* {{Alternate Aesop Interpretation}}: The entire musical can be seen as a metaphor for the relations between the West and developing countries. The West (Chris) promises a better life to the developing countries (Kim and the Engineer) only to end up abandoning them (either willfully or after being forced to do so).
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The Engineer is shameless and skeevy, but his charm is undeniable.
* FridgeHorror: If you think Chris was going through hell before--having nightmares/grappling with his troubled marriage/struggling with guilt over inadvertently abandoning Kim--what's he going to be like ''now''? Especially bad considering that he was making strides towards putting his life together.
** It's not just him: consider what Tam's life is going to be like. His mother had to [[spoiler: kill herself to force his father to take him and raise him in America, his stepmother flat-out doesn't want him, and he probably won't have any memory of his real mother at all.]] And even though things were bad for ''bui doi'' in Vietnam (case in point: Thuy trying to stab Tam [[DisproportionateRetribution for existing)]], America wasn't exactly free of HalfBreedDiscrimination at the time either. This kid's most likely got a rough life ahead of him.
* HilariousInHindsight: Jonathan Pryce originated the role of the Engineer, whose most memorable moment is probably the song "The American Dream". Twenty years later in ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'', Pryce played the American President, which is probably the ultimate American dream, fulfilled.
* JustHereForGodzilla: The makers of the musical realised early on that the helicopter sequence was a huge selling point, so much so that the helicopter is the musical's logo on posters and promotional material.
* MisaimedMarketing: This can probably be said about the decision to allow amateur theatre groups and ''high schools'' to stage their own versions of the musical.
* {{Narm}}: The character of Chris. A good actor will usually be able to avert this but with a bad actor this will almost certainly happen.
* NarmCharm: The musical can fall prey to this trope yet it's still utterly fantastic, watchable and will probably have you sobbing at the end. Chris is sometimes the most/only narmy one, especially during the song "Why God, Why?"; even its title sounds narmy.
** It also depends on how well he can pull off that BigNo at the end. Some actors are terrific, others have you stifling your laughter or even cringing.
* TheScrappy: It's hard to find a fan of the show who doesn't hate Ellen, seeing her as the reason [[spoiler: Chris and Kim can't reunite and why Chris isn't willing to take Tam (his and Kim's son) back to America with him.]]
** There's also the timing problem with her marriage to Chris - he's been back Stateside 3 years, one of which was taken up by his HeroicBSOD ("spoke to no one for a year",) and they've been married 2 years. When exactly did they date?
** There are many who view Ellen as their favorite character and others who see her as being as much of a victim of circumstance as Kim and Chris.
** What little fanfic the show has portrays Ellen as treating Tam very well, sometimes even as her own son. Make of that what you will.