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This page lists Shout Outs seen in Live Action TV shows.

  • As a Shout Out to the Marx Brothers film Animal Crackers, the song "Hello, I Must Be Going" became a theme in Oliver Stone's miniseries Wild Palms. It was also the title of the final episode, and sung by villain Senator Kreutzer (Robert Loggia) as he died.
  • Homicide: Life On the Street used family and crew as murder victims on the white board.
  • Similarly, characters from Homicide, and the book from which it is based, appear in The Wire.
  • Wings: Many of the episode titles are paraphrases of film titles, common sayings, or song lyrics. Also, the opening and endings of "Joe Blows" are similar to Sunset Boulevard.
  • Babylon 5 gave a number of Shout Outs over its run.
    • A fan who provided the name "quantium-40" (for a fictitious element used in jumpgate construction) got a waiter named after him.
    • Another Babylon 5 Shout Out went to Neil Gaiman (one of the few writers to pen an episode besides J. Michael Straczynski): a species — the Gaim. Their breathing masks are similar to the helmet of Gaiman's character Morpheus.
    • The villainous PsiCop Alfred Bester is named after the science fiction writer of the same name; B5's PsiCorps resembled a dark mirror image of the benevolent telepath's organization in The Demolished Man. The show also features the use of earworms as a defense against telepathy on a couple of occasions.
    • An Earth Battlecruiser in the first season was named after the web address of a prominent Babylon 5 fansite.
    • To get rid of an annoying person who wouldn't take the hint that he wanted to be left alone, Lennier claimed to have a contagious disease called "Netter's Syndrome" (named for executive producer Doug Netter).
    • The Crusade character John Matheson is named for the author Richard Matheson.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", James Marsters, Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame, shows up as Captain John Hart, Captain Jack Harkness's Evil Counterpart, and essentially plays Spike to Jack's Angel. When Jack introduces him to the Torchwood 3 team, he asks if they have a team name, and then after Jack says, "Torchwood!", he says, "What, not Excalibur? Alright, Torchwood." This is a Shout-Out to a fifth season episode of Angel where Spike asks Angel if he and his gang have a name.
    • He also thinks there should be a blonde.
    • Also, a few minutes after that scene, back in the Torchwood hub, Gwen asks if she should call him "John" or "Captain", and Captain John smoothly replies, "Love, with eyes like yours, you can call me Vera;" a Shout-Out to another cult hit created by Joss Whedon.
    • Also a shout-out to Torchwood itself, as 'Excalibur' was the original name under which Russell T Davies developed the series idea.
    • And when Captain John appears in a hologram on Jack's wrist-strap, he says: "Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."
    • Also in Captain John's appearance, after clearing out a bar through weapons intimidation and drinking his way through the alcohol lineup, he says, "Bored now." a la Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In the later episode "Dead Man Walking," an alien being seeking to enter the world through Owen's animated corpse speaks a phrase in an alien language, over and over. This phrase is eventually translated as "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger shall know no bounds." However, the actual words are "Melenkurion abatha, duroc minas mill khabaal"--the seven words of Earthpower used in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
  • Weirdly, Seinfeld and Blossom frequently did mutual Shout Outs to each other.
    • Suddenly that explains a lot about Elaine's wardrobe in the early seasons...
  • In Smallville, Jonathan Kent (played by John Schneider) is heard playing the theme to The Dukes of Hazzard in his car.
    • In one episode, Tom Wopat (who played the other Duke cousin) shows up as an old friend of Jonathan. Thanks to a broken window Jonathan has to get in his car through the window.
    • Chloe and Lois get a few per episode. There is also an occasional shout out to Clark's later career and eventual marriage.
    • In an episode where Lana joins a sorority of krypto-made vampires, Clark and Professor Fine (James Marsters) have this exchange:

 Clark: This is gonna sound crazy, but she was bitten by.. a vampire.

Prof. Fine: There's no such thing as vampires.

The lead vampire in that episode is a blonde valley-girl named Buffy Saunders.
  • Searching his secret weapons locker in an episode of Andromeda, Captain Hunt (played by Kevin Sorbo, who also played Hercules) finds a Hercules: The Legendary Journeys sword and wig. In the first episode, Hunt is referred to as being "like a Greek god or something."
    • There's also the episode where he goes in search of an old ship avatar, and it turns out to be Michael Hurst, who played Iolaus. A little later they have a "you look kind of familiar" moment. In the same episode, Hunt has a sense of déjà vu when he is told that he must mount a rescue out of a system named Tartarus.
    • In yet another episode, following a conversation about how powerful the Lost Technology ship makes him, Captain Hunt remarks "...but I'm not a god; I'm just a man".
    • The premiere of the series had a human crewman who was killed in the initial attack named after a noted denizen of rec.arts.sf.written who had died of cancer not long before.
    • Another episode featured a racist militant group called the Knights of Genetic Purity, who were lifted unchanged (name and all) from the role-playing game Gamma World.
  • Charmed gave a shout to Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the episode "The Power of Two". Prue and Phoebe are in a mausoleum and have this conversation:

 Prue: Ohh, I hate cemeteries at night.

Phoebe: I hate cemeteries at day. What was that?

Prue: Uh ... huh. Probably a zombie or vampire.

Phoebe: Great. Where's Buffy when you need her?

    • An even better example is when Paige is attacked by a vampire in the fourth season, after Buffy's Channel Hop from The WB to UPN.

 Piper: Vampires? That'd be different.

Phoebe: No, that's not possible.

Paige: Why not?

Phoebe: Well, because as far as I know, vampires attack in human form and not as a swarm of bats. You know, it's gotta be something else.

Leo: It's true, vampires have been ostracized from the underworld for centuries. As far as I know they're apart of a whole different network now.

    • They also do a shout to Psycho when in a season 2 episode Piper is pursued by a serial killer from a movie.

 Piper: I am being stalked by psycho killers and I hide in the shower?!

