Accidental Innuendo: A rare visual example in the first episode. When Spider-man is monologueing his backstory we get a brief look at at Uncle Ben's grave and... well, it looks rather phallic shaped unfortunately. It continues to look like that in it's later appearances.
Alternate Character Interpretation: Nova is notably more serious in any episode where The Guardians of The Galaxy appear. Considering he would have fought at least a few cosmic threats with them fans genuinely believe his attitude while on Earth is a reflection that he may view the threats Earth faces as being significantly less frightening, and some of his stupidity about certain things being due to possibly not being used to Earth culture. The fact that we still don't know exactly how he became Nova just complicates matters in the eyes of some fans.
Supporters of the show have pointed out there may be reason for Nova's, White Tiger's, Power Man's, and Iron Fist's jerkass/unheroic behaviour in the first season. Prior to meeting Spidey all they had was S.H.I.E.L.D. training and nothing else. note Except for Nova, who previously worked with The Guardians of The Galaxy, a group of Anti-heroes. They were trained in combat, told to follow certain protocol and Fury's command, and nothing else. Add the fact that 3/4ths of them have some level of Dark and Troubled Past and the fact that they all have nowhere else to really go, Nova and White Tiger (and Power Man at the time) are latter stated to be orphans. Iron Fist left the material possessions as an heir behind, you can very easily view them as being Child Soldiers who haven't had the chance to develope a strong sense of morals. Then Spider-Man comes into their lives and they become progressively nicer and more inclined to do what's morally right and act as their own people rather than just do everything Fury tells them to do thanks to Spidey's influence. After each of their focus episodes in season 2 you can argue that their Character Development in this regards has come full circle, and that they’re all proper heroes.
This also brings in the idea that Fury brought Spider-Man in for this express purpose, rather than to just teach him how to cause less property damage like he told Spidey himself. Helped by the fact that he makes Peter leader due to the fact that he has experience the others don't, which could easily mean both field experience as well as life experience.
Some fans view this version of Spider-Man as being aromantic, as he's shown absolutely zero interest in dating — Which is rather unusual for the character. He has gotten flustered on a couple of occasions however, so fans haven't been portraying him as asexual.
And You Thought It Would Fail: Almost the entire Spider-Man fandom thought it would, with many guessing it wouldn't so much as get a second season. Despite this it has grown incredibly popular with both children and parents, as well as people who enjoy the aversion of It's the Same, Now It Sucks, and being the first Spidey animated series in about a decade to not get Cut Short.
Anti-Climax Boss: For a suit that was designed to take on the Hulk, the Hulkbuster armor went down pretty easily in "The Iron Octopus".
Let's just say the show isn't very subtle about Spider-Man having to learn responsibilities, although a common complaint against the show is that there's no reason for him to learn about responsibility from Nick Fury because he had already learned the importance of responsibility from his own origin. Furthermore, as shown in this list below, Nick Fury is far from the most responsible authority figure.
"The Rhino" stands out as an Anvilicious offender. With the "Don't bully your bully, or you'll be the bully" message beaten over the viewers head about every 3 minutes.
Ass Pull: Doc Ock getting a redeeming moment in helping Spidey save the other heroes in the climax of the series finale and his last appearance implying that Iron Man is going to give him a job at Stark Industries. After his role in Season 4 as the Knight of Cerebus Archenemy who kept further crossing the Moral Event Horizon with each new episode, it feels very unearned and makes Ock a major Karma Houdini. Then again, if Avengers: Ultron Revolution is anything to go by, Ock may still be in Iron Man's custody.
Audience-Alienating Premise: The premise of Spider-Man (usually loved for being one of the few teenage heroes to learn things of his own, without mentor or adult support) working for SHIELD as part of teenage team of superheroes, using SHIELD tech and with a bigger focus on the Marvel Universe as a whole rather than the Spider-Man mythos has turned off many fans who would have been more interested in a show actually focusing on Spider-Man himself. Even after the show improved over the course of its second and third seasons, many fans still avoid it because they can't stand the premise to begin with. This probably is why, when the show's end was announced, one of the very first thing stated about the Spider-Man series replacing it was that it would get "back to basics".
Author's Saving Throw: Season 2 had several episodes dedicated to going over the backgrounds of White Tiger, Nova, Power Man and Iron Fist, which can be viewed as being (partially) in response to fan complaints about how Spidey is expected to trust them with everything when he knows nothing about them other than their names and aliases.
Spider-Noir and his universe's version of MJ received a decent amount of Ship Tease, which may have had something to do with the mass amounts of complaints over MJ's barely existent presence in the show.
Deadpool's inclusion could be looked at as this, considering a lot of people said this show's humor would've worked better in a Deadpool cartoon rather than in a Spidey cartoon.
Some fans, while receptive, were rather confused by the various changes done to the Peter Parker character model. In "Iron Vulture" some of his dialogue indicates that the events of the first three seasons took place over two or three years, justifying the change as Peter was only 15 when the show started and more than likely hadn't finished puberty yet.
Nova and Fury, two of the most hated characters in the show, mysteriously disappear at the start of season 4 and only reappear near the end of the season, and in extremely minor roles to boot. While there is a plotline involving finding them that same season it's rarely ever touched upon. Their absence is no doubt a result of the aforementioned hatred they've received.
Given how disliked 3/4ths of Spidey's original team was in season 1 their phasing out in season 3, and getting replaced with more spider themed characters was more than likely this.
Arguably the treatment Sandman gets after his first appearance is this. Prior to the show it's stated that he was left on an uninhabited island by S.H.I.E.L.D. ...but for unknown reasons. The reason was implied to be because he and his powers were so dangerous, however the facts that he didn't seem all that much older than the team and several things pointing (intentionally or not on the writer's part) that he didn't originally suffer from the psychosis he displayed in his first episode proper, but rather he went full on Go Mad from the Isolation due to being on the island for an unknown amount of time (possibly since he was a child given how young he looks}... Well, let's just say fans didn't react very well, and the episode is considered by many to be one of the bigger examples of Fury's Designated Hero status. Subsequent episodes however go on the humanize Sandman further, and showing him attempting to be a hero (if not just simply a good person.) Eventually in Season 4 Spidey takes him to a relatively uneventful area where he can live peacefully while also giving the choice to potentially join his team one day, effectively ending his character arc for now. Season 4 also introduced fellow elemental Hydro-Man who was in a similar position as Sandman but is most definitely a immoral psychopath through and through. He also appears to be significantly older than Sandman, which arguably justifies Fury's actions against Sandman on a pragmatic level.
MJ returning near the end of Season 4, as well as having a major role, seems to have been brought on by the season-and-a-half full of fans complaining about her being Put On The Bus.
The series finale has Spider-Man being forced to save the day on his own after his SHIELD tech is destroyed and all of his teammates are captured. Aunt May even gives him back his original web-shooters and says that he didn't need S.H.I.E.L.D. to be a superhero. as he already was. He later graduates from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and is given Fury's blessing, and the series ends with him returning to solo superhero work, essentially bringing him back to the status quo people know and love from the comics.
Agent Coulson, when compared to his movie counterpart. Movie Coulson, while still comical on occasions, was usually portrayed as competent and rather badass, even getting a Moment of Awesome in the Avengers movie, where he commits a Heroic Sacrifice and actually shot Loki. In this series, he is reduced to a comical relief and even ends up as the Distressed Dude in "Why I Hate Gym". Thankfully corrected starting in Run Pig Run, where he finally starts acting full badass, and stays that way in the following episodes.
Taskmaster on "Ultimate Deadpool". After not appearing for 35 episodes, his long-awaited return has him utterly annihilated by Deadpool (with next to no help from Spider-Man). Meanwhile, none of the mysteries set up in "Why I Hate Gym" (his being an ex-SHIELD agent, his relationships with Fury and Coulson, his team under Fury, his further plans for Spider-Man, whether he would return to Peter's school) were brought up again, and he seemed to even be captured at the end of the episode, meaning these parts of his character's background are likely to be forgotten entirely.
Harry Osborn. When he was revealed to be Venom in this incarnation, some fans were outraged, arguing the character had been ruined, while other welcomed it as an interesting twist and something original.
Sam/Nova. Hated by many fans but seems to be well liked among fangirls. The same seems to go for Ava/White Tiger too.
The other spider themed characters. Some love them, others hate them for being a rather large Spot Light Stealing Squad and replacement scrappies to Spidey's original teammates, all four of whom have long since been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and have become relatively well liked among the show's fanbase. There's also complaints from some fans that they also over shadow the other new recruits, most of which these fans find more interesting, such as Dagger and Cloak.
Bizarro Episode: The crossover with Jessie, of all shows the shows to cross over with. Spiderman teams up with Jessie and her trick-or-treating charges to prevent Morgana Le Fey from coming back to wreck havoc on the city. Chaos ensues at the museum, and at one point, Mrs. Kipling the komodo dragon winds up being turned into an actual dragon. None of this was brought up again on either show.
The rumors that the show may be adapting, of all things, The Clone Saga. On one side there are people who are excited about seeing fan-favorite Scarlet Spider, on the other hand most of the Spidey fandom views TCS as a massive Dork Age, and worry about how this show (itself already divisive amongst Spidey fans) will adapt it. Then there are fans who hate the idea as well as some of which are okay with adapting The Clone Saga but (both) feel adapting TCS is stupid when they could adapt more well liked stories like Spidey's search for the truth about his parents, or the Identity Crisis arc.
Seasons 1 and 2 are either loved or hated for their overall wackiness, there's no in between. Season 3 is either a vast improvement over the first two seasons or it's excessively boring, especially the Spider-Verse arc. Depending on the person Season 4 either handles it's darker themes well and you wish the show had been like this the entire time, or it edges you into Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy because of everything Spider-Man goes through during the season.
Iron Fist, Nova, Power Man, and White Tiger being Demoted to Extra in Season 3 onwards. By Season 2 they got Rescued from the Scrappy Heap for a good majority of fans thanks to their character development episodes, only to be replaced by loads of new characters, most of which get very little development past their intro episode. You either think this is a nice change and enjoy seeing so many heroes on the screen at once or you're annoyed that characters you've watched develop as people be reduced to little more than a footnote.
Scarlet Spider being revealed to be The Mole in Season 4. For some it's an interesting plot point that adds buckets full of depth to show. For others it's an unnecessary and cruel blow for Spider-Man to have to take in an already dark season where he was already going through something of a Trauma Conga Line due to his inability to save Vulture, Rhino being Brainwashed and Crazy, being directly responsible for Miles getting trapped in the wrong universe, Fury and Nova disappearing, and lastly leading both Harry and Agent Venom into a mission where the former ends up in a coma while the latter is critically injured. Having someone so close to him betray him in such a way (which involves kneeing him the back, holding him down, practically laughing in his face, and revealing his identity to Doc Ock) was just too much for many viewers. Others meanwhile like The Revealbecause of those reasons.
After the episode directly after this one was released the base was splintered even more due to Scarlet Spider's fate. He redeems himself but (supposedly) died doing so. There's three groups. People who still aren't ready to forgive him, People who do, but find their fate sad while acknowledging that it was probably the only way it was going to go down. Lastly, people who find the character's fate as undeserved and yet another blow Spider-Man is going to have to carry for the rest of his life. The base only broke further with the reveal that Scarlet Spider lived. Some fans view this as an Ass Pull while others use it as hope for a happy ending.
Captain Obvious Reveal: If you've even remotely followed either of the Spider-Verse arcs it's incredibly easy to figure out that in Return that Wolf-Spider is an alternate universe version of Peter. Mostly due to the fact that every other spider character in the multi-verse is an alternate version of him, except for the one universe he's dead in. Possibly lampshades from Peter's lack of a reaction.
Scarlet Spider being revealed to be a clone of Spider-Man. It's treated as a big startling reveal but even people who aren't familiar with the character were expecting it. After all there's only so many explanations a viewer can come up with when he is an Unreliable Narrator and looks just like Peter but with shorter hair and a scar on his face. The fact that his face was shown multiple times before The Reveal certainly doesn't help. Also not helping is that Doc Oct had been known to create new life from Spidey's DNA (the symbiotes) and that Ben doesn't seem to "remember" anything before meeting Oct.
Agent Coulson; after suffering Badass Decay for most of the first episodes, he is finally portrayed as an appropriate Badass Normal in "Run Pig Run".
