All of the high school scenes were shot at Pompton Lakes High School in Pompton Lakes, NJ. Unfortunately the school district's superintendent forgot to sign the waiver allowing the school's name to be mentioned in the credits. Other than paint, the building remains nearly identical to the way it was during filming, including the unique terraced floor in the poetry class scene.
The disco group The Village People originally would not sign off on the use of the song "Macho Man" for the film, which features the track heavily. The disco tribute band The Boogie Knights was therefore hired to record a cover version to use instead. After the cover version was completed, The Village People ultimately decided to let the filmmakers use their original version and the Boogie Knights version was never used.
Joan Cusack plays Matt Dillon's former high school teacher in this movie, even though she is only two years older than he is and they played classmates and age contemporaries in My Bodyguard (1980). She states she was a student teacher when she helped him in school, which could explain how they could be close in age.
Debbie Reynolds appears in this film for director Frank Oz, who worked with her daughter Carrie Fisher in The Blues Brothers, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Last Jedi (which also featured Reynolds's granddaughter, Billie Lourd) .
The interior bar shots were filmed at Slater's Mill, a bar in Riverdale, NJ that has been closed down for quite a number of years. However it is still standing with its name painted on the building's side.