- Actor Allusion:
- There's quite a few jabs at William Shatner's iconic Captain Kirk role, such as when Denny is given a cellphone by one of his many girlfriends and it makes the Star Trek 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 One Day at a Time, the show that made her a star.
- Actor-Shared Background: 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.
- Fake American: Canadian William Shatner as staunch, gun-loving Denny Crane.
- I Am Not Spock: For a lot of people, this show was responsible for William Shatner not just being Captain Kirk. In fact inverted, now people make Denny Crane jokes about old Star Trek episodes.
- You Look Familiar: John Larroquette, who plays Carl Sack, earlier played Magnificent Bastard Joey Heric on The Practice, from which this show spun off.