99 “Twin Peaks” Facts That Will Blow Your Effing Mind

1. Despite popular fan rumors, the famous photo of Laura Palmer is NOT actress Sheryl Lee’s real-life prom photo.

Kimberly Wright / ABC

It was shot by photographer Kimberly Wright specifically for the show.

2. And, for some unexplained reason, Laura Palmer’s photo in the show is DIFFERENT in the feature film Fire Walk With Me.

Kimberly Wright / ABC / New Line Cinema

If you look closely, you can see she’s looking to her left in the movie version.

3. The show was originally called Northwest Passage.

It was also supposed to take place in North Dakota, not Washington state.

4. And the title may have been changed because of composer Angelo Badalementi.

When Lynch told him the title of the show, Badalemnti remarked, “David, that’s something I read when I was in grammar school. You can’t use that title!” Not much longer after that, the show became Twin Peaks.

5. For budgetary reasons, after shooting the pilot in Washington, the rest of the show had to be filmed in Los Angeles.

The town of Twin Peaks actually had to be re-created and built as sets in Van Nuys, California, while many of the exteriors were filmed in Malibu Canyon.

7. And for Season 2, they filmed two different reveals of Laura Palmer’s killer.

They wanted to keep the killer’s true identity a complete secret, even from cast and crew.

8. In fact, production distributed false scripts on set to the cast and crew.

9. And the phony scripts had all kinds of “warnings” on them.

Things like: “This is the conclusion of the show,” “Here’s the killer,” “Don’t share this with your friend,” Destroy after [reading],” and “Don’t leave it anywhere.”

10. The series’ eerie final line, “How’s Annie?” wasn’t even in the original script.

Although whether it was improvised or just rewritten by Lynch on the day is unconfirmed.

11. However, the question is actually answered in a deleted scene from the prequel film Fire Walk With Me.

New Line Cinema

In the recently released Blu-ray special features, we get to see Annie out of the Black Lodge and in the hospital. The REAL Agent Cooper, on the other hand…

12. Bob (and essentially the entire mythology of the show) was a complete accident.

Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / ABC

Frank Silva, who ended up playing Bob, was actually the set designer. At the end of the very first episode when Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) gets spooked by ~something~, Silva can be seen in the mirror behind her — which was a TOTAL accident. However, Lynch really liked that creepy ~image~ and decided Silva should become a part of the cast.

13. The flickering light when the “R” is being removed from under Laura Palmer’s fingernail was totally accidental — there was literally just a problem with the light on set.

But true to Lynch form, he said, “I like that Ron (the director of photography)! Can you do that all the time?” Hence, why there are always flickering lights on the show.

15. The chevron pattern on the Black Lodge floor is also in David Lynch’s first feature film, Eraserhead.

ABC, Janus Films

16. And Jack Nance, who plays Pete Martell, was the lead in Eraserhead.

ABC, AFI/Libra Films

He also acted in almost every other Lynch project (until his death) including Dune, Blue Velvet, The Cowboy and the Frenchman, Wild at Heart, and Lost Highway.

17. Catherine Martell’s and Lucy Moran’s names are spelled wrong in the pilot episode credits.

18. Agent Cooper’s full name is Dale Bartholomew Cooper.

Yeah, that’s right: D.B. Cooper.

19. Sherilyn Fenn’s character Audrey Horne inspired Lynch’s iconic film Mulholland Drive.

Audrey was supposed to have a spinoff series about her going to Hollywood, but it ended up not happening.

20. And Audrey’s iconic shoes were actually painted Oxfords – Lynch had wanted real saddle shoes, but no one could find them (in the area).

If you notice, the colors on Audrey’s shoes are reversed to the ~real~ saddle shoes on the right.

21. Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Cooper) was the one who squashed all of our Dale-Audrey shipping dreams.

MacLachlan pushed against the planned romance between Dale and Audrey, saying that Audrey, who was supposed to be 18, was too young for him.

