- Anvilicious: Never trust your children.
- Catharsis Factor:
- Veda is so despicable that it's so brilliantly satisfying in the book when Mildred finally snaps and strangles her. This results in her losing her career as a singer. Sadly left out of the film adaptation.
- The film does however have a great scene where after Veda reveals that Monte loves her, breaking her mother's heart, Monte turns around and says he would never marry a tramp like her.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: As most characters played by Eve Arden are prone to, Ida is one of the more memorable of the supporting cast for her snarky one-liners. Eve Arden even got a Best Supporting Actress nomination for it. Over time there has even been claims that she came close to stealing the show from Ann Blyth.
- Fair for Its Day: Mildred is a pretty great feminist for a 1940s character. She works her way up from a waitressing job - with literally no experience - and ends up owning her own restaurant. What's more is that she gets a whole chain of them in the film.
- Funny Moments: In the film when Wally is checking Ida out, she responds "at least leave something on me. I'll catch cold."
- Harsher in Hindsight: The film was made around the time that Joan Crawford's career was in the toilet and her relationship with her adopted children was turning particularly abusive. The film Mommie Dearest however plays the irony as "Hilarious in Hindsight", complete with the scene where the kids are made to watch Joan and her personal assistant practice the scene where Joan slaps Ann Blyth over and over again.....
- Values Dissonance:
- Veda's disdain of where Mildred's money comes from is a holdover from the classism that was on its way out. The fact that they have money now is irrelevant to the fact that they don't come from blue blood or wealth altogether. And as this is before Second Wave Feminism, Veda too is ashamed of the fact that her mother is a divorcee and working.
- The same dissonance pops up with the scandalous revelation that Veda...is working as a lounge singer. As in actually working to support herself. Here the horrible thing is that Veda has to work instead of having a good husband to support her.
- The Woobie:
YMMV / Mildred Pierce