YMMV / Reality Bites

  • Designated Hero:
    • The main characters are essentially whiny brats who complain about having privileged lives and have no qualms about hurting the people that care about them just because they're "above it all".
    • Troy especially, who can be condescending, smugly loves how clever he is and is almost proto-hipster like in his dislike for The Man, yet the film seems to want the audience to root for him to get together with Lelaina, not Michael, a perfectly nice and even Adorkable guy because... He is a yuppie? He has a good job?
  • Designated Villain: Although he's supposed to be the film's "bad guy", many viewers consider Michael to be the most sympathetic character in the movie.
  • Ear Worm: "Stay" by Lisa Loeb, which was popularized by this movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Michael for one as a sympathetic character. Then there is Sammy and Vicki for having more pleasant personalities and more interesting conflicts.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As other critics have pointed out, the film clearly wants you to root for Lelaina to get together with Troy, although he's really a terrible choice in every single way. Michael on the other hand is a nice guy who has a job, but because of that, that makes him a sell-out to "The Man" who should be dumped.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: This film was held up as a near-perfect snapshot of 90s youth culture and angst when it first came out in 1994. This wound up working against the film as time marched on, as some of the subjects the film addressed (such as Sammy's gayngst and Vickie's AIDS scare) have become old hat. Moreover, as pointed out below on Values Dissonance, the characters' hipster-esque railings against middle-class normality and complaining about having no challenges to face comes across as downright laughable, if not incredibly insulting, after The War on Terror and the Great Recession came by. In short, Reality Bites is a film that hasn't aged well due to being a product of a time that didn't really have any "real" problems in hindsight (at least when compared to the 2000s and 2010s).
  • Values Dissonance: White, well-to-do young adults complaining about their middle-class suburbanite lives does not work in the age of heightened awareness towards racial inequality and class separation. The designated heroes' callousness towards anyone who works for "the man" (i.e., has a job and doesn't live off their parents' credit card) can also come off as outright insulting to anyone that got a raw deal during the Great Recession of 2008.