Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The old man being put in the dead cart in scene 2 never actually says the oft-misquoted line "I'm not dead yet." He does say "I'm not dead," twice, but neither time does he say "yet."
But in Spamalot, the stage musical based on it, he sings a song called "Not Dead Yet". (lyrics).
Likewise, the line when Princess Lucky's father is "dying" is "He's not quite dead," used again when Herbert reappears.
The Black Knight's famous line is "It's just a flesh wound," not "It's only a flesh wound."
Magnum Opus Dissonance: The Python crew generally considered this to be one of their lesser movies despite its popularity. John Cleese often says they think Monty Python's Life of Brian is their best work. But it has also to do with their bad memories of the filming itself. Having to rush to the hotel afterwards because there wasn't enough warm water for all the guests, Chapman being in the depths of alcoholism, squabbles between Jones and Gilliam over the direction, ...
No Budget: The movie is very clearly filmed on a shoestring budget for its size, with cheap camera tricks and poor special effects being the norm. The famous ending and the squires banging coconuts together are both a direct result of the lack of money; a large battle would have cost far too much, and since they couldn't afford horses but were still using the coconut sound effect as a joke, why not have the people making the sounds be on camera? By some accounts, Tim the Enchanter's pyrotechnics alone blew a big chunk of the budget.
The coconuts were originally going to be off screen due to the lack of budget for horses. The troupe had an epiphany regarding it — since the movie was nonsensical anyway, they should just write the coconuts into the script. According to the book Monty Python Speaks they thought that the coconuts was a funny idea because coconuts are used for horse sound effects — AND had the added bonus of saving them a pound of money on horses, training, etc. It even made it into the german title of the film: Monthy Python's Knights of the Coconut ('Monty Pythons Ritter der Kokosnuss')
Although for the most part, there was very little variation from the script, there are three instances of improvisation, two of which were done by John Cleese: The first being the pause he takes in the Burn the Witch! scene (which forced Eric Idle to bite his scythe so as not to crack up), before saying "Because she's made of wood", the second when he says Some Call Me "Tim" because he forgot the character's scripted mystical name, and the third being Idle's "He hasn't got shit all over him".
Trope Namer: This movie has named the following tropes:
Not Quite Dead: Lancelot's "steed" Concorde, Prince Herbert, the bride's father, and a random sufferer of the plague. Also, everybody slaughtered by Lancelot at Swamp Castle gets up and joins in when Herbert's song starts playing.
Troubled Production: The film was not easy for the cast or crew to make. Issues such as Graham Chapman's alcoholism and arguments amongst the cast and crew were the least of their worries. The very first day of filming, the camera malfunctioned and then fell apart when the operator opened it. The damp Scottish climate made everyone miserable, and the budget hotel they were staying at only had a limited amount of hot water, meaning that everyone would make a mad dash back when the shooting day wrapped just to get a hot shower (Idle and Palin eventually struck out on their own and were fortunate enough to room at the hotel where all the lovely young actresses from the Castle Anthrax scene were staying). The infamous abrupt ending was the result of a lack of patience as much as it was a lack of money.
Terry Gilliam was originally supposed to play Sir Gawain, whose role would have consisted of repeatedly Breaking the Fourth Wall and pointing out how special effects and other aspects of the film's production were achieved. His role ultimately ended up being turned into Patsy, with his Medium Awareness jokes being reduced to just one mention of "Camelot" being only a model.
Immediately after the second encounter with the Knights Who Say Ni, the original script had a lengthy sequence involving a character named King Brian the Wild, who enjoyed getting people to come to his castle, having them sing in close harmony, and then having them killed by his archers. The Knights of the Round Table nearly end up meeting this fate themselves, but Sir Robin unwittingly saves the day when he shows up in the nick of time, and the archers shoot his minstrels instead. King Brian would most likely have been played by Eric Idle, given that Sir Robin is absent for most of the sequence, though there have been some reports that the role was written for no less than BRIAN BLESSED himself.
In an earlier script, the bridgekeeper was stated to return as the boatkeeper, guarding the boat that sails to Castle Aaargh. He would greet any traveler with; "Who wants to cross the Sea of Fate must answer me questions twenty eight." Arthur and Bedevere would have defeated him by simply throwing him into the lake.
The "Swallows and Coconuts" running gag would have had an epic payoff where the attack on the castle at the end would have been assisted by birds dropping coconuts on the defenders.
The original script's ending had the Knights actually finding the Grail they spent the whole movie looking for, bringing closure to the whole rambling quest storyline. And where did they find it, you may ask? On sale at Harrod's department store.
Neil Ines was originally hired to compose the score, but could only afford a small ensemble of musicians who sounded too "quaint." Ines stayed on as music consultant and pre-existing stock cues were used for an authentic epic score.