* AwardSnub: Painfully. Gloria Swanson lost the Best Actress Oscar only because BetteDavis in ''AllAboutEve'' was her main competitor. Swanson and Davis cancelled each other out (as both were playing over-the-hill, sharp-tongued actresses in films about the anxieties of aging and acting), leaving newcomer Judy Holliday winning for ''Theatre/BornYesterday''.
** Norma Desmond's idea for her comeback vehicle - a Biblical epic about Salome - is regarded as laughably ridiculous by [=DeMille=] and the other Hollywood types. However, not only was an actual mind boggingly awful ''Salome'' film (starring Rita Hayworth) produced in 1953, but numerous filmmakers throughout the rest of the '50s (including [=DeMille=] himself) would turn to Biblical epics as a way of competing with the television audience, and some of these efforts turned out to be every bit as schlocky as Norma's.
** Buster Keaton's appearance as one of the forgotten actors now that he's better-remembered than anyone else in the cast.
* ItWasHisSled: Almost inevitable in such a famous film from so long ago.
* MemeticMutation: "I ''am'' big. Its the pictures that got small" and "Alright Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my closeup".
* TearJerker: Norma returns to the Paramount lot and is greeted by all her old friends and admirers, and she thinks this is the beginning of her return. It's not - [=DeMille=] is just being nice to her, and the real reason that Paramount kept calling her was because they wanted to rent her car.
** Norma's final scene, as she thinks she's filming her ''Salome'', everyone else just standing there in horror and pity. And then Norma bursts into tears... only because she's so ''happy'' that she's finally making her movies.
* TheWoobie: By the end... everyone. But Max in particular has had a life of this.