- Abusive Parents: 'Under the Influence' sees both Dre and Bow completely overreact to Diane kissing a boy at her school dance, to the point of screaming at her, throwing her clothes on the floor, removing her bedroom door so she can no longer have any privacy and by breaking her phone. It's not surprising she felt she had to hide the fact she had a boyfriend from them when they reacted so violently. It's also really uncomfortable to see Dre pinning Jack to a chair and screaming in his face because he wanted to know who Diane's boyfriend was, threatening to ban him from any screen time for six months unless he told. And then bans Jack from screens for eight months when Jack finally crumbles under the pressure and confesses. While Dre and Bow see the error of their ways and offer a rather weak apology to Diane, they don't exactly offer to make amends, and Dre never apologises to Jack for his behaviour.
- Acceptable Political Targets: One episode deals with Junior revealing he has an interest in being a Republican. And then it's subverted, when the show has Junior ask why black people have to be Democrats, and neither Dre or Bow are able to come up with a decent answer. By the end of the episode, they've come to realize that they're actually the ones who are somewhat bigoted.
- Base-Breaking Character: Ruby, a constant barrage of My Beloved Smother and conservative strawman gags. Some fans think Jenifer Lewis' performance is enough to salvage it, but others just find her ungodly annoying, especially since she never, ever gets any comeuppance.
- Broken Base: The Dre and Bow separation arc. Either a well written story about marital differences, or cheap, ratings-boosting drama fodder.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The fourth season concluded with a 4 episode arc about Andre and Bow's relationship problems which promptly had the fanbase in a revolt due to the sudden tonal shift from quirkly gag-laden sitcom to a character-focused drama with 3 out of the 4 episodes having a Downer Ending. Thankfully the story ended happily.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Charlie quickly became perhaps the show's most popular character, with his Cloud Cuckoolander behavior and hints of his bizarre past. This was even enough to keep him on the main cast of the original show and get him in the cast its spin-off at the same time, which from this point on removes him from his "Dark Horse" status.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- In season 2's "Chop Shop", when Ruby takes over the family's Christmas card shoot and sets up an Empire-themed one. She casts herself as Cookie and picks Bow as "the white girl (Rhonda)", which is meant to illustrate her contempt for her daughter-in-law. It becomes even harsher after Empire killed off Rhonda later on... .
- Just a few months after Dre held up Steve Harvey as an ideal black person's comedian, he got in hot water for meeting with Donald Trump and afterwards voicing his support, while at the same time making an extremely offensive joke about Asians being ugly.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Major fantasy nerd Junior would later become one of the main heroes in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
- Narm: "Blue Valentine" cranks the melodrama to This Is Us levels. Complete with muted color palette, no music and characters acting way out of character for the sake of drama.
- Take That, Scrappy!: Bow finally tears into Ruby in "Mother Nature". Even mama's boy Dre doesn't try to defend her.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- The show completely skips the kids' learning about Bow's pregnancy, which could definitely have led to some great material.
- Zoey's apparent lack of faith in God provided a wonderful opportunity to start a conversation about variance in religion, atheism, and spirituality, and their ability to peacefully coexist. Instead, Zoey is merely shown to be a repentant, lapsed Christian.
- Bow's struggles with being a pregnant working woman plays second fiddle to Dre deciding whether to take paternity leave. Making it weirder is that earlier the same season an episode had Bow taking over the narration due to having a closer take on the material.
- Values Dissonance: Season 3's Halloween episode "Mischief Night" is portrayed as overblown delinquent chaos — with Ruby and Janine playing it up a la The Purge, and Bow strongly advocating against it. To East Coast viewers (particularly ones from the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas), for whom the tradition is a completely normal occurrence, Bow's overreaction is rather Narm-ish. Justified since it doesn't count as SoCalization if the show is very explicitly set in LA.
YMMV / Black-ish