While Suzy's books in the movie are fake, "Noye's Fludde", is in fact a real 1957 opera by Benjamin Britten. The text is based on an edition by Alfred W. Pollard of an early 15th-century mystery play from the Chester Mystery Cycle. The opera is written to be performed by a cast primarily of amateurs, and Britten requested it be performed in a church or a large hall but not in a theatre. Hence why it is being done by children in a church.
When Suzy is reading "Disappearance of the Sixth Grade" at the Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet campground and continues onto "Part Two" after Sam says to read on, it is just about the exact midway point of the film: the spoken words occur at 46:59, with 46:56 left in the movie. This moment also marks the transition of the film's plot, of course, so Suzy's "reading" also informs the audience of the shift in the movie's tone and direction.
In the film, Laura Bishop shouts at various family members through a bullhorn. The idea came from co-writer Roman Coppola's childhood, as his mother Eleanor Coppola used a bullhorn in a similar fashion.
According to Jared Gilman, the scene that required the most takes was the one where he held up the beetle earrings to Suzy. Each time he did it, either the earrings weren't entirely in the frame, or he wasn't holding them correctly.
During filming, Wes Anderson rented an old mansion in Newport, Rhode Island for himself, editor Andrew Weisblum, and director of cinematography Robert D. Yeoman, in which they had a room set up for editing the film. It had been arranged for the cast to stay in a nearby hotel called The Vanderbilt Grace, but eventually some of the actors also decided to stay at the mansion, including Edward Nortonand Jason Schwartzman. Murray later joked that the theory was to have everyone close by so that they could all work "ungodly art-movie hours."
According to Wes Anderson, Suzy's discovery of the "Coping with a Troubled Child" pamphlet was based on a similar experience from his own childhood: "It wasn't anything terrible. It's just something that at the time, when I found it, I was like, 'What is this!' I immediately knew who that troubled child was even though hypothetically it could have been someone else."
When Sam is surrounded by the scouts in Lightning Field, he says, "On this spot, I will fight no more, forever!", which is from the Surrender Speech by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe. In 1877, Chief Joseph attempted to lead his people on an 1100-mile journey to Canada to escape the U.S. Army. They made it within 40 miles before they were surrounded, and Chief Joseph made his speech.
Before filming, neither Kara Hayward nor Jared Gilman had ever seen a typewriter in person. Hayward later said, "Fran (Frances McDormand) had a lot of fun with that. She couldn't believe it. She showed me that the keys are in the same place as now (on computers)."
There are numerous references to corn. Added to the film being bathed in yellows and oranges, remarks are made about maize, Scout Master Ward is seen reading "American Corn" magazine twice, Sam constantly smokes from a corncob pipe, the three Bishop boys are eating only corn on the cob in one dinner scene, the coffee pot in his Sam's foster parents kitchen has the famous Corning Corn Flower pattern on the exterior and the end of the film mentions the best corn crop the island has had in 50 years.
During the closing credits, the voice of a young person introduces various instruments as they join in playing a song - an obvious reference to the records played in the Hayward home. This method of spoken introduction has however also been used outside of education recordings, such as in the obscure 1967 song "Intro and Outro" by the Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band where atypical and strange instruments are introduced as played by unusual and unlikely musicians (such as John Wayne and Adolf Hitler), and in Mike Oldfield's seminal 1973 work "Tubular Bells" where Part One is concluded by Vivian Stanshall as "Master of Ceremonies" crediting one by one the instruments used earlier in the piece. Co-incidentally, tubular bells are listed as part of the deconstruction of the Desplat piece.
Some of the ranks shown on the badges of the Khaki Scouts include Scoutmaster (Randy Ward), Legionnaire (Cousin Ben), Field Mate (Sam Shakusky), Judo Expert (Redford), Reptile Patrol (Roosevelt), H2O Purifier (DeLuca), Woodmaster (Skotak), Bear Spotter (Panagle), and Signal Scout (Gadge).
The brief shot of the inside of Scoutmaster Ward's "Indian Corn" magazine reveals that the magazine is based in Clinton, NJ 01012. Jared Gilman, who plays Sam Shakusky, is also from New Jersey. However, the ZIP code 01012 is actually the real life ZIP code for Chesterfield, Massachusetts; the real life ZIP code for Clinton, NJ is actually 08809. Additionally, it is mentioned right before the call to Sam's foster parents that the Billingleys are from Chesterfield.
All the Khaki Scouts have their last names etched right below their rank on the left side of their chest. Cousin Ben's last name is never mentioned by anyone in the movie, but the name "Mazursky" can be seen upon close inspection. This is possibly a reference to Paul Mazursky, another director whom director Wes Anderson is a fan of.
All the Khaki Scouts have a pendant tied to their neckerchiefs, at the base of their necks. Some of these include raccoon hair (Sam), a lobster figurine (Lazy-Eye), a miniature canoe (Gadge), an ax (Deluca), an ice cream bar on a Popsicle stick (Nickleby), and a campfire (Scout Master Ward).
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The title of the movie, comes from the name Sam and Suzy give Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet when they decide they don't like the name; however, it is only seen at the end, written on the beach in Sam's painting of Moonrise Kingdom/Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet.