* AcceptableReligiousTargets: 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...
* AccidentalInnuendo: When North has a panic attack, his dad says, "Quick, loosen his pants!" He was most likely doing it to ensure his air passage wasn't constricted, but it sounds very wrong. Unsurprisingly, WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic went to town with this one in his review of the movie.
* AdaptationDisplacement: ''North'', the Rob Reiner film, is one of the most notorious Bad Movies ever made, yet ''North'', the 1984 novel by ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' writer Alan Zweibel, which was adapted into this film, has fallen into obscurity.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Either North is a wonderful child whose parents don't appreciate him, or a raging egotist who doesn't get other cultures. [[spoiler: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.]]
* AssPull: [[spoiler: The fact that the whole movie is a dream]] may come across like this if the viewer didn't think about the movie's events being [[spoiler:the products of a kid's dream beforehand]].
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: It's supposed to be a kid's movie with some adult jokes in there, but the "child-friendly" scenes are too childish for adults and the "adult jokes" are too raunchy for kids, and that's not even getting into the stereotypes. In short, no member of the target audience is pleased.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: 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.
* AwesomeMusic: The opening title theme is worthy of note, actually proving to be a very whimsical, inviting tune. [[ForegoneConclusion And then the movie itself starts...]]
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** The over-the-top musical number sung by Ma and Pa Tex, set to the tune of the ''Series/{{Bonanza}}'' TitleThemeTune. (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.
*** It's a ShoutOut/spoof to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5qpZZBlrq8 one iconic gag]] from the movie ''Film/{{Airplane}}''. WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic didn't "get" the reference, either.
** The Eskimo family starts whistling the theme to ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' -- the ''entire'' theme -- for the sole, flimsy sight gag that Andy and his son Opie would be shown fishing to this song over the opening credits. However, there's FridgeBrilliance in that scene: the song's official title is "The Fishin' Hole".
** In the offices of the pants factory, there are men engaging things such as golfing, dancing, chopping down trees, and saying prayers set against suitable backdrops. The joke is apparently that they're testing how their pants hold up during these activities, but it passes by so fast that the "joke" is easily missed. [[spoiler: Possibly a case of FridgeBrilliance since this is all a dream, perhaps that's what North thinks working at a pants factory somehow entails.]]
* BileFascination: Some people really want to see if the culturally-insensitive jokes really are as bad as they say.
* CringeComedy: Infamously so, often regarded by critics as one of the worst comedy movies of all time.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: One of the biggest complaints with the movie. Nearly everybody North meets ([[spoiler:and North himself given the unfortunate subtext of the plot]]) is either TooDumbToLive, vulgar, raunchy, self-absorbed, or just plain racist. The utter lack of good sense or empathy shown by the vast majority of them, among many examples the infamous scene with the elder Eskimos, will most likely have most in utter awe at the CrapsackWorld North seemingly inhabits, rather than feeling anything for his quest to find the perfect family.
* DesignatedHero: We're supposed to sympathize with North's quest for better parents as he apparently feels both unappreciated and neglected; the fact that this is barely showcased in any meaningful manner or that he is [[spoiler: the one actively dreaming up the many ethnic stereotypes seen throughout his fantastical journey]] leaves many to wonder whether our hero is simply racist and too full of himself to recognize what he has.
* DudeNotFunny: The first family North meets want a new son because their last son, Buck, ''died in a stampede''. This doesn't stop them from making not one, but ''two'' jokes in the scene and following it up with an up-beat musical number. The fact that their child ''died'' in what was probably a very painful and traumatic incident for everyone involved is glossed over at best.
-->'''Mother:''' Then you'll be like Buck.
-->'''North:''' Who?
-->'''Father:''' Our first son. The biggest boy this big state's ever seen. Why he could eat more in one day than anyone else could eat in a whole month.
-->'''Mother:''' That's why Buck hated February.
-->'''North:''' Where is Buck?
-->'''Father:''' He died in a stampede.
-->'''North:''' Oh, I'm so sorry.
-->'''Father:''' Well needless to say it was a mighty big loss.
* EthnicScrappy: The main reason why the movie is hated. Texans, Hawaiians, Inuits, Amish, French: no race, state, or country is safe.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop:
** 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 biologically related to you, no matter how shitty or neglectful your parents are. Try telling ''that'' to anybody who's adopted or a foster parent.
** Alternately, as film critic Creator/NathanRabin puts it when describing not only ''North'', but "parenthood redemption comedies" as a whole:
-->''"If you miss little Timmy's softball game even once he'll end up a serial killer all because of your terrible parenting."''
** [[spoiler: It's okay to be an egotistical bigot if you don't show it outwardly]].
* {{Glurge}}: The film seems to think of itself as an uplifting morality tale. Instead it's the last thing you need to show either an abused child, a legitimately loving yet strapped-for-time parent, or anyone from one of several foreign/non-conventional (to the US) cultures. Unless they have a knack for drawing humor out of self-deprecation or train wrecks. There's a reason WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic called it "[[TheOldestProfession an ugly case of cinematic prostitution]]".
