In the bar scene in Aspen, the line "No way... that's great. We've landed on the moon!" was not in the script but made up by Jim Carrey on the spot during shooting.
When Harry and Lloyd are in the car, Lloyd asks if Harry wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world. This was not originally in the script (you can tell by the look on Jeff Daniels' face).
According to the Farrelly brothers, Jeff Daniels wasn't wanted for the film, but Jim Carrey wanted him in it. In order to ensure a no from him, they offered Daniels $50,000 for the role. He accepted without any hesitation nor did he attempt to negotiate, despite insistence from his agent the film would "kill his career." By 1994, the film was Daniels' most successful.
After scamming Seabass to pay for their bill, Lloyd says he saw it on a movie. The movie he is speaking of is Something Wild (1986) and the guy who pulls the scam is played by Jeff Daniels.
Jim Carrey was initially offered $700,000 to appear in the film. However, the offer went in the same week when Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) opened at number 1 in the US box office, so by the time Carrey's agents had renegotiated with the film's producers, his salary had upped itself to $7 million, almost half the film's budget.
During filming, Jim Carrey stayed the night at the Stanley Hotel and requested to stay in the infamous room 217 (see Stephen King's: The Shining). According to the tour guide at the hotel, about three hours after Carrey went to sleep, he came running out of the room and left the hotel. To this day, he vows to never go back and won't tell anybody why. It is said to be because he saw the ghost of his grandfather.
Jim Carrey chipped his tooth years earlier, but had the cap removed for the film to make his character look more deranged.
When the film went to the top of the US box office, it gave Jim Carrey the distinction of being the first actor to have three films go straight to number one in one year (those films being this, The Mask (1994), and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)).
The hotel, bar and Lamborghini scenes were shot at The Historical Stanley Hotel in Estes Park CO. The "We landed on the moon" photo in the bar remains on the wall. The Stanley was the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining.
According to Jeff Daniels, none of the scenes between Jim Carrey and himself were filmed during the first week of production because the studio was fully prepared to replace him in the role, even going so far as to have a comedian on standby waiting to take the role. However, after viewing the dailies and constant insistence from Carrey that a real actor (as opposed to a comedian) play opposite him to "ground him", the studio ultimately allowed Daniels to keep the role.
Jeff Daniels reportedly earned the role of Harry after the Farrelly Brothers remembered him from a Pepto Bismol commercial.
Although the ultimate travel goal was to reach Aspen Colorado, the actual town wanted too much money for film rights so many scenes were shot in nearby Breckenridge. The script however, was untouched. Certain shots were filmed in Estes Park, Colorado at The Stanley Hotel.
In order for Jeff Daniels to attain Harry's frizzy hair, during filming he was instructed to wash his hair only, and not to use conditioner, blow dry it, or even comb it.
Jeff Daniels claimed he was at a golf course one day when Clint Eastwood told him that he had just seen the movie. Daniels braced himself for a negative reaction, but to his surprise Eastwood wanted to tell Daniels that the bathroom scene had happened to him once when he was on a date.
Production was shut down in Salt Lake City for a week when Jim Carrey had surgery for a gallstone.
Bennett Yellin's initial draft of the script was apparently so disjointed that it had gained a negative reputation among film investors. After the script was re-written, it was pitched to producers under the fake title "A Power Tool Is Not a Toy", in order to get them to even read it.
The restaurant scene (with Seabass) was filmed in Ft. Morgan, Colorado. However filmmakers originally wanted to film this scene at a restaurant in Wiggins (about 15 miles west of Ft. Morgan) but after viewing the script the owner refused.
Victoria Rowell is credited as Athletic Beauty. In the film, her character is called Beth Jordan and is an undercover FBI agent.
Among the many writings on the gas station bathroom stall are: "Why are you looking up here when the joke is in your hand?", "Bye Bye William Frawley", "NAMBLA Rules", and "Why the hell is everyone so goddamned angry?".
During the men's room stall scene, when Lloyd checks the time, the close-up of his wristwatch reveals it to be a "Casino Alarm Chronograph", suggesting it is a fake of the already, very inexpensive brand, Casio; it also lacks any of the dials found on a real chronographic timepiece, along with the 5, 6, and 7.
