* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Is Magnum a {{hero}} or an AntiHero? The show plays with both, as Magnum is benevolent, but can be quite ruthless.
** Is Higgins a JerkWithAHeartOfGold or just a JerkWithAHeartOfJerk? He doesn't really seem to like Magnum and doesn't really try to help that much (see "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too" and "Tropical Madness").
*** Higgins more slowly warmed up to Magnum. After all, he is very British and Magnum is an American SurferDude.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: The opening theme music by Mike Post.
** The original theme by Ian Freebairn-Smith is also pretty catchy.
* CrossoverShip: Almost a canon example. The end of the ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' crossover teased Higgins and Jessica Fletcher, although it never went past Higgins quite obviously crushing on Jessica, to her (and Magnum's) amusement.
* FirstInstallmentWins: Many fans actually prefer "Limbo" to "Resolutions" as a series finale, not because of Magnum's original intended fate, but because of the bigger risks "Limbo" took in its writing and acting.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: In "Past Tense", Higgins explains that telling T.C. his stories after T.C. had been shot was meant to keep him from slipping into a coma. In "Under World", that's exactly what rouses T.C. out of his coma.
* HilariousInHindsight: The bad guy in "Don't Say Goodbye" is played by [[spoiler: Ted Danson, several years before he and Tom Selleck were two of those ''Film/ThreeMenAndABaby''. Unfortunately Steve Guttenberg never appeared on the show to complete the set.]]
** "Holmes Is Where the Heart Is" sees Higgins (all but literally) assuming TheWatson role alongside his friend David Worth ([[NapoleonDelusion who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes]]). John Hillerman would later actually play Dr. Watson in the 1990 TV movie ''Hands of a Murderer'' alongside Creator/EdwardWoodward as Holmes.
** "Photo Play" has a murdered gangster character [[NamesTheSame named]] [[Series/DesperateHousewives Carlos Solis]].
** In "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii", Judge Reinhold's character is brought a meal by Ensign Healy. What is it? [[Film/FastTimesAtRidgemontHigh Fast food chicken.]]
** "The Return of Luther Gillis": [[Film/{{Spaceballs}} "Who's Dot Matrix and what's she got to do with this?"]]
* HoYay: Between Rick and T.C.
* {{Narm}}: Magnum during this exchange in "Skin Deep". [[SarcasmMode Try and figure out why]].
-->'''Magnum''': ...David hired me to find your lover.
-->[[spoiler:'''Erin Wolfe''']]: I don't have a lover!
-->'''Magnum''': David believes you do, because of all the weekends that you disappear.
-->[[spoiler:'''Erin Wolfe''']]: I was here! Alone!
-->'''Magnum''': David didn't know that. He figured wherever your lover was, that's where you'd be. That's why he hired me, to find your lover. And once I led him to your lover, then he'd kill all three of us.
** When we first see Magnum spy on dangerous mobster Serge Bergos in "Innocence... A Broad", Bergos' bald head and sunglasses make him bear an unfortunate resemblance to [[Series/TheLateShowWithDavidLetterman Paul Shaffer]].
* NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize: Played with in "The Big Blow" and "The Case of the Red Faced Thespian", both with famous guest casts including Creator/JamesDoohan, [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk Ronald Lacey]], and [[Series/TheBoldAndTheBeautiful John McCook]] (the latter [[YouLookFamiliar in both episodes]]!). [[spoiler: None of their characters turn out to be the attempted killer.]]
** [[RetroactiveRecognition After 1990]], this is played straight for viewers with [[spoiler: [[Creator/SharonStone "Echoes of the Mind"]]]], thanks to ''[[Film/TotalRecall1990 Total Recall]]'' and ''Film/BasicInstinct''.
** If you've seen ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', it'll be fairly obvious who the BigBad in [[spoiler:[[Creator/JulianGlover "Deja Vu"]]]] is.
* TheScrappy: While intentionally written to be annoying, Cassie Yates' characters in "Kiss of the Sabre" and "Photo Play" aren't well-liked by fans.
