Toy Santa's line, "You are a sad, strange little man," is also used by Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (1995) Also when the Toy Santa says "I think Santa feels a little Buzz!" is from him being "Buzz Lightyear" in Toy Story.
Scott Calvin starts talking about cars and engines while talking to Carol Newman, and while walking through the toyshop, Santa picks up and tries on a tool belt. These reference to Tim Taylor, Tim Allen's character on Home Improvement (1991).
A very early teaser trailer reveals that at one point, this movie had the subtitle "The Escape Clause" and was scheduled for release in November 2001. Ironically, this would later be used as the subtitle for the third film.
When Scott is trying to explain to Elizabeth that he is Santa, she says "Well, so far so good. You don't wear socks, and you've never been to prison." Scott replies "Well....." Tim Allen did spend time in prison before his acting career on drug charges.
When Scott captures the Tooth Fairy and tells him he is Santa, The Tooth Fairy, doubting that Scott is Santa Claus, tells him "I know Santa. Santa is a friend of mine, and you sir, are no Santa." This is a parody of Lloyd Bentsen's famous retort to Dan Quayle during the 1988 US Vice Presidential debate.
The line "Quit the chit-chat-Chet" comes directly off a season 1 episode of Tim Allen's Home Improvement (1991) where a man named Chet on the phone babbles too much during a game of "Stump The Tool Man."
Whether intentional or not, Carol Newman is very similar to Jessica from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970). Like Jessica, she works at a school, is given a doll by Santa, and even shares the same hairstyle and blue eyes.
Both Tim Allen and Molly Shannon, who are featured in the restaurant date scene, also appear in other Christmas movies apart from this franchise. Tim Allen starred in Christmas with the Kranks (2004), and Molly Shannon had a supporting role as one of the Whos in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).