YMMV: Drive Webcomic
- Iron Woobie: The Veetan race. They only live 25 years at most, suffer chronic leg and hip pains, have recurring digestive troubles, yet remain unflaggingly cheerful throughout their lives.
YMMV: Drive Series
- Audience-Alienating Premise: So, it's a show about an illegal cross-country car race. As it turned out, in spite of Fox's promotion, nobody seemed to find the premise interesting enough to watch.
- Retroactive Recognition: Sean Salazar is Jason Neville. Also, Violet Trimble is a pre-Superbad Emma Stone.
YMMV: Drive Film
- Adaptation Displacement: The novel of the same name by James Sallis.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: One propagated by posters on Image Boards holds that the Driver is actually autistic, although given the general tenor of content posted on the boards this is in all likelihood intended to be Played for Laughs.
- Award Snub: Much to everyone's surprise the only nomination this movie got was Best Sound Editing at the Oscars. Notably left off were Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Brooks' omission was particularly surprising, given how he had won a slew of the major critics' awards and had earned nominations at the BFCA and the Golden Globes.
- Creepy Awesome: The driver never blinks, has only a few lines of dialogue, and barely expresses any emotion. The only thing keeping him from being The Sociopath outright is his obvious affection for Irene. In spite of being walking Nightmare Fuel, however, he's still a badass.
- Critical Dissonance: Critics and festival audiences have loved this movie, however its box office success did not reflect the massive internet buzz this generated. Though to be fair, crime movies by Danish directors released by small-time distributors don't make $20 million in two weeks. Just ask the people who distributed Bronson. To put it into perspective: the film cost $15 million to make. It made just over $76 million. So while it was very much a critical and financial success, it was still expected to do much better prior to release.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Most of the score and the song "Real Hero".
- Ear Worm: He's a real human being... and a real hero... He's a real human being...
- There's something inside you...it's hard to explain...they're talking about you, boy...but you're still the same...
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Virtually every critic, whether they liked the film or not, praised Albert Brooks' performance as Bernie.
- Fridge Brilliance: The Driver's scorpion jacket and verbal reference to the parable of "The Frog and the Scorpion". If you don't know it, the story goes that a frog agreed to carry a scorpion across a river on his back despite knowing its predatory nature. After all, as the scorpion pointed out, if it were to sting him then they would both sink and die. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog anyway, and when the frog asked why, the doomed scorpion simply said "It's in my nature". The Fridge Brilliance comes in when you realize the Driver's jacket doesn't paint him as the scorpion, but as the frog, literally carrying the scorpion symbol around on his back. He's ultimately a good person but is knowingly dealing with evil criminals who repeatedly try to betray him, such as in the pawn shop heist, and wears the jacket(mainly during heists) to show that the irony of his situation is not lost on him. The best example comes with Nino, whom the Driver offers a free pass: pick up the stolen million dollars and leave him and his friends alone. The brutish, insecure Nino can't resist, however, and attempts to have the Driver killed anyway, dooming himself. The Driver even attempts to point this out to the next scorpion, Bernie Rose, who once again fails to grasp its meaning and "stings" the Driver rather than just walk away with the money, immediately dying in the process. Fortunately, the semi-ambiguous ending implies that this frog happened to survive.
- Fridge Horror: Since Irene probably didn't call the police after Driver smashed a hitman's head in, the body would probably have remained there, scaring any poor resident of the apartment block who uses the elevator.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Late in the film, Shannon (played by Bryan Cranston) mentions a character fleeing to Belize.
- Memetic Mutation: A real human being. And a real hero.
- and the Mondegreen version: A real human bean.
- Narm: The elevator scene. How do you follow a very dramatic, slow motion kiss? Apparently with the Driver rapidly stomping on a mook's head until his skull visibly caves in.
- It heavily depends on the person though. For those who are sensitive to graphic violence, this scene goes straight into Nightmare Fuel territory, especially considering that up until that point, the Driver had only demonstrated Tranquil Fury, even when he was clearly very angry about everything that had transpired. In this scene, he finally truly blows his stack and commits an act of horrific violence out of nowhere.
- Nightmare Fuel: The entire beach scene, as well as Blanche getting her head very realistically blown apart by a shotgun blast. Really, everything The Driver does during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge once he goes after Nino counts.
- Padding: The movie would be an hour long if it weren't for all the shots of characters staring off into space for long periods of time.
- Driver stomping on a man's face until it's basically mush.
- Also Blanche's head getting blown to smithereens by a shotgun blast.
- It's subtle, but when Standard is first shot, he's hit in the neck and if you listen closely you can hear him gasping for air.
- Tear Jerker: Irene and the Driver are alienated from each other seconds after their first kiss when he kills a thug in front of her. She returns to knock on his door some time later with a look of reconciliation, but he's gone. They're never going to meet again.
- The Woobie: Irene; hard not to be when you're played by Carey Mulligan.