* HilariousInHindsight:
** It's impossible to watch this movie now and not briefly think, "Wait, [[{{Series/Seinfeld}} George and Elaine]] got married?"[[note]]At the time the actors were already famous for ''{{Series/Seinfeld}}'' (made by Castle Rock Entertainment, which also produced this movie), also making it an example of WTHCastingAgency.[[/note]] And they gave birth to [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Frodo]], no less!
** [[Creator/KimKardashian North]] [[Music/KanyeWest West]], Anyone?
** This was Creator/ScarlettJohansson's movie debut (in case you're wondering, she plays the daughter in the family who North eventually chooses as his new one). ''Film/{{Lucy}}'', in which she starred, thrashed ''North'' director Creator/RobReiner'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).
** Elijah Wood's character has a nervous breakdown and starts seeing a man in an animal costume who claims to be his guardian angel. [[Series/{{Wilfred}} Where have we seen that before?]]
* KarmaHoudini: Winchell easily would've been this, had it not been for the fact that the whole thing was a dream.
* MemeticMolester:
** The film portrays the ''entire populace of the state of Hawaii'' as this, thanks to the tourist ad.
** North's dad comes across as one, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmIwlK-SQUU thanks to a very unfortunate scene.]]
-->''"Quick, loosen his pants!"''
** And seeing as the Hawaii thing, [[{{Squick}} with the octopus and its tentacles]], [[spoiler: was AllJustADream from an 11 year old whose dad, in the real world, has some fascination [[FridgeHorror with loosening North's pants...]]]]
* MoralEventHorizon: Winchell using North's unique situation (''extremely'' unique--pretty sure other parents that were forced to fight in court for their right to ''be'' parents wouldn't be rendered comatose beforehand) as leverage to create a "Children Supremacy" movement and when North decides to go back to his parents, [[spoiler: sending out a hit-man to kill him in order to keep his power]].
* {{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.
* NeverLiveItDown: Rob Reiner never fully escaped the shadow this movie cast upon his resume with its plethora of racially insensitive humor and unlikable characters.
* NightmareFuel: The octopuses face on the billboard. Come to think of it, the whole concept of that billboard may count.
** The entire third act focuses on North trying to escape being ''murdered'' by the hitman sent by Winchell.
* RetroactiveRecognition: See HilariousInHindsight.
* TheScrappy: ''Virtually every character in the movie''. North however probably takes the cake for the many UnfortunateImplications regarding his fantasy as seen all across the page.
* SignatureScene: The moment when North's Eskimo parents send his new grandfather off to die on the ice floes along with the other elderly members of the tribe as a "dignified" way to die after they've outlived their value to society. Many a critic and viewer have singled out this scene as symbolic of the film's reputed insensitivity.
* {{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...
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: Arguably, Elijah Wood was the only one to actually do so, and despite the character he played and the fact he was in ''Film/TheGoodSon'', another film that wasn't too well received, with Macaulay Culkin only months prior, he was able to escape the StarDerailingRole trap (though he wouldn't be very visible until ''Deep Impact''), and came back in ''The Lord Of The Rings''.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: 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, bigoted 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 [[spoiler: he dreams about how]] everyone wants to adopt him and the fact that his [[spoiler: dream]] parents are so shocked by his leaving that they essentially become statues, he clearly has some massive ego issues.
* UnreliableNarrator: North recalls things said of him by other parents that he probably shouldn't known to have been said, possibly feeding to his own ego in bringing up the praise he claims to receive. Additionally, North's mysterious mentor recalls North's entire story, also speaking of things he should not know about and all happening to narrate the things that happen to all be in his ''dream''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: This was one big reason Creator/RogerEbert loathed this movie. The stereotype humor and lazy puns are far too juvenile for adults, but the sex jokes and various expletives make it too raunchy for kids. Not to mention one wouldn't want their kids to watch such blatant stereotypes.
* WTHCastingAgency: Most of the cast could fit into here. The most unexplainable is probably [[Literature/{{Misery}} Kathy Bates]] and [[Film/TheGodfather Abe Vigoda]] with their faces painted brown playing Eskimos, which was criticized as racially insensitive and "an ugly piece of [[TheOldestProfession cinematic prostitution]]" by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic and labeled a "new low in bad taste" by Ebert at the end of the year the movie premiered (Bates also got a Razzie nomination for that appearance).
* WTHCostumingDepartment: Several instances, perhaps most notably would be Kathy Bates' facial makeup and minstrel wig to make her look like an Eskimo (which earned her a GoldenRaspberryAward nomination for "Worst Supporting Actress"), and ''Bruce Willis dressed as a pink Easter Bunny''.
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