* ActorAllusion:
** Creator/PierceBrosnan's late wife Cassandra Harris made four appearances on the show playing two different former lovers.
** Stephanie Zimbalist's father Efrem Zimbalist Jr would appear almost every season as Daniel Chalmers, Steele's surrogate father and [[spoiler: apparently his biological father]].
* EditedForSyndication: One episode actually used this practice as a major plot point: The killer du jour had used a co-worker as an alibi, noting that the two had watched a classic TV show together at the time of the murder (unbeknownst to the co-worker, the culprit had [[spoiler:used a VCR and reset the clocks]]; but it turned out that [[spoiler:due to syndication, the scene the two had watched together had been cut]].
* ExecutiveMeddling: The series started out with each episode being a genuine FairPlayWhodunnit, but they got renewed for a second season on the condition that they dumbed down the plots, so after that, they pretty much just cut to the chase.
* RealitySubtext: In "The Steele That Wouldn't Die" -- the first episode after the series was {{UnCanceled}} -- a number of references are made to Film/JamesBond, the role Brosnan was forced to give up. Brosnan's performance was also considerably less involved than in previous seasons, due to his anger at NBC screwing him over as well as a general desire to move onto better things.
** Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan reportedly did not like each other. They both deny this, ostensibly to protect loyal fans and viewers, but the subtext of dislike or distrust is prevalent in Steele and Laura's relationship.
* RunningJoke: A minor RealitySubtext-based one in the {{UnCancelled}} ScrewedByTheNetwork 5th season that generally works like this:
--> '''Travel Agent''': I'll see if there's been a cancellation.
--> '''Steele''': Don't say that word.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: In this case, both leads were pretty badly to irreparably screwed by NBC. NBC cancelled the show in its Fourth Season, which left Brosnan free to do ''Film/TheLivingDaylights''. Because of the fan publicity Brosnan was getting from being announced as the new Bond, NBC ''literally'' renewed the show for a fifth season at the very last second, for which Brosnan was contractually obligated to do, forcing him to drop out of ''The Living Daylights'', with TimothyDalton filling the role. The fifth season is deemed by fans to be the worst. As a result, the show was cancelled for good. As a side-effect, Stephanie Zimbalist had to turn down ''Film/RoboCop1987'', and her career never recovered, even though Brosnan did eventually get to be Bond. Oh, and making matters worse, the series pulled an adult version of CousinOliver by adding a third-wheel adventurer character in the final season as a rival for Laura's affections, thereby taking some of the spotlight away from Brosnan.
* StarMakingRole: The series introduced audiences to Pierce Brosnan, but it wasn't until ''Film/GoldenEye ''that his career really took off.
* UnCanceled: See ScrewedByTheNetwork above.