YMMV / The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Practically invoked. It was designed specifically to appeal to fans of sci-fi and comic books back before such things had the broad appeal they have now, with heavy promotion at Star Trek conventions (ironically, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock beat it at the box office). This is a movie that was specifically designed to be a Box Office Bomb who's hyper-niche appeal would eventually earn it a cult following through TV and home video.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment : Why is there a watermelon there? Reno promises to tell him why, and never does.note 
  • Cult Classic: The film has a devoted following among those who found it on broadcast, cable, and VHS tapes.
  • Ear Worm: The theme that plays over the end credits.
  • Genius Bonus: When he first meets Reno and Perfect Tommy, Jersey mistakes each of them for Pecos. Later comics reveal that Pecos is a woman.
  • Ham and Cheese: Everyone in this film seems to be having the time of their lives, but especially John Lithgow. The fact that everyone went so far over the top is probably why it has retained the cult status it has instead of being entirely forgettable. In fact, in an attempt to actually produce the announced sequel, Buckaroo Banzai vs. the World Crime League; all of the former cast were reported as being enthusiastic about returning to their roles. Unfortunately, the film remained stuck in Development Hell.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • Carl Lumbly playing a lone alien who's arrived on Earth to help a team of heroes defend it against an invading force of rival aliens that have infiltrated Earth under the guise of humans for years? There's no way he'd ever have a role like that again, right?
    • During the opening credits (When William Traylor and Carl Lumby's credits are on the screen), there is a square yellow box equipment-thing in the background, with what look like two white eyes and brown for the lower third. It really looks like Spongebob Squarepants, though could never have been intended to. This wouldn't even be worth mentioning save for the fact that Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) plays Rawhide. Funnily enough, Buckaroo Banzai actually got a Parental Bonus Shout-Out in one 2000 episode of SpongeBob SquarePants ("Big Pink Loser"), where Patrick claims that his life's dream is to "defeat the giant Monkey-Man and save the 9th dimension". ("Monkey Man" was John Bigbooté's disparaging term for humans)
    • Buckaroo's suit during the end credits looks a lot like Peewee Herman's outfit. Although Paul Reubens was already something of a cult figure as Peewee Herman, it wouldn't be till the next year with Pee-wee's Big Adventure that the character would catapult to national consciousness.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I'm sure that in the miserable annals of the earth that you will be duly enshrined!"
    • "This ain't my goddamned planet, understand monkey boy?" must have appeared on thousands of science fiction convention buttons in the years after the film
    • And, of course, "Wherever you go, there you are," shared with Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jonathan Banks played a hospital guard at the institution where Lizardo is staying at the beginning of the film.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Doc Savage on LSD.
  • Values Dissonance: The fact that Buckaroo is half-Japanese is treated as far more exotic than it would be in modern times.
  • Values Resonance: Oancitizen pointed out in his Brows Held High review of this film that pretty much every aspect of it would dictate future superhero movies, especially the concept of the cinematic universe with it's allusions to stories and events that either had yet to take place or already happened. The infamous watermelon gag even reads like a nod to something that only people who'd have read the source material would know had there been any.