Star Trek alumni Manny Coto and Brannon Braga have been involved with the show for a while now, and when the president was considering people for the position of chief of staff, Bob Justman and Rick Berman were suggested. There is Jane Espenson from accounting.
There seems to have been at least one Doctor Who fan on the writing staff: Seasons 2 and 3 feature a minor character named Tom Baker, and Season 8 has a villain named Davros.
McLennen-Forster, the weapons manufacturer in season 4, is a shout out to the Australian indie-rock band The Go-Betweens and their principle songwriters Grant McLennan and Robert Forster.
The birds in 'Murmurations' seem to be a Shout Out to The Birds.
The scene in which Louise is 'attacked' by the elevator brings to mind both the Danish movie Das Lift and a death scene in Final Destination 2.
The 4400: In one episode, Diana makes a reference to 'The Thought Police', a shout out to 1984.* A113 appears in many animated productions and refers to a room number used by the animation program at CalArts.
Andromeda: Searching his secret weapons locker in one episode, Captain Hunt (played by Kevin Sorbo, who also played Hercules) finds a Hercules sword and wig. In the first episode, Hunt is referred to as being "like a Greek god or something."
There's also the episode where he goes in search of an old ship avatar, and it turns out to be Michael Hurst, who played Iolaus. A little later they have a "you look kind of familiar" moment. In the same episode, Hunt has a sense of déjà vu when he is told that he must mount a rescue out of a system named Tartarus.
In yet another episode, following a conversation about how powerful the Lost Technology ship makes him, Captain Hunt remarks "...but I'm not a god; I'm just a man".
The premiere of the series had a human crewman who was killed in the initial attack named after a noted denizen of rec.arts.sf.written who had died of cancer not long before.
Another episode featured a racist militant group called the Knights of Genetic Purity, who were lifted unchanged (name and all) from the role-playing game Gamma World.
In "Senate," Hortense and Chef Chauncey Allistar recreate the blindfold-and-food scene from Nine and a Half Weeks.
In "Pageant," Lillian's win is spoiled when Hortense dumps a bucket of - not blood, but feces - on her head, a la Carrie.
The A-Team gave Battlestar Galactica (1978) a shout-out. A first season ep had the boys meeting someone in Universal Studios' tour area. A BSG Cylon walked by Face, played by Dirk Benedict, Starbuck on the original BSG, who had had more than a little contact with toasters. Face did aDouble Take, of the "wait, do I know you from somewhere?" variety. (at about 0:45 into that clip) A clip from the scene was used in the intro in later seasons.
Atlantis: In an early episode, Hercules berates Jason for falling in love with the princess Ariadne (a very dangerous thing for a commoner to do with her parents around), asking if he couldn't have chosen someone more at his level, like "the blacksmith's daughter". Central to the plot of Merlin is an analogous, though reversed, situation, in which Prince Arthur and Gwen, the blacksmith's daughter, fall in love, with similar problems. (Two of Atlantis' three producers previously produced Merlin, and in general Atlantis is considered a spiritual successor to Merlin).
The Avengers: A Christmas episode shows Steed getting Christmas cards from lady friends. He reads one from Cathy Gale and muses "Whatever could she be doing in Fort Knox?"
In "The Cat and the Fiddle" Catwoman's thugs are crawling around the outside of the Gotham State Building. Commissioner Gordon says "Are they birds?" and Chief O'Hara says "Are they planes?", a reference to the signature line from Superman, "Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's Superman!"
"An Egg Grows in Gotham"
Chief Screaming Chicken is the sole remaining representative of the Mohican tribe, making him "The Last of the Mohicans" (a reference to the James Fenimore Cooper novel The Last of the Mohicans).
At one point Chief Screaming Chicken says the phrase "Kemo sabe". When Egghead's goon asks him what it means, he says he doesn't know - he heard it on the radio. This refers to the The Lone Ranger radio show, in which Tonto regularly used that phrase.
An unnamed police detective played by Ben Alexander tells a woman to "Give me just the facts", a reference to Sergeant Joe Friday's "Just the facts, ma'am" line from Dragnet and to Alexander's character on the show, Frank Smith.
Battlestar Galactica (1978): Also had a Star Trek shout out. A particular sect of Colonials believed in contact between genders only when sanctified by a certain ritual, only carried out "every seven years" (a reference to Vulcan "pon far").
Battlestar Galactica (2003): Cylons meet in weapons locker 1701D, a shout out to the Enterprise's registration number in Star Trek: The Next Generation which Ron Moore also worked on. The new show's pilot miniseries also had Trek shout outs, one being the callsign for a civilian ship being "Gemenon Liner 1701" (again referencing the Enterprise), as well as the very brief appearance of a Constitution class starship in one of the "rag tag fleet" scenes.
1701 people died or went missing on New Caprica, and 1701 people were lost in the Battle of the Ionian Nebula. Ron Moore likes this one.
Similarly, a location on Caprica called the Martok Valley is probably a shout-out to General Martok of Deep Space Nine fame.
There is also a shout out to Firefly in the miniseries, as a Firefly-class transport is seen in the air over Caprica City before the outbreak of the war. The effects team loved doing these. In the finale it is possible to spot Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun's GDI Kodiak amongst the rag-tag fleet.
Possible shout out to The A-Team in Battlestar Galactica: Razor with Starbuck's line: "Ain't it grand when a plan comes together?" No doubt since The A-Team had one Dirk Benedict on the cast, the original Starbuck.
There are also two references to the Kennedy Assassination. The first in the Miniseries when Laura is sworn in as President aboard Colonial One is a deliberate parallel to LBJ's swearing in aboard Air Force One.◊ The second is in the episode "Resistance," when Cally kills Boomer, essentially reenacting Jack Ruby's killing of Oswald.
In the opening credits of the rebooted BSG, there's a shot of Starbuck in a sleeveless shirt, grinning around a cigarillo while playing cards—duplicating a similar shot of Dirk Benedict's Starbuck in the credits for the original series.
The theme music for the original BSG series is used in the rebooted series as the (in-universe) anthem of the Colonial armed forces.
Beakmans World: Don and Herb Penguin form a Shout-Out to Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard. Also, several times the characters mention the shenanigans in Mr. Guenther's science class, referencing Al Guenther, the science consultant for the show.
