YMMV: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

  • Accidental Innuendo: In the original, Edo (having the D-Hero deck), often says things like "the power of the D" or similar in reference to destiny. When "the D" is taken to be the OTHER one, some really hilarious accidents occur.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Yubel gets shunted off to the side a lot in the English-speaking fandom, but she (and her relationship with Juudai) appear fairly popular in Japanese fan art. Part of this is likely because her motivation was degraded from a sadomasochistic view of love to just being a Psychopathic Manchild.
    • The GX anime in general was a lot better received in Japan than in English-speaking fandom, especially when it was first airing.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Despite having a very powerful deck, Darkness has a rather poor showing against Judai in his final duel with him.
  • Awesome Music: The dub's guitar soundtrack.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In true series tradition. Judai's deck focuses on Fusion, so count on him constantly fusing his E-Heroes in different ways never seen before, and the new one will do exactly what is needed to do to help him win. Not to mention all the E-Hero support cards that are just completely useless in real life due to how situational they are, but in the show Judai pulls them out in instances that always let him win.
    • Ryo's initial Deck focused on a single monster and its Fusions, summoning Cyber End Dragon again and again. Getting the same results in a real-life Deck would take incredible luck.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Season 3 gave most of Judai's friends fairly unflattering treatment, with most either becoming a Duel Zombie in the first alternate dimension or "dying" in the second, while Johan received so much attention even when he wasn't around. Season 4 gave many of them more development and established their goals in life, while Johan is shipped off back to his own school for most of the season.
  • Badass Decay: Manjoume in Season 3.
    • Misawa in the second season.
  • Base Breaker: Johan. The fans seem to be divided on whether he's the best character in the entire show who deserves his own spin-off or a bland, spotlight-stealing Gary Stu, with not much middle ground.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In episode 20, while Judai, Sho, and Hayato are scrubbing each other's backs, Judai would then realize that he's scrubbing a bear's back while the bear scrubs a seal. That hilarious incident was never mentioned since, and it was also cut from the dub due to partial nudity.
  • Broken Base: Yubel being Put on a Bus for most of Season 4, people say good riddance to her, others want to explore her and Jaden's relationship with each other more.
    • Jaden's new personality in Season 4. Is his new attitude too dark and unpleasant, and inferior to his big-hearted and energetic personality from before? Or did it make him much more impressive and provide a lot of character development.
    • Season 4 not being dubbed at all is still a sore topic for the English-speaking fans of the show.
    • Season 4 in general. Either the best season of GX (or of YGO in general), or the worst.
    • The series itself. Fans of it cited the Deconstructor Fleet and Affectionate Parody route it took, well-rounded characters and a tone that progressively got Darker and Edgier. Detractors cited the poor pacing, rushed storylines, large Filler at the beginning (the first major antagonist only made an appearance at episode 29), underused cast, controversial season 4 and duels that heavily relies on Ass Pull and The Magic Poker Equation. The last argument is usually brought up and the only one that even its fans have to admit is detracting from the show.
  • Canon Sue: Whether you like him or not, it's hard to deny Johan fits this trope. He is introduced suddenly and immediately becomes Judai's best buddy, he has a near-perfect onscreen record and his only loss is essentially because he didn't have his dragon, Pegasus regards him as the 5th best duelist that he's ever seen after Yugi, Kaiba, Jounouchi and Edo (whose skill we'd actually seen beforehand), he has special powers that he can use better than anyone else, his Duel Monster spirits are far more interactive than anyone else's (even Judai's generally only display personalities when it's actually important, while Johan's can speak and emote at all times), he has few (if any) flaws, everybody likes him, and he receives tons and tons of focus, even when he's not onscreen, taking precedence over basically every established character.
  • Complete Monster: Brron, Mad King of Dark World, is demented and sadistic, ruling the Spirit World as its vile dictator and being responsible for its deplorable state and the oppression of its denizens. His right-hand man, Zure, oversaw Brron's will, detaining anyone who defied him in internment camps while killing duelists who could be threats to him. The executions occurred at his fortress and involved releasing monsters at disarmed duelists while Brron himself and his minions watched the spectacle. After learning of Jaden's presence in his domain, Brron orchestrated a plot that involved turning Jaden evil by sacrificing all of his friends one by one with his set of "Wicked Doctrine" cards to create the "Super Fusion" card. After his defeat, Brron, before dying, mocked Jaden by saying that he would never see his friends again before dying.
  • Die for Our Ship: Asuka is subjected to this from some shippers who pair Judai, her canonical crush, with anyone other than her (aforementioned "some shippers" are often Yaoi Fangirls).
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Hell Kaiser.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Daitokuji-sensei appears to have a small following.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Hell Kaiser Ryo, Possessed Johan, Darkness Fubuki. The Supreme King.
    • The ladies have less to offer, but there's still Yubel and the Seven Star Camula.
  • Epileptic Trees: Since quite a lot of things were hinted at but never filled in, this should come as no surprise.
