- Award Snub:
- Many Al Pacino fans consider that this is the movie Pacino should have won Best Actor for. (The problem was being against Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.)
- John Cazale is famous for how all the films he appeared in in his short career were nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, but his performance in this film was the only time he himself received a nomination - with the Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor. He still didn't win.
- Fair for Its Day: Sonny's motive is to raise money for his wife (a pre-operative trans woman)'s gender reassignment surgery. While some characters express thoughts that would be considered ignorant today, overall, the movie's narrative treats Sonny's motive in a completely sympathetic, non-stereotypical and matter-of-fact way.
- Harsher in Hindsight: A hostage offers cigarettes to Sal (played by John Cazale) but he declines, saying "I don't want to get the cancer." Cazale died of cancer after making The Deer Hunter.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The next time Chris Sarandon and Carol Kane were in a movie together, it was as very different characters than we see here.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- Sonny and then some.
- Sal, too, though it's debatable how much of a jerkass he is compared to Sonny.
- Memetic Mutation: "Attica! Attica!" (Actually that's from the real life version of these events, but most people know it from this film.)
- One-Scene Wonder: The pizza delivery man, who's so thrilled to be involved in the incident that he does a dance for the cameras.
- Retroactive Recognition: One of the FBI agents on-scene is played by then-unknown Lance Henriksen. He's a silent background character until the end.
- The Woobie: Leon. Sal can also be this at times.
YMMV / Dog Day Afternoon