In The Seven-Beer Snitch Fat Tony says Marge sometimes drives his son home from school and Marge says he must be Michael's dad.
Otto's exclamation "Real songs are about deals with the devil, far-off lands, and where you'd find smoke in relation to water." are allusions to the songs "Devil went down to Georgia" by Charlie Daniels Band, "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin and "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple.
The song Metallica plays as they ride off in the back of Hans Moleman's truck is the title track from their 1986 album "Master of Puppets".
When Metallica leaves, Otto squashes his hat in the same form Don Ramon from El Chavo del Ocho does.
Krusty the Clown, owner of the chain of Krusty Burger restaurants, pays the mafia to keep McDonalds and Burger King out of Springfield.
Fat Tony asks Milhouse for one of his binders to use as a trap. Fat Tony chooses the "Garfield" binder rather than the "Love Is..." binder. "I prefer the cat, he hates Mondays, and we can all relate."
After Johnny Tightlips says to Michael that he has to stand up as mob boss, Louie says that he wants to drop by the Lexus dealership to test drive their new hybrid. Tightlips replies to Louie that he is a hybrid, half-idiot and half-moron. This is a joke on the hybrid motor setup of an electric motor and a gas engine.
The horn of the truck truck is the same horn that Dennis from the Thomas and Friends TV series has.
Crime fiction references
The mansion of Fat Tony also strongly resembles that of Tony Montana from the movie Scarface.
Fat Tony's son, Michael, is named in honor of Michael Corleone, son of Don Vito Corleone, in Mario Puzo's The Godfather Trilogy. His hairstyle is also extremely similar to Al Pacino's coiffure around the time of the picture.
At the end of the episode Michael says to Lisa: "Don't ever ask me about my business", a quotation from The Godfather. The room where this takes place is very similar to the location in the original movie.
The final portion of the episode is a reference to the final scene of The Godfather, Lisa plays Diane Keaton, and Michael (whose character resembles a young version of Michael Corleone) plays Al Pacino. The Godfather theme is also heard.
Homer claims Shark Tale to be the best gangster movie ever.
Fat Tony asks "Who wants to sleep with the fishes?" Because I brought this Finding Nemo bedspread!" "Sleeping with the fishes" is a gang language quote for dumping a dead body into the river. This is also referenced in '''The Simpsons Movie''' where Fat Tony tries to dump his "yard trimmings" into the Springfield river and A Fish Called Selma, where he used the phrase and got misinterpreted by his fellow mobsters as saying that Troy McClure had died (when he in fact was meaning that the latter had literally "slept with the fishes" at the Aquarium, referring to having his sexual relations with fish).
Something similar to the yard trimmings example also happened in Mom and Pop Art, where Louie claimed they were "donating" a "beanie baby" (which was actually a rolled up rug with an implied dead body inside) to the Toys and Tots bin, although in that case it was not at a body of water.
The episode title is a reference to the film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, which also involves a crime boss and food.
When Fat Tony arrives for the carpool, he says "We are going for a ride!.... By which I mean the carpool." Much of Fat Tony's quotes is related to gang language.
The Sopranos references
When Fat Tony is driving his Lincoln Navigator in the carpool, The Sopranos theme song is heard. Additionally, several Sopranos actors (including Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli) voice mob characters in this episode, note that they had their real faces in this episode.
Nelson says in this episode that "There is no Mafia" which is another reference to The Sopranos, where Anthony Soprano Sr. says this to his daughter Meadow.
Fat Tony works, as he says, in "Waste Management", which is the official job of Anthony Soprano Sr.
The promotional image for this episode is based on promotional material for the HBO original series The Sopranos. With the characters, Lisa and Maggie aside, representing the respective The Sopranos characters:
Homer Simpson being based on Anthony Soprano, Sr.
Marge Simpson being based on Carmela Soprano.
Abraham Simpson being based on Livian Soprano (?).
Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel being based on Anthony Soprano, Jr. and Meadow Soprano, respectively.
Moe Szyslak being based on Richie Aprile.
Sideshow Bob being based on Silvio Dante.
Bart Simpson being based on Bobby Baccalieri.
Charles Montgomery Burns being based on Corrado Soprano, Sr.
Waylon Smithers, Jr. being based on Paulie Gualtieri.
After first finding out Fat Tony is Michael's dad, Nelson also comments "Columbus Day is better than Christmas". This is based on the real-life controversy surrounding the Columbus Day holiday; critics citing Christopher Columbus' slaughtering of Native Americans due to comments made in Howard Zinn's history book A People's History of the United States, while supporters, many of whom are of Italian ancestry, view him as an Italian-American hero. The controversy is addressed in The Sopranos episode "Christopher" (from the show's fourth season).
At the beginning, when Lisa and Bart get on the bus there are children behind the seat where Bart will sit. But when Bart sits down, the children disappears. But in the next scene, the children appear again.
When Otto was singing, Lisa disappears.
When Lisa pulls on the cord for Otto's walkman, her necklace is orange.
Otto breaks the bus windshield in one scene. But in the next scene, the windshield was not cracked. Later, when Otto talks to Kearney, the windshield was broken again.
When Fat Tony gives Michael the math notebook, the back window of Marge's car is withdrawn. This would be impossible in real life, as the back window cannot be removed.
When Fat Tony shows the Finding Nemo blanket, Nemo is yellow with blue stripes and Dory is red. This may have been done to avoid copyright issues.
When Fat Tony is driving, one frame of animation can quickly be seen unfinished.
In slow motion, when Homer was eating the poisonous meatballs, the sticks go through the plate.
When Bart and the mob walk into the Krusty Burger's backroom Krusty's nose is white, but after it cuts back to Bart and the mob the nose is red, even though it is possible that he put on the clown nose off camera.
This is the second time Otto has gotten suspended from driving the school bus, the first time was The Otto Show.
Similarly, this was the second time a reprimand happened with the bus/bus driver that forced the parents to carpool their kids, the first was in Homerpalooza after Otto drove the bus into the pressing engagement after steering off the street in an attempt to avoid running down Jasper Beardley at the last second after sleeping at the wheel.