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YMMV / Miley Cyrus

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Miley took inspiration from Kesha and created an image for herself that isn't actually true in order to boost her music career and create "scandals" in a press-driven world.
    • Considering the intense scrutiny and criticism Miley has endured in the media from the very beginning, either due to her squeaky-clean Disney roots or for anything that veered from them in the slightest, real or imagined (being given death threats on Twitter for speaking out for gay marriages, which led to her decision to leave the site for a year, can't have helped), one can say at least some or her image makeover might be fueled by a need to stick it to the press and those that nitpick her every move. It can also be thought to be part of a need for a more honest image than much of the pop world.
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    • Is her act basic shock value attention whoring, a statement on the media and the state of society, or both?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Although the music video for "We Can't Stop" is already bizarre, the one moment unlike the rest is the poor CGI face mechanically mouthing to the pitched-down "it's our party, we can do what we want" verse. There's little explaining how it relates to the crazy party happening in the video.
    • To a somewhat lesser extent, her self-described "twerking" video to J. Dash's "WOP", compared to the rest of her output. It's shot in grainy black and white in an empty photo set, and features her dancing provocatively in a unicorn costume for two minutes. Supposedly, she did it on a whim after she had a few minutes alone after a photoshoot, but the video quickly got picked up by the tabloids after she posted it to her Twitter account.
  • Broken Base: The new haircut. It doesn't help that Miley wants to keep it permanently because it's easier to maintain.
    • Also, y'know, her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.
    • In a more basic sense she has fans of her Hannah Montana era, her pre Bangerz era, and her comeback with her album Bangerz in America. To non-members of her fanbase, she is to regular Base Breakers what atomic weapons are to conventional ones.
  • Cargo Ship: Miley herself and her fan base often ship her with pizza, her favourite food.
  • Covered Up: "These Four Walls" is an old Cheyenne Kimball song.
    • "East Northumberland High" and "Start All Over" from Meet Miley Cyrus were written and recorded by Samantha Jo Moore and Fefe Dobson, respectively.
    • "Kicking And Screaming" from her EP The Time Of Our Lives is a cover of an international bonus track from Ashlee Simpson's I Am Me album. The EP doesn't credit Simpson for co-writing it, for unknown reasons.
    • "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go", from a Bob Dylan charity tribute album.
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    • The covers of songs in her online Backyard Sessions videos count. She has so far covered "Lilac Wine", a Nina Simone cover popularized by Jeff Buckley on Grace, "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma" by Melanie, and "Jolene" by her godmother Dolly Parton.
    • "Adore You" was written by obscure hip-hop soul singer Stacy Barthe.
  • Critical Research Failure: She did not invent twerking. The media also failed to recognize that twerking is an English place-name term.
  • Die for Our Ship: The kids who grew up with Nick Jonas and her have still yet to let it go.
  • Ear Worm: Plenty. Songs from Hannah Montana like "Best of Both Worlds", "Nobody's Perfect", upbeat tracks such as "Who Owns My Heart" "7 Things" and her more serious ones like "The Climb", "When I Look at You", "Ready, Set, Don't Go", "Forgiveness and Love", "We Can't Stop"...
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Her fans and Selena Gomez fans don't really get along. Ironic because the two girls get along great.
    • After her record label's executives got so defensive of her that they started deleting YouTube videos for simply criticizing her, fans of the React series by the Fine Brothers now hate her(which is now Hilarious in Hindsight seeing as the Fine Brothers lost a lot of fans after they themselves started aggressively taking down other "React" videos themselves and then trying and failing to trademark the term "react").
    • Cher fans and Miley fans have gone to war over who sang Miley's song "I Hope You Find It" better. Both Miley and Cher do follow each other on Twitter, though.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • Few people find her perfomance at 2013 VMAs sexy. Even Rihanna, who is well-known for dressing in kinky outfits, looked uncomfortable watching it.
    • Similarly, few find the "Wrecking Ball" music video sexy in any way. Word of God says there was little or no attempt to be "sexy" in the video, that it was an emotional song about a breakup, but the media merely focused on the Naked!Miley aspect and drew the conclusion it was meant to be "sexy". Which people would take seriously if she wasn't seductively licking a sledgehammer.
