"There's something very familiar about all this."When a series deliberately references an event from its own past. This goes a bit deeper than a Call-Back or Continuity Nod: An internal homage recreates images, lines, or even entire scenes from the franchise's past. These homages are generally not recognized by the characters in-story (save for, perhaps, a Deadpan Snarker or other Fourth-Wall Observer making it clear for the audience). Similarly, it's distinct from History Repeats in that the recreation of the scene isn't important to the plot (the scene itself may be important, but not the fact that it's happened before). In general, an internal homage is a treat for longtime fans of the series to catch. A subtrope of Mythology Gag. Bookends (and by extension, Here We Go Again) are a manifestation of Internal Homage. Expies, especially of the Generation Xerox variety, can be used to this end as well. Continuity Reboots and otherwise alternate-continuity stories will often use Internal Homages to appease fans of the franchise's past. Extreme cases do this Once per Episode.
— Biff, Back to the Future Part II
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Anime & Manga
- Digimon kills off at least one Leomon or otherwise lionlike mon in every continuity from Digimon Adventure onward (thus exempting the earlier Digimon V-Tamer 01). The degree of relevance or tragedy varies. Adventure 01: A Leomon that was friendly to the main characters — tragic; Adventure 02: a generic SaberLeomon; Tamers: Jeri's Digimon partner, murdered by Beelzemon - Most tragic of all of them; Frontier: A twofer, an IceLeomon was part of Sakakkumon's internal defense, defeated by Takuya: Koichi was killed (again) at the end by Lucemon, and his Beast Spirit was called KaiserLeomon (in the original Japanese, anyway); Savers: A villainous SaberLeomon was killed while attacking the human world; Xros Wars: MadLeomon, a member of the Bagra Army was taken out by Xros Heart in episode 3 (though he was later revived as a regular Leomon).
- The beginning of chapter 424 of Bleach is a reversed homage to the beginning of the first chapter. After we again are given Ichigo's "profile" altered to note that he cannot see ghosts anymore we're then shown a color spread which is like the first one except Rukia isn't there and all the people with portraits in the background are turning away.
- The first Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS involved a dispatch mission that was a homage to the early episodes of Season 1, what with it involving a Lost Logia that landed on Earth which created a Monster of the Week that the rookies had to defeat via sealing, much like Nanoha did on her first outings as a Magical Girl. Given a Lampshade Hanging after the mission was over, with Fate mentioning to Nanoha how the entire thing reminded her of the past and Nanoha thinking of sending an email to Yuuno about the entire thing afterwards.
- Following the mid-series time skip, One Piece returned with a color spread mirroring the very first, only with added crew members and post-time skip designs, as well as a volume cover mirroring also the very first, with updated crew members.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Star Platinum, the Stand of Jotaro Kujo, combines elements of previous story villains Bruford and Tarkus: specifically, it borrows elements of Bruford's appearance and mixes his speed and precision with Tarkus's overwhelmingly destructive power.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the signature card of the hero will always have 2500 ATK, and, after the original, will also have 2000 DEF. Likewise, The Rival will always have an ace monster with 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF.
- Quite a few Superman covers reference the cover of the Action Comics issue in which Supes first appeared (the page image is from Infinite Crisis, with Superman from Earth-2/Kal-L striking regular Superman/Kal-El). Superman Returns even staged it in live action.
- Superman vol 2 #178, written by Jeph Loeb, opens with three teens heading down to Smallville General Store, in exactly the way the teenage Clark, Lana and Pete did in the opening of Loeb's Superman for All Seasons. As a further gag, the counterpart to Pete is black and Lana's is Asian, reflecting the actors from Smallville
- Similarly, Fantastic Four #1's cover is homaged a lot at Marvel Comics.
- As is the one for Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man's first appearance.
- DC Comics character Blue Beetle II, Ted Kord, died in Countdown to Infinite Crisis on his knees, with a gun to his head. In Blue Beetle #24 (2006 series), Blue Beetle III, Jaime Reyes, breaks out of an alien prison and scavenges clothing and equipment off the aliens he dispatches that end up putting him in something that greatly resembles Ted's costume. Then he's re-captured by the Big Bad, who puts him on his knees and puts a gun to his head in an obvious callback to Ted's fate. The cover made it explicit, showing the scene with Jaime repeating Ted's last words ("Rot in Hell!").
- In the Flashpoint miniseries "Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown", the title character's first lines upon awakening are almost exactly what he says upon awakening in the present day in his Seven Soldiers miniseries, even though history's been changed in Flashpoint so that, among other things, he wakes up 60 years earlier.
- Rainbow Dash's nightmare in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) #6 is basically a re-telling of the events of her micro-series comic if she failed to stop the Cloud Gremlins. They even make a cameo!
- Detective Comics Vol. 1 #387 (the 30th anniversary issue), Detective Comics Vol. 1 #627 (the 600th issue since Batman showed up) and Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27 (the 75th anniversary issue) all contained updated versions of "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate", the first Batman story from Detective Comics Vol. 1 #27.
- The covers of the first two issues also homage the original◊—Vol. 1 #387◊ shows Batman holding up the first issues of Detective Comics and Batman while asking Robin if he's ready for another thirty years, while Vol. #627◊ is a little more direct. Vol. 2 #27, for its part, instead decided to have a number of covers drawn by significant artists from Batman's history, none of which homage the original.
- Incredible Hulk #393, another 30th anniversary issue, revisited the site of Banner becoming the Hulk, and answered the question of what happened to Igor Drenkov, the undercover Commie agent who didn't call off the test explosion of the gamma bomb when Banner ran out onto the field to rescue Rick Jones. The cover◊ was also an homage to the first issue's cover.◊
- The opening scene of Muppet Snow White, in which Gonzo as The Narrator introduces himself and Rizzo as The Brothers Grimm, and Rizzo/Wilhelm doubletakes at the idea, is an internal homage to the opening scene of The Muppet Christmas Carol, in which Gonzo as The Narrator introduces himself as Charles Dickens, and Rizzo doubletakes at the idea.
- Kathryn O'Brien in The Punisher MAX has it mentioned that a previous married name of hers was McAllister and that she was previously romantically interested in "the truly, irrevocably doomed... that stupid bastard Tommy"... just like Kathryn McAllister of Hitman, both penned by Garth Ennis.
- X-Men: Deadly Genesis ends with a funeral with three caskets in the ground, just like X-Men: The Last Stand.
- Wolverine: Logan's cage fight in Origin references the cage fight in the first X-Men film.
- Daredevil #264, "Baby Boom". In the middle of a gritty, emotional story arc about the fall of Daredevil, corruption on the streets, and all hell breaking loose (literally, as it was an Inferno tie-in), the book's regular artist took time off to get married. Marvel got the legendary Steve Ditko to fill in, and for one issue the book became a goofy throwback to the Silver Age, with artwork and coloring that could've been unearthed from the '60s, a light, frothy plot about a missing baby being hunted by bee-bopping baby boomers who speak hippie slang, and a remarkably cheerful Matt Murdock temporarily ditching the angst and gloom that had hung over him like a stormcloud. Then, the next week, it was right back to a crumbling society and Black Widow fighting demons.
Films — Animation
- Toy Story:
- Toy Story 2 has several homages to the first movie, including a recreation of the shot of Woody discovering Buzz Lightyear, but with Buzz and the newest version of himself.
- Toy Story 3 contains an updated remake of Andy's "One-Eyed Bart" game. This time, it's expanded to feature the new characters and takes place from the toys' point of view.
Films — Live-Action
- In Avengers: Age of Ultron, a vision of Captain America's broken shield references a similar event in the comics continuity. Captain America's shield is broken in Fear Itself.
- Back to the Future Part III recreates the famous spinning licence plate shot as the De Lorean is destroyed.
- The POV sequence in the Doom movie.
- Quantum of Solace: Fields' death is a homage to the beginning of Goldfinger. The agent Bond kills by hitting his own tie is an homage to The Spy Who Loved Me.
- In Star Trek Into Darkness, Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan is inverted - this time Kirk is the one sacrificing himself in the reactor. And once he dies, Spock screams Khan's name, just like Kirk infamously did in the other movie.
- In Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! there is a scene where Godzilla leers down on a gathered group of people from behind a cliff that is almost shot-for-shot from the first film
- Spider-Man: The Green Goblin letting Mary Jane fall to her death is a shout-out to Gwen Stacy's death in the comics, but Mary Jane is saved in time, avoiding Gwen's fate. Gwen Stacy appears in Spider-Man 3 and almost falls from a building, but the scene isn't recreated like the first movie.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day features several homages to the original movie. For example, during the T-800's first battle with the T-1000 many shots are intentionally angled to recreate shots of Reese's battle with the T-800 in the Technoir bar from the first film.
