Affectionate Parody: Of the Creation story in The Bible. Given that Doug TenNapel is himself a Christian, the "affectionate" part is easily understandable.
There's a tale in the Bible about a man named Joseph who saved his reputation by being able to interpret dreams; one character (Klee) mentioned in the Hall of Records does the same by reading portents in people's bedhead.
There’s also a reference to the tactic Joshua/Jesus Nave used to conquer Ai.
Let's just say that a great deal of the Hall of Records is a Shout-Out to one Bible story or another.
they turned trembling to one another, saying "What's up with that?"
All There In The Hall Of Records: Sift through the bizarre jokes and surreal stories, and you actually get a few important clues as to what the game's universe is like, where Hoborg came from, where Willie came from, and why Willie's even in the Neverhood in the first place (since Hoborg didn't actually create him).
Art Shift: The Clockwork Beast is built in a completely different fashion from everything else in The Neverhood (notably including actual pieces of metal and plastic). Seeing it revealed for the first time is a definite Oh Crap-meets-Nightmare Fuel moment.
Beautiful Void: It's a long time before you meet any people, and even when you do they're few and far between. It's also a fair amount of time before you're given much idea of what's going on. Also, the game's music consists mainly of eerie ambient stuff in the first-person areas (it's more tuneful in third-person areas and cutscenes) and the sky is a featureless black nothingness, for that extra touch. Hoborg thought so too.
Chekhov's Gun: When you first enter the building with the mouse/memory puzzle, the first thing you're likely to do is to step on the floor-pad, which causes the actual mouse on the floor to be sucked away. Nothing interesting happens after that. Seeing the same mouse under a similar device inside Klogg's castle much later on might clue you into what the thing actually does and how it can be used to your benefit.
Deal with the Devil: You are offered to take your own ruler's crown at the very end of the game, a choice given to you by the sickly-sweet-talking villain who also took that crown for himself... and became horribly disfigured in the process.
Defeat by Modesty: In the good ending, Klaymen distracts Klogg by pulling his skirt down.
Descended Creator: All the voices in the game (aside from Stock Screams) are provided by the creators. Doug TenNapel is Klogg, Big Robot Bil, and Hoborg; animator Ed Schofield is Klaymen; and co-writer Mark Lorenzen plays Willie Trombone.
Gag Dub: One of the two existing Russian translations, which is basically a huge Take That to Microsoft Windows 95, love letter to the Tuborg beerBy the way you've got ten seconds to guess which character got named after it!, all that mixed with random references to Russian/Soviet culture and the entire Hall of Records replaced with anecdotes. The general mood of the more emotional parts stays due to the game having very little dialogue, and the game itself is weird enough that most of the changes do not seem that much out of place...
Dueling Dubs: Enforced with the above translation being the reason, and Fargus's version being the "rival" counterpart. This one has its share of fans, considering it's more faithful to the English version and is also relatively well done on its own.
Guide Dang It: You're pretty much guaranteed to run into one sooner or later. Hands up if you figured out the mouse maze by yourself. ...Yeah, didn't think so. You're much more likely to bruteforce the puzzle instead of solving it as (apparently) was intended (by letting the mouse follow its nose).
Heroic Mime: Klaymen. He does say his name to Hoborg in the good ending, though.
Heroic Sacrifice: Willie, who dies in the battle of Robot Bil. However if you choose the good ending, Hoborg with his awesome godly powers brings him back to life.
Narrative Filigree: The majority of the Hall of Records, which was removed from the PlayStation version. The only parts with any real relevance to the story are Hoborg's bits, and even then, Willie's videos tell you all you need to know. However, it does explain some of the things from the sequel—mainly, the Skullmonkeys and the Ynts. Everything else, though, is mostly just extraneous world-building.
Oh Crap: Klaymen's reaction when he accidentally summons a Weasel crashing through the wall behind him by playing with a musical toybox he found just seconds ago.
Considering the music it plays, this shouldn't come as a surprise to the player. What the "weasel" actually looks like might, though.
Overly-Long Gag: The Hall of Records. Emphasis on "hall". Although the records themselves can constitute an Overly-Long Gag at points, especially in the bits that parody The Bible. Also, try eating the fruit on that one tree in the music box area. Try it a few times for good measure.
Plot Coupons: The game can't be completed without recovering all of the videotapes.
Press X to Die: There is precisely one way to die in the game, and there is a sign clearly warning you not to do it.
Quest for Identity: You won't be completely sure of who you are or what you're doing until very near the end of the game.
Rule of Symbolism: Just in case you missed the blatant Garden of Eden/Forbidden Fruit thing going on, the included Making Of states right near the beginning that the story is drawing from the Biblical fall of mankind.
Speaking Simlish: Pretty much, most of Terry Scott Taylor's tracks for this game consist of nothing much but muppet speak. And sometimes, it's so cleverly disguised that it will be hard to tell whether it contains a Shout-Out or really is gibberish.
Themed Cursor: The cursor is your standard arrow— but, like everything else in the game, it's made of clay.
The Movie / Vaporware: Doug was planning on it, and it would've been produced by Frederator Studios (the animation company behind The Fairly OddParents, Adventure Time, and others), but sadly has been canceled due to lack of funding for the project. However there is some interesting concept art and rough beta script around, so at least we got the see the potential ideas.
That first belt being not a belt, but the gouge where he used some of his own base matter to save Willie Trombone and Big Robot Bil.
Villainous Breakdown: Klogg killing Willie off, then taunting you about it when you get close, alongside making desperate attempts to lead you away from good by promising you a 'present' if you rule with him.
Walls of Text: The Hall of Records. Backstory, humor, worldbuilding and (in particular) enormous amounts of randomness. Reading the Hall is optional; unfortunately, traversing it is not.
The cheat code *enter* fastforward *enter* allows players to move through the Hall more quickly.