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Broken Base / Star vs. the Forces of Evil

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    Base-Breaking Characters 
  • Tom. While a lot of fans agree that he is a good character, the divide lies in whether or not one should judge him for manipulating Star. Half the fanbase points out that Tom was a terrible boyfriend to Star, with Domestic Abuse implied, and keeps trying to manipulate her. The other half points out that he's actively trying to change himself and manage his temper; in "Mr. Candle Cares", he finally got the message that forcing Star to be with him wouldn't work, and that for better or for worse Marco's looking out for Star as a friend and thus will protect her. However, he became even more of a base-breaker when he and Star got back together again in Season 3. Added to that, a number of fans feel he became a wasted presence as a result, considering a lot of episodes in that season have him do nothing but passively react to most situations. Season 4 has him as a more active and enjoyable character, but that mixed with the show's romance subplot had some fans lament that regardless of everything, he's been forced into the role of Shipper on Deck for his girlfriend and his best friend.
  • Despite his popularity as a competent, serious and effective villain, there are a handful of people who don't like Toffee. Some believe he's too serious and out of place for a show like Star vs., and/or consider him boring. Fans on both sides tend to agree that his full potential went unrealized, however. Despite the fact that he died in the otherwise superb The Battle for Mewni arc, most of his motivations for what he did were unclear in the show itself beyond the most basic level of revenge. Not helping matters was Word of God claiming he was a morally complex character who had a valid point in viewing magic as something to be destroyed. Something not clearly expressed any time he was on-screen, only vaguely implied with a situation he was in during a flashback. At the same time, some fans were attracted to Toffee because of how mysterious he was, and feel like answering everything would lessen him. The fact that Toffee did come to have parts of his backstory explained in The Magic Book of Spells didn't help matters, with debates refueling again over why such information never made it into the show proper; and even then, major things such as how he gained so much knowledge about magic and the Butterfly lineage remained a mystery.
  • Jackie-Lynn Thomas became one big time after she and Marco finally became an Official Couple, which earned her quite a lot of backlash from Starco shippers. Much of this does come down to that, which is discussed more in Romance Subplot down below, but it also boils down to whether you find her personality compelling or boring. Season 3 made this worse, as her sole appearance that season had her break up with Marco. Fans who liked her hated that she was written out before her character could be properly fleshed out to be more than "laidback but secretly goofy skater girl", all so the Starco pairing could happen guilt-free. Meanwhile, her haters liked it for the exact same reason. And Starco still wouldn't happen until the show's penultimate episodes in the following season, as Star had rekindled her relationship with Tom by this point.
  • Star herself was arguably this since the beginning, but she cemented this status starting at the end of Season 2. While she still remains very popular in the fandom and her fans love her for being a brave, plucky, determined, and energetic female protagonist, some others find her to be a bratty, selfish, annoying, and irresponsible protagonist who never learns her lessons (or forgets them almost instantly) and they find her a very bad daughter to her mother, especially in "Face the Music" and "Starcrushed". The series finale in which Star destroys magic itself, commits a multidimensional genocide to save a portion of her country from Mina's monster genocide, and only seems concerned with the fact that doing so will separate her from her boyfriend had Team "Selfish Star" double down on this stance hard, with many comparing her actions in that final episode to that of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
    • Interestingly enough, this went in the opposite direction in season 3, where she's less impulsive, more reasonable, and more willing to be there for others. The base is split in three camps: those who found her annoying but find this new version to be worse because it's boring, those who were open to the change but thought it wasn't handled well, and those who think this was a natural progression of her character. And this third camp is also split, with the events of season 4 having some view Star as having gone back to exhibiting her old character flaws.
    • Her behavior towards Marco in Season 3 was another source of controversy. Some think that she was acting needlessly nasty and even cruel toward him; others, on the other hand, think that she was acting reasonable, because she had been attempting to move past her crush of him and Marco burst into her life without warning, when she had reordered her priorities now that she returned to Mewni and faced Toffee.
  • On that note, Marco in Season 3 also gained many detractors due to how badly he handled everything following The Battle for Mewni by not admitting to Star that he had feelings for her too when he had the chance, obsessing over Star and Mewni while ignoring everyone and everything on Earth, leading to Jackie breaking up with him, then being generally useless as Star's squire when he returned to Mewni.
  • Queen Moon became one as Season 3 progressed, with the final episodes of season 4 only adding fuel to the firw. Due in part to how controlling she was of Star, there are many complaints that she was a terrible queen who later comes to mis-blame Eclipsa for the problems she's faced in her life.note  On the other hand, some fans find her behavior understandable. Her Dark and Troubled Past gives her a legitimate Freudian Excuse to distrust monstersnote , and Moon can reasonably blame Eclipsa for some of the recent struggles she's had to deal with, even if much of it was accidental on the Queen of Darkness's part.
  • King River is either an annoying, Too Dumb to Live father and king with wasted potential, or a genuinely funny character with plenty of moments to shine.
  • Glossaryck is this in spades. He's either a funny character who has a strangely compelling way of giving wisdom and helping others, or an annoying troll who's too unlikable due to how he almost never explains anything directly, and just expects others to follow what he says without being clear, all intentionally. His entry under Unintentionally Unsympathetic don't help out.
  • Miss Heinous, aka Meteora Butterfly, is in a really weird position. During her times as Miss Heinous, she was either a compelling villain who brought up interesting points on individuality, or an annoying strawman who tried and failed to be serious. After "Monster Bash", where she finds out that she's Eclipsa's daughter Meteora, things went in a different direction. Her much more monstrous personality, both figuratively and later on literally, was either understandable given that she was the rightful heir to the throne, or she's essentially just an overgrown child throwing a temper tantrum, and was little more than a one note bad guy. It's safe to say that there's no middle ground for her character.
    • Her fate from the season 3 finale onward is also divisive. Eclipsa's spell, which was meant to kill her, turns her into a baby. The base is split into two camps. One side finds this an acceptable compromise since she'll at least be around people who care for her to help reel her in due to her mental health issues. The other side thinks she should have been punished in some way due to finding her actions too malicious to the point of finding her completely irredeemable.
  • Mina Loveberry is a particularly divisive character, mainly from those who find her cuckoo crazy behavior to be endearing and relatable, or annoying and in your face.

