* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: One production managed to change how we view the entire cast and story by performing the musical completely normally, but with the only change being Jud is played by the only black man in the cast.
* BrokenBase: The movie adaptation has one version filmed in 65mm TODD-AO, and one in 35mm [=CinemaScope=]. They present differing takes of each scene, leaving viewers torn over which version provides superior performances.
* DesignatedHero: The ''hero'' tries to drive a lonely, unstable young man to suicide over a girl? That's pretty messed up.
* DesignatedVillain: Jud is a big scary looking drunk, but the worst thing he ever did to deserve the scorn from Laurey was.. ask her out on a lovely night out on the town? And for that Curley tries getting him to kill himself? Eventually it all drives him over the edge into a drunken violent attack.
** Several productions subvert this by implying that Jud has every intention of raping Laurey as soon as they're alone. For those that don't though, it all comes off fairly unjust.
** In the 1955 film, Jud is shown [[ThePeepingTom sneaking around Laurey's window]] just as she's about to change clothes. Ew.
** Then there are the productions that imply that Jud has killed [[SerialKiller before the play began]] (which is much more clearly implied in the original play ''Green Grow the Lilacs'').
** Jud's commonly cut song ''Lonely Room'' can be taken in one of two ways, depending on the actor. One is a tragic man who has been rejected for so long, just wants somebody to love him but is constantly denied by the others for their selfish reasons. The other is a creepy man who will make Laurey his whether she likes it or not simply because he can.
** Laurey mentions at one point that she can hear Jud walking about under her window every night. And yeah, then there's the whole story about a farmhand who apparently burned an entire family to death just because he saw the daughter with another guy - even in productions that don't focus on the implication that it was Jud, the context in which the story is told clearly implies that at the very least Jud might try something ''very'' similar if Laurey ends up with Curly. Plus he does try to kill Curly multiple times. You actually have to stretch further than you think to pass Jud off as the good guy.
* HilariousInHindsight: An R&H tribute that aired about a year before this movie's release contains a scene in which Gordon [=McRae=] and Florence Henderson sing, "People Will Say We're In Love". [=McRae=] went on to play Curley in the movie alongside Shirley Jones as Laurey. Henderson and Jones eventually became matriarchs of DuelingShows ''Series/TheBradyBunch'' and ''ThePartridgeFamily'', respectively.
* MagnificentBastard: Ali Hakim, in a mostly harmless way.
* MemeticBadass: Aunt Eller
* OlderThanTheyThink: A lot of the ground-breaking elements featured in this musical were also featured Hammerstein's collaboration with Jerome Kern, ''Show Boat'', almost twenty years earlier. They didn't catch on until this one, though.
* {{Padding}}: We now interrupt this storyline to tell you about how great the state of Oklahoma is.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: It is ''really'' hard to see what the big fuss is about this show unless you know the history of theater.
** And even if you do, it still may not be all that impressive.