- Adaptation Displacement: The movie is only remembered for being terrible, but the novel is only remembered for being made into a terrible movie.
- Awesome Moments: As silly as most of the film is, Jerilee using her award win to deliver a brutal and profane "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the entire entertainment industry is hard not to cheer for, and in the wake of Me Too comes off as far ahead of its time.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: As Mister X pointed out in Geek Juice's Random Riff of the film, Jerillee's shocking speech would likely result in her career in Hollywood being sunk and her life being worse.
- Hollywood Homely: Jerilee for the first half hour or so. Her frumpy dresses and pigtails do little to mask the fact that she's quite pretty.
- Narm: The entire film."If I write for anyone, Vinnie, I write for MMEEEEEE!!!"
- Polish the Turd: In a subversion, Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson says one of his proudest achievements as a publicist is working in the The Lonely Lady campaign knowing he would later shower the movie with Razzies. In a straighter example, he says Universal attempted some polishing after a disastrous test screening - but Wilson was still able to convince the producers not to cut the infamous breakdown scene, a bizarre clip he frequently shows in the Razzie ceremonies!
- Retroactive Recognition: Ray Liotta makes his film debut as Joe Heron.
- So Bad, It's Good: It's been called the Showgirls of The '80s for a reason.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Carla Maria Peroni, despite appearing on the poster, plays a small part in the movie and disappears following her seduction of Jerilee. This is a shame, as she treats her better than most of her male partners.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Mrs. Randall is like the worst mother ever to Jerilee and the movie does not see it.
- Values Resonance: A lot of the film's points about how women tend to be mistreated in Hollywood — even by other women — actually come across as being very valid in the wake of the #MeToo movement, at least in principle. In practice, however, the film depicts this in such an absurd way that the message is almost totally obscured.
- The Woobie: Technically averted. Jerilee goes through all sorts of crap and fits the bill of a "Woobie" to a tee, but the audience may find it hard to care.
YMMV / The Lonely Lady