!! Tiny Reference Pools of Western Animation:
* AllAnimationIsDisney, naturally. Concerned entirely with the adventures of Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Scrooge [=McDuck=] and his nephews. Sometimes Jiminy Cricket and Tinkerbell, too. Chip and Dale[[note]]the names are a reference to the furniture designer, not the male strippers[[/note]] are more widely known since 1990 than they were previously, thanks mostly to ''RescueRangers''. And, uh, wasn't there a horse[[note]]Horace Horsecollar[[/note]]? And a cow[[note]]Clarabelle[[/note]]?
* And if a cartoon is referenced its style will be more typical of the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' and Creator/TexAvery cartoons.
** Looney Tunes characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Speedy Gonzales, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, and the Road Runner. Maybe Foghorn and Taz. Anyone who can name a character other than that needs to get out more.
* Creator/{{Hanna-Barbera}}
** Hanna-Barbera characters: The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo...That's pretty much it. Few will remember that Hanna-Barbera did ''Tom and Jerry'' and ''The Smurfs'', or live-action stuff like ''Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park''.
* A short list of legendary animators whose mention will get you only a blank stare: Creator/RalphBakshi, David Silverman, Will Vinton, RichardWilliams.
* Famous characters: MickeyMouse, WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck, WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry.
* If Nickelodeon is mentioned, the show most likely referenced will be WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarepants, and, if they're on the ball, Rugrats or RenAndStimpy.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Ah, the all American yellow family.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': [[AllAdultAnimationIsSouthPark All animation for adults]] is ''South Park'', not to mention gross...

!!Notable exceptions and aversions of this trope from Western Animation shows:
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', lowbrow show that it is, occasionally allows Brian and/or Stewie to show their considerable knowledge of the arts - Brian was once enraptured by an old woman's rendition of "Habanera" and Lois deplored Peter's jazzed-up version of ''Theatre/TheKingAndI''. It's perhaps the only show where you can hear the characters talking about Matisse, then hear a fart joke.
** Lampshaded when Peter makes a remark about Creator/BenjaminDisraeli, and we cut to a cartoon version of Disraeli writing for several seconds before [[BreakingTheFourthWall turning to the audience]] and saying "You don't even know who I am!"
** Further lampshaded when Peter says that Kathy Ireland has betrayed him "worse than Lady Theatre/{{Macbeth}} betrayed Duncan" - cut to a bear fighting Lady Macbeth on a spaceship - Peter says "I uh, I don't know Shakespeare very well."
** Or how about single-handedly making "Shipoopi" from ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'' into a viral Website/YouTube sensation... thanks to an excessive touchdown celebration?
** "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing"
--->'''Frank Sinatra Jr.''': Hey, you girls thirsty? Could I interest you in a couple of Rob Roys?
--->'''Woman''': What's a Rob Roy?
--->'''Frank Sinatra Jr.''': Only the drink of Mr. Peter Lawford.
--->'''Woman''': Who's Peter Lawford[[note]]In fairness, he IS the member of the Rat Pack most likely to be listed as "... and that other guy, what was his name ..."[[/note]]?
--->'''Frank Sinatra Jr.''': What, am I hitting on [[Creator/AbbottAndCostello Lou Costello]] here?
--->'''Woman''': Who's Lou Costello?
** The episode that had Chris working in a video store had him tell his coworker about a number of fairly obscure (but real) films that Chris remembers [[EveryoneRemembersTheStripper only because they had female nudity in them]].
** Bottom line, for all the references to huge pop culture phenomena like ''Franchise/StarWars'' that the show makes, it makes almost as many references to stuff that only a small portion of the audience would be familiar with, be it a forgotten old jazz musician or an obscure kids cartoon from the seventies.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'', the characters attend a ballet; the performance is Prokofiev's ''Cinderella''. This was a good choice on the part of the writers--even if only a few audience members were familiar with Prokofiev's ballets, it was immediately obvious from the costumes and props what the story was. Also notable is that the act's closing scene parallels Anya and Dimitri's relationship at that point; such an effect is not as easy to pull off when this trope is played straight.
* The 80s children's stop-motion series ''{{Moschops}}'' had a variety of saurians, from Allosaurus to Icthyosaur. None of them ate each other, though Uncle Rex was a bit fierce.
** And the main character was a Moschops? That is not a reptile anyone will have ever heard of without purposely doing the research.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Lisa has previously mentioned the likes of Creator/GoreVidal and Creator/PabloNeruda.
-->'''Lisa:''' Bart, Pablo Neruda said, "Laughter is the language of the soul."
-->'''Bart:''' (irritably) I ''think'' I'm familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda.
** One episode has Mr. Burns joking that the power plant's profit margins are "thinner than Louise Brooks' negligee". When Homer fails to respond, Burns is compelled to explain the reference. This is done, though, to show how much Burns is out of touch with recent pop culture.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' gets a lot of humor from Fry's 20th century background, so a lot of the jokes aren't exactly obscure. But many of them are much more subtle and academic. Examples include Klein Beer (guess what the bottle looked like) being sold in a store advertising free bags of ice-9 and the holophonor, a recurring plot device based on the Visi-Sonor from the ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series (extra points for being possibly the only ''Foundation'' reference in mainstream pop culture ''ever''). Also made jokes about orders of infinity (a cinema called ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleph_number aleph]]''-0-plex, likely meant to one up "The Googlplex" cinema in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'') and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle's "observer effect" (scientists change the result of a horse race by observing it).
** More GeniusBonus: Bender advertises his computerized dating service as discreet and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_mathematics discrete]]. In one episode a closet contains two boxes, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_(complexity) P]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NP_(complexity) NP]], and a robot planet named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Capek Chapek 9]].
** In the commentary on one of the movie [=DVDs=], they talk about one of their favorite gags was to throw in as many obscure mathematical references as they could.
* Most if not all episodes of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''. One of the few shows designed [[MultipleDemographicAppeal to appeal to small children, big children, astronomy professors, professional historians, and so on]]. The checkable facts were well researched, much better than network or cable news shows for example, except where obvious humour was intended - and sometimes even then.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' managed to work in references to ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns''. It also has a villain named Taurus Bullba, a gag on Taras Bulba, a fictional Ukrainian folk hero and film starring Yul Brynner [[note]]And the Nikolay Gogol's novel, for crying out loud![[/note]].
** How about that the engines on the air pirates' ship in ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'' are modeled on the one from ''Master of the World'' starring Creator/VincentPrice? Or that the Sea-Duck uses a version of the [=WWII=]-era overdrive system known as "war emergency power", in the multi-part pilot (Baloo burns it out, so they can have a cool scene without keeping around a potential story-breaker)?
** Many of the episodes of ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' are named after {{Golden Age|OfHollywood}} films that children wouldn't be aware of, and often contain some {{Parental Bonus}}es that may go over the head of a few adults. One particular episode was full of obscure references, including a possible cameo by a young Franz Kafka (or an {{Expy}}) and a reference to RonaldReagan's autobiography.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' has so many pop-cultural references that it is ''bound'' to have at least a few obscure ones. It lampshaded a reference to ''Film/SleepawayCamp'', [[LampshadedTheObscureReference followed by a person being shocked that someone actually remembered it to make a reference]]. It also featured an extended parody of ''VideoGame/ParappaTheRapper''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' features a character named "Die Fledermaus," a ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' pastiche dressed like a bat. The name doesn't make a lot of sense until you realize that it is German for "the Bat" and the name of a popular German operetta. Consequently, unless you speak German you need a working knowledge of light opera. And honestly, who can name a light opera not made by Creator/GilbertAndSullivan? Not many, that's who.
** The ''Series/{{Batman}} 1960'''s TV series actually used a reference to Batman being called "Die Fledermaus-mensch" and helpfully explained what it meant, so no, you don't need to speak German or know opera to understand it.
** Handy: "Even now, [the Tick] sulks like Achilles in his tent." [blank looks from everybody] "Achilles? The Iliad? It's Homer! READ a BOOK!"
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'' is naturally filled with references to computer technologies, many of them antique when the episodes were made.
--> '''Enzo * complaining about going to ''ancient language'' class instead of hanging out with Bob* :'''"[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBOL COBOL]]? [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortran FORTRAN]]? They're dinosaurs!
* Although ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', being an {{MTV}} show, kept a fair handle on pop culture jokes in general, the eponymous protagonist had a great habit of referencing obscure, deep, and intelligent literature in relation to her present circumstances, most of which went right over audiences' heads.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', [[BollywoodNerd Baljeet]] imagines himself as "Hanumanman", a superhero modelled after the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, who plays a major role in the Indian epic poem ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}''. Hanuman is well known in India, but how many western viewers had ever heard of him before?
** If you saw the ''Series/SesameStreet'' special in which Big Bird visits China, you'd recognize Hanuman as the Indian version of the Chinese "Monkey King."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' features plenty of classical musical cues, some of which are not very well-known, like Chopin's "Ballad in F-Minor Op. 52", or Josef Suk's "Asrael" symphony, or Claude Debussy's "Canope", or Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Francesca da Rimini".
* ''Definitely'' ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBros'' One major character is the Phantom Limb, who is named after a medical condition, dresses like ComicStrip/ThePhantom, and is a descendant of Literature/{{Fantomas}}. Who was a member of a Guild with Eugen Sandow, Creator/OscarWilde, Creator/AleisterCrowley, and NikolaTesla. And who went on to recruit Music/BuddyHolly and the Big Bopper, preventing them from getting on the doomed flight that killed them in real life. And the guild is ''now'' run by Music/DavidBowie and Music/BrianEno, and used to also include [[Music/TheStooges Iggy Pop]] and Klaus Nomi. And all that barely scratches the surface.
** In one episode Henchman #21 wants to say "Sic semper tyrannis," which is what UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln's assassin was alleged to have said. He ''actually'' says "Semper fidelis tyrannosaurus," but Killinger does tell him what the right quote was.
** In another episode, we get a lampshading of the trope when Phantom Limb tries to sell a stolen Rembrandt to a dumb sounding mobster. He claims he wants the Mona Lisa, which causes Limb to frustratedly remark that just because a painting is better known, that doesn't make it ''better''.
* Minor example, played mostly due to RuleOfFunny. An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' features a short appearance of a group of people referred to as the Presidents of the United States, consisting of the four LEAST known US presidents. Dodgers' reaction is understandable.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' is largely an UnintentionalPeriodPiece for TheNineties, but worked in a lot of parodies of/references to older films, largely to contrast Jay's ideals to the LowestCommonDenominator fare he was stuck reviewing. For instance...
** He wasn't too happy to find that ''The Red Balloon 2: Revenge of the Balloon'' was an ActionizedSequel to a beloved French short film.
** The formal name he gave a stray puppy he briefly housed? Film/UnChienAndalou.
** Creator/BillCosby stars in a ''RebelWithoutACause'' remake and suggests that his opponent in a knife fight swap out his weapon for a spoon to eat delicious Jell-O Pudding.
** A less-idealistic critic takes a bribe in exchange for the rave "This movie makes ''Hud'' look like ''C.H.U.D.'', and I loved ''C.H.U.D.''!"
* ''TheSecretSaturdays'': Rather than the usual Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, the show features numerous cryptids that only a cryptozoologist could recognize (Hibagon and Orang-pendek anyone?).
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