- Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Today probably the most awkward one on film. "It's Nigger! They've done it!"
- Crowning Moment of Funny: The squadron needs to let off steam ahead of the raid. "Right, boys: off with their pants!"
- The book has an even better one. On the train to London to be decorated following the operation, one of the squadron gets very drunk. The end result: "I losht my pantsh. Very awkward. Can't shee the King without my pantsh." There seems to be a theme going here...
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The main theme is unforgettable.
- Ear Worm: The Dambusters March, synonymous with the film and the raid in general, despite being written over ten years later. Popular at football marches and fly pasts, it has even become the tune for a hymn.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The scene leading up to the dog's death is wince-inducing, because of its name.
- Magnificent Bastard: Gibson in real life - he could be a real bitch to work under, but popular with higher command.
- Tear Jerker: The ending.
Barnes Wallis: All those boys! All those boys!