* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: It can be argued that Barnes did care for the men in his command, but used extreme tactics to do so. All he wanted was for them all to survive, and to hell with anybody else.
* {{Anvilicious}}: Just in case we didn't get the subtle subtext involved in Stone placing an evil sergeant and a good sergeant in charge of plastic-faced Charlie Sheen's raw recruit as the devil and angel on his shoulder, Stone has Sheen provide a wildly anvilicious voiceover monologue at the end of the movie. "I felt like a child born of these two fathers fighting over my soul." Alternatively counts as SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: ''Adagio for Strings'', used during and after the more intense moments in the film.
** The unused Georges Delerue-composed soundtrack, which gets replaced by ''Adagio for Strings''.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The fat soldier in the FinalBattle who appears for a few seconds before dying.
* CompleteMonster: There are two {{Sociopathic Soldier}}s:
** [=SSgt=]. Bob Barnes. In one scene, believing that some villagers are aiding Viet Cong soldiers, he shoots a defiant woman (the village chief's wife) in the head. When the murdered woman's daughter cries out, Barnes takes the child at gunpoint, threatening to shoot her next if the villagers do not reveal the whereabouts of the Viet Cong. Worse yet, [[spoiler:during a firefight with the enemy, he murders Sgt. Elias, the only one with the balls to do something about the man's rapidly-mounting atrocities]].
** Bunny is a sadistic little psychopath who beats a crippled Vietnamese boy to death just for fun, and does the same to the victim's elderly mother, before leading the gang-rape of a young girl in the bushes, which is interrupted by Chris.
--> '''Bunny''': You know, Junior, some of the things we done, man, I don't feel like we done something wrong.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: This feeling might hit home to those who lose sympathy for the soldiers after the village scene. Apparently, the only initially sympathetic characters left were Taylor and Elias. Although it wouldn't matter when there's no reason to care anymore about the war they're in.
* EpilepticTrees[=/=]EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory: Some have interpreted the Elias-like guy who asks Taylor for a light from a DeletedScene as Death himself.
* FauxSymbolism:
** The snakes Chris keeps seeing.
** '''Chris T'''aylor. One of the soldiers even makes a joke about him dying and being resurrected.
* MagnumOpus: Considered Oliver Stone's best film to this day.
* SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome: [[Awesome/{{Platoon}} Has its own page]].
* MemeticMutation: The CrucifiedHeroShot is parodied to [[IncrediblyLamePun death]] in Website/{{Pixiv}}.
* MoralEventHorizon: The village scene, to the point of NightmareFuel. The only ones who come out of this scene with audience sympathies entirely intact are Chris, Elias, and the few men the latter took offscreen with him, including King.
** Barnes crosses it firmly by [[spoiler: shooting the village chief's unarmed wife and taking their child hostage]].
** Bunny sails right over the line by [[spoiler: beating a mentally handicapped boy to death, despite orders to leave, and then doing the same to the boy's mother]]. He, and the group of soldiers he takes with him to do the deed, promptly rockets magnitudes further by [[spoiler: gang-raping a teenage village girl]].
** The rest of the platoon are also left in murky territory after they [[spoiler: shoot the village animals for fun]].
* {{Narm}}:
** Even though the film's usage of Adagio for Strings is effective, it was used rather inappropriately just before [[spoiler:Lerner]] gets wounded, where it is abruptly cut by gunfire.
** The face [[spoiler:Junior]] makes when he gets [[spoiler:bayoneted to death]].
* NightmareFuel: The village scene. Also the deleted scene where Taylor has a dream where the platoon stands in front of a Buddha statue. One by one the soldiers disappear until there's only Barnes.
* SignatureScene: See DyingMomentOfAwesome.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: Especially the [[PortingDisaster NES version]].
* TrueArtIsAngsty: Edged out just barely by ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
* {{Wangst}}: Taylor's narration. It's weird to see how a soldier was going around, partaking in a war, yet complains every few minutes or so when he is bored.
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