YMMV / The Sandlot

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Cracked posited that the entire movie can be read as a metaphor for the desegregation of baseball. The Sandlot boys are all multi-racial and scrappy while the Jerkass rich popular team is all well-off and white. The Beast represents the monster of prejudice, which gets torn down when they topple the fence and find the cache of lost baseballs, allowing them to play forever. Mr. Mertle is even built up as a scary old man who, perhaps not coincidentally, is played by a black actor and revealed to be friendly once the boys get to know him.
  • Awesome Music: "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the M.G.'s, which plays when the sandlot boys have their confrontation with the Little Leaguers.
  • Critical Dissonance: The film has mixed reviews from critics with a 57% on Rotton Tomatoes but very positive reviews with audiences with a score of 89%.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Ham is one of the best-remembered characters in the movie, despite having relatively little screen time. It helps that some of the most meme-tastic lines in the film (see Memetic Mutation and Signature Scene) are said by him.
    • Squints is very popular amongst the fans, too.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Forcibly, nonconsensually kissing a girl is an important, cheeky rite of passage. It's said that they were "banned from the pool forever that day", but this is a sidenote, so the example is still valid. She's even said to have been impressed by it and married him in the epilogue.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Smalls' mother telling him to get into trouble during the summer (not too much, but some) becomes not so funny after the actor who played Smalls got arrested 20 years later.
    • It's hard to imagine Squints getting off with just being banned from the pool for life over his stunt. Sexual harassment and matters of consent have become Serious Business even for children. Today he could likely expect serious legal ramifications. Since the movie took place in the height of the Mad Men era when sexual harassment was as American as apple pie, he probably would've just gotten slapped back then.
  • Harsher in Hindsight / Hilarious in Hindsight: Depending on how you look at it, at the end of the film, Bertram is revealed as getting into the 60s and no one saw him again. Bertram's actor, Grant Gelt's final acting credit was for a made-for-tv movie called "The Sixties".
  • Ho Yay: Smalls and Benny.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Nausea Fuel: The fair scene, in all its glory. Surprisingly works quite well as An Aesop.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Beast's backstory is unsettling for an adult and downright pants-ruiningly terrifying for a kid.
  • One-Scene Wonder: James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle, the owner of the junkyard and Hercules aka "The Beast".
  • Signature Scene:
    • The standoff between the Sandlot kids and their rival team.
      Ham: You play ball like a girl!
    • The chase scene with Benny and the Beast.
      Benny: Sandlot! Sandlot! Sandlot!
    • The how you build some s'mores scene.
      Ham: You're killing me Smalls!
  • Sequelitis: The second movie is not really liked due to its Recycled Script. Subverted with the third movie, since it is better received, but not as much as the first one.
  • Special Effect Failure: The cutaway shots of fireworks during the Fourth of July game are stretched horizontally (the fireworks appear oblong), meaning non-anamorphic stock footage was spliced into the film.
    • The animatronics used in many scenes for The Beast don't hold up particularly well. Though in a bit of Fridge Brilliance that may make them work even work better considering his mythic status among the kids.