* AngstWhatAngst: How does Walter's wife react to finding out he has an illegitimate child from a previous relationship, which he himself never knew about? You'd probably expect her to be angry or at least concerned, but she's downright delighted. This is amended in the animated version, where she suspiciously asks "You have another son, Walter?".
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: There's a quite few of these in the animated version.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** Break-dancing in the mailroom to the Tag Team song "Whoomp! (There It Is)".
** While walking in the woods Buddy gets attacked by a raccoon, which is never mentioned again. Though, this scene may have intentionally been Buddy's first encounter with culture shock and RealityEnsues and served the purpose of showing that animals and people outside of Santa's North Pole are nowhere near as nice as the talking animals and elves of Santa's place.
* EarWorm: All together now: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYkHQkCZUTo Bom-bom-bom-bom-bom, Bom-ba-da-bom-bom]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Mr. Narwhal. He's actually voiced by Creator/JonFavreau!
** Arctic Puffin also has his fair share of fans.
** Miles Finch. Creator/PeterDinklage is ''really good'' at playing a character who's a total asshole.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Jodi's (African-American) boss taking over at the MallSanta on short notice is PlayedForLaughs, but is otherwise a non-issue. Thirteen years later, Mall of America's announcement that its Santa would be played by a black man received a nation-wide racist backlash.
* HilariousInHindsight: The first thing Miles Finch says to Buddy is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=02572EyOIzQ "I get more action in a week than you've had in an entire lifetime"]]. Of course he would, [[Creator/PeterDinklage he's]] ''[[Series/GameOfThrones Tyrion!]]'' Amusingly, his next line is about having another house in Vail (Colorado), which sounds like 'Vale'.
** It also wouldn't be the last time Mary Steenburgen would be a mother figure to a [[Film/StepBrothers fish-out-of-water manchild played by Will Ferrell]].
** [[WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie Will Ferrell building a giant LEGO city]].
** Amy Sederis's character is introduced talking to her friend on the phone about declawing cats. Eleven years later, she would play a cat on ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman''.
* JerkassWoobie: Jovie's boss at Gimbel's. He's cold and a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, but like everyone else there, he just wants to do his job and get through the holidays, and it's implied he's already on thin ice as it is. You can't blame him for getting fed up with Buddy making things more complicated.
* MemeticMutation: All together now: "'''SANTAAAAA!!!!''' OH MY GOD!! I know him! I know him!"
** "But the children love the books!"
** "Ginormous!"
** "You sit on a throne of lies."
** "I'm a cotton-headed ninnymuggins."
** "Not now, Arctic Puffin!"
* {{Narm}}: Creator/ZooeyDeschanel's performance. She's clearly going for antisocial, but she comes off as bored.
* NarmCharm: The scene where everyone in New York sings ''Santa Claus Is Coming To Town''. It's cheesy in every way possible, but at the same time it's nice to see the whole city come together in song.
* NauseaFuel:
** Buddy peels a piece of gum off a subway entrance stair railing. And chews it. After Santa told him not to. (Santa told him not to eat the gum [[ExactWords from the]] '''[[LiteralMinded ground]]'''.)
** Spaghetti with maple syrup, marshmallows, Pop-Tarts, and other sugary things.
* OneSceneWonder:
** Brenda [=McDonald=], embodying every sweet, helpless little-old-lady and kind-hearted, heartbroken nun in movie history.
--> ''But the children love the books!''
** Creator/PeterDinklage's scene was mentioned in a lot in critic reviews as being the most memorable sequence of the film. Even non-fans consider agree that his scene is great.
** While not as noticeable, Creator/JonFavreau follows his [[CreatorCameo usual tradition]] with his scene as the doctor who gives Buddy the finger-prick.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Buddy befriends [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Tirek]] in the mailroom.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: Believe it or not, the Broadway musical version is considerably more adult than the movie, with an increase in language, sexual innuendos, and double entrendres.[[note]]Some critics are saying that it's more of a grown-up show anyway, and that the kids would only be interested in the scenery.[[/note]]
* WTHCastingAgency: Creator/WillFerrell in a kid's movie? Creator/JamesCaan for a Christmas film? [[Creator/EdwardAsner Ed Asner]] as Santa? [[note]]And believe it or not, that actually wasn't the first time![[/note]] Even Creator/RogerEbert [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031107/REVIEWS/311070302/1023 was surprised by how well that turned out.]]
* TheWoobie: Buddy had no idea how to function in society and most people treated him like a pariah. It doesn't help when his own father doesn't care or understand at first.

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