- Awesome Music: "Lose Yourself". Not only is it counted among the greatest rap songs of all time and is featured on nearly anyone's workout playlist, it's one of only two rap songs to ever win an Oscar, and the only one to win by a solo artist.
- He Really Can Act: More than a few critics were blown away by Eminem's performance.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- Though Detroit has made a few steps forward since the film's debut in 2002, most of the problems DJ Iz cites as plaguing the city still have not been rectified even 15 years later.
- In the film, Jimmy is threatened with a gun after a physical altercation with Wink. In real life, Proof (a close childhood friend of Eminem who also had a small role in the film) was shot to death after a physical altercation in a club on 8 Mile.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- During the rap battle against Papa Doc, Rabbit raps: "1, 2, 3 to the four / 1 Pac, 2 Pac, 3 Pac, 4 / 4 Pac, 3 Pac, 2 Pac, 1 / You're Pac, he's Pac, no Pacs, none!" Anthony Mackie went on to play Tupac Shakur in The Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious.
- Not only is Papa Doc's "secret shame" of Cranbrook a real school notorious among Michiganders for housing some of the most privileged and spoiled elite, it was also attended by that paragon of financial-sector wealth, 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
- Jimmy defending his gay coworker, as well as his friend defending him at the start of the film by telling a bouncer "He's straight" were brought up again after Eminem revealed in 2017 that he used Grindr, a gay dating app.
- Memetic Mutation:
- One-Scene Wonder: Xzibit as the trash-talking rapper at the lunch truck.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Before becoming an Avenger and getting his ass handed to him by a petty burglar turned superhero who can change sizes on the fly, Sam Wilson first got his ass handed to him (metaphorically, that is) by Not-Eminem.
- Taryn Manning cameoed here as Jimmy's ex before hitting it big on Orange Is the New Black.
- Michael Shannon appears here in an early role as the boyfriend of Jimmy's mother. Even better is that Eminem himself is a fan of Marvel and DC and included a line about General Zod in "Rap God", with Shannon acting in the role in Man of Steel.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: The sub-plot with Jimmy's love interest doesn't add much to the plot except for turning Wink against Jimmy, and scenes with her are awkward and don't have much chemistry.
- Squick: Jimmy's reaction to his mother trying to discuss her sex life with him.
- Tear Jerker: Jimmy getting beat up by Tha Free World wouldn't be as devastating if his baby sister wasn't watching and screaming at them to stop. Worse is he doesn't even try to fight back.
- The Woobie: Poor Lilly is completely innocent, yet always ends up the middle of a conflict.
YMMV / 8 Mile