Love it or Hate it: Downplayed, but it's generally agreed that this is one of those movies that you're more likely to enjoy if either grew up with it or are a parent who watched it with your child. Otherwise, you're likely to find it insufferably cheesy.
Memetic Molester: The Child Catcher is often viewed as one of these by fans of the movie. The lesser-known stage version actually makes him worse, with a Villain Song ("Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies") that many stagings cut for being too suggestive. It probably didn't help that in the original London production in 2002, Richard O'Brien played this role!
Nightmare Fuel: The Child Catcher. An androgynous Snape-like creature dressed in black who dances about singing the joys of candy and ice cream all as a ploy to lure children into his cart and then lock them in giant circus cages.
Special Effect Failure: Chitty just can't fly without being surrounded by blue matte lines — a dead giveaway that the shots were filmed in front of a blue screen. And then there's the fact that Chitty's normally shiny chrome suddenly stop being reflective when the car is flying. That is, except for those shots of just the hood when it's clearly being airlifted over Neuschwanstein Castle.
Tastes Like Diabetes: Subverted with "Chu-Chi Face". The lyrics make it clear that the Baron wants to kill the Baroness.
Tear Jerker: "Hushaby Mountain," in more ways than one. It's a beautiful lullaby, but it's haunting tune and minor key really help the already somber moment.
Case in point, when Caractacus is singing this to the children of Vulgaria, he stops in the middle. His own children have been taken at this point, so it's not hard to imagine that he's feeling hopeless too.
Vindicated by History: When the film originally came out, it lost money at the box office and was panned by critics. Somewhere along the line, it became a classic.
"Weird Al" Effect: In a certain way. Younger viewers may better know two of the tunes from this film by their use on Family Guy: "You Two" became "I've Got James Woods", and "Me Ol' Bamboo" became "A Bag of Weed".
Woolseyism: The German dub contains one during "Roses of Success," substituting Alexander Graham Bell with Wilhelm Röntgen.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Benny Hill as a toymaker? Especially bad since he is basically playing a dramatic role (most of his scenes are somber or tense).