- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Duke an Unreliable Narrator who knew that his owner had died, hence his hesitation to see Fred? Or did he not know and was hesitating because of how long he was at the pound?
- Angst? What Angst?: Duke gets over the death of his owner in his absence rather quickly. At least he gets to live with Max peacefully since they ironed all their issues out.
- Awesome Art: Take a look at NYC's skyline in the opening scenes of the film. Now compare it to the skyline of the Real Life NYC. Not only do the buildings appear breathtakingly realistic, but the geography of all the skyscrapers is correct.
- Awesome Music
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The fantasy sequence Max and Duke have in the sausage factory of anthropomorphic sausages singing and dancing to "We Go Together".
- Broken Base: Whether or not the premise is a ripoff of Toy Story, or if it's still a good movie despite that.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Snowball's eulogy to The Viper. It starts off with the typical Too Good for This Sinful Earth vibe, but his train of thought gradually devolves into saying that it kind of deserved it. Still, it shouldn't have ended like this!
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Gidget seems to be the fan favorite of the franchise even beating Snowball in many polls.
- Leonard the poodle. He appears for less than 30 seconds in the trailers, but he's already become popular for rocking out to System of a Down in his short scenes.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The scene of Max randomly twerking in the general direction of some female onlookers while being walked comes of as a lot grosser after the accusations that Louis C.K. cornered female colleagues and forced them to watch him masturbate. The scene of him dancing with hot dogs, a phallic-shaped food, is only slightly less gross.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- The Disney Acid Sequence somewhat resembles Sausage Party.
- In the Japanese dub, Tiberius and Norman are voiced by Mamoru Miyano and Yuuki Kaji respectively, who previously worked together in The Seven Deadly Sins as Gilthunder and Meliodas respectively. The hilarious part came with the fact Tiberius is a hawk and Norman a guinea pig and in the aforementioned animated adaptation of the manga Meliodas's partner-in-crime is a talking pig named Hawk.
- Gidget slaps Ozone to get him to spill the beans of where Max is located. One year later, Illumination decided create another scene where Jenny Slate harasses Steve Coogan. In Despicable Me 3, Anti-Villain League CEO Silas Ramsbottom is retiring and introduces his replacement Valerie Da Vinci and starts rambling on and on about her accomplishments, before Valerie gets impatient and shoves Silas' extremely obese body down the portal beneath the stage.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- Duke. All first, he kind of bullies Max and even drags him around New York City by his leash but later we find out that he got lost from his owner, who later died.
- Snowball and all the other flushed pets qualify as this, considering they were abandoned by their owners and pretty much thrown away.
- Memetic Mutation: JUMP. BOUNCE. DOWN. UP.
- So Okay, It's Average: Those who don't hate the film have generally agreed that, while the animation is great and there are a few cute scenes, it's an otherwise predictable, toothless plot with uninspired jokes. Even those who aren't bothered by it's resemblance to Toy Story have said it's not even a good ripoff of it.
- They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Toy Story with animals has been a popular criticism since the first trailer.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: In terms of contribution to the plot, most of the characters ended up underutilized or simply not utilized at all. Among the protagonists, Buddy, Chloe and Tiberius only contributed briefly, while Mel, Norman, and Sweetpea could've stayed home for all the difference they made.
- Trailer Joke Decay: The aforementioned System of a Down joke has appeared in all of the trailers.
- The montage of what the animals do after their owners leave was done to death in every trailer for the movie.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Max may not have been very nice to Duke on first impression, but Duke is still pretty hostile to Max, kicking him out of his own bed and eating his food just to spite him. There's no indication that he's like this for a reason, either. He's just kind of a jerk.
- What an Idiot!: When Max rushes into the bathroom and frantically tries to tell his owner to get rid of Duke, all she hears, of course, is his barking. Did he honestly expect her to understand him?
- It is implied at times though that pets do seem to think that people understand them.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: Tara Strong, the only professional voice actor in the film (as opposed to all of the celebrity voice actors), plays a character with virtually no lines.
YMMV / The Secret Life of Pets