- Acceptable Targets: A Deconstruction of the very idea of Acceptable Targets.
- The Irish. By a side-effect, eating the Irish will mean reducing the number of Catholics. Everyone wins! And the idiotic youth of the upper class who contribute in no way to society — they can be grilled, too.
- The English. The Proposal takes the attitudes of the English (let's strip them of their rights, steal their land, burn what they have left, then whine about how poor and lazy they are) and takes them to their logical conclusion. Since we already treat the Irish like animals, why don't we eat them?
- Portraying the Proposal as a combination of ideas from an American and the cannibalistic practices of Formosa (modern-day Taiwan) is backhanded criticism of how both groups were dismissed as barbaric by European society.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: The number of people who thought that Swift may have been serious...
- The fact that he begins with a very wordy insistence that he really means what he's about to say may have lead to such confusion.
- Crosses the Line Twice: It's Black Comedy Cannibalism: The Book. Of course it crossed the line twice. Hell, it uses the line as a jump rope, and people still thought it was serious.
- Nightmare Fuel: Let's eat Irish babies! Then again, this is the whole point.
- "Weird Al" Effect: Many modern kids probably wouldn't know of it, if not for the Sealab 2021 episode "Chickmate".Sparks: Like veal....only babies.
YMMV / A Modest Proposal