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Being one of the most famous bands in the world, The Beatles are definitely prone to people with a myriad of opinions. These are some of them.

Note: If you came here from the page for the cartoon, try YMMV.Beatles Cartoon.


  • Accidental Innuendo: The chorus from "Come Together" (though it's debatable exactly how accidental it might be):
    Come together
    Right now
    Over me
  • Adaptation Displacement: Who can listen to "Nowhere Man" and not think of Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD.? Only someone who's never seen Yellow Submarine.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • A popular interpretation of "She Loves You" is that the narrator is in love with the girlfriend, and is trying to act as a Shipper on Deck with her and his friend in a spirit of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, with the subtext of "she loves you, and if you don't want her love, I'll gladly take it." That would make "You're Going to Lose That Girl" a Spiritual Successor that just says the quiet part out loud.
    • "Hey Jude", while well-known today to be written by Paul to Julian Lennon (John's son who he had with his first wife Cynthia), got lots of this in its day, with John believing the song was meant for him and even a journalist believing the song to be about herself.
    • John also had a theory that song "Get Back" was specifically about Yoko, claiming that Paul tended to look in her direction when he sang it.
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    • In "Eleanor Rigby", the fact that the Beatles say "Eleanor Rigby died in a church and was buried" rather than "Eleanor Rigby was buried in a church" has been taken by some to indicate that the priest in the song murdered Eleanor.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • After John's comment that the band was "more popular than Jesus" (taken out of context), many American communities, particularly those in the Bible Belt, did things like mass Beatle record burnings and throwing objects at them during any of their concerts. They received no backlash of that sort in their homeland of Britain, where the comment was generally more acknowledged in context and less of an exaggerated blasphemous scandal. On the other hand, their records still sold just as well in America after the controversy as they had before, as for the record sales booming despite the controversy, John himself rather sardonically noted that in order to burn their albums, one had to purchase them first. There are also numerous anecdotes of kids publicly burning their Beatles albums before then secretly sneaking into record stores and replacing them. And, of course, despite all the hoopla this was mainly happening in a relatively small part of the country.
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    • The Philippines are an even better example. Brian Epstein's fumbling of an invitation to visit First Lady Imelda Marcos when the Beatles played in Manila for one night only in 1966 led to violent anger from Filipinos. The resulting chaos played no small part in the group's decision to stop playing live concerts.
    • There were also some American rock and roll fans, particularly in the very early stages of Beatlemania, who resented the group for displacing the more home-grown sounds of rockabilly, doo-wop, surf music, etc. from the pop charts.
    • "From Me to You" was their second #1 hit in the UK, but has always been somewhat overlooked in America, thanks to its bizarre release history there. Vee-Jay records issued it as a single in the summer of 1963, pre-Beatlemania, and it managed to become a modest hit in some parts of the US, but a simultaneous Cover Version by Del Shannon (who picked up the song when the Beatles opened for him on a UK tour) stunted its performance. Vee-Jay re-released it in 1964, but only as the B-Side to their re-release of "Please Please Me". Then Vee-Jay gave it an album release on the notorious Jolly What! The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage, a Billing Displacement effort that placed four Beatles tracks amid songs by English crooner Ifield. That album went quickly out of print, and once Capitol secured the rights for the song from Vee-Jay for good, they never saw fit to release it on an album. If you wanted "From Me to You", you had to buy the Capitol Starline catalog version of the "Please Please Me" single. It wasn't until the Red Album (Beatles 1962-1966) in 1973 that it got a proper US album release.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail:
    • John Lennon's Aunt Mimi told him as a teenager, "Guitar is a good hobby, John, but you'll never make a living of it." In 1964, a group of fans had that quote put on a plaque and sent it to her.
    • In his autobiography, Roger Moore recalls Paul McCartney's then-girlfriend Jane Asher making a guest appearance on The Saint. She was talking about his budding music career, to which Moore quipped, "What career?"
    • They were turned down by Decca, Pye, Columbia, and HMV, and that was just among the recording companies. Decca executive Dick Rowe, in particular, claiming that "groups are out", especially four-person ones with guitars. It's been suggested that the executive who told them about guitars being on the way out was taking a polite out and that it just wasn't a very good audition. Records show that their setlist was mostly covers, which wasn't where they were strongest, and the few Lennon/McCartney originals weren't songs that featured on their later albums. Decca was embarrassed when The Beatles became successful, and after a hearty recommendation from George Harrison, Dick Rowe signed a band from London called The Rolling Stones.
    • When "Penny Lane" became their first single in four years to not hit #1 in England (it got to #2, kept out of the top by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me"), the British press concluded that their successful run as artists was finally coming to an end. Then they released a little thing called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • Applicability: Paul's mom was the inspiration for the "Mother Mary" lyric from "Let It Be". When asked if the song referred to the Virgin Mary, Paul McCartney has typically answered the question by assuring his fans that they can interpret the song however they would like.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Revolution 9", being an example of musique concrete instead of pop music, seriously clashes with the rest of The White Album (and the band's music in general), which is saying a lot considering how stylistically diverse The White Album already is. Lennon's decision to separate it from "Revolution 1" didn't help matters at all.
