- Patriot Games, the former name of this episode, is the name of a Tom Clancy novel. It is also the name of a Family Guy episode.
- The team Boston Americans are a direct Parody of the New England Patriots.
- The Americans QB is a parody of Tom Brady, the coach is a parody of Bill Belichick, Domp Bonkowski is a parody of Rob Gronkowski, the mascot is a parody of Pat Patriot, and the scandals are parodies of headsets and Spygate respectively.
- Boston Americans is the former name of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
- The song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys is mentioned twice in this episode:
- It is sung by the a cappella group at the school's detention and during the episode's credits.
- Bart says "It's time for me to ship out of Boston!"
- The song The Man in Me by Bob Dylan plays when the Simpsons are enjoying candlepin bowling.
- The movie The Departed is mentioned a few times in this episode.
- Bart (wearing a blue cap) is intimidated by Apu and Sideshow Mel (wearing red clothes). This is a reference to the rivalry between the gangs Crips (identified by their blue clothing) and the Bloods (identified by their red clothing).
- When Homer says that The Springfield Atoms were relocated from Portland, it could be a knock at the Indianapolis Colts, which used to be located in Baltimore. Plus, Homer refers that the atoms moved to Springfield from Portland in the middle of the night, like how the Colts moved to Indianapolis from Baltimore after hours.
Regional references to the Massachusetts area:
- Newbury Comics-esque stickers adorn the wall of the tunnel and the neighborhood Lisa and Bart walk through.
- "Jordan's Furniture and Motel", which offers the regional cable sports channel NESN as opposed to Connecticut-based ESPN and includes a poster for area UHF TV station WSBK-TV's The Movie Loft in their room
- The town of Quimby is a parody of Quincy, Massachusetts
- "Duncan's Doughnuts" is obviously Dunkin' Donuts, with Fred the Baker appearing at the parade.
- Stores and kiosks at Fanueil Hall Marketplace include:
- The movie "Mass. Ave." that Bart shows Lisa spoofs The Town with characters resembling Good Will Hunting cast members Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck talking about robbing The Harvard COOP bookstore and drinking "Fribbels" beforehand.
- The "Do your job, Homer" line the Handsome Quarterback says in Homer's hallucination was a motto/tagline the Patriots used during their runup to Super Bowl XLIX. Further, the Handsome Quarter back is voiced by Michael Chiklis, who introduced the Patriots for Super Bowl XXXIX.
- "Lechmere's" was a Best Buy precursor.
- "Cumbie's" is a regional convenience store chain throughout eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and eastern Connecticut.
- "104 BCN" was an area radio station that Billy West used to work for as an on-air personality.
- Marge says that a Real Housewives show set in Boston would be incredibly boring, but there is an online parody called "The Real Housewives of South Boston" using the very Southies that Bart wishes to hang out with.
- Bart's comment about Boston Americans' victory parades being a state holiday has a minor ring of truth to it: from 2001 through the episode's original airing in 2016 there have been nine sports victory parades in the city-four for the Patriots, three for the Red Sox, and one each for the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics-and one commentator on the morning show for local radio station WROR stated that children were beginning to erroneously believe that victory parades were an annual event.
- Two Boston Celtics jokes, as the Celtics are the city's most victorious sports team with seventeen championships as of the episode's original 2016 airing.
- The tunnel scene was slightly edited:
- Homer's line went from "Delicious, delicious rage." to "I've never loved hating anything so much!"
- Smog was added to the background.
- This episode aired on the Pacific Coast at 9:12pm PT due to overtime of the second 2016 Presidential Debate, and other leadout programs airing first.
- Conan O'Brien is in the parade crowd along with Cheers characters Carla, Norm and Cliff.
- This is the first Season 28 episode to not have the Couch Gag, Billboard Gag, and the Chalkboard Gag.
- This is the first Season 28 episode to use the very short opening sequence from "The Ned-liest Catch" and several episodes of Seasons 23 and 24.
- When the family was stuck in traffic inside the tunnel, there was a blue truck behind Homer's green Station wagon, but after the townie throws a cup inside their car, there is a car behind them.
- The Boston Americans' mascot had no helmet, meaning that he wouldn't be allowed to participate in the play even if he is one of the players.
- Homer apparently first learns of candlepin bowling in this episode, despite previously making reference to it in My Mother the Carjacker.