After Homer hears about the change of area code, the badger shows up and Homer goes "Go away! We got bigger problems now." This is a reference to the recurring sudden plot changes in most Simpson episodes.
This is the only episode of the Simpsons directed by Shaun Cashman.
When Lisa is trying to find out what badgers eat she goes on whatbadgerseat.com. A real version of the site (whose logo is reminiscent of ask.com) was made by the producers of the show but has now closed.
At the moment when Homer is introduced to The Who, the band is heard playing the closing chords of what appears to be "The Seeker."
The Simpsons' telephone number is given as 939-555-0113. The old area coded number of 636-555-0113 appears to connect to Mr. Burns; however, in "Lisa's Date with Density," his phone number was 555-0001. There is also a logical error as well: Burns was in the part of town which got to keep their area code, which means he was not likely given a new number and the Simpsons would not have previously had the number anyway. This obviously means his number has changed three times.
The "angel skeleton" from "Lisa the Skeptic" can be seen in the wall dividing the cities.
One of the Simpsons comic books published by Bongo featured a similar plotline in which Springfield is divided over the issue of use and access to a lake.
The phone number for the exterminators is 983-7668 (X-TERM-N-8).
The drummer who plays with The Who in this episode is clearly a cartoon version of Keith Moon.
This is the first time Homer has had his body opened and his organs shown working. The second time was in "Treehouse of Horror XII" where the back of his skull was removed and his brain shown.
Olde Springfield is supposedly those who are rich but Principal Skinner still lives with his mother and Apu lives in an apartment.
Several times when Homer dials the phone the tri-tone keeps repeating when in real life the tri-tone plays once with a recording following like when Homer tried to dial the phone the first time.
Homer imagines himself as a mayor, walking down the street in a Western town, wearing a cowboy hat and firing a rifle, in a parody of the opening credit of the Western show The Rifleman starring Chuck Connors.
The title of this episode comes from the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
Todd's woodpecker is a reference the Woody Woodpecker show, especially its laugh after attacking Bart.
The wall which New Springfield erected to keep Olde Springfield from entering their town is a parody of the Berlin Wall which East Germany erected to keep West Germany from entering their country. Marge even mentions the Berlin Wall when Homer thinks about constructing the wall. New Springfield plays the role of East Germany and Olde Springfield plays West Germany.
The self-referencing blackboard gag refers to the presidential election which was two days after the episode was aired. A controversy surrounding the election was the supposed use of subliminal messages.
The timing of the episode coincides with Matt Groening's native northwest Oregon splitting into two overlapping area codes (Area code 503 and Area code 971). Such a split plan was often unpopular due to existing phone numbers changing, and now the alternative method of an overlay plan, whereby an area is given a new code for new numbers but existing numbers do not change.
The scene with Homer, Lenny and Carl having lunch in the nuclear power plant has a reference to the movie Pulp Fiction. While writing the new area code on his hand, Homer complains that he already has enough things to remember and a close-up of his hand shows the writing "Lenny=White, Carl=Black." This is a reference to the second last scene in Pulp Fiction, in which The Wolf is called to help resolve a problem. On a pad of paper before he meets up with Vincent and Jules, he writes "Vincent-White, Jules-Black" in order to distinguish between the two.
The last part of the final scene - where the badgers descend upon Springfield - shows one badger, much smaller than the rest, some distance behind the others. This is probably a reference to several similar Looney Tunes cartoons starring Sylvester, in which he is originally terrorized by a group of mice, but subsequently develops enough courage to "show them who's boss" and drive them all away. In each of these cartoons, the mice are shown fleeing the house, screaming and squeaking in fear, followed a little later by a baby mouse chattering incoherently in a voice that has been recorded at high speed.
Homer telling the Arizona Cardinals representative to "keep walking" is a reference to how poor the Cardinals franchise has been.
After they receive the gold from the river, Kent Brockman does an editorial about it and thanks Homer, saying that they will all be covered in golden showers (a sexual term for peeing on your partner). He does not get it but the people off to the side laugh hysterically.
When The Who orders Homer to tear down the wall, the moment is quite similar to movie The Wall by Pink Floyd, in which the main character is ordered to tear down the wall in his head, that alienates him from the world.
Moe's line "That fat, dumb, and bald guy sure plays some real hard ball" is a variation of a lyric in the song "Pinball Wizard" by The Who. The original lyric is "That deaf, dumb, and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball."