- Accidental Innuendo: Harry's reaction to the crash-landing on the asteroid surface: "I blew the tranny." (Though actually referring to a vehicular transmission.)
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Lev's cookiness attributable to his having spent eighteen months alone on the space station, or might he be on the autism spectrum?
- Anvilicious: Lots of comments are made about how pathetic our space technology is, and how utterly screwed we'd be if it happened for real. Somewhat justified in that our poor ability to detect and almost total inability deal with a potential asteroid collision is sadly very much Truth in Television (albeit, nowhere near as bad to detect as this movie depicts).
President: Dan, we didn't see this thing coming?
Dan Truman: Our object collision budget's a million dollars. That allows us to track about 3% of the sky, and beg'n your pardon sir, but it's a big-ass sky.
Dan Truman: Even if the asteroid itself hits the water, it's still hitting land. It'll flash boil millions of gallons of sea water and slam into the ocean bedrock. Now if it's a Pacific Ocean impact, which we think it will be, it'll create a tidal wave 3 miles high, travel at a thousand miles an hour, covering California, and washing up in Denver. Japan's gone, Australia's wiped out. Half the world's population will be incinerated by the heat blast, and the rest will freeze to death from nuclear winter.
Harry Stamper: And this is the best that you c - that the-The Government, the U.S. government can come up with? I mean, you-you're NASA for cryin' out loud, you put a man on the moon, you're geniuses! You-you're the guys that think this shit up! I'm sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking shit up and somebody backing them up! You're telling me you don't have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world's hope, that's what you're telling me?
General Kimsey: We spend 250 billion dollars a year on defense. And here we are. The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun!
Rockhound: Yeah, I remember this one. It's where the, uh, the coyote sat his ass down in a slingshot then he strapped himself to an Acme rocket. Is that - is that what we're doin' here?
Rockhound: You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder?
- Crazy Awesome:
- The Russian cosmonaut. Also counts as an Ensemble Darkhorse.
- The movie's physics. It's not quite accurate, but it makes for an exciting movie.
- Critical Research Failure: There are so many scientific errors in this film that even the Lowest Common Denominator is bound to notice them. NASA even uses the film as part of its training program to see how many errors new recruits are able to spot. So far, they've found 168.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Lots of people complained about the science goofs and the plot holes. Film critics were absolutely merciless and wrote scathing reviews. But the Trevor Rabin soundtrack may have been worth the price of admission all by itself.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A NASA doctor comments on Bear's shockingly bad cholesterol levels. Not as funny after Michael Clark Duncan died of a heart attack in 2012.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- In the first ten minutes of the film, New York is decimated by a meteorite shower. It's kind of worth mentioning that in the middle of this scene there's a cabbie that screams something with each impact: "Look at that! Whoa! We're at war! Saddam Hussein's bombing us?" Oh, the innocent irony of 1990s catastrophe films. Made even more ironic by the fact that, despite Saddam Hussein's lack of involvement in 9/11, America still ended up going back to war with him less than a decade later.
- Speaking of 9/11, you see some of the meteor impacts leaving huge gaping holes in the original World Trade Center towers. After 9/11, those can be kinda hard to look at.
- Not to mention the destruction of the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Independence after the Columbia disaster.
- In the beginning of the movie, Truman mentions that NASA does not have the power to detect all incoming objects. On February 15, 2013 a previously undetected asteroid 20 meters in diameter and weighing over 10,000 tonnes exploded above Russia in the largest airburst since The Tunguska Event of 1908. Furthermore, videos of the airburst looked very similar to scenes of meteors falling in Armageddon.
- Narm Charm: The animal crackers scene. As silly as the dialogue is, it's actually kind of sweet.
- Nightmare Fuel: Those are people falling out of the Chrysler Building during the meteor shower in New York City. For additional squick, watch the movie frame per frame. That thing that just fell on a cab's trunk, severely deforming it? Not a piece of building.
- Rooting for the Empire: Some people were hoping the asteroid would win.
- Tear Jerker:
Colonel Davis; Co-Pilot Tucker; Lt. Halsey; Oscar Choi; Fred Noonan; Max Lennert; Gruber; and of course, Harry Stamper.
- For a testosterone-fueled action movie, there are several, but the tearjerking scene mostly involved AJ, Grace and Harry.
- Special mention for the music video for the song "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", where they mirror the most tear-jerking scene in the entire movie, only with Liv and Steven Tyler.
- Speaking of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing", according to Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, Aerosmith originally passed on recording that song for the movie because Steven thought they would lose fans if they did a sappy ballad. Then the band was given a prerelease screening of the film. What scene made Steven change his mind about the song? Harry's Heroic Sacrifice, and Grace's (played by Steven's real life daughter) reaction to it - the daddy-daughter stuff really got to him.
- Chick's reunion with his son is another.
- FOR ALL MANKIND
- "That salesman is your daddy."
- Naming off the casualty list for the mission alone is enough to bring tears.
Grace: I have nowhere to go.
- After the loss of the first shuttle, where it's assumed that AJ, among others, are dead, Grace is told that she should probably leave mission control. Her response is heartbreaking, and emphasizes that everyone she's ever loved is up there.
- She's seen shortly after, curled up on a row of chairs out of sight and crying her eyes out.
- And the ending at AJ and Grace's wedding, with all of the surviving crew in attendance as well as portraits of all the deceased crew placed where they would have sat.
- They Just Didn't Care: According to Ben Affleck on the DVD commentary:
I asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers and he told me to shut to the fuck up. So, that was the end of that talk.
- Regarding the line of "they don't know jack about drilling":
I mean, this is a little bit of a logic stretch, let's face it. "They don't know jack about drilling"? How hard can it be? Aim the drill at the ground and turn it on.
- Despite the movie repeatedly telling the audience that this is a hurtling, spinning, out of control asteroid in outer space, zero gravity apparently does not exist on it, since the crew can walk inside the shuttle and on the surface as if they were on, well, Earth. Except when AJ, Bear, and Lev need to jump across a large canyon in an Armadillo. Then it does exist.
- The asteroid would have been easily visible to the naked eye long before 18 days before it collided with Earth.
- Regarding the line of "they don't know jack about drilling":