Shout Out / Ace Attorney

The Ace Attorney games are filled with shout outs. They can be almost from any popular sources, especially in the English translation.

These Shout Outs range from Phoenix telling Franziska "Well, excuuuuse me princess!", to a security system named "S.P.A.R.D.A", to a clown who sings the intro of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Please, if you are writing an example, try to be as specific as possible to the reference, while also marking out appropriate crucial spoilers. Being vague about it is something we should avoid. Also, please try to keep this page as organized as possible.


  • The plant named Charley in Phoenix's office is likely a shout out to Chuck the plant, a mascot/Running Gag in LucasArts adventure games.
  • The Orestheia is an ancient Greek play wherein the character Orestes is defended in the first ever court presided over by the goddess Athena and defended by the god Apollo who won the case and earned himself the title, god of justice among other things. For the ancient Athenians, this made the god Apollo the first ever defense attorney. And suddenly the name Apollo Justice becomes a brilliant, high-brow wink to the well-read gamer.
    • Not only was Apollo the first defense attorney, but the first defense attorney ever with a jury system. And the crime Apollo defends Orestes for? A child's murder of a parent.
  • The Steel Samurai is about half reference, half parody of tokusatsu shows like Kamen Rider, though once it gets the Iron Infant that it carries around in a cart, it becomes a full on Lone Wolf and Cub reference.
  • There are multiple references throughout the games to earlier investigation serials like Perry Mason or Sherlock Holmes. Unlike most other references on this page, these were usually in the original Japanese dialogue as well.
  • Several characters across several games like to use the word "inconceivable" when denouncing a theory or when a hole is poked in their case.
  • Another phrase that comes up quite a bit, usually when a shocking revelation is about to be made and/or the speaker is at a clear disadvantage, is "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

  • In Case 2, Detective Gumshoe asks if you remember his name. Choosing one of the wrong options nets you this gem:
    Phoenix: "Um... Suedeshoes, wasn't it?"
    Gumshoe: "That's me! Don't step on my blue suede shoes..."
    Gumshoe: "Wait! That's a song, pal!"
    • There's a shout-out here in Japanese as well; one of the options us "Nokonoko," the Japanese name of Koopa Troopa.
  • The Gatewater Hotel becoming famous for an illegal wiretapping operation. The hotel name and the event reference the Watergate Complex in Washington DC, which lent its name to the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon (although the real thing is today just apartments and offices, back in 1972 one of its buildings was a hotel).
  • The footage from the "Steel Samurai" show bears more than a passing resemblance to the opening cutscene of the original Ninja Gaiden game.
  • The Steel Samurai's motto is "For great justice!"
  • Show Maya the photo of the Steel Samurai after the first day of trials and Phoenix quotes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
    Phoenix: [Will Powers] doesn't seem the type, does he. (Curiouser and curiouser...)
  • Mia: (referring to Cody) "That boy is our last hope!"
  • Phoenix, on why Cody deleted photos of the Steel Samurai defeated: "He couldn't handle the truth!"
  • Case 4 states someone should whip that Butz into shape. Don't worry, It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Miles Edgeworth's father Gregory is based off Atticus Finch.
  • Ema suggests there should be letters in the detective's IDs if you examine Goodman's ID card and suggests a possible ID.
    Phoenix: "A name and ID number are written here. "Detective Bruce Goodman, ID# 5842189"."
    Ema: "I wonder why they only use numbers for IDs."
    Phoenix: "What else would they use?"
    Ema: "Letters, silly! They're the reason we have a written language in the first place!"
    Phoenix: "True..."
    Ema: ""Detective Bruce Goodman, ID: YABADAB". See? Wouldn't it be better?"
    Phoenix: ""YABADAB"? Well, it does have a certain ring to it..."
    Ema: "Exactly my point! Tee-hee!"
    Phoenix: "(It doesn't take much to amuse her.)"
    • In the same case, there's this chat upon examining the Parking Lot B Block:
    Phoenix: ""B Block" is through there. That's where visitors park."
    Ema: "I can see the Lunchland car over there... far in the distance."
    Phoenix: "Hey, you're right. I like the cute design on the door. (I can see... a cartoon cow munching down on a juicy looking steak.)"
    Ema: "... Doesn't that strike you as a little... creepy?"
    Phoenix: "Just don't think too deeply about it and you'll be fine."
  • Ema: "I-it's only a flesh wound, Mr. Wright!"
  • In the final case, where a crucial piece of evidence is a handprint on a piece of brown leather: "Hey, I think I've seen that on a shirt, before."
  • The Compilation Re-release for the 3DS adds this gem:
    Judge: "Don't "oops" me! Maybe this boot to the head will knock some sense into you!"

