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Meet the Parents (2000) Poster

Trivia

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The MPAA would not allow the name "Focker" unless the filmmakers could find an actual person with that surname.
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Robert De Niro wanted "Mr. Jinx" to appear in more scenes than he was supposed to, because De Niro liked the cat so much. Apparently, De Niro would also play with the cat between filming scenes.
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The role of Pam Byrnes was initially given to Naomi Watts. She ultimately lost the role to Teri Polo because the filmmakers did not think she was "sexy" enough.
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At one time, Jim Carrey was slated to star as the lead and even contributed jokes to the screenplay, such as the main character being named "Focker".
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Jack's Thai is extremely poor, and he is constantly repeating the word "what", making it seem like it is a longer conversation than it is. Thais applauded Robert De Niro's effort, however.
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This is the only film in the franchise in which Pam's sister, Deborah Byrnes, appears on-screen, though she is frequently mentioned in all of the films. Nicole DeHuff, the actress who played her, died in 2005. This explains her absence in Little Fockers (2010), but not Meet the Fockers (2004).
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Christopher Walken was the second choice to play Jack Byrnes.
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According to the DVD commentary, the car chase scene was originally meant to be a spoof of Ronin (1998). When the filmmakers got to the location, they saw how quickly the lights changed, realized it would be a funnier joke, and re-wrote the scene (the lights really did change from green to red as fast as they are shown in the movie).
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Ben Stiller flew out to Los Angeles to propose to Christine Taylor while shooting the film. She thought he was still in New York City, and he surprised her at home with a path of candles and rose petals.
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Ben Stiller hated his clothes in the film. Director Jay Roach said it was all part of the plan to keep Stiller as uncomfortable as Greg.
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Ever the method actor, Robert De Niro chose to keep his distance from Ben Stiller during the shoot to help him maintain an aloofness between the two men.
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According to Teri Polo, in the scene where she and Ben Stiller are making out on her bed and he fondles her breast, she stuffed cookies into her bra as a gag.
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Greg's MCAT scores are (out of 15): 14 Verbal reasoning, 13 Physical Sciences, 15 Biological Sciences, and an R on the Writing Sample (very high).
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When Jack first questions Greg about the circle of trust, he says that nineteen months in a Vietnamese prison made him a patient man. This is a reference to The Deer Hunter (1978), where Robert De Niro's character spends time in a Vietnamese prison camp.
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Greg's airplane rant was cut from the version shown on planes likely due to the use of the word "bomb".
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The idea to use a lie detector test came from Robert De Niro while he was researching a role. He read up on polygraphs and presented his findings to Jay Roach at a pre-shoot dinner. "At that point, there was no lie detector scene in the script", Roach told Entertainment Weekly. "But after hearing all this, I thought, 'Oh, this has to be in our movie.' Now it's become the central image of all the ads, the trailers, everything." Jack Byrnes, being ex-C.I.A., was always part of his character since the beginning.
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Robert De Niro originally wanted to train the cat himself, but then realized that would take up to about six months of his life. Instead, he would carry kibble in all of his pockets, which helped him enjoy a very cooperative relationship with the animal.
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Jay Roach wanted the whole movie to feel like an "anxiety dream" for Greg.
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Since cats are very temperamental, the filmmakers always had a back-up cat on-set, in case one would not cooperate.
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Pam calls Gaylord's parents in Detroit, Michigan. However, in the sequel, they live in Florida. When the Byrnes first arrive to the Fockers' house in Meet the Fockers (2004), Greg's dad states that they moved from Detroit.
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When Greg says grace at the dinner table. It is actually the song "Day By Day", from the award winning musical Godspell.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins was considered for the role of Jack Byrnes.
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Jay Roach was terrified to direct this movie, and was nervous about attempting to sell the project to Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. Stiller thought Roach was only pretending to be nervous. Roach swears he was not. "I don't think it was strategy", Roach told Entertainment Weekly. "I wanted them to know I was terrified. I'm really bad at faking."
