The studio almost replaced Jason Mewes (Jay) with Seth Green. Kevin Smith insisted that Mewes should play Jay, but the studio made Smith take auditions for the role. Breckin Meyer also auditioned. In the end, all concerned agreed that Mewes was right for the part.
Brodie's comic book collection seen in the movie was actually director Kevin Smith's collection at the time (which has grown considerably since). The collection is what Smith was able to purchase back after selling his original collection to finance production of Clerks (1994).
While shopping, Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty) is seen wearing at least three different outfits. Doherty had a clause in her contract that she could keep everything her character wore, so came up with the plan that her character should wear everything she bought on her shopping trip.
Shawnee Smith came in to audition for a role. According to Kevin Smith, she was very rude and mocked the screenplay. After Shawnee left, casting director Don Phillips apologized for her behavior.
According to Kevin Smith, another actor auditioned for, and eventually received, the lead role of Brodie. On the first day of shooting his scenes, the unnamed actor "broke down", and was unable to give the same performance that had earned him the role. The actor was then replaced by Jason Lee.
While filming exteriors of the mall, production assistants would stick paper New Jersey license plates on cars in the parking lot. Occasionally, unsuspecting (Minnesota) mall customers would drive away with the prop plates still attached.
Svenning was not originally supposed to be bald. Michael Rooker was trying to dye his hair gray for a better look, and decided that bald would work even better.
This is the second film in Kevin Smith's intricately interconnected View Askewniverse series (the others being Clerks (1994), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Clerks II (2006)). The movies are all linked by characters, themes, and events, and each contains numerous references to the others.
Filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, down the road from Fargo (1996) which was shooting at the same time.
The Wile E. Coyote-style blueprints used by Jay and Silent Bob were drawn by producer Scott Mosier.
The picture that Silent Bob goes through at the end of the "Batman" scene is actually a picture of Jason Lee's then-wife Carmen Llywelyn.
The film takes place only a day before Kevin Smith's previous film Clerks (1994), even though it was released a year after that film came out.
In real life, the elevator in which Brodie and Rene have sex has glass doors, covered up for the film, so the people outside couldn't see in.
During the Batman homage, as Jay and Silent Bob escape from La Fours, the belting attached to Kevin Smith slipped. The crane refused to start (someone had shut it off), and the key could not be located, nearly resulting in a possibly lethal fall.
Brodie wears a Henry Hudson Regional shirt. Henry Hudson Regional is the high school in Highlands, New Jersey, from which Kevin Smith graduated. An audience member in the show wears the same shirt.
One of the game show contestants is named "Gill Hicks" (Brian O'Halloran), a reference to Dante Hicks (played by O'Halloran in many of the other View Askewniverse movies). Presumably they are brothers.
In the scene where Jay and Silent Bob are hiding in the bookstore, Bob is reading "Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema" by John Pierson. The book contains numerous interviews and writings by Kevin Smith.
Universal wanted either Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, or Chris Farley for the role of Brodie Bruce, and Ethan Hawke for T.S. Quint.
The content of the dialogue between Quint and Brodie about whether Superman would be able to have sex and/or a baby with a non-superpowered woman, is taken from a classic 1971 essay by science fiction author Larry Niven called "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex."
The only film by Kevin Smith that he did not edit himself, although he and Scott Mosier cut the extended version that's on the Tenth Anniversary DVD.
The MagicEye "sailboat" picture is actually a four-by-three matrix of geometric shapes, consisting of a cross, a circle, a diamond, a star, four segmented circles, and four cones.
Originally, William Atherton was Kevin Smith's first choice to play Jared Svenning. Atherton chose not to do it, because the film was aimed at a teenage audience.
Seth Green was on-call, ready at any moment to fly to Minnesota, so he could replace Jason Mewes as Jay.
The book Bob is reading in the bookstore is simply a mock-up, as is the display stand. The real book had not come out yet.
Heather Graham auditioned for a role in this film. Reese Witherspoon had a meeting with the casting director, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, but both Smith and Mosier didn't enjoy the meeting, and told the casting director not to bother to bring her in for an audition. Smith details this meeting in his book, "Silent Bob Speaks".
The U.S. 1 Flea Market, a.k.a. "The Dirt Mall", was torn down in the mid-1990s. It is now the site of a multiplex cinema.
The original beginning of the movie tested poorly and was replaced by one that was filmed in Los Angeles. The original beginning contained an incident at the Governor's Ball (the one mentioned by the television executives).
Eden Prairie Center, where the film was shot, worked out perfectly for the shooting. There were a lot of vacant storefronts, so the producers could set up "fake stores" for the film.
Although Rene's surname is never mentioned on-screen, the cast list gives it as Mosier, a possible reference to producer Scott Mosier, but more likely a reference to Kevin Smith's ex-girlfriend, and Mosier's sister, Kristen Mosier, whom Smith noted on the DVD commentary track was the inspiration for Rene.
Joey Lauren Adams played Jeremy London's ex-girlfriend in this film, while she played his identical twin brother Jason London's girlfriend in Dazed and Confused (1993). Coincidentally, Ben Affleck also appeared in both films.