- X-Men: The Last Stand: Wolverine impaling Jean Grey with his claws is a reference to Wolverine impaling Mariko Yashida in his own comic series.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The childhood of Wolverine as the young James Howlett is taken directly from the Origin comic, including James sprouting claws for the first time and accidentally killing John Howlett, until groundskeeper Thomas Logan reveals he is the real father.
- The first live-action Transformers film had a scene where Jazz speeds towards Brawl, times his transformation so he lands on Brawl, and starts bending Brawl's tankmode's cannon so he cannot shoot. It's almost a shot-to-shot replica of Kup doing the same to Blitzwing in The Transformers: The Movie.
- Harry Potter: Ron to Hermione, Book One: Are you a witch or what? Six books later, Hermione says to Ron: Are you a wizard or what?
- Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts, in the book The Guns of Tanith, had Gol Kolea rescuing Tona Criid and getting shot in the back of the head afterward, losing his memory and personality. In Sabbat Martyr, the same thing happens. One of the Ghosts who had been present the earlier time recognises this happening and pulls Kolea to safety before history fully repeats.
- Gregory McDonald has sections from earlier books in Son Of Fletch, mostly to emphasize the difference in character attitudes towards racism.
- In Ender's Game, Ender instructs his Space Cadets that, in the zero-gravity environment of the Battle Room, the enemy's gate is down. In Children of the Mind, Peter and Wang-mu are trying to disable the Little Doctor, and he helps her orient herself by telling her: "The device is down. You're falling toward the device."
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Space Cadet, Matt Dodson is part of a group of freshman cadets reporting aboard the Patrol school ship PRS Randolph, where they are met and escorted by a senior cadet. Later in the book, the scene is repeated - including much of the dialog - with Matt as the senior.
- The first episode of Homicide: Life on the Street begins with Detective Lewis and his partner searching for a shell casing in an alley, followed by Bayliss entering the homicide department, full of wide-eyed naivete, with his possessions in a file box. In the final episode, Bayliss repacks his possessions into the same file box and leaves the department (having just murdered a suspect), at which point we cut to Lewis and his current partner in the same alley, again looking for a shell casing. They exchange exactly the same dialogue.
- Then, in the reunion/finale movie, when Gee dies, he finds himself in an afterlife police station, where he plays cards with the two regular characters who had been Killed Off for Real (allowing all the previous regulars to appear for the reunion) as a number of past victims of unsolved crimes from the show's history wander the department.
- In "Nearer My God To Thee" (episode 14), Munch issues a cynical monologue about TV and technocracy; in "Kaddish" (episode 73), a Whole Episode Flashback, a younger John Munch delivers the same monologue, but with a hopeful tone.
- Then, in the reunion/finale movie, when Gee dies, he finds himself in an afterlife police station, where he plays cards with the two regular characters who had been Killed Off for Real (allowing all the previous regulars to appear for the reunion) as a number of past victims of unsolved crimes from the show's history wander the department.
- Doctor Who:
- "Robot", the Fourth Doctor's first story, contains a sequence directly reprising "Spearhead From Space", the Third Doctor's first story, as the recently regenerated Doctor sneaks off in his pyjamas and unlocks the TARDIS with a key in his shoes. The primary difference is that the Third Doctor's escape was a lot less effective - the Fourth Doctor manages to launch the TARDIS and (apparently) go on the disastrous adventure that caused "The Face of Evil" before he rematerialises to talk to Sarah Jane.
- In the 1996 US-made Made-for-TV Movie, the newly regenerated Doctor, after waking up naked in a morgue, looks through several lockers for clothes, finding several items which were associated with previous incarnations of the character, such as a long striped scarf. Similar scenes followed the regenerations of the fourth, seventh, and tenth Doctors, although these all take place in the TARDIS's wardrobe room and it is consequently rather less remarkable that the Doctor should encounter clothing similar to that worn by his earlier incarnations.
- Also in the movie, one of the other characters, while trying to cover for the Doctor, claims that the Doctor's name was "John Smith", unaware that the Doctor had used this as a pseudonym previously.
- Seeing as everyone who works on New Who is a childhood fan (including the Tenth Doctor), there are many, many internal homages to Classic Who across the series, some subtler than others.
- "Day of the Doctor" opens with an Homage Shot to the very first episode of Doctor Who ("An Unearthly Child"), displaying the old logo and showing the shadow of a policeman against a brick wall in black and white. It then fades into colour and we cut to the current assistant working at the same school that the two first companions, Ian and Barbara, taught at.
