Each episode is titled after a well-known Western song from the 20th century
, with the vinyls on the eyecatches confirming the reference. Some titles also have relevance to the plot of the episode. In order:
- "True Colors"
- "Born to Run"
- "Fire and Rain"
- "Video Killed the Radio Star"
- "Every Breath You Take"
- "Life is a Carnival"
- "Show Me the Way"
- "All the Young Dudes"
- "Dancing Queen"
- "River Deep, Mountain High"
- "With or Without You"
- "We've Only Just Begun"
- "Walk this Way"
- "The Kids are All Right": Focuses on both Tuesday's views on her mother and Carole's relationship with her father.
- "God Only Knows"
- "A Natural Woman": Focuses on the rise and fall of Flora, a 'diva' stylistically influenced by Franklin.
- "Head Over Heels"
- "Only Love Can Break Your Heart": Partly focuses on Tuesday's growing feelings for the journalist Kyle.
- "People Get Ready"
- "Immigrant Song": Focuses on Ezekiel, a rising star rapper and immigrant from Earth.
- "It's Too Late"
- "Just Like Heaven"
- "Don't Stop Believin'"
- "A Change is Gonna Come": Focuses on the change the characters want to bring about with the "7-Minute Miracle".
- Ziggy, being modeled after a northern white-faced owl, looks and acts much like Shuko, the team pet from Sound of the Sky. His name could be a reference to either Ziggy Stardust or Ziggy Marley. Or both.
- Gus' running animation is identical to Spike's.
- The Mars Brightest logo is obviously based on The X Factor.
- In Episode 4, IDEA is shown watching an episode of Space Dandy for "research purposes".
- The neon-shaft umbrellas are taken from Blade Runner, which is appropriate since the director also worked on a short for its sequel.
- Carole and Tuesday get interviewed by a talk show host named Allen, whose logo is remarkably similar to that of Ellen DeGeneres.
- Desmond is named after legendary pop songwriter Desmond Child.
- Gus sticking his head through the door crack when he found Carole and Tuesday's apartment looks very similar to the famous "HERE'S JOHNNY!!!" scene from The Shining.
- Steve Aoki gets a cameo in episode 22.
- Aside from the final "Mother" concert having a number of points in common with We Are the World (multiple musicians of numerous styles coming together to serve a single cause, several cues in the lyrics and musical hooks, and an idealistic determination to change the world for the better through music which pushes it right into the Protest Song genre), the staging choice to have the various singers stand isolated in pools of light shining down on them from above is taken straight from "Seasons of Love", as well as "Finale B", in RENT.