Trivia: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Jeremy Irons playing a a sex-addict who slept with his daughter it was actually her similar-looking best friend (he was drunk, she consented).
    • Alex Kingston of Doctor Who fame playing a defense attorney in Season 10 named Miranda Pond. May also double as Hilarious in Hindsight depending on when she was cast.
    • When Tutuola joined the show, his previous background was in Narcotics, which was the job of Ice-T's character in New Jack City.
    • And when Lee Tergesen guest-starred as a suspect in the episode "Savior," he and Elliot got very touchy-feely in the interrogation room as they prayed together, undoubtedly a reference to their intimate times in prison together.
    • Harold Perrineau recently played a wheelchair-using ex-con who is now going back to prison for several rapes committed before he became a paraplegic, much as he did on Oz (though sadly this was after Chris Meloni's departure)
    • Reg E. Cathey's character Barry Querns also bears the same surname as the character he played on Oz.
    • The Cold Opening for "Loophole" had Bill Goldberg as a perp hopped up on PCP. Elliot clocks him in the back of the head with a fire extinguisher and gets trashed for his efforts. What finally stops the rage? Fin with a chair to the head.
    • "Ballerina": A roommate seeing his friend in the kitchen with a knife and an ear print being discovered at the first crime scene.
    • Amaro at one point visits a Cold Case unit. Also, "Secrets Exhumed" begins the same way most Cold Case episodes did, with one character (in this case, Munch) saying that they'd gotten a break in an old case. Munch hands the case file to Amaro.
    • In another episode, Cassidy mockingly refers to Amaro as Ricky Ricardo. Danny Pino portrayed Desi Arnaz in the 2003 TV movie Lucy.
    • Anyone old enough to remember Donal Logue's Jimmy the Cab Driver sketches on MTV should smile at Lt. Murphy's perp disguise in "Spring Awakening."
    • Pablo Schreiber who plays William Lewis, the raging psychopath (and briefly prisoner) on this series was also moonlighting as a slightly less psychopathic prison guard on the Netflix series [1].
      • It's also ironic that while Schreiber was playing a criminal on this series and a C.O. on another series, he actually portrayed a completely sane, crime-fighting detective on the short-lived cop drama [[Ironside]], (which coincidentally aired right after SVU during the Wednesday night line-up).
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Richard Belzer has openly stated that John Munch is basically "me as a cop."
    • Fin was in the Army, just as Ice-T was.
    • Both Amaro and Barba are Cuban-Americans who speak fluent Spanish, reflecting that Danny Pino and Raśl Esparza are as well.
    • Kelli Giddish is from Georgia, as is Rollins.
  • The Cast Showoff: SVU has had exactly three episodes featuring French (or Franco-African) characters, two of which just so happened to be when Detective Beck was on the show. Interestingly, it appears that the writers actually showed restraint on this one, seeing as Connie Nielson speaks eight languages.
    • Averted when an episode shows most of the characters watching an Expy of American Idol. The only one not shown singing along is Barba, who is played by Broadway legend Raśl Esparza.
    • Murphy's repeated undercover assignments show off Donal Logue's ability to do an Irish accent.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: The most infamous example being Imitation Games, in which that all Video Gamers are all white budding terrorists and who will rape any women who dare to break the status quo, when in fact, there are rarely any of those types.
  • The Danza: In the episode "Friending Emily," Taylor Spreitler guest stars as the victim's sister, Taylor Culphers.
  • Fake American: Adam Beach, who played Chester Lake, is from Manitoba.
  • Fandom Nod: in 11x13, "P.C.", Kathy Griffin's lesbian character coming onto Liv. The reasons she gives for her mistake are pretty much the same ones fans have been using for their Slash Fic since, oh, the start of the show.
  • Fan Nickname: After one too many uses of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, Elliot became widely known as "UnStabler."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Stephen Collins (of 7th Heaven fame) guest-starred as a suspect in the ninth season episode "Trade." In 2014, Collins confessed to having sexually abused underaged girls earlier in his career.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!/Retroactive Recognition: Lampshaded when a Character of the Day tells Fin he looks like a pimp. Ice-T was a pimp before getting into rap and later played a pimp in the Mothership's TV movie.
    Elliot: You really expect us to believe [your complicated and made-up alibi]?
    Allan Shaye: Yes. Because...that's what happened.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • During the first half of the 2011 season, the episode "Missing Pieces" in which a mother claims that her car was stolen with her young son still buckled into his car seat bore more than a passing resemblance to the still-unfolding Sky Metalwala case.
    • "Personal Fouls" which revolves around a well-respected coach who uses a children's charity to molest young boys originally aired a few weeks before the Penn State molestation story broke. However, according to The Other Wiki, this one was actually based on a different sports abuse case.
    • In the episode Imprisoned lives, based on Ariel Castro but written before he was convicted, a scene with not-Castro allocuting about why he took the girls had to be cut when it ended up matching Castro's almost word for word.
    • Tragically, this real life case is disturbingly similar to both the season 4 episode "Resilience," in which a father artificially inseminates his teenage daughter, and, to lesser extent, the season 5 episode "Home," where a mother is an extreme control freak over her home-schooled children.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Pablo Schreiber's amazing performance as the vile William Lewis caused many fans of the show to fuse his character with his real life persona; to the point where he was receiving hateful and threatening messages. Schreiber himself has admitted that in the future he plans on playing the 'good guy' more often so people can see what a truly sweet person he is. To contrast, there are a handful of photos on the internet of he and his on-screen arch enemy (Mariska Hargitay) being quite chummy with one another when they weren't filming[2].
  • Technology Marches On: Inevitable given that SVU premiered in 1999. The show's adjustment to the existence of social media occasionally veers into the hilarious.
  • Trolling Creator: Warren Leight having Olivia describe her relationship with Elliot as one where she was completely unable to grow. Even the positive interpretation of that, that she held herself back because she was nursing unrequited love for him, mightily pissed fans off.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • It was originally going to be revealed that Olivia's mother lied about being raped. Scrapped to avoid Unfortunate Implications.
    • Originally, upon Homicide's cancellation and after hearing that Benjamin Bratt was leaving the original series, Belzer suggested to Dick Wolf that Munch become Lennie Briscoe's new partner, since they had originally teamed in three Homicide crossovers. Wolf loved the idea, but had already cast Jesse L. Martin as Det. Ed Green.
  • The Wiki Rule: Law and Order Wiki.