Trivia: The Facts of Life

In the TV series:

  • The Cast Showoff: Lisa Whelchel seems to have been given opportunities to display her talents in everything from singing to ventriloquism.
    • Pippa also sings. The actress later had a career as a country singer.
  • The Danza:
    • In a weird sideways manner. The character "Natalie" was based on Mindy Cohn, who at the time was not an actress but a student at a school the producers visited for ideas and inspiration. She was invited to audition, and ended up cast essentially as herself.
    • George Clooney as George Burnett during the 1985 and part of 1986 seasons.
    • Molly Ringwald, during her one season stint (the first one; 1979-1980) played Molly Parker.
    • Not to mention Geri Jewell as Cousin Geri.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: Geri Jewell, who played Geri, actually has cerebral palsy.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Lisa Whelchel's hair was dyed blond for the role of Blair (during her New Mickey Mouse Club run, her hair was a dark brunette). Lampshaded periodically to imply the character's hair is not naturally blond either.

  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Lots, but most notably Kenneth Mars in the episode "Gossip".
    • Natalie wound up voicing Velma in Scooby-Doo.
    • Mayim Bialik (the future Blossom and Amy Farrah Fowler), Seth Green, and Juliette Lewis in the finale
    • A very young Helen Hunt in a first-season episode
    • George Clooney had feathered hair!
    • MacGyver is Tootie's uncle! With Willona as his mother-in-law. Including a Shout-Out to The Jeffersons, when she says "You're moving on up." Ja'net Dubois sang the "Moving on Up" theme.
    • Jo was Sonny Munroe's mom!
    • Alex Rocco aka Moe Greene played Jo's father!
    • Lauren Tom played exchange student Miko!
    • Kelly, a latchkey thug living down the street, was a temporary Cousin Oliver. Played by Pamela Adlon, Marcy from Californication.
  • I Am Not Spock: Nancy McKeon didn't come back for the interview, in part because of her commitment to The Division, and in part because she did't want to be Type Cast as Jo anymore.
  • The Other Darrin: Blair Warner's mom is played by a different actor in Season 3 than was used in Season 1 and no explanation was given.
    • Natalie's boyfriend Snake, a.k.a. Norbert
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Became one for the 1980s, just compare the season 2 opening to the season 7 one.
  • What Could Have Been: Despite the number of main characters being thinned between Seasons 1 and 2, production expressed interest in retaining Molly Ringwald as a regular. However, she left to pursue a movie career.
    • In one making-of special, the girls mentioned how, in the episode "The First Time," the writers initially had the idea of Blair losing her virginity. Lisa Whelchel objected on religious grounds, and in fact doesn't appear in the episode at all, so the story was given to Natalie instead.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Nancy McKeon had broken her foot shooting the Made-for-TV Movie Strange Voices shortly before shooting for the final season began; thus resulting in her foot being in a cast for a few early episodes that season.