In an early draft of the script Ferris had two additional younger siblings.
Cameron's father's Ferrari wasn't a real Ferrari. Because it was too expensive to rent one, they made three fake ones with a fiberglass body.
Grace the Secretary pretending to be Ed on the phone call was improvised.
When the Ferrari crashed, the fiberglass hood ripped, but branches were put over the rip to make sure the camera didn't record it.
A number of key moments in the movie were created in the editing room: Jeannie kicking Roonie three times in the face (when there was in fact only one kick filmed); Ferris and Sloane's kiss in front of Roonie was originally just a brief kiss, but was later edited into the long kiss seen on film.
To produce the desired drugged-out effect for his role as the drug addict in the police station, Charlie Sheen stayed awake for more than 48 hours before the scene was shot.
The Parade sequence (Twist and Shout scene) was filmed during the Von Steuben Day Parade. An annual event in the Chicagoland area.
The car parked to the left of the Ferrari in the garage is also an MG, in this case an MG TC.
Ferris wears a different outfit in each scene before he and Cameron go to pick up Sloane.
Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris's parents, married in real life after filming this movie.
When Ferris picks up Sloan from school, they are standing in front of the entrance to the theater of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook IL, Hughs' Alma Matter. They then drive the car past the high school's soccer and baseball fields.
Mia Sara says that Matthew Broderick actually tickled her feet and knees to get her to laugh naturally in the taxicab scene.
Most of the license plates are all abbreviations for titles of films by John Hughes. Katie's = VCTN (National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)); Jeannie's = TBC ( The Breakfast Club (1985)); Tom's = MMOM ( Mr. Mom (1983)); Rooney's = 4FBDO ( Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)). The exception is Cameron's Ferrari (seen when Ferris first pulls out of the garage), the license plate of which reads NRVOUS.
Anthony Michael Hall turned down the role of Ferris Bueller to avoid being typecast.
Emilio Estevez turned down the role of Cameron.
Rob Lowe, John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller.
The detective's name is Steven Lim. The film's first assistant director is also named Stephen Lim.
Ben Stein, who plays the economics teacher in this movie, actually graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics.
Alan Ruck was 29 years-old when he played the role of Cameron.
The 1961 Ferrari GT250 was a modified MG sports car. The producers received several angry letters from car enthusiasts who believed the car shown was a *real* Ferrari and that it was actually wrecked in the film.
Whenever Mr. Rooney and Ferris have a conversation with each other, only one of them speaks throughout the entire conversation; the other is completely silent.
The line Ferris says in the bathroom at the French restaurant about Cameron's house being very pretty and very cold was originally supposed to be said by Allison in The Breakfast Club (1985) regarding her home life.
John Hughes told Ben Stein, who had a degree in Economics, to present an actual Economics lecture in his scenes. Hence nothing Ben Stein says (aside from the roll call) is scripted.
"The Car" in the movie was a Ferrari 250GT California Spyder, of which 104 were produced. This version of Ferrari's already famous 250 series was designed specifically for the American market, featuring only two seats, a convertible top, and more horsepower than in its standard European trim.
After the girl in the arcade spits her soda on Ed Rooney, a video game sound effect is heard in the background. Appropriately enough, it's the sound effect that denotes when a player has lost a life in the game Pac-Man.
Originally, Ferris was supposed to say to a radio show, that before he dies he wanted to ride the space shuttle. Due to the Challenger accident, this was removed from the movie.
The hall scenes in which you see Jeanie walking down the hall and kid collecting money to save Ferris are the halls from The Breakfast Club (1985).
The scene in which Ferris is drawing the nude woman on his computer was going to be broadcast onto a jumbotron in Chicago but the scene was later cut.
Ferris's sampler/synthesizer is an E-MU Emulator II.
Eric Stoltz auditioned for the role of Ferris.
Director Trademark: [John Hughes] [Shermer] When Jeannie is in the police station, you see a quick shot of the chest of a police officer including his badge which identifies him as a Police Officer in the town of Shermer.