    Episodes and Seasons 
  • "Toffee", the final episode of The Battle for Mewni story arc. For all the hype about Star facing off against the titular Big Bad, he dies rather quickly after getting resurrected, with Star blasting him while in her Super Mode and Ludo crushing the last remaining bits of him under a tower. Many fans were understandably disappointed how such a villain was wasted, with some going so far to claim he suffered from a last second bout of Villain Decay. Meanwhile other fans found the episode to be one of the best, if not the best episode of the series for various reasons, not limited to: Ludo's character arc that began in "Ludo in the Wild" coming to a satisfying conclusion, Toffee maintaining a menacing presence throughout, Toffee's liquid form being suitably unnerving, the return of the Whispering Spell, Star and Marco finally reuniting and hugging, Star's achieving a Golden Super Mode, and Toffee's defeat ultimately being a fitting result of his own hubris and characters exploiting some of the mistakes he himself made, allowing for his biggest victims, Star and Ludo, to directly eliminate him themselves.
  • The events of Season 3 proved divisive amidst the fandom:
    • The decision to leave Earth as the main setting in favor of Mewni. Some were fine with it, feeling Earth had plenty of time in the spotlight for the first two seasons and that Mewni had a large amount of untapped potential, ranging from the Butterfly family history to the ongoing racial tensions between Mewmans and Monsters. Others, however, felt it shafted the Earth cast outside Marco and Janna, and left potential plot threads hanging open. The latter group also had members who noted that the separation between Earth and Mewni was completely arbitrary anyway, given that dimensional scissors (which both Star and Marco had easy access to) make travel between different worlds literally easier than walking across the street, meaning that an increased focus on Mewni never required abandoning Earth at all.
    • Marco's characterization in season three. Some believe Marco had Took a Level in Jerkass or was constantly grabbing the Jerkass Ball,note  and that his boredom with Earth came out of left field. Others believe Marco's characterization was a natural progression of the insecurities he's always displayed, and his need to prove himself was blinding him to the consequences. Many in the latter group felt that it wasn't Marco who grabbed the Jerkass Ball at all, but that the Mewni characters had a firm hold on it.note 

    Romance Subplot 
  • The Ship Tease. As detailed in Romantic Plot Tumor, Season 3 teased numerous ships while also attempting to sink others: after she's forced to return to Mewni, Star tries to get over Marco and gets back with her ex-boyfriend Tom in the process. Meanwhile, Jackie breaks up with Marco, which gives him the freedom to go to Mewni. Marco then receives Ship Tease with Kelly, who has broken up with Tad (for real this time)... in the exact same episode Marco finally acknowledges his feelings for Star. Star and Marco later end up sharing a kiss behind Tom's back. Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all this, Marco also ends up angering Hekapoo into stopping their adventures together.note  Meanwhile, the final season had Kellco at sail for three episodes before sinking offscreen, Tomstar eventually hitting an iceberg and sinking after several episodes showcased how turbulent those waters were, and Starco finally leaving harbor and setting sail in the final four episodes. Some viewers were perfectly okay with all of this, noting that teasing ships wasn't something new to the show. However, others felt that all the romantic melodrama was pointless and distracted from other aspects of the show, such as the ongoing Myth Arc concerning Eclipsa and the monsters, as well as the comedy. Considering that Starco as the final pairing had been seen as a Foregone Conclusion in the fandom since season one, this group feels that the romance subplot ended up being nothing more than a Will They or Won't They? with extra steps, also arguing that while previous seasons might've had a ton of ship tease, they rarely had whole episodes devoted solely to it.
  • There's a rift between those who ship Star and Marco and those who prefer them as Platonic Life-Partners. The latter are mostly tired and bored of the typical cliché of "the two opposite-sex leads become the Official Couple" and feel having the duo just be close friends would be more interesting. The former either disagree with that reasoning, or agree in principle but think that the show itself executed the friends-to-lovers trope extremely well, and that Star and Marco's chemistry more than compensates for that cliché.
  • The breakup between Jackie and Marco. Some were happy with the breakup due to disliking the pairing, while others were disappointed/angered because it could've had more focus before it ended. Of the total four episodes that showcase their relationship, only "Bon Bon the Birthday Clown" (where they get together) and "Sophomore Slump" (where they breakup) has their dynamic as the focus of the episode. note  The previously-mentioned objection towards the separation between Earth and Mewni also plays a role in this, as many felt the reason the breakup happened so quickly was solely because the Earth setting was being phased out and Jackie was an "Earth" character who was deemed to have no role in the new all-Mewni setting. Jarco shippers, and just Jackie fans in general, found this particularly galling since other "Earth characters" would still have appearances in that season, either from dropping in and visiting Mewni themselves, or Marco going back to Earth on a quick visit. On the other hand, many fans found the actual breakup scene itself to be well-written and emotionally satisfying, even ones who wished it hadn't happened so quickly.
  • Star and Tom getting back together proved heavily divisive. Due to the implication that their relationship was formerly toxic and abusive, and the fact that Tom himself was always a very divisive character, this was inevitable. One party was perfectly okay with Tom getting back with Star, citing Tom's Character Development as evidence against the relationship becoming abusive again. Another party saw it as the show advocating getting back together with an abusive ex, and think no matter how much Tom attempted to change, he would revert to being an abuser (or just unwilling to forgive Tom even if he had changed for the rape-like implication of his previous attempt to bind Star's soul to his own against her will). A third party was willing to wait and see, having hope that Tom's Character Development would hold and that he'd continue to improve as a character, but also being weary of what the writers would eventually have him do in order to justify Star inevitably leaving him again. A fourth party just hated the ship altogether due to it interfering with other ships that they preferred.note  Regardless of stance, that the two of them got back together was widely seen as coming completely out of left field with zero setup, as Star goes from hating him, to wanting to be friends again, to rekindling their romance in literally less than 5 minutes.
    • The fact that Star and Marco's first kiss happened while she was still dating Tom was immediately controversial, even if it did happen under duress. On one hand, there were fans who felt that the kiss was forced and that Marco looked like a jerk for making Star "cheat" on Tom. However, others pointed out that he had good intentions since the two of them wouldn't have been able to leave the photo booth (or at least, genuinely thought they couldn't) unless such action was taken. It was also pointed out that Tom had done worse things to Star and probably wouldn't have been much different, along with Star being very much aware that she was still with Tom during her moment of shock afterwards. There's also a third group of people -specifically the more diehard Starco shippers- that didn't care about any of the above as long as the two finally got to kiss.

  • Ludo being ousted from the spot of main villain by Toffee in Season 2. Obviously, fans of Toffee were pleased he was back and affirming himself as the overall Big Bad, viewing him as more worthy of the role in the show's move towards more serious plotlines. But others felt that it rendered Ludo's slow climb to an actual threat null and void, and painted him as existing solely to be a joke villain that does nothing but get dumped on by heroes and other villains alike. This was somewhat mitigated by Ludo being placed back in control of himself in order to pull off his actual slow-building invasion plan in The Battle for Mewni, and mitigated even further at the end of said movie when Ludo took revenge for the hijacking by being the one to actually kill Toffee.
  • The Cerebus Syndrome that the show began undergoing in Season 2. Some fans accepted it with open arms and saw the show's greater emphasis on plot and character development as a welcome addition. Others felt the show fumbled in trying to deliver a more intense, continuity heavy story, seeing it as something completely unnecessary, or even damaging, for what was initially just a fun comedy. This only got worse post-"Battle for Mewni", thanks to all the other issues listed on this page, leading to some fans believing that the series would have been better off ending with the multi-part special.
  • While a lot of fans liked the early reveal that the Mewmans were the invaders, and the monsters were the victims of colonialism, some were divided on the lengths the show had gone with it in the following seasons, feeling it became Anvilicious in its messaging as time went on.

Example of: