Hannibal Lecter, portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen, is listening to Bach's Goldberg Variations when he is first introduced. This piece of music is also playing in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) when Lecter murders the two officers in his cell.

There is a scene that took place in a red FBI bathroom. That bathroom is almost an exact replica of the bathroom that appeared in the movie The Shining (1980).

The lungs Dr. Lecter, played by Mads Mikkelsen, prepares for dinner and tastes from are actually Mortadella treated with food coloring.

Apéritif is an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. It is served to "whet the appetite", something one could compare to a pilot episode.

Though he is the titular character Hannibal Lecter doesn't appear on screen for a full 22 minutes.

Will mentions that he falls on the Asperger's end of the autism spectrum. Hugh Dancy previously played a young man with the same disorder in Adam (2009).

Creator Bryan Fuller included an off-screen cameo of Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) in the opening scene of the first episode, Hannibal: Apéritif (2013), when Graham (Hugh Dancy) is reconstructing the crime scene in a house. Graham concludes that the killer intentionally shot his victims through the throat in such a way that they would die slowly, so they could see what he was doing. Fuller confirmed in interviews that this is an early kill of Dolarhyde's, before he perfected his full pattern of home invasion and decorating corpses with pieces of mirrors.