James Brolin was originally approached for the role of Bernie, but turned it down. When Director Jay Roach went to approach Dustin Hoffman for the role, Hoffman was talking non-stop, and even out of the point, which made him the instant choice for Bernie.
The MPAA would not allow the name "Fockers" to be on posters, or part of the main title for the movie, unless the filmmakers could prove that somewhere in America that there was someone with the real last name of "Focker". Apparently, they found somebody, because the movie was granted the name "Meet the Fockers" by the MPAA.
Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) says he has heard that Jack (Robert De Niro) is a "Tom Collins" man. "Tom Collins", as well as being the name of a cocktail, is the alias Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert De Niro) used at the bank in Casino (1995).
During production, the proposed title of "Meet the Fockers" was thought by the studio to be too vulgar. The spelling was briefly changed to "Meet the Fokkers," but that would have upset the franchise's continuity, so it was changed back.
The actors and actress portraying Greg Focker's parents and in-laws have won a combined six Academy Awards. Dustin Hoffman (Bernie Focker) won two Oscars for Best Actor for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988). Barbra Streisand (Roz Focker) won one Oscar for Best Actress for Funny Girl (1968) and one Oscar for Best Original Song for "Evergreen", from the film A Star Is Born (1976). Robert De Niro won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Godfather: Part II (1974) and another Oscar for Best Actor for Raging Bull (1980).
The close-up of Bernie Focker's license plate, as he and Greg are driving away, reveals the letters "TMI", a subtle reference to Bernie's propensity for overly detailed explanations and descriptions of personal information. "TMI" is the literary abbreviation for "Too Much Information".
Robert De Niro spent a lot of time when he wasn't filming, hanging out with the twins who play his grandson. He felt it important to bond with the twins as much as possible to make his on-screen relationship with them credible.
Barbra Streisand found making the film to be a refreshing experience as it was her first time as just a jobbing actress in twenty-three years. Normally, she's involved in her films more heavily, either as a producer, writer, or director.
One of the members of Roz' sex therapy group, Judge Ira, was played by the revered comedian and author Shelley Berman . He is also known for playing Judge Robert Sanders on Boston Legal (2004). Known for his acerbic wit, Berman was a writer for the The Steve Allen Show (1959) (which established the zany talk show format that was later used for Late Show with David Letterman (1993) and a founding member of Compass Players, which evolved into Second City.
Roz Focker (Barbra Streisand) gives Jack (Robert De Niro) a massage where he lies shirtless on a massage table and she rubs his back and then runs her hands down under his belly. After doing that a few times, she says, "Oops, hit some driftwood" (an erection joke). Coincidence is, Barbra Streisand acted in Maurice Tei Dunn's play, "Driftwood", in New York City in 1959.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Jack (Robert De Niro) let Greg (Ben Stiller) drive the RV for part of the road trip from New York City to Florida. It later gets damaged by Bernie (Dustin Hoffman), then repaired by Jorge (Ray Santiago).