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Shout Out: Skullgirls
Skullgirls has a ton of shout-outs as both Mike Z and Alex Ahad are fanboys of a lot of things.

For a full list of palette swap character references, see the Palette Swap section on the Trivia page.

    open/close all folders 

    Filia 
  • Filia's Hairball move is a shout-out to Felicia's Rolling Buckler, which may in itself be a reference to Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Phonetically, the name Filia sounds very similar to Millia, another hair-based fighter.
  • She has palettes based on Hatsune Miku, Saki, Scanty, Rei Miyamoto, Zeruel, Madoka, Finn/Fiona, and even Millia herself.
  • The super in which Samson turns them into a flying cockroach is called Gregor Samson.
    • Filia also sometimes says "HENSHIIIIN!" when using the attack.
  • Her aerial heavy punch, Salon Treatment, involves tossing her hair forward in an array of sharp instruments like forks, knives and spikes. One of these sharp instruments is the Lance of Longinus.
  • Her Updo special and Fenrir Drive super, in which Samson turns into a giant hair maw, happens to be a shout out to one of the Dustloop forum members, who suggested no game with any hair-fighters would be complete without at least one reference to the Pokémon Mawile.
  • The win pose where Samson stands fierce with arms folded is most likely a reference to Ryu's early-yet-iconic win pose in Street Fighter II. He just has Filia substitute for Ryu's headband blowing in the wind.
  • The combination of her eating habits and Samson's appearance on her head bears a similarity to the futakuchi-onna, who in Japanese mythology is a woman with a mouth on the back of her head that's driven to eat and eat.
  • The bar in the opening of her story mode is a parody of the famous Nighthawks painting, and is named after Madman's Cafe.
  • Mike Z has described Filia as the game's Ryu-clone. She has Hadoken-motion "projectile" (actually a drill that comes out of the ground some distance away from her, as determined by the strength of the button pressed), Tatsumaki Senpukyaku-motion spinning extended attack that works in air, and Shoryuken-motion uppercut.
    • One of her attacks involves Samson turning into a donkey and pushing Filia as if he's bucking the opponent, causing a wall bounce in the corner. This may or may not be a reference to Ryu's Jodan Sokuto Geri, commonly known as the Donkey Kick, which also causes a wall bounce in certain situations.
  • Samson's name comes from the story of Samson, who had superhuman strength so long as he kept certain vows, one of which was to neither cut his hair nor shave his beard.

    Cerebella 
  • Cerebella's gameplay is said to be based off of Juggernaut and Potemkin.
  • One of her moves has her shouting "EXCELLENT!" while Vice-Versa throws up the heavy-metal "horns" gesture. During said move, Vice-Versa's eyes briefly turn into Kamina's shades while Cerebella herself does the "Pierce the Heavens" pose.
  • One of her command throws sometimes has her saying "I'M GONNA TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE!"
  • There's a running attack in which Vice-Versa sprouts ram's horns on its "head" and attacks face-first. You even get the standard 2000-point bonus if you manage to kill someone with it.
  • The move Tumbling Run followed by pressing medium kick will result in a cross up identical to a type of Japanese prank known as kancho.
  • One move has her shouting "Diamonds are FOREVER!" or "A girl's best friend!" while she punches a giant diamond at the enemy.
  • She has a close range move (that also reflects projectiles!) where Vice-Versa performs a Finger Gun point. While doing this, the poses of the duo are reminiscent of Jotaro Kujo and Star Platinum.
  • Cerebella's second alt color is a reference to R. Mika
  • She also has a Potemkin color palette.
  • She also has an emerald green outfit similar to one of Tager's alternates — the same palette that lead designer Mike Z uses when playing Tager in BlazBlue.
  • Another of her palettes has her referencing NiGHTS from Journey of Dreams.
  • She also has a palette swap with red-and-black clothing, making her look somewhat like Harley Quinn.
  • During one of her moves she will use Vice-Versa as a pommel horse and shout "Gymkata!"

