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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.
YMMV: The Day After
Alternate Character Interpretation: Is the President just trying to cheer up the survivors? Does he actually believe that the nuclear war was worth it because it was preferable to Soviet oppression? Or is he a callous monster?
Hilarious in Hindsight: The President whose speech is broadcast near the end of the movie was originally intended to be George H.W. Bush, but the producers cast a Reagan impersonator instead. The flak they received by this caused them to edit the film, replacing the Reagan soundalike with a "stereotypical Presidential voice" - a voice that sounds remarkably like that of Joe Biden, elected Vice-President 25 years later.
Inferred Holocaust: Aside from the actual holocaust depicted on screen, there's also the fact that most of the country's, and presumably the world's, farmland is now irradiated to the point of total uselessness (as is most of the seed), all of the livestock is dead (say goodbye to meat and dairy products), and many farmers, fishermen, and animal husbandry experts are now dead or dying. Those who survived the original attack will have done so only to die of starvation later.
Fortunately, in real life this Fridge Horror inspired the "Doomsday" Seed Vault — a seed vault hidden away in the furthest reaches of Arctic, just a stone's throw from the north pole. Now if we all die from nuclear fallout, our grandchildren might just have a chance.
The food situation is briefly touched upon in the film itself. One farmer, providing instructions from the government, tells the surviving farmers that in order to make their farms usable again, they'll need to burn their plants and remove the irradiated topsoil to get to the untouched ground beneath. Jim Dahlberg immediately shoots this idea down, asking just where they plan to put about 3 million cubic feet of dirt per farm while pointing out that once the top soil is removed, it's going to be the dust bowl all over again.
Nightmare Fuel: While this entry is required to be on YMMV by TV Tropes rules, there is zero doubt that everyone with half a brain who was alive at the time it was shown found it extremely disturbing to know it could happen for real at any moment.
Among those affected included President Ronald Reagan, who said he had been shocked and deeply disturbed by the movie.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In a time when people were all too willing to have a nuclear war, this needed to show that it was a suicidal idea to do so. Thank God that the anvil hit the heads of the right parties, and detente quickly followed.
This is summed up by the disclaimer that states that the effects of a real nuclear war would be far worse than what was in the film.