Being Human: Annie excitedly tells Nina, "Hey, there's a werewolf called Nina in Buffy!" (Which is technically not true; Nina only appeared in Spin-Off show Angel.)
A more subtle example: Leonard, Sheldon and Penny watch an anime called "Oshikuro the Demon Samurai". That was an allusion to an episode of Two and a Half Men, in which the animated adaptation of "Oshikuro" (which was a comic book then) was being made, and Charlie had to compose the opening song.
When Sheldon won a prestigious award and was nervous about giving an acceptance speech. He took a few drinks to calm his nerves, overshot the mark, and one of his hijinx was singing the periodic table of elements to much the same tune as Tom Lehrer. Actually it's a shout out to Gilbert and Sullivan as the tune he was singing to was "A Very Model of a Modern Major-General." Which is the same tune.
Mega nerd Wil Wheaton wore a Fruit Fucker T-shirt when he appeared on this mega nerd show. For those who don't know, Wheaton's a homeboy of the PA crew, to the point of playing in several D&D campaigns with them, and is subsequently ridiculed mercilessly for his choice of character name.
When the four come back from their Arctic expedition, Leonard, Howard, and Raj all have grown caveman-like hair and beards, while Sheldon has a perfectly-groomed goatee... just like the one alternate-universe Spock had.
Sheldon's various superhero T-shirts.
Sheldon named their bowling team "The Wesley Crushers" meaning that they would crush Wil Wheaton. Everyone else (including Wheaton) saw it as a Fan Shout Out to the actor.
In the episode guest starring Stan Lee, the judge who throws Sheldon in jail is named "J. Kirby".
There are several shout outs to Battlestar Galactica. They range from the characters talking about watching the show to Leonard, as Howard puts it, "taking out his aggressions on innocent Cylons" (i.e. he destroys a Cylon action figure with a laser).
Many shout outs to Star Trek both old school and new school. Penny gives Star Trek figurines to the guys, Sheldon is at first upset that he missed the Star Trek reboot then upset that he didn't get a Leonard Nimoy Spock standee, a quick Lt M'ress mention, Sheldon's feud with Wil Weaton, Sheldon compares their friends to a landing party ("Now we have a Dr. McCoy!"), and of course...."Do you know what this means? I possess the DNA of Leonard Nimoy!!!"
There was an ironic shout-out to Firefly by Joss Whedon in "The Staircase Implementation":
Sheldon: "Roommates agree that Friday nights shall be reserved for watching Joss Whedon's brilliant new series, Firefly."
Leonard: "Does that really need to be in the agreement?"
Sheldon: "Well we might as well settle it now, it's gonna be on for years."
Sheldon's journal in "The Bozeman Reaction" is a shout-out to Rorschach's Journal in Watchmen.
Sheldon: Sheldon’s journal. Security system in place. However, sleep continues to elude me. I’ve seen the underbelly of Pasadena, this so-called City of Roses, and it haunts me. Ah, the injustice, I lie here awake, tormented, while out there evil lurks, probably playing ''Donkey Kong'' on my classic Nintendo.
Strangely enough, there is no mention in that episode that Bozeman, Montana where Sheldon decides to move to was also the location in Star Trek: First Contact where humanity made first contact with the Vulcans. You'd think Sheldon of all people would have brought that up.
Sheldon's frequent quoting from the extremely detailed Housemate Agreement, right down to paragraphs, sections and subsections, evokes Rimmer's obsession with the Space Corps Directives on Red Dwarf. As sci-fi nerds, of course Sheldon and the rest - and certainly the show's creators - would be aware of Red Dwarf. Sheldon as a more pernickity Rimmer makes great sense, too, with the rest of the cast taking it in turns to play the Lister role.
In fact, Sheldon owns all sixty-one released episodes of the BBC series "Red Dwarf", as revealed in "the Friendship Contraction".
This would include the original eight seasons (52), the three-part "Back To Earth" and the six episodes of Red Dwarf X. Although the creators were sufficiently on the pulse to know that Red Dwarf X was being made, The Friendship Contraction was broadcast approximately eight months before the new season of Red Dwarf was initially broadcast in the UK.
And... the whole idea of Howard going up into space as the world's least likely and most temperamentally unsuited astronaut. Everybody, including university benefactor Mrs Latham, makes dismissive remarks about his being a "space plumber". Howard soon finds out he's only there to do the equivalent of servicing the chicken-soup dispensers. His quirks make him the butt of the joke from more macho astronauts. While entranced with the view at first, he soon comes to regard it as excruciatingly dull. DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything?
And in the one where Howard gets into an embarrassing situation with a robot arm, he programs the arm to respond to a snarky Sheldon comment, by having it turn to him and jerkily, but very obviously, making a finger-gesture. This is not the American middle finger, but the British V-Sign with two fingers. Compare the skutter (maintenance robot) in Red Dwarf who makes a similar derisive gesture to Arnold Rimmer after being provoked by a similar superior sneer.
In "The Holographic Excitation", there is a blatant shout-out to Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Specifically, The Science of Discworld series, co-authored with prominent British scientists, in which Pratchett's fantasy world is used to mirror and illustrate developing scientific thought. In the books, the wizards of Unseen University (among them a rather nerdy type with glasses who affects a big baggy parka) accidentally create a bizarre pocket universe centred on a spherical world which orbits its sun. Stuck for what to do with it, it ends up gathering dust inside a protective glass sphere on somebody's desk. Meanwhile a geeky glasses-wearing scientist in a parka fires up holograms of Earth, planets and solar system to please his girlfriend. Leonard speculates that everything might just be one giant information-gathering hologram, being read by intelligences an unguessable distance away... The creation of the pocket universe in the Discworld — including Planet Earth — was done with the specific intention of averting a seriously Big Bang, by diverting a lot of dangerously destructive energy down a harmless path...
It give a shout out to Charmed as well: in the series finale, Willow, after performing the spell that awakens all the Slayers on earth, exclaims, "Oh my Goddess!" This is the title of the fifth season finale of Charmed. ApparentlyJoss Whedon saw the title of the episode, thought it was awesome, and threw it into the finale.
