- Alternate Character Interpretations: Carmen can be either seen as a strong, independent and willed woman or a mindless hedonistic bimbo led by her hormones, depending on viewer.
- Adaptation Displacement: Everyone knows the opera but few have read the novella by Prosper Mérimée the opera was based upon.
- Awesome Music: "Toreador Song" and "Habanera". They are two of the most overused, parodied opera songs in popular consciousness for a reason.
- The Cast Showoff: Whoever plays Carmen must be a great singer and a good dancer.
- Any guy who plays Escamillo must be a prize show-off: let Sam Ramey show you how it is done.
- Sleeper Hit: Nowadays it's recognised as one of the all-time great operas, but Carmen famously opened to great indifference in 1875, with the promoter struggling even to give away tickets. Bizet died without seeing the success it would become.
- Vindicated by History: It was critically and publicly reviled upon its premiere, because of the questionable moral choices made by the main characters. Bizet died thinking it was a failure. It is now one of the most famous and most beloved operas of all time.