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Owen Wilson brought a lot of his own ideas to the film, and improvised many of his lines.
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It was Ben Stiller's idea to make Greg a male nurse.
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Writer Jerry Stahl, who Ben Stiller portrayed in Permanent Midnight (1998), co-wrote the "cat milking" scene in this movie.
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Mr. Jinx is a Himalayan cat, a difficult breed to train. The trainers begged Jay Roach to choose another kind of cat, but he really liked the Himalayan's look.
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The home video footage of Teri Polo during the opening credits was filmed by her ex-husband Anthony Moore.
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Most of the movie was filmed without deciding how to say "Focker", so they had to go back and re-record it.
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When Greg is having his outburst on the plane, a man in the background to the left can be seen trying not to laugh.
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Look closely and you'll see that the car chase scene is largely comprised of close-ups of Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. They shot their scenes on separate nights.
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When Greg is in the Oyster Bay drugstore with Jack the song "Day by Day" by Godspell can be heard playing in the store in the background. Greg uses the lyrics of that song when he says grace before dinner that evening.
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Robert De Niro took this role as part of his new focus on comedy. He had just done Analyze This (1999).
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Writer Jim Herzfeld's influence for Greg was Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967). Herzfeld used Benjamin to write a main character who was completely misunderstood.
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The film inspired a cat toilet-training product called "Litter Kwitter", which sold over seven hundred fifty thousand units.
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Julia Stiles auditioned for the part of Pam, but dropped out, due to filming 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).
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The crew trained the cat in the movie to climb the side of the house, by calling it with a buzzer to get a treat.
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Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor did an uncredited re-write of the screenplay. The poem that Robert De Niro reads about his deceased mother was one of their contributions, as was the climactic airport sequence.
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When Jack first meets Greg and asks him if he chose the green car color, to which Greg answers no, Jack states that geniuses typically tend to pick green. If you look behind Jack, you will see the shutters of his house are green, implying that Jack either believes himself to be a genius, or he is one. His clothes are also an olive green in the scene.
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When Ben Stiller came on-board, the script was retooled. Originally, it had been written for Jim Carrey, so it contained more physical, knockabout comedy. Stiller's style is less physical, so this element in the script was re-written.
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John Hamburg, Ben Stiller's preferred screenwriter, did an uncredited re-write during production.
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The Costume Designer put Jack in soft sweaters to contrast the tough guy-type Robert De Niro usually plays.
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The original opening of this movie was too expensive to film. It featured Greg proposing to Pam during a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and failing spectacularly. To save money (the film had a fifty-five million dollar budget), they had Greg's failed proposal take place outside of a school instead.
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On July 18, 2005, a regularly scheduled American Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico was diverted back to Fort Lauderdale forty minutes into the flight, after a flight attendant found a crumpled napkin that read "Bomb, bomb, bomb...meet the parents". The airplane was met by a bomb squad of the local Sheriff's office, as well as the F.B.I., whose Agents questioned the plane's one hundred seventy-six passengers about the note this incident likely references the plane scene in which Greg is kicked off the flight for saying the word "bomb".
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This movie is actually a remake of Meet the Parents (1992), an independent film. The seventy-five minute short film starred Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke, who also wrote the script. Glienna also directed the film on a budget of about one hundred thousand dollars. Unable to find a distributor for their film, they eventually sold the rights to Universal Pictures.
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Earned back its initial budget of fifty-five million dollars in just eleven days.
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Voted 52nd funniest movie of all time on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies list. The sequel Meet the Fockers (2004) was ranked higher at 25th place.
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Teri Polo was cast for her sarcastic edge.
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Jay Roach tried to keep Ben Stiller off balance by not letting him know if Robert De Niro liked his work.
