* ActorAllusion:
** Hoynes' line about his alcoholism - "I liked beer a little bit too much in college." - may reference actor Tim Matheson's previous role as a drunken lout in the classic movie ''AnimalHouse.''
** Abigail Bartlet makes a ''SesameStreet'' appearance to mollify the public about her having resumed medical work after voluntarily surrendering her license in the wake of a political scandal over her misusing it. Talking with the president's secretary about the Muppets' impending arrival, Abbey makes various knowledgeable remarks about the distinctions between the casts of ''SesameStreet'' and ''TheMuppetShow'', likely a reference to actress Stockard Channing's having appeared in several of the "Mad Painter" sketches on ''SesameStreet'' in the 1970s.
* ActorAllusion: To Malina's character Jeremy from Sorkin's SportsNight:
--> '''Toby:''' There were maybe four people in the room when I had that conversation.
--> '''Will:''' Well, if I'd have been one of them, I would have repeated it to everyone I met.
** Which is exactly what he did on an episode of SportsNight a few years prior:
--> '''Isaac:''' Things that I say in my office ''stay'' in my office.
--> '''Dana:''' Natalie's my second-in-command, she's the only one I told.
--> '''Natalie:''' Jeremy's my boyfriend, he's the only one I told.
--> '''Jeremy:''' I told many, many people.
* ButIPlayOneOnTV: After the first season, people around Hollywood started treating Martin Sheen like he was the President for real.
* TheCharacterDiedWithHim: John Spencer's death from a heart attack was written into the show. Several episodes where he was still alive aired after Martin Sheen's tribute to him before one episode, and the in-universe death occurs on "Election Night".
* TheDanza:
** Connie Britton as Connie Tate during the re-election cycle.
** Oliver Platt as Oliver Babish.
* DisabledCharacterDisabledActor: Marlee Matlin (Joey Lucas) is deaf in real life.
* FanNickname: "Mandyville" is the fandom's name for ChuckCunninghamSyndrome.
* FlipFlopOfGod: Regarding the series finale. Lawrence O'Donnell said that [[spoiler:the original plan was to have Vinick win, but after John Spencer's death they changed it to Santos to make it easier on the audience]]. John Wells, however, says this wasn't the case.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[Film/ApocalypseNow Captain]] [[Film/TheDeadZone Greg Stillson]] [[Film/ApocalypseNow Willard]] is the President, [[Film/{{Grease}} Rizzo]] is the first lady, [[Film/TheRock FBI Director James Womack]] became the Chief of Staff, [[Film/BillyMadison Eric Gordon]] is his deputy, [[Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark Eddie Carr]] is the communications director, [[StElmosFire Billy Hixx]] is ''his'' deputy, [[Series/MarriedWithChildren Al Bundy]] is a governor and [[Film/RobinHoodMenInTights The Sheriff of Rottingham]], [[Series/{{Cheers}} Robin Colcord]], is an ambassador. WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong
** [[Disney/TheLionKing Nala the Lion]] is a media consultant (OK, it's actually a HeyItsThatVoice), [[Series/{{Thirtysomething}} Elliot Weston]] is a reporter, and [[Film/RichieRich Lawrence Van Dough]] is White House Counsel.
** [[Film/PoliceAcademy Tackleberry]] is a Colonel.
** [[Series/{{Mash}} Hawkeye Pierce]] (with the help of [[Series/HomeImprovement Jill Taylor]]) and [[StarWars Bail Organa]] (with wife [[MeetTheParents Pam Byrnes]]) running for president.
** And [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Mayor Wilkins]] as the Secretary of Agriculture. I can just see the Giant Snake Demon plowing through the walls of the White House...
** [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q himself]] likes to give conservative, pandering advice to the President as a pollster.
*** Which actually wouldn't be completely out of character if Q was really bored.
** [[Film/HarryPotter Lucius Malfoy]] is a reporter in Palestine who takes an interest in the Deputy Chief of Staff's secretary.
** [[Film/BackToTheFuture Doc Brown]] is a famous constitutional scholar.
** [[Series/SportsNight Jeremy Goodwin]] gets brought in as the new Deputy Communications Director, with stepsister [[TheWonderYears Winnie Cooper]] for initial support.
** [[Series/{{JAG}} Clayton Webb]] is going undercover as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
** Somehow, it's not surprising that John Hoynes is [[Film/AnimalHouse an inveterate womanizer]].
** The new VP is [[AmericanGothic Lucas Buck]]? No wonder he gives me the creeps.
*** And no wonder no one really likes him, as he is also [[OfficeSpace Lumbergh]].
** [[TheMagicSchoolBus Ms. Frizzle]] is the President's secretary!
** [[Series/{{TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr}} Socrates Poole]] is putting together a World War II exhibit at the Smithsonian.
