The 2011 film contains examples of:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Were Samantha's actions a well-intentioned attempt to protect her best friend that went too far, jealousy because she was in love with the guy paying Taylor interest, or is she a self-hating closeted lesbian who uses the internet to fantasize about dating her best friend and acting on her hatred of jocks?
- Broken Base: The base is divided between a dedicated Fandom, which is very glad that the movie deals with bullying and raises awareness while occasionally featuring great acting, and an equally active community of detractors who criticize it due to it featuring a combination of possible Critical Research Failure, New Media Are Evil and what is seen by an important part of the base as Narm.
- Cliché Storm: Hits all the cliches prevalent in this genre.
- Critical Research Failure: It's blatantly clear that the writer knows nothing about the Internet. For example, the resolution is to make even minor trolling illegal, to the point of monitoring every computer in the state to make sure it never happens. Not only would this sort of monitoring be incredibly expensive and time consuming, but it is also blatantly illegal.
- Designated Hero: Taylor. She has quite a few moments where she's kinda bitchy to girls who are supposedly her best friends, and when a homosexual boy in her class tries to sympathize with her about the cyber-bullying, he tells her that people post on his page calling him homophobic names a lot. Taylor's response is basically "Yeah but you really are gay so it's totally not the same as what I'm going through."
- Samantha, whose cyberbullying tactic is much more realistic and harmful than Lindsay's over-the-top method and much more reminiscent of the prank that prompted the news story around which the movie is based. But Sam gets a free pass because she was "trying to help."
- Designated Villain: Lindsay and her father are ridiculously played as if they are utterly devoid of any redeeming qualities.
- Epic Fail: I CAN'T GET THE CAP OFF!
- Esoteric Happy Ending:
- Yeah, do you really think things are going to be better for these girls after all that happens between them?
- The whole Big Brother Is Watching aspect to the problem's solution.
- Glurge: Again, the aforementioned Big Brother Is Watching aspect.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The controversy regarding SOPA and other cybersecurity bills manages to make the ending even more unpleasing, as it shows just what would happen if a Big Brother Is Watching bill were to happen in real life.
- Idiot Plot: Nobody thinks of blocking the people harassing Taylor until the last ten minutes of the film.
- Intended Audience Reaction: The realization that anyone can be a bully, even a victim of bullying.
- Les Yay: Sam states near the end that she created the fake Internet guy profile and used it to flirt with Taylor in order to "protect her from a guy". Sounds a bit like Clingy Jealous Girl behavior...
- Life Imitates Art: Emily Osment, who plays Taylor Hillridge, was bullied on her twitter account. The story went a different road because she is a teenage popstar, and has better repartee than her character (who already wasn't stupid). Just read this : .
- Love It or Hate It: People who didn't take it seriously: "I hate that movie! It's like one of those Lifetime things about how rich WASPs can angst for hours over nothing, and you're supposed to sympathize because the girl is Emily Osment.". People who took the movie seriously: "This movie is awesome! It's like somehow some people refuse making fun of how I am depressed because my bullies make fun of me, and no one tells me I'm wangsting. I stopped being an Acceptable Target!".
- Narm: The whole movie in its entirety. Seriously, this thing rivals High School Musical in the narm department.
Senator Evans: "I don't know know much computers, but I believe they have delete buttons."Kris Hillridge: "That's what I thought until I almost lost my daughter."
- This exchange.
- One-Scene Wonder: Lindsay's father appears in one scene, but he is played as over-the-top nasty as his daughter.
- Snark Bait: Already, it's gaining a reputation for this, Especially among actual Cyberbullying victims.
- What an Idiot: The protagonist yells "I can't get the cap off!" to her friend when she's trying to open a pill bottle, and can't get it open. Does she expect her friend to open it and let her attempt suicide?
- The Woobie: Taylor Hillridge.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Casey's grief over Jennifer Li's suicide is clearly genuine, but before that (when she thinks the hacker might be Jennifer herself,) she at first gives a somewhat Glurgey apology for trolling her, and when the apology is rejected she spitefully engages in Victim Blaming and accuses Jennifer of making it so easy to bully her. Given that Casey has a vested interest in appeasing the hacker, but is also under a lot of stress herself at the time (and is on antidepressants so might be prone to mood swings anyway,) it's difficult to tell whether she meant the apology or would have regretted her outburst once she'd calmed down.
- Anvilicious / Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The film is anything but subtle in its message about the potential consequences of trolling or the best response to it. Whether this is necessary or not is a matter of personal opinion.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Casey closing her laptop after saying that the hacker is nothing when she stops talking to him, complete with her cutting him off.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Casey getting the message that Megan (who has just seen topless pictures of herself appear from Casey's profile, with all the long-term consequences that might ensue,) knows that Casey would never do that to her and just wants to talk is what arrests Casey's downward spiral.
- Just Here for Godzilla: A significant proportion of the film's viewership is made up of people who are curious about seeing Maisie Williams in a different role.
- Moral Event Horizon: It's a matter of opinion when exactly the hacker crosses it, but by the time he forces Casey to take a dangerous overdose he certainly has, and if Casey's theory that he has deliberately trolled many other people to suicide is correct he would have crossed it a long time ago.
- Narm / Narm Charm: While most agree that the acting is excellent, such heavy-handed storytelling inevitably results in this.
- Paranoia Fuel: The film shows just how much a skilled hacker can invade your privacy and ruin your life.
- Tearjerker: Both Jennifer Li and Casey have some heartbreaking reactions to everything they go through. Jennifer's written plea for the hate to stop while "Mad World" plays in the background is a standout.
- The Woobie: Jennifer Li certainly, and Casey herself by the end.