- Designated Villain: Dick Deadeye is treated as a knave and rapscallion mostly due to his looks and his Unfortunate Name. The rest of the crew shout him down even when he's agreeing with them.
- Fridge Logic: A famous example. If Ralph and the Captain were switched as babies, then they must be the exact same age. Wouldn't that make things a bit awkward for Josephine?
- Also if Buttercup was old enough to nurse Ralph and the Captain doesn't that make their marriage a bit weird as well?
- Also - how old are Ralph, Josephine and the Captain? Ralph is "the smartest lad in all the fleet", and probably isn't more than about 25: to have a grown-up, or fairly grown-up, daughter, Corcoran must be at least 40 (especially to have attained Captaincy); he's a widower, and generally seems to have greying temples.
- If we put Josephine at 15 and the men at 30, the age gaps are plausible.
- Memetic Mutation: A notable Older Than Radio example is the "What, never?", "No, never", "What, never?" "Well, hardly ever." exchange, which proved to be quite an ear worm. The editor of a certain London newspaper is said to have threatened to sack any man on staff quoting the passage, his rant ending with "I never want to hear that joke again!". Cue everyone...
- "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This play may seem like a stream of cliches to some of us these days but when it premiered in 1878 nobody had ever seen anything like it.
- Values Dissonance
- Sir Joseph's marriage to his cousin Hebe is removed from a fair number of contemporary productions, due to marriages between cousins becoming less acceptable.
- It's presented as a given that high birth makes one essentially superior due to better blood. Thus, as soon as the baby switch is revealed, the roles of Ralph and Captain Corcoran are reversed. Depending on how much you believe G&S believed in blood superiority, that may also explain Captain Corcoran's professed talents, "Though related to a peer, I can hand, reef or steer, or ship a selvagee" not to mention Ralph being "the smartest lad in all the fleet" and able to win Josephine over. Blood will show.
- It's a satire on the "given" idea of class/blood superiority - the reductio ad absurdum is that Ralph and Captain Corcoran swap military ranks (and in some productions they may even swap accents) when the baby-swap plot is revealed, which of course wouldn't happen in real life.
- Values Resonance: Mocking political appointees with no practical experience and overinflated egos... that has a good chance of never not being funny. The opera's relatable plot and witty humor actually catapulted Gilbert and Sullivan to stardom and Pinafore was one of the most popular operas on both sides of the Atlantic.
- "Weird Al" Effect: A lot of 90s kids first learned "Carefully on Tiptoe Stealing" in its use in the Freakazoid! episode "The Island of Dr. Mystico."
YMMV / H.M.S. Pinafore