The French restaurant Bueller crashes is "Chez Quis" which is a pun, as said aloud it would be "Shakeys", the pizza chain. "Chez Qui" means 'to whom' in French.
The bus scene at the end of the movie where the Principal is picked up was shot in Long Beach, California at Los Cerritos Park.
Ferris laments not having his own car, but does at least own a synthesizer which cost $8,000 in 1984.
The yellow and red insignia on Ferris's beret is that of the 32nd armored regiment; the motto at the bottom [illegible in the film] reads "Victory or Death". This was Elvis Presley's regiment when he was in the army and in "G.I. Blues".
The hand that presses the speaker button on Cameron's phone belongs to John Hughes. When the crew left, Hughes took the camera and shot it himself since no one else was getting it right.
Deleted scenes: - Ferris asks his dad on the phone about bonds his father purchased when he was born, he then takes one of them from a shoebox in his father's closet, cashes it at the bank with his girlfriend (telling the hard-of-hearing teller they are pregnant with a jeep), and uses the money to pay for his day off. It was removed because it made Ferris look like a thief rather than a lovable rogue - Ferris orders something in French on the menu, and after everyone at the table tastes it, he is informed by the snooty waiter that he ordered "sweetbreads", which is a French dish made from the thymus gland. It was removed because it showed the waiter getting the better of Ferris, but later in the movie when Ferris is recounting the day to Cameron, he remarks "we ate pancreas".
The bus scene that plays during the ending credits was a scene cut from the movie. It was meant to take place after Jeanie announced that she called the police, and Roonie had to find a place to hide. This explains why the sky isn't dark, and why a bus is taking students home at six o'clock in the evening.
During the parade several of the people seen dancing (including the construction worker and the window washer) originally had nothing to do with the film. They were simply dancing to the music being played and John Hughes found it so humorous that he told the camera operators to record it.
The passage that Ed Rooney quotes when he is trying to console Sloane ("man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live...") is the "First Anthem" for the Burial of the Dead from the Book of Common Prayer produced by the Anglican church. The anthem is based on Job 14:1-2.
The poster behind Ferris Bueller's bed is of Bryan Ferry.
Sloane is named for Sloane Tanen, daughter of then-Paramount head Ned Tanen.
John Hughes wrote the script in six days.
Director Cameo: [John Hughes] can be seen in a tiny cameo in one of the early Chicago downtown montage sequences, climbing literally across traffic, from right to left of screen, wearing a light blue jacket and big 'eighties hairdo' (from DVD director's commentary.)
Ranked at #10 on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006)
The final scene in the garage was shot in early Fall, so each of the leaves on all the trees outside had to be hand-painted green every morning before shooting. In the shot looking up from the wreck at the three friends, the yellow tree with most of its upper leaves gone can be seen reflected in the window.
Even though they played siblings, stars Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey would later become engaged after this movie.
The dance sequence by the group on the stairs during Ferris's lip-synch performance of Twist and Shout is taken directly out of Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
John Hughes refused to release a soundtrack album; he felt the mix of songs was too uneven and didn't flow together, and wouldn't work well as an album.
Sloane was originally named 'Tandy' in earlier drafts of the script.
There is a poster for Simple Minds song "Don't You Forget About Me" on Ferris's wall. This song was featured prominently in director John Hughes's earlier film The Breakfast Club (1985).
The school nurse who informs Sloane that her grandmother died is named Florence Sparrow, an obvious play on the name of the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.
The painting that Cameron admires is called "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte", by Georges Seurat.
The short scene with the coughing keyboard was actually improvised by Matthew Broderick. This is explained in the commentary on the DVD.
Matthew Broderick improvised the scene and the line with the clarinet: "Never had ONE lesson!"
The scene in which Sloane and Ed Rooney are standing outside, waiting for Mr. Peterson, the school in the background was John Hughes's old high school.
When Grace says "He's a righteous dude", it was not in the original script. 'Edie McClurg (I)' ad-libbed it in her best Chicago accent.
