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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Does the wrestling promoter refuse to give Peter his $3,000 because he's a selfish Jerkass who never intended to honor his deal, or because Peter misunderstood the rules of the contest and didn't realize that it wasn't supposed to be a real fight? If the wrestling league was just looking for a new amateur fighter who could put on a good show for the audience and act as a Heel to Bonesaw, it's understandable that the promoter might feel betrayed when Peter (who clearly isn't a wrestling fan) seriously injured his most popular fighter in a bout that was supposed to be a scripted performance. The novelization of the film seems to support the latter theory, as in it the promoter has an additional line where he angrily tells Peter, "You made my best fighter look like a little girl out there!"
  • Awesome Music:
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    • Danny Elfman's memorable score. Special mention goes to the main theme and "Costume Montage/Web Practice" among others.
    • In a more mainstream example, Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott's "Hero" was everywhere when the movie came out in 2002. Even the most devout Nickelback haters have been known to admit how awesome it is, and of the songs provided for the three movies in the trilogy this is the most easily-remembered.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: BOOONESAAAW'S REEEEAAAAADDDYYYYY!
  • Evil Is Cool: Willem Dafoe as Osborn/Goblin is a straight example, he's Creepy Awesome and more entertaining than the other villains.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Green Goblin's costume got this reaction from some fans, or at least those who know the character from the comics. It's less divisive to the audience who came to the character from the movies. Ironically for most examples of this trope, the suit itself is actually fine, it's only the questionable mask that makes him look like a Power Rangers villain.
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  • First Installment Wins: Some fans who consider this film to be superior to both Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 because of it's simplicity, for the iconic rendition of the origin in the first half, and for Willem Dafoe's iconic turn as Green Goblin, his fight scenes with Spider-Man, and for the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Most of the iconic memes, lines, and scenes of the entire trilogy are there in the first film, most notably the much parodied-much homaged upside-down kiss.
  • Foe Yay: Spidey and the Green Goblin, though only on Gobby's end of things, the creepy rooftop conversation between them where Goblin pitches his We Can Rule Together offer is filled with this.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The original teaser trailer featured bank robbers escaping in a helicopter, which Spider-Man then catches in a large web between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. The trailer was pulled after the events of 9/11. However, the reflection in Spider-Man's eyes with the Twin Towers was still left in.
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  • Ham and Cheese: With a stupid-looking, limiting costume, (at least for some) the best thing Willem Dafoe could possibly do as the Green Goblin is go completely over the top. It worked. Likewise it helped that Dafoe plays Norman as a staid, calm, and jaded middle-aged man, which underscores how drastic and scary the Goblin persona is.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Uncle Ben's importance to Peter's Character Development can come off as this considering that Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland's takes on the character focus less on their relationship with him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Spidey and Mary Jane's upside-down kiss, the trilogy's most iconic scene.
    • "BONESAW IS READY!... to move on with his life."
    • "What about my uncle? Did you give him a chance?"
    • "IMPRESSIVE!"
    • This image of Peter in his first Spider-Man outfit has become involved in a meme where he is photoshopped in various recent events, typically tragic ones.
    • "It's you who's out, Gobby. Out of your mind!"
    • "I had to beat an old lady with a stick."
    • Peter putting on his glasses has become a fairly popular meme typically used to express one's opinion on a certain subject.
    • "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I'VE SACRIFICED?!"
    • "You know, I'm something of a scientist myself!" Explanation 
    • "The ad said 3000." Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Narm Charm: The Green Goblin costume really does work well in key scenes. For instance, the golden yellow eyes especially in the Aunt May prayer scene, where the costume really does make Goblin look like a demonic figure.
  • Newer Than They Think: When people read the comic Ultimate Spider-Man, they may feel that it was based on the film franchise. Actually, the comic is from 2000, before the film, and established its style from the get go.
  • Older Than They Think: Let's see — a villain without any grand plan, who just "does things", whose climactic plot involves a Sadistic Choice that forces the hero to choose between pairs of civilians, whose main dynamic with the hero is to convert him to subscribe to his nihilistic worldview, who in one crucial scene dresses up in woman's clothing to terrifying effect — a lot of the shtick practiced by Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight is already there in the first film in its second half. The fact the Green Goblin in the comics is often seen as Marvel's Alternate Company Equivalent to Joker only cements this further (likewise, Willem Dafoe was one of the contenders to play Joker in Tim Burton's Batman).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Downplayed, but the tie-in game was regarded as a generally decent action game, brought down by an awful camera system and an overly short length.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Future Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as the receptionist at the wrestling event who initially laughs off Peter's desire to wrestle Bonesaw.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The film complicated Spider-Man's origins by giving him a "love motive" in that Peter's inspired to wrestle and make money to impress Mary-Jane, when in the comics, Peter Parker took up wrestling for fame and to make money for his aunt and uncle. This reduces his character arc from Working-Class Hero to Give Geeks a Chance romantic dreamer.
  • Signature Scene: The Upside-Down Kiss. Alongside that, there's Peter's wrestling match sequence, Green Goblin's first fight with Spider-Man in the parade, J. Jonah Jameson's opening scene, and the final fight between Norman and Peter in the greenhouse. The montage of Peter drawing up costume ideas on a piece of paper is also well-known and often-referenced in parodies, and later Spider-Man works (for instance Spider-Man (PS4) pans over a book of sketches in the opening cutscene).
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • As awesome as the effects generally are, there were a handful of instances where the effects team used obvious short-cuts, most notably with the rather amorphous and undetailed CG model of Spidey used in some of the instances of him swinging through the city.
    • Time has been very unkind to most of the film's visual effects work; not only with the cartoonish CGI models of Spidey and Goblin used for stunts, but also the incredibly fake CGI webbing and some pretty poor chroma key (green/blue screen) work with obvious halos around foreground objects. It's especially jarring when compared to the sequels and Andrew Garfield movies, which have much better VFX.
  • Values Dissonance: A minor but very noticeable one, perhaps showing how fast this trope can take effect. Peter mocking Bonesaw by telling him "that's a cute outfit, did your husband make it for you?" was a fairly standard, if juvenile, insult to Bonesaw's masculinity which certainly didn't raise any eyebrows at the time of its release. Nowadays, with the legalization of gay marriage in the United States and greater societal acceptance of the LGBT community, it makes Spider-Man sound less like a clever prankster and more like a homophobic jerk. Beautifully parodied with this meme here.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: While Willem Dafoe's performance as the Green Goblin was widely acclaimed, his actual appearance in the goofy-looking armor was anything but. However, at some point in the production, his character was going to be depicted by a hybrid of prosthetic makeup and an animatronic mask. Some feel it would have been much scarier than the infamous "Power Rangers Goblin", whereas others feel it would have glossed straight into the Uncanny Valley (which, in itself, may have been the point). Check it out for yourself here.
    • Notably, the best thing Tobey Maguire had to say about the suit in a behind the scenes interview was that "there was room for a lot more to go wrong with the Green Goblin's costume."
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Surprisingly, this was the initial reaction when Tobey Maguire was cast as Spider-Man himself, as fans thought he was too "doughy" for the role (which he was at first, but months of long, hard training can change a man). He is in fact a perfect fit for the original lanky and scrawny Steve Ditko design of Peter Parker.

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