* FairForItsDay: Focuses on racial issues in a rather sympathetic light(for the 1930's), and Magnolia [[spoiler: becomes a career woman after Gaylord abandons her, and raises her daughter well independently.]]
* MemeticMutation: Ever heard the expression "Tote that barge, lift that bale?" It's from here.
* ValuesDissonance: Minstrel shows and a man telling his wife she shouldn't work and worry about the man's world. Considered pretty normal in the 1800's (and early 1900's) but rather shocking to a modern audience.
* TheWoobie: Magnolia and Julie. [[spoiler: Both of their husbands abandon them! Oh, and Julie ends up being alcoholic.]]