Lamb: Before we go in there, you should probably know something about Veronica Mars. We need to be careful with this one. She's... slippery. Morris: Sheriff, we have interrogated Al Qaeda members at Gitmo. I think we can handle a teenage girl.
Veronica Mars was an hour-long teen drama that ran for three seasons on UPN (later CW). The brainchild of novelist Rob Thomas, the series combined the Amateur Sleuth/Kid Detective with a healthy dose of Film Noir and class warfare.The main character is, appropriately, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), high school junior and possessor of an elaborate Back Story. Here comes the Info Dump:The unincorporated town of Neptune, California, is "a town without a middle class": the "09ers," from the prestigious 90909 zip code, are insanely spoiled children of insanely wealthy parents, while everyone else... works for the 09ers, mostly as domestics at minimum wage (if that). Veronica, daughter of county sheriff Keith Mars, wasn't actually rich enough to be an 09er, but had enough connections to them to be sort of an honorary one: her best friend was Lovable Alpha Bitch Lilly Kane, her boyfriend was Lilly's equally popular brother Duncan, and she was also friendly with Lilly's boyfriend and Duncan's best friend, Logan Echolls, son of movie star Aaron Echolls. The Kanes are practically royalty in Neptune; Lilly and Duncan's father, Jake Kane, is a software billionaire, and the largest employer in town; when his company went public, their secretaries became millionaires. It may just be a reflection of her friends' popularity, but Veronica's life is enviable.Then it all comes apart. Duncan dumps Veronica so abruptly and so seemingly out of the blue that she has no idea she's been dumped until Lilly tells her, and days later Lilly is found dead, her head bashed in. Veronica's father accuses Jake Kane of committing the crime, and the town reacts badly, holding an emergency recall election and replacing Keith with his deputy, Donald Lamb. Veronica stands by her father through the bad publicity, and ends up ousted from the popular clique. Most of her former friends turn on her, none more so than Logan, who becomes, in Veronica's words, a "psychotic jackass" to the world at large in the wake of his girlfriend's murder. Soon thereafter, Lamb apparently cracks the case, catching Abel Koontz, a former Kane Software employee... but Keith and Veronica don't buy it. Keith hangs out a shingle as a Private Detective. Meanwhile, Veronica crashes a classmate's party—largely to spite those shunning her—and ends up roofied and raped. When she attempts to report it, Sheriff Lamb accuses her of lying and throws her out of his office. And, to add insult to injury, her mother turns to drinking and eventually vanishes, leaving Veronica a note saying she'll be back for her someday.Veronica, now a social pariah, rebuilds herself as a hard-boiled detective, helping Keith with stakeouts and taking pictures of unfaithful spouses, and meanwhile solving mysteries for classmates. She doesn't have to like them, nor they her, but she can figure out who's leaving love notes, or find stolen laptops.And that's before the first episode. As the story actually opens, Veronica reluctantly befriends new transfer student Wallace Fennel, and along with Wallace, Keith, and such allies as PCH biker gang leader Weevil Navarro and computer whiz Cindy "Mac" MacKenzie, she continues her side business... while also trying to figure out who really killed Lilly Kane, and who raped her.The first two seasons each had an overarching Story Arc. In Season One, of course, the big question was "who killed Lilly Kane?". Season two opens with a bus crash that kills several of Veronica's classmates. Season Three, where Veronica goes to Hearst College, deviated from the formula in an attempt to attract new viewers. The big mystery format was abandoned, in favor of two short arcs and a hand-full of stand-alone episodes. The show was canceled at the end of the season, going out on an awesome (and heart-breaking, but maddeningly inconclusive) two-part finale.Now has an episode guide.On March 13, 2013, a Kickstarter project was launched to help fund a concluding movie. The Kickstarter broke the record for fastest to reach a million dollars, in four hours and 24 minutes, and reached its $2 million funding goal less than 11 hours in. When the Kickstarter ended on April 12, $5,702,153 million dollars were donated, and the previous record for most donations (87,000 people) was also broken with 91,585 fans sending in donations. And now Warner Bros. agreed to distribute and market the film less than a day after the Kickstarter began. Great job, marshmallows!
