!! 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]].
* MagnumOpus: Beloved enough to be considered as a candidate (one of many) for Steven Spielberg. Spielberg himself has said it's one of his proudest achievements, citing it as being the film he'd most like his kids to watch.
* 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.
** The whole first fifteen minutes or so of the movie are pretty scary, from when the scientists show up at the spacecraft's landing spot to when Elliott explores the backyard and sees ET for the first time and both scream.
* 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}}.