The opening act spoofs Forrest Gump, including the falling feather. The episode's title is also a reference to the movie.
When Mr. Burns steps toward the podium, The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme from Star Wars) is heard. This has been use as a semi-official piece of theme music for Mr. Burns before.
In this episode Kang asserts that the Earth was created 5,000 years ago by God, and Kang and Kodos then make the sign of the Cross. This is an apparently satirical reference to Young Earth Creationism.
At the beginning of the clip show song at the end of the episode, there is a picture of Homerjumping the shark, which is a term that describes when a television show has reached its peak and is now declining in quality or has done something to cause a sudden decline in quality. The term is a reference to an episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie literally jumped a shark.
When Homer remembers his moments with his car, one of the clips (from "Dumbbell Indemnity") shows Homer falling down a hill in Moe's car. This is wrong since that is not Homer's car.
During the opening act, Moe impersonates Austin Powers and Dr. Hibbert impersonates Darth Vader. Both are arrested because of an ordinance that banned impersonations of movie characters, although Homer is not arrested for his impersonation of Forrest Gump and Hibbert and Moe later appear at the roast with no explanation.
In a character error, Dr. Hibbert says "Luke, I am your father." Though this line is frequently quoted in popular culture, the actual line from The Empire Strikes Back is "No, I am your father."