- Actor Allusion: Kiernan Shipka plays a girl in a story set in the 60's who has a dysfunctional relationship with her mother. Not only that, but the mothers are referred to by similar sounding names that are derivative of the name Elizabeth.
- California Doubling: For the Trog sequence, a Hollywood lot stands in for Bray Studios, which is portrayed as a Thamesside studio rather than a converted manor house in rural Berkshire.
- Dawson Casting: Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange (70 and 67, respectively, during production) play Bette and Joan from their 50s to around 70. David Kimball, in his mid-sixties, plays a grey-haired Freddie Francis, who at the time was a dark-haired 52-year-old. Inverted with 17-year-old Kiernan Shipka playing B.D. in her twenties.
- Deader Than Disco: The show "Feud" itself; plans for a second season (about Prince Charles and Princess Dianna's marriage and divorce) fell apart due to the lawsuit filed by Olivia De Havilland, which had a chilling effect of sorts on Murphy continuing both Feud and American Crime Story. Both franchises are currently DOA.
- Development Hell: The series was in development for about seven years - with Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange on board - before it was finally given the green light.
- Disowned Adaptation:
- Olivia de Havilland, one of the few individuals depicted in the first season's story to still be alive during its initial airing, flatly refused to watch it. She was opposed to making portrayals of real people who are no longer alive to give their own viewpoint. Later on she sued FX over being portrayed as selling her co-workers out in an interview that never actually happened, as well as calling her sister Joan Fontaine a "bitch" (though they famously had their own lifelong rivalry, De Haviland insists that she's always prided herself on her decorum and would never use that word).
- Robert Aldrich's daughter was annoyed with how her father was portrayed in the show. In real life he had developed What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? before offering a part to Joan Crawford - rather than how the show depicts it.
- Fake American: Londoner Alfred Molina plays American Robert Aldrich. Pauline is also played by an English actress, Allison Wright.
- Fake Brit: British directors Freddie Francis and David Lean are played by Americans David Kimball and Anthony Crivello.
- Hey, It's That Place!: Bette Davis's house was used in Donnie Darko.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Due to Olivia De Havilland's lawsuit, the series has yet to see a DVD release.
- Meta Casting:
- B-movie director William Castle is played by cult film director John Waters, who has cited the former as one of his biggest influences. He wasn't made to resemble William Castle, so that audiences would instantly get the gag.
- Susan Sarandon had been given approval through a mutual acquaintance that Bette Davis wanted her to play her in a biopic. This was the fifth of four other projects where she had been suggested to play the actress.
- Production Posse: Bette and Joan stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates have all played prominent roles in other Murphy projects.
- What Could Have Been: The show's second season was to be entitled Buckingham Palace and would focus on the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. However, this was ultimately scrapped.
Trivia / Feud