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  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The teachers all dress a lot more sharply after they fall under the aliens' control. It's most noticeable with Miss Burke, who was a Shrinking Violet before getting infected and turning into a sexpot, but it applies to all of them.
    • Delilah as well, to a lesser extent. The class Alpha Bitch and easily the hottest girl in the school. Of course her Hidden Depths are revealed too.
    • When Marybeth is revealed to be the alien queen, she proceeds to walk around completely nude after transforming to her alien form and back.
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  • Genius Bonus: Early in the film, after being begged by Mrs. Olson for the (nonexistent) funds to put on a musical, Principal Drake suggests recycling the sets from Our Town to save money. As any theater geek (such as Drake's actress, two-time Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth) would know, Our Town doesn't use a set. This makes Drake seem even more callous and unconcerned about anything other than the football team — she either couldn't have been bothered to see her own school's theater production (the only way she wouldn't have known that fact), or she just told Mrs. Olson to fuck off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One scene in this film involves a character shooting his high school principal in the face. This film was released four months before Columbine.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Seventeen years later, Elijah Wood would star in Cooties, in which he would once again be up against evil monsters at a school — only this time, instead of a student fighting alien-infested teachers, he'd be playing one of the teachers battling zombified students.
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    • Clea DuVall talking about a possible government conspiracy. Fast forward to Heroes where she's an FBI agent investigating such a thing.
    • DuVall has also played a few lesbian roles in her career, most notably in But I'm a Cheerleader, where she's paired with an extremely girly character similar to Marybeth. And of course, DuVall later came out as a lesbian in real life.
  • Hollywood Homely: Famke Janssen with unflattering hair, glasses, and clothes in Miss Burke's 'before' appearance. This is clearly so she can be revealed as Beautiful All Along once she's infected.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Delilah is a brutally honest Alpha Bitch and pretty superficial at that. But it's later revealed that her father died years ago and her mother is an alcoholic. She appears to have redeemed herself at the end.
  • Memetic Mutation: It's now become common practice to show Jon Stewart's death scene in this movie for stock footage relating to him. Sometimes it's unrelated to what's being talked about.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
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    • This crossed with Moral Guardians. Some reviewers or concerned parents see this film as advocating chemical stimulants. It isn't, really, as the obvious negative effects are shown, but it doesn't help that the one way to prove you're not infected, which is used many times in the film, is to snort a substance that looks and even behaves like cocaine. A lot of the complaints miss the scene where it's revealed that Zeke's stash is mainly made out of caffeine pills.
    • Stokely has a similar fanbase to Alison Reynolds among people who identify with her look and cynical attitude, and hate the minor 'preppy' makeover she gets in the end — which consists of wearing a purple cardigan and less black makeup. And much like Alison, her look and attitude are all a pose. Stokely dresses like a goth, puts on a standoffish personality, and pretends she's a lesbian not because she doesn't care about appearances, but because she's extremely concerned about them, going out of her way to isolate herself and make people want to avoid her. Her abandoning that look and attitude is a sign of her no longer caring about what anyone thinks of her.
  • Narm Charm: Laura Harris's southern accent is rather ridiculous but still endearing. It's clearly meant to be fake in-universe, too.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Many of this film's actors went on to greater stardom in film and television afterwards.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • During the Mr. Furlong attack scene, Marybeth can be seen briefly helping Delilah behind the desk. This is clearly when she infects Delilah.
    • You'll note that we never see Marybeth snort the drugs. She only reappears after Delilah escapes.
    • Note that Marybeth is the first person to refer to the aliens as having a queen, and to use female pronouns when describing the aliens' leader.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Though the tropes are obviously Older Than They Think, to a late '90s teen audience it could basically be seen as Animorphs: The Movie, without the super-powered heroes. The Aliens in the film are even shown to be slug-like creatures that live in water, and possess their hosts by entering through the ear.
  • Stoic Woobie: Stan when you think about it. He's a great athlete, of course, but really resents being thought of as the Dumb Muscle, and none of his friends encourage him when he decides to change. It's also implied that he hates the Jerk Jock behaviour of his peers.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: One could potentially call this MTV's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Between the soundtrack (including The Offspring and Layne Staley, who died in 2002), the actors (teen Elijah Wood, Clea Duvall, and Josh Hartnett), the lack of cell phones, the blocky computers, the writer Kevin Williamson, the Post Modern self-aware feel, and the scene where Zeke brings a gun to school and shoots the principal in the face (and is portrayed as a hero for doing that), this movie can easily be placed in the late '90s, especially before the Columbine massacre.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Stokeley pretends to be a lesbian in order to alienate people. Acceptance of LGBT people increase in The New '10s, meaning that probably wouldn't fly today.
    • The scene where Zeke shoots the infected Principal Drake would also not fly in a post Columbine society.
    • There's a Running Gag that a couple on the campus keep beating each other up - and it's shown that the boy has been taken over by the aliens when he won't fight his girlfriend back. With awareness of abusive girlfriends this wouldn't likely be Played for Laughs today.
  • The Woobie: Mrs. Brummel, the elderly teacher who ended up dying rather painfully because the parasite placed inside her wasn't able to take over due to her illness.

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