- Actor-Shared Background: In "Connection Lost" we're told that Matt's mother is from Karachi, a background borrowed from his actor Geoffrey Arend.
- California Doubling: Naturally there's quite a bit of it used in the series—the McCords' horse farm is said to be in Virginia but is filmed on an estate in Long Island that also plays the role of a public park in "Ghost Detainee", to say nothing of international locations—but the scenes at the UN in season 2 were filmed at the actual UN General Assembly building in New York City, averting the trope.
- The Cast Showoff: In "The Show Must Go On", Nadine, Blake, and Daisy sing Billy Joel's "The Longest Time" (with the lyrics rewritten by Matt to be about a trade deal) at a conference. Nadine (Broadway leading lady Bebe Neuwirth) leads with a very nice alto croon, and Daisy (Patina Miller) is no slouch either, her actress having won a Tony award for Pippin shortly before joining the show.
- The Danza: Played with. Elizabeth McCord is played by Téa Leoni — whose actual first name is, in fact, Elizabeth.
- Dmitri Petrov is played by Chris Petrovski.
- Fake American: eljko Ivanek (Russell Jackson) is originally from Slovenia, though he's been an American citizen for years.
- Fake Nationality:
- Usman Ally (Iranian Foreign Minister Zahed Javani) is from Swaziland.
- Ironically, Ukrainian President Mikhail Bozek is played by a Russian-born actor, Lev Gorn.
- Fake Russian: Olek Krupa (Polish) and Yorgo Constantine (Greek-American)respectively play Russian President Pavel Ostrov and Foreign Minister Anton Gorev. Chris Petrovski (Russian Army Captain Dmitri Petrov) is originally from Macedonia. Angela Gots (Maria Ostrova) is a downplayed example: she was born and raised in New York but her parents are originally from St. Petersburg. Another New Yorker, Nicholas Guest, plays Ostrova's successor President Salnikov.
- Life Imitates Art: "Catch and Release" ends with "Jihadi Judd", an American who joined ISIS, being killed in a drone strike on orders of President Dalton. His model, British-born ISIS member Mohammed Emwazi, a.k.a. "Jihadi John", was killed in a joint US-British drone attack four days after the episode aired.
- Queer Character, Queer Actor: Kat Sandoval and actress Sara Ramirez are both bisexual and queer - in fact, Kat's coming out conversation was pretty much just Sara explaining all the details of her own personal intersectional identity.
- Romance on the Set: According to People magazine, Téa Leoni and Tim Daly's chemistry as Liz and Henry McCord wasn't all acting: they apparently started dating in December 2014, midway through season one. They're still together to this day.
Trivia / Madam Secretary