- Awesome Music: Nina Persson's cover of Restless Heart's "The Bluest Eyes in Texas" that plays over the credits.
- Fair for Its Day: The film was rightfully praised for being one of the first fully positive depictions of trans people in a popular American movie, and is still remembered as an important milestone. However, it still stars a cis person playing a trans person of the opposite gender, which has become a serious point of criticism for the trans community in recent years. If it came out today, it would get serious backlash for this casting. Not to mention for the Bury Your Trans implications of Brandons murder, although this was sadly Truth in Television for him.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Chloë Sevigny had to have a sex scene edited down because her orgasm lasted too long. Let's not forget her eventually infamous turn in The Brown Bunny where she performed fellatio for real on camera.
- Misaimed Fandom: Most reviewers loved it, but while sympathetic to the character, referred to Brandon as female and seemed to think it was a story about a lesbian who felt she had to pretend to be a boy because of homophobia. One reviewer even said something like "in disguising herself, ironically, this young woman helped other girls find themselves." In real life, Brandon was an average somewhat rugged straight guy and had the kind of opinions on feminism and lesbianism expected from a young man born in the Bible Belt in the early seventies.
- Nightmare Fuel: When Brandon Teena's cover got blown, lets just say things got worse for him.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The film drops the anvil hard on homophobia and transphobia, but as noted under Misaimed Fandom above, provided an outlet for many lesbians and transgender people on its release.
- Tear Jerker:
- The story in general. Particularly after the brutal rape, when Brandon has to admit to the nurse on call what happened to him.
- Tough Act to Follow: This was Kimberly Peirce's directorial debut. It was a smash hit, turning Hilary Swank into a star and earning several Oscar nods. Her second film Stop Loss was an Acclaimed Flop that got no awards love. Her third was the 2013 remake of Carrie - which was met with So Okay, It's Average responses. Hilary Swank struggled with this for a while, although she eventually earned a second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby.
- The Woobie: Brandon - a young transgender man in a super conservative region. He just wants to belong, but can't be accepted.
YMMV / Boys Don't Cry