!!For the movies and novel:

* AdaptationDisplacement: The original novel by Mario Puzo is less well-known than the films. The way that the films are titled "Mario Puzo's The Godfather" were actually an attempt by director Francis Ford Coppola to avoid this.
* AwardSnub: This might seem churlish in light of the fact the first two movies each won Best Picture and numerous other Oscars besides (though Coppola lost Best Director for the first one to [[{{Cabaret}} Bob Fosse]], he won for the second one), but amazingly enough, Gordon Willis' seminal camerawork in the first two movies wasn't even ''nominated.'' Think about that.
** Al Pacino's performances as Michael Corleone in Parts I and II and especially Part II are considered to be among the best performances in film. Yet, he received no Oscar for either one. He was even nominated in the wrong category (as Supporting Actor) for Part I when he was obviously the main character.
** A more jarring example: ''three'' actors from the first movie were nominated for Best Supporting Actor. They all lost.
*** To Joel Grey for ''Cabaret'', though.
** Additionally, three actors were nominated for Part II, but John Cazale wasn't among them, even with Fredo taking on an emotional crux in the latter portions of the film.
* BadassDecay: When Sollozzo [[spoiler:has Tom held captive]], he says that [[spoiler:Vito and Luca]] would never have fallen for the ploys used if it were years earlier, trying to suggest that they've gotten soft.
** [[InUniverse In the book only]], we are [[InformedAbility Informed]] that Fredo was a tough guy who just took his eye off the ball during the attempted assassination of Vito and decayed after running the Family business in Vegas for a long time. None of this shows up in the movies, where he comes across as an incompetent boob. Given that Fredo's toughness was certainly an informed ability, [[PragmaticAdaptation perhaps that was for the best]].
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: There was a quite lengthy subplot in the original novel about one of Sonny's mistresses who went out to Hollywood, became friends with Johnny Fontane, and eventually fell in love with a plastic surgeon who [[{{Narm}} performed reconstructive surgery on her vagina]] and then married her. Francis Ford Coppola later said he was so disturbed by this portion of the book that it almost put him off filming it. ''Part III'' ignores this entirely by introducing Vincent, who is the same mistress's son (the book makes a point of saying Sonny never knocked her up before he was killed).
** This subplot tied into a bizarre string of borderline poetic passages going to great lengths to romanticize Sonny having an abnormally large penis (to go with his girlfriend's abnormally large vagina), with other characters making cracks like "Sonny's cock is so large prostitutes charge him double!" and "Sonny's cock is so large his wife's glad he's having affairs!" Understandably, this was cut from the film as well. (Although, in the background of the wedding scene, you can see an allusion being made to it...)
* ContestedSequel: ''The Godfather Part III''. Opinions range from "absolutely terrible" to "not terrible, but not as good in comparison to the two masterpieces that preceded it". Some people contend that ''Part III'' would be a great movie, if not for the [[TheScrappy comically bad performance of Sofia Coppola]] as Michael's daughter. It would have also been nice to have Robert Duvall back as Tom Hagen.
** There are some who consider it just as good as the first 2; [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKda5wqspOA this video essay]] makes an argument for how the third film works if seen as the epilogue to the first two, as Coppola and Puzo originally intended.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The Theme.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Luca Brasi is only in the first film for a few minutes, and has less than five minutes of screentime. He's also very popular, and in the first video game, was featured prominently as a sort of mentor.
* EvenBetterSequel: This series has what most critics consider to be the Most Triumphant Example; ''Part II'' vs. the original.
* FanonDiscontinuity: The first and second films are regarded as some of the best films ever created. The third one, on the other hand... see ContestedSequel above.
* FightSceneFailure: When Sonny beats down Carlo, one of his punches very obviously misses by a mile, but comes with an impact sound effect and reaction. Ironically, James Caan really did injure Gianni Russo during the filming of this scene.
* GeniusBonus: The establishing shot of the meeting between Vito and the heads of the other five families shows that it is being held in the Federal Reserve.
* HypeBacklash: Because so many people consider it to be '''the''' greatest movie of all time, it's inevitable that some people will walk away from it wondering what the big deal is.
* ItWasHisSled: It is basically impossible to watch this movie without already knowing some of the major plot twists, due to PopculturalOsmosis and MemeticMutation. In fact, if you are on this website, reading these words, ''it is already too late''.
* MagnificentBastard:
** Vito. Michael flirts with it but lacks the raw charisma to truly clinch the deal.
** Hyman Roth almost took down Michael and the Corleone family while dying from heart disease.
* MemeticBadass: Arguably the whole movie is a Memetic Badass.
