!! From the film:
* AwardSnub: It was nominated for the Best Picture and Director Oscars, but lost both to Richard Attenborough's ''{{Film/Gandhi}}''. Attenborough even stated in his acceptance speech that he believed ''E.T.'' should have won, since it was truly the better film. This was at least partly due to a rather sleazy Oscar campaign by Columbia Pictures, where they more or less stated that a vote against the film was a vote against Gandhi himself.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: See AwesomeMusic/JohnWilliams.
* ContestedSequel: The novel ''E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet''.
* HilariousInHindsight: Mary reads Gertie ''Literature/PeterPan''. A decade later, Creator/StevenSpielberg would go on to direct ''{{Film/Hook}}''.
** Elliot lets the frogs in science class go because they remind him of E.T. [[http://www.neatorama.com/2009/04/04/ribbit-frog-all-lit-up-by-swallowed-christmas-light/ A few years ago a Cuban Tree Frog swallowed a Christmas light, which glowed inside him, making it look like a heartlight.]]
** "Does E.T. recognize [[Franchise/StarWars Yoda]]? Now that I think about it, his "powers" seem to fit the description of the Force.... Could he have come from a certain galaxy far, far away? Nah...." Seventeen years later, look whose race can be found in [[Film/ThePhantomMenace that particular galaxy far, far away]].
* MemeticMutation: "E.T. phone home."
* NightmareFuel: When the scientists show up at Elliot's home in environmental suits. The whistles of the train set in the background don't help.
** E.T.'s appearance may be unsettling for younger viewers, even more so when he's dying.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Creator/DrewBarrymore is Elliott's little sister. She has had the exact same face for over 20 years.
** Erika Eleniak, who would later be known as Shauni in ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'', in the role of Elliott's classmate on whom he has a crush. Also a case of DawsonCasting - a 13 year old girl playing a classmate of a 10 year old boy?! Yeah, right!
* SpecialEffectFailure: The red light on a rail in the opening sequence. Its replacement is about the only thing you won't hear people complain about in the re-release.
** A mild example on the blu-ray The movie looks great but in some wide shots, like when Elliot introduces E.T. to Michael, you can tell it's a guy in a costume. It's apparent because in the next shot it's the expressive E.T. puppet, and the costume has a mask with a blank stare.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: A response generated by the edits for the 2002 20th Anniversary edition, which included replacing guns with walkie-talkies and changing "terrorist" to "hippie." Mercilessly lampooned in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' parody episode "Free Hat." Incidentally, while said episode portrays Steven Spielberg as the diabolical mastermind behind editing ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', with GeorgeLucas only reluctantly following, in RealLife Spielberg later stated that editing the movie was a mistake and restored the original version for the Blu Ray release.
* UglyCute
* ValuesDissonance: In a post September 11th world, not many kids would go as a terrorist for Halloween.

!! From the video game:
* CriticalBacklash
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The {{Trope Maker|s}}.