Possibly Loki and Taskmaster in the third season, as well. The former was a major joke in the first two seasons, and the later suffered Badass Decay in his only second season appearance, "Ultimate Deadpool"; in "Web Warriors" they return to being characterized as dangerous chessmasters and formidable fighters.
Spider-Man himself in season 2. He goes from having the comedic aspects of his character being flanderized to being a more traditional (if goofy) representation of the character.
Continuity Lockout: The show has many different standalone episodes, so the few episodes which actually connect to each other become difficult to understand if you haven't watched the show from day one or at least seen the arc's beginning. May even apply to episodes that don't seem to contribute to a greater arc, such as "Home Sick Hulk" and "Run Pig Run", which focus on Spider-Man teaming up with Hulk and Thor, respectively, with the events of the episodes they previously teamed up in ("Exclusive" and "Field Trip") being acknowledged. Kind of ironic, if you consider Jeph Loeb mentioning his intention with retooling another MARVEL show because he was afraid viewers wouldn't be able to jump in due to all the plots running alongside each other.
This gets especially bad in late season 2 and season 3 overall, due to having a shared continuity with Hulk And The Agents Of Smash and Avengers Assemble. You need to have at least a basic understanding of what's happening in the first two seasons of Avengers Assemble and you have to watch all the episodes of S.M.A.S.H. that Spidey appears in or else several events, characters, and lines of dialogue during the multi-episode season 3 finale will make little to no sense for those who have only been watching this show.
Crack Ship: Nova and Spider-Man were also part of this trope despite the former's mistreatment of latter. It's only been getting more popular since Nova Took a Level in Kindness during Season 2.
She-Hulk and Spidey get very little interaction during her cameo but since their dialogue can be interpreted as being mildly flirty they've gained a small but noticable fanbase.
Pretty much any of the Iron Fist ships count.
Critic-Proof: Despite the vocal hatedom the show has, it's currently heading into its fourth season. The toy line also sells very well despite the frequent complaints about how Merchandise-Driven the series is. This makes some sense however due to how immensely popular it is with its younger target audience, parents, and people who liked the light heartedness of the first two season.
As mentioned above in Broken Base Season 4 caused this in a large portion of fans due to the Trauma Conga Line Spider-Man gets put through. However there are people who like the season for said darkness.
Weirdly enough, this trope already applied to some extent in season 1 and 2. Many fans complained that Fury was a Designated Hero, Spider-Man hopelessly irresponsible, and his teammates were Jerk Ass treating him like crap for little to no reason, making it really difficult to care for anyone the main cast.
Spidey's teammates in season 1; Spider-Man gets constantly blamed by them for not trusting them, wanting to work alone and trying to keep his distance from them, while they are arguing that they are his friends and teammates now. However, Spidey's arguments to defend himself are pretty valid: they very forcefully insert themselves in his life without him asking them anything, and his deal with Fury clearly involved him still being allowed to work alone. Yet the show still seems to present this as him being a jerk when, for example, he understandably refuses to tell his team that Harry Osborn is Venom. Get to an extreme when, at the end of "Venomous", he thanks them for actually acting like his friends... and they reply by pulling a prank where he is about to get beat up by S.H.I.E.L.D. training robots. That "trust your teammates" thing becomes even more stupid, when you realize that nothing has been revealed about Spidey's teammates except their names and powers. Spidey doesn't know how they got those powers and how they got to be superheroes, he doesn't know where they live, what friends they have aside from themselves and etc, yet they know a lot about Peter: where he lives, what school he attends, who are his friends, they even know about Aunt May. How can Peter trust people who know more about him than he does about them? And yet they allow to call themselves Peter's friends.
The episode "Venomous" shows how bad Fury and Spidey's team can be. To elaborate, Nick Fury orders teammates to actually outright kill Venom, even though he suspects that Spidey knows who Venom is and the person inside there is dear to Peter. Then, we see Spidey's team beating, hurting and attempting to kill Venom. Spidey pleads them to stop hurting Venom, saying that the person inside Venom is innocent and possessed by the symbiote and has no control of his actions, but his teammates ignore Spidey, stating that the person inside Venom is gone and do not care about the fact that they would have murdered an innocent person, not in control of his actions. It's only when Spidey tells them that Venom is Harry Osborn that they attempt to rescue Harry.
Nova is probably the worst aside from Fury. He spends most of his time when not fighting crime being downright cruel with his insults. And not just towards Spidey either (though he usually endures the worst of it). The episode "Venomous" is a prime example. Like Fury Nova is completely comfortable with killing Venom, unlike Fury, he rubs Spideys nose in the fact when he and the team are off to go and try to kill Venom. Basically Nova appears to represent everything a superhero is not supposed to be.
White Tiger and Nova insult and criticize Spider-Man even before they actually meet him in person. When they are watching Spidey fighting against training robots, White Tiger begins to criticize Spidey for his fighting style and even criticizes him for choosing naming himself Spider-Man. She didn't even meet with Spider-Man in person and already criticizes him based only on his fighting style alone, without knowing anything else about him. Nova calls Spidey lame and doesn't want him in the team because Nova wants to be a leader of the team. Basically they dismiss Spidey before they actually get to know him for some petty, and in Nova's case, selfish reasons. Iron Fist and Power Man at least gave Spidey a chance. It is very jarring to see them acting nice to Peter in season 2, especially in "House Arrest", considering their treatment of him during most of the season one.
Also, one finds it rather hard to belive that Nick Fury never told the other four about Deadpool going rogue on them, whereas the team describes him to Spidey as a freelance hero his morality is clearly much darker than that and Fury at the very least knew it. They just let him kidnap Spider-Man, though.
Hell, Spider-Man himself comes across as this at times, even when he's not around the team. A number of episodes actually show him either being the one who started the problem or just making it worse, so while his friends-in-theory are definitely too harsh at times their criticisms are sometimes deserved.
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The apparent moral of "Ultimate Deadpool": just because someone seems cool, doesn't mean they're not an irresponsible, amoral psychopath; so choose your role models carefully.
Doctor Octopus; this version is outright creepy, has a developed and credible Jerkass Woobie backstory, is effective in a fight, has a good design and voice (even more impressive considering he is played by Tom Kenny!) and possessed an actual story arc that has him evolving. Even among some of the people who dislike the show, they cite Doctor Octopus as generally being one of the best elements due to the show taking him more seriously than most of the other villains.
Taskmaster and Beetle, being both portrayed as Badass, menacing and truly competent, got quite good reception amongst the fans;
And so far, episodes involving other key heroes such as The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor or Iron Man got good reaction as well due to being faithful to their most well-known incarnation, especially Iron Man.
Also, for those not mad about the change Harry Osborn is pretty popular since the idea of him being Venom is a different and interesting twist. The fact he also is pretty much possibly the nicest version of Harry Osborn in all animated adaptations may help as well.
Even those who dislike the show tend to admit the janitor played by Stan Lee is an enjoyable part in the show.
Deadpool was a welcome character. Since fourth wall-breaking and shameless comedy have been major parts of his story and character for years, he was received very well. It helps that the episode was written by Joe freaking Kelly. One common praise was the simple fact that he could actually pull off the style of humor present in this show, which many fans hate, feeling that it's out-of-place coming from Spider-Man, and people also point to this as an example of Deadpool being adapted faithfully without the need for large amounts of adult humor.
Spider-Man Noir, for being darker, Comically Serious, downright awesome version of the main Spidey.
Spider-Gwen , who was already a Breakout Character in the comics, was kept fairly faithful in this show despite retconning the source of her powers. In fact, many wish she could be like Miles and go from a One-Scene Wonder to being a reoccurring main character.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The show had an episode where Spider-Man finds out that, since he joined SHIELD, Fury has been placing cameras all over his house for security measures. Understandably pissed off, he goes to complain to Nick Fury and leaves SHIELD. The episode portrays his whole attitude as immature (even his own teammates reveal they got cameras as well and agreed to it), he ends up being attacked by Octopus because of it, and to add insult to the injury, when he agrees to come back in exchange for a compromise, Fury decides to show the tape of all his humiliating moments to his teammates as a punishment for his immaturity. The way it appears, the episode seems to be about him accepting to have no personal space left for the sake of his security.
Fan-Preferred Couple: As stated under Shipping Goggles, Peter/Ava is getting more popular, especially after it became clear Peter/MJ wasn't happening and Mary Jane's screen time gradually lessened with each season. With no other canon love interest in sight, Ava "wins" the non-existent shipping war by default.
Fanon Discontinuity: The crossover episode with Jessie due to its status as a Bizarro Episode and the fact that there is a much more well received Halloween episode that actually had something to do with the show's over arching plotline.
Judging the entire show based on the first 2/3rds of Season 1's admittedly less than sub-par writing and characterization is bound to get similar reactions.
Trying to say Peter is just Deadpool in a Spider suit due to the forth wall breaking is another good way to get the fandom upset with you. For one, comic!Deadpool (and later this show's very own Deadpool) treats the forth wall completely different. Both Deadpools go about simply shattering it, and treating the viewers as if they are just extra characters, being (for the most part) extremelyGenre Savvy despite their respective insanity, while lampshading the bizarre-ness of their respective worlds. ("Unalive," anyone?) Spidey on the other hand does it in a way that's arguably closer to Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell (but less aware and without his "time-outs" being able to change the situations he's currently in), full on narrating his adventures in a way that's clearly meant to help him calm down and show his thought process. Heck, the entire Ultimate Deadpool episode is meant to show how different the two are on more than one level despite the surface similarities. The episode also establishes that Peter, isn't even actually aware of the audience, that's just how his thought process works.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the second episode, Dr. Connors pretends not to have a right arm as a prank and Mythology Gag. And then in the Season One finale, the same arm is crushed thanks to the Green Goblin.
The season one finale has earned a more glowing reception than expected after previous episodes. After it, season 2 got slightly better compared to the previous one, giving more Character Development and bringing Spider-Man villains, though the quality remains highly contested.
Most fans agree that Web Warriors is a great improvement with respect the previous two seasons.
Harsher in Hindsight: Every heartwarming moment with the Scarlet Spider became a lot less so in light of "The New Sinister 6, Part 1", where it was revealed that he, and not Rhino, was really The Mole for Octavius, meaning those moments consisted of him stringing Peter, Flash, Aunt May, and others along as part of his cover to make it hurt worse when he betrays Peter and unmasks him to Ock.
Likewise, depending on whether or not Scarlet Spider is a clone (which given his resemblance to Peter, he probably is) those couple of times Doc Ock managed to catch Spider-Man become even darker than they already were, especially the times he successfully acquired blood from Spidey.
Danny is the first person to berate Sam for implying that Harry's money was the only reason Peter was friends with him. Later on, Danny's background as heir to Rand Industries is mentioned in the series.
The casting of Will Friedle as Deadpool is even funnier, when you remember Ron Stoppable broke the fourth wall in the credits of the Kim possible episode, "Grande Size Me".
The fact that one of the reasons this show was made was because they wanted an adventure oriented show that was easy to jump into is especially hilarious due to the show's rather infamous status with the Continuity Lockout trope.
The web warriors can be considered as Spider-Man's Agents of S.M.A.S.H. complete with characters having the same powers and themes as him they even have a mole and both shows are made by Disney.
The whole episode about Spider-Man being turned into a pig and chased by the Asgardians would have been avoided if Spider-Man had not ignored his spider-sense's warning to not eat a free hot-dog offered to him for no apparent reason. Though this is Hand Waved by Spidey saying the Spider Sense ALWAYS goes off around that kind of food.
Internet Backdraft: Spider-Man being turned into Spider-Ham by Loki. As soon as the trailers were revealed, several fans were outraged, stating this was an attack to Spidey's dignity. And things didn't get better when the episode was up.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Averted Trope. After word of mouth spread about how different it was from other Spider-continuities the show actually got an influx of older fans who were tired of seeing the same old plot lines and the same old villains being used in the same old way. After all Spider-Man at the time this show came out is a character who had two film series, many cartoons and games, several Alternate-Earth realities, and many modern-izations under its belt, and most of these stuck to same formula and characters. This show however arguably re-envisions nearly the entire Rogues gallery, as well as putting a younger, less experienced Spider-Man in a role not typically seen until he's much older, that role being apart of a superhero team. An aspect of the character that largely gets ignored outside of the comics. Of course the show still suffers from They Changed It, Now It Sucks as explained below.
