YMMV: Legally Blonde

The Film

  • Acceptable Targets: Blondes. Elle does try to fight against these "blondes are dumb" stereotype once she gets in high gear, but her blonde sorority friends are air-headed through and through.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The third movie, and sometimes the second. The feminist message of the first goes from downplayed to non-existent and they're much less funny to most fans.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Reese Witherspoon is on the cover of Elle magazine.
  • Hollywood Homely: Chutney. She's played by Linda Cardellini (although the frizzy perm and dour attitude didn't do her any favors.)
  • Mary Sue: Elle, just a tad. She's obviously gorgeous and good with people, and if she can learn enough to get a 179 on the LSAT in just a few months, she's obviously also pretty brilliant.
  • Memetic Mutation: Elle's "What, like it's hard?" has taken off as a response to (imagined) surprise over an accomplishment, implying scorn toward those who are surprised or didn't think it was possible.
  • Sequelitis: The sequels are generally agreed to be far inferior to the original film.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Some viewers find Brooke to be this, viewing her use of cosmetic surgery to be a bit unethical given her image.
  • What an Idiot: Chutney at the trial. On one hand, had she claimed to be literally anywhere else, she probably would've gotten Brooke put in prison and gotten off scot-free herself. On the other hand, she had to give an alibi that could be backed up. She was obviously in the house at the time of the murder and had to come up with an excuse for why she didn't hear a gunshot. (Though, of course, listening to music and having headphones in would've been a perfectly believable excuse.)

The Musical

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: More like "Alternate Staging Interpretation". In the Broadway production, during the song "Legally Blonde" Elle sings the first half in the court room before returning to her room, where Emmett is waiting for her. Elle tells Emmett she's leaving and goes into her room. Emmett, out of earshot, realizes he's in love with Elle and then begins begging for her to stay from the other side of the door (this can be seen in the Broadway recording). In productions after that, the song never leaves the courtroom and so Emmett tells Elle face to face that he's in love with her which causes Elle to run away. The change probably happened in order to cut down on costs and an unnecessary scene change and aside from a couple of Emmett's lines the song stays the same. However, Elle hearing the confession completely changes their dynamic for the rest of the show and also changes the moment from a Love Epiphany to an Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Better Than It Sounds: Theater: Under the candy-colored fluffapalooza is a surprisingly strong feminist message with genuine character development and believable romance.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In the Triumphant Reprise of the titular song, there's a random moment in which everyone river dances over an instrumental version of Paulette's song, "Ireland".
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The song "There! Right There!" also known as "Gay or European?".
  • Ear Worm: several.
    • "Omigod, omigod, you guys!"
    • "What you want is right in front of you, front of you!"
    • "Seeing my name up on that list, that beats the first time that we kissed..."
    • "There! Right there! Look at that tanned, well-tended skin..."
    • "Get back in the game, back on the case! Take a good look at my face..."
  • Flanderization: A few of the characters are less three-dimensional and instead have certain character traits amplified. Enid is a particularly egregious example.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The fake legal case discussed during "Chip On My Shoulder" was recently turned into a (satirical) bill in a state legislature.
  • Hollywood Homely: The supposedly plain Vivienne was played on Broadway by Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle.
  • Les Yay:
    • Hinted at between Elle and Vivienne in the salon, but just barely. Also, Brooke and Elle are rather touchy-feely with each other...
    • In the touring production, at the end of the dance break in Positive, Margot has her hand on one of Elle's boobs.
    • Likewise in the London production, albeit it's Serena rather than Margot who's fondling Elle during the freeze. Clearly they're all at it.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Between "Whipped Into Shape," the "bend and snap," and the character of Enid, this is a really good show for lesbians. Or straight men. Or the bisexual.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Callahan crosses it when he sexually harasses Elle, and then fires her for refusing him.
  • Strawman Has a Point: When Callahan sings "Gay, or European?" in the musical in order to illustrate that Nikos being effeminate and flamboyant does NOT automatically equal that Nikos is gay. Callahan eventually became one of the bad guys for sexually harassing Elle...but he still was right in making the distinction between effeminacy and homosexuality.
    • Although Elle's original case for him being gay was that he didn't respond to the 'Bend and Snap'. The effeminacy was just supporting her claim.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: There are actually two versions of "Ireland" floating around - one that's used normally, and one that was written specifically for English productions, though some American productions still use it. Fans of the original lyrics (or those that just heard the original first) find the difference quite jarring, and don't like it much.
  • The Woobie: Paulette. Abusive ex-boyfriend? Check. Cripplingly low self-esteem stemming from said abuse? Check. Dreams of a better life that she's convinced she'll never have? Check.