• After the original airing of the episode, Seth MacFarlane wrote on Twitter that the idea of killing off Brian and bringing him back was a lesson in never taking our loved ones for granted. He also thanked the fans for supporting Brian's return from the dead.
  • Stewie's perpetual age of one is made into a meta-joke when Lois notes that it's his first Christmas, to which Stewie asks "Again?"
  • This is the third time that Brian's catch phrase of "Whose leg do you have to hump to get a dry martini around here?" from "I Never Met the Dead Man" was parodied. It was previously parodied by O'Brian in "Peter's Two Dads" and by New Brian in "The Man with Two Brians".
  • The Mall Santa is able to understand Stewie while the Griffins' ability to understand him still lays in question.
  • The Rankin/Bass special The Year Without a Santa Claus is parodied in title as The Year Without a Santa Claus or Sex.
  • A version of Home Alone is shown with competent burglars.
  • The Asian waiters from A Christmas Story make an appearance in the Quahog Mall.
  • When Vinny is talking with Lois, he aims his head upwards and his nose changes from white to teal during that time. This is done to indicate a change of lighting.
  • The DVD commentary for "Life of Brian" notes that some people attributed the outpouring of concern from the fans as the reason for Brian's later return. These are dismissed as being impossible due to the production schedule of the show and had been planned all along.
  • The same commentary notes that to protect the story of Brian's return, cast members resorted to misleading their own families.
  • In contrast, executive producer Danny Smith noted in the commentary for "In Harmony's Way" that he thought Brian should have stayed dead. The staff in the commentary for this episode also strongly hoped for a return of Vinny, although resistance from Seth MacFarlane was noted.
  • The commentary also suggests that Stewie and Vinny would properly befriend in what would be an "all-musical new episode." Although that description is inaccurate as Stewie has no contact with Vinny, the latter would later appear in "The Boys in the Band".
  • Stewie's reaction to Brian's gift is to question if they are expecting. The DVD commentary confirms that this led to the creation of "Stewie Is Enceinte".

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