Billing Displacement: Christopher Lloyd (as Switchblade Sam) is top-billed on the posters, followed by Joan Plowright (Martha Wilson), Lea Thompson (Alice Mitchell), Paul Winfield (the Chief of Police)... and then Mason Gamble and Walter Matthau, who only play, er, Dennis and Mr. Wilson.
Butt Monkey: Mr. Wilson. Also, Switchblade Sam once he meets Dennis. The same with Alice's coworker when she does in the end.
Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Switchblade Sam's stealing of Margaret's doll. Afterward, Margaret claims the doll was a priceless antique, but 1) Sam didn't know it at the time, and 2) Margaret's claim isn't credible, as no one would give a five-year-old a priceless antique as a toy.
While Dennis and Margaret are arguing over the merits of men over women and vice-versa, they start to debate on how babies are made. This ends when Joey starts laughing evilly, saying: "You want to know how?"
It Tastes Like Feet: After vacuuming paint and sawchips from his garage floor, Dennis reverses the fan and blows the contents into Mr. Wilson's barbecue. Later, when eating his steak, Wilson says "it tastes like paint... and wood".
George Wilson, for the most part. But mostly because he is just a cynical old man, even partly because he is the one constantly taking the blows and being the butt of Dennis' blunders, and he has an obsession with a reward involving his garden, which hijacks some of his concerns for others.
A woman employee at Alice Mitchell's work who has several cameos because of how conceited of remarks she makes. She finally gets something she deserves at the end.
Then there is Switchblade Sam, not only because he is the cat burglar, but even because he has the heart to go around trampling on flowers that are in his path and swiping fruit out of the hand of a kid.
George:[after Dennis yells out to him and a whole group of people that he's been robbed, therefore scuttling the whole event and making George and the rest of the group miss the most important moment of the process of his flower blossoming. For the time being in reaction to that, George makes the assumption that Dennis cried wolf on purpose to scuttle that very important event, and therefore finally loses his patience towards him and puts all the blame for that on him] You're a pest. A menace. A spoiled, selfish little boy and I have no use for you. You took something from me that I could never get back. Something that means more to me than you ever will. Do you understand? I don't wanna see you. I don't wanna know you. Now, get out of my way!
Although he does end up regretting it momentarily, and – upon learning that Dennis has run away and may be in the company of said burglar – even joins in the search.
Laser-Guided Karma: Towards a bitchy coworker of Alice Mitchell. She forces the latter into going on a business trip in her stead, despite the fact that Alice has a kid to watch over, on the basis that she "[has] a life." The movie ends with said kid, Dennis, getting her stuck in a copier machine.
Leitmotif: Whenever you start to hear an electric guitar lick, know that Switchblade Sam is about to turn that corner the camera is slowly tightening on.
Life's Work Ruined: The flower that took 40 years to grow and flowers for a few seconds... and no one sees the whole process because of Dennis yelling at just the right moment.