* 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]]"
** In the 2007 film, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken have a scene where she advances on him sexily, and he tries to stop her by using practical jokes as weapons. It's a deliberate homage to the end of ''BatmanReturns'', where they did the same thing as Catwoman and Max Shreck (although Walken used an actual gun in the latter).
** BrittanySnow actually played a dancer on American Bandstand, the show that the Corny's was based on in AmericanDreams.
* 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.
* TheCastShowoff: Several members of the cast were picked either because their musical talents were largely unknown to the general public (Marsden, Walken, Bynes) or had simply been forgotten about in recent years (Travolta, Pfeiffer)
* CastingGag: 2011 would have MichellePfeiffer and ZacEfron star together again, but instead of him dating her daughter, it's her he goes after in ''Film/NewYearsEve''.
* 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!]]
** This isn't the only time that Creator/ChristopherWalken plays a all-around NiceGuy, but they're rare.
** BrittanySnow's characters, equally, are usually much nicer.
* RecursiveAdaptation: From movie to Broadway musical and back again.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: James Marsden beat out his X-Men co-star Creator/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.