In one episode, Leela (played by Katey Sagal) meets and falls in love with a fellow cyclops called Alkazar... who insists she calls him Al... who then turns out to be a shiftless slob... and eventually the show temporarily turned into an episode ofMarried... with Children, in which Sagal played Peggy Bundy, right down to the hooting FOX audience.
In Bender's Big Score, in the battle against the scammers, the Chanukah Zombie, voiced by Mark Hamill, flies a stereotypically Chanukah-themed TIE Fighter.
"Hah — Billy West? What a stupid, phoney, made-up name." Fry's line might be one of the least subtle actor allusions in history.
In Leela and the Genestalk the crew find Jake and Finn trapped in Mom's floating Genetics lab.John Dimaggio voices both Bender and Jake.
Jake: What time is it? Bender: Time for you to shut up!
One episode titled "Brother from Another Series" starred Sideshow Bob (Grammer) and his brother Cecil, voiced by, you guessed it, David Hyde Pierce. One scene becomes an obvious extended reference to Frasier, down to the incidental music and sarcastic dialogue. At one point when Bart jumped on his back and yelled "Guess who!" Cecil's first guess was "Maris?" Maris was the never seen/never heard wife of Niles Crane. A later episode starred Bob, Cecil, and their father Robert, voiced by John Mahoney. One extended Couch Gag had the Simpsons running through sets from different sitcoms; they sit in the bar from Cheers (the show Frasier was a spin-off of) and Sideshow Bob walks in.
Another episode features Lisa plotting against Bart and cackling evilly. When Marge asks her what's so funny, she quickly covers by saying she was just thinking about a joke she saw on Herman's Head, on which Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa) starred. Conversely, Yeardley Smith's character on the show once asked if she sounded like "that girl who voices Lisa Simpson".
In one episode Comic Book Guy says "America needs the wisdom of Hermans Head now more than ever." Comic Book Guy is voiced by Hank Azaria, who co-starred on Hermans Head.
The episode "Lisa's Substitute", guest-starring Dustin Hoffman, features an extended sequence that comes out of nowhere in which Hoffman's character and Mrs. Krabappel do a shot-for-shot reenactment of the famous seduction scene from The Graduate. Ironically, Hoffman used a pseudonym in this appearance, so anyone who couldn't recognize his voice was probably completely mystified as to why the episode suddenly stopped dead in its tracks to do such a specific parody.
In the episode "Lard of the Dance", a character voiced by Lisa Kudrow says when meets Lisa: "Your name's Lisa? Shut up, I love that name!" Later, she tells her not to be "such a Phoebe".
In the Latin-American version of The Simpsons, when Homer wants to prove that he forgot the name of Lisa's secret boyfriend, he incorrectly gives his name as "Beto Vélez". Humberto Velez voices Homer. In another episode, when calling a photographer for an erotic photo shoot, he gives his name as "Humberto Simpson".
In the episode "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife", Homer meets Dan Castellaneta (who's Homer's voice actor).
Tour Guide: Oh, why look! There's Dan Castellaneta from The Tracey Ullman Show. Homer(leaning out of the tour guide tram) Hey, funny man! Say something funny! Dan Castellaneta: Please don't lean out of the tram, sir. You might get hurt. Homer:(childishly imitating Castelleneta) Oh, don't lean out of the tram! (Homer hits his head on a statue of Mischa Barton)
In the episode "Apocalypse Cow", there's a CD called Anguished Animals III, recorded by Tress MacNeille. Tress MacNeille voices many female supporting characters on The Simpsons.
In the episode "The Bob Next Door", Bart thinks their new neighbor is his nemesis, Sideshow Bob in disguise, because he sounds like him. Homer and Marge tell him that lot of people sound like Sideshow Bob, like "Frasier on Cheers, Frasier on Frasier, and Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dodge in Down Periscope." Those roles were played by Kelsey Grammer, the voice of Sideshow Bob.
Combined with a Take That in a scene in which Fat Tony (Joe Mantegna) becomes emotional and says "I haven't cried this much since I paid to see Godfather III" (that movie being a favorite punching bag on The Simpsons.) The Godfather, Part III co-stars Joe Mantegna as Joey Zasa.
When Rodney Dangerfield voiced Mr. Burns' son Larry, he echoed his "I don't get no respect" catchphrase with "I tell ya, I don't get no regard. No regard at all. No esteem, either."
A two-in-one parody in "The Fearless Ferret": an aging TV star who played a superhero on TV is voiced by Adam West of the classic Batman. He coaches a successor via radio, in the form of series regular Ron. Ron's VA, Will Friedle, was the voice of the future Batman on Batman Beyond — whom the original Batman coached via radio.
On another episode, Señor Senior Sr. speaks of chasing someone "'round perdition's flames", in much the same way his voice actor (Ricardo Montalban) did in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Seth MacFarlane intentionally avoids allusions to Batman with Adam West because they're too obvious. Though there was the Super Griffins short where he mentioned having past experiences fighting super-powered beings.
Also, in the episode "Believe It Or Not, Joe's Walking On Air", Peter notes the similarity between the voices of Dr. Hartman and Carter Pewtersmidt — both played by Seth MacFarlane — who do indeed sound nearly identical. Hartman and Carter then converse about this, with Carter noting it as being a bit lazy, whereas Hartman figures that there are only so many voices out there, with some bound to sound similar.
There was a fairly subtle one on the first episode after the show came back. Peter listed all of the series on FOX that had been cancelled since they were. When Peter says Greg the Bunny, he looks at Chris, whose VA, Seth Green, was the star of that series.
There's an even more obvious reference to Robot Chicken in "Road to the Multiverse:"
Stewie: How's it feel to be on a major network for 30 seconds? Chris: *bleep!* YOU!!
In the second Star Wars spoof, Peter short-circuits the argument by bringing up Without a Paddle, which causes Chris to scream and run out of the room angrily. Without a Paddle was a horrible box office flop that starred Seth Green.
In the third Star Wars spoof, they simply go into outright bashing Seth Green by name, which naturally irritates Chris/Luke. At the end, Chris asks Peter what's his problem with Seth Green, then turn around and starts bashing Seth MacFarlane along with Meg and Lois, with Peter, Stewie, and Brian (all voiced by MacFarlane) trying to defend him.
In "Meet the Quagmires", where the timeline was altered, President Gore killed Osama bin Laden. Lois says: "Who woulda thought that bin Laden was hiding out in the cast of MADtv?" Quagmire remarks: "Man, the perfect hiding spot. The one place no one would look!" Alex Borstein, the voice of Lois had a recurring role on MADtv.
Adam West, again, in the role of Catman. Fun fact: that episode was co-written by Seth MacFarlane, who of course is responsible for the "Mayor Adam West" character on Family Guy, mentioned above.
The Crimson Chin is voiced by Jay Leno, a chin-themed superhero whose origin story comes when a "late night talk show host was bitten by a radioactive celebrity". In a later episode, the Crimson Chin crashes through a building during a fight scene... straight onto the filming of an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
There's also Dr. Rip Studwell, voiced by series creator Butch Hartman himself. His over the top, soap opera style is a reference to Hartman's acting roles on soap operas before he made it big in animation. His design is also based on Hartman himself, originally done as a joke.
There's this memorable exchange between title character Jay Sherman and his son Marty, the humor hinging on the fact that Jay is voiced by actor Jon Lovitz (and drawn to look more than a little bit like him, too):
Jay Sherman: Don't worry son, if you think that only handsome musicians can get beautiful women, I have two words for you: Lyle Lovett. Marty Sherman: I thought that he was handsome. Jay Sherman: You're thinking of Jon Lovitz. With his good looks, he takes the cake.
One episode takes this Up to Eleven by actually having Lovitz voice himself in a scene where he passes by Jay. Marty mentions their voices are similar.
In an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Pleakley (voiced by Kevin Macdonald of The Kids in the Hall) is visited by his mother, sister and brother, voiced by Scott Thompson, Bruce McCullough, and Mark McKinney, respectively, three of Kevin's four regular costars from The Kids in the Hall. The remaining costar, David Foley, appears as well, playing a priest at Pleakley's mock wedding. Not to mention Pleakley is fond of crossdressing.
