- Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Some of the instructor's surprised facial expressions when you get a perfect score in the SNES original — especially Shirley, who gets bizarre vertical line-shaped eyes that just don't look right on an otherwise relatively realistic-looking human.
- Awesome Music: "Birdman", the music for the Free Flight mode, is well known for being very good. Even the original composer was very fond of it, especially because it got to be one of the longest tracks in the game.
- Best Level Ever: Little States in 64. It is, as the title indicates, a miniature version of the lower 48 U.S. states, and is the biggest map in the entire game. It's easy enough to just ignore your objective and go explore for a while.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
- The helicopter rescue missions in the SNES original. Why are your instructors being held captive in a war zone? Who cares, go blow stuff up!
- The Bonus Chance minigames count too. A penguin diving into a pool? A man in a bird wing costume leaping out over the sea? It's especially jarring if you need the minigame's bonus points to skim by on a course thanks to doing too poorly, meaning these BLAM moments in an otherwise down-to-earth title are essential to progression.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Crashing, particularly in 64 where your pilots have cartoonishly hilarious screams.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- If you crash in the helicopter missions in the SNES version — whether by slamming the copter into the ground or getting shot, in itself a frightening experience since you, a civilian aviation student, go straight from training to crossing a war zone — there's no post-failure remarks from any of your instructors; you just go straight to the game over sequence. The implication is that you didn't just fail at your objective, you died.
- Similarly, Meca Hawk's apperance in 64, in a game that's otherwise free of any hostile entities. After going through dozen rings, blowing up stationary targets, taking pictures, and landing on floating pads, you now have to enter combat against a giant humanoid who throws rocks at you, and yes being hit can potentially end the mission as your Gyrocopter goes spiraling down into a crash.
YMMV / Pilotwings