Jean Shepherd's book "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash", which the film is partly based on, is a collection of short stories that Shepherd wrote for "Playboy" magazine during the 1960s
The film's setting is a town in Indiana, but was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. Other parts were filmed in Toronto, Ontario, like the Christmas tree shopping scene, in which one of Toronto's trademark red trolleys can be seen driving by.
According to director Bob Clark, Jack Nicholson was given the script and was very much interested in the role of Mr. Parker, "The Old Man." However, Clark didn't learn of this until later and the studio didn't want to pay Nicholson's fee anyway, which would have doubled the budget.
According to Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) in the DVD Commentary, the nonsensical ramblings that Ralphie exclaims while beating up Scut Farkas were scripted, word for word.
For the scene in which Flick's tongue sticks to the flagpole, a hidden suction tube was used to safely create the illusion that his tongue had frozen to the metal.
When the character of Scut Farkas first appears, the "Wolf" music from Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" plays in the background. The name "Farkas" is derived from the Hungarian word for "wolf".
Bob Clark's success with the teen-sex comedy Porky's (1982) allowed him the ability to make a movie he wanted to make. Without "Porky's" there would have been no "Christmas Story".
Wil Wheaton auditioned for the role of Ralphie.
Actor Peter Billingsley, who plays Ralphie, has a cameo as an elf in the movie Elf.
Cameos: writer/narrator Jean Shepherd is the irate man waiting in the Santa line at the department store. Director Bob Clark is Swede, the dim-witted neighbor, who marvels at the Leg Lamp from outside.
A Christmas Story was the inspiration for the TV series, "The Wonder Years."