YMMV: Dead Poets Society

  • Designated Villain: Principal Nolan has some of this, the movie setting him up as the uber-conformist, stuffy-conservative "Stop Having Fun" Guy opposite Mr. Keating's free-spirited Cool Teacher. While he is a jerk from time to time, most of the time he's just doing his job as principal of the school; the rest of the time, he's espousing beliefs or values that clash with the message of "Carpe Diem", which is hardly his fault. About the worst thing he does is fire Mr. Keating following the scandal caused by Neil killing himself — and even then, it's an act of damage control, not motivated by spite or cruelty.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Mr. Keating breaking down in tears after he discovers that Neil killed himself is a thousand times worse to watch since Robin Williams committed suicide.
    • It also makes Mr. Keating's speeches about "carpe diem" and seizing the day before it's gone heartbreaking.
  • Ho Yay: Neil and Todd. It's virtual canon, to the point that most of the fanfiction circles on them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • It Was His Sled: Neil's death.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Keating's antics don't go over well with the school administration and teachers. He has at least two conversations about this during the course of the film. While the audience is set up to believe their adherence to tradition and conformity are a bad thing, both conversations drive the point home. "Free thinkers at seventeen? Teach them to learn and the rest will follow." A prep school education is designed to send the young men on to college, and trying to be an artist will only end in disappointment.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Charlie is paired with nearly everyone in fanfiction, mostly under the logic that he probably wouldn't object.
  • Memetic Mutation: The "carpe diem" speech got a lot of play on Tumblr in the wake of Robin Williams' death.
    • Not to mention "O, Captain! My Captain!"
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Neil's father driving his son to suicide, albeit inadvertently.
    • Cameron was always The Friend Nobody Likes but selling out the whole club just to save his own skin?
  • Narm: The Big "NO!" is ruined by the slow motion and Neil's father being played by Kurtwood Smith from That '70s Show. You can almost hear him screaming "NEIL, YOU DUMBASS!!!"
  • The Woobie: Both Neil and Todd.