YMMV / Soylent Green

  • Adaptation Displacement: Nobody has heard of the book (Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison), but most people have heard about the movie, or at least "It's people! Soylent Green is people!" Which, incidentally, isn't in the book—it's just a straight-up Crapsack World.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": That Soylent Green is people is generally known — and that knowledge brings some folk to the film. The big reveal ain't gonna work for them, but watching the various characters slowly learn the secret is a very interesting and emotional journey in its own right. Also less known is that the world's oceans have been utterly exhausted.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Soylent Corporation. Corrupt corporation or doing what's necessary to keep civilization afloat?
  • Anvilicious: If we don't do something about the overpopulation, we're all going sleeping shoulder to shoulder in the streets and stairwells, until we're turned into green biscuits!
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The dinner scene, when Thorn is treated to real food and uses a proper metal fork and knife.
  • Cult Classic
  • Fridge Horror: Lots of it.
  • Funny Moments: A few during the dinner scene, such as Thorn eating a leaf of lettuce and shrugging as if to say I dont see what the big deal is.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Roth's suicide. The actor playing him, Edward G. Robinson, was dying of cancer. Only Charlton Heston knew. And because of this, Heston's tears were real.
  • It Was His Sled: Soylent Green is people. Like "it was Earth All Along", it's now possibly the world's most poorly guarded secret and has been parodied almost universally in Sci-Fi comedies and plenty of other places, too.
  • Memetic Mutation: "It's people! Soylent Green is people!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Soylent green is made from people!"
    • The scoops are pretty unpleasant. Imagine Trash Trucks converted with Bulldozers designed to scoop up the rioting populace. On the outside, it seems like an important safety feature. However, after the twist ending was revealed, it seemed that Thorn's prediction of the people being used as cattle came true.
    • The setting itself. The OCEANS ARE DEAD! The literal source of life on Earth is gone! This isnt a dystopia story anymore; this is a mass extinction event! The humane thing at this point would be to just make a Mercy Kill for the whole species, because there's no recovering from this.
    • People are eating Soylent Green, right? Then they die, and their bodies are processed into Soylent Green, eaten by people who die and are processed... *shudders* if you weren't horrified before, this Fridge Horror is the time to start.
  • Squick: Depending on your squeamishness. The processed human flesh really doesn't resemble meat anymore, it's just a wafer of protein. At that stage, it's pretty academic.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The nature of Soylent Green is certainly ghoulish, but it is literally the only resource left; the populace has a Sadistic Choice of either cannibalism or mass starvation. Well, you know what they say; "Any option is preferrable to extinction."