- Fridge Brilliance: During her execution, Mary doesn't seem to have aged (in reality, she was 44 when she died). However, in the voiceover that plays over the scene, Elizabeth states that she imagines Mary as being just the same as the day she met her around two decades ago.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: David Tennant has already played a sexist man unhappy about a female monarch.
- Just Here for Godzilla: Some viewers wanted to watch the film just to see Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I, as it's rather different from her usual roles and the promotional photos of her in full costume and make-up were quite visually striking.
- Mary giving a speech to the camera during her execution raised a few chuckles in theatres.
- That Mary's ladies in waiting literally rip her black dress off her to reveal her red shift, prior to her execution; one critic compared it more to a striptease than to the starkly dramatic moment it was meant to be.
- Elizabeth's Queen of Hearts makeup, due to how garish it is. A few people even compared the overall look to Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
- Signature Scene: The secret meeting of Elizabeth and Mary, which forms the film's climax, and is the first and only time they meet in person (which didn't actually happen in real life, although in the film itself Elizabeth does tell Mary never to speak of the meeting and that she will publicly deny it ever took place).
- Uncanny Valley: Elizabeth I's increasingly heavy face make-up can evoke this.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Mary is so arrogant, hotheaded and ruled by her emotions it's hard for some viewers to really root for her at all, especially since she never seems to learn from her mistakes, going so far as to actively rage against those who attempt to give her sound advice and not really think of anyone besides herself, much less her divided country. When she runs off to England to escape the revolt of her own lords she begs Elizabeth's protection and help to reclaim her throne, only to then lash out when Elizabeth points out she can't due to risking outright war with Scotland and even calls Elizabeth her inferior and claims she is Elizabeth's queen! There are also a few moments where Mary takes some rather petty potshots at Elizabeth, such as sending her a subtly mocking letter when she knows she's bedridden with smallpox and publicly calling her "barren" (Elizabeth wants children, but isn't in a position to have any).
YMMV / Mary, Queen of Scots (2018)