The feature film debut for Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly. They said years later that the main reason they got the job was that Jim Carrey's breakthrough film role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) had been directed by someone who had never done a feature film before (Tom Shadyac) and after a positive first meeting with the Farrellys, Carrey decided to give them the job in hopes of replicating that success.
Lauren Holly turned down a role in the Jim Carrey vehicle Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) but co-starred with him here later the same year.
In the scene where Harry and Lloyd are escaping the "gas man", when they are running out to the dog van, there is a guy in the background urinating against a wall.
The sports car Harry and Lloyd purchase is a Lamborghini Diablo. Supplied courtesy of Emich Lamborghini, Golden, Colorado - which has since closed down.
This is the second movie released in the same year in which Karen Duffy plays a character named Shay. She also played a character named Shay Stanley in Blank Check (1994). It was also the second movie released in the same year in which Jeff Daniels played a character named Harry. He also played Det. Harry Temple in Speed (1994).
The scene in which Harry tells Lloyd to throw salt over his shoulder is very similar to a scene in The Three Stooges short Beer and Pretzels (1933). Ted Healy throws a salt shaker over his shoulder, causing a fight. The Farrelly Brothers went on to direct The Three Stooges (2012).
Jim Carrey and Charles Rocket previously appeared together in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988).
The song Harry and Lloyd sing after picking up Mental is the same song the Griswolds sing when they begin their road trip to Wally World in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
Film critic Roger Ebert cracked up laughing at the scene which Billy the blind boy is seen stoking Harry's dead pet bird Pete, when he went to see the film.
Lloyd punching his fist into the chest of the chef and ripping his heart out of his body in the dream Kung-Fu fight sequence parodies Mortal Kombat (1992), which the character Kano kills his opponents by ripping their hearts out of their chests. This could also be a reference to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). The main villain rips the heart out of a villager's chest during a ritual sacrifice.
In the scene where Lloyd is driving and playing with Harry while he's sleeping, there is Aspen on the Left and Lincoln Nebraska on the right with Lloyd going to Lincoln Nebraska, Lincoln Nebraska is the place in Yes Man (2008) (also starring Jim Carrey) is where he takes his friend to on there first trip together
Lloyd gets into an accident at an airport when trying to stop an airplane from taking off. The same thing happens to his character Fletcher Reid in Jim Carrey's later film Liar Liar (1997).
In the ball scene, Harry and Lloyd both do impressions of Hannibal Lector, the main protagonist from _The Silence of the Lambs (1991). In Jim Carrey's later film The Cable Guy (1996) Chip Douglas (Played by Jim Carrey) impersonates Hannibal Lector.
When Lloyd and Beth Jordan agent meet in the bar you can see Victoria Rowell start to crack right at the end of the scene.
One of Jim Carrey's co-stars in this film, Lauren Holly plays Mary Swanson. In The Mask (1994) one of Carrey's co-stars, Cameron Diaz went on to play the titular character Mary in There's Something About Mary (1998), also by the Farrelly Brothers. In their respective films both Carrey and Diaz sport outrageous hairstyles.
During Lloyd's dream sequence, when it looks like the chef has defeated him - he got brutally beaten up and literally had his head kicked in - Lloyd rises to his feet and says, "Eeuueh", to the chef who looks somewhat uneasy. Jim Carrey also says, "Eeuueh", in The Mask (1994) released the same year as this film.
An early draft of the film had Mel Gibson as Mary's husband, playing himself in a cameo role. This was going to be a gag because at the time, Gibson was one of Hollywood's biggest heartthrobs, and somebody like Lloyd Christmas couldn't possibly hope to compete with him.
The film bears a striking resemblance with the beginning of Stir Crazy (1980). Both films involve two friends who, after getting fired from service jobs on the same day, decide to move West after an inspirational speech given by one of the friends. Both films also include a road trip segment in a van, a run in with hillbilly locals and an energetic exclamation about how much they love being somewhere else.