!! From the film:
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Some posit that ET is mentally deficient for his race. ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' being one of the better known examples of this.
* AwardSnub: It was nominated for the Best Picture and Director Oscars, but lost both to Richard Attenborough's ''{{Film/Gandhi}}''. Attenborough even stated in his acceptance speech that he believed ''E.T.'' should have won, since it was truly the better film. This was at least partly due to a rather sleazy Oscar campaign by Columbia Pictures, where they more or less stated that a vote against the film was a vote against Gandhi himself.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: AwesomeMusic/JohnWilliams' epic score.
* ContestedSequel: The novel ''E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet''.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Drew Barrymore gets a lot of attention for her role as Gertie.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Elliot's family has an Atari 2600 on top of their TV in several shots, and it's implied the kids play Atari games. VideoGame/ETTheExtraTerrestrial was one of the games responsible for UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983 and put a severe early dent in the ''E.T.'' name.
* HarsherInHindsight: There's a picture of Music/MichaelJackson with E.T. and he narrated an E.T. Storybook Record. In real life, Michael Jackson's skin turned from brown to white and he looked rather sickly before he died, just like E.T. towards the end of the film.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Mary reads Gertie ''Literature/PeterPan''. A decade later, Creator/StevenSpielberg would go on to direct ''{{Film/Hook}}''.
** Elliot lets the frogs in science class go because they remind him of E.T. [[http://www.neatorama.com/2009/04/04/ribbit-frog-all-lit-up-by-swallowed-christmas-light/ A few years ago a Cuban Tree Frog swallowed a Christmas light, which glowed inside him, making it look like a heartlight.]]
** "Does E.T. recognize [[Franchise/StarWars Yoda]]? Now that I think about it, his "powers" seem to fit the description of the Force.... Could he have come from a certain galaxy far, far away? Nah...." Seventeen years later, look whose race can be found in [[Film/ThePhantomMenace that particular galaxy far, far away]].
* MemeticMutation: "E.T. phone home."
** "I'll...be...right...here."
* {{Narm}}: The scientists showing up at Elliot's home in full-on NASA spacesuits. Presumably done so the audience knows to associate the scientists with a space program, but it doesn't change the fact it's entirely nonsensical.
** Elliott screaming over and over when he sees E.T. in the cornfield. The fact that each scream is shown from a ''different camera angle'' adds to the effect.
* NarmCharm: Elliott's "I love you" speech right before [[spoiler: E.T. gets better]] may fall into TastesLikeDiabetes, but it's still guaranteed to get you crying.
* NightmareFuel:
** When the scientists show up at Elliot's home in environmental suits. The whistles of the train set in the background don't help.
** E.T.'s appearance may be unsettling for younger viewers, even more so when he's dying.
** The whole first fifteen minutes or so of the movie are pretty scary, from when the scientists show up at the spacecraft's landing spot to when Elliott explores the backyard and sees ET for the first time and both scream.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Creator/DrewBarrymore is Elliott's little sister. She has had the exact same face for over 20 years.
** Erika Eleniak, who would later be known as Shauni in ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'', in the role of Elliott's classmate on whom he has a crush. Also a case of DawsonCasting - a 13 year old girl playing a classmate of a 10 year old boy?! Yeah, right!
* SpecialEffectFailure:
** The red light on a rail in the opening sequence. Its replacement is about the only thing you won't hear people complain about in the re-release.
** A mild example on the blu-ray The movie looks great but in some wide shots, like when Elliot introduces E.T. to Michael, you can tell it's a guy in a costume. It's apparent because in the next shot it's the expressive E.T. puppet, and the costume has a mask with a blank stare.
* TheWoobie: Both Elliott and E.T.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: A response generated by the edits for the 2002 20th Anniversary edition, which included replacing guns with walkie-talkies and changing "terrorist" to "hippie." Mercilessly lampooned in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' parody episode "Free Hat." Incidentally, while said episode portrays Steven Spielberg as the diabolical mastermind behind editing ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', with GeorgeLucas only reluctantly following, in RealLife Spielberg later stated that editing the movie was a mistake and restored the original version for the Blu Ray release.
* UglyCute: ET himself. Any description of him sounds hideous, but he's obviously not without his charm.
* ValuesDissonance: In 1982, a teenager going trick-or-treating as a terrorist would've been stupid and offensive. Post-9/11, it'll more than likely get you arrested.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: With the exception of the light rail example, the special effects still hold up nicely over thirty years later.

!! From the video game:
* CriticalBacklash
* {{Misblamed}}: For the video game crash of 1982 and subsequent closing of Atari Inc. While certainly a contributing factor, it was not ''the'' reason. It had more to do with a bloated market of [[TheyJustDidntCare far more hackneyed games]] licensed from [[MoneyDearBoy every conceivable copyrighted property]].
* KillerApp: ''Inverted''. The poor reception of this game, along with others, served to turn people away from the Atari 2600 as well as all other video game consoles for a few years.
* NeverLiveItDown: Atari's Christmas Rush for the ''E.T.'' game soiled their name to the point where it eventually became impossible for them to fully recover their reputation, especially when the Crash allowed Nintendo to swipe their top spot for themselves (the game also affected the movie's reputation as well.)
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The {{Trope Maker|s}}.
* SoOkayItsAverage: Ironically, the game seems to have undergone some sort of inverse HypeBacklash in recent years, with people questioning if the infamous "Worst Game Ever" reputation really holds up, with quite a few younger critics pointing out that while the game might not be "stellar", it is just as hard to declare it truly "awful", as it is actually functional enough to play from start to finish without any major glitches. Same critics also point out that while the gameplay might admittedly be a bit confusing and abstract without having the manual to consult, it is, once the player actually knows what to do, just sort of tedious and boring rather than infuriatingly bad.
* VindicatedByHistory: In recent times, there are a number of people who feel that, considering the pathetically-tiny development time, it's not that bad once you know what you're doing. Hell, [[https://youtu.be/WUsQmYRfynw?t=5m34s this sums up the Angry Video Game Nerd's final opinion on it]].