- Acclaimed Flop: This game is considered to be one of the best on the original Xbox. The sales sadly don't reflect this. According to the Psychonauts 2015 documentary however, the sales were not as bad as others claimed it was. Tim Schafer said everyone said it sold 100,000 when it sold 400,000. Things would also turn around when Double Fine's deal with the publisher Majesco expired, enabling the studio to release a slightly Updated Re-release through digital platforms such as Steam. According to Double Fine, opening up for digital sales increased the sales numbers with about 1.2 million, making the game into what be described as a bit of a (very) late blooming Sleeper Hit, and it actually ended up turning enough of a profit to partially fund the sequel.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Dogen, Nils, Maloof, J.T., Quentin, Vernon, Elton, and Little Oly all had female voice actors (several of whose voice actors also voiced other, female characters).
- Development Gag: In the intro for the game, Oleander, after unsuccessfully attempting to probe his mind, says that Raz's name "Starts with a 'D'." The protagonist's name was originally D'artagan. And this design for the protagonist also briefly shows up in the epilogue coming out of the outhouse.
- No Port For You: Was released on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 but not on the GameCube, which, despite being the least successful console of the generation, had an affinity for platformers. This likely didn't do the game any favors in sales.
- Talking to Himself: André Sogliuzzo voices both halves of a split personality, Fred/Napoleon Bonaparte, who argues with himself. With such drastically different accents and tone it's uncanny.
- Tuckerization: A retroactive example: Tim Schafer's daughter Lili, who was born a few years after Psychonauts was released. Presumably Tim's fond of the name in general, but Lili-in-the-game now serves as a reference to real-life Lili.
- Vindicated by Cable: Though it sold very poorly when first released, it slowly built up a very positive reputation as a Cult Classic among gamers, eventually becoming a consistent top seller on Digital Distribution services like Steam, even outside of sales. The video accompanying the crowdfunding effort for the sequel boasts that its total sales after all these years are 1.7 million, which would be an impressive number of sales for any game, not to mention a marked improvement over how it sold during its initial release.
- What Could Have Been:
- Raz was originally conceived as an ostrich suffering from mental imbalance and multiple personalities. Tim Schafer killed the idea because he strongly believes in games being "wish fulfillments," guessing that not many people fantasize about being an insane ostrich.
- Originally there was going to be a subplot involving the nightmares in Milla's mindscape getting loose and abducting campers. Due to time constraints, unacceptable levels of scariness, or the developers realising Milla would never allow her own mind to endanger children, the subplot was dropped — but the bosses weren't, leading to no less than two Boss fights with one during The Milkman Conspiracy. There are still Nightmares in Milla's mind, too, but they're firmly caged and controlled, posing no threat.
- According to the official Vault Viewer commentary, Milla was supposed to have mind control as a power at one point, but it was removed, as was a lot of dialogue from her Dance Party including her secret room, including some that may have cemented the Ship Tease mentioned earlier.
- The concept art for Gloria's Theatre shows much more detail than the actual level.
- Waterloo World originally had a small, functioning strategy game that would be played rather than the comparatively simple missions you're given, but it was taken out because it was boring.
- Write Who You Know: Boyd Cooper is allegedly based on somebody Tim Schafer knew.
Trivia / Psychonauts