Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has 32 rules for surviving Zombieland, ten of which are identified in the motion picture. As the rules are punctuated, and in the order in which they appear in the movie, they are, "Rule #1. Cardio"; "Rule #2. Double tap"; "Rule #3. Beware of bathrooms"; "Rule #4. Seatbelts"; "Rule #7. Travel light"; "Rule #31. Check the back seat"; "Rule #18. Limber up"; "Rule #22. When in doubt, know your way out"; "Rule #32. Enjoy the little things"; and "Rule #17. Don't be a hero" (later corrected to "Be a hero"). An eleventh rule of surviving Zombieland is identified in a deleted scene. As punctuated in the deleted scene, the rule is "Rule #2. Ziploc bags". In voice-over, Columbus explains, "You've got enough problems. Moisture shouldn't be one of them."
Contrary to popular belief, the supermarket scene was not filmed at an actual supermarket. A movie set was built from scratch to look like a real supermarket, and some of the merchandise is fake. For example, the stuff behind the glass refrigerator doors is just printed on paper. According to the producers, it was cheaper than buying out a supermarket and paying them for broken merchandise.
It has been said that this movie was supposed to be based on the video game Left 4 Dead 2 (2009). Valve, the creators and developers of the game, denied the studio permission to mention the game and company in the opening and end credits.
The third biggest opening weekend in Woody Harrelson's career, with 24.7 million dollars. The first is The Hunger Games (2012), with an opening of 152.5 million dollars, then 2012 (2009), with 65.2 million dollars; the fourth is Indecent Proposal (1993), with 18.3 million dollars.
Whilst Tallahassee rages about the lack of Twinkies during the "Snowball" scene, he should have looked further behind the door of the truck. Hidden from his point of view, but just visible on the right hand side of frame, the truck does actually contain some Twinkies.
During the Monopoly game, Jesse Eisenberg's character, Columbus, remarks that one of the best things about Zombieland is "No Facebook status updates." Eisenberg would go on to portray Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, in the film The Social Network (2010).
When Wichita, Little Rock, Columbus and Tallahassee stop in Hollywood to pick up a map, a marquee showing the 2009 film "2012," which also starred Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), can be seen in the upper right corner.
The deleted scenes section of the DVD reveal that the closeups of the scene, with the girls riding the drop tower, were filmed against a green screen. These deleted scenes also indicate the master was shot in 1.78:1 format and then possibly cropped (to around 2.35:1), as boom mikes are clearly visible.
In the scene where Wichita (Emma Stone) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) split a bottle of wine at Bill Murray's house, she claimed 1997 a great year, having seen her first R rated movie ; Anaconda, that year. Anaconda was actually rated PG-13.
Actress Emma Stone is the last of her main co-stars to be nominated for an Oscar, but the first among them to win. Woody Harrelson was first nominated in 1997 for his performance in The People vs. Larry Flynt, followed by Abigail Breslin in 2007 for her performance in Little Miss Sunshine, followed by Jesse Eisenberg in 2011 for his performance in The Social Network, and lastly followed by Emma Stone in 2015 for her performance in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Emma Stone then won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2017 for her performance in La La Land.
Early in the movie when Columbus and Tallahassee first meet on the highway and are in their armed stare down the pocket watch tune from Sergio Leone's "For a Few Dollars More" can be heard playing faintly.
Towards the beginning, when Columbus is first seen walking on the deserted highway, he passes a minivan to his left that has a 99X sticker on its back window. 99X was an alternative radio station in Atlanta, GA that was hugely popular during the mid to late '90s.
Amber Heard's character, Columbus' girl neighbor in the beginning of the movie, is referred to only as "406." This happens to be the area code for Montana, keeping with the theme of places as names. It is also her apartment number. Columbus' number is 408 and she is his neighbor. She is named after her apartment, the area code is just a coincident.
Although his character is on a constant hunt for Twinkies, Woody Harrelson is a vegan, and does not eat Twinkies (which contain eggs and beef fat). According to Harrelson, the filmmakers made special "faux Twinkies" out of cornmeal for the scene at the end.
August 28th, 2016 on Kevin Smith's show "Geeking Out!" original screen writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick announced that they are writing Zombieland 2 with all principle characters returning, except for Bill Murray.
Six other additional rules are mentioned in the Theatrical Promo Trailers in the DVD extras. Rule # 12: Bounty (as in Bounty paper towels "If there is one way to describe Zombieland it is moist"); Rule # 15: Bowling ball ("Nothing says massive head trauma like a bowling ball"); Rule # 29: The Buddy System ("It is so important that we take a cue from our zombie neighbors and we have each other's backs"); Rule # 6: Cast Iron Skillet ("Zombie takes one of these to the head, he ain't getting up"); Rule # 33: Swiss Army Knife ("The Swiss army use that knife for a reason"). Which brings the total rules number up to 33.
In Zombieland, Woody Harrelson is always on the look out for Twinkies and is extremely upset when he finds a truck full of Snowballs instead. In the show Cheers, specifically the episode titled 'Rat Girl,' Woody Harrelson's character states that he thinks Snowballs are better than Twinkies because they are 'bite-sized' and shoves a whole Snowball in his mouth.