* AwardSnub: Ellen Burstyn's heartbreaking performance as Sara lost the Academy Award for Best Actress to... '''JuliaRoberts''' in ''ErinBrockovich''. And the film didn't get a single other nomination, not even for Original Score, Cinematography, or Film Editing.
** Regarding Burstyn losing to Roberts, you can chalk it up to Burstyn having won decades previously for ''Film/AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore'', and Roberts being at the peak of her career and up til then unlauded for it. That's just [[ConsolationAward how the Oscars work]]. The snubs of other categories, however, are outrageous.
*** Particularly the score. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQHYDXpfuHM&feature=related This]], just listen to it. This track is not merely very good, it has become part of the musical lexicon on a scale comparable with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT7_Y1pIBb4 Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik]].
* [[BestKnownForTheFanservice Best Known for the Ass to Ass Scene]]
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Used really oddly to highlight decidedly unawesome events.
** Special mention to the famous opening bombastic score set to the incredible sight of...two men pushing a television across Brooklyn.
** Not to the mention the pure NightmareFuel of how well it captures the characters' SanitySlippage.
** The movie's theme, "Lux Aeterna," is so famous it's heard by people before they've even seen the movie.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Uncle Hank, better known as Ass to Ass guy.
* HeReallyCanAct: Marlon Wayans.
* HilariousInHindsight: Dylan Baker playing a doctor who is involved in an amputation? Wouldn't be the [[SpiderMan last time]].
** In the behind-the scenes footage, Marlon Wayans is seen making fun of [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Jar Jar Binks]], but immediately afterward he went on to play a similar annoying, cowardly black sidekick in ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons''.
* JerkassWoobie: The opening scene establishes Harry as being quite a JerkAss to his mom, Sara, but later in the first act [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold subverts it]] by showing that he seems harsh sometimes, but he really does love and care about his mom and wants the best for her. [[BreakTheCutie Then the next two acts happen.]]
* MemeticMutation: “So what're we gonna do now?” "Ass to ass." "ASS TO ASS!"
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE0UA8RREX4 The remix]] of the main theme practically has a life of its own now.
* {{Narm}}: The excessive cuts, overly dramatic music and oddly music video feel of some scenes can make them a bit hard to take seriously. Going by comments from the director, this may have been intentional though.
* OneSceneWonder: Christopher [=MacDonald=] as the "JUICE" infomercial/motivational speaker Tappy Tibbons, whose program Sara watches and she believes she's getting invited to as a "contestant". They filmed an entire presentation of the "JUICE" program in one day with [=MacDonald=] improvising most of it. At the end of the shoot, ''everyone'' in attendance gave him a standing ovation.
** Little John, simply for being played by Keith David.
** Dylan Baker as the doctor who turns Harry and Tyrone in. He squeezes quite a lot of performance into a minute or so of screentime.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: The film's use of the "hip hop montage", a series of rapid cuts accompanied by sound effects, looks normal now, despite the fact that this was the film that popularised its use (Aronofsky previously used it in ''Film/{{Pi}}''.) This extends to the point where ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' used a similar montage to show Homer's reaction to eating a [=McRib=] sandwich, which [=McDonald's=] themselves then copied for a bacon wrap ad.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: A viewer who agrees that DrugsAreBad is likely to see it this way.
* SpecialEffectFailure: As sad as the film's ending is, it does get ruined when one notices Jared Leto's real arm pressed up against him can be seen under the blue sheet, and when people can see the cotton on the ground masquerading as snow (when the ladies try to console each other after seeing Sara) and that it was clearly shot in a summer day.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: If so, then this film is a masterpiece.
** Or, you may think that this film is a subversion of this trope: that this film is a masterpiece ''despite'' the huge levels of angst.
* TheWoobie: Besides, you know, ''everyone'', [[BreakTheCutie Sara]] in particular comes off as the most sympathetic, having never gotten involved with the drug trade and simply wanting to have something to live for again. She plays the most part of a victim, being neglected by her son and doctor and appearing generally unhappy and lonely. Especially since she only wanted to lose weight and wasn't trying to get high in the first place.
** She is also a loving mother who genuinely cares greatly for her son, and this love seems to extend to Marion (whom she fantasizes about marrying her son, implying that she already thinks of Marion like a daughter and feels that Marion is a good match for him).