There's also a potential Battlestar Galactica (1978) shout-out in Anya's dismissive reference to the Buffybot: "She's not the descendant of a long line of mystical warriors. She's the descendant of a toaster oven"?
Buffy's last name might be a shout out to Montague Summers. Quotith The Other Wiki: "He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorious 15th-century witch hunter's manual, the Malleus Maleficarum." He also believed in vampires, witches and other things.
Actually, Joss has stated that Buffy's last name is a Shout-Out to Cyclops (IE Scott Summers).
Giles puts on "Danse Macabre" during his silent presentation in the Season 4 episode "Hush". "Danse Macabre" is the theme tune of Jonathan Creek. Anthony Stewart Head, who plays Giles, played magician Adam Klaus in the pilot episode of that show.
The Jan/Feb 2012 of the Season 9 Buffy comics has the cover in the style of Batman. For those who saw Faith wearing Batman pajamas in her series they should have seen it coming.
In Season 9, Faith updates Angel on the latest inmates from Batman: Arkham Asylum, while tracking a demon that feeds on trauma.
The last Season 9 issue with Simone and the Bot has someone wearing a skull t shirt. It certainly wasn't The Punisher, but it likely refers to the last Punisher comic where he dies which was published at around the same time.
Willow in Season 9: "Oh the places I'll go", and later "You'd be a fine minion ... and your little dogs, too." Also, in the same issue,
Connor: "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. And, uh ... The Force will be with you."
In Death & Consequences from Season 9 does the jacket Faith wear look like it belongs to someone else? Commander Shepard perhaps? Looks like our Gamer Chick had upgraded from the PlayStation the Mayor gave her to an Xbox.
Season 9: "Why isn't the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever, so-Xander-can-rest medicine working?!"
Season 9: "What would The Hardy Boys do when they got stuck on a case?"
Buffy calling Illyria "Smurfette" in Season 9.
Willow nicknames a giant octopus (which has the power to spilt itself into smaller, cuter octopi) Hello Cthulhu in Season 9.
Faith says there ain't no saints in this room in Season 9. Funny she should mention that: that's exactly who her actress Eliza Dushku played in Saints Row 2.
And Faith being sick of being responsible for Angel in Season 9, she's "not friggin' Spider-Man."
In other possible shout-outs to Television Without Pity, recapper Demian at least once per recap expressed his dislike of the character Leo, referred to the supposedly omnipotent Elders as "the ever-useless Elders" due to their apparent inability or unwillingness to help the protagonists. In the episode "Lucky Charmed," Piper refers to the "Fricking ever-useless Elders!" In "The Courtship of Wyatt's Father," the demon-of-the-week is determined to kill Leo, and is named "Damien." And oh, didn't he love that.
Charmed gave a shout to Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the episode "The Power of Two". Prue and Phoebe are in a mausoleum and have this conversation:
Prue: Ohh, I hate cemeteries at night.
Phoebe: I hate cemeteries at day. What was that?
Prue: Uh ... huh. Probably a zombie or vampire.
Phoebe: Great. Where's Buffy when you need her?
An even better example is when Paige is attacked by a vampire in the fourth season, after Buffy's Channel Hop from The WB to UPN.
Piper: Vampires? That'd be different.
Phoebe: No, that's not possible.
Paige: Why not?
Phoebe: Well, because as far as I know, vampires attack in human form and not as a swarm of bats. You know, it's gotta be something else.
Leo: It's true, vampires have been ostracized from the underworld for centuries. As far as I know they're apart of a whole different network now.
They also do a shout to Psycho when in a season 2 episode Piper is pursued by a serial killer from a movie.
Piper: I am being stalked by psycho killers and I hide in the shower?!
The girls' one-shot "superhero" costumes in Season 5 are reminiscent of the Legion of Super-Heroes, with a dose of some more recent X-Men outfits for flavor. Piper's in particular seems like an updated version of the original Dazzler costume. This may or may not be intentional.
In the season five finale, Paige gets turned into a goddess of war — more a genderswapped version of Ares rather than Athena, but with Poseidon's trident. Phoebe asks her whether she was done being a Warrior Princess.
Another shout out happens in several episodes with Leo (Brian Krause) & Piper (Holly Marie Combs) about their real life dating when Leo quotes he always fancied a stronger woman like a "Bethany" he referred to his then wife Beth Bruce (who he later divorced) and Piper spat back with 'Well to bad your not a Don or David' which refers to her eventual real life husband David Donoho (also later divorced), who she was just casually seeing at the time.
In early seasons, Prue works at the Buckland Auction House. The name comes from Raymond Buckland, who introduced the religion of Wicca to the United States.
The S:3 E:2 episode "Magic Hour" is almost a carbon copy of the plot from Ladyhawke about two lovers who are cursed to become animals at different parts of the day by a jealous ruler. Prue lampshades it with "I feel like I've seen this in a movie somewhere."
The Crazy Ones: Simon is teaching his daughter Sydney to drive. He asks her how she learned a particular “cool car move,” she replies “Sunnydale,” the setting of her role in Buffy.
The title sequence of the 2014 Cosmos series ends with an eye opening in a nebula and the title emerging from its pupil. The C and S at the beginning and end of "cosmos" are the first letters visible as a tribute to Carl Sagan. (Detailed here◊.)
CSI: An episode concerning Star TrekExpy "Astro-Quest", a Darker and EdgierRetool series is previewed before an audience to negative reactions, including a cameo from Ron Moore shouting "You suck!" (with Grace Park and Rekha Sharma looking on). Watching this footage, Greg comments, "Some nerd takes a cheesy 60s sci-fi show and turns it into something a little more realistic..."
One ep had a killer who was an actor, and Mac caught up with him by pretending he was trying out for the play Of Mice and Men, a shout out to Gary Sinise having directed and starred in a movie version of the work.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report: Taken to the extreme with the relationship between these shows. Not only do the two feature clips and images from each other, but it has become a standard procedure for Stewart to end his show by briefly conversing with Colbert as a direct lead in.
Based on actual cable news practice, by the way.
