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  • 13 Reasons Why:
    • Hannah's parents mention briefly that she had a thing for show tunes. Brian D'Arcy James, who played her father, is an accomplished stage and musical theatre actor, and originated the role of King George in Hamilton off-Broadway.
    • Mr. Porter mentions offhandedly a comment about high school football. Derek Luke, who played Mr. Porter, played a high school football player in Friday Night Lights.
    • Hannah imitates an Australian accent when quoting the film Strictly Ballroom - a nod to her actress Katherine Langford being Australian.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun:
    • In one episode, Dick (played by John Lithgow) gets himself and Mary thrown off a plane when he looks out the window and breaks down screaming, "There's something on the wing!" (It's then explained to him that that's just the engine.) In a later episode, the human form of the Big Giant Head (played by William Shatner) complains that during his flight in, there was something on the wing, to which Dick muses, "The same thing happened to me!" William Shatner was in The Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", in which his character has the same reaction to a gremlin on the wing; in Twilight Zone: The Movie, John Lithgow played the same role.
    • In another episode, Dick launches into a tirade about how much he hates rock and roll music, which toward the end is copied almost word-for-word from one of the speeches made by Lithgow in Footloose.
    • Another blink-and-you-miss-it moment came when Mary (played by Jane Curtin) gave a long, lingering look at some people cosplaying as Coneheads at a convention. Curtin had played Prymaat Conehead in "The Coneheads" series of sketches on Saturday Night Live, as well as other media (including the 1993 film).
    • In one episode Sally complains that Mary forced the family to watch an A&E Biography of Susan Saint James, Curtin's Kate & Allie co-star.
  • In 8 Simple Rules, Kaley Cuoco's character Bridget plays Anne Frank. In The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco's character Penny plays Anne Frank.
  • In a fourth-season episode of 24, the Speaker of the House comments that then-Acting President Charles Logan is "in good hands" with David Palmer, a reference to Palmer actor Dennis Haysbert's Allstate commercials.
  • In The 10th Kingdom, Wolf is in trouble in Little Lamb Village, but Tony says he'll be able to help -he used to be a lawyer. Tony is played by John Larroquette, who also played D.A. Dan Fielding on Night Court.
  • Several for 30 Rock:
    • One episode of has Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, confessing his seemingly endless sins to a priest. One was "I once shouted 'I am God' during a deposition", which is exactly what Baldwin's character did in the movie Malice (while still being in-character for Donaghy).
    • Baldwin gets scads of these. On multiple occasions, he's encouraged himself by muttering "Always Be [X]," where X is a c-word - a shout-out to his scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. In a later episode when Tracy wanted to derail his successful dramatic film career, Baldwin's character encouraged him to "just go back to TV. Nobody will mistake you for a serious actor ever again."
    • Another episode sees Liz Lemon meet her idol, a legendary comedy writer played by Carrie Fisher. After Liz discovers that Fisher is actually a flaky weirdo, Liz flees from the room, with Fisher calling out after her, "Help me, Liz Lemon! You're my only hope!"
    • In "Jackie Jormp-Jomp", Jenna fakes her own death. At the memorial service, an actual commercial Jane Krakowski (Jenna's actress) starred in as a child is played.
    • In "Kidnapped by Danger", Lance asks Mary Steenburgen's character if she is a time traveler. She is best known for her role as Clara Clayton in Back to the Future Part III.
    • In the season 3 finale, TV comedy star Tracy Jordan invents a story about dropping out of school because a drug dealer wanted him to cut up a snitch named Baby. However, he eventually tearfully confesses that he left school because he was too chicken to dissect a frog in science class. A character played by Alan Alda then wanders in from another plot thread and says, "A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show!" This is a reference to the famous series finale of M*A*S*H, not to mention a lighthearted jab at the series' turn towards drama.
    • When Stephanie March, of Alex Cabot fame, appears as a guest star, she is a Lipstick Lesbian extraordinaire. Alex Cabot is best remembered for clearly being in love with Olivia Benson.
    • After Matt Damon finished out his guest-arc as Liz's boyfriend, there was a line where Liz talked about Invictus (which Damon starred in with Morgan Freeman) and asked: "Who was the white guy in that?"
  • The 4400: In "Wake-Up Call", Kevin Burkhoff gives Tess Doerner a copy of At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft. Jeffrey Combs (Kevin) is well known for his roles in several Lovecraft adaptations, most notably “Re-Animator” and its two sequels, and played Lovecraft himself in Necronomicon.

  • In the All in the Family episode "We're Still Having a Heat Wave", Edith tells her neighbor, Irene Lorenzo: "I know you're not a movie star or nothin', but I think I'm gettin' to be a fan of yours!" Betty Garrett, who plays Irene was actually a movie star in the '40s, appearing in several MGM musicals.
  • In season 2, episode 6 of Alpha House the actor playing panel member "Ned" is Bradley Whitford, and he is being berated pretty harshly by Senator Peg Stanchion, played by Janel Moloney, who played his assistant Donna on The West Wing.
  • Alphas:
  • In one "Blockblister" segment of The Amanda Show, Josh Peck comes in and complains that he had wanted to rent Snow Day and they had instead given him "Snowy Day." Peck played a leading role in that film.
  • In a Christmas episode of the show Amen, the characters are debating which carol to perform for an upcoming competition. When someone suggests "Mary's Boy Child", Rolly Forbes scoffs, "I never cared for that one". That's too bad, considering that Forbes' portrayer, Jester Harrison, wrote the song.
  • At the beginning of American Horror Story: Asylum, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) runs the insane asylum. By the end, she's a patient there, who's been wrongly institutionalized for years. Lange received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a wrongly institutionalized woman in the 1982 film Frances.
  • In an episode of American Housewife, Greg launches into an impassioned tirade about how terrible Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is, a nod to his past work voicing Batman in various productions (most famously Batman: The Brave and the Bold).
  • In a mix of Shout-Out, Celebrity Paradox, and this, the characters of the soap Los Amores de Anita Peña had an extrange Time Traveling experience (don't ask), and going further and further in the past, they ended in many previous works of the cast, including the famed soap Por Estas Calles. To further the joke, the characters of Anita Peña met the ones interpreted by the same actors in Por estas Calles, which set up for hilarious situations, like dimwitted Anita Peña meeting no-nonsense Broken Bird Euridice Briceño (both interpreted by Maria Alejandra Martín), and the later meeting of Anita with Por Estas Calles's Kavorka Man Eudomar Santos, whose actor Franklin Virguez interpreted Anita's Love Interest and his Evil Twin, both of them also irrupting in the scene (this has the Reality Subtext of Mr. Virguez being accused by several critics of repeating his famous "Eudomar" role, only because he moved from interpreting a Hot-Blooded, Catchphrase spouting barrio man with dubious ethics, to interpret a couple of twins of humble origins, one of them an Ambulance Chaser lawyer with dubious ethics).
    • Roberto Lamarca was cast in Anita Peña as a Deadpan Snarker Genre Savvy ghost whose looks and past was an obvious Shout-Out to famous late doctor and beloved proto-saint Jose Gregorio Hernández, a comparison who was constantly loathed by the character. If you watched Por Estas Calles, you could remember Mr. Lamarca as Affably Evil Jerkass MD Dr. Valerio, the only character which an internal voice, and a snarky one to boot. After having been Dr. Valerio for about 700 soap chapters and being constantly confused with him, Mr. Lamarca was ostensibly and publicly tired of the role, and obviously took the Ghost role in the hopes to escape Typecasting. In a bout of irony, the role only pigeonholed him more.
    • In a more meta level, each chapter of Por Estas Calles ended with a related aphorism or famous quote read in Voice Over by late character actor (and James Earl Jones Venezuelan equivalent) Tomás Henriquez; the same resource was used in Anita Peña, but instead used bad jokes, lame puns, and other related nonsense. Guess who reprises the narrator role!
  • In the first episode of Andromeda, a redshirt Scrappy Plucky Comic Relief Engineer comments that Kevin Sorbo's character "looks like a Greek God or something". Sorbo had previously played the title character in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
    • It gets better. During season five, removing a wall panel near the floor behind the desk in Captain Hunt's office/quarters reveals a compartment. In this compartment are:
      1. A rack of force lances.
      2. Hercules' sword.
      3. Hercules' loincloth.
      4. The wig Sorbo wore as Herc.
      • The expression on Sorbo's face suggests that some Enforced Method Acting was going on here...
      • What's even funnier about that scene is that there is this heroic music swell as he pulls out the sword, then it abruptly cuts out and he says something akin to "it's a long story", sets it aside and pulls out the force lances.
  • In The Aquabats! Super Show! Mr. Lawrence plays a tiny villain with antennae.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: "The Tale of the Curious Camera" and Goosebumps: "Say Cheese and Die!" both cast Richard McMillan as the owner of the cursed camera and Christian Tessier as the school bully.
