Some of the attractions at the Chili Cook-off were Moe's Chili Bar, Muntz Family Chili; It Takes Weeks to Make Muntz, and Firehouse Ned's 5-Alarm Chili.
Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan were the writers' two choices to play the coyote. Bob Dylan had turned the show down many times, so Johnny Cash was given the part.
The coyote was intentionally drawn in a more boxy way so that it looked unlike the other Simpsons characters. It was also done that way to resemble the representations of coyotes in American Southwestern art.
The emphasis of Nelson's trademark laugh is reversed during Homer's chili hallucination.
Most of the chili pepper sequence was animated completely by David Silverman, who wanted it to look just right and didn't want to risk sending it to Korea.
The shot of real life clouds is only the second time live-action footage was used in The Simpsons. The first time was in "Treehouse of Horror VI." Afterwards there was also live-action footage in "Treehouse of Horror IX."
Some 3D computer animation is used in this episode for the giant butterfly seen during Homer's hallucination. Also, during the same hallucination, Ned Flanders' line ("What can I do-diddily-doodily-diddly-hobbily-hibbily-gobbily-gobbily-gobble-gabba-gabba-hey!") was also treated on an Macintosh computer so that it increased and decreased pitch. A sample of Flanders saying this can be heard on the track "The Nebbish Route" on the album Nothing Lasts...But Nothing Is Lost by Ambient Techno group Shpongle.
This episode's commentary on the season 8 DVD set was the first commentary to include children.
This episode mentions that Springfield slopes westward to the sea, indicating that it is either on the West Coast or western Florida.
Ralph seems to act smarter than usual in this episode, an example being when he tells Homer he will accidentally drink wax.
Homer is evidently ignorant of "Personals-ese," as he responds to an ad placed by GBM, not realizing that it stands for "Gay Black Male."
The episode was featured in LEGO Dimensions, as the story level for the Homer Simpson Level Pack.
There are many similarities in the appearance of the dog guide to the coyote from Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan. In the book, after Carlos ingests peyote he plays in the desert with a wild coyote, which may or may not be a hallucination.
There are also allusions in the episode to the works of Richard Bach, whose works often focus on the concept of "soulmates" and typically involve quests led by spirit guides. At the end of the episode, the Sea Captain refers directly to Bach's most famous book, by exclaiming, "Arr! Jonathan Livingston Seagull!"
Chief Wiggum, when Homer Simpson decides to retry the Guatemalan Insanity Peppers, mockingly says "Oh, my porridge is too hot! Oh, wawawa!", a reference to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which had Papa Bear's porridge being too hot for Goldilock's tastes. This is also the second time Wiggum references that story, the first time being in Homer's Triple Bypass, where he went under the call sign of "Papa Bear" in the COPS parody "COPS: In Springfield."
The train heading towards Homer is a reference to the opening titles of the series Soul Train.
When Bart and Lisa see Homer's silhouette projected into the sky, Bart wonders whether it's Homer and Lisa says, "Either that, or Batman's really let himself go," referencing the Bat-Signal as well as Batman himself.
When a closeup of E.A.R.L is shown, the rain immediately stops outside. After this the rain continues. There is no reason why it shouldn't, that happens in real life.
Homer would have severely burned his mouth from coating it with hot wax (in fact, a FOX censor's note told writers to make Homer coating his mouth with hot wax look painful so as to discourage more impressionable viewers from imitating the stunt).
Once Homer is freaking out and starting to hallucinate after eating a few Guatemalan Insanity Peppers, There are two Jaspers, one in a tent stall when running away from Flanders and another Jasper right beside Homer when he passes out (all within seconds).
Due to the extremely hot nature of Guatemalan Insanity Peppers Homer would have to sign a disclaimer to eat them or dishes containing them.