- Bud being a sci-fi nut; he gives the occasional reference to Star Trek and Quantum Leap, even naming one of his kids after James T. Kirk. Donald P. Bellisario even cameos as himself at a sci-fi convention, and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is featured in one episode. The Star Trek connection is interesting considering it has the same copyright holder as JAG (i.e. CBS / Paramount.) Cross-promotion anyone?
Captain Boone: Chief, if I bagged a Klingon, I believe you'd know what Flag to paint on her.Chief Ned Bannon: Klingons are Easy, now a Romulan Warship now that might be a problem, they're invisible.
- The name of the fictional aircraft carrier USS Seahawk, first seen in the pilot, is probably an homage to that Errol Flynn movie.
- It is also interesting the first Scifi reference in the show - in the pilot, when Captain Boone (the CAG) and Lieutenant Arrutti return from a flight after having shot down a hostile aircraft, as Boone is about to get out of the cockpit, one of the yellow-shirt flight deck crew starts to paint on the F-14.
- So there's Trek fans among the fictional Seahawk crew aside from Bud, so an implied subversion of Hollywood Nerd.
- Star Trek fans who don't know that Klingons also have cloaking devices.
- In "Pilot Error", Harm compares the situation to the movie Fate is the Hunter, explaining to Meg (who hasn't seen it) how they found out the cause of a plane crash by recreating all of the minute details of the flight.
- In "Brig Break" the Time Bomb stops at 00:07.
- In "Scimitar" Harm makes a comparison of events to a certain Western:Lieuteant Harmon Rabb: It's just like Stagecoach!Corporal John Edner: With John Wayne.Lieutenant JG Meg Austin: John Wayne was being chased by Iraqis?Lieuteant Harmon Rabb: Indians!Corporal John Edner: Right in the middle of Monument Valley.Lieutenant JG Meg Austin: Bet they didn't have a woman with them.Lieuteant Harmon Rabb: You'd bet wrong! They had a woman a lot like you: Claire Trevor.Corporal John Edner: Yep, prostitute Duke fell for.Lieutenant JG Meg Austin: You're comparing me to a prostitute?Corporal John Edner: No, ma'am. I didn't say that.Lieuteant Harmon Rabb: I did, and I meant she was spunky like you.
- In "Boot", an episode centering on an investigation into the death of a Marine recruit at Boot Camp, the two Drill Sergeant Nasties spend some idle time watching The D.I., an old Jack Webb film about Marine Boot Camp. This also serves as some clever foreshadowing if you're familiar with the film's history, being made in response to a highly-publicized incident where several Marine recruits drowned while marching through a swamp at night. The film's climax has the killer and Meg Austin both nearly drown in the swamp during a nighttime foot chase.
- In Season 2s "Washington Holiday" (itself a take on Roman Holiday) when the Romanian Princess has escaped from doing her duties and went to a night club instead: Harm, as her military escort dressed in whites, carries her back to the limousine causing a woman in the background to say: "This is so like An Officer and a Gentleman".
- In "The Game of Go", when Harm, Mac & Bud meets Clayton Webb at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.Clayton Webb: I might have known the admiral would send his Three Musketeers.Harmon Rabb: Nice to see you again too, Clayton.Bud Roberts: Well, there were actually four musketeers, sir. Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan.
- Mac questions an enlisted marine about their captains unorthodox training methods in "Force Recon". Considering that the captain has the nickname Duke like John Wayne, she comments that there seems to be case for movies.Sergeant Tesla: Captain Koonan is the finest officer I've ever served under, ma'am. I'd follow him to hell and back.Mac: It seems to be a case for movies.Sergeant Tesla: Ma'am?
- Season 3, episode "Father's Day"
Jill Waddington: And who are you two?
- While walking in a courtroom hallway, a reporter approaces Harm and Macs client, who despite their advice begins to answer a barrage of leading questions. Harm tells the reporter to back off.
Harmon Rabb: It was a rhetorical question, Bud.
- When going to their motel room, Bud and Harm makes two shoutouts.
- In one transition scene at the convention it can also be heard that Airwolf is mentioned.
