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  • Badass Decay:
    • Dan Halen. The first few seasons portray him as an almost demonic force of nature, doing unspeakably evil deeds for no reason other than being evil and always gettting away with his actions. Nowadays, he's more of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is almost always fueled by Greed with his actual Satanic ties being long forgotten. He's also been losing (and dying) somewhat more often such as in "The War on the War on Christmas", "Forever Autumn", "The Inkubator Lives", and "Granite Caverns".
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    • To some extent, Early is this also. Compare his nigh-invincibility from the early seasons to... marrying and getting mauled by a bear later on.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Every single episode.
  • Catharsis Factor: It can be pretty satisfying to watch Early getting brutally injured or dying on a near constant basis due to how much of a Jerkass he can be. Dan Halen also, however infrequent it is.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: There's a few episodes that veer really hard hard on it's sadist and bleak nature without any levity to the point that it can be a bit hard to watch. "Thanks-taking" and "From Russia with Stud" being the infamous examples. Early himself is a nasty, violent asshole, and there are several incidences where he will ruin what would otherwise be a humorous slapstick gag just by being himself.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Glenn has become this for many fans, due to his Deadpan Snarker tendencies and often playing as the Straight Man to both Early and Dan Halen.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Parts of the Sheriff's totally unhinged rant in "Government Brain Voodoo Trouble" (It's always about yooou!) sound uncomfortably like what The Sheriff's voice actor at the time, Charles Napier, was actually going through when it came to how he viewed his own career; Napier was so obsessed with being more famous that his wife put him on an episode of Dr. Phil just to call him out on it.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Swayze Crazy", which features a man posing as Patrick Swayze and eventually killing the actual Swayze in the same episode, can feel a little mean-spirited after the death of the real-life Patrick Swayze.
    • The episode "Anabolic Holic" features a Hulk Hogan Expy named "Thunderclap", who lost his title following an incident involving an African person. Years later, in 2015, Hulk Hogan himself was fired from the WWE after a scandal involving him essentially admitting he was racist — much to the surprise of his Black co-wrestlers.
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    • "The Fine Ol’ Solution" has Early grow annoyed at the increasing amounts of Mexican immigrants populating Dougal County, and decides to build a wall around his house to keep them away from him. This episode is extremely awkward to watch nowadays in light of the 2016 presidential election, in which one of Donald Trump's supposed plans when he became president was to build a wall around the border of Mexico to keep immigrants out.
    • One episode has Early smashing Glenn's Father's Day mug and insulting his children. In a later episode "Class of '86", Glenn says that his children died in a house fire. Though a later episode called "Thanks-Taking" shows that his kids are still alive.
    • Early's politically incorrect attitude was intended to mock how deeply conservative the south tends to be, and as such was meant viewed as Cringe Comedy. However, it's just plain uncomfortable now after his voice actor, Unknown Hinson, was fired from the show in August 2020 after posting several derogatory remarks regarding Dolly Parton's support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Les Yay:
    • Lil and Granny french-kissing in the episode "School Days, Fool Days".
    • Ga Ga Pee Pap "12 Gun" Cuyler towards his grandson Rusty in "Dead Squid Walking".
    • In both cases, and a few other unmentioned ones, and this cannot be stressed enough; No Yay.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The series has many fans among conservative Southerners, despite the fact that the show's depiction of Appalachia and the Deep South ranges widely from affectionate and knowing to something far more cruel and demeaning. Many fans on messageboards have commented that what's depicted on Squidbillies — the silliness and borderline insanity of self-professed hillbillies and rednecks doing mindblowingly stupid things — isn't all that far from the truth.
    • The Sheriff's voice actor, Bobby Ellerbee, noted that the show is extremely popular at the University of Georgia.
  • The Scrappy: To many, Tammi has become this. While she was initially introduced as a pleasant and competent character who was sweet to Rusty, she would later suck the fun out of the series in any future appearances, with her enforced morals and demands for child support payment.
  • Values Dissonance: Of a very recent variety. The show's plethora of Confederate flagsnote  used as decoration and parts of scenery might be jarring to people with more politically correct sensibilities, but in fact the frequent display and flying of the Confederate flag in the South was more or less a nonissue until 2015, when it became the extremely controversial topic that it remains today. In later seasons the show actually addressed this, with its usual inability to take anything seriously.
  • The Woobie: A few.
    • Rusty is repeatedly beaten down, by his father in every way shape imaginable — sometimes literally, but often emotionally and mentally with a shocking callousness on Early's part. Yet all Rusty wants is his daddy's approval.
      • Several episodes portray him as sensitive, generous, and intelligent, with the implication that he could easily break the cycle of poverty and excel, if he could only escape living with Early and Granny. Of course other episodes make it clear he's very much like his dad and the apple don't fall far from the tree.
    • Granny is regularly abused by Early in often shockingly violent ways. (Then again, she often finds ways to get her revenge...)
    • Glenn, Early's co-worker, is frequently humiliated and belittled by Early in front of the rest of the office — to make matters worse, Donna, his wife, is Early's favorite target for sexual harassment. And if that wasn't enough, their children died in a house fire.
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