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On the Origin of PCs
- Vaarsuvius's backstory in is an extended reference to Iron Chef. It also includes a single panel showing a young Vaarsuvius using magic to make a broom carry buckets of water, in a reference to the the Sorcerer's Apprentice trope.
- The prequel also has Haley's ID number on her mugshot as 24601.
- Several cameos amongst the adventurers Roy interviews in the inn:
The Order of the Stick
- "Wow. Who knew all you had to do was break his sword and he'd go all Lou Ferrigno."
- Monty Python's Flying Circus in "It's Not a Gaming Session Until Someone Quotes Monty Python".
- A different Holy Grail: "Ye have chosen... poorly."
- Knowing. It's half the battle. (G.I. Joe!)
- "The Light at the End of the Tunnel": "Is it much further, Papa Roach?"
- The "Headdress of Supreme Leadership" seems to be a bastard kid of Regalia of Might artifact and "Neon Orange Mohawk Wig of Death" from Bride of Portable Hole.
- One by the "lantern" Archon's and the Demon-Roaches to the Green Lantern Comics: "In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night, No Evil Shall Escape Our Sight." And then one of the Demon-Roaches says, "I dunno. I always kinda liked Kyle." A stealthy reference to one of the main characters, Kyle Rayner.
- "No Offense, Aaron":
"Kaboom" Redaxe: I knew I should've taken tha job at "Nodwick".
- "Hey, wake up, Snow White! It's me, the 8th dwarf, 'Stabby'."
- Check out the road signs in the last panel of "Bing Crosby's Got Nothing on Us".
- Among the payment options the Oracle accepts for prophecies are "magic beans" and "your voice".
- A nod to Centipede in "Copper Piece Arcade".
Julia: I'm out of quarters! I mean, "spells"!
- Possibly not meant as a Shout-Out, but after Nale kills the Police Chief, a red-haired and freckled cop takes command.
- A rather blatant one to Final Fantasy VI when Elan and Thog are boarding an airship.
- Elan's speech before the battle of Azure city is saturated with shout outs:
Elan: Friends, Azurites, countrymen, lend me your ears. Not literally, because ewww. I mean, that would be disgusting.
And messy. And since you'd just be lending them, we'd have to figure out how to reattach them all, and that'd be a lot of work.
Today, we stand here on the wall, preparing to defend this city from the forces of evil. And probably chaos, too.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. And sisters. Definitely also sisters, they are part of the band too. I think they play drums.
A day may come when the courage of men (and women) fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
And if the battle lasts through tomorrow, it's not that day either.
It may or may not be the day after that, I'm not sure. Still too early to tell.
But in case it's not that day, or it is that day but the battle is already over so it doesn't matter, I want you to remember this:
No one ever won a war by dying for their country. They won by making the other guy die for his country. Which still applies even though hobgoblins don't live in countries.
They live in caves, I think. So make them die for their caves. Which, admittedly, sounds a lot less heroic than dying for your country.
But today will be the day when Azure City declared in one voice, "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!"
And the fact that it rhymes does not make it any less true!
We'll stand here together and tell our enemies that they may take our lives...
But they will never take our freedom!
- The paladins of Azure City (a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan) apparently summon their Celestial Mounts from inside Pokéballs. Complete with a "[Name of Celestial Mount], I choose you!"
- "Who knows what stupidity lies in the hearts of men", and a bit of an Affectionate Parody of Vampire: The Masquerade here.
- "Uh... strike me down, and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine!"
- In "Meanwhile, His Teammate Was in Rhodes", Therkla leads Elan's party into a Captain Ersatz of a Dharma Initiative station from Lost, complete with the iconic Dharma Initiative logo (with a smiley face in the middle) and a sign on the wall that says "Welcome to the Greg Initiative, Station 32: The Smiley Face." When they leave the station in the next strip, there's a bonus Take That:
Lien: Thank the Twelve Gods! I was beginning to think the people who built that tunnel had absolutely no idea where it was going!
- "No, see, she has just a ninja-themed motif to strike fear into the hearts of cowardly and superstitious criminals."
- Also in #560, the punchline has Cyclops of X-Men taking the place of the cyclops from The Odyssey as a Stealth Pun.
- "One for the FAQ"
The Oracle: So yeah, I have as much chance of bringing back your leader as I do of scoring with Grendel's hot mom.
- "Look, Mr. Scruffy, Herman Munster is trying to hurt the Cart Fairy!"
- When Roy's dad "gently" breaks the news about Roy's body being used for a bone golem, among the books he hands him is Promethean: The Created.
- The Wizard of Oz: #616 and #621.
- "I'm sorry, I did the best I could with what's left."
- "I know, you could relay the knowledge of the secret gap in the dragon's underbelly scales that is the exact size and shape of a banana nut muffin!"
- "(We totally cribbed this idea from The Matrix)"
- "Delicious." "Tastes like chicken." "Tastes like victory."
- "Oh, you poor, dumb elf. Don't you get it? Be a vampire, or a ghost, or an immortal with a paint-by-numbers portrait in the rec room. Hell, even a brain-in-a-jar, in a pinch. Anything to avoid the Big Fire Below."
- Plenty to Dune in "The Comics Must Flow".
- Elan provides his own version of Stratovarius' "Hunting High and Low".
- The first two strips where Tarquin reveals himself as Elan and Nale's father contains "Elan... I am your father!", as well as "I'm holding a thermal detonator!"
Tarquin: ... That's a can of tomato soup.
Gannji: I know, I was just trying to keep the theme going.
- The Sunrise Bloody Sunrise Bed and Breakfast looks like a reference to the U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday".
- One to Winston Churchill, with the Empires of Blood, Sweat and Tears.
- One to Kukla, Fran, and Ollie of all places. This being OotS, they lampshaded the fact that they are having an outdated Shout Out.
- A subtle one to Avatar: The Last Airbender in this strip.
- "I know that sometimes the hero has to play baccarat with the enemy, even though logically it would make more sense for them to just be trying to kill each other. What I don't know is how to play baccarat."
- Comic #802 is titled "Took a level in Sauceror".
- Xykon references The Picture of Dorian Gray (“an immortal with a paint-by-numbers portrait in the rec room”) in #652