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The film:

  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: Did Igor say he used the brain from "Abby Normal" to weasel his way out of admitting he grabbed an abnormal one, perhaps hoping to slip it past Frederick, or did he truly misread the label and not realize his error until Frederick connects the dots? His behavior could be both read as cheerful and unafraid and thus feeling no guilt, but shows shades of hesitancy and appeasing humility, like sitting on the floor before being offered a stool.
  • Award Snub: The movie did receive Academy Award nominations for Adapted Screenplay and Sound, but woefully ignored Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Kahn's hilarious performances. Not to mention nominations for Set Decoration or Costume. Leachman and Kahn at least got Golden Globe nominations, for Best Actress (Comedy/Musical) and Supporting Actress respectively. Plus, we'll never know if Kahn would have gotten an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress if she wasn't nominated in the same category for Blazing Saddles that same year.
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    • Brooks stated on his DVD commentary track that he thought Gene Wilder deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Of course, that year's Oscars had some very heavy competition (and the favorites didn't even win).
    • In the book The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks, author Robert Alan Crick said of Peter Boyle's performance: "Academy Awards have gone out again and again to acting not half this good".
  • Awesome Music: John Morris's heartbreaking "Transylvanian Lullaby" score.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Would you believe that it's entirely because of this film that the character of the deformed lab assistant is known as Igor? The character was named Fritz in the 1931 film, while Bela Lugosi played a completely different character named Ygor in its sequel Son of Frankenstein, which was transferred to the Fritz counterpart in this film.
    • Doubles as a Genius Bonus joke on how to pronounce "Ygor" in the first place.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Try to listen to a normal version of "Puttin' on the Ritz" without doing an impression of Peter Boyle as the Monster.
  • "Common Knowledge": It's been popular to explain the joke of the horses always whinnying in fear at Frau Blücher's (NEIGH) name as a matter of Bilingual Bonus- the horses are scared because her name means or sounds like "glue" in German. Except it doesn't—it's actually an average German surname. The intended gag is less deep than the popular explanation, as it just uses the horses in the cliche fashion of melodrama stings to convey that Frau Blücher (NEIGH) is an especially ominous or fearsome person. The gag would have been the same regardless of her name.
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  • Cult Classic: It was a hit at the time, but has managed to get real historical and cultural significance in the years since, and has a very devoted following, usually duking it out with Blazing Saddles for the title of Brooks's magnum opus.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Most of the cast were already members of Brooks' Production Posse, but this is the film that introduced many Americans to Marty Feldman.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: The deleted scene where the old baron's will is read has plenty of defenders who wish it had been kept. It has some good jokes and makes the plot slightly clearer.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In Italy several quotes have become part of their pop culture (see Memetic Mutation) and the 2008 drama movie Si può fare is a Shout-Out to the Italian translation of Frederick's "It could work!"
  • Memetic Mutation:
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    • This is where the dramatic chipmunk music comes from, when they first look up at the castle.
    • Every punchline is a quotable wonder. The movie is up there with Blazing Saddles as one of Mel Brooks' most-quoted films.
    • The "It Could Work!" line is a minor one in Italy, where it was translated as "Si può fare!", which means "It can be done!" and has the more general meaning of "We can do it!"note  and is often used in a variety of contexts as an encouragement.
    • The Italian translation of 'There wolf, there castle', 'Lupo Ulu e Castello Ulu!' is a very famous quote in Italy. Even people who haven't seen the movie know the pun.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Somehow, the "Puttin' On the Ritz" number turned up on the kid-targeted Anastasia Sing-Along/Anastasia's Music Box Favorites video. The clip itself doesn't have anything too inappropriate, but woe to the parents of any children who asked to watch the whole movie after seeing this clip...
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Mood Whiplash of the corrupt policeman who tormented The Monster with fire For the Evulz.
    • In the musical, after Frankenstein gives some of his intelligence to the Monster, the townsfolk catch him and actually hang him! Thankfully, the Monster saves him.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Gene Hackman as the blind hermit.
      "Come back! I was going to make espresso!"
    • The cruel policeman who tormented The Monster with fire while he was imprisoned, and unlike most of the story, it's played very dark. Trivia: the policeman is played by Oscar Beregi, who seems to have done a lot of arrogant bastard roles, most notably the Asshole Victim Nazi in the Twilight Zone episode "Death's-Head Revisited".
  • Parody Displacement:
    • It's a really faithful Affectionate Parody of Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein - to the point watching Young Frankenstein before makes many scenes in the originals hard to take seriously. Even more so, it specifically copies the plot and other elements (eg the one-armed policeman) of the third Universal Frankenstein film Son of Frankenstein, which is now almost forgotten outside serious Universal Horror fans.
    • The performance of "Puttin' On The Ritz" in this movie is one of the best known in spite of the song being written nearly fifty years prior.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: How many people these days bring up Ovaltine and aren't referencing either this movie or A Christmas Story?
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Danny Goldman, the smarmy medical student who keeps pestering Frederick about his grandfather's work, would go on to play Brainy Smurf. It just figures.
    • The late Peter Boyle (The Monster) is better remembered by younger audiences for playing Frank Barone. Less so at the time, however, as he had achieved fame due to starring in Joe (1970) and was well known as a character actor.
  • Signature Scene: Puttin' On The Ritz.
  • Special Effect Failure: The obvious padding on Gene Wilder's thigh when he stabs himself with the scalpel.
  • Values Dissonance: Elizabeth's Black Comedy Rape is played completely for laughs, with a "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization and the Creature becoming her Henpecked Husband at the end, but she was still raped.

The Musical:

  • Broken Base: Was the musical a worthy adaptation and successor to The Producers, or a lame corporate shill attempting to keep Mel Brooks relevant?
  • Awesome Music: "Life, Life" really stands out as a genuinely dramatic and impressive number among all the silliness.
  • Ho Yay: "Together Again", a duet between Frederick and Igor, almost sounds like a love song at times; they sing about how they feel they've met in a dream, and compare themselves to a list of famous duos which includes several romantic couples.
    But the pair that we cry for
    The pair that we sigh for
    The pair that we die for
    Is Fronk-on-steen and Eye-gor
    For the first time together again!
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The musical did some impressive lighting effects, such as flying sparks during "Life, Life" and the rear-projected CGI forest during "Roll In The Hay."

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