- Adaptation Displacement: The film is much better-known than the play.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Many different interpretations of Fräulein von Bernburg exist to the vagueness of her feelings towards Manuela and the age difference between the two. Does she really like Manuela or is she just letting her have a schoolgirl crush? If she does, is it pure romance or is it manipulative attraction to a student?
- Fräulein von Bernburg's kissing the foreheads of her students before they sleep. Meant as a motherly gesture of affection, or something less innocent?
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Manuela's friend Ilse von Westhagen has drawn some fans with her mischievous, dramatic personality. Some turned off with the Student/Teacher Romance ship Manuela with her instead.
- Fair for Its Day: See Values Dissonance and Values Resonance.
- Funny Aneurysm: All the mentions of raising good soldiers and doing the Fatherland proud, obviously, but more emotionally evocatively is the fact that a reveille very similar to the Last Post is repeated throughout the film - this is the Memorial tune and a great show of passion and respect for the war dead in the UK, so it is painful to hear it used by Germans and could even truly anger Brits.
- Les Yay: Manuela has lots of this with her schoolmates, particularly in a scene after the play with Ilse von Westhagen, Ilse holding Manuela against a wall, faces centimetres away from each other as they quietly speak.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The aversion of Show, Don't Tell and its defense of lesbian romance would come across as Anvilicious if it was remade today, but for a film from 1931...
- Values Dissonance: The movie is about a romance between a fourteen year old and her teacher. It has implications of being requited on the teacher's part.
- Values Resonance: On the other hand, this is the first movie to have a pro-lesbian storyline (and the two girls are explicitly in love). Not only that, but neither one dies (even though Manuela attempts to kill herself) or turns Psycho Lesbian. In fact, it's very groundbreaking for its time.
YMMV / Mädchen in Uniform