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.
Epic Riff: "Roly-Poly," "Yayaya," "Bo Peep Bo Peep," "Tic Tic Toc," "I Go Crazy Because Of You," and "Why Are You Being Like This?" to name a few.
Face of the Band: It would seem that Jiyeon and Qri are the two that their record label focus on primarily as they are often regarded as the prettiest in the group. And that's saying a lot when you're a member of what many consider to be the most visually attractive girl group in your country.
Fandom Rivalry: After "Roly-Poly" blew up it seemed like it was T-ara fans vs. every other fandom in K-Pop for a while. Things seem to be improving, though.
Well, things were improving...their 2012 scandal pretty much drew a visible line in the sand, with most T-ara fans and a few sympathizers from other fandoms going to one side, and everybody else going to another. It was a bit uneven, to say the least, as T-ara seemed to be at odds with everybody at the time; their situation seems to be improving as of late though.
This seems to be the case only in areas outside Korea, as most, if not all Korean T-ara fans seems to be a group of fans who try to protect T-ara irrationally, and most of the other fans have turned their backs on them.
Actually, many T-ara fans are quick to admit that there was indeed discord within the group; they just aren't going to blindly believe that it was bullying on the scale that the media and several naysayers perpetuated it to be.
Hwayoung has made twostatements now saying that things were blown way out of proportion. First she said "After the nasty rounds of rumors about me being excluded from the group went around, the reality of the deteriorated situation was painful. I was truly hurt from the distortion of the truth," in 2012, and now she's just had an interview where she said "Itís true that the unnis (T-ara) and I bickered. [...] There is a saying that clapping only makes a sound when the palms are hitting each other. I did some wrong things, too, and there were parts in which I clashed with the T-ara members, but everything is okay now."
Hwayoung's been getting criticism now that she's changed her story to "I was just trying to fit in with the unnies! I shouldn't have bothered - and yes, I released a diss track against them because I hated them and my company", and people found out she allowed serial liar Hong Ga Hye to spread false rumours about T-ARA.
On a related note, go into any T-ARA forum and suggest that you believe anything other than the current popular opinion (all of T-ARA (excepting Qri and maybe Ahreum) were nothing but nasty bullies to Hwayoung and she is 100% innocent). Hope you brought marshmallows!
And now, with the allegations made against Ahreum (she allegedly made nasty comments about f(x)'s Luna - calling her a "hobo with fat legs"), she's considered just as "bad" as the others.
Fanon Discontinuity: "Yayaya" is disliked due to its nonsensical lyrics and offensive music video. As a result, the song's parent album Temptastic has pretty much been written off completely by many who complain that they want the "old" T-ara back...which is a shame considering that Temptastic is, as a whole, an excellent effort.
To clarify - the video for "Yayaya" featured them hopping around in cheap Native American outfits (complete with feathers in their hair and tacky facepaint), teepees, a war whoop (in their Japanese single), a dance that included patting their hands over their mouths, and generally all sorts of offensive Native American stereotypes all wrapped up into one. There's two groups regarding the video, those who are outraged over the cultural appropriation and the seeming casual racism, and those who say "But they didn't mean it!" and "I'm a Native and it didn't offend me!"
It was primarily the international fan community that was in an uproar over the video and concept for "Yayaya," though. The Korean community couldn't give a flying fig about the Native American concept as they are one of the least politically correct countries in the world when it comes to other ethnicities and races; they just didn't like the song.
Also notable is the Star of David that Soyeon has on her face◊ for no other apparent reason than to look cool.
It should be noted that the K-Pop scene has recently come under fire not only for this, but for their use of blackface◊ and mocking Muslims in a skit on a variety show. Take from that what you will.
Internet Backdraft: After KKS' announcement on July 30th (Hwayoung being kicked out), the fan opinion towards T-ARA has done a vicious 180. People are calling for them to disband, for Eunjung to be removed from her positions on television shows (and indeed, one SBS staffer tweeted that he would never cast a member of T-ARA again - although that tweet has been since removed), almost all their concert tickets have been returned, and T-ARA's fan club has lost 6000 members, who seem to have gone on to form a group called "Truth From T-ARA", demanding to know what really happened.
