FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

This page lists Shout Outs seen in literary works.


Works with their own sub-pages:


  • In Wolves of the Calla, book 5 of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, there is a manufacturing plate on a round, flying weapon which reads: "SNEETCH" HARRY POTTER MODEL. Serial # 465-11-AA HPJKR. CAUTION EXPLOSIVE" JKR, of course, refers to J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books; the name "SNEETCH" refers to the Golden Snitch, one of the "balls" required to play Quidditch, which is similarly small, round, flying, and dangerous. "SNEETCH" may also be a reference to the Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches. The Dark Tower is full of things like this, up to and including a green city that can only be entered if you have red shoes.
    • Also a Potter reference, in one of the books is a helping robot, called a "house elf", which is named Dobby, IIRC.
    • The city that Blaine is in constantly plays a series of drums which Eddie mentions sounds suspiciously like a ZZ Top song.
      • EVERY Steven King book EVER has a long list to obscure to vague shout outs to his sixty other 900-page books.
  • The first book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy has Twoflower from Discworld make a subtle and brief cameo in a marketplace for magical items containing demons (Twoflower's camera, or "iconograph", is powered by a tiny demon painting pictures really fast).
    • The second book features two policemen who ask Bartimaeus and his master for their identification. Bartimaeus puts a 'glaze' on the two policemen. They then forget the object of their inquiry and move along.
  • Harry Potter contains a number of shout outs to Monty Python's Flying Circus, such as cockroach clusters.
  • The Yeerks in Animorphs take their name from JRR Tolkien's Sindarin Elvish word for Orcs, yrch.
  • In Paul Robinson's Instrument of God, which is a story about an Afterlife run inside a computer system, the dead people who go to orientation are given references to movies about their situation, including The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, Total Recall and What Dreams May Come. The Preface to the book mentions other stories including Robert A. Heinlein's Elsewhen and Stranger in A Strange Land, as well as the movie The Green Mile. Also, when Supervisor 246 is explaining to a character it might not be a good idea to mention that he's from an Afterlife in another world, she agrees with him, realizing people would think she's crazy. 246 then thinks about the scene where Avery Brooks in Deep Space Nine is trying to convince the men of a mental institution that he's actually a Starbase captain.
  • In The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky has several characters quote passages of The Robbers, a play by Friedrich Schiller. There are also a lot of shout outs to the works of M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, Alexander Pushkin, and Voltaire. Naturally, given the book's religious themes, The Bible is quoted very often.
  • A recurring character in Robert Rankin's books is the "psychic youth and masturbator" Danbury Collins. This is based on Andy Collins, author of dubious New Age work The Knights of Danbury and a rival of Robert's.
  • Mortal Engines has far too many shoutouts to name, a few of which are described on its page.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries have a Shout-Out to Anne Rice; her books are actually books one can buy and read in The Verse the series takes place in, and is why vampires are considered somewhat chic. There's also a shout out to Ann Landers.
    • The short story "Bacon" from the anthology Strange Brew contains one for the Dresden Files:

 "Actually, a girl can't make a living at full-time sorcery anymore," Kathy [a witch] said with a brave smile. "Not with so many of the supernaturals trying to do things the official, human way. The only sorcerer who's gone public is in Chicago, and I hear he's struggling."

  • Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov has a Shout-Out for all comers. The eponymous poem's third canto has a Shout-Out to The Brothers Karamazov. The commentary to one of the lines mentions how a Hurricane Lolita has recently passed over New Wye. Charles Kinbote proposes calling the poem Solus Rex, a reference to one of Nabokov's short stories. There's a minor character named Pnin, which is also the name of one of Nabokov's other novels. Various authors and poets are mentioned, discussed, discarded at length by one of the novel's Unreliable Narrators.
  • In one of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, Han Solo points out "It's not the years, it's the parsecs." Not quite an Actor Allusion to Indiana Jones, because it's a book and Harrison Ford can't say the line himself, but close.
    • And of course, in the Star Wars novels, Han, and later Corran Horn, have used the fake identity "Jenos Idanian", an anagram of Indiana Jones.
    • Another one has a conman who's managed to sneak on board the Death Star setting up a fake ID under the name of Teh Roxxor.
  • H.P. Lovecraft was ridiculously fond of shouting out to his other works to the point where most of the time it didn't really make any sense. The names just happened to be the same. Also, he and his circle of author friends absolutely loved shouting out at each other and shared several eldritch deities.
    • The founder of the Pickman foundation is presumably NOT the Pickman of "Pickman's Model". Lovecraft's stories tend to take place in the same small part of New England, and often concern the same kind of ladies and gentlemen from old, old families (so they can have old, old secrets). Hence, the same surnames turning up again and again is actually fairly realistic: the oldest families have a fair number of members by now, and they are fairly important to local history as well.
  • The Stephen King book Eyes of the Dragon has a minor Shout-Out to H.P. Lovecraft when the narrator mentions how Flagg's spellbook was bound in human skin, written on the Plains of Leng by the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, which is the exact description in most H.P. Lovecraft stories of his famous Necronomicon.
    • Needful Things also has some shout outs to H.P. Lovecraft. The antagonist has cocaine which he claims comes from the Plains of Leng and there's some graffiti in a parking garage that reads "Yog-Sothoth rules." Also, his name is Leland Gaunt; Night-Gaunts are a fictional race in Lovecraft's work.
  • The Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) novels are packed with references to other media. See that page for specific details.
  • In Forests of the Night by S. Andrew Swann, the protagonist visits a bar owned by a biologically-uplifted rabbit. The name of the bar? Watership Down. The bar also contains a framed picture of what are obviously Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
  • In P. D. James's Death of an Expert Witness, there are several subtle references to the much earlier detective novels of Dorothy L. Sayers, the most prominent being a discussion of whether a man struck on the head could have regained consciousness and locked himself into a building before dying, as in Busman's Honeymoon, and a character's saying "I'd rather make love with the public hangman", as in Murder Must Advertise.
  • House of Leaves has shout outs mostly to the works of French thinker Jacques Derrida. The structure of the novel is reminiscent of Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, and colored text could be a subtle Shout-Out to Nabokov's synesthesia. There are also an unusual number of similarities between the house and the House of Change from Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. Jorge Luis Borges, Sylvia Plath, and Franza Kafka are also paid tribute in various, small ways throughout the book.
  • The Eisenhorn Trilogy (Warhammer 40000) features a scene where the titular Inquisitor recounts talking with a retired Titan Princeps (commander) named Hekate during one of his travels. Princeps Hekate just happens to be the main character of the Titan series of graphic novels.
  • Terry Pratchett loves these. For example, in The Fifth Elephant, Vimes encounters Three Sisters who are straight out of a Chekhov play of the same name. One of them want to tear down their Cherry Orchard (another famous Chekhov play). They give him the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya (yet a third famous Chekhov play -- and "gloomy and purposeless" tends to be Chekhov's style).
    • Discworld has the Ramtop mountain range, named after the system variable RAMTOP from the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.
    • In Hogfather, the conversation between HEX and The Bursar is very reminicent of the various 'chat bots' found all over the internet.
      • More specifically, it resembles the mindlessly-chatty "ELIZA" program, which predates the internet by a few years.
    • There exist a separate wiki and a more organized website dedicated to cataloging Pratchett's shout-outs.
    • In Lords and Ladies, there's one to the song "Lucky Ball and Chain" by They Might Be Giants when Granny Weatherwax and Mustrum Ridcully are discussing how to get away from the unicorn.

 "I was young and foolish then."

"Well? You're old and foolish now."

 Adrift upon the sea of time, the lonely god wanders from shore to distant shore, upholding the laws of the stars above.

