- Angst? What Angst?: After the "Super Freak" fiasco, the pageant officials decide not to press charges against the Hoovers as long as Olive never enters any beauty pageants in California again. After all the hell they went through to even get Olive to the pageant in the first place, their reaction is pretty much "That's okay with us."
- Crosses the Line Twice: Olive's beauty-pageant performance: an inappropriate and borderline erotic performance, set to the tune of "Super Freak", which, ironically, has her wearing more clothes than some of the other contestants.
- Also, Grandpa dying? Tragic. The family stealing his body from the hospital so they won't "leave him behind" and then putting him in the trunk of their bus? Priceless.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: The biker dad, Kirby and Ms. California.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- The beginning of the film is set at Albuquerque, has drugs as a sub-plot and stars Bryan Cranston (as an obnoxious business man) and Dean Norris (as a cop) in minor roles. Two years later, the two will headline a TV show set in Albuquerque involving drugs as the main plot with the former portraying a teacher-turned-drug lord and the latter playing a high-ranking cop.
- The audience's reaction to Olive's dance number can be compared to the backlash Abigail Breslin met when she posed sexy in 2013.
- Informed Wrongness: The pageant directors are hypocritical for having a problem with Olive's performance while their entire competition involves children in swimsuits, but that doesn't make Olive's any less inappropriate. The movie still paints them in the wrong for it.
- Memetic Molester: The pageant announcer's creepy mannerisms and constant invasion of the pageant girls' personal space makes him come off as this.
- Memetic Mutation:
- Olive's dance number
- "YEAH, ALRIGHT!"
- One-Scene Wonder: "YEAH, ALRIGHT!"
- Signature Scene: Olive's performance set to Rick James' "Super Freak".
- The beauty contest. Which goes into Nightmare Fuel if you consider that those girls all were real-life beauty pageant contestants and those were their real contest performances (minus Olive's, of course). To be fair, though, some of the girls' mothers insisted that things like the leg waxing were made up. Still depressingly Truth in Television.
- Happened by accident with the biker dad sitting next to Richard. He did have a kid in the pageant, Word of God said that in most of these things you do see more guys in the audience cause the mothers are backstage with the daughters.
- Probably intentional with the pageant announcer, who gave off a majorly creepy vibe.
- Tough Act to Follow: Dayton and Farris didn't direct another film for six years. Their next film, Ruby Sparks, is about a writer who wrote a successful book in his late teens, but has been suffering from writer's block ever since.
- What an Idiot!: Frank, considering the whole family is in a hurry to make it to the pageant and there's already been enough delays like a death on the trip, maybe you can have waited until you've arrived at the destination before telling Dwayne that color-blind people can't be pilots. Mildly downplayed in that Dwayne clearly knew something was wrong, as seen by his panicked "What?" as he looks at Frank's face. Frank probably decided it would better to let him know rather than make him wait.
- The Woobie:
- Olive. She is obviously not pageant material, but God bless her, she's so adorable and determined that you can't help but love her.
- Dwayne. You had to feel for the guy during his breakdown.
- Really, every main character qualifies for this trope on some level.
YMMV / Little Miss Sunshine