The intended ending of this show, as stated by series creator Gregory Thomas Garcia, would have been that Earl was going to get stuck on a difficult list item, and then quit. A few months would pass until one day, he runs into somebody who also has a list, with Earl on it. Earl realizes that his list has given other people the same idea. He then concludes that he has made the world a better place, and puts his list away for good, before walking into the sunset.
The items in Earl's list shown during the opening sequence read as follows: - 56: Stole liquor from liquor store. - 57: Told Joy Dan Dodd messed himself on the (rest cut out of frame). - 58: Fixed a high school football game. - 59: Everything I did to Dad. - 60: Pulled fire alarm - 61: Stole Mom's car (but I gave it back). - 62: Faked death to break-up with a girl. - 63: Wasted electricity. - 64: Spray painted the bridge. - 65: Cost Dad the election. - 66: Let mice out at school play. - 67: Stole beer from a golfer. - 68: Blew up mailboxes. 69: Cheated on school tests a lot.
Big Chubby, played by Burt Reynolds (I), is the father of Little Chubby, who is played by Norm MacDonald (I). MacDonald repeatedly impersonated Reynolds on "Saturday Night Live" (1975), and used the same clothing from his parodies on this show.
Part of the show's ad campaign before the series aired included billboard ads with Earl's picture and one of the items from his list printed on the billboard (for example, "Cheated my way through the seventh grade...twice", "Stole a car from a one-legged girl", "Faked my death to break up with a girl" et cetera.), with the tag line "...I'm sorry".
The halfway house in which Frank (Michael Rapaport (I)) and Paco (Raymond Cruz (I)) stay after they are released from prison due to overcrowding is the house in which the Chances live in Raising Hope (2010).
Every time Earl's picture (or otherwise graven image) is taken, his eyes are closed. This is considered to be a nod to Forrest Gump (1994), in which every photograph of Forrest shows him with his eyes closed.
In Season 2, Episode 3, "Sticks and Stones", Earl says, "He even taught me how to ride a skateboard without falling off and scraping my knees" (and Earl is seen struggling to ride a skateboard in the next clip). However, Jason Lee (I), who plays Earl, is a professional skateboarder who mainly skated in the late '80s and early '90s, and is co-owner of Stereo Skateboards.
Twice when Randy (Ethan Suplee) is woken up he mutters "Poopy trim!". This is a reference to the Kevin Smith film Mallrats (1995), where Suplee said the same thing when he was brought out of a daze.
When Earl and Randy are returning the items they stole from the convenience store, Earl refers to it as the Quick Stop, the store made famous in Clerks (1994), and referenced in the other movies, in which Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee appeared.
Gregory Thomas Garcia first pitched the show to FOX, which passed on it. About 18 months later executives at NBC got interested after reading the pilot script that producer Gregory Thomas Garcia had sent to several networks.
The close-up of Earl's driver license shows he lives in Pimmit Hills Trailer Park, Space C-13, Camden County. His date of birth is 4/25/1970 (Jason Lee's birthday), his height is 6'1", his weight is 190 pounds, his eyes (closed in the picture, of course) and hair are brown, and he is an organ donor. It's a class 1 license, #023052378, expiring on 4/25/2009, issued on 4/25/1970?
Although Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee had worked together before, producer Gregory Thomas Garcia didn't discover Suplee because of that; he discovered him while watching the DVD version of Without a Paddle (2004), because another actor in it had been recommended to him. What convinced Garcia to bring Suplee in for an audition were comments about him he heard on the DVD's commentary track. One of the actors in the commentary told the story of a dispute between director Steven Brill and Suplee. The scene the actor described was one where Suplee's character was supposed to be pointing a gun at some people Suplee and others had captured. The commentary noted that Suplee had insisted that he shouldn't point his gun at them after all, since in Suplee's mind, it had taken so long to capture the people that it had given the character time to rethink his motives. Suplee got his way in the scene, over Brill's objections. The fact that Suplee would think so much about such a small detail was enough to get him an audition. Garcia and the show's writers have subsequently used Suplee's attention to detail to the show's advantage, in various "pestered by a bee" background activities that Suplee's character does in various scenes. The first such scene was an improvisation in the pilot, where Suplee is looking up at the ceiling with his mouth open.
Natesville, Camden County's rival city, is home to the Chances in Raising Hope (2010).
Earl moved out of his parents' house on 03/14/89, according to his father in "Dad's Car"--dad uses those numbers as the combination to his gun safe.
After helping Kenny James, and crossing his name off list in the first episode, Earl says he has 258 lines left.
Catalina's full name is Catalina Rana Aruca, as revealed in the episode "Inside Probe", with Geraldo Rivera.
In the episode "Nature's Game Show", when Joy loads Darnell into the wagon after he is thrown through the wall of a trailer, he says, "Mambo dogface to the banana patch," which is taken from a live stand-up comedy album from Steve Martin (I) in the '70s.
Several minor characters who appear throughout the series go on to have larger roles in Raising Hope (2010).
Even though Earl has his eyes shut (apparently) in every photo taken, the pictures of Earl on the DVD covers show him with his eyes open.