Tino of The Weekenders is voiced by Jason Marsden, who, in addition to being an accomplished voice-over actor, also served as an announcer on Disney Channel for a number of years. The episode "Careers" has this dialogue:
Tino: Well this is right on target! My number one career is announcer. Lor: But you don't even like sports that much. Tino: No, it doesn't say sports announcer. I'm thinking like one of those guys on TV. (doing an announcer impression) "Up next, a very special Teen Canyon", or "Tonight on Action Flash News: Are your socks killing you?" (switches to a high-pitched voice) Or maybe I could do cartoon voices.
In an episode of The New Batman Adventures, the Joker is attempting to kill Commissioner Gordon while he is at the dentist. Batman manages to find out first and stops him, but before he leaves the Joker tosses a grenade in while making the pun "May the floss be with you!" This is an obvious parody of the line "May the Force be with you", and it is a reference to his voice actor Mark Hamill, famous for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars trilogy.
A similar reference appears in the spin-off comic book Harley and Ivy which stars the Joker's henchgirl Harley Quinn and the villain Poison Ivy; the two are on a movie set beating up what look like Batman and the Joker, but turn out to be actors. Harley laments about some actor trying to impersonate the Joker and takes off his fake nose while the actor mumbles something about "Yoda" and the "Dagobah System". It is safe to say that this is a reference to Hamill again, probably suggesting that the actor is supposed to be him.
Sentinel physically resembles The Tick in both his blue color and huge chin. They have Townsend Coleman as a voice actor. The creators have confirmed that they had this in mind when designing Sentinel once they found out Coleman was cast. It's also been lampshaded a time or two, like when Sentinel has the line of "Energon-y goodness", referencing the Tick's odd manners of speech.
When Ratchet says Wreck-Gar wouldn't dare do something really, really moronic, he replied "I am Wreck-Gar. I dare to be stupid!", referencing his voice actor Weird Al Yankovic's song "Dare to be Stupid". This also counts as a Mythology Gag as it was the Junkions' theme (the Junkions being lead by Wreck-Gar) in the G1 movie. Another happens in "Human Error, Part 2", where he briefly tries to fight Soundwave with an accordion, an instrument Weird Al often uses.
A script-reading for Animated called "Bee in the City" actually had four:
Beast Wars Megatron taking Sari's key and declaring that he has "a big boost of confidence", referencing the Enzyte commercials that David Kaye narrates.
Optimus Prime (also David Kaye) saying waiting in a line "took longer than an InuYasha story arc", which is punctuated with a fist pump. Kaye had a recurring role on InuYasha as Sesshomaru.
Bumblebee saying "My manwich!", a line Bumper Robinson previously said as Dwight Conrad in Futurama.
In the final season finale, Optimus dons a new jetpack in order to fly and be able to fight Decepticons more evenly. Upon takeoff he shouts Excellent!! YEEEESSSSS!!, two words frequently pronounced by the Beast Wars Megatron. Both were voiced by David Kaye.
The title character's butler Professor Jones, voiced by Jonathan Harris, is pretty much a reprisal of Harris' role as Dr. Smith from Lost in Space — snotty and coward, with some lines directly lifted from LiS. A Running Gag involves everyone asking Jones if he was "on a show with a robot". Also, Sgt. Cosgrove and the villain Guitierrez resemble their voice actors, Ed Asner and Ricardo Montalbán, respectively.
The first season's finale is titled "The Wrath of Guitierrez". One gets the impression that the writers really liked having Ricardo Montalbán on their side.
In Class of 3000 musician Andre "3000" Benjamin provides the voice of Sunny Bridges. In one episode, we learn that Sunny has Andre Benjamin on his cell phone speed dial.
According to Roger Ebert, Scar's answer to Simba's "You're so weird," from The Lion King is a reference to an earlier Jeremy Irons part in Reversal of Fortune where he played Claus von Bulow. Even the intonation is exactly the same.
There are many allusions to Friday, both direct and indirect, which starred John Witherspoon, the voice of The Boondocks' Robert "Granddad" Freeman.
In the episode "A Date with the Health Inspector", the character Gin Rummy (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) makes several statements pulled almost word-for-word from Pulp Fiction, including the iconic "English, motherfucker, do you speak it?". Rummy also also seems to have a certain inclination towards "tasty beverages".
In one episode, Mark Hamill plays a dealer who sells Granddad a strain of marijuana called "Skywalker".
Rev. Rollo Goodlove messes up while singing "Go-Go Gadget Gospel," a song originally performed by his voice actor Cee-Lo. Extra layers of funny occur when you realize Cee-Lo is purposefully messing up his song when he should be able to sing it perfectly.
A neat version of this trope occurs in Odd Job Jack in which the episode's supposed guest star is none other then the voice actor of the main character who plays himself. Similar to the Lucky Star example but instead here the title character expresses his disapproval and criticism of the man and the two fight each other throughout the episode.
Captain Neweyes's last line in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story is "And that's the way it is," referencing how his voice actor Cronkite signed off his newscasts back in the day.
A PBS childrens show called Liberty's Kids had Cronkite as the voice of Benjamin Franklin. Separate from the main storyline (having to do with a trio of preteen reporters during the American Revolutionary War), there would be anachronistic segments, including Franklin as a newscaster-an obvious nod to voice actor Cronkite. He would even end each segment with "And that's the way it was..."
A bit of an inversion in W.I.T.C.H.: during a scene in the second-season episode "L is for Loser", the girls wonder aloud why the Knights of Destruction have been able to feed off of their negative emotions, and why Cornelia hasn't been affected. Cornelia responds matter-of-factly with "I'm the only one here who's not starring in a soap opera". Her voice actress, Christel Khalil, plays Lily on The Young And The Restless, and is the only one of the five main voice actresses who is in fact starring in a soap opera. The girls lampshade this by saying "This week".
A rather obscure one: Ben Tennyson exclaims in one episode: "How stupid do you think I am?", a line uttered by Terrence of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends no less than 2 years beforehand. Both characters are voiced by Tara Strong.
Another episode where Ben and Gwen are drawn into a video game involves a scene where Grandpa Max notices that their game console has been left on, and drops into a deeper voice to complain, "I thought I told you to turn the game console off!" If you've played Metal Gear Solid 2 to the ending, you will likely void your bowels at this exact moment - Paul Eiding plays both Grandpa Max and Colonel Campbell, and towards the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, the game abruptly shifts into a No Fourth Wall horror game. At the start of this downwards slide, the Colonel shouts at Raiden to "turn the game console off!"
Small one from Robert Patrick when he voices Piandao. When Piandao describes swordsmanship, he says the sword is like a "extra long, really sharp arm". Robert Patrick's most famous role was as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and the Terminator he played was fond of making his arms long and sharp to use as swords.
Quiz show host:(voiced by Alex Trebek, of Jeopardy! fame) This automotive tool is used to tighten bolts. Didi: What is a torque wrench? Host: You're absolutely right, and Didi, you don't have to answer in a form of a question.
Pepper Ann: In one episode, Pepper Ann is watching a show suspiciously similar to The Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series; April Winchell, who voiced PA's mother Lydia, also voiced Tanya on MD:TAS.
The bumper for the last broadcast of Toonami has TOM delivering a closing monologue and flying away, and while he's in the distance he says "Bang". This was a line said by Spike Speigel multiple times and was his last line in the series. Both are voiced by Steve Blum.
Examples include bringing in the entire lead cast of Teen Titans to voice the (first) Royal Flush Gang, bickering brothers Hawk and Dove being played by Wayne and Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years, and Nazi-esque villain Virman Vundabar, voiced by Arte Johnson, saying "verrry interesting... but schtupid!"note He replaced the last word with futile, but close enough. — his Catch Phrase in his most famous role, Wolfgang the German Soldier on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
Keith David, who was Goliath in Gargoyles, voice acts Despero the cult-leader. When he's brainwashing the heroes one by one, he remarks about Hawkgirl: "The wings give her an exotic quality, wouldn't you agree?"
During "The Once and Future Thing, Part 2", as time itself starts to degrade and warp out of control, a group of redcoats suddenly appear. They see the Terry McGinnis Batman and one of them shouts, "Fire at will."
"Epilogue" features a new Royal Flush Gang and the Jack in this one is a samurai. When he's returned to normal, the animators made him look exactly like Phil LaMarr - the voice of Samurai Jack.
An episode of Roary The Racing Car has a racecar designer called Hugo Amarillo, apparently purely so Big Chris (voiced by Peter Kay) can say "Is this the way to Hugo Amarillo?", referring to the song he mimed to for Comic Relief.
In an episode of Danny Phantom where Maddie married Vlad instead of Jack, Jack mistakenly called Danny "Davy" at one point. Danny's voice actor is David Kaufman.
In "Splitting Images", while Danny is stuck inside a 1950's version of Caspar High in the Ghost Zone, there's a brief shot of Marty McFly (played by Kaufman in the animated series) amung the students.
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan's love interest is the Duchess Satine. Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels as well as the male lead in Moulin Rouge! His character's love interest was named Satine.
Batman Beyond villain Mad Stan is a psychopathic Luddite who very closely resembles Spider from Johnny Mnemonic, even going so far as to mimic his "information overload" rant (minus the profanity.) Actor Henry Rollins played both roles, and Stan was probably modeled after Rollins' performance.
And, at one point during the episode, Lawrence watches a horror movie and comments, "where are the musical numbers?" Richard O'Brian, who plays Lawrence, wrote The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which combines horror & music.
In "Druselsteinoween", Vannesa voiced by Oliva Olson is dressed as a Vampire Queen
In Beast Wars, Silverbolt remarks that Venus reminds him of Blackarachnia. Blackarachnia was voiced by Venus Terzo.
Beast Boy talks in stereotypical surfer lingo and won't touch meat. His VA, Greg Cipes, is a professional surfer, and has lived on a vegan diet since he was a kid. Also, "You're just jealous 'cause I sound like a rock star."
Titans villain Mad Mod (voiced by Malcolm McDowell) claims that "nothing teaches discipline and respect like brain-erasing drugs." Not to mention at one point he has mechanical chairs that hold your eyes open.
The witch character Mother Mae-Eye is voiced by Billy Hayes, who also played a witch in H.R. Pufnstuf.
Raven is revealed to be a fan of the TV show Pretty Pretty Pegasus. Her voice actor also happens to be the star of the show it's based on.
In an episode of the short-lived series Sit Down, Shut Up, after hearing hot science teacher Miracle Groh sing, bisexual drama teacher Andrew comments "you sound good enough to be in Wicked". Miracle's voice actor is Kristen Chenoweth, who was indeed in said play. (Seconds later, Miracle because of her character, reveals she has never heard of either Wicked or The Wizard of Oz.)
Orson Welles attempted a series of radio commercials for several foods, probably sometime around the 1960s. Animaniacs did a Pinky and the Brain sketch built around Maurice LaMarche imitating fairly famous outtakes of that recording session almost verbatim (compare Welles and LaMarche). If the entire cartoon wasn't enough of one long Actor Allusion on its own, it includes a line where the Brain storms off, saying, "if you want this done, you'll just have to find some actor who does impressions!"
One episode of (specifically "Arlen City Bomber") has Bobby state that his dream is to eat a corn chip right off the production line. Lucky tells him "I'm gonna help you run down that dream." Lucky's portrayer had a song titled "Runnin' Down A Dream".
The title orange cat is voiced by Lorenzo Music, who had previously voiced Carlton the Doorman on the CBS sitcom Rhoda. Naturally, one of the Couch Gags featured the line, "This is Garfield, your doorman." (Doubles as a Parental Bonus, given that Rhoda aired during The Seventies.)
Aloysius Pig's catchphrase is "That's not right!", a reference to his voice actor Kevin Meaney.
Whenever the children of South Park visited Chef's home, there was a photograph of Isaac Hayes on the wall. Hayes provided the voice of Chef.
In the episode "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight Sparkle has a squirrel trying to tell her something, and on being questioned, replies, "Do I look like I speak Squirrel?" Twilight is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voiced Bubbles on The Powerpuff Girls, who did in fact speak Squirrel.
In the episode "Sonic Rainboom", a jerk jock, voiced by Kathleen Barr, pick on the prideful main character, Rainbow Dash. Kathleen Barr also plays Kevin, a Jerk Jock in Ed, Edd n Eddy who picks on a prideful Eddy.
From Batman Beyond: King is voiced by George Lazenby, who was known for his short stint as James Bond. He gets two significant lines: First, "we have all the time in the world"; a reference to one of his Bond roles. Second, "do you know what it's like living in another man's shadow?"
In-universe example at the end of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie: When Khalil appears and asks who needed a tow, Twippo says "Uh...have we met?" This was because Archibald was Jonah and Twippo in the film and Jonah meets Khalil in the Jonah story in the film.
When The Real Ghostbusters hear that a movie about them is being planned, they look at a press release and see that some guys named Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis are in the main roles.
The TRON: Uprising episode "Price of Power" has Beck (voiced by Elijah Wood) being slowly driven mad by a ring-shaped item which grants him incredible power, and which he must destroy through very hot means.
The character of Malory Archer (played by Jessica Walter) is essentially Lucille Bluth placed in command of a spy agency. She even has a feud with her unseen neighbor Trudy Beekman, echoing Lucille's feud with "Lucille Two"
Eventually we meet Len Trexler, the head of the rival agency ODIN who was involved with Malory in the past and thus may be Archer's biological father. He of course is played by Jeffrey Tambor, who played George Bluth, Lucille's husband.
A recent episode revealed Archer had developed amnesia and was selling burgers under the name Bob. Jon Benjamin voices Archer and Bob from Bob's Burgers. The idea that both characters were the same person was made all the funnier by the fact that they look nothing like each other, despite sounding exactly alike. Far from being a quick gag, the allusion was a major plot point, complete with an Archer-style makeover for the Bob's Burgers settings and characters. It tiptoed along the border of Actor Allusion and a full Crossover episode.
In "Honeypot", Thomas Lennon guest-stars as one of the villains of the week. At one point, Archer is shown dressed in an outfit very similar to Terry, the recurring gay prostitute from Lennon's series Reno 911!.
In the episode "The Dude", the main six meet Franklin Dudikoff, the school's original charismatic prankster (Like T.J.) in the '80s, who's now back to become a teacher. T.J. looks up to him like an older brother. The Dude is voiced by Joey Lawrence, who's the older brother of T.J.'s (then) voice actor, Andy Lawrence.
In Recess: School's Out, T.J.'s sister, Becky, is shown talking on the phone in one scene with her friend, Melissa. Becky's voiced by Melissa Joan Hart.
In Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade, Becky is voiced by Tara Strong instead of Melissa Joan Hart. In two made-for-TV movies for Sabrina the Teenage Witch, both of them star in the films: Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina, and Tara Strong as Gwen.
In the '90s Spider-Man the Animated Series, Ed Asner played the voice of Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. This isn't his first role as a news editor; his best-known role was that of Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, head of a TV news program. In his own spin-off series Lou became a newspaper editor.
He later voiced the editor of The Springfield Shopper on The Simpsons.
Crybaby Clown also seems like an allusion to Hamill's role as Macendale/Hobgoblin on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, since the villain is more practical-minded than Joker, and both are shallow pretty-boys who romance the local rich girl who is fed up with her distracted ex/potential beau and turn to destructive crime waves in the name of money/fame. Both Daphne and Felicia Hardy are made to feel like fools when their date is unmasked.
Early on in season two, Velma seems to have become pretty good friends with Hot Dog Water. It probably doesn't hurt Hot Dog Water's voice actress Linda Cardellini has a bit of a past relationshipwith Velma...