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YMMV: American Psycho

  • Adaptation Displacement: It was a book first.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Patrick Bateman really a serial killer, or is he a hallucinating coward?
  • Awesome Music: Defied. The soundtrack is comprised of the cheesiest 80's songs imaginable and Patrick's tastes are often the subject of parody. Patrick's enthusiasm is oddly infectious, though.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In a chapter that begins and ends in mid-sentence, Bateman wanders on the street, doing things like shoplifting a can of ham from Gristede's for absolutely no reason and buying crack rock from a street dealer and eating it in front of him. This just demonstrates his sociopathy; he doesn't feel differently about shoplifting and torturing people to death.
  • Complete Monster: Patrick Bateman is a guy who murders women in the most horrific ways imaginable and actually thinks murdering a child isn't evil enough. Of course, this is provided he actually did what he says - see Alternate Character Interpretation.
    "My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago (probably at Harvard) if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed."
  • Death of the Author: Explored in Lunar Park. Ellis sees his characters slipping away from him, and the more they get interpreted by his audience, the more he loses control over them.
  • He Really Can Act: This was the moment everyone started taking Christian Bale seriously as an actor.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Admit it. You find the fact that Bateman and Batman are separated by one letter hilarious. There's no shame in it.
    • Christian Bale plays a wealthy shallow yuppy who never does any work, has a job at his father's company, lives a double life, and is often forced to hide his displeasure at his companions. They have more in common than it seems.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people are here for Bateman to kill people
  • Memetic Mutation: Patrick Bateman (and some of his choice reaction shots) has become memetic in and of himself. Also, the entire Huey Lewis and The News and Phil Collins speeches.
    • A specific shot of Bateman in that very scene where he is shown pointing towards the stereo has itself became associated with double posts on Image Boards, mostly due to his general pointing direction ends up pointing towards the post number. He has been nicknamed the "Doubles Guy".
    • "I have to return some videotapes".
    • Much of the movie's script is subject to snow cloning relevant to any random topic brought up on its IMDb board.
    • And, of course, this infamous, catchall reaction image.
    • TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW, YOU FUCKING - STUPID - BASTARD!
      • And by extension, Bateman's monologue on Huey Lewis and the News leading up to that murder.
    • The entire business card scene.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The sheer absurdity leading up to and/or during some of Patrick's murders makes it hard to take them seriously. This is intentional.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Seeing the guy who would be made famous by his role as Batman play a psychopathic murderer The Joker would be shocked by is quite odd.
  • Vindicated by History: The film polarized critics when it came out. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating is only 67%, and its Metacritic score is 64; decent, but not stunning. Since then, it's been almost universally recognized as a classic. One can say that, once it hit DVD, the film really came into its own - commercially and artistically.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: A major theme underlying the film is that the less violent aspects of Bateman's sociopathy are much in line with the prevailing right-wing philosophies of The Eighties. Of particular note is his insane homophobia, and the several conversations he and his associates have about how they believe that a straight man can't get AIDS (during the Reagan administration, the government did almost nothing to inform the public about AIDS). Bateman himself also makes several references to Reagan, and how Bateman believes he is just as insincere as Bateman himself. He also enjoys taunting the homeless (when he isn't killing them) by calling them deadbeats and spouting Reagan-esque "wisdom" at them.
    • There's also Bateman's little speech towards the beginning of both the movie and the book, where he mentions all the "hot button" topics of the 80s, mention how "we need to do this, do that, do this, etc"... while completely failing to even begin explaining how he plans on fixing said problems, mirroring the "feel good" politics of the 80s that pumped up confidence in America while failing to solve any real problems.
    • Bateman and his circle of "friends" are also extremely shallow, and are completely obsessed with having everything that everyone else they know has, but bigger, better, more expensive, representing the vapidity of 80s consumer culture.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Rambling sections of this book delve into this realm, including a chapter that switches to third person partway through, only to switch back to first towards the end of the chapter.
    • Remember that it's all supposed to be Bateman's own firsthand accounts, so if anything, this is more like "What Do You Mean the Narrator Character Isn't On Drugs". Which, in the story, he very frequently is.
      • In the movie, there's only a few instances of Bateman using drugs. He does take some pills before he kills Paul Allen, and there is one point when he's snorting coke, although he discovers that it's half a milligram of sweetener (or very, very cut). Timothy Bryce is notably taking a number of drugs, although many of the scenes that emphasized this character trait were deleted from the final cut. And, of course, Courtney Rawlinson is normally operating on one or more.
    • That being said, Ellis has made little secret of his problems with drugs and alcohol, so this may well be a literal example of the trope.
  • The Woobie: Jean. Bateman offhandedly insults her outfits several times, and she was obviously waiting for that date with him for years. The date ends sourly. Also, in the film, she finds his journal with images of murdering/raping women.
    • A scene in the book involves Jean's hesitatant admission of love to Bateman. His response is even more tentative because he is unable to explain to her the sheer extent of his sociopathy and depersonalization. This frames just how hopeless her love for him is; Bateman even points this out in his own internal monologue.

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