Charlie Sheen was recommended by Jennifer Grey after they did Red Dawn (1984) together.
Director Trademark: [John Hughes] [Beatles] Ferris lip-syncs the Beatles' cover of "Twist and Shout". Ferris quotes John Lennon's song "God" ("I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.") Cameron's Detroit Red Wings jersey references Paul McCartney and Wings, as his Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar (which he played on The Beatles' "Yesterday") sported a Detroit Red Wings sticker from the mid-1970s onward.
Paul Gleason was considered for the role of Ed Rooney.
The movie was named after John Hughes' life long friend Bert Bueller.
When Ferris hacks into the school's computer to change the number of absences he had, it is a subtle reference to a scene in WarGames (1983) when 'Matthew Broderick' hacks into the school's computer to change his grades.
Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Robin Duke, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Mary Gross, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange, Kelly LeBrock, Kay Lenz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine O'Hara, Madonna, Kelly McGillis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cybill Shepherd, Meg Tilly, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster, Sharon Stone and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Jeanie Bueller.
John Candy auditioned for the role of Cameron Frye, but producers turned him down fearing he was too old for the part.
Cameron Frye's birth-date is 1 July 1967. Alan Ruck's birth-date is 1 July 1956.
Louie Anderson had a small role as a flower deliveryman in this film. One of the episodes of his 1995 television show, "Life with Louie" (1995) was titled "Pains, Grains and Allergy Shots," a reference to the John Hughes film Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). Anderson's TV show also featured the voice talents of Edie McClurg, who is notable for appearing in many of Hughes' films, including Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
According to John Hughes in the DVD Commentary (original DVD release), the voice Cameron uses while talking to Rooney pretending to be Slone's father was modeled after a stage director both Alan Ruck and 'Matthew Broderick' had worked for.
The text that appears on the screen when Ferris is explaining how to fake being sick to his parents was added later because John Hughes thought the scene was too flat and not funny enough (according to him in the DVD Commentary).
The song "Danke Schoen" is heard four times in the movie; When Ferris sings it in the shower, when Ed Rooney sings it after ringing the Buellers' doorbell, when Ferris lip syncs the Wayne Newton version during the parade, and when Jeanie sings it while walking down the stairs at the police station.
Ferris has a Cabaret Voltaire "Micro-Phonies" poster to the left side of his door.
Early drafts had the Ferris family having younger siblings. When it came time to edit, the final draft actually has evidence that Ferris in fact does have younger siblings, such as drawings on the fridge and a family photo seen in his dad's office.
In 2010, Edie McClurg told Vanity Fair magazine that her character's hairdo should be from the 1960s, "because Grace felt she looked best in the 60s and kept her look from that era." But the women's hairdresser on the set had mainly been hired to blow out Mia Sara's long, straight hair and didn't know how to set the big, dated '60s hairstyles - so McClurg teased, set, and styled her own character's hair. Once McClurg arrived on the set, John Hughes looked at her hairstyle, and the first thing he said was, "How many pencils do you think you can fit in that hair?" They tested it with one pencil, then two and three, but the fourth one fell out--so that was the origin of Grace's first scene in the movie, in which she pulls several lost pencils out of her hair.
In the scene where Sloane is sitting in the taxi with Ferris and Cameron in the floor, Ferris' dad is in a taxi next to them reading the newspaper. As the scene ends you can see the headline 'Community rallies around sick youth,' however wording in the actual article indicate it is an article about a Chicago policeman killing himself.
Director Trademark: [John Hughes] [eyes] close-up of eyes widening in horror.
Tom Skerritt was considered for the role of Ed Rooney.
Despite the movie being set during the spring, this movie was really shot during the fall of 1985. There are several scenes in the film where you can see the trees are changing colors.
Bueller, Bueller, Bueller etc.
OTHER FACT THAT WASN'T ON THE TRIVIA PAGE: Kristy Swanson who went on to be the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie was in this (briefly)