- Crosses the Line Twice: The fast-paced gameplay, cartoony (if garishly so) art-style, and catchy (if stealthily creepy) songs can do wonders to combat the worst of the Nightmare Fuel the rest of the game has in spades. The fact the game seems to be an Affectionate Parody of lovably So Bad, It's Good Slasher Films (up to a head-slappingly stupid "The End... Or Is It?" ending where our hero apparently had so much fun barely escaping CarnEvil the first time that he goes for a second round!!!) only adds to the demented fun.
- Cult Classic: The game is quite fondly regarded among those who've played it for its blend of over-the-top wackiness and gruesome imagery, and was Midway's top-selling lightgun game. Despite this, for some baffling reason it was never given any kind of home console ports, restricting its fanbase to those willing to either emulate it through M.A.M.E. or track down an actual arcade cabinet.
- Ear Worm: Most of the music, but the "Bunyan Ride" jingle is catchy as a mofo.
- Fanon: Even though both players are male (if there was ever a second player at all), fans tend to call the protagonist Jacob, and the player 2 character Lisa. The official website never named them, and no names are given in the manual either. It appears that the names came about when someone added them to the Wikipedia page in July 2007, and the fandom ran with them. In fanart, Jacob is depicted with a red jacket, a green t-shirt with blue jeans and carries a flashlight, while Lisa wears a blue crop-top jacket, jeans and a purple-and-white hat.
- Fridge Brilliance: While the ending still is rather stupid (see Crosses the Line Twice and What an Idiot), it makes sense that an arcade shooter would have an ending with an in-game explanation to how the next player to pick up the controller can play the game.
- Fridge Horror: Assuming that the plotline of CarnEvil starting back up when the main character puts the token in Umlaut's mouth again is canon, does this mean that the events of the game happen over and over... forever?
- Goddamn Bats: Played obnoxiously straight. Also featured in the same vein as bats are maggots, spiders, floaty bug things, and LITERAL spider monkeys.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Hambone and the Guilloteens manning the food court sound nearly exactly like the Pyro.
- Ho Yay: Dr. Klot seems particularly interested in the Protagonist.
Dr. Klot: "Boy, what a fine specimen!"
- Most Annoying Sound: The survivors you find leave little to be desired out of their lines, which only consists of "HELP ME!", among other audio clips. It can get pretty grating and make you wish you could shoot them with no penalty.
- The gigantic clowns in the Big Top make odd squeaking noises when they're hit.
- Nausea Fuel: The Freak Show level.
- Nightmare Fuel: This game breathes and lives this trope to the nth degree. That said, many people seem to have a fond memory of Junior, the boss of the Freak Show level.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: One of the Attract Mode reels uses a song almost-but-not-quite identical to the Rob Zombie song "Superbeast".
- Tear Jerker: Meta example. The fact that Midway is dead + the factor of this game being fairly unpopular = the fact that this game will likely never get a sequel.
- That One Boss: Evil Marie, with a hard-to-hit weak point (it's the slash mark around her neck) which the game hardly gives you any time at all to draw a bead on as she slashes mercilessly at you.
- What an Idiot: Why the hell does the protagonist climb into a cannon in the middle of a circus tent filled with things trying to kill him?
- Presumably, he was trying to get aboard Tökkentäkker's Cool Airship, since killing him would destroy CarnEvil. Then again, it's still fair to say that he clearly has a few screws loose up there, as he unwittingly started up CarnEvil in the first place, and the first thing he does when he gets out of that hell is feeding Umlaut a new token to do it all over again!!!