When Colbert got his honorary doctorate, he added framed photos of various famous TV doctors to the shelves in the back of the Report studio, including Greg House. In the episode "Unfaithful", Housereturned the shout-out.◊
Dexter: In the first season, in order to get the powerful animal tranquilizer to use on his victims, Dexter uses the alias "Dr. Patrick Bateman." Patrick Bateman was Christian Bale's serial killer protagonist in American Psycho.
Dollhouse: In one episode, Victor is sent to the Hyperion Hotel, which was the base of Angel Investigations for three seasons.
Near the end of the second season, Caroline (in a flashback) sees a picture of Bennett, played by Summer Glau. Caroline tells the picture 'Bet you could kill me with your brain', which Glau as River Tam in Firefly claimed to be able to do.
In the same episode, Topher does an imprint chair override by routing something through an io9, a reference to the scifi news and opinion site io9. Joss Whedon confirmed that it was deliberate, as some of the io9 writers were Dollhouse supporters.
In the final episode of the first season, the characters are trying to get to "Safe Haven". In Serenity, Shepard Book resides in a place with a plaque labelling it 'Safe Haven'.
Eleventh Hour has a strong shout out to Doctor Who with its own Doctor Hood. Hood dresses similar to the 4th Doctor [Tom Baker] including the nappy hair and scarf. The detective tends to just call him "The Doctor" and when he was asked what alias he was using, he said "Smith" before being corrected. (Whenever the Doctor is forced to use a name, he uses John Smith, due to its forgettability). He's also extremely intelligent and always travels with a companion, although that's probably more of a plot/character point than a shout out. Later in the same episode he's seen wearing the 6th(?) Doctor's oversized turtleneck.
Eli Stone: In the 12th episode, a scientist predicts that San Francisco will be hit by an earthquake. He starts his introduction with "this is no fantasy, no careless product of wild imagination" — the exact same words used by Jor-El in Superman. Since nobody but Eli believes him, that makes him an Ignored Expert. A few seconds after we've been treated to this scene, we witness Eli visiting the scientist and the scene with the scientist on the ladder tinkering with an electric wire is a visual Shout-Out to the scene with Doc Brown talking to himself in Back to the Future Part II. Somebody must have been having a great day.
Season 4.0 Episode 8 "The Ex Files" has the main characters hallucinating someone from their original time line. When Allison asks Dr. Grant, played by James Callis, who his hallucination is he goes with "Tall leggy blonde, slinky red dress."
Extant: When Ethan goes to school, one of the concerned parents yells that Ethan isn't a kid, he's "a toaster with hair". In Battlestar Galactica, people insult Cylons by calling them toasters.:
When Molly tries to launch the shuttle, the space station's computer blocks her because of her infection.
Fairly Legal marks the point where Shout-Out meets Tear Jerker; the recurring character of Judge Nicastro is named after singer/actress Michelle Nicastro, executive producer Steve Stark's wife - who sadly passed away during production of Stark's previous series The Event.
John Crichton makes a Blazing Saddles reference: "Get back! Get back, or the white boy gets it!"
That's all? At least half of his lines consists of constant shout outs to Earth fiction — starting with naming Scorpius' neural clone Harvey, after the invisible rabbit from a classic movie of the same name.
Speaking of Scorpius, in an episode of CSI: Miami, Ben Browder's character is a DJ named Scorpius ("Tinder Box"). And in CSI, Archie flat-out mentions Farscape...this could be due to the fact that Naren Shankar was involved with both series.
One notable one is this dialog snippet:
Chiana: I love you.
Crichton: I know.
...which happens right before Crichton is frozen in carbonite...er, turned into a statue, complete with a Han Solo grimace. Given how much Crichton loves his pop culture references, this may even be intentional In-Universe.
The In-Universe reason for that was because the process is excruciatingly painful for humans. That's why Crichton couldn't do it again after being unfrozed, but he suggested the new queen's true love to take his place.
Father Ted: The title character's habit of Shout Outs was lampshaded in the episode 'Flight into Terror' where Ted, having conquered his fear of flying, says to Dougal 'I feel Fearless, like Jeff Bridges in that film'. Dougal says he hasn't seen that film to which Ted replies "Not many people have, that was probably a bad reference".
Frasier: A subtle one in "Flour Child"—the cab the cabbie gives birth in is number 804, the same number as the one in the Taxi titles and that crashes and burns in the first season finale. The creators of Taxi also created Frasier progenitor Cheers.
The sixth series episode Taps At the Montana is a homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus' "Dead Parrot" sketch. first Niles' pet parrot genuinely dies, then a guest at his dinner party dies too. In fact, the shenannigans about getting the body out un-noticed pays homage to a Fawlty Towers episode...
In one episode Rose worked on a children's series where the puppet sidekick was named Kolac from Twilar. This is a shout out to The Dick Van Dyke Show "It May Look Like a Walnut" episode, with Danny Thomas as Kolac from Twilo. Explained by the fact that Tony Thomas, one of the Golden Girls producers, is the son of Danny Thomas, who produced The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Another episode had the girls planning the funeral of a hated neighbor. When the director suggests that they hold the service on Thursday night, the girls react with outrage. The director apologizes, saying "I forgot. The Cosby Show"
In the pilot, Dr. Doreen Boyle dryly notes that, given the shared tensions between divorced fellow CDC members Alan and Julia, and Alan's brother Peter, "this is gonna be the most frakked-up family reunion ever." The show is executive produced by Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore.
Heroes: The recappers at Television Without Pity believe that someone on the writing staff reads their website, because there have been a number of conspicuous Shout Outs to said website within the show. When the Haitian was introduced in a flashback, moments before, a character had said, "Is that a new sensation for you?" The TWOP nickname (as well as Jack Coleman's, who plays Mr Bennet) for the Haitian is "The Haitian Sensation". Repeated moans for Peter to cut his bangs were met with Sylar cutting them off in a very dramatic scene. This might be due to the fact that TWOP read more into scenes than is necessarily meant, but, it's not implausible, since the episodes in question were filmed during the first hiatus, and TWOP recaps for the first few episodes were already online.
