Debbie Ocean speaks German as part of her cover. Sandra Bullock spent most of her childhood in Nuremberg, Germany and is fluent in the language. She holds dual citizenship in both Germany and the United States.
Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1978), for whom the Toussaint necklace was named, was hired by her boyfriend Louis Cartier in 1918 to join his family's jewelry firm, although she could neither draw or sketch and knew nothing about fine jewelry. After completing her apprenticeship, she was named Director of Haute Joaillerie in 1933, where she remained until her retirement in 1968.
The Met event, where the robbery is intended to occur, is an annual gala sponsored and hosted by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of fashion magazine Vogue, who plays herself in the movie. Anna Wintour was also the inspiration for Miranda Priestly, the boss of Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
Debbie's alleged "Enemies List" seems to in fact be a list of cons she's pulled off, reminiscent of the cons Steven Soderbergh made up for Ocean's Eleven (2001). Included (and crossed off) on the list are More the Merrier, Made in Heaven, Hallelujah Time, Spring Break!, Crack in the Mirror, Poof!, and Deviled Eggs. She crosses off Who's Who after this movie's caper is finished, suggesting the caper was a Who's Who. Still to be run is the last item, Cupid's Delight.
Celebrities who cameo as themselves in the film include Anna Wintour, Zayn Malik, Katie Holmes, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Common, Adriana Lima, Desiigner, Kylie Jenner, Alexander Wang , Kendall Jenner, Ira Glass, Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, Olivia Munn, Jaime King, Zac Posen, Hailey Bieber, Derek Blasberg, Sofia Richie, Heidi Klum, Kelly Rohrbach, and Lauren Santo Domingo.
The music that was playing as the team enter the Met Gala, "Lara's Theme" (Somewhere, my Love), was also the music that Sandra Bullock's character, Gracie Lou Freebush, plays on the water glasses in Miss Congeniality (2000).
A scene features the song "These Boots are Made for Walking" sung by Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra. In Ocean's Thirteen (2007) Danny Ocean says "You shook hands with Frank Sinatra." Also, Frank Sinatra played the role of Danny Ocean in the original Ocean's 11 (1960).
When Lou and Debbie discuss recruiting Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) to solicit her fashion designer services for the heist, Lou mentions that Rose was "big in the 90's" and that the Edwardian look was her trademark. This could be a reference to Bonham Carter herself as she starred in several popular costume dramas in the 90's such as 'Hamlet', 'Howards End' and 'The Wings of the Dove,' both of which were set in the Edwardian England era. The latter earned Carter an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
When the group enters the Met Gala, the song "Somewhere My Love (Lara's Theme)" by the James Last Orchestra is playing. This song had been used in Ocean's Thirteen (2007). It was also the music that Sandra Bullock's character, Gracie Lou Freebush, plays on the water glasses in Miss Congeniality (2000).
Director Gary Ross takes over the Ocean's Franchise from director Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh previously acted as a Second-Unit Director for Ross' The Hunger Games (2012), directing the District 11 riot scenes.
The theme song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) ("Love is all around") is in the background when Debbie demands her watch back from Constance. The singer is Sammy Davis Jr., who was one of the original Ocean's 11 and who sang the Ocean's 11 theme song.
At 33:15, there's a "Chicka-Chickaaaaa" on the tail of the background music (and possibly elsewhere), reminiscent of the same lyric in Yello's "Oh Yeah", as featured in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"... another film about "scamming" the system.
As noted in another entry, the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Love Is All Around, is used as background music in one scene. The version used is sung by Sammy Davis Jr. who starred in the original 1960 Ocean's 11.
While the women are plotting which cameras to use, they are all sitting looking at a screen. On the table is the bowling ball with a skull in it just like the Bowler uses in Mystery Men where she is the only female hero.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the final scene of the movie, Danny's sister Debbie is sitting in front of his grave. She is wearing a black tux with the bow tie open. This is a nod to the opening and ending scene of Ocean's Eleven (2001) when Danny leaves prison in the same outfit, a black tux with the bow tie open.
One of the royal jewels stolen during the Met Gala heist was an infamous necklace that can be seen displayed on an abstract statue of Marie Antoinette. This necklace has quite a scandalous history in the French court, and was believed to be one of the major contributing factors in the poor and working classes' disillusionment with the French monarchy, which ultimately led to the French Revolution and subsequent beheading of Marie Antoinette. Though the necklace was originally commissioned by Marie Antoinette's grandfather-in-law, King Louis XV for his mistress Madame du Barry, the necklace was a focal point in a variety of schemes within the French court, including blackmail and fraud in which Marie Antoinette's participation was falsely implied. Unfortunately, it was used as just another example of what the poor and underprivileged believed to be Antoinette's frivolous spending habits. She was later beheaded during the revolution and overthrow of the French monarchy. This necklace also featured prominently in Maurice Leblanc's stories about master criminal Arsene Lupin, one of the earliest examples of the master thief and a key ancestor of the entire caper genre.
The "Toussaint", did, in fact, exist, created by Jacques Cartier in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, who commissioned Cartier to build a multi-colored diamond necklace around his blue-white 136.25 carat Queen of Holland diamond, named for Queen Wilhelmina. As in the film, the necklace was split eventually. A photo of the Maharaja holding the necklace is featured in VO+ Magazine's article "The Second Birth Of The Famous Cartier's Toussaint Necklace". According to Harper's Bazaar, Cartier's Paris workshop created the replica in the film based on Jacques Cartier's blueprints and drawings, using zirconium oxides for the stones, which were then mounted onto white gold. It was scaled down 20% so that it would fit Anne Hathaway (Daphne Kluger). Cartier bought The Queen of Holland diamond from the Maharajah's family in 1960, then sold it to diamond dealer William Goldberg in 1975, who sold it to jeweler Robert Mouawad in 1990. Mouawad's firm has owned The Queen of Holland since.
In the last scene where Debbie pays Danny's tomb a visit in the mausoleum, one of the most visible tombstones bears the name of Sandra Bullock's mother, Helga Mathilde Meyer (spelled as "Helga M. Meyer" in the movie), albeit with different years of birth and death.
Debra Ocean covertly places a painting on the wall at the Met. This is preceded by shots of artwork in which women are the subjects, and one of a man reaping wheat, foreshadowing a reveal late in the film.
When Sarah Paulson's character is looking at headshots for the older women that will sell off pieces of the necklace she notes that one of them performed summer stock at Williamstown. Paulson starred in Williamstown Theater Festival's 2007 production of Crimes of the Heart.
Daphne extorts her way into Debbie Ocean's gang by commenting that she saw through their poor acting while using her for their caper. In actuality, four of the actresses in the gang are Academy-Award nominated, three of whom have won Oscars.
When Debbie speaks with Reuben at Danny Ocean's resting place, he refers to Danny, saying, "He said it was brilliant. And you would probably end up in prison." Clearly, Danny knew of Debbie's plan, which was developed recently. Danny also "died" recently - the same year that the story takes place. Considering how many people would want Danny dead, his death appears to be extremely convenient.