- Anvilicious: Most of the racism aimed towards Jin in the novel, apart from the Innocently Insensitive moments from his third-grade teacher and Greg, who show a far subtler form of prejudice.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Chin-Kee, of course. Much like many South Park characters, he's so offensive he loops back around to being hilarious.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: Jin and Wei-Chen end up reconciling after Jin apologizes, but there's always going to be an awkward wedge in their relationship, and Wei-Chen's lifestyle might have tragic consequences down the road when he has to account himself before Tze-Yo-Tzuh.
- Genius Bonus: The four emissaries of Tze-Yo-Tzuh are the human, the lion, the ox, and the eagle: the four gospel animals in Christianity.
- Moral Event Horizon: Subverted; Jin assumes that he crosses it after betraying Wei-Chen and calling him a "fob". That's because he then turns into Danny. When the Monkey King poses as Chin-Kee and harasses Danny, however, he explains it's not because he blames Jin for Wei-Chen's failure. He exists to serve as Jin's conscience. This allows Jin to regain his true form and make things right.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: While it's certainly not subtle about its message, most agree that the bluntness of the aesops of the story render them (and the book itself) more effective.
- Micro-aggression, expression of racism in a softer form, will damage the recipient.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Suzy departs from the story after her falling out with Jin and never appears again. There's no apologies or any follow up which is a shame because she, Jin and Wei almost had a ¡Three Amigos! thing going on and the story prioritized Jin and Wei's relationship with each other rather than to her.
YMMV / American Born Chinese