Chris Rock actually grew up mostly in the 1970s instead of the 1980s. But Rock felt that 70s culture has been parodied enough with shows like That '70s Show (1998) and moved the time period to the 80s.
Rock initially did not want to cast Tyler James Williams as Chris because he felt Williams was too good-looking to play a kid that everybody hates. But CBS executive Leslie Moonves (CBS owned UPN) insisted on Williams.
Chris Rock's real family had mom, dad, 6 other brother, 1 other sister, and himself. He said that using 6 brothers and 1 sister would've been weird, so he thought it'd be better to use some of his sibling's personalities to make 2 siblings for the show.
Jacqueline Mazarella's role of Ms. Morello was originally only supposed to be for one episode and she had only one line. ("Hello, Chris.") But during her audition, she was encouraged to improvise and "flirt" with Chris. She impressed the producers so much that her role was expanded in later episodes.
A significant amount of the recurring characters are played by actors/actresses from notable African-American sitcoms. Tichina Arnold, who plays Rochelle played Pamela "Pam" James in Martin (1992). Antonio Fargas who took on the role as Doc in the show played Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch (1975) (which was mentioned in the show). Todd Bridges, who is most remembered as Willis in Diff'rent Strokes (1978), plays Monk. Ernest Thomas, known for his role as Roger 'Raj' Thomas in What's Happening!! (1976) and What's Happening Now! (1985) plays the funeral director, Mr. Omar. Jackée Harry, who plays Vanessa had a major role in two sitcoms. She played Sandra Clark in 227 (1985) (which show was also mentioned in the show) and Lisa Landry in Sister, Sister (1994).Jimmie Walker , who played Rochelle's father, was best known for playing JJ Evans on Good Times. (1974).
Tichina Arnold composed a theme song for the show and recorded it with 2 of her friends. However, Ali LeRoi and Chris Rock already had some themes in mind, so they kept the ending of it to put in at the end of episodes and before commercial breaks.
According to the season 1 DVD release of the show, the episode "Everybody Hates the Babysitter" on the disc has the cast commentary in the episode and said that Tichina Arnold ad-libbed a lot of the things she says in the show.
Tyler James Williams (Chris) & Tequan Richmond (Drew) were both born in October 1992 and were 12 at the time the show premiered. However, it was revealed that there was a two-year age difference between them on the show.
Tichina Arnold who plays Rochelle and Tisha Campbell who plays Peaches Clarkson in a few episodes both stared as best friends on the comedy show Martin. On Everybody Hates Chris, Arnold's character can't stand Campbell's character who plays Chris' dream girl, Tasha Clarkson's mother because she is loud and is an ex-con.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the series finale, "Everybody Hates the G.E.D" the score of Chris' test is never revealed, however on Julies' truck there is 735 painted on it hinting that it could be the score Chris received. Also a 735 is a passing grade
Chris Rock's actual father, Julius Rock (the inspiration for the show's character) died from peptic ulcer disease in 1988, which is a year ahead from the time where this episode takes place in 1987. So it can be presumed that the series was intended to end before the time Julius's death would happen.
In Everybody Hates G.E.D., the man that Chris stares at is said to be the owner of Red Lobster. Red Lobster was the first job Chris Rock said he had when he got his G.E.D. Chris references this when he asks his mother if Red Lobster is hiring.