This show provides examples of:
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Aborted Arc: The final third of season three was supposed to have been a mystery that heavily featured popular supporting cast member Mac.
Most notably Logan who has a father who emotionally and physically abused him... and also slept with and then killed his girlfriend.
There's also the religious zealotry of the Mannings, who lock their seven year old daughter in a closet because she's "not ready to be tested."
There's also Big Dick Casablancas, who would have competitions with his oldest son to see who could make his youngest son cry.
Implied for Rodney and Gia Goodman's mother, but we still have no idea what she actually did.
Abuse Mistake: In the season 3 premiere, Mac has just moved into her new college dorm this episode. Veronica comes up to Mac's room, hoping to go out somewhere for a night of fun, but Mac is already sitting on the floor in the hallway outside the room because her new roommate (still a stranger/new acquaintance since this is the first episode of the college season), Parker, is "in there with some guy." Unfortunately, however, the tickets Mac & Veronica need are still in the room, so Veronica takes Mac's keys and braves going in and interrupting whatever Parker and the "some guy" might be doing. She walks in, and it's dark, with music playing, and she hears some "sex noises" from the guy - moaning or something similar. Veronica rolls her eyes and then says quietly (more to herself than anyone), "Don't mind me," grabs the tickets, and then runs out of there. After Mac & Veronica return, too drunk to drive home so Veronica plans to sleep on Mac's couch, they comment "and we're dude free" before actually entering. The last second of the episode is Veronica and Mac waking up to Parker's screams - she had been drugged, then raped and her hair completely shaved off her head. This grievous mistake is explored more in the next episode as well.
Laura San Giacomo is dating Enrico Colantoni? Why does that sound so familiar?
In-universe example: Trina wanted to play herself in the Aaron Echolls story. The studio wanted Tara Reid. Also doubles as a Hilarious in Hindsight moment.
Actor-Shared Background - At the beginning of his trial, Aaron Echolls states that he has been voted People Magazines Sexiest Man Alive in 1987. The actor playing Aaron, Harry Hamlin, has been voted Sexiest Man Alive in 1987.
Also, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, who play Logan's parents are married in Real Life.
A-Cup Angst - Although Veronica presently embodies the opposite trope (see Petite Pride below), the episode "Blast from the Past" reveals that she used to feel very self-conscious about her small chest. It's never specified when she got over this, but it lasted at least into her freshman year of high school.
All Girls Like Ponies - A Running Gag; whenever Veronica gets a present, she always makes some comment about how it's going to be a pony. She also loves unicorns, and defends herself with a toy unicorn against Mercer when he attempts to rape her.
Anger Born of Worry - Both Veronica and Logan really dislike it when the other puts him- or herself in danger.
Anguished Declaration of Love - The so-called "epic love" speech from "Look Who's Stalking" definitely fits, even if it isn't actually Logan's first declaration of love (which is shown in season 2 premiere flashback and isn't angsty at all).
Anti-Villain - a few of the "bad guys" have sympathetic motives, such as Ryan in "Ahoy Mateys" (revenge for the death of the boy he loved) or Pete in "Weapons of Class Destruction" (revenge for years of bullying that put him in the hospital and turned his father against him).
It was rumored that the only reason why the actor playing Dick got booted up to full-time cast member was due to the fact that the actor playing Dick's brother Cassidy was brought on full-time for season two, as the Big Bad and that having him in the title and not the actor playing his on-screen brother, would give away the season's twist ending).
Ass Shove - In one episode, Chip Diller was drugged and had an Easter egg stuck up his ass.
Ax Crazy - Lucky. Arguably Aaron and even Cassidy.
Batman Gambit - It's never explicitly confirmed, but it's pretty clear that in "My Mother, the Fiend", Vice Principal Clemmons manipulated Veronica into investigating a mystery for his own ends without her realizing it until it was all over. It's rather a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the character.
Even the Mars family is not immune, although they are far better off than the aforementioned families in this regard. Still though, a father shunned by the community, a drunk mother who ran away, and a daughter who's almost disturbingly wise beyond her years can't quite be described as healthily functioning.
