The answering machine message "Nobody's Home" is sung to the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Homer looking through the window, rapping on the glass, running indoors, then going up to be with Marge was a reference to the wedding scene in The Graduate, which was also referenced in the Human League's music video Love Action (I Believe in Love).
The episode contains cultural references to songs such as "Theme from Shaft", "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves", and "When the Saints Go Marching In."
No matter how much sushi Homer wolfs down when gobbling it from his plate, at no point is Homer seen with less than two pieces on his plate.
When Marge is telling Homer to wake up, Homer's five o'clock shadow is colored like his skin.
Both Bart and Lisa make the common mistake of believing that sushi is raw fish. Raw-fish dishes are sashimi; sushi (vinegared-rice dishes) comes in several varieties, including raw fish, cooked fish, meats of various kinds, and even vegetarian.
Fugu poisoning doesn't progress in the way that Dr. Hibbert claims it does; what actually happens is that paralysis creeps through the body, and when it reaches the lungs, the victim dies of suffocation (unless s/he is on a ventilator by that time, and is kept on it until the paralysis wears off). Dr. Hibbert's error in this is what drives the plot of this episode.
The karaoke signer identifying himself as Richie Sakai is a caricature and namesake of The Simpsons producer Richard Sakai.
Homer drinks a large bottle of "Duffihama" beer with his dinner at The Happy Sumo.
The Simpsons have a mouse problem in their home: A mousehole is seen in the videotaped message to Maggie from Homer.
The clock reads 7:00 when the kids run in for dinner, but during dinner it reads 5:00.
Richie Sakai sings "Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves" by Cher, Bart and Lisa sing the theme song from "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes. The censors originally objected to Bart and Lisa singing the theme from "Shaft", but the producers had to show a clip from the Academy Awards when that song was nominated and performed on television to let the censors know it was suitable to show.
Homer telling Bart that "cover for me" is a phrase he will find useful in his adult years is in fact a phrase that landed Homer in his current situation when the head sushi chef told the sous chef to "cover for me" so he could go make out with Edna Krabappel, and ignoring the sous chef's pleas that he was too inexperienced to prepare an order of fugu.
Fugu is in fact a poisonous fish if cut improperly. Sushi chefs must work for several years before being allowed to take tough tests in order to become certified to prepare it. The Emperor of Japan is also prohibited by law from eating fugu. Also, fugu is prohibited in the European Union, due to its toxicity.
The ending where Homer tells Marge he's going to live life to the fullest (followed by a cut to him watching bowling on TV and eating pork rinds) wasn't supposed to be the original ending. Originally, it was supposed to end with Homer having a barbecue to celebrate surviving his near-death experience and finding out that the people he pissed off when he thought he was going to die want retribution for his actions. This ending was scrapped due to budget and time constraints.
The ending involving Homer eating pork rinds is actually recycled animation from Season 1. The "Moaning Lisa" episode has the same animation except to the point, where he chokes.
This is the first episode outside of the first season to use a shorter (and condensed) version of the opening.
On FXX, when this episode aired on August 21, 2014, also the first day of the "Every. Simpsons. Ever.", at the beginning of the episode, the TV-PG rating appears for about two and a half seconds before it disappears. But, after Homer says his catchphrase, 'D'oh!' the Rated TV-PG reappeared on the top left corner of the screen for about fifthteenth seconds in this episode, making it for about seventeen and a half seconds of appearance. However, in the repeat airing on FXX, this error was fixed.
The movie The Duff features a clip from this episode.