Hiro is the center of Shout-Out-ness for Heroes, actually. Hiro tears up an issue of Action Comics #1 to make origami in one of the online comics. Kaito Nakamura's Limo had NCC 1701 as the license plate. That's the registration number of the Starship Enterprise. Kaito is played by George Takei, who also played Sulu. Hiro named a few X-Men issues in episode 1... though fans will point out he cited an issue number incorrectly.
Later, when he met Charlie, the waitress with eidetic memory, he mentioned that same issue, and she pointed out that he had the wrong issue number. The show's producers shouted out to the fans on that one.
He later corrects himself; Charlie wasn't his MJ, she was his Gwen Stacy.
When facing a group of swordsmen, Hiro shouted "Mudamudamudamuda!" as he used his powers to stop time (and take their weapons). This is a direct reference to Dio Brando from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure, who had the same power; the character Hiro is established as a fan of that series.
And after losing his memory he ends up in a comic book shop and is shocked at the recent developments in his favorites - all of which were actual Marvel plots at the time (the unmasking of Spider-Man, the death of Captain America, and the Red Hulk).
There are also other references to Marvel Comics creators; "Jessica" shoots FBI agents Quesada and Alonzo (EIC Joe Quesada and editor Axel Alonzo, respectively). And the time that Hiro's bus driver was played by Stan Lee.
Also a possible Shout-Out on the part of a character, The Invisible Man introduces himself as "Claude Rains", though it is later established that most people know him as Claude. It is unknown whether this is really his name. It gets better: "Claude" is played by Christopher Eccleston, and in his first episode he sarcastically exclaims, "Fantastic!" — a Shout-Out to his other notable television role.
The 4th episode of Season 3, "I Am Become Death," there's a subtle shout-out to Season 1: in yet another dystopian future, Sylar is an HRG-like father, and we first see him making waffles (a Running Gag) for his young son, Noah. During this scene, Sylar is wearing a blue apron that says "Hail To The Chef!", a play on words with "Hail To The Chief!", with the Presidential seal on it, and Sylar was the Commander-In-Chief the last time a character visited a bleak, dystopian future.
A season one episode had the Kensei sword being held in vault CRM 114 - a reference to Dr. Strangelove.
Highlander once had Geraint Wyn Davies as a guest star, during the time Wyn Davies was doing his Forever Knight series. His character in the episode had a girlfriend named Jeanette, likely a shout-out to Nick's girlfriend/vampire-sister Janette on FK.
Horrible Histories, among many others, had a segment on the Battle of Thermopylae which contained a few references to 300.
Identity had in its first episode a villain known to one of his victims as "Smith," a name he'd chosen for it being utterly generic. Later, the cops get a photo of the antagonist at age 16, and use some software to reconstruct a possible appearance for him at age 24; the picture bears a striking resemblance to HugoWeaving...
John Adams: John and Abigail Adams are anxiously awaiting some news in the final episode. John is pacing. Abigail, seated, remarks, "Oh, for God's sake, John, sit down", taken directly from the Broadway musical 1776, where John Adams is the lead character.
Wolf also named Detective Joe Fontana after his old friend Tom Fontana. Fontana previously executive produced Homicide Life On The Street, which was where SVU character John Munch first originated.
Also, one episode contains a movie shout-out, when Brisco and Green question a man they suspect is the killer of his female neighbor. The man declares that, despite not actually being at the scene of the crime, he saw the murder in his mind due to psychic ability. To this, Brisco responds by saying mockingly to Green, "he sees dead people".
The commentary for the Season 1 DVDs has a number of shoutouts to this wiki. Further, in the first season, the fact that the infiltrator's pseudonym is Ethan is almost certainly a shoutout to one of J.J. Abrams other works, Mission: Impossible (especially since the guy playing Ethan is Tom Cruise's cousin). Also, in the episode "Homecoming," during one of Charlie's flashbacks he meets a girl named Lucy, who talks about her father buying a paper company in Slough in a possible reference to The Office.
There are also numerous references to Star Wars, from an episode title ("Some Like It Hoth"), Sawyer using (and criticizing a guard for falling for) 'the Wookie prisoner trick' and nicknaming various people 'Han and Chewie', 'Jabba' and 'Yoda'.
Lost in Space, episode "The Space Pirate". The title character was a clear reference to Long John Silver in Treasure Island, specifically his becoming Will Smith's friend and the parrot resting on his shoulder.
The ornamental Celtic mask that is on the cover of the Winter King can be seen on Arthur's table in the background in the first series finale.
Which is in turn oddly similar to the helmet from Sutton Hoo.
Several episodes are named after famous Arthurian texts: "Le Morte d'Arthur" is named after Sir Thomas Malory's compilation of Arthurian tales, The Once and Future Queen is a play on T.H. White's The Once and Future King, The Coming of Arthur is the first chapter/poem in Tennyson's Idylls of the King (as well as a chapter title in Roger Lancelyn Green's more contemporary retelling of the legend) and The Wicked Day is a quote from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, as well as the title of the fourth book in Mary Stewart's Merlin series.
The goblin giving Arthur donkey ears (and braying) is reminiscent of Puck giving a donkey head to Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is also similar to something that happened to King Midas of Classical Mythology and in the book Pinocchio.
In "His Father's Son", two armies meet on the battlefield and each send out a champion, one of which is much larger than the other. Sounds a lot like the story of David and Goliath in The Bible.
Merlin being the one who puts Excalibur into the stone and afterwards orchestrates Arthur's retrieval of it is reminiscent of Discworld's commentary on the Sword In The Stone trope.
The show has a scene lifted straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark in which Prince Arthur is facing a warrior in a duel. Said warrior starts off with an elaborate sword-spinning display; Arthur simply punches him in the face.
The Middleman: Every episode features numerous pop-culture Shout Outs related to the specific danger of the week: ghosts, vampires, time travel, etc.
In one scene in Season 3, the Rangers (in their Ninja Ranger outfits rather than their Ranger suits) decide to go all Super Sentai, doing a team roll call (which IIRC they'd never done before - all previous uses of roll call footage had been adapted into either different speeches or Zord calling) followed up with a team pose - specifically, the signature pose of Dai Sentai Goggle Five (or earlier, Himitsu Sentai Goranger)!
One episode involved a Monster of the Week named Shellshock who was a turtle-creature. When he grew to giant size, he exclaimed, "Just wait until those teenage mutants find out what a full-grown turtle can do!" The reference couldn't have been more obvious.
In "A Chimp In Charge," as Finster attempts to transform a chimpanzee into the Sinister Simian, he asks "Don't you want to be a big gorilla like King... what's his name?"
"May the Power protect you." I know I've heard something like that somewhere before.
"Trick or Treat": Skull (dressed in a prisoner costume) has "24601" written on his chest.
As Rita Repulsa is being shrunk down by Zedd in "The Mutiny", she exclaims "I'm shrinking! What a planet!", a reference the Wicked Witch of the West's final words in The Wizard of Oz.
In "The Wedding", Finster is trying to return Rita to normal size with his machine. He eventually says "I've never turned itUp to Eleven before", and this setting restores Rita to her normal size.
Both Rita's voice and the voice and dialogue of the third-season monster Witchblade are shout-outs to the film version of the Wicked Witch of the West. Witchblade's dying words are "I'm falling, falling - what a world!"
Millennium had a pretty obvious shout out in giving its lead character the name Frank Black. It's unclear whether this is a shout out or just the obvious result of doing a web search in The '90s, but in the second episode of the series, Frank searches for the plot relevant term "Gehenna." Up above the plot relevant page? An Old World of Darkness fan site.
James Bond and his license to kill got a few mentions. Dr. Martin, who gets sacked in the very first episode, is nicknamed "007".
In one episode, the team try very hard to diagnose a patient. Clearly they are missing something. Dr. Ribodaux asks whether they should call House.
Monk: In the first episode, one of the first thing Adrian deduces about the killer is the brand of cigarettes the killer smoked. Like another detective who wrote a whole paper on distinguishing cigars from their ashes.
Monty Python's Flying Circus: Episode 15, the "Spanish Inquisition" sketch. The part where Cardinal Ximinez repeatedly orders the old lady to "Confess!" is very similar to the scene in The Prisoner episode "Fall Out" where the judge orders Number 48 to confess. They even both wear red robes.
And in Episode 8, two shop assistants in the "Buying a Bed" sketch (where a store employee puts a bag over his head when he hears the word 'mattress') are named Mr. Verity and Mr. Lambert, after Verity Lambert, the BBC producer who's best known as the first producer of Doctor Who.
Mr. Show: The episode "What to Think" contains a line from Jesus' Finale as a shoutout to Godspell.
MTV Flux, a short-lived UK Music-and-UGC TV channel, had a games programme on it named after the Konami Code — originally used in its entirety, the title was shortened to simply Up Up Down Down.
Murder, She Wrote: The character Harry McGraw is a hard-boiled Private Detective, who was introduced when his partner was killed investigating something for Jessica. In acknowledgement of where that plot point originated, the partner's name was Archie Miles, a reversal of Sam Spade's equally dead partner Miles Archer.
My Name Is Earl: In one episode, a character using the screenname "whojackie" was seen typing (and reading out loud) "No, I don't think shows should do more meta jokes that cater to the online bloggers and I'm sure everyone at Television Without Pity Dot Com agrees with me." To add another layer to the Shout-Out, a staff writer (possibly even Greg Garcia, the show's creator) posted that same message to Television Without Pity's message board for the show (along with a comment about how he always talks out loud while typing) shortly before the episode aired. To add another layer, the same person posted previously about his fears that his Murphy bed would close up on him and kill him, which is what happened to the character in the show. To add yet another layer to it, several posts were made by "whojackie" after the episode aired, in the character of Joy, who had stolen whojackie's computer. Posters to the forum could even email Joy, and she'd respond — in character!
The Nanny: In the pilot episode, Fran says to Brighton, "You're a bitter little person, aren't you?" It's word for word what Diane said to Carla on the pilot of Cheers.
Nash Bridges: In one episode guest-starring Jan-Michael Vincent of Airwolf fame, Don Johnson mentions his yellow convertible belonged to his brother who was MIA in Vietnam. Airwolf was stolen by Jan-Michael Vincent in order to force the government to return his brother, MIA in Vietnam.
New Tricks: The episode "Parts of a Whole" named various characters after comic book creators: the murder victim was named Simon Bisley and other characters included Dillon (as in Steve), Hitch (as in Bryan) and Rucka (as in Greg), as well as Jane Ross (a subtle reference to Jane Goldman, married to Jonathan Ross). There was also a character named Fisk, after Daredevil's nemesis, and a company called Ellis-Finch after Warren Ellis and David Finch.
No Heroics is laden with shout-outs both subtle and obvious to the entire history of comic books. For example: Timebomb is a parody of the Nineties Anti-Hero. Every sign in the show's superteam headquarters is written in the original Captain America font from the 1940s. The alcoholic beverages drunk by the characters include Gin City, Logan's Rum, and Green Lamp Ale. The show's creator, Drew Pearce, is a comic book fan and claims there are hundreds of other shout-outs worked into the program.
NUMB3RS: The Slobbering David Krumholtz Groupies, a fanclub devoted to the star David Krumholtz, received a shoutout in one episode when a company called "SDKG Electronics" was mentioned.
At the end of another episode, Judd Hirsch sits down in his chair and turns the television on, apparently (to judge from the theme music that plays) to watch an episode of Taxi.
Bill Nye sometimes appears in NUMB3RS to give a science demonstration — just like the ones he used to do on his classic children's educational program — to help the main characters solve the case.
The Office (US): In one episode, Dwight grills Ryan about the purpose of Lost's Dharma Initiative, and a week later, a couple on a marijuana farm in a Lost flashback, are called Michael and Jan, presumably after the couple on The Office
In "Boys and Girls" when the office workers meet the warehouse workers, Dwight says, "Remember on Lost when they met the Others?"
How can you forget Dwight being hailed as a hero for saving Jim from Roy and then having his weapons confiscated by Toby?
Dwight: I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. [shot of Toby confiscating all of Dwight's weapons] You know who is a real hero? Hiro, from Heroes. That's a hero. Also, Bono.
"No, don't call me a hero. Do you know who the real heroes are? The guys who wake up every morning, and go into their normal jobs and get a distress call from the commissioner, and take off their glasses and change into capes and fly around fighting crime."
