-->'''RogerEbert''': I thought it would be clunky, stupid and obvious, like ''[[TheSantaClause The Santa Clause 2]]'' or ''[[Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas How the Grinch Stole Christmas]]''. It would have grotesque special effects and lumber about in the wreckage of holiday cheer, foisting upon us a chaste romance involving the only girl in America who doesn't know that a man who thinks he is an elf is by definition a pervert...It took me about 10 seconds of seeing Will Ferrell in the elf costume to realize how very wrong I was. This is one of those rare Christmas comedies that has a heart, a brain and a wicked sense of humor, and it charms the socks right off the mantelpiece.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Break-dancing in the mailroom.
** How about the raccoon attack?
*** Not that odd. Raccoons are commonly found in the woods and since they are wild animals, they will likely attack you if you try to pick them up as Buddy did.
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: Buddy inside the store.
-->'''Buddy''': I'M ''SINGING!'' I'M IN A STORE AND I'M ''SINGING!'' I'M IN A STORE. ''AND I'M SINGING!''
* DesignatedVillain: The Central Park Rangers. Played for laughs, of course.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Mr. Narwhal. He's actually voiced by Creator/JonFavreau!
* HeartwarmingMoments: Walter finally singing along to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," which powers the sleigh.
** Buddy names his daughter after his deceased biological mother.
* HilariousInHindsight: The first thing Miles Finch says to Buddy is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=02572EyOIzQ "I get more action in a week than you've had in an entire lifetime"]]. Of course he would, [[Creator/PeterDinklage he's]] ''[[Series/GameOfThrones Tyrion!]]'' Amusingly, his next line is about having another house in Vail (Colorado), which sounds like 'Vale'.
** It also wouldn't be the last time Mary Steenburgen would be a mother figure to a [[StepBrothers fish-out-of-water manchild played by Will Ferrell]].
* LoveItOrHateIt: Many people strongly dislike this movie and feel it features Will Ferrell at his worst, on the grounds that the movie is dull, cliched, and unappealing. Others, on the other hand, argue that this is actually Ferrell's best movie because for once, [[PlayingAgainstType he plays against type by portraying a likeable, sympathetic character with depth, as opposed to a one-dimensional sketch show type of character]], plus it's a Christmas movie that pays homage to nostalgia holiday movies and specials.
* MemeticMutation: "'''SANTAAAAA!!!!''' I know him! I know him!"
** "But the children love the books!"
** "You sit on a throne of lies."
** "I'm a cotton-headed ninnymuggins."
* MomentOfAwesome: The SnowballFight scene.
* NauseaFuel: Buddy peels a piece of gum off a subway entrance stair railing. And chews it.
** After Santa told him not to.
*** Santa told him not to eat the gum from the '''ground.'''
** Spaghetti with maple syrup, marshmallows, Pop-Tarts, and other sugary things.
** Brenda [=McDonald=], embodying every sweet, helpless little-old-lady and kind-hearted, heartbroken nun in movie history.
--> ''But the children love the books!''
** Creator/PeterDinklage's scene was mentioned in a lot in critic reviews as being the most memorable sequence of the film.
* TearJerker: The scene where Walter tells Buddy to get out of his life. Buddy looks so depressed and disheartened that it's soul crushing.
** The musical score by John Debney really gets those heartstrings.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: Believe it or not, the Broadway musical versionn is considerably more adult than the movie, with an increase in language, sexual innuendos, and double entrendres.[[note]]Some critics are saying that it's more of a grown-up show anyway, and that the kids would only be interested in the scenery.[[/note]]
* WTHCastingAgency: WillFerrell in a kid's movie? JamesCaan for a Christmas film? [[Creator/EdwardAsner Ed Asner]] as Santa? [[note]]And believe it or not, that actually wasn't the first time![[/note]] Even Creator/RogerEbert [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031107/REVIEWS/311070302/1023 was surprised by how well that turned out.]]
* TheWoobie: Buddy had no idea how to function in society and most people treated him like a pariah. It doesn't help when your own father doesn't care or understand at first.