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The movie:

  • Accidental Innuendo: This exchange between Peter and Mary Jane:
    Peter: Picking up where we left off.
    Mary Jane: Where was that? We never got on. You can't get off if you don't get on, Peter.
  • Awesome Music: Michael Bublé's version of the classic Spider-Man theme that plays during the closing credits.
  • Better on DVD: The film was improved for Spider-Man 2.1 with extended battles and improved character development which makes this an Even Better Expansion of an Even Better Sequel.
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  • Cant Un Hear It: Many people like thinking of Alfred Molina's voice while reading Dr. Octopus' lines.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Ursula, the shy daughter of Peter's landlord, who a substantial amount of fans would have preferred to see Peter get together with rather than MJ.
    • Mr. Aziz is well-remembered by being a meme dispensing machine.
  • Even Better Sequel: While the first movie is considered excellent and very good, this is widely thought of as the better film, and is held up as among the best films in the superhero genre.
  • Evil Is Cool: Alfred Molina's Dr. Octopus is considered a highlight of the film and one of the best portrayals of the character.
  • Genius Bonus: The play M.J. is in is The Importance of Being Earnest, a comedy about double identities. Sound familiar?
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Doc Ock's "I will not die a monster" moment at the end of the film can be a bit painful to watch given that his plan in Ends of the Earth is to cause genocide on a planetary scale and be remembered as history's greatest monster.
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    • The train incident in the Philippines in 2014 happens to be exactly the same as the movie when the front car derailed and overshot at the end of the track, at least no reports of casualties besides few passengers were injured from impact and some motorbikes were crushed. This can be quite Hilarious in Hindsight since they jokingly comment that Spider-Man actually came to stop the train from overshooting into crowded traffic and spawns photoshops of the incident with him.
  • He Really Can Act: Tobey Maguire does an amazing job performing the film's dramatic scenes, such as when Peter reveals to Aunt May the truth about Uncle Ben's death.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Jameson briefly implies that Doctor Strange exists in the movie's 'verse. He would later join the Marvel Cinematic Universe just one film after Spider-Man did. Avengers: Infinity War takes it a step further, with Spider-Man getting caught in the same plot thread as Doctor Strange and effectively becoming his teammate for the film's course.
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    • Mary Jane gets engaged to J.J. Jameson's son, only to go back to Peter in the end. A few years later, we got Superman Returns, in which Lois Lane gets engaged to Perry White's nephew, much to the consternation of many fans.
    • Roshan Fegan, one of the two boys Peter talked to early in the film, would later portray Ty Blue, the older brother of Zendaya's character Rocky Blue in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up!. Zendaya's would star in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • J. Jonah Jameson's Skyward Scream of "I WANT SPIDER-MAN!!!!!!" quickly followed up by a newspaper headline saying "[Spider-Man]'s back!" is this in light of Sony and Marvel patching things up in 2019 and striking a new deal, effectively returning Tom Holland's Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Hype Backlash: Its status as the best sequel or best Spider-Man film leads to this, especially after the MCU Spider-Man films, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Many argue that the film is overpraised with its flaws constantly ignored such as the film glossing over Mary Jane's insensitive behavior towards Peter and the film constantly going out of its way to make Peter's life a living hell that it makes the whole film feel very mean-spirited and cynical, with some arguing that Dr. Octopus was barely given focus and that the film spends too much time hinging on whether Peter and Mary Jane will get together.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Whoa.....he stole that guy's PIZZA! Quickly became one of the site's most popular fads, with imaginative re-cuts of films and music videos with Donnell Rawlings, even including the two musical stings right after his line.
    • J. Jonah Jameson's laughing face. Many knows him as the Aww Yea Guy.
      • The scene it comes from as well, in which he laughs for almost ten seconds when Peter asks to be paid in advance, and then says "You serious?"
      • His wheezing laugh also became a source for YTPMVs.
      • And beforehand, "You're fired! ... Oh right, you're unfired, I need you, c'mere!"
    • "Pizza time!", which has essentially become a Catchphrase for Spider-Man in the many Youtube Poop parodies of the films. It's often combined with the music from the pizza delivery missions in the game, which became a meme in its own right in 2016.
    • Mr. Aziz yelling, "GOOOoooooooooo!!!" note 
    • The many facial expressions of agony Peter makes while trying to stop the train, which are quite hilarious when viewed out of context.
    • The particularly over-the-top scream that Peter does when he sees a wall falling towards MJ has been a popular source for remixes.
    NYEEEAAA-AAAAAAAAAAA-AAAAUUHH!!!
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Jameson's laugh.
  • Narm: Here.
  • Narm Charm: The bank robbery. Seeing all the money in New York City kept as gold coins held in sacks is downright cartoonish, with the silliness amplified as Doc Ock starts throwing the money he was trying to steal at Spider-Man. Nevertheless, it's definitely more eye-catching than just watching the villain hack into the bank's data system.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • One of the kids Peter saves from a speeding truck at the beginning of the film is future Disney star Peyton R. List.