  • Army Wives: Roxie and Trevor's twin boys are called Drew (Trevor is played by Drew Fuller) and Wyatt (The older brother to Drew Fuller's character of Chris on Charmed.)
  • Arrested Development played with this trope constantly.
    • Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler) ends a scene on a pier where characters discuss the dead shark lying at their feet by jumping over it on his way back to his car. Henry Winkler invented "Jumping the Shark".
    • The lawyer Bob Loblaw remarks "Look, this is not the first time I've been brought in to replace Barry Zuckerkorn. I think I can do for you everything he did. Plus, skew younger. With juries and so forth." Loblaw was played by Scott Baio, who was cast as Chachi on Happy Days when producers worried the Fonz was getting too old to maintain the show's youthful demographic.
    • In a later episode, Dr. Stein (played by Dan Castellaneta, who plays Homer Simpson) makes a mistake, accenting it with a "D'oh", to which Lucille replies, "I knew it!"
    • Michael (Jason Bateman) jokingly asks Nelly, a prostitute, to marry him before adding, "That's wrong on so many levels." Nelly is portrayed by Justine Bateman, Jason Bateman's real-life sister.
    • Lucille Two becomes exasperated hearing the song "New York, New York", saying, "everyone thinks they're Frank Sinatra." Lucille Two is played by Liza Minnelli, the singer who first recorded the classic.
    • In another episode, George Michael is traumatized by watching HBO's Oz having confused it for the classic 1939 film, described as "starring Judy Garland." Garland was Liza Minelli's mother.
    • When a lawyer is needed to defend George Sr., the family considers hiring Andy Griffith to emulate his role as TV lawyer Matlock. He cancels, causing the narrator to point out that they would never dream of making fun of Andy Griffith. Arrested Development's narrator is Ron Howard, whose first role was Opie on The Andy Griffith Show.
    • In another episode, Jessie, an image consultant, derides George Michael by calling him "Opie". The narrator cuts in at this point, saying "Jessie had gone too far and had best watch her mouth." (Howard was also an executive producer on the show).
    • In a third season story arc, Michael falls in love with Rita (played by Charlize Theron). After breaking up with her, someone mentions how bad she looked before her plastic surgery. A picture of Charlize Theron from her role in Monster is displayed onscreen.
    • In a deleted scene, Michael searches for an actress he knows, Marta, on the Internet Movie Database. Her picture is the default "no picture" graphic. This is because the role of Marta was played by three different actresses through the show's run.
    • In one episode, Michael sarcastically praises George Sr.'s lying ability, saying "Yeah, Dad, you're a real Brad Garrett." This episode was originally preceded by the Emmy Awards, in which Jeffrey Tambor (who plays George Sr.) lost the Best Supporting Actor award to Brad Garrett.
    • Buster accidentally gets his hook stuck in the stair car's dashboard while doing the robot to Styx's Mr. Roboto; a reference to a commercial featuring Tony Hale (who plays Buster), in which he does the same dance to the same song.
    • A subplot in the first Un-Canceled season involves Tobias trying to stage a musical adaptation of the Fantastic Four, and at one point, someone suggests using Morgan LeFay as the villain (the role Lucille is after). In real life, Jessica Walter played LeFay in the Made-for-TV Doctor Strange movie.
  • On an episode of The A-Team, Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck reacts to a full-costumed Cylon(from Battlestar Galactica) walking by at a movie studio. The actor who portrayed Face, Dirk Benedict, played Starbuck on Galactica. (This shot was used in the Title Sequence montage for two and a half seasons.)
    • In one episode the team uses a book written by a Dr. Dwight Pepper. Two of the main cast were Dwight Schultz and George Peppard.
    • One episode from the last season featured Stockwell (Robert Vaughan) being captured by an old friend-turned-traitor played by David McCallum. The two starred together on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
      • Said episode was appropriately called "The Say Uncle Affair", a nod to the show and its tendency to title all their episodes "The ________ Affair".
  • In The Avengers (1960s) episode "Too Many Christmas Trees", Steed receives a Christmas card from old partner-in-crimebusting Cathy Gale. He notes with surprise that the card has been sent from Fort Knox. (Honor Blackman, who played Cathy, left the series to appear as Pussy Galore in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, in which Fort Knox featured prominently.)
    • When Blackman left the show, Steed claimed Gale was going "...pussyfooting it on the beach".

  • Battlestar Galactica :
    • The episode "Bastille Day" had a field day with this, with a long debate between Lee "Apollo" Adama and Tom Zarek, played by Richard "Old Apollo" Hatch.
    • The orphan boy's costume in "The Plan" is an exact copy of that worn by Dean Stockwell in his 1948 movie "The Boy with Green Hair".
  • One episode of Becker was comprised of flashbacks as Becker related the events of his day to a bartender. The bartender was played by George Wendt - Norm from Cheers - so for the actors, this was a reversal of a familiar scenario.
  • On Being Human (US), Kyle Schmid's character is a vampire named Henry, probably a shout-out to Schmid playing vampire Henry Fitzroy on Blood Ties (2007).
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Johnny Galecki's character Leonard Hofstadter had a brief relationship with a woman played by Sara Gilbert. He previously played her character's husband /brother-in-law on Roseanne.
    • In 8 Simple Rules, Kaley Cuoco's character Bridget plays Anne Frank. In The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco's character Penny plays Anne Frank.
    • Katey Segal, Kaley Cuco's mother in 8 Simple Rules, also played her mom in the Season 10 opener.
    • A slight zigzag: in season 1, while looking for a fourth member for their Physics Bowl team, Raj suggests asking "the girl who played TV's Blossom". Said girl is Mayim Bialik, who later plays Sheldon's girlfriend Amy. Both Amy and Mayim are trained neuroscientists.
  • In the opening scene of the Birds of a Feather episode "Tattoo You", Tracey and Sharon are watching a murder mystery show on TV where a body is discovered on a beach next to a burning boat. Pauline Quirke, who plays Sharon, appeared in Broadchurch, an 8-part television series that aired in the UK, about the murder of a young boy whose body was discovered on a beach near a boat that had been set on fire.
    Tracey: How do you know?
    Sharon: Because they always find a body on the beach in one of those creepy seaside things, like... Broadcliff, or...Southchurch, or... Western super Mare!"
  • In Black Lightning (2018), James Remar plays a character, who raised a little boy, after unintentionally causing the death of one of his parents, and helps him channel his dangerous skills into a positive outlet and puts him on the path of becoming a vigilante. Wait, are you sure we're not talking about Harry Morgan from Dexter?
  • On an episode of Black Monday, Bronson Pinchot's character makes a sneaky reference to the Perfect Strangers Theme Tune...while banging two the nude. When he is discovered in the middle of his threesome and is asked to stop, he responds, "Nothing's gonna stop me now!"
  • In an early episode of Blindspot, it's revealed that Patterson plays Dungeons & Dragons, and when another character calls her "elf girl", she replies, "Actually I play a gnome cleric". Patterson is portrayed by Ashley Johnson, who at the time was playing a gnome cleric on Critical Role.
  • In an episode of Blossom, Blossom blinds a prowler (actually her brother) by blowing talcum powder into his face. When her best friend Six asks her where she learned to do that, Blossom replies "MacGyver". Blossom's actress Mayim Bialik previously played Recurring Character Lisa Woodman on MacGyver.
  • Daniel Fredrickson played Tess' husband in Blue Heelers, who turned out to be gay when he left the show, marrying her for convenience. When he joined the Stingers crew as Leo Flynn fellow Heelers guest star Neil Pigot plays a drug dealer in one episode, calling him a faggot.
  • The victim in Body of Proof episode "Love Thy Neighbor" lived in a cul-de-sac with lots of beautiful people and lots of goings on. When first arriving Dana Delany's character mentions she used to live in a cul-de-sac like this, and several times throughout the episode she quips that there's more to the place than meets the eye. In the ending moments, she tells a co-worker he couldn't handle a desperate housewife. Delany had a role on Desperate Housewives which centers on an action-packed cul-de-sac filled with beautiful people.
  • Bones:
  • Yet another Denny Crane moment: in the Larry Craig Ripped from the Headlines episode of Boston Legal, just as Denny is being arrested for allegedly soliciting sex in a bathroom stall, he opens up his cell phone. Of course, the old Star Trek communicator sound effect plays.
    • In the season 2 episode ...There's Fire when it is suggested that Denny move to Hawaii, he responds, "What am I supposed to do? Beam myself to Boston every day?"
    • In an earlier season's episode, when Denny Crane talks to the press when walking through the courthouse, he often spouts out non-sequiturs. One of them was, "I was once a captain of a space shuttle!"
