- Base Breaker / Love It or Hate It: Either you think Stephanie is one of the best heels in the company due to her scathing promo skills and ability to draw massive heat despite being a conventionally beautiful woman, or you think she is a legitimate egomaniac who gets off on emasculating the entire roster and throwing her weight around with very little comeuppance while milking both her McMahon bloodline and feminism PR to insulate her from criticism.
- Creator's Pet / Creator Worship: As a member of The Authority both in and out of kayfabe, she has been hogging WWE TV programming, particularly Monday Night RAW. That's because not only is she Vince's daughter but Triple H's wife as well. And like Triple H, she can't even swallow her pride for five minutes and put someone else over without interrupting them with lame, condescending comebacks. All she does is rip apart and emasculate every wrestler, male and female, ally or enemy. Anytime something remotely fulfilling for fans happens at her expense or someone tries a scathing retort to something she says or does, she will invoke both the "I'm a McMahon" card and the "woman in power" card to make the 'offender' look bad because heaven forbid Vince McMahon's proto-feminist clone not always get her way. The only time she gets any physical comeuppance is from random guests, D-list celebrities, or accidental moments where she's caught in the middle of a kerfuffle involving her husband. The only time she came close to a blowoff was with Ronda Rousey, and it was very slight and not likely to be substantially repeated since Rousey is a contracted UFC fighter and occasional movie star.
And as is more often typical of mainstream feminists than most people care to admit, despite all her pro-woman talk she even arguably sabotaged the main-roster "Divas Revolution" by having her character be the one to kickstart it. The moment she personally introduced the NXT divas and openly placed them on teams she designated herself, it became all about what a great thing she's doing and how many "era of the female athlete" taglines can be shoved into commentary instead of being about talented female wrestlers coming in to change the face and possibly the name of the Divas division. She even did this again at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn; thankfully it had no lasting effect that time, but even wrestling reviewers with a feminist bent noted that the most uneasy reaction the crowd gave during the whole presentation of the Bayley vs. Sasha Banks NXT Women's Championship match was when she came out to introduce the match while injecting the "Divas Revolution" corporate branding into it. Even months later when Paige trashed the entire angle as well as every woman's character on the roster at the start of her Face–Heel Turn borne of jealousy for Charlotte becoming the new Divas Champion instead of her, guess who was conveniently left out of that tirade?
Contrast this with how Vince had humiliating things happen to him every single week back when he was the active Big Bad and when he had his character introduce major events it was done in a way that increased their credibility as opposed to making decisions for a wrestler's character that said character could easily make themselves, and how even Triple H, despite his reputation as one of the biggest self-aggrandizing politicians in the history of the business, is willing to take the occasional beating for the good of a storyline when the time calls for it. The last time Stephanie as a character was hit with a Finishing Move? 2010. And even then it generated a face pop for a guy that was supposed to be the top heel because of how unsympathetic she'd been coming off as a supposedly Reasonable Authority Figure in a preceding period of several months. Her most embarrassing moment over the past couple of years? Openly tweeting her agreement with a quote from one of the founders of Twitter stating that philanthropy is the future of marketing. In other words, not a storyline moment that helps any of WWE's performers or characters get ahead, but a real-life moment that made her look like a tone deaf suck-up and added fuel and substance to the fire of the "charity exploitation" accusations that certain critics dog WWE with whenever they hamfistedly showcase John Cena's magnanimous endeavors. And at the worst possible time, too — in the midst of the company launching the Connor's Cure program.
Once one gets past the hype about Triple H taking over WWE after Vince and realizes that Stephanie is the main person in line for the throne with Hunter as her second, she becomes perhaps the largest part of any reservations that are remaining about exactly how high the WWE's potential for quality improvement is once Vince steps down and Cena retires. Her unwillingness to put aside her own pride to do business for the sake of any of the wrestlers' progression, male or female, despite taking up the locus of attention in 2015, might actually be the thing that holds back her and Hunter's takeover the most.Wrestlecrap: It’s pretty amazing how neutered she makes everyone look, honestly. Then again, this is the same person who they had a trainer for, and then canned that act because if she needed a trainer, that must mean she was fat at some point. Eh, whatever, she’s the boss’ daughter and the heir to the throne. We’d all best get used to this.
- Foe Yay:
- With Chris Jericho in the early 2000's. While a lot of the wrestlers mocked her, Jericho was obsessive about it to the point where fans were wondering when the two were just going to have planet-cracking hate-sex and get it over with. When you think about it, Jericho's hate for her made a lot of sense. He would always mock her for being easy… for everyone except him.
- With Trish Stratus. On the January 1, 2001, Raw, Stephanie told Trish that while she may have Vince wrapped around her finger, Trish's "big-breasted ways" would not work on her. Yes, Stephanie's message was that Trish couldn't manipulate her the way she manipulated men, but, doesn't this sound like a Suspiciously Specific Denial, as if simply saying "You can't manipulate me" wasn't enough?
- With Sable. Stephanie randomly scrapped Sable's Les Yay program with Torrie Wilson so she could feud with Sable instead. See below under Writer on Board.
- Funny Moments:
- Has gotten a few in, as a nigh-unflappable heel with a habit of trolling the crowd and the wrestlers alike, a la her husband.
- From her backstage segment with Rusev and Lana on the November 10, 2014, came perhaps the absolute greatest Trolling Creator moment in pro wrestling history:
"There are no such things as politics in WWE."
