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  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Conservative Christians are presented as a mix of The Fundamentalist and (in the case of Marianne's father and Micah) Straw Hypocrite. The only one that comes across as even slightly sympathetic is Marianne, who seems to genuinely want to 'help' Olive, and even she is a strong case of Holier Than Thou. On the other hand, several snide remarks in the movie imply that many who hate the Christian group are Christians themselves — the group is hated for being obnoxious and doing Activist Fundamentalist Antics, not for being Christian.
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  • Anvilicious / Author Tract: It is easy to see the film as having a strong Anti-Christian bent; the antagonists are loudly Christian, and Olive's attempt to see their perspective lead her straight into her enemy's lair or into an empty room where no one listens. This largely depends on the viewer's appraisal of the film; see the above entry.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Olive's parents steal every scene they are in.
    • Mr. Griffith got some love too for being a cool teacher.
  • Fanon:
    • It's agreed by some of the fandom that Olive, like her brother, was adopted.
    • Marianne being gay or bisexual and having a crush on Olive.
  • Genius Bonus: The foreign film that Olive goes to see using her free tickets, and whose name she has trouble pronouncing, is not just the German translation of "The Scarlet Letter", but is actually the 1973 German adaptation of the novel.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Amanda Bynes' character is a clean-cut, Holier Than Thou Christian fundamentalist. Since this movie, Bynes has become better known for her drunk driving charges, traffic accidents, disgusting and disturbing Twitter rants, and generally bizarre behavior than she is for her acting. The fact that this was the last film she did before her sudden meltdown doesn't help matters. It makes her "seems as if someone's going on a downward spiral" quote more painfully ironic.
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  • He Really Can Act: Dan Byrd, playing Brandon. The speech he has about how hard it is to be gay really shows off his acting skills.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: On the DVD commentary, while joking about the suits from Sony screening her and the director's comments from the adjacent room, Emma Stone tells the viewer to see the upcoming Spider-Man reboot. Between the date the commentary was recorded and date the DVD was released, Stone was cast in the Spider-Man reboot. Adding to this, her favorite teacher is played by Sandman from Spider-Man 3.
  • Hollywood Homely: Subverted. Olive speaks about her lack of allure, being invisible to members of the opposite sex, and how she has never been the sexual desire of anybody, which would come off as hard to believe given Emma Stone's beauty, but the eventual point of the movie is that it all revolves around image and perception. She was never supposed to be physically unattractive, just viewed that way as a result of her High School status.
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  • Informed Wrongness: It's presented as a Kick the Dog moment for Olive when she tells Mr. Griffith his wife is cheating on him, but she was absolutely right to do that, especially since Mrs. Griffith is not only cheating on him with a student, but also has chlamydia and is keeping it a secret from her husband (which could easily get him sick, as well).
  • Iron Woobie: Olive definitely qualifies. At one point in the film, her fellow students, including her erstwhile best friend are picketing at school with placards calling her a whore, and she still keeps her head up. And when she tells Mrs. Griffith "I could have chlamydia," you want to give her a hug and stand up and salute her. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Memetic Mutation: Olive going "Yuuum!" at the Lobster Shack.
    • The "Pocketful of Sunshine" montage.
    • "What does that matter? I'm adopted." "What? Oh my god! Who told you?!"
    • "OOOOOH, buuuurn!"
  • Les Yay: Marianne frequently comes across as a repressed lesbian who is attracted to Olive. At one point she actually sniffed Olive's hair.
    • Rhi and Olive as well. In the original script, it even says Rhi has had a crush on Olive since grade school.
  • Signature Scene: Olive's Sexy Walk in the hallway wearing her very first "slutified" wardrobe.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: The girl picked to play young Olive looks absolutely nothing like Emma Stone.
  • The Woobie:
    • Brandon, Olive's friend who is bullied for being gay. His "We can talk about how things will get better all night long, but right now this sucks!" speech was especially heartbreaking in light of the multiple gay teen suicides around the time the movie came out (fall 2010). He gets his happy ending though.
    • By about halfway through the movie, Olive herself. In the attempted rape and confessional scenes, you just want to reach through the screen, give her a hug, and tell her it'll all be okay.


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