- Anvilicious: In the last verse of "Found a Job":
Now think about this little scene. Apply it to your life. If your work isn't what you love, then something isn't right.
- Epic Riff: The bassline of "Psycho Killer".
- Face of the Band: David Byrne.
- Fan Nickname: Frantz's steady drumming led to the nickname "The Human Drum Machine".
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: NASA played "Burning Down the House" as a wake-up call for the astronauts on Columbia's final mission.
- Gateway Series: For lots of rock fans, the band is a gateway into Funk and all kinds of dance music.
- Genius Bonus: Inevitable with a band where three of the four members went to RISD and another to Harvard (Jerry Harrison).
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- Lampshaded by Byrne when announcing his post 9/11 performances of "Life During Wartime," saying that the song is "more inappropriate now than it was then."
- Peter Gabriel performed a piano cover of "Listening Wind" and noted that the song, about a man seeing his culture overtaken by Americans and responds with bombings, and plays it sympathetically, could not be written in the age of The War on Terror.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- "Swamp" includes the words "Pika! Pika!"
- In "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)" David Byrne refers to himself as 'a tumbler'
- Apparently there is water at the bottom of the ocean.
- "Found A Job", about a couple making their own shows that are better than TV, predicted YouTube and made-for-internet films and videos almost 30 years in advance.
- Nightmare Fuel: "Unison" is a demo that appears on the 2005 reissue of Remain In Light and it's a catchy, but chilling and eerie song that echoes the lo-fi sound of early Devo. It doesn't help that it opens with a sharp, ear piercing synth note.
- "The Democratic Circus" starts out like a cheerful ditty about the circus, and gradually turns into a vision of apocalypse.
- Seasonal Rot: Set in around True Stories.
- Shout-Out: A possible cryptic one in the video to "Road to Nowhere". Around 1:10...the blonde lion mane...the blue-white striped pullover...the annoyed look...you need freeze-frame to confirm she's NOT Kim Wilde.
- Sophomore Slump: Averted with More Songs About Buildings and Food. Critics and fans consider it one of their best, occasionally even an Even Better Sequel.
- Tear Jerker: "Heaven". Ostensibly about a bar that just happens to be named "Heaven", the idea of the afterlife being sad and lonely still comes through.
Heaven, heaven is a place
A place where nothing, nothing ever happens
- Tough Act to Follow: The reason the band never played live again after the tour for Speaking in Tongues, as captured in Stop Making Sense. As explained in the "self-interview" available on the DVD, the band would only tour if they felt they had something new to say rather than just supporting a new album.