YMMV / Breaking Away

  • Award Snub: It's amazing Paul Dooley wasn't even nominated for Best Supporting Actor, as his performance anchors the whole movie.
    • Averted with its script, which won for Best Original Screenplay over Woody Allen's highly-acclaimed Manhattan.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In-universe:
    {Ray storms into Dave's bedroom to get him to turn off the music, comes back looking dazed)
    Ray: He's shaving.
    Evelyn: So?
    Ray: His legs. He's shaving his legs!
(Useful Notes: Serious bicycle racers often do shave their legs.)
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: If you're a classical music fan, there's quite a collection of great music on the soundtrack, from Mendelssohn's "Symphony #4 in A Major" to the overture of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and, as mentioned on the main page, "Martha".
  • Defictionalization: After the movie came out, the university created a real Cutters team for the Little 500 race, composed of either townies or college students from outside of the frats. It went on to rack up the most championships of any team in the race's history.
  • Tear Jerker: Dave crying on his father's shoulder after the Italians knocked him out of the race, and Ray's confused attempts to comfort him.
    Ray: I didn't want you to be this miserable. A little bit's all I asked for. Talk to him, Evelyn. (Evelyn can't speak because she's crying)
  • Values Dissonance: Played with; Ray doesn't like the fact Dave's acting Italian, and he especially doesn't like eating all of them "ini" foods ("zucchini, linguini, fettuccine"), but it's clear it's mostly out of the fact he doesn't know why Dave is acting like this, rather than out of any deep prejudice.