    • When Alan and Denny go fishing, Alan is reading a book about salmon farms and remarks that salmon lice are sometimes called "cling-ons". Denny: "Did you say...Klingons?"
    • Alan certainly seems to know what he wants in a secretary.
  • Boy Meets World:
    • Eric tries to impress a girl with a stream of lies ending with "and I'm Batman." Eric is played by Will Friedle, voice of the future Batman Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond.
    • The students attend John Adams High, a nod to William Daniels' role as John Adams in 1776. In the episode where Eric decides he wants to be a teacher, the immigrants recite the Declaration of Independence in the final scene. The term "inalienable rights" was replaced with "unalienable rights," the term that John Adams fights to be replaced in a memorable scene in 1776.
  • The French series Bref has an episode where the main character lists his pet peeves, such as people showing up to a costume party without a disguise. Cut to the costumeless guy grabbing a paper crown and declaring himself disguised as a king, while his buddy stuffs his face. The two individuals in question are better known as Arthur and Big Eater Karadoc on Kaamelott. Other allusions are a guy explaining why coffee goes up the sugar cube (one of the characters from the science show C'est pas sorcier) or a guy geeking out over the history of Parisian streets (Lorant Deutsch, an amateur historian, and actor who's flanderized as such in his TV appearances).
  • In Episode 5 of The Brittas Empire, "Stop Thief!" Gordon's wife reveals that Gordon briefly worked for the Samaritans, on what became known as Black Friday because all four people he spoke to committed suicide. And one of them was the wrong number. In the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day", two years earlier, Rimmer, also played by Chris Barrie, had also mentioned he worked for the Samaritans, on what became known as Lemming Sunday for the same reason, complete with the wrong number.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The episode "What's My Line" had Buffy telling Kendra "Back off, pink ranger!" Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double was the suit actor for the American filmed footage of the Pink Ranger in the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. At the end of the same episode, Buffy advises Kendra not to watch the in-flight movie if it has dogs or Chevy Chase in it. This is probably a reference to the Chevy Chase film, Funny Farm in which Sarah Michelle Gellar had an uncredited cameo.
    • The first full episode featuring Dawn starts with her writing in her diary, much like Harriet the Spy (Michelle Trachtenberg, aka Dawn starred in The Film of the Book).
  • In an episode of the 1994-95 revival of Burke's Law entitled "Who Killed the Movie Mogul?", Amos Burke and his partner/son Peter go to a movie memorabilia shop to question the owner, the daughter of this episode's murder victim. While they're waiting for her, Amos notices a movie poster for the 1953 version of "The War of the Worlds". He mentions it's one of his favorite movies and adds "Whatever happened to the fellow who starred in that?" and the camera cuts to the lower portion of the poster which reads 'Starring Gene Barry'.
  • Burn Notice:

  • In the episode "The Trial" of Californication the main character, Hank (portrayed by David Duchovny), while getting dressed in a suit comments that "I look like a f*ckin' FBI agent" and then winks in the mirror in reference to Duchovny's character in The X-Files, who happens to be an FBI agent.
    • To which his wife replies "A brooding and comely FBI agent," a reference to the song "David Duchovny" by Bree Sharp.
  • In Caprica, Peter Wingfield played a character named Gara Singh, who was simultaneously the head of the Caprica civil defence organisation and the leader of the monotheist terrorist cell on Caprica who he was meant to be catching. In Highlander, his immortal character Methos had infiltrated the immortal-watching Watcher organisation and taken charge of the hunt for himself.
  • A game of Celebrity Jeopardy! featuring (then) stars of Law & Order, one of whom was actress Carey Lowell, had a category called "Bond, James Bond", which was all about the James Bond movies. Lowell previously starred as the Bond girl of Licence to Kill, so she got a kick of that.
  • Charisma Carpenter appeared in several episodes of Charmed (1998) as a demon who had visions.
  • An episode of Cheers during its final season had Sam Malone, who throughout the series took pride in his head of hair, revealing that he had been going bald and covering it with a hairpiece for some time. It was already well known for years before the episode aired that Ted Danson was wearing hairpieces.
  • Chicago Hope:
    • Dr. Geiger is treating a patient who thinks she's Eva Peron. The patient goes up to him and slyly says, "I know who you are." Dr. Geiger was played by Mandy Patinkin, who was better known at that time for his work as a Broadway actor and won a Tony Award playing Che in the Broadway production of the musical Evita.
    • In the second season, when Geiger's ex-wife Laurie is getting married to a fellow mental patient, the 'hymn' for the wedding was "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina".
  • Chuck:
    • An episode uses a rather extreme version that really stretches suspension of disbelief. The film Die Hard exists in the series but in this episode Reginald Vel Johnson guest stars as the cousin of regular character Big Mike: a Twinkie eating cop named Al Powell who gets involved in a hostage standoff. Later, Mike (one of the hostages) and Al even gets to talk on the phone and share dialogue quite reminiscent of the film.
    • Scott Bakula shows up as Chuck and Ellie's father, and after Ellie's first words to him are a blunt reminder of the night he abandoned them he replies "Oh boy," Bakula's catchphrase from Quantum Leap.
    • "Chuck vs the Sizzling Shrimp". James Hong plays a businessman that 'owns half of Chinatown'. Confined to a Wheelchair. Named (Ben) Lo Pan.
    • In an earlier episode, Casey (played by Adam Baldwin) scoffs at the threat posed by a young genius opponent: "What, is he gonna hurt me with his mind?" This is similar to a threat issued towards Baldwin's character by another young genius on Firefly: "Also, I can kill you with my brain."
    • The season four premiere has Dolph Lundgren saying "I must break you," with the exact same delivery he used in Rocky IV.
    • Chuck at one point described Agent Daniel Shaw as "kinda Superman-y". Three guesses for which superhero Brandon Routh has played as.
      • Works on two levels. Chuck's coworker comments on how attractive Agent Shaw is. Chuck responds "Yeah, if you're into that whole Superman thing." Said coworker is played by Kristin Kreuk.
    • In "Chuck Versus The Fear Of Death" Casey confronts Greta, telling her he doesn't care "what crew you were on," a low-key reference to both Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau's respective roles in Firefly.
    • In "Chuck vs. the Gobbler", Sarah goes undercover. She dyes her hair black, wears a catsuit and says "I love a good suicide mission."
    • In "Chuck vs. the Leftovers", Chuck's mother, played by Linda Hamilton saves his son and Sarah. Then she tells "Come with me if you want to live".
      • She also portrays Pilar in Defiance where she says this to Nolan in the season 3 episode "Broken Bough".
  • Cold Case: "Creatures of the Night" involves a serial killer, played in the present day by Barry Bostwick, beginning his crimes in the 1970s after his religious sensibilities were disgusted by the portrayals of perversion and bisexuality in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in which the young Bostwick played Brad Majors.
  • Community has had many references to Joel McHale's other jobs (like hosting The Soup) or his Real Life Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, Ryan Seacrest.
    • In one episode, Malcolm-Jamal Warner appears as Shirley's ex-husband and he's wearing a funky sweater. When Jeff comments on it, he says "my dad gave it to me."
    • We meet Jeff's half-brother, Willy Jr., in Season 4's Thanksgiving episode. Willy Jr. (played by Adam DeVine) nearly vomits from anxiety when first meeting Jeff, and claims that this is a frequent problem for him. DeVine had a major role in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect, which had another main character suffer from the same thing (in spectacular CGI, no less).
    • Another Season 4 episode has Pierce (played by Chevy Chase) mentioning that he's never understood the appeal of golf.
    • In "Basic Lupine Urology", Troy dresses up as a comically "old-timey" college student in order to catch a thief. The same basic gag (but with coke dealers instead of a thief) was used in Mystery Team, the cult indie comedy Donald Glover starred in a few years before he got cast as Troy.
    • In "A Fistful of Paintballs", Abed describes Josh Holloway's character as "Really good-looking. Like, network television good-looking".
    • In "Comparative Religion", Pierce says "I know guys like this Mike. He used to be a nerd, now he's a meathead." Mike is played by Anthony Michael Hall, who became famous in the '80s for portraying nerds in movies like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science.
    • Michael K. Williams had a recurring role in Season 3 as a hardened ex-con who becomes the gang's new biology professor. In "Basic Lupine Urology", he gives a speech about no matter what, a man has to live his life with a code of honor.
    • Keith David guest-stars as the narrator in the Season 3 episode "Pillows and Blankets", and at the very end, Jeff asks him if he was in The Cape (which is also a Call-Back, as Abed was shown to be obsessed with the show in earlier episodes).
    • In "Physical Education," Abed attempts to seduce Annie (played by Alison Brie), Don Draper-style. Don Draper, of course, is the main character on Mad Men, on which Alison Brie recurs as Pete Campbell's ex-wife, Trudy.
