James Brolin was originally approached for the role of Bernie, but turned it down. When director Jay Roach went to approach Dustin Hoffman for the role, Hoffman was talking non-stop and even out of the point,which made him the instant choice for Bernie.
The motion picture association would not allow the name "Fockers" to be on posters or part of the main title for the movie, unless the filmmakers could prove somewhere in America that there was in fact someone with the real last name "Focker." Apparently, they found somebody because the movie was granted the name "Meet the Fockers" by the MPAA.
The actors portraying Greg Focker's parents and in-laws have won a combined six Academy Awards. Dustin Hoffman (Bernie Focker) won two Oscars for Best Actor for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988). Barbra Streisand (Roz Focker) won one Oscar for Best Actress for Funny Girl (1968) and one Oscar for Best Original Song for "Evergreen," from the film A Star Is Born (1976). Robert De Niro won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather Part II (1974) and another Oscar for Best Actor for Raging Bull (1980).
During production, the proposed title of "Meet the Fockers" was thought by the studio to be too vulgar. The spelling was briefly changed to "Meet the Fokkers," but that would have upset the franchise's continuity, so it was changed back.
The close-up of Bernie Focker's license plate, as he and Greg are driving away, reveals the letters "TMI," a subtle reference to Bernie's propensity for overly detailed explanations and descriptions of personal information. "TMI" is the literary abbreviation for "Too Much Information."
Jack (Robert De Niro) says that Greg's "son" looks like a young Latino Marlon Brando. De Niro and Brando both played the role of Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather" franchise (1972-1990); Brando played the older version in The Godfather (1972) and De Niro played the younger version in The Godfather: Part II (1974).
Robert De Niro spent a lot of time when he wasn't filming hanging out with the twins who play his grandson. He felt it important to bond with the twins as much as possible to make his onscreen relationship with them credible.
Barbra Streisand found making the film to be a refreshing experience as it was her first time as just a jobbing actress in 23 years. Normally, she's involved in her films more heavily, either as a producer, writer or director.
Roz (Streisand) gives Jack a massage where he lies shirtless on a massage table and she rubs his back and then runs her hands down under his belly. After doing that a few times, she says, "Oops, hit some driftwood" (an erection joke). Coincidence is, Barbra Streisand acted in Maurice Tei Dunn's play, Driftwood, in New York in 1959.