Billy Bob Thornton came up with his character's hair cut on his own. The moment Noah Hawley saw him, he knew they were both on the same page regarding the character.

Every episode starts with the onscreen words "This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 2006/ 1979/ 2010 (depending on what season it is). At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred." This is a nod to the way that the 1996 source movie Fargo started (also by claiming that its events were based on a true story). However, neither the movie nor the TV show are actually based on true events. In a 2014 interview, the show's Executive Producer Noah Hawley clarified the "true story" episode introductions by saying "the show.... It's all just made up. The whole cloth. I didn't go looking for [a] true crime. It started from a character standpoint and everything grew organically out of that."

Each episode of the first season has a title that refers to a koan, parable, or philosophical paradox.

This is actually the second TV show spin-off of the movie Fargo (1996). The first was in 2003 starring Edie Falco. A pilot was shot and aired but the series was not picked up.

Season 2 takes place around an incident in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1979, and focuses on a young Lou Solverson (played in season one by Keith Carradine). The writer, Noah Hawley, says season 2 not only draws inspiration from Fargo, but also from other Coen Brothers movies such as Miller's Crossing and The Man Who Wasn't There

In Season One Episode 2, as Deputy Solverson and Lester exit the drug store, a parking spot is designated "Parking Reserved for Owner Mike Zoss". This is a reference to Mike Zoss Drugs, a Minnesota pharmacy, and no doubt a nod to the Coen brothers who spent time there in their youth, and subsequently named their production company Mike Zoss Productions, as well as giving the name to the pharmacy that is robbed in their film 'No Country For Old Men'.

The name of the character 'Deputy Knudsen' is a reference to The Big Lebowski. The private eye that is following The Dude was hired by the Knudsens, Bunny's family back in Minnesota.

Season 2 Episode 9 ("Castle") is narrated by Martin Freeman, who played Lester in Season 1.

When the FBI detectives discuss about the fox, rabbit and cabbage riddle it is a reference to the Office (UK) series. In fact Martin Freeman solves the riddle just like his character does in the Office.

In the first episode, Lester walks into a diner to meet up with Lorne, a sign advertises White Russians for $4.95. This is an obvious nod to the Coens and their film "The Big Lebowski" whose lead character The Dude drinks White Russians throughout the film.

Writer Noah Hawley and director Randall Einhorn confirmed that both the series and movie take place within the same universe.

In season 2, the poem Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) recites is called Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Even though Noah Hawley is the only writer credited in the whole first season, he actually put together a writers room, with people that help him tweak the stories and discuss ideas.

In the trailer for season 1, there is a clip where Mr. Numbers (Adam Goldberg) shoots a would-be robber with a gun covered in a Scrunyon bag. No such scene appears in the series. However, you can find the deleted scene in the "extras" section in the DVD, among others.

There is Jewish symbolism throughout the first 4 episodes of season 1. Lester Nygaard's house number is 613. The ransom note to Stavros asks for an amount ending in 613 and when Gus talks to Molly after he has arrested Billy Bob Thornton, he tells her that he was on "a 613 - a dead dog". According to Judaic authorities, there are 613 mitzvahs - or commandments - in the Torah. Of course, we also keep seeing the Mitzvah Tank, in front of Gus's apartment, at the gas station where Gus gets the 613 call.

The Gerhardts' house in season 2, is the same house that appears on AMC's Hell on Wheels as Brigham Young's house.

Bruce Campbell, who plays President Ronald Reagan, was also briefly visible onscreen in the source movie Fargo. He is in the soap opera that is playing on the TV in the kidnappers' cabin. This was actual archival footage of the young Campbell in a real 1980s soap opera, Generations, that really was one of his early acting jobs.

The 'fox, rabbit, and cabbage' question posed by Pepper and Budge to Lester is the exact same question posed to Martin Freeman (Lester) and his colleagues in The Office (UK, 2001): Season 1, Episode 4 - Training. Martin Freeman (Tim, Lester) gives the correct answer in both series.

The music in the credits of Rhinoceros (season 2) is "I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow" which is a nod to the Coen Brothers movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" In which the fictional band The Soggy Bottom Boys performed the track.