    Peacock 
  • Peacock's entire character, from her moveset, animations, and design, is a reference to classic cartoons. As mentioned on the main page, she could have been ripped out of an demented Merrie Melodies cartoon.
  • The little bird in her hat is named Avery. Her bomb friends are named Lenny and George (formerly Little Boy and Fat Man, but you can understand why it was changed).
  • Intro line references:
    (vs. Ms. Fortune) "A puddy-tat!"
    Ms. Fortune: "Thufferin' thucotash!"
    (vs. Filia): "Maybe she's born with it!"note 
  • Her Argus System is a reference to the Argus of Greek Mythology. That Argus had a hundred eyes (some of those eyes in his arms). When that Argus died, Hera placed his eyes in the peacock's tail as tribute.
  • She can shoot swords out of her gun (Roll with it). These swords go from the Fireseal and Blodia Fist to the Buster Sword, the Gunblade and a Chainsword.
  • Occasionally, when she fires her gun, she'll shout "Garbage day!" With the exact same weird enunciation as the film, just in case you had any doubts about whether it was a reference.
    • One of the projectiles she may fire with the gun is a Bullet Bill.
    • Another of her gun quotes is "Reach for the sky!"
  • One of her crouching attacks kicks the opponent with the Kuribo's Shoe from Super Mario Bros. 3, complete with the good ol' "HERE-A WE GO!". Its name, Curb Your Shoe, is another part of the allusion.
  • Her block techniques often have her holding up an actual block of something — from a cinderblock to an L-block.
  • Peacock's reference palettes include Cable, the Lucky, the Lucky Charms Leprechaun mascot, Cirno, and Hsien-Ko. The Cirno palette is number 9. Also, upon gaining the Skull Heart in her story mode, she says "Who needs wishes? I'm already the strongest there is!" "I'm the strongest!" being one of Cirno's memetic catchphrases....
  • She can summon random piano drops on her opponent, from an actual piano, to a barrel with a roast turkey inside. Other drops include:
    A Ms. Fortune Yukkuri
    Hsien-Ko's Tenrai-ha super
    A television with the Nico Nico Douga face or with Filia dressed as Sadako coming out of it.
    A steamroller, complete with her partner Avery standing on top and shouting WRYYYYYYY! when it hits. On top of that, if it hits, time will stop and everything else will darken.
    A moai head
    The Refrigerator from Requiem for a Dream.
    • Speaking of Hsien-ko's Tenrai-Ha, one of the new features added to the game in Squigly's patch is taunts, and to do Peacock's taunt, you have to do the same button input as Tenrai-Ha had in the Darkstalkers games. Successfully pulling one off guarantees that the next level 3 item drop you get is the move.
  • Another attack is her kicking and missing a football, yelling "Good grief!" when she trips. The alternate line for that technique is "Laces out!"
  • One attack turns her arm-eyes into blades, the classic visual pun on "looking daggers" at someone. The chances of her also shouting "Like THIIIIIIIIS!" are about one in five.
    • Keeping with the WFRR theme, one of her win quotes (when defeating Parasoul) is "You're not bad, you're just drawn badly" — riffing on Parasoul's undeniable resemblance to Jessica Rabbit. Yet more Bonus Points for Parasoul having a color palette that gives her Mrs. Rabbit's outfit.
    • Her jumping Medium Kick, which involves her beartrap mouth, is called "Nice Booby Trap", a line from Eddie Valiant about the bear trap that Jessica Rabbit keeps in a very punny place.
  • Two of her win quotes are "I never forget a face, but for you, I'll make an exception" and "Either you're dead or my watch has stopped," all while smoking a cigar.
  • Groucho's not the only Thirties/Forties comedy icon Peacock pays homage to, either. She also quotes at least two of Moe Howard's catchphrases ("Why, I oughta—" and "Spread out!"). She also references Curley: when selected, her call-out line is "Soitently!"
  • Her time-out animations seems to be a reference to Daffy Duck being shot by Elmer Fudd.
  • One of Peacock's lines on being KO-ed is "I smell bread" — a reference to Mash by way of Veronica Mars.
  • Before getting pulled away by a Vaudeville Hook, she'll mutter "Hello my baby-".
  • Her jumping fierce punch, which involves her firing a shotgun and being blown backwards by the force, is called Robo With A Shotgun.
  • Her Level 3 super is titled "Goodfellows".
  • In her Story Mode, she's awoken from bed by Avery saying "Hey! Listen!"
  • Unsurprisingly, she can also say "Ain't I a stinka?" and "What a maroon!" when she wins, and "This ain't Albuquerque!" when tagged in. As noted above, "Of course you know, this means war!" is one of her intro lines.
  • One of her lines when using her c.LP (where she attacks the opponent with a cigar) is "Nyah, see?", imitating classic actor Edward G. Robinson, known primarily for playing gangster roles and was famous for peppering his lines with heavily accented "Yeah!" and "See?".
  • When she uses her "Lonesome Lenny" super, which prompts her to drop a gigantic bomb, one of her lines is "Fall down, go boom!"
  • For her standing hard kick, she attempts to kick a football and misses when Avery yanks it away at the last second. The move is even called "Kick the Football, Peacock!"
  • Peacock may also be referencing This Very Wiki. Her aerial throw is named "Big Ball of Violence", and she has an attack named "Shadow of Impending Doom".

