Shout Out / RWBY

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  • Trailers
    • The Red Trailer: The cliffside altar Ruby visits is engraved with the epitaph "Summer Rose / Thus kindly I scatter." This is from The Last Rose of Summer by Thomas Moore.
    • The Black Trailer: Adam's weapon and combat style are based off Kagura Tsuchimiya from Ga-Rei -Zero-.
    • The Yellow Trailer:
      • Yang basically goes Super Saiyan-esque when she gets serious. "I Burn Remix" has her saying "and Super Saiyan now" in terms of her strength. The soundtrack also makes direct references to The Human Torch and Johnny Blaze aka Ghostrider.
      • Melanie uses Ling Xiaoyu's kicks which also used by Tifa in Dead Fantasy, this because Monty said he reused some moves he did previously in Dead Fantasy, but with different angle of camera to make them look new or different. She also uses the Flamingo stance parry and kicks used by Sarah Bryant in Virtua Fighter 5. Right after that Yang uses one of Lion's throws from 5 against her.
      • Yang picks a fight with a slightly Yakuza-esque gang wielding axes. In addition, the way they go flying when she engages them resembles another Axe Gang. There are numerous shout outs to the House of Blue Leaves battle from Kill Bill. (Which was also a reference to The Axe Gang.)

  • Team RWBY's themes are mostly Fairytale Motif references, but Shout Out references also exist.
    • Yang's full name is Yang Xiao Long, a reference to Bruce Lee, whose Chinese screen name was "Li Xiaolong".
    • Blake's "Intruder" costume is based on one the outfits worn by Yuri of Girls' Generation in the music video for "The Boys".
    • Weiss casts Haste from Final Fantasy on Blake and later herself, using the same visual effect (a clock appearing under her feet with rapidly spinning hands) from Monty's old work, Dead Fantasy.
    • Yang and Ruby have a corgi named "Zwei" which is German for "Two". In Cowboy Bebop, there is a corgi named Ein(s), which is German for "One".
  • Team JNPR's theme is confirmed to be based on famous historical or mythical people who disguised themselves as a member of the opposite gender.
    • Jaune Arc is inspired by Jeanne D'Arc, who did disguise herself as a man for a while. He is believed to have an instinct for leadership and tactics and comes from an unassuming background. The bullies that target him during the Jaundice arc are led by Cardin Winchester. Joan of Arc's interrogator was the Cardinal of Winchester, Henry Beaufort.
    • Nora Valkyrie is inspired by the legend of Thor, who once disguised himself as a woman in order to get close enough to the man who stole his famous weapon.
    • Pyrrha Nikos is inspired by the legend of Achilles, who once disguised himself as a woman called Pyrrha. Nikos comes from Nike the Greek Goddess of Victory, and when she unlocks Jaune's Aura, the words she speak come from Greek philosophy. When she confronts the giant Death Stalker, her lunging spear stabs are based on Achilles's signature move from Troy.
    • Ren is inspired by Hua Mulan who famously disguised herself as a man so that she could protect her father's honour when conscription demands men send their sons to war.
  • Team SSSN is inspired in design by both Journey to the West and K-Pop bands.
    • Sun Wukong is named after the Monkey King and wields a staff. Sun's semblance creates clones that are the same colour as his hair; the Monkey King was able to create clones out of his hair.
    • Neptune Vasalias's appearance is inspired by T.O.P of Big Bang. His power recalls the trident of the God of the Sea, Neptune, but also Zhu Bajie. King Neptune was a famous pig, a WW2 Navy mascot that raised huge funds for the US Navy; the Monkey King's companion, Zhu Bajie, is an anthropomorphic pig whose power is affected by water.
    • The writers have stated in livestream interviews that Sage is inspired by Aesop, though they claim that they cannot remember whether it was one of his Fables or Aesop himself.
    • Scarlet is stated to be based on Peter Pan. Specifically, his name stems from the second novel in the series, called "Peter Pan In Scarlet".

    Volume 1 
  • Volume 1, Episode 1:
    • The store that Torchwick and his goons attempt to rob is named "From Dust Till Dawn".
    • Ruby's line, "Oh, that's my uncle!", is a shout out to the Rooster Teeth podcast, where Burnie once used that line to summarize his problems with Japanese-style storytelling.
  • Volume 1, Episode 3:
  • Volume 1, Episode 4:
    • Yang's sunglasses in episode 4 are a homage to Top Gun.
  • Volume 1, Episode 5:
    • When Ruby is considering potential partners, the art style of her thought bubble uses Rooster Teeth's Animated Adventures style.
  • Volume 1, Episode 8:
  • Volume 1, Episode 9:
    • Yang has an 'Achieve Men' Poster, which is a cartoon version of the Achievement Hunter Boy Band Poster.
    • Ruby, Yang, and Blake's cheer of 'Banzai!' and a lean to one side in the room-reorganizing sequence is a reference to Fuu, Mugen and Jin using the same phrase and lean in Samurai Champloo
    • During the Grim lecture, a boy shouts 'EEEEEEEEYYYYYYY YEAHHHH!' (Voiced by Kerry, no less) after a catch phrase shared by the members of the Internet Box.
    • A music piece during Professor Port's lecture is a reference to the opera, Peter and the Wolf.
    • In a nod to the different roles Professor Port's voice actor has played, Port refers to all creatures as prey.
  • Volume 1, Episode 16:
    • Penny's fighting style is pulled straight from BlazBlue.

