Charlie Sheen worked out for eight hours a day to build up his body, as he decided that he would have felt embarrassed at the film's premiere if he had to sit amongst people laughing while looking at him on screen in a singlet.
Charlie Sheen's father Martin Sheen makes an uncredited cameo as Benjamin L. Willard, his character from Apocalypse Now (1979). He is seen passing Topper; they both say, "I loved you in Wall Street (1987)!", while giving each other thumbs up. Charlie and Martin played son and father in 'Wall Street'.
Saddam's refrigerator contains items such as Hungry Nomad (Hungry Man), 2% Camel Milk, Olde Iraqi Beer, and Falafel Helper. When Saddam makes a sandwich he seals it with not Saran Wrap, but "Saharanrap".
After U.S. President Benson hits four other former presidents with his shovel, ex-President Gerald Ford falls down of his own accord. Ford acquired a public reputation for clumsiness after a fall on the stairs of Air Force One, the presidential aircraft.
The entire river boat sequence, in particular the encounter with the enemy patrol boat, is a beautiful parody of a near-identical scene in The Guns of Navarone even down to dialogue - Geogory Peck asking the boat crew if they speak "Americanize" and camera angles. The original sequence begins in The Guns of Navarone at about 29 minutes.
Other movies that are referenced and/or satirized include Rambo, No Way Out, The Guns of Navarone, Lady And The Tramp, Basic Instinct, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Casablanca, Star Wars, Terminator 2, and The Wizard of Oz
At one point during the sequence which displays an on-screen body count tally, the movie boasts an ostensibly higher number of deaths than RoboCop (among other famous shoot'em ups). Miguel Ferrer, who plays Harbinger in this movie, also starred in RoboCop, and ended up 1 out that film's 30 strong body count.
Two scenes that were filmed, but cut were featured in the teaser trailer: Rufshaad hanging Col. Denton Walters by the arms and Rufshaad asks Col. Walters about Topper Harley, if Harley is a madman for standing alone against 3000 men? which Walters answers "He figures that the odds are in his favor" and Gerou informing President Tug Benson that the 3rd mission to rescue the hostages has failed and President Benson offers Gerou a cookie.
Dexter Heyman (Rowan Atkinson)'s final scene is a reference to many Warner Bros. "Coyote & Road Runner" cartoons, where the Coyote would always end up falling into an abyss and leaving a dust cloud upon impacting on the ground.
In an 1995 Interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sylvester Stallone was asked if he had any plans to make Rambo 4? He replied jokingly "Why don't you ask Charlie Sheen to star in it", referencing Charlie Sheen having played a parody of Rambo in this movie.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Although the film is a spoof of war movies, if Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) is indeed a direct continuation of Hot Shots! (1991) which is a spoof of Top Gun (1986). If you connect the two films together: Topper Harley would had gotten out of the U.S. navy and went to serve in the U.S. military. Dexter Hayman would had been captured by the Iraq forces whilst Ramada was working as a psychiatrist in the U.S. navy. Ramada would had assumed Dexter was dead and started the relationship with Lt. Kent Gregory. Admiral Tug Benson would had most likely retired from the U.S Navy and went into politics, which he was elected as President of the United States. However, it would be unclear how Saddam Husseim survived the destruction of the nuclear plant at the end of the first movie and be very much alive in this film.
Since Hot Shots! (1991) is a parody of Top Gun (1986) and this film is a parody of the Rambo films. It is unclear if this film is indeed a direct continuation or reboot of the original: In the original, Topper Harley is a pilot in the U.S. navy, in this film, Harley is a war hero. In the original, Tug Benson is a Admiral in the U.S navy, in the film, Benson is the American President. In the original, Saddam Hussein is killed when the nuclear plant is destroyed. In this film he is very much alive. Topper and Ramada were in a relationship and in this film, it is revealed Ramada is married to Dexter Hayman, whom she was married to long before she met Topper. In the original, Ramada was in a relationship with Lt. Kent Gregory.