- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- It isn't much of a stretch to imagine Lizzie as severely schizophrenic (especially when her interactions with Fred cause her to act in extremely erratic and destructive ways). When you look at Lizzie's childhood, she lives with a mean mother and rebels against her - except with Fred doing the rebelling for her. When she takes drugs as an adult to make her stop imagining Fred, Fred becomes lethargic. If you think of Fred as Lizzie's subconscious, it becomes a very depressing and disturbing film.
- Many who view this film don't seem to realise Liz is an abuse victim. Her mother had her solely to save her own marriage then when that didn't fix her problems, she took her pain and anger out on Liz as a child. She forces Liz to believe her worth is entirely based around male validation. This social pressure causes young Elizabeth to create Fred who is like a friend, father and ideal man all in one. He's her rebellion against everyone trying to fit her into the "perfect woman" role using force, control, guilt, drugs and even the threat of physical violence.
- Angst? What Angst?: Janie loses her home and every single possession she has. Her response: A mildly irritated sigh and then moving on.
- Critical Dissonance: Hated by critics, considered a Cult Classic by the public.
- Cult Classic: Died a quick death at the box office almost thirty years ago, yet look at how large the main entry page for the movie is here.
- Designated Hero: Fred. He acts like an absolute psychopath and damn near ruins Elizabeth's life but is supposedly doing it for a good purpose, which makes him a good guy.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The movie's themes involving mental illness are a lot less amusing if you know about Carrie Fisher's own struggles with mental illness.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The title itself, considering the death of Rik Mayall.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In spite of the above mentioned Harsher in Hindsight, the title can come off as a preemptive dig at Fred Figglehorn, one of the most detested video series's on Youtube.
- Ho Yay: What does it say about Lizzie that her imaginary friend, clearly representing aspects of herself, likes looking up women's skirts. The skirt of her own mother, no less. The answer: it's pretty damn obvious Elizabeth is sexually repressed. Her mother and husband keep her controlled in a childlike state.
- Jerkass Woobie: Polly. Before her daughter Lizzie leaves for good, Lizzie even realizes her mom must hurt inside and tells her to to find a friend to escape loneliness.
- Nightmare Fuel
- One-Scene Wonder: The Fanservice Extra waiter is astonishingly popular. Although it's not hard to see why.
- Bridget Fonda as Annabelle.
- Tear Jerker: The scene in which Elizabeth has to say goodbye Fred after she'd finally been able to face her fears, with Fred telling her that she doesn't need him anymore. This line in particular is really sad:Fred: You have to go alone...I can't get back now.
- This scene will be even tougher for Rik Mayall fans to watch since his death.
- The flashback when Fred is taken away the first time and sealed up in the Jack-in-the-Box.
- Uncertain Audience: Doug Walker claimed that it can't mesh kids and adult entertainment very well.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Lizzie's father is portrayed as a good man that was driven away by his wife's controlling behaviour but he comes across as very unsympathetic when his response is to walk out of his daughter's life (thus leaving her with said controlling wife) and never contact her again.
- Vindicated by History: In its initial release, critics (and some of the audience) hated the film. Throughout the years though, some have admitted to enjoying the film (even to this day) thanks to some of the hammy performances by the actors and is considered a cult-classic.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It doesn't know how to mix childish fun into a rather adult movie very well, so of course some people would see it this way. For instance, the opening scene is a crayon animation which depicts a toy monkey being decapitated by a guillotine. And that's just the opening.
YMMV / Drop Dead Fred