When Oscar shouts "You had me at hello!" on TV, Angie is seen grinning. Renee Zellweger, who voiced Angie, stars in Jerry Maguire where the quote is said by her character in the movie.
Also, lines such as De Niro's character Don Lino saying, "I heard things" plus a conversation between the De Niro character and the Scorsese character (Sykes) spoof their infamous repeat the same lines back at one another.
The crowd even shouts "Oscar Bumaye!" the same where a crowd shouts "Ali Bumaye!" to Muhammad Ali (Will Smith plays Ali in his 2001 Bio Pic)
Oscar's "Pants" are big like Will Smiths clothes were before in his older works.
The Old Shark played by Peter Falk mentions his wife at one point.
Alas, Poor Villain: Not exactly a villain, but Frankie counts, seeing how sad Lenny felt when he died.
Lenny the Shark, a principled vegetarian who refuses to devour sapient creatures, and massive disappointment to his father, makes an unsuccessful attempt to eat a sobbing shrimp who begs for his life.
Also, in the second scene, which shows off the city, we have a brief look at a sushi bar. There is not a single customer, to the owner's frustration. Guess why.
Celebrity Voice Actor: Dreamworks really went above and beyond for this one. In addition to casting just about the biggest name actors they could, they even went after non-acting celebrities like Martin Scorsese and Katie Couric.
The Consigliere: Subverted with Luca (the octopus); you'd expect he'd fall in this role, but in fact he's very stupid.
Could Have Avoided This Plot: If Sykes hadn't asked Oscar to bring the money he owed to the track, events would have progressed quite differently.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lenny. He's vegetarian, wishes to be a dolphin and tries to hide this secret to his family. Don't forget the speech Oscar makes after he's trapped Lenny and Don Lino in the whale wash: "What is your problem? So, your son likes kelp. So, his best friend is a fish. So he likes to dress like a dolphin, so what?! Everybody loves him, just the way he is. Why can't you?"
Dope Slap: Frankie to his brother Lenny. It's the last thing he does before dying.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Lampshaded for comedy. No one seems to mind Lola beating the ever-loving crap out of Oscar, even though she does it in front of at least 20-30 people.
Their apathy also served to underline the insincere friendship of those wealthy, famous fish.
Easily Forgiven: Oscar doesn't exactly hold the fact that Sykes ordered him murdered against him, even going so far as to let Sykes profit off of his new image. Well, he does owe the guy a lot of money.
Heel-Face Turn: Sykes becomes decent enough throughout the progression of the movie that it warrants him getting a happy ending too. If he hadn't improved, it would have taken away from how dangerous Don Lino is.
Herbivores Are Friendly: Unlike most sharks, Lenny is actually a vegetarian and is also pretty friendly since he doesn't want to hurt other fish. That doesn't stop the fish from being scared of him though.
Frankie:(dying) Lenny, is that you? Lenny: I'm here, Frankie. Frankie: Come closer. Lenny: What is it, Frankie? Frankie: I'm so cold. Lenny: That's because we're cold-blooded. Frankie:(Frankie slaps Lenny) Moron. (dies)
Which is hilariously misleading, when you consider that Great Whites are among the few shark species which actually are ''warm-blooded''. Then again, maybe that's why Frankie called him a moron.
Shoot the Hostage: Oscar attempts to fake this when the Sharks kidnap his girlfriend by having his "dolphin" partner pretend to eat her right on the spot (he grabs her in his mouth, but doesn't swallow) on his order to show that he didn't care. Fails as the "dolphin" is Lenny the vegetarian shark, who is repulsed by the simple taste of fish. He spits her out along with the contents of his various lunches.
Shout-Out: It wouldn't be a Dreamworks movie without many of them.
The most obvious and numerous are to Jaws. This film's music is even described as their "hymn" by Frankie.
Possibly accidental, but the movie bears some distinct resemblance to Dragonheart, in which a knight and a dragon ends up in a stalemate during a fight and decides to cooperate. They do this by faking battles with each other in front of awestruck villagers that the dragon pretends to attack, where he at the end of the battle pretends to die.
The Smart Guy: Lenny. You think at first it's just wishful thinking on Don Lino's part, but Lenny is pretty sharp. He thinks up a plan to fake his own death. He disguises himself as a dolphin. He even skilfully blackmails Oscar into taking him — a shark — home. When he talks all smooth and "God forbid somebody should find out the truth", you remember that yeah, he may look all cute and vegetarian, but he's still the son of a Mafia Shark — and he knows the tricks of the trade.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: To the fish population of the Reef, Lenny the Shark is scary as a shark, but cuddly and safe when he disguises himself as a dolphin. Just so we're clear, dolphins eat fish too, but they're cute! (This led to a few reviewers reading a stronger metaphor in it...) Funny thing, is, the movie actually uses this, when Oscar tries to subvert I Have Your Wife by having Lenny fake eating his girlfriend. The "attack" appears to be just as quick and almost as savage as... well, a shark attack.
Whole Plot Reference: The movie wears some distinct resemblence to 1996's Dragonheart, a movie about a knight and a dragon who ends up in a stalemate during a fight and decides to cooperate, to which they do by faking battles in front of awestruck villagers that the dragon pretends to attack, with the knight pretending to kill the dragon at the end...