- Adorkable: When not in character as the eponymous Doctor, Clifford really is.
- Dirty Coward: Smooth Walker for dumping his problems on poor Clifford.
- Karma Houdini: Smooth again. He set Cliff up for the fall, and in the end he's shown living happily ever after on a tropical island.
- Line-of-Sight Name: This is how the title character is named. A pimp named Smooth Walker is in the office of Mom, a competitor, and he convinces her that he's leaving because "the Doctor" has forced him out.Mom: "Doctor?"Smooth: Yeah. Doctor...(Looks around frantically, spies a travel poster for Detroit behind her head) Detroit."
- One Bad Mother: The ruthless drug dealer is called "Mom".
- Two-Timer Date: This is the device employed for the climactic sequence. Skridlow is running back and forth between a society function and a pimps'/hookers' bash, both in the same hotel, and has to switch clothes and personae between them as well. With predictable results.
- What Could Have Been: The ending just before the credits promised that Doctor Detroit would return in a sequel titled Doctor Detroit 2: The Wrath of Mom and the studio was seriously considering it because they expected the film to be a huge hit. Dan Aykroyd was even working on the screenplay himself. Unfortunately, the film did not do well at the box office and the proposed sequel was scrapped.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Cliff wears some alarmingly tiny shorts while power-walking during the theme song sequence.