16 Delicious Facts About American Pie

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.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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7 People Killed by Musical Instruments

On occasion, a piano has been a literal instrument of death.
On occasion, a piano has been a literal instrument of death.
Pixabay, Pexels // Public Domain

We’re used to taking it figuratively. One “slays” on guitar, is a “killer” pianist, or wants to “die” listening to a miraculous piece of music. History, though, is surprisingly rich with examples of people actually killed by musical instruments. Some were bludgeoned and some crushed; others were snuffed out by the sheer effort of performing or while an instrument was devilishly played to cover up the crime. Below are seven people who met their end thanks to a musical instrument.

1. Elizabeth Jackson // Struck with a Flute

A German flute.The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments (1889), Metropolitan Museum of Art // Public Domain

David Mills was practicing his flute the night of March 25, 1751, when he got into a heated argument with fellow servant Elizabeth Jackson. A woman “given to passion,” she threw a candlestick at Mills after he said something rude. He retaliated by striking her left temple with his flute before the porter and the footman pulled them apart. Jackson lived for another four hours, able to walk but not make sensible speech. Her fellow servants decided to bleed her, a sadly ineffective treatment for skull fractures. “Her s[k]ull was remarkably thin,” the surgeon testified at Mills’s trial.

2. Louis Vierne // Exhausted by an Organ Recital

Louis Vierne plays the organ of St.-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris, France.Source: gallica.bnf.fr, Bibliothèque nationale de France // Public Domain

Reputed to be the king of instruments, the organ requires a performer with an athletic endurance—more than 67-year-old Louis Vierne had to give during a recital at Notre Dame cathedral on June 2, 1937. He collapsed (likely of a heart attack) after playing the last chord of a piece. With a Gallic appreciation for tragedy, one concertgoer noted the piece “bears a title which, given the circumstance, seems like fate and takes on an oddly disturbing meaning: ‘Tombstone for a dead child’!” As Vierne’s lifeless feet fell upon the pedalboard “a low whimper was heard from the admirable instrument, which seemed to weep for its master,” the concertgoer wrote.

3. James “Jimmy the Beard” Ferrozzo // Crushed by a Piano

The exterior of the Condor Club in 1973.Michael Holley, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Getting crushed by a piano is usually the stuff of cartoons, but what happened to James Ferrozzo is somehow even stranger than a cartoon. “A nude, screaming dancer found trapped under a man’s crushed body on a trick piano pinned against a nightclub ceiling was too drunk to remember how she got there,” the AP reported the day after the 1983 incident. The dancer was a new employee at San Francisco’s Condor Club (said to be one of the first, if not the first, topless bar). The man was her boyfriend, the club’s bouncer. And the trick piano was part of topless-dancing pioneer Carol Doda’s act—a white baby grand that lowered her from the second floor. During Ferrozzo’s assignation with the dancer, the piano’s switch was somehow activated, lifting him partway to heaven before deadly contact with the ceiling sent him the rest of the way.

4. Linos // Killed with a Lyre

A student and his music teacher, holding a lyre—potentially Herakles and Linos.Petit Palais, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.5

One of the greatest music teachers of mythic Ancient Greece, Linos took on Herakles as a pupil. According to the historian Diodorus Siculus, the demi-god “was unable to appreciate what was taught him because of his sluggishness of soul,” and so after a harsh reprimand he flew into a rage and beat Linos to death with his lyre. Herakles dubiously used a sort of ancient stand-your-ground law as a defense during trial and was exonerated. Poor Linos: an honest man beaten by a lyre.

5. Sophia Rasch // Suffocated While a Piano Muffled her Screams

Pixabay, Pexels

No one better proves George Bernard Shaw’s quip that “hell is full of musical amateurs” than Susannah Koczula. “I have seen Susannah trying to play the piano several times—she could not play,” 10-year-old Carl Rasch testified at Koczula’s 1894 trial. Susannah, the Rasch’s caregiver, distracted little Carl, sister Clara, and their neighborhood friend Woolf with an impromptu performance while a gruesome scene unfolded upstairs: Koczula’s husband tied and suffocated Carl and Clara’s mother, Sophia Rasch, before making off with her jewelry. “She banged the piano,” explained Woolf. “I heard no halloaing.”

6. Marianne Kirchgessner // A Nervous Disorder Acquired Playing the Glass Armonica

According to one doctor, Ben Franklin's instrument caused "a great degree of nervous weakness."Ji-Elle, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Benjamin Franklin invented the glass harmonica, or armonica, in 1761, unleashing a deadly scourge upon the musical world. “It was forbidden in several countries by the police,” wrote music historian Karl Pohl in 1862, while Karl Leopold Röllig warned in 1787 that “It’s not just the gentle waves of air that fill the ear, but the charming vibrations and constant strain of the bowls upon the already delicate nerves of the fingers that combine to produce diseases which are terrible, maybe even fatal.” In 1808, when Marianne Kirchgessner, Europe’s premiere glass armonica virtuoso, died at the age of 39, many suspected nervousness brought on by playing the instrument.

7. Charles Ratherbee // Lung Disease Possibly Caused by Playing the Trumpet

A valve trumpet made by Elbridge G. Wright, circa 1845.Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest (2002), Metropolitan Museum of Art // Public Domain

One summer day in 1845, Charles Ratherbee, a trumpeter, got into a fight with Joseph Harvey, who rented space in a garden from Ratherbee and was sowing seeds where the trumpeter had planned to plant potatoes. When confronted, Harvey became upset and knocked Ratherbee to the ground with his elbow. Two weeks and five days later, Ratherbee was dead.

Harvey was arrested for Ratherbee’s death, but a doctor pinpointed another killer: An undiagnosed lung disease made worse by his musical career. “The blowing of a trumpet would decidedly increase [the disease],” the surgeon testified at Harvey’s manslaughter trial. When asked if he was “in a fit state to blow a trumpet” the surgeon replied bluntly, “No.” Harvey was acquitted and given a suspended sentence for assault. The trumpet was never charged.