Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Arrow

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    A 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • The relatively-popular ship of Thea/Tommy from Season 1 died a quiet death in Season 2; both because of Thea/Roy, and because Tommy was (posthumously) revealed to be Thea's half-brother on their biological father Malcolm's side. Of course, this also means that Tommy's already-existing Big Brother Instinct towards Thea can be explored further in fan works, assuming they don't kill him off as per canon). Or, y'know, Incest Yay.
    • Supporters of Oliver/Felicity have been steadily jumping ship across Seasons 3 and 4. For some, this is not only because of the increasing drama and angst in a formerly subdued, drama-free relationship but also because they feel Olicity takes up screen time better spent on other plots and characters. Their unnecessary conflict concerning Oliver's secret son William has also turned off a lot of fans, with the audience divided over blaming Oliver for lying to his fiancee when he specifically promised he'd stop or blaming Felicity for breaking up with him when she's kept secrets herself, which caused her to lose supporters. What absolutely killed the pairing's popularity was the ending to the 2017 crossover Crisis on Earth-X: the infamous double wedding, which was hated by everyone except the most diehard of Olicity shippers. After that, only Olicity's most hardcore supporters bother to defend the pairing these days — everyone else, including regular Olicity shippers and fans who didn't give a damn about Arrow OR Olicity, came to outright despise it.
  • Acceptable Targets:
    • On a meta-level, Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle. The series went downhill ever since they took over as showrunners that tearing them new assholes for their lackluster decisions and writing is what a majority of fans enjoy doing despite their differing opinions over the show's characters.
    • Also on a meta-level, Felicity Smoak. Due to the infamous ending of Crisis On Earth-X, she alienated many fans to the point of almost losing all goodwill. Unlike Guggenheim and Mericle, this does NOT extend to Emily, outside of the more unsavory trolls, who is at worst viewed as a lackluster actor but wonderful human being by detractors. In fact, many of the Felicity-haters actually pity Emily for having to deal with such terrible writing, and view her as another victim of the show's change in direction. This was best exemplified when it was announced that Season Seven would be Emily's last season: fans warmly wished her best in her future endeavors while simultaneously rejoicing in the fact that they wouldn't have to see Felicity in the show's final season.
    • Martin Shkreli appears to be one given as how the reason Oliver when after Justin Claybourne (raising the price of a drug called Dycloseral from $10 to $1,000 per pill) was near exact as Shkreli's infamous decision to raise the price of Daraprim from $13.5 to $750 per pill. Clayboure also turned out to have plans to spread more viruses and would have if Oliver haden't killed him.
  • Actor Shipping: Some Olicity shippers also ship their actors Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards even if they're just friends and Amell already married. Reportedly, some of the less-stable ones have gone so far as to harass both Katie Cassidy and Amell's real-life wife for "getting in the way" of the two.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Well technically, it's more of "Alas, Poor Base-Breaking Character," but since said character hadn't fully been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap for some fans they still qualify for this. While many people had their reasons to dislike Laurel Lance/Black Canary, many found it heart wrenching that the character ended up being the fallen hero in the grave before she could gain happiness and further grow into her role as the iconic Black Canary. Sadly, Laurel dies at the hands of Damien Darhk in order for him to remind Team Arrow (and the audience) that he's still a serious threat. Despite the character's status, the internet went ballistic at their death, both from its Tearjerker nature and polarizing execution.
    • While she was much warmer received than previously due to her friendship with Black Siren and acting more amicably in general, the controversy around Felicity's character still continued until Emily Beck Rickards' leaving of the series after the Season 7 finale. However, even the most die-hard Olicity haters found themselves sympathizing with Felicity when her husband was taken from her by the Monitor, with him directly confirming that Oliver will not survive the impending crisis. This means that she is now left all alone to raise her daughter, just after retiring from superheroics, settling down and starting a normal life. Made even worse with the final Flash Forward scene, where she (after more than 20 years) willingly goes with the Monitor just to be Together in Death with her husband.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Cayden James's death was definitely presented in a tragic light, including flashbacks that showed him transitioning from idealistic hacktivist to a callous terrorist after the death of his only son and being imprisoned under inhumane conditions.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • To some fans, Laurel's efforts to become the Black Canary during Season 3 were born not out of a desire to honor her fallen sister but Sibling Rivalry and a desire to prove herself to be "The Good Daughter."
      • Likewise, her Love Confession to Oliver in Season 4, puts into question how many of her actions were motivated by her feelings for Oliver. When attempting to join Team Arrow, was she trying to save the city or was it just a way to stay in Oliver's life or get him back, or — as she didn't actually become the Black Canary until she thought he was dead — a means to honour the man she loved when she thought she lost him? Additionally, whether she privately held her feelings to herself as she encouraged him to be happy or was she privately holding out hope he'd eventually come back to her? Given how poorly Oliver treated Laurel — cheating on her while they were together, flaunting his relationship with her sister in front of her, lying to her about his identity for years and treating her harshly after Sara's death — there's also the question of whether Laurel remaining so close to him makes her the stronger, kinder person letting go of past mistakes or a doormat who can't get over a terrible relationship.
      • There's also the flashbacks of the end of Season 1 directly after Tommy's death. Despite Laurel spiraling and grieving during Season 2, in these the flashbacks Laurel is upbeat and hopeful, pushing to get back together with Oliver, eagerly planning their lives together and even talking about how excited she is for the future. In fact she only breaks down when Oliver leaves again. So was her breakdown in Season 2 really over Tommy's death or just triggered by Oliver ditching her again?
    • Some fans see Felicity having an It's All About Me complex because she was jealous over Oliver marrying Nyssa even though they were both forced into it, she considered risking the city catching a deathly virus to save Oliver's life and she wasn't willing to put Thea in the Lazarus pit in exchange for Oliver joining the league. Was that because she cared about Oliver's soul and didn't trust Malcolm Merlyn, or because she wanted to keep him Oliver with her?
      • Felicity breaking up with Oliver because he hid William from her. Was she being unsympathetic because he did it because of Samantha's ultimatum and Felicity broke up with him barely a day after Oliver discovered the truth in the original timeline? Or was Felicity justifiably hurt as Oliver could easily have lied to the unreasonable Samantha instead of his fiancee? Also Felicity hiding the fact she was helping Team Arrow while living a normal life with Oliver. Was it because Felicity wanted to allow Oliver a peace of mind to recover and put her own wants on the backburner but Diggle, Laurel and Thea really needed her help so she was trying to keep them happy and Oliver guilt-free? Or was she just being a hypocrite and secret keeping herself? (And in Season 3 she knew both the Atom and Team Arrow at the same time yet kept them secret from each other.) Felicity's character is a big YMMV.
    • Malcolm Merlyn. We know he's a Manipulative Bastard, but for awhile it was unclear whether he really cares about Thea at all or he's just a bastard who'll say and do absolutely anything to get his own way. Season 4 finally confirmed both are true, as while he does care for Thea, he places himself and his power above everything including her.
    • As of the 100th episode is Oliver still in love with Laurel? While it makes sense in his version of a perfect world that he never went on the boat and never became a vigilante with his parents alive, it's notable that in the perfect world the simulation gives him, he's engaged to Laurel and not Felicity. At one point during the episode, when he's beginning to question everything about the illusion, he outright tells Laurel that the only thing he was sure of was that he loved her. Even after he understands that the world is fake, and after he says his goodbyes to his parents, when the goodbye comes to Laurel, he is shown to be reluctant to go. He tells her that he loves her, but that he wasn't the man she loved, and that she always deserved better than him. When he goes to leave, he looks back for a few seconds as if he is considering staying before he finally goes. All of this has led fans to questioning whether Oliver only said all of that stuff to try and give this Laurel (who to her knowledge has been in love with the simulation version of Oliver and dating him for years) some closure on the fact the man that she loves is vanishing rather than just going without a word, or if this is Oliver telling all the words he wishes he could have said to the actual Laurel before her death and the whole situation was a realization for him that even with her death, he still has feelings for her. "Who Are You?" continues on this, as Oliver tries to see the light in Black Siren—even when she's adamant on proving otherwise—with the rationale that he won't fail her like he did his Laurel.
    • Black Siren: An unrepentent criminal who revels in her evilhood and has no intention of turning good, or someone who feels sorry for her downward spiral into villainy and wants a way out into a better happier life?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Some claim that Deathstroke and his followers are these, as after all the build-up behind them and the fact that it took three hand grenades to kill one of them, they're defeated in a few minutes with Mirakuru cure arrows and rope arrows; then again, Deathstroke himself is able to push through the debilitating effects of the cure and give Oliver one hell of a one-on-one fight.
    • For all the selling of Sebastian Blood as truly evil in killing his own father, imprisoning his mother in an institution, and wanting to tear down the city, he ended up being overshadowed by Slade and pulled a Heel–Face Turn in a Death Equals Redemption moment.
    • Ra's Al Ghul goes down pretty easily in the Season 3 finale, with his big plan being handled like a regular threat of the week, and his personal duel with Oliver in the finale is leagues below the one handed and unarmed beatdown he delivered in The Climb: he pauses to taunt Oliver, and Oliver just grabs his sword and stabs him fatally. It says a lot that a police sniper is more of a threat to Oliver than the actual Big Bad, and the former isn't even known to him until he fires.
    • Played with concerning Damien Darhk; the final confrontation isn't as bad as Ra's, but the way the show hyped up Darhk's power given all Oliver needed to do to remove his power advantage was rally up the city against him, the final fight just doesn't live up (and in large part, suffers heavy Fight Scene Failure). It doesn't help that they'd earlier had Darhk's power get neutralised when he kidnapped William Oliver and gave him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, which raises the question as to why Oliver struggles to fight him again. We then also have the ease of which Felicity disables the warheads once she has the chance to, which after all the hype about the potential end-of-the-world nature of the attack, ends up being quite a let down.
  • Arc Fatigue: Hoo boy...
    • Helena's arc, while only four episodes long, was stretched out so one part took place in Season Two. Due to Helena being The Scrappy to some, this wasn't appreciated.
    • The entire story in season 2 involving Laurel's guilt spiral and her ensuing drug and alcohol problems. It started out as a nice way to provide her with some much-needed Character Development considering she was criticized for being a little flat the previous season, but most of the story proceeded to simply show Laurel refusing to budge despite the urgings of her father and her friends. If this wasn't bad enough, this whole thing lasted from the beginning of the season to Episode 14; about when the show was halfway through the season. It was enough for many to deem Laurel The Scrappy after simply being a Base-Breaking Character previously.
    • The fact that the show was nearly sixty episodes through with Thea still unaware that her own brother is the Arrow was really stretching suspension of disbelief. Especially since she knows that Roy is Arsenal and training under the Arrow, yet despite meeting the latter face-to-face she can't recognize him just because he's covered up his cheekbones. She finds out in Season 3.
    • The flashbacks suffer this during Season 3 and 4. In Season 3, not only do they progress very slowly compared to last season (making them feel like a chore the show doesn't require), their relevance to the present-day narrative doesn't become clear until the last quarter of the season, save for explaining how Oliver knows Maseo and Katana. There just isn't enough story to them, in contrast to previous seasons which have meatier flashback narratives. This problem has continued in Season 4 since, apart from setting up a meeting with Oliver and Constantine earlier in the season, they really just aren't that interesting and the relevance of the flashbacks to the present day (establishing Darhk's idol) isn't made clear until the last third of the season.
    • A good chunk of the reasons that Season 3 suffered Seasonal Rot is the pacing, as elaborated in IGN's review of the season as a whole:
      • Firstly, however you might feel about Sara Lance's death and how it was handled, it took place in Episode 1 and the mystery took eight episodes to resolve; this had the unfortunate domino effect of delaying Ra's al Ghul's emergence of the Big Bad beyond cameos. It also means that the Cliffhanger with Oliver's apparent death happened right before the show went on a six-week hiatus, which made the quick resolution to it (including the Ass Pull that he survived a massive fall due to "determination and will") a Writer Cop Out — something that would be averted if it occurred 2 or 3 episodes sooner.
      • Secondly, the crossover with The Flash (2014) across the two shows, which could have happened 2-4 episodes earlier without damaging the pacing of the spin-off and also complying with the above pacing issues.
      • Thirdly, this also led to wasted potential in terms of exploring Starling City and Team Arrow trying to move on from Oliver's "death", which only took 3 episodes and thus didn't have the time to be explored in greater depth.
      • Fourth, the Brick arc offered fresh change of pace for the story, but ending on episode 12 means that over half the season is over with little progress on the main story arc — ending on Episode 10 or 11 would have given more breathing room, especially if Filler were cut down on. It also meant Laurel's "arc" becoming the Black Canary culminates at the half-season mark, meaning she took barely ten episodes to take up Sara's mantle.
      • Fifth, the subsequent arcs of Malcolm training Oliver and Ra's al Ghul framing him for murder, as a collective, themselves take up too much time (7 episodes overall) - more than is necessary to start with, but also further dragging down the narrative. In particular, Quentin Lance turning on Oliver could have been cut down an episode or two, made worse by the character dropping off the radar until the season finale. Furthering that issue, a pair of episodes during this time force the main narrative to take a backseat (to Slade Wilson and the Suicide Squad, respectively), which only contributes to the sense of Arc Fatigue and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
      • Finally, all these factors combined give the last arc — which features Oliver as Al Sah-him — barely any time to be developed or breath in the final 4 episodes, the final product feeling like a rushed conclusion that doesn't even fully resolve or answer all necessary questions (complete with an Anti-Climax Boss in Ra's al Ghul, whose plan isn't fleshed out enough to make sense in context). Compound this with a tedious flashback arc — that suffers Arc Fatigue due to not having enough narrative on it — and it definitely feels like the show is suffering from its own set of growing pains.
    • The H.I.V.E/Genesis arc for Season 4, a supposedly cataclysmic plot so devastating that Malcolm would willingly become Damien Darhk's Dragon just so Thea and he could survive. Despite this we only get minute references throughout the season about the plan moving forward without much elaboration, to the point that it takes until the twentieth episode before we finally find out anything significant regarding Genesis and H.I.V.E.'s endgame. To top it off the fact that, for some, Damien Darhk has long since worn out his welcome as a Big Bad makes the H.I.V.E storyline even more of a chore to slug through.
    • In season 5, the identities of Prometheus and Vigilante could be considered this, although Prometheus' identity is revealed in the fifteenth episode... not too bad. Unfortunately, Word of God says that Vigilante's true identity won't be revealed until season six!
    • In Season 6, the schism between original Team Arrow and the New Recruits, with the latter forming their own team after Oliver spied on them to root out a mole — they act like petulant teenagers and repeatedly refuse any olive branch or apology that Oliver offers them. The whole thing is pointless melodrama in a very tense arc when Cayden James ramps up his efforts to destroy Star City. How does it end? With the two teams fighting each other — Team Arrow to stop Dinah from killing Black Siren. Rene ends up in the hospital and Dinah and Curtis swear off any further alliance with Team Arrow. The arc simply won't end and it drags the whole season down. The characters don't properly reconcile until two episodes before the finale.
    • Even after being dethroned as the Big Bad after a season and a half, Ricardo Diaz refuses to go away, and Kirk Acevedo is even promoted to a main cast member, with the show's crew apparently in complete denial about how tired everyone is of him. Even when he was finally killed off it didn’t end, as we’re somehow expected to care about the mystery of who killed him, when most fans just want to shake their hand.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The revelation that Merlyn survived his "final" duel with Oliver at the end of Season 1. It turned out that Merlyn decided to do Faking the Dead because he learned how to make death an "illusion" for himself from his time with the League of Assassins. His survival isn't explained much beyond that, and it isn't even touched on when the League finally takes center stage as the main villains. This was one of the many reasons as to why Sara Lance's death in the beginning of Season 3 wasn't well-received, as she suffered a similar fate to him yet couldn't survive.
    • In Season 3, it's hard to believe that Oliver survived his Curb-Stomp Battle with Ra's al Ghul. Which included being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, kicked off a cliff, and bleeding out while Exposed to the Elements. The explanation being that he survived with Heroic Willpower. Heck, most fans actually thought reviving him with the Lazarus Pit was a more believable explanation. As noted below, it's even less believable given the fact Sara's death was considered overkill, yet is miles less gruesome than Oliver's, yet he survives. This is worsened in Season 4 when Laurel is killed after being stabbed with a single arrow, even though it would have done far less internal damage and she had access to actual medical aid, which isn't helped when one remembers a few episodes earlier Felicity similarly suffered grievous injuries but survived.
    • The solution to the Sara Lance murder mystery requires Malcolm Merlyn having access to a perfect, amnesia-inducing mind control drug, a bit of Phlebotinum whose existence was never even hinted at until the episode the mystery is solved, and that would have presumably come in handy for him during the first season.
    • The Season 3 finale has a few:
      • Felicity piloting the ATOM suit to save Oliver comes across as more than a little contrived and ridiculous when she is able to fly it well enough to save Oliver while Ray still has issues piloting it (assuming Ray wasn't remotely piloting it, though that's unlikely given the reason why he didn't do it himself). Nevermind the fact that the suit fits Felicity perfectly, despite the fact that there is a significant height difference between her and Ray...
      • Oliver's "League Armor" saving his life from the gunshots he sustained on the dam. His armor is the same armor that League members have been wearing since their first appearance on the show and several of them have been gunned down wearing it, and they were shot with handguns, while Oliver was shot with a police sniper rifle. Though, see Reality Is Unrealistic on the main page concerning this.
    • Samantha forcing Oliver to not tell anyone about William as the only way to spend time with him, for little reason except to make Oliver not look like a complete jerk for keeping the secret. Felicity even points out how little sense it makes once she finds out.
    • Curtis working on technology to enable Felicity to walk again is not foreshadowed in the slightest and not even giving anything of an explanation on how it could happen, and the show doesn't even bother trying to develop it as the next episode after the idea is brought up, Felicity can suddenly walk.
    • Midway through Season 5, a woman named Tina Boland, who has the exact powers as Laurel's Earth-2 counterpart, was directly shoehorned into the plot with tons of Contrived Coincidences exactly when Oliver is searching for a new Black Canary. But the real kicker is this Tina actually being "Dinah Drake", despite the fact that said character has already appeared.
    • The only semblance of explanation we get for Prometheus' seemingly preternatural knowledge of Oliver and his friends is that Talia al Ghul investigated him. While one can certainly expect a daughter of Ra's al Ghul to be highly competent, this doesn't explain how Prometheus learned about the Legends (and time travel even existing, for that matter), Black Siren, or the circumstances of Shado's death.
    • The crew openly admitted this was the case with Diaz becoming the true Big Bad of Season 6 who'd been manipulating Cayden James. The twist had to be hastily thrown together when they couldn't get Michael Emerson to commit to a full season as the Big Bad.
    • Black Siren gaining a conscience in Season 6, starting with the murder of Vigilante, has been met with this response by a portion of the fanbase. Mainly because it felt like a pretty drastic change, considering her Ax-Crazy behavior just a few episodes back, where she gleefully murdered security guards to fulfill her personal kill quota during missions (previously complaining to Cayden James about not having killed anybody that day) and even killed an innocent woman for her shoes.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The overall (lack of) quality of Season 4 aside, most people agreed that the focus on magic and the occult just didn't fit the show.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Has its own page
  • Awesome Ego: Ray Palmer; he's like the less Casanova, more Adorkable Arrowverse equivalent of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark.

