* BittersweetEnding / DownerEnding: Charlie fails to get custody of Raymond, and returns him to the institution.
** On the one hand, it's pretty much a downer for Charlie - soon after he truly discovers his family roots and realizes his and Raymond's history together, he has to return him to Wallbrook. And Raymond obviously benefited from being outside in the "real world" for a while.
** On the other hand, it's also obvious that Raymond's ability to grow is severely limited by his disability, and he is utterly incapable of dealing, in the long run, with the vicissitudes of the Real World. It worked out best for both of them - Charlie had the freedom to continue his life, and Raymond had the safety and 24/7 care of the institution. Charlie could come back and visit at any time (and probably did).
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The soundtrack is full of it, some of which is still fun to listen to. "Iko Iko" (by the Belle Stars) and "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2h1I_NXpNA Las Vegas]]" are standouts.
* {{Glurge}}: Despite the general [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments positive]] [[SugarWiki/SweetDreamsFuel reception]] of the movie and awesome acting on the part of Dustin Hoffman, for many autistic people, the movie's much more {{Glurge}} then anything else. The simplistic portrayal of autism in the movie, and the way it's used as a plot device to teach the "neurotypical" protagonist not to be a JerkAss, make it guaranteed FlameBait on many autistic support forums.
* SoOkayItsAverage: Perhaps due to Autism being better-known these days, some people find the movie pretty unremarkable despite the hype.