There was originally supposed to be a storyline which included Gracie's mother. In the first scene after young Gracie gets in trouble for beating up the two boys, her mother was called in to the school to reprimand her daughter. The story behind her mother was that she was a top FBI agent who was killed in the line of duty and Gracie became an agent to make her mother proud. This was cut because director Donald Petrie thought the whole story was too much and that Sandra Bullock was already bringing enough sympathy to the character without having to bring in another storyline.
The scene with Gracie coming home after the mission in the restaurant was only scripted as "Gracie comes home and starts boxing." The rest (tripping, kicking the bed, microwave oven) was ad-libbed by Sandra Bullock.
Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt did all their own fighting throughout the movie. Stunt doubles were brought in but only to make sure they were using proper form. At one point Bullock accidentally injured Bratt when she had to kick him in the calves after he says, "Yes, you have to wear the bathing suit."
Jennifer Gareis who plays Tina, (Miss New York's lover sitting in the audience at the pageant) was actually cast as the original Miss New Jersey. Originally there was a scene where Gracie and Eric confront her at the gym and ask her to relinquish her title. Director Donald Petrie cut this scene because he wanted the story to move along faster. When he decided to cut her part out he felt bad asked her if she would like to come back as Tina.
When Gracie arrives at the pageant with Victor and they are greeted by Kathy Morningside, there is a woman in the background behind Kathy wearing the costume Gracie wears later on for her water glass routine during the talent competition at the Alamo.
Parodies the famous "I'm walking here!" line from Midnight Cowboy (1969) when Victor Melling is teaching Gracie Hart how to 'glide' as she walks. They walk across a street and a taxi almost hits Hart, prompting the response, "I'm gliding here!"
In the control booth at the Miss United States Pageant, there is a visible sign in the background of a Canadian Maple Leaf in the middle of a red circle with a red slash through it. Although it had been denied that it was put there on purpose, it is supposed to be an "inside joke/purposeful comment" on how many movies are now being made in Canada. (Mostly due to the lower production costs up there due to the pitiful exchange rate between the US and Canadian dollar...at least a 40% savings on crew wages, hotel costs, etc.)
An extra playing a pageant judge looked so much like wrestler Jesse Ventura that director Donald Petrie jokingly referred to him by that name during filming. It is not, however, actually Jesse Ventura in the role.
During the 'gliding' scene with Sandra Bullock and Michael Caine, after the car almost hits her and the actors walk off screen, across the street you can see a crowd of people behind barriers. They are not extras, they are onlookers that gathered to watch the actors and crew members shoot their scene. Not including them in the shot was unavoidable.
Austin filming for the movie occurred in May/June of 2000. Many Austin locations were used in the film such as the Dog and Duck Pub (where Gracie eats ice cream) and the Cue Lounge (featured in the botched mission at the beginning of the film) among others. The Starbucks scene was shot in the middle of downtown Austin, just blocks from the Texas State Capital. To make the Austin streets appear more "New York like", brown plastic bags of fake trash were put around the buildings while fake NYC taxi cabs cruised the streets. Although a stunt driver was used while filming shots where Gracie tears across the intersection and parks wildly in front of the Starbucks, Sandra Bullock did some of her own stunt driving in several takes, skills she had learned while making Speed (1994). The scenes were filmed on location at the Starbucks located at One American Center on 6th and Congress. The whole Starbucks scene was filmed over an entire day before wrapping around 6-7 p.m. The car scene alone took at least 5-7 takes and most of the afternoon in the hot Texas summer sun. To combat the heat, an assistant held an umbrella over Bullock as she got in and out of the car between shots. The interior scene only took a few hours in the late afternoon, early evening to shoot.
William Shatner's character "Stan Fields" is a reference to the actor's Canadian heritage. "Stanfields" is a very famous brand of underwear (known for its long johns) sold in Canada. Also "Stan Fields" sounds remarkably similar to former "Miss America" host Bert Parks.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
As Frank Tobin (Steve Monroe) is preparing the explosive crown in the prop room to kill someone for his mother, Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen), the Queen of the Night aria is being sung onstage. When this aria appears in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute, the Queen of the Night is demanding her daughter kill someone for her.
When Gracie Hart and Eric Matthews are requesting Kathy Morningside's permission to plant an agent (Hart) in the pageant, Kathy Morningside is sitting in front of a poster of a past pageant winner (complete with crown). When Kathy Morningside stands to correct Gracie Hart's comment about the pageant, the shot is set up so that, when she is fully upright, she is directly in front of the poster, completely eclipsing the past pageant winner and appearing as if she is wearing the crown.