YMMV / Groundhog Day

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, Phil goes up at a late showing of Heidi II dressed as the titular character from Bronco Billy along with a woman dressed as Ms. Lily. Who she is, how she knows Phil, and why they're showing up for a movie wearing costumes from a different movie are never explained, but it fits within the mood of just trying whatever in the face of eternal boredom.
    • While the specifics of the scene seem kind of random, the basic situation is fairly clear: this scene appears right after the one where he seduces Nancy, and the implication is that he's going around town using his time-loop abilities to trick women into going to bed with him. The connection with Nancy is even referenced in the scene, where we see Nancy walking down the street, Phil calls out to her, she walks away quickly, then he says "My fiancée don't even remember me."
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Phil committing suicide... jarring. Repeatedly committing suicide? Depressing. Him casually recounting this and then declaring himself a god to Rita the next day? Strangely hilarious.
  • Ear Worm: Then put your little hand in mine... (Even if you don't find the song catchy to begin with, it will get you through sheer repetition.)
    • Strike up the music, the band has begun / The Pennsylvania Polka!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Ned Ryerson, chiefly because Steven Tobolowsky nails the right amount of Nice Guy Pollyanna charm that would annoy Phil and amuse the viewer.
  • Epileptic Trees: One of the more outlandish theories is that Phil was trapped in Groundhog Day for several thousand years. (Although in an earlier, discarded draft of the script, he was.) Harold Ramis estimates that it was closer to about 30-40 years.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Harold Ramis has pointed out that people tell him this film is an obvious allegory for (insert religion of choice here) where Phil breaks the loop after following said religion's key principles.
    • Though the nature of the reincarnation loop itself and the fact that his goal is to escape it fits Buddhism better than any other religion.
    • Numerous professional works have also analyzed from a perspective of nihilism and/or existentialism.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Despite the film's tremendous success, Danny Rubin has never sold another screenplay due to his refusal to allow his work to be altered at all. It took adapting the story into a stage musical almost three decades later for him to have another success.
  • Ho Yay: Played with to HILARIOUS effect with Phil and Ned at one point.
    Phil: I don't know where you're headed... but can you call in sick?
    • Based on Phil's expressions, it is evident that he was looking for a way to get rid of Ned. And it worked.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Just the concept of being stuck doing the same day for weeks, months or even years is absolutely horrifying.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Values Dissonance: As a part of his perfect run towards the end of the film, Phil walks into a restaurant, performs the Heimlich Maneuver on the mayor, saving his life, then turns around and lights a woman's cigarette for her. Public opinion of smoking has come a long way in 20 years.
  • Vindicated by History: It did okay at the box office and the critics of the time liked it well enough. Within 10 years it would come to be widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The song "Hope" in the musical, which covers Phil's period of repeatedly killing himself. It uses various techniques and a generous helping of visual misdirection to switch Phil's actor out with another so he can keep leaving the stage, and then pop out of his bed a second later.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: After the film's debut, the director was called several times by various religious groups, all claiming he was secretly one of them.note