Ace Attorney: Justice For All

Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

  • In Apollo's first case, Winston Payne clarifies what the poker chips are thusly:
    Payne: Poker chips are poker chips. They're not fish and chips, not a chip off the old block, not a motorcycle cop...
  • At least two The Princess Bride references:
    Zak: In his last years, Magnifi worked us to the bone... No. To the Pain.
    Klavier: "Logical"? I do not think this word means what you think it means, Herr Forehead!
  • Also, Apollo has this little exchange:
    Trucy: Maybe they're trying to trick kids into thinking the police are some kind of band.
    Apollo: But that's just silly. Who'd name a band the "police"?
    • There's a reference to the Police song "Roxanne" in the same room: when you examine a red siren Apollo tells Trucy not to put on the red light.
  • Gavin's song Atroquinine, My Love might be a reference to the Jethro Tull song Aqualung (which includes the line "Aqualung, my friend" quite a few times).
  • Apollo: (I should have learned to play the guitar.)
  • Klavier's phrase, "Achtung, baby!" is most likely reference to U2's hit album in the 90's, "Achtung Baby".
  • Also a mention of the MASON System.
  • "How about flowers made of metal?" "What, like a magnolia made of steel?"
  • In the case where you encounter Valant for the first time he goes to you before entering court for the last time, Apollo thinks to himself: "Valant Gramarye! (Using the door like an average muggle, no less.)"
  • Judge: "With a great accusation comes great responsibility!"
  • Capcom also does a shout-out to its less-known survival horror series, Dino Crisis. The first DC game took place on Ibis Island in "The Republic of Borginia." Two key characters in Apollo Justice are from the Borginian Republic, suggesting a very bizarre intercontinuity canon.
  • Case 4:
    Judge: I do hope this latest accusation is well-based.
    Phoenix: (...Don't worry, I've got all your bases right here.)
  • Trucy's dummy is named Mr. Hat.
  • The following exchange:
    Trucy: My panties are Bigger on the Inside!
    Apollo: (Hm, that reminds me of that TV show I used to watch...)
  • Klavier clinches his status as an Expy of Dante with this line.
    Klavier: Not so fast. This party's just getting started!
  • Klavier: I play new rock, not Great Balls of Fire!
  • Apollo: (Curiouser and curiouser...)
  • Klavier gets two shout-outs in a row in this exchange in the fourth trial. Phoenix even lampshades it.
    Klavier: ...The victim was already climbing a three-month stairway to heaven. ...Why not wait for him to knock-knock-knock on heaven's door? Why shoot him?
    Phoenix: (I wouldn't have put it quite so lyrically, but it's true.)
  • Apollo shows some theatre prowess by referencing Oedipus the King when you examine the back of the brooch found on the floor of Lamiroir's dressing room:
    Apollo: A sort of pin-fastener for attaching things to clothes. Not a safety pin-type, though.
    Trucy: So if it's not a safety pin...
    Trucy: ... is it a danger pin!?
    Apollo: I suppose if you stuck it in your eye, then yeah, sure. note 
  • If you examine the number on the back of your attorney's badge, Apollo will remark "There are many numbers like it, but this one is mine".
  • Apollo says "Well hello, Ms. Fancy Pants!" during one of the ladder/stepladder debates with Trucy.
  • When Ema explains how to use the fingerprinting powder by dusting it on and blowing the rest away, she says: "It's like whistling. You know how to whistle, don't you? Just put your lips together..."
  • In keeping with the third case's musical references Apollo and Klavier have this exchange: "Klavier: Nobody told me about days like these. Apollo: strange days, indeed" only thing missing was someone chiming in with a "most peculiar, mama".
  • Zak and Valant's Quick-Draw Shoot'em trick may be a subtle reference to the infamous bullet trick, a magic trick known for being dangerous and even killing a few magicians who'd attempted it.
  • In response to one of Apollo's more off-the-wall theories:

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Investigations 2 (Fan Localization)

Even the fan translation gets in on the references.

