* ActorAllusion:
** There's quite a few jabs at Creator/WilliamShatner's iconic Captain Kirk role, such as when Denny is given a cellphone by one of his many girlfriends and it makes the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' communicator beeping sound whenever he flips it open.
** Also, when describing a parasitic water bug,
--->'''Alan:''' They call them cling-ons.
--->'''Denny:''' Did you say ''Klingons''!?
** The third season episode "Son of the Defender" used footage from the 1950's Defender TV movie featuring Shatner to present Denny as a young attorney clashing with his father. It was surprisingly emotional.
** In one episode, Valerie Bertinelli appeared as a guest character, and her appearance was heralded with the theme from ''Series/OneDayAtATime'', the show that made her a star.
* ActorSharedBackground: Denny Crane's larger-than-life persona, and his anxieties about being washed-up. One could argue that Shatner fits that bill and in many ways Denny is a reflection of himself. Especially Denny doing Priceline commercials. David E Kelley mentioned wanting William Shatner for the role precisely because he would fit perfectly and was willing to poke fun at himself.
* FakeAmerican: Canadian Creator/WilliamShatner as staunch, gun-loving Denny Crane.
* IAmNotSpock: For a lot of people, this show was responsible for Creator/WilliamShatner not just being Captain Kirk. In fact inverted, now people make Denny Crane jokes about old ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episodes.
* YouLookFamiliar: John Larroquette, who plays Carl Sack, earlier played MagnificentBastard Joey Heric on ''Series/ThePractice'', from which this show spun off.
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