Ryan (Billy Magnussen) keeps referencing an underground fight club. During a guessing game, Max (Jason Bateman) has to get Annie and his friends to guess the actor Ed Norton. Edward Norton was one of the main stars of Fight Club (1999).
The opening title sequence shows game pieces from many classic board games including Battleship. Battleship is referenced later on as a game Max and Brooks played as kids. Jesse Plemons who plays Garry had a role in the movie Battleship (2012).
In keeping with the theme of games referenced in the film, there is a subtle reference to a classic 1970s board game. When the group first enter Donald Anderton's (Danny Huston) lavish home, the painting "Old Man with a Gold Chain" by Rembrandt can be seen hanging on the wall. This is one of the paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago which is featured in the board game Masterpiece.
The film contains references to Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rachel McAdams, who stars in this film, had actually previously appeared in the MCU in a role in Doctor Strange.
Both Jesse Plemons and Kyle Chandler have starred in Grey's Anatomy. Plemons played Jake Burton in season two, a patient with advanced craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. Chandler starred as Dylan Young, from the bomb squad in season two.
Throughout the film, various children's games are played while trying to navigate the plot. "Simon says" is played when Rachel McAdams is holding the gun to the kidnappers in the bar. "Hot Potato" is played with the egg. "Charades" is played between Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams at the airport. Kevin and Michelle's argument, their escape from the locked room, as well as Annie removing the bullet from Max's arm, seem to be references to classic board games "Guess Who," "Jenga," and "Operation," respectively.
Just prior to getting kidnapped, Brooks says, "The game is afoot," a phrase most famously used by Sherlock Holmes. Rachel McAdams played Irene Adler opposite Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes (2009).
When the two *kidnappers* (from the murder mystery service) show up to Brooks' house after he's already been taken, one of them is played by actor Steve Witting, perhaps best known for his recurring role as 'Burt' on the 80s sitcom "The Hogan Family." "The Hogan Family" starred Jason Bateman as 'David Hogan.' 'Burt' was the Hogan's nerdy neighbor and close friend of 'David.'
At the beginning of the film, Jason Bateman's character references Tony Stark and Jarvis from Iron Man 3. He is referred to by his brother as going full nerd. At the end, Brooks pretends the bad guy is a stooge on his behalf, calling him Trevor. This references Trevor Slattery, the fake bad guy from Iron Man 3.
Coincidentally, directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein had a scene in their previous film Vacation (2015) where the "four corners" state officers appear to be playing the board game Monopoly.