|This page in a nutshell: Featured articles are not necessarily to be emulated; focus on our policies and guidelines|
Sometimes editors may compare an article with a featured article and conclude that because the featured article has a certain property (e.g., a formatting style), the unfeatured article in question should also have that property. While precedents in decisions made by higher courts are binding on all lower courts (in certain legal systems), Wikipedia is not a legal system, and featured articles are not identified as such so that every element of their design can be used as a model for policy guidance.
Featured articles may have problems:
When discussing articles, whether it be on articles for deletion or article talk pages, avoid arguing that "featured articles do/don't do this, so this article should/shouldn't either" or "all/none of our featured articles have this, this should be added/deleted". Instead, argue based on policies: if featured articles all do things a certain way, is it because they are all following some underlying policy or guideline that says they should? Is it part of the featured article assessment criteria? Or is it mere convention or coincidence? Different articles are free to make different editorial and style choices, within reason, so don't feel restricted by how featured articles are written.