According to many cast members, the hardest part of filming the dodgeball scenes was not flinching when they knew they were about to be hit by a ball.
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The unrated DVD contains a fake commentary where Ben Stiller and two main actors do nothing but fight, as well as claim to hate each other, before storming out forty minutes in. The commentary is then replaced with the commentary for There's Something About Mary (1998). The real commentary is on the DVD as an Easter egg.
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Justin Long's eyebrow was actually cut open by the first wrench thrown at him. All the wrenches thrown were made of rubber, but the first was harder than all of the others.
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Many studios, including DreamWorks Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, passed on this movie. 20th Century Fox finally agreed when Ben Stiller reduced his salary to well under $1 million. As of March 2005, the movie has grossed over $124 million, when it only cost $23 million to make.
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Adult dodgeball leagues began to spring up across the country around the time of the movie's release. Cast member Gary Cole was even invited to a tournament in Chicago, Illinois.
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Ben Stiller broke three cameras in succession filming one scene, and even hit his wife Christine Taylor in the face once.
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According to the director's commentary on the DVD, Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote the roles of Peter La Fleur, White Goodman, and Justin with Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Justin Long respectively in mind. The latter was chosen because of his role in Galaxy Quest (1999).
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Gary Cole and Jason Bateman had to keep redoing their voice recordings for the dodgeball matches, because screenplay changed during the shoots.
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Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor had an eighteen-month-old baby at home while shooting this movie. Taylor was so exhausted from taking care of the baby that she often dozed off in between takes.
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In August 2017, ESPNU changed its name to ESPN8 "The Ocho", and they actually show obscure sporting events, including Dodgeball Tournaments.
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The movie refers to the then-fictional ESPN 8 "The Ocho", as a means to lampoon the channel's multiple outlets. "The Ocho" is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a nickname formerly used by ESPN2, "The Deuce".
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Patton Oswalt did the Foley work (voice) for the scene where Ben Stiller is having his "'private time' ...with sour cream on top..." He also voiced the video store clerk calling about the three overdue videos at the movie's beginning.
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The entire cast practiced playing dodgeball about a month before filming began.
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In the United States, the movie is promoted with the tagline "Grab life by the ball". In foreign markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia, this is changed to the more risqué "Grab life by the balls".
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When Troop 417 first appears, the music heard is the old theme music for WWE wrestlers Michael Lockwood (Crash Holly), Bob Howard (Hardcore Holly), and Nora Greenwald (Molly Holly).
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The original title of this movie was simply "Underdog".
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One of Dame Helen Mirren's favorite movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
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Norm MacDonald can be seen in some of the Globo Gym scenes; one is in the Globo Gym commercial, where he is in the background working out. At one point, he is talking to some girl who is working out, and this looks like he is hitting on her.
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Another Easter egg/finger snap is after the scene in White Goodman's office where he asks out Kate Veatch. He snaps for Me'shell Jones. When you press enter, this cuts to a clip of the dodgeball game and then a fat Ben Stiller says, "You found it."
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Ken Marino auditioned for the role of Steve the Pirate. For the audition, he dressed in full pirate costume.
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It is a popular fan theory that Ben Stiller's character is the same person as his Heavyweights (1995) character Tony Perkis in that they are both ego-maniacal fitness gurus who are quite partial to the color purple.
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Patches O'Houlihan's (Rip Torn) jacket features unit patches for several U.S. Army units, some of which are: I Corps, 16th Military Police Brigade (missing Airborne tab), 75th Infantry Division, 103rd Infantry Division, and U.S. Army Special Forces (missing Airborne tab; patch is also sewn on upside down).
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White Goodman (Ben Stiller) says that nobody makes him bleed his own blood, an homage to Nelson Muntz saying, "You made me bleed my own blood" on The Simpsons (1989) (episode "Bart the General").
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Before the final match, the crowd cheers "let them play" while the tournament committee decides if the match will go on. This is a tribute to the the scene in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977), where the Astrodome crowd shouts the same cheer to let the teams keep playing.
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In a scene together, Ben Stiller's character comments on Christine Taylor's "see her lovely bone structure". In their first movie together, Zoolander (2001), Ben's character makes a similar comment to "show her bone structure".
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Then-unknown future WWE diva and GoDaddy girl Candice Michelle appears as one of the dodgeball cheerleaders.
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The team names of Average Joe's Gym (Average Joe's) and Globo Gym (Purple Cobras) are similar to the names of the protagonists and antagonists (the G.I. Joe team and Cobra Command) in the Hasbro toyline G.I. Joe.
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On the Rich Eisen show, Stephen Root said a lot of the audience members during the dodgeball scenes were actually prison inmates.
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Stephen Root and Gary Cole co-starred in Office Space (1999).
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Alan Tudyk had come onto this movie following the cancellation of his television series Firefly (2002), in which he starred as pilot Hoban "Wash" Washburne. The series was about pirates living and working in outer space, trying to make a living. In this movie, his character Steve thinks he's a pirate.