Bi the Way: Lily, at least according to Veronica's dream in "Not Pictured":
Lily: The guy's gone. We had a little screaming over fooling around with his ex.
Veronica: That bastard!
Lily: Oh, no no, it was, it was me. I kind of fooled around with his ex. I mean, you'd think that guys would dig that, right? (off Veronica's shocked look) What? It's college. It's expected.
Black and Gray Morality - Some of the things Veronica does are pretty gray morally (see: using Leo to steal evidence). Even the two most arguably moral characters in the show, her friend Wallace and her father Keith, do bad things; Wallace is in a car when it runs over a homeless person and never reports it doesn't report it until weeks later and Keith destroys evidence that would implicate his daughter and has an affair with a married client.
Chekhov's Gun - All the time but rarely ever in the same episode. If there's some brief mention of something out of the main line in an episode then it will be used one or two episodes later e.g. A deputy mentions he's a bouncer at a club, three episodes later he is used as an explanation as to how Veronica was able to quickly get into the club.
Chekhov's Gunman: "A Trip to the Dentist" features Veronica asking a bunch of previously one-off characters questions leading her to find out what happened the night she was raped.
Duncan in "Not Pictured". It seems like he was only there for a flashback but it turns out he had Clarence kill Aaron
Country Matters: Oh, if only this wasn't network television, Kendall Casablancas would've gotten whupped:
Veronica: Mrs. C! I trust you're well.
Kendall: Why, if isn't little miss teen getaway. Your dad and I were just dealing with a little trouble.
Veronica: Like, trouble, with a capital T, that rhymes with C, that stands for—
Veronica: I was gonna say cute.
Crapsack World - Neptune is a town divided into the rich section of town (the "09ers") and pretty much everyone else, as far as being a town where you are insanely rich or working low wage jobs for the incredibly rich. The town police is run by an evil jerk whose pettiness towards those who he doesn't like is matched only by his laziness, as well as filled with people who blindly support the wealthiest guy in town when he's accused of murdering his daughter. In addition, the county supervisor is a pedophile, the local business mogul is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and the town's famous actor resident is an abusive psychopath and murderer.
Crapsaccharine World - Yet to people who don't live there, it probably just seems like any other Southern Californian town filled with Hollywood A-listers, pristine beaches, and millionaires.
Though they aren't related, Lilly acts as this for Veronica; their close relationship is her major motivation in the first season.
Deadpan Snarker - It would be a shorter list to name the characters with lines that weren't.
Backup, Mandy, Inga. No, seriously. That's about it. Every other character on the show is a deadpan snarker or tries to be. And Backup is a dog. And several people are convinced that he can have a very sarcastic face when he wants to.
Double Standard: Rape—Female on Male - Partially averted, partially played straight. Veronica bluntly points out that what the members of Lilith House did to Chip Diller was rape and he is clearly traumatised by it. On the other hand he is such an Asshole Victim that it is very difficult for the character to invoke sympathy. However, the female rapists are still portrayed more sympathetically than he is.
Downer Ending - Oh, how to count the ways. Veronica's father is under indictment because he destroyed evidence of her breaking-and-entering. His successor has a good chance of being Vinnie Van Lowe, a corrupt rival private investigator whose campaign was financed by the local crime syndicate. Veronica's dating Piz, a milquetoast whose incompatibility with Veronica becomes crystal clear when Dick Casablancas emails a video to everyone on campus of the two having sex, leading to Veronica vowing reprisals against the man responsible for creating the footage versus Piz wanting to ride out the crisis, much to Veronica's shock and horror. And when Logan does avenge Veronica's honor by publicly beating up the man who gave Dick the video to circulate, the guy vows revenge against Logan. And given that the guy's father is a hired killer for the Russian Mob, Logan's longstanding death wish just might be fulfilled.
So Piz not wanting to piss off the son of a Russian Mob assassin makes him a 'milquetoast'? That 'incompatibility' could just as easily end up being the balancing factor Veronica needs to grow up and stop making enemies.
Yes, because Piz had no idea about the guy's identity.
Downtime Downgrade - Essentially happens with Logan and Veronica after season 1, would be an Off Screen Breakup if not for a brief flashback. Averted after season 2 - they don't break up after summer, they do it on screen... a few times.
Dropped a Bridge on Him - Not only is Sheriff Lamb brutally killed off in the lamest of lame fashions, but afterwords EVERYONE forgets he exists, save for by a deputy newly re-appointed interim Sheriff Keith Mars promptly fires upon reassuming control over the department. A major moment for seasonal rotting, as far as you thinking that the violent murder of the sheriff would be a major thing that would hang over the department for quite some time.)
Economy Cast - Neptune contains exactly two private investigators (Keith Mars and Vinnie Van Lowe) and although the rich and powerful muster many lawyers, about the only one to appear in more than one episode is Mars family ally and Public Defender Cliff McCormack.
Mr. Fanservice - Quite a bit; it is a CW show, after all. Examples include Logan, Duncan, Piz, and possibly Dick.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Aaron Echolls physically abuses his son Logan, cheats on his wife, and murdered a teenage girl that he slept with after she threatened to tell on him, but he cares a great deal about his adopted daughter Trina. Enough to unleash a severe beating on her abusive boyfriend when he finds out what the guy did to her.
Femme Fatale - In the third season, Hearst College Dean's wife Mindy O'Dell. Kendall Casablancas sometimes fills this role in the second season. Additionally, since Veronica Mars is basically Film Noir with the genders flipped, Logan Echolls and Dick Casablancas often fit this role as well, the former especially in season one.
Fidelity Test: Veronica plays a Fille Fatale to find out whether the jealous client's fiancee is cheating. He isn't, but it doesn't end well for them anyway.
Fille Fatale - Lilly gives an impression of having been this.
Foe Cooties - Veronica can barely look at Logan on learning he slept with Madison Sinclair.
Freudian Excuse - Sheriff Lamb, Cassidy, Aaron, and while Logan's not really a villain, he fits the trope.
Gambit Roulette - The whole deal with kidnapping Duncan's daughter, Cassidy's far-reaching scheme, and the season three plotline where a teacher's assistant kills the head of the college in order to destroy the life of one of the professors at the college, as payback for him giving a bad reference for the assistant where he basically slagged him and cost him a teaching job at another college.
Humiliation Conga / Laser-Guided Karma - After Aaron Echolls is revealed as Lilly's killer in the first season finale. Keith and Aaron are slugging it out, but Aaron points out Veronica is locked in a fridge surrounded by flames, and as Keith goes to rescue her, Aaron uses this as a getaway. Having stolen Veronica's car keys, he hops in the car and has a look of relief, but that changes when he hears growling from the backseat. Veronica's pitbull, Backup, bites Aaron's arm and after a struggle, Aaron just manages to escape, stumbling into the street only to get mowed down by a flower delivery truck with a lily pictured on the side. Veronica, having escaped the burning fridge, tells the truck driver to call 911 and moments later, Aaron is arrested for Lilly's murder.
I Am What I Am - Invoked word for word by Veronica when people call her out for her nosiness and vindictive nature.
Incredibly Obvious Bug - Pretty much everything. Sometimes this is played with, though—when Veronica is dealing with particularly Genre Savvy characters, she plants two bugs, an obvious one that they find right away and a more inconspicuous one that they don't bother looking for because they think they've already found the bug.
A rather sedate example - Cindy Mackenzie, who was Switched at Birth, seems to have inherited every one of her personality traits from her biological parents, and exactly none from the people who raised her for her entire life. The same goes for the girl she was switched with.
A more overt example is the implication that the men in the Echolls family are inherently violent and sadistic, which (according to Veronica) is a major source of worry for Logan as far as him continuing the circle of violence with any children he might have.
Veronica considers this with leads for the serial rapist in season three: "Dick, a rapist? Two in the same household?" He's not, by the way.
An overarching example in the series is Veronica, the Born Detective, born of Keith...a detective.
