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Men in Black
- Accent Depundent: MIB agents are given code names taken from the alphabet. For some reason, however, the head agent, Z, is referred to as "Zed" rather than "Zee" which doesn't makes sense to those who are not aware of the UK/Canadian pronunciation of the letter.
- Actor Allusion / Casting Gag: Agent J gets decked by an alien, parodying Will Smith punching an alien in Independence Day.
- The Cast Show Off: Tommy Lee Jones speaks fluent Spanish in real life, used in the opening scene when K questions all of the Mexicans attempting to cross the border (and trying to smoke out the one who's really an alien).
- Casting Gag: The posters play on the fact that the film's two main stars had the last names "Smith" and "Jones"... you know, the kind of super-plain codenames you'd expect two anonymous, black-suited government agents to use.
- Enforced Method Acting: Tommy Lee Jones was not amused by the script he was given, so he ad-libbed a good deal of his dialogue. Look closely enough and you can see Will Smith trying to keep up, as expected of the fresh recruit. The resulting synergy is well over half the movie's charm.
- Recycled: The Series
- Science Marches On: A minor one. When J heads to the morgue to retrieve a cat, he hilariously tries to convince Laurel that the cat is a witness in a murder investigation. Fast forward about ten years and advancements in forensic science mean that animals who 'witness' a murder can be checked for any forensic evidence the killer may have left behind.
- Sequel In Another Medium: Retribution, the comic book which picks up where the first movie ended.
- Similarly Named Works: There is another Men In Black, which was a 1935 The Three Stooges short that was nominated for an Oscar.
- Technology Marches On: K shows J a small alien disc and says "They're going to replace CDs soon". At this point, it's doubtful. It was based on Sony's MiniDisc, which did indeed fail to be the wave of the future. Also, J's introduction is him chasing down an alien on foot to arrest him. These days, the fleeing suspect probably would have been tazed, ending the chase rather quickly.
- Throw It In:
- The scene where the alien that Kay killed in the beginning of the film transformed was not originally planned. The creators added it in because they realized that most people would have sympathized with the alien had he died as is, and wanted to ensure no sympathy was to be gained for the alien prior to being killed.
- Will Smith's line "It just be rainin' black people in New York!" was improvised but so hilarious that they decided to leave it in.
- In fact, a lot of the lines in the original film were this. Tommy Lee Jones was famously dissatisfied with the script and so he took it upon himself to "fix" it by ad-libbing a good deal of his dialogue and one-liners, The result was Will Smith, not to be outdone, having to play along too. It was hilarious enough that Barry Sonnenfeld just didn't care and threw it ALL in. And the movie ended up being praised for its witty dialogue, in case you needed more proof how awesome Tommy Lee Jones is.
- The little alien in the mech body was originally written for earlier in the film. Originally, K originally introduced J to a bartender, who would lift his face up to reveal a body made of light. Then Phil Tippet had the idea to have his face open to reveal a pilot. Everyone liked the idea so much they moved the idea and made it plot-relevant.
- What Could Have Been
- Bruce Campbell was the one originally in mind to play the exterminator, but he turned it down to appear in some TV movie that even some of his more hardcore fans haven't heard of.
- Clint Eastwood was originally offered the part of Agent Kay, but declined.
- Among the options for the role of Jay was David Schwimmer of Friends fame. Imagine a Men in Black starring Clint Eastwood and David Schwimmer.
- Chris O'Donnell was the original choice for Jay. He does get another shot at being an agent, though. So even after murdering his family, Two-Face still wants Robin to join the MIB?
- Quentin Tarantino was originally the first choice for Director after the success of Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino turned down the offer, instead choosing to focus on the creation of Pulp Fiction.
- Originally, there were going to be two alien ships looming over the Earth, demanding the return of the galaxy: the Arquillian ship, and a Baltian ship (Rosenberg was originally a Baltian in the script). Edgar came to Earth to deliberately start a war between the two races, said to be negotiating peace, so he can feed off the resulting war. The initial volley is compared to two gunslingers using a giant rock as cover. Eventually, they decided the Baltians were not necessary to the plot, so some work was done in post-production (dubbing the aliens' conversation into "alienspeak", for one), and long story short, Rosenberg became an Arquillian.
The Cartoon Series
- Actor Allusion: This is not the first time Ed O'Ross fought aliens on the city streets.
- The Other Darrin:
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: The first season was finally released on DVD in 2012 as a Target exclusive, but the rest of the series is still no where to be found.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The theme for the cartoon series carries the first few beats of Will Smith's eponymous "Men In Black" as part of its main theme, but ditches the rest of the song in favor of a instrumental hip-hop composition.