  • Peter David's Sir Apropos of Nothing contains a shout-out to The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. When Apropos and Princess Entipy encounter a herd of unicorns, Entipy cautions Apropos, "You must never run from anything immortal, it attracts their attention." This is word for word what the Unicorn told Schmendrick to discourage him from running from a harpy.
  • The Dresden Files have a lot of shout-outs, from Thomas being a Buffy fan to a short exchange between two characters about the medical uses of superglue, which one of them saw in "a movie about werewolves". A long but far from exhaustive listing can be found on the main page for the series.
  • Welkin Weasels runs entirely on Shouting Out to various famous literature, movies, and historical events, often with an Incredibly Lame Pun or two mixed in. (See the reference to Treasure of the Sierra Madre and/or Blazing Saddles as the Talking Animal marmot sheriff faces off with an outlaw: "Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!")
  • In Henry Fieldings' Tom Jones, Fielding drops in a shout-out to his sister's novel David Simple, which Sophia Western reads in one scene.
  • The Baby Sitters Club contains a plethora of shout-outs to I Love Lucy, including Stacey's last name.
  • John Ringo tends to throw tons of shout outs to various things his works, including but not limited to:
  • Too Many Magicians, by Randall Garrett, contains a Shout-Out to the Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout. The Marquis of London is clearly modelled after Wolfe, from physical appearance to his refusal to talk business over a meal. His assistant, Lord Bontriomphe, is an even clearer reference to Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin.
    • On the other hand, while he's as smart as his cousin, Lord Darcy, he's a government official, not a detective, who when faced with a murder gets his cousin involved. This suggests another influence was Wolfe's alleged uncle, Mycroft Holmes, fitting in with Darcy's similarities to Sherlock.
    • In the same book the symbol of the King's Messengers is a lens of grey glass, which glows in the hand of the right man, created by the great magician Sir Edward Elmer; a Shout-Out to E. E. "Doc" Smith and the Lensman books.
    • And there's a character called Tia Einzig, a defector from the Polish Hegemony whose Uncle Neapeler escaped with the help of a Manxman named Colin MacDavid and is now living on the Isle. "Einzig" is German for "only", so Neapeler Einzig, the uncle from Man, has a name that translates as Napoleon Solo, while MacDavid's name is a simple rearrangement of David McCallum.
    • The same book has this exchange, which is nearly identical to the "dog in the night-time" one from the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze:

 "I should like to call your attention to the peculiar condition of that knife."

Master Sean frowned. "But... there was nothing peculiar about the condition of that knife."

"Precisely. That was the peculiar condition.

    • The Lord Darcy stories have a lot of this stuff. Another is a clear parody of Murder On The Orient Express, in which a Hercule Poirot Expy comes to completely the wrong solution (but the same one Agatha Christie used), while Darcy comes up with the real solution undercover as an unassuming priest named Father Brun.
    • A couple of others feature a secret agent named Sir James le Lien (Lien = contract = Bond).
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Aeneid (written by Virgil for Caesar Augustus) contained a shout-out to Augustus's recently deceased nephew, where Aeneas is in the underworld and sees a man with a dark cloud around him. His guide goes on with a mournful speech about how Aeneas should weep for the tragic fate of his distant descendant and describes Marcellus's tomb on the Tiber.
  • Mercedes Lackey pulls off a clever one in her book The Fairy Godmother. Her protagonist Elena goes to a Hiring Faire, and is the second-to-last person hired. The last person in the square, when she leaves? Mort.
  • Alastair Reynolds throws a pair of enormous shout-outs to The Book of the New Sun in House of Suns, though it would be a spoiler to explain exactly what they are.
  • Gordon Korman's Son of the Mob and it's sequel, Hollywood Hustle, contain several references to Monty Python:
    • In the first book, when Vince's date opens the trunk of his car and finds Jimmy the Rat unconscious and bleeding (Vince is, after all, the titular mob prince), the only response the horrified Vince can think of is "a line from that old parrot sketch from Monty Python": "He's not dead, he's resting."
    • In the second book, Vince mentions that a girl named Willow could "turn on a guy in a hovercraft full of eels and can recite Monty Python and The Holy Grail in its entirety from memory.
  • Eric Flint wrote the novella Carthago Delenda Est as a sequel to David Drake's Ranks of Bronze, but the space battle scene invokes Uchuu Senkan Yamato:

 Again, there was an exotic combination of old and new technology. The three great turrets of the ancient battleship swivelled, just as if it were still sailing the Pacific. But the guidance mechanisms were state-of-the-art Doge technology. And the incredible laser beams which pulsed out of each turret's three retrofitted barrels were something new to the galaxy.... Only a ship as enormous as the old Missouri could use these lasers. It took an immense hull capacity to hold the magnetic fusion bottles.

