* BeamMeUpScotty[=/=]StockShoutOuts:
** '''''"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."'''''
** '''''"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't let you do that."'''''
** "My god, it's full of stars!" -- This line appears in ''2001'' the book, but not in the movie. Nevertheless, in ''2010'' '''the movie,''' it's claimed Bowman said this before entering the Star Gate.
** Any time jaunty classical music is used in a space setting, particularly Johann Strauss Jr.'s Blue Danube waltz.
* CastTheExpert: After failing to find a British actor who could play the Mission Control [=CapCom=], Kubrick hired a real U.S. Air Force air traffic controller stationed in Britain. The interviewer from the BBC was also played by a real BBC newsreader.
* DoingItForTheArt: Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke spent enormous efforts into making everything as realistic as possible. The earth moving equipment seen on the Moon would ''actually'' work on the real Moon. Quite a few experts from NASA and IBM were asked to help design the sets.
** Clarke published a few lines from his diary from pre-production in the introduction of a re-issue of the novel. They include "rang Creator/IsaacAsimov to ask him about the biochemistry of [[AscendedToCarnivorism turning herbivores into carnivores]]." (Asimov, besides writing science fiction, was a professor of biochemistry.) And they never even [[ShownTheirWork did anything]] with that...
** Kubrick required the compositing work to be done by a team of British animators painting traveling mattes by hand frame-by-frame to mask out each element, rather than using bluescreen. When production ended, most of them signed onto ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'' in order to work on something colorful after spending two years painting little black blobs.
** Instead of storyboarding the docking sequence, multiple model sequences were shot so Kubrick could ''edit them down.''
* EnforcedMethodActing: Douglas Rain was only given HAL's lines, not the full script - thus keeping the CreepyMonotone at all costs.
* FakeRussian: Brit Leonard Rossiter as Dr. Smyslov, the guy who grills Floyd about just what's going on at Clavius.
* FlipFlopOfGod: What exactly the orbital platforms are for. Originally they were intended to be nuclear delivery systems, but this was later {{retcon}}ned to leave their purpose ambiguous.
* PropRecycling: Deliberately averted. Kubrick had all the sets, special effects models, and design notes destroyed after filming was complete, to prevent them being reused in low-budget B-movies. The production crew for ''2010'' had to rebuild ''everything'' by examining the film itself, frame-by-frame. A deliberate case of NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup.
** It didn't work. Several models (rebuilt or maybe the same film clip) have been used. ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' used the same rocket landing site on the Moon.
** Bowman's spacepod [[ShoutOut can be seen in the background]] of Watto's scrapyard in ''StarWars Episode I: ThePhantomMenace''. Interestingly, the book ''Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I'' notes it as a "repair and maintenance pod of unknown origin".
** The model for Saturn was used for ''Film/SilentRunning''.
* ScienceMarchesOn:
** Besides [[IWantMyJetpack technology progressing slower]] than the production team anticipated, there are two details of astronomy in this movie that have since become dated. Kubrick insisted that the artists paint the Earth very pale blue because its albedo is 0.38. Only a few years later, photos from the Apollo missions made everybody realize that this figure is averaged over the pure white clouds and the deep blue oceans. Jupiter and its moons were also intentionally depicted vaguely because of the limitations of ground-based telescopes.
** The film's depiction of the lunar landscape owes much to the craggy, mountainous terrain that was common in science fiction before the Apollo landings. Nonetheless the film is surprisingly accurate given that the production predated even the Surveyor probes, let alone manned exploration.
** Floyd and everyone else on the Moon walk around completely normally. The Apollo landings later revealed that a loping gait was required in the Moon's 1/6 gravity.
** The proto-hominids in the opening sequence are all about the same size, but current theories and fossil evidence suggest that the males should've been ''substantially'' larger than the females.
** The notion that the Monolith's influence guided one of the hominids to pick up a bone and start hitting stuff with it loses much of its impact, now that it's known that tool use also occurs in our great ape cousins, as well as ravens, monkeys, elephants, dolphins, and dozens of other genera that aren't our close relatives. The scene still works as a metaphor, but in the ''literal'' sense, those creatures should've come up with tools as basic as clubs long before they left the trees.
* ShrugOfGod: Certain ambiguous or unrealistic elements have been shrugged off by Kubrick and Clarke, such as the true meaning of the Monolith or how HAL was able to read lips from the side.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Kubrick had allegedly asked Creator/OsamuTezuka to work as a production designer for the film, but sadly, The God of Manga was far too busy with his own projects to oblige.
** Also worthy of note is that Kubrick approached the rock group Pink Floyd to do the music to the film (as well as the later Clockwork Orange), but they declined. Roger Waters later said not scoring 2001 was one of his biggest regrets. (Supposedly "Echoes" syncs up to the third act of 2001, try it out.)
*** In turn Waters asked Kubrick to use a sample of the "My mind's going, Dave" dialogue on the beginning of the track "Perfect Sense (Part I) on Waters' 1992 solo album, ''Amused To Death'' [[note]]Roger meant to use it as a TakeThat to ex-bandmate-turned-bandleader ''David'' Gilmour, with whom he was feuding five years previous for the rights to the Pink Floyd name[[/note]]; Kubrick refused to let him. Waters instead left a backwards TakeThat to Kubrick [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfTXHUfEiks in place of where the ''2001'' dialogue was to be on the album]].
** Early drafts had the ship powered by an OrionDrive.
* Hal is activated on January 12, 1992. The day, now passed, was not particularly notable.
* Notable, but not plot-relevant. The scene with the primates is obviously not 2001, but the title card for the Discovery mentions that it is 18 months later. This places the trip to the moon (and discovery of the monolith) in 1999.
** Some say the discovery of the monolith happened in 2001, which ''sets up'' the odyssey.