As revealed in "Me Time", Doctor Octopus, who was going to be laid off by Osborn unless he captured Spider-Man. His Evil Cripple status has taken a toll on his hygiene, appearance, and sanity. And there are signs that he longs for what came before this status, as he laments "I was handsome once." "The Iron Octopus" takes this even further, with finally showcasing his backstory, showing that Norman actually saved him, but kept him locked away from the outside world rather than fess up to a mistake, and all of his attempts to tell everyone that Norman isn't as perfect as everyone thinks he is falls upon deaf ears (though Spidey does get the nagging feeling Doctor Octopus is right), and eventually, being locked away again.
Rhino; he actually became what he is because he was bullied all the time by Flash Thompson, who was even worse with him than he was with Peter. He wished to be like Spider-Man and consumed Oscorp's mutagene, but this caused him to go psychotic in getting a revenge on Flash. You truly feel sorry for him when he is taken by SHIELD at the end of his episode.
Ironically, Flash himself may qualify as this in Rhino's episode. It is revealed that he only has a gas station as his home and that his parents have almost no money. It is also hinted that he acts like a jerk because he wants to hide this and appear cool and confident. His realization that his bullying drove Alex to the path of villainy also makes him quite sympathethic.
White Tiger turns out to be this in "Kraven the Hunter", where we learn the reason she is so reckless and disciplined: her father was hunted and killed by Kraven, leaving her alone to take up the Mantle, and she gets her powers by wearing an Amulet that always pushes her to be more animal-like, forcing her to control herself all the time to prevent it from taking over.
Implied with Nova, as he's stated to have been an orphan prior to becoming a Guardian.
Just Here for Godzilla: The show has many guest characters, some of whom are famous or popular comic book characters or are played by veteran voice actors (who sometimes have played roles in previous Spidey cartoons), so people may just watch an episode just for one character. Particular examples are Maurice Lamarche as Doctor Doom and Clancy Brown as Taskmaster.
Web Warriors got a lot of attention when it was announced that Ensemble Darkhorse Spider-Men like 2099 and Noir were appearing.
For the long-term fans who were used to the show being goofy and subsequently turned off when it got Darker and Edgier during Season 4, the return of MJ near the season's end is what brought them back in.
Spider-Gwen in the Return to the Spider-verse arc. As a bonus, she's portrayed by Dove Cameron.
Many fans tuned in to see the animated debuts of fan favorite comic characters Taskmaster in season 1 and Moon Knight in season 4.
Love It or Hate It: This show in a nutshell; just read the other tropes on this page to figure out why.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: As with most animated incarnations, Spider-Man has fallen victim to this. He's been shipped with best friends Harry and MJ, most of his teammates (including the ones that come in on latter seasons), Iron Man, Norman Osborn, and many more.
Nova, White Tiger, and Iron Fist all place in second, third, and fourth most shipped characters respectively.
Magnificent Bastard: Doctor Doom. When Spider-Man and his team attempted to capture him by attacking Latveria, he sent a Doombot to fight them, and had said Doombot captured by them so he could have it infiltrating the Helicarrier and destroying it from the inside; and even after they successfully defeated the Doombot, he still gets something by analyzing their weakness in the process, thus preparing for later fights with them.
Joking about how hard puberty hit Spidey after season 2 is beginning to become commonplace in some circles.
Misblamed: Too many examples to list. It's safe to say a few of them are unjustified.
Moral Event Horizon: Norman Osborn/Green Goblin crosses this when he shocks Harry to turn him into Venom for purpose of having a weapon to destroy Spider-Man and later leaving him to die in collapsing Helicarrier and deeming him unworthy because Harry rejected the Symbiote.
Season 4 is a long running one for Doctor Octopus. His obsession with Spider-Man reaches his peak, continues to harass the Osborns, erases the mind of at least one character in attempt to enslave them, creates Scarlet Spider for the exact purpose of infiltrating the team and getting close enough to Spider-Man so that our hero will reveal his name and family, only to backstab him in the most heartbreaking way possible, shows he only views Scarlet Spider as weapon (which leads to Ben's redemption,) lays waste to New York at one point, goes to attack Aunt May, with creepy, predatory undertones to the action, and reveals he cares about absolutely nothing or anyone except himself. No matter how sympathetic he may have been in the first two seasons, nothing excuses his actions anymore.
Any scene that could potentially have dramatic tension or be frightening if presented seriously usually is immediately ruined by a cutaway gag that follows.
Carnage's birth. The scene apparently is intended to be Nightmare Fuel, but Drake Bell's incredibly bad performance to make a convincing agony scream (seriously, he sounds like he is whining) and the cartoonish expression made by the usually serious and realistic Green Goblin make the scene more laughable than anything else.
Never Live It Down: For the show itself, both the over abundance of gags in the first two seasons and the admittedly mediocre writing that occurred for most of the first two season will forever be reason some people choose to avoid this show. Character wise Fury will never live down his Designated Hero status he created for himself in the first season. On a meta-note the common misconception that the show somehow had something to do with the previous Spider-Man show getting cut short is a common source of bad press among the Marvel fandom as a whole.
Older Than They Think: Despite what some viewers think, Spider-Man has broken the fourth wall before in his own comics. Here are some examples. It's just flanderized here.
Plus, Doc Ock's bonded with the Carnage symbiote before.
Padding: The Imagine Spots can come across this way, given that when they're used to give out exposition, the stuff tends to have been explained just a moment ago, and even when Spidey does explain it when it hasn't been explained before, it's sometimes explained afterward in a manner that's much more simple and to the point, making the necessity of the exposition via Imagine Spot questionable. When they're done for humor, they take time away from the episode and in some cases, ruin the pacing due to just how out-of-the-moment they are.
Replacement Scrappy: In addition of his already unlikable personality mentioned before, Sam Alexander is a Canon Immigrant in the Marvel Universe, replacing the popular Richard Rider as Nova and with no explanation of how he even has the Nova forcenote though Original Sin issues explained that his (black) helmet was made by a group of rogue Novas who wanted to gain full power of Novaforce through their helmets before being compromised by Jesse Alexander who later absorbed them into Nova Corps as Elite Army., when Rider's last appearance had him fight Thanos off long enough for a portal to close behind him whilst powered by the entirety of the Nova force.