    Parasoul 

    Ms. Fortune 

    Painwheel 
  • Painwheel's Super Mode, "Hatred Install", is probably inspired by Sol Badguy's Dragon Install.
  • Her "Death Crawl" super move may be inspired by The Exorcist.
    • Or, alternately, Voldo.
  • Like Filia, she also has a move that's like the classic Spin Dash. Painwheel's imitates the input more than the appearance.
  • She also has a colour palette based off of Basara Kubikiri and one based off of Vega
    • And one based off the EVA-01.
    • She also has both regular and Mango colors patterned after Sentinel.

    Valentine 
  • Valentine's stance is the same as Mai Shiranui's from the later King of Fighters games. Fittingly, her third palette is one for Mai.
  • Her EKG Flatliner special is similar to Ibuki's Yami Shigure special.
  • She has a color palette resembling Yowane Haku, keeping the Vocaloid theme going. Other palettes include Sheena Fujibayashi, Baiken, Ibuki, Taki, and Nu-13.
  • One of her supers involves throwing scalpels the same way as Dio Brando.
  • One of her special moves is very similar to Chipp Zanuff's Alpha Blade special.
  • She has a command grab patterned after fellow-ninja Guy's Spinning Piledriver.
  • Valentine may or may not be as crazy when in the OP Table as other insane doctors from fighting games, such as Dr. Faustus or Dr. Baldhead.
  • Heck, she's even got a reference to Trauma Center in the name and description of her achievement, "The Medical Board Will Be Notified".
  • When attacked, she might occasionally say "It's just a flesh wound!".
  • Valentine's Level 3 Super features the opponent getting seven different kinds of messed up, but said messing up is concealed behind medical screens and red flashes. Very similar to Akuma's Raging Demon attack.
  • If she loses by timeout, she explodes into a mass of bones as if hit by a Mortal Kombat 3 fatality, down to the multiple skulls and ribcages.
  • Sometimes when Valentine tags out to Double, she says, "Prepare for trouble!" It's the first line of the Team Rocket mantra from the Pokémon anime. (The next line of that mantra is "Make it double.")

    Double 

    Squigly 
  • One of Squigly's special moves is a reference to Millia's "Lust Shaker". Charging it up to level 2 causes a slide similar to Millia's "Longinus".
  • Another one of her special moves is the One Inch Punch. The developers even call it that.
  • She also has a move called Draugen Punch, a rather literal version of the Shoryuken.
  • Another one of her moves has her send out Leviathan's tail a long way to bring the opponent to her for a combo setup. Sound familiar? In addition, when using the move, she or Leviathan might say "GET OVER HERE!" or "C'MERE!"
  • Old concept art of her planned Super Mode make Leviathan's head look like Unit-01's.
  • One of the flowers that can bloom over her foe's grave during the Daisy Pusher Blockbuster attack appears to come from the Little Planet.
  • When using Daisy Pusher, Leviathan may say "For I beheld Satan as he fell from Heaven, like lightning!" or "A forest of thorns shall be their tomb!" He can also say "Time's dead flowers bereft in deadly bloom!" which seems to be a reference to "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus
  • When using her standing heavy punch, she and Leviathan might yell "Double!" "Dragon!"
  • One of Squigly's beta palettes (which was replaced just prior to release because Alex didn't like it) was a reference to Earthworm Jim, including making Leviathan pink and Squigly's head transparent to look more like Earthworm Jim's robot suit.
  • During a fight, Squigly might ask Leviathan "Would you kindly?"
  • Sometimes when performing a snapback, Leviathan will shout "I said good day!"
  • Her singing super "Squigly Battle Opera" is based on "Super Battle Opera", a famous fighting game tournament in Japan.
  • Her tag-in attack, which involves her coffin shooting up from the ground and her bursting out of it has some similarities to how Rayne enters stages in Bloodrayne: Betrayal (Though there the coffin usually lands from above, not bursting out of the ground). Specifically, the second part where she launches the top half of the coffin at the opponent has similarities to how Rayne can kick the top half of her coffin at opponents at the beginning of a level. The fact that Alex worked as a character designer on that game makes it likely this was intentional.

    Big Band 
  • Big Band is explicitly stated to play like Q "but good".
    • His jumping HK is a pretty blatant reference's to Q's jumping HK.
    • He has a charge rush punch move.
    • He can use a Practical Taunt to power himself up.
    • He can parry by pressing forward while standing or jumping and pressing down while crouching.
  • His last name, "Birdland", is a reference to a famous jazz club in New York City.
  • Taunting before using his charge super will give it an extra finisher where he lets loose with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs in a familiar fashion. It's even called "TUBATUBATUBATUBATUBA".
    • Speaking of his taunt, its revised input is Forward, High Punch, Mid Punch, Low Punch, Forward, almost the exact same input as DIO's Space Ripper Stingy Eyes move from the Capcom fighting game.
    • His level 5 super (taking out the trumpet and playing the Skullgirls theme) causes time to stop like Dio's famous ZA WARUDO move. Doing so lets him pound out a ton of TUBATUBATUBATUBATUBAs in rapid succession until the meter depletes to zero. Or he can just play his trumpet.
      • The name of this move is Satchmo Solo.
  • One of his specials is named "Giant Step", a double shout-out to EarthBound and John Coltrane.
  • When using Super Sonic Jam, Big Band may say, "Aww... HORNCRUSH!!"
  • He has a chance of saying "Lazy bird." during his airthrow, in another reference to John Coltrane.
  • Against Mafia members (i.e. Cerebella), he gets the opening quote "You will be prosecuted to the full extent of the jam" — which takes an infamous bit of Engrish from the DonPachi series and fits it into his jazz theme.
  • Among his added VO clips are "I have to go now, my planet needs me" and "See you, space cowboy" upon victory (the flight animation).
  • One Big Band's losing quotes is "Salt...peanuts". This is a reference to the bebop tune "Salt Peanuts" composed by Dizzy Gillespie.
  • Big Band's "Beat Extend" is likely a pun on "Heat Extend", Potemkin's anti-air grab move.
    • Speaking of Potemkin, the Heavy Kick version of Giant Step is functionally similar to Potemkin's Sliding Head attack.
    • Adding onto the Potemkin connections, his Brass Knuckles and Emergency Stop function basically the same as Potemkin's Hamerfall and Emergency Stop respectively. Brass Knuckles and Hamerfall even share the same charge motion.
  • While performing a jumping LK, he'll sometimes say "Shake, shake!".
  • Take the A Train, his command grab, is a direct shout out to a Duke Ellington tune.
  • When using Brass Knuckles, he'll occasionally give a James Brown-esque "OWW!" Take the A Train takes it a step further.
    "Hit me! Two times!"
  • Occasionally, when performing a snapback, Big Band will yell out "Beat it!"
    • His 4th color palette looks exactly like the iconic "Smooth Criminal" outfit.
  • Some of the other palettes refer to Big Zam, Dick Tracy, General Sturm, The Big O, Nonon's Symphony Regalia, and The Question. More bizarrely, there are a couple for Big the Cat, and Negaduck. Really weird: three's one for King Dedede.
  • At the end of his story mode, after listening to his narration, Peacock remarks that they should make his story into a comic book or something, and that they could call it Defective Comics.
  • He pulls a Louis Armstrong impression sometimes, replacing St. James Infirmary with Last Hope Infirmary. Big Band also does a more direct reference when he beats Cerebella in a round.
    "You can't strong-arm this Armstrong!"
  • One of his intro quotes (and, in fact, his backstory) offers a not so subtle nod to another reconstructed police officer. The 16th palette reinforces the reference.
    "Dead or alive, you're coming with me!"
  • Early in his story mode when he discusses his past as a police officer one of his fellow cops who beat him to near death and left him for dead is a Pig Feral.