  • Broken Base:
    • Experimental rock aficionados dismiss their entire "Fab Four" era. Conversely, some fans of the earlier stuff dismiss their post-Rubber Soul output. And modern Beatles fans disagree over the merits of any work that was created after the band officially broke up — not just all the post-Beatles solo projects, but any music ever recorded by anyone at all after 1970. There are fans of nearly every genre of music out there who like The Beatles; thus, merely knowing someone likes them gives one no clue as to their taste in general.
    • Ringo Starr's drumming is a contentious point amongst Beatles fans. Some call him a creative drummer, others call him a terrible drummer, others find his drumming competent but boring. Some people have, however, acknowledged his competent-but-boring-ness as his greatest strength. In a band with three artists trying to go in different directions, Ringo was able to mould to their style and provide a solid backbone to whatever the other three cooked up. He allegedly mucked up two takes in all the years the band was together. And he only got one solo (on "The End", from Abbey Road) to show what he can do.
      • Opinion on Ringo's abilities as a drummer tends to be divided between musicians and non-musicians. Non-musicians tend to think that he was a terrible drummer; musicians tend to think otherwise. Drummers in particular hold Ringo's drumming in very high regard, receiving particular praise for his groovy style, his emphasis on feel over displays of technical proficiency, and his creative, stylistic drum fills (most notably "Come Together" and "A Day in the Life"). He also popularized the matched grip that's ubiquitous today, and numerous high profile drummers like Phil Collins, Dave Grohl, and Tre Cool cite him as a big influence.
      • The true reason why there's only one drum solo in the whole of Ringo's work with the Beatles is that he hated solos. The others had to persuade him to take one on "The End", because they were all going to take guitar solos and they didn't want it to look like he was being left out. Ringo's opinion, which is shared by most musicians who have an opinion on the topic, is that he more than "showed what he could do" with his steady, selfless, and rock-solid support of the band's music, which was based on precision and balance and not flashy musicianship. In an era that saw the rise of the hot drummer, from Keith Moon via Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker to Ian Paice and Carl Palmer, Ringo knew well that he wasn't in that kind of band. In any case, he'd already inspired a generation of kids to take up the drums in the first place, so, legacy intact.
      • The reason Ringo (supposedly) only messed up two takes is that he kept perfect time, which is a rarer commodity among drummers than one might think. It was common practice at the time (and even now) for bands to use studio drummers for recording, but with the exception of the single version of "Love Me Do," Ringo did all the drumming. He was a human drum machine, capable of playing every take at the same tempo without rushing or dragging.
    • Mono vs. stereo. This is, believe it or not, Serious Business. There is a substantial contingent of fans that applies Fanon Discontinuity to the stereo versions of all albums before The White Album. They have a point, since the Beatles themselves and George Martin both seem to have regarded stereo as a gimmick that wouldn't last and had little to no involvement with them. Even then, they weren't completely involved with the process; Abbey Road was, in fact, the only album for whose stereo mixes they were completely involved, with the result that it's by far their most modern-sounding stereo mix. The earlier Beatles stereo mixes were also made before modern stereo mixing practices became widespread, meaning that you have things like all vocals on the left and all drums on the right, both of which are regarded as serious no-nos in modern mixing. The White Album stereo mixes do this to a certain extent too, but not as flagrantly, and it is regarded as the first album on which the stereo mix surpasses the mono in quality.
      • One reason why The White Album is regarded as being such an improvement with regards to stereo mixing is that it's the first album on which the band deployed an eight-track recording machine (these had just become available in British studios although they had been in use in American ones for several years). This, along with the more stripped-down atmosphere of the album, essentially allowed each instrument to be recorded on its own track, and the resulting mix feels very real and live-in-the-studio. (Compare this with the layers of lush instrumentation sitting awkwardly on one track in the original stereo mix of Sgt. Pepper.)
    • The remixes on LOVE are either excellent to the point of being better than the originals or a tacky cash-in on their popularity.
      • However, most people agree that the "Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows" mashup is fantastic, as is the devastating transition to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" at the end of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite."
    • Although the belief that Yoko Ono was responsible for the dissolution of the Beatles has largely died down in recent years (especially since the release of The Beatles: Get Back makes it clear how little she interfered in the band's recording process), she continues to be a semi-controversial figure in the band's history, with some fans accusing her of poor treatment of John's first wife Cynthia and their son Julian.
    • Nobody doubts that Brian Epstein's dedication to the Beatles and influence on their presentation was enormously helpful in their rise to success; however, some have questioned his decisions as a manager, noting that several of his merchandising deals were less than advisable and ultimately cost the band millions.
      • It's worth noting that Epstein was a novice manager when he took on the Beatles; his main job prior to his discovery of the band had been running a Liverpool music store.
    • Is Sgt Pepper or Revolver the band's best album? For decades common wisdom said Pepper but many fans have argued that it is overrated, instead making impassioned claims of the superiority of Revolver. On the other hand, others think that the "Pepper is overrated" trope has itself been done to death (as evidenced by its unceremonious drop to 25th place from first place on a recent album ranking compiled by Rolling Stone) and that the album is actually now underrated.