Petra Parker is an original character created for the show as opposed to very popularMayday Parker from the comic, so this reaction was to be expected. The fact said original character turned out to be a very generic, unsympathetic Straw Feminist only rubbed salt on the wound.
Rooting for the Empire: Our heroes consist of a protagonist whose sense of humor really depends on personal taste and his teammates who regularly mistreat him. Many villains are usually composed of Creepy Awesome characters who have excellent vocalization on the part of their actors, and tend to be the part many people think is worth watching. There's also the fact that some major villains on the show are portrayed in a very sympathetic light. Particularly Venom, who is actually Harry Osborn, who is genuinely a good person, who cannot control the symbiote and is easily the most sympathetic character on the show.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: While there doesn't seem to be as many shippers in this show's fanbase as there is in other show's there is a pronounced war between several Spidey ships. The most pronounced being Harry/Spidey, MJ/Spidey, White Tiger/Spidey, Nova/Spidey, and Agent Venom/Spidey.
Most of the main cast, with the exception of Iron Fist; Nova and White Tiger are especially criticized for being this, the former for his hot-headed, abrasive personality and the latter for her nagging attitude toward Spider-Man. To an extent, even Spider-Man himself suffers this, mostly because his sense of humor seems closer to Deadpool's than that of the comic Spidey (whose comedy depends more on wit and dialogue more than zaniness).
The Spider-Cycle counts as an object-example of this trope; most fans think that the only reason Spider-Man was given a motorbike was for merchandise purpose, and feel like it's essentially useless, considering he can web-sling. An excuse is given to justify, but it's generally considered a poor one. It even gets this treatment in-universe from Hawkeye, who even lampshades how stupid it is to have a bike when you can web-sling.
Petra Parker, due to being a straight up misandristnote basically misogyny but refers to the hatred and oppression of men (rather than woman) on a genotypic basis who's also the most bland of the Web Warriors Spidey comes across in Season 3—the others being Spidey Knight, Noir, Miles Morales and 2099.
While people still have problem with Spidey, he starts to get a bit more sympathy due to being the Butt Monkey for his team and actually acting like the Only Sane Man in some episodes.
Power Man was criticized as a Flat CharacterBig Guy, but his nightmare in "Strange" caused some to warm up to him, and his appearance in the next episode, "Awesome", further helped him out.
White Tiger, big time. Most fans saw her as the most obnoxious character after Nova for most of the show, but "Kraven the Hunter" gives her a very large Character Development, revealing her origin, and shows her actually expressing affection for Peter.
So Okay, It's Average: While there is a Broken Base regarding Drake Bell as Spider-Man, consensus generally seems to be that he's a workable actor, capturing the youth of the character, with the only real problems being that he sometimes overacts and the show's writing being counter-intuitive to the performance. Some state that he'd probably be pretty good in another Spider-Man product.
Following a Love It or Hate It reception for the first two seasons, Web Warriors has made some fans admit the show can be good at times, but it's still overall quite mediocre.
Peter is constantly portrayed as wrong when he's talking about how he doesn't want to work on the team he's on, and is portrayed as a jerk for not wanting them to be his friends. As pointed out on Designated Hero, the big issue is that Peter has good reasons, such as having no personal space (Nick Fury even set up security cameras in his house) and his teammates keep finding some way to force themselves into his life without any consent on his part.
This comes up again in "The Incredible Spider-Hulk" where Fury acts like Spidey's whining again about his PR problem when it's clear that Jameson constant berating him has begun to affect his ability to fight crime.
In "The New Sinister 6 Part 2" we are supposed to be taught about the strength of Compassion and Teamwork, to help drive this point Dr. Octopus and his mole are used. Doc Ock berates Spider-Man for being so trusting and reliant on his team and at the end of the episode we're supposed to be shown that he was wrong. Except he wasn't, Spider-Man is completely dependent on his team and has gotten worse because of it, consider how he was in the first season Doc Ock could only beat him by launching a surprise attack and using various weaponry like a buzzsaw and tazer, now he can Curbstomp Battle Spidey while holding the Villain Ball.
Squick: The idea that the Green Goblin and Venom are related to Spidey due to the fact that his blood was used to make them can qualify.
In "Freaky," when Wolverine, in Peter's body, hit on Mary Jane, when you remember that he's supposed to be over 100-years-old (physically in his 30s), while she's still a teenager.
Tainted by the Preview: The more looks people got at the show's sense of humor, the more they worried about the possibility that the show wouldn't prove worth the wait.
Nova gets it again in "Damage" where he accidentally gets hit by a shrink ray and spends the episode being pint-sized. The team have a lot of fun with him in this state, and Spidey even flicks him away when he gets too irritating.
Also, seeing Logan in Peter's body beating the crap out of Flash for attempting to bully him was possibly one of the most satisfying scenes.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A lot, since the show seems determined to be as different as possible to any previous Spider-Man version made before. A lot of fans still can't handle the changes, and even those who are more open-minded tend to be annoyed by some drastic examples:
Spider-Man being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and part of a teenage superheroes team (despite being a loner with occasional honorary membership to the Avengers in the comic) broke the base before the show was even up. Learning two members of said team are adult superheroes in the comic that became teens for the series only made things worse. Some fans did argue this wasn't the first time, but at least Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends actually indicated he was part of a team in its very title.
And when actual Spider-Man villains show up, they will usually be drastically different than their classic well-known incarnation (Venom is a suit made of Spider-Man's DNA and has Harry Osborn as his host, Scorpion is a martial artist and more Iron Fist's enemy, and the list goes on)
Mary-Jane being turned into what some fans may see as a Lois LaneExpy with no romantic relationship with Peter so far.
The show's humor. Nothing else to say.
In a separate case, for fans of Avengers EMH, they might not like the very childlike Hulk in this show compared to the Genius Bruiser of the previous show.
A frequent criticism from fans is that this show is trying way too hard to be a Teen Titans rip-off rather than an actual Spider-Man series. Which is rather ironic considering most opinions about the recent cartoon series.
