YMMV / This Is Spinal Tap

  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The original cover for Smell The Glove (which the Band can't understand why the label finds offensive).
    Bobbi Flekman: You put a greased naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck, and a leash, and a man's arm extended out up to here, holding onto the leash, and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it. You don't find that offensive? You don't find that sexist?
    Ian: [...] Well, you should have seen the cover they wanted to do! It wasn't a glove, believe me.
    • The pedophilia humor in "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight."
    You're sweet, but you're just four feet
    And you still got your baby teeth
    You're too young, and I'm too well hung
    Tonight I'm gonna rock you
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Not only are some of the songs (Stonehenge particularly) fairly awesome, but when you remember that they were written as parodies of real rock songs, they become all the more so.
    • It is telling that the songs still really work even though they're comical and mostly parody. The follow-up album, Break Like The Wind, has this in spades too, and has a bunch of prominent musicians who got the joke (and didn't take it too seriously) guest-starring in the songs.
  • Director Displacement: A semi-example. Since Rob Reiner is well-known and appears in the film, most viewers are aware that he directed, but since Christopher Guest would go on to use the Spinal Tap template for his own series of Mockumentaries, it's often thought of as a Guest film.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bobbi Flekman. Her character was so popular that an episode of The Nanny revolved around her.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    "These go Up to Eleven."
    "Money talks and bullshit walks."
    "There was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf."
    "You think of yourself as a preserved moose?"
  • Fridge Brilliance: The "Mach" piece. Nigel says it's a combination of Mozart and Bach, but it's also a mach piece (as in, say mach 5), something the band members would likely call their music, as well as a "mock" piece, because it's not a real song; finally, if you know your Mozart and your Bach, you know that to call this very pretty but not-at-all classical piece of music a 'combination of Mozart and Bach' is, well, a mockery.
  • The song "Big Bottom" features 3 bassists instead of a guitarist. As in, a large low end.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The story about Spinal Tap's first drummer dying in a "bizarre gardening accident". On August 5, 1992 the drummer Jeff Porcaro from the American rock band Toto died of a heart attack after spraying pesticide on his garden. It was reported that it had been caused by an allergic reaction to the pesticide. This has since been in dispute. The coroner concluded his death had been caused by cocaine use, but his friends and family have disputed this, arguing that Jeff almost never used drugs and that the cause was a combination of an allergic reaction and a heart condition that ran in his family.
    • Ronnie James Dio had a thumb severed while working in his back yard. He even started calling it a bizarre gardening accident.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The experience making this film actually helped Tony Hendra, who played the manager, get over his suicidal depression. The Power of Rock indeed.
    • In the film:
      Nigel: David? Have a good show.note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Billy Joel retiring from rock to write classical piano pieces is bizarrely reminiscent of Nigel's own hidden talents.
    • Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest worked together again in The Princess Bride, in which Guest's character has eleven fingers.
  • Ho Yay: Nigel seems to have a crush on David. At the launch party, both Nigel and David have venereal diseases on their lips (indicating if they weren't kissing each other, they were engaging in a three way.)note  As Roger Ebert noted in his re-review of the film:
    Ebert: When Nigel learns that David's girlfriend Jeanine Pettibone is flying over from England to join the tour, his heart sinks. His crush on David is obvious to everyone except, of course, David.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "None more black", "Quite exciting this computer magic", etc.
    • Up to Eleven was Defictionalized by its inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary, and the movie's IMDb page. Specifically the star rating.
  • Retroactive Recognition: In spades, many of the following actors and actresses would go on to become famous.
    • Billy Crystal and Dana Carvey as a pair of catering mimes.
    • The late Bruno Kirby as a limousine driver. (His part was larger in the Pilot Movie.)
    • WKRP's Johnny Fever as the manager for Spinal Tap rival Duke Fame.
    • David Letterman's bandleader as the band's A& R rep.
    • The Nanny as a record company exec.
    • Dr. Victor Ehrlich (OK, for the younger folks, Stan Sitwell) as a previous drummer during their Beatles phase.
    • The leader of The Avengers (no, not Captain America) as the head of Tap's record company.
    • Diana's rival from the original V as David St. Hubbins' girlfriend.
    • Fred Willard as a military commander at an airbase Tap performs at.
    • Anjelica Huston as the poor prop designer who is told to 'fuck the napkin!'note 
    • B-movie scream queens Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley as groupies.
    • Mr. Bentley from The Jeffersons as a put-upon hotel concierge/twisted old fruit.
  • Squick: One drummer died choking on vomit. Someone else's vomit.
  • Technology Marches On: Dear God, those wireless amps are huge. Also, playing Polaris on the Radio Shack Color Computer. With a keyboard.
    Viv: Quite exciting, this computer magic!
    • One of the band members asks him if he'd blown up any galaxies yet.
    • The band seems to be a generation behind in technology. In the MGM Commentary recorded in 2000, eBay gets brought up a lot and Nigel's doesn't have his own email account.