- Actor Allusion
- Ed Harris running the Black Ops his character from The Rock was famous for — even corresponding to the same places.
- The way Reznov yells EVERYONE! at the end of "Project Nova" calls back to Gary Oldman's Villainous Breakdown in The Professional.
- Ice Cube "plays" a Navy SEAL.
- Defictionalization: A paintball group in Illinois has made an exact replica of Nuketown for tournaments, featuring both houses and all the vehicles between them.
- Fake American: Mason is voiced by Australian Sam Worthington. It's... quite apparent, especially when he's shouting.
Mason: YEW FOCKIN SONNUVA BAYTCH!
Mason: HE KILLED HIM ROIT IN FRONNA ME!
- Font Anachronism: The typeface on the intel collectible does not appear to be written on a typewriter or a basic word processor; the font is much more advanced than its time. This is but one tick mark in a long, long list of glaring anachronisms in the game.
- Throw It In: The "Warlord" perk, which allows the player to use more than one attachment on their gun, got its name simply because the equivalent MW2 perk's name didn't fit with the Cold War-era gameplay, and Treyarch couldn't think of anything better to call it.