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- Adaptation Displacement: The fact that the introduction is about the movie, not the book, proves the case.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Jenny, Lt. Dan, perhaps even Gump himself.
- How much did Jenny hate herself due to her horrible childhood, and how much was she using Forrest? Was Lt. Dan a Death Seeker prior or just unable to cope with his loss, and how much does he manipulate Forrest? And Forrest, is he really that low an IQ or merely severely autistic? The book is notable as putting him as an Idiot Savant, what most would call a very high IQ, but extreme autism, explaining his seemingly folksy wisdom as sheer cunning.
- Forrest definitely gets an alternative character interpretation from the book to the movie. The movie emphasizes Forrest's naivete and simplicity to make him a gentle, sweet soul that touches others' lives for the better. The Forrest from the book was an idiot savant, true enough, but was otherwise pretty much an angry, rather violent redneck bungling his way through history.
- Crazy Awesome: Lt Dan. Never mind that he went to Vietnam fully expecting not to return alive, he gets caught in a violent storm and insults God, challenging him to destory him. With the completely maniacal laughter he lets out, You know this man is absolutely insane and You can only love him for it.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Forrest carries Bubba (and the rest of his unit before that) out of a hostile area while napalm explodes behind him (and he gets a bullet in the but-tocks for his trouble.) He earns the Congressional Medal of Honor as a result (and a Purple Heart for taking one in the butt-tocks).
- Crowning Music of Awesome: "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley, "All Along The Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix, "Break On Through" by The Doors, "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few.
- Funny Aneurysm Moment: The scene where Forrest Gump helps one of the black college students with a book (while remaining oblivious to the controversy that ensues) becomes a bit weird after the fiasco where Gump's actor, Tom Hanks, gets a bit of negative publicity regarding an incident where he acts along with a black-face comedian in a comedy act.
- Gratuitous Special Effects: The CGI removal of Lt. Dan's legs or inserting Forrest into live footage serve very practical purposes but the feather Book Ends are examples of this trope.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Lieutenant Dan tells Forrest that the day Forrest works on a shrimp boat is the day he'd be an astronaut. While this is a reference to the book where Forrest does become an astronaut, Gary Sinise and Tom Hanks would later star together as astronauts in Apollo 13.
- It's also worth noting that during Forrest's and Jenny's wedding, Lt. Dan shows up with artificial legs he says were made from the same alloy they used in the space shuttle.
- The long hair and huge beard Tom Hanks sports while running across Alabama is very much reminiscent of the long hair he grows in another famous Zemeckis collaboration.
- Memetic Mutation: It's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
- Run, Forrest, Run!
- The Long List of shrimp dishes.
- Tear Jerker: Every single death scene. Plus, when Forrest meets his young son and he asks if the boy is "smart or is he..." and can't bring himself to finish.
- Jenny, after years spent being abused by her father, running away and experimenting with drugs and giving her body to men who didn't care about her... returns to Forrest's home in simple clothes and with a purse, politely greets him... and then runs desperately into his arms, hugging him close. Awww..!
- "You died on a Saturday..."
- When Forrest leaves the letter at Jenny's grave.
- Oh God seconded by this troper. The pain and emotion in Tom Hanks' performance in the scene is absolutely amazing.
- Forrest & Jenny reunited at the Lincoln Memorial.
- Lt. Dan at the wedding, walking on new legs, finally at peace. Gary Sinise has since turned his entire character in a CMOH because of his work for the VA and USO, especially suicide prevention hotlines.
- The first time Forrest meets Jenny on the bus to school.
Forrest: *narrating* You know, it's funny what a young man recollects. 'Cause I don't remember being born. I, I don't recall what I got for my first Christmas and I don't know when I went on my first outdoor picnic. But, I do remember the first time I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world.
Jenny: You can sit here if you want.
Forrest: *narrating* I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She was like an angel.
- Close to the end of the movie when Forrest is seeing Lil' Forrest off to school. He tells Lil' Forrest he loves him and says he'll be sitting there when Lil' Forrest gets home... and he actually does.
- Jenny's breakdown when she starts throwing rocks at her childhood home can also count, too. Even though Forrest has it bulldozed later, he never truly understood why she hated it as much as she did, but he did realize that she did not have good memories of the place.
- Unfortunate Implications: Jenny's near-endlessly miserable life, as well as the general Dumb Is Good theme, makes the film a Reactionary Fantasy of sorts that encourages people to go with the flow and do as they're told instead of trying to seize their own destinies and change the system, as she tried to.
- But what they don't understand is that, in reality, she never did try to change anything. She had an abusive life as a child, and when she got older she only continued with it. She stuck with men who would abuse her and opened herself up to destructive behavior because of what her father did to her, instead of getting help and moving on. She had many chances to change her act keep from getting into these things, but instead she was the one who continued with the flow.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: Many, such as Gump interacting with dead celebrities, Lt. Dan's stumps... and the ping pong ball!