    Fukua 

    Eliza 
  • For starters, damn near every one of her normals doubles as a reference to Egyptian mythology.
  • Eliza's win pose (where she changes into a random alternate costume) is based on a similar win pose of Morrigan's.
  • Speaking of Darkstalkers, she also has an alternate palette based on Jedah's Midnight Bliss form.
  • Eliza's alternate palette of Crimson Viper is a recurring alternate palette Actor Allusion theme, in which both characters voiced by Michelle Ruff.
  • One of Eliza's alternate palettes is Dio Brando as he appears in Stardust Crusaders. Her skeleton's alternate with this is colored like Dio's Stand, The World.
  • Another one of Eliza's palettes is a Homestuck character, specifically Porrim Maryam, with her attire and appearance matching the colors and features of said character. Additionally, both have a penchant for blood.
  • Sekhmet has no weaknesses!
  • When using Osiris Spiral:
    Eliza: What's wrong?
  • One of her colors is Ragyo Kiryuin of Kill la Kill.
  • When she does her Dive of Horace, her lackey, Horace does a dive kick in a similar pose as Rufus from Street Fighter IV.

    Beowulf 
  • Aside from the obvious, Lab Zero said they went through the archives of a ton of old Professional Wrestling videos when looking for Beowulf inspirations, and it shows.
    • Beowulf's standing light punch has him dramatically holding his hand to his ear, just like Hulk Hogan
    • His crumple state animation is just like Ric Flair's "Flair Flop".