  • In case 2: A guard describes the sound of the alarm "wii uu wii uu wii uu"
  • Kay drops this little gem in case two:
    "It's a cage inside a cage that is this prison cell. It's like... Cageception!
  • From the beginning of case 4: "It's not Lupus!"
  • In case 4, Edgeworth comes across a lit up model of a pony that "Sparkles in the twilight". He also doesn't get the suggested contradiction in a winged unicorn.
    • When Kay suggests that the hidden 51st floor might be accessed by a secret portal, Ray tells her that it's not the time to be thinking with portals.
    • During another point of case 4, Kay is losing hope due to being framed as a murderer and since she's lost her memory, is almost sure that she's done it and is asking Edgeworth to give up on defending her. Edgeworth replies by telling her: "If you don't believe in yourself, believe in the me that believes in you!"
  • Also in Case 4, Sebastian mentions that his father is the very best, like no one ever was.
    • Another possible reference of the games might be when Sebastian Debeste says it would take Edgeworth a light year to understand his logic, after which Edgeworth and Justine Courtney correct him and say a light year is a measure of distance instead of time. This mistake is made by the trainer in Brock's gym as well.
  • Talking to Lotta Hart in case 5 about "Moozilla" will have her quote what seems to be a line from their promotions.
    Lotta: "On that day, humanity was given a grave reminder... of the terror of Moozilla!"
    • She also describes the monster as the fiercest creature "this side of the Pacific Rim"
  • Likewise in case 5, presenting a Moozilla-related piece of evidence to the largely uncooperative John Marsh will cause Kay to unsuccessfully attempt to bribe him with candy in order to make him more talkative, causing her to remark that even her candy crush attack didn't work.
  • After a small spat between Justine and her son John, Edgeworth quips that children don't understand their parents. Kay counters that sometimes the reverse is also true.
  • Edgeworth didn't just solve the mystery of Moozilla, he grasped the beast's true form!
  • When Blaise Debeste breaks down and accidentally burns his wig off:
  • In case 5:
    Franziska: You're always so calm and collected, like an anchorman reading a teleprompter... It makes me sick!
    Edgeworth: (...I should probably stay classy and avoid a confrontation with her for now.)
  • If you inspect the model of the courthouse in Case 5 there is a sign underneath a button that says it will change the shape of the model. Edgeworth comments that "There's more to this model than meets the eye."
  • Examining the round table in the P.I.C. meeting room has Edgeworth say it is based off of a certain legend. Gumshoe tries to guess it. He comes up with "Knights of the Brown Table", "Knights of the Clown Table", and "Knights who say Ni".
  • On the subject of Larry Butz going by the pseudonym of Laurice Deauxnim:
  • In case 1, when Edgeworth presents a red raincoat to Gumshoe, he will start to sing: "Red raincoat style! Red red red red". Edgeworth even comments he's doing a strange dance.
  • In case 2, a guard is obsessed with a cute cat. When asked by Kay what his name is, the guard says it's Nermal.
  • Elbird's polar bear is named Rocky.
  • When Edgeworth is cross-examining Frank Sahwit and Frank has thrown his toupee at Edgeworth Frank will say "I'm just your friendly neighborhood witness!"
  • Case 2 has a few references to some famous works in the form of a few books in Knightley's prison cell: Prison Life for Dummies, The Great Escape in 80 Days: Based on a True Story! and The Animalshack Redemption.
  • When you present wrong evidence during the rebuttal of Patricia Roland, she may try to hug you which will result in Ray saying "Run Miles, run!"
  • One of Franziska's sayings is "I whip, therefore I swing!", which is a play on 'Cogito, ergo sum.'
  • Presenting wrong evidence during Franziska's rebuttal in case 4 may result in her getting angry and Ray saying "Watch out Miles, you're turning Franny-pie into fifty shades of rage!"

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

  • From the demo:
    Phoenix: Project confidence... like a boss!
  • At one point Simon Blackquill is called "Mr. Black Jack". His design can also bring the eponymous doctor to mind.
    • He is also called Mr. Birdman. Obviously, he doesn't take too kindly to the comparison.
  • At the end of the third case, Athena says Myriam Scuttlebutt, a character that sneaks around in a cardboard box, has "got this tactical espionage action stuff down to a science".
    • Scuttlebutt is a walking Metal Gear Solid reference, from her introduction ("I hope it's not a SNAAAAAAAAAKE!") to her trademark snake-hiss laugh.
    • They also make reference to the "!" alert from those games.
  • During the first trial, Ted Tonate drops this:
    Tonate: Boom! Game over! Yeaaah!
  • In the second trial, the murder weapon on first glance bears a striking resemblance to Yuna's summoning staff.
  • When Athena stumbles upon her first dead body, Phoenix remarks that she turned five shades of pale... but he was expecting fifty.
  • A former pro wrestler becoming the head of a community. Not the first time in a Capcom series.
    • Also, a wrestler and mayor who is very much a Papa Wolf.
    • Athena later suggests to Apollo that he should also become a pro wrestler and adopt the moniker of The Amazing Firebrand.
  • While in court, Florent L'Belle's green hair dye job combined with his pale skin, purple suit, and cologne-spraying flower makes him look a lot like The Joker. His expressions and mannerisms are especially reminiscent of the incarnation from The Dark Knight Returns.
    • However, said purple suit combined with his normal sculpted blonde hair and the fact that he owns a line of cosmetics suggest that he may also be based on a certain other comic book villain: Adrian Veidt.
  • This bit when Filch is under suspicion of having been at the crime scene (And he never told anybody.)
    Blackquill: You FOOL of a tanuki!
  • In case 2, when examining the prints and feathers on the floor:
    Athena: They're pretty big tracks, almost bird-like. The feathers also point to a bird.
    Apollo: Then it must be one big bird! And not of the friendly yellow type, either!
  • Someone circled a pro wrestling match in the newspaper in case 2.
    Tenma Town Pro Wrestling "Howlin' Wolf vs. Pretty Boy Vampire" Blow-by-blow commentary by Timothy Twilight.
  • After Athena lies about being creeped out by the Forbidden Chamber Apollo thinks to himself that "The denial is strong in this one".
  • Trucy suggests that Phoenix and Apollo form a comedy team called Agni & Rudra. This could be a reference to the names of the two ultimate dragons in the first Breath of Fire I, or two bosses from the third Devil May Cry.
    • Or more likely a reference to the two Hindu gods, Agni and Rudra, which the video games are also referencing.
  • When using Athena's emotion matrix for the first time in case 2, if you pick the wrong emotion, Athena and Apollo's ensuing dialogue is the first few lyrics of Comfortably Numb.
  • In case 4's trial:
    Phoenix: (As long as they don't punish us in the name of said moon for what we've done for it...)
  • In trial 5, the witness requests getting banished to the moon after being constantly caught lying in the court.
  • Another from 5-3: Athena tells us that "all that's left now is to reach out to the truth".
  • When told about how the memory of the robots isn't stored in their bodies and therefore persists even if they are damaged, the Judge comments "It's as if she can be seriously wounded, but her soul still burns."
  • When cross-examining the egotistical head of the local space agency, Phoenix says that if the witness is going to be an important historical figure, then he, Phoenix, is the King of All Cosmos.
  • Clonco declares that he'll use his blast processing abilities to reveal information.
  • Presenting the Mock trial script to Hugh has him complain you're trying to humiliate him Old country style.
  • Speaking of Hugh, in his confession about him having a body double, the Mood Matrix represent the body double kinda like a BLU Spy, complete with a paper mask of Hugh's face.
  • Robin Newman screams "Proof?! We don't need no stinkin' proof!", later presenting some evidence to Robin yields the saying "full on YOLO".
  • Case 4: If you examine the boarding lounge security camera, Athena will decide to commemorate the moment with a "Love and Peace!"
  • Also in case 4:
    Yuri Cosmos: could you doubt a man with such great intensity, intelligence, and integrity?!
  • Trucy speaks about busting the defendant out and then seeking the actual killer, with the authorities hot on their tails. In the middle she says they'll "sneak around the world from Kiev to Carolina".
  • From the DLC case, we have this gem after examining a shark-shaped cannon that fires egg-shaped balls, rather than baby sharks like Athena suggests.
    Phoenix Wright: (A tornado of sharks? Not even Hollywood could conjure up something that insane.)
  • In case 5, Phoenix says "Failure is not an option here!" to himself. Made all the more appropriate by the fact that the case involved a space mission gone wrong, two if you count the related one that happened seven years prior.
    • The whole "HAT-1 Miracle" is pretty much a direct Shout-Out to Apollo 13. A space mission where the astronauts miraculously survived despite several major problems that was later made into a movie.
  • The captain's Show Within a Show character in the DLC case is the "Dread Pirate Nostache".
  • The defendant in case 4 is an astronaut named Solomon Starbuck. He's also mentioned to be a good friend of Apollo's, doubling the reference.
  • Yet another sci-fi reference in case 4: "You bet! Let's make it so!"
  • During the ending, Solomon Starbuck paraphrases the Elton John song "Rocket Man", saying that space is lonely and "cold as hell".
  • Upon fixing Klavier's statue in case 3, Athena notes, "Don't stop me now! The artist inside me wants to get out and have a good time!"
  • At one point Simon proves that samurai movies aren't the only kind he enjoys.
  • After Simon Blackquill brings up an accusation in Case 2, the gallery goes nuts, leading to this little quip from the Judge:
    Judge: Order! Order!!! The defense will stop at competing for the greatest freak-out ever!
  • At one point in case 3, Myriam Scuttlebutt calls Apollo "boy wonder".
  • Phoenix's new three-piece suit with pocket watch is clearly taking inspiration from Atticus Finch.
  • Also from the DLC case: Dr. Crab has a baby penguin chick living in his afro. This has definitely happened somewhere else before.
  • Again from the DLC case: After Rimes drinks that barrel of "steroids" and became pumped up, his character design wouldn't look so out of place in a particular pirate anime.
  • Lasly, the poem on JudgeTron is a literal shoutout to Judge Dredd
  • In Case 2, Apollo thinks to himself: "Yeesh, Rube Golberg machines have less elaborate set-ups then L'Belle's scheme."
  • So in Case 3 we learn that Juniper Woods AKA Junie is studying to become a Judge...would that make her Judge Junie?
  • Solomon Starbuck and Clay Terran are both giant shout outs to Uchuu Kyoudai. Not only are their haircuts and character designs practically ripped from the series, but also similarities in backstories. Especially since both Solomon Starbuck, and his character design inspiration Hibito both experienced a near death experience in space, leading to both of them developing a fear of space but still remaining determine to return to space.
    • Hibito and Clay also share some personality traits, especially their enthusiasm for space and becoming and astronaut.
  • One of Marlon Rimes' rhymes is "Prepare for the battle, prepare for the war!"
  • The name of one of the segments in the chapter select menu for Case 2 is "Chamber Secrets".

Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice

  • In keeping with the new spiritual theme of the game, Ahlbi Ur'gaid's dog Shah'do resembles Missile.
  • In this countdown video, Maya Fey says "Steel Samurai Maya Smelting", which is the name of Phoenix Wright's Hyper Combo that involves her in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • At one point in the first trial, Phoenix says to himself that he's got chills and they're multiplying.
  • The witness for the first trial is a hippie monk named Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin, and of course, at one point Phoenix asks him, "What's so funny, Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin?"
  • The afterlife in Khura'inism is known as the Twilight Realm. While that might or might not be a shout out on its own, the fact that at one point Andistan'dhin refers to himself as the "Twilight Messenger" is.
  • When Phoenix accuses Andistan'dhin's testimony of being off, Andistan'dhin believes Phoenix is taking about his music and wonders if Phoenix like "Orchestra" or "Jazz Soul" better (referencing both the Gyakuten Meets Orchestra and Gyakuten Meets Jazz Soul albums).
  • Andistan'dhin tells Phoenix, "I'm not gonna take it! No, I'm not gonna take it!"
  • While giving Apollo and the player the tutorial for investigations in Case 2, Athena exclaims, "Ten points for House Justice!"
  • At one point, Bonny (Betty) de Famme refers to Athena specifically as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All. Given the sheer number of references, could the translator be One of Us?
  • When Apollo and Athena discuss the comic books the former has on his desk, Athena jabs at him about researching street fighting.
  • A highly revered figure, worshiped as a god for taking the law into their own hands and executing criminals, is appropriately named Kee'ra.
    • For bonus points, knowing people's names and faces is both an important part of Khura'in spiritualism, and a necessary prerequisite to using said Artifact of Death.
  • A Khura'inese board game similar to chess, where the goal is to capture all enemy pieces and each piece has a special move that can be used once per game, is called Kachu'demahl.
  • In the Khura'inese court, the gallery calls for Phoenix's head several times, sometimes while chanting "Exterminate! Annihilate!"
    • The robot in Professor Buff's study likewise yells "EXTERMINATE".
  • In response to Andistan'dhin's transformation, Phoenix thinks to himself "And now for Something Completely Different."
  • At the beginning of the fourth case, when Athena's client is late, Widget says the following:
  • In Case 3, Inga specifically calls the Defiant Dragons rebel scum.
  • When Abbot Inmee is channeled into Maya's body in Case 3, he asks the judge if he too has "shuffled off the mortal coil".
  • At the end of the third case, Rayfa shouts "You know nothing, Maya Fey!"
  • Mr. Reus is based on the Joker card, and his green-and-purple color scheme might bring The Joker and Kamen Rider Double's CycloneJoker form to mind.
  • During Case 5, Paul Atishon attempts to avert suspicion away from him by saying "I am not a crook."
  • When Sarge claims that Athena has no place on the "battlefield" (referring to the courtroom), she counters by saying "This G.I Jane's always ready for a fight in the courtroom!"
  • In the final case, Phoenix and Apollo are amazed by Queen Ga'ran's transformation, calling it an "extreme makeover".
  • In case 3, after disproving one of Rayfa's insights she exclaims that Phoenix "blinded her with science."
  • It is Apollo who utters the immortal phrase "Every puzzle has an answer".
  • In case 1, the following exchange happens:
    Gallery: Long may [Rayfa] live and prosper!
    Phoenix: (Hey! I want to live long and prosper too!)
    • Coincidentally, the English release of Spirit of Justice coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek.
  • During Case 5, while investigating Dr. Buff's study, Apollo and Dhurke have a minor dispute about whether a hanging relic is either a bird or a plane.
  • Sarge claims that "A modern day warrior must be well-versed in technology... and have mean, mean pride!"
  • One of the penalty dialogues during Case 5 has the Judge and Phoenix sing Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler."
    Apollo:: (I don't know what's worse: the penalty, or their singing.)
  • In Case 5, If you check the curtains in the front of Amara's Tomb (which is functionally the door), Athena thinks somebody else could have hidden there and has solved the case because it's impossible to see through them. Ema shoots her down saying that the royal guards have already thoroughly inspected that area during their siege and found nobody. Athena's response takes a cue from Tsubomi Hanasaki's Unsettling Gender Reveal.
    Athena:: (crying in frustration) My brilliant deduction — destroyed in three sentences.
  • One of the twists of case 5 involves a character secretly suffering from prosopagnosia and having it used against him. Said character also flees when someone he shot several times still comes after him. Sound familiar?
  • At one point in "Turnabout Time Traveler", Athena attempts to psych Phoenix up with the phrase "Just do it!"
  • Considering the speaker is an astronaut and the entire case has to do with space, this could very well be a Shout-Out.
    Starbuck: Well, it wasn't a big exaggerated deal like master and apprentice or anything like that.