    B 
  • Badass Decay:
    • Malcolm Merlyn in Season 3 has been downgraded from the Crazy-Prepared man he was in Season 1 to a coward willing to idiotically sacrifice the daughter he wants to love in order to save himself, and eventually sinks low enough to beg for his life in front of Ra's al Ghul. Zig-Zagged, as things turn out quite well for him, but during Season 4 Oliver quite effortlessly beats him in a fight. This one's at least justified though as Oliver had spent weeks being trained intensively with Ra's Al Ghul in preparation for him to succeed him, so Ollie being a bigger badass at this point makes sense.
    • Slade Wilson became this in season 3 where he is defeated by Oliver and Thea in one episode (which is also the only appearance he has for the entire season), which was bad enough to the point even his actor complained about it and didn't use Slade to his full potential.
    • Ra's al Ghul has this in the Season 3 finale. His second Duel to the Death with Oliver acts as a complete mirror of how they fought in "The Climb", which while likely intended to show Oliver is back, really just showed how stupid Ra's is for falling for the exact same tricks he himself used.
    • Ollie himself seems to be getting hit with this in Season 4. At least some of it is justified, what with him not having fought for the last six months before the beginning of the season, not wanting to even cripple people anymore, which he was still more than willing to do as the Arrow, and trusting his comrades to have his back. Also, a good part of his defeats this season are against Damien Darhk, who is basically Ra's Al Ghul on magical steroids. Out of universe, it's largely due to the show now having to coordinate four fighters in stunt scenes and give new members Laurel and Thea something to do, which means Oliver looks less competent given he used to be able to take on missions alone or with back up from just Diggle or Roy.
    • Nyssa as well. By all rights, she should be a better fighter than both Merlyn and Oliver. She's been training her entire life as a member of the League of Assassins, and in this universe, she's apparently Ra's al Ghul's only child, and in her first few appearances she fights Oliver to a draw, and is shown holding her own against Malcolm and Ollie at the same time. By Season 4 though, she needs Oliver's help to fight Malcolm, and it's acknowledged that he would kill her in a fair fight. Seemingly the only justification for this is the two Took a Level in Badass without her (for Ollie, we know this happened since he can now effortlessly curb-stomp Malcolm, but Malcolm doesn't seem to have, unless exposure to the Lazarus Pit made him a better fighter... somehow), her time as a prisoner weakened her skills (as she was apparently starving herself, but this is unlikely as she appears healthy and well-kept, and is still able fight Katana without effort), or she was never as badass as she appeared (though their fight ended in a draw, Oliver was winning beforehand, and it's entirely likely Ra's didn't give her as intensive training as he gave Malcolm and Oliver, given his sexism).
  • Base-Breaking Character: Has its own page.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The closing scene in Broken Hearts. After not speaking for the entire episode, Damien Darhk is last seen being forced into his prison cell, but reveals that he secretly hid a ring in his mouth the entire time. However, this ring he stashed away does absolutely nothing plot-relevant since he utilizes his magic without it and has never required anything outside his enchanted idol to grow his powers. So what was the point of showing that he brought a ring with him into prison in The Stinger seeing as how it never gets referenced ever again?
    • Wild Dog's Fantastic Racism towards Flash, Supergirl, and just about any metahuman came off as this in the 100th episode Invasion, especially considering how before this episode, there was absolutely no foreshadowing at all that Wild Dog was prejudiced against people with superpowers. The fact that he also magically gets over his hatred of metahumans after being saved by Flash and Supergirl in just a few short minutes further makes the Wild Dog subplot come off as immensely out-of-place, especially since it just came completely out of left-field and had absolutely nothing to do with the main alien invasion plot.
Advertisement:

    C 
  • Canon Defilement: While the entire Arrowverse is subjected to this, Arrow is widely believed to be the most guilty of for taking several liberties from the source material, especially under Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle's tenure as showrunners. This got so bad that Arrow is essentially considered an In Name Only adaptation of Green Arrow.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Nyssa snapping the neck of Isabel Rochev, just after the latter had her butt kicked.
    • Malcolm Merlyn catching up to Brick and giving him a Curb-Stomp Battle after most other fighters had struggled to take him down.
    • Considering that all of the terrible thing that happens to Oliver in the first season's flashbacks was all her fault, how she unnecessary forced Oliver to work for her in the third season's flashbacks, all the terrible things she did while running task force x, and she tried to nuke Starling City, seeing Joyner shoot Waller in the face can come as a huge relief.
    • Oliver dishing out a Curb-Stomp Battle to Merlyn, finishing by cutting off his hand.
    • Two episodes later, after spending all this season curb-stomping Oliver and co, the totem that Darhk draws his power from is destroyed, and Oliver effortlessly beats him unconscious. His Oh, Crap! expression before it happens sells it.
    • The announcement that Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle will finally leave the series after Season 6, since the show dropped in quality during their reign as showrunners.
    • After all the damage Diaz did over a season and a half, watching Oliver beat him down and personally throw him in jail is a definite pleasure. Watching our hero limp out of the prison gates a free man is just icing on the cake.
      • Later in "Brothers And Sisters", considering after all he did and how cowardly he acted in his final hours, seeing Diaz die is extremely satisfying, even if it's extremely horrifying to see it.
    • In "The Slabside Redemption", seeing Brick die such an inglorious death after he's spent his every appearance acting like a smug, sadistic bastard is quite satisfying, even if it was a scumbag like Stanley who killed him.
    • After Rene didn't face any repercussions for his annoying childishness for much of Season 6's second half, seeing him be so thoroughly duped and humbled in "Star City 2040" is a very welcome development.
    • Seeing Dinah Laurel Lance, even if it's an Alternate Self, as the Black Canary again put a lot of smiles on fans' faces after the original Laurel's infamous death in Season 4.
  • Character Rerailment: Felicity is noticeably more focused in Season 4, and also forces Diggle and Oliver to sit down and discuss their issues, rather than continue being passive-aggressive. It would've been her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap moment if her characterisation wasn't swiftly undone and then worsened by her eventually getting caught up in the team's general hypocrisy surrounding trust in her reaction to Oliver's son William in "Legends of Yesterday," "Taken," and "Broken Hearts."
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crack Pairing: Oliver's salmon ladder and Barry's treadmill.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Felicity Smoak since the start of the third season. In Seasons 1 and 2, she was an Adorkable IT Girl with an unrequited crush on the main character, and the source of a lot of the show's humor. As of the third season, she has supplanted Laurel Lance (Green Arrow's iconic love interest from the source material) as the female lead and love interest, has taken on several of the traits that once led to Laurel and Thea being considered The Scrappy, receives more screen time than any other character on the show aside from Oliver Queen, is consistently depicted as being in the right even when she is being unreasonable, receives Character Shilling from seemingly every other character on the show — including the antagonists, and has become a Spotlight-Stealing Squad with a good chunk of Seasons 3 and 4 being dedicated to her subplots. In comparison, the characters of Roy, Laurel and Thea are pushed Out of Focus despite becoming the show's incarnations of Arsenal, Black Canary and Speedy; and Diggle (arguably the show's true fan-favourite character) only received a proper subplot in Season 4 because it was tied so closely to the main plot and, outside of that, he didn't receive that much attention either. On top of all of this, Season 4 opens with The Reveal that a major character would killed off by the end of the season, and Felicity was one of two characters deemed untouchable by the writers — the other being the main character. Oh, and the creators (specifically the showrunners and most of the writers) openly acknowledge that she's their favorite character.
    • Malcolm Merlyn is a villainous example. While he was pretty popular as the Big Bad of Season 1, his subsequent appearances in the series after his "death" have been received with far less praise by the fans. Especially as of Season 3, where he keeps finding new ways of being an absolute asshole to the team, most notably his own daughter Thea, yet for some contrived reasons he is allowed to stick around, even getting a promotion by Oliver himself. In Season 4, it reached a whole new level, with Malcolm giving up Oliver's son out of spite and still getting away with it, with most viewers being annoyed by him at best and outright repulsed at worst. The producers definitely liked keeping him around for far longer than it was believable.
    • Season 5 gives us Tina Boland. She is set to become Laurel's successor as the Black Canary and was immediately introduced after the appearance of Black Siren, the fan-favorite to take the mantle, and was given tons of Character Shilling by other characters at the expense of continuity (she is revealed to be Dinah Drake, who is already introduced as Laurel and Sara's mother). The writers also prop her in social media a lot and would defend her against detractors by going out of their way to build her up there. The Season 5 finale even had Earth-1 Laurel's father saving Dinah from Black Siren and props her as Black Canary. Season 6 then had Vigilante's Secret Identity compromised to a lackluster degree just to prop her even more. It really does not help that her presence blocks at least two infinitely more popular characters from joining the team (Ragman and Black Siren, the former of whom was Put on a Bus so Dinah could take his spot on the team) and was responsible for a third ( Vigilante) being killed off in a Senseless Sacrifice just to provide Dinah with additional angst. Then when she, Curtis, and Rene split from the main Team Arrow, she is made leader over the latter two despite Curtis having the most seniority of them and even Rene who is a former Private Officer in the U.S. Marines.

    D 
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Laurel for a lot of fans, particularly in Season 1 and 2. Granted, it's somewhat justified by her job, her father's job, and her known association with the Arrow, making her a target for lowlifes in their attempts at revenge but some fans would prefer other characters don't rescue her at all. This has been toned down through Character Development and gaining experience and training as the Black Canary, enough that she graduated from taking beatings from everyday thugs to being capable of taking on League assassins.
    • Somewhat subverted with Thea; she's the second most-likely target for kidnapping in the show and was the show's original Scrappy, but this tendency largely cropped up after she was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap due to Character Development, and she evolved into a Damsel out of Distress who'd be able to defend herself a lot better than most CW damsels, including nearly killing Slade Wilson note  and holding off an attack from one of Ra's assassins.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Flash Forward Arc in Season 7. No matter what the heroes do in the present, it'll be be pointless in twenty years, where Team Arrow has broken up (again!), Star City has collapsed into a Wretched Hive, while the Glades has become an independent municipality and refuses to help Star City as payback for years of mistreatment, and worse still the general population blames Oliver and the other vigilantes for Star City's fall. So what's the point of watching, when it'll all be for nothing?
  • Designated Hero: A good chunk of characters in Season 3, who for various reasons feel the need to keep secrets from each other and form elaborate webs of deceit out of misguided love for others.
    • Oliver spends a good deal treading in this territory by protecting Malcolm Merlyn, a mass murderer who has long-since crossed the Moral Event Horizon; first based on some distorted sense of honour (that Malcolm is a citizen of Starling and Ollie must protect all life), and later after finding out the guy brainwashed Thea into killing Sara Lance for the most cowardly of reasons his friends become incredulous that he's so ready to pull an Enemy Mine (especially since Ra's al Ghul is only Oliver's enemy because he's defending Malcolm), even if to him the reasoning makes sense: only a student of the Demon can teach him to defeat him, and he must in order to guarantee Thea's safety since he fears Ra's will hold her responsible for Sara's death even if she was unwilling. Ollie constantly defends Malcolm no matter what, even to the point that he gets angry over others attacking Malcolm, until it finally comes to a head in "Nanda Parbat" where everyone calls him on it; he finally admits that he wants to prove himself against Ra's rather than any noble reasoning for his actions.
    • Also in Season 3 you have Laurel, who keeps her dad in the dark about Sara's death for reasons not unlike Oliver's. Her reasons for becoming the Canary are a way to feed her adrenaline addiction rather than out of a sense to do good, at first anyway.
    • Then we have Felicity who is keeping all of Team Arrow in the dark about Ray Palmer and the ATOM project, and likewise keeps him in the dark about her involvement with Team Arrow. It gets even worse in the season finale, where she says that she thinks Ray should go save Oliver (one person) instead of the entire city from a bioweapon. Of course that train of thought lasted about thirty seconds and she lets Ray save the city (having already done her bit to help him) and goes to rescue Oliver herself..
      • Laurel falls back into this in season 4 with her trip to Nanda Parbat to revive Sara via the Lazarus Pit while (A) keeping it a secret from the rest of Team Arrow, and (B) ignoring the warnings of both Nyssa and Merlyn (before he decides to get manipulative about the situation). Despite the fact this leads to multiple deaths, she doesn't even tell the team when Sara gets out, leading to further deaths and making it difficult for the team to handle the situation. While Oliver does call her out on this, she fires back with the Double Standard about his own past mistakes, and in the end it's him apologizing even though he's the one who risks his life and saves the situation. While some sympathise with Laurel given that Oliver was being hypocritical, Laurel should have accepted guilt in the situation, and realize if you want to have a chat to someone about them thinking about your feelings maybe don't do it just after your actions have put their little sister in hospital.
    • The new recruits were considered this in general during season six, but Dinah Drake is by far the worse offender. When Oliver spies on her and discovers that she had been meeting with Vigilante aka Vincent Sobel, she accuses him of violating her trust, ignoring the fact that she had been lying to him for weeks. Later, after the team when their separate ways, Dinah and the other recruits rush to the aid of Vincent instead of helping Oliver secure the bomb that could destroy the city. After Vincent is murdered by Black Siren, Dinah swears vengeance on her despite learning Vengeance Feels Empty from the last time she was in this exact scenario. After being forced to spare Laurel-2 for the time being, Dinah swears multiple times to Quintin's face (who has come to see Black Siren as his daughter) that she will kill her, Dinah is also offended by Quintin's insinuation that Vincent and Laurel aren't so different, despite the fact that Vincent/Vigilante also murdered several innocent people. Later, Dinah twice uses her canary cry on Quintin (a man with a heart condition) to get to Laurel-2 while Lance begs Dinah to stop, she is only talked down from killing Laurel by Curtis. All of this is made even worse when you remember that a) Quintin saved Dinah's life on Lian Yu and b) Dinah was chosen to become the new Black Canary to honor the memory of the original Laurel.
      • Curtis is this as well after he uses a device that that could have serious hurt John in order to track down Black Siren, he does this knowing full well Dinah will probably try to kill Black Siren when they find her.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Helena Bertinelli/Huntress, in her first appearances at least, when she is actively going out of her way to kill the members of her father's crime family. Oliver treats her as being in the wrong for this, as she's acting out of a desire for revenge rather than to get justice, and as such her methods are leaving a pile of bodies in her wake rather than trying to put her fiancé's killers behind bars. However, his own motivation is to avenge his father, and he also racks up quite a body count. She loses the Designated part later on, when she becomes so obsessed with revenge that she's willing to hurt innocent people for it, something Oliver clearly doesn't do.
    • The show rather bizarrely tries to turn Sara into one after her death in a desperate and futile attempt to make Laurel more palatable as the new Canary, with Felicity saying out of nowhere that she wasn't a hero and was only hiding from her inner demons (in direct conflict with her entire storyline in season two).
    • Ra's al Ghul (and by extension the League). On the surface, he appears to be pretty textbook Well-Intentioned Extremist. He outright says his mission is to "replace evil with death". While not the worst thing, that's also not the most moral path. However, the problem arises when you consider that not only did Team Arrow do the same thing for the first season, but when offered the opportunity to take Ra's' place and informed that should he do so the League would renounce killing and stick to his designated morality, it's still treated as if he'd be turning evil doing so. Of course, the end of "The Offer" has Ra's truly show he's a bastard; it still wouldn't have hurt to have him do it earlier.
  • Die for Our Ship: Between the three most prominent women in Oliver's life, there's some serious hate being tossed towards them from fans of the others.
    • Laurel tends to be heavily criticized by Felicity and Sara fans for her more selfish actions during the seasons; they declare her incompetence as a character making her "unworthy" of being Black Canary, deem her weak for her drug addiction despite having a pretty good reason to drink at this point, exaggerate her Jerkass Woobie characteristics, and ignore her character development.
    • While most Olicity and Lauriver fans tend to at least like Sara, there are some who just hate her and want her to die, complain about her getting too much attention and screentime to the point it was taken away from others, or accuse her of being put on a pedestal (dubbing her "Saint Sara"), accuse her of never adequately apologizing for the harm she caused her family while ignoring her self-loathing, and basically trash her for things the other two are far more guilty of doing than she is.
    • And Felicity, while generally liked, gets a lot of criticism from fans of the Lance sisters due to the increased prominence of her character, her replacing Laurel as the primary love interest, and being completely flawless as a character and having little development. At least, this was the case for the first two seasons — Season Three and onward, Felicity's character took a turn for the worst, become more and more of a Creator's Pet Escapist Character, to the point that by Season Six, she was literally the most hated character in the Arrowverse fandom. While shipping is large part of why fans want her gone, it is far from the only reason.
    • Oliver himself, not because he's in the way of a ship, but because he hasn't hooked up with one of the girls yet, or rather, the one they want him to hook up with. Some accuse him of deliberately leading the girls on to fuel his ego, despite him generally not trying to seduce any of them. While Oliver is no prince, he's certainly not that bad to manipulate the girls.
    • Ray Palmer, due to being teased with Felicity once he came in, has already gotten flack from Olicity shippers. Anti-Olicity shippers have, however, quickly jumped onto shipping him with her in order to keep her away from Oliver. Its noted by a few people that Brandon Routh has a habit of moving in on people's ships.

    E 
  • Eight Deadly Words: The major if not main complaint against the Season 5 recruits (except Ragman, obviously) is that their introduction essentially sidelined all the original and established characters except for Oliver and Felicity. It doesn't help that many fans are also holding out for a Roy Harper comeback that (initially) seems inevitable with them sticking around. It also does not help that three original cast members (John Barrowman, Willa Holland, and Paul Blackthorne respectively) were gradually written-out over the course of their introduction.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Felicity, Roy and Slade, three recurring characters in the first season, became popular enough to be promoted to series regular for the following season. Slade even became the Big Bad of Season Two.
    • He doesn't appear that often and didn't make the cut to series regular, but Walter Steele is nonetheless well-liked by the fanbase.
    • Isabel Rochev, but being played by Summer Glau will do that. This started to reverse itself with her reveal as Ravager, due to her entire motivation being little more than petty revenge against a dead man.
    • Deadshot, for being an Affably Evil Deadpan Snarker. It helps that his comic book counterpart is already incredibly popular.
    • Once he starts making regular appearances, Anatoly Knyazev becomes very difficult to not like. A snarky Russian, former KGB Bratva head with a Badass Beard.
    • Clock King was very well-received, for being a Creepy Awesome Evil Counterpart to Felicity and a classic Green Arrow rogue.
    • Felicity's mom Donna has become one, for several reasons. One, her arrival gave us some much-needed backstory and development for Felicity herself (the lack of which was one of the bigger issues people had with the second season). Two, in a single episode she managed to have one great scene after another: a hilarious introduction, a tear-jerking conversation with Felicity, an awesome confrontation with the villain, and a heartwarming reconciliation with her daughter at the end. Three, Charlotte Ross has made it abundantly clear how thrilled she is about being Mama Smoak, and the cast have welcomed her with open arms.
    • Cupid, a Stalker with a Crush who's quite a fun villain among the darker tone of the show, with all of her ridiculous flirtatious lines to Arrow being hilarious.
    • When she finally suited up in "This is Your Sword", Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana quickly became a fan favorite.
    • Brick. He's a Bane expy and a menace who gives his victims a gun to shoot him before No Selling said bullet, which most would agree is pretty awesome. The fact his act of killing Rebecca Merlyn is what led Arrow to be possible in the first place, can't be overlooked.
    • "Haunted" brings back Matt Ryan as John Constantine. It didn't take him long to completely steal the show.
    • Tobias Church, a Badass Normal gang leader who unexpectedly becomes a major villain in Season 5. Chad Coleman nails the comic book bad guy performance without going over the top with it, and the writing does a far better job than with Brick of making it believable that this regular guy could give the team so much trouble.
    • Rory Regan aka Ragman has also quickly established himself as one of the highlights of Season 5, remarkable considering that the other members of Team Arrow 2.0 have received some major heat for replacing the likes of Roy, Laurel, and Thea. This is likely owed to being Creepy Awesome and displaying actual competency on missions while having a compelling, likable personality compared to his teammates. As a plus, his issues with Felicity, who was responsible for the death of his loved ones in Havenrock the previous season, are addressed and resolved calmly, without any of the excessive drama that tends to plague character relationships on Arrow.
    • Vigilante. Even if you don't like his Knight Templar morality, there's few that won't respect him for being an absolute badass, with his borderline superhuman disappearing acts. Then Season 6 fleshed him out and brought him closer to his comics counterparts stance, winning him even more fans. Pity he didn't last long afterwards.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • A common fan theory is that Detective Lance has already figured out Oliver's the Arrow, but doesn't confront him about it so he can retain plausible deniability if questioned on the matter.
    • Another theory is that John Diggle is actually John Stewart. This theory has been so prevalent that in the Elseworlds (2018) crossover the showrunners decided to hint it's true in a parallel Earth (actually the one from The Flash (1990)).
    • Regarding the identities of Prometheus and Vigilante, once Adrian was revealed as the former, his being the latter in the comics plus an apparent lack of viable suspects for the latter caused some fans to suspect he was actually both and suffering from a split personality, as the only scene they were both in had no one else around and ended with Vigilante mysteriously disappearing after falling off a high roof. The major hole with it is that Adrian is standing next to Oliver during his press conference at the same time Vigilante is fighting the rest of the team.
    • Who killed Cayden James' son, Owen Post? This is the big question present in Arrow Season 6 that fans have been busy theorizing over. Popular contenders are: Ricardo Diaznote , Adrian Chasenote 
    • Who is Fake Arrow? The main candidates included Future William or Roy Harper. Once her identity was revealed to be Emiko Queen, the estranged daughter and half-sister of Oliver, the theorists immediately turned to figuring out who her mother was.
  • Escapist Character:
    • A person could argue that Felicity's popularity (and by extension, that of the Olicity ship) was a result of this (Felicity was initially a cute, quirky genius with a hopeless attraction to Oliver and a lack of backstory — just enough lack of depth to become an avatar for someone). If you look at Arrow Fan Fiction, there is a distinct lack of the poorly disguised Mary Sue Self-Insert Fic that typically plague every fandom. Then you find the tropes common in those stories in Olicity fan fics, particularly the Mary Sue ones with Felicity, and realize that the authors don't need to create an Original Character to live out their fantasies because they can live vicariously through Felicity instead. Then the show started taking advantage of this by giving Felicity more focus (to the point of making her Oliver's new official love interest) and her popularity dropped significantly, going from Ensemble Dark Horse to The Scrappy in quick fashion.
    • To a lesser extent Oliver himself can be viewed as this. He's just a guy with no powers, puts on a hood and dons a bow, then goes out at night fighting criminals. Not too uncommon of a fantasy, especially for avid comic readers familiar with Batman.
  • Evil Is Cool: All of the Big Bads have their own impressive badass cred.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Malcolm Merlyn, both for his sharp attire and for being played by John Barrowman.
    • Beneath his mask, Prometheus is played by the Tall, Dark, and Handsome Josh Segarra.
    • Black Siren, an especially good example, since she's played by the same actress as Earth-1 Laurel, but she's still much, much sexier.