- There's a blink-and-you-miss-it shot in a Time-Compression Montage in "A Christmas Carol" where the Eleventh Doctor shows up wearing a garter-stitch scarf very similar to the Fourth Doctor's, but adjusted for Eleven's general colour scheme (it's grey, plum and green).
- "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" is an overt homage to the very earliest seasons of the show - much of the episode is spent simply exploring the environment and trying to work out what's going on, the villain is very evil but is a threat only to the regular cast instead of a whole planet or universe, and the Doctor displays a ruthless Pay Evil unto Evil streak.
- "The Power of Three" is a detailed and affectionate Moffat-era homage to Davies-era Earth invasion stories, right down to the US newscaster Trinity Wells making her only Moffat-era appearance.
- The ending of "Asylum of the Daleks", when the Dalek Oswin attacks the Doctor, uses an Homage Shot to the famous cliffhanger from "The Dead Planet" where Barbara is cornered at the end of a passageway by a Shaky P.O.V. Cam Dalek represented only by its plunger.
- When the Ninth Doctor is being tortured via Agony Beam in "Dalek", there's a direct Homage Shot to the Victim of the Week who was being tortured in the Sixth Doctor story "Vengeance on Varos".
- The opening shot of "Rose", of the Earth hanging in space, is an Homage Shot to the Third Doctor serial "Spearhead From Space", which has a lot in common with "Rose" (both the first stories after a hiatus, both presenting a dramatic increase in production values as compared to the show before, both starting with a new Doctor, new companion and new setting, both being written as entry points for newcomers, both being about the Autons).
- The creature on Donna's back in "Turn Left" is revealed in a shot very similar to the spider on Sarah Jane's back in a famous promotional photo for "Planet of the Spiders".
- There's a funny sequence in "Mummy on the Orient Express" in which the Doctor offers someone a cigar case of jelly babies. This is a reference to a Funny Background Event in "The Face of Evil" where the Doctor is amusing himself eating jelly babies out of a cigarette case while miming with them like they are cigars (tapping the end on the case, biting the end off...)
- The Twelfth Doctor's yelling at Clara "In the TARDIS, now, do as you are told!" is a repeat of the Second Doctor barking the same thing at Jamie when everything begins to go absolutely catastrophic towards the end of "The War Games".
- Used again for the 'Trek verse, though in different series'; amusingly, both had Scotty present.
Alien: What is it?
Scotty: -looks at liquid- It's...it's, uh... -sniffs it- It's green!
Scotty: What is it?
- And then again...
Data: -looks at liquid- It is...it is, ah...-sniffs it- It is green!
- In the Supernatural episode "Mystery Spot", Sam repeats Dean's mumbled, little-boy-lost line of "He's my brother" to The Trickster. In "All Hell Breaks Loose", Dean thought nothing of the fact that Sam might be in a better place and in this episode, Sam thinks nothing of the fact that Dean was (from his point of view, anyway) was getting tortured in hell. Both of them just wanted their brother to be with them again. Oh, boys. Selfish, co-dependent, fucked up boys.
- The pilot episode gets a host of specific homages. Sam recreates the 'Take your brother outside...' line in 'Home'. His final line in the pilot is repeated by Dean at the end of series 2 and a twisted version used at the end of 'Lazarus Rising', and in 'What Is and What Should Never Be', Dean, after they've just recreated the fight, cheerfully repeats his lines as well.
- The end of the season 4/volume 5 of Heroes has Claire ONCE AGAIN killing herself on camera, complete with the line, "My name is Claire Bennet, and this is attempt number..." She is doing this to a whole bunch of news cameras though, in an attempt to bring the truth out in the open.
- She also jumped off the same structure earlier in the series, to bring her memory-wiped friend back up to speed. "As far as you know, this is attempt number one."
- The Colbert Report's 100th episode saw the return of the show's first guest.
- Jeopardy!'s 3,000th episode's first round features the clue categories from the first episode.
- Grange Hill opened its 26th season with a new batch of first year students...who all bore vague similarities to the first year students of its very 1st season, including their names and general behavior. Plotlines and characterizations diverged significantly after that first episode, however.
- It is very common for the Heisei Kamen Rider series to have one monster who is grasshopper-based (scarves are optional), and an obvious tribute to the original Kamen Rider 1. Examples include the Arch Orphenoch from Faiz, the Batta (grasshopper) Yummy from OOO and Zu-Badzu-Ba from Kuuga.
- The Grasshopper Yummy was an even bigger homage than just having the design: Yummies are spawned from the desires of the Victim of the Week. In this case, it was the desire for justice (which was warped into a Knight Templar sorta thing.) So you had a grasshopper monster who fights for "justice" and makes a "toh!" sound when jumping like any good Toku hero from The '70s.
