's son, only to go back to Peter in the end. A few years later, we got Superman Returns, in which Lois Lane gets engaged to the nephew of Perry White much to the consternation of fans.
"I'll always be Spider-man" became this around 2011 when the reboot was announced and Andrew Garfield took over.
Narm: The third film is pretty infamous for its weird tone, but special mention goes to Peter Parker's infamous dancing.
Hearing Topher Grace's voice in his Venom form.
The second film had Doc Ock's artificially intelligent arms "talking" to him.
From the original film: "It's you who's out, Gobby! Out of your mind!"
The people being skeletonized by the pumpkin bombs is a little too cartoonish to be scary.
Toward the end of 2, when Peter sees a big-ass wall about to collapse on MJ from behind, he lets out a wail that is not only really over the top, but comes with a close-up of his face as he makes it, and to make it even more Narmful his voice cracks more than once in the (rather long) non-Big "NO!"Big "NO!".
It's not even a no, that's the best part. It's some awful, ungodly noise that escaped from the fires of hell and out of Tobey Maguire's mouth. take a look.
Green Goblin's death in the first film: impaled on his own weapon, the look of agony, the groaning... But look at where the glider hit him.
Never Live It Down: The first thing that anyone who hates Spider-Man 3 will mention is the dance scene, which only lasted for a couple of minutes out of the movie.
Older Than They Think: The plots of 1, 2 and 3 mirror Superman, Superman II and both Superman III & IV. Part 1: Origin story. Part 2: "Don't want to be the hero". Part 3: Good hero and evil hero.
One-Scene Wonder: Bryce-Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy does a pretty good job despite having a character so underused she was almost entirely redundant. One gets the impression she could have been a great love interest.
Romantic Plot Tumor: A common criticism of the movies that they devote too much time to the love story, to the detriment of action.
The third film receives the most criticism on this count, since many fans felt that the second film was a fine conclusion to the romance. The fact that the film had three other major plotlines competing for screentime also caused problems. On the flip side, some thought the romance was better in the third film.
Spider-Man 3 is generally seen as the least effective installment in the series. Whether or not it's actually good divides audiences, though the consensus seems to be that the majority do.
Special Effect Failure: As awesome as the effects generally are in the first film, there were a handful of instances where the effects team used obvious short-cuts, most notably with the rather amorphous and undetailed CG model of Spidey used in some of the instances of him swinging through the city.
Uncle Ben dying in the first movie. Always a given with Spidey's origin, but this one comes with a twist: the last thing Peter said to him was a spiteful insult, only to then later watch him die.
The birth of Sandman in the third movie, is such a hauntingly beautiful and sad scene that it's hard to believe it is from the same film as Peter Parker's "Saturday Night Fever dance."
Visual Effects of Awesome: All the films have excellent effects but the aforementioned birth of Sandman deserves a special mention. The effects (which took six months to do and the effort shows) are so good, you can actually see the emotion in Marko's eyes while he is in sandform. From despair to heartbreaking sadness and absolute determination. Say what you will about the rest of the film, but damn that was a brilliant scene.
What an Idiot: Why exactly did Peter think it would be a smart idea to plant a big wet one on Gwen Stacy right in front of Mary Jane in Spider-Man 3, in the exact same way as he first kissed Mary Jane in the first film no less?
What on Earth possessed Harry's butler to not tell him he knew Norman had been killed by his own gliderbefore Harry decided to dedicate his life to vengeance against Spider-Man?
Word Of God states that the butler, while a real person, was a hallucination in that scene, representing Harry's conscience....Yeah.
There's also Mary Jane going along with Harry's blackmail instead of just telling Peter (her very powerful superhero boyfriend) about Harry's amnesia recovery, especially considering that Harry was watching from a distance at the same place at the time!
Rumor has it that this was on purpose. Apparently the studio forced Raimi to include Venom (a fan favorite and potential Spinoff character) even though the script didn't have him in it. Raimi was rightfully irritated by this and set out to cast someone as different from the comics as possible just for spite. To his credit, Topher Grace tried hard to work with what he was given.
Surprisingly, this was the initial reaction when Tobey Maguire was cast as Spider-Man himself, as fans thought he was too "doughy" for the role (which he was at first, but months of long, hard training can change a man).
Wangst: Both Peter himself and Mary Jane starts to fall into this territory by the time of the third movie. Also, Harry often makes rants about how much he wants to get revenge on Spider-Man for "killing" his father, though he's generally more proactive in doing something about it.
The Woobie: Sandman. The guy just want to get his daughter cured, and he don't want to hurt anybody else in the way, but things just never worked out for him. He sums it up well with "I'm not a bad guy...I've just had really bad luck." And by the way, just to get a picture of how rough things are for this guy? He says this line BEFORE he becomes the Sandman.
Peter himself is an obvious example. MJ and Harry also have their moments of Woobie-ness, particularly in Spider-Man 3.