- Awesome Music: When Johnny Boy walks in with a chick on each arm. Slowmotion walking and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" just work, man. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" would work in a black screen anyway, but still.
- "Be My Baby" is played over the opening credits, and it works magnificently, with the opening drum beats resembling gunshots.
- Crazy Awesome: Johnny Boy.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Although he's only a supporting player, Robert De Niro's performance as Johnny Boy stole the show in its original run and made him an overnight star. In light of De Niro's later roles, it's actually quite different, far more frenetic and unbalanced than the types he played later on.
- One-Scene Wonder: David Carradine as the drunk who gets shot at Tony's bar.
- Retroactive Recognition: An impossibly young David Proval, decades before he played Richie Aprile, as Tony.
- The Woobie: Teresa. Charlie counts as well.
- Jerkass Woobie: Johnny Boy. Sure, he is a Psychopathic Man Child who is constantly raising hell and getting Charlie in trouble, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him as he weeps like a child when confronted by his friend towards the climax. Charlie put it best when referring to him as "just a kid who needs to be helped, that's all...".
YMMV / Mean Streets