- Adaptation Displacement: Both the film and the game series are more well known than the novel; though this is turning around a bit since the original novel began replacing the mangled release that the Soviet Union allowed in the first publication.
- Funny Moments: Some scientists decided to experiment with a corpse's parts, so they amputate one of the hands. They come back later to find it reanimated and is flipping them off. And it flips them off whenever it knows they're around.
- Heartwarming Moments: HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND LET NO ONE BE LEFT BEHIND!
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Reading this book after playing the video game leads to a lot of this, but the most obvious is when one stalker is mocked for bringing a gun into the zone—what is there to shoot?
- Uncanny Valley: Underscores how alien and creepy everyday things can be. The landscape is a normal city. Almost. And some of the artifacts look rather unremarkable. Until a closer look at one reveals Alien Geometries... Or until it emits a gut-wrenching scream.
YMMV / Roadside Picnic