Leela refers to the energy barrier of the Bermuda Tetrahedron as "Tickle Me Elmo's Fire", referencing both the children's toy Tickle Me Elmo, and the meteorological phenomenon St. Elmo's Fire.
On seeing the wreck of the first Planet Express ship, Amy asks whether it could have been "flavor blasted", a reference to Pepperidge Farms' Goldfish snacks.
Hermes Conrad mentions two "famous" wrecks in the graveyard, the Garmin and the TomTom. Both are names of GPS navigation systems.
The shape of the whale's bowels resemble the symbol for infinity, as well as a Möbius strip.
The bitten-off Bridge and Leela soaring through space is like Data going from the stricken Enterprise to the Reman warbird Scimitar in the Star Trek movie Nemesis.
Captain Lando Tucker connected to the wall of the Whale's bowels is a play on Pirates of the Caribbean where in the brig, Bootstrap Bill Turner is connected to the wall of the ship.
The Planet Express crew's roles parallel those of the crew in Moby Dick. Dr. Zoidberg parallels the protagonist, Ishmael since they are both social outcasts and survived. Leela parallels to Captain Ahab because like Ahab, Leela became obsessed with killing a whale but the difference between them is that Ahab lost a leg while Leela only lost the monument.
The Fourth Doctor exits the whale, along with the rest of the whale's victims, a reference to the BBC's Doctor Who, who also travels through time, space, and dimensions.
When Amy asked to cut the rope, Leela said "Negative Sailor Moon". This would be the first out of 2 references to that, the other being the Japanese version of Amy in "Reincarnation".
Leela declares that "We're goin' for a sleighride!" In whaling days, when a harpooned whale ran out the tether line and began pulling the boat to which the line was attached, it was referred to by whalers as a "Nantucket Sleighride". Such "rides" were usually fatal to crewmen on the boats, since the injured whales instinctively dove deep, pulling the boat under.
When mourning the loss of their daughter, Inez says "My days of joy and luck are over! Guess I gotta quit that club." This is a reference to The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan .
Before losing the monument, Leela was piloting through a starship grave yard. One of the ships was an Oceanic Airplane, possibly parodying J.J. Abrams hit television show Lost.
In the starship graveyard, the colorful round spaceship -which is the logo of the band Electric Light Orchestra- can be seen. The spaceship was in the cover of ELO's memorable albums, such as Out of the Blue and Discovery.
The spaceship graveyard contains the guitar-shaped ship used on many album covers of the band Boston.
Other wrecked ships in the graveyard include: an Omicronian ship; the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space; the Monolith and Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey; the capsule from the cover of Apollo 100's greatest hits album; MST3K's Satellite of Love; a version of the ship seen on many album covers for the band Journey; a NASA Saturn 5 and a Lunar Module; and SkyLab.
Throughout the episode, when anyone else talks about the whale as being a fish (or serpent), Leela corrects them, stating that the whale is actually a mammal; but in the closing moments of the show, she states, "On the other hand, the stupid fish did eat us!"