* ActingForTwo: Divine played both Edna Turnblad and Arvin Hodgepile. Waters had to give Glen Milstead a male role because he was getting sick of doing drag for film roles. (Milstead insisted that he wasn't a drag queen in ''Hairspray'' because what drag queen would dare be so ''frumpy''?
* ActorAllusion: Face it, Ruth Brown ''was'' Motormouth Maybelle.
** On the 2007 album, during "Nicest Kids in Town," Corny Collins describes them as "The [[Film/SugarAndSpice Sugar and Spice-est]]"
* AllStarCast: Played with. The 2007 movie had several all star members (Creator/JohnTravolta, Creator/ChristopherWalken, Music/QueenLatifah, and Creator/ZacEfron to name a few), but these were mostly secondary roles, whereas the main role went to entirely new actress Nikki Blonsky.
* DyeingForYourArt: Amanda Bynes ate so many lollipops during filming there were some genuine concerns she might lose her teeth. Rumors place it at around ''40 a day.'' John Travolta's fat suit couldn't have been all that pleasant either.
* FanNickname: Amongst the cast, "You Can't Stop the Beat," due to the intense dancing and fast pace, garnered the nickname "You Can't Stop To Breathe."
* HeyItsThatGuy: In the Broadway version [[Series/{{Glee}} Will Schuester]] originally played Link.
** In the 2007 movie, [[Film/HighSchoolMusical Troy Bolton]] is Link Larkin.
** The original Amber is pop star, "Graduation (Friends Forever)" and current Nickelodeon VP Vitamin C.
* PlayingAgainstType: An extremely ''epic'' one for John Waters. Ironically, this actually led to a lot more controversy due to parents getting such earlier Waters material as ''Film/PinkFlamingos'' for their kids, which in at least one case resulted in a 911 call. Yes, ''Hairspray'' is for the whole family. Anything else by Waters? [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids Not even close!]]
* RecursiveAdaptation: From movie to Broadway musical and back again.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: James Marsden beat out his X-Men co-star HughJackman and Joey [=McIntyre=] for the part of Corny Collins.
** Queen Latifah won out over Aretha Franklin.
** Christopher Walken was chosen over Billy Crystal.
** Mamie Van Doren was originally picked for Velma in the original film.
** John Waters wrote a sequel to the 2007 movie titled ''Hairspray 2: White Lipstick'', detailing everyone's struggles to adjust to new music trends of the late 1960s. Plot points he shared included the African-American dancers planning an all-Black music program, Link becoming FakeBrit to attract fans of Music/TheBeatles, and Edna losing weight through weight loss pills. New numbers included Link having a MushroomSamba and singing with his pimples, and Edna gorging back all the weight she lost after learning that Wilbur thinks she looked better when she looked fat.