The episode featured several references to war films:
Lifted directly from the 1970 film Patton: The music, several lines of dialogue, and the scene where Bart slaps one of his soldiers for "being a disgrace." Fox owned the rights to Patton, so it was no problem to use the soundtrack.
The marching sequence is a nod to Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" from 1986, as well as the children appearing as silhouettes as they climbed the gymnasium.
Star Wars - Bart refers to the Star Wars Trilogy as being one of the few exceptions to "there are no good wars."
When Bart and his army defeat Nelson and the kids all celebrate, a boy kisses Lisa in a similar fashion to the sailor in the famous photograph "V-J Day in Times Square."
In the Czech version, due to a "liberal" translation, Herman is more of a Nazi character. He greets Bart "Sieg Heil, meine Junge" and then tells him "never [to] do the Hitler salute out of a moving bus' window".
Grampa's list of words he does not want to hear on television again:
Family Jewels (meaning men's testicles)
This is the first episode Bart is seen crying. Homer then proceeds to dry his tears with a hairdryer.
During their first "fight," Nelson hits Bart twelve times in the face before he knocks Bart out.
The password to Herman's shop is "Let me in, you idiot!"
This is the first episode in the series to show blood.
This is the second episode to have Bart's name in the title.
When Nelson first laughs Haw Haw! in Bart's imagination Haw Haw! Sounds like Gelman from Disney's Recess.
In this episode Marge tells Bart that to stop Nelson is to talk to him only to be interrupted by Homer. In Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life, Bart tries to stop Nelson with words and it works.
In this episode Bart fails to stand up to Nelson alone but does it successfully in The Devil Wears Nada.
Lisa is seen giving a cupcake to a girl named Janey, who has a different hairdo and skin color than the Janey who is considered, at times, Lisa's best friend.
At the start when the bully takes the cupcakes, you can see that, after he has started eating them, there are 4 left in the box. Just before he shuts the lid to drop it, you can just see the tops of 6 cupcakes.
When Bart enters the tree house after being beaten up, he puts his hat on a peg behind him. In some later shots at an angle you can just see the hat behind him. In the shots from directly in front of Bart, the hat is not on the peg.
Herman says that Bart is a ten-year-old, but later in the Season 3 episode "Radio Bart," it's Bart's tenth birthday.
Lisa mistakenly calls Miss Hoover, her teacher, "Mrs. Hoover".
↑Groening, Matt. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the General" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
↑Silverman, David. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the General" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.