YMMV / Independence Day

  • Acceptable Professional Targets: "Oh, my God. I gotta call my brother, my housekeeper, my lawyer. Nah, forget my lawyer."
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Irony about the trope name aside. In the United States the film is definitely divisive, but it's hard to deny it has a pretty devoted fanbase. Outside of the US, however, finding devoted fans is challenging to say the least.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite how much of a financial success this film was (with a worldwide gross of $816,969,268, the second-highest gross for a movie of all time back when it was released), the film has attracted a lot of criticism and the reviews even at the time called it okay at best. Many criticized the film's plot note  and characters in favor of its special effects, and Non-Americans criticizing the film in how nationalistic it is in its tone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Thanks to the now disturbing images of the destruction of the Empire State Building and the White House, this movie wasn't aired for a long time after 9/11. But since 2009, it came back on TV.
    • Particular the image of the shadow crossing over the Twin Towers. And the fact that after the attack, the Twin Towers have been sheared in half.
    • And the wall of fire spreading through the streets of NYC, much like the real-life wall of dust produced by the collapsing twin towers.
    • David mentions that all cable repair guys can trace a cell phone signal. Now, with the stingray controversy in America, that sounds a lot worse.
    • Russell Casse's PTSD falls under this as in the time since the movie's release, Randy Quaid has been hiding out in Canada from charges of animal abuse. When the sequel's crew went through their massive effort to get back as many cast members as they could, it was noted that it ended up being quite lucky that Russell was killed in the first film, or this would put them in quite an awkward position.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Mary McDonnell is the wife of a president facing an all-out attack on humans from a foreign life form. She's even married to an ex-pilot with a gravelly voice. You have to wonder if her agent is just really unimaginative.
  • Inferred Holocaust: With most of the world's major population centers blown up and massive chunks of alien debris crushing landmasses and plunging into the ocean (no doubt creating tidal waves), the world does not look positive in the wake of the attack. Then again, since the alternative was total annihilation, there's only so much room to complain.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Welcome to Earf!" Even though in the movie he clearly says "Earth".
    • "Oh, shit. Um...hide."
    • "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!" Really, that whole speech entered pop culture and hung on for dear life. Even many people who have never seen the movie can quote parts of it.
    • "Peace? No peace." was known to be quoted a lot when the film first came out. It's has been used to mock people or groups that are seen as unreasonable or can't be negotiated with.
  • Money-Making Shot: The alien ship blasting the White House is the emblematic shot of the movie. After that, it's the shadows falling over major landmarks, and their destruction that was the basis of the trailers. Also, the aliens' strike on El Toro base was featured prominently in advertising for home video.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The aliens' blowing up several cities at once is terrible, but what truly cements the aliens' status as unforgivable, especially in-universe, is when the captive alien reveals that they want to annihilate humanity, and they have done this to countless other worlds in order to steal their resources. Simply put, they're Planet Looters!
  • MST3K Mantra: Try not to think too much about the Contrived Coincidences, or anything else, in the movie.
  • Narm Charm: As previously mentioned, the Rousing Speech.
  • One-Scene Wonder
    • Harry Connick Jr. has a small role as a fighter pilot buddy of Will's, only to get shot down in the ensuing fight. He easily steals the show.
    • Harvey Fierstein as Jeff Goldblum's neurotic co-worker. "DAVID, WHY'D I JUST SEND MY MOTHER TO ATLANTA?!"
    • The RAF pilots were a good joke for British audiences: "The Americans are planning a counter-strike!" "Well, it's about bloody time!" Tally-ho, chaps!
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The Angry Video Game Nerd ripped the Playstation game of ID4 apart for clunky controls and pop-up issues (as well as a terrible password screen), and when he played the Katina level in Star Fox 64, Clement J 642 called ID4 "Complete ass" and said that that one Star Fox level was better at being ID4 than the ID4 game was.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A young Mae Whitman plays the President's daughter; she's better known as being both Foe and Yay to Michael Cera.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Those who like the movie admit that it's dumb, but certainly fun!
  • So Cool, It's Awesome: It's one of the best known Fourth of July movies. So much so that in 2014, the Encore Channel played a 24 hour marathon on the 4th.
  • Snark Bait: Considered this internationaly in no small part to how much patriotic it is.
  • Special Effect Failure:
  • Strawman Has a Point: Nimziki gets two. We're supposed to be against his suggestion of using nuclear weapons but considering what we've seen so far that would be closest thing to a reasonable chance of success. Later he's supposed to be showing incompetence and cowardice for being against the plan to infect the mothership but the plan relies on a lot of luck, a human pilot managing to use an alien vessel, the aliens not getting suspicious and if it failed it would probably mean the end of all organized human resistance.
  • Toy Ship: The President's daughter and Hiller's stepson.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It still holds up well and the scope of the movie is awe inspiring. The sense of size and scale has not been matched by any movie since.
    • A lot of why it holds up is that most of the effects were practical effects and models, with just a bit of CGI for laser blasts and other things that don't have to look "real" to fool the eye. Shortly after this came out these techniques were largely abandoned in favor of all-CGI effects.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Tiffany ignores Jasmine's warnings of getting out of town and instead heads directly to one of the gatherings directly under one of the alien ships. Guess what happens?
    • Albert Nimzicki is a complicated example. He is the Secretary of Defense and an entire fleet of alien spaceships shows up and float ominously over the world's major cities. As the former head of the CIA (it's stated somewhere in the movie that Nimzicki was this), he becomes privy to the fact that Area 51 has indeed been housing a crashed flying saucer and alien corpses and been studying them and their tech for decades. Does he choose to immediately inform the President about everything the research had discovered in order to better inform his decision-making? While he makes (in retrospect) bad choices, his working assumption that launching nuclear weapons will defeat the invaders remain untested for long, and it isn't exactly unreasonable (at least before the first counterstrike with fighter planes fails) that it could work. If nuclear wepons would've worked, there would be no need to reveal Area 51.
  • Woolseyism: Will Smith's "Elvis has left the building!" was changed to "Last train to Mikkeli has just left!" in the Finnish DVD.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/IndependenceDay