Temperance Brennan is an anthropologist who writes about the character Kathy Reichs in her spare time. In real-life, Kathy Reichs is an anthropologist who writes about the character Temperance Brennan.
Eric Millegan (Dr. Zack Addy), a grad student, younger than the other scientists, is one year older than T.J. Thyne (Dr. Jack Hodgins), two years older than Emily Deschanel (Dr. Temperance Brennan, his teacher), and four years older than Michaela Conlin (Angela Montenegro).
Angela's father is played by ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons, and there have been several indications that the audience is supposed to understand that her father IS Billy Gibbons (albeit a fictional version of Gibbons, since Angela is fictional). Although Angela's dad has never been given a name, before his first appearance Angela told her friends that her father is famous enough that they might recognize him immediately, and during Gibbons' appearances, there have been several references to the music of ZZ Top.
Bones works at the Jeffersonian Institute. There is no such place in Washington, D.C. However, the name is probably a play on the Smithsonian Institute. Shots of the outside of the actual Smithsonian are often used on the show.
Almost every time Booth is in front of the camera, he has on him a watch, his F.B.I. ID, a holstered sidearm, a Zippo lighter, Craps dice, a one hundred dollar poker chip, a floaty pen (the type where a girl's clothes fall off when you turn it upside down), 3"x5" index cards and his light brown sunglasses, and he is wearing a St. Christopher medal. All of these items can be spotted being handled by Booth throughout the series.
Originally, the weight they gave the victim, who was exactly like Brennan, on season six, episode nine, "The Doctor in the Photo", was twenty pounds less than the weight that aired. Emily Deschanel had read the script, and called the other producers, asking them to put the weight closer to reality.
The Royal Diner, where Brennan and Booth (and occasionally the other characters) go to relax after work, really exists in Washington, but the one in New Jersey (on Route 31 North), not the District of Columbia.
There have been several references to Agent Seeley Booth being a "direct descendant" of John Wilkes Booth. In reality, is is highly unlikely that John Wilkes Booth had any direct descendants. As the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, and the first assassin of any U.S. President, John Wilkes Booth's life history has been exhaustively scrutinized by generations of historical scholars, and there is absolutely no evidence that he ever married or fathered any children, legitimate or illegitimate. Several of John Wilkes Booth's brothers and sisters did have children, but in genealogical terms, to be a direct descendant John Wilkes Booth, Seeley Booth would have to be descended from a child of his, and not just a niece or nephew.
Season seven contains a reduced order of thirteen episodes to accommodate Emily Deschanel's pregnancy. FOX ordered an additional four episodes that were produced during the seventh season but aired during the first part of season eight.
As of season twelve, only two shots in the opening title sequence have remained the same throughout the series: the opening shot of the skeleton, and the final shot of Booth and Brennan in Limbo closing a drawer full of remains.
Out of the twelve rotating interns on the show, eight received their doctorate: Zack Addy, Clark Edison, Arastoo Vaziri, Oliver Wells, Rodolfo Fuentes, Colin Fisher, Douglas Filmore (Forensic Podiatrist), and most recently, Daisy Wick.
Up to season three, Special Agent Seeley Booth has handled a Glock 17, a .357 Magnum, a two-tone Smith & Wesson Sigma (commonly misidentified as a Glock, both pistols look and function nearly identical, however Glock does not produce two-toned pistols), and a Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 (Airsoft replica) with a tactical flashlight attachment, along with a Colt .22 back-up weapon. While Dr. Temperance Brennan has handled a Colt .22 in the pilot episode, where she shot a suspect, as well as on several occasions to back-up Agent Booth, a very large Smith & Wesson M500 .50 caliber revolver in season two, and Booth's Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 Airsoft Replica when she shot Booth's stalker.
Carla Gallo (Daisy Wick) and Joel David Moore (Colin Fisher) appeared on House (2004) season three, episode nineteen, "Act Your Age". Pej Vahdat (Arastoo Vaziri) appeared on season three, episode eighteen, "Airborne".
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Angela Montenegro's middle name is thought to be "Pearly Gates", which is the name of a guitar belonging to Billy Gibbons, who played Angela's father. However, when she married Hodgins, on season five, episode twenty-one "The Boy With the Answer", it is revealed that her legal name is not the name she has been using. She whispers it in to the ear of the judge marrying them, but he does not repeat her name.
Every child born to a main character on the show is named after a close friend or family member who has died as a way to honor their memory. Booth's oldest child (from a previous relationship), Parker, is named after Teddy Parker, a fellow sniper and close friend, who died in Booth's arms in combat. Angela and Hodgins' son, Michael Vincent, is named after squintern Vincent Nigel-Murray who was murdered shortly before Angela gave birth. Booth and Brennan's first child, Christine, is named after Brennan's mother, who was also murdered. Sweets and Daisy's child, Seeley Lance Wick-Sweets is a partial exception. Named after Booth, who is still alive, and (Lance) Sweets, who was murdered before his child was born, and Booth and Brennan's second child is named Hank after Booth's deceased grandfather, who raised him after finding out that Booth and his brother were being physically abused by their father (Hank's son).
John Francis Daley needed four months off to co-direct National Lampoon's Vacation (2015). Since there was no good way to give his character the time off, the season ten opener has Sweets being killed off from internal bleeding, after being shot.
The establishing shot of Seely Booth's apartment (which his Grandfather almost burned down) shows him living in an apartment above a liquor store, called Sportsman's. This is a real apartment and liquor store in Washington, D.C., on Mt. Pleasant Street.
Despite being married to Jack Hodgins for over seven years, Angela has only referred to her husband by his first name a few times, such as in season two, episode nine, "Aliens in a Space Ship" and season five, episode one, "Harbingers in the Fountain". Usually she calls him "Hodgins".
Jack Hodgins becomes paralyzed in season eleven, and after that event, is seen getting around in a wheelchair. In real life, T.J. Thyne is not paralyzed, and is "walking just fine these days", according to Screener TV.
Shortly after Brennan found out her father, Max Keenan, got a pacemaker (without telling her), he was shot and killed protecting Christine and Hank, his grandchildren. But not before killing the armed men who practically walked in past the F.B.I. Special Forces trained guards that were supposed to be protecting the house.