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YMMV / Ouran High School Host Club

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Tamaki create the Host Club merely for the fun of it and in order to show off his good looks, or did he do it out of loneliness due to his background in order to gather "family members" he himself fancied, with the excuse of wanting to entertain ladies? Or maybe he did it for the others? He looked at the states of his colleague's lives (the family-pressured Kyoya, the antisocial twins, etc.) and decided that they needed the "club family atmosphere" more than he did.
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    • Did Kyoya genuinely think of molesting Haruhi, but was talked out of it, or was it just a test like Haruhi theorized?
    • Speaking of Kyoya, J. Michael Tatum supplied some alternate interpretation of his own by suggesting that Kyoya is in love with both Tamaki and Haruhi, but wanted them to be together with each other instead of him, believing that they simply make more sense together than he does with either of them.
    • There are some fans (mostly a certain type of fan) who believe that Renge might at least subconsciously have known Haruhi's secret.
    • Did Hikaru actually like/love Haruhi? Or was he just emotionally attached to the one person that could tell him apart from his brother? It's a bit more on the former side in the manga.
    • Tamaki could easily be viewed as having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
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    • Haruhi show hints of possibly being gender-fluid (comfortable with being both genders), as seen when she says "I don't care if you see me as a boy. It's more important for a person to be seen as who they are rather than what gender they are." She also adapts easily to the life of being a host, doesn't have problem with her dad crossdressing or being referred to with he/him pronouns. So the possibility of Haruhi being gender-fluid is pretty high.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Hikaru appears to get over his feelings for Haruhi really fast, going from nearly crying at the knowledge that he lost, to having no qualms about secretly following her and Tamaki on their date along with the rest of the club just a few days later. Though it might have been to symbolize how much he had grown and thus were capable of keeping his emotions in check, or he had been processing in getting over his feelings for a while.
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    • In-universe: when Haruhi finds out about Tamaki's past she's impressed with how one wouldn't be able to tell by his attitude.
  • Arc Fatigue: Tamaki takes a really long time to realize his feelings for Haruhi are romantic and not familial (64 chapters to be exact)note , though it's eventually explained to stem from a family trauma rooted in his childhood causing him to unconsciously believe that "romantic relationships breaks up the family". Still, pretty much every reader took a collective sigh of relief when Tamaki finally confesses out loud that he likes Haruhi romantically and not as a "daughter" anymore.
  • Awesome Music: Don't deny how cool the ending song is for a shoujo anime. The extended version used in the finale is even better.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Renge is either really funny or really annoying depending on who you talk to.
    • Haruhi to a degree. Fans will either find her apathy and snarkiness around shoujo males whom the heroine usually blushes around 24/7 to be refreshing and serving as a better "role model" for the average teenage viewer/reader, or make her bland and contributing little to the plot other than to be a generic snarker.
    • Tamaki is debatably the most popular character in the series, but there are also those who just find him annoying.
    • Honey is another incredibly popular character, but there are also those that find an 18-year old acting like a 5-year old to just be creepy.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In one episode there's a scene where the twins are lying in bed in front of their maids. One of them pulls off the covers and reveals he's wearing a colorful elephant head on his crotch, that blasts confetti into the air. This is not given any lines, and it goes onto the next scene quickly afterwards, with this never being explained or mentioned again, except for a brief moment that implies that they plan on doing it again. (The elephant head is a common way to censor out nudity, so that's probably what that was.)
    • The twins being randomly dressed as girls at a party during their childhood, though only in the anime. (In the manga, it's established that their mother had designed a children's clothes line at the time, for which she used the twins as models.)
  • Bizarro Episode: There was the random episode that was a parody of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland featuring random single-episode characters from throughout the first season showing up again... In the anime, the end is a Tear Jerker: the whole thing is a dream of Haruhi's, and the one playing the Queen of Hearts is actually her Missing Mom Kotoko.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The twins' antics are sometimes seen as this.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Eclair, in the anime. As she's really the only actual roadblock between the Official Couple, she's pelted with this a lot.
    • In the manga, HoneyxMori fans wish Honey's prospect girlfriend Reiko a horrible demise, or just pretend she doesn't exist.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Who doesn't love Nekozawa? For someone who is a background character save for a single focus episode, he is incredibly popular.
    • Haruhi's father's friend Misuzu is extremely popular, the few times he does appear.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many people, especially in the West (and especially nonbinary and trans people), ignore the episode where the boys keep insisting Haruhi is a fragile girl who should realize that. While the message of being cautious isn't something to laugh about, the way it's executed oozes with misogyny, and to top it all off, it's the episode where Kyouya pins Haruhi down to make sure she "realizes" that she shouldn't trust so easily, and there's still enough ambiguity left after Haruhi's theory that leaves people questioning Alternative Character Interpretation above. All in all, for a good deal of people, the episode didn't happen.
  • Friendly Fandoms: It's fairly common to find fans of this show who are also fans of Fruits Basket. Though considering that both are shoujo series that got popular in the US during the mid to late 2000's as well both being dubbed by Funimation, this isn't too much of a surprise.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The twins' signature favourite game of having people guess which one of them is which becomes this when a flashback of their childhood reveals that they're actually hurt by people not being able to distinguish them, meaning the cheery "Which one is Hikaru-game" is really their way of covering their grief by turning it into something fun instead.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is quite popular in America, something that Kyouya's actor Masaya Matsukaze has said was a complete surprise to the Japanese vocal cast and creator Bisco Hattori herself.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Averted. Despite being aimed at a female audience, many guys enjoyed watching the show, mostly because of the light-hearted humor and the constant self-parody of Shoujo clichés.
  • Growing the Beard: The series starts out as mostly a comedy and (as mentioned above) Affectionate Parody of the standard shoujo clichès, with the occasional yet brief serious or heartwarming moments, but becomes deeper and more serious the longer it goes on, revealing hidden depths within many of the Host Club members along with other characters such as their families, and testing of how strong their bonds truly are (specially in the manga, though some of it in the anime too).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An in-universe example: in Episode 14 of the anime, Akira Komatsuzawa, the newspaper president, becomes obsessed with the thought that Tamaki can't be such a perfect Nice Guy as he appears to be, and there must be something evil or scandal-like to him, or even if there isn't, he'll make something up. In the end he's thwarted by the rest of the Host Club, and Haruhi's left with her doubts that there would be anything bad to find about Tamaki. Come the last two episodes of the anime (or Chapters 25-26 of the manga) she (and the audience) learns how Tamaki does have a sad and scandal-worthy past. The short version is that he's a mistress' child, and he's forbidden from seeing his mother ever again by his Evil Matriarch grandmother. Towards the end of the manga however, it turns out that their customers knew about this, due to always wanting to check out the background of their favorite hosts, and because of Tamaki's kind and cheerful self they were fine with it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • That episode where a boy thought Haruhi was a cross-dresser. Then we meet her father.
    • The creator early on in the series said she couldn't see Haruhi getting together with Tamaki. Guess how it ends.
    • Maaya Sakamoto (Haruhi) and Kenichi Suzumura (Hikaru in the anime and Kaoru in the drama CD) (as of August 2011) got married. This way, the Hitachiin twins/Haruhi OT3 became real.
    • Kyouya is nicknamed "The Demon King" due to his sinister nature. One of J. Michael Tatum's more well-known and famous roles is Sebastian.
    • Haruhi is an awful actor and her music grades are apparently no better. Her Japanese voice actress is a famous singer. Fun fact: The voice Haruhi was lip-syncing to in episode 19 was actually her voice.
    • The fact that Haruhi falling for Tamaki can be applied to Truth in Television: some studies will suggest that people have a tendency to unknowingly fall for someone reminding them of their parents due to the comfort of familiarity.
    • Tamaki being at odds with Beni(o) over Haruhi gets funnier with the knowledge that the Takarazuka Revue had Tamaki Ryou (also nicknamed Tama) and Kurenai Yuzuru (nicknamed Beni) as top stars note  at the same time. Both actresses were in adaptations of The Rose of Versailles - Oscar and André for Tama, Fersen and Marie Antoinette (Tamaki's dog's name) for Beni.
      • Tamaki Ryou also seems to like dogs (she used to have a picture of a dog on her official merchandise), and has gone on record as having said she didn't mind/liked being surrounded by musumeyaku (female role actresses), just like Haruhi did.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Hype Backlash: Pairing-wise, there are some fans who didn't care for Haruhi ending up with Tamaki. Either because they preferred her with someone else, usually Hikaru, or for having liked Haruhi for the Oblivious to Love heroine she started out as and wishing she didn't end up with the most predictable candidate or that she simply wouldn't date anyone at all.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Hikaru/Kaoru of course, being a heavily invoked in-universe example and probably among the most famous anime examples out there. Pretty much every fan accepts their particular case as it's mainly Played for Laughs.
  • It Was His Sled: The fandom doesn't keep secret that Haruhi ends up with Tamaki.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Haruhi is officially dating Tamaki but she is often shipped with everyone else! Yes, even Renge.
    • Kyoya also seems to be a popular ship magnet, getting paired with Tamaki, Haruhi and Kaoru.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Non-binary people are fond of Haruhi, and with how she/they often say gender doesn't matter, and even early on expresses "Biologically speaking, yeah." about being female, Haruhi is considered so as well. Many gay men are also drawn into the Bishounen filled cast.
  • Moe:
    • Honey. He's short, sweet, gives others cute nicknames and carries around a rabbit plushie.
    • Usually whenever someone says "moe" in-universe ("someone" meaning Renge), they actually mean "Ho Yay".
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Every time someone in a book/tv show/movie breaks a vase or something of the like, at least one person in the fandom will cry "KISS KISS FALL IN LOVE!"
    • Anything along the lines of growing mushrooms in people's closets, as seen from episode 10.
    • Any variation of the statement "Ouran High School Host Club deserved a second season."
  • One True Threesome:
    • Try OT7. It's like a fangirl's dream come true.
    • Haruhi paired up with the twins is a fairly popular OT3 among fans of this series.
    • Those who can't decide whether Tamaki should be with Haruhi or Kyoya often combine the two ships.
  • Periphery Demographic: There are a surprising amount of male fans, despite the series being aimed at a female audience. The fact that it pokes fun at typical romantic cliches that male viewers might find ridiculous is a key factor. Although the guys don't swoon over most of the Host Club members, Haruhi is so cute! Plus it's just plain funny.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Haruhi/Tamaki is the Official Couple, but there are almost as many who ships Haruhi with Hikaru or Kyoya. Tamaki/Kyoya is also extremely popular.
    • Likewise, Hikaru/Kaoru is another popular ship, pitting them against Haruhi/Hikaru and Kyoya/Kaoru shippers. And to a lesser extent, Mori/Honey vs. Haruhi/Mori.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Haruhi breaking the 8 million yen vase.
    • The music room doors opening with rose petals flowing out from behind them.
    • The Merit Scene.
    • Any scene of Hikaru and Kaoru flirting with each other.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The very first episode demonstrates that the Host Club doesn't mind flirting with boys as well as girls (when they first believe Haruhi is one), though this is never brought up again as the Host Club is never visited by homosexual boys, which could have made for some fun moments.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Tamaki's scolding of Haruhi for trying to protect customers from a pair of drunkards, which seemed to boil down to "Girls are too weak to fight boys!" rather than "A small person shouldn't take on two brutes." Although, the Host Club points out that their main concern was her attempt at taking them on alone when she could have called for help, which needlessly put her in danger (especially considering that Honey is a world-class martial artist, with Mori not far behind), and she really had no fighting skills to begin with anyway. Tamaki, for what it's worth, relents a bit after realizing Haruhi never called for help because she was never able to rely on anyone growing up and isn't used to the idea.
    • There's Kyoya's famous threat of rape of Haruhi later the same episode, which is quickly shrugged off by the characters and narrative in whole, being treated as acceptable because he was "pretending in order to teach her a lesson" and Haruhi, at the very least, doesn't believe he has any intention of following through. There's also a small subset of fans who believe Kyoya was simply participating in the Hitachiin twins' game to see what Haruhi was afraid of, and when she wasn't afraid, he was proved wrong and backed off.
    • Western fans have a harder time swallowing the obsession with characters like Honey or Shiro, whose admirers specifically like that they appear to be, or actually are, a pre-pubescent child and act like one.
    • The English dub and official sub's translation of the word "okama" as "tranny" (commonly used as a slur for transgender people, and considerably more offensive than the Japanese term) to refer to Haruhi's dad is less acceptable than it was in the late 2000s due to transgender rights getting more attention, even though the character in question seems to be a crossdresser or Drag Queen rather than transgender, with "tranny" coming from "transvestite" in this context.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The show-stopping anime intro is ripe of this trope.
  • The Woobie: Each of the main characters has had at least one Woobie moment, especially in the case of Tamaki.
  • Woolseyism: Shortly after being outed as a girl, Haruhi once ponders whether she should use "ore" to refer to herself, much to Tamaki's dismay. In the localization of the manga, she uses Symbol Swearing to approximate a rougher and more masculine style of speech, and in the dub, she speaks somewhat more casually, using "dude." The pronoun scene, in a less effective example, is altered to "maybe I should just call everyone dude and bro all the time."


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