  • Buffy gives a shout out to Charmed as well: in the series finale, Willow, after performing the spell that awakens all the Slayers on earth, exclaims, "Oh my Goddess!" This is the title of the fifth season finale of Charmed. Apparently Joss Whedon saw the title of the episode, thought it was awesome, and threw it into the finale.
  • There's also a potential Battlestar Galactica Classic shout-out in Anya's dismissive reference to the Buffybot: "She's not the descendant of a long line of mystical warriors. She's the descendant of a toaster oven"?
    • Buffy's last name might be a shout out to Montague Summers. Quotith The Other Wiki: "He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorious 15th-century witch hunter's manual, the Malleus Maleficarum." He also believed in vampires, witches and other things.
  • Angel, meanwhile, had a shout out to Joss Whedon having written one of the Alien films, with Fred's father saying he fell asleep during it. Despite it being a Whedon film, it wasn't well received.
  • In the first episode of Stargate SG-1 (starring Richard Dean Anderson, who also played MacGyver), Carter comments that they had to MacGyvering the Stargate's dialing device to get it to work. This had actually been an ad-lib during Amanda Tapping's screen test for the part. She knew RDA was involved in the series and that he was "behind the curtain" at the screen test, so she threw the line in. It got her the part.
    • Another episode, "Politics", has Daniel Jackson reacting to an assertion that the United States military can take care of the aliens with "Oh, right, we'll just upload a virus to their computer system..." This was the method used to defeat the aliens in Independence Day, which was conceived as a sequel to the Stargate movie.
    • Jack wanting to name their first Starship "Enterprise", and being "Red Leader" in their version of the Death Star trench run.
    • The 100th and 200th episodes of Stargate SG-1 ("Wormhole X-treme" and "200", respectively) are almost entirely composed of Shout Outs, in-jokes and general Lampshade Hanging.
    • In their 202nd episode, Momento Mori, Vala mentions watching The X-Files in her spare time. The X-Files was the longest-running American science fiction show, with 202 episodes. (For the record, SG-1 wound up with 214 and held the record until 2011.) It also has a season 4 episode "Memento Mori."
    • The episode "2010" contains a Shout-Out to Two Thousand Ten the Year We Make Contact with the characters mentioning a plan to turn Jupiter into a new sun. The follow-up episode in the next season, dealing with the events leading up to "2010", was named 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • In one Lower Deck Episode, one of the spotlighted characters tells another that they "might as well be wearing red shirts".
    • SG-1 being the self-referential superstar it is, hung plenty of lampshades on the fact that Ben Browder and Claudia Black (of Farscape fame) joined the cast for the last two seasons. An early example, in their first Stargate episode, the season 9 premiere, involved Vala saying she knows she's never met Colonel Mitchell because she would remember that. Later in the episode, Vala jokingly tells Daniel that she's pregnant and there's a one-in-ten chance it's Daniel's baby. She then winks at Mitchell, referencing the fact that their characters did have a baby together on Farscape.
    • In Atlantis, Carson Beckett commented at one point that he felt like "a dog's breakfast", the title of an independent film made by Paul MacGillion (Beckett) and David Hewlett (Rodney McKay).
  • Lost: The commentary for the Season 1 DVDs has a number of shoutouts to this wiki. Further, in the first season, the fact that the infiltrator's pseudonym is Ethan is almost certainly a shoutout to one of J.J. Abrams other works, Mission Impossible (especially since the guy playing Ethan is Tom Cruise's cousin). Also, in the episode "Homecoming," during one of Charlie's flashbacks he meets a girl named Lucy, who talks about her father buying a paper company in Slough in a possible reference to The Office.
    • There are also numerous references to Star Wars, from an episode title ("Some Like It Hoth"), Sawyer using (and criticizing a guard for falling for) 'the Wookie prisoner trick' and nicknaming various people 'Han and Chewie', 'Jabba' and 'Yoda'.
  • In the second episode of Chuck, a brief reference is made to some group having orchestrated "shooting down Oceanic Flight 815", the same designation as the flight from Lost.
    • Also in the second episode, while Chuck introduces his life and the people in it, he and others chase a thief through a parking lot with music in the background. The occasional collision with a car, the voiceover, the whole thing acting as an intro... even the music, all of it comes from the intro to Trainspotting.
    • Season one, episode seven: The code to Harry Tang's remote is OU 812, a Van Halen album (Oh, You Ate One, Too).
    • The episode "Chuck Versus the Dream Job" contains a Shout-Out to Quantum Leap, as befitting Scott Bakula's guest turn as Chuck's father. His first words on Ellie's reaction to seeing him after 10 years: "Oh boy".
    • The first episode of season three has a massive shout to The Big Lebowski. After Chuck fails as a spy, he grows a beard of sorrow and dons a bathrobe to the tune of "Just Dropped In". The Dude sports a beard (goatee) and bathrobe, and that tune is in an iconic portion of the film.
  • Possibly an episode of Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior where a disturbed man seeks bloody revenge on behalf of his sister but his mental image of her doesn't want it.
  • Beakmans World: Don and Herb Penguin form a Shout-Out to Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard.
    • Also, several times the characters mention the shenanigans in Mr. Guenther's science class, referencing Al Guenther, the science consultant for the show.
  • A113 appears in many animated productions and refers to a room number used by the animation program at CalArts.
  • The name of Ros Pritchard's (fictional) home town in The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard is a shoutout to The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
  • The recappers at Television Without Pity believe that someone on the Heroes writing staff reads their website, because there have been a number of conspicuous Shout Outs to said website within the show. When the Haitian was introduced in a flashback, moments before, a character had said, "Is that a new sensation for you?" The TWOP nickname (as well as Jack Coleman's, who plays Mr Bennet) for the Haitian is "The Haitian Sensation". Repeated moans for Peter to cut his bangs were met with Sylar cutting them off in a very dramatic scene. This might be due to the fact that TWOP read more into scenes than is necessarily meant, but, it's not implausible, since the episodes in question were filmed during the first hiatus, and TWOP recaps for the first few episodes were already online.
    • Hiro is the center of Shout-Out-ness for Heroes, actually. Hiro tears up an issue of Action Comics #1 to make origami in one of the online comics. Kaito Nakamura's Limo had NCC 1701 as the license plate. That's the registration number of the Starship Enterprise. Kaito is played by George Takei, who also played Sulu. Hiro named a few X-Men issues in episode 1... though fans will point out he cited an issue number incorrectly.
      • Later, when he met Charlie, the waitress with eidetic memory, he mentioned that same issue, and she pointed out that he had the wrong issue number. The show's producers shouted out to the fans on that one.
      • The sword repairman he went to late in season 1 is named Mr. Claremont, a Shout-Out to Chris Claremont, who put the X-Men on the map for Marvel Comics.
      • When Hiro calls home from Midland, Texas and gets himself on the phone, he gasps, "Great Scott!" (or "Greatu Sukotto!") in a Shout-Out to Back to The Future.
      • When he first arrives three years back to save Charlie, he says, "Oh boy!".
      • He calls Charlie, "The MJ to his Peter Parker" and "The Marle to his Crono". Appropriate, since that game is about Time Travel.
        • He later corrects himself; Charlie wasn't his MJ, she was his Gwen Stacy.
      • When facing a group of swordsmen, Hiro shouted "Mudamudamudamuda!" as he used his powers to stop time (and take their weapons). This is a direct reference to Dio Brando from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure, who had the same power; the character Hiro is established as a fan of that series.
      • And after losing his memory he ends up in a comic book shop and is shocked at the recent developments in his favorites - all of which were actual Marvel plots at the time (the unmasking of Spider-Man, the death of Captain America, and the Red Hulk).
    • There are also other references to Marvel Comics creators; "Jessica" shoots FBI agents Quesada and Alonzo (EIC Joe Quesada and editor Axel Alonzo, respectively). And the time that Hiro's bus driver was played by Stan Lee.
    • Also a possible Shout-Out on the part of a character, The Invisible Man introduces himself as "Claude Rains", though it is later established that most people know him as Claude. It is unknown whether this is really his name. It gets better: "Claude" is played by Christopher Eccleston, and in his first episode he sarcastically exclaims, "Fantastic!" -- a Shout-Out to his other notable television role.
    • The 4th episode of Season 3, "I Am Become Death," there's a subtle shout-out to Season 1: in yet another dystopian future, Sylar is an HRG-like father, and we first see him making waffles (a Running Gag) for his young son, Noah. During this scene, Sylar is wearing a blue apron that says "Hail To The Chef!", a play on words with "Hail To The Chief!", with the Presidential seal on it, and Sylar was the Commander-In-Chief the last time a character visited a bleak, dystopian future.
    • In Season 2, the character Detective Bryan Fuller is named for the writer of the same name, who had left Heroes to create Pushing Daisies. After Pushing Daisies was cancelled, Fuller returned to Heroes.
    • A season one episode had the Kensei sword being held in vault CRM 114 - a reference to Dr. Strangelove.
  • In other possible shout-outs to Television Without Pity, Charmed recapper Demian at least once per recap expressed his dislike of the character Leo, referred to the supposedly omnipotent Elders as "the ever-useless Elders" due to their apparent inability or unwillingness to help the protagonists. In the episode "Lucky Charmed," Piper refers to the "Fricking ever-useless Elders!" In "The Courtship of Wyatt's Father," the demon-of-the-week is determined to kill Leo, and is named "Damien."
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, a character using the screenname "whojackie" was seen typing (and reading out loud) "No, I don't think shows should do more meta jokes that cater to the online bloggers and I'm sure everyone at Television Without Pity Dot Com agrees with me." To add another layer to the Shout-Out, a staff writer (possibly even Greg Garcia, the show's creator) posted that same message to Television Without Pity's message board for the show (along with a comment about how he always talks out loud while typing) shortly before the episode aired. To add another layer, the same person posted previously about his fears that his Murphy bed would close up on him and kill him, which is what happened to the character in the show. To add yet another layer to it, several posts were made by "whojackie" after the episode aired, in the character of Joy, who had stolen whojackie's computer. Posters to the forum could even email Joy, and she'd respond -- in character!
  • Taken to the extreme with the relationship between The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Not only do the two feature clips and images from each other, but it has become a standard procedure for Stewart to end his show by briefly conversing with Colbert as a direct lead in.
    • Based on actual cable news practice, by the way.
    • When Colbert got his honorary doctorate, he added framed photos of various famous TV doctors to the shelves in the back of the Report studio, including Greg House. In the episode "Unfaithful", House returned the shout-out.
  • John Bradshaw Layfield, former color commentator for WWE Smackdown!, throws out approximately 3 Shout Outs per minute. One of his favorites is to refer to wrestler Mike "The Miz" Mizanin as a Sleestak, since his hair looks a lot like the frills on the heads of the aliens from Land of the Lost.
  • Veronica Mars writers and stars were fans of Television Without Pity and in one episode the set dressing department included a TWoP shout-out in the form of an activity flyer on a student bulletin board advertising a meeting of the Teenage Women of Propriety. (TWoP later returned the shout-out, making a Teenage Women of Propriety T-shirt available from their line of TV shout-out merchandise.)
  • David Renwick (revealed in the Jonathan Creek Universe Compendium to be a Justice League of America fan) has a Shout-Out to the comics in the first Christmas Episode. Not only was retired magicienne Marella Carney formerly known by the stage name "the Black Canary", but a statue of the Leaguer by that name appears near the start of the episode.
    • And the 2010 Easter Special The Judas Tree featured a house called Green Lanterns
  • One popular source of Shout Outs in Japanese TV is Seventies Cop Show Taiyou ni Hoero (Bark at the Sun). It's probably easier to list the drama, comedy and variety series that have not referred to the characters, clothes, hairstyles, or music from this show.
  • I cannot recall its title, but I remember once watching a TV movie in the late 1970s or early 1980s in which Chuck Connors played a Federal agent pursuing the film's hero. Near the end of the film, Connors opens the trunk of his car to select from a large armory the weapons with which he will confront the cornered hero. The first gun he removes is an antique Winchester rifle which he twirls and dry-fires in the distinctive fashion he used when he starred in The Rifleman. He then looks at it for a moment as though considering it, then shakes his head "no" and puts it back in the trunk.
  • The Defuser, one of the contestants in the second season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero, is also an avid City of Heroes player. At his request, one episode depicted him flying through a giant donut on top of a donut shop, in a reference to a similar structure in the New Overbrook (aka Faultline) zone which is the site of an exploration badge that can only be gotten by going through the hole.
  • The Slobbering David Krumholtz Groupies, a fanclub devoted to Numb3rs star David Krumholtz, received a shoutout in one episode when a company called "SDKG Electronics" was mentioned.
    • At the end of another episode, Judd Hirsch sits down in his chair and turns the television on, apparently (to judge from the theme music that plays) to watch an episode of Taxi.
    • Bill Nye the Science Guy sometimes appears in Numb3rs to give a science demonstration -- just like the ones he used to do on his classic children's educational program -- to help the main characters solve the case.
    • Agent Floyd does the CSI: Miami Quip to Black (minus the "to black") / Glasses Pull gag a couple of times.
  • Douglas Petrie named the villain in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "helpless" after his nephew. One could also argue that his "talking corpses" and "possessed girl" CSI episodes were shouts back to his Buffy days.
    • That guy is an asshole. Seriously, naming the villain with mommy issues who had his dick cut off by his mother after your nephew? What an asshole!
  • Battlestar Galactica's Cylons meet in weapons locker 1701D, a shout out to the Enterprise's registration number in Star Trek the Next Generation which Ron Moore also worked on. The new show's pilot miniseries also had Trek shout outs, one being the callsign for a civilian ship being "Gemenon Liner 1701" (again referencing the Enterprise), as well as the very brief appearance of a Constitution class starship in one of the "rag tag fleet" scenes.
    • 1701 people died or went missing on New Caprica, and 1701 people were lost in the Battle of the Ionian Nebula. Ron Moore likes this one.
    • Similarly, a location on Caprica called the Martok Valley is probably a shout-out to General Martok of Deep Space Nine fame.
    • There is also a shout out to Firefly in the miniseries, as a Firefly-class transport is seen in the air over Caprica City before the outbreak of the war. The effects team loved doing these. In the finale it is possible to spot Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun's GDI Kodiak amongst the rag-tag fleet.
    • Possible shout out to The A-Team in Battlestar Galactica: Razor with Starbuck's line: "Ain't it grand when a plan comes together?" No doubt since The A-Team had one Dirk Benedict on the cast, the original Starbuck.
    • There are also two references to the Kennedy Assassination. The first in the Miniseries when Laura is sworn in as President aboard Colonial One is a deliberate parallel to LBJ's swearing in aboard Air Force One. The second is in the episode "Resistance," when Cally kills Boomer, essentially reenacting Jack Ruby's killing of Oswald.
    • In the opening credits of the rebooted BSG, there's a shot of Starbuck in a sleeveless shirt, grinning around a cigarillo while playing cards--duplicating a similar shot of Dirk Benedict's Starbuck in the credits for the original series.
    • The theme music for the original BSG series is used in the rebooted series as the (in-universe) anthem of the Colonial armed forces.
    • Baltar's dream sequence in "Collaborators". Dream Six: "Don't make me angry, Gaius." Dream Adama: "You won't like her when she's angry."
  • Battlestar Galactica Classic also had a Star Trek shout out. A particular sect of Colonials believed in contact between genders only when sanctified by a certain ritual, only carried out "every seven years" (a reference to Vulcan "pon far").
  • And Battlestar Galactica Classic was shouted out to by The A-Team. A first season ep had the boys meeting someone in Universal Studios' tour area. A BSG Cylon walked by Face, played by Dirk Benedict, Starbuck on the original BSG, who had had more than a little contact with toasters. Face did a Double Take, of the "wait, do I know you from somewhere?" variety. (at about 0:45 into that clip) A clip from the scene was used in the intro in later seasons.
  • Supernatural loves doing these.
    • In the Season Finale alone, the boys are called pretty, someone fell on pie and there was a Television Without Pity shout-out with a fairy-tale about a dragon.
    • In season 4, there were two more Television Without Pity shout-outs; the psychic Pam had the same name as TWOP Barnes (the usual mod on the Supernatural forum) and there was also a demon-possessed nurse called Cindy, named after a substitute recapper on the site. But, this show being slightly twisted, both got put through hell and winded up dead. As of 5.09, there's a man called "Demian". He and his partner Barnes make it out alive.
    • They also did a few mixed in with Fan Service for the slashers/"Wincesters" in Bugs. The boys were mistaken as a couple, Dean calls Sam "honey" and pats him on the arse. It would all be rather wonderful if it wasn't for the quality of the episode.
      • Wait, a shoutout in Bugs? But that's only episode 8 of the first season. How can they be shouting out to the Wincesters so soon? Later episodes with the mistaking for a couple, more arguable.
      • "The Monster at the End of this Book" had Sam and Dean discover Wincest Fanfiction:

 Dean: There's Sam girls and Dean girls. And what's a slash fan?

Sam: As in... Sam slash Dean. Together.

Dean: Like... "together" together?

Sam: Yeah.

Dean: ...They do know we're brothers, right?

Sam: It doesn't seem to matter.

Dean: Ah, come on. That's... that's just sick.

Only a few episodes later the brothers even get to meet one yaoi fangirl of theirs, Becky. Even the title of the episode is a Shout-Out, to a tie-in book for a certain beloved childrens' program.
    • In the first season, the brothers were researching some murders that happened in Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook and, by gum, it put them on the map!
    • In the Season 4 episode "Wishful Thinking," a little boy named Todd wishes on a cursed coin for super-strength, allowing him to beat up the bullies who pick on him. The bullies hide in an SUV and the little boy tips the SUV over, then throws back his head and bellows, "KNEEL BEFORE TODD!"
    • In at least one episode, The Boys investigate supernatural goings on in the town of Rock Ridge-setting of Mel Brooks western spoof, Blazing Saddles.
    • Then there are the names the boys gave themselves while in disguise in the Monster Of The Week Days-ranging from rocks stars old and new to cars and song there was the Linda Blair guest appearance and the awkward pea soup reference... The Season 4 premiere had Dean tracking down Sam because he used the name Wedge Antilles
    • "The Real Ghosthunters" had the two brothers attending a Supernatural Convention, and meeting some of the crazy fanbase.
    • There is a whole episode in season 5 that is a giant Shout Out to the various TV shows. In short: they are Trapped in TV Land by the Trickster and they're forced to live inside the various shows.
    • In "Death Takes a Holiday", Sam and Dean tell a ghost (a boy, about 12 years old) that he's dead. The ghost quips "Thanks, Haley Joel. I know I'm dead."
    • Season 4 and 5 give us the Demon Crowley.
    • In Season 2, a bank guard tells the brothers that his friend didn't rob a bank, it was a Cyberman. He even holds up a magazine cover with a Cyberman on it to illustrate his point.
    • The Season 7 episode "The Girl Next Door" has a monster using the alias "Amy Pond".
    • The Season 7 episode, The Mentalists have Dean & Sam investigating a town full of "psychics" complete with a Miss Cleo clone and someone who looks REMARKABLY like the main character of another tv series
    • The first time Dean & Sam encounter Bela Talbot in the Season 3 episode Bad Day at Black Rock (the title itself a shoutout to the 1955 Spencer Tracy film of the same name), she goes by the alias Lugosi, a nod to the actor to famously portray Dracula.
    • These guys really need their own page. In the season 5 episode Free to Be You and Me, when Sam is scrolling through his phone, you can see the contact names Adele, Butcher and Cassidy (in sequential order) Also, when Dean finds out the archangel is named Raphael, he asks Castiel "You were wasted by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Angel?"
  • The Mind Screw series Twin Peaks was filled with Shout Outs to numerous sources, some trivial, some inextricably bound to the plot (such as it was) of the series. In no particular order:
    • The name of FBI Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) references the infamous DB Cooper who disappeared after parachuting from the plane he hijacked in 1971.
    • Sheriff Harry S Truman rather obviously references the United States President of the same name, complete with a stuffed deer head in his office labelled "The Buck Stopped Here" in reference to the famous sign on President Truman's desk. He also allegedly references Harry R. Truman, an 83-year-old resident of the slopes of Mount St. Helens who refused to evacuate and was killed when that volcano erupted in 1980.
    • Dr. Jacoby is based on late ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna; the two have a striking similarity in appearance and style of dress, and share a connection to Hawaii. Jacoby's mushroom-shaped lamp references McKenna's theories on the role psychedelic mushrooms played in the evolution of man and culture.
    • Madeleine Ferguson (Sheryl Lee) is named for two characters from the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo -- Kim Novak's Madeleine Elster and Jimmy Stewart's John Ferguson. Furthermore, Kim Novak plays two roles in this film, a blonde and a brunette, just as Sheryl Lee does in Twin Peaks (Laura Palmer and Madeleine).
    • David Lynch has acknowledged that the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard is a major influence on his work. In the case of Twin Peaks, the name of Lynch's own character, FBI supervisor Gordon Cole, came from a minor character in that film.
    • The insurance agent who comes to see Catherine is named Walter Neff, after the crooked insurance agent played by Fred MacMurray in 1944's Double Indemnity.
    • Hank Jennings' prisoner number was 24601 — the same number worn by Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
    • The pattern of tiling on the floor of the Black Lodge is the same as the lobby of Henry's house in Lynch's 1977 film Eraserhead.
  • In his first appearance on The Red Green Show, Graham Greene had a Shout Out to Dances with Wolves, that led him to be nominated for an Oscar. Giving his opinion of the film, Greene's character stated that "the Native guy was okay, should have got the Oscar," referring to the role Greene had played.
  • In an episode of The Office, Dwight grills Ryan about the purpose of Lost's Dharma Initiative, and a week later, a couple on a marijuana farm in a Lost flashback, are called Michael and Jan, presumably after the couple on The Office
    • In "Boys and Girls" when the office workers meet the warehouse workers, Dwight says, "Remember on Lost when they met the Others?"
    • How can you forget Dwight being hailed as a hero for saving Jim from Roy and then having his weapons confiscated by Toby?

 Dwight: I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. [shot of Toby confiscating all of Dwight's weapons] You know who is a real hero? Hiro, from Heroes. That's a hero. Also, Bono.

