YMMV: The Who

  • Accidental Innuendo: Pete Townshend has said that "Squeeze Box" is about nothing more than a woman who plays accordion to the annoyance of her family. But John Entwistle said that when he first heard the song, he knew "it was about tits." According to this, however, "[Squeeze Box was] Intended as a poorly aimed dirty joke."
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In a symbolic way. Jimmy Page was looking to re-form The Yardbirds and had asked Keith Moon and John Entwistle about who he could get. Moon joked that he and Entwistle could join but that the lineup "would go over like a fucking lead balloon." From that Page got the band name Led Zeppelin, though Moon was technically right: the initial Supergroup lineup of Led Zeppelin did not work out.
  • Awesome Music: Several, but the version of "A Quick One" from The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus featured in The Kids are Alright stands out. Part of the reason the Stones sat on the footage for several years was because they couldn't take being upstaged by a rival band in their own film.
    • "See Me, Feel Me", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "The Real Me", etc.
    • Oh hell, just take your pick! "My Generation", The Who Sell Out, Tommy, Who's Next, Quadrophenia, and so on...
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The end of "I Believe In Everything" from Entwistle's first solo album suddenly breaks into the whole band (including an incredibly drunk-sounding Keith Moon) singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  • Broken Base: The disputes over whether the band should have quit after Moon's death have been...energetic, especially with Kenney Jones and the 1989 Tommy tour. It got better (mostly) after Zak Starkey became the drummer.
  • Covered Up: They are often the coverers though: "Young Man Blues" (Mose Allison), "Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson II), "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran), "Leaving Here" (Eddie Holland, Jr.), "Baby Don't You Do It" (Marvin Gaye).
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Keith Moon. According to Alice Cooper, only a fraction of the rumors about rockers like Ozzy, Iggy Pop, and Alice Cooper are actually true. All the stories about Keith Moon are true... and you've only heard a fraction of them.
    • Not just Moon either - their appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and their reaction to Tommy Smothers' teasing, as well as smashing his (unstrung) acoustic guitar after the bigger-than-planned explosion. A lot of that was scripted, though the big explosion certainly wasn't. Tommy was a big fan of the Who, and decided to have them on after he saw them at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Moon had a knack for going off-script.
  • Ear Worm: A lot of their songs. Particular examples are "Who Are You" and "Pinball Wizard".
  • Epic Riff: "My Generation", "Baba O'Riley", "I'm Free"...and a few others.
    • "Won't Get Fooled Again" contains an epic synthesizer riff. Actually, a Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ run through an EMS VCS3 synthesizer.
  • Face of the Band: This wasn't always the case. The Who now consists of Pete, Roger, and those two guys who aren't John and Keith. One could also argue that Endless Wire is a Pete Townshend solo album featuring Roger Daltrey on guest vocals.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The line "Hope I die before I get old," in "My Generation", after the deaths of Keith Moon and John Entwistle. In another Flip Flop of God, Townshend took in the '90s to claiming that "oldness" is a state of mind, not a descriptor of physical age.
  • Growing the Beard: Tommy. Prior to this, The Who had been a fairly run-of-the-mill pop band, with their best songs being mostly non-album singles. After Tommy, they became rock legends.
    • Their live performances became this between '67 and '68
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The cover for Who Are You has a photo of the band with Keith Moon sitting in a chair with the words "Not to be taken away" on the back. Sadly, he died of a drug overdose one month after the album was released. (The reason he was sitting on the chair in the first place was to hide the effects of his alcohol and drug abuse.)
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The commercials on The Who Sell Out, since the band's music has been featured in several real ones, as well as CSI.
    • The line "I look pretty young but I'm just back-dated" in "Substitute", given that Roger Daltrey has aged surprisingly well.
  • Magnum Opus: Either Tommy, Live at Leeds, Quadrophenia or Who's Next. There's also a small number of people who allot this status to the Live At The Isle of Wight album.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • A Quip to Black in the CSI style, followed by "YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" from "Won't Get Fooled Again".
    • "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" from the same song. Used to criticise every politician in office, ever.
  • Never Live It Down: Pete Townshend getting caught with child pornography while researching sexual child abuse in the early 2000s. And that's all we're going to say about it.
  • Referenced By: Now has its own page: Referenced By: The Who
  • Moment Of Awesome: Woodstock. While they were playing "See Me, Feel Me," the sun rose. The band had a lighting rig - one of the first used in rock concerts - constructed to replicate the effect for future performances.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" were the among the first rock songs to feature synthesized patterns. Now it's common in every pop song.
    • The Who Sell Out: The idea of rock stars shilling for various products isn't as nearly as funny now as it was in 1967, since everybody does it nowadays.
    • Their tendency to wreck their instruments onstage was radical and even subversive in 1964. It's become almost a cliché now.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: So very, very much with Live at Leeds. Many see the whole point of the album as showing the Who in their raw, live form as the original LP did. The 1995 and 2001 re-releases gave us the whole concert, but with crackling noises removed, some of the vocals re-recorded, and the Tommy section moved to a separate disc.