Broken Base: American Football II has definitely split the fanbase. Many feel the album doesn't sound like theSelf-Titled Album and that it's too similar to Mike Kinsella's solo work as Owen. Others are simply happy the band's back and still sound great.
Cult Classic: Before their reunion, they had one album (and an EP and demo); even then, their major influence on the sound of emo is undeniable.
Fridge Brilliance: The band's name comes from a poster that Lamos' girlfriend had pointed out while they were out together. Considering American Football's general message, the name can be seen as the song's narrator trying to hold onto memories of his former love.
Older Than They Think: American Football is famously labelled as one of the first codifiers of Midwest emo, although the band Sunny Day Real Estate's debut Diary beat them by four years beforehand. Although to American Football's credit, they broke up after the debut compared to Sunny Day Real Estate who continued on for a few years before splitting.
Memetic Mutation: The album cover of American Football. So much so that the house has become iconic and the band itself knows this and sells merch with the house on it. To add more to the mutation, the house itself hit music news when it was being put for rent.
The first notes to "Never Meant" tend to be put as a meme for awkward situations.
Ditto with "The One with the Wurlitzer", especially with the trumpet.
Tear Jerker: They are an emo band, after all. "Stay Home", "For Sure", "Home is Where the Haunt Is" and "The One with the Wurlitzer" are this especially.
American Football III has these moments, especially with "Silhouettes", "Uncomfortably Numb", and "Life Support".
Tough Act to Follow: American Football II. The community finds the album just meh at best and see it as more of an Owen release than an actual American Football album. It does have fans, but a huge amount of detractors compared to how highly respected the debut is.
LP3 seems to have averted this trope, and has been considered by many a worthy follow-up to their debut.
Vindicated by History: When the debut came out, nobody bat an eye, and the band broke up shortly after. It was later rediscovered in The New '10s and is now praised as a fantastic piece of music, so much so the band reunited for tours in 2014. The album has been labelled as one of the biggest codifiers for the emo genre as well.
Win Back the Crowd: Those disappointed by the second album were promptly won back with the third album's lead single, "Silhouettes", and the parent album's merging of a more dream pop-influenced sound with a classic-sounding direction.