    F 
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom in a "Marvel vs DC: Live Action TV edition" match.
    • Also with Daredevil (2015), for the same reasons. Although Arrow has more in common with DD than S.H.I.E.L.D., due to them both being Darker and Edgier superhero shows.
    • There's also a little bit of grumbling from the Teen Wolf fandom, as they would really like Colton Haynes back.
    • With the addition of The Flash in a spinoff and a pre-Atom Ray Palmer, there's one starting up with the DC Extended Universe, similar to the MCU's with the Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men films. For starters, Arrow is only able to use Amanda Waller because DC decided to scrap the 2011 Green Lantern film from the 'verse. This got worse when the powers that be at DC Comics made it clear that the show would not be a part of their DC Extended Universe, with the final confirmation being a new actor to play the movie version of the Flash. Alongside the simple arguments of which is better, Arrow or Man of Steel, it's also created some frustration from people who feel like it's a strange move to not take advantage of the universe the show has already been building vs. people who feel like forcing the movie and TV verses together will only be a hindrance to both and prefer they stay separate. More fuel got thrown with the deaths of Deadshot and later Waller, with many suspecting they were forced to do it thanks to the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. This also raises questions as to what will happen to The Flash (2014) by the time the Flash movie comes out.
The rivalry popped up again when Deathstroke's cameo in Justice League meant Slade having to be written out of Arrow, leading to his whole character arc having to be aborted.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation:
    • Isabel Rochev's motivation for her villainy against the Queens? She was Robert Queen's mistress, and hated that Robert chose his own family over her. This received quite a bit of backlash since it turns a super-competent corrupt businesswoman struggling in a male-dominated world into another Woman Scorned, an outdated and fairly sexist trope. Of course, this was based on her villainous motivation from the comics, and at least this version removed Yandere traits (as far as we can see) and her former life as a slave.
    • The reveal of who killed Sara: Malcolm flew back to Starling City, and is the reason Sara showed up in the city to start with. He had the foresight to bring with him a drugged and brainwashed Thea, who would be able to catch Sara by surprise and kill her without question. Thea remained completely unaware of what happened and Malcolm had the perfect blackmail to pit Oliver against the League of Assassins. It was a fairly stretched out Gambit Roulette and it didn't help either that it was vital to the season's story arc.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • A lot of people pretend that the show ended after Season 2. The farthest many will accept is the Season 3 episode "The Climb".
    • The existence of Dinah Drake, Laurel's supposed successor as Black Canary.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Tommy/Thea became quite popular to the point where the announcement that Roy Harper was being introduced as a love interest for Thea drew ire. Of course, Tommy's death in the Season One finale and the revelation that Tommy and Thea are half-siblings thoroughly sank the ship, while Roy and Thea became a fairly well-liked Beta Couple.
    • Oliver/Felicity, despite Laurel's status as Official Love Interest (at the time anyway). The writers seem to be aware of this, and have downplayed Oliver/Laurel from the Season Two premiere onward in favor of teasing Olicity instead. By season 4, however, the ship had become controversial because of how poorly it was handled, and Oliver/Laurel gradually grew in popularity. After Laurel died, Oliver/Laurel had supplanted it as a Fan-Preferred Couple and many regarded Laurel as the true love of Oliver's life. The writers acknowledged this the following season, where, for the 100th episode special, the perfect fantasy that Oliver and co. was forced to live in (via Lotus-Eater Machine) had Laurel as his ideal lover instead of Felicity, and him all but stating she was his One True Love.
    • Tommy/Laurel is popular, despite Oliver and Laurel seemingly being destined to become the Official Couple, since they actually have something resembling chemistry. Or at least, that was the case Seasons One and Two — Merlance's continued popularity was a result of being Ship Mates with Olicity or Canarrow (Oliver/Sara). Olicity, however, became literally the most despised pairing in the Arrow fandom by the end of Season Four (and all of the Arrowverse fandom by Season Six), while Canarrow's popularity died down a bit as a result of Sara heading her own show, making pairing her and Oliver together infeasible. As a result, Lauriver became the Fan-Preferred Couple in the end, and while Merlance is still popular, Lauriver has more-or-less surpassed it these days.
    • Oliver/Sara has gained some fans in Season Two, thanks to the chemistry between the two and the implications of a Canary/Arrow Battle Couple, in addition to her connection to Oliver's missing five years.
    • Nyssa/Laurel as of "The Offer", although Nyssa/Sara is still more popular.
    • Parodied and then played straight with Oliver/Kara. The ship became the #1 Crack Ship for those looking to mock Olicity but Crisis On Earth-X having their Earth-X counterparts as a married couple actually earned the ship a lot of fans. Helped that despite being LITERAL NAZIS, more people found Oliver-X's drive to save Kara-X more genuinely romantic than Felicity's Wangst about her relationship with Oliver, and that Kara's main relationship with Mon-El is also disliked, albeit on a lesser level. It also helped that Karamel was officially sunk the Supergirl episode prior to the crossover when Mon-El returned to the show with a wife in tow, making pairing Kara and Oliver together more feasible.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Ivo and Sara exhibit signs of this in "Blind Spot"; their chat via walkie-talkie sounds eerily like Ivo is trying to sweet-talk her back into joining him.
    • And then there's her relationship with Nyssa, which is less foe and more yay.
    • While Sara and Felicity aren't enemies, Felicity's inferiority complex in "Time of Death" makes them a bit adversarial for a short while. Sara takes a Hands-On Approach when teaching Felicity how to throw a punch, and Felicity later wears Sara's leather jacket during a mission. Oh, and during this same episode and in "League of Assassins" earlier, Sara calls Felicity cute.
    • Oliver and Isabel Rochev, which is somewhat canon given the fact they slept together, but it's helped by the fact she almost flirts with him while threatening his family and stealing his company. By the same token, him and Helena, though in a Dating Catwoman kind of way, and it appears she's on her way to a Heel–Face Turn by now.
    • There really was no reason Malcolm had to have Oliver's shirt removed when he had him captured, other than to honor an agreement with his actor to have one scene of him with Stephen Amell while he's naked.
    • Nyssa and Laurel have a lot of chemistry in season three as they bond over Sara, to the point that they go out to eat together. And lets not even get started on how protective of each other the two have gotten by the end.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Due to being the launching series of the Arrowverse, the first two seasons had to do quite a few rather blatant fan-pandering in order to gain an audience. While it's understandable at first, the show's constant (and blatant) Pandering to the Fanbase ultimately stunted the show's quality in the long run, especially under the helms of its second showrunners Marc Guggenheim (who coincidentally or not has a very negative reputation regarding adaptational works and is seemingly delighted to take the reigns of a then popular work for once in his career) and Wendy Mericle.

    G 
  • Genius Bonus: A two-fer in "Time of Death". William Tockman quotes from War and Peace a line that he says is on the 1440th page in the book. 1440 is the exact number of minutes in a day.
    "The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience. Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace, on the 1440th page. It takes a while, but it's worth the read."
  • Growing the Beard: Many feel this happened in mid-to-late Season One. At the very least, "The Odyssey", when Oliver's Power Trio of him, Diggle, and Felicity is first formed and when Island!Oliver has his first adventure with Slade Wilson.
    • Some people think it grew the beard at the beginning of Season Two when Oliver decided to stop killing in order to honor Tommy's memory, bringing him more in line with his comic book counterpart.
Advertisement:

    H 
  • Ham and Cheese: Much like Season 3, Season 4's reception has been somewhat mixed (compared to the positive reception for the first two seasons), but many reviewers have consistently praised Neal McDonough's hammy performance as the season's Big Bad, while also not being afraid to criticize how the character is written. It is likely that the character's charismatic portrayal was a direct response to the generally negative reception for the Season 3 main antagonist, who was often considered a dull and boring character.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Quentin and Laurel's struggles with alcoholism, given that Katie Cassidy's father David Cassidy has since experienced his own troubles, including a DUI arrest. It's also believed that David's alcoholism contributed to his death in 2017.
    • In the Season One finale, Fyers holds Shado captive with a gun to her head. In Season Two, she is offed by a Boom, Headshot! from Ivo.
    • Isabel having a one night stand with Oliver. It later turns out she was a Yandere for his father, making this come off as a symbolic reclaiming of the family as hers.
    • "The Climb" begins with Laurel and Thea having a sweet conversation about Sara's death, which becomes a lot darker later in the episode when we found out that Thea killed Sara under the influence of a drug administered by Malcolm and has no memory of it.
    • The altered arrow in Season 3's title card is ultimately revealed to be the brand put on Oliver when he joins the League of Assassins.
    • Laurel and Oliver's more toxic interactions during Season 2 and 3 - in particular Oliver saying he's done with Laurel and getting together with Sara, Laurel repeatedly trying to join Team Arrow while Oliver pushes her out of his vigilante life, and Laurel watching Oliver fall in love with Felicity - look lot worse after Laurel admits she's been in love with him the whole time.
      • Though Laurel's spiral into alcoholism in season 2 is hard to watch in itself, the reveal that one of the things that tipped her over was Oliver ending what chance they had at a relationship by leaving her for the island casts a darker light on her resentment towards him.
    • Before Laurel died in season 4, she admitted she knew she wasn't the one that Oliver loved and pushed Oliver to be with Felicity instead. However, in the 100th episode, Oliver tells the dream version of her that he still loves her and that she deserved better. Not only did Laurel die thinking Oliver didn't love her, but Oliver never had the chance to tell the real her this.
    • Katie Cassidy's father David died shortly after Black Siren tried to kill Quentin. Adding further is The Reveal of Earth-2 Quentin being dead since she was thirteen years old.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • When Oliver first comes home and everyone welcomes him back, it's sweet in and of itself, because the idea of a man returning home after five years lost at sea would naturally be a heartwarming experience. However, later in the series, we actually see Oliver's relationship with each character, so seeing that scene again after watching a few episodes has even more kick.
    • The friendship between Thea and Tommy, which features numerous moments where he looks out for her as if she were his own sister, in light of the second season revelation that they actually were half-siblings.
    • Oliver and Felicity's first meeting was already adorable enough, but gets even sweeter in Season 3 when Oliver admits that she was the only one he saw as a person rather than a threat or target.
  • He Really Can Act: "Time of Death" was this for Stephen Amell. Having spent the previous season and a half playing The Stoic, he's usually stiff and emotionless. But in this episode, Oliver snaps at Laurel, revealing both the anguish that Oliver has constantly bubbling beneath the surface and that Amell can give a great emotional performance when he needs to. It's also notable as one of the very few times Oliver really loses his temper, and the first time he cries that's not in response to a character's death. Not a dry eye in the house.
    • He gets a second moment in "Beyond Redemption," when he chews out Lance for working with Damien Darhk. Coming off the previous season, where Amell was probably at his least emotional, it's both a highlight of Amell and the writers for managing to come out of the previous season's slump.
    • While Willa Holland's acting was never called into question, "The Return" is where she really shines, including her breakdown over Sara's death and her vicious verbal beatdown of Malcolm.
    • Paul Blackthorne gets his moment to shine in "Beyond Redemption," when he breaks down after almost shooting Sara.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • A bit of an odd case with Sara. While she's quite unambiguously killed on screen, some fans suspect that the Lazarus Pits used by Ra's al Ghul in the comics could revive her. These suspicions seem to be confirmed with Caity Lotz being cast in Legends of Tomorrow, as Sara with her character being brought back by a Lazarus Pit.
    • Deadshot in "Suicidal Tendencies".
    • Not many actually believe that Felicity is dead. Reasons being stated range from we never do see any proper fatal bullet wounds on her, the preview for the next episode of the season shows that she is alive but in critical condition, and that her actress has been spotted recently on set as well as in cast photos posted online. In fact many theories are actually springing up on how she ''will' be hiding, and that Oliver will keep her being alive a secret from the public to keep Darhk off his back temporarily. This turned out to be the case as she was only paralyzed, and not even permanently.
    • The payoff to Season 4's "Who's in the grave" story being Laurel. Many fans latched on to how oddly the death scene was filmed, with our not getting to hear a promise that Oliver made to her, followed by an abrupt cut to her in a violent seizure despite getting a positive prognosis just minutes earlier. Plus, the show runners had admitted by this point that they made the flashforward not knowing how they would resolve it. On the other hand, there's the accusations that if she did fake her death, it would be incredibly cruel to keep the secret from the rest of the team, especially her father Quentin (who already went through this with his other daughter, even), and Diggle (who blames himself for her death thanks to refusing to suspect his brother). Aditionally, Word of God has stated repeatedly that Laurel is really gone as they want death to actually mean something again, thanks to all the previously mentioned characters that didn't stay dead.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In an interview prior to Season 5, Stephen Amell (the Arrow) says "I don't know what happened. He got shot with an Arrow... don't look at me" when discussing Felicity's new boyfriend. Come the mid-season finale for Arrow, and Oliver has accidentally shot Billy with arrows three times...
    • McKenna Hall's comment that Fall Out Boy broke up, in response to Oliver's questioning if they are still cool in "Dead to Rights". They had actually announced their reunion nearly a month earlier.
    • In the pilot, Oliver's disapproval of Tommy pursuing Thea when we learn that Thea is also Tommy's sister.
    • Felicity blurting out "Tahiti!" in "Keep Your Enemies Closer".
    • The show had an arc wherein Roy's exposure to Mirakuru made him unstable and a threat, right around the same time as that OTHER work featuring a hero reluctantly fighting his unstable, erstwhile sidekick.
    • In the Japanese dub, Satoshi Hino voices the archer Oliver, who also previously voiced Saito Hiiraga: In the first season of The Familiar of Zero, Saito almost got killed by a Rain of Arrows.
    • In the Blackest Night crossover event, the Flash tells Ray Palmer that he is now Superman. Palmer's actor Brandon Routh previously played Superman in Superman Returns, making the inverse true.
    • Neal McDonough plays Damien Darhk, the Big Bad of Season 4. He previously played Oliver himself in DC Showcase: Green Arrow.
    • On a similar note, this isn't the first time Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen has fought Neal McDonough, as in Injustice: Gods Among Us Neal voiced the Flash while Stephen voiced Green Arrow's premium skin.
    • In Season 4, Felicity finally got a codename, Overwatch. Later that year, a video game of the same name was released.
    • The montage of Oliver interrogating Ghosts at the beginning of "Blood Debts" became giggle-worthy a month later, when Deadpool was released and featured a montage that was pretty much the same scene, were it Played for Laughs.
    • Stephen Amell plays Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Not only is he another masked vigilante, but Oliver's long hair from the island flashbacks actually would have fit better with him.
    • Constantly, when characters talk about working with Malcolm Merlyn, they refer to it as 'getting into bed with' him, which, if taken out of context, implies that Malcolm Really Gets Around. John Barrowman is more well known for playing Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood, a character who was known for, well, how he Really Gets Around.
    • This show has typically had a Fandom Rivalry with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Season 4 of Arrow and season 3 of S.H.I.E.L.D. are both airing concurrently, and the Big Bad happens to have the same name in both cases: Hive. Taken further when it turns out both Hives' final plot towards the end of the season involves a giant missile.
    • Thanks to this series, by almost complete coincidence, this is at present count the second incarnation of Oliver Queen to end up with a blonde, computer-savvy female who became popular amongst the show's fandom and who were (largely) created for their respective series', instead of his canonical Love Interest from the comics. Unfortunately crosses over into Harsher in Hindsight as of the Season 4 finale, since the method in which they apparently sealed it here was by killing off said canon character.
    • There's something darkly hilarious contrasting the earlier seasons to the later seasons in terms of fan perception on Laurel and Felicity. In the first two seasons Laurel was the major polarizing character while Felicity was beloved. Come seasons 3 and 4, Felicity is the widely disliked character while Laurel has earned herself many fans.
    • "Checkmate" aired the week after 4chan determined the location of Shia LaBeouf's "He Will Not Divide Us" flag based on very scanty information from a video stream. In this episode, a hacktivist group totally not based on Anonymous helps Felicity find Prometheus using clues in a video.
    • As mentioned in the main page, Ollie is considered an Expy of Batman. Then, in the Brazilian dub, he is voiced by Eduardo "Duda" Ribeiro, who voiced Batman in The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and some animated films.
    • In "Honor Thy Fathers", Chase appears almost literally ten steps ahead of Oliver, on a staircase, just like the meme.
    • One of the most popular theories behind the identity of Prometheus, the Season 5 Big Bad, was that he was Tommy Merlyn. In "Crisis on Earth-X", Prometheus-X is revealed to be Earth-X Tommy Merlyn, so those fans were right after all.
    • In the Deathstroke comics, a character remarks that the packaging for a Deathstroke toy set needs to be redone because it refers to the English Wintergreen as Australian. In Arrow, Wintergreen is Australian.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Stephen Amell said way back that Episode Sixteen of Season One, "Dead to Rights", was unofficially called "The Holy Shitballs Episode" due to having a large amount of this. Since then, it's been clear that he gave away that title way too soon, as following episodes have made that episode look tame by comparison.
    • The Season One finale, "Sacrifice", is made of this. Basically, take everything that comes to mind with a blockbuster action movie and condense it into 45 minutes.
    • "State v. Queen" manages to cram two HUGE shockers into the final three minutes.
    • The last ten minutes of "Three Ghosts", with Tommy's hallucination encouraging Oliver to defeat Cyrus Gold, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke revealed as the true Big Bad, Roy being injected with Mirakuru, the Flash's origin, and Oliver getting a Domino Mask.
    • "Deathstroke" lives up to its name by having FIVE (if not more) major developments: Detective Lance is put under arrest for helping Oliver, Slade tells Thea about her true parentage and Laurel about Oliver's secret identity, Roy leaves Starling City, and Isabel Rochev is revealed as a cohort of Slade's JUST AFTER taking over as Queen Consolidated's CEO due to Oliver's multiple absences, then turns their Applied Sciences department entirely towards replicating the Mirakuru from Slade's blood in order to create a planned army of soldiers. Holy Shit, indeed.
    • "Seeing Red" has the revelation that the Mirakuru in Roy's blood has driven him insane; Sara leaves Starling City because of how badly she wanted to kill Roy just to keep Oliver safe, and knowing Oliver abides by a strict "no-kill" policy with only few exceptions, she backs out believing she isn't right for him; Moira reveals to Oliver that she's suspected he's the Arrow ever since the Undertaking, and his newly broken leg has convinced her of it and that she's proud of him; it's revealed that seven years prior, Oliver had an illegitimate child and Moira, par for the course, bribed the mother with $2 million to fake a miscarriage and leave for Central City, with Oliver none the wiser. This will likely be the last secret of Moira Queen we will ever know because at the very end of the episode, Slade kidnaps the three Queens and forces Oliver to make the same choice that got Shado killed, this time between Moira and Thea, but Moira being Moira, she takes that choice out of his hands and sacrifices herself.
    • "Unthinkable" lives up to its name, too. By the end, Isabel is dead, the Mirakuru army has been cured and captured, Oliver has defeated Slade by tricking him into taking Felicity hostage so she can get close enough to inject him with the cure (and, in the process, hinted that her feelings for him are mutual after all), Sara has returned to the League of Assassins willingly, Quentin has collapsed from injuries sustained while fighting a Mirakuru soldier, Slade has been imprisoned in an A.R.G.U.S. cell on Lian Yu, and we've seen in the flashbacks that after the destruction of the Amazo, Oliver wound up in Hong Kong under Amanda Waller's custody.
    • The Season Three premiere, ironically named "The Calm", really sets the tone for the whole season. In the final scene, Sara is killed when an unknown assailant shoots three arrows into her stomach and sends her plummeting off the roof, landing right near a horrified Laurel.
    • The Season 4 crossover episode with The Flash (2014), "Legends of Yesterday", has Vandal Savage using the Staff of Horus to fire a blast of energy that disintegrates Oliver, before spreading to kill all of Team Arrow and Flash, and destroying all of Central City. Only Barry remains and is saved due to performing a time jump.
    • In Season 4, "Eleven-Fifty-Nine", Damien Darhk stabs Laurel with an arrow and kills her.
    • In Season 5, "Fighting Fire With Fire", reveals Prometheus is Adrian Chase.
    • In the Season 5 finale, "Lian Yu", the mere reveal that Slade Wilson would be coming back was enough to make the fandom go crazy, but this was followed up with the prospect that Slade would be having an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny with Prometheus! To further add on, the two Canaries, Dinah Drake and Black Siren would be having a Designated Girl Fight.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Roy's interactions with Oliver can come across as a little "Man Crush" from time to time.
    • When Barry first shows up on Arrow, before he became the Flash, he's endlessly fanboying over and praising the Arrow/Oliver Queen. When he mentions to Felicity he can understand if she wants to date Oliver, Felicity comments "Sounds like you want to date him."

    I 
  • I Am Not Shazam: Oliver was regularly called "Arrow" or "The Arrow" during Season One by some reviewers despite not using that name, though he does pick it up during Season Two. Comes back to the fore again in Season 4, with him taking on Green Arrow as his code name to distance himself from the Arrow.
  • Idiot Plot: Everyone in "Eleven Fifty Nine" is so uncharacteristically stupid that it felt like the majority of all the events in this episode could have been avoided altogether. A few episodes earlier, the team managed to break the idol that gave Darhk his powers, with Vixen's help. Rather than doing something sensible like destroying the pieces of it completely, or scattering them around the world (the team knows the Flash, who could do that for them in an afternoon), they glue the idol back together and put it on display in their lair as a trophy. Malcolm is then easily able to steal it. Fortunately, the team at least hid one piece... under Diggle's couch cushions. Despite Diggle living with his brother Andy, who formerly worked for Darhk. Then Diggle tells Andy about the hidden piece, which lets him steal it and deliver it to Darhk. Now, with his idol reassembled, Darhk has all of Team Arrow at his mercy. However, he too is an idiot, so instead of killing them all, he just kills Laurel and lets the others go free with a warning. And that's not even mentioning that Malcolm could have just taken the idol for himself, rather than giving it to Darhk like a faithful lapdog.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Right from the pilot, fans have already been commenting that Oliver has more chemistry with his sister than with his ex-girlfriend. Doesn't help that by giving her the nickname "Speedy" the writers seem to have destined her to be his sidekick.
    • A canon instance between Thea and Tommy, though neither of them knew it and it's only revealed several months after Tommy's death.
  • Informed Wrongness: A lot is brought up about how wrong it is for Moira and Oliver to keep lying to Thea to protect her. However, the moment she found out about Roy, she sent him a message leading him right to her, endangering the lives of a lot of innocent people. Thea is repeatedly shown not to be able to handle the truth well, so it’s understandable why they would keep it from her.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The fandom was decidedly not happy about the writers killing off Sara. Partly it was seen as a case of Bury Your Gays, partly because it was obviously done to cram the unpopular Laurel into Sara's role (who came to be viewed by many as an inferior Canary) and partly just because they threw away a popular, complex character with an intriguing backstory. The writers seemed to be aware of this as Sara would later return as a main character on Legends of Tomorrow.
    • The same happened in Season 4 with Laurel, ironically Sara's own sister, being killed and ultimately revealed to be the one in the grave. Many fans were not pleased, and rightfully so, given that Laurel is the Black Canary and one of the few actual comic book characters on the show. What's worse is that Laurel had rebounded from a shaky start to the season and was actually more liked than ever, with many even coming to terms and enjoying her as a vigilante. It doesn't help that it reeks of shock-value (the writers freely admitted that they had no idea of who to put in the grave, and the death episode itself only traveled in that direction due to the entire cast grabbing a massive Idiot Ball, making it seem like Laurel was a random choice with no thought into it) and fan pandering, with Laurel's final scene alive being dedicated to praising Felicity as a romantic partner for Oliver as opposed to her actually getting to say a goodbye to her father, or literally anyone she is close with. Killing her off was bad enough for comic book fans, but having her final moments being her telling the love of her life to get back together with a character with no bearing on the decades of Green Arrow mythology was seen as a giant slap in the face.
    • The Season Four finale, and Season 4 in general, was so widely despised that /r/Arrow turned itself into a Daredevil (2015) subreddit for months and posted a discussion thread for the latter's first episode, which is now the fourth highest upvoted post of all time on the sub. Another redditor posted a picture of the cast of Agents Of Shield which became the highest upvoted post of all time on /r/Arrow.
    • Season 5, mainly because even though Word of God said Barry rewriting time affected the whole Arrowverse, Laurel's still dead Not to mention the new team members (sans Curtis and later Rory) all come off as Replacement Scrappies for Laurel, Thea, and Diggle.
    • The fake-out return of Laurel, seemingly still alive for the Season 5 mid-season premiere. While many fans saw the twist that it's actually the Earth-2 Laurel, alias Black Siren, coming a mile away, many were still acceptable of the idea since the character was still pretty well-liked by fans, and many were hoping that Black Siren would perform a Heel–Face Turn and take over the mantle of Black Canary, but it was quickly dashed when Black Siren asserted herself as a villain by still trying to kill Oliver. To top it all off, despite Black Siren being able to go toe-to-toe with the Flash, she ends up being defeated by Felicity, who takes her out in one punch. For many fans, it feels like the writers giving Laurel fans the finger and having them once again prop up how much better they feel Felicity is.
    • The announcement that Dinah Drake would become a regular cast member in Season 6, cementing she's not going anywhere despite how unpopular she is — the fact that Black Siren was also announced to be a regular in Season 6 didn't help as many were hoping she'd take Dinah's place on the team.
    • There was a massive one over the ending of the 2017 crossover, where Felicity interrupted the long-awaited (if impromptu) wedding of Barry and Iris (which had been the focal point of the crossover), ministered by Diggle, so the latter could also marry her and Oliver. Rather than being seen as "sweet", like how the writers most likely intended, it was seen as a rude and self-centered move on the part of Felicity as it was essentially hijacking Barry and Iris' moment, one that they had been working towards their entire lives, to the point that Oliver got heat for even agreeing to it. Fans went ballistic; not because of the actual marriage (most had resigned themselves to the eventuality), but over how it happened. Felicity, quite literally, became the biggest scrappy in the entire Arrowverse fandom for this, as nearly everyone who watched the crossover, including those who didn't care about her or Arrow beyond the crossover, and those who actually shipped Olicity, hated it. The Arrow subreddit had an even worse meltdown than they did after the Season Four finale: the mods posted a thread entirely dedicated to allowing redditors to vent about it, and a poll was started over whether or not the subreddit should become a Punisher subreddit for the foreseeable future. (The results were a resounding "Yes".) One redditor posted a picture of Frank Castle, which is now the second most upvoted post of all time on /r/Arrow. But what really indicates how pissed off the subreddit was about the crossover's ending is when another redditor posted a picture of the Teen Titans Go! cartoon (which has a notorious hatedom) — and it ended becoming the subreddit's fifth highest upvoted post of all time.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Yao-Fei was betrayed by his country and used as a scapegoat in a massacre, resulting in him being sent to a prison island where he was forced to fight for his life. Then, as the only remaining person on the island, he was forced to deal with Edward Fyers and his men by himself before Slade arrived to save him, but he gets stuck too. He befriends and takes care of a shipwrecked Oliver, but he's captured protecting him and forced to betray him in order to protect his daughter, who's dragged into this because of him. He then gets killed by Fyers, courtesy of a bullet to the head.
    • Slade was a special forces commando sent to an island to rescue a prisoner, only to be captured at some point, with his best friend, and god father to his child, betraying him in a heart beat. He's forced to hide out as he struggles to try and take down Fyers, or at least escape the island, where he's been for years, unable to leave and see his family. He gets one shot at escape, but ends up losing it to save Oliver's ass when he fails to rescue Yao-Fei. He still then sticks around to train the kid the best he can. He also loses the woman he was starting to fall in love with after she tried to save him, and at some point he and Oliver turn on one another, resulting in him becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Shado spent her life looking for her father, who she knew was wrongfully imprisoned. When she believed she could save him, instead she got captured and used as a bargaining chip to make her father betray Oliver. She's stuck on an island with Oliver and Slade, but still remains, mostly, chipper and happy, even joyfully training Oliver in how to use a bow. Then she gets a bullet to the head thanks to Ivo.
    • Diggle fought in Afghanistan, until his brother Andy, whom he was close to, was killed by Floyd Lawton, Deadshot, with no arrests made following. He grew close to his brother's widow, but is unable to make a move at first and act on his feelings because she's his sister in law, and it'd be too taboo to do so. When he finally believes his brother's killer has been brought to justice, they find out he's still alive. And when he finds out his former CO is on the list, he tries to prove he's innocent, only to be proven wrong.
    • Oliver himself: Watched Sara die then had to witness his father kill another man and himself to save him, before then spending five years in hell-on-earth, struggling to survive while plagued by guilt over what he did to Laurel, a time that has ruined his ability to connect with people. He's forced to hide who he is from everyone, and it is not something he's enjoying. In spite of all this, he keeps fighting the good fight. As of Season Two, his best friend is dead (on the day before his birthday no less), his mother is facing the death penalty, the family company is nearly bankrupt, and everything he fought for in the first season was for nothing, as half the Glades has been destroyed. And then we learn that he lied about Sara dying on the boat; he did think she died, but only after their reunion one year after the wreck of the Queen's Gambit. His reason for hiding it? He didn't want to tell Laurel and her father what really happened to Sara, as he implies that it was nothing good.
    • The Canary aka Sara Lance. She nearly drowns in the wreck of the Queen's Gambit, only to end up on the Amazo prison ship, hardened by a year of fighting to survive. Whatever happened with her on the island, Oliver did not believe she came out of it alive until they meet again, and this time she seems to be running from the League of Assassins and can't go back to her family for their safety and because she is no longer the Sara that they remember. And since they lacked the manpower to stop Deathstroke's Mirakuru army, Sara had to make a deal with the League of Assassins: in exchange for their help, Sara has to go back to Nanda Parbat and return to a life she is not happy living. She returns to Starling City in Season Three, just in time to be killed off and buried in the grave they made when she disappeared six years prior. Especially since she can catch arrows fired by much better/faster archers than Thea.

    J 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Thea. Sure, she's selfish, annoying, and a huge Jerkass, but she did also lose both her fathers, have her brother return from an island emotionally and mentally distant, and have her entire family keep secrets from her. She gets better later in Season One and during Season Two.
    • Roy to a lesser extent. He resents the rich and successful, refuses to let people help him, steals from people (at one point planning to rob a liquor store with a gun), and in general does what he can to alienate people. But he's got no family, he's so poor he'll be lucky to live past 21, everyone judges and writes him off as a thug, and when held at gun point and told to give a reason to be spared, he can't think of one, or anyone who'll miss him, instead telling the Savior to Get It Over With. When he's saved, he's visibly surprised that anyone would bother to save him.
    • Malcolm Merlyn. It goes without say that his plan to level The Glades is a horrible thing to do to people, but his genuine love of his wife, the entire situation with her, and his frustration with his inability to improve The Glades with his previous efforts are all sympathetic elements. He then finds out that he killed the wrong man and that her killer is still out there.
    • As of Season Two, Laurel to some extent has crossed into this. She is VERY vicious about the Hood, having seemingly forgotten all the good he's done, but when he finally goes to see her, she recounts how she went back into CNRI after it collapsed and found Tommy dead, and saw the Hood leaving, believing he left him to die. The fandom is split on this, with the half saying that it's not a real reason for her to be angry while the other half say that Laurel has some justification to be angry at the Hood. However, she herself stops blaming the Hood at the end of the next episode and instead goes into a huge guilt spiral. Unfortunately, the Woobie part is applying less of late; see The Scrappy.
    • Sebastian Blood and his followers. They almost attack Oliver on the street, but they've also lost their loved ones and their homes, and the only hospital they have access to is being robbed by China White's Triad faction because the police can't protect them, making them take out their rage on the "elitists", especially the Queens.
    • Nyssa al-Ghul becomes this in Season 3. She loses her girlfriend Sara, struggles to cope with her grief, gets coldly brushed off by her father, then imprisoned and finally disowned by her father.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Slade tends to get this treatment post-season 2, where fans eagerly watch on for any of his appearances. The most hyped up ones would be "Lian Yu" in Season 5 and "Deathstroke Returns" in Season 6.
    • The ratings spike for the season 4 episode "Haunted," which featured a guest appearance by John Constantine can probably be attributed to this.
    • After the poorly received first half of Season 6, numerous people stated they would keep watching just to see Colton Haynes return as Roy for a Story Arc.

    L 
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Felicity. In addition to the constant Ship Tease with Oliver, there have been hints of stronger feelings between her and Walter, her and Dig ("You're irreplaceable, Felicity"), and her and Sara (the former saved the latter's life, and the latter thinks the former is cute, AND is Bisexual in canon). She's somewhat this in universe, in a much darker way, as she casually hinted a couple of times at having problems with stalkers in the past. To take this even further, there is a sizable portion of the fandom that wants fellow DCU fandom bicycle Dick Grayson to show up, mainly to be a love interest for her. Even Oliver/Felicity shippers support this Crossover Ship, if only to invoke jealousy in Oliver. It also does not help that the show creators as well as Stephen Amell have stated that they would love to have Nightwing on the show.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • "The Climb" ends with Ra's al Ghul stabbing Oliver and pushing off a cliff, seemingly killing him. Sure enough, he's alive by the end of the next episode.
    • "Suicidal Tendencies" ends with Maseo aiming an arrow at Felicity, then it cuts to black just as he releases. Yeah, sure.
    • "Broken Arrow" gives us two separate incidents with the apparent death of Roy, the actual death of Thea. One is resolved by episode's end (though he is off the show as a regular). The other is resolved in the next episode.
    • "This Is Your Sword" ends on Laurel, Diggle, Felicity, Malcolm, and Ray all being exposed to the Alpha/Omega bioweapon and seemingly dying. Aside from the simple fact that it would mean killing off the majority of the show's supporting cast, everyone already knew Ray was in the Legends of Tomorrow cast, and then the teaser for the next episode immediately revealed that they survived as it played next to the episode's end credits.
    • The mid season 4 finale ends with Felicity getting shot by Damien's men and Oliver frantically checking her for a pulse. Although the grave mystery was still front and center, the events of the episode took place months before Oliver's "six month later" scene so unless Felicity was in a coma for the whole second half of the season she was clearly going to survive.
    • The mid season 5 finale ends with Laurel seemingly coming back from the dead, despite the producers confirming she will not be revived. The promo to the next episode shows that it's really just Black Siren. Nobody was really surprised.
    • The Season 5 finale ends with a cliffhanger ending in which everyone except Oliver is apparently killed in a massive explosion. While people could buy just one major character dying no one believes for a second that nearly everyone in the main cast would be killed at once, or that characters confirmed to be promoted to the main cast for the following season like Dinah Drake or Black Siren would be killed easily. Indeed, the Season 6 premiere revealed that Samantha was the only casualty.
    • "All for Nothing" has Vigilante being killed by Black Siren hitting him with a sonic scream point blank, but given that this is the same guy who survived a gunshot to the head last season before gaining a Healing Factor, a lot of people aren't convinced this will stick.
    • The Flash Forward scenes in Season 7 state Felicity to have perished after committing a Face–Heel Turn, off-screen. Aside from her more passionate haters, who are clinging to hope more than anything, nobody really buys it. And sure enough, she is revealed to be alive.
  • Love to Hate: Prometheus, aka Adrian Chase/Simon Morrison once he's de-masked. His arrogance and smarminess, combined with his sociopathy, makes for a very hateable yet entertaining antagonist.