    • In "Ladders," it's mentioned that Shirley left school to take care of her aging father. In real life, Shirley's actress, Yvette Nicole Brown, left the show for the same reason.
    • In "Pascals Triangle Revisited", Starburns suggests that they bring back Conan. His actor, Dino Stamatopolous used to be a writer for Conan in the mid-'90s.
  • In the pilot of Cops: L.A.C., Detective Sam Cooper makes a mildly cynical comment about the foster care system and is called on it by another officer who grew up in the system and turned out fine. The joke is that Sam is played by Kate Ritchie of Home and Away fame, a show with a long history of portraying idealised foster families, with Kate's character Sally starting as a foster child and growing up to be a great foster mother.
  • Corner Gas:
    • The fifth-season premiere has the cast discussing Canadian television shows. As soon as Street Legal is mentioned, Oscar yells out "Street Legal sucked!". Oscar's actor, Eric Peterson, had a role on the series as Leon.
    • The series finale dealt with Brent trying out stand-up comedy. Which is of course what Brent Butt does when not starring in his own sitcom.
  • Cougar Town:
    • In one episode Jules' son looks through his mother's photo album and asks, "wow, did you really dance with Bruce Springsteen?" Jules proudly says yes. Jules is played by Courteney Cox, whose first big acting role was in Springsteen's 1984 "Dancing In The Dark" music video as an audience member he pulls on stage to dance with him.
    • In the season 2 finale, Sam Lloyd guests stars. He says he moved to Hawaii because he was broken up with by a girl named Gooch, who ran off with a man named Hooch. Gooch was a character he had a brief romance with on the show Scrubs, played by Kate Micucci. Also on the show, there was a background character named Hooch, played by Phil Lewis.
  • In County Line, which is a made for TV movie, Tom Wopat plays the ex-sheriff of Maksville County, which is in Georgia in the movie. He is a veteran of the USMC and in one scene, is seen stealing a sheriff's car, which happens to be a Dodge Charger. In The Dukes of Hazzard, the General Lee was a Dodge Charger and his character, Luke Duke served in the Marine Corps.
  • The Crazy Ones:
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar's character has a Bones marathon, and when her date turns out to have been using her asks if he even likes David Boreanaz who played her love interest on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
    • In another episode, Robin Williams' character dates an author played by Pam Dawber, his co-star from Mork & Mindy (and who, tired of his manic nature, quips "You're like an alien!")
  • Criminal Minds:
    • In one episode the two suspects were played by Chris Marquette and Michael Welch. They were questioned by Joe Mantegna as David Rossi. Mantegna played Will Girardi on Joan of Arcadia. Welch played his son and Marquette played his daughter's boyfriend.
    • In another episode Hotchner says Reid's new haircut makes it look like he joined a boy band. Reid's actor, Matthew Gray Gubler, voiced one of The Chipmunks in a movie.
  • In the pilot episode of Crossing Jordan, the leader of the anger management group asks Jordan what she's angry at. She replies "...and then, of course, there's all the crap I see in my line of work: people killed by drunk drivers, psychos who murder innocent people for no reason, injustice." Jordan was, of course, portrayed by Jill Hennessy, whose character, Claire Kincaid, was previously killed off Law & Order when her car was hit by a drunk driver.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In one episode, the suspect of the week is a really passionate actor trying out for the part of George in a play production of Of Mice & Men. As he's rehearsing his lines, Mac comes up to him and says something along the lines of "Looks like you might beat me to the part." One of Gary Sinise (Mac's actor)'s early roles was actually playing George in a movie adaptation of Of Mice And Men which he also directed and produced.
    • Detective Mac Taylor also shares last names with Sinise's most famous role, Lieutenant Dan Taylor of Forrest Gump. His first name is said to be McCanna, though it's only shown up in scripts. This is after Gary Sinise's son (who is, in turn, named after a brother-in-law of Gary's who was a decorated Vietnam veteran).
      • In one episode, Danny says to Mac, "I got my sea legs" upon recovering from being injured and in a wheelchair; and in another, Adam comes in with evidence to show the rest of the team and uses a variation of "you can tell a lot about a person by his shoes."
    • There are also two eps where Mac is shown to play bass in a jazz band. This is an allusion to Gary Sinise's work with his Lt. Dan Band. He plays his personal guitars in those eps.
    • There's another ep where Mac's Quip to Black is "Houston, we have a problem." Gary played Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13.
    • Another episode has Stella refer to a suspect as "Buffy the Friend Slayer" to Danny. Carmine Giovinazzo got his first break on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Mac Taylor's involvement with the "Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance" in ep 8.01 was loosely based on Gary's help with the project.
    • Danny Messer's back-story of pursuing a baseball career before being side-lined by an injury mirrors that of his actor, Carmine Giovinazzo.
    • In season 7, Jo tells the team she was a cheerleader in high school. Sela Ward had been one both in high school and at the University of Alabama.

  • The "Network Neutrality" segment on The Daily Show had Jon Stewart trying to make a reluctant John Hodgman say "I'm a PC" in reference to the latter's Apple ads.
  • Dancing with the Stars:
  • In an early Dawson's Creek episode, Joshua Jackson comments on how great "those ducks movies" were — a coy Shout-Out to his role as Charlie in The Mighty Ducks films.
  • On Days of Our Lives, Brady Black confronts Eve Donovan over her use of aliases, including "Chelsea" and "Blair." Eve is played by Kassie DePaiva, who played Chelsea Reardon on Guiding Light (whose setting of "Springfield" is also name-dropped) and Blair Cramer on One Life to Live and General Hospital (with the former's Pennsylvania setting also mentioned).
  • In Dear Louise, it's revealed that if character Dana Whitaker drinks, she would dance too wildly; the cast is thrown out of a bar when Dana dances on the table to the music of "Boogie Shoes". In Desperate Housewives, when Lynette wants her boss to stop inviting her to bars in "They Asked Me Why I Believe in You", she dances provocatively with all the guys to the sound of "Boogie Shoes"... both characters are played by Felicity Huffman.
  • In Demons, Philip Glenister's dialogue is littered with Gene Huntisms, including barking "Gladys!" at Gladiolus.
  • In an episode of Design:e2, Brad Pitt is narrating at the beginning of the episode and three lines in, he utters the phrase "They are not the cars they drive", which is a reference to his line in Fight Club where he says "You are not the car you drive."
  • In a TV series called Development Hell, in which The Room's Juliette Danielle has a recurring role, an episode is called "You Are Tearing Me Apart, Damien".
  • Dexter: Michael C. Hall previously played a funeral home director on Six Feet Under. So when Dexter goes to a funeral home in the season 5 première, and the roles are reversed, the show makes the most of it, from a set that looks like the Fisher funeral home to the funeral director offering tissues.
  • In the "Protecting the Ego-System" episode of Dharma & Greg, actor Ed Begley Jr., a noted green environmental activist, guest stars as "Actor Ed Begley Jr.". He is always referenced by this full name whenever anyone speaks to him or about him. The episode revolves around a protest at an environmentally sensitive wetland being converted into a golf course.
  • In one episode of Diagnosis: Murder, Dick Van Dyke as Doctor Sloan is walking through the corridors of the hospital. As he turns a corner, he passes an internal window through which we see, not a medical procedure in progress, but a broadcast booth in black and white. It's a clip from his mostly forgotten show Good Morning World. He walks on without seeming to notice.
    • This show was fond of stunt casting. For instance, one episode featured guest stars from the movie and TV versions of M*A*S*H. The plotline involved a murder mystery in the middle of casualties pouring in from a multi-car accident, similar to marathon operating room sessions that figured prominently in M*A*S*H.
    • Randolph Mantooth and Robert Fuller guest starred in an episode about a wildfire. There's even an Engine 51 that Mantooth's character rides in at one point, referencing their Emergency! roles.
    • Victoria Rowell co-starred on The Young and the Restless for much of the same time she played Dr. Amanda Bentley on Diagnosis: Murder. In one episode, Dr. Bentley won a walk-on role on Y&R in a contest. Several members of the soap-opera's cast were taken aback at how much she resembled Victoria...
  • In the A&E documentary series Dinosaur!, hosted and narrated by Walter Cronkite, his last line of narration is "...and that's the way it is." Referencing his famous newscast sign-off.
  • In the first season finale of Dirt, Lucy (played by Courteney Cox) gets a visit from an old friend, played by who else but Jennifer Aniston.
  • In the TV adaptation of the Discworld novel Hogfather, after Albert implies Death is deliberately following the Rules in a way that means Susan will break them, Death, voiced by Ian Richardson, replies "I couldn't possibly comment", the Catchphrase of Richardson's character in House of Cards (UK).
