Due to example overflow, Hey, It's That Guy! now has its own folder. Please note that, while category notes simply explain the criteria, notes next to specific characters will contain unmarked spoilers — if you're not up to date with the series, open them at your own risk!
Lance Henriksen - lead actor in Millennium, to which Hannibal is a Spiritual Successor - guest stars in Trou Normand. He ends the scene double-tapping his chair, with a sound effect lifted from the Millennium opening theme.
Will's line "Don't psychoanalyze me. You won't like me when I'm psychoanalyzed," could be a reference to another Ed Norton (who played Will Graham in the 2002 movie Red Dragon) role as the Hulk.
Banned In Utah: KSL-TV pulled the series after 4 episodes, declaring it to be too violent for broadcast television.
Executive Meddling: There were a few instances where the crew had to get creative in order to make the murders palatable for Network television. Bryan Fuller told an amusing anecdote about the "angels" from Coquilles:
"NBC said, 'we cannot show that shot' - which was this great, kind of cinematic shot - and I said, 'Why? Because of the exposed spine and muscle tissue and ribs and flayed skin?' and they were, like, 'No, we see their butt cracks.' And I said, 'What if we filled the butt cracks with blood so you didn't see the crack?' and they said 'Okay!'"
NBC is very skittish about including homosexual material when the show got to Margot Verger, leading to the show being bafflingly oblique about her orientation. A line from the books that used the euphemism "muff-diving" wasn't allowed because it referenced lesbian oral sex, so the writers made do with "button-stitching".
In an odd example of meddling from a different network, the reason for Miriam Lass's rather truncated arc in Season 2 was because HBO only allowed them to use Anna Chlumsky for two episodes, and would only let her speak in one.
Fake American: Hugh Dancy, who plays Will, is actually British. In fact, only Jack and Beverly are genuine Americans. The rest are English or Canadian, with Danish Mads Mikkelsen playing ambiguously-European Hannibal Lecter.
Eddie Izzard is British and mostly manages to cover his accent, though it does slip a bit on occasion.
Missing Episode: The fourth episode was pulled from the schedule, and the character-important segments were later adapted into a webseries designed to fill in the gaps. But then iTunes subverted this by putting up the uncut episode.
One of Us: The numerous-yet-subtle Shout Outs and details are testiment that Fuller and co. know their horror and Thomas Harris.
Bonus points for the offical NBC Hannibal blog (SEASON 2 SPOILERS). The obsessive nature and type of humor makes it indistinguishable from any other fandom blog; for example, a gif of the Season 1 finale when Winston the dog watches sadly as Will is arrested includes the hashtags #*cues up Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel"* and #*weeps uncontrollably*.
Name's the Same: Abigail Hobbs was the name of a fourteen-year-old girl convicted of witchcraft as a result of the Salem Witch Trials.
Eddie Izzard, best known for his stand up comedy and cross-dressing, plays a terrifying Dr. Gideon.
Scott Thompson is best known for his sketch comedy, not his acting in horror movies.
Molly Shannon as a serial killer in episode 4.
Reality Subtext: According to the first season's DVD, many of the therapy scenes between Hannibal and Franklyn are taken nearly verbatim from Fuller's own experiences in therapy, including the line: "If you were not neurotic, Franklyn, you would be something much worse."
Real-Life Relative: Gina Torres and Laurence Fishburne are actually married, which makes what their characters are going through even more depressing to some.
Recycled Story Arc: Almost ten years after the cancellation of Wonderfalls, Bryan Fuller finally gets a chance to properly play out his storyline of a protagonist being sent to an insane asylum by their psychiatrist.
Throw It In: Raúl Esparza ad-libbed Chilton's "Hannibal, Hannibal, Hannibal!" remark about how Will never shuts up about him. Laurence Fishburne likes to shout his lines unprompted in some takes (as can be seen in the blooper reel for the first season). His bellowed delivery of the line "USE THE LADIES' ROOM!" in Aperitif was not scripted.
Trolling Creator: Bryan Fuller gets off on this, as made apparent following Yakimono in Season 2. Chilton is shot in the face despite being a key character in the book/film plots, yet numerous fans noticed that, while the bullet exits Chilton's neck, an entry wound can only be seen on his cheek, making it possible that the bullet missed his neck and brain. Fuller then proceeded to stir up the fandom with ambiguous Twitter posts like this (SPOILERS) and a teasing response during his AV Club episode review (SPOILERS). To top it off, the next episode Su-zakana has zero mention of it, meaning it is still unknown if it's true, or if Fuller is just trying to rub salt into the wound.
AV Club: Chilton, correct me if I'm wrong, is the first character from the literature that you've killed who's still alive in later books. Do you feel that shakes things up, or do you worry about not having that character to play later? Bryan Fuller: [Frank] Serpicosurvived a bullet to the face. AV Club: Okay. Bryan Fuller: [Laughs.]
What Could Have Been: David Tennant tried out for the part of Lecter. He didn't get it (obviously), but Bryan Fuller was so impressed by his audition that he expressed the desire to write him a part as a psychopathic serial killer later in the series.
Apparently, Fuller initially considered Lee Pace as Will Graham (The Pie Maker as a profiler?) and as Mason Verger, but there's the possibility Pace still might appear in future...
Bryan Fuller originally wrote Dr. Du Maurier as an older woman and hoped to cast Angela Lansbury. When scheduling conflicts made this impossible, NBC recommended Gillian Anderson. This modified the storyline slightly; instead of being retired due to age, she left her practice for other reasons.
What May Be: Fuller has stated multiple times (and has extended an offer) that he'd like the incomparable David Bowie to play Hannibal's artist uncle Robert, the only stable parental figure in Hannibal's life after his parents were slain by Nazis. Who can tell in what capacity Robert might appear in the show? In any case, it'd be terrific to see Bowie interacting with Mikkelsen...
Fuller has mentioned that, assuming everything lined up properly, Chi McBride would be his top choice for the role of BarneyMatthews. He has expressed interest in working with a number of actors with whom he has past experience, specifically naming Anna Friel and Kristin Chenoweth. Fuller wanted Friel to appear in Season 2 (likely as Margot Verger), but she had already signed onto an adaptation of The Odyssey at the time.
Caroline Dhavernas was offered her choice of Freddie Lounds or Alana Bloom.
Tobias Budge was originally intended to be Jame Gumb, a.k.a Buffalo Bill (much as Franklin was supposed to be Benjamin Raspail), but when they couldn't get the rights to the character, they decided to rework him into somebody completely original.
Fuller originally intended Beverly Katz to die at the end of Season One instead of Abigail Hobbs, but was so impressed by her actress that he changed the script and story to give her more time for Character Development.