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Slade Wilson/Deathstroke introduced himself as The Man Behind the Man to Brother Blood, who was conducting illegal experiments to raise an army of super-soldiers to take over Starling City. He then kidnaps Oliver's sister and reveals her true parentage to her, all in order to cause confusion among the Queen family while he frees all the inmates imprisoned by the Arrow for his super soldier army. He even had Isabel Rochev usurp Oliver's company so that he could use it for his plans, all of it just to make Oliver suffer. By the time Oliver/the Arrow realised the full nature of his plans, he had already set his army upon Starling City. His biggest mistake was that he underestimated Oliver's allies since he was mainly focused on making him suffer more than anything else.
    • Adrian Chase/Prometheus. He's been ten steps ahead of Oliver from the moment he made his presence known. Having dedicated his entire existence to ruining the hero's life, Chase plays Oliver and Team Arrow like chess pieces all season long. He never once breaks character and remains dedicated to his purpose of destroying Oliver to the bitter end, even killing his own Morality Pet to prove the point. He manipulates Oliver into killing Billy Malone by baiting him into shooting the detective by putting him into a Prometheus costume. He also makes Oliver declare the Green Arrow, his own superhero alter-ego, a public criminal. He also captures and tortures Oliver, breaking him so bad that Oliver lost his will to continue being a vigilante. He also conditions Oliver into believing that he kills because he enjoys it and that he's as much of a monster as Chase was. For his grand plan, Chase has everyone close to Oliver kidnapped, including Oliver's son, and takes them all to Lian Yu. He then threatens the life of his son and gives Oliver a Sadistic Choice: save his son or save his friends, as Chase was hooked up to a Dead Man's Switch which would cause the island to explode along with Oliver's friends. Oliver must choose to either kill Chase which would kill all his friends, or let Chase kill his son. When Oliver tries to Take a Third Option and knock aside his nemesis, Chase has none of it and proceeds to kill himself as one final screw you to Oliver, where the island proceeds to blow up.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Slade, while plenty Badass in his own right, seems to get this treatment from the fandom.
    • Prometheus is always ten steps ahead, and knows everything about everyone.
    • In a rare negative case of this trope, Felicity. Her hacking skills are talked up as borderline (nay, above) god-like but it's mainly by those who consider her a Creator's Pet.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Curtis constantly gets the short end of the stick in the fandom on how useless he is.
    • Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle's tenure as showrunners are a subject of jokes and mockery among the fandom.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Variations of the "My name is Oliver Queen..." opening narration.
    • Pictures of Diggle accompanied by "I can dig it".
    • "You have failed this city!" = the Hood's original catchphrase.
      • It's become common to change the person Oliver is referring to someone else random, like Slade Wilson, Harrison Wells, or Donald Trump.
      • Initially it was supposed to be a major trademark, but is now solely used by fans who still remember the first season's formula. Although Olive has started using it again more frequently as of season 5.
    • "LAME!"note 
    • The nicknames "Black Driver" and "Bitch with Wi-Fi" were originally throwaway remarks by those two respective characters, the first as a gag, the second as a Badass Boast. Fans have since taken these remarks and run with them, to the point of making them into pseudo-aliases as superheroes.
    • A common response on Reddit to the frequent absence of Roy in the middle of the second season was that Roy was busy shopping for hoodies.
    • Some of Slade's lines:
      • "Don't forget who taught you how to fight, kid."
      • "I keep my promises, kid."
    • The Deathstroke Dance.
    • During Season Three, Roy and his flips became memetic.
    • During Season Three, Austin Butler's Jerkass character, Chase, has been collectively known as Douchebag DJ and is jokingly treated as a Greater-Scope Villain to everything happening during Season Three. More so than the Reverse-Flash.
    • "I'm Cupid, stupid!"
    • "It's Iron Atom", a reference to how the Atom is an obvious copy of Iron Man. There's also "Iron Ant" as his appearance comes fairly close to the announcement of Marvel's Ant-Man.
    • A few hours after the first official picture of Dig's helmet came out on the Internet, fans have already taken to calling him Digneto or variants of that name.
    • After several characters seemed to go out of their way to shill Felicity, many started to go out of their way to refer to her as a "strong, beautiful, powerful woman".
    • It became common to joke about or just point out the name of a writer and co-executive producer of several later episodes: Speed Weed.
    • "What? No! Ray! Olibur!"Explanation 
    • "You have failed this omelet."
    • Showrunner Marc Guggenheim frequently refers to decisions he makes in regards to the plot as being "organic". Naturally, many fans have jumped on using organic to sarcastically describe many aspects of the show.
      • The green filter often added to Oliver in Season 4 episodes post-production and the corn field that Damien Darhk points to in the Season 4 mid-season finale tend to get this label more than anything else.
      • Guggenheim being treated as the Greater-Scope Villain and Ultimate Evil in the Arrowverse due to his shitty and disastrous reputation both as a writer and showrunner. In some circles, he and co-showrunner Wendy Mericle (who is equally seen as incompetent, if not more) are treated as a Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • Felicity Smoak is the greatest villain in the Arrowverse. A joke used amongst the anti-Felicity portion of the fandom after "My Name is Oliver Queen"note  that received more use after "Legends of Yesterday"note , "Progeny"note , and "Monument Point"note .
    • "Felicity and Friends" has become a popular nickname for the show in recent times due to the show's increasing focus on Felicity. Consequently, it is often joked that Oliver has become a supporting character or a special guest star in his own show. Stephen Amell was not happy about this.
      • Other popular detractor nicknames along the same lines include "The Felicity Show" and "The Felicity Chronicles."
    • "Tom. C'mon."note 
    • "Remember when..." followed by phrases like "Oliver was a badass?" or "this show was about killing millionaires?", used by fans nostalgic of the first season.
    • "This is your overlord, Felicity Smoak"note 
    • The mystery of Prometheus's true identity has become a meme in itself, with guesses ranging from plausible (Tommy, Yao Fei, Billy, Roy, Slade, to name a few) to outright ridiculous (such as Raisa, Sara's original actress and even the Queen's Gambit, of all things). "What We Leave Behind" did strongly imply him to be Justin Claybourne's illegitimate son, before being confirmed in "Fighting Fire With Fire".
      • The reveal of his identity as Adrian Chase has done little to quell the speculations, as they are now focused on the identity of Vigilante, who was actually Chase in the comics.
      • On another note, with the many comparisons of Prometheus to Zoom, there are theories that Prometheus will also pull a Jay Garrick and turn out to be a "fake Adrian Chase", while Vigilante turns out to be the real one. This is supported by the fact that Adrian Chase isn't his real name.
    • "This comment has made Felicity emotional." A sarcastic reply in social media regarding criticisms on Felicity using pictures of her crying in reference to her infamous Wangsting in Seasons 3 and 4.
    • "Everyone but Laurel." The reply to whenever a character in the Arrowverse returns from the dead who isn't Laurel. And in the second half of the 2016-2017 season, there's a lot of them.
    • "Scimitar, another big DC universe character" note .
    • The reporter from the pilot who announces Oliver's return has become this, largely due to the clip of him saying "Oliver Queen is alive!" being used as part of the first season's intro. Fans often respond to his appearances in later seasons with his Catchphrase or variations of it.
    • "This doesn't change anything, Hoss."
    • Curtis is gaynote 
    • "I'm ten steps ahead of you and you haven't even figured out what game we're playing yet!" note 
      • This meme then lead to comparisons with Savitar over on The Flash (2014) who characters say is "one step ahead", as well as Eobard Thawne, who was mentioned in the first season to be "a thousand steps ahead".
      • It then accelerated when Merlyn mentioned in "Missing" that Chase was not ten, but fifty steps ahead.
      • There have also been several analyses of which step several characters are on using other quotes about being steps ahead, like this one. This trend has grown to include Flash, Supergirl, Injustice 2 and even Sherlock Holmes, of all things.
    • "I did X because I WANTED TO! AND I LIKED IT!".note 
    • NANITES COURTESY OF RAY PALMER. THEY'RE EMITTING A HIGH FREQUENCY PULSE THAT'S DISABLING YOUR SPEED. YOU WON'T BE RUNNING AROUND FOR QUITE A WHILE. note 
    • Felicity running like the Flash in "Fundamentals" gained memetic status.
    • "Yanny"note 
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Despite the attempt to make Helena look colder than Oliver, most fans considered her a Designated Villain until she turned up again later in the season, at which point she crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Sara was only intended to set up the Black Canary mantle for Laurel to take it later after some Character Development. Instead, she ended up becoming so beloved that, save for some pockets of fans, most had wished she stayed the Canary rather than passing the mantle to Laurel.
    • "Obviously this particular comment didn't age too well."note 
  • Misblamed: Marc Guggenheim was heavily criticized for making Laurel's last scene a declaration of love to Oliver and focusing on their relationship in the flashbacks after her death. (With Olicity fans also getting flack because Laurel's final scene was about shipping.) However subsequent interviews revealed it was actually Katie Cassidy — Laurel's actress — who pushed for the Oliver/Laurel love declaration and wanted more of a Oliver/Felicity/Laurel love triangle while Guggenheim was reluctant to do so.
  • Moe: Thought Felicity was already the epitome of Adorkable? Just look at her when she's hopped up on painkillers in "Time of Death". The sight of her giggling and slurring her speech in an oversized shirt is cute enough, but her pure joy at Oliver stroking her face and telling her "You will always be my girl" is just Cuteness Overload.
    • Against the Action Girl training montages of Laurel and Thea, Felicity is happy to do five sit-ups in her jammies.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Helena/The Huntress crosses this in "The Huntress Returns" when she murders several US Marshals in cold blood while trying to kill her father. Assuming that her threatening Oliver's family and friends, and coming close to killing or, at the very least, severely hurting one of them, didn't do it.
    • Edward Fyers obliterates the line when he shoots Yao Fei in the head right in front of his daughter after he fulfilled his end of the bargain.
    • Malcolm Merlyn had a good number of events that could consider this, but toed the line of redemption and became a Token Evil Teammate (albeit, one most fans were annoyed at). This ends when he refuses to give up the Demon's Head ring, at the cost of Thea's life, to the point Oliver has to cut off his hand to do it, and responds to Oliver's attempts to spare him by selling him out to Damien Darhk.
    • Anthony Ivo crosses it when he offers Oliver a Sadistic Choice — spare Sara or Shado. When Oliver attempts a Heroic Sacrifice, he kills Shado out of spite. It's later noted that he didn't even know Shado's name, and it was likely he didn't even care.
    • And as fate would have it, Slade Wilson crosses it in the same way, mirroring Ivo's Sadistic Choice by trying to make Oliver choose between Thea or Moira. However, Moira takes the choice out of Oliver's hands and gets Slade to kill her, leaving her children utterly devastated — and worse, Slade vows that one more person will die before this is over. This death is especially bad because he makes a point of killing her with his sword instead of with the handgun he was thinking of before, though it could be interpreted as him wanting her to have a clean death, as he seemed compassionate towards her for her sacrifice.
    • Amanda Waller keeping Oliver from trying to escape her by threatening to kill the wife and young son of one of her employees. Oddly enough, this is chronologically earlier than any of her previous appearances. And then it turns out she was actually The Man Behind the Man of the first season's island plot, willing to kill a whole plane full of innocent people just to get China White.
    • Maseo crossed it when he joined the League; he gave Ra's Al-Ghul the Alpha/Omega Virus in order to become a member.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul officially crosses it not when he orders his massacre on Starling but when he personally kills Thea in cold blood as the "proper" motivation for Oliver to become his heir.
    • If General Shrieve hadn't already crossed it when he ordered his men to murder Oliver and the Yamashiro's then he definitely crossed it when he released the Alpha/Omega bioweapon in Hong Kong, killing hundreds of people, including Akio.
    • Conklin either crosses it when he starts killing labourers to force a confession out of the rest or when he manipulates Ivan into attacking Oliver by telling him he killed his sister, which forces the latter to kill him in self-defense.
    • Baron Reiter has a few possible moments, but him destroying a plane full of his slave labourers who were trying to get away simply to spite Oliver and Taiana and further fuel his magical powers is the absolute point of no return.
    • If Lonnie Machin didn't cross it when he tortured the girl he kidnapped even though he had no reason to keep her in his clutches, then he definitely crossed it when he tried to kill Damien Darhk's wife and daughter as revenge for firing him.
    • Cupid was an already unhinged, but somewhat sympathetic villainess when first introduced. In Season 4 however, she rolls hard over the line after deciding that love only leads to death and starts killing innocent couples simply for being happily in love.
    • While Damien Darhk had many possible moments, him killing Laurel Lance just to get back at her dad seals the deal of him being a psychopathic bastard.
      • And if at this point you still had any sympathy for him, in "Monument Point" he destroys the city of Havenrock, killing tens of thousands of people, granting himself considerable magical power in the process. And what's worse? His original plan was to destroy the entire world!
    • Andrew Diggle crosses it when he leads Team Arrow, including his own brother, right into Darhk's hand, having played them all along.
    • Evelyn Sharp crosses it when she teams up with Prometheus to take down Oliver as revenge for being the Hood, and betrays the identities of her teammates in the process. If that failed to put her over the line, her actions in "Kapiushon", where she not only helps Prometheus psychologically torture Oliver, but smugly rubs it in when Oliver finally breaks, certainly does.
    • If Prometheus doesn't cross it with his serial killings or later tricking Oliver into killing Billy Malone, then he definitely crosses it when he frees the Black Siren from S.T.A.R. Labs and has her impersonate the Earth-1 Laurel just to screw with Team Arrow even more after he's already brought them to the point of hopelessness from his prior actions, before ripping this one seeming bright spot in their lives away from them. He crosses it even further when he murders his own wife because She Knows Too Much.
    • Anatoly crosses it either when he steals diabetes medicine from a struggling company to produce drugs or later during the direct conflict with Oliver when he orders his civilian hostages to be killed, all tragically highlighted with the fact that he used to be the Morality Chain for Oliver and is now just as bad as Ishmael Gregor before him.
    • Black Siren has many possible moments, on both Arrow and The Flash, like for example her sadistic Dead Person Impersonation game to lure Quentin into Prometheus' trap, but she is definitely over the line by the sixth Season, where she is willing to kill scores of innocent police men just to get to him. However, Dinah views her killing of Vincent as this, which in turn pushes Dinah over the Despair Event Horizon, and Thea and Quentin seem to lose their hope of redeeming Earth-2 Laurel after they hear of it, too. Ironically, this is inverted for Siren herself as it's one of the first murders she seems unnerved by..
    • Once Ricardo Diaz is revealed as the true Big Bad of Season 6, it is also revealed that he already crossed the line a year ago by having Cayden James's son killed and putting the blame on Oliver, manipulating both parties into a war, all so he could murder James himself later and take over the city.
  • More Popular Replacement:
Advertisement:

    N 
  • Narm: Enough to have its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The Arrow taking out Ted Grant by shooting a boxing glove into his face. An image straight out of a Silver Age comic book, yet it's still low-key enough to work in the show's tone.
    • Every single second Carrie Cutter is on screen. While she, like Al-Owal, is a legitimate threat, her insanity can be hard to not find funny, which is probably intentional.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Oliver's "MY NAME IS OLIVER QUEEN!" response would otherwise be cheesy, but Amell's delivery sells it.
    • Oliver calling Curtis terrific is incredibly cheesy but the sincerity of it sells it.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Oliver is often described by fans as a cheating bastard even by the time he's atoning for it.
    • Laurel's alcoholism and drug addiction are always used against her by detractors to paint her as "weak-willed", even long after she cleans up.
    • Felicity's constant Wangst in Seasons 3 and 4 is often used by her detractors to paint her in the same manner as Laurel. Of course, then Crisis on Earth-X happened, and by that point everyone went from "weak-willed" to "selfish bitch". Even to this day, when fans are trying to give Felicity a chance again, one only has to bring up the double wedding for them to instantly hate her again.
    • The New Recruits' decision to try and save Vigilante instead of helping Oliver and Diggle secure Cayden James' hypothermal bomb. The result is that both teams fail in their missions. The New Recruits' insistence that they did nothing wrong, and Oliver is to blame for Vigilante's death makes it more infamous — it's the moment when they all went into The Scrappy territory.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle's tenure as showrunners are largely defined by this. They make blatant fan-pandering, blatant retaliation against their critics, and relentlessly push for a Romantic Plot Tumor involving the Creator's Pet whose fanbase are mostly the ones who praise their work. This backfired on them, as the bad publicity only tanked the ratings — after they dropped below a million, Berlanti was finally forced to replace them.

    O 
  • Older Than They Think: Some people initially accused this series of being a rip-off of Hawkeye from The Avengers (2012). This is despite the fact that the show is based off Green Arrow, a comic book character that has existed since the 40's and who predates Hawkeye by over two decades. The use of a hacking arrow does not help matters, but that was probably cribbed from the New 52 reboot of Green Arrow, where it's central to the plot of the first issue. Not to mention that all of these characters homage Robin Hood to one extent or another.
    • The Darker and Edgier tone, too. A lot of people accuse the show of derailing Green Arrow to make him a darker character to justify the tone, but Green Arrow being a dark antihero willing to kill and torture isn't a new idea, and had been played with before hand during the Mike Grell run and other subsequent runs. The only thing the show can really be called on is making Oliver so somber and stoic, given Ollie is typically a loudmouth who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
    • The similarities to Batman. While the darker tone, use of Batman villains, and many of the similarities to Batman have been present with Green Arrow comics for years at different points, Oliver's more reserved personality tends to make him much more along the lines of Bruce Wayne, and with Season 3 now Ra's Al Ghul trying to encourage him to take his place, something he often does with Batman, it's getting glaringly obvious that the writers of the show are wishing they were writing a Batman series.
    • The show has gotten flak from comic fans for using a large number of Batman villains, and many other DCU villains (particularly Deathstroke) rather than sticking to Green Arrow's rogues gallery. This is despite the fact that Green Arrow has regularly gone up against most of the villains featured himself (with Deathstroke and him in particular having a long-standing mutual hatred for one-another that lasted several years; in fact, all the show did was give their mutual hatred a legitimate reason for existing rather than the poorly explained reason in the comic), and that Green Arrow and Batman have regularly shared villains (with several of Batman's villains actually starting off as Green Arrow villains before transplanting onto Batman, and vice-versa).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Harley Quinn in "Suicide Squad" gets a five-second one-line bit part with her back turned to the screen.
    • Slade Wilson in "The Return" where he breaks out of his ARGUS prison and fights Oliver and Thea.
    • Andy Diggle in "The Return" who briefly appears with his brother in a flashback.
    • Prometheus' return in Season Six episode "Fundamentals" as a Vertigo induced hallucination to haunt Oliver.
    • Any time Colin Donnell returns as Tommy Merlyn, be it flashback, illusion, doppelganger, or Human Target in disguise.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right:
    • Many fans of Arrow feel the show was at its best under Andrew Kreisberg's hands, and feel Marc Guggenheim is responsible for the Seasonal Rot that plagued the show afterwards.
    • For many fans, Black Siren's credibility as a character took a huge hit once she was transplanted from The Flash (2014). For context, she was written as a badass Dark Action Girl with standards in The Flash, whereas here she suffered Badass Decay to prop-up two Creator's Pets and is reduced to being content being a minion to considerably weaker men. It does not help that the showrunners has also always treated her late Earth-1 counterpart as a Creator's Pest solidifies this.

    P 
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • Visible among the episodes, given that each one is produced only shortly before it airs. Characters that audiences responded well to were given more screen time and development (while Diggle being brought into the fold was likely planned from the start due to how relatively early it happened, Felicity likely wasn't, and her, Slade, and Roy being promoted to main cast for Season Two is likely because of audience reaction), while aspects that were critiqued (Thea's Jerkass and It's All About Me tendencies, and Oliver's occasional cold-blooded killing) were toned down and more focus was put on the positive aspects.
    • There's the most common form of base pandering, which the show delights in doing. One such example is the first scene in "Identity", which shows Oliver working out for roughly a minute with no relevance to the episode, as the scene immediately cuts away to Roy trying to stop the Triad from stealing hospital supplies.
    • The posters released to promote the second season consist almost entirely of the show's male cast standing shirtless.
    • Making Laurel the target of a few What the Hell, Hero? rants concerning her attitude to her problems and drug use seems to be a bit of this (for the fans who resented the subtle tendency for the female cast members, especially Laurel, to give these out to the male characters) and Take That, Scrappy! for the fans who consider her as such.
    • Felicity and Oliver's many Ship Tease moments in the second season, to the point she was eventually Promoted to Love Interest thanks to the popularity of Olicity; ironically, this got to the point that the rest of the fandom has largely turned on the couple over it.
    • Laurel's Dying Declaration of Love to Oliver is seen as an attempt to throw a bone to the comics and Lauriver fandom, but given there's been no evidence of Laurel's feelings for several seasons, she actually gave her blessing to Olicity and fans would have preferred her to say goodbye to Quentin, Sara or one of her friends, the scene is actually viewed as a disservice to her character. Likewise the flashbacks next episode with Oliver and Laurel reuniting after Tommy's death, have annoyed her fans more than pleased them thanks to the retcon and unsympathetic context.
    • Unfortunately, this very trope becomes a major factor in the show's decline in quality as it's evident (especially in socil media) that the show runners can be swayed by fan opinions.
    • Ever since Season Three, Felicity's popularity has been steadily eroding away amongst the fandom for various reason, come Season 7 the production team acknowledges this by having her steadily Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in her quest to free Oliver and in the (fixed) Bad Future she seems to go onto to full-on super villain by discarding her moniker Overwatch and taking her father's the Calculator instead.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Prometheus embodies this more and more as Season 5 goes on. After learning Oliver's true identity, he seems to know almost everything about the extended cast of Arrowverse heroes (he knew about Black Siren, and knew enough about Sara and the Legends to feed her a convincing story about "Laurel's" return), and even turned one of Oliver's new recruits into his mole. The Reveal that he's Adrian Chase just makes this worse; imagine that someone you've come to rely on, and even consider a friend, is actually a serial killer out to ruin your life, and you have no idea that your enemy has been right by your side all along.
    • The latter half of season 6 shows us that the SCPD, the DA, and city officials on virtually every level are working for local drug lord Ricardo Diaz, either willingly due to being on his payroll, or because they are Trapped in Villainy because he has their loved ones held hostage. Virtually anyone could be working for Diaz, showing just what a Wretched Hive Star City is.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Seasons 3 and 4 especially the latter are widely considered as the series' low point due to the show losing quality and credibility. However, Season 5 (despite literally introducing a few problems) was able to breathe new life into the show, mainly thanks to a critically acclaimed Crossover which also served as the show's Milestone Celebration and a very memorable Big Bad.
  • Protection from Editors: It's clear that the only reason Marc Guggenheim remains as showrunner despite his glaring incompetence at the job as a storyteller is he and Arrowverse founder Greg Berlanti go way back. Guggenheim also has a habit of giving Plot Armor to his favorite characters, notably Felicity Smoak. Eventually, this backfired as Guggenheim and Mericle's incompetence caused Arrow's ratings to dip below a million for the first time since Season 1, forcing Berlanti to finally give them the boot.

    R 
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Evelyn Sharp, a teen wunderkind who stole Laurel's identity as Black Canary (including the Canary Cry which In-Universe was made only for Laurel to use per Cisco's design) to kill Ruve Darhk as revenge for Hive killing her family, nearly destroying Black Canary's legacy in the process. Many were hoping she'd never been seen again, only for it to be announced she'd be joining Team Arrow in Season 5 as Artemis. However, she has been gradually redeeming herself due to the fact that she's the only member of the new team not named Rory—who has magical powers—to realize her limitations as a rookie vigilante. Then "Vigilante" establishes Artemis as a Mole for Prometheus, and we're right back to square one. Her smug behaviour in the rest of the season, to say nothing of helping Prometheus torture Oliver until his spirit breaks, only increase her hatedom.
    • Season 5 sees all of the Team Arrow members apart from Oliver and Felicity being replaced with brand new people (Except for Curtis, who was introduced last season), which brought in many complaints that they are not as likeable as the original Team Arrow. It doesn't help that the writers basically threw away the family dynamic that many fans like in favor of something you could compare to a pair of teachers and a misbehaving class.
    • Tina Boland, who replaced Laurel as the new Black Canary. It does not help that she was introduced immediately after Laurel's Earth-2 counterpart Black Siren's debut in this show, who a majority of the fans wanted to see take a redemption arc to take up her late Earth-1 counterpart's mantle, since the writers stubbornly refused to bring her back to life. And then came the Wham Line: Tina is just her alias for undercover work; her real name is Dinah Drake, making her yet another Decomposite Character of the Black Canary. The coincidences of her skillset and name reeks of the writers trying to present the character as "better" than either Laurel and thus perfect for the role. Also not helping her case are: A.) Rory Regan aka Ragman, the most (and only one since the get go) popular of the Season 5 recruits, was Put on a Bus immediately after her introduction. And B.) There's already an established Dinah Drake introduced since then first season, meaning that this Dinah serves as an inferior replacement for not one, not two, but four characters. She also becomes more abrasive in Season 6 by falling victim to Revenge Before Reason. It really didn't help that Vincent Sobel/Vigilante was killed off pretty much solely for the sake of Tina having a revenge story (against Black Siren, no less) that gave her more screentime, something the fans very much did not want.
    • In Season 7, there is Joe Wilson being used as a member of the Ghost Initiave, instead of his far more popular father Slade, who can't be used due to the DCEU's current usage of Deathstroke.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Thea: she danced between this and The Scrappy during the first two seasons. Thea was off-putting at first, having an It's All About Me mindset. She got some much needed Character Development by having her begin working with Laurel at C.N.R.I. and her relationship with Roy Harper. Her relationship with Oliver had become less frosty as the season went on, as they both began understanding what the other had been through in the five years that Oliver was missing. What kept her from being fully rescued was how easily she relapsed into being a whiny brat whenever she thought people were hurting to her feelings. By mid Season 3, she was rescued for good, with Oliver telling her the whole truth (except for her having killed Sara) at last, her lovingly accepting him and even thanking him for saving her life, and her coming to her senses about Malcolm and turning against him for having manipulated her into abandoning the people she loves.
    • A lot of fans feel that this show rescues Nyssa Al-Ghul. Nyssa debuted in the "Death and the Maidens" story arc in 2003 as a previously unknown daughter of Ra's who becomes his "true heir." The storyline was very unpopular for a number of reasons, most of all for killing off a beloved Batman villain for a short time. Nyssa rarely appeared after becoming the new Demon's Head, and was killed quietly in four panels during the "One Year Later" event. However, fans seem to like her character here much better. It helps that the show's version of Nyssa is not her father's enemy, but is instead a loyal and honor-driven character more like the classic version of her sister Talia, a much more popular character in the comics.
    • Helena Bertinelli/Huntress in Season 1, mainly due to her portrayal and her actress' initially dull performance. When she came back in Season 2, her actress' acting greatly improved allowing her to sell Helena's misery much better. It also helps that the character is having remorse over her actions by the end of her return episode.
    • Season 3 introduced Chase, an obnoxious, cocky DJ working at Verdant who was teased as a love interest for Thea. Nobody wanted another Romantic Plot Tumor when there were way more interesting storylines developing, so fans were thrilled when it was revealed that Chase works for the League of Assassins.
    • After her Character Development in Season Three, Laurel appears to have achieved this status in parts of the fandom. It initially faltered back during the the first half of Season 4, but ultimately seems to have stabilized in the second half Season 4 as she became the Cool Big Sis of the group and didn't get any plots of her own. Since Felicity… well, more on that below, Laurel conversely got more popular for being more supporting of the rest of the team. When she finally turned out to be the person in the grave, most of the fandom was TREMENDOUSLY displeased, whereas a season and a half ago fans would have been all too happy to have Laurel killed instead of Sara, and not nearly as many would've complained about her dying just half a season ago.
    • Rene's initial dislike got toned down after his early Leeroy Jenkins characterization subsided and he underwent Character Development into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a snarky sense of humor. In addition to the fact he never truly replaced Diggle as Oliver's main gunner field support, since Diggle rejoined the team as an on-off member, Rene even strikes up a pretty good friendship with Diggle by the time of "Vigilante". He got even more popular after he struck up a friendship with Quentin as well, due to his actor's great chemistry with Paul Blackthorne, to the point that Rene was easily the most popular of the new recruits heading into season six. However, Rene ended up falling right back into scrappy status as of season six which seems to have made him WORSE than his original characterization which made him the scrappy as seen below. But further down the lines Rene manages to redeem himself in the eyes of the fandom yet again in "Docket No. 11-19-41-73", where not only does he admit to his faults, but he atones for them, helping Oliver escape the law that he had thrown Oliver into earlier, by recruiting Human Target.
    • Ricardo Diaz/The Dragon started off disliked due to being a generic, undeveloped gangster who worked for Cayden James; a waste of one of the comic's biggest villains. His unpopularity actually further rose after the reveal that he used Cayden and was the true Big Bad of the season with many feeling it was an Ass Pull, the character continuing to not do much and remaining undeveloped as the season started to enter its late stages and fans simply feeling he was underwhelming and a step down in threat level from past Big Bad's, even compared to the already divisive Cayden James. Then The Dragon aired and many people got much more invested in his character and impressed by his drive, patience and intensity.
    • Dinah, probably the most controversial addition to the cast in Season 5, got received far better after letting go of her vengeful ways and becoming the new Police Captain in Season 7, developing a unique dynamic with Rene as a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist torn between her duty and her friendships, and later changing roles with Oliver, technically being his boss after he got deputized. She also seems to be on her way of forgiving Black Siren and developing a bond with her.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: A common criticism of the show is how much unneeded drama is mined from romantic foibles, especially Oliver's, mostly because a lot of it comes down to one party lecturing the other (often with them presented as right to do so, while the audience often disagrees) or them arguing over issues that could be avoided by talking it out like adults. Oliver/Laurel was the first to get flak for this with cheating, sleeping with the sibling, love triangles and romantic angst, but Oliver/Felicity, previously a popular Fan-Preferred Couple, to get heat for it as well when it became not only canon, but a huge part of the show (with many finding it causing a negative effect on Felicity's character), while other couples like Carly/Diggle and Donna/Quinten have gotten similar complaints for being needless subplots. The only romantic couples that seem to be universally liked are Diggle/Lyla and Roy/Thea, in large part because of their comparatively less drama (at least, Roy/Thea grew out of their drama and became probably the healthiest couple on the show, while Diggle/Lyla apparently worked out their drama before the show started), with Sara/Oliver and Tommy/Laurel being mostly well liked (with the exception of shipping-related issues), for similarly having little drama that they didn't work through in a healthy manner and only breaking up due to plot reasons. As a result though, the show has became infamous for its focus on complex romance, to the point that talking about shipping among fans of The Flash (2014), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Legends of Tomorrow, and/or any other comics book show, to result in arguments due to it 'ruining' Arrow.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • As of Season 3, Oliver's been getting this from certain parts of the fandom. While he is being rather idiotic in his willingness to work with and protect Malcolm, some act like he's became completely devoted to it even at the cost of the others, despite the fact that one of the primary reasons he's doing this is to protect Thea.
    • Felicity, despite having a good number of flaws, is still a heroic figure acting out of love towards Oliver and loyalty towards her friends. Ask the more rabid parts of her hatedom and they'll probably make her out to be worse than the actual villains of the show.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • More than a few fans support Malcolm's plan to destroy the Glades, mostly because of how everyone there seems to be a crook and a criminal.
    • The Season 5 finale is a literal showcase of the show's notable living villains, most of which are fan-favorite characters. Many critics even pointed out that they are the episode's main attraction.

    S 
  • Saved by the Fans: Laurel's death late in Season 4 is very controversial and the showrunners faced huge backlash over it, so the character's Alternate Self from Earth-2 that appeared as The Dragon in The Flash (2014) Season 2 was transplanted into Arrow as a Recurring Character in Season 5 and finally as a regular cast member starting Season 6.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • Showrunner Marc Guggenheim has been blamed by fans who stopped watching the show for the Seasonal Rot that began in season three and these include: Sara being Stuffed into the Fridge in the season three premiere (later Back from the Dead and became one of the main characters for spin-off Legends of Tomorrow) in order for Laurel to become Black Canary (though she managed to get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap), the Romantic Plot Tumor involving Oliver and Felicity (which resulted in Felicity going from Ensemble Dark Horse to Base-Breaking Character to The Scrappy), the increasing irrelevance of flashbacks, Roy being Put on a Bus, mediocre plots and most controversially, Laurel Killed Off for Real in season four. Unlike many examples of this trope, however, he is responsible for some of the more controversial decisions and has flat-out stated as such, even defending his decision to kill off Laurel because the character had "no further role" in the story. Him not allowing Kevin Smith to direct a single episode of the show despite being an actual (former) writer of the source material and having a significantly much better reputation than Guggenheim (not that he has any, anyways) does not help his case.
    • Wendy Mericle also gets a fair share of dislike not only for being Guggenheim's accomplice in Laurel's death but also for being ignorant of the source material she's paid to adapt; she claimed Tobias Church's dragon Scimitar was from the comics, even though he's a Canon Foreigner.
    • The writing team since Season 3 in general are largely disliked for being as incompetent as Guggenheim and Mericle or/and a Yes-Man to them.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Felicity is a very interesting one. She was originally intended to be a one-shot character (a small shout-out to the Firestorm comics, no less), but became an Ensemble Dark Horse back in season 1 which lead to Promoted to Opening Titles. And then it was downhill from there. The problems people had with Thea and Laurel in the first two seasons were absorbed by Felicity over the third and fourth seasons. After Crisis on Earth-X, Felicity became the biggest scrappy in the entire Arrowverse fandom for interrupting Barry and Iris' wedding vows by making it a double wedding. What made this worse is that Felicity spent many of her scenes during the crossover refuting marriage with Oliver, and acting like a drama queen about it. It was a widely despised act, regarded as selfish and egotistical on the part of Felicity.
    • William, Oliver's son. Mainly because he's less a character and more of a plot device to create unnecessary drama between Felicity and Oliver. Not to mention that he won't carry on his father's legacy as the Green Arrow. That honor goes to John Diggle Jr., at least in one timeline. The Scrappy status only applies to present!William, not future!William.
    • Ra's al Ghul. Much of the disdain for season three could be attributed to his ineffectiveness as a villain. Initially built up to be a fearsome Diabolical Mastermind with a massive diabolical orgainzation and near-superhuman fighting ability, as demonstrated when he effortlessly defeats Oliver himself in the episode "The Climb," Badass Decay in the season's second half lead to an overall lack of tension. In the final few episodes, he is easily tricked by Oliver's false Heel–Face Turn as his apprentice and is bested in physical combat in a battle that is nearly-identical to the one earlier in the season. Not to mention, unlike Merlyn and Deathstroke, Ra's operates under a tell, don't show principle, never even coming to Starling City until well into the show's second half and, as mentioned, is easily tricked by the protagonist in the finale. What's more, he has almost no background, none of the tragic sympathy of past Big Bads, and very little is revealed of his or the League's real goals.
    • Nobody likes Andy Diggle. Not only was he a re-tread of the tired 'back from the dead' cliche, but his entire character was portrayed as inexplicably evil, just so John could have a bit of character drama. The audience was clearly supposed to feel something when John was forced to shoot his brother to protect his family, but Andy had been built up to be so cartoonishly diabolical that it came as a relief that he was finally dead. The fact that Andy is directly responsible for Laurel's death doesn't help.
    • Team B, or the new recruits in general, thanks to the recent storyline where they split from the rest of Team Arrow and act like it's all Oliver's fault when he learns that two of them lied to and betrayed him.
      • Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog was this in the early episodes of Season 5 and the majority of season 6. Though Rene has a perfectly valid point about Oliver's lack of trust concerning the team, he also has habitual Leeroy Jenkins tendencies which led to Sampson gaining superhuman physical constitution and the death of a valuable lead in short order, along with being hotheaded and confrontational—generally making him insufferable both in-universe and out. It doesn't help that this recycles the "X character has a chronic inability to listen to/work with Oliver because of interpersonal conflict" subplot that was seen with Mirakuru!Roy, Laurel in-training as Black Canary, and Felicity over the last three seasons. When Wild Dog wisely decided to take on Church without any backup and with his meager skillset, several fans were perfectly fine with Ollie & co. being forced to leave him to his fate. While he move out of this territory by the end of season five (see Rescued from the Scrappy Heap above), his attitude in the second half of season six, especially his petty spite towards Oliver despite giving him up to the FBI (taking constant potshots at him and reacting with glee at any chance to spite him), and his constant reminding of how the teams occasionally working together "changes nothing", he has fell right back into this category. While he has been rescued again by the end of the season, only time will if it sticks in season 7.
      • Dinah Drake as stated under Creator's Pet, Designated Hero, and Replacement Scrappy above. While she always had problems, she was at least nice before Vincent was killed. After that, all she cares about is killing Black Siren and her grief and nothing else, even when the city is about to be blown to bits. She even goes as far as to attack Quentin and seems quite willing to kill any of her teammates who stand in her way — especially Oliver.
    • The Hoffmans or Oliver and Felicity's friends from Ivy Town. They serve no purpose other than shilling Olicity, and do so in the most blatant, sappy, and corny manner with their discussion of marriage and kids. The fact that they of all characters returned in season 6 (for the Olicity wedding of course) makes this even more obvious and cements their status as nothing but plot devices.
    • Emiko, [[spoiler: the true Big Bad Of Season 7. She's head of mysterious international terrorist organization — the Ninth Circle and proceeded to squander it's resources all to ruin Oliver's life simply because he was the last remnant of Robert Queen's legacy; the father who abandoned her and her mom out of cowardice and whom she'd already taken her revenge by not stopping Malcolm's plan to bomb his yacht. Even her own henchmen got sick of it and turned against her.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • After a well-received first season and even better second season, the fans turned on the show in droves during Season 3. Starting out with a combination Stuffed into the Fridge and Bury Your Gays with Sara was bad enough, but they followed it up with a spectacularly misguided attempt to prop up Laurel as the new Canary by posthumously tarnishing Sara's reputation and denying she ever deserved to wear the suit, in what's basically a canonical Ron the Death Eater, although Felicity's words on that fact are open to interpretation. Add in a quite controversial take on the Atom which many pegged as a cheap attempt to piggyback on the popularity of the MCU's Iron Man and Malcolm Merlyn finally becoming a full-blown Karma Houdini. Then you've got the original Team Arrow (Oliver, Diggle and Felicity whose dynamic was considered the core of the show) fractured and barely talking to each other, unnecessary relationship drama between Oliver and Felicity who were popular because of their affectionate, angst-free nature, Laurel's presence bringing down the mood in Arrow cave, fan-favourite Felicity pulling double-duty propping up the unpopular Ray and Laurel at the cost of her own characterization and you've got many accusations that its newly launched spinoff The Flash is now the far superior show. There is also the constant propping up of Olicity by multiple characters in-universe, including Ra's Al Ghul himself, which has really angered many fans who would prefer a return to the strengths of Season 2. Ironically, the Strangled by the Red String and Romantic Plot Tumor of Olicity in Season 3 has echoed many of the complaints of Oliver/Laurel in Season 1, going against why Olicity was a Fan-Preferred Couple in earlier seasons.
      • The season 3 finale doesn't appear to have won back the crowd either. Between an anti-climactic showdown (complete with a nearly blow-for-blow Meaningful Echo of a former duel that, while likely meant to make Oliver seem like He's Back, really just showed significant Badass Decay on the part of the Arc Villain), more angst-ridden scenes, a lack of tension that the previous finales had, Team Arrow further broken apart, and Oliver leaving Starling City to literally ride off into the sunset with Felicity, reactions to the season have been less-positive. Many of the fans that do seem happy with the finale appear to be the Olicity ones... and even a lot of them are suspecting that once again, most of Oliver and Felicity's relationship will occur unseen over hiatus and Season 4 will bring yet more drama.
    • Season 4 unfortunately also falls into this. Initially it was well-received, with Oliver finally taking the identity of the Green Arrow, a well paced plot, a fantastic villain and the writers seemed to be going out of their way to avoid everything that made Season 3 so hated. But then, they brought Ollie's secret son William into mix during the season's crossover with the Flash. When Felicity found about him, she randomly turned into her Season 3 self, breaking up with Ollie right there and then. Luckily Barry's time travel reversed it, but it sounded a few alarm bells. Then Felicity found out about him for real, and the damage was done. Then the time came for the show to reveal who was in that mysterious grave. Turns out it was Laurel Lance, the Black Canary herself. Naturally this enraged a lot of people, not only because the writers had killed her sister Sara off and met a similar backlash, but the only reason they killed her was because she was essentially picked at random just to fulfill that particular plot point. Other points of contention were the decaying fight choreography (say what you will about Season 3, but that aspect of the show was still on point for the most part during that season), the Romantic Plot Tumor that has more-or-less swallowed the plot, and increasing focus on the Smoaks, leading to jokes about how Ollie has become a supporting character on his show. All of this culminating in the Season 4 finale, almost universally regarded as the worst in the show's history. While Season 3 may be So Okay, It's Average in the eyes of many fans, Season 4 was decreed as horrible by almost all fans barring the Olicity shippers, and even by Stephen Amell himself: when he ranked the show's seasons from best to worst, he did not even mention season 4.
    • Season 6, which has the unenviable task of coming after the well-received Season 5. The first sign of trouble came with the season premiere revealing that the entirety of Team Arrow survived, with the only casualty on Lian Yu being Samantha Clayton, a character no one particularly cared for, thus invalidating season 5's big cliffhanger. Other criticisms are too much focus on Oliver's son William whom doesn't serve much purpose other than to distract Oliver his duty in keeping the city safe, Warner Bros forcing Slade into exile, because of the DCEU, polarizing villains in the form of Michael Emerson's Cayden James, and later Richardo Diaz, who simply don't have the menace or charisma that Prometheus had. The New Recruits sinking even into more unpopularity by breaking off from Team Arrow and forming their own team and acting like petulant brats any time they have to work with their own comrades — Dinah in particular after her former boyfriend Vigilante is killed and she's only obsessed with killing Black Siren and will attack anyone who gets in her way, even Quentin. The whole schism arc simply drags well pass its welcome and consumes the second half of the season. In fact episode 6x17: "Brother in Arms" has the dubious distinction of being the first episode where less than a million people tuned into watch (ironically, though, it is seen as one of the season's best episodes and a potential return to form by many critics). If there is a silver lining, it's that the season was so negatively received that it was announced that Guggenheim and Mericle would not be show runners for Season 7; Mericle is leaving the franchise completely while Guggenheim is being Kicked Upstairs to the role of "executive consultant".
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: People have already started shipping Quentin with Felicity's mom Donna even though they've never met, including Paul Blackthorne himself. They finally meet in the ending of "Lost Souls" in Season 4, and a romance does indeed develop. However, Quentin's grief over Laurel's death and recurring alcohol problems (among other issues) slowly drive a wedge between them, and by Season 5, the relationship appears to have been permanently sunk.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • During the second season, fans were split between Oliver/Sara and Oliver/Felicity: Sara and Oliver were made canon during the season but the writers weren't very subtle with hinting at Felicity's strong feelings for Oliver, so both sides argued quite a bit about it.
    • Sara's death in Season 3 effectively sinks that ship, leaving Laurel to pick up the slack for the Lances. And then Laurel herself bites it the following season.
  • Signature Scene:
    • In "The Undertaking", Oliver/The Hood vs. about twenty or so mooks and beats all of them, especially the guy who Oliver repeatedly slams their head into the wall, which is featured in the monologue opening for a large number of Season 2 episodes.
    • In "Three Ghosts", Slade Wilson making his official debut in the present day where he gives his speech on what he will do to Oliver.
    • In "Unthinkable", Oliver and Slade's Final Battle, continuously switching back and forth between flashback and present day.
  • Snark Bait:
    • Arrow has attained this status after the increasingly controversial seasons including Seasons 3, 4, and 6. Various sites like reddit, tumblr, and Youtube comments are filled to the brim with sarcastic comments especially in regards to Felicity and Olicity. By Season 6, a large part of viewers are simply watching out of Bile Fascination.
    • Already an unpopular writer and showrunner to begin with, Marc Guggenheim fully cemented himself as a joke after his controversial decisions led to the aforementioned decrease in the show's quality.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • Some fans have this reaction to Season 3, arguing that it's simply "okay" in comparison to Seasons 1 and 2, with some strong moments and weak moments in equal measure.
    • The second half of Season 7; while no means bad it did feel aimless for quite a while until the true Big Bad revealed themselves.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • When Island!Ollie is carrying a wounded Slade away from a fight with Fyers, he's shooting a gun. The muzzle flashes are clearly fake, though this may very well have been done for safety's sake since shooting one-handed with a heavy load in the other hand isn't exactly a good position to be shooting from.
    • Unlike Smallville and Daredevilnote , which both heavily used it for some of their main casts, this is averted when it comes to the free running bits; likely since the actors themselves are actually very good at it while Smallville took obvious advantage of strings and Daredevil CGI, and the show's realistic tone means that they use realistic stunts rather than the more over-the-top stunts the other two used.
    • In "City of Heroes", when Oliver and Felicity smash through a window and fall to the floor, you can see the pieces of "broken glass" bouncing up and down; they are actually made of transparent rubber.
    • In "Heir to the Demon", two characters are poisoned with a venom which causes a hemorrhage in the eye. Rather than portray this realistically (a blood-red patch would appear on the victim's eye), it's shown by some crudely CG-ed golden sparkles.
    • And "Suicide Squad" has the drone strike. The Conspicuous CGI of the drone might be excusable, given the budget, but the idea that a drone missile would go off with as little force as a firecracker has raised a few eyebrows.
    • Oliver swimming to the sunken Amazo in "Dark Waters". It looks like something out of a Tomb Raider game, and not one of the modern ones...
    • Most of the CG in "Taken", with Oliver's zip-lining and Vixen using her totem to fly and leap like a cat all rendered with very obvious, rubbery CGI.
    • For some unknown reason, in certain scenes the Green Arrow suit is given a highly unnatural green filter towards it that is very noticeable and stands out like a sore thumb (especially so given the suit comes off as near black in color during scenes set at night or in dark areas and even when in regular lighting it is a very dark green). Particularly in the episode "Broken Hearts" during a scene between Oliver and Diggle where the brightness is obviously done and hard to not notice to the point it's as if the whole thing was CGI. And in the next episode in a moment where Laurel places a hand to the shoulder of said outfit you can see her gloves turn green the moment she touches it. It makes you wonder why they didn't just design the suit originally with a lighter green if they are so determined to make it stand out more with such a color.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Even leaving aside the Like You Would Really Do It factor, Oliver joining the League of Assassins doesn't hold much tension thanks to a preview of the rest of The Flash's first season showing that the Arrow would be making another appearance on that show.
    • As well as Diggle, Laurel, Malcolm, Ray and Felicity supposedly being infected/killed by the Alpha/Omega virus. Fans might have believed that if the preview for the finale didn't show them all appearing in it. Plus Ray has his own approaching spin-off to appear in.
    • Nicely averted by Ray blowing himself up at the end of Season 3. His presence in the upcoming spinoff, Legends of Tomorrow, gives away his survival.
  • Squick:
    • Some feel this way about the idea of Diggle dating his sister-in-law. Others just think it's quite awkward of him to do so, considering that she's the widow of his dead brother. They break up between Seasons One and Two, so it's not really an issue anymore.
    • Going and back and watching Season One after "State v. Queen" might make some scenes with Tommy and Thea uncomfortable, such as his comment to Oliver about how hot Thea has gotten.
    • Watching Sin pose as a prostitute in order to draw out a serial killer gets a little creepier when you see "Time of Death" and realize that she's only seventeen.
    • The ending shot of "The Promise" is a deliberate case; it shows Slade Wilson facing the camera without his eyepatch, and his missing eye is not covered by shadow.
    • The Reveal in "The Man Under The Hood," meaning that Oliver had sex with Isabel, who had sex with his father. He himself is visibly horrified and disgusted by this.
    • In "Seeing Red," Oliver's leg gets broken at an extremely painful angle, on screen. To the point where it's almost 90 degrees at the knee... sideways.
    • Oliver's Nightmare Sequence in "Left Behind," which has him spit Blood from the Mouth while kissing Felicity. Which means he may have spit blood into Felicity's mouth.
    • In "The Candidate," Laurel opening Sara's coffin so the audience can see inside it.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • A lot of people don't like the attention that the romance between Laurel and Oliver is given, particularly due to the lack of chemistry between them. It largely isn't helped by how the show pushed their romantic development to the back-burner during the first season due to the lack of fan interest combined with her and Tommy being much better received, thus making the sudden hook-up during the final few episodes of the season feel completely forced.
    • Some feel the same way about Felicity and Oliver, despite their having more chemistry, after Season Two laid it on a little too thickly that she was attracted to him. Made even worse in that the spinoff show, The Flash, makes a big deal about how Barry and Felicity are perfect for each other, despite him liking Iris and her liking Oliver.
      Felicity: What is wrong with us? We are perfectly perfect for each other.
      Barry: Yet we're sitting here pining for people we can't have.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Moira's campaign for mayor has been seen as ill-advised by several people, most of whom are either villains (Sebastian Blood) or at the least considered in the moral gray area (Moira herself), whereas several of the good guys (Walter, Thea) see it as a great idea. She initially brings up the very valid point that she was involved in the Undertaking that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. After some prodding, she relents, then Blood brings up the (again, very valid) point that during her trial, she painted herself as a fragile creature living under Malcolm Merlyn's thumb, which won't help people believe she's strong enough to hold public office. The points that convinced her to run? Being told that she has high name recognition (to which she snarks "so does Charles Manson"), that she was able to successfully run Queen Consolidated, and that people love redemption stories. A lot of people seem to agree those justifications are a little thin and wonder how anybody thinks it's a good idea.
    • As Starling City descends into riots in "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak," Laurel (as Acting District Attorney) makes the order to send a riot squad to an riot outside a bank, which is roundly criticised by her father and (not knowing it was Laurel's order) Team Arrow for escalating the situation, and is supposed to be another sign of her anger issues. A number of people have pointed out that the crowd were already trying to break into the bank before the SCPD arrived, so it feels unjustified to criticize Laurel for sending a riot squad to do their job.

