In this episode the title refers to Abe "fronting" for Bart and Lisa's Itchy & Scratchy episode. In "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em" Marge asks Homer to "front" for her carpentry.
According to commentary, the episode was inspired on a real life story regarding the creation of Tiny Toons Adventures episode "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", where three eighth grade fans wrote and mailed in a script to Steven Spielberg, and was so well received, that he also invited them to California during the creation process of their episode.
The episode "Dazed and Confused" of Itchy and Scratchy is a jab to real life cartoon specials meant to broadcast anti drug and violence messages (and also, were hamfisted and poorly made), especially during the late 1980's and the early 1990s. The title is also a reference to the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, in which Marijuana consumption plays a major role.
The Cartoon Awards Show not having a clip of Ren and Stimpy is a reference to the aforementioned show's horrible production schedule in which some episodes weren't delivered on time.
The book Lisa reads, How To Get Rich Writing Cartoons, is written by John Swartzwelder.
The scene where Roger Meyers, Jr. gives Bart and Lisa a tour of Itchy & Scratchy Productions Headquarters features an in-joke. When Roger tells Lisa that they sometimes cut corners by having the animators reuse the background over and over and over again, the hallway shows a pushbroom lady, door, and watercooler four and a half times in the exact same order.
The title references The Front, the Woody Allen movie of the same name.
Lisa's line about the "Itchy and Sambo" cartoons of the 1930s is a reference to the many theatrical cartoons (particularly the ones made by Disney and Warner Bros. Studios) that are banned from airing (and some DVD releases) due to outdated stereotypes of black people.
Strongdar: Master of Akom, is a parody of He-Man and the 1980s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon and toyline and AKOM, the animation company that produces The Simpsons.
Besides copying the Simpsons credits, the Itchy & Scratchy credits also parody the sequence seen at the end of the credits of many TV shows produced by Stephen J. Cannell, where Cannell sits at the typewriter in his office and throws a sheet of paper into the air, with it forming of part of his production company's logo. In the episode, Itchy and Scratchy are seen at a desk; Scratchy pulls a sheet from his typewriter and throws it into the air, where it forms an "I & S Productions" logo.