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Trivia: Burn Notice
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Jeffrey Donovan comes from an impoverished family and has twenty years of martial arts experience (including a black belt in karate).
    • Also, in "Fast Friends," Sam mentions that he once got to the "Michigan State Quarterfinals" with his arm (shot put? football?); Bruce Campbell is originally from Michigan (the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, to be exact).
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Sam and Fiona approach a group of con artists while under the guise of federal agents who had been monitoring them. Sam introduces himself and Fi as detectives Cagney & Lacey, alluding to costar Sharon Gless.
    • Additionally, in the second season Fiona starts dating a man named Campbell. In one episode, a conversation between Fiona and Sam takes place, with Fiona commenting on how good-looking a particular man is, to which Sam (played by Bruce Campbell) replies, "Well, he's no Campbell."
    • Michael also makes contact with a Libyan operative named Anwar in one episode.
    • Inverted in a "Signals and Codes" where the client of the week was played by an actor named Michael Weston.
    • In one episode, Sam and Barry are discussing people who only use one name, and Sam says "Spider-Man" as an example. Bruce Campbell has a cameo in all three of the Spider-Man movies.
    • And in the winter premiere of season 3, Tyne Daly guest stars.
    • Word of God mentions that as a general rule, they write characters with a specific actor in mind. This is in part due to the need to quickly establish characters and chemistry (see the above Tyne Daly instance) as it is just having fun.
    • There was also "False Flag", where Fi said Sam's bulletproof vest smells like Old Spice and bourbon. Bruce Campbell is a spokesperson for Old Spice.
  • In one episode, Sam is doing surveillance on Carla, who takes time to swim. Commenting on her ability, Sam says: "The woman is a machine." Carla's actress, Tricia Helfer, played a robot on Battlestar Galactica.
    • In 5x6, Sam compliments Mike on his chin. Mike instantly turns to face Sam, seemingly very surprised, and notes that it means a lot coming from Sam. Bruce Campbell (Sam) really is known for his chin among other things — he even titled the book he authored after his chin.
    • A recent episode showed Gabrielle Anwar once again getting to tango.
    • John C. McGinley plays Michael's former CIA mentor Tom Card. References to McGinley's role as Dr. Cox on Scrubs abound: among other things, Card displays expasperation and impatience with his young protege, he does a ton of Deadpan Snarking, and he even does Dr. Cox's frustrated whistle in one scene.
    • Barry the money launderer refers to Sam's shotgun as his "boomstick."
  • Hey, It's That Guy!
    • Jeffrey Donovan himself can be seen in a dozen small roles before he hit paydirt with this show, notably as the slimy businessman Will Smith beats up in Hitch.
    • Michael's first post-burn notice client has the distinction of being Angel Batista (or General Garza), and Leland Palmer (or the Devil himself) functions as the first Villain of the Week.
      • For that matter, the second villain of the week is also Lucifer.
      • And season 2 adds Crowley to the list of problems for Michael.
    • Kids, in the summer of 2007 Uncle Ranjit took on a second job as a Libyan spy.
    • Tom Baldwin gets scammed out of a painting by Michael in "Seek and Destroy."
    • It seems Toby Ziegler snuck out of The West Wing for half an episode.
    • They seem to be running through Jeffrey Donovan's old The Pretender co-stars. Patrick Bauchau (Sydney) plays Lucien the bombmaker in "Eye for an Eye", and Michael T. Weiss (Jarod) plays the lead bank robber in "Army of One".
    • Number Six is Carla, who is also Sarah Kerrigan and EDI.
    • Victor is Daniel Jackson! He ditched the glasses and linguistics for badass shades.
    • Cordelia Chase is the wife of a bio-weapons specialist in "Better Halves". Or Kendall Casablancas, depending on your viewing preferences.
    • Alex Krycek is still playing on the wrong side of the law when Michael has to take down his squeaky clean politician brother, in what appears to be an inversion of Michael and Nate's relationship.
    • James, the CEO of HLX, is Peter Fleming.
    • Sergeant James Doakes makes a brief appearance as one of Michael's temporary meeting facilitators in Season 3. Mike even injects him with a syringe Dexter-style to make him think he's been poisoned.
    • Dead Larry is, depending on your age, Vice President Hoynes or Otter. Nerdy LAPD Detective Dutch teamed up with him in the penultimate episode of Season 4.
    • Harry Dresden comes calling as a terrorist leader bent on capturing Fiona and dragging her back to Ireland. Needless to say, Michael makes sure it doesn't end well for him.
    • Simon is Cromartie and John Henry! The scene with him slow-motion walking towards an injured Michael in a police uniform with a pistol gripped at his side is a clear Shout-Out. The show seems to have a habit of hiring former Terminators on.
    • Dean from the Season 6 finale is the Triple-Eight Terminator.
    • Jesse's good-hearted government contact Marv is Paul Lassiter!
    • Vaughn is Uriel and Bunny Colvin. And speaking of Colvin, a bunch of others from The Wire also show up. Rawls became a Congressman from Florida, Ziggy apparently escaped from jail only to become a Mad Bomber, Dennis "Cutty" Wise and Kima are now in the CIA, and McNulty's ex Elena from from being a real estate agent to a Classy Cat-Burglar who pretends to be a real estate agent in her first appearance.
    • Kendra the assassin is Amita.
    • Sherry, aka "Babycakes", in "Damned if You Do" is Libby.
    • Anwar, the Libyan operative from Season 1, is Ranjit.
    • John Barrett, the Big Bad for the first half of Season 4, is played by Robert Patrick, a.k.a. T-1000/Tom Ryan.
    • The Big Show appears as a goofy Gentle Giant ex-con in Season 5 episode "No Good Deed".
    • Scorpion gets framed for the theft of a prototype military chip.
    • Ian, The Atoner client from Season 5, is Val Resnick.
    • In Season 5 finale, Michael's CIA team includes T-X and Superman. And they try to capture agent Monroe.
    • Why haven't we seen Prof. Slater in 2 years? Because she's a CIA agent.
    • After Michael gave Harlan to the Colombians, he managed to escape and is now in deep cover in Cougar Town, with a severe drinking problem.
    • Dr. Cox was Michael's CIA training officer.
    • Ethan Rom gets literally hoist by his own petard in season 6.
    • Once there was a poolside Designated Girl Fight between Fiona and Lana Lang. No, not that Lana Lang.
    • Sam's friend's smuggler friend is Spence Olchin
    • Frank Woods is an amoral mercenary in "Breaking and Entering."
    • Nathan Petrelli has turned to terrorism while Noah Bennet is still as shady as ever, this time for the CIA.
    • Merle shows up as a kidnapper in Season Four. Corporal Person is the bomber who kills him in the next episode.
    • Meg (or Jo) plays Sonya.
    • Lem killed Nate in Season 6.
    • Takeda/Noburo Mori once ran from Not Zilla.
    • Eli is the second biggest heroin smuggler in Miami.
    • Martin Crane is Management.
    • The NSA agent in the series finale is Cameron!
    • Holy shit! Colonel Veracruz is Oberyn Martell!
  • Trope Namer
    • And Some Other Stuff: In "Lesser Evil." Michael's explosive recipes contain just enough to tantalize MythBusters and brush over the rest to avoid liabilities. Usually. Sometimes it's just to handwave that an explosion is a bit larger than should be expected.
  • What Could Have Been: Word of God mentions that originally, Burn Notice would have been a lot darker and taken place in Newark, New Jersey.

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