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YMMV / The Great British Bake Off

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  • The Cast Showoff: Paul enjoys taking any opportunity to show off his genuinely awesome kneading skills.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Liam from Season 8. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who, at 19, was the youngest baker of the season. His charming personality, overwhelming kindness, and noted ability to making great flavor combinations, made everyone fall in love with him. Everyone was happy we he got "Star Baker", but also a massive wave of sadness hit the fanbase when he was eliminated.
    • Due to the nature of the show, there's almost guaranteed to be at least one of these per series. Norman and Richard from Season 5 (plus Iain after the infamous Bingate incident), and Nadiya from Season 6 (who ended up being the ultimate winner but gained a sizeable fanbase very early on in the season) are probably the biggest other examples.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
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    • In series 3 Cathryn exclaims that she isn't serving green carpet to Mary Berry (after dropping her dough). Come series 7 and Candice does exactly that.
      Mel: Who wants to eat some carpet?
      Mary: I'll eat a bit of carpet.
    • On Extra Slice the week before the "bingate" episode was broadcast, Jo Brand urged viewers who had a baking disaster to take a picture before throwing it in the bin. This may have been deliberate Foreshadowing as the main series is filmed months in advance, while An Extra Slice is produced in the week of broadcast.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are plenty of people who just watch the show because of Mel and Sue.
  • That One Level: The technical challenge is often this for the bakers, it being the one out of three they aren't allowed to practice for in advance. The subject is often an obscure and/or foreign recipe, pretty much guaranteeing that most of the contestants will have never even heard of it. Even when it's something relatively simple, they're still expected to carry it off on sheer baking knowledge and instincts, so the instructions for the recipes are often deliberately left very vague, ie. "Make the pancake batter".
    • This proved to be particularly true of Series 7's Rav, who finished bottom in the technical challenge three weeks running and started to openly bemoan his bad fortune; the third time his Bakewell tart was ranked lower than Andrew's, in spite of the fact that Andrew had taken fifteen minutes to notice that his oven wasn't on.
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    • Occasionally averted when a contestant turns out to specialise in making the particular recipe — as per James and jam doughnuts in series 3 — or, in the memorable case of Chetna during series 5's Bread week, have just made the exact same recipe for the signature challenge. Both easily cruise to victory.
    • At different times during Series 6, all three of the eventual finalists struggled with puff pastry. What's the technical challenge for the final episode? A dessert made with puff pastry. Paul freely admitted that he picked it specifically to see whose puff pastry skills had improved, and the bakers recognized what was going on as well.
    • Oh, how delightful the "Forgotten Bakes" episode of Season 8 was...
    • And for that matter, Series 9's "Vegan Week", which even Paul Hollywood seemed to think was ridiculously hard.
  • The Scrappy: Ruby of series 4 was not well-received by audiences. Mainly due to accusations of favouritism from the judges—Paul in particular seemed rarely, if ever, to have a bad word to say about her; she being a gorgeous twentysomething college student who briefly modeled was widely seen as being directly related to this. Mary fawned over her as if she were a favourite grandchild, and Mel basically became her personal motivational coach. Despite all of which she would constantly put herself down regardless, which many saw as annoyingly-false modesty after awhile. The fact she won Star Baker three times in addition to making negative tweets towards Paul over his decision to remain in the show after the Channel Hop from BBC Two to Channel 4 (when Mary, Mel and Sue confirmed that they wouldn't return) after her time in the show (which didn't do anything for her to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap) didn't help.
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    • Series 7 winner Candice also proved to be a divisive contestant, not only due to more accusations of favouritism, but several cases of Ruby-like self-depreciation and false modesty, near-constant pouting, and smug, immature, and passive-aggressive behaviour. It was especially evident with her very frequently pulling spiteful smirks behind the other bakers' backs whenever they did something wrong, but being childishly petulant about it whenever anything happened to her.
      • Ruby frequently defends Candice on Twitter, as both have been unfairly targeted by sexist abuse and accusations of supposedly being fancied by Paul Hollywood.
    • Stacey, from series eight, is this to some. It began in episode six, when she was spared over fan favourite Julia, despite the fact that she presented a pie with paper inside it to Paul and Prue. The next week she was one of the least favourite bakers but was spared over Yan, another fan favourite who, admittedly, had had a weak week, and even Stacey herself was visibly shocked to have been spared. This reached nuclear levels when she was given "Star Baker" whilst Liam, the fan favorite, was eliminated. People were celebrating when she was eliminated in the semi-finals as some sort of karma.
      • Kate was a more mild example in the same series — largely due to the fact that she was not eliminated instead of Liam, despite having both an equally-poor showstopper and literally dropping her clanger on the floor and serving it afterward.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Mel and Sue's puns, although in fairness they freely acknowledge themselves that the puns are terrible.
  • Uncanny Valley: Though it definitely saved him from leaving in the first week, quite a few people were disturbed by Terry's 3D portrait from Series 9.
  • Unexpected Character: Due to the show's enormous popularity, the celebrity charity specials have managed to convince a lot of big names to appear, including Bonnie Wright, Michael Sheen, Teri Hatcher and John Lithgow.
  • What an Idiot!: Channel 4 is widely considered to have made a huge gamble by buying the rights to GBBO without first securing any of the four hosts. Now Mel, Sue and Mary have left, it looks like they have spent >£25 million a year on a tent and Paul.
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