Like other shorts Healy and the Stooges filmed at MGM, stock footage was utilized to fill out the 20 minutes of time. For The Big Idea, MGM used musical numbers edited out of the feature film Dancing Lady, which ironically had a supporting role by Healy and a cameo by the Stooges.
This is one of the last films and the fifth and final musical-comedy short subject in which the Three Stooges appeared with their longtime partner, Ted Healy. The Big Idea was edited from footage of Healy and the Stooges filmed for the unfinished MGM variety film The March of Time (1930), which later became the title of a long-running newsreel series. By the time of the release of The Big Idea, the Three Stooges had signed a new contract with Columbia Pictures to do a series of comedy short films without Healy, beginning with Woman Haters (1934).