In just over a year, Thriller became—and currently remains—the best selling album of all time, with sales estimated by various sources as being between 51 and 65 million copies worldwide. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984 , including for Album of the Year. Thriller was ranked number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.

It was MTV's first world premiere video. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time. Guiness World Records listed it in 2006 as the "most successful music video", selling over nine million copies. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. It is also the most watched music video of all time, seen by more than four billion people all over the world.