      • In more recent years, Abbey Road has quietly surpassed both of these in the eyes of many critics and fans, making the incessant Sgt Pepper / Revolver debate a largely moot point anyway.
    • Fans can't agree on whether the "aahs" in the middle of "A Day In The Life" were sung by John or Paul. You can find (quite literally) hundreds of pages of debate on this subject on various Beatles-related forums, concerning such minutia as whether the vocal track was edited or not, what the sharp intake of breath heard on isolations just prior to the "aahs" is indicative of (if anything), whether varispeed was involved, and whether it makes more sense for it to be Paul or John with regards to the song's narrative.
      • A less contentious example is the lead guitar on "It's All Too Much"—while several sources credit John, some fans feel that it is Paul instead (George was occupied with singing and playing Hammond organ).
    • Which of the the "Let It Be" guitar solos is the best? And more generally, which is superior: Phil Spector's original Let It Be or the reworked Let It Be: Naked? Or was the entire project beyond being salvageable? The official release of Glyn Johns' 1969 Get Back mixes in 2021 adds a third option, and Giles Martin and Sam Okell created a fourth mix of the album for the 2021 release that sort of takes a middle ground between Spector's mixes and the Naked mixes.
  • Covered Up:
    • Who remembers The Isley Brothers' version of "Twist and Shout" anymore? Hell, who even remembers the original recording by the Top Notes?
    • This could apply to many of the band's cover versions. It's easier to list the exceptions ("Please Mr. Postman" and "Till There Was You"; the Chuck Berry versions also qualify, to a lesser extent).
    • "With a Little Help from My Friends" is kind of fifty-fifty. It's certainly not an obscure Beatles tune; it's one of the more prominent songs from probably their most famous album. But a lot of younger people probably only know Joe Cocker's version as the opening theme to The Wonder Years. Also, Marmalade's cover of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," at least in some circles, as is Aerosmith's rendition of "Come Together," particularly due to the fact that it is in heavy rotation on many classic rock radio stations.
    • Country music fans can be forgiven for thinking John Denver wrote "Mother Nature's Son," since it's such a perfect fit.
  • Critical Backlash: Not towards the band as a whole of course, but towards Ringo. After all the jokes about his lack of talent, more and more people have praised him for actually being a great drummer who just takes a much simpler approach to his music in comparison to the other Beatles. This in turn has been noted as an enormous strength of his, as he remained stable while letting the others go wild, acting as a rock of sorts that helped keep the team in check.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: It doesn't matter how horrible the sentiments expressed in "Run for Your Life" are; John Lennon just makes them sound so damn cool.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Invariably occurs during some of the arguments about whose fault it is the band broke up, usually taking the form of "Beatle X was a jerk whose solo material was completely worthless"/"Beatle X was the only sane member of the group and the others would have been nothing without him." John is a frequent Draco in Leather Pants, Yoko a Ron the Death Eater, and Paul is both.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • "Quiet Beatle" George Harrison, who was generally overshadowed by the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, released the triple album All Things Must Pass after the band broke up. To this day, it's the top selling album by any solo Beatle. His record company was even named Dark Horse Records, after the Title Track of one of his albums. Additionally, "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun," his two contributions to the Abbey Road album, are regarded as being among the finest of the band's songs, not to mention his beloved works on The White Album, most notably "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
    • Brian Epstein is often very respected by fans due to being a sort of Team Dad for the Beatles and being a complete subversion of the stereotypical bad band manager. It's often speculated that Brian's death was one of the key factors in the Beatles' eventual break up.
    • Ringo Starr may be the butt of jokes among the four, but he's still quite beloved nonetheless, with many noting his level headed, easy going nature was an instrumental part of the band's success, allowing for the others to go nuts while having someone to rein them in.
  • Epic Riff:
    • The riff from "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" may have accidentally predicted Heavy Metal, and since it's seven minutes they pound it into your head pretty hard.
    • "Norwegian Wood" helped bring the sitar to national attention, and it was probably pretty easy to do with that beautiful riff.
    • "Day Tripper" has a riff so strong they more or less build the whole arrangement around it.
    • "Ticket to Ride" makes excellent use of George's 12-string.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The "Paul Is Dead" theory, that Paul died in November 1966 and was replaced by a look-and-sound-alike Scotsman named William Shears Campbell. Initially, the "clue hunting" for this was based around finding hidden messages in the band's songs and album artwork. However, eventually believers in the theory began alleging that Paul had differences in his facial structure and voice post-1966 that proved the death. Many fans joke that if anything, the supposed death was a good thing because the fake Paul was the superior musician.
    • Believe it or not, there's an even more extreme version of this theory out there, which states that all the Beatles were regularly replaced with clones over the course of their career.
    • While "McLennon" is a fairly common ship (see below), there exists a small number of fans who legitimately believe that John and Paul were in an extended romantic relationship for the majority of the sixties, despite the fact that—intense emotional bond notwithstanding—there's no evidence for it.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Some fans try to find symbolism in every song. The worst was Charles Manson, who used The White Album, most famously "Helter Skelter" and "Piggies," to mobilize his murders.
