* Most of the character dynamics, the basic plot and the sports theme of the first episode are lifted from tennis anime ''Manga/AimForTheAce''. Coach in particular is an {{Expy}} of Coach Munakata. (Though really, this is almost a BaitAndSwitch, by the end.)
** The title itself is a combination of ''Manga/AimForTheAce'' and ''Film/TopGun'', two major influences on the plot.
* Noriko has, amongst other things, a ''SpaceBattleshipYamato'' poster in her room.
* Gunbuster's design is a combination of a [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Zaku]], [[Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon Ideon]] and [[Manga/GetterRobo Getter Dragon]].
* The Super Inazuma Kick is a [[Franchise/KamenRider Rider Kick]].
* Gunbuster's homing missiles have the same design and firing point (fingers) as [[Manga/GiantRobo Giant Robo's]] missiles.
* Its forehead beam, ship combination and tomahawks (which didn't make the cut, but can still be seen in its TransformationSequence) belong to [[Manga/GetterRobo Getter Dragon]].
** Likewise, Gunbuster's first launch is adapted from the pivotal battle of ''[[Manga/GetterRobo Getter Robo G]]'', where the machine rises out the ocean, [[BadassArmFold arms folded]], and decimates the enemy's forces. Of course, virtually everyone on both sides of the Pacific [[AdaptationDisplacement now thinks of Gunbuster]] whenever that scene is homaged.
** The final scene also homages Musashi ripping the reactor from his machine's chest at the end of ''Manga/GetterRobo''.
* Gunbuster is also shown launching missiles/lasers from all over its body in an identical fashion to [[Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon Ideon]].
* Although never used in the show, an official card game showed Gunbuster using the Choudenji Yo-Yo and Choudenji Spin from ''Anime/CombattlerV''.
* Hideaki Anno gave Gunbuster a single eye because he thought it was unique. However, he later decided it was a mistake because it didn't keep the robot recognizable when in shadows (''Super Robot Wars'', in particular, sometimes has to do a bit of "creative" lighting to get around this). This is why EVA-01 was drawn with two glowing, white eyes on a gloomy purple body.

!!Some Trivia Tropes applicable to the series:
* TheDanza: [[BadassAdorable Noriko]] [[TheHero Takaya]], voiced by Creator/NorikoHidaka.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: A [[RoleEndingMisdemeanor drug scandal]] involving the OP singer, Noriko Sakai, kept it out of print for a while. These days it's out of print in Japan just due to its age, though the NA release is available if you look around a bit.
* PlayingAgainstType: Creator/NorioWakamoto as Coach Ohta. Wakamoto hadn't actually ''been'' typecast yet, as this was still earlier in his career, but Ohta doesn't have ''any'' of the [[EvilIsHammy Villainous]] LargeHam that he has since become so known for. It helps that, naturally, he was also a lot younger when he played this role.
* ScrewedByTheLawyers: This is perhaps why the OVA series has never been released overseas beyond the 1990s VHS and the 2007 DVD release, as it contains a "homage" that sounds extremely similar to the Chariots of Fire theme song. This got to the point where the 5.1x sound remix has it replaced.