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.
YMMV: Survivor: Fan Characters
Archive Binge: Twelve completed seasons (with #13 in progress) nearly reaching the 2000-comic mark.
Broken Base: The rift was first created in Fans vs Canons and was widened further during Cursed Islands and All-Stars. Mainly divided along the lines of supporting either positive or negative characters. Mainly condoned on the author's part as he appreciates differing opinions.
Ker fans versus Wrecker fans. There have been debates, debates, and more debates about the two. The fact that they were the two finalists the public was voting for to win Season 7 didn't help matters.
There's also the argument over who should have won Season 12 between Lola, Shelby and Spongebob. Lola is praised for having a strong social game, but didn't have many strategic moves under her belt. Spongebob is under the same boat as Lola, but was praised for managing to survive to Day 39 despite being a non-factor. And Shelby was a smug slacker, but was surprisingly articulate in her FTC arguments, and was unfortunate to be in the finals against two more popular opponents.
As for the seasons themselves, Cursed Islands, All-Stars, and Battle of the Tribes fit the bill quite a lot.
Villainous winners such as Melanie and Marius; supporters say that they were great players who just happened to have a darker shade of morality and deserve recognition for their games despite their less than desirable ethics, while naysayers have thrown Villain Sue accusations towards the former and criticized the morals of the latter.
Juiced Up and Claus are easily the most divisive characters of Season 11. Either you think they are very funny fail villains, or you think that they are total annoyances who made it way further in the game than they deserved to. There is no middle ground.
Cargo Ship: Violet x Tree and Popper x Ootsies (Tootsie Rolls).
Creator's Pet: Minerva, Beth, or Gatemaster might fit. Either way, they're all voted out early on All-Stars.
Bonnie. While she was very popular in Season 9, thanks to the fact that she was perhaps the most vile and horrifying villain in the series and got one hell of a downfall to go with it, she is relatively less popular in Season 10 thanks to somehow managing to pull off moves that she shouldn't be able to, taking every opportunity to brag about how awesome she is, and having no discernible motivation besides just being a disgusting human being who outlasted several more popular characters. Ironically, not unlike Russell Hantz. Although she has been humiliated a number of times, she had another downfall, and her Creator's Pet status was later acknowledged by Eli.
She is also an in-universe one. The producers in the series allowed her to get away with way too much during both of her seasons.
Greg often was the instigator in his fights with Marius.
Jackie was accused of being the former in Battle of the Tribes.
Maggie. She's a petty, whiny jerk, but gets the "Second Coming of Jesus" edit.
Designated Villain: In-universe, Arnold from SFC 13 is a saint compared to the "Arnold" the other characters talk about when the former isn't listening.
Dork Age: Started either in Cursed Islands or All-Stars depending on who you ask, and lasted until Midway Island.
Elimination Houdini: Minerva in Season 4, Cherman in Season 9, Bonnie in Season 10 and Eli in Season 11. All of them have been on the chopping block numerous times and yet managed to survive by either Manipulative Bastardry or having someone more threatening voted out over them.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Popper, a Katamari Damacy fan character who can only communicate with signs and short words, was the original notable Ensemble Darkhorse for this series. He made it onto the All-Star season despite being the fifth voted out on his original season.
In a popularity poll that had every contestant from the first 11 seasons, Montana was the winner. Then again, she always was popular among the readers.
Flame War: Hoo boy. In recent seasons, this has been a major problem within the fandom, with at least one major war taking place per season.
The flame wars in Season 11 broke the comments record several times over before the major individual responsible for them got suspended on deviantART.
Franchise Original Sin: Ever since the unexpected success of Season 9's storyline, every season after that had a major villain, who can't seem to be eliminated despite massive unpopularity from the other contestants; which forces the majority of the players, both good and bad, to band together to eliminate said player. Said alliance would take a few episodes, some fractious dealings with the villain's side, and the elimination of some of the big players, before the Big Bad was voted off. Of course, this has the unfortunate effect of the show focusing too much on the villain rather than everyone, making the story tedious viewing for some viewers and accusations of Seasonal Rot from some viewers. To note the examples, Season 9 and 10 could have been named "The Bonnie Show" due to her being the main antagonist of both seasons and the central focus of both, for better or worse. Season 12 then ramps up this trend by having Enter copypasta idols, which sparked arguments from some fans whether Enter's activities were considered legit or blatant cheating. Season 11 have Crisco throwing challenges so he could get rid of his whole tribe and could have gone further into the game, but, being in a very unconventional season, he was screwed over by a Mutiny and by Eli's machinations.
Fridge Brilliance: At first you'd think that Marius giving up the ability to win individual immunity in Season 5 would be stupid. As it turns out, this twist saved him when people assumed they could take him out at any time and kept him in until the finals, where he won.
Fridge Logic: After her elimination, Denise claims to have played the perfect under-the-radar game. Yet by all accounts (except by the camera), she was a motor mouth who didn't know when to shut up. How exactly is that playing under-the-radar?
Growing the Beard: Season 1 was considered So Ok Its Average. The characters were likable, but pretty one-note; the sprites were passable; and the plot was so-so. Season 2 saw a slight update in terms of sprites, much more dynamic characters and a more solid story.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Sometimes, characters or fans say things that turn out to be quite ironic later on. An excellent example of this is the comments on this comic with a later commentator even saying, "A lot of people are eating their words right now."
Baxter is considered to be Russell Hantz before Russell Hantz; guess who shows up four seasons later...
Jerkass Woobie: Maria/Mo (Season 5, not so much in All-Stars), Bitsy and Vinnie (at least in All-Stars), Ryuia (Season 7), Malik (Season 8), and Jewel, Adrian and Starr (Season 9).
Love to Hate: Vinnie, Baxter, Marius, Kala, Bonnie, White Phil, Wrecker and especially Minerva.
Magnificent Bastard: This series is absolutely teeming with them, but the best examples are the bastards who won their seasons: Skylar, Ellise, Barney, Marius, Bitsy, and Melanie.
Honorable mentions go to Rene, Vinnie, Baxter, Minerva, Lilly, Gatemaster (unintentionally), and Prescilla/Bonnie.
Is it wrong to call SWSU-Master, the creator, this? He's managed to pull off some brilliant and shocking ideas for years (The Fans vs Canons and Midway Island twists, Bonnie and everything about her, etc.), and doesn't seem like he'll stop anytime soon.
Magnum Opus: Season 3 was voted best season by 60% of the fanbase, and the author personally considers it his best work.
Mary Sue: Defied with Artemis. Her owner most likely wanted her to be this judging by the numerous arguments in the comments. However, the author of the comics hasn't treated her in a special way.
Memetic Mutation: "I support Violet x Tree", and "I support Violet x Bitsy x Tree".
This scene is averted in Season 10, where Phil comes back after losing 200 lbs.
The producers have no qualms about allowing people like Bonnie, Wrecker, Maria/Mo, and Enter, yes that Enter to compete.
One-Scene Wonder: "Oooooohhhh, I'm an evil talking buuuuush..." is pretty much the only reason Ella has a fanbase.
Parody Sue: Ventious, who has almost absolutely no flaws, and his entire tribe relies on him to win challenges for them because he's apparently so good at everything. Naturally, Chrii takes advantage of the fact that the whole tribe relies on Ventious and gets rid of him using a hidden immunity idol, which basically causes the entire tribe to crumble apart once he's gone. He did return for Battle of the Tribes but the author seems to be making a conscious effort to avoid this trope for him this time around, with him being unable to avoid his tribe being reduced to just two members, having the mother of all Clingy Jealous Girls in Ryuia, and admitting that he actually likes it better when he's not the Jesus of his tribe.
Zachary. He's a young master strategist that everyone around him loves and admires. He leaves first.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many examples, but few top Minerva. Initially the Hate Sink from Season 4, her short time on All-Stars gained her a few fans, (the fact that there were much worse villains since her helped). Battle of the Tribes saw people actively rooting for her to win, and were upset when she didn't.
The Scrappy: Oran, the whiny little kid who complains constantly and cannot do anything, and PJ, who turned into an insufferable Jerkass after an elimination went as planned.
Chloe, especially in Battle of the Tribes where she managed to become more hated by the fanbase than Bonnie.
Bonnie herself in Season 10, thanks to Villain Decay and overexposure.
Artemis from Season 11, at least on deviantART. While some people have argued that she would have been a subpar character either way, it is also true a lot of the hatred comes from her creator getting furious about her not succeeding and being loved as much as he intended. This has led quite a lot of people to consider her a Mary Sue based on her creator's intentions.
Enter, the Super Sentai canon from Season 12 manages to top the combined hatred of the above examples due to his blatant cheating, extreme arrogance, and being an overall God-ModeVillain Stu.
Seasonal Rot: Season 5 hit a snag in the series thanks to the generally lower character quality and a very polarizing winner, but it ultimately recovered. See Vindicated by History for more details.
Season 8 was once universally considered the worst season ever due to the lack of Character Development, lower character quality to earlier seasons, and a easily predictable winner. One of the reasons pinpointed for this fall in quality is directed at the characters being fan-submitted, and thus harder for the author to write with, but this has been addressed as of Season 9 by mixing up the author's characters with fan-submitted ones.
Season 10 was also a low point (and seems to have taken 8's title as worst series ever), due to the return of several disliked characters, such as Quadratic, Frank and Chloe; the return of Bonnie, and her subsequent hyping up and survival over fan-favorites like Ventious and Kris; the Flanderization of former fan-fave Jackie into a douchebag with No Indoor Voice and an overall totally mean-spirited feel.
Season 12 didn't turn out well either due to the over-exposure of Enter and the overall rather boring cast.
Take That, Scrappy!: Artemis returned for the Season 12 cast release, now overweight. Her frantic insistence that she was the "true winner" and had played perfectly (a parody of her creator's treatment of her) impressed neither Jeff nor the actual winner.
Further explanation: The author said that he wanted Season 8 to be the story of how two players' intended goat (Melanie, to Heinz and Matt) ended up unexpectedly beating them in the end, which was the reason for Melanie having a relatively easy ride to the finals because Heinz and Matt were too focused on each other to see her as a threat in contrast to the other "negative" winners (Skylar and Marius) who came close to being voted out several times. Unfortunately, this ended up coming across as "show how cool Melanie is for doing all these secret manipulations and how idiotic Heinz and Matt are for not realizing this" to some readers, especially at the final Tribal Council where it became painfully obvious that Melanie had won with Heinz and Matt being called giant liars and idiots by the jury and Melanie getting little to no flack from the same jury in spite of having been behind most of their ousters- once again in contrast to Skylar and Marius, who were both savaged by at least one jury member and whose wins were very much in doubt even after their final tribal councils- which made many readers label it as "Just give Melanie the million".
Enter is intentionally this for the first half of Season 12.
Vindicated by History: Cursed Islands is viewed in a much more positive light these days, especially when compared to Midway Island or Battle of the Tribes, cited as having a more goofy feel, several interesting twists, and Gatemaster.
Win Back the Crowd: After a season which was critically panned by pretty much everyone, and the series in general having gone through its first Dork Age, Season 9 was welcomed with open arms and is considered to be on par with Season 3.
Season 11 is also generally considered to be a return to form from the previous season.
The Woobie: Driz, Bitsy in Season 2, Lucky, Iris, Chaona, "N" in Season 3, and Cherman all count.