- Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: While Sean Penn is not really developmentally disabled, many of the actors who play his housemates are.
- Genre-Killer: Criticisms that this film played the "Hollywood" version of mental disability so straight that the Unfortunate Implications were finally starting to become obvious killed the Inspirationally Disadvantaged movie.
- Real-Life Relative: Dakota Fanning's younger sister Elle Fanning plays Lucy as a toddler in the Age Cut montage.
- Star-Making Role: For a young Dakota Fanning. Her performance made her the youngest person to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and she was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, becoming its youngest member.
Trivia / I Am Sam