- The first skeleton that Miguel encounters, the woman with the flowered hat who helps him out of the grave, is La Calavera Catrina a character created by Mexican cartoonist, José Guadalupe Posada who has become an icon of Día de Muertos.
- Many of the Land of the Dead's inhabitants are Real Life deceased Mexican celebrities, including Frida Kahlo, Mario Moreno 'Cantinflas', El Santo, Jorge Negrete, and Pedro Infante, who Ernesto is largely based on. Some are mentioned by name while others are a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
- The emo skeleton participating in the Battle of the Bands is wearing the skull shirt that Sid Phillips wore. He also bears more than a passing resemblance to Skrillex.note
- Miguel's street dog friend is named Dante, after someone else who journeyed to the afterlife.
- While Traveling through the streets of the Land of the dead, there is a graffiti tag bearing the logo of Lalo Alcaraz's La Cucaracha comic strip.
- While in the pit, Miguel is rained on and stretches out his arms, smiling, a la Andy Dufresne
Shout Out / Coco