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1* AngstWhatAngst: Grace gets raped by the brakeman and reappears after a TimeSkip cheerfully in the background. Granted some time has passed but still. This is partly a result of the adaptation where [[spoiler: ''Sally'' was the one who got raped and ended up killing herself from the trauma]].* BrokenBase: The ending. One half feels that the original DownerEnding was more realistic and made a powerful statement about just how much of a CrapsackWorld society was at the time - and that a happy ending turns it into somewhat of a BrokenAesop. The other half says that a happy ending helps give some optimism to a very grim and bleak story.* FridgeHorror: Although Aunt Carrie looked like she was welcoming the kids to stay with her, would she have made them work as whores to earn their keep? * SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments: Eddie's father's reaction to him selling his car to get some extra money.--> "I'll never be more proud of you than I am now."* HilariousInHindsight: Once you realise where you recognise Eddie's voice from, you wonder [[{{WesternAnimation/Pinocchio}} why he doesn't just head to Pleasure Island instead]].* HoYay: Eddie and Tommy are incredibly close, care deeply for each other and have several touchy-feely moments. The end scene has Eddie giving Tommy an affectionate nuzzle. Early in the film he even refers to having a "date" with Tommy.* NarmCharm: Eddie's little somersault at the end. Silly and a bit too schmaltzy sure. But still {{Adorkable}}, and he actually did the stunt for real.* StoicWoobie: Eddie has to grow up very fast and very harshly, but he keeps on going and trying to make the best of a bad situation.* TearJerker:** Eddie selling his beloved car Leapin Lena just for $22 so his parents can have some extra money.** [[spoiler: Tommy having his leg amputated]]. Although his friend tries to comfort him, he gives a heart-breaking speech about all the things he won't be able to do now.* UnbuiltTrope: ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies'' is thought to be the TropeCodifier for the TeenageWasteland. This predates it by nearly twenty years and reads like a deconstruction of said trope. The teens are forced into hardship by the economic troubles of the day and do what they have to do just to survive. They're treated like lowlifes by a society that would rather ignore them than help them.* ValuesResonance: The film's messages about how economic hardships affect the youth of the day are all too relevant in the wake of the 2008 recession - which saw many teenagers drop out of school or else be taken out simply because their families needed the money. The statements about homelessness and society's attitude towards vagrants have also aged very well.

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