Only Fools and Horses: Rodney's dream at the beginning of "Heroes and Villains" is in part a send-up of "Cold Lazarus", which had aired earlier that year. The endless references made to The Omen with Damien also qualify.
In Orphan Black, Felix's first encounter with female-to-male transgender clone Tony Sawicki prompts him to mutter "Holy Tilda Swinton..."
Raising Hope has a Shout-Out to executive producer/creator Greg Garcia's previous show, My Name Is Earl, in its pilot episode, with a TV anchor introducing a lighter news story about "A small-time hood who vowed to turn his life around. You'll never guess how it ended."
Red Dwarf: The episode "Queeg" has two references to classic mutinies (one fictional, one real but fictionalised). The title and name of the backup computer come from Commander Queeg, the tyrannical commander in The Caine Mutiny, and when he takes over the ship, Holly says "This is mutiny, Mr Queeg! I'll see you hang from the highest yardarm in Titan Docking Port for this day's work!", which pastiches a line from Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty. In addition, when Holly glides up the corridor to challenge Queeg, the background music is "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" in reference to High Noon, and when he's "deleted" he sings "I'll Say Goodbye To Love", which gradually gets slower and slower, just like "A Bicycle Built For Two" in Two Thousand One A Space Odyssey (speaking of which, it's no coincidence that Holly is often referred to as "Hol").
The Red Green Show: In his first appearance, Graham Greene had a Shout Out to Dances with Wolves, that led him to be nominated for an Oscar. Giving his opinion of the film, Greene's character stated that "the Native guy was okay, should have got the Oscar," referring to the role Greene had played.
La Reina Del Sur, a Mexican soap opera about a poor girl who becomes the biggest drug trafficker in Mexico, hides a subtle shout out in the first episode; in the scene where Brenda and El Chino are discussing, a radio is playing Negro y Azul, a. k. a. Heisenberg's villain song. Even better, you can clearly hear the part about "the color is blue and the quality pure". Truly awesome.
Sanctuary: In episode 8, "Edward", the titular Edward has a sheaf of drawings of monsters. The team flip through it, and after three or four generic monsters there's a drawing of an Unas, which also appears pinned up on a wall a little later. Amanda Tapping starred in both Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, and has the lead role in Sanctuary.
Saving Hope: The second episode has a small boy by the name of Cal. That might just be short for Calvin if it weren't for the fact that the lead character is player by a former Lois Lane.
Seinfeld and Blossom weirdly both did frequent mutual Shout Outs to each other. Suddenly that explains a lot about Elaine's wardrobe in the early seasons...
Seven Days: The episode "Déjà Vu All Over Again" has been inspired by the German movie Run Lola Run: Frank ends up reliving several minutes of his life until he does his mission right. And what's the name of the psychologist who visited the facility to study what influence the time travel has on him? Dr. Lola Manson.
Jonathan Kent (played by John Schneider) is heard playing the theme to The Dukes of Hazzard in his car. In one episode, Tom Wopat (who played the other Duke cousin) shows up as an old friend of Jonathan. Thanks to a stuck door Jack (Wopat) has to get in his car (a Dodge Charger!) through the window.
Chloe and Lois get a few per episode. There is also an occasional shout out to Clark's later career and eventual marriage.
In an episode where Lana joins a sorority of krypto-made vampires, Clark and Professor Fine (James Marsters) have this exchange:
Clark: This is gonna sound crazy, but she was bitten by.. a vampire.
Prof. Fine: There's no such thing as vampires.
The lead vampire in that episode is a blonde valley-girl named Buffy Saunders.
A subtle cross DC/Marvel example. In a season 9 episode, when Chloe and Clark are searching for Ollie after he'd been kidnapped, they use a computer generated map of the world that shows where all the Kandorians are and in the process, ending up looking like a suspiciously similar version of Cerebro
Sports Night by Aaron Sorkin has a fairly subtle one. When the Executive Meddling starts in season two, the execs suggest that Dan and Casey write their show "more like Keith and Kenny" or "Craig". The present tense suggests that in the Sorkin universe, Keith never left SportsCenter - maybe, if he's hosting with Kenny Mayne, Dan Patrick left instead?
Stargate Atlantis: Carson Beckett commented at one point that he felt like "a dog's breakfast", the title of an independent film made by Paul MacGillion (Beckett) and David Hewlett (Rodney McKay).
An On Deck episode features an IMVU-like game, and in that game is an old-timey video arcade. One of the machines visible in the background of said arcade is running Cave Story, with Quote clearly visible. Evidently, someone on the team was a fan...
Later on in On Deck, we get an episode called... Snakes on a Boat. And, even though it's partly censored, Moseby quotes THAT line WORD FOR WORD, except for, obviously, plane.
Taiyou ni Hoero (Bark at the Sun) is a Japanese Seventies Cop Show and an extremely popular source of Shout Outs in Japanese TV. It's probably easier to list the drama, comedy and variety series that have not referred to Taiyou's characters, clothes, hairstyles, or music.
Olly: (trying to rewrite a speech in an hour) "It's The West Wing!"
Nicola: "You're not Josh, Olly, just write the fucking speech."
...though the best example of this trope is probably among Hugh's nicknames for Malcolm's 8.30am press briefings. "The Lair Of The White Worm" is also the name of a dodgy low-budget horror film Peter Capaldi appeared in long before he played Malcolm Tucker.
In the episode "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", James Marsters, Spike of Buffy and Angel fame, shows up as Captain John Hart, Captain Jack Harkness's Evil Counterpart, and essentially plays Spike to Jack's Angel. When Jack introduces him to the Torchwood 3 team, he asks if they have a team name, and then after Jack says, "Torchwood!", he says, "What, not Excalibur? Alright, Torchwood." This is a Shout-Out to a fifth season episode of Angel where Spike asks Angel if he and his gang have a name.
He also thinks there should be a blonde.
Also, a few minutes after that scene, back in the Torchwood hub, Gwen asks if she should call him "John" or "Captain", and Captain John smoothly replies, "Love, with eyes like yours, you can call me Vera;" a Shout-Out to another cult hit created by Joss Whedon.
