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* AwesomeMusic: The instrumental version of "The Power to Believe" by SophistiPop group Dream Academy, used to score Del's IAmWhatIAm speech.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Where Del becomes the Devil! However, it's actually a sort of hallucinatory version of BeneathTheMask, as Neal is imagining seeing Del as the horrible source of evil he (thinks he) is. It's preceded by a moment where Neal and Del briefly look like skeletons during their WildTake.
* CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming: Neal, after mentally piecing together [[spoiler: the truth about Del and his wife,]] returning to the El station to invite Del home with him for Thanksgiving dinner.
* EarWorm:
** The Silicon Teens' synth-pop version of "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6crGAPlHyg Red River Rock]]", which plays on the soundtrack.
** And, of course, Creator/RayCharles's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNe5npkid-s Mess Around]]".
* FollowTheLeader:
** ''Film/DueDate'' largely copies this movie's formula.
** Same with ''Film/{{Dutch}}'', another movie about a pair of dissimilar people from different class backgrounds struggling to get home to Chicago for {{Thanksgiving|Episode}} And ''also'' written by John Hughes.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Del talking about what his legacy is going to be "when I'm dead and buried," given John Candy's early death. Ditto the final fade-out on his face.
** In-universe, Neal's response to Del's above line.
---> At the very least, the absolute minimum, you have a woman you love that you can grow old with.
** In general, a lot of the foreshadowing with Del is meant to invoke this in-universe, to the point of serving as a RewatchBonus.
--->'''Neal:''' I've been spending too much time away from home.\\
'''Del:''' ''(casually)'' [[spoiler: I haven't been home for years.]]
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In one scene, Del talks about moving to Jamaica, getting some rum. Several years later, John Candy would star in ''Film/CoolRunnings'', [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory a fictionalized account of Jamaica's bobsled team]].
*** Speaking of which, Del's line about how their charred-up rental car is "not much to look at" is the same thing John Candy's character in ''Film/CoolRunnings'' says when the Jamaican team reveals their bobsled for the first time.
** The WildTake involving the skeletons is even more hilarious considering what happens to Marv in ''Film/HomeAlone2''.
* JerkassWoobie: Sure, Neal comes off as a bit of a dick at times especially when he snaps at both the rental agent and the taxi driver, but after all he goes through, including nearly dying at least 3-4 different times, could you really blame him for reaching the breaking point?
* MemeticMutation: [[SomeonesTouchingMyButt "THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS!"]]
* NauseaFuel:
** Del clearing his sinuses; Del taking off his shoes and socks on the plane; Del leaving wet towels all over the floor. PlayedForLaughs, of course.
** And that... scratching sound their first night in bed together. Whatever it is, eugh!
** "Neal, take my socks out of the sink if you're going to brush your teeth, alright?"
* NightmareFuel:
** The instantaneous and sheer MoodWhiplash between the iconic "Mess Around" (see EarWorm) scene... and the ChekhovsGun of Del accidentally throwing the cigarette into the backseat -- the legitimately ominous ScareChord practically screams at you that there's about to be some serious PlayingWithFire.
* OneSceneWonder: Almost the entire cast, as only Creator/SteveMartin and Creator/JohnCandy are in more than three scenes. But in particular, Creator/KevinBacon, Creator/DylanBaker, [=Michael McKean=], and [=Edie McClurg=] (she of the ClusterFBomb).
* SignatureScene: Neil unloading three days worth of frustration onto the car rental clerk and [[ClusterFBomb using every conceivable variation of the word "fuck"]] in the process.
* ValuesDissonance: Though generally an inoffensive movie, Del telling the teenage girls that his shower curtain ring earrings make them look like they could pass for older women sounds much too pervy to make it into a contemporary movie.
* TheWoobie: Del, once it's revealed that [[spoiler:Marie has been dead for eight years and he's been homeless ever since.]]
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