Twilight's training with Zecora references Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Twilight, much like Luke Skywalker, seeks a mentor to defeat a corrupted enemy. Zecora directly quotes Luke's mentor, Yoda, as she instructs Twilight to "unlearn what you have learned." Also within this scene, Twilight loses focus with her magic as she remembers Trixie's control of Ponyville, much like how Luke loses focus during training as he has a vision about his friends in danger.
When Trixie summons the dome to cover Ponyville, a musical score closely resembling 'Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium' by the classical composer Camille Saint-Saëns can be heard.
The scene is also a reference to the Stephen King novel Under the Dome and/or The Simpsons Movie, where a town cut off from the outside world by a large glass dome is a major part of both plots.[dubious – discuss]
The location that Twilight mentions, "Saddle Arabia", is a reference to Saudi Arabia.
The entire opening scene mirrors the one after the introduction in The Show Stoppers. The two ponies Scootaloo rushes past are the same (Shoeshine and Cherry Berry), Granny Smith appears, and there is also an obstacle in the middle of the road which Scootaloo catches air from, though the scenes are in a different order and the ponies react differently.
As with the bag in Sweet and Elite, the two horseshoes on Rarity's bag in her camping cart bears similarity to the Chanel logo.
The title is a reference to the 1939 British WWII propaganda poster Keep Calm and Carry On, which has since become a popular internet meme.
The original title of the episode, Fluttershy's Home for Reformed Draconequi, alludes to the title of the Cartoon Network animated series, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, which Lauren Faust and writers Amy Keating Rogers, Meghan McCarthy, Cindy Morrow and Chris Savino have all worked on.
Twilight's line at the dinner party, "Hold on to your elements girls. It's going to be a bumpy night." is a reference to the movie All About Eve. Bette Davis as Margo Channing utters the famous line, "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."
Discord eating the reformation spells is a reference to John de Lancie's quote, as Q, "Eat any good books lately?"
The song Spike sings at the beginning of the episode: "Spike is great, making a jewel cake", is a reference to a famous skit performed by Bill Cosby about giving his children chocolate cake for breakfast. In return his children sang, "Dad is great, gives us chocolate cake!"
The winged shoes the messenger wears are an allusion to the ancient Greek god Hermes, who wore winged sandals which enabled him to fly. Hermes, having the ability of flight, played the role of messenger for the Olympian Gods, and was likewise a patron of sports. The winged shoes also allude to the myth of Perseus, a hero who borrowed Hermes' sandals during his ventures.
Twilight's line "It doesn't even make sense, it doesn't even rhyme" comes from the 1999 film Julien Donkey-Boy.
Ambient sounds that play in the background at the beginning of act 3 resemble Sygyt, a form of Tuvan throat singing.
When Twilight says "Today, I consider myself the luckiest pony in Equestria", it mimics legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig's famous July 4, 1939 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium; specifically, the portion where he said, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth".