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  • Acceptable Religious Targets: The Amish family. North doesn't even give them a chance.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Either North is a wonderful child whose parents don't appreciate him, or a raging egotist who doesn't get other cultures. Consider the fact that all the cultures depicted in the dream would seem to indicate that is how he views them, not how they really are. This would seem to indicate the kid's a bit of a bigot and, especially in light of his reputedly high intelligence (i.e., he should know better but apparently chooses not to), subsequently less sympathetic.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The over-the-top musical number sung by Ma and Pa Tex, set to the tune of the Bonanza Title Theme Tune. (Which incidentally is a case of Did Not Do the Research, since Bonanza was set in Nevada.)
    • The Eskimo family starts whistling the theme to The Andy Griffith Show -- the entire theme -- for the sole, flimsy sight gag that Andy his son Opie would be shown fishing to this song over the opening credits.
  • Critical Backlash. From Ebert's review: "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie."
  • Dude, Not Funny: A lot of the jokes fall into this territory.
    • Making cracks about your wife being barren to children while she's standing right next to you is in poor taste.
      • Don't forget that her name is Mrs. Ho. Isn't the irony hilarious?
    • Saying the horrific death of your overweight son was a "mighty big loss."
      • And to top that off, we then immediately get a happy-go-lucky, over the top musical number with the lyrics "We had a son who was trampled by a ton of longhorns!" What. The. Hell?
    • The billboard with North's crack on it came off as incredibly creepy, and not at all funny, especially since it includes a lingering shot of it.
      • Did it really have to be an octopus pulling down on the trunks?
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Abused and neglected kids need to just buck up and get on with it.
    • You can never be truly happy with anybody who isn't your biological family. Try telling that to anybody who's adopted or a foster parent...
  • Glurge: The film seems to think of itself as an uplifting morality tale.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight/Hey, It's That Guy!: It's impossible to watch this movie now and not briefly think, "Wait, George and Elaine got married?"
    • And gave birth to Frodo, no less!
    • Even when the movie was being produced, they were already famous for Seinfeld (made by Castle Rock Entertainment, which also produced this movie), also making it an example of WTH? Casting Agency.
    • John Munch has somehow made his way to the Arctic and is taking tickets for the Eskimo elders' abandonment on the ice floes.
    • To say nothing of Kathy Bates being sprayed brown and given a cheap black wig and pretending to be an Eskimo.
    • Hey, It's That Voice!: Mrs. Ho is played by Lauren Tom, a voice actress known for playing characters like Amy Wong (and her mother) on Futurama and Minh Souphanousinphone from King of the Hill.
  • Jumped the Shark: The career of Rob Reiner as a director never recovered from this cinematic fiasco.
  • Memetic Molester: The film portrays the entire populace of the state of Hawaii as this, thanks to the tourist ad.

  Quick, loosen his pants!

  • Squick: North's butt shown in Hawaii's ad with that hideously grinning octopus. It's a parody of a famous Coppertone/Water Babies ad (which had a puppy and a little girl), but comes out wrong...
  • WTH? Casting Agency: Most of the cast could fit into here. The most unexplainable is probably Kathy Bates and Abe Vigoda with their faces painted brown playing Eskimos.

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