Jack Nicholson's own experience in the hospital, just prior to filming, inspired some of the dialogue and acting for the movie. For example, the mirrored glasses seen in the movie were not originally in the script, but Nicholson, who obtained them while in the hospital, brought them to set. Director Rob Reiner decided to include them in the film.
Jack Nicholson's character Edward Cole says the line " Look, I passed up a lunch with Michelle Pfeiffer to be here". Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the movies The Witches of Eastwick (1987), and Wolf (1994).
During his comedic speech at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Obama referenced this movie's concept of a "Bucket List" while joking about the fact that he didn't have much time left in his Presidential term: "I am determined to make the most of every moment I have left. After the midterm elections, my advisers asked me, "Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?", and I said, "Well, I have something that RHYMES with bucket list." Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. New climate regulations? Bucket: it's the right thing to do."
Jack Nicholson starred in Batman (1989). Morgan Freeman starred in the Dark Knight trilogy. When Jack says "Where does he get those wonderful toys?", Morgan was the one who provided those wonderful toys to Batman.
Carter (Morgan Freeman) mentions that one item on his bucket list was to become the first Afro-American President of the United States. In Deep Impact (1998), Freeman actually played the President of the United States, ten years before the first Afro-American President (Barack Obama) was elected in real life.
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman both played opposite of Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give (2003), and 5 Flights Up (2014), respectively. Nicholson played Harry Sandborn, Keaton's daughter's older boyfriend...who becomes Diane's character's, Erica Berry's boyfriend. Freeman played Alex Carver, who is married to Ruth Carver, played by Keaton.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Kopi Luwak is indeed the most expensive coffee in the world, priced between 120 dollars and 600 dollars per pound. Its production is very slow due to its "animal stage". The beans come from coffee berries which have been eaten by, and passed through the digestive tract of, the Asian Palm Civet.
While overlooking the pyramids in Egypt, Edward is telling Carter a story about his daughter and fiancé, and says he felt like he wanted to bash the fiancé's brains in. This is quite possibly a reference to The Shining (1980), when Nicholson's character told his wife, "Honey, I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm just gonna bash your brains in!"