Meghan Volz

Written by Meghan Volz

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a beloved romantic comedy that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world since its release in 2002. Directed by Joel Zwick, this charming film tells the story of Toula Portokalos, a Greek-American woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man named Ian Miller. The movie not only explores the challenges of their cultural differences but also celebrates the power of love and the beauty of family. With its hilarious and heartwarming moments, this film has become a cultural phenomenon and holds the title of the highest-grossing independent film of all time. In this article, we will delve into 39 fascinating facts about My Big Fat Greek Wedding that you may not know, from behind-the-scenes anecdotes to interesting trivia. So grab some tzatziki and get ready to dive into the world of this iconic movie!

Key Takeaways:

  • “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is the highest-grossing romantic comedy ever, showcasing Greek culture and family dynamics in a heartwarming and hilarious way, making it a must-watch for all movie lovers.
  • The film’s success led to a sequel, TV series spin-off, and even a record-breaking DVD sales, proving that its universal themes and relatable characters continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
Table of Contents

International Success

Did you know that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time? It earned over $368 million worldwide, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

Independent Film

The movie was originally an independent production and was made on a low budget of just $5 million.

Inspired by True Events

The film’s writer and star, Nia Vardalos, drew inspiration from her own experiences of marrying into a Greek family, making the story feel authentic and relatable.

Big Breakthrough

My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was Nia Vardalos‘ breakout role, and it skyrocketed her career as both an actress and a screenwriter.

Quirky Characters

The movie introduced audiences to a colorful cast of characters with eccentric Greek relatives, each with their own unique personality traits.

Greek Culture Showcased

The film beautifully showcases Greek culture, traditions, and the importance of family, making it a celebration of Greek heritage.

Cultural Clash

The movie explores the clash of cultures as the main character, Toula, navigates the challenges of blending her Greek upbringing with her American lifestyle.

Wedding Mania

With a title like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” it’s no surprise that the movie revolves around the wedding preparations and the chaos that ensues.

Laugh-Out-Loud Moments

The film is filled with hilarious moments that will leave you in stitches, thanks to sharp writing and incredible comedic timing.

Heartwarming Storyline

Beyond the laughs, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” also delivers a heartwarming story about self-acceptance, love, and finding your own path.

Unexpected Success

When the film was released in 2002, no one anticipated it becoming such a massive hit. Its success was largely driven by positive word-of-mouth from viewers.

Longest Running Film

Believe it or not, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” holds the record for the longest-running film in North American box office history, as it played in theaters for a remarkable 52 weeks.

Familiar Faces

The movie features numerous actors who went on to achieve fame in other projects, including John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, and Andrea Martin.

Oscar Nomination

The screenplay for the film, written by Nia Vardalos, earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Sequel Success

In 2016, a sequel titled “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” was released, continuing the story of the Portokalos family and their hilarious hijinks.

Reuniting the Cast

The entire main cast of the first film returned for the sequel, making it a true reunion for the beloved characters and actors.

Second Generation

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” focuses on Toula and her husband, Ian, dealing with their teenage daughter’s desire for independence while surrounded by their larger-than-life Greek family.

Cultural Impact

The success of the film led to an increased interest in Greek culture and traditions among audiences, promoting diversity in mainstream cinema.

International Appeal

The movie’s universal themes of love, family, and cultural identity resonated with audiences worldwide, allowing it to achieve international acclaim.

Record-Breaking DVD Sales

The DVD release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a massive success, selling over 7 million copies and becoming one of the highest-selling DVDs of all time.

Continuing Popularity

Even years after its release, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” remains a beloved film, frequently watched and quoted by fans around the world.

Greece’s Highest-Grossing Film

In addition to its global success, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” also holds the title of the highest-grossing film in Greece’s history.

TV Series Spin-Off

Following the success of the film, a short-lived television series titled “My Big Fat Greek Life” aired in 2003, reprising the roles of the film’s main cast.

Endearing Characters

The memorable characters in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” have become icons in popular culture, with Toula and her big Greek family leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

Cross-Cultural Romance

The film portrays a heartwarming love story between Toula and Ian, proving that despite cultural differences, love can conquer all.

The Power of Word-of-Mouth

The success of the film can be largely attributed to positive word-of-mouth, with friends and family recommending it to one another, creating a domino effect.

Global Box Office Hit

My Big Fat Greek Wedding” exceeded expectations at the box office, becoming a massive hit not only in the United States but also internationally.

Iconic Quotes

The film’s witty and memorable lines, such as “Put some Windex on it,” have become part of pop culture and are often quoted by fans.

Relatable Themes

Despite focusing on Greek traditions, the film explores universal themes of cultural identity, family dynamics, and the quest for happiness.

Lighthearted Comedy

The film’s comedic tone and relatable situations make it a feel-good movie that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Cultural Traditions

My Big Fat Greek Wedding” sheds light on Greek wedding customs, from the lively dances to the importance of breaking plates for good luck.

Nia Vardalos’ Personal Journey

The film not only tells a fictional story but also reflects Nia Vardalos’ own personal journey of embracing her Greek heritage and balancing it with her American lifestyle.

Collaboration with Tom Hanks

Nia Vardalos pitched the film idea to Tom Hanks, who loved it and became one of the producers, giving the project the necessary support and recognition.

Authentic Greek Set

The movie was filmed in Toronto, Canada, but the set was meticulously designed to resemble a typical Greek neighborhood, adding to the film’s authenticity.

Audience Connection

Audiences immediately connected with the characters in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” finding humor and familiarity in the quirks and idiosyncrasies of a close-knit family.

Universal Love for Food

The film showcases the importance of food in Greek culture, highlighting the big family gatherings and mouthwatering Greek cuisine.

Cultural Stereotypes Addressed

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” humorously tackles cultural stereotypes, challenging preconceived notions and fostering a deeper understanding of different traditions.

Timeless Appeal

The themes and messages of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” transcend time, making it a movie that can be enjoyed by new generations of viewers.

Feel-Good Movie Experience

Ultimately, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” offers a joyful and heartwarming movie experience that leaves audiences smiling and uplifted.


In conclusion, the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has captivated audiences around the world with its heartwarming story, relatable characters, and celebration of culture and family. With 39 fascinating facts about the film, we have delved into the behind-the-scenes details, the talented cast and crew, and the impact this romantic comedy has had in popular culture. From its humble beginnings as a one-woman play to its record-breaking box office success, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” continues to be a beloved film that brings joy and laughter to viewers of all ages. So, grab some popcorn, gather your loved ones, and prepare for an unforgettable cinematic experience that will leave you craving more Greek cuisine and laughter.


1. Is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” based on a true story?

No, the movie is not based on a true story. However, writer and star Nia Vardalos drew inspiration from her own experiences growing up in a Greek-Canadian family.

2. Who directed “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”?

The movie was directed by Joel Zwick, known for his work in television sitcoms like “Perfect Strangers” and “Family Matters.

3. When was “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” released?

The film was released on April 19, 2002, and became a surprise sleeper hit, earning over $368 million worldwide.

4. Did “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” receive any awards?

Yes, the movie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Movie.

5. Are there any sequels or spin-offs to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”?

Yes, there is a sequel titled “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” which was released in 2016. It reunites the original cast and follows the Portokalos family as they plan another Greek wedding.

6. What are some memorable quotes from the film?

Some memorable quotes include: “You better get married soon. You’re starting to look…old!”, “Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek,” and “I’m Greek. I never let anyone leave my house hungry or sad.”

7. What is the significance of the Greek culture in the movie?

The Greek culture plays a central role in the film, showcasing traditions, customs, and the importance of family and community in Greek society.

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