  • Face of the Band: Zigzagged. All four members of the band are mostly recognized by the general public, and they've often been described as a foursome with no clear leader. That being said, attention has often been focused on John Lennon and Paul McCartney; they were co-lead vocalists, had a major songwriting partnership, and wrote the majority of the songs for the band.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Lo, it is written that where two or three fans are gathered together in the name of The Beatles, they shall discuss which songs would have made the cut if The White Album had been a single disc. Another popular Alternate History scenario is to suppose the group had not split up in 1970, and use the members' solo albums to assemble plausible tracklists for subsequent Beatles LPs.
    • There are a number of (mainly female) fans who ship Lennon and McCartney. It's called "McLennon."
    • There's also McStarr, Starrison, and so forth....
    • ...not to mention fan art, especially those inspired by "Octopus's Garden."
      • The movies, especially Help!, do not help.
    • The "Paul is Dead" conspiracy theory has inspired quite a few angst fics.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Gateway Series: To both '60s pop music and pretty much all pop music recorded in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • "Revolution 9" from The White Album includes samples of various classical works, including those by Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Robert Schumann and Ludwig van Beethoven. Though "Revolution 9" in general is something of a Genius Bonus; usually only those who've been exposed to avant-garde electronic music and musique concrete before will find it listenable. (Believe it or not, it's probably one of the more accessible works in the genre.)
    • There is also the snippet of a dramatic reading of William Shakespeare's King Lear at the end of "I Am the Walrus."
    • The line "I'll have another cigarette/and curse Sir Walter Raleigh: he was such a stupid git" in "I'm So Tired". Raleigh was the 16th century British admiral who was the first to import tobacco from North America into Europe.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • "Eight Days a Week", considered just another Beatles for Sale album track in Britain, was released as a single in the US and became a huge #1 hit, and is still one of their best-loved songs in America.
    • "I Should Have Known Better" reached number one in Norway.
    • They became popular enough in Jamaica in 1964 that The Skatalites recorded instrumental Cover Versions of "This Boy" and "I Should Have Known Better".
    • In Russia, the Beatles, along with most other Western rock bands, were very popular because they were seen as rebellious against Soviet Communism. A very interesting documentary How The Beatles rocked the Kremlin was made in the 2000s about their popularity there.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Before William Riker, there was George Harrison, and to a lesser extent, the whole gang. The video for "Strawberry Fields Forever" stunned their fans with their sudden facial hair, and their music started to get more artistically ambitious.
    • The pictures on the Red Album and Blue Album are the same Beatles in the same place and same pose, seven years apart. They changed a lot in that time...
    • They also provide a subversion, however; the one time McCartney grew a beard was during the sessions to record what would ultimately become Let It Be; the sessions were long rumoured to be unhappy and bitter, although the release of The Beatles: Get Back reveals that these rumours were grossly overstated; regardless, they signaled the band's ultimate collapse and resulted in one of their more polarizing albums.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "We Can Work It Out" (available on Past Masters). Despite the optimism of the title, ultimately none of Beatles could see the problems of their comrades their way and thus could not work it out.
    • "Back in the USSR" mentions Ukraine and Georgia by name. Both states were quite happy to leave the USSR and are currently having major problems with a Russia that wants at least part of them back.
    • Plenty of songs referencing or evoking the image of John or George dying, from "Come Together" ("Shhhhoot me!") to "Yer Blues" ("Feel so lonely, gonna die") to the ending of "Long Long Long" (a dirgy, mournful song with an unearthly moan from George at the end, which one writer described as sounding like a "wounded ghost"), in the wake of John and George's deaths.
      • John singing "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" is kinda creepy too.
      • Even creepier - If you look in the booklet included in the Magical Mystery Tour album, there is a picture of John as he's leaving a small corner store. Just behind him is a sign that reads, "The best way to go is M. & D. Co". Obviously not related, but M.D.C. are the initials of Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman. *shudder*
      • A mid-'60s interview featured John being asked how he thought he would die. His response? "I'll probably be popped off by some loony."
      • In the Yellow Submarine animated movie, the Beatles accidentally Time Travel to the 2000s (it's a setup for "When I'm 64") and see their future selves out the window of the submarine. Ringo remarks, "There's only two of us."note 
      • One scene in Help! has John being held at gun point. Ditto Yellow Submarine.
    • In one of their early interviews in America, John is asked what kind of girls he likes, to which he responds, "My wife." Seconds later, George is asked the same question, and he says "John's wife!", much to the amusement of the other three. This becomes decidedly less funny after you find out that George actually had an affair with Ringo's wife years later.
    • The video for "Something" from Abbey Road, on so many levels:
      • It's made up of cute footage of the then-current Beatles couples (John and Yoko, Paul and Linda, George and Pattie, and Ringo and Maureen) and contains lines like "I don't want to leave her now" and "she knows / That I don't need no other lover". John, George and Ringo would later cheat on their wives, and Ringo left his. Oh, and Pattie left George for his best friend.
      • Maureen and Ringo riding together on motorbikes. After Ringo left Maureen, she was so upset that she drove a motorbike into a wall (in what most biographers believe was a failed suicide attempt) and had to have full facial reconstruction surgery.
    • During their first, and most famous, appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, there are captions introducing all four band members, and in a funny moment, underneath John's name it says "Sorry girls, he's married." Funny at the time; not so funny now that we know it wasn't exactly the happiest marriage.
