Bilingual Bonus: The first time we meet Molly's adoptive family, the Howards, their daughter's dialogue in Japanese is not translated. She says: "Dad, Mom, when are we going back to Tokyo? I hate it here, they put butter on EVERYTHING!"
Chekhov's Skill: The first scene at the Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club has Becky not aiming for the center of the human-shaped target, but rather, for the area right above the target's right eye. Cue the morgue, and Amber pulls back the cloth to reveal...
Ill Girl: Dangerously underweight reigning Miss Mount Rose Mary Johanson, who is in Inpatient, wheelchair bound, and struggles to breathe. It's highly implied her anorexia was triggered by competing in the pageant.
Informed Ability: Both subverted and Lampshaded at the same time. Becky's dance is depicted as genuinely awful, despite Gladys' efforts to play up its quality. The subversion comes with Amber's dancing, where most of the complicated routines were performed by a body double. Oddly enough, Kirsten Dunst also began learning tap dance to perform some of the basic sequences herself, and is still tapping more than a decade later.
Love Makes You Crazy: Becky doesn't take it too well when Brett shows an obvious attraction to Amber... so he ends up with a bullet in his head.
Mockumentary: With a few exceptions the whole movie is shown as a documentary about the beauty contest.
National Stereotypes: The Howards, despite doing everything they can to naturalise themselves to Minnesota, are one Japanese stereotype after another. The only reason there was such close up footage of Becky's float exploding is because the dad can't put down the video camera.
Politically Incorrect Villain: He's not quite villainous, that's his wife, but Lester Leeman is pretty sexist, and throws out racist remarks against Jews, Mexicans, and black people in most of his appearances.