- Casting Gag: Sheriff Jane Greene in the final season is played by Brooke Smith, who played the abducted girl rescued by Clarice Starling from the serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs.
- 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.
- 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:
- Norman is played by British actor Freddie Highmore.
- Olivia Cooke is British, and although she plays Emma with an American accent, the character's backstory states that she's originally from the UK.
- Here There Be Lions/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:
- 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: The Last Knight resulted in Bradley being Put on a Bus. She comes back in season 3 and gets murdered by Norman in the finale.
Trivia / Bates Motel