Unlike most Cartoon Network shows, this show is known for its use of licensed music. Much of them are usually 1980s music, which was the kind of music to which Series Creator J.G. Quintel grew up listening.
Before this show, the series creator, along with the voice actor for Benson made a video where their characters take candy with acid in it and hallucinate themselves as a blue Jay (Mordecai and Benson). The video is called "2 in the A.M. P.M.
A list of running gags on the show include: Muscle Man making jokes about his mother. Pops mistaking lollipops and other candy for money. Benson telling Mordecai and Rigby to clean their mess, and tells them they will be fired if they don't. Mordecai acting weird and shy around Margaret, due to his crush on her. - Rigby getting punched by Mordecai every time he says or does something mean, selfish, or stupid. - Skips having seen something before.
This show was inspired by The Simpsons (1989) and Beavis and Butt-Head (1993), and Quintel credited the stylistic elements of Joe Murray's Rocko's Modern Life and Camp Lazlo as working their way into his style.
The show is based on J.G. Quintels student film "2 in the AM PM", which was about two gas station clerks who take acid trips after eating two pieces of acid filled candy. The first clerk is played by J.G. Quintel, the Creator of this show, and he is named after him as well. The second clerk is played by Sam Marin, who plays Benson, and is named after him. The short never aired on television, due to having a ton of swear words, but is on YouTube though.
There have been many scenes that resemble scenes from the Star Wars saga. In season seven, episode twenty-nine, "The Button", Benson hallucinates himself stuck on the railings underneath Cloud City, like Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and in season seven, episode thirty-five, "VIP Members Only", Mordecai, Rigby, Mitch, and Fives fall into a pit with skeletons and fight a monster, a lot like the Rancor pit in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Skips is voiced by Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker.
In the pilot episode, "The Power", Mordecai and Rigby smash a hole in the wall, to which Rigby says "How in the 'h' are we gonna fix this 's'?" in the DVD version. The broadcasted version says: "How in the 'heck' are we gonna fix this 'stuff'?"
Although Rigby's dad is shown being nice in season five, episode thirteen, "The Thanksgiving Special", in later episodes, he is shown as being a rude jerk who cares little about Rigby, and only about his car.
Pops is the only character not to threatened to be fired. Benson almost fired Muscle Man, Mordecai, Rigby, and high-five ghost, along with Skips for no reason, on season four, episode thirteen, "Firework Run".
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In season three, episode seventeen, "Eggscellent", it's shown that Rigby is allergic to eggs, and that he can fall into a coma. Yet, in season four, episode ten, "One Pull Up", he is shown eating eggs out of a blender.