** [[Series/GoodTimes James Evans, Sr.]] is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (later in the series the Chairman was [[Series/{{Lost}} John Locke.]]
** [[Series/TheSopranos Richie Aprile]] appears in one episode as Tony's rabbi. Italian mobsters can become rabbis, apparently. Who knew?
** Before becoming a crime scene investigator, [[Series/CSICrimeSceneInvestigation Sara Sidle]] was a agent for the Secret Service attached to protect the President's daughter.
* LifeImitatesArt:
** The last season saw the election of Matthew Santos as POTUS, Santos's character was based on Barack Obama after the show's creators met him while still an Illinois state senator. The real life "Josh" (Rahm Emmanuel) also took over as Chief of Staff.
** Santos' Republican opponent Arnold Vinick was loosely based on John [=McCain=] - Southwestern Senator with bipartisan appeal. The mind-blowing thing is that Santos and Vinick run in 2006... ''two years'' before the RealLife election of 2008, and when there was no guarantee that either Obama or [=McCain=] would win their respective nominations (The front-runners in 2008 were UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton and Mitt Romney).
** In "Welcome to Wherever You Are", there's a brief scene where we overhear a Vinick ad using the slogan "Yes, America Can", which the Santos campaign complains was actually their slogan. Obama's slogan, of course, ended up being "Yes We Can".
* RealitySubtext: Ron Silver switched parties from Democrat to Republican between his character's appearances on the show.
* RetroactiveRecognition: {{Juno}} and [[TheHelp Skeeter Phelan's]] mom was the White House press secretary (after work as [[Film/TenThingsIHateAboutYou Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's]] [[OneSceneWonder high school guidance counselor]]), and [[Series/{{Psych}} Gus]] used to be the President's personal aide.
** [[CSIMiami Calleigh Dusquesne]] was a BlondeRepublicanSexKitten before joining up with Horatio and co.
** [[Series/{{House}} Dr. Lisa Cuddy]] is a call girl! (Though, I'm pretty sure House already made that joke).
*** Her friend Jeanine from law school is [[Series/TwentyFour Michelle Dessler]].
** Congressman David Wallace argued against gays in the military before [[Series/TheOfficeUS becoming CFO of Dunder-Mifflin]].
** [[Series/ParksAndRecreation Ron Swanson]] as a wildlife campaigner. Who'd have thought...
** [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Admiral Adama]] as a judge!
*** And [[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Admiral Forrest]] arrested him due to racial profiling. ''Awkward...''
** Sometime between retiring as Chief of Police of New York City and raising a four generation cop family, [[Series/BlueBloods Henry Reagan]] ran a drug company trying to work out a deal with AIDS-stricken African nations.
** [[Series/{{NCIS}} Leroy Jethro Gibbs]] as secret service protection for the Press Secretary.
** Before he worked for SHIELD, [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse Agent Coulson]] was Special Agent Michael Casper of the FBI.
** MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell was Bartlet's dad, who (in the words of Mrs Landingham) was "a prick who could never get over the fact that he wasn't as smart as his brothers).
** [[Series/TheWire Cedric Daniels]] plays a DC cop in "In Excelcis Deo."
** [[Series/{{Community}} Danny Pudi]] has a single line in season 7, his earliest known acting credit.
** Who can forget [[Series/MadMen Peggy Olson]] being the President's youngest daughter?
* StuntCasting:
** Alda and Smits in season six-seven. James Brolin in season three-four.
** Not to mention Martin "President Bartlet" Sheen.
** Another example would be Matthew Perry's casting as a White House counsel (although he predictably fit in rather well). Christian Slater, on the other hand....
* TechnologyMarchesOn: The show started off with beepers and accordion envelopes. By the fourth season everyone has a cell phone and... well the accordion envelopes were still there, just with computers on top of that, too.
* ThrowItIn: CJ's performance of The Jackal. Allison Janney used to use it to entertain her castmates.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** KristinChenoweth (Annabeth Schott) was originally approached to play Ainsley Hayes but could not commit to a television series due to ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''.
** Sidney Poitier was considered for the role of The President. Alan Alda and Jason Robards were also possibilities.
** Sorkin intended Zoe's kidnappers to be domestic terrorists, which was why Nancy [=McNally=] said that it was probably a cheap-shot operation in the episode when it happened, and there were [[{{Foreshadowing}} many incidents with domestic terrorists throughout the season]]. The new showrunners went with generic Muslim terrorists who were mad about Sharif.