Shout Out / Spitting Image

The format and longevity of Spitting Image has ensured that it has become positively littered with Shout Outs.

Series 1

  • President Francois Mitterand goes on about the virtues of UHT milk in a nod to a famous Cointreau advert that was doing the rounds at the time.
  • On a visit to the Falklands, Prince Charles tries to talk the Governor out of marrying one of the local sheep.
    Charles: I fully understand how lonely one must get in the Falklands, Governor, but have you considered the consequences of such a union...the difficulties you'll encounter, the whispers, the silent scorn, the pointing fingers?
  • After pranking Thatcher into believing that she killed him, Prince Philip shows up to haunt her in her sleep.
  • Reagan dresses up like Boy George in an attempt to get the gay vote (without realising that he turned up at the Steelworkers' meeting by accident).
  • News at Benn
  • Jesus, Haven't You Gone to Bed Yet? is a send-up of the Epilogue sermonette that used to air just before closing time on ITV.
  • Charles tries (and fails) to engage Wills in a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

Series 2

Series 3

  • The famous Audi 100 advert that had the Schmidts, the Mullers and the Reinhardts trying to reach their holiday homes was parodied with the Hitlers going on holiday in their new Panzer. "Vorchsprung durch Technik" becomes "Deutschland uber alles, as we Germans still like to imply."
  • The Two Ronnies' "You're Nuts, Milord" sketch gets a brief nod in a scene with Charles and Diana at the dinner table.
  • Maxwell Headroom
  • The British Aristocracy Really Screws It Up is based on a government campaign against heroin use.
  • Mad Mac 3
  • The Man from El Monte and his tinned peaches are considered to be responsible for political turmoil in South America.
  • Margaret explains that she views Britain as her house, with Liverpool being the lavatory. This leads to the cabinet giving everyone a quick blast of You'll Never Walk Alone before they're all crushed by the Monty Python foot.
  • PW Botha gets stabbed during an interview, after which his assailants chant "you can't put a better bit of Botha on your knife".
  • Death walks into a bar:
    Barman: Heavy night, Mr. Death?
    Death: Yeah, I feel like Keith Richards warmed up.
  • A parody of a TV Licence advert starring John Cleese (which in turn was a riff on "What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?" from Monty Python's Life of Brian that touted the benefits of The BBC gets Inverted by David Owen trying to defend it while everyone else points out how rubbish it is.
  • One episode ended with Maggie eating a tweetified Ken Livingston and a That's All, Folks card, presumably as a nod to the dissolution of the GLC into One London, 33 Boroughs.
  • On the Waterfront gets reenacted with a washed-up Marlon Brando lamenting the state of his career.
  • The Three Davids, with the third in this case being Michelangelo's.
  • David Owen tries to return the SDP to Roy Jenkins because it's dead.
  • God attempts to convert Norman Tebbit to a life of kindness and generosity in the manner of Saul on the road to Damascus, after which Norman proceeds to be just as big a bastard as before.
  • Geoffrey Howe's Mission: Impossible is to "make South Africa a really nice place without [the government] having to impose any sanctions."
  • The musical Time gets a look-in with Cliff Richard complaining that the Laurence Olivier hologram was turning out to be very difficult to work with.
  • Ian MacGregor ends up being replaced as head of the NCB by Sooty.
  • Dr. Owen and Mr. Steel
  • There's a parody of Dallas and Psycho which takes place in alternate reality where Margaret dreamed being in power and Edward Heath was still prime minister. She then stabs him in the shower, spraying the walls with blue blood.
  • A British Gas ad campaign, which had a bunch of locals on some, remote nondescript island extolling the benefits of buying shares in the company and asking that this message be passed on to Sid. This was parodied with Sid eventually being found to have gassed himself in his oven because British Gas' price hikes to cover the cost of the ads meant he couldn't pay his bill.
  • Avoid the Question Time
  • In Yet Another Christmas Carol, David Steel is visited the Ghosts of the Liberal Party, Past and Present, but there's no future.

1987 Election Special

  • The Labour Party's new middle-of-the-road campaign ad starts with Neil and Glynis reenacting the beach scene from Chariots of Fire.

Series 4

  • Lestor Piggot's sentencing hearing is based on the opening to Porridge.
  • The Untouchables in this case are the royals, who are apparently free to drive dangerously with zero consequence.

Series 8

Music-Related Shout Outs

  • Lots of the original songs are references to specific pre-existing ones. There were also a few full-on parodies.
    • Let Me Take You by the Trotter - Streets of London.
      • In the Series 4 opener, an impoverished stockbroker is busking in the Underground and plays the original song. Others play Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man.
    • When You're 65 - When I'm 64
    • We're Scared of Bob - We Are the World
    • Every Bomb You Make - Every Breath You Take
    • Remix! - Relax!
    • Big Busters - Film/Ghostbusters
    • Born to Be a Woodwork Teacher - Born to Run
    • To All the Girls I've Snogged Before - To All the Girls I've Loved Before
    • Yuppies - Money for Nothing
    • All Things Bright and Beautiful was redone as an indictment of the Tory party, with the ecclesiastical tone left intact.
    • Our House was changed to tell the story of a family who attempt to buy their council house and end up homeless as a result of the market crash.
    • Da Doo Ron Ron was reworked as a theme song for a Reagan campaign ad.
    • One of the election specials concluded with the candidates singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
    • Some sheep give a quick blast of It Had to be Ewe
    • The Chicken Song is a Take That! to Agadoo and other insufferably catchy summer dance songs like it.
    • Commons of House samples Ice Ice Baby and Push It.
    • One sketch had the entire UN grooving to Glen Miller's In the Mood.
  • Occasionally some songs were covered intact:
    • One of the first episodes has Maggie getting her cabinet to sing Isn't She Lovely? for her.
    • Go Now by The Moody Blues and Happy Days are Here Again were both performed in sketches relating to Thatcher's resignation.
    • Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye was done with Maggie performing at a piano as her cabinet gradually gets booted out of Downing Street.
    • An Homage to Cabaret with the Tory party singing Tomorrow Belongs to Me. Some have pointed out that it was probably a bit tactless to include Jewish MP Edwina Currie's puppet in this sketch.
    • Maggie performs My Way in an interview after being asked if she feels that she's failed in any way.
  • Maggie steals some fruit from a greengrocer while out canvasing and runs off singing, "Yes, We Have Some Bananas" as a reference to the song Yes, We Have No Bananas.
  • Ian Paisley references the Anglican hymn Immortal, Invisible while badgering God.
  • The President's Brain chills out on the beach to sound of the Desert Island Discs theme tune.
  • When Budget Day rolls round for Nigel Lawson, Once a Year Day from The Pajama Game plays briefly in the background.
  • Prince Andrew walks by singing All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor.
  • Princess Margaret's first appearance in the series was set to the tune of The Stripper.
  • Mark Thatcher leaves Downing Street (through his Prat Flap) singing "I'm getting married to a Texan..."
  • Sud Pacifique had Mitterand and some cronies singing Il N'ya Rien Comme une Dame over a backdrop of mushroom clouds generated by nuclear tests.
  • Jerusalem gets turned into a campaign ad for the Tories.
  • My Generation is used to show off what a bunch of old duffers The Who are.
  • The royals bring out a party album that includes parodies of My Old Man's a Dustman and Camptown Races, among others.
  • Media mogul Robert Maxwell at one point sings about suing all of his critics to the tune of Putting on the Ritz.