These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Get Smart
Alternate Character Interpretation: Happens in-universe in the Season 1 episode "Aboard the Orient Express." Max protests against the Chief sending 99 on a dangerous assignment to deliver a briefcase. After hearing the Chief tell her how only the agent receiving the case has the key to open the handcuffs, Max ends up handcuffing the briefcase to his own wrist. Was this just Max making one of his usual ditzy mistakes, or was it, as 99 assumes, a deliberate ploy to protect her by making sure he would have to make the delivery instead of her? The "Hmmm..." look he gets in his eyes right before picking up the handcuffs suggests she may be right.
Fair for Its Day: The episode "Washington 4, Indians 3" is rather cringeworthy by today's standards. However, it supports the Native Americans and shows understanding of their situation, if not their culture. In the end, Max agrees that the White House should be attacked.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series was and still is popular in Mexico, thanks to the excellent dubbing work of the almost all the Mexican voice cast, to the grade that Maxwell Smart's Mexican VA, Jorge "el Tata" Arvizu, reprised his role as Smart in the Mexican Spanish dub of the 2008 movie.
Unintentionally Sympathetic =/= Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Movie version of Larabee is definitely a Jerk Jock... but it's hard to see Bruce and Lloyd the nerdy analysts he's feuding with as any nicer. Not only are they very petty in their revenge, the methods they use are often nastier than the verbal jabs Larabee delivers. They also gloat arrogantly about how obselete the field agents are going to be as soon as their robot comes in.
What an Idiot: In The Movie, just before the skydiving sequence, when 99 discovers that Max has dropped out of the plane without a chute, she suits up, and goes after him... Leaving behind the second parachute. The Dragon takes advantage of this lapse of judgment.
The somewhat subtle joke that leads up to that scene where Max attempts to use the crossbow hidden in his pocket knife to undo his bonds, completely oblivious to the fact that he's holding a pocket knife.
Wraparound Background: Not in the letter, but at least in the spirit, when Max goes with someone else from Room A through false backdoor A into Room B through false backdoor B into Room C...(it's always the same).