- Ass Pull: The astronaut Wendy having wings. Justified and a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, since the whole thing is just Alley's weird imagination.
- Base Breaker: Photopia was, in many respects, this for the Interactive Fiction community at large: some praised its beautiful plot, characterisation, and writing, while others decried its apparent lack of interactivity or puzzles. This gave rise to a lot of the "Story vs. Game" controversy that goes on in the IF community today.
- Fridge Brilliance: Half of what Photopia is about will only hit you after a few play-throughs.
- Mary Sue: Even the author admitted in hindsight that Alley has hints of this.
- Rewatch Bonus: A lot. For example, the opening takes on a whole new meaning towards the end when you realize the car is the one that kills Alley.
- Tear Jerker
- That One Puzzle: The Maze. So much so that it's actually impossible to solve conventionally. You have to remove your suit and fly out.