    T 
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The Darker and Edgier feel from the first trailer caused many to call this a bad attempt at adapting Green Arrow.
    • On a more specific level, news spread that the beginning of Season 3.B would be very Laurel centric following her Black Canary arc, which discouraged a lot of fans interest. (Reviewer John Campea even dubbed it the 'Laurel-pocalypse). Leading to the producers assuring everyone other characters would have their moments and they weren't sure where the Laurel-focus idea came from. This was averted, of course, as the episodes had good ratings.
    • When infamous former showrunner Marc Guggenheim was announced to write the show's 150th episode, majority of fans from all sides of the show's very Broken Base were discouraged, as the show is doing good after he finally left the position.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • The verbal beatdown that Oliver delivers to Laurel in "Time of Death" is essentially a list of the fandom's biggest complaints about her.
    • When it finally comes time for Laurel to don the Canary outfit, she has an impressive first outing... and then the following episode makes it clear over and over that she sucks at being a vigilante and that first success was only due to surprising the guys with a Canary Cry.
    • "The Return" keeps it going as Quentin gets to lambast her for real about concealing Sara's death from him, saying she broke a trust that had built over a lifetime, and ending by forbidding her to come to the same AA meetings as him.
    • In "Lian Yu", Malcolm Merlyn is apparently killed in an unceremonious (albeit selfless) manner, and Evelyn Sharp is abandoned by Prometheus and left to die when he destroys Lian Yu.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The city has been renamed Starling City. This changed with the fourth season premiere.
    • Oliver not being called Green Arrow. Word of God states that this is because they intend to show Oliver's growth from vigilante to hero, and as such he's not Green Arrow yet - as such, Oliver finally took the name in the first episode of season four.
    • Oliver's mask being painted on. Mostly averted when Oliver finally donned a mask in Season Two's mid-season finale. Whilst the reception was positive, you can still find people disappointed that Oliver dropped the face paint in favor of the mask.
    • The Huntress being an Anti-Villain who Jumps Off The Slippery Slope rather being a hero.
    • Dinah "Laurel" Lance isn't the Black Canary, despite the possibility she could become take up the identity as the show progresses. As the show progressed, fans actually began to turn on the idea of Laurel ever becoming the Black Canary, and would rather the show strayed from the comics and kept Sara Lance in the role.
    • In Season 3, Team Arrow changing from the Oliver/Diggle/Felicity trio to including heroes-in-training Roy and Laurel as well. The change has definitely caused some unease as "Original Team Arrow" was considered one of the strongest aspects of Season 1 and 2.
    • Changing The Atom from a Size Shifter into a man in generic Powered Armor has a few fans miffed. Fortunately, he can now change his size.
    • Taking Anarky, an Anti-Villain who's known to be a deconstruction of the typical violent sociopathic Bomb Throwing Anarchist villain type who shows the pros and cons to an anarchist political view, subverting the idea that anarchy is about chaos and violence, and turning him into... a typical violent sociopathic Bomb Throwing Anarchist type played completely straight, focused entirely on spreading chaos and violence rather than expressing any political views.
    • The direction that the show has taken since Marc Guggenheim took over as its main showrunner in Season 3. The episodes that have been produced under then are often criticized for shoddy writing, poor fight choreography, and especially the increasing focus on Felicity and her romance with Oliver. The biggest breaking points have been introducing Oliver's long-lost secret son William, the decision to kill off Laurel, and the Season 4 finale, which was so heavily disliked that the Arrow subreddit turned into a Daredevil subreddit in protest.
    • Played with in Prometheus' case. Quite a number of comic fans are really disappointed that the villain looks absolutely nothing like his original counterpart's cyber-Knight look, but a few agree that Green Arrow deserves to face off against a major villain who has had a serious impact on his life from the source material. A third party is waiting to see how he'll play out in the end before drawing any permanent conclusions.
    • Eddie Fyers, one of the most prominent characters in the Green Arrow comics and Oliver's best frenemy, is reduced to a Starter Villain with none of the original character's snark or charm.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Count Vertigo is one of Green Arrow's more prolific and frequent villains, being something of DC's own Doctor Doom, and a member of the Suicide Squad; however, the show used him as a small, minor threat that fans are split on either being entertaining or annoying. So, given that he's killed off after his third appearance, it's a bit wasteful. This is probably the reason Vertigo was made into a Legacy Character with Werner Zytle taking on the mantle. However, Zytle turns out to be almost as much of a waste, simply being another drug dealer, if a bit more of a threat than the first Count. Neither version of the character has Count Vertigo's manic-depressive issues either, nor are they nobility at all.
    • Sebastian Blood. Having a lot of build up as being a Dark Messiah and a monster who experimented on humans, while covering up his past of having killed his father, it's really a pity that he turned out to be just a patsy to Slade Wilson, and the real drive behind everything that happened is so that Slade can get his revenge rather than Blood's distorted vision of the future for Starling City.
    • After spending a season kicking ass, having actual chemistry with Oliver and making friends with all of Oliver's allies, and slowly coming to terms with her own low view of herself, Sara deciding to leave with Nyssa, forgoing her Character Development so Laurel can start to take her place as Black Canary, is a pretty lame way of leaving her character, especially since it makes the build-up of her story arc all for nothing. And then she's killed off anyway at the start of Season Three. Subverted with the news that Caity Lotz will be a regular on a second spin-off series, Legends of Tomorrow, with Sara being brought back by a Lazarus Pit.
    • Felicity:
      • While Felicity is still popular, there are a good few fans who feel she was wasted during Season 2. While she was easily one of the best parts of Season 1, Season 2 had her Promoted to Love Interest due to the large amount of Olicity fans; however, they spent very little time actually developing her character during the season, resulting in her having very little character development compared to the rest of the cast, despite having the second most screen time, after Oliver. Almost every conversation she had with anyone in the season was to do with Oliver, rather than herself or any other topic (the exceptions being Sara, Diggle, and Caitlin and Cisco in their guest episode). While Diggle, Sara, and Laurel all had story arcs and subplots about themselves and their personal development, Felicity spent most of the season just being "Oliver's girl." Severely fixed with Season 3, however, with Felicity getting her own romantic interests outside of Oliver (primarily Ray Palmer, along with building on her past Ship Tease with Barry Allen into making them a potential canon Crossover Ship), along with her own story arcs and fleshing out her backstory. In only five episodes, Felicity has gained more depth than she got in the entirety of the second season.
      • Unfortunately the complaints are back after the first few episodes, as Felicity has spent most of the season propping up other less popular characters rather than getting her own character arc. Between helping Ray build his Atom Suit and her Character Shilling of Laurel, she's had little chance to shine on her own. Even her Love Triangle between Ray and Oliver has been more about their respective issues and decisions than her own agency. It's an improvement but not by much.
      • This carried over to the end of season 3, even after Ray leaves and the Love Triangle between her, Oliver, and Ray is resolved. Felicity's own development takes a backseat to her position of Love Interest and most of her scenes are relegated to being about her relationship with Oliver, which follows straight into Season 4.
    • Diggle's also been hit with this in Season 3. Despite the possibilities of his links to Argus and H.I.V.E, relationship with Lyla, new-born daughter and the fact he's the longest-standing member of Team Arrow he's been relegated to a background presence while Laurel and later Ray take center stage. (The pair being Base-Breaking Characters does not help matters.)
    • Captain Boomerang. A prominent member of The Flash Rogues in the comics is reduced to a standard Villain of the Week during the crossover between the two shows and his beef is more with Team Arrow than Team Flash. And because this character appears in then-upcoming Suicide Squad (2016), this is probably the last we'll ever see of him. At least he wasn't killed off like Deadshot and Amanda Waller. Not until "Lian Yu", anyway.
    • The League of Assassins as a whole are this. We never find out exactly what their beliefs or mission are — save they are never allowed to leave the League without Ra's permission. Most of their conflict with Team Arrow stems from them trying to get Sara back and punish Malcolm for the Undertaking, what they do outside of their interactions with Team Arrow we never know, and considering Nyssa disbanded the League we probably will never know.
    • Laurel. Especially grating since the writers killed her off only to fill out a random plot point and because they felt her story was done. Yes, the Black Canary, a character with more history than the Green Arrow himself, has nothing to show.
    • Black Siren, Laurel's Earth-2 Doppelganger makes an appearance in the next season, posing as the Earth-1 Laurel. A lot of development is given to the character, explaining that the loss of her Oliver (on Earth-2, it was Robert Queen who came back from the Queen's Gambit shipwreck) and then becoming a meta after her move to Earth-2 Central City coincided with the Particle Accelerator Explosion led her down a very dark path. This would make for an intriguing redemption storyline, as Oliver hopes to bring this Laurel back to the light after he failed his Laurel, right? Unfortunately Black Siren simply shows that she was Evil All Along and rejects any attempts of rejection. With the announcement that she'll be returning as a regular character in Season 6, there remains a chance that this will change.
    • Vigilante, especially during Season 6 is mostly just a one-note and extremely hypocritical Knight Templar despite being revealed as a rather pitiful Fallen Hero and Dinah's ex-lover Vince. When it finally seems like he'll get a chance to shine as he turns out to be much more like his Anti-Hero comic counterpart after being revealed as a Double Agent working to take down Cayden's group from within, he is Stuffed into the Fridge to push Dinah's quest to avenge his death aka the exact same arc she had already completed in Season 5.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Some fans are disappointed in the Season 2 finale because despite Malcolm appearing in it, he never did much aside from persuading Thea to join him and never encountered Deathstroke himself. Of course, with John Barrowman recently being promoted to a series regular and Slade definitely still around, even though he's heavily incarcerated at the moment, that doesn't mean they won't still be able to meet up sometime in the future...
    • Thanks to killing her off, Sara's character arc becomes this as they get no real conclusion to it. Thankfully this is saved by the spin-off.
    • The Reveal that Malcolm actually was the one who orchestrated Sara's death, with a drugged Thea being the actual killer was met with this; largely because Laurel's arc throughout the first half of the season was her desire to avenge her sister's death, and the reveal essentially robs Laurel of the logical conclusion to her becoming Black Canary since she won't gain vengeance against the title character's archenemy.
    • Oliver's recovery from the events of the Climb (namely, being stabbed twice, once in the side and Impaled with Extreme Prejudice through the upper chest, by Ra's al Ghul and then kicked off a mountain over what must have been at least a one hundred foot drop, all exposed to the elements of a snowy mountain peak) is too quick and "normal" considering the grievous nature of his wounds. While the show has constantly shifted between "realistic" and "fantastical," this situation has dual disappointments: in a "realistic" setting, Oliver's wounds should be fatal, or at least seriously debilitating, while in a "fantastic" setting, they neglect to use either the Lazarus Pits or Mirakuru, both of which come with major and engaging caveats to their usage. Instead, he just gets a bandage and some nursing and he's fine.
    • Ra's and Merlyn's plotlines are getting this from a lot of people in Season 3:
      • In spite of Merlyn's habit of tap dancing over the Moral Event Horizon, and the numerous personal injuries he inflicts on Ollie and co., he's never really confronted or fought by the heroes, in spite of being the instigator of the entire Season 3 conflict, instead being in an Enemy Mine with them throughout. While he ends the season promoted to leadership of the LOA, it doesn't come off as any real grand plan, and required the heroes to hold the Idiot Ball for the majority of it.
      • Ra's, meanwhile, has a strong start to his storyline, but ends up just being Strictly Formula, both for the character and the show: like in the majority of his old Batman stories, he tries to marry a daughter to the protagonist and force them to take his place in the organization while threatening a cataclysmic terrorist attack on the heroes' city. There's no attempt to subvert or twist his tale at all, unlike with Merlyn's Season One plan or Slade's visceral feud with Oliver. He does everything he's done in other shows and comics, causes the least amount of damage, and loses a confusing fight with little build-up.
    • Arguably Oliver's supposed Face–Heel Turn and brainwashing into becoming Al Sah-him. Despite the fact that the writers could have very easily done this earlier in the season, which in turn would have increased the conflict between the heroes and the League, as well as make the audience second guess whether Oliver was truly good or crazy, he instead adopts the alias in the twentieth episode of the season, does some evil acts in the next episode and then the episode after that reveal he was faking it all along. Marc Guggenheim and co. admitted that they wished they had made Oliver join the league sooner.
    • After having been written out of the show, Roy Harper returns for a single episode in Season 4. His former girlfriend, Thea, has since taken up his mantle and costume, and is now struggling with a bloodthirst nearly identical to the rage issues Roy experienced under Mirikuru. Do the showrunners let Arsenal and Speedy go into battle side by side? Does Roy give Thea advice on how to control her rage? Do these Star-Crossed Lovers experience any sort of resolving arc to their relationship? No, because Thea spends nearly the entire episode in a coma, and they only get a brief conversation.
    • Chances for the return of Laurel Lance/Black Canary were dashed with the reveal that this Laurel is the villainous Earth-2 Black Siren, as seen in Season 2 of The Flash. Even then, while the character proved to have more depth than all of the new recruits combined, the idea of a reformed Black Siren becoming more like the natural Black Canary was also thrown out the window, with Black Siren being Evil All Along and Oliver and Felicity swearing to find someone worthy of filling their beloved Laurel's place on the team.
    • Ironically, although Rory Regan/Ragman addressed and resolved his personal issues with Felicity calmly and without any of the pointless drama that the Arrowverse has frequently been beset with, some fans wished that he actually had stayed angry at her longer (since she's responsible for the destruction of his entire city), if only so we could have someone aggressively criticize Felicity.
    • Using Flashpoint could have helped with a Cosmic Retcon to negate all the negative aspects of the two consecutive Seasonal Rots but the majority of the showrunners' egos just won't let them budge. Marc Guggenheim later admitting to this does not help his case.
    • Some fans were disappointed that there wasn't a confrontation between Oliver's half sisters Thea and Emiko in season seven due to the former being Put on a Bus the previous season.
  • True Art Is Angsty:
    • Between the show's first two season finales, "Sacrifice" was much more acclaimed, as it dealt with Oliver being unable to completely stop the Glades from being destroyed and ended with the death of his best friend, leaving it very downbeat. While "Unthinkable" was still positively received, most reviewers and fans felt it was the weaker of the two. That episode ends with Oliver defeating Slade without suffering any more major casualties on his side and without resorting to kill again, ultimately ending on a much more optimistic note.
    • Also seen with the Fandom Rivalry with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; fans of Arrow are very quick to criticize the other show for its lighter tone and feel (which is ironic, given that the show got a lot darker later). Conversely, AOS fans are quick to fire back with accusing Arrow of being too dark and angsty.
    • Averted with Season 3 which takes a much darker tone than Season 1 and 2 but is viewed as very poorly written and by far one of the weakest seasons.

    U 
  • Unexpected Character:
    • John Constantine, a magical DC character from a cancelled show on another network, appears in the fourth season to introduce magic to a show mainly concerned with Badass Normals.
    • It was assumed Nyssa was the permanent stand-in for Talia al-Ghul in the Arrowverse, since Nyssa took Talia's role as Heir to the Demon, a foe-romantic interest of the hero, and one of the world's assassins. Then, three seasons after Nyssa first appeared, Talia popped into the show long after the League of Assassins had lost relevance.
    • Batwoman's announcement caught a lot of people off-guard, as the Batfamily are traditionally off-limits to the Arrowverse.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Thea and Felicity ruining the reputation of Susan Williams to protect Oliver's identity as the Green Arrow. Not only were they doing it for the sake of protecting Oliver, but given that he has lied, manipulated, and even killed people to keep his identity secret, this is extremely mild in comparison to what Oliver has done. Plus, Susan has in fact done things on the show that would have gotten her reputation destroyed if it were to come to light, such as sleeping with Oliver who she also happened to be investigating. If nothing else it's extremely hypocritical of Oliver to call Thea and Felicity out on it.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • In the early part of the series, Oliver's main targets generally were corrupt businessmen rather than mobsters or supervillains, implying that the Mooks he killed were not career criminals but legitimate security personnel, which made the fact he left the corrupt businessmen alive quite questionable. This was likely the reason they had an episode taking on a corrupt security company who's leader was on The List, thus implying that the security personnel were similarly corrupt.
    • While Helena was by no means sympathetic, her Villainous Breakdown and discovery that Vengeance Feels Empty was obviously invoked for sympathy and possible foreshadowing to a Heel–Face Turn. However, her cold-blooded acts (including torturing Tommy), Smug Snake attitude, and the Arc Fatigue that came with her made it not work for most fans. The fact that she's also more trigger-happy has resulted in some fans going "No, seriously, why doesn't someone just shoot her?"
    • There are some pockets of Laurel fans who feel this way about Sara. Despite the hell she went through, many of them feel Sara brought it on herself by going on a sex-filled getaway with her sister's boyfriend even though she knew Laurel wanted something serious with Oliver, and accuse her of ignoring the way her actions affected Laurel.
    • And, in contrast to that, everyone but Laurel fans feel this way about Laurel. Many feel that her constant bitterness and Holier Than Thou attitude makes it hard to sympathize with her, especially considering that a lot of the crap she goes through is brought on by herself (after all, she did kind of know that Oliver was an infamous womanizer with commitment issues, and everyone, including Sara, pointed this out to her). It doesn't help that she's quick to blame others (with incredibly twisted logic and reasoning) and finds incredibly self-destructive ways to vent her angst. Hell, even when she's grieving for Sara's death, many have found it hard to sympathize with her because of how much she's acting like a villain with it (such as trying to kill Komodo, torturing a man who was nearly assassinated, and urging Nyssa to go behind Oliver's back to kill Malcolm, which puts Thea in danger, not that she would know that as by this point she was not aware that Malcolm was Thea's father). However, it does turn out that she was right about Malcolm being responsible for Sara's death. And the first thing Oliver does when he finds out? He tries to kill Malcolm anyway.
    • Some feel Felicity is slipping into this as well. While some support her standing up to Oliver, even making snide little insults, over his decision to join forces with Malcolm Merlyn in order to defeat Ra's Al Guhl, others feel she's being both self-righteous and insensitive to what Oliver is going through.
      • Fans also find it hard to see her point on the subject of Oliver's son. Many feel like it is just another instance of Felicity being jealous that Oliver's life exists outside of her, or that once again Oliver has a bond with a pretty girl.
    • Near the end of Season 4, a father in the HIVE dome blames Oliver for joining HIVE, since he no longer had any hope Star City could be saved, with the implication being that this is actually a valid point. Except that the man is willingly part of the nuclear annihilation of the entire world, which is not only far beyond the scope of just Star City, but also utterly monstrous. The show treats him as innocent and he escapes scott-free.
    • Susan Williams getting her reputation ruined and fired by Thea and Felicity can come off as this. Given that Susan had shown a severe lack of journalism ethics by slandering Oliver multiple times at the start of the season and was sleeping with him while investigating him, which if it had gotten out would also have ruined her reputation, it's easy to feel like she got her just desserts there, only for it to be undone later on.
    • The new recruits as of late, especially since they have done nothing but act petty and hypocritical to Oliver, Diggle and Felicity. Special mention goes to Rene, who keeps pointlessly telling Oliver that nothing has changed, when he was the one who betrayed Oliver in the first place. Dinah choosing to go after Vincent instead of helping to stop Cayden James from blowing up the city and blaming Oliver for wanting to save millions instead of Vigilante, the man who tried to kill him and everyone else, is also problematic.
    • Curtis's anger at the original team arrow for Oliver putting Rene in the hospital comes off as extremely hypocritical when he almost did the exact same thing to Diggle, not to mention Oliver's fight with Rene started with Rene coming at Oliver with an axe. Had Oliver not been the better fighter, Rene could have killed him.

