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Trivia / Meatballs

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: The red shorts and colorful Hawaiian shirt that Bill Murray is seen wearing in the original movie were his own clothes.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For Ivan Reitman.
  • California Doubling: Various campsites in Canada, including Camp White Pine in Halliburton, Ontario, stood in for the camps seen throughout the series.
  • Completely Different Title: In Denmark, the film was released as "Med Røven i Vandskorpen", "With the Ass in the Edge of the Water", which is a danish idiom meaning something like "In a tricky situation".
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  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Read through any review of the third film — if the review states that no characters return from the original film, it's this trope in spades. Even most modern reviews made about the third film neglect to mention that the aged-up Rudy (who is the POV Character of the original) is the star of the third film.
  • Descended Creator: Jack Blum, who played Spaz, was also the film's casting agent.
  • Dolled-Up Installment:
    • Meatballs II was originally shot under the name Space Kid, and was going to be more like Porky's than the first Meatballs. Then the film got picked up for distribution, the Meatballs name was applied and nearly all of the sexual content was cut to create a more family friendly film in the vein of the first. This reportedly came so late in the film's development that it was a surprise to director Ken Wiederhorn. Of course, the two later films would end up becoming raunchier in an attempt to keep the franchise going.
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    • Meatballs 4 was originally a completely different project called Happy Campers, before it was picked up and retitled as part of the series.
  • No Stunt Double: The cast members did their own stunts.
  • The Other Darrin: Contrary to some reviews, the character of Rudy appears in both the first and third films — except in the latter, he's played by Patrick Dempsey instead of Chris Makepeace.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: Meatballs III was shot in 1984 (the same year as the second film), but didn't hit theatres until mid-1986, more than two years later. Given the third film's status as a sequel to the original film (via the character of Rudy), it is unknown whether the film would have fared better or worse if it had come out first.
  • Star-Making Role: This film gave Bill Murray a film career.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis wanted John Landis to direct, because of his work that he did on Animal House. But Landis turned it down because he was too busy working on The Blues Brothers. Because of this, Reitman decided to direct it himself.
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    • At one point, Dan Aykroyd was considered as the lead star of the original film in case Murray (who had an infamous habit of not announcing whether or not he would commit to a project) didn't show up on set.
  • Working Title: Summer Camp.


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