* AdaptationDisplacement: Not a lot of people know the novella the movie is based on. Even more unfortunately, though popular, it had largely faded from public awareness by the time [[Film/TheShawshankRedemption another movie]] from the same book, ''Different Seasons'' (a collection of four novellas) had debuted.
* AwesomeMusic: Much of the movie's soundtrack, but especially the titular theme song "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTCfQ6Bb8QE Stand By Me]]" by Ben E. King.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The film was massively popular in Japan, to the point where special versions of the movie were sold intended to teach English. (So, no, the reference to this movie in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' wasn't a {{Woolseyism}}.)
* HarsherInHindsight: Creator/RiverPhoenix's character in the film dies an untimely death. Phoenix slowly fades into the scenery and vanishes.
** At the end of the film it is said that Chris dies trying to stop a fight, while the others went on with their lives. Phoenix actually did end up dying from an overdose in 1993, while the other actors are still pursuing their careers.
** Gordie and Chris' friendship becomes this as Creator/WilWheaton and Creator/RiverPhoenix's real-life friendship fell apart by the early 90s.
** In the book, Gordie mentions a trip to NYC in the late 1970s/early 1980s. He mentions touring the Empire State Building, and says "Fuck the World Trade Center, the building King Kong climbed will always be the tallest to me." Fast forward a couple of decades...
* HilariousInHindsight: Meta example. Creator/RobReiner seemed to be fine with the kid gang portrayed smoking mainly because it happened in the book. 17 years later Reiner who is now known as one of the biggest advocates of anti smoking gets parodied in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
** During the campfire scene, Gordie says "''Series/WagonTrain'' is a cool show and all, but they never get anywhere. They just keep...[[ShapedLikeItself wagon-training]]." The next year Creator/WilWheaton would, of course, become a cast member on Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration . Franchise/StarTrek was described (and pitched) by Creator/GeneRoddenberry as "WagonTrainToTheStars."
** Gordie becomes a writer. Creator/WilWheaton would grow up to author a half dozen books himself.
** Kiefer Sutherland looks quite [[Series/TwentyFour Jack Bauer-esque]] while winning a chicken game with a lumber truck.
* HoYay: Are Chris and Gordie [[HeterosexualLifePartners like brothers]] or a couple?
* JerkassWoobie: Teddy is short-tempered, obnoxious, cruel and nasty but his homelife sounds so horrible you can't help but feel for him.
* MoralEventHorizon: When Ace is about to knife Chris.
* NauseaFuel: The "Lard-Ass" story, and the leeches.
* TheWoobie: Gordie, who by the end of the film has lost the only two people in his childhood who really cared about him, and Chris, who works incredibly hard to make something of himself only to be cut down for a stupid reason by a thug.
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