    V 
  • Values Dissonance: In the second episode of Series 3, the gang is illicitly burying a person. Felicity takes a handful of dirt and tosses it on top of the coffin. Upon spotting the confusion on everyone else's faces, she explains that it's a Jewish custom. The scene falls flat for British audiences because the mainstream British funerary custom is for the closest people to the deceased to toss the first handfuls of soil onto the coffin before the grave is filled in. In Britain, Felicity's act therefore does not stand out as unusual but the behaviour of the characters creates a dissonance between what a British audience would expect to see at a funeral and what the show's creators seem to think an American audience would expect to see.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Believe it or not, as revered as season 1 is now, reception was a lot more mixed when it was airing. Looking through IMDb reviews of early episodes, you would find that viewers loathed the show, with much criticism being directed at the actors' dull performances and lack of chemistry, the show being hit with typical CW clichés harder than usual, and a large number of characters from the comics being In Name Only, though the same users agree that the quality picked up around mid-season. Fast-forward to present day, after poorly-received seasons 3 and 4, and season 1's reputation is much better, with many saying season 1's fight scenes are some of the best in the Arrowverse.
      • By an extension of that is Laurel's character. Back during Season 1 and 2 Laurel was seen as The Scrappy due to her Drama Queen tendencies and constantly being a Damsel in Distress, to say nothing of her descent into alcoholism and drug addiction during Season 2. These days, when people re-watch these seasons they view her in a more positive light, as these trials helped developed her into the Black Canary and put everything into perspective. Granted, part of this is Nostalgia Filter, due to Laurel's premature and widely despised death in Season 4.
      • Helena Bertinelli/Huntress was not popular when she debuted, but she becomes one of the most missed characters in the show since her departure along with the likes of Walter Steele, Roy Harper, Slade Wilson, and Thea Queen (Tommy Merlyn, Moira Queen, and Laurel Lance, too, if you count dead characters).
    • Season 3 as of 2018. While not by any means perfect, it had a good share of strengths such as Roy's run as Arsenal, Thea's Character Development, Laurel and Ray's Hero's Journey, the Flash team up, the Brick trilogy, and Katana. The weak points of the season still include Sara's death being part of Malcolm's overly convoluted scheme, and Ra's al Ghul becoming a bland generic villain after his first fight in the midseason. Felicity's emotional outbursts are frustrating to watch, but they at least can be considered justified and tolerable. She wasn't quite The Scrappy yet, and had a chance to be fixed by the writers.
    • For some Season 4 is this to the more controversial parts of Season 6. It will still be infamously remembered as the one where Laurel died (at the time when she began owning the Black Canary mantle, no less) and Felicity became full Scrappy. But, some good things came from the season. Diggle got a costume to call his own (helmet notwithstanding). Thea had a bad ass tenure as Speedy. Sara was revived to undo the fridge stuffing in Season 3. Ray gained his shrinking ability. Team Arrow consisted of the show's original and established characters (Curtis wasn't an official member yet). Damien Darhk, though a poor fit for Arrow, was still a very entertaining villain nonetheless. Constantine and his show were retroactively made part of the Arrowverse. And, Oliver adopted the name Green Arrow.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Ray Palmer's ATOM suit.

    W 
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Starling City's criminal elite have lots of shades of this. The second episode alone features a "legitimate businessman" threatening the life of a police detective and his daughter directly to said detective's face. Directly subverted in the very next scene: With his daughter under threat by an alleged criminal, Quentin... assigns her a police escort for the duration of the case. This is quickly mitigated by the later villains.
    • In the Season One finale, while the building is coming down around her, Laurel is running to the exit... while holding a bunch of papers. Especially since that few seconds spent gathering those papers and gawking at the falling roof, if spent running, would've got her out of the building before the roof caved in, and subsequently Tommy wouldn't have died saving Laurel. To make it even worse, she'd been warned no fewer than four times to stay out/get out of the Glades, and she still waited until the building started to collapse around her before trying to leave. In Episode Three of Season Two, she even admits that she was being too stubborn and cost Tommy his life.
    • Something also has to be said for the residents of the Glades who made "The end is nigh" posters instead of evacuating their homes.
    • Ollie himself gets in on the act in "Birds of Prey" by making Roy break up with Thea. One, not a good idea because she was the only thing keeping the Mirakuru from driving him insane. Two, it leads to her getting kidnapped by Slade.
    • Ollie appointing Isabel Rochev as CEO while he is busy, a woman he hardly knew. Somewhat mitigated by the fact that the two had developed a friendly working relationship, but given how many times Moira and Felicity warned him about her, it still wasn't his smartest move. Then again, Thea had just been kidnapped by Slade, so he's not unjustified in being distracted.
    • Sara's death was also handled in a pretty clumsy way. While standing on the rooftop, she turns and sees the person in question, asks "What are you doing here?" Then she simply stands there while the person in question draws back their bow and fires three arrows into her chest. Never once does it occur to her to duck or move out of the way of the arrow pointed at her.
    • Brick has become a de facto ruler of the Glades, and he and his men are opposed by Arsenal, the Black Canary, Diggle, Wildcat, and a posse they managed to round up... armed with baseball bats at the most, while Brick's men are all armed with assault rifles. Question, if you were Brick and his boys would you A, just stand your ground and just shoot the entire crowd dead in about 10 seconds, or B, rush up to the mob and try to take them in hand to hand combat? If you answered A, you're much smarter than Brick and his gang.
      • Worse, Damien Darhk and his army of Ghosts finds themselves in a similar situation at the end of Season 4, having assault rifles and everything and do the exact same thing Brick and his crew did.
    • When the Arrow appears to have resumed killing, Quentin Lance (who just broke ties with the Arrow over being Locked Out of the Loop regarding Sara's death) orders a manhunt to bring him to justice. During the course of this manhunt (and as the killing spreed), Arrow insists to any and all of his newfound lawful enemies that the killer is an impostor from a really bad crew. Quentin is suddenly kidnapped by a couple of dark and cryptic individuals, who then proceed to tell him that Oliver Queen is the Arrow and that Sara was with him in Lian Yu. So, does the police captain figure out that these guys aren't feeding him the Arrow on a silver platter out of the goodness of their hearts, temper the manhunt and try to get in touch with Oliver to get some answers about all of this? No, he ignores all signs that there's more to the story than meets the eye, carries on the manhunt Up to Eleven and turns into a total dick, all because of his hatred for Oliver— thus becoming the perfect tool for Ra's al Ghul's machinations to force Oliver to take over the League of Assassins.
    • In "The Candidate", Laurel eagerly grasps the Idiot Ball and hugs it to herself. See, Thea has been dealing with major rage issues lately and they have gotten so bad that they had to physically restrain her from attacking Oliver. Laurel finds from Thea that her rage issues are because of her dip in the Lazarus Pits last season. Laurel's first idea? To go with Thea to dig up Sara's corpse and take it with them to Nanda Parbat to ask Merlyn, the current Ra's Al Ghul and the man who brainwashed Thea into killing Sara in the first place, for help. Oh, and they aren't telling Oliver or anybody else about it either. Yeah, there's no way this will backfire.
      • This only gets worse in "Restoration". Merlyn and Nyssa refuse to do it, explaining the ramifications of the Lazarus Pit to Laurel and Thea across several scenes. Turns out the revived comes back with bits of the souls pit's previous users mixed into their own soul, and the clash causes a bloodlust that can only be sated permanently by revenge on the person's killer/assailant, or for a few weeks at a time by killing others. Also, the Pit hasn't been used to revive a long-dead person in thousands of years, so in that case it's possible for the original soul to be entirely lost. Nyssa in particular is no fan at all of the idea of Sara being brought back in such a corrupted state and urges Laurel to instead grieve properly and move on. Thea comes to realize just how horrible this all is when her father lies to her about an old sage in the mountains who may have an idea how to fix this, only to set her up to slaughter two of his own men to sate her forced bloodthirst, and now even she is against the plan. And suddenly Malcolm changes his mind, coming with flowery words about how bringing back Sara will help sate Thea's issues somehow. This should be the part where Laurel and Thea understand that they shouldn't have come, promptly tell the man to go fuck himself, put back Sara's corpse and return to the team and Star City. Instead, it's the part where Malcolm's words sway them just enough and they use the Pit to bring back Sara, who emerges in an absolutely feral state of mind and whose first instinct is to try and and kill anything that moves—with a particular fixation against Thea for aforementioned reasons. Nyssa is appropriately horrified at this and thus promptly destroys the pit to spite Laurel for her decision and make sure Malcolm can't worm his way into getting anyone to use it to bring him back to life when she finally does kill him.
    • In "Brotherhood" Damien Darhk tries to use his Death Touch on Thea, and he doubles over in pain as it unexpectedly backfires on him. Thea decides to get the hell out of there instead of taking the opportunity to decapitate the BigBad of the season with the Katana that she's carrying around with the plus of sating her bloodlust for a while in the bargain or at least incapacitate him.
    • In the flashback scene of "Sins of A Father" while the two of them are imprisoned by Reiter Taiana discovers that Oliver has a stone with writing on it which Reiter wants. In a hasty decision she decides to simply swipe the stone from Oliver and try to use it to bargain for her freedom in exchange for the stone. As Reiter himself lampshades, Taiana is missing the fact that since she is imprisoned by Reiter she has no leverage as he can just take the stone from her by force, which he does.
    • Wild Dog is shaping up to be a real Idiot Hero as the show goes on. When he gains a lead on Tobias Church, he decides to challenge the heavily armed terrorist leader and his army of thugs alone without backup or any kind of plan on how to overpower him.
    • Black Siren taking Prometheus' word when he promises her that Quentin won't be harmed. The very first thing Prometheus asked her to do was impersonate her dead Earth-1 counterpart to emotionally and psychologically torture his enemies, and she knows him to be a consummate liar. Quentin even lampshades how worthless Prometheus' word is when she tells him about the arrangement. Sure enough, Prometheus' endgame involves both Quentin and Black Siren being left behind on Lian Yu as Prometheus blows the entire island to kingdom come.
    • Anatoli kidnaps a foreign delegate and demands ransom, infecting him with a chemical that will kill him if the ransom is not paid. The group raids the warehouse where the delegate is kept, Oliver shoots the delegate with a antidote while Anatoli, who is completely alone, watches.
      You'd Expect: Oliver to shoot Anatoli immediately in a nonfatal area like he's done hundreds of times by now and leave Anatoli for the cops to find like he's done countless times to countless thugs like Anatoli before.
      Instead: Oliver just stands there pointing his bow and arrow at Anatoli while he monologues, shoots the delegate dead, then just walks off and gets away scot free.
      Even Worse: Anatoli even taunts Oliver with the fact that he's not going to kill him so there's nothing he can do, when in reality there was a perfectly viable option.
    • John Diggle deciding to accept Oliver's request to become the Green Arrow certainly makes one question his intelligence, especially considering that moments before he was going to accept Oliver's offer, he was about to disclose his secret to Oliver that he had nerve damage from Lian Yu's destruction. Not only does Diggle decide to accept the offer in spite of his own physical limitations, he decides to keep his nerve damage a secret from Oliver despite how it could potentially cost him or his teammates in future missions. He does try to keep up the ruse of being a Green Arrow who fires arrows by replacing Oliver's bow with a crossbow but even then, Agent Watson pays keen attention to details(she was the one who noted Diggle's Green Arrow wasn't firing any arrows) and Diggle deciding to use a new crossbow weapon will probably tip her off that Oliver is still keeping secrets from her and that John Diggle is most definitely not the same Green Arrow as before.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: In "Salvation", the way the Hood and Dark Archer kill their targets is pretty much exactly the same — from behind, straight through the chest. The third person in the vicinity is left with a marker of the encounter in their hand.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Reception for Matt Nable as Ra's Al-Ghul was initially mixed, but come "The Climb" his performance and first fight scene won back many of the critics. By the end of the season, fan consensus was They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character, but Nable himself was held in extremely high regard.
    • Season 4 tried doing this when they had Oliver become the Green Arrow, and brought Sara back to life. Unfortunately the drama caused by William, Oliver's son coupled with Laurel's death, another tedious flashback arc, and a lackluster finale means Season 4 comes off worse than Season 3 ever was.
    • Season 5 luckily has it happening for real, with a large infusion of fresh blood on the team, a pointed end to everyone keeping secrets from each other (perfectly exemplified by Felicity only taking one episode to admit to Ragman her role in his hometown's destruction), and even the flashbacks becoming engaging again as they finally cover Oliver's introduction into the Bratva and have regular direct connections to the present day story. By the end of the season, many fans and critics are hailing it as the best yet, due in no small part to the higher emotional stakes, compelling villain, the return of beloved characters, and an explosive finale that was quickly considered one of the series' best episodes.
    • Season 7 is off to a great start. The original status quo was completely obliterated by the end of Season 6, but the new showrunner and her team hit the ground running by using it as a clean slate of sorts. They were able to play with characters differently such as Diggle and Curtis on ARGUS missions, and the Siren and Felicity team ups. The Slabside story arc has been well received so far. Colton Haynes as Roy is back full time. And, cathartically, dismissing Wendy Mericle and reassigning Uncle Guggie into a hands off position.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Matt Nable as Ra's Al-Ghul. Not necessarily directed at the actor himself, but the fact that they're casting a white guy to play Ra's Al-Ghul. Again. Of course, when he appears for the first time on the show, and instead of the traditional Ra's Al-Ghul look or even Liam Neeson's look, he's some scruffy white guy with an awkward accent, the criticism becomes more understandable. Then he goes and proves himself a vilain who easily defeats Oliver yet shows no malice toward him, which may well lessen the skepticism.
    • There was a similar reaction to the casting of Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller. Again, not at the actress herself, who does a fine job playing her, but rather, casting a slimly built woman in her twenties, rather than one with the Wall's traditional build and age. While this is largely due to Waller on the show being modelled after her New 52 counterpart, who is younger and thinner, her New 52 counterpart's design was controversial when it came in, so modeling her after it raises some questions.
    • The casting of Bex Taylor-Klaus as Sin and Vinnie Jones as Brick has been criticized as whitewashing, given the Sin and Brick of the comics are respectively Asian and African-American, and Taylor-Klaus and Jones are white. The news that Madison McLaughlin's character, Evelyn Sharp, would become Artemis is Season 5 also caused this, as many figured this was based on the Young Justice Artemis, who was half-Asian, and was called out as another case of whitewashing, though others are defending the choice, pointing out that the YJ character was a case of Race Lift herself and both Evelyn Crawford (Sharp's comic counterpart) and the comics' Artemis Crock are white.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Diggle's new costume in season 4 became pretty divisive rather quickly, in large part because it looks like Magneto. Which veers straight into Hilarious in Hindsight (if not Teasing Creator) when he uses some kind of magnetic device to deflect an enemy's Drop the Hammer attempt. The crew took notice and a redesign was teased in a Flash crossover episode halfway through the season. Notably, Cisco doesn't even have to ask what should be changed, like he already knew he didn't do his best with it.
    • Prometheus's costume looks absolutely nothing like his comic book counterpart, lacking his iconic helmet and replacing it with a Scarecrow-esque mask.
    • Dinah's "official" Black Canary costume, it bares no resemblance to anything Black Canary wore in the comics and looks like an extremely generic cosplay.
  • The Woobie: Dear lord, yes. An incomplete list of characters who qualify:
    • Tommy's a guy with good intentions but at every turn, people just seem to shoot him down and don't look at what he's trying to be. For starters, he loses his best friend to a shipwreck, and when he goes to Hong Kong to find him, he gets kidnapped by said best friend as part of a plot to cover up the fact that he's still alive. His dad cuts him off from his trust fund, without so much as an advance warning, purely because he's fed up with Tommy being a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, which in a positive turn of events, leads to Tommy moving in with Laurel and taking a job at Oliver's club. Only that all blows up in his face when he learns that Oliver is the Hood, as he can't look at his best friend since childhood anymore and his own insecurities in comparison to Ollie result in him breaking up with Laurel because he thinks that if Laurel knew what he knew, she'd return to Ollie without a second thought. Oh, and his dad is also the Big Bad. Worse, when Ollie himself tells Tommy to go see Laurel, he sees them making out. Any attempt he makes to become a better person is shot down! And to top it all off, he gets Killed Off for Real in the Season One finale... by an earthquake caused by his dad.
    • Quentin: His daughter died while sleeping with his other daughter's boyfriend, resulting in his wife leaving him. He's spent the time since blaming himself, and now he's so consumed with anger he's unable to let anything go. His remaining daughter not only insists on dating the kind of men he hates, but then she started working with the Vigilante he's trying to take down; as far as he can see it, he's slowly losing the only family he has left and he can't stop it happening. He's briefly reunited with Sara, and learns she's the Canary, but has to tearfully keep her secret and watch her go back on the run, because if she stays her family will be in the League's crossfire. What's more now that Sara's dead, Laurel can't bring herself to tell him the truth out of a justifiable fear that, thanks to his poor heart, the stress will literally kill him.
      • Season Four doesn't make this any better by killing off Laurel too. Quentin has now buried his daughters 3 times, and he only had 2 to begin with.
      • Season Five takes this even further by having him relapse into alcoholism and even suggesting that he is Prometheus. Whether or not he actually is Prometheus or he was simply set up is currently unknown, but it nonetheless serves as yet another example of his misfortune.
      • The comedy/parody series CW Slamfest highlights this in the episode "The Empty Quiver" by pointing that not only has the show killed off both of his daughters (sure, Sara is revived, and Laurel has an Earth-2 metahuman doppelganger, but still), it has also put him in a relationship with Donna Smoak, one of the most unpopular characters in the show, a move which has seemingly furthered Felicity's Mary Sue status. It's heartbreaking to see him break down into tears because of what the show has done to him.
    • Laurel: Boyfriend cheated on her with her sister and possibly others as well, then both of them got lost on a boat trip, meaning that she wasn't able to grieve or be mad at them. She finds herself drawn to the wrong type of men, her father's protectiveness borders on manipulation, and she's unable to really help anyone without breaking the law by aiding and abetting a killer and vigilante. Then her new boyfriend (Tommy) breaks up with her for no good reason she can see, and she winds up sleeping with Oliver, only for Tommy to die in the Glades, and Oliver to disappear for a few months. She is also manipulated into thinking she is crazy about Sebastian Blood during her addiction arc in Season Two. And just when things look like they're about to pick up for her in Season Three, having coming to terms with Tommy's death, learning about Oliver's identity as the Arrow, helping him, and making up with Sara, it comes to an abrupt end: someone kills Sara and Laurel is there to see her fall to her death, if hitting her head or three arrows to the stomach didn't do the job already.
    • Moira's only trying to protect her family, but to do so, she has to cross so many lines that its killing her. She had to allow her husband to be killed, an incident that also nearly killed her beloved son, and left him missing for five years. Her second husband then tried to dig into what she was doing, forcing her to sit back and allow him to be abducted. When she tried to end all of this, it ended up resulting in innocents dying in a crossfire, then forcing her to rat out her friend Frank to avoid being implicated and her family being killed.
    • Thea, despite coming off as bratty, had to suffer the deaths of her father and beloved big brother at 12, and with little support due to how grief stricken her mother was, wound up turning to drugs. Her brother returns home 5 years later, and doesn't seem to want anything to do with her whilst at the same time treating her like he did 5 years earlier. And to top it off, she found out that she's the product of an affair between her mother and the Big Bad Malcolm Merlyn. On top of that she was brainwashed and forced to murder Sara, who she considered a friend, by Malcolm.
    • Tatsu, who watched her son die, soon after which her husband abandoned her to join the League of Assassins. She is so distraught by these events she goes in to self exile, living years in solitude. She only comes out of the solitude to help Oliver and Maseo. To help Oliver's friend's she is forced to kill Maseo and is taken prisoner by the League. When she is freed she decides to simply go back into her life of solitude. It's clear that she has hit the Despair Event Horizon.
    • Billy Malone, an enthusiastic and well-meaning detective who unfortunately gets caught up in the conflict between Oliver and Prometheus. At first things are going pretty great for him: his new position in the Anti-Crime Unit and his relationship with Felicity allow him to join the fight against crime alongside his idol, the Green Arrow. All of that changes, however, when he is kidnapped by Prometheus on the job, and in a cruel twist, is killed without hesitation by- you guessed it- the Green Arrow.


Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback