Shout Out / Death Masks

The Shout-Out per page ratio continues to rise in this, the fifth book of The Dresden Files. Caught between a vengeful Red Court noble on one side and the literal forces of Hell on the other, Harry needs all the Knightly help and pop-trivia references he can get.

  • Thomas wears a Buffy the Vampire Slayer T-shirt.
    • To a duel where he hopes a vampire from a rival court will get killed, no less. Nice one, Thomas.
      • For (probably unintentional) bonus points, the audio book is read by James Marsters, who played the vampire Spike on Buffy.
    • Also, the Order of St. Giles shares a name with Buffy's mentor and father figure.
      • Though it actually probably is exactly what the book states it to be - a reference to the patron saint of lepers and the diseased, as well as the famous leper colony named after him. Bonus points when you realize that leprosy was once believed to have no possible cure, and most lepers were locked away in colonies to prevent them from transmitting the disease; in the books, being a half-turned vampire is incurable, and the members of the Order are basically isolating themselves from everyone in order to protect their loved ones from their curse.
    • Earlier, Harry teases Thomas for dressing like the aging Elvis Presley, possibly Michael Jackson.
  • When an enemy doesn't reveal his plan after capturing Harry, Harry later notes that the villain "must have read the Evil Overlord List."
  • The Carpenters' house looks like something from Better Homes and Gardens magazine in front, and a Craftsman commercial in back.
  • In contrast, the neighborhood where the Denarians keep Harry prisoner makes the Chicago of The Jungle look like something from Mary Poppins.
  • There's a shoutout to David Eddings' Belgariadnote  when Harry asks the Archive — the living repository of all written and spoken information, in the body of a seven-year-old girl — if her bodyguard Kincaid can be trusted. It's almost an exact quote.
    "What about him?" I asked the Archive, and nodded towards Kincaid. "Can he be trusted?"
    "Kincaid?" the girl asked, her voice whimsical. "Can you be trusted?"
    "You're paid up through April," the man replied, his eyes still scanning the street. "After that, I might get a better offer."
    "There," the girl said to me. "Kincaid can be trusted until April. He's an ethical man, in his way."
    • Given that this is the Archive we're talking about, this is guaranteed to be an invoked example. Of course her voice was whimsical.
  • Meeting the Archive reminds Harry of The Twilight Zone, specifically its adaptation of the short story "It's a Good Life".
  • Harry to Thomas, about Raith Sr.: "Nice father figure. Him and Bill Cosby."
  • Murphy mentions The Exorcist when discussing demons and Fallen with Harry.
  • Harry hears "Sympathy For The Devil" in his head when he's burying Lasciel's coin.
  • Nicodemus asks Harry if he's read Revelations; Harry says he hasn't in a while.
  • Harry Dresden: self-proclaimed Bruce Lee of fun.
    • Unless you ask him to chew and smile at the same time. "Do I look like Jackie Chan?"
    • He's not Tom Skerritt, either.
  • "I'm a disciple of the Tao of Peter Parker". When Nicodemus doesn't get it, Harry notes that he "must be a DC Comics fan".
  • Molly quips "Surrender, Dorothy" when her mother scolds her.
  • Harry sums up the troubles that are piling up on him in the style of The Twelve Days Of Christmas, complete with partridge in a pear tree.
  • In a rare departure from his usual Star Wars preferences, Harry raises an eyebrow, Spock-like, while talking to Sanya.
    • He later compliments Sanya for not dressing like a Renaissance festival like Michael, and points out that his Kalashnikov gives him a very Charlton Heston look for a Knight.
  • James Bond references inevitably arise, what with Harry running around in a tux at the art auction.
    • Of course, he lampshades how Bond never loses a shoe when he kicks a bad guy.
    • Being Harry, he slips a "Feed me, Seymour" reference in among the spy gags.
    • Also a "my precious" quip, when they run into Marcone.
    • James Bond comes up again later, when Harry calls Susan "double oh seven" after she checks the Blue Beetle for car bombs.
  • Sending Bob to scout Marcone's operation, Harry tells him he doesn't have to "go all David Niven" about it. David Niven starred in several spy movies.
  • Butters tells Harry and Murphy they're welcome to "Mulder out" an explanation for the condition of the body he's been examining.
  • Harry doesn't have the heart to smack his Mickey Mouse alarm clock, because he couldn't live with someone who would hit Mickey Mouse.
  • "One little, two little, three little Denarians" doesn't scan quite as well as "Indians".
  • The method of dueling which the Archive selects for Harry and Ortega — forcing a ball of instant-death mordite back and forth with their minds — is reminiscent of that infamously campaign-breaking Dungeons & Dragons artifact, the Sphere of Annihilation, which could also be pushed around by willpower.
  • Mort quotes The Sixth Sense on The Larry Fowler Show. Harry, being less at-ease with being laughed at on-stage, finds himself thinking about Carrie and Firestarter.
    • Fowler, an obvious Expy of Jerry Springer - he's even called "Jerry" in an editing flub - is welcomed onto the stage with a near-identical name chant to The Jerry Springer Show's.
  • Murphy is a monster-hunting Valkyrie, according to Harry. Amusingly, this is the book in which an actual Valkyrie is introduced.
  • Half-hysterical Harry quotes from Underdog at Shiro's Big Damn Heroes moment, then offers to switch to Mighty Mouse when nobody laughs.
  • Harry's snarky "yippee ki yay" is either a sanitized Die Hard reference or a cowboy song quote, possibly Riders In The Sky.
  • The voice with which Ursiel forces Harry out of the soulgaze is louder than a Metallica concert.
    • Harry uses a picture of Meat Loaf as a potion ingredient.
    • Returning to the Carpenters' house, he knocks on the door and snarks that it's Donny and Marie, filling in for Salt-N-Pepa.
    • He quotes Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" while kicking the crap out of Cassius.
    • And he calls British thief Anna Valmont "Larceny Spice". Harry's music savvy presumably fossilized around the time he started shorting out radios.
  • Deirdre is described by Harry as "the demented love child of Medusanote  and Doctor Octopus". He later calls her Madame Medusa to her face, but she's far from impressed.
  • Deirdre and Snakeboy together get tagged "the wonder twins", and Nicodemus (presumably due to the trenchcoat) "Bogart".
  • Susan quips about how she's taken up leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
  • Harry calls Ortega's offer to make his home city a neutral territory "Chicago-blanca".
  • The pistol Harry bought to replace one lost in the last book is, as he puts it, a Dirty Harry Callahan number.
    • Susan threatens to crash the car if Harry quotes Clint Eastwood, so of course he does.
  • He gestures Vanna White-style to Michael and Sanya.
  • He teases little Harry Carpenter that the toddler shouldn't be antisocial, or he might become a recluse and wander around saying "Woahse-Bud".
  • Susan's 'Maori-style' tattoos increase in lividity as she runs out of control of her blood-thirst. This Marked Change is a big hello to Alfred Bester's classic, "The Stars My Destination/Tiger Tiger".