- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Falstaff some kind of canny Magnificent Bastard who tests Hal, and is eventually surpassed, or just an old fat drunkard who represents the worst excesses of Hal's youth — who is eventually outgrown? Does Hal's rejection of Falstaff fall under Moment of Awesome, Necessarily Evil, or Kick the Dog? Do Falstaff and Hal even like each other?
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Falstaff. To the point that Orson Welles made a whole movie about him, and eventually Queen Elizabeth herself requested a play just about Falstaff — The Merry Wives of Windsor.
- Fanon Discontinuity: Hal's first soliloquy, "I know you all", explains how he's not really a fun-loving rascal — he's just pretending to be one to make it more dramatic when he decides to get serious. A lot of the commentary on the play begins by carefully explaining why he doesn't really mean what he's saying. Of course, if you don't ignore the soliloquy Hal gives, then he's easily the best chessmaster in Shakespeare.
- Out of Focus: Close to being a Non-Indicative Title, the two plays bearing the name of Henry The Fourth aren't exactly focused on him but his son, the future Henry V.
YMMV / Henry IV