- An episode early in the series brings us aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise—which just happens to be the closest ship when something goes wrong.
- Several to other Donald P. Bellisario shows:
- Tony uses the alias "Stringfellow Hawke" at one point; also, Caitlin Todd's first name is the same as an Airwolf character.
- In one episode the team finds a massive collection of lunchboxes in a murdered officer's bedroom, which included Airwolf, and Magnum, P.I.-themed boxes, and presumably other Bellisario creations. And when Tony must provide an alibi for his evening, he says he was home watching Magnum PI, and describes the specific episode.
- Yet another crops up when searching a suspect's house in one episode, and Tony finds, among a full collection of Hawaiian shirts, a red one he claims to be an official Magnum PI shirt.
- "Hiatus part 1" has Tony at one point say, "I have a better chance of hooking up with Jessica Alba than these guys do of infiltrating Sealift." Michael Weatherly, the actor who plays Tony, costarred with Jessica Alba in Dark Angel, and was engaged to her.
- Gibbs shares a middle name (Jethro) with Admiral Chegwidden from NCIS' parent series, JAG.
- In the second episode (not counting the JAG-crossover Pilot), Gibbs talks to Lieutenant Bud Roberts from JAG, though some may claim this to be more of a Continuity Nod.
- And retired Admiral Chegwidden appears in the season ten finale as an attorney hired by Director Vance to represent Gibbs.
- The first episode is one big shout-out to Air Force One, right down to reusing the sets and Gibbs specifically mentioning the movie by name and reasoning that not only would the weapons be stored in the same place as they were in the movie, but that the terrorists would infiltrate by a similar manner.
- One episode's supporting characters are a huge Shout-Out to G.I. Joe. There's FBI agent Courtney Krieger (Cover Girl), as well as Carl Greer (Doc), Shannon O'Hara (Scarlett), Marvin Hinton (Roadblock) alias Frederick LeClair (Recondo), Robert Graves (Grunt), George Barny (Grand Slam), and Blaine Parker (Mainframe).
- Amusingly, in one episode, McGee stepped into the victim's computer hideout and exclaimed "this is like the TARDIS!"
- Actually, far too many to list, as Tony is almost guaranteed to make at least one TV or movie reference every episode.
Ziva:What happened? We have been avoiding mentioning the Fugitive for days
- Normally, the team is not familiar with most of Tony's movie references. However, when he loops a video feed to save a room of hostages, everyone calls him out afterwards when he tries to take credit, knowing which movie he stole the tactic from.
- Arguably, the joke here is that Tony had forgotten the film-inspired origins of his idea and is actually convinced he thought it up himself. Look at his expression! (Unless Anthony DiNozzo is a better actor than, say, Michael Weatherly...) Of course, none of the rest of the team believe him for a moment.
- In the second episode of season 4 "Escaped" Ziva and McGee go to extreme lengths to avoid the word "fugitive" to keep Tony from connecting the situation to The Fugitive. Tony eventually comes to the connection on his own and monologues his own foolishness while Ziva and McGee whisper to the side:
McGee:He figured it out for himself.
- In the very early episodes, Gibbs is the one who is movie savvy.
- In the ninth season episode "Enemy on the Hill", the name "George Kaplan" emerges during a murder case involving money laundering, prompting Tony to comment, "That sounds familiar." Later, when "George Kaplan" turns out to be an alias used by the real killer, Tony says, "I must be slipping" when he remembers the name as the non-existent CIA agent from Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest.
- One Halloween episode has the team being mistaken for lousy CSI cosplayers.
- In "Secrets," one of the neighbourhood-vigilante superheros being interrogated exclaims "Why on Earth 616 would I kill a fellow superhero!?"
- When Tony refers to assistant coroner Palmer as "the autopsy gremlin", Gibbs' response is telling Tony to not get him wet.
- After a tech developer insults McGee by assuming he's into dwebby role playing games, McGee's responses is: "Until I took an arrow in the knee." The tech developer apparently doesn't get the joke.
- "Ravenous" from Season 3 seems to be nothing but a series of Shout Outs to Pulp Fiction. Abby's subplot in the episode is a smaller-scale Shout Out to Sixteen Candles, complete with Lampshade Hanging.
- In season 6 "Dead Reckoning", Abby is wearing a pendant that looks a lot like Sackboy.
- In a flashback, one of little Abby's toys is Kuroneko◊.
- In one episode, Abby plays a game that is very apparently Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven at McGee's home.
- In one episode, Tony mentions The Dread Pirate Roberts when voicing his theory that a famous criminal is actually a Legacy Character.
- It could just be my imagination but the background music for "Better Angels" sounds a lot like "The Force Theme". It might have something to do with the good man from an evil empire who needs to know he's still a good man despite what he did during the war. Also based on a true story.
- One episode has Tony referencing Aliens, complete with imitating the movie's namesakes signature scream. Cut to Ducky dissecting a small animal under a magnifying glass in a shot almost mirroring Bishop dissecting the facehugger in Aliens.
- This exchange:
Kate: Gibbs, what did Ducky look like when he was younger?Gibbs: (beat) Illya Kuryakin. (David McCallum's role from The Man From Uncle)
- Elle's obsession with capturing the terrorist Parsa is an obvious shout-out to Agent Maya's obsession with Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, though unlike the film/real life Elle isn't a Fiery Redhead, she's met Parsa in person and has some kind of "personal" relationship with him (one of them even knows what the others favorite health bar is), Parsa is captured alive but gets shot by Elle after he attacks her.
- "Obsession" is almost a Whole Plot Reference to Laura, but since the title refers to Tony, it falls to Ziva to point out the parallel.
- In the seventh season premiere, Tony notes that it would be "easier to find a new drummer for Spinal Tap" than it would be replace Ziva
- In "Judgement Day", Gibbs is given an FBI file. Its number? 8675309.
- Several from past Ducky in "So It Goes":
- The Season 12 episode The San Dominick has the Kobayashi Maru referenced by McGee as to a training exercise Bishop fails. Falls into Brick Joke territory when it comes up again and Bishop decides to query Gibbs (supposedly the only person to succeed on said exercise) on whether he did it the same way Kirk did. The others remind her that she is essentially going to accuse Gibbs of cheating on an official exercise...
- "We Build, We Fight" has three references to Breaking Bad, including a reference to an actor who's on both shows (Badger/Dorneget is mentioned but not seen) and "inverted" drugs (Breaking Bad's drugs are blue crystals while this episode's drug is a pink liquid).
- There's also an odd moment where Tony does not know a pop culture reference — he has no idea who or what "Locky" the German shepherd is named after (the dog wasn't the killer nor was the killer delusional and believed the dog told them to kill people). Interestingly no one cites the recent films — Mcgee cites Norse Mythology while Ellie refers to the comics; since we don't meet Loki's owner they're all possible sources.
- The crossover with NCISNOLA has Tony and McGee simultaneously say they're talking about Star Wars to hide what they're really discussing Tony's breakup and Ellie's divorce; coincidentally, Abby is certain that her brother Luca isn't dead because "her family is strong with the Force" and later expresses frustration that while they both want to see the good in people she "acknowledges there's a Dark Side" and he does not, which she thinks makes him an easy target for con-artists. As for other Disney properties (and ones that were discarded), Luca's crush is a beautiful redheaded woman who claims to have a Dark and Troubled Past who turns out to be a dangerous Russian spy who is actually a good guy and tired of being used as a "tool".
Shout Out / NCIS
NCIS has so many shout outs we had to give them their own page. Many are courtesy of Tony's habit of quoting movies.