- Alternate Character Interpretation: Did Gregor really turn into a bug, or did he just go insane from all the exceeding amount of work he has faced for years?
- Awesome Art: The drawings that Peter Kuper (aka, the cartoonist of Spy vs. Spy since 1997) made for a 2003 graphic novel adaptation look appropriately surreal and stark, unless you think he ruined the story by actually showing Gregor as an incect. (Kuper also showed Gregor as a human for some flashbacks.)
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The book has been subject to countless interpretations in literature classes, to this day.
- Freud Was Right
- Nausea Fuel: The descriptions of Gregor being covered in wet dust, having a rotting apple stuck to him, leaving behind a trail of slime, eating garbage... ycccch.
- Paranoia Fuel
- Squick: The giant cockroach-form, which leaves a slime trail behind it. Also when Gregor suddenly finds that he no longer likes his favorite human foods, and prefers old rotten garbage instead.
- The Woobie: Even as a bug, Gregor just wants to live happily with his family. They are repulsed by him and decide that everything's better if he's dead.