At the beginning, the football game that Homer was watching was the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams met in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014, but instead of Denver beating Seattle, Seattle beat Denver 43-8.
Carl has a tattoo of Foghorn Leghorn on his right thigh, with Carl even asking if he can cover it up with a bandage and claim that his character had previously suffered a stab injury to avoid a potential copyright infringement lawsuit for the film.
This episode was rated TV-14 on American TV (most likely for the torture scene).
Louie, Fat Tony and Legs -- after Homer foolishly asked them if they weren't the Gay Mafia -- smash both of Homer's hands with two hammers in rage. The Italian Mafia has strict rules against homosexuality, with the guilty member often being put to death.
The title of this episode comes from the 1987 novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, a book written by Tom Wolfe.
The film Carl mentions "Fahrenheit 9 on 1" is a reference to the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.