These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The pairings at the end with Bender & Claire and Andrew & Alison, while there are plenty of viewers who find them to be classic examples of cinematic romance. There are also plenty of those who find one or both of them to be blatant cases of Designated Love Interest that would never last. Those who go for the latter often either prefer alternate pairings or believe they all were just too abusive to eachother for any romance to reasonably last.
Common Knowledge: Everyone knows that Bender crawls through an airshaft to get back to the library. Except he doesn't. As this clip shows, he crawls through the ceiling, not an airshaft.
The closing credits music too, which was a song — no, an anthemic powerhouse of a funk/rock dancer — called "Heart Too Hot to Hold" by Jesse Johnson and Stephanie Spruill.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The movie definitely suffers from this. There are practically zero characters that aren't violently unlikeable or dysfunctional on some level, and the Ambiguous Ending doesn't help matters. "Life sucks and then you die" sums it up nicely.
Designated Villain: Vernon. Much like Dean Rooney, you're supposed to see him as the bad guy for being antagonistic towards Bender, despite the fact that he left the detention room without permission, brought drugs to school and got everyone to smoke, had a knife on him and threatened to stab someone with it, and caused thousands of dollars in damages for collapsing the vent. While threatening Bender was a dick move on his part, he never actually carried out that threat.
That and, abuse of authority aside, some folks felt that Vernon threatening Bender was the closest thing Bender got in a comeuppance due to how much of a jerk he was throughout the rest of the film.
We are not alone! You'll find out when your cover's blown..
Fan Fic Fuel: The rather open-ended ending on how it wasn't answered whether if the 5 actually stayed friends or not by Monday in which of course does rely on your stance in the Idealism vs. Cynicism debate. While there are viewers who went for the flat out Idealistic belief that all 5 of them stayed friends and the Official Couples (Bender X Claire and Andy X Allison) did truly last while others believed that they all went their seperate ways by Monday. However there are plenty who Took a Third Option and go with a bit of both. Either on how they all still stay to be friends but the Official Couples didn't last. Or some of them still stay friends while some of them don't (usually its either Claire and/or Andy that ditches them to stay with their cliques and its Bender, Allison and Brian that are still friends. However those who do this option are normally those who ship Bender with Allison). Or maybe those who had already admitted to or exhibited their own coldness drop most of the others (Bender and Claire), while those who said they wouldn't don't (Andy, Brian, and Allison).
Considering the rise of the Education Mama nowadays, watching Brian's subplot with his family may have this effect.
The story of Brian bringing a gun to school, regardless of the fact that it's a flare gun, wouldn't sound funny considering the recent school shootings and suicides, if the implication of him killing himself is true, that have been occurring.
Threatening someone with a knife, like Bender did, would be grounds of expulsion and even arrest charges in this day and age. Even if he didn't use it.
The pot smoking scene, while perhaps funny in 1985, doesn't age well after the "Just Say No!" campaign of the mid-late 1980's put a major damper on the social acceptance of marijuana use among most teenagers, although recent political changes have swung this back in the other direction.
Bender's advances on Claire would land him with a sexual harassment charge, or worse.
Ho Yay: One brief moment, when Bender tries to psyche out Andy.
Bender: You know, you're kinda sexy when you're angry.
Implied Love Interest: In-Universe, early in the film Bender asks Andy & Claire if they are dating and even asked them if they had sex yet in which promptly angered them both. Though to be fair earlier in the film it did seem like Andy was showing interest in Claire at first. But when Claire seems to be wallowing in self pity Andy fairly quickly loses interest in her and soon tries to go for Alison instead.
Some viewers have also said the same thing about Bender and Alison at the beginning of the movie by believing that the movie occasionally implies that they might have had some history together. Bender's line to Alison early in the movie "I've seen you before you know" is considered to be the biggest evidence
Jerkass Woobie: Of all the five kids who have a troublesome background right behind their behavior, Bender in particular counts as such, big time. Andy to a lesser extent, as he's never portrayed as a jerk in the film, but rather hearkens back to something he did.
Misaimed Fandom: Allison is admired by some fans for her proto-goth style and unabashedly quirky behavior, and her makeover near the end of the film is often considered an Unnecessary Makeover which replaces the uniqueness of her look with a more conventional, less interesting style. This overlooks the film's depiction of Allison as lonely and unhappy with her status on the fringe of school society, and desperate for attention and friends: in context, the makeover is a welcome gesture of friendship on Claire's part and a visual indication that Allison is reaching out to her peers, rather than the denial of her individuality that it's often taken to be.
Moral Event Horizon: Threatening an abused kid in a closed room with a physical beating, really? Then going off to sneak peeks at confidential psychological files — and is caught by Carl, who promptly blackmails him.
Squick: Bender is offhandedly shown brushing his teeth with one of Claire's makeup brushes. Claire is later seen using the brush on Allison's face. Also, when Claire takes out her diamond earring and Bender puts it in his own ear without cleaning it. Anyone who's ever had infected piercings knows what happens next.
Strawman Has a Point: While sure it may come off that Claire was acting like a total bitch because of her response towards Brian's comment on if they're going to still be friends when the school week approaches she has made a good point that given each of the group's social classes the chances of them remaining friends Post Saturday Detention is pretty slim and pointed out the reasons why it wont be happening.
Values Dissonance: Both Bender and Andy use the word "fag/faggot" without being punished or reprimanded for it. Today, the word is seen as an insult almost on par with the N-word, but in The Eighties, the term would essentially be seen as just another swear, and doesn't imply that either of them were gay-bashers.
Bender's advances on Claire could lead him to a sex crime charge in today's society where there is more pressure on authorities to take such crimes more seriously.
Brian's punishment of a Saturday detention for bringing a (flare) gun to school is shockingly laughable these days.
Conversely, for someone who went to a school which never had them, the idea of spending an entire Saturday - indeed, any length of time on a non-school day - can seem like cruel and unusual punishment. (Obviously not for bringing a gun to school, though).
There is a relatively minor case regarding the fact that Claire brought sushi for lunch, which serves as a symbol of how wealthy and elitist her family is. Back in the '80s sushi was a far more exotic and expensive dish, but over the years it's become more affordable and gained more mainstream popularity. Granted, as a school lunch it's still out of the ordinary, but not quite to the extent that it was at the time the film was released.
If Vernon threatened to beat up Bender today, his ass would get sued off.
Not necessarily. There were no witnesses, and Vernon was right in pointing out that no-one would take Bender's word over his. Add to that the fact that Bender's parents would also be likely to take Vernon's side...
Wangst: In-Universe Claire is very frequently accused of this but while all of the students have accused Claire of being Wangsty Andy and Bender are the most prominent accusers.