8 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Hangover'

by Caroline Pate
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Gather 'round, boys and girls, as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of The Hangover , the movie that inspired frat boys to quote it for years to come and received a rare comedy Oscar win. And since for some reason we have now decided as a culture that any piece of entertainment that ages to a number divisible by five deserves to be talked about in the news for at least a week, its time to reminisce on the the delights of The Hangover. That means two things: 1. You get to talk about how this anniversary makes you feel "so old" (even though there's no way any person over 40 will utter these words, so no, you are not old) and 2. We get to take a mystical journey behind the scenes into the movie magic. So travel back in time with us to five whole years ago to find out some of the hidden secrets behind one of the most heralded comedy movies of the past decade...

The Hangover Started as a Completely Different Movie

The movie started as an untitled project at Warner Bros. with Jack Black about a bachelor party that lost the groom and couldn't remember how it happened — that was pretty much the only similarity. Once Jack Black pulled out of the film, Todd Phillips was intrigued by the idea and pitched a complete rewrite of the script. Originally, there was no Mr. Chow, no tiger, no baby, no cop car, and Bradley Cooper's character was a used car salesman.

Lindsay Lohan Almost Played a Stripper

That's right, Lohan almost picked up the stripper role that was later given to Heather Graham. Some rumors say she turned it down because she hated the script, but director Todd Phillips said it was because she just felt too young for the role.

"Honestly, it felt like she ended up being too young for what we were talking about. People love to attack her for everything, like: "Ha, she didn't see how great The Hangover was going to be. She turned it down." She didn't turn it down. She loved the script, actually. It really was an age thing."

Alan Could've Been a Totally Different Character

The character was first written as a younger brother type who had to be dragged along, and big names like Jonah Hill or Jake Gyllenhaal were considered for the role. Then, the role was re-written as a loser-older-brother-living-at-home type, and Thomas Haden Church from Sideways was considered for the role. But Phillips pushed for Zach Galifianakis in the role, and we got the Alan we all know and love.

Ed Helms' Missing Tooth Isn't Fake

It's not CGI, and it's not even blacked out with marker. That tooth is actually an implant that Helms got when he was 15, and he had his dentist remove it specifically for the movie.

I talked to my dentist and he said, "Yeah, we can take it out." He was a champ. He's in the credits. So he took the tooth out, and he had to make a special piece to then screw into the hole so that the gum tissue stays healthy. He made me a flipper with the fake tooth on it that I could take in and out because I was still shooting on The Office. I never told [anyone on the show] because they would lose their minds. So I would show up to work on The Office with this appliance in my mouth, and it really affected my speech. If you watch those episodes, I sound drunk.

Stu's Song Was Improvised

Probably the most-quoted (or sung, rather) part of the film is when Stu sings a ballad about the tiger on the piano. Helms says the song wasn't written in the script, but was a product of him fooling around on the piano in the suite for a few weeks.

"So I was just fooling around with the piano and Todd was like, 'Hey there's a great spot in the movie where we need a little bit of a breath in the narrative. You should write a song and stick it in there.' And I was like, 'Well, what should the song be about?' And he said, 'The tiger.' 'Oh, okay.' So I went off and I wrote this song. I came back and Todd and I tinkered with it a little more and then we shot it right then. It all happened in a day."

Director Todd Phillips Makes a Creepy Cameo

Like most of his movies, Todd Phillips makes a cameo in The Hangover. He's the guy with the gold shades, curly hair, and velour tracksuit creeping on a blonde woman in the elevator.

Speaking of Todd Phillips Movies...

They also have another thing in common: an appearance from The Dan Band. Not only does the obscene comedy band make an appearance in Phillips' movies Old School and Starsky and Hutch, they also do a memorable performance of "Candy Shop" in The Hangover.

Mike Tyson Really Had Tigers

The one thing you can always count on to be stranger than fiction is Mike Tyson. Sigfried and Roy were first considered as the source for the tiger appearance, but Phillips said that felt too "typical," so they used Mike Tyson, who back in his multimillionaire days actually owned three tigers.