- Actor Allusion: In part 3 of Arise Serpentor, Arise, Cobra Commander remarks, "I would have made an excellent stand-up comedian." His voice actor, Christopher Latta (aka Collins) had a standup comedy career.
Chris Collins: "William Shatner is an actor, and everybody else here is a comedian. But I'm not like them. ...what I am, is a psychotic that's learned to market his problem"—On Caroline's Comedy Hour on A&E in the late 80s.
- Name's the Same: Vypra with a pair of twins who were introduced some six years later.
- Old Shame: Buzz Dixon came up with the name "Cobra-La" simply to be a placeholder in his rough draft, and was annoyed when the executives liked it and insisted he keep it.
"Unfortunately, Hasbro fell in love with that concept and name and despite all my efforts stuck with Cobra-La. I apologize to Joe and Hilton fans everywhere; I really, really, REALLY was going to come up with a much better name than that."
- On a more somber note, Dixon (himself a military veteran) has expressed dismay at the thought that the War Is Glorious nature of the show could have subconsciously fed into U.S. propaganda for The War on Terror, justifying situations such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay and any number of military casualties in an effort purported "to defend human freedom against… a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.”
- Permanent Placeholder: The name of the enemy "Cobra-La" was originally intended as a placeholder, but Hasbro liked the name, despite the fact the guy who created it disliked it and tried to stop Hasbro from using it in official media.
- Referenced by...: In the Shadowhunters episode "The Descent Into Hell Isn’t Easy", Clary calls Jace an emotionless G.I. Joe.
- What Could Have Been:
- In an episode where COBRA hosted a black-market telethon, they were originally going to sing a parody of "We Are The World" entitled "We Want The World!", but for whatever reason this never came to be.
- Before Hasbro switched production company to DiC, Sunbow Entertainment planned a third season of the animated series set after the events of the movie. The premise of the season would have many of the Cobra leaders splitting into different factions, with Tomax and Xamot leading a criminal organization called The Coil while keeping the snake-transformed Cobra Commander as their pet (who would have later regained his human form and reclaimed his leadership of Cobra).
- A sequel to the episode "The Gamesmaster" was cut, resulting in the Gamesmaster becoming a one-shot villain despite swearing revenge during his escape.
- The basic story premise of the 1980s G.I. Joe was originally an idea for a Marvel Comics sequel series for Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Larry Hama called Fury Force where Fury would assemble an elite commando unit for S.H.I.E.L.D.. Marvel wasn't interested in that version, but when Hasbro approached the company about the revived G.I. Joe, they decided that a modified version Hama's proposal would work for them.
- Plans were well underway for Rocky Balboa to become a trainer for the team, following in the footsteps of Sgt. Slaughter and the toy-only Refrigerator Perry, with an action figure well under development, a profile listed in the second issue of Marvel's G.I. Joe Order of Battle, and even an Evil Counterpart named "Big Boa". However, Hasbro wasn't able to secure the rights to use Sylvester Stallone's likeness before Coleco stepped in and launched a toyline for Rambo: The Force of Freedom, so the Rocky plan was scrapped, and Marvel ran retractions in the remaining Order of Battle issues. Big Boa remained, though.
- The GI Joe design team wanted to follow Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles with a superhero-themed line called X-Soldiers. According to Toy Wars, tepid reactions from focus test groups and delays caused X-Soldiers to be scrapped, and G.I. Joe Extreme was designed instead.