The book features examples of:
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: There may even be an in-universe example with Clay.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In an interview celebrating the launching of his book, Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis recounted how many fans of his work would come up to him and say "You're the guy who wrote Less Than Zero, that's the book that made me want to live in L.A.!"
The film features examples of:
- Harsher in Hindsight: Robert Downey, Jr. playing a hardcore drug addict. Yeah...
Until that movie, I took my drugs after work and on the weekends. That changed on Less Than Zero, the role was like the ghost of Christmas future. The character was an exaggeration of myself. Then things changed and, in some ways, I became an exaggeration of the character.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Tony Stark owed money to Ultron. (Tony Stark gives good head...AND IS DEAD.)
- Retroactive Recognition: Brad Pitt makes an uncredited early appearance as an extra portraying a preppy guy party-goer as Clay enters the party at the beginning of the film.