- Base-Breaking Character: Junior himself is one, for you honestly cannot decide whether he's just a troubled, misunderstood soul who just wants to be loved or an all-around Jerk Ass who just lives to cause trouble. Doesn't help that 95% of Junior's victims are Asshole Victims while the 5% is poor Ben caught in the crossfire.
- Taken to another extreme in Problem Child 2, particularly the Cassandra Truth scenario in which Junior sees Rich Bitch Lawanda Dumore for what she really is and tries to warn his dad who doesn't believe him due to Junior driving his previous dates away. After watching the scene where Ben harshly reprimands Junior for the cockroach incident and coldly ends his trust with him, you cannot decide whether Junior deserved the talking to and that Ben's blindness was perfectly justified or Ben was just being a total Jerk Ass for not believing his own son.
- Critic-Proof: This became a major hit for MCA/Universal and beat the Ducktales movie from Disney despite Problem Child getting trashed by critics (it has a 4 on Rotten Tomatoes; Ducktales is in the 80's).
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The end title song "Problem Child." Bonus awesome points for being performed by The Beach Boys. Here's the rare music video for it.
- Cult Classic: Especially on Home Video.
- Designated Hero: Junior.
- In the second movie, we got Trixie.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: According to MikeJ in his review of Problem Child 3, the movie may have "invented" Torture Porn.
- Jerkass Woobie: Junior. It's something of a "chicken or egg" issue, as he's been neglected and abused his entire life, but was also shown to be bad-ass little brat even since infancy.
- Nausea Fuel: A lot in Problem Child 2:
- The Crazy Dance sequence. Some TV airings actually cut out most of it.
- The scene where Junior tops off a pitcher of lemonade with urine, which their asshole neighbor unwittingly drinks.
- The cockroach dinner scene, especially given how huge and plentiful they were, but after Ben scolds Junior about his behavior and leaves, we see that the back of his blazer is covered in dead roaches.
- Rooting for the Empire: It's easy to feel sorry for Junior during the baseball game when the entire opposing team is maliciously chanting "son of dork" at him all while their coach does nothing and even maliciously grins at their behavior. It's also easy to feel that they got what they deserved afterwards when Junior beats them up with a baseball bat.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Apparently, the third film couldn't afford George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone like the first two films did, so a cheap soundalike was used throughout instead.
- Villain Protagonists: Junior and Trixie.
- What Do You Mean, It's For Kids?: Problem Child 2 is the rare PG-13 rated sequel to a PG-rated family film. It earns that rating with additional profanity and darker, more mean-spirited humor. When the film was first submitted to the MPAA, it received an R rating. In a frantic case of Executive Meddling, Universal cut the film down hoping to get the rating lowered to PG. It came back PG-13, in a desperate hurry, Universal went through their archives and selected a random 1940s Woody Woodpecker cartoon to accompany the film theatrically hoping to give the vibe that Problem Child 2 was in fact a family film.
YMMV / Problem Child
YMMV tropes found in Problem Child: