YMMV / The Birds

The Aristophanes Play
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: References to Rhea. Rhea is the name both of Zeus' mother and a South American relative of the ostrich.
  • Values Dissonance: What does Peisthetaerus dream of? A world where parents of attractive children want them taken advantage of sexually.

The Hitchcock Film

  • Adaptation Displacement: Did you know there was a short story? By Daphne du Maurier, no less. Not that it has a lot to do with it.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Annie Hayworth, the school teacher, stayed in the town her ex-boyfriend lived in on the weekends, despite originally being a city girl, saying she didn't want to lose the friendship between them... could it have been something else? Could Annie in fact have been Cathy's real mother, with Lydia actually being Cathy's grandmother given her age and appearance, but being the time period that it was such an out of wedlock birth could not be accepted, so they all just lied about it to save face? It would certainly explain some of Annie's interactions with Cathy at the party and later on Annie sacrificing herself to save Cathy from the birds.
  • Canon Fodder: Just what did cause the birds to attack? It's never specified either way, but that hasn't stopped people from guessing. Explanations range from a sudden heatwave angering them, to the lovebirds somehow causing it. The trailer implies that birds have just decided to declare war on mankind.
  • Ear Worm: I married my wife in the month of June. Risseldy, rosseldy, Mow, mow, mow. I carried her off in a silver spoon. Risseldy, Rosseldy, hey bambassity, nickety, nackety, retrical quality, willowby, wallowby, mow, mow, mow.
  • Funny Aneursym Moment: Melanie's tracking down of Mitch is Played for Laughs and it's just a part of the playful banter between the two. When you learn about how Tippi Hedren was essentially stalked and harassed by Alfred Hitchcock, it becomes uncomfortable.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Melanie being attacked by the birds is this if you discover that the crew lied to Tippi Hedren that they would use mechanical birds in the scene - and she didn't know she'd have live birds thrown at her until the day of filming. She would have to be given a week's bed rest due to the stress of shooting that scene.
  • Narm:
    • "I think you're EVIL! EVIL!" Geez, lady, we understand you're very frightened here, but come on now. Fortunately she got a Bright slap either to get her back to sanity, or as her way of saying "SHUT THE HELL UP!!" to her.
    • When the camera keeps cutting between a trail of fire approaching the gas station, and Melanie making scared faces.
    • There's also Annie's ridiculously over the top reaction to Melanie in her first scene. It's been compared to a scene from a Soap Opera with how un-subtle it is.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Mrs Bundy, the pompous ornithologist, who gets into a spirited debate with Melanie right before the birds attack the town.
  • Paranoia Fuel: You'll never look at birds the same way again...
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Try as they may, Rod Taylor and Tipppi Hendren weren't Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
  • Sequelitis: The 1994 Direct-to-Video sequel The Birds II: Land's End got very negative reviews.
  • Special Effects Failure: The bird effects were extremely technically innovative when the film first released, but look rather ropey nowadays.
  • Tear Jerker:
    "Can I bring the lovebirds, Mitch? They haven't harmed anyone."
  • Unbuilt Trope: One of the earliest films to use Developing Doomed Characters. Except here the horror comes as part of a Halfway Plot Switch, the attacks build up and the developing is all about justifying why Melanie is in Bodega Bay in the first place.
  • Values Dissonance: Earlier in the film, Melanie is searching for Mitch's family home and the local townspeople give her directions to not only his home but also to the local school teacher's home; before that, an apartment resident tells her how long Mitch will be in Bodega Bay. This is jarring from a modern perspective worried about serial killers and stalkers. Then again, because of Melanie's beauty and the fact that she's a woman, she might not have too much trouble.
  • Values Resonance: It's been noted that the film is fairly feminist in that the majority of protagonists are female - Melanie, Cathy, Lydia and Annie - and Mitch is almost Melanie's Satellite Love Interest. The typical mother that doesn't approve of who her son is dating is shown in a more complicated light. The women are also pretty active in the plot - Lydia helping board up the house, Melanie saving the children from the birds and Annie's sacrifice to save Cathy.