* {{Anvilicious}}: Atomic weapons and the policies surrounding their use, especially mutually assured destruction and the missile gap, are absurd and dangerous.
** SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Especially during the Cold War, when this was released.
* AwardSnub: The film received four Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (three nominations for Kubrick) and Best Actor (Sellers). It failed to win any of these.
** To put it into perspective, ''Dr. Strangelove'' is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, the best film of 1964, Kubrick's greatest film after ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', and as having one of the greatest screenplays of all time.
** The War Room is near universally considered to be one of the best, if not ''the'' best, film sets of all time. Yet the film failed to receive even an Oscar nomination for its set design.
* AwesomeMusic:
** The epic variation on "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" that plays over the bomber scenes.
*** The same tune is used for "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya," an antiwar song about a soldier returning home a broken cripple. This dichotomy only adds to the impact of the orchestral version.
*** Many younger audiences may be more familiar with the alternative take on this song, "The Ants Go Marching." Oddly, this makes the scene work even more.
** ''We'll...meet again...don't know where...don't know wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen...''
* CrazyAwesome: Ripper himself. Bonkers as he may be, one has to hand it to him how he delivers his bull in such a [[MoodDissonance straight way]]. And then the man keeps a machine gun in his golf bag.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: A very dark comedy with plenty of examples, but Turgidson joyful, infantile attitude on the brink of annihilation is particularly funny. Also works on a meta level on the part of Kubrick, as he chose to take RefugeInAudacity when he realized that the whole nuclear fracas was too absurd to be taken seriously and changed the tone of the movie from drama to satire.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: When discussing the contents of the survival kit, Major Kong's original line was "shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in [Dallas] with this". President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas 2 months before the film premiered, so the line was dubbed over to say "Vegas" in post-production.
* GeniusBonus: Mandrake's last name; a common folkloric belief is that mandrakes grow only in ground into which has soaked the semen that is sometimes forced from the bodies of men hanged to death. Mandrake's role plays off General Ripper, who is strongly implied to have been driven insane by misconceptions about sex, and who is ultimately, as is mentioned in a throw-away line, the greatest mass murderer since UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler -- what's more, Mandrake "blooms" as a person, taking authority to try and stop the impending catastrophe, after he unintentionally goads Ripper into shooting himself.
* HilariousInHindsight: The drunken Soviet premier now seems like a parody of UsefulNotes/BorisYeltsin, whose presidency came almost thirty years after the film's release.
* ItWasHisSled: The whole film is about everyone trying to prevent the US bombers from successfully dropping a bomb and triggering the doomsday machine. Major Kong riding the falling bomb is one of the most iconic scenes in cinema.
* MemeticMutation: General Turgidson listening to the phone conversation has become a common GIF on forums and message boards for people observing a {{flame war}}.
* MisaimedFandom: On YouTube there are quite a few people who take General Ripper's speeches at face value, especially concerning conspiracies around water fluoridation.
* NightmareFuel: The entire movie will make you realize how terribly easy it would be for the leaders of the modern world to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. And how it could all happen [[IdiotPlot entirely by accident.]]
* OneSceneWonder: Dr. Strangelove only shows up in two scenes.
* ProtagonistTitleFallacy
* WatchItForTheMeme: Major Kong riding the bomb.
* WeirdAlEffect: The Dr. Strangelove character is a spoof of the German MadScientist StockCharacter from '50s films, as well as Rotwang from ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''.
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