- Awesome Music: In addition to the guys singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", there's also Cavatina.
- Franchise Original Sin: Of the Oscar Bait tactics. It was limited to a short screening in New York and LA when the audience was mostly critics and Academy members, giving the film hype for its award nominations to draw in audiences. Similar moves were later used for other films striving for both the awards and the public's money.
- Harsher in Hindsight: John Cazale was diagnosed with terminal cancer just as filming was about to begin; this makes his presence at the funeral scene all the more morbid.
- Memetic Mutation: "Mau! Ði đi mau!"
- "Fuckin' A!" is probably one of the biggest Memetic Mutations of them all, however.
- Overly long sequences in films are sometimes said to be "longer than the wedding scene in The Deer Hunter", that's how well-known the drawn-out wedding is.
- Misaimed Fandom: More than a few people have played Russian Roulette in imitation of the film and paid for it with their lives.
- Nightmare Fuel: The Russian Roulette scenes are made of this.
- Retroactive Recognition: The song that plays during the wedding reception sequence, just before the drinking ritual, would go on to become the Tetris theme just over a decade later.
- Slow-Paced Beginning: The opening scene at the wedding is extremely long and torturous, but once the war actually happens things really start to get interesting.
- Unfortunate Implications: The film has been criticized for its heavy-handed portrayal of the Viet Cong as ludicrously sadistic and evil. The Viet Cong did commit plenty of atrocities on a sometimes shocking scale during the war - however, few Americans were ever captured by them, and on the ground almost all of their victims were other Vietnamese. If there ever was a Russian Roulette situation, it almost certainly didn't involve Americans.
- The Woobie: The main cast qualifies, but especially Nick.
YMMV / The Deer Hunter