For the television series:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Ginger was advertised as the celebrity sex symbol, and Mary Ann was the plain Kansas farm girl, yet the fans preferred her.
- On the non-sexual side, Mr. and Mrs. Howell.
- Ear Worm: The theme song. As Achewood pointed out, Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death" fits the theme song... as do "Amazing Grace", "Auld Lang Syne", and the first verse of the first English Pokémon theme.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The popular theory that the seven castaways represent the seven deadly sins (which was actually confirmed by Sherwood Schwartz), and that the island is a purgatory for them to work off their bad karma, or a hell constructed specifically to torture them.
- Which is not quite as out-there as it sounds: it's a commonly taught piece of sitcom-writing advice that main characters should embody as many of the seven sins as possible, because it gives them something to want and work for (driving the plot) but also a reason we enjoy seeing them fail (because their desires are ignoble).
- They end up being rescued in the reunion movies. So looks like that bad karma was worked off. Talk about Earn Your Happy Ending.
- Expy: The Professor's character is very similar to that of Mr. Boynton of Our Miss Brooks fame. Originally, the Professor was to be a high school science teacher rather than a college professor.
- Ham and Cheese: The whole cast to some degree, but Jim Backus as Mr. Howell in particular (and the character was immeasurably the better for it).
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
The Skipper — GingerThe Professor — Mary AnnMr. Howell — His wifeGilligan — Pass
- The Beauty Contest episode "Beauty Is As Beauty Does" actually poses the question "Ginger or Mary Ann?"
- In "St. Gilligan and the Dragon", Gilligan mistakes a weather balloon for a ferocious monster. A few years later, The Prisoner featured a vicious monster that just happened to look like a weather balloon.
- Ho Yay: In one episode both Gilligan and the skipper both think the other has been turned into a monkey. It Makes Sense in Context. What is the first thing they do when they see the monkey dressed up in the other's clothes? Strip it naked, of course.
- Apart from that, consider the Skipper's way of addressing Gilligan as "Little Buddy."
- Mary Ann and Ginger.
- Hollywood Homely: Mary Ann. Dawn Wells was Miss Nevada 1959 and participated in the 1960 Miss America contest. She's also aged insanely well. Even lampshaded on The Simpsons when the network executive wanted someone "ugly" like Mary Ann, not "ugly ugly" like Moe. (Even though none of the other Gilligan characters ever referred to Mary Ann as homely; more the shy, Girl Next Door type.)
- Never Live It Down: Gilligan is so infamous for "always" accidentally ruining the Castaways' plans to get off the island that Just Eat Gilligan became a meme and then a trope. But a dedicated fan decided to watch every episode and make note of the number of episodes the castaways tried to get off the island and the number of those episodes where their plans were ruined by Gilligan. It turns out Gilligan bungles their plans in exactly 17 episodes. Which is still a lot, but it's less than half of the number of episodes the Castaways tried to escape, 37. More importantly, there were 98 episodes total. So Gilligan botched the Castaways rescue/escape attempts less than half the time they tried and in only a little more than a sixth of all episodes.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Why someone thought this would make a good video game is one of history's great unsolved mysteries, but a NES game was made. It's generally considered one of that console's worst titles.
- Special Effect Failure: Given this was a show in the 60s, that's pretty much a given, but some of the effects were really bad, probably even for back then. Then again, that's part of the fun.
For the pinball game:
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The instrumental remix of the theme song that plays during the game.