** The TwistEnding of the film [[YouKeepUsingThatWord begs the question]] of [[spoiler: Chance's true nature: is he The Fool or The Messiah? The filmmakers intended the former, but knew the latter interpretation was possible.]]
*** A rather twisty interpretation suggests that he started as the former, and became the latter as people grew to believe in him.
** Arguably, the film's existence was based on this. Kosinski wrote Chance as a representation of his fear of a style-over-substance world, having no idea someone could actually identify with such a character. Though they disagreed on the implications of his rise to power -- Creator/PeterSellers saw it as the meek inheriting the earth -- Kosinski admitted that Sellers understood Chance better than he did.
** By modern standards, Chance could be seen as autistic rather than mentally challenged, given his behavior. Either way, is it possible he could have been, or still might be, capable of more than he already is if he'd been given professional help rather than treated as a MadwomanInTheAttic?
* AdaptationDisplacement: The novella is still in print, but with a picture of Creator/PeterSellers as Chance on the U.S. cover.
* AwardSnub: General opinion nowadays is that Creator/PeterSellers should have won the Best Actor Oscar for this film; he lost to Creator/DustinHoffman in ''Film/KramerVsKramer''. (Sellers himself blamed the GagReel during the end credits for destroying the illusion of the character.)
* ComedyGhetto: The most likely reason Creator/PeterSellers didn't win, especially when a mentally challenged character is usually OscarBait.
* FridgeLogic: A rare ''in-movie'' example. Louise, a black cook who knew Chance his entire life, complains about it.
-->'''Louise:''' It's for sure a white man's world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!
* HilariousInHindsight: Actors Richard Dysart and David Clennon both appeared in this movie and shared a scene together, three years later both Dysart and Clennon would appear in ''Film/TheThing1982'' as Copper, who is doctor too like Dysart's character in this movie, and Palmer.
* IdiotPlot: A rare case where people not asking obvious questions is part of the story's point.
** "I like to watch."
** "Now get this, honky. You go tell Rafael that I ain't taking no jive from no Western Union messenger." (More because of the [[HilariousOuttakes Hilarious Outtake]] than the actual scene with the quote).
* MisaimedFandom: Kosinski was frustrated that film audiences (especially younger ones) weren't unnerved by the implications of Chance's rise to power -- that style will always trump substance; that people can become so warped by TV, etc. that they will not develop their own personality -- or even realized them. Of course, Chance is an atypical example of this trope in that he isn't a ''bad'' person, but more a victim of circumstance. Due in part to ValuesResonance, however, this misaimed fandom is not as much of a problem now.
* SignatureLine: "I like to watch." This line is sometimes used to imply voyeurism, which amuses those who have seen the film as using it in that context is [[MisaimedFandom making a mistake some of the characters do]].
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks: Kosinski was accused of plagiarising the 1932 Polish novel ''The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma''. Nowadays, it's generally assumed the plots are not really that similar. While both feature a sudden rise of an unexpected character, Nicodemus was not simple-minded, he was poor, and at the end of the novel is usually not perceived as sympathetic.
* ValuesResonance: The growing importance of style over substance, sound bites, etc. in media and politics since TheSeventies has granted both novel and film this.