    • A pre-Bones Emily Deschanel as the Receptionist at the start of the film.
    • Daniel Dae Kim pre-Lost and Hawaii Five-0 as Raymond, Otto Octavius' lab assistant.
    • Joel McHale pre-The Soup and Community as the Banker who refuses to give Aunt May a loan.
    • Aasif Mandvi as Mr Aziz, Peter's boss at the pizzeria.
    • There's a bystander standing behind Peter during Octavius's demonstration that is played by Peter McRobbie, long before he was Father Lantom in Daredevil (2015).
    • One of the people Doc Ock goes by when climbing a building after the bank robbery is played by Maria Bamford.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The trilogy is usually accused of this overall, but this is the one with greatest focus on the romance. Peter Parker spends the majority of film out-of-costume, and worried about his romance with MJ, most of the film's most serious drama is not really about Dr. Octopus and his Tritium experiment but whether the two love-birds can get together or not.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The train scene is the first thing that pops up when you remember about this movie. As an added bonus, scientists who have been working on replicating spider silks as a new clothing material like to refer to this particular scene as their source of inspiration.
    • The scene after. It gives a powerful message to the train passengers and resonates with the audience that The Hero who risks his life to save theirs is "just a kid no older than their son".
    • If one includes scenes that originated memes, then there's Peter delivering pizzas and Jameson laughing hysterically at Peter after the latter asked for his advanced salary.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • A minor example. In the scene where Peter's boss rips the sticker with the pizza place's logo off Peter's helmet, you can see a couple of half-destroyed stickers underneath from previous takes.
    • After Peter managed to stop the train and loses consciousness, the man on his right is shown touching one of the bar handles with his arm. The bar handles are made of rubber and it shows.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The music used in Otto Octavius' ill-fated test run of the fusion reactor is virtually identical to the main theme from Hellbound: Hellraiser II. This was no coincidence — as the music was used as the scene's "temp music" during the film's production, and Sam Raimi ended up becoming so attached to the temp music that he ordered Danny Elfman to compose a track that sounded just like it. Elfman refused and bluntly told Raimi to just hire Christopher Young, the person that composed the Hellraiser II music in the first place, to score something identical for the scene. This incident, along with several others, is what caused Danny Elfman and Sam Raimi to have a falling out, and why Elfman did not return to compose the score for Spider-Man 3.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: John Jameson is pretty much just a Satellite Love Interest for Mary Jane, only being there to create tension for Peter's relationship with her. The comic book version of him had way more of a personality and presence, being a superhero himself. Even ignoring that, he doesn't interact with JJJ, his father, once in the movie, and him rivaling Peter for MJ's affection could've turned him into a part of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery, but nope, he's just there to be the popular rival to Peter.
  • Tough Act to Follow: No subsequently released live-action Spider-Man film managed to come close to the movie's critical acclaim until Spider-Man: Homecoming came out 13 years later; even so, Homecoming merely has a similar Rotten Tomatoes approval percentage (92% vs. 93%) but a markedly lower average review rating (7.7/10 vs. 8.3/10). The game seemed to be this for every subsequent Spider-Man game, especially when it came to the web-slinging mechanics of later games, at least until 2018's Spider-Man changed the game (so to speak) on PlayStation 4.
  • True Art Is Angsty: This is the most angsty of the films, with focus more on Peter's struggle to maintain a working personal life with his superhero activities. It's also the most critically acclaimed of all the Spider-Man films, including the latter films. It's also the least successful, box office wise, of the original films. A common reason most cite for loving it is the angst, while a common reason most cite for disliking it is the same. Depending on your view, it's either well-written angst, or it's badly-handled angst. Either way, the angst is the topic that splits most on the film.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Mary Jane in this movie. Whereas she's a Nice Girl in the first film, and no more of a stupid jerk than the other characters in the third film, here she comes off really bad giving No Sympathy to Peter just for missing her play repeatedly. Nevermind that, even aside from Peter's responsibilities as Spider-Man, Peter has his own life to worry about, which includes juggling college with two part-time jobs as he tries to live on his own for the first time with no one to support him (not to mention all the problems with Harry and Aunt May he's trying to deal with in this film), and Mary Jane never shows any sympathy or interest in how he's doing. Then there's the matter of leaving John Jameson at the altar in order to be with Peter, leaving him a note rather than telling him straight-up. It perhaps wouldn't be as bad if the film itself didn't gloss over her flawed behavior, all while taking dumps on Peter for his own as if he's solely to blame for his and MJ's crumbling relationship. She fares somewhat better in the 2.1 cut and especially the novelization.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: To the extent that it won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.note 
    • Doc Ock's tentacles, which were largely accomplished via practical effects, with each arm being controlled by a team of puppeteers.
    • The shot of Doc Ock's face as he falls into the water during his Heroic Sacrifice was completely CGI, yet looks completely real. It was hailed by the effects team as the most realistic CGI face in film at the time.
  • What an Idiot!: Peter jumping off a building to test his powers. Firstly, the fall could have been lethal, and secondly, what if somebody who knew May had seen it? Who knows what might have happened if somebody told May that Peter jumped from a roof in an apparent suicide attempt.
    • Later on, Peter, who's already running late delivering pizzas and his job is on the line, wastes another two minutes trying to shove some brooms into a broom closet. He also tries to retrieve a pizza slice with his webbing.
  • The Woobie: Otto Octavius, aka Doc Ock. The man tries to revolutionize recyclable energy for a better world, but his initial experiment ends in the tragic loss of both his wife and his credibility. Despite this, he tries his hardest to try to recreate and improve his device, but it's ultimately put into an uncontrollable situation where Failure Is the Only Option. And his criminal activites? The mechanical arms attached to his back gaining sentience thanks to their advanced AI and the initial accident destroying their inhibitor. Probably the best example of Octavius at his Woobie-est would be his soliloquy at the docks:
    Otto Octavius: My Rosie's dead. My dream is dead. And these [his arms]... monstrous things should be at the bottom of the river... along with me.

The Game:

  • Anticlimax Boss: After he pulls off a convincing alien invasion hoax and a trippy "funhouse of doom", you'd expect Mysterio to have an imaginative boss fight, especially when the cutscene prior gives him three health bars. Instead, he just stands and boasts while doing nothing to harm you, and one punch does him in.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The entirety of the Mysterio plotline is this, but perhaps it's at its biggest at the "Funhouse of Doom" section. Spider-Man goes through a bizarre funhouse with wobbly clowns, creepy holographic heads and a hall of mirrors where his reflections come to life and try and kill him... and it's all seemingly within an ordinary apartment building. And all this is never brought up again.
  • Demonic Spiders: The mooks using Powered Armor. They're strong, durable, and have weapons that can knock Spidey down for a few seconds. Even worse is that after you first fight them in the plot, they can show up when taking a civilian mission. The best of way of fighting them is to take advantage of their slow turn rate and punch them from behind, but multiple Powered Armor Mooks can make this a tough endeavour.
  • Ending Fatigue: The final encounter with Doctor Octopus makes up the third-to-last chapter of the game. The penultimate chapter consists of getting 50,000 hero points (while every other chapter only required less than 10,000), and the final chapter is just buying the final web swing upgrade.
  • Even Better Sequel: Compared to the previous movie adaptation game, Spider-Man 2 is an improvement on every level, being regarded as one of the best superhero games.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Most Annoying Sound: "Oh no, my balloon!"
    • Jameson. The guy voicing him is nowhere as enjoyable to listen as J.K Simmons.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The video game adaption is also held in high regard as one of the best superhero games of all time (many considered it THE best until the release of the Batman: Arkham Series five years later, and the best Spider-Man game until finally challenged by Spider-Man (PS4)), and alongside The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and the X-Men Legends games, revived the "Superhero Sandbox" genre after Superman 64 destroyed its credibility.
  • Porting Disaster: A downplayed example. When played on an Xbox 360, the game is perfectly playable but suffers from texture issues. For example, some buildings have see-through areas and certain walls are invisible.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: While the console versions are very well-regarded, the PC version is completely different, being much simpler and mediocre, having a totally different plot, and lacking the size and complexity that made the console versions so beloved.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • People hate the kids who lose their balloons. The Ultimate Spider-Man game took a jab at it by having the first person that the player-controlled Venom kills in the game be an obnoxious little kid with a balloon. In the same vein, the children's crying and whining over their lost balloons for almost every player became the Most Annoying Sound.
    • The boat rescues to some. The idea isn't that bad, but they usually need extreme precision, which the controls don't always allow. There's obviously a time limit, and if you hit the water when holding a civilian, they instantly drown and you fail the mission. If you touch the water without a civilian, Spidey is sent back to the shore. What could possibly be more fun than having to jump back and forth between small buoys that constantly wiggle around with no room for error?
  • That One Level: "When Aliens Attack" can be rather annoying; at one point, you must web swing to the Statue of Liberty on UFOs, which can be rather finnicky due to their small size, and then you have to destroy eight orbs on the sides of a larger UFO. It's very easy to fall down, and maintaining the right altitude to reach the orbs is difficult. Mysterio's "Funhouse of Doom" in the same chapter is also difficult, and is a borderline Marathon Level thanks to the final area requiring you to break several mirrors and defeat durable clones that spawn from each one.
  • Uncanny Valley: While Mysterio's helmet is usually obscuring, you can see what's underneath via two holograms in the Funhouse of Doom. It's... not exactly a pleasant sight.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Thanks to the wide number of memes revolving around it, the pizza delivery theme has become virtually synonymous with its source song, "Funiculi Funicula", to the point where most people (even on This Very Wiki) refer to the latter as "the Spider-Man 2 Pizza Theme".

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