These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Austin Powers
Acceptable Targets: Nigel hates Dutch people for no good reason. Austin himself hates carnies (carnival workers) because they have "small hands.... and smell like cabbage." His hate for the Dutch might be justified. See Freudian Excuse on the main page. He's also not fond of Belgians because "they share a border with the Dutch" (Michael Caine makes this line awesome).
Alternative Character Interpretation: When Dr. Evil goes to the past and mentions ideas that happen to be the same as something popular in the future, are these just coincidences, or is he actually aware of them but taking credit since his minions in the past do not know about them yet?
One of the songs in the first movie's credits rolls off a list of BBC channels which didn't exist at the time, such as BBC Three and BBC Four.
Dr Evil originally wants one million dollars in exchange for not trying to take over the world. Number Two tells him that one million dollars is a relatively modest hostage demand in the 1990's. He then ups the bid to "one hundred... 'billion... dollars!" His demand seems telling in light of Ireland's 90 billion euro EU bailout.
While snooping around Alotta Fagina's penthouse in the first movie, Austin discovers a folder with some of Virtucon's evil plots listed inside. In between "Human Organ Trafficing" and "Project Vulcan" is... "Carrot Top Movie". In the following year, they made Chairman Of The Board.
In the movie-in-the-movie in Goldmember, Kevin Spacey plays Dr. Evil, a bald, evil super genius. He'd later go on to play a second bald, evil super genius a few years later in another film.
In the second movie when Dr. Evil tells Austin "I am your father", Austin says "Really?" in a rather hopeful tone of voice. Come the third movie, and you find that his relationship with his father is traumatic enough that he might have actually wanted Dr. Evil to be his dad.
And then it turns out that they're actually brothers.
When Dr. Evil says "there's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster", he probably means "hipster" in the old 40s-60s sense, as that is where both he and Austin are from and the newer use was in its infancy when the movie came out in 1997. To a 2010s audience the line may seem puzzling, as most people labled with the newer term are in their 40s at most, but may become hilarious in a different way in a few decades.
Idiot Plot: In the first movie Dr Evil threatens to set off every volcano on Earth if he isn't given $100 Billion. He tells Austin that he plans to set the volcanoes off after he has been paid anyway. If every volcano on Earth erupted, entire continents- including North America, where Dr Evil and his cohorts are based- would be annihilated (by supervolcanoes like Yellowstone, for instance), the sky would be covered in black ash for thousands if not millions of years, and virtually every living thing on Earth would die, including humanity. So, firstly, Dr Evil's money would be worthless, and secondly, and a bit more annoyingly from his point of view, Dr Evil and everyone in his organization would be dead. Justified since its a spoof film plus, of course, its Dr Evil.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While Austin Powers wasn't the first comedy film to use an Overly-Long Gagnote Before this, films would maybe have one or two., it was one of the first to primarily derive its humor from it. At the time it came out, it really was something new and unique. Now that the Overly-Long Gag has become a staple of comedies, it's become harder to see why Austin Powers was treated as such a big deal in the 90's.
Special Effects Failure: Done intentionally. We have obvious rear screen projection for the driving scenes, obvious stock footage for Dr Evil's lair exploding in the first film and also in the first film, when the guard gets his head bitten off by a sharkan ill-tempered mutated sea bass, it is obviously a dummy. In the opening Utah scene for the third film, it is obviously a backdrop.
Values Dissonance: The first movie gets a number of jokes about The Sixties and The Nineties being different decades with different social mores. Austin ends up declaring that the actual acts of liberal drug use and sex of the sixties wasn't just about liberal drug use and sex for the sake of having those things, it was about freedom, and expressing and enjoying that freedom, a spirit that lives on strong in the nineties.