- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- It's very easy to add different interpretations to The Leading Player, especially if they're played by different genders. For example, some versions with a female Leading Player portray her as a vamp and as a Veronica to Catherine's Betty.
- There is at least one production with a male Leading Player whose interactions with Catherine make it clear that that the two are in a possibly abusive relationship. This makes his anger with Catherine's part much creepier and her adoration of Pippin's kindness much more desperate and sad.
- Lewiss sexuality: In the Play Within a Play, his character seems to have been written as gay. But the Incest Subtext could be unintentional for the In-Universe play. There could be a Romance on the Set between the players portraying Lewis and Fastrada.
- Awesome Music: "Corner of the Sky" and "Magic To Do", full stop.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Berthe is popular for being a Cool Old Lady who gets to cheer up Pippin through an excellent solo. She really only has the one scene, but what a scene it is.
- Evil Is Sexy: Fastrada, obviously. But to a lesser extent, Leading Player. Whether played by a man or woman his/her choreography is usually quite sexual, not surprising since this show was originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The lyric "Sages tweet that age is sweet" from "No Time At All" has a new context with the advent of Twitter. This might also count as Have a Gay Old Time.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The whole show is this, really, when you realize that everyone Pippin meets (bar Catherine), everyone he thinks is his friend or ally, wants him to die. Worse yet, this wish for Pippin to die is not personal, but rather a need for him to fulfill the "one perfect act", as the Pippins before him did.
- "Glory" is a juxtaposition of catchy music and surreal gore that can be extremely unsettling when handled skillfully.
- The 1981 TV version of "With You" shows Pippin getting increasingly in over his head as his new "friends" push him towards voyeurism, drugs, sadomasochism, and random hookups, and by the time he realizes that they're using him, they've discarded any pretense of caring about his safety.
- When Catherine starts to break character: "He touched my face—the others never did that." Wait, others? Just how many "Pippins" have been led to their doom?
- One-Scene Wonder:
- Berthe is in one scene and has one song. And yet her song is among the most famous in the musical, and she often gets the most applause at curtain calls.
- Andrea Martin's turn as Berthe in the revival was so great that they gave her a line in "Magic To Do"... specifically "Humor, handled by a master". This was, in fact, going back to the original published edition following the Fosse production, but it was rarely enforced in actual practice.
- Space Whale Aesop: Don't listen to those voices in your head encouraging you to seek fame and glory because they really just want you to set yourself on fire.
- Surprise Creepy: Depending on what you think of the earlier parts of the show, the Lead Player's behavior towards Catherine when she first appears and the entire Finale may be shocking and unsettling.
YMMV / Pippin