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Jack's knowledge of the NATO standard phonetic alphabet (Foxtrot, Oscar, Charlie, Kilo, Echo, Romeo, a.k.a. Focker) is all accurate (as it would be, since Robert De Niro is a stickler for detail).
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Westchester County Regional Airport in New York was used to portray Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and New York City's LaGuardia Airport.
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The scenes at the "Surf and Turf" restaurant were filmed at a Port Washington, New York restaurant called "Louie's". The car racing scenes between Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro were also filmed in downtown Port Washington. Also, the scene where Stiller and De Niro go shopping is in Port Washington at Salem Drugs.
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The seventh highest grossing film of 2000.
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Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor did an uncredited last script draft before shooting.
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Greg tells the stewardess on the plane to "shut your pie hole". Robert De Niro said the same thing several times in This Boy's Life (1993).
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Included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
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Christina Ricci was considered for the role of Pam Byrnes.
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Production Designers built the full interior of the house inside a giant armory in Brooklyn, New York. They wanted a "tasteful, Republican" feel, so the colors are red, white, and blue.
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Remained in the U.S. top ten box-office for eleven weeks.
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In an early scene, Greg (Ben Stiller) and Jack (Robert De Niro) share differing opinions about the theme of the song "Puff the Magic Dragon". In the film's concluding scene, when Jack is watching Greg on his surveillance tapes, "Puff the Magic Dragon" is playing softly in the background.
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Steven Soderbergh was originally attached to direct.
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The Victor Talbot's tuxedo store in the film is located in Greenvale, New York.
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Although set in Chicago, none of the movie was filmed there.
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When Steven Spielberg and Jim Carrey were attached to the project, Al Pacino was set to play Jack Byrnes.
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At one point in the film's development, Steven Spielberg was set to direct.
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Blythe Danner said her character was inspired by Gracie Allen.
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Jay Roach said that they were not making a comedy, they were making "a broken love story".
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In the movie, Jack's drink of choice is a Tom Collins. "Tom Collins" is also the alias of De Niro's character in Casino (1995), Sam "Ace" Rothstein, uses to register his personal safe deposit box.
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The cat, "Mr. Jinx", was played by a cat named "Mishka".
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In the first dinner scene when Jack asks Greg to say grace and Pam tells him that Greg is Jewish, Greg says, "It's not like I'm a rabbi." Ben Stiller played a rabbi in Keeping the Faith (2000).
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Goof, not a point of trivia. Kevin (Owen Wilson) unveils his hand carved alter. If he just put a fresh coat of lacquer on it, you would not want to cover it while it was drying.
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The American Humane Association monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed. Scenes appearing to place animals in jeopardy were simulated. AHA200802-2
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James Rebhorn and Tom McCarthy appeared in two espionage thrillers that starred Clive Owen. Rebhorn was in The International (2009) and McCarthy was in Duplicity (2009).
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The burglary alarm system at Jack's house is of a Magnum Alert MA1000e type.
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Second film of Ben Stiller with a character name Norm-the interrogating offficer at the airport, first was, Theres Something About Mary (1998), in which Tucker (fake architect) real name is Norm, a pizza delivery guy (Lee Evans), both characters have a hostile conversation with Stiller's character.
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Ben Stiller parodied Robert De Niro's performance as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1991) on The Ben Stiller Show (1992).
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The premise of "Meet the Parents" is about truth and lies. The scene where Jack meets Greg for the first time, Jack says it's my way or the Long Island Express Way. This of course abbreviats to LIE.
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Kevin's pickup is a 1949 Chevrolet 4100.
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Dr. Bob Banks' (Tom McCarthy's) car, with which Greg drives to beat Jack back to the house, is a 2000 Mercedes-Benz S 500 (W220).
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Thomas McCarthy and Blythe Danner previously appeared as mother on son in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Saint Maybe.
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Jack's car is a 1998 Lincoln Continental.
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Cameo 

Spencer Breslin: One of Pam's students.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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