When Brodie is trying to cut in line at the comic book store, and is being yelled at, the "fan boy" says, "Tell 'em, Steve Dave!" The man named Steve Dave yelling at Brodie is played by Bryan Johnson, and the fan boy is played by Walter Flanagan. This catchphrase was later used as the title of a podcast in which Johnson and Flanagan take part.
The book "As Askew View 2: The Films of Kevin Smith" noted that Joey Lauren Adams was originally promised the role of Rene Mosier, before being cast as Gwen Turner and Brian O'Halloran auditioned to play T.S. Quint but was then hired to play Gill Hicks.
The song playing in the background, while the characters wait for the elevator, is the same one playing inside the elevator at the end of The Blues Brothers (1980).
Brodie is named after the main character in Jaws (1975) (a favorite film of Smith's, and one that he frequently references in his work), while his surname, Bruce, was the nickname given to the animatronic shark in the Jaws film franchise.
While doing event appearances as Merle Dixon from AMC's The Walking Dead, fans brought Michael Rooker (Mr. Svenning) bags of chocolate covered pretzels.
Studio executives required quite a bit of language to be removed or replaced with weaker language.
When Silent Bob is placing the tape of Shannon's sexual encounter with Tricia in the VCR, the crossed out title is "Woody Woodpecker".
The mall cop named La Fours is probably named after LeFors from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). In Butch Cassidy, LeFors is considered the toughest Sheriff, and his trademark is a white, straw hat (just like LaFours in this film).
John Landis was going to make a cameo as an irate customer, but this was written out at the last minute.
According to the blueprints, Jay and Silent Bob's two stage trashing operations are "Operation: Drive-By" and "Operation: Dark Knight".
Rene (Shannen Doherty) can be seen wearing a Decrassi Junior High School jacket, in reference to Kevin Smith's love for the show Degrassi High (1987).
The pass that Mr. Svenning wears around his neck is the logo of View Askew, the film's production company.
The end credits scene telling us the fate of each of the main characters is an homage to Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), which also has many scenes that take place in a mall. Kevin Smith even made sure to use the same font and color for the graphics.
In the opening credits for Ben Affleck in the movie depict a comic book, which is a parody of Batman. Twenty years later, Affleck would be cast as Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
During production, a television movie (Clerks. (1995)) based on Kevin Smith's film Clerks (1994) was being filmed.
The comic book that features Brandi depicts two director trademarks: (1) the fire behind her forms Jaws (1975), (2) she wears a Boston Bruins hockey jersey.
When Willam (Ethan Suplee) gets startled, he says "poopie trim". This is a reference to an inside joke between Kevin Smith and script supervisor Carol Banker.
Kevin Smith could not clear with the owners of Degrassi High (1987) to get an actual jacket logo. He took his issues with the copyright holders to the then-popular "Speaker's Corner" booth broadcast on Toronto's City-TV.
The opening credits for Shannen Doherty in the movie depict a comic book which is a parody of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), in which she was a series regular.
The stereo-gram, which supposedly shows a boat, actually depicts a set of four-by-three geometrical symbols.
Brodie's shirt is the faces of all the actors that auditioned for the role of Brodie morphed together.
Ben Affleck's character is named "Shannon Hamilton". Shannen Doherty was briefly married to Ashley Hamilton, although she did not adopt his last name.
The pro wrestler Jon Huber named his "Brodie Lee" character by combining Jason Lee's last name with the first name of his character, Brodie Bruce.
The person laughing during the Gramercy title sequence is a cellist in Ira Newborn's orchestra.
The scene where backstage before the game show ran by Jared Svenning starts, Roddy yelled at T.S. and Brodie quoting "You called down the thunder, now you got it"! That's the same line that was quoted by Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993). Kurt Russell played Wyatt Earp along side Michael Rooker, who played Sherman McMasters. Rooker's character was present when Russell quoted this line. The whole line is "All right, Clanton... you called down the thunder, well now you've got it! You see that? It says United States Marshal! Take a good look at him, Ike... 'cause that's how you're gonna end up! The Cowboys are finished, you understand? I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin' it! So run, you cur... RUN! Tell all the other curs the law's comin. You tell 'em I'M coming... and Hell's coming with me, you hear?... Hell's coming with me!"
The name "Gwen Turner" is a reference to Go Fish (1994) writer and director Guinevere Turner.
Towards the end of the film, Brodie (Jason Lee) tells an anecdotal story about his cousin Walter masturbating as a plane is seemingly going down, with the rest of the passengers doing the same thinking they're going to die, only to have the problem resolved. Almost Famous (2000) had a very similar occurrence wherein, under the impression their plane is going to crash, members of the fictional band Stillwater and their company start professing their darkest secrets, but the planes issue is resolved, and no party talks about it afterward. Jason Lee also starred in Almost Famous.
Kevin Smith: [Jaws (1975)] T.S. was going to propose to Brandi at Universal Studios "after Jaws popped out of the water". Character names Brodie, Bruce, and Quint are references to the same movie.