The name of this episode is a play on the name of the film Saving Private Ryan.
The sergeant’s banter with Brian includes lyrics from Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer”, and Primus’ “Sgt. Baker”.
The scene showing an Iraqi terrorist about to behead an American on camera, only to be stopped by democracy kicking in in Iraq, is a reference to the beheadings of Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong.
The boot camp scene uses some of the dialog from similar scenes in Full Metal Jacket and An Officer and a Gentleman. The scene where the drill sergeant discovers a half-eaten bird in Brian’s foot-locker parodies a similar scene in Full Metal Jacket where a jelly donut is discovered. The drill sergeant’s “steers and queers” remark is used in both Full Metal Jacket, and An Officer and a Gentleman.
The birthday telegram delivery by Zinédine Zidane is a reference to his headbutt of Marco Materazzi during the 2006 FIFA World Cup final.
The cutaway where Peter meets a therapist is a reference to Dr. Katz, which was animated in Squigglevision.
After a suicide bomber blows himself up near Stewie and Brian, part of Stewie’s distress call is “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” a soap opera satire from the mid-seventies. He also says “Charlie Tango Cash”, which references to the 1989 film Tango & Cash starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.
Stewie misunderstands the location of their deployment to be “Fraggle Ir-rock,” rather than Iraq, referring to the Jim Henson children's show Fraggle Rock.
After Chris falls through the floor at the school dance, Mayor West is seen playing poker with the dogs from a notable painting series by C.M. Coolidge.