- Anvilicious: Oh, yeah; "There is no gene for the human soul." Basically, "You can't predict greatness" - Vincent didn't cheat at anything except the gene tests, yet excelled as an astronaut anyway. However, Gattaca refuses to look at anything save gene tests - Both Vincent and Jerome's.
Vincent: No matter how much I trained or how much I studied, the best test score in the world wasn't gonna matter unless it had the blood test to go with it.
- It would have been a rain of anvils if the director kept the Coda included in the deleted scenes on the DVD.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The Departure, which is what happens you combine this trope with Tear Jerker.
- Designated Hero: Vincent certainly is a nice enough fellow, but you must wonder if controlling a dangerous space mission when he's overdue for a heart attack was the wisest choice to make.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The writers make a lot of fun of the police's obsession with DNA evidence - dubbing them "Hoovers" who ignore everything save what whatever scraps of human detritus they can vacuum up - and the real criminal is located through "good old fashioned police work." Nowadays, every form of forensics except DNA evidence is under fire; The Innocence Project has blown gaping holes in the validity of computer-enhanced photographic evidence, witness testimonies, and even fingerprints.
- Ho Yay:
- Vincent and Eugene. That scene after Eugene gets drunk, anyone?
- Eugene leaves him a lock of his hair.
- Iron Woobie: Both Jeromes qualify.
- One-Scene Wonder: Tony Shalhoub has a few minutes as the underground contact who brings Vincent and Jerome together, helping and lending the equipment necessary for the fraud, and is brilliant as a genetic profile "used car salesman".
- Paranoia Fuel: You can be rejected from a job interview the moment your fingerprint hits the door handle of the interviewer's office. And something innocuous as a lock of hair could give away your identity to someone.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The Coda hits you like a bagful of wet sand behind your left ear.
In a few short years, scientists will have completed the Human Genome Project, the mapping of all the genes that make up a human being. We have now evolved to the point where we can direct our own evolution.
Had we acquired this knowledge sooner, the following people may never have been born;
Abraham Lincoln — Marfan Syndrome
Emily Dickinson — Manic Depression
Vincent van Gogh — Epilepsy
Albert Einstein — Dyslexia
John F. Kennedy — Addison's Disease
Rita Hayworth — Alzheimer's Disease
Ray Charles — Primary Glaucoma
Stephen Hawking — Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Jackie Joyner-Kersee — Asthma
Of course, the other birth that may never have taken place is your own...
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Strawman Has a Point:
- Designer Babies aren't necessarily bad. They have decreased chances of inheritable diseases.
- It's not that the above necessarily wouldn't have been born, they just might not have those conditions which in many cases worsened their lives. Many other genetic conditions are fatal, so those without them would have a chance at life. True, it's possible having them in some cases is a trade-off, or merely through strengthening character, but one can't achieve much if they've died young from, say, progeria.
- The reason Vincent couldn't be an astronaut. In the words of Cezary Jan Strusiewicz of Cracked: "If you have a condition that can kill you at any moment, common courtesy dictates you do not sneak into a profession where you're responsible for keeping a whole bunch of people alive. Whether it be here or on a super long flight through the cold, unfeeling vacuum of space... If Ethan slips away mid-flight to take a dump and his heart fails while he's sitting on the toilet, you've got a rocket ship full of future people that's going to smash into the nearest celestial body at about 15,000 miles per hour... There are some jobs you just shouldn't have, you selfish fuck. NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU."
- Of course, the writer completely misses the fact the movie beats into the viewer time and again that the predictions for genetic problems or potential can be inaccurate. Vincent clearly notes his supposed time of death has long since past. The exercise scenes do show his heart problem is real, though.