T-ara also lost many of their CFs and product endorsements after the controversy, with several cancelling their contracts in the wake of the scandal.
Their Japanese tour seems to have been cancelled, and they might be doing a Chinese showcase instead.
The Japanese arena tour is still scheduled as of March 2013. The girls did perform a successful showcase in Hong Kong and Malaysia, though.
Things seem to be cooling down now, with the revelation that some events were twisted to make the girls look bad, and that Hwayoung had seemingly been playing up the "victim" act; the majority of people in Korea will disagree on whether the "revelation" is actually true or not, though. The girls' reputation is still very tarnished, but they're going ahead with a tour in Japan.
Soyeon gave an interview recently about how, while there had been tensions, Hwayoung was not bullied, and had been acting a bit... nasty herself (saying she couldn't participate in a concert because she was too sore... and then going off to the beauty parlour by herself).
This interview is contradictory to the official stance, however, as while she states in the interview that she only found out about the release of Hwayoung through the Internet, the official stance is that they were gathered together and then informed about the release. Also, the official news concerning the concert and Hwayoung states that she originally wanted to go up and perform, but was persuaded by the other members and staff not to. This has caused both the "official" news and the interview to be deemed untrustable by most of the public. The source of this particular claim was Kim Kwang Soo, who has developed a reputation for fabricating the truth and exaggerating details. This would not be the first time that T-ara has allegedly found out important news regarding the fate of their group via news broadcast, and sadly, it probably won't be the last time, either, if their claims are to be believed.
They've been criticized for having little kids perform on stage with them for a song called "Sexy Love" - although this never actually occurred. T-ara were supposed to have smaller versions of themselves that they had dubbed "Little T-ara" come on and perform PRIOR to them performing "Sexy Love." They were never going to perform the song together, and Little T-ara were never going to sing it at ALL. As it is, the backlash from their controversy was so severe that they ultimately pulled the plug on the whole idea.
Kim Kwang Soo had apparently made a big deal about T-ara refusing an alcohol commercial and being friendly to minors... and then it was found out that T-ara had starred in a pachinko commercial. Of course, pachinko is pretty much accepted as a part of Japanese culture, but it isn't exactly as "friendly to minors" as KKS says T-ara are. It seems that anything that Kim Kwang Soo tries in order to improve T-ara's reputation somewhat always backfires as he fails to take into consideration that Korean opinion is still extremely negative. Not quite exactly the girls' fault, but still.
Soyeon was accused in early 2013 of making some nasty remarks about a Korean actress on a Korean social network platform (calling her "Stitch"), which hasn't exactly improved T-ara's reputation. This was later proven to be further fabrication on the part of the Korean media and netizens, as it was revealed that Soyeon was actually talking about the character Stitch from the movie Lilo & Stitch. The conversation had been edited in such a way to make it appear that she had been talking about an actress in a less than flattering matter with some of her friends on Kakao Talk.
Ahreum posted an update on her Instagram saying "The people I hate the most right now are the CEO, unnisand the journalists! If only you gave me your pretty heart, but not even that... I don't care for things like that but don't regret it. (TN: The rest of this is still difficult to read/string together with grammar errors) The human heart responds truthfully but I can embrace even the people who write hateful comments. It's not good for all of you, stuff like that... Why do you make the people who love me receive hate." Netizens pounced on this as another example of "bullying", and said T-ARA might as well disband, because they were so vile and hated.
It should be noted, though, that Ahreum may be a bit unreliable at the moment as she has been acting very strange as evidenced by odd pictures of herself on Instagram, incoherent ramblings that don't make any sense at best and could be interpreted as suicidal ideation at worst, and a messy, unkempt appearance. Many netizens aren't sure whether or not she's crazy or simply looking for attention, but whatever the case, anything she says at the moment regarding T-ara should be taken with a grain of salt.
