- Casting Gag: Sheriff Jane Greene in the final season is played by Brooke Smith, who played the abducted girl that Clarice Starling rescued from serial killer "Buffalo Bill" in The Silence of the Lambs.
- The Cast Showoff: Norma's talent on the piano is all Vera Farmiga, who is an excellent, classically trained pianist in real life — that's really her playing, every time.
- Dawson Casting: 17-year-old Norman is played by the 21-year-old Freddie Highmore, and 21/22-year-old Dylan is played by 25-year-old Max Thieriot.
- Directed by Cast Member: Nestor Carbonell, Freddie Highmore, and Max Thieriot all took a spin in the director's chair (Carbonell took three). Vera Farmiga was also offered to direct, but turned it down.
- Dueling Shows: With Hannibal, another series based on a movie about a serial killer. It arguably ended up winning, as Hannibal was cancelled while Bates Motel was renewed to conclude itself.
- Fake American:
- The Mountains of Illinois: While British Columbia can mostly pass as coastal Oregon, the Oregon Coast Range is far shorter than the Northern Cascades and lacks the snowy peaks and rough rocky terrain.
- Lying Creator: From episode 1 until the Season 4 finale, the creators were adamant that they would not be adapting Psycho. Immediately afterwards, they revealed that Season 5 will be a somewhat Broad Strokes remake of the events of the film, and that Marion Crane, the iconic shower victim, will appear in multiple episodes.
- Name's the Same: No, this isn't the show about a man inheriting the Bates motel from Norman.
- The Other Darrin: Will Decody is played by Ian Hart in Season 1 and Andrew Howard in Seasons 3-4.
- Playing Against Type:
- Poor Man's Substitute: Subverted — the role of Norma Bates was written for Vera Farmiga.
- Promoted Fanboy: The producers were trying to figure out how they would cast and insert Marion Crane into the show when they found out that Rihanna was a big fan, so they offered her the part.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Nicola Peltz securing a starring role in Transformers: Age of Extinction resulted in Bradley being Put on a Bus. She comes back in season 3 and gets murdered by Norman in the finale.
- What Could Have Been:
- Timothée Chalamet auditioned for the role of Norman Bates. However, at the time of the research, he accidentally confused Psycho with American Psycho, and ended up inspiring his performance in the character Patrick Bateman whose personality is very different from Norman Bates.
- Bradley's plot in Season 2 and Season 3 probably would have at least been developed in a different way if Nicola Peltz had not temporarily left the series because of her commitments to the film Transformers: Age of Extinction.
- Word of Saint Paul:
- According to Nestor Carbonell, Alex Romero fell in love with Norma almost the moment he met her.Carbonell: I think when he goes to her house and she doesn't let him in when he asks her about Keith Summers. I think in the first season he's already smitten. He feels like he's met his match. This is a woman who's come here with her son, taken over a motel, and clearly doesn't jive with the town, and he's like, 'this is my girl.'
- According to Vera Farmiga, while Norma and Romero had a mutual physical attraction from very early on, she says that the moment Norma truly falls in love with him is the moment when she tells him about her history with her abusive older brother. Certain he's going to leave her, she tells him to pack his bags, but instead of walking away he simply responds, "Ok. Where are we going?"
- According to Nestor Carbonell, Alex Romero fell in love with Norma almost the moment he met her.
Trivia / Bates Motel