- Americans Hate Tingle: They never acquired much of an audience outside of the USA.
- Anvilicious: When they tried to be political (for example, "Save the Land") this was typically the result.
- Covered Up: They reached #3 with "Some Kind of Wonderful", originally recorded in 1967 by the New York Soul band Soul Brothers Six. The Soul Brothers Six version wasn't a huge hit nationally (it only got to #91 on the Billboard Hot 100 and didn't even make the R&B chart), but it was massively popular in Grand Funk's homebase of Detroit.
- Critical Dissonance: They were the Nickelback of The '70s. At their peak, they were one of the biggest rock bands of the decade as they drew huge crowds, enjoyed platinum-selling albums, and sold out stadiums, but the music press hated them and saw them as a symbol of everything wrong with contemporary American rock music.
- Signature Song: "We're An American Band", which supposedly arose from an argument the band had at a bar with British group Humble Pie over the merits of British versus American rock. Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer stood up and after bragging about American rock heroes such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley, proudly announced, "We're an American band!", although Brewer says "it never happened".
- Also their Covered Up version of "Some Kind of Wonderful" qualifies.
YMMV / Grand Funk Railroad