  • Faux Symbolism: All three Sacred Beasts are named after Judeo-Christian angels.
  • Friendly Fandoms: 5Ds and GX fans typically like each other a lot more then they would like Zexal and the original series fans, largely due to how they had entire seasons not dubbed by 4Kids. It's also likely because the people who quit after DM probably didn't get back in with 5Ds, while people who stuck through GX probably stuck through 5Ds as well.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Remember the fun Juudai and the gang had about Sho's card crush on Dark Magician Girl? Flip it around, add in Stalker with a Crush tendencies, and throw in a pinch of Nightmare Fuel, and you have the premise for Season 3.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • For those attentive enough, the series is full of references to alchemy and tarot, including a Foreshadowing to the antagonist of the final season.
    • The duel in Episodes 153-155 appears to have been structured to mirror or strongly resemble a Jewish wedding, beginning with Magic Chronicle as Yubel's dowry and the ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) and ending with a "cracked glass" when Juudai manages to take back Super Fusion and join his soul to Yubel's, something he reveals only after the worlds start shaking apart and the window in Samejima's office cracks and shatters. With the exception of a couple of Juudai's more convoluted turns, it's actually possible to trace every single turn back to the ceremony, in perfect sequence. The resemblance even continues after the duel—in a Jewish ceremony, the ceremony is complete when the bride and groom retire together, away from the guests (represented in this case by Sho and Ojama Yellow). The German dub even adds a touch of its own, with Syrus commenting that "[Jaden] and Yubel are united among the stars".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the dub, Atticus attempts to get Alexis to form a singing duo with him, and suggests "Bro-bro and Sissy" for the group's name. He also happens to be wearing, at the time, a rather fabulous purple jacket covered in sequins and frills. Quoth Chazz, "So which one's he?"
  • Growing the Beard: Season 3 for Judai's Character Development, better pacing, and an overall darker tone.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The voice actor for Takuma Saiou, the one who played Arcana Force XXI - The World in the GX cartoon, ended up voicing Dio Brando in the 2012 cartoon adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Informed Wrongness: A Season 1 episode features the one-shot character Mitsuo/Pierre, a gambler who uses cards that rely on coin tosses to trigger their effects, and uses Second Coin Toss to redo the toss if he fails to get the needed result. Asuka declares that the only reason he's winning the duel with her is that he relies on Second Coin Toss to win his coin throws and without it he would have lost them all, and proceeds to destroy it and then attack for the win when he gets his last toss wrong. We're supposed to see Mitsuo as a cheater and a coward, but his strategy is perfectly valid and worked very well. The only reason he lost is that he didn't use his monster's effect to try and inflict 1000 damage to Asuka, if he had done so and got it right, he would have just won in two turns.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Cobra. All he wanted was to reunite with his dead adopted son, and he would no longer have any reason to be an antagonist if he met his goal. Amon wanted to create an idealistic world, and though he kills two people in the process (Echo and Ed), the former willingly sacrificed herself and the latter started a duel to protect the former, knowing the consequences of losing. Both are presumably killed by the far less sympathetic Yubel.
    • Camula may count, She's the Last of a race of Vampires that were wiped out hundreds of years ago by humans who attacked them unprovoked and she sealed herself in a coffin to survive and waited for eons to be freed. She seeks to restore her Race but she sacrifices The Souls of those she defeats in Duels to do so.
  • Lady Mondegreen: Oh 4Kids...their dub of episode 154 will forever haunt them. The filter voice they put on Yubel distorted her voice so oddly that, at one point, she ended up sounding like she dropped an F-bomb when she says fight.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Judai. Also Asuka, being the only major, non-jailbait female protagonist. This is the guy who doesn't know what a fiancée is, let alone know how to have sex. Ironically, Judai/Asuka lemons tend to be exceptionally graphic.
  • Memetic Badass: A lot of jokes are made around a) how unnaturally good Jaden is at Duel Monsters, or b) How he, depending on the persona, had a really high death count. Generally, outsiders to the show might only know him as "the guy who killed all his friends."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • From the manga, Johan's 'It was a happy duel'.
    • Taking innocuous or cute scenes and pictures of Jaden, then adding how "killed millions" and other unspeakably bad deeds. Sometimes he's depicted as being Obliviously Evil with these.
    • Chazz it up! Chazz it up! Chazz it up!
  • Memetic Sex God: Jaden. He is shipped with everyone, and is generally portrayed as good at sex. Also has a lot of harem fanfiction written about him.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • People mainly fail to realize that the show is an Affectionate Parody of the original series, especially in the early seasons, and later heads into Deconstructor Fleet.
    • Asuka/Alexis was a Deconstruction of Ms. Fanservice, she was annoyed by how people saw her as an attractive girl and wanted to be seen as a person and a duelist instead of just a pretty face. However, fans don't care for that — haters bash her as being a slut due to her appearance and outfit, while others ignore her personality because it's counter-productive to Shipping.
  • Moe: Rei, and her Maiden in Love monster from her first appearance.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Zane Truesdale (Ryo Marufuji) in the second season crosses the line after donning his Dark Kaiser persona when he electrocutes and almost kills his little brother Syrus (Shou) in a duel, never giving a damn about doing that, only about winning.
    • Amon when he sacrifices Echo and apparently kills Aster to obtain Exodia.
    • Yubel at every attempt in the 3rd Season with Jaden.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Yubel, period. Even creepier when the dub gave it the voice of a spoiled 5-year-old girl.
    • Brron, who is...some kind of semi-human-only-not-really skeleton...thing.
    • Titan's fate when he abuses the power of Shadow Games.
    • Darkness, with his Mind Rape and Grim Reaper-eque form.
    • The Underground is less supernatural, but still incredibly disturbing.
  • One-Scene Wonder: For the dub. He may only have two episodes and is a minor character who never appears ago, but the usage of the original series themes and cards, the genuinely good duel he gave Jaden, and of course Marc Thompson's Narm Charm impersonation of Dan Green's voice acting, make Dimitri far more memorable than a lot of other characters with larger roles.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Judai compared to Yami Yugi as the heroes of their respective series. Judai is pretty much as different a character from Yami Yugi as could be imagined; while Yami Yugi was stoic, serious, and intelligent, Judai is goofy, easy-going, and stupid. Factor in his E-Hero cards being Scrappies for fans of the dueling, and Judai was not very liked (among Western audiences, anyway). Until ZeXal it was often joked Judai is the worst Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Yeah, Chazz is technically the "bad guy" whenever he's dueling Jaden, but by God, so many people just want to see him come out on top for once!
  • Superlative Dub: Episode 18 and 19 with Dimitri, the copycat duelist. In the original Dimitri was just Dimitri and only decided he was Yugi towards the end of the duel, but in the dub Dimitri acts like he's Yugi all along. What really sells the episode though is the absolutely Narmtastic impersonation of Dan Green's Yami Yugi that Marc Thompson delivers, taking Green's Large Ham, cranking it up, and giving a few lighthearted jabs at his mannerisms and catchphrases. The dub also re-uses parts of the original dub soundtrack as further nostalgia fuel when Dimitri makes his moves.
    • In season 2, the dub keeps Aster's father's fate a mystery until the final confrontation between Aster and his stepfather. In the original, Aster knows he's dead from the beginning, but in the dub he disappears the same night he was robbed of his best card, and Aster searches for him for the majority of the season. This ultimately adds to the horror when it's revealed his soul has been swallowed by D-HERO Plasma, and the nightmarish sequence that results is completely unedited.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Episode 20 with that Maiden in Love deck is absolutely sickening.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: One of the more prominent issues with the series is that ultimately, Judai has to solve all the conflicts on his own. His friends will generally at best do nothing against the antagonists and at worst get worfed so Judai can beat the antagonist later.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Johan is a Chosen One, but of what? Possibly of the Crystal Beasts...
    • What was Yubel during the twenty episode absence after possessing Johan but before confronting Juudai?
    • Rogue card designer with a counterfeit Egyptian God? The whole thing resolves in one episode.
    • What were Judai and Yubel off doing after they fused? It's implied that Judai was gone for quite a while (enough for most people to think that he was gone for good), so what were they doing?
      • It's implied that they were going to go and kick the Light of Destruction's ectoplasmic patuckus, making this closer to Offscreen Moment of Awesome given that it wasn't actually shown (probably because it didn't involve card games).
    • While the concept wasn't really wasted, the history of the Sacred Beasts/Phantom Demons is not explored at all, such as how evil versions of the God Cards were created and how they got sealed under the island.
    • It's mostly based on the video games but a lot of people would prefer if Rei used Lightsworns instead of her current deck considering how much better the deck is.
  • Ugly Cute: The Ojamas.
  • Woolseyism: Yes, the dub did manage a few.
    • The "Bio Bands" and "Survival Duels" in the dub were known as "Death Belts" and "Disclosure (seems benign, until you realize it's a pun on the Japanese pronunciation of death) Duels". (called Dis-Duels in Tag Force 2). God knows why the faculty weren't tipped off to the true nature of Cobra's actions when he pitched the idea in that version.
    • Banner's German accent.
    • While the symbolism of the name is lost, it could be argued that Nightshroud is a more impressive name for a villain than simply "Darkness".
    • The D, in the Japanese named "DD" for "Destiny Duelist". The dub established "The D" was an alias and gave him the proper name "Kyle Jables", take from Kyle Gass and Jack Black of Tenacious D.
    • A bit of a mean one that nonetheless works — the monkey duelist being trained by Kaiba Corp in Season 1 was named "Sal" in the Japanese version, meaning "Super Animal Learning". The dub renamed it "Wheeler", after one of Kaiba's favorite insults for Joey, "dueling monkey".