- Accidental Innuendo: The Lonely Goatherd. Especially the line "lusty and clear from the goatherd's throat heard".
- Adaptation Displacement:
- In general, the movie is much more well-known than the musical.
- The songs written exclusively for the movie, "Something Good" and "I Have Confidence", have snuck their way into subsequent stage productions.
- Some stage adaptations have "My Favourite Things" as the song Maria sings to the von Trapp children during the thunderstorm just like the movie, instead of "The Lonely Goatherd".
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Is Georg left heart-broken and harsh after the death of his first wife, only to be awoken by the beautiful music of his children, or was it because he realized how good a good nanny Maria is for them after firing so many? Or does he warm up as he begins to fall in love with Maria?
- Rolfe - oblivious and naive enough to be seduced by the Nazi regime or two-faced bastard? Probably the former in any case.
- The song "16 Going On 17": is Rolfe sincere in the views he espouses in the song, with Liesl playing along with his naivety to get closer to him, or are they both in on it as a kind of game? This also tends to vary from production to production.
- Americans Hate Tingle: "The Sound of Music" isn't particularly well known by Austrians, with the exception of Salzburg because, well, Money, Dear Boy. Sound of Music Tours are quite popular. One of the main reasons (apart from the obvious) is due to the fact that the plays and movies replace the Austrian folk songs that most Austrians were accustomed to. Similarly, the works were not much liked in Germany either for similar reasons. (That and the Bad Export for You situation.)
- Designated Villain: The Baroness. In the musical, the only thing she did wrong was be rich, unliked by the children (and even then, only in comparison to Maria), and choosing not to cause any trouble with Germany to save their heads. She was made a little cattier in the movie, but really at worst she was just preventing Maria from moving in on her fiance. And then there's the live Carrie Underwood show, where, thanks to a virtuoso performance by Laura Benanti, many viewers were rooting for her over Maria!
- Ear Worm: Several songs from the movie have made their way into pop culture, including "My Favourite Things", "Do-Re-Mi" and "Edelweiss".
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- The nuns, of course! They dismantled a car to save an Austrian family from the Nazis! Reverend Mother in particular for being a Cool Old Lady that clearly cares a lot for her fellow nuns.
- That Brawn Hilda who wins third place and gives the Von Trapps valuable time to make their getaway through her shameless and enthusiastic hamminess as she accepts the prize.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Several years before being cast in The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews appeared on a Carol Burnett special where they performed in a parody of the Broadway show. For even more irony, the special and that movienote both have the same musical director: Irwin Kostal.
- Captain Von Trapp asking her if she was this much trouble in the abbey, to which Maria responds "oh much more sir". The real Maria always joked that the film toned her behaviour in the abbey down - claiming she was much worse.
- Liesl asking if she could taste her first champagne at the party, only for her father to say no and send her to bed. Charmian Carr who played Liesl later said that Christopher Plummer taught her how to drink in real life.
- The Baroness says to Captain von Trapp that his cook's good Wiener Schnitzels are making her put on weight. In Real Life Christopher Plummer put on several pounds during filming in Austria, so his costumes had to be made bigger.
- The finale has the Von Trapps hiking through the mountains to get to Switzerland, which is now known to be a severe case of Artistic Licence - Geography - and in reality they just got on a train. In the Julie Andrews film Darling Lili, when her character runs for the border, she does indeed get on a train this time.
- Another Darling Lili one. Julie Andrews claims that the helicopter getting the opening shot kept knocking her over with the force of its blades. In the finale of Darling Lili, her love interest flies low past her in a field, not knocking her over.
- Maria's shocked reaction to the Von Trapp family having seven children - when you realise in real life that Maria had three more children with the captain in addition to the seven.
- Inferred Holocaust: The nuns' fate for sabotaging the Nazis' car. At the time, Nazi Germany and the Catholic Church were not on good terms, with reprisals being a real occurrence, meaning the convent was likely executed.
- Memetic Mutation: It's become common to caption pics of Maria in the opening song with, well...
- Moral Event Horizon: This happens when Liesl's boyfriend Rolfe joins the Third Reich. He threatens to shoot the von Trapps when he catches them trying to escape, but the Captain confiscates the gun and then says:
Captain von Trapp: You'll never be one of them.
Rolfe: (yelling out) LIEUTENANT! LIEUTENANT, THEY'RE HERE! THEY'RE HERE, LIEUTENANT! (blows whistle)
- A case of Adaptational Villainy, as the original musical version has Rolf helping them to escape.
- Narm: The scene in the movie where the Captain tears up a Nazi flag becomes this if the viewer notices that the flag already has a rip, which Christopher Plummer searches for, then makes bigger.
- Newer Than They Think: "Edelweiss" was written for the musical: it is neither an Austrian folk song nor the Austrian national anthem (as President Reagan believed).
- Older Than They Think: In the 2013 live-TV version, the actress playing the Baroness wears some hippie-like bell bottoms for one scene. Despite seeming like a glaring anachronism, it is plausible: bell-bottomed trousers were fashionable for upper-class women in the 1920s and '30s. (They probably weren't "fire-engine red", though.)
- One-Scene Wonder: The Brawn Hilda who wins third place at the concert, and won't get off the stage.
- One True Pairing: The Captain and Maria. Go on, try to find something that pairs them with anyone but each other.
- Padding: For the film version, "The Lonely Goatherd." The montage doesn't help the plot in any significant way or form, nor does it help with character development like the musical version, which it was played at the thunderstorm. In the movie version, the montage is just "there" and appears to serve no purpose whatsoever. A Blu-Ray bonus feature discussing all of the numbers tries to at least designate "Lonely Goatherd" as the one that convinces Uncle Max to sign up the Von Trapps for the festival. Although, it doesn't mark the first time he heard them sing, nor does he appear to have them sing it again during rehearsal or the festival.
- Painful Rhyme: "So Long, Farewell" painfully twists an English word to fit with a French one:
To yeu and yeu and yeu
- Values Dissonance: "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" is full of this now that feminism is such a thing. Considering that the song is sung by the rat bastard who sells the family out to the Nazis in the movie, that the Nazis aggressively promoted total obedience and traditional household roles for women and Liesel acts almost as aggressive towards Rolfe as the men in the song would towards her, the reprise — in which Maria blissfully sings about the "adventure" of finding a man to "belong to" through marriage — seems especially hard to defend.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: In the NBC version, Maria's dress on her first day as governess looks much nicer than in previous productions, not to mention less consistent with the description given in Maria's autobiography, which means all dialogue about its extreme homeliness no longer make sense.