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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Phelous seemed to think that the aliens were in fact dangerous. He even reedited the footage, turning Mac and Me into a horror film.
    • This Den of Geek! article puts forth a number of tongue-in-cheek re-interpretations of the film (like it being an unofficial kid-friendly remake of The Man Who Fell to Earth) that are actually quite plausible. Basically, this article puts way more thought into Mac and Me than the filmmakers ever did.
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  • Award Snub: Razzie-example: While the film won the Razzie for Worst New Star (Ronald Mc Donald) and Stewart Rafill tied with Blake Edwards (nominated for Sunset) for Worst Director, it lost Worst Picture to Cocktailnote . The only reason it didn't win "Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel"note  was because said category didn't exist yet.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Alan Silvestri's score is way better than the movie deserves, something even stated in the liner notes for the score album (which finally came out in 2014). It becomes a Running Gag in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, with Crow getting a big laugh from Jonah and Tom with "I wanna see the movie this composer thought he was scoring!" during Mac's highway misadventure early on.
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    • The pop songs featured in the film deserve a mention as well. Sadly, only two of them (the Award Bait Songs "You're Not A Stranger Anymore" and "Take Me I'll Follow You") were featured on the aforementioned score album, since they were both written by Silvestri. Luckily, nearly all of the pop songs (save for Flint River Band's "Wait And Break My Heart Tomorrow") can be found easily on YouTube.
  • Colbert Bump: Paul Rudd's adoration of Mac and Me pretty much helped give it the highest profile it had ever received since its theatrical release. Up until Rudd starting subjecting Conan O'Brien and his viewers to the infamous wheelchair scene, the movie was more or less forgotten. Now, it's considered a Cult Classic and one of the most legendary bad movies ever made.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In this somewhat (in)famous scene, all the kids dance in front of wheelchair-bound Eric. You'll get the picture...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The wheelchair scene, frequently played on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and continued on Conan whenever Paul Rudd stops by.
    • In Spanish-speaking countries, Eric's Eureka Moment with the windmills ("It's the straws, that's it!") is the only thing anyone ever remembers about this movie. The literal translation of straws (pajas or pajillas) is also slang for masturbation.
  • Narm: The movie is full of this, with scenes like the wheelchair scene and dance-off at McDonald's probably standing out as the most obvious examples. Then there's the aliens themselves, whose big buglike eyes, awkward movements and mouths that are in a permanent state of surprise make them impossible to take seriously.
  • Never Live It Down: Known solely as a blatant ripoff of E.T. and for its many aggressive product placements.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Mac's stretching hands. Ugh. ET never tried anything like that.
    • The father alien twisting a tire iron into a knot, and later getting hold of a gun. It's easy to see why Phelous thought this would work better as a horror movie.
    • The alternate ending (Yes there is one), where Eric tries reaching to the Aliens and the cop tries to stop him, trips and his gun goes off and shoots Eric through the chest, killing him instantly.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Jennifer Aniston has confirmed that she was an extra in this film, but there's debate over whether you can actually see her in it. In the McDonald's scene there are a couple quick shots of a girl who vaguely looks like her, but in an interview, she says she appeared in a picnic scene, and there's no picnic scene in the film, so it may well have ended up as a Deleted Scene.
    • According to IMDB, Niki Cox is in this film as well.
  • Rooting for the Empire: It's pretty easy to sympathize with the feds in this movie. Similarly to the Alternative Character Interpretation above, our heroes keep telling them that the aliens aren't going to hurt anyone, even though they've done almost nothing but cause mischief at the best and act like wild animals at the worst. Oh, and one of them gets hold of a gun. Any attempt at bringing them under control is justified.
  • Signature Scene: The wheelchair scene, thanks to Paul Rudd.
    • The dance scene at the McDonald's.
  • Snark Bait: A box-office bomb from the 1980s, the film is watched now solely to laugh at its poor construction and embarrassing product placement.
  • So Bad, It's Good: A popular "bad movie night" feature.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The opening scene on the planet has Chroma Key bleeding (black fringes) in most of the shots.
    • Mac frequently makes the sound of wheels moving whenever he moves, and then there's Eric falling into the river (where he turns into a completely immobile and obvious dummy), a scene Paul Rudd frequently showed on Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
    • As the supermarket explodes into an inferno, Eric is a cutout added in post!
    • The aliens themselves in all their rubbery, stiff glory. Doesn't help that their faces are always in a perpetual state of surprise and the animatronics for them barely work.
    • When Eric's neighbor friend is being dragged along the walls and ceiling via the vacuum cleaner trap, she's pretty clearly a dummy.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Eric's death is either this or a failed attempt at such, as he arguably was not close enough to have been seriously affected by the explosion.
    • The alternate cut of the scene with Eric getting shot in the back by accident might have done a better job. Maybe.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Alan Silvestri by miles, as Crow T. Robot can attest.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of this trope; the film very blatantly rips off the premise of E.T. that you'd be surprised to know this was made 6 years after it first came out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Nathan Rabin made the case that the film could have worked as a horror movie instead of what it ultimately turned out as.
    • The writers also seriously missed an opportunity by not having the aliens' resurrection magic also fix Eric's legs so he could walk. (Though in that case they would have needed to have hired a different actor.)
  • Uncanny Valley: The people who designed the puppets for Mac and his family were probably going for Ugly Cute. They failed. Badly. They're positively Nightmare Fuel at some points.
  • Values Dissonance: To a modern audience, giving your kid a birthday party at McDonald's seems like a passive-aggressive way to tell him or her that you hate their guts, but back in The '80s, McDonald's parties were very popular and were one of the best parties a kid could get. And Ronald McDonald showing up at the parties like he does in the film was not unheard of — professional clowns/party entertainers across the country played him, each one handling a certain region, making public appearances at schools, baseball games, etc. That one The Simpsons episode where Krusty the Clown has a clown college for people playing him isn't far off from the truth there.

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