- Awesome Music: "This Side of Forever", the ending theme sung by Roberta Flack, and is also a vocal version of the Dirty Harry ending themes.
- Complete Monster: Mick is a sadistic rapist and the leader of a gang of criminals in San Paulo. Ten years prior to the events of the film, he and his gang brutally rape Jennifer Spencer and her sister, leaving the latter in an permanent catatonic state. He is later seen forcing a woman to have sex with him, with the woman clearly being in pain, much to Mick's sadistic pleasure. When he finds out that Jennifer seeks to get revenge for the rape, Mick decides to wait for Jennifer to arrive so he can kill her personally. After being busted out of jail by his men, Mick slits the throat of "Dirty" Harry Callahan's friend, Horace King, and injures Harry's dog, Meathead, before proceeding to viciously beat Harry and leave him for dead. Mick then kidnaps Jennifer, but not before he kills Chief Jannings, and plans on raping Jennifer again for old times' sake. A depraved and sadistic rapist who shows no concern for the lives of his own men, Mick is easily one of the vilest criminals of the series.
- Contested Sequel: Probably the most divisive of the Dirty Harry films due to its graphic violence and overall Darker and Edgier content.
- Jerkass Woobie: Chief Lester Jannings. He's surly and inhospitable towards Harry Callaghan, always berating him and refusing to work with Harry. It turns out that Jannings son was one of the rapists and the only one who showed remorse. As a result, Jannings' son's suicide attempt left him in a persistent vegetative state and it is further revealed that Jannings' wife died during childbirth.
- Memetic Mutation: "Go ahead, make my day."
- Moral Event Horizon: If Mick raping Jennifer and her sister wasn't enough, then killing Horace and Jannings as well as injuring Meathead definitely did it for him.
LET MY BABY GO?!?!
- The black diner robber's continued, unironic, use of the word 'sucka'.
- Mick is such an over-the-top, cackling psycho that it's hard to take him seriously at some points.
- Retroactive Recognition: Fans of The Practice and Ghost Whisperer will recognize Camryn Manheim as the girl who stands behind Harry in the elevator when he's menacing Hawkins.
- Spiritual Adaptation: Basically a loose American version of Lady Snowblood.
- Values Resonance: While one might disagree with how Jennifer Spencer chose to deal with her attackers, not to mention that she killed them years after the event, the fact that the rape is a horrific event and that the legal system did absolutely nothing to try to deal with it. This was incredibly rare in the early 80's where the attitude towards rape was "Nothing serious". With the awareness of sexual harassment, the film is much more relevant in the current era. Even more importantly, a female rapist is depicted as being just as vile as a male rapist, something that is rarely portrayed even today and where such portrayals are frequently filled with double standards.
YMMV / Sudden Impact