In this episode, we find out that Bleeding Gums Murphy could be possibly related to Dr. Hibbert. He states "I had a younger brother who grew up to be a doctor. He used to laugh at the most inappropriate times." Hibbert then replies with "Hey, I have an older brother that I'll never see. He's a jazz musician or some such."
This is the first episode to feature a Simpson getting an organ permanently extracted.
The music just before Bart's operation is a parody of the theme music of ER.
Bart's showing off his appendectomy scar (which prompts a number of other children to want the operation) is reminiscent of the children's book Madeline: Madeline has her appendix out, says her favorite thing about the experience is her scar, and the rest of the girls in her school want to have their appendixes out as well.
Both Steve Allen and Bill Cosby use Murphy's guest appearances as opportunities to make blatant product endorsements, while virtually ignoring Murphy himself. Cosby refers to his endorsments of New Coke, Jell-O Pudding and Kodak Film.