    Marie 

    The Announcer 

    Combo Names 

    Other 
  • The stages, too, are packed with cultural injokes. One of the main stages, Ms. Fortune's current hangout, is known as Little Innsmouth.
  • Two of the achievements for the game are Real Circus Damage and Toil and Trouble, respectively.
    • Another achievement is obtained for KOing two characters in the same combo. Its name, of course, is Happy Birthday.
  • The psychic director of Lab Zero is called Brain Drain.
  • Early on in Parasoul's story mode, Umbrella had apparently expected to see: "Sonic boobs, pool balls, and KFC Combos" when she came along to see her at work. It helps when you know Parasoul plays like a charge character, which is what Guile and Venom are considered to be as well. Parasoul's playstyle is somewhat reminiscent of Venom, as well.
  • One of the background characters is a sleeping man in a familiar outfit leaning against a wall next to a sand bag. Said sandbag looks an awful lot like Bonus-Kun from Waku Waku 7.
  • In the downloadable character movelist, each page says "SHOW ME YOUR MOVES".
  • In Peacock's story mode we meet Hive, a resident of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs, who we can see in the background of the stage as well. Other than her name, her outfit and lavender hair bear a resemblance to Q Bee.
  • In the tutorial screen there is a drawing of Ms. Fortune's head forming the bottom slime in a slime tower from the Dragon Quest series.
  • Killing off 2 characters at the same time or dealing a very large amount of damage in one combo will result in legendary 3rd Strike commentator John Dangerous Rockefeller laughing. This itself is also supposedly a shout out to Dan Forden shouting "Toasty!" in Mortal Kombat.
  • The song "Canopy Kingdom News - In Rapid Succession" starts out with a melody similar to the Hyrule Castle theme.
  • One of the members of Cirque des Cartes, Hubrecht "Hertz" Adelhardt, has an appearance similar to Alex Louis Armstrong. His design is heavily influenced by Arcana Heart's Heart Aino, with pink hair in a heart shape, a red ribbon tied in a bow around the wrist, red suspenders (in place of a red tie), orange pants (in place of an orange skirt), and blue boots (in place of blue shoes). He's likely also a reference to Mr. Heart.
    • It's worth noting that as far as his color palette relations to Heart go, an in-game image in Cerebella's story shows him with very different colors (as well as different colors for various other troupe members than what is shown in most character art), so it is currently unclear whether or not this will remain as his color palette if he is added into the game. The hair and ribbon remain key to his design.
  • Visible on the right side of the New Meridian stage is The Kid's hammer, along with a Squirt. They're placed on both sides of a female NPC based on the art director of the very same game, seen here. (The three-eyed creature next to them is likely one of Alex "o_8" Ahad's Author Avatars.)
  • Beowulf's vote image brings in mind a certain pose of another chair user Kanji Tatsumi...
    • However, his bio lists "not Kanji" among his inspirations.
  • The Medici Tower stage has a billboard for "Wave Motion Emitters" with a picture of a blue fireball above it. The famous Hadouken is sometimes called "Wave Motion Fist" by fans, after its literal translation from Japanese.
  • One of the characters at the card tables in River King Casino is dressed like Jotaro, as a nod to the encounter with D'Arby during Stardust Crusaders.
  • If one goes off to the right of Maplecrest they'll find a certain pompadoured space traveler as a student.
  • Also present in the Casino are Masaka and Madije from the Kawaiikochan!! Gaming No Korner webcomic and Yuzuriha from Under Night In-Birth.
  • One of the NPCs that can appear in the Glass Canopy stage is a young woman in blue and white carrying a purse with a George plushie in it. This character is actually a personification of Sanshee, one of the two companies who are licensed to make Skullgirls merchandise.
  • Several backers from the Indiegogo campaign can also appear in the background of both the Casino and Glass Canopy, including some popular internet personalities such as Matt and Woolie and Zone-tan. Some of these characters represent prominent people in the competitive Skullgirls community, such as Duckator and Severin; the NPC of the latter in particular later appeared in the Fukua trailer.
  • Cupcake-tan and Deadeye from RPG Shooter: Starwish can also be seen as background characters.
  • The New Meridian Rooftops stage has two billboard for Eighty Sixed, A clothing store whose Twitch channel hosts their weekly stream, and Frootsii, a bakery in California that was the original venue for said stream.
  • The Under the Bridge stage contains a food van that specializes in salty items; the first item written on the truck is "Salty Cupcakes," the original name of Lab Zero's weekly Twitch stream.
  • The 2013 holiday patch introduced a new mode called The Typing of the Skullgirls where the player gets a chance to do extra damage with supers by typing in the words that appear on the screen. Two of the phrases that can pop up are "dogs of the ASG"note  and "Suffer like we did!"note . Several other phrases reference various parts of the game and memes created by the community.
  • According to patch notes, One Must Fall 2097 inspired the Infinite Prevention System.
  • The Mana Meter in Skullgirls measures Dramatic Tension.
  • The effect that happens during doublesnaps (the action lines and the Skullgirls main theme in the background) was inspired by Japanese player Poccola, who would always add the effect during a doublesnap or a Happy Birthday in Skullgirls videos.
  • Finishing a match with a Blockbuster causes the background to turn black and display a white line art portrait of the defeated character with an expression of pain on their face. This is a reference to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, where similar portraits appeared after a character was defeated by a super move.

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