- And You Thought It Would Fail: After leaving the premier, Steve Guttenberg's agent told him, "I'm getting you into a TV series as soon as possible, this is gonna be the biggest bomb in history".
- Awesome Music:
- Most people who've seen the movie will probably start laughing after just hearing the first few notes of "El Bimbo"
- While opinions certainly vary on the quality of the films themselves, most viewers can agree that the main Police Academy March is a genuinely great theme, to the point that real police, fire and EMS training programs have used it for graduation ceremonies.
- "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" by Jack Mack & The Heart Attacks that plays over the closing credits of the first film.
- Contested Sequel:
- Back in Training. Some consider it to be where the series started going downhill, for embracing full-on slapstick humor and Status Quo Is God. However, those who actually like that sort of humor consider it to be one of, if not the best film in the series, for starring the series' best-known ensemble of characters, and being able to dive into the action right away with only minimal time needed for set-up.
- Mission To Moscow is outright considered the nadir of the series, thanks to having very few of the original cast left.
- Crazy Awesome: The semi-babbling punk Zed from the third and fourth movies, and, arguably, Eric Lassard. Far less arguably, Eugene Tackleberry.
- Critical Dissonance: The series was always critically panned during its run. Some will try to tell you that only the first film was good, but even that received a critical drubbing (Roger Ebert rated the original no stars, something he almost never did). And yet the original spawned six sequels, which doesn't happen to a series if absolutely nobody likes it.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: There's a reason the third movie had Zed join the force. Also, depending who ask, Tackleberry, Jones, and Hightower.
- Fair for Its Day: Some people today may be miffed by the "Blue Oyster" Running Gag of straight people being lured into a gay bar.
- First Installment Wins: The series' infamous Sequelitis tends to overshadow the fact that the original was actually a rather good comedy.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Some viewers are bound to find much of the humor with Tackleberry's careless gun use less funny nowadays. One good example is the early scene in the fifth movie where he nearly shoots his own dad after mistaking him for a burglar. Many actual deaths have occurred since then from careless gun use.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In Assignment: Miami Beach, Nick Lassard deals with a kidnapper by apparently giving him the Vulcan nerve pinch (actually using anaesthetic). The following year, Matt McCoy, who played Nick, appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Misaimed Marketing: Oh, lord. These movies were not for kids. Everything else connected to them was, though.
- Replacement Scrappy: Nick Lassard and Connors, neither of whom are anywhere near as memorable as Mahoney. In addition, the former is often seen as a cocky Smug Snake, and the latter just generally bland and forgettable.
- Sequelitis: As a general rule, each sequel is considered weaker than the last. The first four are generally considered watchable to some degree (if you can overlook the fact that Citizens on Patrol is nearly a carbon-copy of the previous film), but Assignment Miami Beach is seen as where the series really started to get bad, with Mission to Moscow being where it completely bottomed out. Bobcat Goldthwait on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, when Jay Leno poked fun at him for appearing in the film series, said: "We had to make six of them. There were so many unanswered questions."
- Special Effect Failure: Assignment Miami Beach has two glaring examples, namely the shark that Tackleberry scares off early in the film, and the crocodile/alligator (which actually changes species between stock footage and the mechanical model) that attacks Harris near the end.
- Strawman Has a Point: Chief Hurst and Lt. Harris of the first film. In any other situation, having people like some of the cadets who obviously don't meet realistic fitness requirements, educational levels, and medical standards to be effective cops allowed into the Academy would be extremely foolish. But due to them being Genre Blind and Jerkasses the message is lost.
- Values Dissonance: There's a LOT of anti-gay language in the first movie that was fine in the 80s, but would be unacceptable by today's standards, now that gay people are no longer considered Acceptable Targets (e.g. Mahoney's throwaway line "Sleep is for fags"). The entirety of the Blue Oyster Bar gags would today be seen as incredibly distasteful at best. To a lesser extent, the racial slurs that some of the less likeable cadets throw around in the same film, which actually is indicated to be unacceptable (especially when Hightower is involved), but for which the cadets in question escape any form of punishment... which, sadly, was very much Truth in Television back in 1984.
YMMV / Police Academy