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The Movie

  • Awesome Music
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Firstly, there's the sequence at the beginning where Daffy Duck takes over the Warner Bros. logo from Bugs Bunny, attempts to move it back into place, and then ends up with it around his waist.
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    • Later, while Billy is heading to the Clamp Building, policemen in body armour armed with rifles escort an armoured van, which opens up to let out mimes. This is given absolutely no explanation whatsoever and has no relevance to the plot.
    • When the conversation between Dr Catheter and Billy begins to skip, slow and distort, then revealing Gremlins in a theatre showing the film playing shadow puppets. A woman with her daughter comes out to complain to the theatre manager, then the projectionist, looking bruised and bloodied, comes down, stating he is not performing that task without heavy compensation.Then, the theatre manager goes into the theatre and speaks to a patron, who turns out to be Hulk Hogan, and manages to get the movie running again by threatening to beat up the pesky Gremlins.
    • For the home versions, the scene was replaced with a similar bit where the Gremlins ruin the tape the viewer is watching. This prompts John Wayne to gun down a few of them and return us to our movie. "I don't need varmints on my ranch, and you folks don't need them in yer TV set."
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    • And finally in the novelisation, the Brain Gremlin locks the author out of his study and swipes his typewriter, briefly taking control of the narrative until taking off when the author takes a fire-axe to the door.
    • Leonard Maltin dissing the first movie on his show, only to get attacked by gremlins.
  • Contested Sequel: Because the two films are so radically different in tone, it's practically an even split between fans who prefer the darkly comic but largely straight-faced angle of the original or the manic, live-action cartoon vibe of the sequel (which makes some, including Joe Dante, to consider this an Even Better Sequel). Finding someone with an equally positive opinion of both is fairly rare.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Brain Gremlin has charmed many viewers due to his posh and theatrical personality, while still being just as evil as the rest of his fellow Gremlins. It helps that he's played by Tony Randall, who is noted for playing another brainy fussbudget.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • In hindsight that only applies to the writers, the real Donald Trump had started an affair with Marla Maples by the time the film was released, giving Trump Expy Clamp's flirtation with Marla a different vibe. Word of God says the character name was a coincidence, as the movie was produced before the affair was public.
    • In turn, Clamp falling for Marla is harsh in light of the fact that Trump has gone through several wives since his affair with Marla Maples.
    • When the movie was released, June 1990, the gremlins planning to demolish the Statue of Liberty with military grade ordinance served as quick throwaway gag. In February 1993, a 1,000 lbs+ bomb went off beneath the World Trade Center, killing six, and in 2001 the Twin Towers were knocked down.
    • Let’s just say the film now comes off as insanely naive about the kind of person Donald Trump actually is while spoofing him as the lovable Willy Wonka-esque Clamp. Depending on the reader, the throwaway line on the background P.A. system "Wouldn't Clamp make a great President?" from a certain deleted scene is either this or Hilarious in Hindsight. (Admittedly, the original plan was to make Clamp as ruthless as was implied, but John Glover was tired of that specific role, and decided to mix it up instead.)
    • Gizmo mourning Mr. Wing with a black armband, as Keye Luke passed away a year after the film was released. It doesn't help that Howie Mandell sadly says his actor's name instead of the character's after Billy asks Gizmo what happened to him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The extremely overspecialized channels of the Clamp network have become reality. Who knew?
    • John Glover plays Daniel Clamp, an honest, likeable millionaire who subverts many of the stereotypes about corporate executives. Ten years later, he played Lionel Luthor who may just be the trope codifier for the Corrupt Corporate Executive.
      • And of course, the "goofball millionaire" turning into the "Corrupt Corporate Executive" also applies to the character inspiration himself.
    • A LEGO Gremlin (provided by the LEGO company itself for the production) is seen as Mohawk tortures Gizmo in the toy department. Decades later, the Gremlins franchise was one of the licenses to be added to LEGO Dimensions that features Gizmo and Stripe.
    • Also counts as Technology Marches On: When lights in Billy's office go out because he didn't move for a while, it was meant to show how hi-tech and computerized the building was. Now that even fast food restrooms have motion sensors, the problem of being suddenly plunged in darkness when you sit still for too long is much more familiar to everyone.
    • Christopher Lee plays a character who's suddenly killed by an electric shock. Lee would later play Count Dooku, who is no stranger to weaponizing lightning powers.
    • In 2015, the CNN "end of the world" tape that serves as the inspiration for Clamp's "end of civilization" tape was leaked. Joe Dante later joked "I think ours was better".
  • Ho Yay: Between George and Lenny. Then again, all Gremlins are asexual...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Upon ingesting a brain-altering substance, the aptly named "Brain Gremlin" concocts a scheme to wipe out mankind for the cultivation of his people. To do this, he orchestrates comical chaos throughout New York City, injecting his underling with a genetic sunblock and masquerading as a financial adviser to ruin investors with terrible advice. Despite his genocidal designs, he is nevertheless a classy monster, best exemplified by him arranging for his minions to perform classical musical renditions when his victory was at hand and genuinely wishing for the betterment of his people.
  • Narm Charm: The long shot of Gizmo running is an obvious composite shot, but adorable.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The NES game adaptation by Sunsoft is fondly remembered for its active gameplay, its faithfulness to the movie it was based on and its amazing soundtrack as well as its advanced graphics. It was even nominated for several awards.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The Game Boy adaptation of the film wasn't as well received as the one for the NES.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hulk Hogan's cameo features him angrily yelling at the gremlins to put the movie back on after they mess with the film reel, and they do what he says. The gremlins know better than to mess with the Hulkster.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Head of security Frank Forster is played by Robert Picardo, better known as the Emergency Medical Hologram in Star Trek: Voyager.
    • The delivery man in the Clamp building who whistles Gizmo's song is played by Raymond Cruz, now best known as Tuco Salamanca in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Also, the SWAT guy that shoots the dying Gremlin in the end is Dean Norris who played DEA agent Hank Schrader in both series. This time, they don't meet.
  • Special Effects Failure: While the puppetry has held up quite well, the stop-motion of the bat gremlin has not. Nor has the obvious compositing of it into the scenes. Same for Gizmo's full body shots with him dancing or walking down the street.
    • The actual puppeteer of the hand puppet Lenny plays with in the toy store can be seen in a shot.
    • During the wide-angle master shot of the massive gremlin attack in the lobby, where most of the creatures are scrambling all over the railings and up the walls, one gremlin is obviously, hilariously just stuck to the wall, completely rigid and unmoving. What makes it even more hilariously distracting is that this particular gremlin is positioned at almost the exact dead center of the frame, making its completely immobile form impossible to miss.
    • While easy to miss with how fast it goes by, the rubber hand used to hide the fact that John Glover is puppeteering the Gremlin attacking Clamp can be obvious to spot upon repeat viewings by how it doesn't move.
    • There are some moments where the puppeteering of the Gremlins is overly stiff and mechanical at points, such as Mohawk in the control room and George on the cooking show set.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Given the film's more comedic and slapstick tone, on top of the prominence of pop culture and celebrity references, one could make a very convincing argument that this is the best live action Looney Tunes movie. The fact that the film starts and ends like a Looney Tunes cartoon (rings and all) only adds to this.
  • Squick:
    • Forster's smile at his "bride" at the end of the second film.
    • The film shows how the Mogwai multiply in gremlin form, and it's similar to how they multiply as Mogwai, only they don’t come out as hair balls and more like popping out of disgusting boils on the gremlins' backs. They even show it up-close for extra Nausea Fuel.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Daffy, Lenny and George, though part of the first offspring and merchandised as main characters, mostly disappear from the film after the first half. Even their deaths were edited out of the final cut besides the odd Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Brain injects the Winged Gremlin with a serum that makes it immune to sunlight, allowing it to wreak havoc outside in the daytime. The Gremlin's rampage doesn't last very long, as it's deposed by Murray after only a few minutes, and there are no further attempts to recreate the serum that would have rid the Gremlins of their greatest weakness.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Greta, the female gremlin, especially in a wedding dress.
    • Daffy and Lenny are somewhat less uglier than the other gremlins, likely because of their highly cartoony designs.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: It shows how it's a 1990 film with references to Batman (1989), The Phantom of the Opera, 1980s Donald Trump and Marla Maples' affair, colorization jokes and so on.
    • This got even more jarring with Trump's highly controversial presidential run. You'd never see him spoofed by either side of the political arena as a charmingly dumb, likable, well-meaning manchild now.
    • Hell, Marla merely smoking indoors wherever she is would at the very least be quite frowned upon today.
  • Vindicated by History: Although it garnered decent praise from critics, The New Batch was a flop at its box-office release, likely because had been six years since the first Gremlins film, and audiences didn't particularly care for it. As time has gone on however, people have come to thoroughly enjoy the film just as much, if not moreso than the first film, due to the noteworthy cameos, parodies, and shout-outs to multiple pop-culture references, on top of the utterly bonkers Looney Tunes-esque humor easily masking the recycled plot of the first film.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While the puppets in the first movie are still decent after all this time, the ones in the second film are much more improved, and hold up a lot better than the first one. The Gizmo puppet even gets to move in full-body shots.

The Video Game

  • Difficulty Spike - Stage 2-2 introduces gremlins as enemies proper that replace weaker enemies from the previous stages. They tend to have far more difficult attack patterns and are more durable as well. That in addition to the stage hazards becoming trickier.
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