    Volume 2 
  • Volume 2, Chapter 1:
    • During her speech, Ruby quotes Abraham Lincoln's "4 Score and Seven Years" and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream". When Weiss accuses her of stealing her binder, she uses Richard Nixon's "I'm not a crook" peace sign.
    • Tukson can be heard humming the opening notes of Blood Gulch Blues from Red vs. Blue, and Mercury and Emerald try to figure out what kind of Faunus Tukson was. They conclude "A puma?" in another Red vs. Blue reference.
    • Mercury walking out of Tukson's shop with an X-Ray & Vav comic. Jaune also reads the same comic in episode 2.
    • People Like Grapes Soda machines appear during the food fight.
    • Other food products include "Dr. Piper" (likely a reference to Dr. Pepper, as well as a likely reference to Peter Piper), "Ol' King Cold" (a reference to Old King Cole), and a milk carton called "Udder Satisfaction."
    • Nora calling "Off with their heads!" as per Alice in Wonderland, after shouting "I'm queen of the castle!" moments before.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 2: Yang uses the Yu-Gi-Oh! memetic line "You just activated my trap card!" after prefacing the reveal with "Pretty sneaky, sis!" as per the old Connect Four commercial. She and Ruby discuss the trap card in a similar manner to when luck-based cards are activated in the anime: the activator explains what the good effect does, the opponent clarifies what the bad effect is, and the good effect then occurs.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 3: Jaune asks Weiss if she would like to see a new Spruce Willis movie with him. This is a reference to the real-world Bruce Willis, who is known for his several action-genre movies, modified to fit the show's color theme naming (spruce is a shade of green).
  • Volume 2, Chapter 4:
    • Ruby calls out attack patterns by using various internet shipping names like "Freezer Burn" (Weiss/Yang), "Ladybug" (Ruby/Blake) and "Bumblebee" (Blake/Yang) to denote which pair to attack. Curiously, instead of their more common shipping names "White Rose" and "Monochrome", Ruby/Weiss became "Ice Flower" and Weiss/Blake became "Checkmate" respectively. At least with the latter's change, it ties into the Chess Motifs found in the series.
    • The Team RWBY combo attacks were all basically some form of dual tech, a system used in Chrono Trigger. Ladybug (Ruby/Blake) begin their attack with Eiji "Edge" Yamada's Team Up Super, ending the combo with an X-cut straight out of Chrono Trigger. The combo attacks were also inspired by the dwarves battling in The Hobbit.
    • While team RWBY is fighting Roman, Neptune and Sun are at A Simple Wok, a noodle shop named after Kerry and Chris' A Simple Walk into Mordor.
    • While piloting the Atlesian Paladion, the scene would often cut to a closeup of Torchwick's face in a black space with glowing HUD around him, all similar to the technique used in the Iron Man series.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 6: Ren uses Samurai Shampoo, which is a play on the show Samurai Champloo.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 7:
  • Volume 2, Chapter 11:
    • The title of the episode is "No Brakes", in reference to the Achievement Hunter phrase "No brakes on the Fuck Train", used to denote a killstreak or other string of gaming successes.
    • It was certainly no accident that Oobleck said they had to detach the Caboose, which is a shout out to Red vs. Blue. He even adds that "It will kill us all", in reference to Caboose's habit of accidentally killing those on his own team.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 12:
    • Ruby attacks the pack of Beowolves in "Breach" the exact same way Neo attacked the Agent Smith clones in The Matrix Reloaded.
    • Coco's weapon, a purse that transforms into a Gatling gun, is familiar to those who have played Devil May Cry 4 as the Pandora.
    • One of the lyrics in the song played when Team CFVY shows up in "Breach" is "I'm the highway star" from Deep Purple.

    Volume 3 
  • Volume 3, Chapter 1:
    • The way Blake takes out Reese (by using her semblance as bait and attacking from behind) is a one-person variant of the Bum Bait videos by Achievement Hunter, where one teammate acts as melee bait to set up easy kills for a partner.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 2:
    • During SSSN's fight with NDGO, Dew sweeps up some tornadoes that knock Sage out of the battle in short order. When she tries to do the same to Scarlet, he ends up stabilising himself and landing safely on a galleon. The way he does so looks very similar to Peter Pan when he is in flight, but since Scarlet is a reference to Peter Pan in Scarlet, this is hardly surprising.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 3:
  • Volume 3, Chapter 4:
    • After Coco comments that she doesn't like Emerald after she breaks her glasses, a glowing green bullet comes from out of nowhere, and some overcrank sets in that allows Coco to dodge the bullet in what just screams "The Matrix".
    • The video game Qrow and Ruby are playing is a reference to Mortal Kombat, with its palette swapped ninja characters and Fatality-esque finishing moves.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 5:
    • Flynt Coal originated as a joke in the Achievement Hunter Minecraft Series and became a minor character in X-Ray & Vav. His team's connection to memes and trolling suggests he's also based on the Skeleton Trumpet meme.
    • Neon Katt is based on the Nyan Cat meme. She creates a rainbow trail behind her, has cat traits, uses ice (referencing the cat's icing), and has a hyperactive personality.
    • While Cinder is looking at Penny's schematics, you can see her model number as M374. The Meta from Red vs. Blue wore a M-374 Hephaestus Combat Suit.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 7:
    • Cinder's "Follow me, and you'll never go hungry again" is a reference to Scar's line.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 12:
    • The way Ruby, Nora, Jaune and Ren take off walking together from Ruby's house is reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, where the party of four is walking along the yellow brick road 'off to see the wizard'.

