Adaptation Displacement: The movie is loosely based on a little known book by Sol Yurick. In fact, it's more faithful to Xenophon's Anabasis than Yurick's modernized (and deconstructed) version.
Alternate Character Interpretation: The case can be made that Swan and Ajax are Not So Different. Swan is considerably more pragmatic than Ajax, but similarly eager to lead, happy to bust some heads, proud, and sexually aggressive. Tellingly, Swan's objection to Ajax staying behind to rape a woman alone at night in a park isn't that it's immoral, but simply the wrong time and place for such detours when they can do the same thing in the comfort of their own turf.
Anti-Climax Boss: Luther, who is disarmed with a single knife-throw before he can put up a fight.
Cult Classic: The film was popular in its day, especially due to the controversy it created, but has found a second wind as a campy, violent cult classic.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Let's not mince words, it's easy to not care one bit about anyone in this film considering they're entirely composed of street gangs who've done all sorts of crimes for their own benefit.
Ensemble Dark Horse: The Baseball Furies are easily the most recognizable and popular gang from the movie.
Fashion-Victim Villain: Even for the 70's, the Boppers' shiny purple vests and hats stick out like a sore thumb.
Ham and Cheese: The entirety of David Patrick Kelly's performance as Luther.
Ho Yay: The Warriors are a group of physically fit young men who wear matching leather outfits, including vests worn open. The fact that they're Bash Brothers in a story loosely based on an ancient Greek legend go even further in providing some homosexual subtext to the affair.
I Am Not Shazam: In the original Sol Yurick novel, the main gang was actually called the Dominators. The film avoided this trope by renaming them "the Warriors."
Cyrus's rallying cry of "Can you dig it?" and Luther's taunt, "Warriors, come out to play!" pop up all over the place.
The poster on the main page.
"Shit the chicks are packed!!! THE CHICKS ARE PACKED!!!"
"You see what you get when you mess with the Orphans!?"
Narm: Cleon's death. Getting mauled to death by a gang? Horrific. Being surrounded and attacked with synchronized elbows? Pretty hilarious.
Narm Charm: That DJ has to know there's no way the Warriors are actually listening to her, but still commits completely to the bit and puts on some pretty great music.
Nightmare Fuel: The Baseball Furies. You're running for your life in the middle of the night in New York City and you come across a gang of creepy, facepainted mutes wielding baseball bats coming towards you....
The opening introduced the Hi-Hats, a gang that dress like mimes, but we never got to see the Warriors beat up any mimes. Same goes for The Boppers, a gang that dress like stereotypical pimps. These two cases were fixed in the game.
It does get a slight revisit in the comic sequel, Jailbreak, as the Riffs and Warriors team up to help bust out Ajak. Snow tells the leader that Cyrus was onto something but the leader just coldly rebuffs him and tells him it was a one time deal to make up for the events of the movie.
Vindicated by History: The film was negatively received by most critics (Pauline Kael being a notable exception); worse, after a promising start at the box office, it quickly fizzled. The latter was mostly caused by outbreaks of gang-related violence — different gangs in the same theater at the same time came to blows — which in turn led to reasonable fears from both theater owners and non-gangster audience members, and also to the studio essentially pulling support with advertisements being culled to a minimum. Now it's considered a cult classic.
Watch It for the Meme: "Warriors! Come out to play-ay!" doesn't pop up until there's about five minutes left in the film. Fortunately, the other big meme, "Can you dig it?", is at the beginning.
Moral Event Horizon: After Virgil has new Warrior initiate Ash murdered, Cleon decides to finally deal with the Destroyers, once and for all.
Chatterbox (and his art gallery) are creepy as fuck.
The entire Baseball Furies mission. Being chased by ruthless gang members with baseball bats and face paint would freak anyone out.
Nightmare Retardant: Unleash the Fury difficulty has the Warriors dressed up as the Furies. This in turn makes the actual Furies gang swap places by using Warriors character models. This can make the chase scene completely hilarious as you can see half a dozen Cowboys and Vermins chasing you down the street.
Taking too long on the final battle with Luther will result in your AI controlled team mates throwing all the available debris, meaning you can't use it yourself.
The boss fight against Birdie as well, as he can knock out your allies by shooting at them. if he knocks them all out, there is nobody to chuck bricks at him to get him to move into your line of sight for attacking him, making it impossible to defeat him.
That One Level: In the middle of "Encore," your character is chased by a ghost train on tracks and doesn't think to just run off the tracks. The resulting minigame is entirely a button masher; you must very rapidly press one button to not die instantly. The problem? Unless you've been training your fingers in some sort of Ninja Gaiden dojo it is nigh impossible to actually mash the button at the speeds the game expects. Gamers soon realized that no matter what they did, the rollercoaster of doom would hit them just a few seconds in.