The second game has a fair amount of references to anime and manga, particularly as far as the Ronin are concerned. Three of the bikes in the game are named Kenshin, Tetsuo, and Kaneda; the latter two are references to AKIRA, the former, possibly Rurouni Kenshin. Shogo Akuji and his father Kazuo are named after Shogo Kawada and Kazuo Kiriyama from Battle Royale. Finally, both Shogo and Kazuo are voiced by well-known anime VAs: Yuri Lowenthal and Steve Blum, respectively.
When Veteran Child, who is played by Neil Patrick Harris, gets killed, some civilians may call him a "total Barney". In addition, some of the male "Escort" clients might describe cross-dressing and asking to be called "Hedwig", whom Harris has played.
Bad Export for You: The German port of the game removes the ability to use weapons outside of missions and obtaining money outside of doing missions or odd jobs. In addition, cutscenes with violence and drug use are confusingly blacked out with the audio intact.
Casting Gag: One of the K-Rhyme FM's stingers states "Rhyming the world in eighty days". The station is hosted by Andrew Kishino, who has a rap song titled "I Rhyme the World in 80 Days".
Development Gag: There is a jewelry shop in this game named "Bling Bling", which is a reference to the original project title of the first Saints Row, while its Totally Radicalradio ad may well be an artistic reinterpretation of trying to sell the concept such as Saints Row to the corporate suits at THQ. It even ends with a claim that marketing research said the name "Bling Bling" was cool.note In reality, of course, it wasn't, which is why we got the new title.
Died During Production: Mike "IdolNinja" Watson passed away on August 25th, 2021. He had been diagnosed with a form of cancer in the past and, when it returned and became terminal, spent his remaining days working on the patch for the PC port.
Dummied Out: Some activities, like piracy and Guardian Angel, were originally planned but left out of the final game. Guardian Angel would later be implemented in Saints Row: The Third.
Shogo and Kazuo Akuji are both played by Yuri Lowenthal and Steve Blum (who are both of Jewish Decent) respectively, likely due to them being prominent anime VAs who are fluent in Japanese. Averted by Jyunichi, who's voiced by Brian Tee (who is part Japanese).
Americans Greg Eagles and Phil Morris as Caribbean gangsters the General and Mr. Sunshine.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: Not the game itself, but apparently this happened to the developers; when asked about a 10th anniversary Updated Re-release, a forum moderator revealed that while giving 2 a facelift isn't a bad idea, they've lost the source code - so a potential remaster would have to be started from zero, which in turn would drain resources and workforce away from new projects. As of 2020, a remaster of The Third has been announced and the source code has apparently been found (a two-man team is working on PC patches on the side, although no-one knows if they'll ever see the light of day; the declining health and death of Mike "IdolNinja" Watson complicates matters) so there being one of 2 isn't impossible.
Serendipity Writes the Plot: Julius being the one who planted the bomb on Hughes' yacht wasn't originally intended to be how Saints Row ended, as the credits scene intended to show him being cornered in an alley. The scene ended up being poorly animated, so the developers simply reused Aisha's animation from the same cutscene and wrote in Julius' betrayal, paving the way for the plot of this game.
The Other Darrin: Dex is voiced by Arif S. Kinchen, Pierce's VA, as Volition was unable to locate Jeffery Allen Qaiyum, his original VA, during development.