* ActorAllusion: John Lithgow has so very, very many...
** He redid his entire anti-music speech from ''{{Footloose}}'' resulting in giant amounts of hilarity.
** His first time riding in a plane, Dick panics after seeing [[Series/TheTwilightZone "something on the wing."]] Mary informs him that that's the engine.
*** Double Allusion: When the Big Giant Head (WilliamShatner) visits Earth, upon disembarking from a plane, he tells Dick that he had to be sedated (with something wonderful called "alcohol") after also seeing "something on the wing." Dick exclaims, ''"Same thing happened to me!"'' The character Lithgow played in TheMovie was portrayed in the original [[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]] episode by Shatner.
** The last time John Lithgow was a university teacher, he rode out a [[{{Film/TheDayAfter}} nuclear apocalypse]].
** The tie-in book ''3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report'' (written as the report of the Solomons stay on Earth) features a foreword by John Lithgow with a post-it note attached "written" by Dick Solomon claiming he doesn't know why the foreword is there and referring to Lithgow as an Earth actor who appeared in "[[Film/{{Cliffhanger}} some helicopter movie]]".
** Roseanne Barr plays the Big Giant Head's niece, Janet, who was supposed to be Dick's wife. At first, she's totally devoted to being a good wife, and enjoys cooking and cleaning. Then Dick finds out that she was under the belief that she "had" to love him since she was his wife and those were "the rules". Dick informs her that there are no rules to marriage and she's free to be with whoever she wants. Janet then drops everything and reveals that she really hates cooking, cleaning, being with Dick, and his family, and then decides to explore the world. Up until Janet's declaration of her hatred of being a housewife, Roseanne's role was an inversion to her former glory as Roseanne Connor from ''{{Roseanne}}''. Upon admitting how she really felt it turned into a shout out to her former role.
** Dick re-enacts Shirly Maclaine's "give my daughter the shot" scene from TermsOfEndearment, a movie Lithgow was in.
** After years as [[Film/{{Coneheads}} Prymaat Conehead,]] Ms. Curtin finally gets to play the ''human.''
*** In season 2, Dick and Mary attend a convention, where the first cosplayers they see are Coneheads.
** In one episode Sally complains that Mary forced the family to watch an A&E Biography of Susan Saint James, Curtin's ''Kate and Allie'' co-star.
* EditedForSyndication: The syndicated versions removed the pre-opening credits sequence of James Earl Jones narrating about the four main characters; they were cut for time. These were unfortunately the versions included on the initial Anchor Bay releases, but luckily these intros were restored for the Creator/MillCreekEntertainment re-releases.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The reason for the generally despised Super Bowl episode centered on [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe beautiful aliens (played by models)]] trying to TakeOverTheWorld. [[CreatorBacklash Even the people who worked on the show badmouth it in the DVD commentary]].
* HeyItsThatGuy: A number of these happen in retrospect.
** A young [[{{WizardsofWaverlyPlace}} Jerry Russo]] studied physics at Pendelton before managing the Waverly Sub Station.
** It's a wee young [[Film/{{Brick}} Brendan Frye]]. Or possibly [[Film/{{Inception}} Arthur]].
*** [[Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra Cobra!]]
** Creator/JohnLithgow's later roles include [[WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}Lord Farquaad]] and [[Series/{{Dexter}} Arthur Mitchell]]. The latter was especially jarring to any younger viewers who didn't know that he's an AMAZING dramatic actor.
** [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} Newman]], [[Film/{{Jurassic Park}} Nedry]] and [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory2 Al]] all appear in here as well
*** Don't forget [[BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand Zurg]] too.
** Harry was kidnapped by [[WesternAnimation/{{TheSimpsons}} Troy McClure/Lionel Hutz]]
** One episode has [[Series/{{MASH}} Col. Potter]] guest starring.
** In one episode, Dick and Mary go out with [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Commander Riker]] and his wife [[Series/GeneralHospital Laura Spencer]]. (Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis are [[RealLifeRelative married in real life]].)
** The boy with the frisbee from "[=Y2dicK=]" is {{Lizzie McGuire}}'s little brother.
** [[Series/TheBigBangTheory Leonard's Mother]] is a fellow professor with the hots for Dick.
** And, of course, some may know Mary better as [[SaturdayNightLive "Jane, you ignorant slut"]].
** In the season 4 finale, [[Series/BreakingBad Aaron Paul]] shows up as a random high school student at Tommy's prom.
** In 5x03, [[Series/BreakingBad Saul Goodman]] shows up as a sleazy insurance salesman.
** In a season 4 episode, [[Series/BreakingBad Walter White]] is an entertainer on a riverboat.
** [[Series/{{Frasier}} Marty Crane]] plays a Jerkass professor in Season One.
** [[Series/WillAndGrace Karen]] plays Mary's rich older sister in Season 6.
** ''[[Creator/JaneLynch Jane freakin' Lynch]]'' makes a brief cameo as one of Tommy's teachers in "Dick, Smoker" from season 1.
* HeyItsThatVoice: [[MegasXLR Coop]] is failing Professor Solomon's Physics class (and is anyone really surprised?)!
** No worries- he goes on to [[WizardsOfWaverlyPlace marry]] [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Hawkgirl]].
* PlayingAgainstType: Wayne Knight was known from ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' as Newman: melodramatic, sour and insulting, if [[JerkassHasAPoint sometimes right]]. So it was a surprise to see him as Sally's shy and goodhearted cop boyfriend Don.
* RealLifeRelative:
** "Auto Eurodicka" sees members of Bug's family played by David [=DeLuise=]'s father Dom and brothers Michael and Peter.
** Leon is played by John Lithgow's son, Ian.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: Do you know how many times NBC changed the series' timeslot? Fifteen times... at least. Coupled with often being scheduled against stiff competition, making it to six seasons was quite an accomplishment. NBC particularly hurt the show with its scheduling choices in Season 6 - with ratings taking such a hit that production knew they wouldn't be back for a seventh.
* This show and ''Series/ThirtyRock'' share more than similar titles:
** Tracy Morgan appeared in a ''3rd Rock'' episode ("Dick'll Take Manhattan") and John Lithgow appeared in a ''30 Rock'' episode ("Goodbye, My Friend"). Both were playing themselves.
** Their connections to ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' are inverted. ''3rd Rock'' was created by two ''SNL'' alums and has one ''SNL'' alum in the main cast. ''30 Rock'' was created by one ''SNL'' alum and has two ''SNL'' alums in the main cast.
** Elaine Stritch plays the overbearing mother of a main character on both shows. Jan Hooks has a RecurringCharacter on both shows as well.
** In the film ''Film/TheFlintstonesInVivaRockVegas'', Wilma is played by a ''3rd Rock'' regular (Kristen Johnston) and Betty is played by a (future) ''30 Rock'' regular (Jane Krakowski).
** When ''30 Rock'' first premiered, it aired alongside John Lithgow's short-lived sitcom ''Twenty Good Years''.
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