The title is a reference to O. Henry's 1905 short story The Gift of the Magi. Pinkie Pie's trade of her party cannon is a reference to the story's plot.
During the sightseeing trip, the trio visits a toy store where two ponies are playing a duet on a foot-operated electronic keyboard, which is a reference to a famous scene from the 1988 movie Big. The tune they are playing is the beginning of the My Little Pony theme song.
Zephyr Breeze tricking Spike into cleaning the throne room windows is a reference to Tom Sawyer getting a boy to paint a fence for him in the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
An Earth pony stallion in Ponyville bears a resemblance to Link from The Legend of Zelda video game series. This pony wears a green cap, has a Heart Container for a cutie mark, and appears pulling a cart of gems resembling the games' Rupee currency.
When Zephyr Breeze tries living in the woods, he starts talking to his mannequin and names it Wigford, referencing the 2000 Tom Hanks film Cast Away, in which Hanks' character has an imaginary friend that he makes out of a volleyball and names Wilson.
The prank that Rainbow Dash uses on Pinkie, where she appears hanging upside down in a closet, alongside Gummy is a reference to a similar scene featuring Grandpa Munster and Igor the Bat, on the episode "Family Portrait" from the 1964 CBS television series "The Munsters".
The episode's premise is similar to the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon, in which one incident is retold from several different, sometimes contradictory, perspectives.
The jacket Rarity wears in Pinkie's story is similar to the one worn by Captain Stubing in the 1977 series The Love Boat.
Rarity's dress in Applejack's story is similar to the dress worn by the character Rose in the 1997 film Titanic.
Before Applejack joins Pinkie and Rarity on the ship, Rarity even recreates the film's iconic "I'm flying" scene.
Rarity's line before the wave hits, "Luxury cruises never sink." may also be a reference to the passengers on the Titanic, who thought the cruise was unsinkable, but were proven wrong, much like Rarity.
The wave that capsizes the boat in all three stories mirrors the capsizing scene of the F/V Andrea Gail in the 2000 film The Perfect Storm.
Applejack's line "There'll be no mutiny aboard me ship!" is a direct allusion to the line spoken by Captain Queeg in the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny.[specify]
Twilight and Starlight suspect the object heading toward them might be a bird or a parasprite, a reference to the opening of the Fleischer BrothersSupermancartoons: "Up in the sky, look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!"