- Actor Allusion:
- Telling Chris O'Donnell that he should get a sidecar for the motorcycle.
- Eric Beale makes mention that he is scared of hand puppets. His actor, Barrett Foa, appeared in Avenue Q which is very puppet heavy.
- Deeks tells Kensi she was a terrible dancer. Daniela Ruah won the first season of the Portugese version of Strictly Come Dancing.
- Actor-Shared Background: Both LL Cool J and Sam are heavily into fitness and exercise. J even wrote a book or two about his "Platinum Workout".
- Author Existence Failure: Granger's fate was left untouched since Miguel Ferrer had died from cancer. At the time of his death, he had appeared in the first fifteen episodes of season eight, with nine episodes remaining.
- The Character Died with Him: In season nine, after having enough time to heal, the writers sadly wrote the final scene that closed the book for Granger by revealing he died peacefully in his daughter's backyard under a tree.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Two actors in the Fall 2016 premier named Sammy Sheik and Alexander Wraith.
- California Doubling: Very obviously averted. This show is called NCIS: Los Angeles for a reason, and the city is showcased prominently.
- Plus, most of the TV shows, such as this show (and some films) mostly filmed at California, mostly Los Angeles, especially if it's either filmed on location or on a soundstage. note
- Played straight when the team goes to a foreign country; fortunately most of those countries look like deserts.
- Career Resurrection: Chris O'Donnell went into semi-retirement in the early 2000s so he could focus on raising his children. After a few tentative restarts of his career, NCIS: LA turned out to be a smash hit that made him a household name again.
- The Cast Showoff: LL Cool J's rap songs are sometimes used for background music.
- Distanced from Current Events:
- "Neighborhood Watch": in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting a movie changed its name to just The Watch and a reality series of the same name about watchmen was apparently canceled; not this episode. A lot of people get shot in a gated community in a sunny state, though none of them were black (a few wear hoodies, though).
- Both NCIS:LA and Supergirl2015 pulled episodes following the terrorist attack on Paris because they featured ISIS/IS/ISIL/Daesh and bombings, respectively.
- Fake American: Subverted. Though Daniela Ruah had a successful career as a telenovela actress in Portugal and is of Portuguese-Jewish descent (in addition to partial Polish, Russian and Ukrainian Jewish descent), she was actually born in Boston and moved to Portugal (which is where her parents are from) when she was five.
- Fake Nationality: Nepali Jemadar Thapa is played by Filipino-American actor and martial artist Ernie Reyes Jr., who is best known for his role in Surf Ninjas and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Daniella Ruah was pregnant for the first half of the 5th season, resulting in Kensi being sent on a long-term covert assignment in Afghanistan (for which the scenes were all shot in advance).
- And again at the start of Season 8. This time she's in a coma with severe injuries following a helicopter crash in Syria while extracting a terrorist.
- Life Imitates Art: One episode uncovered a conspiracy a company that tests agents to see if they should get top security clearance allowed dozens, maybe even hundreds of people to get access to government secrets. A month later on the same channel 60 Minutes airs a report that security testing companies may have allowed a huge number of people within the US government to access secure places when they should never have been given clearance at all.
- Unlike the show there was no conspiracy, just a lot of overlooked incidents (one man claimed he "lived in Seattle and worked in New York" and left out the small detail that he had punctured someone's tires with a shotgun; he later killed 12 people in the secure area he worked in) and a need for people with security clearance even if they were clearly unfit (Chelsea Manning actually told the woman overseeing her that "the [US] flag means nothing and [she] has no allegiance to this country" and later attacked her because she wouldn't get off her back about his suspicious behavior. She kept his security clearance
- The Pete Best/The Other Marty: Louise Lombard played Lara Macy in the NCIS backdoor; when the series went into production, Macy was dropped and Linda Hunt's Hetty was added.
- Real-Life Relative: The main ship of Deeks and Kensi, becomes quite hilarious when you find out that Daniela Ruah is married to Eric Christian Olsen's stunt double. His stunt double? His brother David Paul Olsen. Not only are they brother and sister-in-law, but her husband is also on set to watch their shipping.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Miguel Ferrer's diagnosis with throat cancer (in which he succumbed to) was written into the series when his character Granger goes into radiotherapy during the pre-teaser scene of "Crazy Train". When Ferrer ultimately passed away due to the disease, rather than having Granger also die, the writers decided to have Granger walk away from everything in pursuit of his own adventures. They waited for another year to reluctantly give the character closure with his off-screen demise.
- Hetty's absence in the majority of season ten was due to Linda Hunt taking time to recover from a car accident she was involved in.
Trivia / NCIS: Los Angeles