For awesome moments in the source novel and other adaptations, see here.
- Grandpa Joe resolving to give up tobacco, even with Mrs. Bucket discouraging him. (Keep in mind, this was made at the turn of The '70s.)
- When Mr. Wonka reveals the Chocolate Room to the tour group: it's a vibrantly colorful wonderland that the camera and score treat with a quiet, respectful awe. And suddenly there's Mr. Wonka's voiceover: "Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three," which leads into the lovely, haunting, joyful musical number "Pure Imagination". The way he keeps holding the group back as they progress down the stairs, the little punchline involving the buttercup...
- Violet Beauregarde decides she's had enough of Veruca's crap and snaps at her when the latter is whining that she wants an Oompa-Loompa NOW. This is the first time anyone tells Veruca off to her face, and what's more, it leaves her in stunned silence! Violet then tells off Veruca again when she lies about Violet getting two everlasting gobstoppers and demands another one as well. Of course, even better than those two times, the two insults Violet throws at Veruca which include "nit" and "twit" actually set up an awesome Brick Joke for the moment Violet samples the chewing gum which, as we all know, turns her into a blueberry. When Charlie asks why she won't follow Wonka's orders, Grandpa Joe's response? "Because, Charlie, she's a nitwit!" So not only did Veruca get owned, Violet herself just got owned as well!
- Charlie is sometimes accused of being a Pinball Protagonist, but in this adaptation at least he actually tries to help the others when they're in trouble.
- He holds out the giant lollipop for Augustus to grab when the latter is drowning. It may not be all that awesome, but at least he actually tries to help. (And he's the first to notice that Augustus is too close to the river.)
- When the tour is done, he asks Mr. Wonka not about his prize, but about what will become of the other kids.
- His choice to refuse to sell the Everlasting Gobstopper to Slugworth, even though he's been led to believe that it will lift him and his family out of poverty.
- A bit of a meta-example: in the "YOU GET NOTHING! YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!" scene, the look of shock on Charlie's face is completely genuine. Gene Wilder never told anyone just how furious he was going to act in that scene. Damn, that's good acting! After spending the majority of his screentime as Wonka being a snarky, witty candyman, his sudden tirade at this moment is surprisingly lifelike and definitely Oscar-winning material. Now THAT'S what you call acting as well!
- Grandpa Joe angrily calling out Mr. Wonka for not giving Charlie his lifetime supply of chocolate over stealing the Fizzy Lifting Drinks.
- "Hey Charlie? My boy, YOU WON! YOU DID IT! I KNEW YOU WOULD DO IT! I JUST KNEW IT! Oh Charlie, I am so sorry to put you through it! Forgive me!" And after Wonka apologizes to Charlie for that infamous meltdown rant of not winning the contract, he calls for Mr. Wilkinson ("Slugworth") to say hello to Charlie. Wonka tells that he is not the bad guy, Slugworth, he is just Wonka's assistant.
Wonka: We had to test you and you passed the test YOU WON!Grandpa Joe: Won what?!?Wonka: The jackpot sir, The grand and glorious jackpot!Charlie: You mean the chocolate?Wonka: The chocolate, Yes! The chocolate! But that is just the beginning. We have to go on. We got so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it! This way, Please! We will take the Wonkavator.
- Wonka's entrance is awesome on two levels, meta-wise:
- It has come out that Gene Wilder stipulated that he'd only do the film if he could do the limp/somersault as he felt it would set up that you can never trust Wonka. The director wisely agreed and the scene is now not only an iconic classic but also wonderful character set-up.
- Watch Wilder as he does the somersault... he waits until the absolute last moment before going into the roll, selling that he is about to fall flat on his face. If he messed it up Wilder would have done just that... the man was seriously dedicated and seriously talented.