- Acceptable Targets: Black People to Satin. He uses them as the butt of his jokes to please his White audience; then he tries it as an attempt to crossover to Black audiences...I'm sure you can guess how it tuned out.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Sparkle's nosebleed towards the end of the 2012 film. It's randomness was only used to introduce the gorgeous red dress as seen on the film's movie poster.
- Jerkass Woobie: As poor as the decisions that Sister made in the film (namely choosing Satin over Levi just because the former had more money and was famous), she still was sympathetic due to the hardships in her past and present, the feeling that her own mother had little ambition for her and of course, what her fate ultimately was in both versions; she died of a drug overdose in the 1976 version and she ended up in prison for the beating death of Satin while covering for her sister, who was the one who killed him in her defense because he was habitually beating her, including at the time of his death, in the 2012 version.
- One-Scene Wonder: Black, who was played by Cee Lo Green.
- Retraux: The original film takes place in 1958, but the actual film was produced in 1976. Though the overall look is very Fifties, there's a great dissonance in the musical aspect of the film since it uses heavy go-go beats from The Sixties, and funky percussion of The Seventies in a lot of the songs.
- Tear Jerker: Whitney Houston's rendition to "His eye is on the Sparrow", it even evokes tears/applause knowing it's her very last performance.