YMMV: The Quest for Karla
- Hilarious in Hindsight: General Vladimir and his group of Estonian nationalists being portrayed as no-hopers.
- Ho Yay: The letter that Bill Haydon wrote about Jim Prideaux to his Circus talent-spotter.
- In the second book, Luke and Jerry have such a close relationship that they're Mistaken for Gay.
- It Was His Sled: It's quite difficult, especially if you read any later Le Carré novels first, not to know the identity of the Mole in Tinker, Tailor.... However, it doesn't really matter as the identity of the Mole is not really a twist and the real meat of the story is Smiley's investigation and how the Mole was being used.
- The Scrappy: It's very hard to find a fan who likes Ann Smiley.