* ColbertBump: [[WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh Oancitizen]] provided one with [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/oancitizen/brows-held-high/31721-the-man-who-fell-to-earth his review]], in musical form to David Bowie's songs.
* CultClassic
* FreudWasRight: The infamous "gun sex" scene, where [[spoiler:Newton and Mary-Lou have sex while firing a gun filled with blanks at each other.]]
* IronyAsSheIsCast: When Mary-Lou takes Thomas to a church service and they join the rest of the congregation in a hymn, he proves to be an off-key singer.
* ItWasHisSled: Thomas Jerome Newton is an alien. Despite it being revealed/confirmed about [[LudicrousPrecision one hour, twenty-one minutes and sixteen point five seconds]] in, it's blaringly obvious to most who read the title. The novel is completely upfront about this.
* {{Moe}}: Music/DavidBowie's character was this long before it was trendy. Newton also inspires copious amounts of "perverse asexual cuddlelust"; [[BlessedWithSuck torture scenes and general bad luck]] aside, he emotes such an intense vulnerability-in every scene-that one is filled with the need to protect him...
* {{Narm}}: An emotional confrontation between Thomas and Mary-Lou climaxes with him angrily knocking a tray of cookies she is offering him into the air...and in slow-motion to boot.
** Also, the random shots of Thomas and Mary-Lou looking into the camera with vacant expressions (FlightOfTheConchords referenced these when their song "Bowie" was visualized for their TV show).
** Thomas freaking out over the cacophony of the OminousMultipleScreens: "GET OUT OF MY MIND! ALL OF YOU! LEAVE MY MIND ALONE! GO BACK TO WHERE YOU BELONG!"
* RealitySubtext: Bowie was addicted to cocaine and other illicit substances at this point in his life, so seeing him play a character who falls under the sway of substance abuse has this trope written all over it (indeed, the filmmakers were aware of this). Perhaps fittingly his albums ''Station to Station'' (1976, recorded at the lowest point of his addiction) and ''Low'' (1977, the first album of the "Berlin Trilogy" that unfolded as he gradually emerged from it) got their cover art from photos of him here. As well, the look and to a lesser extent personality of his Thin White Duke stage persona for the former album and tour was adapted from his work here.
* ReclusiveArtist: Newton definitely counts-he rarely goes out in public and leaves the day to day operations of the company to Farnsworth. {{Justified}} as he wants to escape detection ("My life is not secret, but it is private.").
* SoBadItsGood: For those viewers who see it as a narmy MindScrew. But others see it as a...
* TearJerker: One notable example: When Mary-Lou asks what Thomas's children are like, he replies with a mournful gaze across a lake: "They're like children. Exactly like children." And then there's the DownerEnding: [[spoiler: After years of suffering he's stuck on Earth, an alcoholic with no confidante or lover who might help him through the guilt and grief he must be feeling. And We Are As Mayflies to him...]] Tears? This can induce '''rage'''.
* UglyCute: Thomas's true form; when a picture of it appeared on a Bowie fan-blog, one commenter described it as "[[Literature/HarryPotter Voldemort]] with a nose", and in-film Mary-Lou finds him hideous. But commentators over at Website/YouTube have likened him and his family (especially with their bodysuits) to teddy bears instead...awwww.
* UncannyValley: What happens when you cast David Bowie as a waif-like alien visitor. Even in his human disguise, the long black coat and hat that Thomas arrived in are... not ''quite'' right for the context. When we first see him, he's disguised as human, but his thinness and clothes him look like a scarecrow, which serves to remind the audience visually of Thomas' otherworldly origin.
* VindicatedByHistory: While the film evokes wildly differing opinions and interpretations to this day and was not a box-office hit, it has enough admirers to not only be in Creator/TheCriterionCollection, but to serve as one of its first four Blu-Ray releases.
** It remains a hit and miss with audiences, but critical opinion of the movie is overwhelmingly positive today, perhaps in part because hell will freeze over before the contemporary movie industry dishes out a genre film as daring and cerebral as ''The Man Who Fell to Earth''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: The editing and surreal imagery beg this question; no, the filmmakers were not on drugs (the star, on the other hand...).
* WTHCastingAgency: The U.K. trailer warned in voice over "Nothing you have seen or heard about Music/DavidBowie can prepare you for the impact of his first dramatic role in ''TheManWhoFellToEarth''." After all, to see an incredibly vibrant and theatrical personality playing an almost emotionless alien ''would'' be a surprise...but it worked out quite well for him. Film critics generally vote this or ''MerryChristmasMrLawrence'' as his best film work, at least as a lead.