- Adaptation Displacement: Most younger audiences likely aren't aware of the fact that this movie is based, however loosely, on a book. Even fewer likely know the book itself had a much more faithful adaptation as a BBC miniseries three years before this film's release.
- Creator Breakdown: In-Universe. Happens to Mary midway through the story.
- Dawson Casting: Played with. It is stated in the film at first that Mary Fisher is only 34 years old. Meryl Streep was 40 years old at the time. The character is deliberately dressed very youthfully (like a teenager going to a prom or a 20-something bridesmaid) in order to make this claim more credible...had it been played straight. Later in the film, Mary's mother states that Mary is really 41 years old- thus making it an aversion. Mary then accuses her mother of memory loss.
- Hollywood Homely: Averted, since frumpy Ruth is played by Roseanne, whose looks were never part of her appeal. Ruth does begin to wear more flattering clothing and has her wart removed, though.
- She Really Can Act: Or, in Streep's case, do comedy. This was her first comedic role after making a name for herself as a dramatic actress, and she knocked it out of the park, leading to such roles as Defending Your Life, Death Becomes Her and Postcards From The Edge.
- What an Idiot!: How does a posh retirement home expect to stay open if they don't allow bed wetters?
YMMV / She-Devil