- Anvilicious: The Stay in the Kitchen attitude of Rita's husband and family is hammered in very hard in the first act.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Probably the most enduring aspect of the film.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Although Rita and Frank don't get together in the film, a lot of fans wish they would have.
- Funny Moments:
"She only came in for a demi-wave. She'll come out looking like a flippin' muppet!"
- Rita's response to one of the questions about addressing the staging difficulties of one play? Do it on the radio. This turns into an Awesome Moment, where she shows that she does know her stuff and explains that the playwright intended for it to be a play on voices and would have done it on the radio had it been around at the time.
- Rita bursts into Frank's class in a panic...to say she's just been to the theatre for the first time. She says she saw Macbeth, to which she says "His wife was a bloody cow, wasn't she?"
- After this she realises she's left one of her customers in the salon and rushes back at once.
Dad: "I'm sorry, Denny. If she was a wife of mine, I'd drown her."Rita: "If I was a wife of yours, I'd drown myself."
- Rita's epic burn on her father when he apologises to Denny for his daughter not getting pregnant yet.
- Genius Bonus: Rita choosing to name herself after Rita Mae Brown. The woman still managed to attend New York University while she was homeless, and earned a degree in Classics and English. It makes sense that Rita would feel inspired by her.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
"Has anyone got a carrier bag? I'm not going home on the Tube with this."
- Rita's customer mistaking her for reading a 'bondage book' (she's actually reading Of Human Bondage) can be extra funny when Julie Walters revealed that she read Fifty Shades of Grey not knowing what it was about.
- Frank turning up to a lecture drunk is a dramatic moment in the film. But it becomes very amusing if one watches Julie Walters accepting her BAFTA for the film - where she too had "a drop taken" on the night.
- One-Scene Wonder: Maureen Lipman appears in only about four small scenes but makes a huge impression as Rita's pompous roommate Trish.
- Rewatch Bonus: After knowing the truth about Trish, it makes much more sense why she has Mahler playing on full blast when she's interviewing a potential roommate. She wants to make herself seem cultured and impressive to hide her own working class roots.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The lesson of the film is that education is important, but it's not just about pretentiousness and "meaningless quotes". It's about discovering something about yourself and holding onto your own individuality as you change. Numerous women came up to Julie Walters afterwards and claimed the film inspired them to get an education and change their situation.
- Tear Jerker: The part where Rita realises her mother is a Stepford Smiler, and she sadly says "surely there are better songs to sing". What makes this sadder is that we never see the mother again, so it's not known how she feels about Rita's new life or if they've kept in touch.
- Values Resonance: The themes of trying to escape from a life you've been pigeonholed into, especially when people around you don't want you to, are still shockingly relevant to a modern audience.