  • Fridge Brilliance: When she hosted SNL in season 39, she told the audience that she wasn't going to do a Hannah Montana parody, but she was going to give them an update about what she's been doing: she was murdered. It seems like a Take That! to the show, but it could easily be one at people who didn't watch the show because anyone who did would know that Hannah ceased to be once her secret identity was revealed.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: On her Bangerz tour, which began in February 2014, a giant statue of her dog Floyd is wheeled in for Miley's performance of "Can't Be Tamed". This staging lends some unintended poignancy/discomfort by March/April 2014, after the sad news of Floyd's unexpected death; Miley herself broke down in tears upon seeing the giant Floyd statue onstage.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A write-up of Miley penned by Former Child Star Donny Osmond when she was listed in the Time Top 100 of 2008 carried these prophetic lines:
    Within three to five years, Miley will have to face adulthood. Fans grow up, and their youthful interests quickly dissolve. Her challenge will be overcoming the Hannah Montana stereotype. Miley's fans are not thinking about the fact that she will grow up too. As she does, she'll want to change her image, and that change will be met with adversity. It's next to impossible to fight, embrace, use or love your image. Trust me. I've seen this all play out before; it's the same ball game, just different players in a different time.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: "Goodbye" is about a couple who realize they want to get back together. Considering that Miley's parents reconciled after announcing their divorce twice, it comes off as very touching.
    • Even more so with Miley's own reconciliation with Liam Hemsworth.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode of Hannah Montana, Miley quips that at some point she'll have to dance around in her underwear. Fast forward to her 2013 VMAs performance...
    • "See You Again" features the lyrics "I have a heart that will never be tamed".
    • A Hannah Montana episode has Miley Stewart experimenting with her image to bring edginess to her act, after observing a Madonna-like musical hero of hers change her image regularly. One of the image makeovers is a very Gothic/punk-like look with spiky hair, freaky make-up and leather. In more recent years, Miley Cyrus herself has experimented with a similar look in Real Life.
    • An ABC News interview with Miley during her Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Tour, which Cyrus and her fans posted links to on Twitter, featured Miley showing Barbara Walters a photo of 1960s fashion icon Twiggy and her spiky, short haircut, remarking that someday, Miley would like to have her hair cut similarly. Fast forward a few years, and she's finally done so.
    • Any joking comments in pop culture, from Saturday Night Live to Two and a Half Men to the "Bob Miley" incident on her 20th birthday alluding to her as a secret stoner due to her New Orleans salvia incident come across this way now, now that she's admitted to be an actual marijuana user in 2013.
    • The fourth episode of Hannah Montana is titled "It's My Party and I'll Lie If I Want To" In 2013, she made a song with the lyrics "It's my party and I'll do what I want to."
    • Miley Stewart tries to get a reaction from her father Robbie Ray, who is sarcastically indifferent to her after she defiantly sneaks Jesse past him in her house against his wishes and is discovered with him, in the Hannah Montana episode "He Could Be The One", by mentioning she doesn't know what clothes to wear to a TV performance, so she'll decide to perform in her birthday suit. Cue 2013 and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video.
    • Go on any music/lyric video for "Can't Be Tamed" and you'll find at least one, if not several, recent comments saying something to the effect of "She warned us."
  • Ho Yay: Lots of it. She's very close with her female friends both on and offscreen. She also kissed Katy Perry during her Bangerz tour.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: She has a significant fanbase in South America and Australia.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Seriously, she's been paired with almost everyone that she's ever met.
  • Memetic Mutation: I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!!!
  • Narm: The Climb is seen as this, also Narm Charm obviously by those who like it. When I Look At You could also apply.
    • Her performance of "Wrecking Ball" at the American Music Awards featured her singing in front of a giant kitten that was lipsynched to her song. It's already goofy to pair that up with a somber song to begin with, but at one point it starts crying in the goofiest way possible.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • She's probably never gonna get over her performance at the 2013 VMAs. Less than 24 hours after it aired, it reached memetic status.
    • Miley mentioned in an MTV documentary that she wanted to join in the spirit of outrageousness of the show and have a fun time, and that she felt as people would talk anyway, she would have rather have people "talking about her for two weeks rather than for two minutes".
    • It's almost a given her Disney-era scandals and controversies will continue to be discussed online and show up in Google searches even now that she outgrew her Idol Singer period.
    • She once took over Disneyland for 16th birthday.
    • "Miley, what's good?!"
    • "I miss the old Miley".note 
    • Miley herself said this about the music video for "Wrecking Ball": "I’m never living that down. I will always be the naked girl on a wrecking ball."
    • Her lifestyle as a stoner during the Bangerz/Dead Petz eras, even after she quit during the making of Younger Now, has often been discussed/joked about in 2017 talk show appearances.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Maintains this attitude towards her controversial status.
  • Older Than They Think: Despite what many older people seem to think, Miley did not singlehandedly invent "twerking"; the dance move was around for about a decade before her solo career started. She did, however, greatly popularize the word, as it had largely been a niche term among hip-hop fans before her performance at the 2013 VMAs.
    • Miley herself. Quite a few people think she's still a teenager. She was born in 1992.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite being marketed to young girls. Apparently, she's popular with Hell's Angels (well, the type who give to hospitals etc.) and with boy-racers, unbelievably. She also has a significant gay male fanbase.
    • Also she, her music and her show do have a young adult fan base.