    • The song "All My Loving", whose opening lines are "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you / tomorrow I'll miss you...", was said to have begun playing right after John Lennon was pronounced dead.
    • The infamous "Butcher" album cover in light of Paul's later vegetarianism and animal rights activism.
    • The below-mentioned "When I'm Sixty-Four":
      • Paul's divorce with Heather Mills was announced a mere few weeks before his 64th birthday. She didn't still need him, she wouldn't still feed him, when he was 64...
      • Paul apparently heard that song so much during his 64th year he once said he regretted ever writing it to begin with.
      • Alas, neither John nor George would live to be that oldnote .
    • In the 1965 fan club Christmas record, John starts singing the chorus of "It's the Same Old Song" by The Four Tops before George stops him: "Copyright, Johnny!" A decade later, George became painfully aware of how much trouble can be caused by copyright infringement accusations with the "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine" lawsuit. There was also Michael Jackson outbidding them for publishing rights to their songs.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "When I'm Sixty-Four" became quite appropriate when Paul actually turned 64. Many radio stations played said song on said birthday. It's even funnier when you learn that Paul wrote the song back when he was a teenager, and he arbitrarily picked 64 as a ridiculously high age that he had no intention of living to. (Thankfully, he's since developed a healthier outlook on growing old.)
    • The disguises in Help!. The members of the band look almost exactly like they would a few years hence, particularly Ringo (who sports whiskers and a more bouffant hairstyle) and John (who has a long beard and suspiciously familiar round glasses).
    • "Helter Skelter" sounds an awful lot like the sort of material you'd expect from Led Zeppelin a few months before they actually started releasing material! It is sometimes cited as being the first metal song.
  • Hype Backlash: John Lennon wasn't too far off about the whole "Bigger Than Jesus" thing. Even in their heyday, the band themselves felt like all of the teenage girls screaming for them or mobbing them was a bit much, and more than a few teenage boys shared the sentiment (buttons which read "Beetles Suck" [sic] were somewhat trendy for a while) and since the 1980s, an entire generation has had to listen to almost every person at least 30 years their senior talk about how the Beatles are objectively the greatest band in the world, compounded by the more unpleasant aspects of Lennon's personal life being treated with more open scrutiny as time goes on. It was inevitable, really. Having said that, this is still part of the younger generations, but there are just as many, if not more, from those same generations who still get into their music.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: The Beatles: Rock Band didn't have that great a reception among the more hardcore Rhythm Game enthusiasts and Rock Band fans due to their belief that it was too easy. The meager song list (45 songs out of hundreds of possible songs by the band) and the inability to import the songs to another Rock Band game certainly didn't help matters.
  • Macekre:
  • Memetic Loser: Ringo's gotten his fair share of mockery over the years mostly due to being overshadowed by his bandmates. With that said, it's a loving kind of teasing, with even the man himself joining in. If someone has legitimately critical words for the man, you better believe fans will speak up about how Ringo is actually awesome.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • How else do you explain a large chunk of the fanbase believing not only that Paul died in a car crash, but the band replacing him with a double? This makes this trope Older Than the NES.
    • The suits and moptop hairdos from the early Sixties. May induce high pitched squeals in younger females.
    • x-mania (Rollermania, Punkamania, Hulkamania, Spicemania) This is Older Than They Think, going back to the 19th century's Lisztomania.
    • "Number nine... Number nine... Number nine..."
    • “I GOT BLISTERS ON MAH FINGERS!!”
    • Paul telling the story of how he wrote "Let It Be" in every interview has become a joke among Beatles fans, who can quote it word-for-word: "Well, I was sleeping, y'know"...
    • The disturbing coda from “Strawberry Fields Forever” is the first thing people mention when talking about Last Note Nightmare.
    • Paul's frequent use of the phrase "y'know" has become this amongst some fans, as has the story of George exploding because Yoko ate his biscuits.
    • "HONEY PIE! HONEY PIE!"
    • In 2008, Ringo filmed himself announcing that after the 20th of October he would not sign any more fanmail. The bizarre video, and the threatening phrase "I'm warning you with peace and love" are often quoted amongst fans.
      • That said, the phrase "Peace and love" itself has become this, given how often Ringo says it.
    • After a YouTube user uploaded a compilation of Beatles outtakes, "Your Face!" has become one amongst fans and it makes the fairly somber song "No Reply" a lot funnier than it's supposed to be. Also worth mentioning is "Paul's Broken a Glass" note  from the same compilation.
    • The fake Beatles song "It's Okay to Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car," which arose from an image of a text conversation in which a person is apparently duped into believing that the band had actually recorded a track with this title. The meme spread quickly around certain corners of the band's fanbase, with some even attempting to make the song into a reality.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • The Paul Is Dead urban legend theories based on supposedly hidden messages in the Beatles' songs.
    • "I Am the Walrus" and "Glass Onion" were intended as sarcastic attacks on all those Beatle fans who sought for hidden messages and meanings in their songs. Beatles fans "found" hidden messages in them, too.
    • Sadly, American serial killer Charles Manson managed to interpret the lyrics of the songs "Piggies", "Revolution 1", "Revolution 9", "I Will", "Honey Pie", "Blackbird" and "Helter Skelter" as a message to start murdering other people. For his Cloudcuckoolander interpretations, see here.
  • Misblamed:
    • Inverted; in keeping with the simplistic "Lennon was the deep, creative one/McCartney was the fluffy, inconsequential one" truism, many of the later innovations and artistic achievements of the Beatles in the later years of the band, such as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, are credited as being down to Lennon. Most of them, in fact, were McCartney's ideas, and he was arguably the key creative driving force for the band from about 1966 onwards.
    • Five words: "Who broke up the Beatles?" Suffice it to say that most people try to pin the blame on one particular person or another, typically either McCartney (for driving the rest of the band nuts with his perfectionism and bossiness), Lennon (for spending too much time with Yoko Ono and bringing her into the studio against the wishes of the other members), Ono herself (for giving unsolicited musical advice or for simply being there at all), or Allen Klein (for strong-arming his way into the band's business empire and then using a divide-and-conquer strategy to alienate Paul from the other three). However, the truth is that there were too many factors involved in their slow march towards disintegration for any one of them to be the sole cause (or for all of them to be the sole responsibility of one person).
    • Ringo Starr wasn't happy with his portrayal in the cartoon and complained to Lance Percival. Lance kindly explained that he just did the voices and pointed Ringo in the direction of the writers.
    • Decca Records executive Dick Rowe has gone down in history as "the man who turned down the Beatles." In the wake of their phenomenal popular and artistic success, Rowe's decision not to sign the band seems shocking and ludicrous. But the audition tape, which has long circulated among fans, and parts of which were released on the Anthology 1 album, honestly isn't very good. The band, not too familiar with the recording process, plays stiffly, with Pete Best's limitations as a drummer very apparent. The song selection is odd and disjointed, blending three Lennon/McCartney originals with a whole bunch of Cover Versions of early Rock & Roll numbers, then peppered with cabaret-style selections like "The Sheik of Araby" and "Bésame Mucho". The three originals ("Hello Little Girl", "Love of the Loved", "Like Dreamers Do") are only So Okay, It's Average. John and Paul seem nervous, and only George really rises to the occasion. When George Martin finally signed them at Parlophone, he demanded that they find another drummer, and he also wasn't too sold on John and Paul's songwriting, trying to get them to release Mitch Murray's "How Do You Do It?" as their first single before going with "Love Me Do". Notably, they never attempted any of the three Decca originals at Parlophone.
  • More Popular Replacement: Famously, The Beatles replaced Pete Best with the more talented Ringo Starr as drummer right before getting big. Needless to say, most fans agree that it's not The Fab Four without Ringo.
  • Newer Than They Think: Some popular cliches about Beatle music actually derive from the members' post-breakup solo careers. These include John as a Protest Song writer ("Revolution" is the only straight Beatle example) and George's slide guitar (which he picked up from Dave Mason when they toured together in the backing band of Delaney & Bonnie at the end of 1969).
  • Never Live It Down:
    • John Lennon's infamous comment about being "bigger than Jesus". This out-of-context quote came back to bite him when a Christian man would eventually have him killed outright for saying this. Heck, there's even a trope on This Very Wiki that's named after it.
    • Ringo Starr's large nose. A subject of many jokes in the fandom.
      • Fans also seem to have a field day with Ringo's seemingly Out of Focus role in the band. Such as being in the background for many music videos, being the only one who doesn't play guitar, and not having tons of people who name him as their favorite Beatle. At least not on the levels of Paul or John.
    • Their endeavor into drugs and LSD in the late 60's. It was only for a few albums when they delved into psychidelic territory, but you'd think it was their entire career based on how much it's talked about.
  • Older Than They Think: The band wasn't shy about remaking unreleased older songs if they needed filler for an album or were just feeling nostalgic. This was the case for most of their cover versions (which were part of their pre-fame live set) but there are also several notable originals that were:
    • "I'll Follow The Sun" and "When I'm Sixty-Four" were both written in the late 50s by McCartney; during the Cavern Club years, Paul would occasionally play "Sixty-Four" on piano if the band's amplifiers stopped working. The former came out in 1964 on Beatles For Sale and the latter on Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.
    • "One After 909", written in the late 50s, which they first attempted in studio in 1963 but didn't release, was remade in 1969 and released in 1970 on "Let It Be". The 1963 version eventually appeared on Anthology 1.
    • "What Goes On" was also written in 1963 and almost recorded at the same session as "One After 909". It ended up being recorded for Rubber Soul in 1965 in order to give Ringo a vocal spot.
    • "Yesterday" was written in early 1964, but not recorded until 1965 because McCartney was convinced that he'd copied the song from somewhere. He was convinced by the band to record it, but insisted on not releasing it as a single in the UK (although it did get an EP release).
    • "Michelle" was written by Paul McCartney in the 50s when he was still at school in order to attract girls with his guitar playing. When recorded for Rubber Soul in 1965, Lennon added some new parts to the song and some of the lyrics were rewritten.
