- And You Thought It Would Fail: Disney was so reluctant to finance this film (despite the presence of Bruce Willis), that they sold a good chunk of their rights to a newly-formed independent production company called Spyglass in order to lower the risk. Little did they know...
- Fanon: A large amount of people assume that the parent who poisoned and eventually killed Kyra was her stepmother - presumably due to the influence of the Wicked Stepmother trope. The film never clarifies whether the woman is her biological mother or not. Though seeing as there was a great resemblance between them, it's safe to conclude she's the mother.
- Franchise Original Sin: The well-done plot twist in this film degraded into a plethora of shocking swerves in Shyamalan's films. Only Unbreakable, and possibly Split are considered to have done the last-minute twist as well.
- He Really Can Act: Yes, that's Donnie Wahlberg as an unrecognizable, chillingly unhinged mental patient in the opening scene.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Wouldn't be the last time Toni Collette was in a movie with ghosts and dead children.
- It Was His Sled: Bruce Willis/Malcolm Crowe is a ghost!
- Not to mention that Cole sees dead people; it's hard to remember that this was even supposed to be a twist.
- The trailer spoiled that one for everyone.
- Memetic Mutation: "I see dead people" is almost a Stock Parody now, with a nervous individual tightening the grip on their blanket and whispering out any number of variations: "I see white people" "I see dumb people" etc. It even named a trope.
- Moral Event Horizon: Kyra's mother poisoned her own daughter over an extended period of time just to get attention for herself, and was well on her way to doing this with Kyra's younger sister, too. What's even worse is that this is a real mental disorder.
- Nausea Fuel: Kyra's ghost's first appearance is a Vomit Indiscretion Shot. Nothing else need be said.
- Older Than They Think: Shyamalan himself said/admitted the film was inspired by an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- Film Scholars will often note that the movie takes inspiration from Jacob's Ladder. Most notably a character(Cole/Jacob) suffering a severe disassociation from reality, being subjected to horrifying, otherworldly visions, Malcomn/Jacob being unable to come to terms with their own demise, and the Dead All Along twist.
- One-Scene Wonder: Donnie Wahlberg as Vincent in the opening scene.
- Retroactive Recognition: Misha Barton from The O.C..
- Sora sees dead people!
- "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Believe it or not, before "the Shyamalan twist" became a requisite part of M. Night Shyamalan's movies (and before they became rather infamous for not making any sense), this movie's Twist Ending was genuinely unexpected, and even Shyamalan's detractors are generally willing to admit that he pulled it off quite well. Some would even argue that it led the directors of similar psychological thrillers to copy Shyamalan by shoehorning twist endings into their movies at the expense of plot and character development, further diluting this movie's impact.
- Tough Act to Follow: None of Shyamalan's subsequent works have measured up to this film, except arguably Unbreakable and Split.
- Values Dissonance: While it made for a dramatic moment in the movie, in this day and age, a teacher angrily shouting "shut up, you freak!" to a student would quickly find him or herself out of a job, with or without Bad Mood as an Excuse.
- The Woobie: Cole, Vincent, Kyra, Kyra's little sister, and their father.
- Cole's mom. Especially when you rewatch it.
- It's safe to assume ALL the spirits (with the exception of the spirit in the attic) are this: All the spirits Cole sees are nothing but victims who died horribly and are just seeing someone to give them closure. The problem is the fact they're going to a kid, a kid who barely is understanding the world and doesn't know what to do.
YMMV / The Sixth Sense