- Acceptable Targets:
- Black People for Satin. He uses them as the butt of his jokes to please his White audience; then he tries it as an attempt to crossover to Black audiences...I'm sure you can guess how it turned out.
- Fat women are also acceptable targets. Tune Ann was a one-dimensional character who was only used to perpetuate stereotypes of them. And yes, this character was also in the 1976 film.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: How much was Sparkle invested in her family life? Even though she was talented and ultimately made it big, at times it seemed like she was more interested in getting her record deal over anything else happening (which Dee lampshades), even Sister's dire issues.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Sparkle's nosebleed towards the end of the 2012 film. It's randomness was only used to introduce the gorgeous red dress as seen on the film's movie poster.
- Jerkass Woobie: As poor as the decisions that Sister made in the film (namely choosing Satin over Levi just because the former had more money and was famous), she still was sympathetic due to the hardships in her past and present, the feeling that her own mother had little ambition for her and of course, what her fate ultimately was in both versions; she died of a drug overdose in the original 1976 version and she ended up in prison for the beating death of Satin while covering for her sister, who was the one who killed him in her defense because he was habitually beating her, including at the time of his death, in the 2012 version.
- One-Scene Wonder: Black, who was played by Cee Lo Green.
- Padding: The montage of Sparkle sitting in the recording studio waiting for an appointment seems to add nothing to the 2012 film or plot other than to showoff her stylish outfits of the time.
- Retraux: The original film takes place in 1958, but the actual film was produced in 1976. Though the overall look is very Fifties, there's a great dissonance in the musical aspect of the film since it uses heavy go-go beats from The '60s, and funky percussion of The '70s in a lot of the songs.
- Serial Numbers Filed Off: Many has speculated that one of the main reasons that the 2012 film did not do too well at the box-office or with critics, other than the poor timing of its release was that it was a bit too similar to Dreamgirls, whereas the original 1976 version was almost an entirely different plotline.
- Tear Jerker: Whitney Houston's rendition to "His eye is on the Sparrow", it even evokes tears/applause knowing it's her very last performance.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It would have been a decent plot point to discover what happened to Levi in between Sister dumping him and him heckling Satin at his disastrous stand-up act (where he not only got a nice job, according to his clothing, and a new girlfriend).
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Emma unfortunately comes off as this in the 2012 film. While she is intended to be a strict but concerned single mother of the 1960s who tries to raise her daughters to be successful Christians who don't make the same mistakes she made, she instead comes off as a strict, hope-dashing fundamentalist who doesn't want her daughters to live life outside of her standards.
- Values Dissonance: The reaction towards Delores' afro, which gained attitudes ranging from shock to even downright disgust, from both White and Black people.
YMMV / Sparkle