* {{Anvilicious}}: "Stop [[GreenAesop destroying your planet with primitive technology]] or we will stop all your technology. And that's only because HumansAreSpecial [[HumansAreBastards Bastards]]."
* {{Designated Hero}}: Klaatu.
* {{Designated Villain}}: Secretary of Defense Regina Jackson, one of only a couple of characters who display any common sense and intelligence at all in the film.
* EsotericHappyEnding: Klaatu agrees to spare the Earth and humanity, but only after he generates an EMP so powerful that it stops ''all'' technology on Earth. Given how technologically-dependent our whole society has become, it's more than likely that mankind will plunge into a dark age with millions, perhaps even billions of deaths. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint But at least Jacob finally called Helen "Mom", right?]]
* FridgeLogic: So, the aliens have had a spy with us since 1920, long enough to bond with us, but he doesn't bother telling alien!Keanu of our capacity to mourn our dead and to love our (step) children even though that's precisely the data that ultimately causes us to be spared.
** Aliens come into planet, first choice, though they don't have any visible weapons of any kind is shoot shoot shoot!
* InferredHolocaust: Maybe. The period of time without electricity isn't specified. See its entry on the trope page.
* NightmareFuel: A scientist is trapped next to the Gort as metal locusts are eating him away.
* {{Tearjerker}}: Jacob's futile request for Klaatu to bring back his father, and Jacob and Helen's reconciliation afterward. It's so tearjerkery it makes Klaatu decide not to destroy humanity.
** Apparently, the thing that makes humanity worth sparing is our capacity for emotional schmaltz.
* TheScrappy: Jacob
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: in the scene where Klaatu is shown some of the good things that humans do, it would've been enough to have Klaatu say [[WhamLine that he had been on Earth before, with a different body]] to turn a [[SoOkayItsAverage mediocre]] remake into a good StealthSequel.
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: Keanu Reeves really puts effort into his performance and many agree that he captures Klaatu's inhuman nature perfectly. Reportedly he loved the original and wanted to treat it with as much seriousness and respect as possible. In fact the only reason the famous KlaatuBaradaNikto is said ''at all'' in the film (and even than it's barely noticeable) is because [[DoingItForTheArt Reeves insisted on saying it]]; the filmmakers [[CanonDefilement didn't want it said at all or even alluded to]].
* StrawmanHasAPoint: Various characters from the government and military are depicted as being callous, paranoid, and inhumane when they immediately imprison the injured alien visitor and attempt to interrogate him about what he's doing on Earth. Even though the viewers are supposed to be disgusted with their behavior, there's one minor problem; Klaatu is indeed planning to destroy the entire human race, taking all of a day and a couple interviews to verify it as the right course. [[ProperlyParanoid The "inhumane" government officials were completely correct to treat him as an enemy.]]
* UncannyValley: Used deliberately with Klaatu. He has little or no texture on his face, and Keanu pulls off the role of an alien learning human behavior and getting it just close enough (But not perfect) to be unsettling brilliantly.
* WTHCastingAgency: Brilliant scientist Creator/JohnCleese saves the Human race. No, really.

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