The license plate on Kaito Nakamura's car is NCC-1701. George Takei, who plays Kaito, was Mr. Sulu in the original incarnation of Star Trek (1966) and NCC-1701 is the registry number of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Noah Bennet's (Jack Coleman's) business card has no name, no phone number, and no other contact information. All it says is "www.primatechpaper.com". If you go to the URL, you'll find a rudimentary website for the Primatech Paper company, including a brief company history, a phone number (1-800-PRIMA-16), and an online job application, complete with personality test. As of June 2014 the URL goes to NBC's official Heroes page on NBC.com.
The number featured on Primatech Paper's website (1-800-PRIMA16) leads to a rudimentary voice menu for Primatech Paper, including allowing the caller to enter an access number. The option for career info, as well as the corresponding option on the website, states that they are not accepting applications for employment, however.
According to Series Creator Tim Kring, Noah Bennet has a distinct pair of glasses, due to the fact he had very few lines in the beginning of the series, and needed to be recognizable by the audience. Also, Kring said the horn-rimmed glasses were chosen, because they had a distinct "early days of the C.I.A." look.
The rotating earth featured in the series logo shows a bright spot just off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. That is the site of an asteroid impact widely believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, which opened the way for the rise of mammals, thus the spot could be a subtle reference to the show's theme of a new evolutionary leap.
It was originally intended for Claire's friend Zach eventually to be revealed as gay, and to have his coming out serve as a parallel to Claire's coming to terms with her secret abilities. However, when the manager for Thomas Dekker (the actor who played Zach) discovered that this development was in store for the character, she first insisted that a line identifying Zach as gay be deleted from a script, and then pulled Dekker from the show altogether. Producer and Writer Bryan Fuller gave an interview in April 2007 in which he explained that Dekker "was up for the John Connor role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) and the manager didn't want him playing a gay character, because it might affect FOX's interest in hiring him. It got really ugly." Fuller also said that through Zach's last appearances on the show, "in all of our minds, the character was still gay, but we couldn't say it explicitly." Several lines remain in the series in which other characters refer to Zach as gay, but it remains ambiguous as to whether they know something the audience doesn't, or are simply making insinuations.
This series' premise (normal humans begin developing superpowers due to a new genetic mutation) is remarkably similar to that of Marvel Comics' long-running series "X-Men". Stan Lee, co-creator of "X-Men", makes a cameo in season one, episode sixteen, "Unexpected", and Ray Park, who played Toad in X-Men (2000), played season four recurring character Edgar. Also, in one episode, the character of Micah receives a set of classic Marvel comics (Silver Surfer, Incredible Hulk, et cetera). In another, Hiro and Ando visit a comics store and Hiro mentions several Marvel characters such as Spider-Man.
The casino that Hiro, Ando, Niki, and Nathan visit in the early episodes of season one is the Montecito, the fictional casino featured in Las Vegas (2003). The scene where Hiro and Ando are seen coming down an escalator, having used betting profits from the casino to suit up, pays a very strong homage to a similar scene in Rain Man (1988).
Although no one appears in all of the episodes, Hayden Panettiere appears in more episodes than any other performer (seventy-two, plus in season three, episode eight, "Villains", briefly through stock footage, for a total of seventy-three) and is the only cast member to appear in every episode of more than one season. She appears in every show of season one and season four). The only other regulars to appear throughout one whole season are Sendhil Ramamurthy (in season two) and Robert Knepper (in season four).
Artist Tim Sale provides the artwork for Isaac's paintings. He is best known for his work on DC Comics' popular "Batman: The Long Halloween" series, which was used as an inspiration for Batman Begins (2005).
In a July 2013 interview, Bryan Fuller revealed that the writers' room worked with independent story lines, meaning that particular writers wrote for specific characters, and not the usual way, with the whole room writing for each character. For example, Fuller said he wrote for Claire and Noah Bennet.
Adrian Pasdar, who plays Milo Ventimiglia's brother, auditioned to play his father in the proposed Gilmore Girls (2000) spin-off. The Casting Director at the time made the comment that Adrian could pass for Milo's brother because of their strong resemblance.
Each bilingual character that tried to speak with René the Haitian in his native language, spoke to him in French. The common language in Haïti is Creole, which is based on French. However, all educated Haitians speak French, and the language is used in the business sector, in ceremonial events, and for education.
Mohinder Suresh is shown to come from (or near) Chennai, which is in the southern part of India. The name Mohinder is common in Punjab, in the northern part of India. It would be extremely rare for someone from southern India to have this name.
There are some tributes within this show to the Alan Moore comic book story "Watchmen", including season one's overall plan of an insidious attack on New York City, and the emphasis on one character (Jon Osterman in Watchmen, Gabriel Sylar on this show) being very good at making and repairing watches.
The algorithm in Dr. Chandra Suresh's (Sendhil Ramamurthy's) computer, as it scrolls horizontally, presents gaps in the shape of the helix symbol that appears throughout the series (the tattoo on the shoulder of Jessica, the pendant that René the Haitian wears, on the hilt of the sword used by Kensei and Hiro, et cetera).
Major sponsors for the show include Sprint [all cellphones in the show, several prominent logo placements, and a direct mention by prophet Usutu ("bad coverage... should have gone with Sprint")] and Nissan (numerous vehicles, including one that Hiro and Ando repeatedly point out is a Nissan Versa).
Sendhil Ramamurthy introduced the character of Dr. Suresh with a purely East Indian accent. However, a few episodes into the first season, he begins speaking with an English-Indian accent, and retains this for the rest of the series.
Lydia (Dawn Olivieri), introduced in the fourth season, is named after the 1930's novelty song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". This song has been notably featured in movies and television shows such as At the Circus (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), and some projects of The Muppets.
In the German dubbed version, the passages where a foreign language is spoken (for example, Hiro and Ando speaking Japanese, Maya and Alejandro speaking Spanish) were not subtitled (as in the original version) but instead dubbed, too.
In the third season, the Luigi Bormioli produced drinking glasses, "Strauss", are used for bourbon and whiskey in several scenes. In one scene, a character named Tracy Strauss demonstrates her ability with such a glass.
William Katt, who starred as a reluctant superhero in The Greatest American Hero (1981), has done voiceover work for several superhero animated shows, and has his own comics imprint, appears as a reporter in season three.
The vignettes that aired promoting new characters that would debut in the following season is a technique that originated in professional wrestling, specifically in Memphis, TN with The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane) in the early 1980s and is still used today.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
With the exception of the first season, Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) either stood toe to toe with the main villain in a final confrontation before stopping them, or somehow foiled their plans. In season one, he faced Sylar (Zachary Quinto) with Hiro (Masi Oka) and Niki (Ali Larter), but became a bigger threat in the process, needing Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar's) help to stop himself. In season two, Hiro took down Adam Monroe (David Anders), while Peter destroyed the Shanti virus. In season three, Peter stopped Sylar just before his plan was fulfilled, by incapacitating him with drugs. Finally, in season four, he faced Samuel (Robert Knepper) alone, long enough for the other heroes to rob Samuel of his strength.