- And You Thought It Would Fail: "Earned It"'s runaway success on radio was completely unexpected, as it was rather unlike anything heard on pop radio. Additionally, the song was on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack and looked like it would be dubiously overshadowed by the cleaner and more radio-friendly "Love Me Like You Do" by the much more established Ellie Goulding.
- Awesome Music:
- "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls", "High for This", "Wicked Games", "Lonely Star", "The Birds Part 1 and 2", "XO/The Host", "Montreal", "Kiss Land", "Pretty", his remix of "Drunk In Love", "Often", "King of the Fall", "Earned It", "In the Night", "The Hills", "Angel" and "Can't Feel My Face".
- "Life of the Party," which is probably the closest The Weeknd has come to making outright industrial music.
- "I'm a motherfuckin' starboy!"
- Ear Worm:
- "I only call you when it's half! Past! Five! The onllllly time I'd even call! You! Mine! I love it when you touch me, not feel me, when I'm fucked up, that's the real me..."
- "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Look what you done, ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm a motherfuckin' Starboy!"
- "I've seen her take down that tequila, down by the liter! I knew I had to meet her! Bump and grind, oooh girl bump and grind, lips like Angelina, ass shaped like Selena..."
- Fandom-Enraging Misconception: It's The Weeknd, not "The Weekend"! And he's a singer, not a band!
- Fandom Rivalry: With Bruno Mars, as both artists are huge fans of Michael Jackson, and both show this in their music. Fans tend to fight over whether Bruno's more lighthearted, flamboyant style or Abel's darker, more somber style captures Michael's music better, or whether which artist has more artistic merit and talent.
- First Installment Wins: House of Balloons gets the most critical acclaim of everything he's released. There are a few factors: the songwriting is regarded as superior ("High For This" and "Wicked Games" still get the biggest reception at gigs), the confidence of the atmosphere and general aesthetic, its role in establishing PBR&B as a genre along with Frank Ocean, plus the deliberate mystery cultivated around it - when it first came out, people assumed The Weeknd was a band or even Drake producer Noah "40" Shebib.
- I Am Not Shazam: An inversion, in his early days many people thought The Weeknd was a band.
- Misaimed Fandom: As with most music that features copious drug abuse and an Unreliable Narrator, there's a certain subset of the fandom that takes the whole thing at face value. Abel himself lampshades this trope in "Reminder", talking how he was nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for "Can't Feel My Face".I just won a new award for a kids show
Talking 'bout a face numbing off a bag of blow
I'm like: "Goddamn bitch, I am not a teen choice"
"Goddamn bitch, I am not a bleach boy"
- Nightmare Fuel:
- "Initiation". The title refers to how the narrator gets his woman: by getting her high and forcing her to have sex with all of his friends. The vocals also constantly shift up and down in pitch, mimicking the nameless girl's intoxicated state of mind, as well as being creepy as fuck.
- The video for "The Hills" (which cuts to black after discovering a creepy man in an attic).
- The man who appears at the end of the video for "The Hills" is the same man in "Can't Feel My Face" who sets Abel on fire. One interpretation implies that the man is the devil himself.
- "Kiss Land" really does sound like something from the works of horror director John Carpenter, with the heavy synthesizers and the screaming woman.
- The interlude in the "In The Night" video where the song stops around the 3:18 mark. The video itself contains references to sex trafficking.
- The music video to "Starboy" opens up with a man in a black ski mask killing The Weeknd by suffocating him to death. The man in the mask is revealed to be the new incarnation of The Weeknd, but with a new hairdo, and what does he do? He violently trashes his house!
- When the "False Alarm" video isn't pure, concentrated Rated M for Manly, it's this. The mortal wound he receives at the end is especially horrific.
- One-Scene Wonder: The mysterious appearance of Daft Punk in The Stinger of the video for "I Feel It Coming" is one of the most-talked about things of said video, with many demanding to know what it means from them.
- Signature Song: "Can't Feel My Face", although "Earned It" and "The Hills" are not far behind.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Some have accused "Secrets" off of Starboy as being a ripoff of "Talking in Your Sleep" by The Romantics. It doesn't help that he uses the same lyrics in the chorus as the original does.
- Tear Jerker: "In The Night" tells the story of a girl whom the narrator is in love with, but she is incapable of loving him back because of a male abuser in her past.
- "Wicked Games."
- He may be the leader of a gang of bank robbers but it's hard not to feel sorry for Abel at the end of the False Alarm video when he's injured, alone, left for dead and eventually shoots himself in the head.
- Wild Mass Guessing: One Reddit user believes that all his music videos since "Rolling Stone" are a depiction of a man descending into darkness and making a Deal with the Devil.
YMMV / The Weeknd