* AcceptableLifestyleTargets: The childless. The revelation that Nora's boyfriend does not want children of his own is treated as a MoralEventHorizon. See under DesignatedVillain.
** And as noted under DesignatedVillain, his ''actual'' intended MoralEventHorizon is not that he doesn't want children in the future, it's that he doesn't even care enough about the children that are alive now to help search for a missing one.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Is Tom selfish for having accepted a job opportunity that required them to move to a new city and into a new house away from everything they have grown up with and away from their friends and neighbors? Or did he genuinely believe accepting the offer and the job would benefit not just himself, but their entire family for the better in the long run and received no thanks for it?
** Is the children's reckless behavior around the house after the move justified due to having been required to give up everything to support their dad's choice? Or are they a bunch of UngratefulBastards who refused to make the best of it and instead elected to express their disapproval through selfish rebellion?
** Hank: is he just a silly guy who needs to bring his ego down several notches and understand kids aren't as bad as he thinks, or a fullout Jerkass who deserved what he got?
** Charles: just your typical teenager facing real issues such as bullies and seperation from his girlfriend, or a moody Jerkass who is rude and ungrateful to his father (going as far as to go off about Tom's competitve relationship in high school with his boss, whom Charles is barely ever ''near'') does a poor job dealing with bullied, doesn't care about his siblings, and only apologizes once he knows his father will admit he was right?
* BrokenBase: People either think the movie is decent, think it's mediocre, or think it's so bad that they don't want to remember it.
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: In the sequel, Tom comes to his son's aid when he's harassed by some jerkass teenagers by speaking fluent JiveTurkey at them and leaving them dumbfounded.
* DesignatedVillain/ InformedWrongness: Nora's boyfriend. He isn't fond of children, and appears to be quite awkward around them. This of course makes him a bad person, and we're supposed to find it funny when the kids play pranks on him that could seriously hurt him (setting him on fire, making him trip face first into a paddling pool, etc). Even the parents don't seem to treat it as seriously as they should, it's no wonder he's not fond of the kids if they act like little brats to him.
** He isn't treated as a bad guy for that by the parents of his fiance, they both are mad at the kids for it. She only leaves him when he refuses to go look for Mark, who at that point in the film had ran away, just to watch his own commerical. Even with the way the kids treated him that's still wrong not to go look for your girlfriend's younger brother.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Hank.
* HilariousInHindsight: Given the overlap in demographics between ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' and ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', the scene with Jared Padalecki and Tom Welling can be quite funny to watch. Plus, given that Jensen Ackles was on ''Smallville'' at the time...
* MarySue: Lorraine, possibly. She ''is'' the exact opposite of her [[EnfanteTerrible younger sister]] [[BrattyHalfPint Sarah]].
* NiceGirl: Lorraine and Norah.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Bud McNulty looks a lot like Hank, even if he's nicer.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: The ending of the first movie. So sugary sweet that you'll end up getting cavities.
* {{Tearjerker}}: The [[spoiler: father's death]] in the first novel and the treatment of Mark in the 2003 film, as well as the death of his frog that no one really cares about.
** Kate mentioning growing up without her only sister who passed when she was still young.
* ValuesDissonance: When the mother leaves the children with their father for the duration of a short work-related trip, everything goes to hell due to the father's [[BumblingDad inability to take care of his family]]. The ending has her realize her mistake and promise never to leave the children again. This is a bit jarring to viewers from cultures where women are expected to work and fathers are expected to participate in childcare. (It's also the exact opposite of the original book, where much of the entertainment value came from the father's many unique and amazing methods of organizing the family's life to make it run smoother. Which worked. Of course, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Gilbreth him being a workplace management researcher and everything]].)
* TheWoobie: [[RedHeadedStepChild Mark]] of the 2003 film is portrayed this way.
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