    • He's also been known to reference Jack Bauer.
    • Prison Mike!! And the Dementors!!
    • "No, don't call me a hero. Do you know who the real heroes are? The guys who wake up every morning, and go into their normal jobs and get a distress call from the commissioner, and take off their glasses and change into capes and fly around fighting crime."
  • In an episode of NCIS, Tony uses the name "Stringfellow" for an undercover job. This is explicitly stated to be a reference to Stringfellow Hawke from Airwolf. The two shows share the same creator.
    • One of the show's Crowning Moments of Funny is in season two, when Kate asks Gibbs what Ducky (played by David McCallum) looked like when he was younger. Gibbs's response? "Illya Kuryakin".
      • Further, in another episode, the team must guard Ducky and his mother 24 hours a day. So they go to his house, and on the mantle is a picture of Illya Kuryakin, which IS Ducky as a young man.
    • Don Belisario also created JAG and Quantum Leap, and got an excuse for a shout-out in one early episode of JAG called "Father's Day", where part of the action took place at a Quantum Leap convention.
      • Another Quantum Leap reference appears in the episode "Corporal Punishment," where Tony describes an unstable marine as having a "Swiss-Cheesed" brain. This was a common way Sam described his memory, which was fragmented by the leaping process.
    • It was also established that Lt. Bud Roberts of JAG is a huge Star Trek fan, having named one of his sons James Tiberius Roberts. Also notable when he was interrogating a suspected al-Qaida terrorist and getting nowhere. He muttered under his breath, "What would Captain Kirk do?" The prisoner replied, "He would advise you to uphold the Prime Directive." When he realized that the prisoner was a Trek fan, he used Trek terms to reach the prisoner, gaining his trust and learning what he needed to know.
  • In the first season of Dexter, in order to get the powerful animal tranquilizer to use on his victims, Dexter uses the alias "Dr. Patrick Bateman." Patrick Bateman was Christian Bale's serial killer protagonist in American Psycho.
  • Every episode of The Middleman features numerous pop-culture Shout Outs related to the specific danger of the week: ghosts, vampires, time travel, etc.
  • This is a major part of the appeal of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. For instance, on seeing a rocket carrying white mice: "Hi. My name is Benjy, and I'm a pan-dimensional being."
  • The episode "Déjà Vu All Over Again" of Seven Days has been inspired by the German movie Run Lola Run: Frank ends up reliving several minutes of his life until he does his mission right. And what's the name of the psychologist who visited the facility to study what influence the time travel has on him? Dr. Lola Manson.
  • The new ITV2 series No Heroics is laden with shout-outs both subtle and obvious to the entire history of comic books. For example: Timebomb is a parody of the Nineties Anti-Hero. Every sign in the show's superteam headquarters is written in the original Captain America font from the 1940s. The alcoholic beverages drunk by the characters include Gin City, Logan's Rum, and Green Lamp Ale. The show's creator, Drew Pearce, is a comic book fan and claims there are hundreds of other shout-outs worked into the program.
  • Eleventh Hour has a strong shout out to Doctor Who with its own Doctor Hood. Hood dresses similar to the 4th Doctor [Tom Baker] including the nappy hair and scarf. The detective tends to just call him "The Doctor" and when he was asked what alias he was using, he said "Smith" before being corrected. (Whenever the Doctor is forced to use a name, he uses John Smith, due to its forgettability). He's also extremely intelligent and always travels with a companion, although that's probably more of a plot/character point than a shout out. Later in the same episode he's seen wearing the 6th(?) Doctor's oversized turtleneck.
  • The Murder, She Wrote character Harry McGraw is a hard-boiled Private Detective, who was introduced when his partner was killed investigating something for Jessica. In acknowledgement of where that plot point originated, the partner's name was Archie Miles, a reversal of Sam Spade's equally dead partner Miles Archer.
  • Father Ted's habit of Shout Outs was lampshaded in the episode 'Flight into Terror' where Ted, having conquered his fear of flying, says to Dougal 'I feel Fearless, like Jeff Bridges in that film'. Dougal says he hasn't seen that film to which Ted replies "Not many people have, that was probably a bad reference"
  • House frequently makes shout outs to pop culture.
    • In season 3, episode 19, Cameron and Foreman had stayed up all night with tests, finding nothing. Suddenly Chase arrives with one test-result he just left on overnight and picked up after a night's sleep. House nods and says that this is good. The two other stare at him. "But he didn't do anything!" House's reply? "Work smarter, not harder." All the while, Chase is holding a cup of coffee.
    • In another season 3 episode, "Lines in the Sand", he yells "Attica! Attica! Attica!" at Cuddy and persuades a teenage stalker to stop obsessing over him by adapting the famous "Here's looking at you, kid" lines from Casablanca, probably correctly guessing that she wouldn't recognize it.
    • Blackadder is among the shows House has on his TiVo. Hugh Laurie appeared in several series of that show. And House's 80's-night getup.
    • Indeed, the entire series itself is a gigantic Sherlock Holmes reference. House's name is similar to "Holmes", and they're both of great deductive mind, though while Holmes seems to be a free agent, House is an employed diagnostician. Indeed, Wilson is similar to "watson" in both name and the fact that both men are loyal companions to House and Holmes. It even makes reference to an Irene Adler at a few points.
    • In the episode "Wilson" from season 6, while talking into House's office, Wilson is upset and says that he doesn't want to have an argument. To this, House says "No right, that's room 12A". Room 12A is the room where Graham Chapman sends Michael Palin to have an argument in the classic Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "The Argument Clinic".
    • House also gave Stephen Colbert a shoutout by having a framed picture of him on his desk.
  • No idea whether it's a deliberate shout out or not, but the names of the main character from Dark Angel and her clone? Sam and Max Freelance Police...
  • The Big Bang Theory is lousy with these. Bottle city of Kandor, anyone?
    • A more subtle example popped up recently. Leonard, Sheldon and Penny watch an anime called "Oshikuro the Demon Samurai". That was an allusion to an episode of Two and A Half Men, in which the animated adaptation of "Oshikuro" (which was a comic book then) was being made, and Charlie had to compose the opening song.
    • Another shout-out occurred when Sheldon won a prestigious award and was nervous about giving an acceptance speech. He took a few drinks to calm his nerves, overshot the mark, and one of his hijinx was singing the periodic table of elements to much the same tune as Tom Lehrer.
  • Law and Order regularly uses the names of Dick Wolf's children for characters, which explains the surprising number of women named "Alexandra."
    • He named the two Law and Order Special Victims Unit detectives after his children Elliot (Stabler) and Olivia (Benson), which makes any UST between them somewhat... Squickicky.
    • Wolf also named Detective Joe Fontana after his old friend Tom Fontana. Ironically, Fontana previously executive produced Homicide: Life On the Street, which was where SVU character John Munch first originated.
    • Also, one episode contains a movie shout-out, when Brisco and Green question a man they suspect is the killer of his female neighbor. The man declares that, despite not actually being at the scene of the crime, he saw the murder in his mind due to psychic ability. To this, Brisco responds by saying mockingly to Green, "he sees dead people".
  • In one episode of Without a Trace, there's a mention of Hudson University--the campus where students are regularly murdered on Law and Order.
    • Hudson University pre-dates Law and Order — it was the college attended by Dick Grayson.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess actually had quite a few of these.
    • "For Him the Bell Tolls" when Aphrodite enchants Joxer to become a debonair swordsman at the ring of a bell, frequently, because the episode had many bells. Shout out to The Court Jester, in which the same happens to Hawkins, except with the snap of a finger.
    • "In Sickness and in Hell" when fungus-ridden Gabrielle tries to catch a rabbit for dinner. The rabbit then attacks her neck, and an epic battle ensues. You should be able to figure this reference out for yourself.
    • In the episode "The Play's the Thing" a play is going disastrously and someone walks out declaring they've heard the play next door is much better. The play is called 'Buffus the Bacchae Slayer'. Possibly an acknowledgment of Buffy's shout out in the 'Halloween' episode where Willow wails about Buffy "What? She couldn't have dressed up as Xena: Warrior Princess?"
  • The entire X-Files episode "Salvage" is a Shout Out to Agent Doggett actor Robert Patrick's previous role as the nigh indestructible memory metal alloy T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Throughout, Doggett echoes the refrain that it's not possible for a man to be made of metal, it's like something out of a movie.
    • The character of Agent Doggett is a Shout Out to longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Jerry Doggett. Similarly, Dana Scully was named for the even more venerable Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.
    • The X-Files has a ton of shout-outs; the writers admit that a lot of the names of characters were inspired by people in their own lives. The numbers "1013" and "1121" show up frequently as case files and time-stamps, which correspond to Chris Carter's birthday and his wife's respectively. Mulder's birthday is also October 13.
    • Mulder's apartment number is "42", a shout out to The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. Similarly, he has also seen Plan 9 from Outer Space 42 times.
    • The character of Leyla Harrison in "Alone" was a shout out to the fans: Leyla Harrison was a devoted X-Files fan and an active fanfiction writer for the series and passed away in 2001.
  • On The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the ditzy heiress is named London Tipton. Take in the fact that the hotel is named the Tipton, and you get three guesses as to who she's named after.
    • An On Deck episode features an IMVU-like game, and in that game is an old-timey video arcade. One of the machines visible in the background of said arcade is running Cave Story, with Quote clearly visible. Evidently, someone on the team was a fan...
    • Later on in On Deck, we get an episode called... Snakes on a Boat. And, even though it's partly censored, Moseby quotes THAT line WORD FOR WORD, except for, obviously, plane.
  • (I think this was from Hannah Montana) A character is dressed as a slightly Gothic Lolita schoolgirl, with a sailor-suit outfit, thick-rimmed glasses, a bobbed hair wig, and a big white heart with the letter L in blackletter font... This is lessened by the fact that this girl is always wearing a disguise (not Hannah, another wig-otaku girl).
  • Even Twenty Four is not immune: Star Trek alumni Manny Coto and Brannon Braga have been involved with the show for a while now, and when the president was considering people for the position of chief of staff, Bob Justman and Rick Berman were suggested.
    • Let's also not forget Jane Espenson from accounting.
  • CSI: An episode concerning Star Trek Expy "Astro-Quest", a Darker and Edgier Retool series is previewed before an audience to negative reactions, including a cameo from Ron Moore shouting "You suck!" (with Grace Park and Rekha Sharma looking on). Watching this footage, Greg comments, "Some nerd takes a cheesy 60s sci-fi show and turns it into something a little more realistic..."
  • Among many others, the CBBC Horrible Histories TV series had a segment on the Battle of Thermopylae which contained a few references to Three Hundred.
  • In Sanctuary episode 8, "Edward", the titular Edward has a sheaf of drawings of monsters. The team flip through it, and after three or four generic monsters there's a drawing of an Unas, which also appears pinned up on a wall a little later. Amanda Tapping starred in both Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, and has the lead role in Sanctuary.
  • Short lived UK Music-and-UGC TV channel MTV Flux had a games programme on it named after the Konami Code -- originally used in its entirety, the title was shortened to simply Up Up Down Down.
  • In an episode of The 4400, Diana makes a reference to 'The Thought Police', a shout out to 1984.
  • Leverage is full of these, mostly Doctor Who references.
    • In one episode, Nate and Sophie go under aliases Tom and Sarah Jane Baker, an actor playing the Doctor, and one of his companions. Similarly, Nate has gone by Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davidson, two other actors, and Parker once went by Rose, a companion in the newest series.
    • Hardison is also an established Doctor Who fan, once commenting that he had torrented the most recent episode.
    • Not a very obvious one, but Christian Kane claims he winked at Sam Anderson in the end of "The Snow Job". They were both on Angel together.
    • And then there's "The Boost Job", in which Sophie -- playing the part of a used car salesman -- suddenly starts channelling Swiss Toni.

