During his tour of the workshop, Scott Calvin tries out a tool belt then shakes his head as if to indicate that tools aren't for him. This is a reference to Tim Allen's then-hit TV show, Home Improvement (1991) where his character's life (Tim "the tool man" Taylor) revolved around tools.
When Scott Calvin is giving alternative names for Santa Claus to the police officer in the interrogation scene, Scott imitates Ed Sullivan when he says the last name, "Topo Gigio", which is not a name for Santa, but actually the name of a small Italian mouse puppet that appeared many times on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948).
Elves are scattered throughout the movie in Scott and Charlie's world. The little blonde girl walking away from the window at the opening of the movie; the little boy putting his jacket on and wearing a red scarf as Scott and Charlie are led to their seat in Denny's; the girl walking behind the bench when Scott has kids lined up at Charlie's soccer game; the girl in the purple coat who walks by Scott and Charlie in the park when Scott wants Charlie to stop talking about the Santa Claus; and the attentive little boy in the blue turtleneck behind Charlie's desk during show and tell are all elves. They show up as a group at the end of the movie when Scott flies away from the Miller house, and they are the kids who run and skip off.
On older releases of the film, Tim Allen made a sarcastic remark in the movie, which included the line "1-800-SPANK-ME." During the film's release, a woman from near Cleveland, Ohio called the supposedly-fictional number for her curious grandchildren; it turned out to be a phone sex line. However, it wasn't until 1997, when Disney received complaints from parents whose children called the number and racked up huge phone bills, did the studio take action and cut the line for future releases. Disney also said that they would purchase the phone number to disconnect the service.
When Charlie and the new Santa return to the North Pole for the new Christmas, Bernard introduces the techno-savvy elf Quentin, who proceeds to tell Santa about the gadgets the sleigh now has. This is a nod to the James Bond series character "Q", who is the technology master for James Bond's vehicles.
The movie reveals that Santa Claus's favorite snack is cookies, and favorite drink is hot chocolate. The DVD released bonus material contains 3 recipes on how to make Santa's favorite pizza, cookies, and hot chocolate, and short videos demonstrating the cooking procedures.
When Charlie's mom comes to pick him up after the first night of delivering presents, there is a model Indycar on the coffee table, which Charlie picks up and takes with him. It is a scale replica of Nigel Mansell's #5 Newman Haas. Nigel Mansell was the reigning Indycar champion at the time the movie was made, and the only person to win back to back Formula 1 and Indycar championships.
At the beginning of the movie, a little girl looking in the toy store window turns her head, and a brief glimpse of her pointed ears reveal that she is actually one of Santa's elves celebrating Christmas with the other children.
The ladder that appears to help Scott and Charlie get to the roof was made by the "Rose Suchak Ladder Co.", a reference to a question Charlie had asked about the line "There arose such a clatter" from the famous poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (The Night Before Christmas).