- Anvilicious: The Stay in the Kitchen attitude of Rita's husband and family is hammered in very hard in the first act.
- Awesome Music: Probably the most enduring aspect of the film.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Although Rita and Frank don't get together in the film, a lot of fans wish they would have. The Ship Tease during the last 10 minutes doesn't hurt.
- Fans Prefer the New Her: Rita's real name is Susan. Renaming herself for her lessons with Frank is a remnant of the Know-Nothing Know-It-All persona she was developing before learning the Aesop about staying true to herself. She's notably going by her real name when she accepts this, but she's more commonly thought of as Rita than Susan.
- Genius Bonus:
- Frank hides his liquor behind a copy of The Lost Weekend.
- Rita choosing to name herself after Rita Mae Brown. The woman still managed to attend New York University while she was homeless, and earned a degree in Classics and English. It makes sense that Rita would feel inspired by her.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Due to being filmed entirely in Ireland, the film was a hit there. It played in Irish cinemas for over a year.
- Girl-Show Ghetto: Minor example. Some American critics scoffed at a drama focusing on a hairdresser getting an education, but as Julie Walters said, the film indeed struck a cord with many women in similar situations.
- Heartwarming Moment: Rita giving Frank a pen inscribed "Must only be used for poetry."
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
"Has anyone got a carrier bag? I'm not going home on the Tube with this."
- Rita's customer mistaking her for reading a 'bondage book' (she's actually reading Of Human Bondage) can be extra funny when Julie Walters revealed that she read Fifty Shades of Grey not knowing what it was about.
- Frank turning up to a lecture drunk is a dramatic moment in the film. But it becomes very amusing if one watches Julie Walters accepting her BAFTA for the film - where she too had "a drop taken" on the night.
- One-Scene Wonder: Maureen Lipman appears in only about four small scenes but makes a huge impression as Rita's pompous roommate Trish.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The lesson of the film is that education is important, but it's not just about pretentiousness and "meaningless quotes". It's about discovering something about yourself and holding onto your own individuality as you change. Numerous women came up to Julie Walters afterwards and claimed the film inspired them to get an education and change their situation.
- Tear Jerker: The part where Rita realises her mother is a Stepford Smiler, and she sadly says "surely there are better songs to sing". What makes this sadder is that we never see the mother again, so it's not known how she feels about Rita's new life or if they've kept in touch.
- Values Resonance: The themes of trying to escape from a life you've been pigeonholed into, especially when people around you don't want you to, are still shockingly relevant to a modern audience.
YMMV / Educating Rita