 "Driving this car is like making love to a beautiful woman."

  • Russell T Davies, showrunner on the new Doctor Who, had previously worked references to the classic series into his other contemporary drama series; Vince in Queer as Folk is a massive fan and gets a genuine K9 for his birthday, and a minor character in Mine All Mine says that her father named her after the Second Doctor's companion Zoe.
  • How I Met Your Mother has referenced Neil Patrick Harris' career as a Former Child Star in Doogie Howser, M.D. with one episode ending with Barney Stinson writing a new blog entry as the familiar Doogie Howser piano theme plays in the background. Another episode has him lament that child actors were better in the 80s. Also, the original pilot script of HIMYM had no mention of Barney's blog whatsoever, something that was added after NPH was cast as Barney.
    • HIMYM also has numerous shoutouts to the creators' alma mater, Wesleyan University. Lily, Marshall and Ted mention that they lived in Hewitt Hall (a freshman/sophomore dorm at Wesleyan), and Marshall gets an offer to work for a law firm called "Nicolson, Hewitt and West" (Nicolson, Hewitt and West College are all residence halls at Wesleyan).
  • Birds of Prey, during the pilot episode, has Oracle mention that meteor showers are a likely source of metahuman abilities.
  • In the 12th episode of Eli Stone, a scientist predicts that San Francisco will be hit by an earthquake. He starts his introduction with "this is no fantasy, no careless product of wild imagination" — the exact same words used by Jor-El in Superman. Since nobody but Eli believes him, that makes him an Ignored Expert. A few seconds after we've been treated to this scene, we witness Eli visiting the scientist and the scene with the scientist on the ladder tinkering with an electric wire is a visual Shout-Out to the scene with Doc Brown talking to himself in Back to The Future 2. Somebody must have been having a great day.
  • Nash Bridges. In an episode guest-starring Jan-Michael Vincent of Airwolf fame, Don Johnson mentions his yellow convertible belonged to his brother who was MIA in Vietnam. Airwolf was stolen by Jan-Michael Vincent in order to force the government to return his brother, MIA in Vietnam.
  • The Swedish kid's show Vintergatan 5A (Milky Way 5A) ends with Alien revealing that he has been possessing Mira's fish Zoogin for the entire journey. He then leaves, still in the fish, "So long... and thanks for all the fish" being his last words.
  • An episode in the first season of True Blood had Sam sitting on the stairs to his trailer, lamenting Bill's existence, saying "Where's Buffy when you need her?"
    • In a recent episode, Eric mistakenly called Sookie Snooki.
    • Also, in the same episode, Sookie is seen reading a Charlaine Harris book...
  • Many episodes of Desperate Housewives are named after songs by Stephen Sondheim.
  • Mega nerd Wil Wheaton wore a Fruit Fucker T-shirt when he appeared on mega nerd show, The Big Bang Theory. For those who don't know, Wheaton's a homeboy of the PA crew, to the point of playing in several D&D campaigns with them, and is subsequently ridiculed mercilessly for his choice of character name.
  • Castle is becoming a running Firefly shout-out, among others. For example:
    • In the first-season Halloween episode, Castle (Nathan Fillion) jumps out of his room dressed in a long brown coat and a pair of revolvers, leading to this exchange with his daughter:

 Alexis: What exactly are you supposed to be?

