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.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" is more of a Big Lipped Alligator Episode. Not that this show was big on historical accuracy, but the episode opens with Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer breaking into a rendition of Edwin Starr's War and spends the rest of the episode having two warring parties fight it out in a battle of the bands rather than with swords. This episode followed up right after several very serious episodes too.
Multiple episodes taking place in modern day with the principle actors playing reincarnations/descendants/look a likes of themselves, because...why not?
The season 5 episode "Married With Fishsticks", which mostly forgets about the story arc going on at the time to do a pointless filler episode where the feuding Aphrodite and Discord accidentally send Gabrielle into an alternate world where she's a mermaid, and is entirely populated with merpeople. The whole thing is incredibly weird, and ends with it apparently being All Just a Dream as Gabrielle wakes up back with Xena.
Given that this was in season 5, it's noted on the DVD special features that everyone was quite wary that this not be the show's 100th episode.
Arguably, the season 6 episode "You Are There" also counts. (See Clip Show below.)
Dork Age: the Twilight of the Gods arc. Although this may also count as the Jumping the Shark moment, the instant that there was a 25-year time skip for no good reason, combined with chucking the entire Olympian Gods mythos down the drain (with drain-cleaning fluid, considering how all the Olympian Gods were written woefully out-of-character, all changed to Idiot Ball holding Stupid Evil within the time frame of a couple of episodes, with Xena killing them off in a manner that epitomizes Narm) for a Judeo-Christian one that had so many Unfortunate Implications for both current and past episodes that it tainted the entire franchise. Luckily, as of the comic book continuation, this is all Canon Discontinuity.
Draco in Leather Pants: This trope's even funnier when you realize there really IS a guy named Draco in Xena, and that he DOES wear leather pants. The show even plays the trope straight after everyone was suddenly made to love each other by Cupid's playful son, who somehow got a hold of daddy's arrows. The effect was later reversed, except for Draco. Xena suggested Cupid not undo this one to make the warlord a better, less dangerous-to-society person. This comes back to haunt them in a later episode.
Evil Is Sexy: Callisto and Ares. Well, everyone is sexy in this series, but the villains tend to be sexier than the average peasant.
Foe Yay: Xena and Callisto, Xena and Ares, Gabrielle and Ares.
Franchise Original Sin: The show probably would have been better off in the long run if they hadn't had Xena and Gabrielle run into a family of monotheists in an episode clearly inspired by the Abraham and Isaac story. It was an isolated episode and could have been ignored. So was the later "Giant Killer" episode where Xena helps David kill Goliath. But then comes the opener of the fifth season, where Xena and Gabrielle find themselves meeting angels in a war between Heaven and Hell (as opposed to just journeying through the previously established Greek mythology afterlife featuring the Elysian Fields and Tartarus). And then comes the whole "Twilight of the Gods" arc in which Xena is manipulated by "the one God" to kill every Greek God who appears on-screen, except for Ares and Aphrodite. The fact that the Gods, previously shown to be very competent and powerful, end up carrying the Idiot Ball and can't kill a Badass Normal like Xena if their lives depended on it, didn't help. And neither did the whole "Xena and Gabrielle awake 25 years later" thing. In this case, the original sin would be the Abraham and Isaac episode, done back in the series' otherwise better days.
In the early season one episode "Cradle of Hope", Gabrielle scorns the idea of someone sending a baby down a river. Then came the season three episode, "Gabrielle's Hope", in which Gabrielle sends her (evil) newborn baby down a river rather than kill her — an act that comes back to haunt Xena and Gabrielle in a big way.
The many deaths of Joxer who died in season 5.
Ares falling out of the sky after Gabrielle accidentally depowered him. Sadly, Kevin Smith died in kind of the same way.
He Really Can Act: Hudson Leick played bit parts in soaps and never really garnered any attention... until she played Callisto. The range and depth of her acting as well as her development of the character was just insane (... as in insanely awesome). When she had to play Xena for a couple of episodes (Makes Sense In Context) she was jaw-droppingly good, and she played one of the most complex and heart-rending villains to ever grace the television screen without dropping a beat. It was her acting as a reformed Callisto that justified the entire existence of the "Xena and Gabrielle die and become angels" plotline. If you didn't cry when Gabrielle forgave Callisto for killing her husbandyou need psychiatric help!
Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Chariots of War," Cycnus (Jeffrey Thomas) tells Xena they met at the Battle of Corinth. It wasn't that much later when Thomas was cast on Hercules as Jason, the king of Corinth.
Ho Yay: Xena and Gabrielle, which later became officially reciprocated.
Jump the Shark: As detailed above, it's generally agreed that the show did this with the "Twilight of the Gods" arc and dumping Greek mythology for the Judeo-Christian variety. In spite of this, though, the episode "Motherhood" was pretty well-received.
The arc would have been much better received if the writers hadn't been bent on turning all the Olympian Gods into evil baby-kiling monsters in such a ridiculous show of Canon Discontinuity that it left people at the very least confused at the Gods' behaviour, and left those who had seen Hercules screaming with rage - as the characterisations of most of the Gods were shown in this series and were completely incompatible with how they were shown in Twilight.
Narm: Livia/Eve's bad acting causes this. When she's angry she sounds less like Rome's champion and more like a Valley girl.
The killing of the Olympian Gods became this very quickly. The sudden turn-to-evil-with-no-regard-for-character writing of the Gods as well as the hilarious and stupid ways they died - and the way Xena got the power to do it in the first place - was meant to be serious... but ended up being so campy and ridiculous that it resulted in some of the funniest moments in the entire show.It was after everyone stopped laughing that they started to realize that this was the serious end to all the Olympian Gods. There is a very good reason why such a popular show was suddenly ended after season 6.
Never Live It Down: Gabrielle's insufferable flirting with complete pacifism. More specifically, her starting it by throwing Ephiny's staff into a river, which comes off as quite callous considering what a big moment her getting it was.
Running the Asylum: Several episodes of the 6th season of were actually written by a (critically acclaimed) Fan Fic writer who was approached by the creators of the show and asked to write a bunch of episodes.
Scapegoat Creator: Fans complained loudly and often about Season 5 at the time, usually blaming new show-runners Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci for everything. Apparently, it wasn't just the fans who felt this way, as Kurtzman and Orci were suspiciously gone about halfway through the season. While being show-runners made them responsible for many creative decisions, they nonetheless still had to answer to Rob Tapert. The series was also hurt by The Lord of the Rings's production, as a number of experienced, local personnel left to work on the big-budget trilogy.
Seasonal Rot: Season 5 is generally regarded by Xena fans as when the show went downhill, season 6 fairs even worse.
Special Effects Failure: Some of the CGI and blue-screen effects used in the earlier episodes (such as in "The Titans", "Prometheus" and "Mortal Beloved") have not aged well. Somewhat justifed, as the budget wasn't exactly high.
Strawman Has a Point: the (many times) aforementioned 'Twilight of the Gods' arc is again our culprit. In order to get rid of the Gods without Xena looking like a theophobic murderer, they were all turned into these weird evil idiotic Straw representations of themselves, where they gave these Strawman Fallacy arguments as to why they wanted to kill Eve and why the Gods were needed (the point being that "humans have the Way of Love, they don't need you") etc. and Xena was right all along. Except... the Gods had a point. They are trying to take 1 life in order to save their families and the beings they love at the very least (putting aside their responsibility to humanity and their godhood). Considering that we already established that if Eve had died as a baby, she would have gone straight to Heaven or the Eleysian Fields, to eventually be reincarnated - something that the Gods know and are very familiar with - from the Gods' perspective you can see exactly why killing her seemed reasonable. Then after the Time Skip, the writers kept wanting the audience to weigh up the pantheon of Gods - who we know from HTLR are mostly necessary entities who work hard and can be pulled into line if their fickle nature gets too ridiculous or selfish - against a child who grew into a murdering tyrant that the world would have been much better without.
The Woobie: Joxer. Usually his Butt Monkey ways are played for laughs, but episodes like "For Him The Bell Tolls" and "A Comedy Of Eros" play his misfortunes in a far more sympathetic light.