- Acceptable Targets: The Russians, especially Count Ignatieff is shown as this.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Flashman first started out as the antagonist in Tom Brown's Schooldays. In this version, he's more of a Villain Protagonist / Magnificent Bastard.
- Badass Decay: Many Flashman fans felt the protagonist suffered from this in later entries, engaging (however reluctantly) in outright heroic actions, for instance saving the British army in Flashman and the Mountain of Light, while downplaying his roguish side. Fraser told Christopher Hitchens that he deliberately amped up Flashman's nastiness in Flashman on the March to assuage such criticisms.
- Broken Base:
- Is the movie version of Royal Flash a funny comedy that makes acceptable deviations from the source material? Or a wretched bastardization of Flashman's character, replacing his wit and sarcasm with overwrought slapstick? Both sides at least concur Malcolm McDowell was less-than-ideal casting (McDowell himself agrees).
- For the books: is Flashman and the Tiger (the 11th book, a collection of three short novellas) an enjoyable deviation from formula, or the series' ruining moment? The third story's Sherlock Holmes cameo in particular is considered either brilliant or inexcusable, with little middle ground.
- Tear Jerker: Flashman tends to weep for his completely undeserved miseries in nearly every book, but sometimes something awful enough happens to jolt even him. In Flashman and the Great Game, Flashman actually weeps when he learns that Scud East died a horrible death, though he swiftly starts sobbing for himself again. He's also stunned senseless when he learns that poor loyal Ilderim Khan was killed by the Sepoys. In the same book he is sickened and grieved by the slaughter of the British household he's been serving as a native butler and their neighbors.
- Values Dissonance: The first Flashman largely does play sexual violence for laughs.
- Nareeman's rape by Flashman and her attempt to seek revenge is not given any pathos but the butt of a punch-line and Sergeant Hudson, the "good" English subordinate, calls out Flashman for his attempt to execute her in cold blood but not for raping her, which Flashman had confessed.
- The subplot where Flashman gropes Betty Parker and then for her to reject and shriek when Flashman tries to act on his advances, while calling out Flashy's attitude, does tend to lean into the "she was asking for it" since Betty was apparently raised with the notion that men groping women was acceptable social behaviour. The way the writer treats Betty Parker's consent differently from Nareeman does call into the Double Standard by which white characters and behaviour to them is treated differently than the same is done to non-white characters.
- Despite claiming he didn't rape anyone after Nareeman, Flashman also rapes the Sex Slave he's given in Flash for Freedom! - not only is she a slave and unable to consent due to the power differential, she's also explicitly not into it; Flashman mentions that he couldn't get her to respond either by sweet-talking her or with a whip.
YMMV / Flashman