- And You Thought It Would Fail: Bruce Willis turned down the male lead because he thought the film would flop. He freely admitted that wasn't the smartest move of his career. His then-wife Demi Moore had no such fears.
- Best Known for the Fanservice: The pottery scene is very steamy and sensual, and it's also the film's most remembered (and most parodied) scene. Even Patrick Swayze considered it to be the sexiest scene he ever filmed. Pretty impressive for a scene that has no nudity other than Swayze being Shirtless.
- Catharsis Factor: Sure, the "fight" scenes with Sam against Willy and Carl are not exactly fair, but considering what they did to him, they sure are satisfying.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: The Subway Ghost, no small part due to Vincent Schiavelli's performance, acting as Sam's mentor on how to move solid objects, and his pitiful side to himself when the circumstances of how he died comes to light.
- Harsher in Hindsight: It's hard to think about this film without the fact that Patrick Swayze actually died 19 years after it was released.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Jerkass Woobie:
- The Subway Ghost. He's bitter, overwhelmingly protective of "his train", and largely uninterested in helping anyone else. Still, he died and is remembered under unpleasant circumstances (everyone thinks he was suicidal, and if he was, he clearly regrets it now—when it's too late), not to mention being unable to interact with anyone save other ghosts. That has to take a toll on your attitude.
- Willy and, to a lesser extent, Carl in their final moments. Word of God said that the scenes where they are taken to Hell were included to effectively give their characters two deaths.
- Memetic Mutation: The pottery scene, one of the most oft-parodied movie scenes of the late 20th century.
- Narm: When Carl tells Molly "you're not the one who died", she gives him an incredibly weak slap.
- One-Scene Wonder: Technically two scenes, but the subway ghost.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- In the scene where Molly goes to the police station and gets info on Oda Mae, Stephen Root appears as one of the detectives assisting her.
- Tony Goldwyn (Carl) would go on to voice Tarzan, Whoopi Goldberg (Oda Mae) would go on to voice Shenzi, and Demi Moore (Molly) would go on to voice Esmeralda. Somewhat inverted for Patrick Swayze (Sam), who went on to voice Cash.
- Special Effect Failure:
- The scenes with the dark figures... the green-screen technique has not aged well. Although, one could argue that it makes the figures seem even more creepy and unearthly.
- Two involving Tony Goldwyn at the end of the movie after Carl's Sanity Slippage: when he's waving a butcher knife around while threatening Molly to Sam, the knife wobbles like crazy, indicating it's a rubber prop, and when Carl is impaled, Goldwyn's gigantic blood pack is pretty blatant judging by the pillowy bulge under his dress shirt.
- When Sam is scaring Willy at Oda Mae's apartment, he causes a wall painting to fall on top of Willy. For a brief moment, you can see some sort of rod popping out of the wall that caused the painting to fall.
- What an Idiot!: As fun as it is to watch Sam torment Carl with his ghost powers, writing out his name on the computer was not the brightest decision. Carl now knows who screwed him over, and would be able to go after those who are connected to Sam.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: One of the directors of Airplane! directing a gut-wrenchingly emotional romantic murder drama? Surely, you can't be serious?
- Bruce Joel Rubin, the screenwriter, says he was horrified when he first found out who was set to direct, but he went on to be highly satisfied with Zucker and pleased with how the movie turned out.
YMMV / Ghost (1990)