- Best Known for the Fanservice: A lot of people just tend to make a fuss about the Twincestand completely forget about the rest of the book.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Very few of the characters are actually likable, with most characters ranging from bland and underdeveloped to horribly abusive and cruel, horrible things happen to characters who don't deserve it while other characters are never punished for their actions, there's very little hope or cheerfulness in the book, and it's told in a very non-linear fashion that reveals several bad things that have happened or will happen.
- Fetish Retardant: Does Ammu and Velutha's sex scene actually sound sexy at all?
- Iron Woobie: Ammu.
- Jerkass Woobie: Sometimes the way she treats her children can be very frightening. But can you blame her when you look at how horrible her life is?
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Baby Kochamma does a lot of despicable things in the novel, including making a false report that Velutha "assaulted" Ammu. She finally crosses this when, to save her own sorry skin from getting into trouble due to Velutha's innocence and that the police beat him to death over a crime he didn't commit, she manipulates Estha and Rahel into testifying that Velutha kidnapped them and killed Sophie Mol. How does she accomplish this? By threatening the children with graphic descriptions of how Ammu will suffer horribly in jail because of them if they don't.
- Pappachi crosses this in the past when, after having his discovery of a new species of moth taken from him, takes out his anger on his family, most notably his beating of Mammachi and forcibly cutting Ammu's shoes in an "If I can't have what I want, no one can" gesture.
- Tear Jerker: The last two chapters, which cover Rahel and Estha's sex scene filled with "hideous grief," a Flashback of Rahel saying goodnight to her mother that shows how much they really did love each other, and Ammu and Velutha's love. Especially the last chapter.
- Ammu's fate of dying alone in a cheap hotel room
- Values Dissonance: Surrounding the book itself. The last chapter was severely controversial at the time of its release. Why? Because of the painful, cathartic griefsex between a pair of twins? Nah, that gets a pass. The scene of policemen brutally beating a man to a bloody pulp while two seven-year olds watch? Nope. It's the part of loving, consensual sex between a Touchable woman and an Untouchable man. Shun!
- The Woobie: Velutha and Estha. And Rahel. And virtually everyone.
YMMV / The God of Small Things