- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The story is standard fairy-tale fare, but chapter 1 has an explicit sex scene. A strategically-inserted "fuck" appears shortly after.
- All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": This movie is rather infamous for subverting Robert De Niro's tough guy image and revealing him to be a gay cross dresser.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Victoria is presented as something of an Alpha Bitch (in contrast to her Spoiled Sweet persona in the book) but take note of the picnic scene: she doesn't string Tristan along, she's up front that Humphrey is going to propose to her and that she'll say yes, and she never gives Tristan any hint that he's going to end up with her. But then again, she does backtrack and offer Tristan the Engagement Challenge, and seem excited to see him when he does return - so was she just playing him and Humphrey off each other the whole time?
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Shooting Star and The Star Shines are probably fantasy distilled into music form.
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- Septimus probably has a bigger fanbase than the main characters.
- Captain Shakespeare. Many claim that his character alone makes the movie even better than the book.
- Evil Is Sexy:
- Lamia, the main antagonist, is the most played up for her fanservice—this is actually a plot point, since part of her motivation is to be young and beautiful.
- Septimus, the most ruthless of the princes, is also the most attractive. (Which is evident even in the way he dresses, which while not heavily sexualized still plays off the "bad boy" archetype.)
- Ho Yay: Captain Shakespeare winking at Humphry at the end (who doesn't seem disinterested).
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Les Yay:
- Bernard, the boy-turned-goat-turned-hot-chick, who is very happy to be helping Yvaine undress. Though it's not really Les Yay in this case since, again, Bernard is actually a boy, just a girl when this is transpiring.
- And in a much more creepy sense, Lamia and Yvaine pretty early on. The massage scene, anyone?
- Magnificent Bastard: Evil Prince Septimus. Or at the very least, he tries to be one.
- One-Scene Wonder: Peter O'Toole as the delightfully soft-spoken, black-hearted King of Stormhold, who has encouraged his seven sons to kill each other for years. He is disappointed that more than one of his sons is still standing when he's on his deathbed.
The King: Of my seven sons there are four of you today still standing—this is quite a break with tradition, I had twelve brothers—
Septimus: And you killed them all for your throne before your father, the king, even felt poorly.
- Retroactive Recognition: Matt Murdock is vying with Superman for Victoria.
- She Really Can Act: Claire Danes received great praise for absolutely nailing an English accent. Some even claimed it sounded more natural than her real voice.
- Visual Effects of Awesome:
- The epicness when Lamia kills Septimus by throwing his voodoo doll into a pond and thus making Septimus FLOAT IN MID-AIR has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
- Not as dramatic, but almost as impressive, is the scene where Yvaine tries to maul the witch Sal only to bounce off her like a magnet. Except with sparks. Quite a mastery of stunt-acting and CGI.