  • Retroactive Recognition: She had a very brief role in Big Fish when she was 11, playing one of Edward Bloom's childhood friends who accompanies him to the local Witch's house. So yes, that means that Tim Burton fans can truthfully say that they were following Miley Cyrus' career before Hannah Montana fans were.
    • Members of Miley's regular backing band (which has stayed unusually stable since 2006) include members of early-2000's Pop Punk band American Hi-Fi ("Flavor Of The Weak"). Drummer Stacy Jones (who sings lead and plays guitar in American Hi-Fi) began as drummer with Boston-based, 1990s One-Hit Wonder Alternative Rock band Letters To Cleo ("Here And Now"); LTC singer Kay Hanley had for one tour worked as a live background singer for Miley.
  • She Really Can Act: Although she is still weighed down by her status as a Disney star, Miley is capable of delivering genuinely good performances, such as Bolt and The Last Song. Even Hannah Montana was filled with these moments (namely that, despite her age, she showed some pretty sharp comedic timing.)
    • Also her role on Two and a Half Men was praised for her comedic ability.
    • Her appearances on Saturday Night Live in recent years, either as host or in cameos, are great ratings draws, and are often considered highlights of the seasons she appears in. Even when the episodes themselves are criticized, it's usually not due to Miley's performances.
    • Her performances during the Bangerz tour and with recent cover versions such as Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" (for a 2011 charity tribute album) and a live, raw performance of Led Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" (released on Soundcloud in 2014) have recieved praise for her vocals.
    • Her roles in Black Mirror.
  • Signature Song: "Party in the U.S.A." Disney-era, "We Can't Stop" or "Wrecking Ball" post-Disney era.
  • Snark Bait: Her post-Disney image has been the source of much mockery by the press due to being seen as trying to stay relevant or trying to act black.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: AWOLNATION fans immediately took notice to "Wrecking Ball" sounding a lot like "Sail"
    • Todd in the Shadows also points out that it bears resemblance to Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" (not helping that the music videos for both songs feature the singer(s) naked).
    • Before that, there was "Fly on the Wall" which sounds eerily similar to "Megalomaniac" by Incubus.
  • Tear Jerker: "Robot", "When I Look at You", "Goodbye", "These Four Walls", "Take Me Along", "Bottom of the Ocean", "The Climb", "Stay", "Wrecking Ball", "I Miss You".
    • Add the Reality Subtext behind "7 Things" to its music video, with random teenage girls, often in tears and anger, emoting to Miley's lyrics as if singing to their own exes, and it can be tearjerking too.
    • In some ways (though not completely a joyless period) the spring of 2014 can count. She loses her beloved dog Floyd to a coyote attack, breaks down on stage (one prop used on tour is a giant statue of Floyd, wheeled in for performances of "Can't Be Tamed"), she suffers through flu symptoms and a sinus infection, then suffers a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics used to treat the sinus infection and is laid out in a hospital for up to a month ridding herself of the side effects. Her tour is postponed until August, and something of a backlash against her over the canceled tour dates rises while gossip papers invent rumors than she is in hospital because she is pregnant or has suffered from a drug overdose. Fortunately, by May, she had recovered.
    • Her home in Malibu, originally the house she had recorded her first album in, burned to the ground in November 2018 in the Woolsey fires that rampaged through the region. Thankfully, she, her fiancee Liam Hemsworth and all of her pets survived and were brought to safety.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible:
    • She plays the trope for all it's worth with her 2013-2014 live performances and appearances, and her MTV Unplugged performance from 2014. People in dancing horse suits, rainbow, unicorn and teddy bear costumes, Miley's often provocative and/or colorful costumes and outfits, even much of the pyro and screen projections. Her friend Cheyne Thomas dressed in a "sexy Santa" outfit at Jingle Ball 2013 also counts. She promises more in her Bangerz tour of 2014.
    • The psychedelic, surrealistic photos she posts on Instagram look like they're going for this trope as well.
    • In 2014, she debuted her very surrealistic, structural pop artnote  in an exhibit titled "Dirty Hippie". A lot of thought did go into it, but the result does qualify as a Mind Screw.
  • Values Dissonance: In the UK, where Hannah Montana was less of a phenomenon, her changes in image have been a good deal less divisive. In the Midlands there's even the "Midland Miley", slang for any girl or woman who dresses or has a haircut like Miley Cyrus, but speaks with a Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Black Country or Birmingham accent.
  • I'm Still Relevant, Dammit!: Her new "bad girl" image is often seen as a heavy-handed attempt to stay relevant by copying her hedonism-promoting/artsy pop contemporaries like Kesha and Lady Gaga.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Her performance at the MuchMusic Video Awards in 2010. Then came her VMA's performance in 2013, which does in fact look like it was made on drugs. Lots of drugs.
    • The Mind Screw that was her "Start All Over" video, made when she was 15.
    • The "Wrecking Ball" video.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Her outfit at the infamous 2013 VMAs.


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