    • "Don't Pass Me By" was written by Ringo as early as 1964 (possibly earlier), in which he refers to it being his first song in an interview (the band mock him for its simplicity). It was however recorded for The Beatles (The White Album) in 1968 in order to let him include his own composition (since the other three members had multiple ones on it).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Eric Clapton came to the studio at his friend George's request to play on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". He delivered probably the best guitar solo to ever appear on a Beatles record.
    • Classical musicians Alan Civil (French horn on "For No One") and David Mason (piccolo trumpet on "Penny Lane") also contributed memorable solos.
  • Periphery Demographic: The band's songs have been covered by artists far outside pop and rock. For example, Buddy Rich covered "Norwegian Wood". Back in the day, while the band was marketed toward younger people, they had an audience of older people, especially as their music increased in sophistication. John Lennon was irritated by McCartney's songs like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" that Lennon considered for "grannies."
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: "What You're Doing" is often thought of resembling the sound of The Byrds , in particular being a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Mr Tambourine Man" (the opening riffs in particular). In actual fact, it's the other way round, with The Byrds basing their sound on it (having heard an import copy of Beatles For Sale). As a result, The Beatles effectively invented Jangle Pop without realizing.
  • Posthumous Popularity Potential: John Lennon. While his musical accomplishments certainly can't be denied, he was a self-admitted Jerkass throughout his life. After his death, he was practically canonised from certain quarters. George also benefited from this following his passing.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Back in the day, Cavern Club regulars weren't too happy about Pete being replaced by Ringo.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Next to Heather Mills, Yoko Ono suddenly doesn't look so bad. In fact, a popular bumper sticker at fan conventions reads "Even Yoko has a Leg Up on Heather Mills."
    • Similarly, Linda McCartney also received reappraisal from fans after her death. She was originally disliked by fans for marrying Paul (the last bachelor in the Beatles at the time), her passionate vegetarianism, her constant presence on Paul's music (particularly in Wings), as well as her less-than-stellar singing voice. Despite this, by all accounts, she was a loving and kind wife to Paul, helping him cope with the demise of The Beatles and raise a family; this, combined with her untimely death from breast cancer, society's changing attitudes towards vegetarianism, and Paul's marriage (and divorce) to Heather Mills caused Beatles fans to reappraise Linda, and she is generally well-loved by Beatles fans.
  • Sacred Cow: Any sort of criticism (be it mild or harsh) of The Beatles is bound to get you burned. In fact, just going so far as to state that The Beatles are not your personal preference (even if you qualify it with mentioning that you do, however, respect them) is quite risky.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Definitely. It's hard for some younger listeners to appreciate how groundbreaking they were because, basically, every rock band ever since is following in their footsteps, and the studio innovations they pioneered have since become commonplace or obsolete thanks to modern technology. The fact people are always told to start with Sgt Pepper or Abbey Road can make people feel this way. It is generally recommended to listen to the albums in order to get an idea of how varied the band's music was.
  • Signature Song: The Beatles have so many iconic songs that it is impossible to single out just one as their signature (though "Hey Jude", "Yesterday", "Here Comes The Sun", "Let It Be" and "Come Together" would probably be the first picks), but during the peak of Beatlemania in The '60s, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" would've held the title. By album:
    • Please Please Me: "Love Me Do" and "Twist and Shout", although "I Saw Her Standing There" is also very well-remembered.
    • With the Beatles: "All My Loving".
    • A Hard Day's Night: the Title Track and "Can't Buy Me Love", with "And I Love Her" coming next.
    • Beatles for Sale: "Eight Days a Week".
    • Help!: the Title Track, "Yesterday" and "Ticket to Ride".
    • Rubber Soul: "In My Life" and "Norwegian Wood".
    • Revolver: "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine".
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: the Title Track, "With a Little Help from My Friends", "A Day in the Life" and especially "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
    • Magical Mystery Tour: "Penny Lane", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Hello Goodbye" and "All You Need Is Love".
    • The Beatles: "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Blackbird", with "Back in the USSR" not far behind.
    • Abbey Road: "Here Comes the Sun", "Come Together" and "Something".
    • Let It Be: the Title Track of course, although "The Long and Winding Road", "Get Back" and "Across the Universe" are not far behind.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: "Good Night" from The White Album. "Now it's time, to say good night, good night, sleep tight." A deliberate example, sung by Ringo, written by John. John asked producer George Martin to give it the most over-the-top "Disney" orchestration he could muster to write. Becomes a Mood Whiplash and Mind Screw when you consider it's the last song after Revolution 9.
  • Tear Jerker: They now have their own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: As groundbreaking as their psychedelic material was, the band got this reaction from their original fanbase as they started to seriously experiment with their music.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Magical Mystery Tour doesn't enjoy the same critical acclaim as Sgt Pepper in spite of several of its songs (in particular "The Fool On The Hill", "I Am The Walrus", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane" and "All You Need Is Love") being amongst the band's most innovative and well regarded. Some say this is because it wasn't initially planned as an album (being a 6 track double EP in the UK and an album in America), but the band made it canon since the 70s so many more fans have experienced the songs in this context than not.
    • Several of the band members have said, not in so many words, that the worst they could have done for their career was to be in the Beatles. They weren't far off.
    • "Carry That Weight" is widely seen as being the Beatles acknowledging that they will be a tough act to follow, that they will "Carry that weight a long time".
