Buckwheat comes off as an Ethnic Scrappy to modern viewers, but having a black character accepted as an equal by his white peers was still a huge step forward then.
Stymie is easier to accept; he may be poor and illiterate, but he is easily the smartest Rascal of the gang before Spanky took over that role.
Follow the Leader: The shorts spawned a few imitators, such as Mickey McGuire, Hey Fellas, and McDougall Alley Kids.
Harsher in Hindsight: In "Fish Hooky", the kids decide to write phony sick notes to their teacher in order to play hooky. Stymie suggests saying he has Pneumonia on his. Matthew Beard (the actor who played Stymie) died of pneumonia in 1981.
Only Barely Renewed: Hal Roach nearly cancelled the series in 1936, but distributor Louis B. Mayer persuaded him to continue the series in a one-reel format (reducing the running time of the shorts from 20 minutes to 10 minutes).
Values Dissonance: Some modern viewers are put off by Darla's wriggling and vamping, especially in the musical numbers.
Viewer Gender Confusion: Buckwheat is a boy, though an unrelated character with the same nickname was previously played by a girl.
"Weird Al" Effect: The Flory Dory act from "Our Gang Follies of 1936" was a parody of a popular Edwardian musical comedy called "Floradora."
Values Dissonance: Petey is a Pit Bull breed (sources differ on whether he is a Staffordshire Terrier or an American Pit Bull Terrier). Modern Dog Stereotypes have them as dangerous and often guard dogs. In the early 20th century, they were seen in a similar way to German Shepherds are today—protective of family, sweet tempered, and great with kids. Petey even helped boost their reputation as "nanny dogs".
Written-In Absence: In "All About Hash", Buckwheat's absence from a scene is rather lazily thrown in by Alfalfa - Buckwheat couldn't join the others because his dad brought home a chicken for dinner.
In "Canned Fishing", Buckwheat explains that Porky decided to go to school instead of playing hooky with the others.
Tropes specific to Hanna-Barbera's version:
Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Pete's Big Break", Buckwheat is shown operating a makeshift movie camera while the kids rehearse for the TV commercial. His voice actor, Shavar Ross, grew up to become a respected filmmaker.
Tropes specific to the 1994 movie:
Audience-Alienating Premise: For some fans of the original shorts, the fact that the children aren't poor and look like yuppies may stop them from seeing this version.
Ear Worm: "We got a dollar, we got a dollar, we got a dollar, hey hey hey hey..."
Hilarious in Hindsight: "Nothing beats a buck on a duck!" American college football's first playoff tournament came down to a match-up between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks.
Moment of Awesome: Alfalfa demonstrating why you should Beware the Nice Ones when he punches Butch hard enough to knock him into a muddy pig pen. Woim, intimidated by this, then throws himself into the mud so avoid getting punched.
Darla kicking Waldo out of his own car and finishing the race herself.
Moral Event Horizon: Waldo is an arrogant, spoiledJerk Ass, but he crosses into this territory when he uses tire spikes against Alfalfa and Spanky in the race, a potentially dangerous trick. Darla even calls him out on this, and proceeds to break things off with him and kicks Waldo out of his own racer.
Likewise, Butch and Woim cross it when they throw a smoke bomb on Spanky and Alfalfa's racer.