Rio de Janeiro protested against this episode and its portrayal of Brazil and the city. After James L. Brooks' apology, the city also said that no city was so much satirized as Rio in The Simpsons. The episode itself was banned from airing after being shown three times and it would take years before the episode would ever air again (including putting the episode out on DVD in Brazil), but the episode was aired uncensored again in November 2012.
The blond host of the risque children's variety show Bart calls "Teleboobies" (a play on Teletubbies) is a reference to the Brazilian entertainer Xuxa. Xuxa is referenced in another episode Marge Be Not Proud where in "Xoxchitla" stars in a Krusty the Clown special.
When Marge turns off said parody show, she tells Bart that "Bert and Ernie left it to [his] imagination." Bert and Ernie are a duo from the children's show Sesame Street. Some people have speculated that they may be a gay couple, though this is never confirmed on the show, explaining Marge's comment.
Rio Days-Inn-Ero is a parody of both the city of Rio de Janeiro and the Days Inn hotel chain.
On the airplane Bart studies Spanish so he can understand the local people. Marge informs him that Brazilians speak Portuguese.
Homer and Bart sing the Chiquita Banana song, butchering the lyrics with "I'm Chiquita Banana, and I'm here to say, I will eat this Toblerone and I will not pay!"
After Itchy drives Scratchy's head into the moon, he drops several dollar bills onto Scratchy's carcass, referencing Rodney Dangerfield's character in Caddyshack.
Marge mentions the people here in Brazil "love soccer", whereupon the hotel personnel plays soccer with luggage. Soccer is very popular in Brazil. Pelé, the internationally most famous soccer player, is Brazilian.
At one point Homer says, "Don't you know the boys from Brazil are little Hitlers? I saw it in a movie whose name I can't remember." Ironically, he says the title of the movie in that line. This is a reference to the film The Boys From Brazil, which revolves around Josef Mengele raising clones of Adolf Hitler. Homer also forgot a film title despite mentioning it involuntarily in The Springfield Files. He did a similar thing in Treehouse of Horror VI, where he refers to The Twilight Zone as "that twilight-y show about that zone."
The song playing just as Homer and Bart are strolling down the beach is the 1939 tune Aquarela do Brasil (usually just known as "Brazil" around the world), previously featured prominently in the film Brazil.
Homer's swimming pants who shrink to a shorter size are a reference to the world famous Brazilian "bikini bottoms".
When Lisa mentions the slums have been painted so that the tourists are not offended a stream of multicolored rats run out in front of them. Homer claims they look like Skittles.
The scene with the cable cars is a parody of the popular scene from the James Bond film Moonraker, where James Bond fights the assassin Jaws.
The Fruit and Mini bar hats are a reference to the Brazilian singer and dancer Carmen Miranda, who used a similar hat to the fruit one that Bart was wearing.
Lisa mentions the ambiguity of the state that the Simpsons live in, adding that if one were to follow the clues that they can figure it out (they live in Kentucky).
When Homer asked Bart if he prank called Brazil, Bart said that he didn't. However Homer did not believe him. This is a callback to when Bart prank called Australia in Bart vs. Australia.
In this episode, Lindsey Naegle has a ponytail, and Homer threatens her by saying he was going to cut it off.
A sign seen on top of an all-you-can-eat meat-on-a-sword restaurant, called Churrascaria ("steak house") in Portuguese, mistakenly uses the plural, Churrascarias.
The sign Aeroporto International de Galeão is a misspelled reference to Rio's international airport, Galeão International Airport (also known as Aeroporto Internacional do Galeão).
The Simpsons go to their hotel while they join a conga dance. This is not a popular dance in Brazil.
The Brazilian dance teacher says that they invented the Macarena, however, the Macarena is a song by Los del Rio, a Spanish duo.
When Lisa was reading "Who Wants to be a Brazilionare" on the plane, the cover shows Argentina as an ocean, and when Marge was reading it before entering the Conga line, Brazil (except for Amapá) is shown as an ocean.