The show shoots in the Winter for real, which is the reason why the seasons air a year and a half apart.

The second season is kind of a prequel to the first season. Expanding on the Solversons' family and their story, and Molly Solverson is seen as a young girl.

A portion of season 3 is being filmed in Beiseker, Alberta, Canada.

The soundtrack for season 2 contains several songs featured on the soundtracks for Coen brothers films. Included among them are: "Man of Constant Sorrow" and "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby" (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), as well as "Run Through the Jungle" and Kenny Rogers' "Just Dropped In" (The Big Lebowski) and "Danny Boy" (Miller's Crossing).

Bruce Campbell, who plays Ronald Reagan in season 2, also had a minor role in the original Fargo (1996). As of 2017, he's the only actor to have appeared in the film and the TV series.

In season 3, episode 4 the episode is narrated by Billy Bob Thornton who starred in Season one as Lorne Malvo.

Jesse Plemons who portrays Ed Blomquist in season two, and Bob Odenkirk, who portrays Bill Oswalt in season one, both appeared in Breaking Bad as Todd and Saul Goodman, respectively.

In season 1 episode 3 when Gus goes to tell his boss he could have picked up Lorne Malvo his boss mentions that 'it's just like Sioux Falls all over again' a mention to season 2 well before it was made!

In season one the character of Lester wears a deer stalker hat made famous by Sherlock Holmes. Martin Freeman who plays Lester also stars in Sherlock Holmes as Watson.

In Season 3, Episode 3: When Gloria (Carrie Coon) rings the bell at the window of the Writers Guild Of America, the chime continues to resonate until the woman answering puts her finger on the bell. This appears to be a nod to the Coen Brothers movie Barton Fink where John Turturro rings the bell and Steve Buschemi puts his finger on it.

Each season features at least one cast member who has previously appeared in a film directed by the Coen brothers.

Billy Bob Thornton and Stephen J. Root have both appeared in films by the Coen brothers: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Colin Hanks's father, Tom Hanks, appeared in The Ladykillers (2004). Adam Goldberg and Tom Hanks appeared together in Saving Private Ryan (1998), which also featured Harve Presnell, who had appeared in the original Fargo (1996). Ted Danson from Season 2 also appeared in Saving Private Ryan.

During season 2, Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst ) is very eager to participate in a Lifespring seminar. Lifespring was a real organization founded in the mid-1970s. An offshoot of the late 1960s and early 1970s so-called "human potential" movement, its founders had all been followers of Werner Erhard's similar "Est" Training organization. Starting in the late 1970s until Lifespring disbanded in the mid-1990s, dozens of lawsuits levied a wide variety of complaints against Lifespring, ranging from characterizing it as a fraudulent pyramid scheme to holding it responsible for over two dozen participants' deaths.

Jim Gaffigan was originally cast as Donny Mashman in season 3, but unfortunately had drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

David Thewlis also appeared in The Big Lebowski (1998) for directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.

Noah Hawley is one of the show's producers. Hawley is also the name of a neighboring town to Fargo, North Dakota.

The elevator murder scene was set in Las Vegas but Hotel Arts is clearly visible on the floor button board. Hotel Arts is a Calgary , Alberta hotel and most of the season one episodes were shot in Calgary.

In season 2, Lou Solverson carries a Colt Python revolver.

The blanket that Otto uses in 3 episodes of season 2 was bought by a fan in New York

Season 3 costars Shea Whigham and Michael Stuhlbarg previously costarred in Boardwalk Empire.

Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman both starred in Love Actually.

Fargo is an actual city in North Dakota.

Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon appear together in Season 3. McGregor appeared in August: Osage County, based on the play by Tracy Letts, husband of Carrie Coon. Ironically, Letts was initially quite resistant to McGregor's casting in the film adaptation.

Hawley has previously worked with Adam Goldberg, Ryan O'Nan, Joshua Close, Susan Park, Kai Lennox, and Cristin Milioti on "The Unusuals."

Although they had no scenes together, both Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Platt both starred in the film The Ice Harvest

The characters of Nick Offerman and Dan Beirne, respectively Karl and Sonny (season 2), bear great resemblance between the characters of John Goodman (Walter) and Steve Buscemi (Donny), featured in The Big Lebowsky (1998).

Four actors from the first three seasons all also appeared in the movie The Post: Jesse Plemons, Carrie Coon, Bob Odenkirk, Michael Stuhlbarg. Carrie Coon's real-life husband, actor Tracy Letts, also appeared in The Post.

Billy Bob Thornton and Colin Hanks previously appeared in Parkland (2013).

Ewan McGregor previously appeared in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a character previously played by Alec Guinness. The Coen brothers previously directed The Ladykillers (2004), which featured Tom Hanks in a role previously played by Guinness. Hanks is also the father of series cast member Colin Hanks.

In one of the final scenes of season 2, Hanzee receives a new identity (including the name Moses Tripoli), hints at plastic surgery, and threatens Kansas City saying, "Not apprehend, dead. Don't care heavily-guarded. Don't care into the sea. Kill and be killed. Head in a bag. There's the message." In season 1, the mob boss of Fargo uses nearly these exact words to describe how he wants Sam Hess's killer dealt with. According to the episode's credits, the boss's name is Mr. Tripoli. This connection implies that Hanzee altered his appearance and became Fargo's mob boss before being gunned down by a similarly ruthless killer: Lorne Malvo.

In the final episode of the first season, Lester tells Molly that she's all wrong and he's not a monster. She responds only by telling him a short parable about a man losing a glove out the window of a train and then throwing his second out also, so whoever finds them will have a full set. Lester cannot understand its meaning. Almost immediately after, he is given the famous riddle by Pepper and Budge about the fox, rabbit, and cabbage, which he solves quickly. His failure in solving the first riddle and success at the second was a clever way of demonstrating that although Lester had a brilliant mind for solving problems, he was incapable of understanding the virtues of empathy and selflessness.

The money found by "The Greek" Stavros Milos, the grocery store owner, in the flashback he has is the same money and windshield scraper buried by Steve Buscemi's character in the movie Fargo.

Throughout the first season, Lorne Malvo uses riddles and parables to suggest that he is the ultimate predator and often alludes to wolves while doing so. Moments before he is killed by Gus, a wolf looks at him through the window of his cabin. Although never explicitly discussed in the show, this was done to highlight the moment that Lorne became the prey, while Gus became the predator.

Throughout the series, Lester wears a red hooded jacket, a reference to "Little Red Riding Hood" fable, indicating that he is a sort of prey running away. He drops it when he starts to feel like a new man starting from episode 8. This moment tracks the fact that Lester is no longer prey. In episode 10, while hunted by Lorne Malvo, he finds the red hooded jacket and wears it again, alluding that Lester is again prey being hunted by wolves.

Season 1 Body Count: 39 (32 of which are killed by Lorne Malvo) Season 2 Body Count: 60+

In Season Two, the episode "Fear and Trembling" Lou is seen sitting outside late at night in front of his house with a shotgun, you can see him repeat this pattern in season 1 when he's sitting on the front porch of his daughters house late at night with a shotgun.

In S1 E9 Burt calls Lorne (posing as Mike) "friendo." This happens again in S2 E10 when Mike Milligan confronts Ricky he calls him "friendo." These are probably nods to Anton Chigur (Javier Bardem) from No Country For Old Men.

I'm Season 3 Nikki finds herself at a bowling alley struggling with what to do next, she orders a drink and then she gets advice from a random stranger, this is a homage to the Coen Brothers other cult classic "The Big Lebowski"

Out of all the characters in the series, Mr. Wrench is the only one who appears in all three seasons.

Bear Gerhardt is the only child of Floyd to outlive her. Charlie Gerhardt is one of four remaining Gerhardt grandchildren at the end of the season - along with Dodd's remaining three daughters who are mentioned, but never appear on the show.

In Season 3 Episode 7, the police enter Nikki Swango's motel room. The officers stop her and wrestle her down as she attempts to escape through the bathroom window. The scene is almost an exact recreation of Jerry Lundegaard's arrest at the end of the original film Fargo.

At the end of episode 10 season 2 when Hanzee is getting his new identity, two kids are shown playing catch and arguing in sign language, one child being short with dark hair, and the other taller with red hair. This could be mr. Numbers and mr. Wrench from season 1.