* AwardSnub: While the movie was a box office hit and a critical favorite, it didn't rack up a lot of nominations. Partly because it was viewed as a low-key work for Spielberg who by that time was making one epic movie after another. His other 2002 film, ''Film/MinorityReport'', was similarly snubbed despite universal acclaim and box office success.
** Most notably, fans of [[Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio DiCaprio]] will point to this as one of his more joyous performances, and will say that this would have made for a great nomination.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: We're used to JohnWilliams creating bombastic, thrilling orchestral music. Here, he goes with a jazzy, HenryMancini inspired score and ''makes it work''.
* DracoInLeatherPants: The RealLife Frank Abagnale Jr. felt that the movie did this to him, giving the "character" a more sympathetic backstory. Abagnale went on record saying he pulled the cons he did, [[WellDoneSonGuy not to impress his father]], [[ItAmusedMe but because he could.]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Christopher Walken pretty much steals the whole film with his performance as Frank's dad. A well-earned Oscar nomination.
* MagnificentBastard: Abagnale were able to con banks and the government for millions, con his way into lucrative jobs and evaded the FBI several times, often under their noses. All before he turned nineteen.
** Frank's father breaking down in tears while remembering seeing Frank's mother onstage in a little town in France when he was a soldier during WWII and marrying her weeks later.
** Also, [[spoiler:Frank finding out his father died and that his mother has re-married and started a new family]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: When Frank first starts his cons, he's shown pressing a check in a hotel Bible; also all of the scenes set at Christmas time.
* TheWoobie: Poor Brenda. The very first ''moment'' Frank sees her...she's crying over a mistake she just got called out on.