YMMV / Death to Smoochy

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Sheldon's stepdad song just another earnest message he's trying to send to kids, or does he have a Freudian Excuse to teach that particular one?
  • Broken Base: Many people were disappointed that the movie wasn't much darker, and more in the vein of DeVito's earlier The War of the Roses with two equally unlikable characters going after each other. Others however found it refreshing that one of the main characters was actually really nice and rarely if at all mean.
  • Cult Classic: Despite its reputation, it does have a small, but passionate fanbase, and it has been recognized as a cult film.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Why the film initially failed. A lot of critics didn't like how almost every character was either a cynical jerkass or an outright criminal, not to mention how the plot itself seemed to be capitalizing on the proto-edgelord "anti-Barney humor" of the late 90s/early 2000s.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment / Harsher in Hindsight: Randolph's breakdowns and attempted suicide have lost their humor in light of Robin Williams' 2014 suicide.
  • Iron Woobie: Sheldon Mopes. Sheldon can get annoying at times but really all he wants, all he wants, is to make a nice, fun, positive show that kids can enjoy. And yet he keeps getting crapped on for not wanting the money, not wanting to commercialize Smoochy, and not wanting to encourage kids eating stuff like cookies, hot dogs, etc. It just breaks your heart seeing his dream getting constantly sabotaged by corporate greed, mobsters, and a bitter, psychotic, jealous, ex-kids show host who really didn't deserve his fame to begin with. And yet despite all those setbacks, he never truly gives up who he is or his ethics throughout the entire movie. Sheldon does come pretty close to being as crazy as Randolph, when he hunts down the men responsible for his attempted murder. The "H-A-L-T" speech he gives Nora and the talk about Rickets the Hippo seems to imply that he had some pretty severe anger management issues at one point.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Randolph. He's vulgar, psychopathic and, in his own words, "fucked up", but all he needs is a hug and some love. Especially at the end when he is talking to Sheldon and Nora, trying to sing something to the tune of "Old Macdonald" only to break down sobbing at the end.
  • Tear Jerker:
  • The Woobie: Spinner. You just want to give him a big hug when Smoochy was accused of being a Nazi.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: It takes a weird sensibility to cast Harvey Fierstein as a gangster.