- Her Survivor Series 2014 Villainous Breakdown post-match. Amazing.
- Hollywood Pudgy:
- "Molly Holly has a big ass," anyone?
- Stephanie's own weight was commented upon when she made her last few appearances prior to the Authority run. Of course, that's post-three children. Ah, wrestling. People on the Usenet newsgroup rec.sport.pro-wrestling had even been making jokes about her body well before she ever had kids. Of course, this was partially due to how unpopular she was in general. Before the HHH-Godfather match on the March 16, 2000 SmackDown!, the Godfather told Stephanie that there might be a place for her in the Ho Train, but it would be in the caboose. Stephanie now averts this, as these pictures demonstrate.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: "Muffy," the evil fitness trainer character. See the WrestleCrap item on the Trivia page.
- Hypocrite: Kayfabe, 1999. You want to get back at your father for almost sacrificing your mental stability and emotional well-being to a faux-demonic cult just so he could screw that uncontrollable redneck? Fine. You want to do this by getting together with someone else he detests, that actually turns you on to boot? Awesome. This person was actually one of the men carrying out your daddy's evil plans, selling out his friends to do so in the process, and the only reason your dad hates him now is because he and said friends got back together and became even more despicable assholes? Congratulations, Vince and Shane McMahon are actually the people with standards here.
- Or, said "someone else" got in your ear, and manipulated you into going along.
- Or, she's an idiot. (Yes, CM Punk later called her that, but it was for different reasons.)
- Or, said "someone else" got in your ear, and manipulated you into going along.
- Love to Hate: Well, she learned from one of the best.
- Tear Jerker: The video tribute to Connor The Crusher - a little boy who died of cancer shortly after WrestleMania. The video is already a Tear Jerker on its own. But special mention goes to the way Stephanie's voice breaks as she says "they told us he didn't have much time left". And she abandons all composure after that and bawls as she talks about Connor. Made even more poignant when you realise that Stephanie is a mother herself.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
- Since she was so hated that she failed as a Face against notorious Real Life Jerkass Bad Boss Eric Bischoff when they were dueling GMs. When WWE fans are siding with the guy who, as the boss of WCW, wanted to put WWE out of business, you stink at being a face. While Shane and even Vince can usually handle the "stern but fair" archetype plausibly, even as a Face, Steph often fluctuates as the Spoiled Brat/Mean Boss/Smug Snake. She was pretty much played off as an innocent victim during Randy Orton's feud with Triple H and the McMahons, despite the fact she had in part set it off due to turning into a Control Freak as GM for Raw, and trying to bully around the wrong superstars. Not to mention while she had very coldly turned on her brother for trying to compromise "her show" beforehand, she had nothing against him taking a solid beating for her to fix the mess she'd made. She fails to even gain the Love to Hate reputation as a heel, since divas rarely challenge her and doing so would usually be considered a Moral Event Horizon for most male wrestlers, often leaving her a Karma Houdini building up heat for a comeuppance that never arrives.
- Another notable example is the Raw 1000 segment between Triple H, Stephanie, and Paul Heyman in 2012. Despite the fact that Hunter was challenging Brock Lesnar to come back and fight him at SummerSlam only for Heyman to refuse on Lesnar's behalf, that said challenge was in retribution for Brock breaking HHH's arm a few months ago, and that Heyman's main method of stalling in this segment was to call Steph and Hunter out as bad examples to their children, Hunter and Stephanie managed to come across as conniving to the point that they were booed in this segment. It didn't help matters much that Hunter repeatedly threatened Heyman, or that Stephanie insulted Heyman by declaring him a business failure and a parasite before physically attacking him in order to finally provoke him into giving Hunter the match. Lesnar coming out afterward to attack Triple H made him look like he was the cavalry, especially due to the two's milked 'chickenshit'-esque reaction of horror. As before, Steph leaves Hunter to take it from there and is absent from the rest of the entire feud.
- Stephanie's tearful act on the 07/28/14 RAW. While turned out to be a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, it seems like the writers's intention was to get the audience to start feeling sorry for Stephanie, if only to make her actions at the end of the show pack more of a punch. However, the massive heat Stephanie gets meant that she got her zero sympathy from the audience, even with her looking pitiful and broken as she detailed how getting arrested has damaged her personal and professional life. You know you're a Hate Sink when you get a stadium of thousands of people cheering on how your innocent young children are hurt, shunned, and scarred for life.
- Villain Sue: Her Creator's Pet status (See above.), combined with her being arguably more of an Invincible Villain than even her husband, naturally puts her under this for too many viewers to count.
- Writer on Board: Obviously, literally, in her GM role on SmackDown!. However, given the mockery toward her body (see also under Gag Boobs on the main page and Hollywood Pudgy above), and the McMahons' habit of holding grudges and at times unsubtly retaliating via booking (e.g., the "Billionaire Ted's Wrasslin' Warroom" skits from early 1996 which mocked Ted Turner, WCW, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage), could the Molly Holly "big ass" garbage have been another example of this?
- Torrie Wilson had 2 big Les Yay storylines in 2002-2003, first with Dawn Marie and second with Sable. As head of "Creative," how much of these were her own work? Much like Vince himself, it would be bizarrely fascinating to find out how much of her terrible booking is just due to the fact that no one can tell her, "No, this idea is stupid," and how much is her working through personal issues.