So far, Spider-Man's teammates are this; all of them are minor superheroes from the comic who had never appeared in an animated adaptation when the series started, two of them (Power Man and Iron Fist) are quite popular in the comic fanbase and one other (Nova) was gaining popularity due to his major role in the expanded Marvel cosmic universe. This could have been a great way to introduce those characters to a younger audience as well as their universe. But the series doesn't bother with exploring their background and origins, instead barely mentioning it, and their Character Development doesn't go beyond serving as Spider-Man's annoying sidekicks. As a result, they end up for most becoming a bunch of Scrappies in the eyes of most fans. It doesn't help that they want unconditional trust and teamwork from Peter when he clearly doesn't know much about them and they know next to everything about him... and they treat his best friend badly... and their "pranks" on him in the stingers are almost always mean spirited and unfunny, they don't respect that his deal with Fury is supposed to leave him with solo time, and the often act like their extra training should trump Spidey's extra experience even when it's usually shown it's the other way around. Some improvement was made later on, with the teammates getting their own focus episodes, some powerups, and new costumes, but as more teen heroes were added and more guest heroes given spotlight, the original four continued to get pushed out of the spotlight. Iron Fist, Power Man, Nova, and White Tiger get hardly any lines by the latest episodes as focus is continually put on new heroes like Agent Venom and Iron-Spider, who already work much better as a team with Spidey. It becomes hard to remember these were ever even supposed to be main characters. The Hulk has had more development in this series than them, which just goes to show where the interests of the writers lie.
Agent Coulson. Just look at the Badass Decay part of this list. Even though he improves, it doesn't change that the character doesn't belong in a Spider-Man series.
An actor example with J.K. Simmons as Jameson. Yes, you have the Ensemble Darkhorse of the Spider-Man Trilogy in this show... and yet all he's done so far is go "Spider-Man's a menace" without any of the humor that made him a fan favorite to begin with. It gets worse thanks to the fact that this version of Jameson typically bashes Spider-Man any chance he gets, yet goes on to praise any Spider-Man imitators that show up.
Taskmaster, in spades; the guy is a serious, menacing villain, Badass as hell, has a connection to S.H.I.E.L.D., want to be an Evil Mentor to Spider-Man, and actually fits in the web-crawler Rogues Gallery despite not being originally part of it. He hasn't shown up since his debut appearance (Episode 6, over thirty episodes have aired since; see They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot below). Taskmaster finally made a second appearance in "Ultimate Deadpool." (About 35 episodes after his debut appearance.) Unfortunately, he doesn't get to do much and gets quickly taken out by Deadpool.
Carnage. Despite the episode being titled after him, he is here for around a few minutes before Harry reclaims the symbiot to become Venom again, and is unlikely to come back.
Spider-Girl, who will appear in season 3 alongside many other Spider-Men, is already getting this due to her being simply a female version of Spider-Man (named Petra Parker) rather than the well liked May "May Day" Parker version of Spider-Girl.
Teen genius Amadeus Cho, well known and liked in the comics for his ability to solve any situation through his quick thinking and for letting the readers get to see the world as he sees it (with calculations on just about everything) is now simply a smart kid whose intellect is not as showcased as in the comics and rather than solving everything through his smarts and quick thinking, has simply become the new Iron Spider.
While Harry was lucky enough not to get phased out until early season 3 MJ was abandoned mid-season 2. To make it worse MJ has little importance in the first season itself during which we don't get to learn anything about her other than she's an aspiring news reporter, and that's it. Whereas Harry was a key character for at least two arcs and got a decent amount of character development.
Both Deadpool and Spider-Gwen are Ensemble Darkhorses in this series that fans wish would either appear in more than one episode each (preferably to main-character status) or simply get their own shows.
"Why I Hate Gym" has a scene where Taskmaster, in an attempt to convince Spider-Man to join him as his apprentice, reveals he used to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. as well, but left after Nick Fury double-crossed him. Having Spider-Man questioning his trust in Fury, and considering quitting because of this, could have been a great plot device that would have brought Character Development to the three characters. But the episode instead focuses on Spidey and White Tiger trying to find a way to defeat Taskmaster, and Fury's double-crossing is never mentioned again.
And this isn't an isolated case; so far, Fury has been hinted to be responsible as well for both Scorpio (actually his brother Max) creating Zodiac and Sandman ending up nuts after he trapped him alone on an island for years. He never gets called out for his actions, and neither Spider-Man or his friends seem concerned with it.
The entire premise of the show. Spider-Man teaming up with other heroes could have worked great as Marvel's equivalent to Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but it ends up defeating the purpose by having him on a single team of jerkasses almost every episode and sometimes having him act like an annoying, incompetent idiot. If this show had taken place later in Spidey's career when he's a full-grown adult whose faced multiple villains, as well as having him team up with one hero each episode, this could have been the animated equivalent to Marvel Team-Up or The Avenging Spider-Man comics.
The episodes Carnage and House Arrest tease us with the possibilities of Harry, Green Goblin and Aunt May finding out Spider-Man's secret identity, only to not follow through with it. Never mind the fact that both Harry and Goblin knowing is a big part of the mythos and while Aunt May only knew for a relatively short period of time in the comics, many considered that to be one of the better decisions Marvel ever made with her character.
Norman Osborn's redemption story arc as Iron Patriot actually was pretty well-received and liked by the fans. It lasted around an episode, only to have Norman being turned back into the Goblin for the season finale.
"Damage" has the team working undercover at Damage Control, trying to figure out why the Wrecking Crew just showed up, busted a few city blocks, and ran without stealing a dime. Everyone besides Spidey gets turned into an idiot or an adult who just doesn't listen when kids talk, including Nick Fury, who assigned them to this job at least in part so they could figure out what happened. Arguably Nick was more interested in giving the young hotheads some humility by having them engage in manual labor, but it was at least ostensibly an undercover op. "Undercover" in this case means "present in their superhero identities but wearing Damage Control jumpsuits", And since J. Jonah Jameson is still JJJ, he gleefully puts his cameras on Spider-Man being forced to do drudge work and broadcasts it. "Undercover." Right. Although one supposes some leeway must be given, as they clearly don't have character models for what the team looks like outside of their costumes...