Castle: Space cowboy!

Alexis: ...didn't you wear that, like, five years ago?

Castle: ...So?

Alexis: Don't you think it's time to move on?

Castle: I like it!

Later in the episode, the victim has been staked and Castle says "Looks like Buffy's been visiting the Big Apple." The last scene, at the costumed Halloween party, features a few other shout outs. Esposito is dressed as his Marine character Espera from Generation Kill. Meanwhile Esposito's partner, Ryan, is dressed as a doctor, like the General Hospital character, Dr. Ian Devlin, that he played for at least 45 episodes.
    • In the episode "Home Is Where The Heart Stops", Castle and Beckett are at a fancy charity party, and the mayor asks Castle (paraphrase) "What are you doing at this shindig?" This is a shout out to the episode of Firefly called "Shindig" which also features Nathan Fillion taking a woman to a fancy party where she is clearly out of place.
    • In the episode "Boom!", Castle disarms the serial killer by shooting the gun out of his hand. Becket compliments him on this, to which Castle replies "I was aiming for his head," just like Jayne in "The Train Job".
    • In the episode "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind", Castle state his knowledge of Chinese came from a T.V. show he liked.
    • Beckett, going undercover to catch a drug dealer, asks for something to make her feel "shiny".
    • Season 3 episode "Setup" includes a scene with Martha offering to take Alexis to a spa called The Oasis of Serenity:

 Castle: Thats fantastic! ... What is that?

Martha: You haven't heard of the Serenity?

  • British political satire The Thick of It has a Shout Out to The West Wing that acknowledges the two shows' polar opposite depictions of politics:

 Olly: (trying to rewrite a speech in an hour) "It's The West Wing!"

Nicola: "You're not Josh, Olly, just write the fucking speech."

    • ...though the best example of this trope is probably among Hugh's nicknames for Malcolm's 8.30am press briefings. "The Lair Of The White Worm" is also the name of a dodgy low-budget horror film Peter Capaldi appeared in long before he played Malcolm Tucker.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus episode 15, the "Spanish Inquisition" sketch. The part where Cardinal Ximinez repeatedly orders the old lady to "Confess!" is very similar to the scene in The Prisoner episode "Fall Out" where the judge orders Number 48 to confess. They even both wear red robes.
    • And in Episode 8, two shop assistants in the "Buying a Bed" sketch (where a store employee puts a bag over his head when he hears the word 'mattress') are named Mr. Verity and Mr. Lambert, after Verity Lambert, the BBC producer who's best known as the first producer of Doctor Who.
  • When John Cleese starred in an episode of The Muppet Show, one sketch featured him as a pirate with a naggin parrot. Fed up with it, he whips out his gun and asks if it wants to be an "ex-parrot". This one needs no explaining.
  • One episode of Strange has a pair of animal rights activists named after the Doctor Who companions Jamie and Zoe. The same episode also has a book whose author's name is very similar to the Brigadier's.
  • John Crichton in Farscape makes a Blazing Saddles reference: "Get back! Get back, or the white boy gets it!"
    • That's all? At least half of his lines consists of constant shout outs to Earth fiction — starting with naming Scorpius' neural clone Harvey, after the invisible rabbit from a classic movie of the same name.
      • Speaking of Scorpius, in an episode of CSI: Miami, Ben Browder's character is a DJ named Scorpius ("Tinder Box"). And in CSI, Archie flat-out mentions Farscape...this could be due to the fact that Naren Shankar was involved with both series.
  • In an episode of Dollhouse, Victor is sent to the Hyperion Hotel, which was the base of Angel Investigations for three seasons.
    • Near the end of the second season, Caroline (in a flashback) sees a picture of Bennett, played by Summer Glau. Caroline tells the picture 'Bet you could kill me with your brain', which Summer Glau as River Tam in Firefly claimed to be able to do.
    • In the same episode, Topher does an imprint chair override by routing something through an io9, a reference to the scifi news and opinion site io9. Joss Whedon confirmed that it was deliberate, as some of the io9 writers were Dollhouse supporters.
  • Almost identically, in one episode of Bones, Booth investigates a murder at the Hyperion Hotel. Booth also played Angel.
    • In another episode, Hodgins mentions Zack watching reruns of Firefly. No mention is made of the fact that Cam appeared briefly in the beginning of Serenity. Though this might be pretty standard fare for Bones. Mention has been made of watching Buffy by characters, and no one seemed to notice that Booth was on that show for a while.
    • There's also an episode where the victim is a spy, whose car and cover story (International Exports) are shout-outs to James Bond. It's Lampshaded by several characters.
    • And Star Wars is brought up several times:

 Sweets: It's awesome! It's like the Sith Lords, man. There's always only two of them.

Booth: Did you just Star Wars us?

It's brought up in the first season by Booth, when Zack is wearing the thermal imaging helmet:

 Booth: How’s it going there, Darth? See anything on Saturn? (off of Brennan’s look) Oh, please tell me you’ve seen at least one Star Wars movie.

Brennan: When I was seven, and leave Zack alone.

  • In the final episode of HBO's John Adams, John and Abigail Adams are anxiously awaiting some news. John is pacing. Abigail, seated, remarks, "Oh, for God's sake, John, sit down", taken directly from the Broadway musical Seventeen Seventy Six, where John Adams is the lead character.
  • Farscape has a ton; one notable one is this dialog snippet:

 Chiana: I love you.

Crichton: I know.

...which happens right before Crichton is frozen in, I mean turned into a statue, complete with a Han Solo grimace. Given how much Crichton loves his pop culture references, this may even be intentional In-Universe.
  • The Adventures of Brisco County Jr has at least one in every episode. One particular gem is referring to the idea of an armor plated dirigible as a lead zeppelin.
  • Saturday Night Live's parody of Insane Clown Posse's Miracles calls them the Thrilla Killa Klowns, a reference to Industrial Band Thrill Kill Kult.
  • The season 5 finale of Criminal Minds has Tim Curry play a character who is dubbed by the press as "The Prince of Darkness", a title eerily similar to that of his character in the 80's movie Legend.
  • Full House wasn't immune from this, either. One scene with Jesse and Kimmy becoming a couple has Kimmy being a Peggy Bundy look-alike. At least Jesse wakes up soon afterward, much to his relief.
  • In Crime and Punishment Series set in Washington DC they are always alluding to towns that are historical battlefields, allusions that a historian would catch. Truth in Television. Parts of the area can almost compare with the lower Rhine for being fought over.
  • Sports Night by Aaron Sorkin has a fairly subtle one. When the Executive Meddling starts in season two, the execs suggest that Dan and Casey write their show "more like Keith and Kenny" or "Craig". The present tense suggests that in the Sorkin universe, Keith never left Sports Center - maybe, if he's hosting with Kenny Mayne, Dan Patrick left instead?
  • The first episode of ITV drama Identity had a villain known to one of his victims as "Smith," a name he'd chosen for it being utterly generic. Later, the cops get a photo of the antagonist at age 16, and use some software to reconstruct a possible appearance for him at age 24; the picture bears a striking resemblance to Hugo Weaving Weaving...
  • The Hard Times of RJ Berger gives us an episode in which an attractive, middle aged woman lures the teenage protagonist RJ into her bedroom with the intent of seducing him. Her name? Mrs. Robbins.
  • Millennium had a pretty obvious shout out in giving its lead character the name Frank Black.
    • It's unclear whether this is a shout out or just the obvious result of doing a web search in The Nineties, but in the second episode of the series, Frank searches for the plot relevant term "Gehenna." Up above the plot relevant page? An Old World of Darkness fan site.
  • In the pilot episode of The Nanny, Fran says to Brighton, "You're a bitter little person, aren't you?" It's word for word what Diane said to Carla on the pilot of Cheers.
  • ICarly:
    • An unusual example for a kid show, near the end of one webcast Sam closes by saying, "Courage"--a reference to former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, who closed his final newscast with the word and tried unsuccessfully to turn it into a regular catchphrase in 1986.
    • The character of Ricky Flame can be seen as either this or a Take That to Bobby Flay.
    • "Robin's weiner dog dressed like a pig" and "Robin's Weiners" reference the show's supervising producer, Robin Weiner.
    • In "iPsycho", when one of the characters eats a Food Pocket, they burn their mouth and say "Jim Gaffigan was right!" Near the ende, Sam incapacitates Nora by pinching her shoulder. When Spencer sees the picture Carly took of an unconscious Nora, he asks Sam if she "did the Vulcan squeezy thing." The very A-plot loosely recalls Misery. Nora also greets Gibby at her door with "No one sees the Great Wizard!"
    • "iSave Your Life" contains a rather overt homage to The Wire. The scene where Sam shoots Gibby with a spitball almost exactly mirrors Snoop Pearson's death at the hands of Michael, complete with Snoop's final words, "how does my hair look?"
  • The title Degrassi: The Next Generation is itself a reference to Star Trek the Next Generation, suggested by Stephen Stohn (producer and husband of creator Linda Schuyler), a Star Trek fan.
    • TOS isn't forgotten either: James Tiberius Yorke, anyone?
  • The Wayans Bros does this several times:
    • Pops comes out of the bathroom at his diner and tells the boys to not use it for at least 35 to 45 minutes. This is a line from the movie Friday, which John Witherspoon (Pops) says the same thing to Ice Cube.
    • Dee gets mixed up with some unscrupulous guy and Pops and the Brothers rescue her. At the end of the episode, she says that she will be more careful next time, and they respond with a loud "Amen". This is in reference to the 80's sitcom of the same name that she starred in.
    • The best example is the episode "Unspoken Token" where Shawn dreams that he is on an episode of Good Times. He plays JJ, Marlon is Michael, Pops is James, and Dee is Florida. Willona, Thelma, and Bookman appear and they reprise their characters. They add elements from the show (James throwing the chair, Florida saying Damn, Damn, Damn, Michael being a revolutionary, Thelma's non-cooking skills, etc) while parodying the same episode were JJ is invited to attend a prestigious art school because they needed to enroll a black person in order to keep their government funding.
  • Many elements of the storyline leading up to Victoria Newman and Billy Abbott's September 2010 wedding on The Young and the Restless were shout outs to Father Knows Best, culminating in the casting of Elinor Donahue as the presiding judge.
  • The pilot episode of the comedy Raising Hope has a Shout-Out to executive producer/creator Greg Garcia's previous show, My Name Is Earl, with a TV anchor introducing a lighter news story about "A small-time hood who vowed to turn his life around. You'll never guess how it ended."
  • Cleopatra 2525. The appearance of the character Creegan is taken directly from the cover painting of Harlequin in the Shadowrun adventure "Harlequin's Back (1994).
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place the address for the Wizarding World's city hall is 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
  • Friends had one that very few people would get, but it's pretty unmistakable. The second Ross walks in that door, I want you to take him back to your room and do whatever it is that makes him go WRYYYYY!
  • In an episode of Eureka, Taggart tells the GlobalDynamics computer that it's fallen for one of the classic blunders: never go in against a Sicilian an Australian when death is on the line.
    • There is also an episode where S.A.R.A.H. the smart house accidentally reverts to the original military programming that her program was built on.

 S.A.R.A.H.: Would you like to play a game?

Everyone: NO!

    • Season 4.0 Episode 8 "The Ex Files" has the main characters hallucinating someone from their original time line. When Allison asks Dr. Grant, played by James Callis, who his hallucination is he goes with "Tall leggy blonde, slinky red dress."
  • Even Power Rangers gets in on the act. The Terra Venture passed by the Kastorborous system, which Doctor Who fans will recognise as the location of Gallifrey. The favor was returned in a Doctor Who Radio Drama, which mentioned Eltar, homeworld of Zordon.
  • At one point in the Community episode "The Psychology of Letting Go", Pierce is explaining the tenets of his religion(cult), mentioning that humans have a vapour form. Abed asks if there is a liquid form, to which Pierce replies that that when Buddha comes all of the humans would turn into a liquid and combine into a single, super intelligent lifeform.
  • The 1960's Batman series. In "The Cat and the Fiddle" Catwoman's thugs are crawling around the outside of the Gotham State Building. Commissioner Gordon says "Are they birds?" and Chief O'Hara says "Are they planes?", a reference to the signature line from Superman, "Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's Superman!"
  • Boy Meets World had several references to South Park in the later seasons, mostly blatantly "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" from "And Then There Was Shawn".
  • In the first episode of Monk one of the first thing Adrian deduces about the killer is the brand of cigarettes the killer smoked. Like another detective who wrote a whole paper on distinguishing cigars from their ashes.
  • Tracker had a shout out to Adrian Paul's Highlander role when Cole used a katana to escape from a museum vault.
  • Highlander once had Geraint Wyn Davies as a guest star, during the time Wyn Davies was doing his Forever Knight series. His character in the episode had a girlfriend named Jeanette, likely a shout-out to Nick's girlfriend/vampire-sister Janette on FK.
  • The Golden Girls had an episode where Rose worked on a children's series where the puppet sidekick was named Kolac from Twilar. This is a shout out to The Dick Van Dyke Show "It May Look Like a Walnut" episode, with Danny Thomas as Kolac from Twilo. Explained by the fact that Tony Thomas, one of the Golden Girls producers, is the son of Danny Thomas, who produced The Dick Van Dyke Show.
  • CSI: NY had an ep with a killer who was an actor, and Mac caught up with him by pretending he was trying out for the play Of Mice and Men, a shout out to Gary Sinise having directed and starred in a movie version of the work.
    • Another ep had Mac's Quip to Black line as "Houston, we have a problem" a shout out to Gary's Apollo 13 role.
  • A Christmas episode of The Avengers shows Steed getting Christmas cards from lady friends. He reads one from Cathy Gale and muses "Whatever could she be doing in Fort Knox?"
  • The pilot for Once Upon a Time had a shout out to the last series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz worked on, when Emma wakes up in Storybrooke's jail - the first shot is a closeup of one of her eyes, a regular habit on Lost.
  • Fairly Legal marks the point where Shout-Out meets Tear Jerker; the recurring character of Judge Nicastro is named after singer/actress Michelle Nicastro, executive producer Steve Stark's wife - who sadly passed away during production of Stark's previous series The Event.
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