American Pie is one of those movies that’s just special. It’s really hard to describe why unless you’ve seen it, though. For one thing, this is not a movie that you’d ever want to watch with your parents. For another thing, this is a movie that has spawned an entire franchise of ridiculously over the top and gross, but also very funny movies. This is also the movie that probably taught you a lot about the more adult things in life. The story of American Pie begins with Jim, Kevin, Stifler, and Finch, who are all on quests to lose their virginities before graduation. It’s basically Superbad before that movie was a thing, only better. The series has made stars out of many people, including Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Thomas Ian Nicholas.
As much as you might love these movies and watch them over and over again, I guarantee you that there’s a lot that you don’t know. For one, a lot of really iconic scenes from the movies involve food, and we found out where those things came from and how they’re made. Also, we found out how certain effects were done and who ended up completely improvising the best parts of the movies. These movies also predicted certain dating phenomena that we take for granted today, like naughty texting and that hot mom label we all use so often. Here are fifteen things that you probably didn’t know about the American Pie movies.
15. That Was A Costco Apple Pie
The infamous apple pie that stars in one of the weirdest scenes ever put to film comes from Costco, so if you’re ever in the mood to eat apple pie while watching this movie, you know where to find it. Believe it or not, Costco is more than a megastore where you can buy things in bulk. They were at the center of a minor controversy when they started putting Bibles in the same row as their fiction books because of a labeling issue from the distributors. Additionally, they were once sued for labeling their engagement rings as “Tiffany engagement rings.” They also sell coffins there! While I will never understand the impulse to buy an engagement ring or coffin from Costco, I can attest to the pie being passable, so that’s something.
14. Stifler’s Mom Was In Only One Scene In The First Film
Stifler’s mom is in basically one scene in the first movie, but you probably forgot that considering she’s so prominent in all of the sequels. Jennifer Coolidge, the actress who plays Stifler’s mom, is one of those actors that managed to take her one scene and turn it into something iconic enough to warrant her return in the rest of the franchise. It’s those sequel appearances that probably do the most to establish her reputation as one of the more famous characters in the franchise, but it really says something that she managed to take one scene at the end of the movie and make it one of the most memorable, especially with a line like “Aged 18 years, just how I like it.” Weirdly enough, Stifler himself isn’t really in the first movie either. Both characters just exist to say awesome lines, sit out for most of the movie, and come back with bigger roles for the sequels.
13. Kevin’s Brother Is Ben Affleck’s Brother
One of the bigger cameos in the whole franchise was Casey Affleck, who played Kevin’s brother. I call this a cameo because while he’s important to the plot, he’s uncredited. He’s the one who gives Kevin the Sex Bible and the guy who suggests that the main cast throw a party at a beach house to make the summer really count. Casey Affleck, after playing Tom Myers, went on to become a critically acclaimed actor with a huge resume, marry River Phoenix’s little sister, and win 40 separate awards for one part last year for Manchester By The Sea. While many people think his major claim to fame is being overshadowed by his older brother Ben, who’s literally Batman right now, he’s an established actor in his own right; he just got his big break much later than his brother did. He’s also a director: he made a mockumentary called I’m Still Here in 2010, starring his brother in law Joaquin Phoenix.
12. Michelle Was Almost Heather
According to Alyson Hannigan, she won the part of Michelle by having a Michelle moment right before her audition. She’d just finished going to the bathroom and was called in to audition right after that, so she was really nervous about it. The directors saw Michelle just being Michelle and awarded her the part. However, that could have all gone differently, changing the whole movie franchise. Alyson Hannigan had originally wanted to go for Heather, the part Mena Suvari played, but when she read the script, she decided that she liked Michelle better. This makes sense because Michelle the band geek and secret pervert falls in line with the other characters she’s played over her long acting career, including Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother. It’s fun to try and figure out what the movie would have been like if different actors had played other parts (Mena Suvari playing Michelle, for example), but we think they got the perfect cast to play the perfect characters.
11. That Was Really Egg Whites, But It Was Still Gross
While we tend to remember other scenes for their horrible grossness, the scene that probably made me puke the most was the scene where Kevin, played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, does something unspeakable with a cup of beer. That in itself was pretty gross, but it was worse when Stifler, played by Seann William Scott, drinks the beer in the cup, along with the unmentionable evidence of what Kevin did. The stuff in the beer was represented by egg whites, probably for consistency, but according to Seann William Scott, drinking it was so gross, he ended up throwing up afterward! Honestly, I can’t blame him. Even if what he was pretending to be drinking wasn’t as gross as it was, the idea of drinking egg whites and beer together is enough to turn my stomach even now.
10. Everything Jim’s Dad Said Was Improvised
Jim’s dad, played by Eugene Levy, is probably one of the most iconic teen movie dads in all of history. While American Pie wasn’t his first time being in a movie, his career really took off when the movie came out, in part because he managed to make the insane things the character said work. It turns out that almost none of what he said in the movie was scripted! Eugene Levy improvised basically everything he said in the movie, and on top of that, he threatened he’d quit if filmmakers didn’t let him do it. According to him, being in the franchise allowed him to have”a new perspective on his career at the time” and it allowed him to take on lots of new roles. He’s also the only actor in the franchise to appear in every single American Pie film, which goes to show how popular the character is.
9. “Say My Name” Was Improvised
One of the most iconic lines in the whole franchise turned out to be unscripted. Michelle, played by Alyson Hannigan, made up the line and they left it in. This isn’t bad for a character who was only in the first film for about four minutes total. As you get to know the character of Michelle a bit better, you find out that her sweet exterior is hiding a secret dominatrix who will try anything in bed once. Remember the scene where Michelle brings a trumpet into the bedroom? She’s also the person with all of the band camp stories, probably establishing the reputation band kids have now as covert perverts. Come to think of it, a lot of high school stereotypes come from this movie, despite the movie doing its best to avoid using those stereotypes.
8. That Band Member Is Christina Milian
Christina Milian, before really hitting it big as a singer and crafting one of the catchiest TV theme songs in Disney history with the Kim Possible song, cameoed as a random band member in the first American Pie movie. There have been more than a few cameos in this franchise through the years. Blink-182 is the band watching the Jim and Nadia webcast, the part given to when the film needed a band. Drummer Travis Barker was actually credited as Scott Raynor, the band’s previous drummer. The Playmate of the Month in February 1999, Stacy Fuson, shows up in the crowd laughing at Finch when he leaves the girls’ bathroom. Tara Subkoff and Chris Weitz both play uncredited parts in the movie as well.
7. That Was Actually A Sausage On A Pencil
Jim, played by Jason Biggs, spends a lot of time turned on. Considering this is a movie about teenagers navigating life and love, often in really explicit ways, it’s pretty easy to understand why. The way the filmmakers simulated the effects of being turned on was actually a pretty simple one. All they did was take a sausage, wrap it in foil, then stick it on a pencil. There’s a good reason why Jason Biggs was one of the first breakout stars of this franchise, and doing weird things like that to pull off his character off is one of those things. He’s done a lot of acting since American Pie, but it’s hard to think of a part that was quite as great for him as this one.
6. No Body Double
In most movies, the actor is swapped out for a body double. That means that you have to find a body double that looks and moves just like the actor so they can convincingly stand in for that actor during a sex scene. Most of your favorite movies that have a scene like that in it do this. You might think that you’re looking at the body of your favorite actor or actress, but you’re actually looking at the body of a double whose name you might not ever learn. However, when Jason Biggs’s body double showed up with a scar on his stomach, he was let go. Since they still had to film the sex scene, they had Jason Biggs do the sex scenes himself. This means that every single sex scene from at least one movie had one of the main actors in it. That’s certainly one way to embody every aspect of a role!
5. This Movie Invented That ‘Hot Mom’ Term We All Love (Sort Of)
While the idea of older women targeting younger men to sleep with isn’t a new one, American Pie was the movie that made the term what it is today. The person to actually use the word in the movie, popularizing the term, is John Cho. However, while the movie is often thought of as the one to invent the concept, it actually dates at least as far back as The Graduate, another movie involving a younger guy getting involved with a much older woman, albeit in a much more serious movie. After that, the term was everywhere, from hastily deleted Google searches to TV shows like Desperate Housewives, which are basically about moms of all ages and their romantic relationships that Stifler’s mom would not have been out of place on.
4. This Movie Embodies The Early 90s
American Pie takes place in the early 90s, which is weird in hindsight because the movie looks exactly like the early 90s. At one point in the first movie, Jim is mocked for wearing a plaid shirt, but for the late 90s, that was a perfectly normal thing to wear. The guys, in general, tend to wear really bold striped shirts and lots of patterns, which really wasn’t a thing in the “heroin-chic” late 90s. As for the girls in the movie, they’re all in baby doll T-shirts and dresses with super high necks, which wasn’t really a fashion staple of the late 90s. It was like the filmmakers and costume department decided to make a movie set in the late 90s that would act as a time capsule for everything iconic about the early 90s. This is except for the music, which is basically everything that was playing on the radio in the late 90s.
3. This Movie Predicted Naughty Texting
Okay, maybe saying that American Pie predicted s*xting is a bit much, but remember that scene between Jim and Nadia with the webcam? That’s the first movie I can think of off the top of my head that uses a webcam and the Internet in that context. This was outrageous in 1999, but today, it’s remarkably and disturbingly commonplace. Any teen with a cell phone can not only record their exploits easily, they can upload them wherever they want and have an instant audience. You can even live stream if you want with today’s technology. In 1999, recording yourself and your partner would only happen in a teen comedy, and now it happens all the time. While teens trying to lose their virginities on prom night exist nowadays, the movie as we know it now would be totally different if it was made in 2017 rather than 1999 just because of how normalized this behavior is. Way to predict the future, American Pie.
2. It Gets High School Very Right
There are a lot of things about these movies that just aren’t real. The very existence of Stifler’s mom is reminiscent of an adult film fantasy sequence, and Nadia only exists in the minds of teenage boys who would do anything for her to exist. That being said, it gets a lot of things about high school right. The media would have you think that high school divides kids up into popular kids and unpopular kids when that’s just not the case. If anything, the movie makes it a point to drive home the idea that all the kids are dealing with similar issues. For one thing, Heather’s life as a choir girl isn’t much different than that of the party kids, and Michelle’s band camp friends are having just as much fun as the other kids despite being nerds. This doesn’t cancel out the total cliche that was Chris abandoning the lacrosse game, though.
1. The Pie Is Not Even The Weirdest Scene, Just The Most Memorable
While the apple pie scene is among the weirder scenes in the movie, it is definitely not the weirdest or most awkward. The scene where Stifler drinks the worst beer in the world was way grosser than this. The scene with the Ex-Lax was probably worse. You may or may not have blocked it out, but I have a problem even going near this franchise without suffering from maximum secondhand embarrassment. The most awkward scene from the first movie definitely has to be the sex talk between Jim and his dad, though. The conversation is just so weird and painful to watch, and the scene definitely doesn’t age well. We just forgot about those scenes thanks to how weirdly iconic the pie scene was, but they were still worst. At least the pie scene was short!
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