The episode title is a reference to the sitcom .
How I Met Your Mother The aspect of the Simpson family going into Homer's dreams, one at a time, is a parody of the Christopher Nolan film . Further references to the film include:
A dream involving skiing on a snowy mountain.
Entering a dream within a dream to slow their descent.
The closing credits feature audio of the song "Dream Operator" written by David Byrne with vocals from David Byrne and Glenn Close.
In a dream, The Simpsons appears in shorts style where it references The Simpsons short The Tracey Ullman Show .
Family Therapy Grampa says his and Mona's arguing is actually a television program, featuring Mitch Miller shouting at "one of his idiot singers." Miller produced for many singers, including Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and Johnny Mathis.
While monitoring the Simpsons in the real world, Professor Frink reads Scientific Springfieldian, a reference to the magazine Scientific American.
In the crowd of women supporting drunk driving in Homer's dream, one can see Maude Flanders.
When Homer and Bart are fishing in Lake Springfield, if you look closely you can see Plopper's waste silo.
In Homer's dreams, he has Jennifer Aniston's hair from .
Friends In Homer's dreams:
Mr. Simpson's Wild Ride is a parody of the Disneyland attraction Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Smithers with the Portal Gun and the turrets.
Smithers goes into the supply closet, two 'turrets' from the hit game come out to shoot him, Smithers quickly uses a Portal Gun (also from the game) and portals them away.
This episode marks the second appearance of B.F. Sherwood. B.F. Sherwood also has the longest gap between his first and second appearances of any other recurring character. His second appearance in " How I Wet Your Mother" was three shorts and 502 episodes after his first appearance in " Family Therapy."
Barney didn't seem to realize he didn't work at the Power Plant, and he was heard in the bathroom there in " The Falcon and the D'ohman."
This episode contradicts One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish, in which Homer stated that he and Grandpa had not gone fishing while Homer was a child.
Burn's reveals that he killed his offices stuffed bear himself.
Homer also fails to go undercover into a shop in " Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson."
On Mr. Simpson's Wild Ride, several past versions of Homer are seen, including:
Dan Castellaneta voices Robin Williams. This is the second time Castellaneta has imitated Williams's voice on the show, the first being Aladdin's Genie in " Mypods and Boomsticks". Coincidentally, Dan Castellaneta was hired to replace Robin Williams as the voice of Genie when Disney's Aladdin movie was turned into an animated series.
Professor Frink's line: "Frink out." was last used in " Treehouse of Horror XV".
Zutroy, the illegal immigrant from " The Last Temptation of Homer" was seen at the beginning of the episode.
This is the second episode where a Simpson dresses up as the Grim Reaper. The first was " Treehouse of Horror XIV".
Homer mentions that his sheets would be as dry as the surface of Mars, except for the poles. Ironically, a few months after this episode was aired, the Mars Curiosity Hover found water streams and lakes on craters outside of Mars' poles.
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