* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Ruth's played as a dotty old woman, but she's the only one who knows what's going on at all times. Indeed, she nearly marries young Frederick, knowing he's a lord while he's ignorant of it. Despite being only a nurse, she's there with the pirates every step of the way after Frederick rejects her, and takes a personal hand in both returning him to their fold and in TheReveal that the entire ship is crewed with orphaned lords. Given that the pirates themselves had no idea of this, it's plausible Ruth's the true mastermind behind the film's events.
* AwesomeMusic:
** "WithCatlikeTread". Really, when your song involves being as bombastically loud as possible, with the singers [[LargeHam hamming it up ludicrously]], awesomeness is generally a side effect.
** There's also "The Pirate King", one of the most infectious songs about Pirates!
** Ten words; "I am the Very Modern Model of a Modern Major-General".
** From a purely-musical standpoint, this opera contains two brilliant examples of counterpoint writing--creating separate and quite different melodic lines that nonetheless fit together when played simultaneously--in "How Beautifully Blue the Sky" and "When the Foeman Bares His Steel". The first example is even ''more'' impressive in that the lines are in two different time signatures. While he's mostly remembered for accompanying comic operas, Sir Arthur was a talented composer in his own right.
** George Rose stopping every show with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSGWoXDFM64 the all-time greatest version of "I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General]], tongue-twisting like there's no tomorrow. And then he does it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dy44jV8EM ''faster!'']]
* EarWorm: Quite a large number, but by far the most well-known is: "I am the very model of a Modern Major-General..."
* FridgeHorror: The policemens' fear of having to face the pirates may seem like cowardice and the girls assumption that they will not come home alive like hastily jumping to conclusions. Until you realize that these are English Bobbies, who were not issued firearms and were going after ''a band of pirates'' armed with nothing but truncheons.
* HarsherInHindsight: At the time of the writing, Britain and the British military were at the height of their renown, with semi-honorary military ranks being awarded to people with little military experience but whom had helped Britain's conquests financially. [[DontExplainTheJoke This led to the Major General's character]] excelling at everything but anything remotely related to combat. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI A couple decades later]], these [[GeneralFailure dubious leaders were still around]], and the Major General no longer quite as funny for a time.
* HilariousInHindsight: Because, with all our faults, we love our Music/{{Queen}}.
* MemeticMutation: A few things, such as the MajorGeneralSong and "A policeman's lot is not an 'appy one".
** The PatterSong "My Eyes Are Fuly Open" was added to the show by a production in the 1970s, lampshaded by Ruth's actress mentioning the song's from {{Ruddigore}}. The production was so popular it's now expected.
* MexicansLoveSpeedyGonzales: Because of both this play, and ''Film/{{Treasure Island|1950}}''[='=]s use of the Cornish accent as ''the'' pirate accent, the Cornish as a whole happily and willingly engage in antics that turn them into pirates. This carries to such an extent that there is even [[http://www.cornish-pirates.com/ A Rugby team]] called the Cornish Pirates.
* OlderThanTheyThink:
** The melody for "Come, Friends Who Plough The Sea" was later appropriated as the song "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here," not (as you will often see claimed) the other way around. Conversely, this was {{inverted}} by Creator/KurtVonnegut in ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'', with a reference to people "singing 'Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here' from The Pirates of Penzance."
** The policemen predate the [[Creator/KeystoneStudios Keystone Kops]], but are clearly an influence on them.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: After [[TalkLikeAPirate Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver]] in ''Film/{{Treasure Island|1950}}'', Cornish has become the default accent for pirates. At the time, Penzance in Cornwall was a sleepy fishing town, and the idea of bloodthirsty pirates appearing there was absurd and part of the comedy.
* ValuesDissonance: Frederick's "[[HonorBeforeReason slave of duty]]" mindset will tend to strike modern audiences as merely silly. Englishmen of [[Creator/WSGilbert Gilbert's]] day, though, would have recognized it as a parody of their own code of conduct.
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