- Alternative Joke Interpretation: Is Mickey actually on the run for ripping off a mattress tag, or is he simply lying to protect Pee-wee's innocence? This being the kind of movie it is, it could go either way.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment
- Large Marge's face turning into a ghoulish image. This is because as she had died in a car crash and it was her ghost who picked up Pee-wee.
- Amazing Larry, notable for his brief, yet bizarre appearance, and then he's never seen again. He was explained a bit more in a deleted scene, however.
- Expy: Andy, Simone's brutish boyfriend, is pretty much Bluto.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The ending has a scene involving Pee-wee getting arrested. Then in 1991 a scandal broke out when his creator and actor Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Pee-Wee driving by the set that's making a Godzilla film is even more amusing now that Warner Bros. has released a Godzilla film.
- The very first set Pee-Wee drives through is some teen beach comedy. Just two years later, Paul Reubens would make an in-character appearance as Pee-Wee in the film Back to the Beach, an Affectionate Parody of such films.
- Also, when Pee-Wee enters the Warner Bros. studio lot for the first time, the Batmobile from Batman (1966) is seen overhead. Tim Burton would later go on to direct Batman (1989) and Batman Returns, as well as co-produce Batman Forever. Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger also had a cameo in the opening scene of Batman Returns as the Penguin's parents. Danny Elfman also did the music for those films.
- On the DVD Commentary, Tim Burton snarks at the cameo from Twisted Sister, saything that he "hasn't directed many music videos since." He would go on to direct two ("Bones" and "Here With Me") for The Killers.
- At one point, Pee-Wee is roaming the streets of his hometown when he's attacked by a gang. He scares them off by hissing like a vampire. Care to guess what Paul Reubens played in Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
- The Simpsons has an episode titled "Large Marge".
- Ho Yay: Mickey eyes Pee-wee admiringly while he's Disguised in Drag and later gives him the same "I'm a loner..." speech that Pee-wee gives to Dottie earlier in the movie when they part ways.
- Memetic Mutation: "ANDY!?!"
- Nightmare Fuel: Large Marge, as well as Pee-wee's nightmares."On this very night.. ten years ago.. along this same stretch of road.. in a dense fog just like this.. I saw the worst accident I ever seen. There was this sound.. like a garbage truck.. dropped off the Empire State Building... And when they finally pulled the driver's body.. from the twisted.. burning.. wreck, it looked like.. this!◊"
- Out of Pee-Wee's nightmares, there's the one in which he sees his beloved bike getting devoured by a gigantic-sized, red Tyrannosaurus Rex with Glowing Eyes of Doom. It's also simultaneously saddening to see Pee-Wee's trademark vehicle getting mercilessly destroyed.
- The demonic surgeon clowns in Hell nightmare scene takes the cake as one of Tim Burtons most child-traumatizing scenes of all time.
- Also the part where Pee-Wee loses his bike. He turns around to the clown statue he chained his bike to, only to find his bike gone, the chains loose and scattered, and on top of it all, the statue turns into a full-on evil, cackling Monster Clown...
- Nightmare Retardant: Peewee's face in the above Large Marge moment looks almost like he's trying not to laugh.
- One-Scene Wonder: Large Marge is only on screen for a couple of minutes, but she makes them count.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Signature Scene:
- Special Effect Failure:
- In the pan-and-scan version of the film, you can clearly see Pee-wee's chain feeding up through the bottom of his bike's saddlebag. This is a common problem with pan-and-scan version of videos, which display more space along the top and bottom of the frame than is visible through a projector.
- The increasingly insane road signs are obviously being rolled past the camera on a track.
YMMV / Pee-wee's Big Adventure