  • JRR Tolkien's unfinished novel The Notion Club Papers contains several shout-outs to The Space Trilogy by his friend, CS Lewis.
    • CS Lewis himself used various names which are alike or very similar to some Middle-earth names. The Space Trilogy main character, Ransom, is also a philologist and the Martian languages bear a certain similarity to Elvish.
    • Tolkien made several self-Shout Outs in his work, arguably, quite apart from the myriad in-universe references to 'older' tales: not expecting his 'ancient histories' of Middle Earth (which often genuinely were written much earlier) to ever be published when he was writing The Lord of the Rings, he occasionally recycled names from his existing mythology into the latter. These would have remained private S.O.s, but for The Silmarillion appearing decades later and highlighting them - as well as throwing up odd inconsistencies such as a name migrating from one race to another (e.g. Denethor, Gothmog; some instances were retconned in supplementary works as in-universe Shout Outs where the later users were said to have taken their names from heroes of old - or of the The Silmarillion character Glorfindel, whose First Age death was retconned via a one-off offscreen miracle to retrospectively make him possibly/probably the same person as the LotR character of the same name.
      • Don't forget all of LOTR's shout outs to Macbeth, all taken from Act IV, Scene i, when the Witches tell Macbeth their prophecies of his death. First of all, the phrase "Crack of Doom" was coined by Shakespeare in this scene. The Ents' besiegement of Isengard and the Witch-King's defeat by Éowyn are references to two of the three prophecies—namely, that it will not happen until "Great Birnam Wood...shall come against him" and that "none of woman born shall harm" him. Of course, the trees do come to the castle when Macduff's army uses their branches as camoflauge, just as the Ents come to Isengard, and Macbeth is killed by a man who was not born, but removed from his mother's womb, just as the Witch-King, who can be killed by "no living man," is killed by a woman.
  • Tom Holt's Only Human features something of a Terry Pratchett Shout-Out, in which a man sentenced to Ironic Hell for complaining to authors that their new stuff wasn't as good as their old stuff...was forced to read the same book over and over again for the rest of eternity. His final line was that he'd just gotten up to the part where "the tourist has just met the wizard".
  • In Sharpe's Tiger, Sharpe briefly sees (and is warned not to steal) the Moonstone from, well, The Moonstone.
  • In High Wizardry, a man apparently fitting the description of the fifth Doctor saves Dairine from the servants of the Lone Power chasing her.
  • The Captain Underpants series of books is set at Jerome Horowitz Elementary School, who was Curly of the Three Stooges.
  • In the Star Trek Alternate Universe novella Seeds of Dissent by James Swallow, the deceased members of the Botany Bay crew are all named after Doctor Who companions.
    • A screen in a Next Generation episode showing a woman's descendants included the names of all the first seven actors to play the Doctor.
  • In the first four books of Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier series, he's able to sneak in the first and/or last names of all the actors who played the main characters of his TV Series Space Cases.
    • Later, he gives a more thorough one to Jewel Staite by putting a "Catalina City" on a moon of Saturn.
  • A very subtle Shout-Out exists in David Gerrold's Blood and Fire. While one group of characters is preparing to engage on a dangerous mission, the captain tells them "Let's be careful out there." The protagonist mentally notes that it was a watchword on her previous ship, the Michael Conrad. A shout out to Hill Street Blues and the actor who spoke the line.
  • In Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, William of Baskerville talks about his good friend William of Ockham.
  • A trilogy of Warhammer40000 novels are entitled Ravenor, Ravenor Returned and Ravenor Rogue; a rather highbrow nod to John Updike's equally alliterative "Rabbit" series (Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest and Rabbit Remembered).
  • The S.M. Stirling novel Conquistador features South African villains with the same names as the South African antagonists of the Harry Turtledove novel Guns of the South. There is also a reference to a landholder named Morrison, like the titular hero of H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen. Morrison's House motto is "Death to Styphon!," a reference to the "Gunpowder God" cult of the Kalvin stories.
  • Malik's admission that he's a fan of both Sherlock Holmes and Spider-Man in Wandering Djinn
  • The Novels of the Change are full of these, encompassing subjects as diverse as Monty Python and Dirty Harry. Lord of the Rings gets so many shout-outs, even the toilet-humor National Lampoon parody figures heavily into the plot. And even though nobody in the novels has heard of Harry Potter (as only the first book came out before everything went to hell), the resident Wiccans still manage to get in a good laugh about the Sorting Hat.
  • In Changer's Moon: What does this bring to mind?

 When she turned back to the Mirror, there were excited voices coming from it, a great green dragon leaped at them, mouth wide, fire whooshing at them, then the dragon went round the curve of the Mirror and vanished—but not before she saw the dark-clad rider perched between the delicate powerful wings. More of the dragons whipped past, all of them ridden, all of them spouting gouts of fire at something Serroi couldn’t see. They were intensely serious about what they were doing, those riders and the beasts they rode, but Serroi couldn’t make out what it was they fought.

 Frey--Freyda's son by her fourth or fifth contract--was walking around the consoles twirling the light saber. He'd picked that up from some obscure group of galactic-wide do-gooders from near the end of back-time limits.

  • In the book Jeremy Fink And The Meaning Of Life by Wendy Mass, there seems to be either an accidental Shout-Out or simply a very subtle one, as life, the universe and everything are mentioned a few times in that exact phrasing.
  • In the denouement of Matthew Stover's Jericho Moon, Kheperu tells Barra several Blatant Lies about how he'd gotten himself, the MacGuffin, and her back to the city after she was knocked out. Among these obvious whoppers is one where they're scooped up and carried to safety in the nick of time by giant eagles.
  • In George Zebrowski's 1998 novel Brute Orbits, there's a description of life on an asteroid-borne penal colony: "You were either a bully, a toady, or one of the nameless rabble of victims."
  • The planet Wunderland, in Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars series, has a number of inimical animals native to it. One of these, the more dangerous for its apparent harmlessness and cuddly-toy aspect (until it bites you with venomous fangs and doesn't let go), is called a Beam's Beast. The narrator states that the etymology of the name had been lost to history, but it's a dead ringer (modulo the fangs) for H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy.
  • The Roman poet Catullus used the name "Lesbia" as a pseudonym for the illicit lover much of his poetry describes, a clear reference to the Isle of Lesbos, home to the Greek poet Sappho, who may well have been the Trope Maker or Trope Codifier for many of the Romantic love tropes Catullus (and for that matter, much of the Western World) used in his poetry (When he wasn't being Incredibly Explicit, that is, and even sometimes when he was).
  • The main character of American Psycho is named Patrick Bateman; a poke at Norman Bates, the antagonist of Psycho.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians has a character called Will. He's from Apollo, the god of archery. Remind you of someone?
    • Actually, Will's namesake isn't a shout out Rangers Apprentice, but a certain play write and poet who, in universe, was said to also be a son of Apollo.
  • In John DeChancie's Castle Murders, one of Those Two Guys, Peter Thaxton, solves a magical murder mystery among the castle nobles. In appreciation, the king of the castle grants him a title, which entitles him to be known as Lord Peter.
  • In the Sinister Six Trilogy, the Gentleman visits The Machiavelli Club, a special society of villains with class. His table has on it a welcome back card from an "elegant lady thief of his acquaintance, Carmen."
  • The Thirteenth Tale contains shout-outs to Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Rebecca.
  • In the Star Trek novel The Romulan War: To Brave The Storm, the character of Trip at one point calls himself "Michael Kenmore" which is a Shout-Out to Stargate Atlantis, where the actor for Trip, Connor Trineer, played Michael Kenmore, the rogue Wraith turned human.
  • In Richard Peck's novel Secrets at Sea, one character mentions an ancestor in passing named Katinka Van Tassel, which is the name of the young woman Ichabod Crane loves in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
  • There's a nice shout out to The Dresden Files in the opening chapter of Benedict Jacka's Fated. "I've even heard of some guy in Chicago who advertises in the phone book under 'Wizard', though that's probably an urban legend."
  • The authors of Warrior Cats have admitted to sneaking in quotes from Rambo. Also, the second arc was original going to be named The Next Generation, after Star Trek. The magazine "Cat Fancy" appears in a panel in one of the mangas, and "Here Comes The Sun" is the name of a chapter in one of the Dungeons and Dragons-style game in the back of the books.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road. The Never-Born creature Oscar fights a duel with has a huge nose, is a superb swordsman, likes to sing poetry while fighting, and claims to have written a book, traveled to the Moon and had a house fall on him. Although he never tells Oscar Gordon his name, he's clearly based on the Real Life person Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire includes "House Jordayne of the Tor", after a certain other series of fantasy novels published by Tor Books. A character also references an "Archmaester Rigney" who believes that "Time is a Wheel". Robert Jordan's given name was James Rigney.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt: The first chapter is written in a style that imitates Journey to the West and the last chapter has a shout out to Candide.
  • Dozens in Michael Flynn's The January Dancer. Including a Yellow Brick Road, a quote from The Bible and G. K. Chesterton both, a snippet of a Francis Thompson poem, Route 66, the Silk Road, Little Red Riding Hood, and many more.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.