Homer mentions strange adults befriending small children, which is a possible reference to Michael Jackson as well as to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When the episode first aired, Jackson was dealing with child molestation charges and movie posters featuring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka were appearing in theatres as part of the pre-release publicity for the movie. Some moviegoers found Depp's appearance in the posters to be eerily similar to Jackson's real-life appearance.
The song Lisa and Janey are singing at the beginning is "Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat."
Homer's process for building a nuclear reactor is similar to what Boy Scout David Hahn did in 1994.
Among the items in Goose's store are a 8-ball fortune teller and a Star Destroyer model.
When Bart is autographing T-shirts at Goose's store, a sign outside says that Bart will not say "Cowabunga," which is one of Bart's old catchphrases.
Smithers replies "Today is Christmas, sir" when Mr. Burns asks why everyone is so insolent. However, there are no holiday decorations in the power plant or the Simpson home, and no snow to be seen. This indicates that Smithers' reply may have been a last-minute addition when it was noted that the episode was slated to air around Christmas time.
Before the episode first aired, Matt Groening registered the domain nuclear-secrets.com, but never created a website.