22. Although MacLachlan felt that Fenn was too young to play his love interest, Heather Graham (Annie), who DID end up playing his love interest, is actually five years younger than Fenn!

Ironic, no?

23. Audrey wasn’t in the Miss Twin Peaks fashion show because Fenn straight-up didn’t like the storyline.

The compromise for at least having her in the scene was to have Audrey make an announcement for her dad.

24. Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer) was just a local theater actress in Washington when she landed her iconic part on the show.

As was Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley).

25. And David Lynch thought Sheryl Lee had been so great as Laura Palmer that he wrote the part of her cousin Madeleine “Maddy” Ferguson just to keep Sheryl in the show.

26. And the character is a nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film Vertigo.

Paramount Pictures

The brunette cousin of Laura Palmer takes her first name from Kim Novak’s character (Madeleine) and her last name from James Stewart’s character (John Ferguson). Novak also played both a blonde and brunette in Vertigo.

27. Maddy is also from Missoula, Montana, which is where David Lynch is originally from.

28. Sheryl Lee and David Lynch had even talked about there being a THIRD character for her to play.

Lee said, “Laura had died and I had come back and Maddy had died, so it was kind of like, ‘Let’s see what happens.’”

29. The conspiracies surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s death influenced the show.

United Artists

Co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost were originally working on a film adaptation of Goddess, a biography of Monroe. But since they couldn’t get the rights, they started working on Twin Peaks. Both Laura and Monroe were blondes whose deaths had ~mysteries~ surrounding them. Laura dies after writing in her diary that she’s going to reveal the affair she’s having with Ben Horne, which people think parallels Monroe’s alleged affair with President John F. Kennedy.

31. And he REALLY cut his hand in the scene where he dances with Laura’s picture.

He described it as his “Apocalypse Now moment” — referring to Martin Sheen actually cutting his hand on a broken mirror in that movie.

32. Ray Wise’s hair started to fall out from having it bleached for Leland’s “white hair” look.

The process took five or six hours and he’d have to have the roots retouched every eight or nine days.

33. Mädchen Amick was originally considered for the part of Donna Hayward. And even though she didn’t get it, Frost and Lynch liked Amick so much that they created the role of Shelly for her.

34. Eric Da Re (Leo) is the son of Johanna Ray, who was the show’s casting director (and a longtime Lynch collaborator).

Before being cast as Leo, he helped his mom cast all the other roles. Leo was the second-to-last major role to be cast.

35. Eileen Hayward (Donna’s mom) is actually Emily and Zooey Deschanel’s mom IRL…

ABC, Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

37. In fact, Zooey often visited the set, but she wasn’t allowed to watch the show.

Mark Mainz / Getty

’Cause, you know, it’s not exactly for kids!

38. Caleb was also one of the few people who actually knew the truth about who the killer was.

An assistant director called the Deschanels’ house one night and left a message with Emily Deschanel about “Killer Bob” and she was “completely mystified and frightened by it.”

39. Peggy Lipton, who played Norma Jennings, is Rashida Jones’ mom.

40. And Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby) is Amber Tamblyn’s father.

Neil Jacobs / Getty Images

41. Tamblyn and Richard Beymer (Ben Horne) famously costarred in West Side Story as Riff and Tony, respectively…

United Artists

43. Miguel Ferrer (Agent Albert Rosenfield) was George Clooney’s cousin.

His mother was Rosemary Clooney from White Christmas fame. He sadly passed away in January 2017.

44. Ferrer, Ray Wise, and Dan O’Herlihy (Andrew Packard) were all in the original 1987 film Robocop, too.

Orion Pictures

45. Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy) was once David Lynch’s driver.

Goaz first met David Lynch while driving him to a memorial tribute to Roy Orbison. It was from this meeting that Lynch decided to cast him as Deputy Andy Brennan.

46. Blue Velvet star (and David Lynch’s former girlfriend) Isabella Rossellini was supposed to play the role of Josie Packard.

The character was supposed to be an Italian countess — but, due to time commitment issues Isabella could not officially sign on for the series.

47. Lana Budding Milford (Robyn Lively) is Blake Lively’s half-sister IRL.

And also Jason Lively’s (Rusty from the European Vacation movie) sister.

48. Mrs. Tremond’s grandson was played by David Lynch’s actual son, Jack Lynch.


Like a mini version of his dad! Awwwwww.

49. And David Lynch’s character Gordon Cole was named after a character in Sunset Boulevard.

ABC, Paramount Pictures

Sunset Boulevard is directed by Billy Wilder, who is one of David Lynch’s favorite directors.

50. Doc Hayward (Donna’s dad) was actually co-creator Mark Frost’s father IRL, Warren Frost.

He passed away in February 2017.

51. And Kyle MacLachlan’s brother played this dead body in Season 2!

You can definitely see the resemblance.

52. Steven Spielberg was going to direct the Season 2 premiere until David Lynch decided to do it himself.

When Mark Frost told David about the idea, Lynch said, “No, no. I think I’ll direct the first one. Maybe he can direct later in the season.”

53. And Diane Keaton directed an episode.

Season 2, Episode 15 to be exact.

54. Dana Ashbrook (Bobby) actually had a huge crush on Diane Keaton, too.

According to Ashbrook, though, “She was not having it at all.”

55. Every episode directed by Lesli Linka Glatter has a convention taking place at the Great Northern hotel.

It became an ongoing gag since the first episode she directed (Season 1, Episode 6) there was an Icelandic “business junket” going on.

56. Russ Tamblyn actually wore the “Dr. Jacoby glasses” when he met Lynch and Frost for the first time — they were pretty much his idea.

57. Dr. Jacoby was supposedly inspired by the late ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna.

Both had a fondness for Hawaiian shirts and psychedelic mushrooms.

58. Michael J. Anderson (the Man From Another Place) actually knew how to speak backwards before being cast in the show – he learned how to do it as a kid.

Lynch had hired a coach to help learn how to speak backwards, but it turned out he didn’t need one — and so Lynch wrote more complicated dialogue.

59. Harley Peyton (one of the writers) created the name Windom Earle from the actor William Windom and Earle from the Bogart character in High Sierra, Mad Dog Roy Earle.

60. In the original script for Season 2, Episode 22, Bob played a demonic dentist in the Black Lodge.

Lynch/Frost Productions, Inc.

62. A Japanese company even tried to buy the log from her.

But she didn’t sell it to them and she kept it until her death in 2015 (where it currently resides now remains a mystery).

63. Coulson was also Jack Nance’s (Pete Martell) ex-wife in real life.

Jack Nance and Catherine Coulson were married from 1968 to 1976. In fact, the way he said “Caaaaatherine” in the show was the way he used to say it to her!

64. While filming, Michael Ontkean purposefully fumbled his scenes with Joan Chen on set in order to require more takes.

He shamelessly admits to being unprofessional on purpose because he was quite smitten with Joan IRL.

65. Joan Chen and Chris Mulkey REALLY drank each other’s blood.

Which, of course, caused a lot of hoopla in the press.

66. David Duchovny’s first TV role was as transgender FBI agent Dennis “Denise” Bryson in Season 2.

Duchovny was dating Kimmy Robertson (Lucy) at the time and she helped get him the part.

68. Annette McCarthy (Evelyn Marsh) was first introduced to Twin Peaks by a personal friend…director Steven Soderbergh.

He brought her and her then-husband a videotape of the show, telling them they HAD to watch it.

69. The scene where Evelyn and James are drinking champagne…well, they were REALLY drinking champagne.

The scene took about 12 takes, so they were pretty drunk by the afternoon. McCarthy even had to be taken back to her trailer to “lie down” for a bit.

70. Piper Laurie remained in full makeup and drag as a “famous Japanese actor” even while NOT shooting.

Lynch and Frost told her not to tell ANYONE (cast, crew, her own family) about the disguise…although people figured it out about a day or two later.

