Quotes / Continuity Lock-Out

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    Films — Live-Action 
Okay, now let me just see if I can get this straight: You come from another planet, and you're mortal there, but you're immortal here until you kill all the guys from there who have come here, and then you're mortal here... unless you go back there, or some more guys from there came here, in which case you become immortal here— again.

    Live-Action TV 
You're pathetic. You'll never catch up... Maybe you should try something more of your speed, like Freddie.
The Soup on Lost

A fact-sheet is available for people who've never heard the show before.
Steve Punt, The Now Show, after Prince Edward has been represented by a Frank Spencer impression with no explanation.

If you're wondering why Jesus is emerging from his tomb wielding a blunderbuss, watch one of our shows from five years ago.
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

Buffy: The military put a chip in Spike's head so he couldn't hurt anyone.
Giles: And that would be the abridged version.
Buffy: But he wouldn't hurt anyone anymore because he has a soul now.
Giles: Unless the First triggers him again.
Robin: Triggers the chip?
Buffy: No, the trigger's a post-hypnotic thing. The First put it in his head. It was... It made him... He was killing again.
Robin: So, he has a trigger, a soul, and a chip?
Giles: [scoffs] Not anymore.
Buffy: It was killing him, Giles!
Robin: The trigger?
Buffy: No, the chip. The trigger's not active anymore.
Robin: Because the military gave him a soul?

    Print Media 
If no cultural barrier prevents a public that clearly loves its superheroes from picking up a new "Avengers" comic, why don't more people do so? The main reasons are obvious: It is for sale not in a real bookstore but in a specialty shop, and it is clumsily drawn, poorly written and incomprehensible to anyone not steeped in years of arcane mythology.
Wall Street Journal's Tim Marchman on why superhero comics are such a niche property

    Web Animation 
I get the feeling Sonic is doing the Resident Evil thing. That's where you spend years cluttering your game universe with characters and backstory, until it becomes to new players about as penetrable as a stone slab that doesn't believe in sex before marriage.

    Web Original 
I’m not going to bitch about dense continuity. I love references to past stories. The problem here is that there's not any actual references. I mean, just look at the scene where Omega's backstory is explained so that viewers know who he is and why they care.

Oh right. There isn't one. There's one line from Chancellor Hedin about him, and that's it. It's difficult to stress just how idiotic this is. This is a character who has appeared once before in the series, a full decade prior to this story.
Dr. Phil Sandifer on Doctor Who ("The Arc of Infinity")

Too much of the Colin Baker era felt weirdly continuity-heavy, as if the people behind the show expected viewers to have an in-depth knowledge of the show's extended history. For any show, that sort of expectation is toxic, but it's particular damaging for a family show which is older than its target demographic.
Darren Mooney on Doctor Who, "Timelash"

Chris: Before we start in with the actual episode, I just want to point out that the "Previously on Smallville" segment during the opening is maybe the craziest 64 seconds of television I've ever seen.
David: It's like Friedberg and Seltzer putting on a Passion Play.
Chris: Seriously, I thought we were starting to have a pretty good handle on this show, but it is one solid minute of "haha, wait, what?"
ComicsAlliance on Smallville ("Legion")

For those of you not in the know, Amos Fortune is an old school, JLA attacking supervillain. He's actually incredibly intelligent and discovers one of the DCU's less well thought out science fiction elements; luck glands. He is NOT a casino owner...What was the point of even using the character's name? He's fairly obscure as far as comic book villains go; I'd be willing to bet nine out ten viewers had no idea that any kind of reference was being made.

The problem is that the show getting "good" coincided with it becoming completely impenetrable to new viewers. We went from episodes where nothing happens, to episodes where you needed to tack up index cards on a corkboard and string them together with yarn to make sense of everything. That's just poor planning on the part of everyone involved, plain and simple.

As much as I have complained about having to watch this show as an adult for three solid seasons now, when I was a kid, I loved it. I had a paperback reprint of the Claremont/Byrne story where the team gets trapped in Murderworld that's one of my formative comics experiences, but the show hooked me and made me the kind of kid who begged his parents to go to the comic book store so that he could get the latest issues. I dove right in, and was thrilled by this new, complicated side of Marvel superheroics. Until, that is, we got to Age of Apocalypse. I went to the comic book store and heard that all the X-Men comics had been replaced with alternate universe counterparts and that this was going to continue for four months, and decided to just read Genął instead.
Chris Sims on X-Men, "One Man's Worth Pt. 1"

Spoony: The men in charge here are Watchers, men and women who observe and record the history of the immortals. If you'd seen the TV show, you'd know this. If you hadn't, you'd be a very confused audience member.
Pat: I'm confused, and I KNOW who they are!

Oh, you're not finished. You'll come see every single one of these movies with me. And you wanna know why? Because you won't be able to help it. You'll know that, sure, at first you might skip one flick and you won't understand some silly reference on Twitter. No biggie. Then, the posts will start flowing in. Reviews, discussions, parodies, memes. You'll think "Oh, it'll blow over soon. I just have to wait", but it won't. It never does. Tumblr will stop making sense. Cosplay at Comic-Con? Unrecognizable. Beautiful fanart of characters you can't even fathom their relationship taunt you with their potential, heartbreaking possibilities. Eventually, even your favourite actor will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You know he will — especially if he's British. So you'll skip another movie, then another, lose total touch with the world around you. Friends will stop interesting you. Pop culture will seem meaningless. Waking up in the morning, impossible, aimless. You'll try to watch one of those films in a desperate attempt to fit in, but it'll be too late. The momentum will be lost forever. You'll just sit there, alone, watching Kids React to some franchise you do remember on YouTube, and wishing you could belong again. So yeah, feel free to skip Ant-Man tonight. But remember these words. You'll come crawling back, begging, on your knees, crying for the merciful, warm embrace of the franchise. Because you just... can't... escape... the MCU!

    Real Life 
How many times has the climax of the story been the revelation of who the villain is? You get this full-page panel for the last page of the story and it's Magneto, and you get a chill if you know who Magneto is, but if you've never heard of Magneto before, this is no climax to a story.
Rick Norwood, "Hot Tips from Top Comics Creators"

Because I'll be damned if anyone will ever have to pull a Crisis on Infinite Earths to understand the continuity of my superhero stories, that's why.
Jack Butler, on why he was so obsessive about the Global Guardians PBEM Universe.

In my humble (koff) opinion, Bob did as much to help destroy the comic book industry during the 1990s than any other single human being alive... For years and years and years, the editorial philosophy at Marvel was to make each and every comic book as labyrinthine and confusing as creatively possible. Marvel had the single highest-profile comic book in the Western hemisphere — X-MEN — and Bob did everything imaginable to make it completely incomprehensible and inaccessible to new and/or casual readers. Everything. "But, Mark..." I hear the whine. "But, Mark, Bob kept the X-books best-sellers in the industry during his tenure." Technically true — but let's look at the sales figures. Over the last six years, the sales margin between the X-books and their nearest competitors has dwindled from about three-to-one to barely 1.5-to-one. Woo-hoo. Cigars, everyone.
Mark Waid on former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras