Trivia: MacGyver

  • Creator Backlash: If only a mild example, Richard Dean Anderson was consistently the only main cast member of the series (even with Pete around) and required to be in nearly every scene. For an hour long TV show running 7 years, he was exhausted by the end. He said similar things about Stargate SG-1. The actual show itself he is very proud of, and has fond memories of playing the character.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
    • Richard Dean Anderson, naturally. You can also spot his future Stargate SG-1 co-stars Don S. Davis (who was Dana Elcar's stunt double and also appeared as a security guard) and Christopher Judge (who had an early role as a student in a class MacGyver was visiting), as well as many others.
    • A young Teri Hatcher as Penny.
    • Prior to being cast as the title character on Blossom, Mayim Bialik had appeared in three 1989-90 season episodes as Lisa Woodman.
    • One episode had an FBI agent played by Rob Paulsen in a rare on-screen appearance.
    • Rocker Michael Des Barres (Power Station, replacing Robert Palmer as lead singer) as Murdoc. He wrote the Penny Parker tune "Cleo Rocks" for an episode he appeared in.
    • Two actors who portrayed Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund and Jackie Earle Haley, appear in the first season (in the episodes "Flame's End" and "Last Stand", respectively).
    • Nana Visitor as the Girl of the Week in "Hellfire".
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Latin-American dub has MacGyver voiced by Son Goku and Bruce Willis.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: Dana Elcar from Season 2.
  • Real-Life Relative: Not quite: MacGyver's grandfather Harry Jackson was played by John Anderson. It's often assumed he was Richard Dean Anderson's real grandfather, due to their resemblance and same last name — but the two were not actually related.
  • Shown Their Work: The show made an active attempt to actually understand chemistry and physics. Sometimes the effects were exaggerated, but it was pretty rare for MacGyver to do something that was straight science fiction. Mythbusters considered him to be their Patron Saint, and multiple episodes were dedicated to both things he did and the concept of MacGyvering to save the day. The producers also actively sought out stories about these kind of DIY fixes to integrate into the show.
    • In the first episode, using chocolate to stop an acid leak is true. The chemical interaction creates a gummy plug rather than just eating through it.
    • Fixing a busted engine radiator using egg whites.
    • In the Season 4 episode "Fraternity of Thieves", MacGyver uses sodium thiosulfate (taken from a photo-processing store) to save the life of Pete Thornton, who's been poisoned with hydrogen cyanide; sodium thiosulfate is used both as a photo-fixing agent and as an antidote to cyanide poisoning.
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • Dana Elcar developed glaucoma which led to blindness; Pete Thornton accordingly developed the same condition.
    • "Every Time She Smiles" had MacGyver's arm in a cast from the start, supposedly due to a skiing accident in Switzerland, rather than have him injured somewhere in the middle of the episode. This was because Richard Dean Anderson had injured that arm and needed to have the cast written in. The same injury re-appeared in the next episode, "To Be A Man", with a different backstory.