In the scene where Brennan and Dale are in their room showing each other their night vision goggles and autographed sword, the camera pans around while the characters are walking, and you can see a Hugalo's Pizza car light on top of the chest of drawers in the room. Will Ferrell's character worked for Hugalo's Pizza in "Talladega Nights" (which starred both Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) after he lost his job as a race car driver.
Director Adam McKay states on the commentary that they originally went to the island of Catalina for location searches and discovered that he did not really like the island. They instead shot on the coast and during several shots, the island of Catalina can be seen. McKay chose not to have it digitally edited out as a joke.
The name of the high school which Brennan performs during the talent show and gets made fun of by Derek is "Great Valley High School" which is the name of the actual high school director Adam McKay attended.
During the commentary of the blu-ray disc it is revealed that the testicles used to teabag Dale's drum set were real prosthetic balls that cost the crew $25,000, complete with real human hair. Will Ferrel is the owner of this prop, in the same commentary claiming to have brought them out at dinner parties, causing some guests to leave the event altogether.
The movie is set in 2008 and Brennan is 39. When he is 17 (22 years earlier) and Derrick is 14, Derrick performed "Ice Ice Baby". The year of the talent show would have been 1986. "Ice Ice Baby" was released in 1990.
Brennan says he smoked pot with Johnny Hopkins and Sloan Kettering. There is a Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York which is also mentioned in the lyrics to the opening song "A-Punk" by the New York band Vampire Weekend. And although it's not exactly called "Johnny," the famous Johns Hopkins hospital is in Baltimore.
Kathryn Hahn (Alice) and Adam Scott (Derek) who play husband and wife, both appear alongside Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Hahn as Walter's sister and Scott as the takeover director for Life Magazine.
During Dale's job interview, Ken Jeong says he knows of a catering company that is looking for people. This is a reference to Ken Jeong's character in the series Party Down, Alan Duck, who owns Party Down Catering. Actor Adam Scott is also in Party Down as a caterer.
Running gags in the film include Brennan and Dale drinking a blue juice and Pepsi respectively, the duo fighting, the duo sharing same interests like porn magazines, pop culture, sports and being in a band, the duo trying to set up a band, failing interviews, trying to stop their house from being sold by Brennan's brother Derek, sleep walking and getting on their own parent's nerves especially Robert.