- Actor Allusion: Saturday Night Live, where Julia Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member in the '80s, runs a sketch mocking Selina, which she defuses by appearing on the show herself.
- Development Hell: In 2007 ABC rejected a proposed American version of The Thick of It that would have centered around a newly elected congressman. Various networks expressed intererest in adapting The Thick of It after ABC passed, with HBO eventually picking the show up and changing the lead character from congressman to Vice President.
- Fake American: Hugh Laurie appears in season 4, playing Tom James, and American politician.
- Fake Nationality: The Finnish Prime Minister and her husband are played by the British Sally Phillips and the Canadian Dave Foley.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Oh look, it's Elaine and Buster!
- Playing Against Type: Patton Oswalt as a sleazy lech and serial sexual abuser.