Dani recently said "If it wasn't for Shannon unni, I think I would've been very lonely... I think I would've really been an outcast." Cue netizens interpreting that as T-ARA "bullying" Dani (and Shannon being her saviour). Dani immediately posted an apology saying: "For people that cant read in korean...... i am very sorry to my t ara unnies...ㅠㅠ....and shannon for saying something like that but i never meant to hurt anyones feelings and i didnt mean to hurt any fans and its just because of my korean....im not very good with korean..but...i never meant it in that way...i hope everybody understands and please keep supporting and loving t ara and shannon... and i am very sorry to shannon and t ara ..."
Context: Dani is... not very good at speaking Korean. Shannon is Shannon Williams, who was supposed to join 5Dolls after Soomi left, but decided to stay to focus on her singing (allegedly - there's a whole other "bullying" scandal there, let's just leave it at that). She's originally from America, but speaks Korean far more fluently than Dani.
Nightmare Fuel: Ahreum. Since her departure, she's been displaying highly erratic behaviour on her Instagram account, uploading pictures and videos of herself saying that she was speaking to ghosts, that she was suicidal/depressed... She once uploaded a video saying she was having a birthday party with her friends, then turned the camera around to show... Nothing. To make matters worse, Ahreum's birthday was months away from what she was claiming. Her mother said she was fine, but still. Brr.
The Scrappy: Ever since the incident where Hwayoung was kicked out due to bullying rumors, T-ara has been the Scrappy of the idol world.
Shipping: Hyomin/Eunjung are very popular amongst the fandom. Jiyeon/Hwayoung has become popular since they are both considered the maknaes of the group depending on who you ask.
No ship is even comparable to the Jiyeon/Eunjung pairing, which has spawned rabid fans who will go insane over the smallest interaction, like the two girls breathing the same air.
Jiyeon/Hwayoung has been quite sunk as of recent events. Fans claim that the two of them were never close, and that Jiyeon was the instigator of the "attacks" against Hwayoung, and once even slapped her across the face for "not being happy she was in T-ARA".
The "slap" incident was proven to be a made-up story by someone trying to make T-ARA look worse. Unfortunately, it worked. Although the leader of the dance team the "witness" to the slap said they belonged to came forwards to corroborate that the story was a lie, it had already gone viral.
Then those same people bitched that "Cry Cry" just wasn't as good as "Roly-Poly..."
And now there's "Lovey Dovey," which is constantly criticized as not up to par with "Cry Cry."
"Day By Day", and all the uproar surrounding it (the addition of Ahreum and the large role Dani played in the MV).
Their Japanese discography is frustrating to many, as T-ara's handlers have thus far abstained from releasing brand new Japanese singles for the girls to promote, instead opting on using remakes of the girls' hit Korean songs.
Hwayoung's departure, and the circumstances surrounding it. Many believed that it was the end for T-ARA, and that they should have just disbanded and gotten it over with (see Internet Backdraft and Break the Cutie above).
Several fans feel that it's simply brought the fandom closer together; indeed, both international and Korean fans have worked together quite closely to quell the bullying rumors, and although there are still those making a racket about it, their efforts seem to have paid off as the controversy has cooled down immensely and the tide of public opinion seems to be turning (somewhat) in T-ara's favor. Many believe that while Kim Kwang Soo played a generous role in making the situation worse than it actually was, it was blown completely out of proportion by bored teenagers with nothing better to do on their summer vacation...hence why efforts from T-Jinyo (a group of 340,000 netizens seeking the "truth" from T-ara) such as protests, bans on television programs the girls have appeared on, etc. have fallen completely flat.
There's still been a nasty backlash - Eunjung's been dropped from two television shows (Five Fingers and We Got Married), Soyeon gave an interview in tears and said that she and the others are afraid to leave the house, their next Korean single and album have been postponed indefinitely, their Japanese tour had allegedly been cancelled, and, in perhaps the Moral Event Horizon, Soyeon was involved in a car accident...and netizens gloated about it, saying that it was "karma", and she should have died as punishment for her "role" in the "bullying".
A lot of the Internet response was rather based on the fact that the accident had been inflated from a simple crash where no one was severely injured to a horrifying one where Soyeon had crashed out of the car and onto a nearby field, tarnishing the believability of the news. No wonder there were jokes about her being an Olympic gymnast.
No doubt that the controversy badly tarnished the girls' reputations, but those who were saying that their careers were completely destroyed afterwards were either indulging in wishful thinking or have never seen a K-Pop scandal unfold before. As it is right now, they seem to be recovering slowly but surely, with their latest single "Sexy Love" doing better than expected on charts and their repackage album Mirage debuting at number 2 on the Hanteo real-time charts. The single, though, has fallen out of popularity much faster than their previous single, "Day By Day". Plus Eunjung's departure from 5 Fingers has been met with controversy of its own, as netizens were quick to point out that the way in which she was fired from the drama was quite cruel in and of itself. Ultimately the whole scandal reeks of "click activism," as most people are more than happy to blast the girls behind the safety of their computers but don't take it any further than that, abstaining from more active means of protesting. And this troper isn't sure where the rumor that their Japanese tour has been cancelled is coming from, as the tour finished up at that last fateful stop that started all of this mess...the Budokan. A new Japanese tour has been announced for 2013, though. Their KOREAN showcase was postponed for later in the year, but ultimately that will probably be rescheduled after more time has been allowed to pass.
Over two years after the initial incident, popular opinion amongst Korean netizens remains extremely negative, although it does seem that the girls are slowly starting to ease themselves back into appearing on shows and performing live at concerts.
And now that Ahreum's leaving, people are accusing T-ARA of bullying her as well, and warning Dani not to join.
Their "Number Nine" comeback did relatively poorly compared to their previous ones, and netizens are calling them "T-Trash", "T-Error" and saying they're worse than nobodies. (Granted, they were up against some pretty strong competitors (Kahi of After School and IU), though.)
It's worth noting that "No. 9" probably fared far better than most expected, regularly charting at number 2 or 3 on Instiz's iChart (a cumulative chart that shows the average of the top-selling single's positions on the numerous Korean online music store's services), right behind two of Korea's most celebrated musicians: IU and Busker Busker. To go so far as to call their showing "poor" even in relative terms is a bit of a stretch. Up to their usual standards, though? Obviously not. But their chart performance is actually an improvement over that of T-ara N4's "Countryside Diary" or the full group's last effort, "Sexy Love," while netizen flaming (although still present) has considerably softened from the vitriol they spewed even just six months ago.
While their EP "Again" did well on the charts (peaking at #2), the actual comeback song "Do You Know Me?" (from the reissue "Again 1977") did very poorly, not even making it to the top ten.
Their following comeback song "Sugar Free (Big Room Version)" only reached #37 on the charts, but hit #2 on the Gaon Weekly Album Chart.
Soyeon got one hell of a backlash after it was revealed she was dating Oh Jong Hyuk. Netizens said she "lowered his class", she was a "bad person" while he was a "good person", "he could do a thousand times better", "his image is hitting the floor now that he's dating you"... It's not as bad as the comments about Sulli of f(x)'s scandal (which are liable to turn your stomach), but they're still pretty nasty.
And now, to bring it full circle, Hwayoung is getting backlash after giving an interview where she again tried to clear the air about what happened with T-ARA. People are saying "she's not a great person", she "used the scandal to get into university and get special treatment", her saying she wants to go into acting is a "betrayal" (she had previously said that she only wanted to be a rapper)... Good grief.
Her backlash is getting worse now that it's been revealed that she allowed a serial liar to make up stories about the other girls, and she's changed her story from "there was no bullying" to "I was just trying to fit in, but the unnies didn't like me! I wrote a diss track about them because I hated them!" Netizens are notimpressed.