    Volume 4 
  • Volume 4, Chapter 1:
    • The barrel that the farm boy is turning has the Compost King logo on it.
  • Volume 4, Chapter 2:
    • Jaune says he'd like to have a warrior's wolf tail, like Sokka's.
    • The scene where Jaune watches a recording of Pyrrha over and over again while training is a reference to the finale of Red vs. Blue Season 10.
  • Li Ren's character design was, per Kerry, explicitly based off Hanzo from Overwatch.

    Volume 5 
  • Volume 5, Chapter 12:
    • Hazel empowers himself by stabbing yellow electricity Dust directly into his arms. His arms noticeably swell with muscle as his veins become very pronounced. This all bears similarities to Batman villain Bane using his Psycho Serum Venom to power up physically.
    • Alternatively, Hazel's electrified-muscle-swelling, ground-punching attacks, as well as the way Oscar fights him, bring to mind Metal Gear Rising's Senator Armstrong. Oscar and Qrow even replicate certain scenes involving Raiden and Armstrong. For instance, Qrow being punched in slow motion, only to then go hurtling off in real-time, seems remarkably similar to what Armstrong does to Raiden in a cutscenes just before his fight.

  • Characters
    • Professor Ozpin and Glynda Goodwitch are very obvious and confirmed nods to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the same vein James Ironwood, Qrow Branwen and Leo Lionheart are the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion respectively.
    • Roman Torchwick by his dress and signature color seems to a be a reference to Alex from A Clockwork Orange. His design and his surname come from Lampwick from Pinocchio.
    • Dr. Bartholomew Oobleck is named after Dr. Seuss' children's novel Bartholomew and the Oobleck. His hair is green, which also reflects the Oobleck.
    • Mercury's gun greaves are a suitable shout-out to the messenger god's trademark sandals.
    • Velvet Scarlatina, being a girl with rabbit ears, seems to be a reference to the children's storybook The Velveteen Rabbit. Her last name further lends weight to the association as the child who owns the rabbit contracts scarlet fever.
    • Inspired by Pinocchio, Penny is an artificial girl who wishes to understand and socialise with real people. Like Pinocchio, she has a tendency to sneak off without permission and get into trouble as a result of the adventures she gets swept up in. Her surname "Polendina" is a yellow mushy food that was the insult used to describe Geppetto's hair. However, her descriptions of herself and what she's designed to do come from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona and Avatar: The Last Airbender; she explains that she's the first synthetic person capable of generating an aura, and that, while she's been created to save the world, she still has a lot to learn.

  • General
    • The White Fang are an organisation of militant Faunus who used to peacefully protest over faunus inequality. There's a constant theme in the show that humans and faunus need to find equality and learn how to live together, a situation made more difficult by the White Fang's recent descent into terrorism. White Fang is a novel by Jack London which focusses on a wild-born wolf-dog that slowly learns how to live with humans.
    • Monty Oum referenced Soul Eater when describing how he envisioned his characters; the arrow-like patterns of Glynda Goodwitch's ragged cape are a shout out to Medusa. There's also a mook in episode 8 that looks like an Arachnophobia member. Weiss starts using her glyphs to dash out of danger, similar to Medusa's Vector Plates.
    • There are several Slow Mo Guys references throughout the show. Whenever Jaune goes into slow motion, the sound the Slow Mo Guys use plays. The dumpster Penny dumps Ruby in has the initials for the Slow Mo Guys, Gus' RTAA face, and Captain Dynamic's symbol.
    • There's a RoboCop theme to the Atlesian military technology. In a scene reminiscent of the final battle in RoboCop 2, Yang jumps on the back of the Atlesian Paladin and fires off multiple rounds to the head. When Cinder breaks into the CCT, the guards she takes are out dressed in armoured uniforms that are identical to Murphy's. The way Ironwood takes down a group of Atlesian soldiers is also very similar to RoboCop.
    • The show's page on the Rooster Teeth website has a group shot of Team RWBY, with Weiss and Yang wearing t-shirts based off of the classic Disney logo and the Jurassic Park logo, respectively.
    • The lyrics for "I May Fall" are inspired by Aragorn's speech in The Return of the King.