Costume designer Lyn Paolo refused to borrow any designer clothes from fashion designers and insisted that each item worn by the characters be bought since the show frequently employs flashbacks and items are constantly reused.
Many guest stars, and even show regulars including Scott Foley, Jeff Perry, Katie Lowes, Joshua Malina, George Newbern and Bellamy Young have appeared on Shonda Rhimes's other ABC hit show Grey's Anatomy (2005)
The character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her "fixer" firm are modeled on the real-life self-dubbed "crisis management expert" Judy Smith. As an independent fixer, Smith has helped repair or restore the reputations of such scandal-mired celebrities as Monica Lewinsky, Kanye West, Gen. David Petraeus, Michael Vick, and Rob Lowe, but before that, she worked in the G. H. W. Bush administration's White House as Deputy Press Secretary and played a large role in countering Anita Hill's claims of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas in the media. In 2016, Scandal star Kerry Washington played Anita Hill in the TV movie Confirmation, and Judy Smith was depicted in that movie by actress Kristen Ariza.
President Fitzgerald Grant's favorite President is George Washington. Traditionally, each President hangs up a portrait of the President he most admires, his hero and favorite predecessor, in the Oval Office. Grant has a portrait of George Washington above the fireplace.
While Shonda Rhimes has often been praised for the racial and gender diversity of her shows' casts, Scandal (2012) also provides diversity in its uncommon number of opportunities for both LGBT characters and actors. The show has gay characters being played by openly gay actors (for example, James Novak (played by Dan Bucatinsky)); gay characters played by straight actors (as in Cyrus Beene [played by Jeff Perry)); and - most unusually in an era in which gay actors' agents and managers still frequently advise them to stay in the closet or abandon any hope of being cast in straight roles - openly LGBT actors playing straight characters (such as Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi) and ex-spouses Diego "Huck" and Kim Munoz (Guillermo Díaz and Jasika Nicole)).
At the start of season three, Olivia's father furiously chastises her for her behavior regarding President Grant: "How many times have I told you you have to be twice as good as them, to get half of what they have!" Entertainment Weekly called this line a Pope family motto, but this phrase is not an invention of the show's writers; rather, it is a piece of parenting advice that has been current in the black community since at least the mid-twentieth century, if not earlier. It is sufficiently well-known as a phrase that a 2007 biography of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was titled "Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power." Shortly after the episode aired, Salon's Neil Drumming wrote, "More than simply a family motto, the sentiment is one with which almost every African-American of my generation and before is all too familiar. Notice the them and the they--that's white folks. The you is every black kid who has ever brought home a bad grade or failed to study hard enough for a test being told by their concerned parents that they might never succeed if they don't work harder and smarter than their white peers."
Olivia and her father claim to know a lot about wine, but they actually don't know how to hold a glass of wine. Holding a glass of red wine by the glass is an acceptable method of drinking red wine. It is the white wine (which the two never drink) that is held be the stem so as not to heat the wine from holding it. Ultimately it is personal preference how to hold a glass while drinking wine.
Is known as "The Fixer" in South Africa due to the fact that the title "Scandal" was already in current use for a local soap opera. Although the shows broadcast on different channels, the name change was deemed necessary to avoid confusion on the TV schedules.
Both Jeff Perry (Cyrus) and Paul Adelstein (Leo) appear in Prison Break, working on a government conspiracy, much like their roles on Scandal. Coincidentally, the town of Defiance, Ohio is mentioned during the show
The sculpture "Bronco Buster" seen on a credenza in the Oval Office was executed in 1895 by American artist Frederic Remington. The secret mission Pesident Fitzgerald Grant flew in service of B613 was designated "Operation Remington."
Both actors who play Olivia's parents also played political figures on the 1990s TV show "A Different World." Joe Morton played Senator Byron Douglas, Whitley Gilbert's fiancé. Khandi Alexander played Theresa Stone, a student at Hillman who ran for school president against Dwayne Wayne.
Because of very low ratings Dutch broadcaster Net5 stopped airing the series. The last new episode (3.07) aired on 2 March 2015, the remaining episodes were available each week on the channel's online video service KIJK.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Joshua Malina (the actor playing David Rosen) would read the script from the last page in fear of being killed off the show. Shonda Rhimes realized this and wrote a special two page script outlining David's death in great detail, to give him a little scare.
Olivia's outfit colors are representative of her character's progression. Throughout seasons 1-3 she is almost always in white to represent her "white hat" theme. After her kidnapping in season 4 she goes through a phase of constantly wearing black. Season 5 shows her more predominantly wearing red as she becomes more power hungry/bloodthirsty and accepting of Rowan's influence over her.
There are several references to Argentina in the show: it is one of the countries where the waves of Peus's drones are found; Eli Pope and Sandra talk about their trip to Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina; Jake claims having killed an Argentine vicepresident and Charlie has an old Argentine spy as a mentor