- Awesome Music: The game has a top-notch soundtrack, especially in the remastered version. Every song is so smooth and atmospheric that picking out favourites is almost impossible, so go ahead and knock yourself out with the original or the remastered version.
- Broken Base: The remastered version. In one camp, you have the fans who dislike it due to any number of reasons (mainly the changes, or lack thereof), argue that it did the game a disservice and, in some cases, won't even give the game a positive review on Steam or PlayStation Network despite actually liking the game. In the other, you have the fans who are just happy the game got re-released at all, finally freeing it from Keep Circulating the Tapes and making it much more accessible to a new generation of gamers.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The tree pumping station. Apparently the marrow inside the petrified trees can be extracted... for... some... reason. Looking back on it, even Tim Schafer can't remember how he came up with that one.note
- Complete Monster: Hector LeMans is the man behind the corruption in the Department of Death. Hector has infiltrated the DoD and stolen the Number Nine tickets, the fastest way to get to the Land of Eternal Rest, from to the souls of the righteous and counterfeits them knowing that anyone who uses one is plunged into hell's fiery depths. Meanwhile, the righteous souls Hector stole them from are left to wander the Land of the Dead until they're eventually kidnapped while traversing the ocean and sent to the coral mining factory owned by Hector at the Edge of the World to be eternally enslaved so as to prevent Hector's misdeeds from coming to light. The most evil thing Hector has done is the commission of sprouting, a way to permanently kill those already dead; the sprouting involves special plant bullets that are fired into the skeletal body, growing and spreading until the victim is completely overrun and is nothing more than an empty husk filled with flowers. Hector as capitalized on this, murdering hundreds, keeping their bodies as a field of flowers upon which he builds his hideout, and even has a greenhouse where preserves the corpses of his victims and tends to them as trophies of all who dare cross him. By the game's end he has Salvador's body sprouted and his head removed for questioning and shoots Manny with a slow-acting Sproutella which will keep him alive in agony for hours before eventually killing him. Despite all the pain and misery he's caused in the Land of the Dead, Hector doesn't care, as he merely wants to live like a king before using the stolen tickets to bribe his way into heaven.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Oh, many. The game has a huge cast of characters and none of them are stock characters. One of the more memorable ones is Chowchilla Charlie, who is part Peter Lorre.
Manny: I think slot machines attract an undesirable element.
Charlie: Oh, we're all undesirable, Manny...
Manny: Yeah, but your credit's no good to boot.
- Bruno Martinez has three scenes, and steals the show each time.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The very first image you see when you boot up the game is a Logo Gag where the Golden Man in the LucasArts logo turns into a skeleton. Now that the company has gone belly-up, it's almost laughable how fitting it is, but still painful to any long-time fans.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: With LucasArts now being owned by Disney, the release of Pixar's Coco, a movie about the Day of the Dead, may create some comparisons.
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While the news of an HD re-release in 2015 was warmly received, some fans were disappointed that the game wasn't completely re-made from scratch, and instead just upscaled all the pre-rendered elements from the original 1998 release. That said, the new version still updates most of the player models, adds a lighting system, replaces the original Resident Evil-style controls with a point-and-click interface, and includes a fully orchestrated soundtrack.
- Also, it was pointed that many files from the original games were lost and making them from scratch was hard, especially the pre-rendered backgrounds that they probably lost the original 3D models and couldn't pre-render them again, and changing the game from a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 would need several changes, since the game used fixed cameras, and it was argued that Grim Fandango was a commercial failure in its original release and they couldn't spend much on the re-release since it could suffer the same fate.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: On the other hand, some faithful Grim Fandango fans were annoyed by the removal of some sound cues (especially with Bruno's scenes), the unnecessary 360 pan around Olivia as she reads the "Grim Fandango" poem (which showed that she was never meant to be seen from some angles), and the end credits music was changed.
- Moral Event Horizon: Nick sprouting Lola. Domino trying to murder Glottis. Olivia torturing Sal. Hector... OK, Hector was just always evil.
- MST3K Mantra: Unless you're making a joke, like the game itself often does, never ever ask yourself any questions about Grim Fandango that can be summed up with "If they're skeletons, then how come X?". It will be a constant distraction and isn't really important to the overall plot.
Manny: Some festival, eh?
Balloon Sculptor: Yeah, yeah. Pretty busy. My carpal tunnel syndrome is really acting up.
Manny: But you don't have any tendons...
Balloon Sculptor: Yeah, well, you don't have a tongue but that doesn't seem to shut you up, now does it?
- Signature Scene: The Year Two sequence. Manny dressed in the white Casablanca-esque tuxedo tends to be the most recognizable image from the game.
- Shocking Swerve: While it's relatively minor and has little impact on the actual plot, the revelation that Hell actually exists comes almost completely out of nowhere, since up until that point, we were led to believe that the worst punishment an immoral person can serve in this universe is working away your debt (presumably, the worse you were, the more work you have to do) and then walking four years to get to heaven. Then again, it's never directly identified as Hell in the "opposite of heaven" sense, and could just be a special part of the Eighth Underworld that's miserable and bars you from heaven for whatever length of time if The Powers That Be decide you're beyond redemption.
- Ugly Cute: Glottis may be a big, clunky, razor-toothed demon, but man if his personality doesn't more than make up for it.
- Uncanny Valley: The demented collage that is the World of the Living is a seemingly intentional example.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Bibi, one of the two children working for Domino in Year 3, is a girl. Good luck figuring this out on your own, though; her name doesn't lend itself either way, she has no hair or Tertiary Sexual Characteristics to speak of, her voice could easily pass as that of a pre-pubescent boy, her personality and clothes aren't much different from her brother, Pugsy's, and there is no dialogue that refers to her as "she". Spanish speakers, on the other hand, would know that Bibi is short for "Bibiana", a popular girl's name.