- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Flim and Flam are primarily utilized as con artists who use half-completed inventions to scam everypony out of their bits. (According to the author, their marks are being interpreted as a representation of the con itself: this percentage for me and this much for me and none for you.) As of Mechanical Aptitude, they've moved into attempted blackmail. By this point in their careers, there are warrants out for their arrest all over the continent, and they've had to resort to full-time, full-body clothing along with an assortment of fur and mane dyes plus theatrical contact lenses to keep from being hauled in. Which doesn't seem to prevent them from singing...
- The Cutie Mark Crusaders are pretty much demonized, to the extent that they are essentially in-story Hate Sinks and active dangers to the rest of Ponyville.
- As of the most recent chapter of Triptych: Is Luna a flawed person whose just trying to make sure Twilight doesn't repeat her own mistakes, or just hurting Twilight to force her to reconcile with her sister.
- Does Celestia care about the Bearers, or is she using them?
- Base-Breaking Character: The Cutie Mark Crusaders, especially Scootaloo, who is subtly pushed forward as being responsible for their foolishness in her position as ringleader. The bitter argument reigns over whether or not Estee is justified as pushing them into their status as Ponyville's Disaster-Makers; whilst the verse's depictions of the things they've done do weigh heavily towards the justified scale — they've destroyed property, hurt ponies, stolen things (and usually broken them in the process), all of it without any sign of guilt, for three years without stopping — there's the complaint about whether or not this really is a "realistic" extrapolation of their canon behavior.
- Broken Base: There are those among the audience who feel that the occasional touch of realism and nod towards long-term consequences makes the overall body of work into an interesting one. And there are a very few who believe it's just the most cynical, depressing thing ever created in the fandom, because of that attempt towards realism. (Yes, more cynical and depressing than absolutely everything else.) It's generally a minority opinion, but it's a rather vocal one. (A lot of this tends to be blamed on the presence of an active press.) Furthermore, some antagonists seem to come down to just being racist jerks...and a lot of the fics could be viewed as a Take That! at a specific type of real-life person.
- Actually justified/rationalized by the author herself in a comment on Unstable Sale: most of the spectacularly Darker and Edgier fanfics are clearly impossible, either in terms of the canon continuity itself or, at their most extreme, in real life. In comparison, the Continuum's embrace of Reality Ensues to the point of landing on a more cynical interpretation of the setting brings it to a point that leaves it alarmingly close to real life for some readers. There are people reading the Continuum who've been on the receiving end from abuse of power, who were afraid to move on from a situation, who've just had one bad day where no one wanted to buy from them or a petty vandal hurt them for fun or — a pet died. This means that the Continuum can be "too close" to reality, hitting discomfort spots that some of the more famous grimdark pieces don't.
- Some of the specific stories themselves particularly stand out.
- Pony Up A Tree attracted a lot of arguments in its comments section debating over whether or not the Mane 6's interactions were believable or justifiable, and ultimately whether or not Rainbow Dash's karmic punishment was good enough.
- Unstable Sale caused a veritable explosion of debate between those who felt the treatment of the Crusaders was currently unjustified except maybe by the author's embrace of Character Exaggeration and those who argue that it's perfectly justified by what has been established for the verse's take on the Crusade.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: There's an argument to be made for Ratchette, who seemed to develop an instant-if-small fanbase at the instant she made her first appearance. Getting a story of her own hasn't slowed things down any, and a few people are now suggesting she be shipped with Twilight.
- What an Idiot!: Zigzagged with the character of Gerald Gristle. He's not that bright and tends to repeat his mistakes (when he's not just finding new ways to make the same ones), but he's also working with information which doesn't apply in Equestria. The ponies of the Griffon Republic are perfectly used to the scent of both cooked and raw meat. Equestrians... not so much.
- This is a recurring theme in the author's work. Many antagonists in the various stories are not just mean or cruel, but are mean or cruel in a particularly short-sighted and self-sabotaging manner. Side characters who are unhelpful or obstructionist because of some irrational point they won't let go of are also common. Then there are the stories in which the heroes sabotage themselves via some combination of stubbornness and tunnel vision.
YMMV / Triptych Continuum