YMMV: System of a Down
- Anvilicious: The band are quite political. They usually have good points to make, though even fans who agreed with them had their patience tested when they started doing long rants during shows.
- Awesome Music - "Soldier Side (Reprise)" from Hypnotize not only brings Mezmerize to completion back where it all started, but is an Nth degree Protest Song.
They were crying when their sons left
God is wearing black
He's gone so far to find no hope
He's never going back
They were crying when their sons left
All young men must go
He's gone so far to find no truth
He's never going home.
- All of "Streamline", as depressing as it is, it's also insanely awesome, and Serj's ultra-epic high note at the end of the song is impossible to hear without instantly getting chills.
- And "Highway Song".
- Base Breaker - There's some disagreement among the fandom about Mesmerize/Hypnotize, mainly due to Daron's more prominent vocals and the slightly more comedic edge.
- A good way to determine which of their discography you'll like more is to listen to Steal this Album!. If you like the first half more, you'll enjoy their first two albums more. If you like the second half more, you'll like the Mezmerize/Hypnotize albums more. If you like both halves, you will like all their material.
- Creepy Awesome/Crazy Awesome: Daron is the weirdest and creepiest man on the face of the earth, but he's also a damn fine guitarist and song-writer.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome - Performing "Holy Mountain" on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the rain.
- Ear Worm - "She's Like Heroin", "Attack", "B.Y.O.B.", "Chop Suey!", "Toxicity"... fuck it, every SoaD song qualifies for this for someone, even the weird stuff like "Violent Pornography".
- "Old school...Hollywood...baseball...Old school Hollywood baseball!!!"
- "Sugar", "Bounce", "Lonely Day"
- And "Aerials", "Revenga" and "Sad Statue".
- Epic Riff - "Chop Suey", "Aerials", "B.Y.O.B."
- Also, that weird intro riff to, "Suite Pee".
- "Sad Statue". So refreshingly retro.
- And it's immediately followed by "Old School Hollywood" to boot, which features an equally epic riff.
- Face of the Band - Serj Tankian, and to an extent Daron Malakian.
- Freud Was Right: "Cigaro", which is about dictators and their phallic love of cigars.
- Misattributed Song - "The Legend of Zelda" was never performed by System of a Down. It doesn't really even sound like them. Of course, a whole lot of people THINK it's System of a Down (or just Serj, their lead singer). It's actually by Joe Pleiman, from an album called The Rabbit Joint; and is toplisted on the TV Tropes Misattributed Song page.
- "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" is by Drowning Pool. And it's called "Bodies".
- Disturbed's song "Down With The Sickness". It's not called "Down With The System".
- Also, any time one or more members of the band collaborates with another band, it's labeled as a SOAD song on bootlegs and YouTube:
- "Don't Go Off Wandering" is the most egregious. It's a demo of a Limp Bizkit song, with a brief appearance by Serj Tankian. Granted, the released version (from Limp's Significant Other album) doesn't have Serj, but that still doesn't make it a SOAD song.
- "Starlit Eyes" is by Serj Tankian and the band Snot, recorded in tribute to Snot's singer, Lynn Strait.
- "Feel Good" is by Hed PE, with additional vocals by Morgan Lander of the band Kittie and Serj Tankian. Serj is singing from "the sky is falling and I don't care", the rough growling is by Morgan, and the rapping is by Hed PE's vocalist Jahred Gomes.
- "Mushroom Cult" is by Dog Fashion Disco, with a guest appearance by Serj Tankian. It has no one else from SOAD.
- The title makes it even more confusing, since the chorus of "Sugar" also includes references to a mushroom cult.
- Narm Charm - No other band could write a heavy metal song that contains the line "All research and successful drug policies show that treatment should be increased and law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences!"
- Narm - On the other hand, moments like that have a tendency to utterly destroy the power of the songs. Especially since, like that line, they're often spoken instead of sung, as if the band wants to make sure you know what they're trying to say.
- Nightmare Fuel: "Dam" in its entirety.
- "Mind", which pretty much could be considered "Dam" if it were heavier and 1000x more schizophrenic and hateful sounding. From the opening Mood Whiplash ("Look at each other... Look at each other... GO AWAY! GO AWAY!"), to its lyrics about molested children, random guttural vocals and let's not forget Serj screaming "GONNA LET YOU MOTHERFUCKERS DIE!" over and over at the end. And yet it's still awesome.
- Temper, which has sedate verses and a Mood Whiplash grindcore chorus, meant to wake up the general public from their apathy towards serious issues.
- "P.L.U.C.K.", a song about the Armenian genocide.
- Thetawaves is also very creepy.
- Signature Song: "Chop Suey!", "B.Y.O.B." and "Toxicity".
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "Prison Song" is about as subtle as a clown with it's cock out and Narmy as hell as the post above says, but everything it says is true and something that really did need to be talked about at the time.
- Tear Jerker - A few of their songs, including "Lonely Day", "Soldier Side" and "Roulette".
- "Holy Mountains" as well, if you know what the lyrics are about (the Armenian Genocide and the significance of Mount Ararat in relation to it).
- "Streamline". Enough said.
- "Chop Suey," when it's not being aggressive and loud, is heartbreaking, both with it's bible-quoting lyrics and mournful instrumentation, especially Serj's vocals and Rick Rubin's piano.
- "Lost In Hollywood," which is about somebody being discovered by Hollywood, becoming a big star, and then fading away in favor of the next "big thing." Having nowhere to go afterwards.
- Tough Act to Follow - The band and its entire catalog qualify. Are four other Armenians going to get together to form another band? No famous band has—so far—followed in SOAD's footsteps close enough to be described as a clone or a spiritual successor. Then again, no famous band has really tried.
- As for the band themselves, while Mesmerize/Hypnotize has gotten massive critical acclaim, many fans and critics agree that they will never be able to top Toxicity, by far the band's best-received album.