Towards the end of the film, when Rusty and Danny are in the airport, they each mock each other. Rusty tells Danny to try and keep the weight off in between jobs next time. This is a reference to George Clooney, who put on extra weight for his role in Syriana (2005) and in turn injured his back doing some stunts. Danny tells Rusty, "Settle down and have a couple of kids," which is a reference to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's relationship and children.
The dialogue Reuben says to Danny when he wakes up - "I hear cars pulling in.I hear whispering conversations. I hear Linus crying. Why don't you tell me what everyone else seems to know?" is an imitation of the one Vito Corleone says to Tom Hagen when he wakes up in "The Godfather" which has Al Pacino(Willy Bank) as the protagonist.
Matt Damon's London street scene, showing Linus walking through London speaking on the phone was shot while Matt Damon was in London filming The Bourne Ultimatum. The Ocean's Thirteen production took advantage of this happy coincidence as they wanted Greco to be a British classmate of Roman Nagel, so having Linus in London played well to the story.
When Danny and Rusty are reminiscing about meeting Reuben, they are wandering in front of the Bellagio. The tune that is playing is Clair de Lune. This is the same tune that played at the end of Ocean's Eleven (2001) when all the characters are standing in front of the Bellagio watching the fountains.
The phrase "Billy Martin" that Danny calls for to Willie during the Reuben's hospitalization is a gambling slang for second chance. The phrase refers to famed Major League Baseball manager, Billy Martin. Despite his talents as a manager (he led the New York Yankees to two World Series titles), Martin's fiery temper, fueled by his alcoholism, often got him into trouble and as a result, he was fired multiple times. Despite his character flaws, Billy Martin was always being given a "second chance".
In order to infiltrate Willie Bank's office and distract Bank, Basher dresses up as the fictional stuntman Fender Rhodes. Rhodes' persona of being a motorcycle stuntman and dressed in the colors of the American flag, is homage (or parody) of famed stuntman Evel Knievel. By the same token, Bob Einstein, who portrays FBI Agent Caldwell, is best known for his portrayal of stuntman Super Dave Osborne, which is also a parody of Knievel.
Linus tells Reuben that Rusty is pulling an "Irwin Allen". This is in homage to the producer Irwin Allen who is widely popular for his disaster movies and TV shows that depicted ways the world would end. His one technical contribution to the world of film and TV was his pioneering of the "shaky-cam" technique to imply aerial turbulence or an earthquake. His approach was to simply tilt the camera back and forth, and have his actors throw themselves across a set. This goes along with Rusty telling Bank there is a possibility of an earthquake, and their exit plan for the end of the movie to cause one to get all the people to leave with their winnings.
Matt Damon's brief scene on a London street corner is very reminiscent of the Bourne movies: hand-held camera, European location, cell phone use, even the dialogue ("I've used four identities... I think I'm being followed... I have a name but I don't even know if it's right.").
Obscure reference: In the scene where Ocean's crew is breaking the bank, so to speak, the numbers of amounts won are displayed near specific gamblers to show how much the house is losing. When the shot pans over to George Clooney, the number "5150" is displayed next to him. This corresponds to the health and safety code for placing a psychiatric hold on a deranged individual. In other words, a crazy person is often referred to as a "5150" around police and medical circles.
The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow logos at the front of the film are styled in homage to the 1970s/1980s intro animation to New York station WOR-TV's "4 O'Clock Movie," and the accompanying music is identical.
Linus makes a joke about the 1973 Château d'Yquem wine. It was produced in between two years (1972 and 1974) of harvests "unworthy to bear the Château's name." He could be hoping that the 1973 wasn't also "unworthy."
Based upon the aerial shots of the Bank Casino, it is located where the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the Planet Hollywood Casino, and the Miracle Mile Shopping Center is located on the Las Vegas Strip today. Its location can also be confirmed by Terry Benedict who complains that the Bank Casino "throws a shadow over my pool" (Meaning the "dancing waters" pool in front of the Bellagio.
When discussing the blueprints of the Bank Casino, Rusty mentions that among the architects responsible for the design was Frank O. Gehry, with whom Brad Pitt has collaborated personally on several projects at Gehry's Los Angeles studio.
Ellen Barkin, who plays Abigail Sponder in this film, actually shot a small cameo for the previous film Ocean's Twelve (2004). However, it was ultimately cut from the film, and can be seen on the blu-ray release (under the additional footage section, the "Meet the Team, Again" sequence).
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) makes an appeal on behalf of Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) by telling Willie Bank (Al Pacino)"What I want, what's most important to me..." This is the same line that that Michael Corleone, played by Pacino, uses when making an appeal for his father's safety to Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo in The Godfather (1972)
During the film's climax, several shots are used of various bystanders. One of them is cashing out a rather large amount of chips. It is the same actor who played "Bulldog the bruiser" in Ocean's Eleven (2001).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
All members of the Caldwell (Linus') family that we know of have impersonated some kind of law-enforcing agent in the three 'Ocean' movies. Linus impersonated an officer of the NGC (Nevada Gaming Commission) in 11, his mother acted as a US Marshal in 12, and his father, Bobby, impersonated an FBI agent in 13.
The characters make several references to a "Susan B. Anthony" in their heist. This is a reference to the Susan B. Anthony dollar manufactured by the US mint in 1979. It was similar in appearance and size to a regular quarter and many people dropped it into a slot machine without realizing what it was worth. This method was used twice in the film, though the people are using an ordinary coin they don't realize that it will be worth millions in the slot: first by the woman in The Bank who wins the jackpot and later by the VUP at the slot machine in the airport.