The Fast And The Furious: 15 Things You Forgot About The Movie That Started It All


It’s been 20 years since The Fast and the Furious blazed into theaters, introducing audiences to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and their found family of misfits. With F9: The Fast Saga–the 10th film in the franchise, if you include Hobbs and Shaw–about to be released, it felt like there was no time better to revisit the original.

This may come as a surprise, but the beginnings of this particular story are much different than how the movies play out now. Practically all of the stakes are much smaller, and some of the details are so oddly humble that you can’t help but laugh at certain aspects of the first film. When you realize what Dom’s family is stealing to draw the eyes of the FBI, it seems impossible–especially given that this crew of Toretto-led street racers now routinely save the world.

Grab a tank of NOS and get ready for a quick jump back in time as we take a look at The Fast and the Furious at 20 and examine the 15 strangest things you most likely don’t remember. Then, do yourself a favor and go rewatch the entire franchise again. It’s worth it, even if only to marvel at how ridiculous some of the film titles are.

1. It’s Point Break

It’s easy to forget, but The Fast and the Furious is essentially a reboot of Point Break. A cop goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of criminals with an extreme hobby and gets too close to them. Brian is Keanu Reeves’ character, while Dom is clearly Patrick Swayze’s. They just swapped out surfing for driving irresponsibly on the streets of Los Angeles.

2. Combination TV/DVD Players

While we know the Fast and Furious family as people who save the world over and over, they had pretty humble beginnings. In the first film, the inciting incident is Dom and his crew hijacking a semi-truck carrying, of all things, combination TV/DVD players and VCRs. It couldn’t be more 2001 if it tried. Who knew these petty thieves would be the only hope of stopping the end of the world?

3. Toretto’s Market and Cafe

Before the outlaw life, the Torettos were titans of industry. Mia and Dom had a little restaurant called Toretto’s Market and Cafe and Brian was quite the fan of Mia’s tuna sandwich–though it seems nobody else was. Even Mia called it crappy.

4. Vince always kind of sucked

He’s territorial over Mia, he’s a jerk to Brian, and he’s overall just kind of a scumbag. He may have redeemed himself by sacrificing his life in Fast Five, but he sure did try hard to be as unlikable as possible from the very beginning.

5. Dom’s old family

While Vince came into the picture again after the first movie and Letty remains a mainstay in the franchise, two of Dom’s crew members all but disappeared after the first movie. Sure, we know Jesse died at the end of The Fast and the Furious, but whatever became of Leon? It would be nice for the franchise to revisit him at some point, even if only to let him reminisce about his time with the Toretto family before they became superheroes.

6. For the love of NOS

Seemingly every car Dom and his family go near now has their beloved NOS (nitrous oxide) installed to make cars go much faster. In the original movie, though, Brian speaks about it as if it’s magic–all while being warned that he’s not a gifted enough driver to handle it.

7. Limp Bizkit

While at this point the movies are known for including rap music from the top artists in the industry, there is one kind of amazing music pick in the first film. As Brian arrives at his first street race, “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)” by Limp Bizkit plays. Additionally, a remix of the song, “Rollin’ (Urban Assault Vehicle)” is on the soundtrack.

8. Dom’s varied taste in cars

While Dom is mostly known for his love of classic Dodge Chargers, a car he drives in practically every film, he had quite a range in the first movie. He first drove a 1993 Honda during a heist, before switching to a 1993 Mazda RX-7 for his first race against Brian. At the end of the film, Brian gives him a 1994 Toyota Supra to make his getaway.

9. Letty and Dom’s relationship was kind of rough

While they are the first couple of the Family, things weren’t always the greatest between Dom and Letty. In fact, in the first movie, Letty is pretty quick to act out in jealousy when she sees Dom merely talking to other women. Thankfully, the character has evolved to become one of the most compelling and powerful of the franchise.

10. Brian was just an LAPD officer

While he would later work for the FBI, it’s worth noting that in the first movie, Brian is an undercover member of the LAPD working as part of a joint task force between his department and the FBI.

11. Johnny Tran

Once upon a time, the biggest thing Dom had to worry about was a rival gang leader named Johnny Tran. It’s a far cry from the global supervillains the family would eventually come up against, but Tran and his crew were vicious and even blew up Brian’s car in the film.

12. Race Wars

In Furious 7, Dom tells Letty they invented Race Wars. Imagine Coachella but with fewer performances by Drake and more racing cars in the sand. However, in the first movie, Dom and his crew simply attend the event and there’s no mention of them being responsible for its inception. Even still, it’s shocking the name hasn’t been changed at some point.

13. Dom’s origin story

Given everything that’s happened in the movies since, you might have forgotten the tragic Toretto backstory. In the first film, Dom remembers his dad’s death during a stock car race and his subsequently beating the man he thought was responsible with a torque wrench. This piece of his past isn’t brought up much in the movies that follow, though it will figure prominently in F9, when Dom’s brother Jakob (John Cena) is introduced.

14. Dom was actually scared of Brian’s driving

When Dom tells Brian to outdrive a Ferrari owner they see on the street, Brian does so. But his methods, which include insane speeds and driving into oncoming traffic, clearly terrify Toretto. Then again, he hasn’t ramped off of a nuclear submarine yet, so maybe he just wasn’t as fearless at this point. It’s definitely strange to see a look of terror on his face, though. Usually, he’s just either blank, cocky, or filled with rage

15. Relatively tame stunts are the end of the world

We’re not saying Vince Hanging off of a semi-truck while the driver unloads a shotgun is a walk in the park. But compared to what the Fast and Furious franchise has become, it’s a bit tame. Yet still, Dom treats this as the most terrifying thing he’s ever seen–even scarier than brian’s aggressive driving. This version of Dom would be shaking in his boots if he could see his future as a legitimate superhero that uses his car to fight helicopters, submarines, airplanes, and anything else that gets in his way.

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