Due to the game's content, it was the first game to be banned for sale in Australia after the introduction of the R18+ classification. A censored version of the game was created, removing the content that was deemed inappropriate and later approved for release by the board.
Creative director, Steve Jaros, has said that the original ending for the game included a big Bollywood inspired song and dance number. This was cut from the game due to a combination of not having enough time or funding during development.
The male voices for The Boss will occasionally say "I am the one who knocks", referencing Breaking Bad.
The mission "He Lives" is a reference to the movie They Live. Not only is the name a parody of the film, but both the game and the movie star Roddy Piper and Keith David, both feature a fight that starts in an alley, and Keith David is designed after his character, Frank Armitage, from the movie.
An edition called the Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition was released for the price of $1 million. Only one was made available and came with a capsule wardrobe, Lamborghini, Toyota Prius, plastic surgery, personal shopper, spy training, space flight, hostage rescue experience, full sized replica dub-step gun, super car membership and a stay at a number of luxury hotels.
Two groups of Saints Row 4 developers were secretly making dubstep guns without the other group knowing. When the groups found out they were both making the guns, they merged them into one ultimate dubstep gun.
The game was initially going to be a piece of DLC for Saint Row the Third entitled "Enter the Dominatrix".
The ending of the first mission is a reference to the movie "Armageddon". The theme from the movie, "Don't Wanna Lose a Thing" by Aerosmith, is played as a rocket takes off.
Most of the weapon skins found when upgrading your weapon have movie or TV show references tied to them.
The "You Chicken?" taunt is a reference to the show "Arrested Development". It mimics G.O.B.'s impersonation of a chicken.
The mission "The Case of Mr. X" is a homage to the series "Metal Gear." When alerting an enemy, the games "!" alert will sound, and the player must hide in boxes to sneak around enemies. When you fail the mission Asha will say "Boss? Boss!? BOSS!!!" During the Mission, a guard will also say "This Snake is 100% Solid," referencing Sold Snake himself.
If the player goes to a store called "Let's Pretend" and shoots a certain door, it will open, revealing a secret passage downstairs. The room contains the developer's heads, and if they are all shot, a gun called "Tiny Pistol" will appear. If fired, the gun will push you backwards. This is a reference to the gun "Noisy Cricket" from Men in Black, which when fired will also push you back.
Sometimes when talking to Keith David, he will say "I was 12 hours into Dead Island when the Zin attacked. Now I'll never finish. I won't forgive them for that." Saints Row IV was distributed by Deep Silver, who also published Dead Island.
There is a suit in the game called "Ransom Hunter" that resembles Boba Fett's armour from Star Wars.