- Alternate Character Interpretation: Does Al have a good plan in theory or is the idea that saving JFK would prevent the Vietnam War from going as badly as it did extremely biased and blindly optimistic?
- Harsher in Hindsight: While telling Jake about the horrific history of alternate!2011, Harry mentions that "four of the Japanese islands are gone" due to the Earth's increasing seismic instability. This may or may not count as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, since most of the book was completed by the time of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, but the actual quake is later mentioned in the story. Speaking of the Japanese disaster, also worth mentioning is how in the alternate timeline a nuclear meltdown in Vermont irradiates much of New England.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- In The Langoliers, it's mentioned that because of the way the time rip works in it, you can't, say, go back and stop the Kennedy assassination. Try telling that to Jake.
- The 2016 adaptation casts James Franco (the Harry Osborn of the Spider-Man Trilogy) as Jake and Chris Cooper (the Norman Osborn of The Amazing Spider-Man Series) as Al. Who knew a universe with the Osborns are in good terms exists!
- Hollywood Homely: Sadie in the miniseries. Sure, her face is scarred by her ex, but it doesn't look nearly as hideous as was described in the book.
- Jerkass Woobie: Oswald is depicted as a somewhat sympathetic character, especially in the miniseries.
- Narm: Jake punching Sadie's ex with a cry of "This is for the broom!" While it's true that denying your partner sex is considered a form of emotional abuse in some cases, this is after the guy has kidnapped Sadie with the intention of killing both her and Jake himself, making the righteous outrage over that particular thing seem... misplaced.
- The broom isn't so much about the sexual denial aspect as it was the underlying emotional barrier it represents. Sadie comes to view Jake's odd (2011) mannerisms and obsessive secrecy about his life as a metaphorical equivalent in this relationship to the actual broom separating her and John in bed, and it nearly ruins their romance.
- In the miniseries, all mentions of Sadie being horribly disfigured, needing surgery to look good again etc. In the book she had been sliced from eye to mouth, giving her a big Glasgow Grin but in the series it's on the side of her face and hardly even visible if she just applies a bit of makeup to it. Not to mention it heals into a very nice looking scar in just a matter of weeks, rather than the years it would actually take. In other words she doesn't look disfigured in the slightest in the miniseries and several times you can't even see the scar, yet she apparently needs to have surgery to fix this horrible disfiguration.
- Trapped by Mountain Lions: Enforced and Played for Drama. Al's time portal can only go back to September 9th, 1958, not a day earlier or later, requiring that Jake spend five years integrating himself in late-50s and early-60s society. Thanks to Stephen King's skill with world-building, some fans consider these portions to be the best parts of the book.
- The Woobie:
- Harry Dunning. Not only does his essay move Jake to tears (and help inspire his journey), the universe shafts him in all three timelines; in the normal one his dad murders his entire family and cripples him (Harry) for life, in the next one he's killed in Vietnam, and in the final one he's left paraplegic in the war.
- Sadie Dunhill as well. She was married to an abusive lunatic who later returned to cut her face severely, and almost killed her, and its implied her mother enforced this relationship just to look good in front the lunatic's family. Her current boyfriend, while nice, spouts unusual nonsense and she dies trying to stop Lee Harvey Oswald. Luckily her life in the normal timeline is full of civic achievement.
YMMV / 11/22/63