The "Monkey Rap" background music for the Kongo Jungle stage contains the lyrics, "This Kong's one heck of a guy." This is changed from the original version of the rap featured in the game Donkey Kong 64 for the Nintendo 64. The original lyrics were "This Kong's one hell of a guy." Ironically, Super Smash Bros. Melee received a harsher T rating compared to Donkey Kong 64's E rating.
According to Masahiro Sakurai, director of the game, Hideo Kojima (creator of Metal Gear Solid) "begged" Sakurai to have Snake in this game. Sadly, it was too late in the development cycle, and Solid Snake appeared in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, instead.
Prior to this game's release, no game in Nintendo's Fire Emblem series had ever received an official North American release, which caused some confusion among western gamers who were introduced to Marth and Roy (two Fire Emblem characters) via Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The voices of the characters in the game come from a variety of different sources. Mario's voice [along with Dr. Mario's and oddly, Luigi's] come from "Super Mario 64" (1996). Link's and Young Link's voices come from "The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time" (1998). Yoshi's voice comes from "Yoshi's Story" (1998). The voices of Fox, Samus, Kirby, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, Ness, and Donkey Kong all come from the original "Super Smash Bros." (1999). The voices recorded specifically for this game were those of Peach, Zelda/Sheik, Ice Climbers, Bowser, Marth, Roy, Pichu, Mewtwo, Ganondorf, and Mr. Game & Watch. However, Ganondorf's voice is basically the high-pitched version of his voice from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time" (1998).
The following secret characters are found in the game: Luigi, Purin (Jigglypuff in U.S. version), Pichu, Roy, Marth, Young Link, Ganondorf, Mr. Game & Watch, and Mewtwo. Purin, Pichu, and Mewtwo are from Pokemon; Roy and Marth are from Fire Emblem; Young Link and Ganondorf (original form of the villain Ganon) are from the Zelda series; Luigi is from the Mario series; and Mr. Game and Watch, who is not based on a video game character, but is based on several characters from Nintendo's early "Game & Watch" (handheld games that also acts as clocks) games.
Wolf and Wario were both considered to be playable characters, and it was confirmed by Masahiro Sakurai that there will be clone characters (characters that have the same moves from one character who has the moves originally) in the game. Wario was considered to be a clone of Mario, but Sakurai felt that Wario "deserved better" than to be a clone of Mario so instead, Wario was replaced by Dr. Mario. Wolf was considered to be a clone of Fox McCloud, but Sakurai felt that Wolf would be described as a "gray-colored fox", so instead he used Falco Lombardi as a playable character. Although Wario and Wolf were later used in Super Smash Bros Brawl (2008).
Marth and Roy were originally going to be Japanese exclusives in this game, but Nintendo decided to put them in all regions because many fans outside of Japan had became interested in Fire Emblem because of this game is releasing.
Banjo-Kazooie, James Bond, and Conker were all considered for playable fighters. This could not be performed due to James Bond having his own license, and Banjo and Conker being owned by Rare. Prior to Melee's launch, Rare was purchased by Microsoft.
This was the first Smash game where you could move the camera in the pause menu more freely. Players discovered Peach's underwear being exposed when doing this. This was not changed for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but was changed in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, when a shadow was added to block players' view.
There was a glitch shown in Daisy's trophy in the game where if the player zooms the camera inside Daisy's hair, there appears to be an eye on the back of her head, the glitch was later fixed in the "Player's Choice" version.