There is no hidden "test mode" in Filemaker.
If your dropdowns don't show what you expect, you failed at defining the value list they're based upon.
I am not, from what you write, able to understand what you are doing. How did you set up the value list to support your menu?
Could you please make a screendump and show this to us. Or at least explain it?
How did you set up the value list to support your menu?
Does the value list show up in Browse mode?
If the value list is based on a relation (Table Occurrence), the relation might fail in Search Mode.