- Angst Aversion: Kes is a rather depressing movie to put it mildly. The story is largely about Billy being emotionally abused and demeaned by just about everyone around him, from his family, to his school peers. Billy's constant suffering, especially the ending where his brother, Judd, spitefully kills his pet bird, Kes, can be incredibly off-putting for many viewers.
- I Am Not Shazam: Most DVD covers and posters of the movie show Billy on the cover, making it look like he's the eponymous "Kes", when actually it's his bird.
- Moral Event Horizon: If you didn't hate Jud for being an awful brother to Billy, you'll definitely want to strangle him when he kills Kes.
- The Scrappy: Judd for killing Kes. Most of the teachers also fall under this for bullying and mistreating the student characters for petty reasons.
- The Woobie: Billy. Admit it, his life sucks...
YMMV / Kes