** If you watch the Extended Cut of the film, John and Russell try to desert during Basic, and somehow end up parachuting into somewhere in South America, before running into a group of rebels, accidentally dumping a bunch of LSD into their stew, almost getting killed, and sneaking off before getting put back on the plane and sent back to Basic.
** The EM-50 urban assault vehicle climax seemingly comes out of nowhere. A cut scene suggests that Ziskey's been wanting a Winnebago for a while.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome / EarWorm: Legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein's peppy score.
** The CallAndResponseSong rendition of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" that Harold Ramis kicks off, enough to become a source of MemeticMutation in RealLife military marching.
* EndingAversion: A very common criticism is that after two hilarious acts of loose character stuff, suddenly the plot arrives and the film completely falls apart.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Dewey "Ox" Oxberger explains that he joined the Army as a way of losing weight and avoiding having heart attacks. Creator/JohnCandy, who played Ox, would die of a heart attack, and at the time of his death, actually was making an effort to lose weight.
* HarsherInHindsight / HilariousInHindsight: Stella posing for Penthouse. Decades later, a female Air Force [[DrillSergeantNasty Military Training Instructor]] was drummed out of the service for posing for Playboy.
** "Lighten up, Francis." In 2013, after the new Pope dubbed himself Pope Francis, this prompted a new play on the quote as "'Lighten up.' - Francis".
** "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" became a longtime favorite [[SoundOff marching song]] for American military personnel.
* ValuesDissonance: The rape jokes are pretty cringeworthy nowadays.
-->'''Russell:''' There are two things I promised myself I'd never do: Kill and die.
-->'''John:''' What if the Russians were raping your sister?
-->'''Russell:''' Come on, you know my sister. You practically raped her one night. The Russians would just have to buy her dinner.
** Winger's casual comment about having sex with a high school girl.