The eighth novel of The Dresden Files
finds even the monsters
getting in on the Shout-Out
game, as a plague of fear-eating fae shapechangers assault a horror-movie convention. But with black magic afoot in Chicago, the creatures are after more than just mortals' terror, and Harry may find his own Council just as dangerous as any splatter-flick scaremonger:
- Harry creates a whirlwind the same way as The Mighty Thor.
- Another attack by the fetches, Harry fears, would make the previous ones look like a game of Candyland.
- Talking to Father Forthill, Harry quotes The Blues Brothers.
- Having to crawl out the Blue Beetle's window after it's run off the road spurs Harry to reference The Dukes of Hazzard to Murphy and himself.
- The phobophages mostly take on the role of generic horror movie monsters. One, however, is quite obviously the Xenomorph from Alien. Others are Captain Ersatzes of Jason, Chucky, and Pumpkinhead.
- The Suburban Slasher film series, featuring the Reaper, are a very thinly-disguised lawyer-friendly version of the Friday the 13th film franchise, complete with hockey mask, ten sequels, and Death by Sex.
- Fighting the Xenomorph, Harry quotes Aliens repeatedly:
Get away from her, you bitch
Is this gonna be a standup fight or just another bug hunt?
It's the only way to be sure.
- Harry avoids mentioning his Little Chicago project because having a scale model of the city in his basement "projects a little too much of that evil, Lex Luthor vibe."
- Murphy's ex, Rick the FBI agent, wears a tie with Marvin The Martian's picture on it.
- Harry realizes there's another problem on the horizon, but figures he can burn that bridge when he comes to it.
- A pleading phone call from Nelson forces Harry to weigh The Cold Equations of survival, in choosing whether to go help Molly's boyfriend or remain at the convention. As in the short story, the needs of the many attendees outweigh Nelson's solitary dilemma justifiably in this case, as the young man's fears are a product of his psyche being tampered with, not an external threat.
- Molly asks Harry if there's mud on her boots, and he points out that it hardly matters considering she'd dressed like Frankenhooker.
- When Michael reacts to how she's dressed, Harry paraphrases Jesus:
"Let he who hath never stonewashed his jeans cast the first stone."
- Deliberately invoked by Harry wielding Summer-Fire against a Scarecrow-like Fetch:
- Explaining warlocks to Murphy, Harry says their first breach of the Laws of Magic is usually trying the Jedi mind trick.
- Meeting director Darby Crane inevitably brings up a couple of Darby O'Gill and the Little People references.
- Murphy mentions Dumbo's Magic Feather while discussing magic with Harry.
- Harry says he'd prefer a Roger Corman flick to Darby Crane's Harvest films.
- The tiny drug-hungry mouths Harry's Sight reveals on Rosie's arms are a visual Shout-Out to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, in which ex-junkie Taryn's arms developed similar orifices when Freddy confronted her.
- Rawlins insists anyone sneaking past him without him noticing would have to be a Jedi Knight or something.
- Harry himself gets to pull the mind-trick on Detective Greene, complete with lines paraphrased from Obi-Wan. (He doesn't break the Fourth Law to do it, because Greene just had his bell rung and is suggestible enough for it to work without any magic.)
- Molly's littlest sister Hope is nicknamed "Hobbit".
- As a group, Molly still calls her young siblings "Jawas".
- Detective Greene, according to Harry, is the sort of skeptic who watches Nova and subscribes to National Geographic.
- Harry doubts that Mab could be acting erratic as Lily claims, citing how Shakespeare called her "constant as the northern star".
- He quotes Shakespeare directly to the Scarecrow, but it either doesn't recognize or doesn't appreciate the reference.
- He also "cries havoc", a la Julius Ceasar, while blasting the Xenomorph-phobophage.
- Harry and Thomas exchange The Six Million Dollar Man references.
- Lydia Stern wears a Queensr˙che T-shirt.
- Loading up with equipment, Harry lists the things he's bringing and tops it off with a partridge in a pear tree.
- Harry is unpleasantly reminded of Rudyard Kipling's "The Female Of The Species" when Charity sees Molly come out of Harry's hotel bathroom, freshly showered.
- The strain of holding his detection-web in place for hours makes Harry so weary that his hotel room feels like a toned-down M. C. Escher painting.
- Harry apparently practiced "House of the Rising Sun" on his guitar enough to make Thomas want to kill him.
- Asked if he's ever heard about yogis, Rawlins remembers Yogi Berra and Yogi Bear.
- Thomas mocks Madrigal in his best Snidely Whiplash villain voice.
- Mouse may not be a dog, but he'll do anything for a Scooby Snack.
- Looking up from Little Chicago, Harry sees his own body looming over the miniature city like Godzilla.
- "Go team Dresden/Murphy!"
- A rather stunned Harry calls Charity "John Henry" after seeing her arm up with ballistic armor, chain mail, helmet, broadsword, chain gloves and a massive war hammer.
- Busting into the fetch-occupied movie theater, Harry announces: "And I'm all outta bubble gum!"
- Harry calls Molly "Magellan" after she admits having "explored" sexually.
- Arctis Tor is like the Tower of London, the Fortress of Solitude, Fort Knox and Alcatraz combined.
- Finding that somebody else already attacked the place, Harry and Murphy trade "Three Little Pigs" references.
- Harry agrees with Fix that the White Council is conducting its war too defensively, saying that Clausewitz would feel the same about it.
- "Curiouser and curiouser..."
- Faced with an awkward social encounter, Harry longs to conjure a hole, hide inside, and pull it in after himself, like Bugs Bunny. He quotes Bugs's "left turn at Albequerque" Catch Phrase.
- Molly cites the The Parable of the Talents to Charity. Harry cites Stan Lee and Spider-Man as a more concise way of saying the same thing.
- Harry jokes with Michael that maybe he should stick Fidelacchius in a big rock and leave it on the White House lawn.
- Discussing the Black Council with Ebenezar, Harry quips that it's a better name for the unseen troublemakers who've been stirring up problems since the series began than the Legion of Doom.
- Darby Crane, Madrigal Raith's horror movie director-persona, feeds on fear. Sounds like a reference to Batman's Scarecrow, Jonathan Crane, who specializes in evoking and manipulating fear in people.