71. There were three books in total made as companion pieces to the show: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, and Welcome to Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town.

Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed

72. The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was written by Jennifer Lynch, David Lynch’s daughter.

73. And it was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for six weeks and sold half a million copies.

74. The diary also reveals that Laura Palmer had 40 sexual partners.

New Line Cinema

She listed them all (as initials, of course) in the diary.

75. Dale Cooper doesn’t know his secretary Diane’s last name.

“It occurred to me last night…I do not know Diane’s last name,” he said in his autobiography, The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes.

76. Dale Cooper’s favorite book is The Warren Commission Report: The Official Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

77. Nadine is one of the few characters to have no interaction with Agent Cooper.

The only place they’re together is at Laura’s funeral.

78. Laura Palmer died on Feb. 24, 1989.

Her body was found in the morning and she was killed just after midnight.

79. The zip code for Twin Peaks is 98065.

84. In Episode 6, the book on Cooper’s nightstand is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

85. Dr. Jacoby wrote a book titled The Eye of God: Sacred Psychology in the Aboriginal Mind.

Flatiron Books

It’s about a theory that proposes the “evolution of spirituality in early native people” through plants. (Yeah, it’s wild.)

86. A slice of Double R Diner’s famous cherry pie will run you a whopping $2.50.

Adding a cup of coffee will cost you $1.75.

87. Queen Elizabeth II was (and probably still is?) a big fan of the show.

According to Paul McCartney, she left her own party at Buckingham Palace because Twin Peaks was on and she wanted to watch.

88. The entire theme song has lyrics.

The song is called “Falling” and is sung by Julee Cruise — she actually sings parts of the song during the bar scene in the pilot episode.

89. And “Falling” peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Alternative charts in 1990.

Composer Angelo Badalamenti also won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the song.

90. Although the show was shot all on the West Coast, the music was made in New York.

In a little studio called Excalibur (that no longer exists).

91. The music for the pilot was also written without the musicians ever having seen any footage.

Musician Kinny Landrum (synthesizer) said, “We never scored the picture; that was all laid in after the fact.”

92. “Laura Palmer’s Theme” was created by David Lynch whispering and talking in Angelo Badalamenti’s ear as he played a keyboard.

Lynch pretty much just described a moody, woodsy scene. And it only took 20 minutes to write!

93. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Sherilyn Fenn admitted she didn’t know how to do the famous cherry stem trick and switched an already tied one hidden in her mouth. However, Mädchen Amick demonstrated in several TV interviews that SHE can do it very easily.

94. The impact of Twin Peaks was so big that both Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street parodied it.

95. The episode “Lisa’s Sax” of The Simpsons has a scene of Homer watching Twin Peaks.

He’s watching the Giant, who appears to Agent Cooper in visions, dancing with a white horse, that has also appeared to the Palmers throughout the show.

96. David Bowie was supposed to reprise his role from the prequel film Fire Walk With Me in the upcoming Showtime reboot.

New Line Cinema

The singer played Agent Phillip Jeffries and was all set to return to Twin Peaks before his death in 2016.

97. The artist who created the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign had to re-create it for the upcoming new season on Showtime.

ABC / Showtime

The whereabouts of the original sign are unknown.

98. Many fans believe that Robert Forster, who, legend has it, was offered the part of Harry S. Truman originally, will play a character introduced in The Secret History of Twin Peaks named Frank Truman. Yes…Harry S. Truman’s brother.

Frazer Harrison / Getty / ABC

And fuel was added to this fan fire during a recent Reddit AMA where Mark Frost revealed that we’ll get to “meet” Frank in the new season.

99. And finally, David Lynch and Mark Frost had a whole plan for a Season 3 arc when the show ended back in 1991.

And perhaps that’s what we’ll FINALLY get to see 26 years later?!

Facts for this post have been sourced from Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks and The Secret History of Twin Peaks: A Novel unless otherwise noted.

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