* The name "Napoleon Dynamite" is a pseudonym used by Elvis Costello for his 1986 album, "Blood and Chocolate". Executive producer Jeremy Coon has stated that the similarity is a coincidence and that the producers were unaware of Costello's usage of the name until the film was in production.
* Every dish shown during the opening credits is eaten by a character later in the movie. The dishes presented in the opening credits were the work of the three people who present them.
* Due to the film's surprise success at festivals and at the major city box offices, Fox Searchlight is going to re-release the film with nationwide distribution and add a 5 minute epilogue at the end of the film. This epilogue, which was filmed after the initial theatrical run, apparently features a surprise "wedding scene". And cost about half of what the entire feature cost to make.
* Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) was asked to do many scenes in which he was eating steak. Gries, who is a vegetarian, would chew the steak and later spit it out. In fact, there is one scene, in which you can see Gries spitting the chewed meat into his hand.
* In the second cafeteria scene, when Napolean and Pedro discuss prospective dance dates, Napolean is wearing a Ricks College t-shirt. Ricks College was a junior college in Idaho that maintained close association with Brigham Young University up until 2000, when Ricks was formally named an official satellite of BYU, henceforth BYU-Idaho. Jared and Jerusha Hess, the film's co-writers, both attended BYU.
* Features one of the longest credited cast lists in movie history; all 181 student extras' names are listed in the closing credits.
* The movie was edited in producer Jeremy Coon's apartment using a $6,000 Macintosh with Final Cut Pro.
* Behind-the-scenes at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight engaged in a bidding war with Warner Independent Pictures over the distribution rights to this movie, until Fox Searchlight put in a last-minute bid of over $3 million, and won. They would later join forces with Paramount Pictures and MTV Films to distribute the film, a mere 17 days before its release.
* Jon Heder was paid $1,000 to play Napoleon Dynamite. The movie grossed over $40,000,000 in the United States.
* Jon Heder drew all of the "drawings" in the movie except the unicorn.
* The "liger" is a real animal, created when a male lion mates with a female tiger.
* For Napolean's dance routine, director Jared Hess had Jon Heder improvise and dance to three different songs. Hess then took the "best" moves from each song and put them in one routine, using one song.
* The scene where Uncle Rico hits Napoleon in the face took four takes.
* Shot in 22 days.
* Jon Heder's big dance scene was the last scene scheduled and they ran out of film while shooting it. The sequence was edited together from less than 10 minutes of him dancing.
* The scene of the farmer shooting the cow in front of the school bus full of children is a true anecdote from the director's childhood.
* Jon Heder helped to make the boondoggle keychains between scenes.
* Jon Heder credits Tina Majorino (Deb) with helping to choreograph the dance scene. He also states that some of the dance moves were "borrowed" from Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, John Travolta, Soul Train, as well as some of his own moves.
* Idaho has unanimously passed a bill praising Jared and Jerusha Hess for making the film, citing amongst their reasons that the Preston High School administration and staff, particularly the cafeteria staff, have enjoyed notoriety and worldwide attention. Tater tots figuring prominently in this film has promoted Idaho's most famous export.
* 'Aaron Ruell ' (Kip) had braces put on his teeth for this role (two dentists are thanked in the credits).