** To a lesser extent, some fans aren't fond of Luther Gillis and Carol Baldwin for similar reasons.
** Goldie Morris in "Old Acquaintance" is seen as a Scrappy GirlOfTheWeek due to her SoapBoxSadie character.
** Pamela Bates in "Novel Connection", as not only does she not tell anyone why someone's trying to kill her (''[[PotHole after]]'' [[WhatAnIdiot an attempt's been made, mind you]]), but she's an absolute JerkAss to Magnum to boot.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Episodes like "Wave Goodbye" deal with the PTSD of Vietnam veterans.
** "Blind Justice" unflinchingly deals with domestic abuse.
** "Find Me a Rainbow" centers around a black-market baby adoption operation.
** [[spoiler:"The Aunt Who Came to Dinner"]] made ''Magnum'' one of the first television shows to address the subject of Alzheimer's disease.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The flying bats seen in "The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u" are obviously fake.
* ThrowItIn: "Don't Say Goodbye": Magnum pushing Amy Crane into the water then jumping in himself once confronted with [[spoiler: Stewart]]'s boat hook was ad-libbed by Tom Selleck. It wasn't part of the script, but was left in at Selleck's insistence.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Subverted. In "Blind Justice", Magnum discovers that the man on trial for murdering his wife [[spoiler: is actually innocent ([[DrivenToSuicide she had committed suicide after years of his abuse]]), but that he had also gotten away with a different murder years earlier. When confronted with this fact by Magnum, the wife's mother, while her reasons are totally sympathetic, staunchly defends her cover-up of the suicide to get her son-in-law on trial. What even the episode itself doesn't touch on, however, is that the person whom the husband ''did'' murder [[FridgeHorror likely had a family themselves and who would be denied justice by the mother-in-law's actions]], though [[NoEnding the episode ends before the trial's verdict.]]]]
* ValuesDissonance: Even though it was an [[{{Homage}} homage]] to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, there is no way ''in hell'' Patrick [=MacNee=] in [[{{Yellowface}} yellowface]] disguise would fly on television today.
** Ivan calling T.C. by the "N" word in flashbacks was controversial even for the 1980s, but it certainly won't be said on U.S. network television now.
** Edwin Clutterbuck in "Black on White" casually uses the "W" word to refer to Kenyans, and while done intentionally to [[DeliberateValuesDissonance highlight his racism]] and SmugSnake character, such usage could never happen today. Unsurprisingly, his uses of the word have often been [[EditedForSyndication edited out of UK airings.]]
** "Tropical Madness" and "Smaller Than Life" use the word "m*dget" a lot more than would be deemed acceptable today, making Magnum's RunningGag in the former episode rather cringeworthy to hear.
** "Jororo Farewell": Even though it was for [[spoiler: Danny Linn escaping the kidnapper's plane without telling him]], the last scene of Magnum preparing to spank him would be seen as incredibly harsh today.
** In "Skin Deep", Magnum says that women don't shoot themselves, hence his suspicions concerning Erin Wolfe's supposed suicide. While suicides by gun among women are still uncommon, the deaths of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shauna_Grant Shauna Grant]], Creator/MaryKayBergman and others have made Magnum's words [[HarsherInHindsight ring quite hollow today.]]
** Higgins in "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime" stages a production of ''Theatre/TheMikado'' with a traditionally all-white cast, which goes on with no problem[[note]] (save for an unrelated assassination attempt on his friend Sir Cedric)[[/note]]. Nowadays, he wouldn't be able to do so without public outcry.
** "Luther Gillis: File #521": Good luck seeing [[OnceAcceptableTargets an old woman]] being punched out cold for comedy on TV today.
** Magnum, Rick, and T.C. calling Lady Ashley a "dog" from her photo in "Computer Date" comes off as cringingly sexist now.
* ValuesResonance: Any time a female character is said to have an unusual lifestyle or arrangement (sexually or not), Magnum never judges them negatively for it. Considering this series literally aired in the Reagan-era [[TheEighties Eighties]], this aspect has aged quite well.