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.
Archive Panic: Twenty-seven studio albums (nineteen if you don't count 15 Big Ones-onward), a massive supply of unreleased songs and outtakes, hours of studio sessions, a frankly absurd amount of Smile material, and an endless deluge of illuminating footage of concerts, interviews, promos, and other assorted segments. And people keep discovering new stuff all the time.
Dennis Wilson: "(Wouldn't It Be Nice To) Live Again"
Mike Love: "Big Sur"
Al Jardine: "Lady Lynda"
Bruce Johnston: "Disney Girls (1957)"
Blondie Chaplin: "Sail On, Sailor"
Ricky Fataar: "We Got Love"
The 1997 stereo remix of Pet Sounds deserves special mention. There's just so much more you can hear in the music compared to the original mono version. In particular, the descending trombone on the chorus of "Here Today" is much, much more prominent. And is just one of the greatest things ever.
Better Than Canon: Even with the release of both Brian and The Beach Boys' versions of Smile, there are still a good number of people who prefer various bootlegs/fanmixes, particularly those that combine the two.
Broken Base: The albums the Beach Boys recorded prior to 1973 are pretty much universally agreed to be great, and the ones after 1977 are agreed to pretty much suck (each for the most part), with the stuff in between falling squarely into Love It or Hate It territory.
What's more, their "classic" era can itself be divided between the earlier surfing/cars/girls hits and the more sonically and thematically ambitious (and less commercially successful) material from Pet Sounds onward. The former accounts for most of the group's airplay on oldies radio and attracts audiences to the Mike Love-led touring band, while the latter is the basis for most of the group's critical acclaim and the inspiration for indie-rock revivalists like the Elephant Collective bands.
The Beach Boys did not write "Barbara Ann"- it was a cover of a song by a band called The Regents. Nor did they write "Sloop John B", which was actually a reworked version of a West Indies folk song.
Nor did they write "I Can Hear Music". The song was originally performed by The Ronettes, and although the Phil Spector influences are unmistakable in the Beach Boys' cover, the song is still mainly associated with The Beach Boys.
In the other direction, the Beach Boys wrote and performed the original version of "Little Honda". However, it was the Hondells who had a Top Ten hit with the song.
I've been in this town so long that back in the city I've been taken for a lost and gone...
A complex earworm? Absurd!
The "Heroes and Villains" harpsichord motif in and of itself. Rather fittingly, one of the songs incorporating it is "Do You Like Worms?".
"Ding! (Ding!) Dang! (Whoo!) Ding and a ding dong! Ding! (Ding!) Dang! (Whoo!)..." note Although granted, it was apparently as much, if not more of a worm to Brian himself. Just one of the many examples of Brian's obsession with the riff of "Shortenin' Bread", numerous lengthy session were dedicated to this piece, which resulted in a Miniscule Rocking ear worm of insane proportions.
Acually... about 60% of The Beach Boys' output was just made out of worms...
Ensemble Darkhorse: Dennis Wilson, transitioning from pretty-boy drummer to highly sophisticated songwriter in nothing flat.
Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans would like to forget that the Boys kept making albums after Holland.
1977's Love You is the last Beach Boys album of new material which is generally respected amongst the fanbase. It's also the last album before Mike Love generally took over. Coincidence?
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The 1964 Album Filler track "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" features Mike and Brian playfully insulting each other and mocking each other's singing styles. Not so funny in light of the real life hostilities that would eventually develop between the two.
There's also Brian's "I'm Bugged at My Old Man". Given what we now know of Brian and Murry's relationship, the track is more than a little uncomfortable to listen to.
1988's "Kokomo" contains a reference to "that Montserrat mystique" among its litany of tropical vacation-paradise islands. Most of the island of Montserrat was rendered uninhabitable by volcanism in the 90s, and its devastated economy is still struggling to recover.
Early pressings of the All Summer Long album mistitled the song "Don't Back Down" as "Don't Break Down". Took on a whole new meaning with Brian's deteriorating mental and emotional state as the '60s progressed.
Recently, (as was Brian's intention) SMiLE has supplanted it so some extent for a good number of fans. Although it needs be said that many still view Pet Sounds as a truer Magnum Opus as it is actually a complete, cohesive work.
Misattributed Song: You have to feel sorry for Jan and Dean. Even though they preceded the Beach Boys, they were ultimately overshadowed by them, and even worse, many of their hits are often erroneously assumed to be Beach Boys songs.
This isn't helped by the fact that Brian Wilson co-wrote several of their songs, and even provided backing vocals for "Surf City". And the fact that the Beach Boys covered one Jan and Dean hit ("The Little Old Lady from Pasadena") on their first live album, while Dean Torrance actually sang lead on one Beach Boys hit ("Barbara Ann"), does absolutely nothing to clear up the confusion.
Mis-blamed: People blame Mike Love exclusively for the collapse of Smile, when in reality the cause was much more complicated, with factors including not just Mike Love, but also the other Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks, Capitol Records, a royalties lawsuit, Brian Wilson's own ailing psyche, and Mike Love.
Moment Of Awesome: A good 38 years after Smile was aborted, Brian Wilson finished it.
Most Wonderful Sound: You'll never hear anything more angelic than Carl Wilson's voice in your life.
Brian's voice isn't far behind.
ALL of their voices, actually. All 6 (or 9) of them were very good lead singers, but it's the combination of their voices, blending perfectly in some of the best vocal harmonies in the history of music that makes the Beach Boys' music.
Gotta give some credit to Chaplin and Fataar, too. People tend to be split on whether Chaplin's soulful voice was a good fit for the Beach Boys sound, but most everyone agrees his performances are great.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Mike Love and Al Jardine came so close to this on Holland; Mike penned "Big Sur", and Al penned "The Beaks of Eagles" and "California". All three of these songs are sublimely beautiful, melancholy, and poetic, but the two never wrote anything like them since.
Let's be fair: "The Beaks of Eagles" is an adaptation of a Robinson Jeffers poem.
This can also be said for Bruce Johnston and "Disney Girls (1957)" on Surf's Up.
The Scrappy: Mike Love is mostly remembered for either being the primary factor in the collapse of Smile, perpetuating The Beach Boys as a corny nostalgia act even to this day, or both.
The subreddit devoted to the band features a picture of Love as the downvote button, which gives an idea of how many fans dislike him.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: In spades. When most people think of The Beach Boys, they do not think "one of the greatest and most influential bands of the last 50 years" as much as they think "oldies group".
"Forever" and "God Only Knows" are such signature songs for Dennis and Carl Wilson that on their 2012 reunion tour, the Boys performed the two songs using a large video projector with old footage of Dennis and Carl singing the lead vocals.
"California Girls" has become very popular again recently due to a Katy Perry song with a very similar title.
Squick: The song "H.E.L.P. Is on the Way" provides a fair amount of this, as I'm sure no one wants to imagine Mike Love stark naked in front of a mirror. It only gets worse as the band begins to describe stomach pumps and enemas.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Mike Love hated Pet Sounds, saying it was "fucking with the formula." The album also confused the teeny-bopper fanbase, even if it's in hindsight one of the greatest albums of all time.