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  • Acceptable Targets: Chaplin once wrote in an essay: "People as a whole get satisfaction from seeing the rich get the worst of things."
  • Award Snub: City Lights and Modern Times were not nominated for a single Academy Award, although this may have had to do with Chaplin's disdain for the Academy and Hollywood as a whole (to the extent that he helped found United Artists to work outside the studio system), along with stories that he used his 1929 "Special Award" Oscar as a doorstop. See also Knight Fever.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment - Chaplin's films perhaps pioneered the Big Lipped Alligator Moment. In films such as Sunnyside and The Kid there were randomly inserted dream sequences where Charlie danced with girls dressed as angels, it had nothing to do with the overall plot and was never brought up again afterwards.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment - Chaplin said that he would never have made The Great Dictator if he had known about the concentration camps.
  • Ho Yay: Often. Behind the Screen (1916) included a shockingly overt example for the time. Chaplin is a movie stagehand, while Edna Purviance dresses as a boy and gets a job as a stagehand after failing to get hired as an actress. Charlie figures out her secret and kisses her. Eric Campbell intrudes, sees Charlie apparently kissing a boy, and pantomimes a mincing homosexual stereotype.
  • Magnum Opus: Modern Times is considered by many to be his absolute best film.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped - Practically all of his movies have social commentary, and it's never subtle. Some examples:
    • The Great Dictator was made as an anti-Nazi film before America joined World War II.
    • Modern Times opens with scenes of workers heading to a factory, cut with scenes of lambs being herded through an enclosure.
  • Tear Jerker: the end of City Lights, and his acceptance speech when he won an honorary Oscar, not to mention the massive standing ovation. It lasted twelve minutes, the longest of any applause in Oscar history.
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