Interrupted Intimacy: An episode has an (adult) hacker's relationship with a student (minor) at the school revealed by Veronica and her camera as a blackmail scheme. She even says "There's something seedy in being the interruptus in somebody else's coitus."
Invisible President: In the season 1 finale, the Kane family throws a party where the Governor of California is a guest. Based on the episode's air date and a few chance remarks, it's pretty clear that the governor is intended to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, but his name is never mentioned and he never appears onscreen.
Involuntary Charity Donation: Logan tells a news crew that his father Aaron will be donating five percent (or less - we're never told his income exactly) of his next paycheck to a homeless shelter. His father severely beats him for this.
Jerkass - Logan, Dick Casablancas, Don Lamb - and pretty much every adult male in Neptune, especially when they are rich.
Karma Houdini - Dick Cassablancas; manages to avoid ALL of the consequences of his various acts of douchebaggery, including purposely leaking a sex tape of Veronica and Piz, that was filmed without their knowledge to everyone in campus. Even though Veronica reminds him after the fact that she can destroy him, she never pulls the trigger. Similarly, neither does Logan disown Dick for this act of malicious evil lulz, even though a running theme for the third season was Logan growing tired of Dick's bad boy partying and Dick constantly trying to drag Logan back to his old "Screw the Rules, I Have Money!" ways.
On the other hand, he is suffering emotionally in the aftermath of his brother's death and murder revelations, so perhaps that's punishment enough.
Madison Sinclair also counts. Does horrible things to Veronica, including (granted unknowingly) setting into motion Veronica's rape and subsequent pariahdom via purposely masterminding the smear campaign proclaiming Veronica a whore. But she never gets punished.
In a second season episode, a lesbian cheerleader poses as a blackmailer preying on Neptune High's gay students with the end goal of outing her girlfriend, who wanted to stay in the closet. It goes off pretty much as planned, with no negative consequences for the cheerleader at all. It is implied that the cheerleader's girlfriend will be told, and not be happy about it.
Lovable Rogue - Just about the entire cast - most notably Veronica, Logan and Weevil.
Love Hurts - Oh so much. Veronica's first love Duncan dumps her without any explanation and then, after rekindling their relationship, leaves her to escape the country and the law with his child from another girl. She and her Second LoveLogan hurt each other pretty equally and consistently throughout the show even as they try to make their relationship work. And all the other guys were pretty much rebound.
And then there is Mac, who takes a long time to get over Cassidy, who turned out to be a murderer and a rapist.
And Keith Mars, whose wife turned out to be a long-time cheater and later an alcoholic.
Oh, and the titular song makes an appearance in season 2, sang by Courtney Taylor-Taylor, lead singer of the Dandy Warhols, who also sing the theme, in the cafe Veronica works. It plays when Veronica is shown photos of Logan having sex with Kendall, which is probably intended as Ship Tease for her and Logan.
Maybe Ever After - Could be argued for Veronica and Logan, considering their (and her boyfriend's) expressions in the cafeteria scene and the Word Of God in the commentary that Piz won't be the winner of the Love Triangle.
If you count the Season 4 teaser as canon than neither won as Veronica would get a new love interest.
While discussing the upcoming movie, Word Of God said that Veronica will be dating someone who is not Logan at the beginning of the movie, but that the events will be rough on their relationship so a happy ending for these two is still very possible.
Missing Mom - A good part of the first season involved Veronica's quest to find her mother, as well as the emotional fallout from the abandonment.
Mistaken for Cheating - Happens a few time, both with clients' spouses and main characters. Notably, Veronica has trust/jealousy issues, especially in season 3.
Mock Millionaire - One episode introduces the richest kid in Neptune, who arrives to school in a limousine and lives in the biggest house in town. The twist ending is that he's the son of the butler, and thus is actually not rich.
No Fourth Wall - Creator Rob Thomas once put his own books prominently in the background of one scene, and in the series finale, a character quips "Rob Thomas is a whore" (see below)... although in the context of the scene he's referring to the lead singer for Matchbox 20.
A phone call from Clarence Wiedman to confirm the completion of an off-the-radar job is answered with "CW?" followed by Wiedman's reply of "It's a done deal." Just after the show was picked up by the new CW network following the merger of its former home, UPN.
In season two, when Cassidy pulled a prank on his brother Dick in revenge for Dick treating his brother like shit, Dick threatened revenge. However, Cassidy stops his vengeful evil older brother in his tracks when Cassidy reminds him of a mysterious "Sally" and what happened to her. This was ultimately clarified in an interview by Rob Thomas: Sally was a childhood pet that Dick had, who Cassidy killed in retaliation after Dick did something horrible towards him.
When Veronica calls Cliff for a favor in season two, both of them rattle off a few previous incidents where they helped each other out.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Israeli actress Alona Tal manages to hold an American accent for most scenes but in the scene where Duncan is dreaming about her, she clearly slips into an accent.
Opening Monologue - "I'm never getting married. You want an absolute? There it is." and so forth.
Outside Inside Slur: Hispanic students who excel in school are called Coconuts: brown outside, white inside.
Papa Wolf - Keith. Also, hitting Aaron's daughter? Bad idea.
Parent with New Paramour - Twice with Keith Mars. The first is an attempted relationship with Veronica's guidance councelor, but he decides to call it off because Veronica is still coping with the loss of her mother after she abandoned them both. The second is with Wallace's mother, which lasts quite a bit longer. This one just weirds Veronica out for a while but she later warms to the idea when she sees how they're happy together.
"Lilly always said her parents adored Duncan and tolerated her. If she couldn't please them, she'd go out of her way to piss them off."
Aaron Echolls, who dotes on his daughter and beats his son. Made even worse by the fact that Trina refuses to believe Logan's claims of abuse and accuses him of lying in order to make their father look bad.
Dick Casablancas Sr. is pretty blatant about favoring his eldest - which ends badly.
Subverted in the Veronica Mars episode "Like A Virgin". Veronica reports that her account's been hacked, and the system administrator gives her a spiel about password safety. Whereupon she reveals that her password was "GJ7B!X" (with possible variation in case).
Subverted again in "Mars vs. Mars." Keith changes the combination to his safe to something of personal significance, then leaves it in a location that would be highly visible to a trained PI. When trained PI Veronica finds all the password and opens the safe, it no longer contains files but instead an ink packet that explodes onto her.
Perpetual Poverty - Pretty much half of Neptune, as far as perpetuating the class warfare subplot of season two and three. Veronica and Keith also fit this trope during the first half of season one but do ultimately rise out of it later on.
Late in season one, Aaron acts like Lynn's death has changed him, starts trying to act like a kind father to Logan, and encourages Logan's relationship with Veronica as "good for him." It doesn't last.
In season two, when Sheriff Lamb finally believes Veronica about something, in this case the Mannings psychologically abusing their youngest daughter, Grace.
In season three, when Vinnie saves Veronica from a beatdown at the hands of the Fitzpatrick clan.
Late in season 3, when Dick finally shows some emotion over Cassidy's death.
Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The PCH, especially when Weevil is in charge. Though later we are given to understand they steal the ocassional car.
Veronica first meets Weevil after his boys are caught shoplifting and the entire gang intimidates Wallace into silence. They've also burned down a house.
The Rashomon - Used in "A Trip to the Dentist" to explain the story of how Veronica was raped.
Really Gets Around - Lily was like this. Also, Parker (for a while). Aaron Echolls slept with (at least) three guests at their previous Halloween party (and possibly one serving girl he simply forgot about) at a party his wife attended!
Red Oni, Blue Oni - Frequently: Logan and Duncan, Lilly and Veronica (in flashbacks), Dick and Beaver...
Removed From The Picture - One boy's presumably dead dad got this treatment from his wife. Turns out he changed his gender.
Risky Business Dance: Appropriately enough, in "Russkie Business" (which also has an actor named "Tom Cruz").
Rogue Juror: Inverted in "One Angry Veronica", where Veronica is forewoman of a jury and one member is the single holdout for a guilty verdict. Over the course of the episode the jurors find additional information which does, in fact, point the finger at the defendants; eventually, there is only one holdout for innocence, who agrees to vote guilty because he's sure the defendants will get off on appeal.
Second Love: Logan and Veronica for each other. Possibly, Alicia for Keith.
Ship Tease - In 3x10, "Show Me The Monkey", the script ANVILS that Piz/Veronica will be moving further... cut to Veronica showing up at Logan's door. At which point, they have sex and tease the two getting back together before rebreaking the couple up and moving onto Piz and Veronica getting together.
Skinny Dipping: Veronica does this in the ending of season 1's "Wrath of Con" in memory of Lily.
Ship Tease: Played for laughs between Dick and Mac.
Shout Out: Many. Also, the cast in general and Veronica in particular make old literary and film references that really should be outside their reference pools.
Appropriately, there are many references to detective stories. Veronica loves giving aliases from Film Noir.
"So...Cagny and Pasty?" [Points to herself and Tim Foyle]
"I'm Crockett. This is my partner...Tubbs."
The references to The Big Lebowski are so frequent they may overlap with Author Appeal, to say nothing of the time a scene was briefly shown while Veronica and Duncan were watching it.
Erle Stanley Gardner, under the name A.A. Fair, had a series of books about a hard-boiled detective named Donald Lamb.
Actually, the character is Donald Lam. Lam is also the opposite of the hard boiled detective as he's less than 5'7", weighs 120 pounds soaking wet, and only won a single fistfight in the nearly 30 books he appeared in. Veronica Mars is more like Donald Lam, as both rely on brainpower over muscle, and have a habit of getting even with people who treat them poorly.
Television Without Pity's reviewer for the show claimed that clearly, Gia's comment about Leo being "kind of mumbly" was a Shout Out to them and their comment, in Leo's debut episode, that he was a bit of a mushmouth.
In episode 1X20, there's a reference to "the Albacore Yacht Club", which is out of Chinatown
When she infiltrates Neptune High's rival school, she gives her name as Betty, and claims to be from Riverdale. The student looks blank and says he's never heard of it, lampshading the fact that the reference really should be too old for your typical high school student.
Lamb constantly references Wizard of Oz by telling people to go 'see the wizard'
The references to Jane Austen (Jackie hates it, Veronica claims to have thrown beer at someone who insulted Pride and Prejudice, the world will end when Logan makes an "Emma" reference) become almost a running joke if you pay attention.
Veronica and Logan also watch Sense and Sensibility during one episode.
There is a nice shoutout to executive producer Joel Silver in season 3. The film Mindy O'Dell and Professor Landry watch at the Neptune Grand on the night of Cyrus O'Dell's death is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which Silver also produced.
Episode 1x18 "Weapons of Class Destruction" is largely a Shout Out to Heathers, including a homocidal teenager named Ben plotting to blow up a school, and said teenager (really an undercover ATF agent in this version) bearing a remarkable physical similarity to J.D., the identical character from Heathers.
In late season 3, Keith refers to two deputies as Kitsis and Horowitz. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were the producers of Lost.
Society-on-Edge Episode: The second-season premiere largely features the townspeople losing their senses after a long string of privileged rich people get away with crimes they obviously committed. Later, Veronica and Logan (one of the aforementioned rich people) narrowly dodge a drive-by shooting—violence which the series typically avoided until the first season's finale.
Soundtrack Dissonance - "That's Amore" playing while Aaron Echolls beats the ever-loving crap out of his daughter's abusive boyfriend. Made even darker when you consider that Aaron murdered his son's girlfriend, who he had been having an affair with on the downlow and that said beating scene was Rob Thomas's way of laying the groundwork for Aaron being revealed as the murderer as far as showing him being capable of beating someone nearly to death.
Straw Feminist - Lilith House doesn't care who actually is doing the raping, they just want to pin it on the Pi Sig fraternity so they can shut it down. They even have a member falsely claim to be sexually assaulted to further this agenda. How's that for commitment?
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subjective; it was widely rumored that Piz was created to fill the void with the loss of Duncan (who was written out when the creator decided to shift away from the original love triangle and give Veronica more options).
That One Case: For both Keith and Veronica, the Lily Kane murder.
Theme Tune Cameo: Wallace asks Veronica how she knew the daughter of a record producer. She replies, "We used to be friends...a long time ago." Cue theme song that starts with the line "A long time ago, we used to be friends".
10-Minute Retirement - In "Normal Is The Watchword" (the season two premiere) Veronica claims to have given up investigating after catching Lilly's killer, only to pick it right back up as soon as she finds out Wallace is involved in the problem she was previously refusing to solve.
Very Special Episode - The Season 3 episode that centered around a former child soldier from Africa meeting his long-lost father. The episode was intended to raise awareness of the existence of child soldiers and Invisible Children, an activist organization whose cause is to free and help them.
Vomit Discretion Shot - Two of note. The first is when Veronica finds out that Jake Kane may be her father, which means her ex-boyfriend Duncan may be her half-brother. The second is when she finds out that Cassidy is a murderer... and Mac is with him.
Veronica also uses this trope to her own benefit by pretending to throw up to keep a possible rapist at a distance.
Wham Episode - "A Trip To The Dentist", "Not Pictured", "Mars, Bars"
Window Love: Mac and her biological mother in "Silence of the Lamb".
What the Hell, Hero?: Veronica gets this a lot. Most notably in season two: Veronica Mars finally gets the goods to destroy her mortal enemy Donald Lamb and help get her father elected sheriff once again, after obtaining an audio recording that has him extorting a bribe from a retired baseball player, who threw a playoff game to pay off his gambling debts. One problem: Wallace is dating the baseball player's daughter and the revelation would destroy her reputation at school. On top of this, Wallace has just discovered that his mother has been lying to him all of his life about his father being dead, when his father finally shows back up in Neptune to visit the son his ex kept him from seeing. But Veronica is too busy to lend a sympathetic ear to Wallace, as she's too concerned with finding the proper venue to play the audio recording for maximum damage. This causes Wallace to lose his trademark cool and verbally ream Veronica out over how distracted by revenge she has become and worse, how she doesn't care that her scheme will ruin the life of Wallace's girlfriend.
Considering Jackie "hired" Veronica to help track down who used her credit card and Veronica did, as well as tricking Veronica into revealing something personal, then humiliating Veronica on TV with said personal information and from Veronica's POV, bringing up her dead best friend in the same public humiliation—wouldn't anyone want revenge in that situation?
Veronica gives this to Keith when he sleeps with a married woman and then proceeds to hand out every excuse they've heard from their marks.
Witness Protection - In one episode, Keith gets hired to find someone who turns out to be a protected witness.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl - Subverted, in that most of the bad guys on the show are not afraid to raise a hand to a woman. (That's how you know they're bad guys.) On the other hand, there are relatively few female antagonists, and almost none who get unreasonably violent, so there's no way to know if male protagonists would go easy on a female antagonist in an actual fight.
Clarence Wiedman might have shades of this trope. He murdered Lilly's killer but left Kendall, who was showering in the next room, unharmed, there was an implication he murdered the man who killed Abel's daughter, and at the end of the series, he managed to get an order to kill Veronica overturned, though he did so without actually refusing the order. On the other hand, he did stalk Veronica, threaten her mother, and was willing to cover up for Duncan when it was thought he was Lilly's killer.
Artistic License - Law - Many, many occasions - Veronica's cross-examination at the Lily Kane murder trial being the most egregious. Most episodes have at least one.
On at least three occasions when the Dean died, when the bus driver died, and when the Coach died someone asks Veronica or Keith to prove a death ruled a suicide was in fact murder because their life insurance policy won't pay in the case of suicide. In California, life insurance policies are required by law to pay in full in the case of suicide if the policy has been in place for 2 or more years. Less than two years refunds all premiums.
Your Cheating Heart - A lot of examples. Aaron Echolls, Lianne Mars, Jake Kane, Kendall Casablancas plus many clients' spouses. Notably averted with Logan while he's dating Veronica, even if she's constantly jealous of him.