Poké Tubers, people on YouTube that post videos of "competitive" Pokémon matches, are often mocked due to them indirectly invoking Sturgeon's Law for competitive play and their propensity to give out bad advice. More skilled Poké Tubers or those directly from Smogon themselves (like pokeaimMD or CybertronProductions) aren't subject to this since they actually know what they're talking about.
The outcome of the Shadow Tag test for Ubers was vetoed by the site owner due to the extremely controversial method that the moderators were using to count the votes. note For those unaware, the suspect test required anyone that met the conditions to write a paragraph on why they felt Shadow Tag should or shouldn't be banned, which is something that has never been required in any Ubers suspect tests before and was only present in a very small amount beforehand. Said paragraph could be rejected by those in charge of the test, and the two people behind it (until a third, neutral one joined) were very heavily biased towards its ban. Far more than half of the rejected votes were "no ban" on it, changing the outcome from not banning it to banning it. The mods also refused to elaborate when asked.
Shadow Tag + Hypnosis was banned after realizing how broken and uncompetitive it is. Doubly so with the Mega Evolution changes in Generation 7, where Pokémon get the speed of their mega form the turn they evolve, rather than the turn after, which made the incredibly fast Mega Gengar unstoppable as long as it lands a 60% move before the opponent is able to act.
Most ban discussions end up as this, but a special mention goes to the discussion of SwagPlay, a strategy which consists of confusing the enemy (thus introducing a random chance of inflicting self harm) and increasing his Attack in order to use it against him with Foul Play. The original thread was split between those who wanted all forms of confusion banned and those who felt that banning Swag Play is completely ridiculous and should have never been considered in the first place. In the end, the discussion devolved into such a mess that it was locked. The current consensus seems to be that while it isn't broken and can be beaten out, it's so incrediblyBoring, but Practical to the point where entire official tournaments hinged on the strategy, and people are just sick of seeing it.
Their dedication to 6v6 singles while official tournaments follow doubles format is contentious within the competitive community. Nugget Bridge is a site dedicated to the official VGC format due to Smogon's half-hearted coverage and lack of good players within that format.
Averted on the site itself, which has an entire subforum and IRC channel for non-competitive discussions.note Casual play, in-game, spin-offs, the anime, and occasionally fan games.
Character Tiers: Despite having over 800 Pokémon of varying balance (as well as mons with alternate forms and Mega Evolutions), Smogon has taken to heart to organize all Pokémon into tiers. It is also continuously changing, with Pokémon changing tiers based on usage, and even implementation or removal of clauses. In the most popular format, Overused, or OU, acts as Top Tier and is considered "standard", while Ubers falls under God Tier since it functions as a banlist tier (though it has a metagame in itself). Beneath that, there was initially just Underused for everything not in OU, but as the list of Pokémon grew, more tiers were added to encompass the Pokémon with low usage in UU, and then the Pokémon with low usage in that tier as well. The current metagame as of the seventh generation boasts, in descending order, RU (Rarely Used), NU (Never Used), and PU (no common meaning; the name was a bad pun that ended up sticking). Everything too bad to be commonly used in even PU is regarded as "Untiered", though as that still leaves over a hundred fully-evolved Pokémon, there are communities trying to make a competitive tier out of even that, which generally favor ZU (Zero Used) or occasionally FU (for the pun) as a name. Since the tiers are usage-based, the viability ranking thread does contain quite a number of Pokémon that's residing in a lower tier. Additionally, each tier besides Ubers has their own banlist, which is for Pokémon that are banned from a lower tier, but doesn't have enough usage to rise to a higher tier. As for Doubles, it has 3 tiers, Doubles Ubers, Doubles OU, and Doubles UU.
The site is infamous for how much they love the entry hazard Stealth Rock, to the point that it's almost memetic; virtually every team carries it regardless of what tier is being played since it's just so darn useful. If you're playing on the actual games' random Wifi and doing a Singles battle, you can probably infer whether or not your opponent is from the site based on whether you see Stealth Rock being used.
The Gen V metagame was widely hated due to the fact that Politoed's permanent rain caused this. Even after Drizzle and Swift Swim were banned from being used together, it was still powerful enough that few people used anything else, and Smogon refused to put any larger of a ban on it, for fear of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. About half of all teams used had Weather by the time X and Y were announced. It's generally seen now by those outside of Smogon (and some in it) as the greatest failure of their suspecting process, as even after several bans to nerf the play-styles based around it, Rain still remained extremely dominant. Also, since Gen. V, the current banning philosophy has been far more aggressive and has raised concerns that Smogon is now Jumping Off the Slippery Slope they said they were trying to avoid in trying to avoid something like Gen. V weather teams' dominance from happening again.
Gen VII brought The Tapu, which are common in the competitive scene due to being Fairy-type with high overall stats and being able to support its teammates with their ability to summon terrain. With Doubles' heavier demand of overriding another terrain, it's almost impossible not to spot any team without one of the Tapu there.
Memetic Badass: Druddigon is commonly referred to by RU players for being the most overpowered Pokémon in existence, a great contrast to how it's treated as the most unmemorable Dragon Type in the series by the rest of the fandom.
Memetic Loser: Charizard, prior to Gen VI introducing two very strong Mega Evolutions for it. That said, the base form is still considered this, as well as any versions of it in Ubers.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Gen 6, Charizard's Mega Evolutions made it a legitimately solid choice in higher tiers; Mega Charizard X is essentially Salamence with a better typing and a built-in, recoil-free Life Orb for contact moves, while Mega Charizard Y gets Drought and is the hardest-hitting non-Uber weather inducer. Not to mention that it's often hard for the opponent to predict which Mega Evolution Charizard is packing.
Averted. Almost everything they ban is determined by community feedback, whether or not the supposed Game-Breaker is overcentralizingnote becomes so common that you are required to run something to counter it specifically, regardless of what kind of team you are running, and ultimately tests with ladder ranking entry requirements. The process is nonetheless prone to groupthink. This was taken into account by disallowing voters from changing their votes.
Ironically, evasion was allowed for Ubers after testing the tier and participants deciding that it isn't that bad due to how powerful everything is there (read: the odds are very high that an Evasion user will be wiped out long before it manages to buff itself to nigh-unhittable status). Doesn't stop a few losses turning into wins due to blind luck every now and then, though.
Defending your favorite Pokémon (namely unviable Pokémon and/or starters) against legitimate criticism by invoking Popularity Power will also cause you to be viewed as this. note For reference, this is the reason for Charizard's Scrappy Status in past gens.
Also played straight with casuals who try to adopt Smogon rules and force others to abide by them despite a) not having a single clue what half of them mean and b) not being anywhere near the skill level where those rules start to mean anything.
So Bad, It's Good: The arbitrary forum emotes (such as the sad pirate face) are viewed as this. Many consider them nostalgic, to the point where the forums kept them after the December 2017 redesign and some Smogon Discord servers have them as custom emojis.
Pheromosa's animation still has the Sun/Moon Pokédex background behind its translucent wings.
That One Rule: Speed is calculated at the beginning of the turn and not directly after a change to speed. While this normally does not pose a problem, as it typically takes a turn to use a speed-altering move, a Pokémon that Mega Evolves can suddenly seem too under-speedy against the opponent, because speed on that turn is still determined using pre-Mega Evolution stats. This was changed in Generation 7.
Vindicated by History: Happens every now and again, due to people finding things that actually work better than previously thought. Such examples are Rotom-W in Gen IV (an issue of The Smog even said it goes from being mediocre to "a sub-par Lanturn" when the Rotom form type changes were discovered) and Mega Latios goes from being unviable in Generation VI to being a solid pick in Generation VII.