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YMMV: North
  • Acceptable Religious Targets: The Amish family. North doesn't even give them a chance.
    • Of course, they would stress the importance of physical labor on their farm, and most kids aren't exactly leaping at the chance to bale hay or plow fields. And as for going entirely without TV...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Either North is a wonderful child whose parents don't appreciate him, or a raging egotist who doesn't get other cultures. Consider the fact that all the cultures depicted in the dream would seem to indicate that is how he views them, not how they really are. This would seem to indicate the kid's a bigot, and, especially in light of his reputedly high intelligence (i.e., he should know better but apparently chooses not to), subsequently less sympathetic.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Say what you will about the ending being a cop out, but at the very least it's a safety net for all the stereotypes portrayed through it. Or it's a flimsy excuse for perpetuating a film full of racist humor.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The over-the-top musical number sung by Ma and Pa Tex, set to the tune of the Bonanza Title Theme Tune. (Note that Bonanza was set in Nevada.)
    • As North's plane lands in Alaska, it slowly drops its speed as it gets closer and closer to the airport building, finally lightly bumping off the window. Cut to the next scene.
    • The Eskimo family starts whistling the theme to The Andy Griffith Show — the entire theme — for the sole, flimsy sight gag that Andy his son Opie would be shown fishing to this song over the opening credits.
    • In the offices of the pants factory, there are men engaging things such as golfing, dancing and chopping down trees set against suitable backdrops. This is never explained in anyway or implied to have meaning. Possibly a case of Fridge Brilliance since this is all a dream, perhaps that's what North thinks working at a pants factory somehow entails.
  • Bile Fascination: Has to be seen to be believed.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: A lot of the jokes fall into this territory.
    • Making cracks about your wife being barren to children while she's standing right next to you is in poor taste.
      • Don't forget that her name is Mrs. Ho. Isn't the irony hilarious?
      • Kind of lampshaded by the dirty look she gives him afterward.
    • Saying the horrific death of your overweight son was a "mighty big loss."
      • And to top that off, we then immediately get a happy-go-lucky, over the top musical number with the lyrics "We had a son who was trampled by a ton of longhorns!" What. The. Hell?
    • The billboard with North's crack on it came off as incredibly creepy, and not at all funny, especially since it includes a lingering shot of it.
      • It was in fact a blatant reference/parody to a 1950s-era Coppertone ad, though why an octopus is still up in the air.
    • The scene where the Eskimos exile their elders into icebergs. What truly makes it tasteless beyond belief is how this is pretty much treated as heartlessly as possible, with a guy hurrying people along. Appearently, saying goodbye to your grandparents you'll never see again is time-wasting...
  • Ethnic Scrappy: The main reason why the movie is hated.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Abused and neglected kids need to just buck up and get on with it.
    • You can never be truly happy with anybody who isn't your biological family. Try telling that to anybody who's adopted or a foster parent...
  • Glurge: The film seems to think of itself as an uplifting morality tale.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight/Hey, It's That Guy!: It's impossible to watch this movie now and not briefly think, "Wait, George and Elaine got married?"
    • And gave birth to Frodo, no less!
    • Even when the movie was being produced, they were already famous for Seinfeld (made by Castle Rock Entertainment, which also produced this movie), also making it an example of WTH, Casting Agency?.
    • John Munch has somehow made his way to the Arctic and is taking tickets for the Eskimo elders' abandonment on the ice floes.
    • To say nothing of Kathy Bates being sprayed brown and given a cheap black wig and pretending to be an Eskimo.
    • Hey, It's That Voice!: Mrs. Ho is played by Lauren Tom, a voice actress known for playing characters like Amy Wong (and her mother) on Futurama and Minh Souphanousinphone from King of the Hill.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This was Scarlett Johansson's movie debut. Lucy, in which she starred, thrashed North director Rob Reiner's And So It Goes at the box office twenty years later (almost to the day, since North opened on July 22, 1994 and Lucy bowed on July 25, 2014) .
  • Marty Stu: North. Model student, super intelligent, great actor. He's basically idolised by nearly everyone to the point that families upon families desire to be his adoptive parents. Possibly foreshadowing for everything is a dream.
  • Memetic Molester: The film portrays the entire populace of the state of Hawaii as this, thanks to the tourist ad.
    Quick, loosen his pants!
  • Narm: North's panic attack. Apart from the fact the writers apparently didn't know what a panic attack looks like (i.e. NOT THAT), the line, "Quick, loosen his pants" just hammers the point home.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The octopuses face on the billboard. Come to think of it, the whole concept of that billboard may count.
  • Squick: North's butt shown in Hawaii's ad with that hideously grinning octopus. It's a parody of a famous Coppertone/Water Babies ad (which had a puppy and a little girl), but comes out wrong...
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Arguably, Elijah Wood was the only one to actually do so.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Assuming we're meant to like North, they certainly failed to make you do so, considering that, even if you ignore the fact he's a racist, bigotted egoist, there's the fact that the entire conflict of the film comes down to him feeling his parents don't love him. However, given that he makes a big deal about how everyone else loves him for being super special, while the parents aren't actually shown to be particularly bad, it seems to be less that he's neglected, and more that he's self-entitled and thinks they should worship him more or something. Add in the way he dreams about how everyone wants to adopt him, he clearly has some massive ego issues.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This was one big reason Roger Ebert loathed this movie.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Most of the cast could fit into here. The most unexplainable is probably Kathy Bates and Abe Vigoda with their faces painted brown playing Eskimos.

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