* AuthorTract: Though very subtle, E. Nesbit did allow some of her political leanings to leak into the text.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Aunt Emma's visit doesn't seem to serve the narrative. She's given a big introduction as if she'll be a major character, but then disappears off to India to work as a governess. She even gets a soundtrack shift.
* DesignatedVillain: Subverted. Ruth is dismissed for hitting the children after they cause a bucket of water to fall on her. The children clap after mother dismisses her, but she gives them a very disapproving look.
* DeusExMachina: The Old Gentleman, who is influential enough to help secure their father's release. His name is not given, but it's strongly implied that he is the Prime Minister.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Perks is one of the favourite characters, thanks to Bernard Cribbins's hilariously pompous performance in the film version.
* SugarWiki/FunnyMoments:
** When the children want to get birthday presents for Mr Perks, but don't want to just write 'Perks' on the cake. Phyllis knows his name is Albert and says they should use that since "Albert's a pretty name". Cue everyone gawking at her.
** The girls discover Peter has been stealing coal. Phyllis makes light of the situation.
--> "It's all right, Pete. At least we can burn the evidence."
** When the family first arrive at the new house, the man who drives their carriage only responds with "I dare say" to everything. Mother eventually gets fed up.
--> "If you say 'I dare say' one more time, I shall have hysterics...I dare say."
* {{Narm}}: Peter, in the film version, did kind of overreact to getting the train for Christmas. It's just really overdone.
* NarmCharm: Bobbie gliding around the room during her birthday. Some find it silly, yet others find it fits the tone of the scene.
* NightmareFuel:
** The landslide with the trees falling onto the tracks is quite a startling scene. Not to mention Bobbie refusing to get off the line until the train stops - and it only stops inches from her face.
** And "The Hound In The Red Jersey" portion. Jim breaks his leg while running through the tunnel and only narrowly escapes being crushed by the passing train.
* OneSceneWonder:
** Ruth, who only appears in the first ten minutes. She solidifies this by shouting "stairs, stairs, stairs!" as she climbs up the stairs.
** Also Aunt Emma, who has just one scene complete with a soundtrack shift. Unfortunately her scene is often edited out of broadcasts.
** The carriage driver who responds to everything with "I dare say."
* TearJerker:
** Bobbie's sweet birthday celebration turns bittersweet when she says "would't Daddy have loved this?" and later on she comes downstairs to find Mother crying by the fireplace.
** "Daddy! My daddy!"
* ValuesDissonance: The poem the mother writes to cheer up Jim is about Jim and his friends picking on the nerdy kid and seems to suggest that bullying is okay.