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.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The dream sequence in the first film, remnant of a cut scene that appears in its entirety in the novelization. The entire footage of the original scene, and others that were cut through production, has yet to ever be released.
The theme song is nearly as beloved as the franchise that spawned it.
"Higher and Higher." A literal example as it actually electrifies the Statue of Liberty's crown.
The Elmer Bernstein score. Dana's theme is especially powerful besides the Lincoln Center theme (which sounds like a waltz).
Bobby Brown's song "On Our Own" played during the end of the second film.
Cult Classic: The first film has a strong cult appeal, although unlike most cult classics it was massively successful and beloved on its release, too. The second probably counts as well; it's just not as loved as the original.
Designated Hero: The Ghostbusters tend to act this way throughout the movie, since many of the ghosts they catch aren't actually hurting anybody, and after their first outing where they cause more damage than the ghost they captured, they threaten to release it back into the restaurant they caught it from when they're called out for it.
Genius Bonus: In the first film, Venkman asks the librarian if there's any history of mental illness in her family, she mentions that she had an uncle who thought he was St. Jerome. St. Jerome is the patron saint of librarians.
Also in the first film, Peter's entire conversation with Possessed!Dana actually follows a lot of the accepted rules for conversing with a possessed individual.
Harsher in Hindsight: The first movie's scene in which Venkman tries to "scientifically" disprove the first ghost's existence. He asks the librarian if she has a family history of substance abuse… accusations of which later destroyed Bill Murray's second marriage.
Also in the first film, when the containment system is shut down, the trapped ghosts are released throughout New York and see them flying out over Manhattan. During a long-distance shot, they seem to originate from right around the Twin Towers. So we have bright lights and ghosts flying out from the World Trade Center towers. One of the memorials to the Twin Towers has been shining twin spotlights straight up into the sky from Ground Zero once a year.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Peter MacNicol (Janosz Poha) would later play an art curator who was forced to host Mr. Bean. Harris Yulin (the judge from the second film) was the owner of the museum!
In-universe, Venkman is the one who had the idea to found the Ghostbusters, having to talk Ray and Egon into it, even saying "The franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams." Flash forward a few years; Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis, were pushing hard to make a third Ghostbusters film but Bill Murray refused to come back.
At the trial in the second film, the judge gruffly states that "Before we begin this trial, I want to make one thing clear: the law does not recognize the existence of ghosts, and I don't believe in them either." Just two years after the film was released, New York state law did recognize the existence of ghosts. SeeStambovsky v. Ackley 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991) (holding that "as a matter of law, the house is haunted.")
It's the Same, Now It Sucks: One of the key points of criticism about the second movie is that it's in many ways a repeat of the first.
The proton pack start-up sound. You know the one; the one you just heard in your mind upon reading that.
Also, the distinctive siren of Ecto-1, though more for nostalgia than the actual merits of the siren.
Nightmare Fuel: The Terror Dogs. Particularly in the scene where Zuul kidnaps Dana. The second film has some choice moments as well, like Possessed!Janosz's glowing eyes and the heads on pikes that appear in the underground railway.
One-Scene Wonder: In the second movie, Cheech Marin as the dock supervisor who sees the wreck of the Titanic arriving and simply says "Well, better late than never.".
Sequelitis: The second movie is generally considered much weaker than the first, and something of a pale imitation at that. The fact that that story requires a completely illogical Extra-Strength Masquerade to have the Ghostbusters discredited about their claims of the supernatural after all the physical evidence and thousands of witnesses of Gozer's attack, and then essentially repeats the first film's basic plot, will do that.
You can see where the where the heated tiles Dana's eggs cook on end and the regular tiles begin by some eggs not landing on the heated ones.
The Stop-Motion terror dog in the first movie just doesn't look like it's actually there, even though they do a fairly good job of having it crush a table and smash down a door. The puppets, however, are very well done.
Towards the end of the first movie, a rather large rock harmlessly bounces off of a police barricade instead of crushing it.
In the widescreen version of the first film when the ghosts escape, there's several incomplete ghost trails.
Mr. Stay Puft unintentionally appears to be going through some buildings at times (known as "clipping").
In Ghostbusters II, the mechanism that makes the toaster dance is clearly visible.
Strawman Has a Point: Walter Peck's initial request to see the containment grid was reasonable. He's also quite polite before Venkman gives him the runaround (albeit in a rather unctuous and condescending manner). It is his job to make sure people like the Ghostbusters are operating with safe equipment, and in fact the Ghostbusters' containment grid could cause a massive explosion in a densely-populated area. In fact, Egon was at that moment telling Ray and Winston that he was getting worried at the massive amount of psychic energy the grid was containing. After getting crudely brushed off by Venkman, however, Peck overreacts and orders the grid's immediate deactivation. If Venkman had cooperated, instead of treating Peck and the EPA as an enemy from the start, they could have avoided the ensuing meltdown.
Walter Peck:Forget it, Venkman. You had your chance to co-operate, but you though it would be more fun to insult me. Now, it's my turn, wiseass.
This was probably intentional on the part of the writers, though. A deleted scene shows that the reason the Ghostbusters got kicked out of Columbia was because Venkman was the one representing them at department meetings.
Of course, given the atypical and experimental nature of the Ghostbusters' technology, it's highly unlikely that a career bureaucrat like Peck could even understand what he was being shown; the technician he brings to deactivate their equipment actually realizes this, and desperately tries to warn his superior of the danger before Just Following Orders and triggering a near-apocalypse. Giving in to Peck would have just made it all happen sooner, possibly even in a manner in which Peck could have kept the Ghostbusters from stopping Gozer.
The game seems to agree with this: even if Peck isn't really a Gozer worshiper, the absolute best case scenario for his behavior is that he's holding such a grudge that he refuses to stop antagonizing the Ghostbusters even in the face of overwhelming paranormal activity, up to and including being possessed.
On the other hand, even the Ghostbusters themselves repeatedly comment during the course of the film that their equipment is incredibly dangerous and they haven't fully tested it.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted with the 2009 game, which was well-received by critics thanks to solid gameplay and full participation from the core four (even picky project selector Bill Murray) along with some returning supporting actors like Annie Potts and William Atherton. The 1990 Sega Genesis game is regarded to be pretty decent, but other than that the games based on the series haven't fared too well. In particular, the 1980s game by Activision based on the first film tends to be regarded as interesting in concept and scope, but extremely tedious in execution (and the NES port of that game flat-out horrible).
Unfortunate Implications: Only in a Japanese Ghostbusters pachinko game released there: While the game use footage from the movies, for some reason, they eliminated all the footage when Winston appears on-screen, leaving only Peter, Egon and Ray as the only members in that game.
Pretty much the case in many other manifestations of the franchise other than the animated series (like the role-playing game directly based from the movie); you hardly get to see poor Winston in them. Some of that is attributed to his Sixth Ranger status, as he doesn't show up until the latter part of the film, but he is still part of the team.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The films have aged very gracefully over the years. The proton pack streams in particular look about as good now as they would with modern CGI effects. And not to forget Stay Puft. The only thing that has dated somewhat is the stop-motion of the terror dogs, but they are still scary.
The cards flying out of the card catalogue in the beginning sequence were very good and simply done - a blower out of view blew the cards out as the drawers opened.
Not to mention ghost-on-man sex and/or blowjob. Also, Pecker has no dick.
As well as the fairly obvious symbolism of the key and the gate.
While parents have a Nostalgia Filter, the scene where the librarian transforms and yells at them, and later the hands coming out of the chair and holding Dana down as she is taken through the door may be a little much for some kids.