Originally, after Homer panics over Bart's phony alien invasion message, he is seen mixing a punch bowl filled with Kool-Aid and rat poison in the kitchen. The censors objected to the suicide reference (and thought that more impressionable viewers would be drawn to imitating what Homer did), so the writers changed it to Homer getting a shotgun and running out to defeat the aliens (only to realize that it's Bart).
The three things Bart mentions he won't be able to do now that he's stuck in the well is smoke a cigarette, use a fake ID (which he would do in season seven's "Bart on the Road"), and shave a swear word in my hair (which is what Milhouse did during the Squishee bender on "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood").
Bart turns 10 years old in this episode (he used to be 9 years old for the first 47 episodes of the show and for seasons 1-3 (I Married Marge)), and has been 10 since this episode.
In September 2017, more than two decades after the episode first aired, an earthquake devastated Mexico City, Mexico. During the news coverage of the devastation, Televisa reported that a girl named Frida Sofia was trapped within the debris of a fallen school. However, it was soon revealed that she had never existed. Outraged with the fake news in times of crisis, rival network TV Azteca's decided to air that same day the Simpsons episode "Radio Bart" (informally known in Mexico as "the Timmy O'Toole episode"). This choice was praised by their viewers and international news media alike, leading to Timmy O'Toole to become a trending topic in social media, with the Mexican people explaining their support through internet memes.
The media circus and carnival that results after news breaks about Timmy being trapped in the well mirrors that of the 1951 movie Ace in the Hole. The movie in turn was based on the real incident and media circus that resulted when cave explorer Floyd Collins was trapped and died in a cave in Kentucky in 1925.
In the late 1980s, Sony had a children's electronics product line called "My First Sony". Bart's microphone and amplifier strongly resembles one of the products.
Upon hearing Bart cry about being trapped in the well, Homer decides to dig Bart out himself, declaring "That's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more!" echoing a catchphrase from the TV series Popeye the Sailor.
The TV dance show "Soul Mass Transit System" is a parody of the television program Soul Train.
Homer serenades Marge by singing "Convoy". Originally the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot was to be used. However, Lightfoot told the Simpsons producers that he did not own the rights to the song, as he divided all royalties with the surviving families of the 29 men who perished aboard the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Any use of the song would require permission from all of the surviving families. Rather than go along with that, the writers picked "Convoy" instead. "Convoy" would later be used on the Simpsons episode "Maximum Homerdrive" and the Futurama episode "Parasites Lost."
News report of Bart changing to a wolf-like state is a reference to the horror novel The Werewolf of Paris, where the first wolf spirit enters a victim abandoned in a well.