    • The Beatles themselves, in their early days, definitely thought being next on the bill after Roy Orbison was this.
    • In a sense, the children of each of the four Beatles who pursued professional music careers, in particular the higher-profile ones like Julian and Sean Lennon and Dhani Harrison, have had their works compared to both their famous fathers and the band they worked for, and have had to live up to standards no other newer artist/songwriter should have been expected to live up to had they not been sons of Beatles. This hit Julian Lennon hard, especially as the world was still in shock from John's death by Julian's debut Valotte in 1984, and his sophomore album was a rush job perpetuated not long after he finished a tour to cash in on Valotte's success and marred by Julian's music gear being lost in transit where he was writing in the Bahamas.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The reason many people see Lennon as the true genius of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team, with a hefty dose of Posthumous Popularity Potential. That this tends to be believed more by casual listeners than Beatles devotees has made it a Fandom-Enraging Misconception.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible:
    • "I Am The Walrus" invokes this so John could deliberately Troll his listeners (and he'd continue to on "Glass Onion" which has a Call-Back to the former song).
    • The film Magical Mystery Tour.
    • "Revolution 9"
    • "What's the New Mary Jane", a White Album outtake that was apparently shelved after George Martin decided one "experimental" track was enough. It ended up on The Beatles Anthology.
    • "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)", available on both Past Masters and The Beatles Anthology. A silly track that sounds more like a The Bonzo Dog Band number than anything else.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Some songs would be deemed misogynistic if they were written today.
      • "Ticket to Ride" is described as describing anti-feminist attitude.
      • Not to mention Rubber Soul's "Run For Your Life," in which Lennon seems to advocate for spousal murder. This was hardly noticed at the time, but soon enough even Lennon himself considered it the worst song he wrote for the band.
      • "Norwegian Wood" is an elegant little waltz about a date not going well, and it implies strongly that the narrator, after his date wouldn't sleep with him, lit her house on fire in retaliation. Nowadays, as most modern feminists will often tell you, men are not owed sex for any reason, and thus it's not uncommon for the song to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a modern-day listener. And it wasn't even John, the principal songwriter, but Paul who threw that ending in, as a joke!
      • The third verse of "Getting Better" ("I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her..."), written by Lennon and inserted into a primarily McCartney-driven song, is notorious among fans for being this. While the singer fully admits that what he did was wrong and that he's trying to change his ways and make amends, it's unlikely that what basically amounts to an admission of domestic abuse would be accepted without significant controversy in the present day.
  • Vindicated by History: Both The White Album and Abbey Road received mixed reactions on their release; the former for its overly satirical nature and lack of coherence, and the latter for its use of synths and overproduction making the album seem artificial. Now, they are considered among the greatest records ever made.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?:
    • One of the most famous examples. John Lennon's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", thought by many to be about LSD right down to the "LSD" initialism formed by the title, was actually inspired by a drawing presented to John by his young son Julian. John asked what the picture was, Julian said "Lucy [a schoolmate] in the sky with diamonds"—presto. The lyrics and dreamy quality of the instrumental don't help the perception.
    • They averted this trope outside the studio, taking plenty of drugs in their spare time (especially Lennon), but inside the studio they mostly played this straight. Their work ethic and sense of craftsmanship meant that they had to stay sober. Most of the Beatles' recording sessions were fuelled by tea and cigarettes. In fact, a Sgt. Pepper session had to be halted early because John had accidentally taken LSD before he left home and was unable to concentrate.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After Magical Mystery Tour flopped with the public, the Beatles were no doubt thankful that their animated side-project, Yellow Submarine, proved to be a critically acclaimed hit in North America at least just a few months later, winning back their credibility as film stars.
  • The Woobie: "The Fool on the Hill", the main character of the song of the same name from Magical Mystery Tour. No one likes him, and no one listens to what he has to say. Averted inasmuch as he's a fool, and so doesn't realize it.
  • Woolseyism: Some of the Capitol albums might be sequenced better than the corresponding EMI / Parlophone albums.
    • Meet the Beatles got onto the Rolling Stone "Greatest Albums of All Time" list, while the version it "butchered", With the Beatles, didn't. Capitol wisely added the two sides of their breakthrough US single ("I Want to Hold Your Hand", "I Saw Her Standing There") as the opening tracks, emphasized the two most notable things about them as they started their career (they wrote their own songs, all four members sang lead vocals and had unique personas), and eliminated all but one Cover Version from With the Beatles. And the one they kept ("Till There Was You") was a familiar show tune that demonstrated to adults that these guys had respect for traditional pop music.
    • Many fans, including Brian Wilson, think the US version of Rubber Soul is miles better than the UK version. (Capitol cut out most of the more electrified songs in favor of two acoustic songs from Help!, unifying the album sonically.)
    • As noted in Canon Immigrant on the main page, the Capitol Magical Mystery Tour album is so superior to the British two-EP set, if only in form factor, that it has displaced the EPs in "canon." Not only did the US album have a 12" version of the 7" British booklet, it also included the band's 1967 singles on Side 2. In England, the album version of Magical Mystery Tour finally replaced the EPs in 1976.

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