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Christine Taylor and Gary Cole previously appeared together in two movies: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996) as Marcia Brady and Mike Brady, respectively.
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The narrator on the cooking show White Goodman is watching while smelling the pizza is Patton Oswalt.
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In the scene where Peter walks into his hotel room and White and Me'Shell are there waiting for him, White says, "¿Donde está la biblioteca Pedro?" In Spanish, it means "Where is the library Peter?".
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Jason Bateman, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller and Alan Tudyk all appeared in the television series Arrested Development (2003- ).
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Brigitte Nielsen was briefly considered for the role of Fran.
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Jason Bateman (Pepper Brooks) and Gary Cole (Cotton McKnight) also worked together on Arrested Development (2003) (episode "Exit Strategy").
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The name of the bar, where the confrontation between White Goodman's team and Average Joe's team occurs, is 'The Dirty Sanchez', which is also the term for a less mainstream sexual act.
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The song that was playing during the introduction of the first team that the Average Joe's plays (The Girl Scouts) is the same song that is played during the introduction of the last match (when they play Globo Gym).
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Body Count: 2.
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White Goodman (Ben Stiller) uses an Apple Macbook laptop. In the mid-2000s, Justin Long (Justin) appeared in the "I'm a Mac" commercials for Apple.
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On April 22, 2013, 20th Century Fox announced that a sequel to this movie was developing, with Clay Tarver writing the screenplay and Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller returning to star. However, Stiller has since stated that he was not aware that a sequel was happening.
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Jordyn Colemon's debut.
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Cayden Boyd and Julie Gonzalo previously appeared in Freaky Friday (2003).
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The White Goodman character is remarkably similar to Tony Perkins the character he played in Heavyweights.
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The picture on the wall at Globo Gym with White "grabbing the bull by the horns" is originally a piece of artwork by legendary artist Boris Vallejo titled "Taurus, the Bull" which just has White's head photo shopped onto the original models body.
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Jennifer England's debut.
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David Hasselhoff: His brief cameo as the German team coach is a reference to Hasselhoff's status as a million-selling pop star in Germany. His character throws down a framed promo photo of himself from Baywatch (1989).
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David Hasselhoff: cameo as coach of the German team was a last minute addition, after stunt coordinator Alex Daniel mentioned he knew Hasselhoff personally.
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EASTER EGG: On the Special Features section on the DVD, if you click on the Globo Gym logo at the bottom, you will see a short video with White Goodman talking about Easter eggs on the DVD. He tells you that if you press enter every time he snaps his fingers you will see an Easter egg. These "Easter Eggs" are deleted scenes not included with those in the Special Features. There are four White Goodman finger snaps in the movie. The first comes as he gets into the tanning bed, the next when he sends the lawyer out of his office, when motioning his team to leave the pub, the next as he motions for Me'Shell Jones to pick him up from Kate Veatch's porch, and the last, when he motions Me'Shell to give him the contract for Peter to sign at the hotel room in Vegas.
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When the Average Joes are in the locker room waiting for their teammates before the final match, all the players are wearing pants except Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), who is wearing shorts. Listening to the DVD commentary, this can be heard that she had pants but refused to wear them, because she thought they were too ugly and unflattering.
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At the movie's ending, ESPN 8 announcer Cotton McKnight says, "Do you believe in unlikelihoods? Yes!" This comment is a play on the famous exclamation by Al Michaels, when the United States beat Russia in hockey at the 1980 Olympics, saying, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
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Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn) says "It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob". This is a reference to "It's like watching a monkey trying to hump a football", which was what 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks said to his team when they were preparing for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
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The DVD contains an alternate ending where Average Joe's team loses the final match, and the movie goes to the credits as the announcer exclaims that they are going home with absolutely nothing. This was apparently sacked after test audiences were unhappy with it.
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At the movie's ending when White Goodman commits a foot foul, his diatribe about being out here and working his butt off and the referee making a poor call like the one he made is meant to mock the similar diatribe made by Jimmy Connors at the 1991 U.S. Open when he said, "I'm out here at thirty-nine-years-old working my butt off, and you make a call like that?!"
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Missi Pyle (Fran) can be seen in a long shot, without make-up during the Average Joe's commercial at the movie's ending.
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In the climactic scene of the final Dodgeball match, TV announcer Cotton McKnight uses the term "Down goes Goodman! Down goes Goodman!" This is a reference to Howard Cosell's famous call from the Heavyweight 1973 championship fight between George Foreman and Joe Frazier, in which he shouted, "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"
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After the credits, when the morbidly obese White Goodman does a little dance to Kelis' "Milkshake" song, it is a reference to a viral video clip that circulated on the Internet, where an extremely large black woman does the same dance.
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When Peter opens the treasure chest, the words DEUS EX MACHINA can be seen inside the lid. This Latin term, meaning God from the machine, refers to the dramatic device of the gods descending from heaven to solve a problem at the end of a play. The money in the chest allows Peter to buy Globex and tie up all the loose ends.
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