It’s easy to forget how big American Pie was in the summer of 1999. Shot on an $11 million budget, it made $235 million in theaters worldwide, and spawned three sequels and four straight-to-DVD movies. It made names out of young actors Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, and Tara Reid, added to the profiles of Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, and Natasha Lyonne, and introduced Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge to a new generation. It also made it okay to put characters attempting to be formally educated in bawdy situations again, for better or worse. Here is some knowledge on the seminal movie that is almost old enough to start worrying about prom night.
1. ADAM HERZ WROTE THE ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY IN SIX WEEKS.
For research, the 26-year-old watched Porky’s and Bachelor Party repeatedly to study the comedy in those sex-obsessed high school movies.
2. THE FIRST TITLE FOR THE MOVIE WAS NOT AMERICAN PIE.
Herz cheekily titled his screenplay, Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Most Readers Will Probably Hate But I Think You Will Love. During filming the movie was called Great Falls (as in East Great Falls High School), but people who saw the test screenings said they loved everything about the movie except the title.
3. IT ORIGINALLY GOT AN NC-17 RATING.
Directors Paul and Chris Weitz and the producers all agreed to try to give the movie as much verisimilitude as possible in regards to the way high schoolers talk, and figured they did it right if they got an R rating. Instead, the MPAA handed the film an NC-17 rating (meaning nobody 17 and under could see the movie, even with adult supervision). When the infamous pie scene was edited down, they got their R.
4. SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT WAS PAID $8,000 FOR PLAYING STIFLER.
It was “Seann W. Scott”’s first feature role.
5. EUGENE LEVY THREATENED TO DROP OUT UNLESS HE COULD IMPROVISE ALL OF HIS LINES.
Levy felt that Jim’s dad in the script was “a little creepy” and insisted on playing him as more of a “real, corny” father.
6. ALYSON HANNIGAN STAYED IN CHARACTER AFTER SHOOTING SCENES.
She annoyed herself by continuing to talk off-camera like her character Michelle by ending sentences with a superfluous question mark.
7. HANNIGAN AD-LIBBED DURING HER SEX SCENE.
There was no dialogue written for Jim and Michelle’s scene, so Hannigan came up with, “What’s my name? Say my name! Say my name, b****!”
8. JASON BIGGS’ BODY DOUBLE WAS FIRED.
Biggs had to do the sex scene himself because his double showed up with an eight-inch-long scar across his stomach.
9. THE APPLE PIE WAS PURCHASED AT A COSTCO.
In Long Beach, California.
10. NO, THEY DIDN’T INVENT THE TERM "MILF."
A 1995 Usenet post used the acronym, pre-dating the movie by four years. "MILF," however gained significantly in popularity after American Pie.
11. THE "PALE ALE" WAS BEER WITH EGG WHITES.
Like any good actor, Scott pretended it was just beer for every take.
12. CHRIS KLEIN AND SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT WERE BAD AT LACROSSE.
They practiced for three weeks before just letting doubles handle the sport scenes.
13. JOHN CHO WAS THE OLDEST HIGH SCHOOLER IN THE MOVIE.
Cho, who was 26 during filming, was out of the country when American Pie was released. When he returned to the United States, long having forgotten about the movie, kids chanted “MILF!” to him on the street, confusing him immensely.
14. THE WRONG BLINK-182 DRUMMER WAS CREDITED.
The band appeared in the movie watching Jim and Nadia’s webcast—Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker, who replaced Scott Raynor before shooting began. When American Pie came out, Raynor’s name was in the credits.
15. THE ALLEGED INSPIRATION FOR STIFLER WAS ARRESTED FOR MURDER.
Brian Krebs was a high school classmate of Adam Herz who, according to police, fatally stabbed someone in a bar fight in 2012. While Herz didn’t confirm the connection, the New Times Broward-Palm Beach reported that two sources claimed Krebs was Herz’s inspiration for Stifler.
16. UNIVERSAL DIDN’T HAVE FAITH IN THE MOVIE.
Universal Pictures sold the foreign rights to give themselves financial security in case the movie didn't do well at the box office, a move that was considered "moronic” by some, even before American Pie made more than $132 million outside of America. Before it was released in the United States, producers were told 14 different release dates. At one point, American Pie was scheduled to come out the same weekend as The Phantom Menace.