YMMV / The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Claire laying out a haymaker on Peyton after discovering her secret. Mama Bear indeed.
  • Designated Hero: Claire can be this for some viewers. Mainly because she seems more interested in growing plants than wanting to spend time with her own children.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Especially if it's Rebecca DeMornay.
  • Fridge Horror/Fridge Logic: Peyton isn't able to make Claire think Solomon's molesting Emma just because it's every parent's worst nightmare. It's also because what Dr. Mott did to her has made her extra paranoid. Which raises the icky possibility that she knew all along what kind of a sicko she was married to, but chose to turn a blind eye.
  • Hollywood Homely: No makeup is supposedly enough to make Annabella Sciorra the dowdy alternative to Rebecca DeMornay and Julianne Moore.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Peyton. Losing her baby may have made her a sociopath.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Peyton, who manipulates every situation with success until the very end. She's that smart, and Rebecca DeMornay manages to play her very convincingly.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Peyton crosses this when she frames Solomon for molesting Emma, causing him to get fired. And she just goes further from there...
  • One-Scene Wonder: John DeLancie as Dr Mott.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A lot of viewers can't help but root for Peyton, mainly due to De Mornay's excellent and charismatic performance compared to the rather bland protagonists.
  • Tear Jerker: At one point, Solomon says that one thing he really wants is a blue bicycle, and the family give it to him to show that they consider him very much a part of the family. While this is quite sweet, it becomes absolutely heartbreaking when Peyton accuses him of and frames him for sexually abusing Emma... and we see a shot of Solomon just looking hurt and confused as his bike is taken away from him.
  • The Woobie: Solomon.