* MemeticMutation: "An offer he can't refuse", the horse's head, "the day of my daughter's wedding", "may your first foist child be a masculine child", the first known use of the phrase "badabing!", and many more.
* MisaimedFandom: More than a few people have, when discussing the film, referred to Michael as the ultimate Bad Ass. Smart, powerful, decisive, etc. That is not the point of his character arc. His story is a tragedy. Real-life mobsters are huge fans of the trilogy.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** It's kinda hard to place one in a movie where TheMafia is involved, but [[spoiler:what happens to that poor horse in ''Part I'' is unforgettably horrific...]] and it's done by the respective ''good guys''. [[spoiler:It's almost forgivable [[KickTheSonOfABitch because the horse's owner, Woltz, is revealed as a pedophile using his position as film producer to seduce young women and sexually molesting a twelve-year-old girl during Tom Hagen's visit.]]]]
** ''Part II'''s MoralEventHorizon is much clearer [[spoiler:where Michael has his own brother Fredo killed for unwittingly betraying Michael to Hyman Roth. Even when it's become obvious that there was no need for the killing.]] It's so painful that ''Part III'' [[spoiler:can be viewed as Michael's attempt to [[TheAtoner atone]] for the sin of fratricide by seeking salvation allying with the Catholic Church.]]
*** [[spoiler:Fredo]], though, at least had done something to deserve it. Arguably worse, and the starkest illustration of the moral emptiness at the heart of Michael's pretensions of family, is the [[spoiler:casual murder of the prostitute to frame Senator Geary. She just happened to be the girl with him that night and her death was good for business.]]
** Carlo viciously beating Connie [[spoiler:in order to draw Sonny out and have him killed.]]
* NeverLiveItDown: The notion that Frank Sinatra used the mob to get his role in ''Film/FromHereToEternity'' (that he got his AcademyAward for) is not based on any evidence from RealLife, but this book and movie.
* NightmareFuel: [[NightmareFuel/TheGodfather Has its own page]]
* ParanoiaFuel: Woltz has this realisation in the novel after that (in)famous scene, recognizing that if The Mafia could sneak onto his grounds and do the deed they did... In the sequel novels written by Mark Winegardner, when Tom Hagen is obligated to pay Woltz a visit several years later, he finds that much of the tasteful statuary and landscaping on the property have been removed and replaced in favor of greater visibility and security, giving the house a stark, almost fortress-like feel.
* TearJerker: Toward the end of Part I, after Vito and Michael have had a final consultation, Vito is hit by an overwhelming wave of sadness, as he looks back on all the things he's done in his life. He says he [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Did What He Had To Do]], and he has no regrets. Well, except one: that it's Michael who must now carry on the family business. He confesses that he once had hopes that the Corleones could be legitimately powerful, maybe even have had a mayor or a senator in the family... and that he had hopes that Michael could have been that. The broken way he says to Michael, "I never wanted this for you," speaks volumes.
* TheScrappy:
** Fredo is this to a lot of fans for being such a weak, incompetent, pathetic character, and his betrayal in the second movie doesn't help.
** Mary Corleone. Sofia Coppola's performance as Mary in the third film is hated by nearly all. Compounding the issue is the apparent nepotism of her casting. She was actually cast only because Winona Ryder backed out at the last minute and there was no time to get another actress. [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap Sofia fared MUCH better as a film director]].
* TheWoobie: Fredo. Oh, Fredo. Though [[spoiler:prior to his MoralEventHorizon (See above). After this, he is more a JerkassWoobie.]]

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!!For the games:

* AntiClimaxBoss: While bosses may wear body armour and wield heavy firepower, a single BoomHeadshot will end them every time.
* DemonicSpiders: Damn Tommy gun and shotgun mobsters will tear you a new one for a lot of the game if you're not careful.
* DisownedAdaptation: Francis Ford Coppola did not approve of the game, accusing its makers of profiteering off of his work.
* ItsEasySoItSucks: A charge often leveled at the sequel. Players often didn't bother with the "hunting the rival family's made men" sidequests because the benefit was negligible when it came time to take down the family compound. EliteMooks, up to and almost including the family Don, were almost indistinguishable from ordinary buttonmen.
* NoProblemWithLicensedGames: Neither will win awards, but they are still solid and fun sandbox games.
* PlayerPunch: It seems like nearly everyone you know ends up getting killed by other mobsters, or betraying you and then getting killed by you. [[spoiler:Luca Brasi, Paulie Gatto, Frankie, Sonny, Monk, Tessio, and Jaggy Jovino (and Sergeant Ferreira in the Wii version)]]. YMMV because you never see these characters outside of missions anyway, so it's hard to get attached to them. Still, you gotta give the game some credit for trying.