10+ 'New Girl' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Before New Girl, all thirty-something-sitcom-characters were pretty much the same. They all had their lives together, most had children, and all were working stable, well-paying jobs. How freaking unbelievable is that, am I right?

What New Girl did was turn the status quo on its head. They showed a different side to young adult life, one that wasn't afraid to laugh at itself. Let's celebrate this incredible show with these 10+ New Girl behind-the-scenes secrets fans didn't know!

1. The original title for the show wasn't *New Girl*.

When show creator Liz Meriwether first began shopping the Pilot around town, it had the working title Chicks & Dicks.

Meriweather has said that she was looking for a humorous title that would grab people's attention. But it nearly did the opposite.

Zoey Deschanel hated the title so much that she almost passed on reading the script!


Without Zoey (Jess) there wouldn't be a show! Thank goodness that Liz came to her senses and changed the title.

Although Liz freely admits that she isn't particularly fond of the name New Girl.

2. Damon Wayans Jr. and Zoey Deschanel have known one another for years.


Damon has said that one of the things he enjoys most about New Girl is going to work every day with people he both likes and respects.

He's been friends with Zoey ever since the pair first met in high school!

3. Jake Johnson had to slim down for his role.

Upon hearing that he'd got the part, Jake was in the mood to celebrate! He envisioned a delicious Mexican smorgasbord, shared with his wife.

But a call from his agent changed everything. He was told he had to immediately drop 15 lbs.

4. The story with Damon Wayans Jr. is complicated.


At the time that Damon had signed on to play Coach in the pilot episode, he was still contractually obligated to Happy Endings.

Damon, along with everyone else, was sure that the show would be canceled. But to his (and everyone's) surprise it was not.

Damon was forced to leave *New Girl* and Lamorne Morris was cast!


Luckily for us all, Coach did end up returning to New Girl in season 3. Which in my opinion, worked out for the best.

Had Damon not left, we never would have got to see Winston and his puzzles!

5. Jess is based on Liz Meriweather.

Liz has said that she had two main influences when it comes to writing for Jess: Diane Keaton and herself!

The relationship between Nick and Jess is based on Liz's real-life experiences with her own close guy-friend.

6. Max Greenfield played a huge part in the evolution of Schmidt.


Schmidt has come a long way from the misogynistic, materialistic, d-bag that he once was.

Max Greenfield didn't want Schmidt to be such a jerk, so he was instructed to not play him as one.

Max took the advice to heart and slowly but surely, audiences began to see a more developed side to the breakout character.

If it weren't for Max, we might never have gotten to understand Schmidt's more sensitive side, his chubby origins/insecurities, or his self-sacrificing nature.

7. There's a connection to *Freaks And Geeks* that you probably missed.


Liz Meriweather is a huge Judd Apatow fan. She grew up watching Freaks and Geeks and spontaneously decided to 'cold-call' director Jake Kasdan to direct the New Girl pilot.

Kasdan agreed and directed six additional episodes, as well.

8. Schmidt and Cece weren't supposed to get together.

In the beginning, Liz Meriweather (along with the rest of the viewing audience) could never envision a world where Cece would ever hook-up with Schmidt.

It was a natural evolution between their two characters and in no time, the audience was clamoring for it!

9. Jake Johnson pitched Liz Meriweather the idea of Tran.


Jake texted Liz late one night with the idea for Nick to have a Vietnamese friend in the park who couldn't speak English.

From that point on, one of the greatest bromances in TV history was born!

10. The show has a large LGBTQ following.

Let me clarify that statement — Jake Johnson has a large LGBTQ following! Jake is a visible figure and advocates for the gay community.

Jake has said that when he first started acting, 95% of his theater group was gay and he was welcomed in with open arms.

11. Prince was a fan.


Zooey has said that having Prince on the show was a highlight of her entire life. She got a cold e-mail from Prince's manager stating his desire to appear as a guest.

According to Zooey, it was the most on-brand email she's ever received.

12. You too can play True American!

True American is without question one of the most hilariously complicated drinking games to ever be conceived.

If you've got a group of friends, and a lot of alcohol, you can play along at home! Remember — the floor is lava!