- "Tiger, Tiger"
Josh Pendry: Iceberg off the port bow!Lieutenant Bud Roberts: In the Gulf of Mexico?Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb: Annie and I took Josh to see the Titanic last night before we sailed.
- In the beginning:
Josh Pendry: 'Under Siege!Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb: What?Josh Pendry: Steven Seagal in Under Siege. He got the Pentagon on a satellite radio from a life boat.Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb: Well, unfortunately this isn't a movie, Josh. These lifeboats have satellite radios with an emergency beacon and a short-range voice transmitter. We could activate one. The Coast Guard would come, but before we could inform them of our situation, who knows what these terrorists are likely to do.Josh Pendry: It's so cool in the movie.Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb: Well, I'm sure it was.
- After anticommunist Cuban terrorists have taken over the frigate and Harm and Josh are in the helicopter hangar:
- Season 4, "The Black Jet". Mac makes the following comment on Clayton Webb:So the Tin Man has a heart.
- "Dungaree Justice". When Mac questions an enlisted sailor what he watched on television on a Sunday evening.Let me guess: Touched by an Angel?
- "The Adversaries"Big Bud: "Speaking of Harm, how you're doing Perry Mason!"
- In season 5, episode "Rogue" centers on a Navy commando who has recruited Navy SEALS, Delta Force and other assorted badass soldiers to infiltrate and attack military installations, including nuclear submarines, to test their security and advise on how to defend against a terrorist attack. Despite claims that it's not based on real life the episode name hints at the fictional and real life exploits of one Richard Marcinko.
- "The Colonel's Wife"Mac (to Harm): Interesting investgative technique, Sherlock. Why follow a subject when you can have them give you a ride and a kiss good night?
Bud (imitating HAL): As a computer, I find you faith in technology amusing.
- In this episode we learn that Bud's favorite movie character is HAL from 2001.
So Bud's not drowning in McHale's Navy?
- Bud's former college roommate Ron Katz asks Harriet:
- In "Boomerang, Part 1", when Bud looks at the beach with topless sunbathers he says to Mic that it's "an R-rated Baywatch out there".
- In Season 6, episode "Lifeline," a minor character sees Harm and opines to Lt. Singer that he's gorgeous. Singer replies, "He doesn't do anything for me." Singer and Harm are married in real life.
- In season 7, episode "Answered prayers" at Christmas.Big Bud: Life ain't no Jimmy Stewart movie.'
- "In Country"
- "Enemy Below"
Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie: I wanna die like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.Commander Harmon Rabb: Oh, yeah? Well, which one am I gonna be then?Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie: Butch, of course.Commander Harmon Rabb: Well, that's true. He was the brains of the operation.Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie: Yeah, but Sundance was the shooter that everyone was afraid of. That's how I wanna go, in a blaze of glory against impossible odds.
- When in Afghanistan with Harm, Mac starts to talk about that classic western.
Commander Turner: With your permissions admirals, I'd like to volunteer for TAD aboard the Watertown.
- The Hunt for Red October is even namechecked when Sturgis compares himself and the Russian renegade sub captain being chased to Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery respectively.
Vice Admiral Holt: Commander, as much as I respect your service as a submariner, Commander Flagler is perfectly capable.
Commander Turner: ''And I don't mean to imply that he isn't, sir, only that I am Alec Baldwin.Vice Admiral Holt: ''Excuse me?
- In season 8, Bud watches the 1953 version of The War Of The Worlds in "Dangerous Game".
- In "When the Bough Breaks", Bud makes comparisons between Shakespearian works and Star Trek episodes to Admiral Chegwidden's girlfriend (a Shakespearian scholar); Macbeth and "Dagger of the Mind"; The Tempest and "Requiem for Methuselah"; Hamlet and "Conscience of the King'.
- When Loren Singer visits the Roberts' house in "The Killer":AJ Roberts: Mama, is that the Wicked Witch?
- In season 9, When asked by Mac how it feels to have Coates as a tenant and to be Mattie's guardian in "A Girl's Best Friend":Harm: Yeah, I'm, uh, beginning to feel like Captain von Trapp.
- In the season 4 episode "Angels 30", one of the squadron badges in the USS Coral Sea's wardroom is for the Angry Angels.
Shout Out / JAG