The studio almost replaced Jason Mewes (Jay) with Seth Green. Kevin Smith insisted that Mewes should play Jay, but the studio made Smith take auditions for the role. Breckin Meyer also auditioned. In the end, all concerned agreed that Mewes was right for the part.
Brodie's comic book collection seen in the movie was actually director Kevin Smith's collection at the time (which has grown considerably since). The collection is what Smith was able to purchase back after selling his original collection to finance production of Clerks (1994).
While shopping, Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty) is seen wearing at least three different outfits. Doherty had a clause in her contract that she could keep everything her character wore, so came up with the plan that her character should wear everything she bought on her shopping trip.
According to Kevin Smith, another actor auditioned for, and eventually received, the lead role of Brodie. On the first day of shooting his scenes, the unnamed actor "broke down", and was unable to give the same performance that had earned him the role. The actor was then replaced by Jason Lee.
While filming exteriors of the mall, production assistants would stick paper New Jersey license plates on cars in the parking lot. Occasionally, unsuspecting (Minnesota) mall customers would drive away with the prop plates still attached.
During the Batman homage, as Jay and Silent Bob escape from La Fours, the belting attached to Kevin Smith slipped. The crane refused to start (someone had shut it off), and the key could not be located, nearly resulting in a possibly lethal fall.
One of the game show contestants is named "Gill Hicks" (Brian O'Halloran), a reference to Dante Hicks (played by O'Halloran in many of the other View Askewniverse movies). The characters are supposed to be cousins.
In the scene where Jay and Silent Bob are hiding in the bookstore, Bob is reading "Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema" by John Pierson. The book contains numerous interviews and writings by Kevin Smith.
The content of the dialogue between Quint and Brodie about whether Superman would be able to have sex and/or a baby with a non-superpowered woman, is taken from a classic 1971 essay by science fiction author Larry Niven called "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex."
Heather Graham auditioned for a role in this film. Reese Witherspoon had a meeting with the casting director, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, but both Smith and Mosier didn't enjoy the meeting, and told the casting director not to bother to bring her in for an audition. Smith details this meeting in his book, "Silent Bob Speaks".
The original beginning of the movie tested poorly and was replaced by one that was filmed in Los Angeles. The original beginning contained an incident at the Governor's Ball (the one mentioned by the television executives).
Although Rene's surname is never mentioned on-screen, the cast list gives it as Mosier, a possible reference to producer Scott Mosier, but more likely a reference to Kevin Smith's ex-girlfriend, and Mosier's sister, Kristen Mosier, whom Smith noted on the DVD commentary track was the inspiration for Rene.
The book "As Askew View 2: The Films of Kevin Smith" noted that Joey Lauren Adams was originally promised the role of Rene Mosier, before being cast as Gwen Turner and Brian O'Halloran auditioned to play T.S. Quint but was then hired to play Gill Hicks.
The mall cop named La Fours is probably named after LeFors from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). In Butch Cassidy, LeFors is considered the toughest Sheriff, and his trademark is a white, straw hat (just like LaFours in this film).
When Brodie is trying to cut in line at the comic book store, and is being yelled at, the "fan boy" says, "Tell 'em, Steve Dave!" The man named Steve Dave yelling at Brodie is played by Bryan Johnson, and the fan boy is played by Walter Flanagan. This catchphrase was later used as the title of a podcast in which Johnson and Flanagan take part.
Brodie is named after the main character in Jaws (1975) (a favorite film of Smith's, and one that he frequently references in his work), while his surname, Bruce, was the nickname given to the animatronic shark in the Jaws film franchise.
The end credits scene telling us the fate of each of the main characters is an homage to Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), which also has many scenes that take place in a mall. Kevin Smith even made sure to use the same font and color for the graphics.
Kevin Smith could not clear with the owners of Degrassi High (1987) to get an actual jacket logo. He took his issues with the copyright holders to the then-popular "Speaker's Corner" booth broadcast on Toronto's City-TV.
The scene where backstage before the game show ran by Jared Svenning starts, Roddy yelled at T.S. and Brodie quoting "You called down the thunder, now you got it"! That's the same line that was quoted by Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993). Kurt Russell played Wyatt Earp along side Michael Rooker, who played Sherman McMasters. Rooker's character was present when Russell quoted this line. The whole line is "All right, Clanton... you called down the thunder, well now you've got it! You see that? It says United States Marshal! Take a good look at him, Ike... 'cause that's how you're gonna end up! The Cowboys are finished, you understand? I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin' it! So run, you cur... RUN! Tell all the other curs the law's comin. You tell 'em I'M coming... and Hell's coming with me, you hear?... Hell's coming with me!"
The instrumental piece playing during the opening pre-credits scene where Brodie talks about his Cousin Walter is the same composition used during the Mall sequence of John Hughes' 'Weird Science'. Both films had their scores composed by Ira Newborn.
Towards the end of the film, Brodie (Jason Lee) tells an anecdotal story about his cousin Walter masturbating as a plane is seemingly going down, with the rest of the passengers doing the same thinking they're going to die, only to have the problem resolved. Almost Famous (2000) had a very similar occurrence wherein, under the impression their plane is going to crash, members of the fictional band Stillwater and their company start professing their darkest secrets, but the planes issue is resolved, and no party talks about it afterward. Jason Lee also starred in Almost Famous.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Stan Lee can be seen looking to his left or right repeatedly while talking with Brodie. This is so he can see his cue cards - not being a trained actor, memorizing lines was very difficult for him. Jeremy London, on the other hand, despite being an experienced actor, forgot his lines repeatedly.
Stan Lee initially did not want to be in the film as himself. He felt the dialogue wasn't things he would say. Kevin Smith responded that it was just pretend, to which Lee replied: "Okay Spider-Friend."
When Rene (Shannen Doherty) runs to tell Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) that Brodie (Jason Lee) and T.S. (Jeremy London) are being arrested, Ethan Suplee (Willam) says, "Brenda?" - a joke reference to Doherty's character on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990). The exchange wasn't in the script, but rather, Suplee was told to say this by Smith before the scene was shot, and so was Doherty. However, Suplee wasn't told that she would respond, so his reaction is genuine.
Originally, Stan Lee was not going to have a cameo in the movie. Kevin Smith had written a fictional Stan Lee-type character, but through a connection, Stan Lee was asked to be in the movie and agreed.
The girl who Brandi replaces on the game show, Julie Dwyer, died from an embolism while doing laps at the YMCA swimming pool. This incident is referenced in Clerks (1994) by Dante and Randall. They are also seen attending Julie's wake at which, off camera, Randall knocks over the casket and he and Dante have to flee from the funeral parlor.
Silent Bob has only one line in the entire movie, consisting of: "Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things." He had an additional line in the extended version, which was : "There was never anything good to say before."
If you pay attention to the use of Brodie's hand after his "stink palm" stunt on Svenning, not only does he touch Quint, Tricia, Jay, and Gil Hicks shoulders with it, he also touches comics at the flea market, his other hand as well as his face at the psychic, punches Roddy and Hamilton with it, holds the microphone with it, and also stink palms his hero, Stan Lee. Twice.
When Tricia's sex tape with Shannon is playing for the audience, he asks her "Who's your favorite New Kid?" and then to call him "Joey", and then "Donnie". This is in reference to Joey McIntyre and Donnie Wahlberg, the two most popular members from the the music group New Kids on the Block.