Fair for Its Day: Even if it wasn't rated PG originally, it's still very coarse, even for its own time. Certainly, they would never be permitted to have a 10-year-old kid spout off racial epithets as often as Tanner did if the film was re-made today. Of course, as noted below, they exchanged the casual racism with more lewd behavior in the remake.
First Installment Wins: The original is still the best-remembered of the bunch. Most casual viewers might be surprised to learn that Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal's characters are, in fact, not in any of the sequels.
Ho Yay: Lupus and Tanner, especially in the second movie.
Moral Event Horizon: Roy hitting his son, Joey, while on the mound after he tried to bean Engelberg is treated as this. He was already the Big Bad of the movie, since he was the head coach of the rival team. But even with the points made in Jerkass Has a Point, smacking Joey on the mound was definitely a bridge too far for many of the characters in that scene.
Unintentional Period Piece: The film is so very mid-'70s, and a fine example of what a PG-rated film could get away with before the PG-13 rating came along. Just listen to 11-year-olds toss out four-letter words, racial epithets and ethnic slurs like there's no tomorrow and try to keep your head from exploding. Also watch as the kids douse each other in beer and see a then 14-year-old Jackie Earle Haley smoke like a chimney. In fact, some would argue that this movie would just barely avoid—or even get—an R rating if it was released today. To put a couple cherries on top, you have themes of the growing litigious society (Cleveland's attitude toward the formation of the Bears), and the souring of public opinion toward parental corporal punishment (the aftermath of Roy smacking his son for nearly beaning Engelberg).
Values Dissonance: A definite product of its time, that's for damn sure. The fact that it got away with a PG rating might baffle some people.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Despite the cussing—especially the racial epithets (the N-word was uttered three times)—and the other adult themes, the film was rated PG in the United States.
The 2005 remake contains examples of:
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Despite being a Lighter and Softer remake, the movie is not kid friendly, featuring a lot of swearing, crass and lewd stuff (including the implication that Buttermaker got a stripper joint to sponsor their little league game), and Buttermaker also being implied to have slept with one of his softball teammate's moms.