- Frank's Mercy Kill of the dog (and the monologue with it) in the opening scene of season one did well at establishing Frank's character but it seemed slightly out of place in the episode. Until you realize it was foreshadowing Peter Russo's death. During their final conversation, it becomes clear that Frank just sees Peter's pain as destructive pain rather than the kind that'll make him stronger. Thus, he ends it. (Also to cover his own skin but still.)
- As tropers in both main page and headscratchers point out, Frank's cornerstone program, America Works, would never work in real life. It's going to worsen people's lives more than it will ever improve them. But that's exactly the kind of program you can expect from someone like Frank. He excels at fucking people over, not helping them. It's also a short-sighted program that is fiscally unsustainable, which is a demonstration of Frank's short-sightedness. All of season 1 and 2 were dedicated to Frank's goal of reaching the presidency, but at no time did he discuss what he wanted to do as president. Come season 3 and he's scrambling to build a public image and legacy to run for reelection on.
- It's not noticeable right away, but each time Frank is staring or near a portrait of a past real President, it's always signifying something between Frank and their Presidency:
- He stands between John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, two presidents who were both shot. Yet, as Frank mentions, he and Reagan are smiling at this point because they survived.
- When Frank talks about bugging the entire US to rig the election, he says so next to a portrait of Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign after he was implicated in the Watergate scandal, which was an attempt to rig the 1972 presidential election.
- In the first episode of season 3, after Frank orders a drone strike, he stares at Harry Truman, the one who made the fateful decision of dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.
- During "Chapter 48," Senator Sheers from the Kentucky delegation makes a remark to a reporter saying "Been a long time since an open convention". Ostensibly, a nice subtle reference to the troubled 1984 Democratic presidential race, which was the last one to go to an open convention.
- It seems odd why Frank's hallucination of Zoe Barnes during his surgery would depict her with short hair, as opposed to the long hair she had when she was alive. The real-life explanation is that Kate Mara cut her hair short, but in-universe, it seems that his hallucination is more because he's blending Claire and Zoe. You can tell it's Zoe, but she's got Claire's short hair and Claire's State of the Union dress.
- It's mentioned that the Russian TV mogul seeking asylum in the United States is being quarantined in Bangor, Maine. It doesn't make sense unless you understand Bangor's importance to international air travel: it's the first major American airport encountered by planes approaching the United States from the east and the last for plane heading towards Europe. Due to it having a runway long enough to accommodate planes the size of the Boeing 747s, it's a very popular diversion point, and provides a place to land in case of bad weather at an airplane's destination, bomb threats, unruly passengers, or passengers on the No Fly List. It would make perfect sense why Milkin's private jet would be landed there.
- The theme music evolves with each season. Each season emphasizes a different instrument. Notice how the trumpet is louder in seasons 3 and 4? It represents the trumpet of a king entering his court. The piano is more pronounced in the second season because there is more movement, Frank is more conniving, each action he takes more bold than the last. The first season only set the tone to all of this.
- When one thinks about it, there's a reason why Tom Hammerschmidt's quest to expose Frank in season 4 focuses on exposing Frank's corruption rather than linking Frank to either of the murders he committed. And there's a reason why Hammerschmidt would say he doesn't believe Frank to be a murderer: it's the fact that the idea of the President of the United States going on a killing spree while he was House Majority Whip is just two steps away from being something you'd see in The X-Files. Hammerschmidt doesn't have the time to prove or disprove those claims in Lucas Goodwin's suicide note. Thus, Hammerschmidt focuses on something that is more tangible and realistic: corruption. With the exceptions of Peter Russo, Zoe Barnes, Rachel Posner, and Lucas Goodwin, everyone who got manipulated in the Underwoods' rise to power is still alive, so the evidence is out there in the open and thus it's easier for Hammerschmidt to find people to go on record.
- With the reveal in Season 5 that Claire Underwood has been aware of the presence of the Fourth Wall, and the viewers beyond, for quite some time, it's worth noting that Claire tends to watch her husband rather intently when he's giving a speech, especially if he's also giving an internal monologue while making the speech, with it being more frequent in Season 5, as Frank's speeches become more dynamic and involve him moving around the area the speech is being given in in ways he couldn't possibly do in actuality. How much of that is her simply listening to the speech...and how much is her listening to her husband talk to us?
- When Gavin is sneaking around a government office, he first passes through a door with a sign beside it reading "No Tailgating" (ie, no following someone through the door without swiping your ID card). When he reaches a door he can't get through, it lacks a "No Tailgating" sign, and he tailgates his way through it.
Fridge / House of Cards (US)