* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: Several executives at Creator/EpicRecords thought ''Thriller'' would bomb. Obviously, it goes without saying that the album's unprecedented success proved them wrong.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The iconic zombie dance sequence counts as one - it comes in the middle of the music video's plot out of absolutely nowhere, featuring no explanation to why Michael Jackson turned into a zombie. The zombies, which were earlier shown having typical ZombieGait, are somehow able to pull off elaborate dance moves in unison, while the girl is absent from the scene. In the midst of ''this'', there's Michael's UnexplainedRecovery to turn back into a human - another BLAM within a BLAM. Once the scene ends, the girl is back, Michael is a zombie again, and nobody acknowledges that the scene ever occurred. This doesn't stop it from being one of the best scenes recorded in a music video, though.
* CriticalDissonance: [[http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/thriller-19830128 A few]] [[http://www.allmusic.com/album/thriller-mw0000056882 reviewers]] complained about the title track, feeling it was campy and caused MoodWhiplash compared to the rest of the album. Listeners still find it a classic, particularly due to the video it spawned.
* EvenBetterSequel: Jackson's first album ''Music/OffTheWall'' was already the best selling album by a black/Afro-American artist ever, but his second album, "Thriller", grew out to be the best-selling music album of all time! In terms of album sales this is certainly an improvement.
* FridgeBrilliance: By saving all the choruses for the big dance number, it gives the video an unbelievable momentum. It's 14 minutes long, but it doesn't feel like it.
** Michael invokes the MST3KMantra when he and the girl leave the theater. It may be necessary to apply it to the whole video.
* MemeticMutation: One of the great pre-internet ones, the video popularized the concept of dancing zombies in pop culture, and even today if zombies dance, odds are they're doing something at least highly reminicent of the Thriller Dance.
** And then in internet forums, a GIF image of Michael eating popcorn in the theater is used a lot, as a way of saying PassThePopcorn below in a thread.
* MutuallyFictional: Jackson watches a horror movie with his girlfriend starring two actors who look exactly like them, except for their clothes. Nobody comments on the fact that they are the same person. Even the people in the movie theatre!
* SecondVerseCurse: The bridge does not appear at all in the music video, largely because there's no way to make the lyric fit with the plot.
* SignatureScene: The zombie dance, naturally.
* TheScrappy: Some people ''really'' aren't keen on "The Girl Is Mine" for some reason. [[http://zembla.cementhorizon.com/archives/001374.html For example]].
* ToughActToFollow: This album was and still is the best-selling musical album in history. How could anyone surpass it in commercial terms? Even Jackson himself couldn't.