The fight on the bridge between Spike and Abdul Hakim in Episode 2, "Stray Dog Strut," is a homage to the fight scene in Game of Death (1978) between Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. All of Spike's fights feature the use Bruce Lee's "Jeet Kune Do" style of fighting.
Episode 11 (Toys in the Attic) contains many references to the movie Aliens (1986). Among them are: the hand-held tracker equipment, the computer's voice, and the dramatized arming scene and the manner in which the creature is disposed of.
Almost every episode title refers to a song title, or genre/type of music. Song/Album Titles: - Session #1: Asteroid Blues = The Blues - Session #2: Stray Dog Strut = "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats - Session #3: Honky Tonk Women = "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones - Session #4: Gateway Shuffle = Shuffle - Session #5: Ballad of Fallen Angels = "Fallen Angels" - by Arosmith (the song is a ballad) - Session #6: Sympathy for the Devil = "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones - Session #7: Heavy Metal Queen = "Heavy Metal Queen"- Mountain - Session #8: Waltz for Venus: Waltz - Session #9: Jamming with Edward = Album Title: Rolling Stones - Jamming with Edward (1972) - Session #10: Ganymede Elegy: Elegy - Session #11: Toys in the Attic = "Toys in the Attic" by Aerosmith s - Session #12 & 13: Jupiter Jazz Pt.1 & 2 = Jazz - Session #14: Bohemian Rhapsody = "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen - Session #15: My Funny Valentine = "My Funny Valentine" by Frank Sinatra - Session #16: Black Dog Serenade = "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin - Session #17: Mushroom Samba = Samba - Session #18: Speak like a Child = "Speak like a Child" by Herbie Hancock - Session #19: Wild Horses = "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones - Session #21: Boogie Woogie Feng Shui = Boogie Woogie - Session #22: Cowboy Funk = Funk - Session #24: Hard Luck Woman = "Hard Luck Woman" by KISS - Session #25 & 26: The Real Folk Blues Pt.1 & 2: "The Real Folk Blues" by John Lee Hooker
Character designer for the series, Kawamoto Toshihiro, stated that the most challenging character to design was Gren, as Gren was originally modeled after Brad Pitt, but Kawamoto had trouble picturing "Brad Pitt with breasts."
Spike is frequently shown cigarettes with stems bent upwards or downwards. This is a subtle reference to jazz pioneer Dizzy Gillespie, one of the founders of bebop, whose trademark was a trumpet with the bell slanted.
"Rain," the song which plays as Spike enters the cathedral in episode 5 ("Ballad of Fallen Angels") was originally recorded with Steve Conte as the vocalist, but ultimately, a demo version sung by Mai Yamane was chosen for the scene. The Steve Conte version appears on the series' first soundtrack album, while the Mai Yamane version was included as a bonus track on the soundtrack of the film "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door."
In Session #5: Ballad of Fallen Angels, two children try to steal pornography from Annie's shop. The character design for the black child was originally going to be used for Ed, until the director chose the white female one instead.
In Session 24 "Hard Luck Woman" Ed's father Mr. Appledelhi calls Ed Francoise. However since Ed's father is bad remembering names and can't even remember if Ed's a boy or a girl this might not actually be true.
In Session #7: Heavy Metal Queen, Faye and Spike's bounty for the episode is a man named Decker. This is reference to Blade Runner (1982), in which the main character, Deckard, is eventually chased by a woman (Pris) and a man (Batty).
In Session 19: Wild Horses, the man who owned and fixes Swordfish II, Spike's spaceship, is named Doohan. This is a reference to James Doohan, who played "Scotty" on the original Star Trek (1966) TV series.
The official lyrics at the beginning of the opening theme (as noted in the bonus feature "Session 0") are: "I think it's time to blow this scene; get everybody the stuff together. Okay, 3, 2, 1, let's jam."
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The phrase "three years ago" is used quite often. It was three years ago that Spike and Jet got together, it was three years ago that Faye was taken out of cryofreeze, and it was three years ago that Ed wandered away from the orphanage.
Ed's father is called Appledelhi Siniz Hesap Lutfen. In Turkish "Afedersiniz" (which reads exactly like Appledelhi Siniz) means "Excuse me" The rest of the name is correctly spelled and means exactly: "Excuse me! Check please!" There are other references to Turkey and scenes where they use Turkish. The colony in Venus looks like the Istanbul of 19th century. Also, there is a particular shop displayed on screen for a long time. It's name is Aile Pazari, which means "Family Market" in Turkish.