The Spider-Verse Arc. One might argue it's an improvement for actually being about Spider-Man and not shoehorning in his "friends", but fails for several reasons. First off, we barely get a chance to get to know these alternate Spider-Men since each episode is just 11 minutes of one world twice. Second, most of them suffer the same problem (Feeling like they should give up only for our Spider-Man to convince them not to). Third, the entire plot was so Green Goblin can steal spider-DNA to use on himself, ignoring that his Goblin formula was made from Spider-Man's DNA and this Spider-Man has had his DNA taken rather easily before. In essence, this was just advertisement for the comic book event, which had an actual reason to involve alternate universes.
In the actual Ultimate Comics Peter's parents were friends with Nick Fury, and their most common origin (both in the Ultimate Universe and the main, 616 one) tends to be that they were secret agents of some sort. This could have been an amazing plot point in the first season to play around with, and they could have used it to develop an interesting, complicated relationship between Spider-Man and Fury, but absolutely nothing has been done with this and the show is going into its fourth season. Not even in season 3 where Taskmaster (who clearly has something against Nick) reappears and starts to try and make his own team. This could have caused tension between Fury and Spider-Man that they'd have to resolve, rather than having the viewer sit through several episodes that could be perceived as filler.
Not as strong as Avengers Assemble, but this show still has the misfortune of being a show intended for little kids coming right after Spider-Man: The Animated Series and The Spectacular Spider-Man, both shows who were loved by their fans for being more mature and arc-oriented than the average kid show. Practically everyone ends up judging the show by comparing it to one of those.
Especially noteworthy is Drake Bell's performance as Spidey, compared to fan favorite Josh Keaton, since Keaton's voice is as iconic to Spider-Man as Kevin Conroy is to Batman.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Nick Fury clearly is intended by the writers to be seen as a Big Good and Reasonable Authority Figure. Problem is, many fans see him more like a Designated HeroControl Freak who basically blackmailed Peter into joining SHIELD, keeps not holding his side of the bargain, leaves him very little freedom (he placed camera in his house, has an agent pose as his principal and made his teammates forcefully insert themselves in his life), and has a spectacular record of creating his own villains. This wouldn't be so much a problem if these were aknowledged as flaws to make Fury a morally grey character- but the show lacks any self-awareness on the topic, and keeps portraying him as always in the right.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The all-too-brief segment in the 2099 universe, animated in an ultra-slick full 3D. Makes you kind of wish they'd give Spider-Man 2099 his own series with that kind of animation.
What an Idiot: Sadly, the main characters tend to often fall into this:
"Doomed": Soooo, they want to impress Fury by defeating a villain. Did they really have to choose Doctor Doom, one specifically known to be a Magnificent Bastard with diplomatic immunity? And by attacking his country first, without considering the fact it could qualify as an act of war? Of course, they pay the consequences at the end and learn their lesson, but still.
"Back in Black": Pretty much everyone beside Spider-Man and the villains acts like a total moron in this episode. The civilians immediately admire Black Spider-Man without considering the fact it might be the same with a different costume, Spider-Man is the only one to realize it might be Venom, and when he points out the similarities to his teammates, they reply it can't be because "Venom was huge while this is just a guy in a black suit", despite the fact they all know that Venom is a shapeshifter whose size changes according to his host.
"Freaky": Villain Mesmero has Mind Control powers, which mean he could have potentially (or at least try) take over Spidey's and Wolverine's mind to send them against each others, or have them commit suicide. All he could think about was sending civilians attack them, then make them switch bodies (proving they weren't immune to his powers, and as such meaning he had no reason to not try controlling them) just to screw with them. Talk about wasted potential...
Subverted in "Venomous": the team acts like Peter was this for not telling them Harry was Venom and trusting them to keep it a secret, but when you think about it he had a darn good reason not to. Especially since White Tiger is a massive S.H.I.E.L.D. fangirl — how was he to know she wouldn't go right to Fury or Coulson? Or that the other three wouldn't?
"Awesome": Why didn't Peter explain Coulson he couldn't do the science project because he was fighting Juggernaut instead of stealing one of Connor's experiments? Coulson knows about his superheroing, he would have found a way to have him get away with it.
"Snow Day": Nova gets a prize for this one; seriously, how could he even think choosing a vacation place near the frikkin' Bermuda Triangle was a good idea? Even White Tiger points it out. Not to mention Nova mistaking the word "Classified" for... Classy.
Harry Osborn is told by his father that Spider-Man is responsible for turning him into the Green Goblin. Does Peter say, "No, Harry, that was actually Doctor Octopus's fault?" Of course he doesn't. He even takes the time to run through possible responses, none of which is the obvious. To be fair, Harry probably wouldn't have believed him. Interestingly enough, Spider-Man does tell Harry earlier in the episode that his dad got that way due to some nut-job employee.
In "Sandman Returns", Andy the Android is now being used as a lab intern. Spider-man calls out the Cages on this, and they tell him that he can be useful if trained. About one minute later, he nearly blows up the lab.
Win Back the Crowd: Season 4, in large part, did this for the show in the eyes of the Spider-Man fandom as a whole. Due to it being much more serious and its plot being more focused, as well as this season not integrating the other shows that the show shares a continuity with. This gave the show a chance to stand on its own feet rather than forcing viewers to look up particular episodes of the other shows, a common complaint in Season 3. Many people say that Season 4 feels like a "real" Spider-Man show when compared to the previous seasons.
However Season 4 did suffer from Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy within the show's long-term fanbase. Fortunately the Symbiote Arc that was featured near the season's end helped draw the long-term fans back in, inciting this trope, as it could get dark but not overtly so like the previous episodes. The return of MJ and the introduction of her persona, The Carnage Queen, certainly helped.
Prior to this was season 2, which gave Spidey's original team some much needed character development and made them come off as less jerk-ish, immoral child soldiers and more like actual heroes. The fact that emphasis is put on the positive aspects of their relationships with Spidey certainly helped.
Harry Osborn, becomes Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds as Venom. Taking it further, if Anti-Venom is any indication, he seems to have developed a symbiote-related form of PTSD.
Peter can be seen as this, due to his status as Butt Monkey and all the things done to him by his teammates, Fury or Flash. Season 4 especially, and not in the Butt Monkey way. Legitimately horrible things happen to him and people around him during Season 4, several of which are showing to have a prolonged impact on him.
Curt Connors, especially from the Season One finale onwards.