- Interestingly, the Hopper Dopant from Kamen Rider Double was not a homage to the old-school Riders. She was a scarily psychotic villainess whose monster form was disgustingly insectoid. However, her belt does have a prominent red circle that could be seen as a homage to the fan design on Rider-1 and Rider-2's drivers (which collected wind energy to power them up.) But she sure wasn't the expected "oldschool rider but a bit monster-y."
- Then there are the more subtle ones. Kamen Rider Kuuga, the first series of the revival, has a spider and a bat as the first Monsters of the Week, like the first series overall. Kamen Rider Agito, the second series of the revival, has a trio of feline monsters and trio of turtle monsters as the first Unknowns seen, homaging Turtle Bazooka and Scissors Jaguar, the first monsters of Kamen Rider V3, the second series overall. Agito also has a scorpion monster with a design and weaponry very similar to the crab-based Doktor G, The Dragon of V3, and both debuted in episode 13.
- In fact, having the first Monster of the Week be bat- or spider-themed has become a common Internal Homage in and of itself. A few shows change it up: Kamen Rider Kiva has the Spider Fangire as a recurring annoyance and the Bat Fangire as the Big Bad, while Kamen Rider Double had the Bat and Spider Dopants menacing the main character's mentor in a movie set ten years before the series — meaning they really were the first antagonists. Kamen Rider Drive takes it a step further, by having the Mook-level Roidmudes possess a bat, spider, or cobra motif in their base forms before they evolve into stronger ones.
- Kamen Rider Den-O's first few Monsters of the Week were deliberately modeled after several of the Riders from Kamen Rider Ryuki. As a result the Bat Imagin from the first two episodes is a two-fer, a reference to the original series and to Kamen Rider Knight at the same time.
- The Movie took it a step further: not only was there a Cobra Imagin inspired by Kamen Rider Ouja, but they even cast Takashi Hagino (Ouja's original actor) to voice him!
- Any time a Super Sentai team destroys a monster by kicking a sphere at it, it's a sure nod to the Goranger Storm from Himitsu Sentai Goranger.
- The one-hundredth episode of The Big Bang Theory starts off the same way as it's first episode, with Sheldon and Leonard having a Seinfeldian Conversation while going up the stairs, then seeing Penny move things around in her apartment.
- The first season finale of Lethal Weapon (2016) has a scene where Murtaugh is tortured with a defibrillator in a utility tunnel, an updated version of Endo torturing Riggs in the original film.
- The cover of the final issue of Nintendo Power is a homage to the first issue's cover.
- Doctor Who Magazine
- The 400th issue homaged the subscription ad at the back of the first issue of Doctor Who Weekly, showing Tom Baker reading that very issue. The new image◊ showed David Tennant reading #1 and, with the magic of image manipulation, Baker reading #400.
- Similarly, the cover◊ of the 500th issue was an exact duplicate of the cover◊ of that first issue, with Peter Capaldi replacing Tom Baker, and a modern Dalek.
- New York Daily News: The front page headline for October 30, 1975 was "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD", in response to President Gerald Ford announcing that he would veto any bill suggesting a financial bail-out for New York City. Four decades later, the headline for June 2, 2017 was "TRUMP TO WORLD: DROP DEAD", in response to President Donald Trump announcing that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.
- The Beatles recreated the cover of Please Please Me, using both the same location (the EMI headquarters) and photographer, for their "Glory Days revival" Get Back — that ultimately became the post-breakup album Let It Be. The picture still saw some use: once EMI released two Greatest Hits Albums, 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 (aka Red and Blue albums), the former got the Please Please Me picture and the latter the recreation.
- The back cover of Metallica's Garage Inc. is a crudely updated version of◊ Garage Days Re-Revisited◊ (as not only it's another Cover Album, but Garage Inc includes said EP in full).
- The West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fresh adaptation of the eponymous Roald Dahl novel with songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, but it does have a few homages to — and one song from — the famous 1971 film adaptation.
- When Mr. Wonka first appears for "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen", he briefly feigns being far more feeble than he actually is — referencing Gene Wilder's famous entrance as Wonka. (Instead of a somersault, he performs an Instant Costume Change.) As in that version, this immediately establishes that he is The Trickster.
- The 1971 Wonka's tendency to mix up his words, followed by the phrase "Strike that, reverse it", is retained here (as in the novel's sequel, which made it Ret Canon) to the point that "Strike That, Reverse It" is the title of the Act Two opening number. Since this Wonka can be a Motor Mouth when he wants to be, such mixups are common for him. Also, during the number he makes the parents sign an elaborate contract...
- The movie's Bootstrapped Theme "Pure Imagination", is repurposed as The Eleven O'Clock Number in this version, used for the flight in the Great Glass Elevator and the revelation that Charlie has won the factory.
- There is also at least one homage to the 2005 film, as Augustus Gloop finds his Golden Ticket the same way in both versions: Noticing that a Wonka Bar he's eating tastes odd, he realizes it's because he's chewed off a corner of the ticket with his first bite.
- The first Barbie and Ken dolls came with a zebra stripe swimsuit and red swim trunks, respectively. As an homage, Barbie's 50th anniversary saw the release of a doll with a zebra stripe bikini. Ken's 50th anniversary a few years later coincided with Mattel's announcement that he and Barbie finally decided to become an Official Couple again, so a giftset of the two dolls in updated versions of their original swimsuits became available.
- Happens quite often in console role playing games (which admittedly don't last as long): the background music of climactic moments, such as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Amazing Technicolor Battlefield, can incorporate elements from previous tracks or games. This is another possibly coolest thing ever.
- Some Castlevania games have repeated references to past games in the series and even the original Dracula novel. A specific example comes from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, at the end of Julius Mode. When the player confronts Soma Cruz, he throws his wine glass at the player after taking a sip and starting the fight, which is what Dracula did in the previous games before the final battle. In addition, the song played during the fight and the boss' second form are both from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
- In Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, before Shanoa goes to enter Dracula's castle, she declares: "I am the morning sun, here to vanquish this horrible night!" This a homage to the infamous day/night cycle message in Simon's Quest.
- Castlevania The Adventure Rebirth was released on WiiWare in Japan exactly twenty years after the release of the original Game Boy game, retelling the story of Christopher Belmont using design decisions that were more consistent with the rest of the pre-Metroidvania series. And putting Death back in.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has several of these, as the game is a Milestone Celebration. The first level (Wave Ocean) is an homage to the first level from Sonic Adventure (Emerald Coast).
- Sonic Generations, being another Milestone Celebration, also features a healthy amount of these, though not the fact that the entire game is levels from previous games (the plot explicitly states this as time travel and is technically not an example). Instead, the levels get several redesigns, causing them to homage levels and songs from other games either by visual appearance or by recreating actual segments of gameplay and level design.
- Frequently seen in some Mario games, with special mention going to the final world of Super Mario Galaxy 2, which is mostly recreations of levels from the previous 3D games.
- The Metal Gear games love doing this; Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 are full of them. In fact, much of the "point" of MGS2 was that the entire hostage situation was a recreation of the events of MGS1, in an attempt to control history itself.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Princess Zelda is one of seven sages who are responsible for placing a seal on the Sacred Realm. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Princess Zelda (a different one) and six other girls are descended from the seven sages who sealed that realm — but the twist here is that Link to the Past came out first. In addition, five of the other sages are named Nabooru, Saria, Darunia, Ruto, and Rauru. These are also the names of towns that Link visits in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link — which was the second game in the series, but chronologically after both OOT and LTTP.
- Thunder Force VI, being a tribute to the series, has this in spades. One of the unlockable ships is an updated version of the Rynex from Thunder Force IV, and one of its weapons is the Blade, also from TFIV. Stage 2 borrows many elements from Thunder Force III's 2nd stage, even going so far as to have a 1-up in a very similar fireball obstacle. For Stage 5's boss, depending on what ship you're using, the music will be a remix of either Cool's theme from Segagaga or the Cerberus's theme from Thunder Force III. Right after that boss, you fight giant versions of the player ships of past Thunder Force games, which comes with even more remixes. Finally, the first part of the last stage has the same box obstacles from Thunder Force V. There's so many references to past Thunder Force games that many believe that this game pushes them a little too far.
- Sam & Max drive to the Moon in their DeSoto in all iterations, though how they accomplish it each time changes due to the different natures of the continuities. In the comics, they fill the tailpipe with matchheads, which somehow gets them to the moon. In the cartoon, they effectively rocket jump to the moon with their car. In the game, they simply drive offscreen and reappear on the moon.
- Sector Z in Iji is filled with references to Daniel Remar's earlier games, and Hero 3D is a reference to one in particular. Hero Core pays Iji back with Annihilation mode showing you Ciretako.
- In Assassin's Creed II Memory Sequence Bonfire of the Vanities, you have to kill nine subordinates of the current villain who has the Apple before you can vanquish him. Sound like the first game to you?
- Ridge Racer has the tracks plastered with homages to previous games by Namco. Type 4, to begin with, has a Pac-Man animation on the starting line's big screen and Pac-Man World sculptures on one track, as well as Klonoa: Door to Phantomile ads on the track called Phantomile. The fifth game, meanwhile, has the logos of the megacorporations from Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere out there.
- Super Robot Wars Z2 gives one to the Nu Gundam. Its final attack is a direct call-back to the the original Gundam's famous Last Shooting.◊ No wonder the community agrees that they blew the animation budget on Nu Gundam.
- Harvest Moon celebrated its tenth anniversary with two games. One of the two games, Magical Melody, featured various characters from the original SNES game.
- Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse, and later Epic Mickey, recreate the scene from the cartoon "Thru the Mirror" where Mickey crosses over into the mirror world. Magical Mirror also recreates the scene where Mickey grows and shrinks.
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game starts with an update of the "Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night?" commercial from the first movie. At the end of the commercial, Peter says, "Franchises available soon...call for details!"
- In Team Sonic's story in Sonic Heroes, Dr. Eggman claims that his plan to conquer the world will come to fruition in three days. In Sonic Forces, he says the same thing about his plan to defeat the rebellion.
- Homestar Runner's 10th Anniversary saw the re-creation of the children's book the Flash-animated web series was based on (The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest) as an episode of said series.
- The first episode of Red vs. Blue ("Why Are We Here?") featured Grif and Simmons of Red team talking, and Simmons asks "Why are we here?" Grif answers with a monologue about life, God, and the universe, while Simmons meant "why are we stationed here?" In the last episode ("Why Were We Here?"), Caboose asks Church the same question in a similar situation, and Church launches into a speech about love, hate, and taking orders, while Caboose simply meant "Why are we here in the sun when we could be over there... in the shade?"
- In the first episode, Simmons and Grif were talking on top of their base while Church and Tucker were spying on them with a sniper rifle. In the final episode, Church and Caboose are talking on top of their base while Simmons and Grif were spying on them with a sniper rifle.
- A bit earlier, in the last episode of the first season there was another homage to the opening of the first episode: Grif and Simmons are talking on the roof of the base. Simmons asks, "You ever wonder why we're here?" and Grif replies, "No. I never, ever wonder why we're here. Semper fi, bitch."
- Another homage to the opening scene comes near the end of Revelations when Sarge is convincing Grif and Simmons to help him save Church and Tex. He asks them if they've wondered why they're here, with the camera then panning to show the two in the exact same position. Grif admits it something they've discussed, but Sarge instead stresses that he's asking why they choose to be here when they could have easily left a long time ago if they wanted.
- Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse includes the following visual nods to Barbie toys:
- "Ken-Tastic, Hair-Tastic" briefly shows Ken sporting a bowl cut made of molded plastic, similar to the "hair" of Ken dolls from The '80s.
- Episode "Closet Clothes Out" has Barbie dress in a black and white one-piece bathing suit, the first apparel she ever wore since her debut to the world.
- The dress Midge wears during her first day in Malibu looks not unlike an actual 1960s Barbie/Midge dress.
- "Doctor Barbie" seems to have a diagram of the first Barbie doll hanging in Barbie's doctor office.
- "Dream a Little Dreamhouse" has Barbie, Ken, Skipper, and Stacie try to rebuild the original Barbie's Dreamhouse,note for Chelsea to use as a playhouse.
- Ctrl+Alt+Del's Nice Melon and One Thousand.
- Questionable Content does this, with mind blowing Art Evolution.
- The 10th anniversary Joyce & Walky! comic was a redrawn version of the first two Roomies! comics, keeping the dialogue in place until the surprise twist at the end.
- For El Goonish Shive's 10th anniversary, it celebrated with a filler comic that mimics the setup and dialog of the very first comic but is in color, features transformations, references the anniversary and has a different ending.
- Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara's anniversary episodes always have to do with Spider-Man's The Clone Saga, because that's what his very first video review was about. He also celebrates the anniversaries of the show proper (the anniversary of his text recaps as opposed to video reviews in general) by reviewing an issue of Youngblood, his first text recap.
- The third RP of Darwin's Soldiers references the scene where Cale gets shorted-out by saline solution.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In the season 2 finale, the sequence where Aang briefly wakes up from his brush with death is staged nearly identically to the sequence in the first episode of season 1 when he and Katara meet.
- Less significantly, both the first and last episodes of Season 1 have Iroh offering Zuko the sage advice "A man needs his rest."
- Much later, Sokka attempts to surprise Suki with a kiss while wearing a local guard uniform (as she did him when last they met). Of course he failed to consider that while she did so while working security for a ferry terminal in the unoccupied Earth Kingdom, he was trying the same thing while disguised as a guard in the Fire Nation's most secure prison. Suki bounced him off the wall of her cell before his helmet came off.
- In its sequel spin-off The Legend of Korra, the ending to Grand Finale is a major homage to the original's ending. Korra and Asami stare longingly at each other while holding hands while music swells in the background right before the camera swoops up to The End in Chinese. All that's missing is The Big Damn Kiss between Aang and Katara.
- Transformers is forever homaging lines from the 1980s animated movie. "One shall stand, one shall fall" is popular. We get that one (at least in part) and more in Transformers Cybertron, with "Why throw away your life so recklessly?" and "Such heroic nonsense!" Sometimes it's used in a twist. For example, the first time a Megatron yelled STARSCREEEEEEAM! at the top of his vocal processor, it was begging Screamer not to throw him off the ship in deep space. Every other Megatron since has yelled it upon discovering Starscream's betrayal - before embarking on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge over said backstabbing.
- Similarly, the first use of "I still function!" was part of Megatron's plea in that scene. Every other time, it was a damaged Determinator disproving "No One Could Survive That!."
- Some of the tragic Transformers Animated Waspinator's dialogue is a Dark Reprise of wacky Butt-Monkey Beast Wars Waspinator's dialogue.
- Sometimes, it's subtler. Ironhide's trainees in a live action movie-based comic are Strongarm, Signal Flare, and Skyblast. In Transformers Energon, those were the names of the three varieties of Omnicons, and a very different Ironhide led a team consisting mostly of Omnicons.
- The Transformers Wiki has a "Transformers References" section for every episode or issue. Much of it is simply "Starscream mentions last issue's events" but you'd be surprised how many sly homages there are. After all, it's a franchise that's been going across multiple media with several countries producing original fiction almost continuously since 1984, and everything, however obscure, is some fan's favorite and some author's favorite, and some of the creators just like throwing in obscure homages for fun. The result is every single member of any crowd scene in Transformers Animated being a past character, though it may be as obscure as "That off-white Bumblebee repaint sold briefly and only in Brazil." (Aka Sedan.)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold is all over this, especially in regards to the episode featuring Superman. In that episode alone, they are mostly homages to various comic cover shots (such as Jimmy Olsen's death trick, Superman becoming King of Earth, "Jungle Jimmy" complete with his gorilla bride, etc.), but two in particular come from the first Superman film — one where Superman puts a cat in a tree◊ (an inversion of the scene in the film where he rescues a cat from a tree), and one where he calls Luthor a "diseased maniac".
- ThunderCats (2011) contains numerous Mythology Gags, but the most iconic scene (Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats HO!) is a shot-for-shot remake of the original.
- What was intended to be South Park's 100th episode (it was actually the 97th) starts out with the events of the first episode repeating exactly as before.
- "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!", the tenth anniversary special of... well... guess, takes its Mario Kart-homage sequence almost directly from the first Whoopass Girls short, in which the Girls race Him.
- Twilight Sparkle's first meeting with the human Fluttershy in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls plays out very similarly to her first meeting with the original Fluttershy in the first episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, including Fluttershy's Cuteness Proximity reaction to Spike.
- When Robin added to the title sequence of The Batman, he's shown bursting through a paper hoop. This is how he appears on the cover of his first appearance in Detective Comics #38.
- In Gravity Falls, the phrase "Eenie, meenie, minee, you" is used three times, once by Stan and twice by Bill. The first two times it's directed at Dipper, but the third time, in an ironic twist, it's directed at Bill almost killing Mabel.
- In the final episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the animation of the gang running from the Nibiru entity is styled like their stock run cycle from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.
- The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is no stranger to this. They usually break out internal homages when they're celebrating an anniversary.
- Twice (2004 and 2006) the parade has started with three inflatable elephants carrying "Macy's 2004/80th Parade" banners. This is what they would do, with real elephants, back when they had live animals instead of balloons.
- A new Felix the Cat balloon was introduced for the parade's 90th anniversary in 2016, Felix being the first character balloon to appear in the parade back in 1927. The new balloon is even being carried on poles like the first Macy's balloons were.note