Despite the potentially sensitive dialogue surrounding same-sex marriage, Lily Tomlin said in an interview on National Public Radio's Fresh Air that the most difficult line for her was when she had to denigrate substitute teachers.
Being her first experience as a lead actress on a television show, Jane Fonda took acting lessons after noticing she was having a hard time playing a character so sustained in time.
Grace and Frankie's beach house, while supposedly in La Jolla, is actually located in Malibu, California. The address is 31212 Broad Beach Road.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin played Tina Fey's mother. Fonda was her mother in This Is Where I Leave You (2014) and Tomlin played her mother in Admission (2013).
It was Series Creator Marta Kauffman's daughter's idea to have Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) gay and leaving Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) to be together as the starting point to the show.
When Frankie tells Grace her secret, that she made out with a monkey, but then proceeds to explain it was Micky Dolenz from the pop/rock band, The Monkees, the closing song played during the credits is "She", sung by Micky Dolenz.
Almost every episode has a different director. There have been twenty-two unique directors as of season two.
The four main cast members have all worked with Aaron Sorkin. Martin Sheen and Lily Tomlin on The West Wing (1999); and Jane Fonda and Sam Waterston on The Newsroom (2012).
In one episode, Frankie wants to look up a movie with Lee Marvin in it. Jane Fonda was in Cat Ballou (1965) with Lee Marvin.
In season one, episode eleven, "The Secrets", after Frankie witnesses Grace kissing one of Frankie's art student convicts, she jokes that their household is becoming the "best little whorehouse in Texas." The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) starred Dolly Parton. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's 9 to 5 (1980) co-star.
In every season premiere, the show opens up with a scene on the beach. In each season finale, the show ends with a scene on the beach.
Because Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were two of the three stars of 9 to 5 (1980), some fans first speculated that the country-style cover of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You" that appeared in the trailer, and which serves as the show's credit sequence theme song was performed by their 9 to 5 (1980) co-star, Dolly Parton. However, the cover was performed by Grace Potter, founder of the rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
In season two, episode eleven, "The Bender", the liquor store, from where Grace gets her car stolen, is the same one that appeared in Clueless (1995). Alicia Silverstone's character, Cher, happened to get robbed and abandoned at the same liquor store.
In season one, episode seven, "The Spelling Bee", a contestant on the spelling bee named "Josiah" is asked to spell the word Fartlek, an ode to Martin Sheen's character on The West Wing (1999), "Josiah Bartlet".
Jane Fonda's first leading role in a television series. She previously appeared in a recurring role on The Newsroom (2012).
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have shared the on-screen ex-boyfriend played by Sam Elliott. On this show, Jane Fonda's character, Grace, previously dated Phil (Elliott). In Grandma (2015), Elliott played the ex of Lily Tomlin's character. In both scenarios, it had been many years since the old lovers had last seen one another.
When Sol (Waterston) and Robert (Sheen) get involved in gay activism marches, it's Sol who is gung ho and Robert who is weary or "too square" to commit. In real life Martin Sheen has actually been arrested nearly 70 times for his activism and protest efforts.
Jane Fonda's name was also Grace in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011). Her role was a free spirited ex-hippie just like Lily Tomlin's character on this show.
During the third season, Robert (Martin Sheen) gets a lead role in a community theater production of "1776", playing John Adams. In his career, Sheen has often played real or fictional Presidents or President-adjacent politicians. Real-life politician roles for Sheen have included John F. Kennedy (in Kennedy (1983)); Kennedy's brother Robert F. Kennedy (in The Missiles of October (1974)); and Nixon administration White House Counsel John Dean (in Blind Ambition (1979)). Fictional Presidents played by Sheen have included seven seasons as President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing (1999); the unnamed U.S. President in Medusa's Child (1997); and the sinister Greg Stilson in The Dead Zone (1983).
The four main cast members were in their mid to late seventies when the show started, even though the characters themselves are all suppose to be seventy-years-old. Jane Fonda (Grace) was seventy-eight, Lily Tomlin (Frankie) was seventy-six, Sam Waterston (Sol) was seventy-five, and Martin Sheen (Robert) was seventy-five.
When Frankie catches Grace trimming the rug under the table with the chairs stacked on top she asks "Do we have a poltergeist?" The star of Poltergeist (1982), Craig T. Nelson, appeared later in the season.
In season one, episode seven, "The Spelling Bee", while Sol (Sam Waterson) is watching the spelling bee on television, the child is asked to spell "subpoena". Sam Waterston was a District Attorney on Law & Order (1990) for sixteen years.
Jane Fonda and Marsha Mason were both nominated for best actress Oscars in the same year twice., in 1978 and in 1980. Neither of them won in those races.