Actor Allusion: While introducing Season 9's final Roadblock, which involved finding and putting the flags of every country they visited in order, Phil was shown standing in front of the New Zealand flag in one shot (were he was born), and in between the flags for Canada and Antigua and Barbuda in another (two countries in which he lived).
In the Season 24 premiere, Brendon is shown singing along with the UCLA fight song during the opening task, as he is a grad student at UCLA.
Ascended Fanon: The mat at the beginning of the leg, where teams receive their first clues, has been referred to as the "Pit Start" for years by fans, but it wasn't official until the Phil used the term during Season 19. (Though racers had used it before that, such as T.K. in Season 12).
Deleted Scene: Several deleted scenes are put up on CBS.com following each episode. One of the more notable ones came from the All-Stars premiere, where the teams on the second flight out of Miami randomly ran into Season 4 winner Chip.
Executive Meddling: Most equalizers at least appear to occur naturally within the course (such as with flight schedules), but sometimes the course is noticeably engineered to keep teams from getting separated too much, like when Bill & Joe fell a day behind at the end of Season 1. This is usually done with a charter bus or plane, or by manipulating operating hours of businesses. The producers may not be able to outright slant (or borderline fix) the show as much as other CBSreality shows, but most of the sync points are to keep the teams from getting too far ahead or too far behind and let them get a fighting chance. And as shown by a couple instances wherein a team got stuck and was a day behind or managed to get very lucky and waltzed right to the finish line way before the others, they do not always do this.
The most blatantly engineered example (that can be proven) of such course manipulation took place in Season 11, where Dustin & Kandice sat around for half a day, waiting for a charter bus, because two teams were still running leg 7 when they started leg 8, after which they hit an Intersection, which knocked them back into a virtual tie with the teams they had beaten by over twelve hours in the previous leg.
Eric & Danielle, who were on opposing teams in Season 9, was a team forced into All-Stars by executives wanting a hybrid team in the season, even overriding Phil's personal list of teams he wanted to see back. Initially, they wanted Flo & Drew from Season 3, but Flo didn't want to run the race without Zach. Similarly, Eric wanted to re-run the race with Jeremy, but the executives said he had to do it with Danielle to get a spot.
In leg 9 of Season 20, it's pretty obvious that the producers intervened to get Bopper & Mark past a Roadblock so they wouldn't quit on what was supposed to be a non-elimination leg, though at least they waited until all the other teams had finished the leg to do so. See how Bopper goes from pleading with Mark not to kill himself to encouraging him to take just one more try.
Fan Nickname: Even ignoring season-specific nicknames for teams and individual racers, we have "The Philbrow" (Phil's Fascinating Eyebrow), "Philimination" (being Eliminated From The Race by Phil), "Exposition Hands" (An Insert), "Killer Fatigue" (the point when stress starts to take its toll on the racers), "Mercy Kill" (automatically eliminating a team that is trailing to the point that it's simply not possible for them to catch up, barring all the other teams dropping dead before they get to the Pit Stop, instead of making them finish the leg), "NELs" (short for Non-Elimination Legs), and the "Super Leg" (for those double length legs which last two episodes).
Real Life: Mean Character, Nice Actor: Due to editing showing mostly bad moments of some teams, several racers are nicer in real life than they appear to be in the show, one of the best examples being Ray (Season 7) and Brenchel (20, 24) Also notable is Joe & Bill (1), the Ur Example of this, who were toned down on All-Stars because they initially didn't like their portrayal.
Adding to the fact that the competitiveness of some racers can make them come across unlikable to the viewers and the contestants. The biggest example comes from Art & JJ (20), which their competitiveness got too personal with the contestants, and was able to be friendly with them after months to cool off.
Real-Life Relative: Phil's father was the Pit Stop greeter when the show visited New Zealand in Season 13. Said Pit Stop was actually at the ranch his father owns.
Season 1, Brennan and Emily broke up with the people they were dating at the time to start dating each other after the Race.
Christina (Season 12) is now married to opposing contestant Azaria, and they were engaged during Unfinished Business. Despite the unpopular pairing of Eric & Danielle on All-Stars, many would have preferred to see Christina return with Azaria rather than her father, as their relationship was at least assumed to be a bit more stable than Eric & Danielle's (and partially because Azaria was a strong racer in his original run).
In Season 23, despite having just broken up with Marie, Tim actually had a crush on Ally, and they shared an entire row of plane seats en route to Abu Dhabi, according to this deleted scene.
Season 2 Asia, Rovilson (Of Marc & Rovilson) once dated Vanessa (Of Pamela & Vanessa) before calling it quits in 2008.
Screwed by the Network: Attempted and failed following Season 11. CBS cut the budget, forcing them to reduce Season 12 by two episodes, ordered only one season instead of the usual two, and decided to use it as a mid-season replacement show. When Season 12 finally did air, it was put in a Sunday-night slot and constantly delayed by football games running over. Despite all this, the ratings for Season 12 were the best since Season 7, and it got a full renewal for 2008-2009.
SurvivorSuper Couple Rob & Amber in Season 7. In this case, at least, it worked, as Season 7 remains the highest-rated season and brought in a new wave of viewers who stuck with the show. Of course, their Survivor fame helped them on the course of the race. The roadblock on one leg required navigating a bustling, maze-like South African marketplace to purchase several specific items. Amber was struggling with the task when a bystander recognized her from the show and volunteered to guide her, allowing her to complete the Roadblock in a matter of minutes.
Mike White, who wrote and played Ned Schneebly in School of Rock, in Season 14.
Harlem Globetrotters "Flight Time" & "Big Easy" in Season 15.
Professional poker players Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle, also in Season 15. Tiffany was recognized at the airport in Tokyo.
Big Brother 11 players Jeff & Jordan in Season 16.
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.
Survivor couple Ethan Zohn from Survivor: Africa and All-Stars and Jenna Morasca from Survivor: The Amazon and All-Stars on Season 19.
Season 19 also had a few athletes in former Indianapolis Colts tight end Marcus Pollard and Olympic snowboarder Andy Finch. As well as Zac Sunderland, the first person under the age of 18 to sail around the world.
Big Brother 12 & 13 players Brendon & Rachel on Season 20.
Season 21 had Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Rdige, stars of the reality show The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Chippendale performers Jaymes Vaughan (known for having released the dance song "Vampire") and James Davis (frontman for Vegas metal band My Name Engraved), and James LoMenzo, metal bassist from White Lion, Megadeth, and other bands.
Season 22 has former NHL player Bates Battaglia with his brother Anthony who currently plays in the minor leagues, You Tubers Joey Graceffa and Meghan "Strawburry17" Camarena, and country singers Caroline Cutbirth and Jennifer Kuhle of the Stealing Angels. Cutbirth is also said to be a direct descendent of Daniel Boone while Kuhle is the granddaughter of John Wayne.
Chester Pitts II & Ephraim Salaam, former college football and NFL teammates on Season 23.
Strangely averted with former Playmate Victoria Fuller (Season 6), who you never would have known was a Playmate from watching the actual show. Same with aspiring Playmate Jennifer Hopka (Season 14). In fact, the only mention Playboy had ever gotten on the show was when Season 12 departed from the Playboy Mansion.
Jaime Faith Edmondson was also a Playmate, but only became one between Seasons 14 and 18.
Actress Vanessa Morgan, and Body Break hosts Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod on Canada Season 1.
Throw It In: The double length "Super Legs" were created by mistake in Season 6. Leg 6 was supposed to be a normal non-elimination leg with the losing team getting all their money taken away, but the production crew found out too late that it was illegal to beg in Hungary. So instead, they cut the Pit Stop out of that leg, and cobbled together a clue and an "operating hours" equalizer to keep the teams busy. In following seasons, Super Legs would be preplanned, including their own fake mats where Phil got to tell the teams they were still racing.
Prior to being turned into the ill-fated Family Edition, Season 8 was originally slated to be an All-Star season, including Season 4 winners Reichen & Chip.
Colin & Christie (Season 5) were originally slated to appear in the first All-Stars until Christie got pregnant. Considered one of the best teams to ever run the race, if not the best, every single team (except fellow Season 5 team Charla & Mirna) listed them as that season's biggest snub. Their absence meant we missed out on a possibly epic Final 3 of Colin & Christie, Rob & Amber, and Dustin & Kandice, plus a Rob vs. Colin showdown to see who really was the ultimate "Alpha Male" racer.
Flo and Drew, who started dating after Season 3, were invited back for All-Stars. Flo refused because she didn't want to race without Zach, and she thought the Race brought out the worst in her.
Kelly & Jon (4) were also invited back, but dropped out at the last minute.
Similarly, Brook & Claire (Season 17) were originally slated to appear in "Unfinished Business" until Claire learned that she was pregnant.
Tim & Marie (23) were invited back for the second All-Stars, but declined due to Marie disliking her portrayal in the first half of Season 23.
Season 8 had a leg in Belize that was cancelled due to Hurricane Emily.
Kynt & Vyxsin sent in an audition tape in for Asia 3, though were ultimately rejected for not living in Asia, and the producers not wanting to face new teams against an experienced team.