- Esoteric Happy Ending: While admittedly never meant to be "happy", per se, many people don't find the reassurance that the girl went to Heaven to be anything like the silver lining the narrative tries to make it.
- Glurge: Most people tend to call it "tragedy porn" for this exact reason.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: This tale shows child exploitation and its consequences... to say nothing of how lethal Bystander Syndrome can be.
- Though, as Terry Pratchett points out, the You Bastard! meaning aimed at the comfortable was somewhat lost, especially with the little girl going to Fluffy Cloud Heaven. His more cynical interpretation of the dropped anvil is "be grateful, because someone else's situation always is worse than your own." This is the reason his version of Death uses his temporary position as the Hogfather (Santa Claus) to flip a bony middle finger at the whole idea.
- Values Dissonance: These days most Western people aren't likely to find the whole "she went to Heaven, so it's OK," ending all that reassuring.
- The Woobie: The titular character, of course.
YMMV / The Little Match Girl