Subjectives that apply to the series as a whole:
- Pit. You better believe it! His love for Nintendo video games, fanatical loyalty to Palutena, and general goofiness make him endearing.
- She may be an elegant goddess, but Palutena has a lovable, trollish Genki Girl personality and behaves similarly to many geek girls in real life. Best demonstrated and taken Up to Eleven in Palutena's Revolting Dinner, where she's probably at her cutest!
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Pit's Brawl incarnation was often portrayed in fanfiction as a pure, submissive, weak, kind, holy and innocent being (in other words, like one of the common stereotypes of angels.) To be fair, this was before Uprising was released and developed his personalty, this didn't turn out to be too off (it's way less off than how characters often get treated in Smash Bros. fan works), and Brawl gave few hints of his or any other of its characters personalities. All the fandom that payed attention knew of Pit at the time was the implication that he was overconfident or possibly even arrogant, and a hidden conversation Snake has with Otacon that says he's far stronger and older than he looks.
- Broken Base: Was the series better before or after Uprising was released? This debate mostly started when people started accusing Masahiro Sakurai of putting too much Kid Icarus content in the fourth Smash Bros..
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Eggplant Wizards, probably the most iconic enemy in the series, with one serving as Kid Icarus's Arch-Enemy in Captain N. They not only returned for Uprising but received an even quirkier successor, the Tempura Wizards.
- Palutena was a textbook example between the releases of Brawl and Uprising. While she only played a very minor role in Brawl, her new design was popular enough that she got a pretty healthy amount of fanart and cosplay even before her first voiced appearance in the latter - though she hadn't quite caught up to Pit himself until the fourth Smash game, at which point she had become a much more prominent character.
- Fandom Rivalry: With its own sister series Metroid, oddly enough. First for Metroid and its sequel overshadowing Kid Icarus and its own sequel. Then for accusations of Sakurai heavily favoring Kid Icarus content over Metroid content in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, making former non-combatant Palutena playable, giving Dark Pit (a Palette Swap) his own character slot, and Phosphora and Magnus both being Assist Trophies while not adding any Metroid newcomers such as fan-favorite villains Ridley or Dark Samus.note This is reversed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with Ridley and Dark Samus arriving as newcomers with no new Kid Icarus rep to be found; Magnus was even demoted to Spirit.
- First Installment Wins: Played straight and averted. Many people, when discussing the long amount of time since this series had a sequel, forget that there was already a sequel to the first game. However, Pit is more well-known from his Brawl appearance than in his home series, with Uprising also benefiting by following directly from Brawl and being more widely recognized/discussed than the original two games.
- I Am Not Shazam:
- His name is Pit, after Cupid, not Kid Icarus. (No thanks to Captain N: The Game Master or The Irate Gamer.) Incredibly, a Jakks Pacific Nintendo action figure listing◊ (full of typos) also labels Pit as "Kid Icarus"... long after the release of Uprising, and using a picture of his Figma based on that game.
- It should be noted that this was started by Nintendo themselves, not third-parties, as the character was indeed referred to as "Kid Icarus" on the back of the NES box. It's possible that Pit's name was intended to be changed in translation, or the writer simply made a mistake. Of Myths And Monsters calls him "Pit, the original Kid Icarus," in an effort to reconcile the two names.
- Lampshaded in Samus' Palutena's Guidance conversation in Super Smash Bros.:
Viridi: Oh, look. There's Metroid.
Pit: That's not a Metroid! That's Samus!
Palutena: Just like Link isn't named Zelda.
Viridi: And like Pit's name isn't Icarus!
Pit: OK, this joke has officially run its course.
- My Real Daddy: While Masahiro Sakurai had no involvement with the first two games, he was responsible for the series' revival in Smash Bros. and Uprising and its resulting popularity boost, as well as giving the series' classic characters their current quirky, lovable personalities. Fans tend to associate him with the Kid Icarus franchise more than anyone else.
- Sequel Displacement: The Kid Icarus series wasn't well-known before Brawl, but Sakurai's revival of the franchise helped propel it into the greater consciousness. The characters' redesigns are more widely-recognized and well-liked than their original designs.
- Sophomore Slump: Subverted in that Of Myths and Monsters is generally regarded as a perfectly competent (if derivative) follow-up to the original game among the few that played it, but played straight in that it is regularly forgotten and much more obscure compared to its predecessor and successor. This is most likely because Of Myths and Monsters was not released in its native Japan until appearing on the 3DS Virtual Console over two decades later. As a result, it's not acknowledged in Uprising.
- Stuck in Their Shadow: The existence of Metroid probably played a part in keeping another sequel from being made until Uprising.
Subjectives that apply to the first two games:
- Anticlimax Boss: Medusa in the first game, who can't even hit you as long as you just stay in the right position, which is easy to figure out.
- Awesome Music: Most of the music in the first game is pretty nice:
- Cult Classic: The first two games, while not very well-known until Smash Bros. Brawl, have a small but devoted following. A few fans strongly prefer the original games, and resent the direction the series went in after Sakurai revived it; fittingly, the fan-made Project M features Pit's classic looks (his cartoonish retro design with more adult-like proportions) as an alternate costume.
- Demonic Spiders:
- Eggplant Wizards, they showed up in the Game Boy sequel, too. A single hit from them turns you into an eggplant, which disables your attacks. The only way to reverse this is to find a nurse, which might take a ton of backtracking.
- Plutons, Pluton Flies, as well as Sticky Talons in Myths and Monsters, who steal your powerups and sell them to the black market, where you can buy them back for an exorbitant amount of hearts.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The ending of Of Myths and Monsters to those who've played Uprising. Pit flying too close to a cartoony sun and having his wings fall off was both funny and a nod to the original Icarus legend, until... Uprising has Pit's wings burn as a plot point, and it is not Played for Laughs this time.
- Goddamned Bats: The Reapers, who take a dozen hits to kill and summon a swarm of Reapettes if alerted. And many flying enemies, including the Monoeyes.
- Memetic Loser: Pre-Brawl Pit is mocked by some fans for being a weak protagonist in a hellishly Nintendo Hard game.
- Polished Port: The 3D Classics version of the original, which adds some backgrounds to the levels, difficulty modes to make the game easier to newcomers while preserving the difficulty in the harder ones, and the option to switch between the old, NES controls and a new control scheme that makes things easier.
- Power-Up Letdown: The Centurions are pretty much completely useless against bosses thanks to their weak attacks, poor aim, dumb AI, and the fact that they die from a single hit. Given that helping you against bosses is their only purpose, there's no real point in freeing them in the dungeons, meaning that mallets (which are used only to free Centurions) are useless too.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Of Myths and Monsters is a bit easier than the first game thanks to the removal of the Ratchet Scrolling.
- That One Level: The Underworld in the original game is probably better known to most players than the rest of the game! This is not without good reason either given Pit's small health bar and puny bow at the beginning of the game not to mention one wrong jump and its back to the beginning of the stage unless you use a password to continue! The Underworld is so notorious for its difficulty that Pit and Palutena joke about how brutal the difficulty was back then in Kid Icarus: Uprising when Pit goes to the Underworld to stop Medusa.