Also a shout-out to Torchwood itself, as 'Excalibur' was the original name under which Russell T Davies developed the series idea.
Also in Captain John's appearance, after clearing out a bar through weapons intimidation and drinking his way through the alcohol lineup, he says, "Bored now." a la Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In the later episode "Dead Man Walking," an alien being seeking to enter the world through Owen's animated corpse speaks a phrase in an alien language, over and over. This phrase is eventually translated as "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger shall know no bounds." However, the actual words are "Melenkurion abatha, duroc minas mill khabaal"—the seven words of Earthpower used in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
The Torchwood novel Bay of the Dead contains a Shout-Out to Shaun of the Dead:
Ianto: It's crazy, Jack. It's horror-movie hokum. You know it is.
Jack: And you know what we're up against here, don't you?
Ianto: No, I don't. Don't say it, Jack. Don't use the-
Ianto: -zed word.
There are shout outs to other series and mediums, such as in the Torchwood Online Mission game...
Gwen: Oh my god. Ianto, do you realise everything just got broadcast right across Cardiff?
The name of FBI Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) references the infamous DB Cooper who disappeared after parachuting from the plane he hijacked in 1971.
Sheriff Harry S Truman rather obviously references the United States Presidentof the same name, complete with a stuffed deer head in his office labelled "The Buck Stopped Here" in reference to the famous sign on President Truman's desk. He also allegedly references Harry R. Truman, an 83-year-old resident of the slopes of Mount St. Helens who refused to evacuate and was killed when that volcano erupted in 1980.
Dr. Jacoby is based on late ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna; the two have a striking similarity in appearance and style of dress, and share a connection to Hawaii. Jacoby's mushroom-shaped lamp references McKenna's theories on the role psychedelic mushrooms played in the evolution of man and culture.
Madeleine Ferguson (Sheryl Lee) is named for two characters from the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo — Kim Novak's Madeleine Elster and Jimmy Stewart's John Ferguson. Furthermore, Kim Novak plays two roles in this film, a blonde and a brunette, just as Sheryl Lee does in Twin Peaks (Laura Palmer and Madeleine).
David Lynch has acknowledged that the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard is a major influence on his work. In the case of Twin Peaks, the name of Lynch's own character, FBI supervisor Gordon Cole, came from a minor character in that film.
The insurance agent who comes to see Catherine is named Walter Neff, after the crooked insurance agent played by Fred MacMurray in 1944's Double Indemnity.
The pattern of tiling on the floor of the Black Lodge is the same as the lobby of Henry's house in Lynch's 1977 film Eraserhead.
Veronica Mars: The writers and stars were fans of Television Without Pity and in one episode the set dressing department included a TWoP shout-out in the form of an activity flyer on a student bulletin board advertising a meeting of the Teenage Women of Propriety. (TWoP later returned the shout-out, making a Teenage Women of Propriety T-shirt available from their line of TV shout-out merchandise.)
Vintergatan 5A (Milky Way 5A), a Swedish children's series, ends with Alien revealing that he has been possessing Mira's fish Zoogin for the entire journey. He then leaves, still in the fish, "So long... and thanks for all the fish" being his last words.
Pops comes out of the bathroom at his diner and tells the boys to not use it for at least 35 to 45 minutes. This is a line from the movie Friday, which John Witherspoon (Pops) says the same thing to Ice Cube.
Dee gets mixed up with some unscrupulous guy and Pops and the Brothers rescue her. At the end of the episode, she says that she will be more careful next time, and they respond with a loud "Amen". This is in reference to the 80's sitcom of the same name that she starred in.
The best example is the episode "Unspoken Token" where Shawn dreams that he is on an episode of Good Times. He plays JJ, Marlon is Michael, Pops is James, and Dee is Florida. Willona, Thelma, and Bookman appear and they reprise their characters. They add elements from the show (James throwing the chair, Florida saying Damn, Damn, Damn, Michael being a revolutionary, Thelma's non-cooking skills, etc) while parodying the same episode were JJ is invited to attend a prestigious art school because they needed to enroll a black person in order to keep their government funding.
White Collar: In the episode "Brass Tacks", one plotline involves Jones and Mozzie going to see a man called "The Keymaster". Jones makes a reference to the Keymaker from The Matrix series. On top of that, when the Keymaster appears, he's played by Peter Scolari who is known for being The Other Darrin to Rick Moranis who played the Keymaster in Ghostbusters
Who Wants to Be a Superhero?: The Defuser, one of the contestants in the second season, is also an avid City of Heroes player. At his request, one episode depicted him flying through a giant donut on top of a donut shop, in a reference to a similar structure in the New Overbrook (aka Faultline) zone which is the site of an exploration badge that can only be gotten by going through the hole.
Wild Palms: As a Shout Out to Animal Crackers, the song "Hello, I Must Be Going" became a theme in Oliver Stone's miniseries. It was also the title of the final episode, and sung by villain Senator Kreutzer (Robert Loggia) as he died.
Wings: Many of the episode titles are paraphrases of film titles, common sayings, or song lyrics. Also, the opening and endings of "Joe Blows" are similar to Sunset Boulevard.
The Wire similarly features characters from Homicide and the book from which it is based.
Without a Trace: In one episode, there's a mention of Hudson University—the campus where students are regularly murdered on Law & Order. Hudson University predates Law & Order — it was the college attended by Dick Grayson.
"For Him the Bell Tolls" when Aphrodite enchants Joxer to become a debonair swordsman at the ring of a bell, frequently, because the episode had many bells. Shout out to The Court Jester, in which the same happens to Hawkins, except with the snap of a finger.
In the episode "The Play's the Thing" a play is going disastrously and someone walks out declaring they've heard the play next door is much better. The play is called 'Buffus the Bacchae Slayer'. Possibly an acknowledgment of Buffy's shout out in "Halloween" where Willow wails about Buffy "What? She couldn't have dressed up asXena?"
Russell T Davies, showrunner on Doctor Who, had previously worked references to the classic series into his other contemporary drama series; Vince in Queer as Folk is a massive fan and gets a genuine K9 for his birthday, and a minor character in Mine All Mine says that her father named her after the Second Doctor's companion Zoe.