  • Doctor Who:
    • First Doctor companion Ian Chesterton was played by William Russell, famous as the lead of the 1950s swashbuckling series The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot. In "The Crusade", he gets knighted and the Doctor jokes that he could always have imagined him as a knight.
    • In "The Daleks' Master Plan", the Doctor insists to a man in a contemporary Liverpool police station that he once met him "in a marketplace in Jaffa". The actor Reg Pritchard had previously played the merchant Ben Daheer in "The Crusade".
    • "Colony in Space" had the Brigadier tell the Doctor he'd nearly arrested the Spanish ambassador, mistaking him for the Master. The actor who played the Master, Roger Delgado, had previously played Mendoza, the Spanish envoy to the court of Elizabeth I in Sir Francis Drake.
    • Tom Baker had previously worn a big floppy fedora and a long scarf to hide his mutations from the outside world while playing The Igor in The Mutations (released in the US as The Freakmaker). Interviews with Tom Baker and the costume designer James Acheson reveal that it was an inspiration.
    • "Revenge of the Cybermen": Tom Baker gets to perform a snatch of a famous soliloquy from Macbeth, the role he'd played last before getting cast as the Doctor (and one that had been fairly traumatic for him).
    • "The Brain of Morbius": The Doctor tells Sarah that if she doesn't stop crying he'll bite her nose. Tom Baker had previously had his nose bitten for crying in The Canterbury Tales.
    • Valentine Dyall, who played the Black Guardian during seasons 16 and 20, had previously been well-known as the BBC's radio Horror Host "The Man in Black". Cyril Luckham, who played his counterpart the White Guardian, was probably best known for his role in a 1971 drama series called The Guardians.
    • In the 1992 VHS version of "Shada", when Tom Baker reminisces about the story before beginning his narration, he says that he heard Daniel Hill (Chris Parsons) ended up manager of an old people's home ("Or maybe he went into an old people's home, or maybe he was always old"), a reference to his then-current role as Baines in Waiting for God.
    • "Terror of the Vervoids": In Mel's first scene, she is shown training the Sixth Doctor, who's on an exercise bike. The Sixth Doctor's actor, Colin Baker, gained a noticeable amount of weight in-between the 22nd and 23rd seasons.
    • For a little while (until the series revival), the canonical Ninth Doctor was Richard E. Grant, who played an Ink-Suit Actor version of him in the animation "Scream of the Shalka". The Eighth Doctor had been played by Paul McGann — basically, he had regenerated into the other half of Withnail & I.
    • "The Christmas Invasion" includes a scene of the Tenth Doctor (played by David Tennant) choosing his new costume in the TARDIS wardrobe. In addition to the Continuity Nod of past Doctors' costumes being present, there was also a vivid red "Regency" shirt resembling one Tennant had worn as the title character in Casanova, and a Hogwarts uniform, referencing his role as Barty Crouch Jr. in Goblet of Fire. That incarnation of the Doctor later mentioned enjoying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
    • "School Reunion" features Anthony Stewart Head as the villain (in a school setting), Mr. Finch. When confronted by a laser-equipped K9, he tells his followers to "Forget the shooty-dog thing."
    • "The Satan Pit": Rose and Mr. Jefferson are discussing escape plans, and Jefferson mentions the ducts used by maintenance robots that run under the base. Rose assumes they're ventilation shafts, which gets Jefferson to say "I appreciate the reference." His actor was in Alien³. Plus of course, those sort of maintenance tunnels in Star Trek are nicknamed "Jefferies tubes"
    • "The Lazarus Experiment": Richard Lazarus, played by Mark Gatiss, says he used to live in a flat above a butcher's shop. In The League of Gentlemen, Gatiss played a butcher.
    • "Utopia": Sir Derek Jacobi first played the Master in the non-canon animated special Scream of the Shalka, before playing Professor Yana, the Master's Chameleon Arched human personality, as well as the man himself briefly.
    • The special "Time Crash" as a whole is an especially poignant one. Peter Davison reprises his role as the Fifth Doctor opposite Ten, who tells him how much he loved his time as Five and finally getting to be young and nice. He then breaks the fourth wall entirely with the line "You were my Doctor"; fans typically use "my Doctor" to refer to the actor who they grew up with and love in the role, and Davison was that Doctor for Tennant, so much that he became an actor solely so that he might get to play the role himself one day.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": Jenny is played by Georgia Moffett, who actually is the daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison. And her mother is Sandra Dickinson (Trillian from the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV series). When Jenny appears for the first time, a bit of the theme music from the Hitchhiker series can be heard.
    • "The Unicorn and the Wasp":
      • David Tennant is Scottish. What's the national animal of Scotland? The unicorn.
      • Felicity Kendal (Lady Eddison) is best known for her role on Rosemary & Thyme, which is about two garden designers who solve crimes & mysteries at the same time, much like the story of this episode. And just like Lady Eddison, Kendal also spent some time in India, where she was brought up. As a result of this, she is fluent in Hindi.
      • Fenella Woolgar and David Tennant also acted together in BBC miniseries He Knew He Was Right.
    • "The Stolen Earth": Wilfred Mott faces down a Dalek. Bernard Cribbins previously did so when he appeared in the non-canonical movie Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D..
    • "Planet of the Dead":
      • Lee Evans, who has a character called Malcolm in his stand-up routines, plays UNIT scientist Malcolm Taylor.
      • One of Malcolm's units of measurement for four-dimensional phenomena is named in honour of Bernard Quatermass. David Tennant starred in the 2005 remake of The Quatermass Experiment.
    • "The End of Time":
    • "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone":
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The Doctor proudly talks about being a friend of Casanova. As noted above, the 2005 BBC series on Casanova had him played by previous Doctor David Tennant, and it was written by previous showrunner Russell T Davies. It's actually how the two met and became friends.
    • "Vincent and the Doctor": Vincent van Gogh, the only person who can see an Invisible Monster, is played by Tony Curran, who once played an Invisible Man.
    • "The Lodger": The Eleventh Doctor plays soccer. His actor, Matt Smith, played soccer before becoming an actor.
    • "The Girl Who Waited": Amy mentions how Rory pretends to be in a band. Rory's actor, Arthur Darvill, is in a band in real life.
    • "Deep Breath": The Twelfth Doctor asks a random hobo (thinking he's Clara) if he's seen the Doctor's new face before. The Doctor gets the feeling that he has seen this face at some point. Peter Capaldi played Caecilius in the Tenth Doctor episode "The Fires of Pompeii", where he and Tennant interacted quite a bit with each other. In a semi-related note, Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) appeared in the episode as well, before going on to play Eleven's companion.
      • This scene is actually followed up in the next season during "The Girl Who Died" when the Twelfth Doctor realises he actually chose Caecilius' face to remind himself to always save someone, if not everyone.
      • Capaldi's last role immediately prior to the Doctor was in World War Z as "W.H.O. Doctor".
    • "Time Heist": The Twelfth Doctor tells people to "shutity up!"
    • "Dark Water": A character is horrified to see the Twelfth Doctor's identity card — "Another government inspection? So soon? Why is there all this swearing?"
    • "Praxeus": The Doctor is first seen running down a beach towards a (soon to be) dead body.
  • In Dollhouse, Summer Glau plays a sadistic brain surgeon very similar to the ones she was victimized by on Firefly. She even references having to toy around with someone's amygdala with a cheery "Fun time for me!"
    • When flipping through Bennett's academic achievements, Caroline says "Bet she could kill you with her brain."
    • In "Stage Fright", Echo throws a perceived threat, revealed afterward to be merely paparazzi, over a balcony in a "punch first, ask questions later" move reminiscent of Faith:
      Sierra: That was so cool.
      Echo (shrugging sheepishly): I'm from Southie.
  • On a late episode of Drake & Josh, the movie theatre, which usually featured fictitious movies advertised during the Establishing Shot, was advertising "Now She's Carly", an allusion to actress Miranda Cosgrove new role of Carly in iCarly.

  • Eerie, Indiana:
    • Simon's younger brother's full name is Harley Schwarzenegger Holmes. Christian and Joseph Cousins, who played Harley, previously played Dominic Palmieri in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Kindergarten Cop.
    • In "Reality Takes a Holiday", the Adam Westing version of Mary-Margret Humes tells Marshall that she cried for days when she found out that her character was being killed off in Jake and the Fatman. The real Humes appeared in two episodes of the series: "I Ain't Got Nobody" and "My Boy Bill".
  • At the Emmy Awards one year, Alan Arkin and Adam Arkin (who was a regular on the ER competitor Chicago Hope) presented together. The elder Arkin says to the younger one, "I loved you as Batman."
  • A brilliant combination of Actor Allusion and Shout-Out was in Entourage, in regards to Drama's now-cancelled Ancient Action Hero show Viking Quest. His show was eclipsed and outlasted by the spinoff series Angel Quest. In Angel Quest the title character was played by Vanessa Angel, who was originally slated to play the role of Xena before a car accident prevented her from taking the role.
  • A rather bizarre self-Allusion came from Steve Valentine, the host of Estate of Panic. A contestant named Jordan is last out of a room. Valentine goes "I guess we'll be...Crossing Jordan off the list."
  • Season four of Eureka has been having a blast with guest star James Callis, formerly the delightfully nutty Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica. In addition to the numerous "fraks" uttered by the other cast members throughout the season so far, 4x08 also references his character hallucinating a "leggy blonde in a slinky red dress." This same episode also makes a reference to Ed Quinn as a vampire. Quinn's first role after his original Eureka run was as exactly that on a few episodes of True Blood.

  • An episode of Falling Skies has resistance fighter Margaret teaching Anne, the 2nd Mass's doctor, how to shoot. When Anne fires off several wild shots, Margaret tells her, "Slow down honey - you're not the Terminator!" Moon Bloodgood, who plays Anne, played a resistance fighter pilot in Terminator Salvation.
  • In an episode of Fastlane, Deaq quips that "this Dennehy guy has seen In the Name of the Father too many times."
  • A Pink Ranger can be seen in the background of the first year Halloween Episode of Felicity. Amy Jo Johnson (Julie) played the Pink Ranger on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
  • In an episode of The Flash (2014), Mark Hamill's character says, "No, I am your father."
    • This series lives and breathes this trope, having featured several actors playing Earth-1 versions of the characters they played on the original 1990 series. The events of that series are now established as having taken place on Earth-90 and John Wesley Shipp has appeared as the Barry Allen/Flash from that world.
  • In FlashForward episode "137 Sekunden", Agent Demetri Noh (played by Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle's John Cho) is about to leave a person's house when he bumps into something:
    Guy: I can explain...
    Noh: It's OK, I know what a bong is.
  • One episode of The Flying Nun had Sister Bertrille show home movies of her life before becoming a nun. The "movies" were clips from Sally Field's previous series Gidget.
  • Foyle's War: In "The Russian House", Tom Goodman-Hill plays the estranged son of a murdered man and remarks that the details of his father's murder are "like something out of an Agatha Christie novel." This is two years after he appeared in the Doctor Who episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp", in which he plays the title wasp, when the Doctor meets Agatha Christie.
  • Frasier:
    • In one episode, Niles briefly plays a part of the finale to Schubert's A major sonata D.959, also known as the theme song to Wings, on the piano. Wings was another Angell, Casey, and Lee production that Kelsey Grammer once guest-starred on as, surprise, Frasier Crane. Niles and Daphne's son David was named as a tribute to the late David Angell, who was killed in the September 11 attacks.
    • In one 2004 episode Frasier's ex-wife, the children's entertainer Nanny G, asks him if he has any idea what it's like playing the same character for twenty years. Of course, Kelsey Grammer knows exactly what it's like, having played Frasier since 1984.
  • In one episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Uncle Phil and his parents are having an argument, and Will is trying to help, Uncle Phil tells him "Sometimes, parents just don't understand." An allusion to Will Smith's rap career is made again when Uncle Phil says of his wife's gullibility, "Oh please, Vivian. You'd believe that boy if he told you that he was a big rap star whose album just went platinum!" The audience immediately laughs because at the time, in real life, Will Smith's album "Parents Just Don't Understand" had gone platinum.
  • Friends:
    • On "The One with the Football", Phoebe wears a That Girl T-shirt. Marlo Thomas, the star of that show, played Rachel's mother.
    • There's even one for animal actors. In "The One After the Superbowl," Ross learns Marcel the monkey is now filming the fictional sequel to Outbreak. The monkey actually was the monkey in the film.
    • For one episode in the opening credits, Courteney Cox gets first billing and is now billed as Courteney Cox-Arquette (due to her marriage to David Arquette). The rest of the cast also have Arquette hyphened onto the end of their names in the credits for that episode. The end of the episode has a little dedication saying "For Courteney and David, who did get married".
  • On Fringe, while looking over William Bell's books, Nina a finds one written by Dr. Spock, clearly no relation to the character played by Leonard Nimoy (who, naturally, also played William Bell).
    • The first season episode "The Road Not Taken" contained a ton of Star Trek references, including a man named Emmanuel Grayson (Spock's mother's last name) who truly believed he was Spock. He referenced The Wrath of Khan by name and then warned the agents that a war would soon be started by "renegade Romulans from the future, here to change the timeline" (the plot of the 2009 Star Trek movie). In the very next episode, Leonard Nimoy made his first guest appearance.
    • There is actually a real Dr. Benjamin Spock who wrote a famous best-selling book about childcare. Many a Star Trek fan was disappointed when he purchased a copy.
    • For one Monster of the Week we have Canaan, the shapeshifter-a Serial-Killer Killer that only kills criminals and who is (was) the blindly loyal minion of the Big Bad. One of the people to play Canaan is Kirby Morrow who voiced Teru Mikami on Death Note.
  • The Full House two-parter set at Walt Disney World has a subplot in which D.J., pining for her absent boyfriend Steve (Scott Weinger), sees him as various performers through her point-of-view, only for her to find on second glance that they aren't him after all. One of the mistaken cases is Aladdin — Weinger is the speaking voice of that character.

  • Game of Thrones: Matriarch Olenna Tyrell often alludes to her past beauty and having lived through decades of court intrigue. She's played by Diana Rigg, who was not only a sex symbol in the '60s, but she made a name for herself in the spy genre, in both The Avengers (1960s) and the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • The short-lived Bob Newhart/Judd Hirsch sitcom George & Leo had an episode which featured a ton of cameo appearances from people who had co-starred on both men's earlier shows.
  • On an episode of The George Lopez Show. George's new maid, played by Barbara Eden, wishes she can get her work done faster by crossing her arms and nodding.
  • Ghost Whisperer:
    • In "Horror Show", the ghost made short movies based on people's worst fears. When Rick and Melinda are looking at the movie list, Rick reads out one called "I know what you did last summer," pauses and looks at Melinda (who is played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, who of course was in "I Know What You Did Last Summer").
    • In "Love Still Won't Die", (S02E02) Lacey Chabert is a guest (both her and Jennifer Love Hewitt were on Party of Five). In the scene where they meet they both act for a moment as if they recognize each other.
  • Girls5eva: Wickie mentions that she had a "Henrietta Lacks situation with HPV cells". Her actress Renée Elise Goldsberry played Lacks in the biopic The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks.
  • Glee: Though possibly coincidental, Lea Michele's character is shown singing "On My Own" from Les Misérables. Michele has often discussed being offered the role of Eponine (who sings that song) in the Les Mis revival but turning it down in favor of Spring Awakening. She got her start in musical theatre by playing the role of young Eponine on Broadway as a child. In fact, she's singing "On My Own" because it's the song she sang for her audition in Glee.
    • Many fans talked about the resemblance between Lea Michele and Idina Menzel. It was revealed during second-half of season 1 that Idina Menzel's character is Lea Michele's character biological mother. They both sing another song from Les Miserables.
    • If we consider that both Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth's characters are after the same guy (they both had some kind of feelings for Will Schuester), it reminds us of another famous love triangle involving those actresses.
    • When Victor Garber takes a break from his usual cool, hard-hitting persona to play Will's dad, he expresses his regret at never going to law school and at the end of the episode decides to apply. This is a shout-out to Victor Garber's portrayals of lawyers in many movies and TV shows (Legally Blonde, Eli Stone, etc...)
    • Victor Garber is also known for his work in Broadway musicals (e.g., Assassins), thus his appearance in a show all about music and musicals is another Lampshade Hanging in an already overly-meta show.
    • In the pilot episode, when Sandy sees Will at the linen store, his reaction is identical to that of Ned Ryerson every time he sees Phil in the street. Sandy's last name is Ryerson too (though Word of God says that the name "Sandy Ryerson" was scripted before the actor was cast).
    • In the second episode, when Terri flicks the kitchen lighter with a very smug attitude (as opposed to her needy, slightly hysterical character) it could be an allusion to Jessalyn Gilsig's role in Heroes as Meredith Gordon, the smug and self-confident woman with the power to control fire and create a small flame from her hand.
    • The online recap of "The Rhodes Not Taken", the episode in which Kristin Chenoweth guest-starred, shows Kristin's character hitting one of Chenoweth's famous "Cheno Notes". The narrator Finn comments with admiration, "Wicked." Rhodes also mentions her dream of making it to Broadway. In her second appearance, Kristin says that she's going to create the first all-white rendition of "The Wiz", and she sings the solo for "Home" from the same musical.
    • Also, Will and Terri are in a tiny Pie Shop when he thinks of Chenoweth's character.
    • Terri's sister asks if her baby will be black, a reference to Jessalyn Gilsig's character (Gina Russo) in Nip/Tuck.
    • In "Sectionals", Mercedes sings a song from Dreamgirls; Amber Riley auditioned for Dreamgirls.
    • In episode 4, Kurt performs Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" in his basement along with Tina and Brittany (played by Heather Morris), who is one of Sue's Cheerios and not friends with him. She would have no in-universe reason for this, the real purpose being a Shout-Out to Heather Morris' role as one of Beyoncé's backup dancers in Single Ladies. Heather Morris actually started out in Glee as only being there to teach them that dance, and then later got the role as Brittany when it turned out they still needed a third cheerleader.
    • Bryan Ryan's vocal exercises as he enters the theater sound horribly familiar.
      • That same character did magic tricks, Neil Patrick Harris is an assumed illusionist.
      • It seems particularly familiar when that character says "Awesome".
    • In Episode 21, "Funk", it is revealed that Rachel is a vegan after the members of Vocal Adrenaline egg her in the parking lot. Lea Michele is a vegan in real life who has appeared in ads for PETA.
    • In "Home" April sings part of "A House is not a Home". Kristin Chenoweth sings the song in the revival of Promises, Promises.
    • Kurt singing "Defying Gravity" is a reference to Chris Colfer's having been denied the opportunity to perform it earlier in life.
    • The show regularly lampshades Finn's lack of dancing ability, in reference to Cory Monteith's notoriously bad dancing.
    • Borders on Adam Westing, with Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf playing conservative strawmen who want Sue to protest the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • Magenta was played by an actress named Patricia Quinn in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Quinn Fabray plays Magenta in the Rocky Horror Glee Show.
    • In "Never Been Kissed", Blaine, played by Darren Criss, the lead actor and songwriter for A Very Potter Musical, tells Karofsky that he's "Not Alone", the title of a recurring track from the musical.
  • In an episode of Goodnight Sweetheart, a drunken Gary, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, nearly falls through a bar flap when it's raised, but catches himself just in time. Nicholas Lyndhurst played Rodney in Only Fools and Horses, whose brother Del Boy, played by David Jason, once famously fell through a bar flap when he didn't realize it was raised and tried to lean against it.
    • Del Boy was also originally supposed to catch himself just in time, but Jason argued that it wouldn't be funny enough unless he fell through instead. Judging by the number of times the clip has been repeated it seems he was right.
  • In The Good Place, Michael's brief appearance as a bartender alludes to Ted Danson's role of Sam in Cheers, complete with plaid shirt and signature bar towel sling.
  • Good Times:
    • In one episode William Christopher played an Army doctor.
    • In another episode, a well-meaning white family tells Florida that they didn't know how bad Black people had it until they saw the struggles of Kunta Kinte on Roots. Her reply was "He's making more money than all of us now!" This was in reference to John Amos, who played James Evans for four seasons, left the show, and later starred as the older Kunta Kinte.
  • On The Good Wife Starring Julianna Margulies, Margulies' character Alicia Florrick is being interviewed by TV commentator Frank Prady (played by David Hyde Pierce) about her run for state's attorney. When asked how she balances her work at her law firm, her personal/family life, and her campaign for state's attorney, Alicia says that she "triages" each area, figuring out which one takes the highest priority at that moment. This is perhaps a reference to ER, where Margulies previously played an emergency room nurse, a job which required her (or more accurately, her character) to "triage" patients to determine their level of priority. Pretty hilarious if you make the connection. Unclear as to whether this was intentional on the part of the writers, or if it was merely a coincidence of phrasing.
  • Gossip Girl:
    • In "It's Really Complicated" when Blair finds out that Serena's ex Steven wants to reunite with her, Miss Waldorf says "Ooh, you must be in seventh heaven!" Steven is played by Barry Watson, alias Matt Camden from another show that used to be on The CW.
    • Another one is back in season 3 when Blair calls Georgina a vampire; Michelle Trachtenberg's first big role was as Buffy the Vampire Slayer's younger sister Dawn.
    • There's also the episode titles, which are always plays or puns of movie titles, some of which star the main cast acting in them as well; prominent examples include episodes "Easy J" (from Easy A, starring Penn Badgley), "The Townie" (from The Town, starring Blake Lively) and "New York, I Love You XOXO" (from New York, I Love You, starring Blake Lively again), among others.
  • Grandfathered:
    • Paget Brewster's character does an online quiz to find out which of the Friends she is. When it gives her the result of Ross, she retorts that she is 'obviously Monica' - presumably because when Paget Brewster was on Friends, she also dated Chandler.
    • In "The Biter", Gerald Kingsley (played by Josh Peck) pitches an app to Kirk Kelly (played by Drake Bell). After Kirk decides to invest in the app, Gerald shouts "Hug me, brotha!" And then they hug.
  • Greek:
    • "Oh, look! Frasier's on!" says Casey (played by Spencer Grammer, Kelsey's daughter).
    • Also, Rusty's ex-girlfriend Jen K. says living with her roommate is like "living with lonelygirl15." Jen K is played by Jessica Rose, aka... lonelygirl15.
    • And another: "...which is why I think Ferris Bueller is our generation's Gatsby," says Ashleigh to Dean Bowman (played by Alan Ruck, who played Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off). And in a later episode, the dean drives a red Ferrari with a date named Sloane...
    • And a really, really obscure one: Lizzi's gushing over Great Expectations: "Little orphans are so cute!" Senta Moses, who played Lizzi, played Molly in an original touring production of Annie. ...don't look at me like that, she is old enough...
    • In a later episode, the Beta Zeta's are putting on a skit based on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Someone remarks on the attractiveness of the actor who played Kostas. Casey doesn't seem to agree. Michael Rady, who played Kostas, plays Max, Casey's boyfriend at the time.
  • Grounded for Life had one, where a couple of ex-NFL players were watching the Super Bowl at the Finnertys' house. One of them said something to the effect of "I love watching it here! It's like I'm actually there on the field!"
  • In Ground Floor we get Jesse becoming a favorite of Dr Cox for beating up Turk. Then the revelation that Jesse and Aubrey dated in college. Stacie, now their coworker, disapproves.
    • Apparently, Heather's Pitch Perfect, though:
      Jenny: She's pitchy!
      Brody: No, she's not.
      Jenny: No, she's not!
    • Though she treats Threepeat like The Help.
  • Growing Pains:
    • In one episode Jason asks Mike if he's seen Maggie. Mike replies, "Tall blonde, looks like Donna De Varona?" Olympic swimmer Donna De Varona is the sister of Joanna Kerns, who played Maggie. Later in the episode, Maggie asks if Mike has seen Jason. Mike replies, "Tall man, looks like a talk show host?" Alan Thicke, who played Jason, had previously had his own talk show.
    • In another episode, Maggie's parents come for a visit in an RV. Maggie's father, Ed, is telling Jason how popular this particular model of RV is, and says that all the Hollywood types have them, even Loni Anderson. Jason later says he could be happy with it, "Forget Loni Anderson!" Ed replies "I can't!" and pulls open a cabinet door to reveal a poster of her. Ed Malone was played by Gordon Jump, who played Arthur Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati, co-starring Loni Anderson as his secretary.
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God:

  • The description of the plot of the movie Miley Stewart is offered in the series finale of Hannah Montana resembles the Miley Cyrus movie So Undercover, which she had completed filming at the time.
  • Happy Days:
    • In one episode, Marian drags Howard to see The Music Man repeatedly, because there's a little boy in it who looks just like Richie did as a child (Winthrop Paroo was played by Ron Howard, who went on to play Richie). Howard doesn't see it.
    • In an episode in which Robin Williams guest stars as Mork, one scene opens with him watching The Andy Griffith Show on the Cunnigham's TV (while Richie is upstairs packing), and remarking, "I like that Opie boy. Funny how he has a Martian name." (Ron Howard). (A slightly anachronistic reference, as Happy Days takes place in the '50s, and The Andy Griffith Show didn't premiere until 1960.)
  • In an episode of Happy Endings, Brad, played by Damon Wayans Jr., mentions that before they were married, his wife used a picture of "one of the guys from In Living Color!" as a placeholder for him. In Living Color was created by and starred Damon Wayans Sr. as well as his brothers and sister.
    • A retroactive example; Wayans was in the pilot of New Girl. When he left, his character was replaced by Winston, who had just returned from playing basketball in Europe. In the pilot of Happy Endings, his friends describe Brad's smoothie as smelling "like a European basketball player".
    • In one episode, Penny and Alex (played by Elisha Cuthbert)are discussing hypothetical situations. One of them is "Maybe your dad is the head of some elite counter-terrorist unit and you only have 24 hours to... I don't know!" This is a reference to Cuthbert's role as Jack Bauer's daughter on the show 24.
      • Before this they also mention THAT Kim Bauer plot
        Penny: What if you were, like, stuck in a trap, in the woods and like, a cougar was trying to eat you. Would you date then?
        Alex: That's insane! Why would that even happen?!
  • In the first season finale of Harry's Law, Josh Peyton (played by Paul McCrane) sings the song "Is it Okay If I Call You Mine?" at a lawyer gala. The song was written and performed by McCrane originally in Fame. Also with the added touch "I usually sing this in the privacy of my own home," which is exactly how his character in Fame had sung it.
  • Haven:
  • The Hawaii Five-0 episode "The Truth Within" has Jorge Garcia appear as a conspiracy theorist. He has a chat with Daniel Dae Kim's character where they reminisce about a past camping trip, which the two of them liken to being "stuck on a deserted island".
  • In a late season 2 episode of the Hawaii Five-0 remake, Max (Masi Oka) confronts a serial killer he's been hoping to help put away for some time. He does exactly the same thing — except in a more improvisational way — that Oka's character Hiro Nakamura did to Sylar, his serial killer nemesis, in the season 1 finale of Heroes.
  • Fans called Ryan The O.C.'s Hercules. So who should play his father? Kevin Sorbo.
    • Oh, that's nothing. There were two episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys showing that Hercules was still alive in the present day under the secret identity of... Kevin Sorbo.
    • He's only doing that so he can be in television, and so close enough to keep an eye on Ares (revealed in an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess to be alive and working as a TV producer...who gets the idea for Xena pitched to him).
  • In one episode of Herman's Head, Louise angrily snaps "I do not!" into the phone, slams the receiver back into the cradle, and then asks, "Herman, I don't sound like Lisa Simpson, do I?" Louise, of course, was played by Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson. Conversely, a Simpsons episode has Lisa chuckling. When Marge asks her why she is laughing, Lisa replies "Oh, just remembering a joke I saw on Herman's Head."
  • In Heroes, one of Claude's very first lines is the exclamation "Fantastic!" Folks watching on the Scifi Channel have heard this before: it was the actor's Catchphrase during his short tenure as the Doctor on Doctor Who.
    • It's worth noting the significance of the name he gave. Claude Rains was The Invisible Man in the movie of that name.
    • Also in Heroes - although the show is already rife with Star Trek references, several are centered around the character of Kaito Nakamura, portrayed by George Takei. Of special note - the license plate of his limo reads NCC-1701. Somehow his son Hiro, a huge Star Trek fan, doesn't notice that his dad is Sulu.
    • More obtusely, the People Puppets man assumes Claire's Playing with Fire bio-mom is "the fun aunt" of the family — a role Jessalyn Gilsig had filled the previous year on Friday Night Lights.
  • Highlander:
    • In the episode "Freefall", the immortal villain of the week is played by Joan Jett. Her opening/introductory scene quite prominently features a large portion of Cherry Bomb as the background music.
    • Geraint Wyn Davies guest starred in one ep. The character he played had a girlfriend named Jeanette, an allusion to his character's girlfriend on his series, Forever Knight, which aired at the same time Highlander was.
  • Homeland:
    • Saul is a horrendous typist. That could be Mandy Patinkin's fault or it could be an allusion to a similar scene in Dead Like Me.
    • In the Season 3 episode "The Yoga Play", the agent who has been listening in on Dana and Leo's conversations tells Carrie that it's just "Romeo and Juliet". Carrie replies "you do know how Romeo and Juliet ends, do you?" Of course, Claire Danes does know how it ends.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids:
  • House:
    • An episode featured singer Meat Loaf playing a character named "Eddie". "Eddie" was also the name of the character Meat Loaf played in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • Then there's the wonderful moment in another episode that has star Hugh Laurie, on a phone call, using an English accent...not his real one, but the "Upper-Class Twit" one he used on Blackadder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
      • Later, House appeared at an "80s party" dressed in a similar period costume to the sort he wore in Blackadder. The in-show rationale was that he got the wrong 80s (they didn't specify which century), while the audience's immediate reaction was "that's what Hugh Laurie was wearing in the 80s".
    • There's also the episode where we catch a glimpse of a videotape labeled "Blackadder" on a bookshelf in House's apartment.
    • During the new team's introduction, House wrote each of their names on his whiteboard, spelling Kutner as Kumar, a reference to Kal Penn's best-known role at the time.
    • There was a Patient of the Week played by Erin Cahill named Jennie, Her Power Rangers Time Force character? Jen, the Pink Ranger.
    • Once Amber Tamblyn was cast it was just a matter of time; in the episode "Fall From Grace" (7x17) Chris Marquette, who played Adam on Joan of Arcadia, plays the Patient of the Week. Near the end of the episode, he confesses to Tamblyn's character that he's a bad guy, and seeks God's forgiveness, which she promises him he has. It was quite a touching moment.
    • This might be going out on a limb, but when Ron Livingston appeared as a doctor in Africa, he hands out candy from his "friend in Hershey, Pennsylvania." On Band of Brothers, his character's best friend was from Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • In an episode of How to Get a Divorce for the Whole Family, Midori (Kotono Mitsuishi) sings a karaoke version of "Maiden's Policy," the ending song of Sailor Moon R. She's best known for voicing the title character in both the original Sailor Moon and the reboot.
  • Hustle:
    • In one episode, Jodie Prenger plays a friend of the gang who winds up in hospital after using a dodgy diet product sold by that episode's marks. Before her acting career took off, Prenger won the UK version of The Biggest Loser and subsequently worked as a writer on diet issues.
    • At the end of the final episode Danny proposes that now there are seven of them, they should form a new gang called "the Magnificent Seven". Albert (Robert Vaughn) thinks it's "a hell of an idea", and there's a quick burst of the theme from The Magnificent Seven.

  • iCarly:
    • It is revealed that Carly (played by Miranda Cosgrove) has never pulled a practical joke. After being pressured by Sam and Freddie, she unsuccessfully attempts to prank Gibby. Later in the show, she's shown watching TV, and you can hear the scene of the Drake & Josh episode "Megan's Revenge" when Megan (who is well-known for her pranking), also played by Miranda Cosgrove, causes an explosion that makes the floor under Drake and Josh collapse. Carly sighs, saying "How come that little girl is so good at pranking?"
    • In the same episode, Spencer (played by Jerry Trainor) is watching the scene of the Drake & Josh episode "The Storm" where Crazy Steve (also played by Jerry Trainor) is yelling at the TV while watching Dora the Explorer. Lampshaded by Carly after she turns off the TV:
      Spencer: Hey, why'd you turn that off?
      Carly: I'm turning you off!
    • Tim Russ, who was Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager, plays Principal Franklin. In "iOMG" he says the line "Study hard and prosper".
    • One of the shows Carly is flipping past when watching TV in the bathtub in "iToeFatCakes" is Drake & Josh (with her in it as Megan, of course). She's seen that episode already.
  • The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret has Todd seemingly yelling at someone over the phone. Will Arnett's character notices him, and Todd shouts something about a "banana stand!" Both David Cross, who plays Todd Margaret, and Will Arnett played main characters in Arrested Development, which had a banana stand at which two of the characters worked.
  • In Spanish TV series Isabel, Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, played by Sergio Peris Mencheta, meets Cardinal Cesar Borgia as the Pope wishes to ask for his help in freeing the port of Ostia. Sergio Peris Mencheta played Cesar Borgia in the Spanish film Los Borgia.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Frank, in an effort to become well again in a short period of time, takes an unsafe amount of prescription drugs and is institutionalized after wandering the streets of Philadelphia. While in the mental ward, a series of events plays out very similarly to those of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in which Danny DeVito played the minor role of Martini. Most notable similarities include a nurse garbed much like Nurse Ratched, and a deaf, dumb and blind Indian, whom Frank tries to convince to throw a drinking fountain through a window.
  • In an episode of iZombie, Lowell refers to Liv's zombified appearance as an "ethereal Tinkerbell look." Before she took the lead in iZombie, Rose McIver played Tinkerbell in Once Upon a Time.

  • One episode of Jessie has Jessie going to the Tipton Hotel from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody to find Emma there. After the two go home, Mr. Moseby calls Cody on the phone to tell him that Jessie looks just like Bailey, a reference to both of them being played by Debby Ryan.
  • Just Shoot Me! character Jack Gallo discovered he had a black son in one episode. This is the plot of the George Segal movie Carbon Copy.
  • Judging Amy had an episode where Maxine Gray (Tyne Daly) receives a visit from an old friend, Dr. Sally Goodwin (Sharon Gless), sent to investigate her. Daly and Gless starred together as partners in the police drama Cagney & Lacey.

  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger:
    • Gai's actor, Junya Ikeda, stated in his blog that when he was a child he wanted to be the Kiba Ranger. In episode 19, the first thing Gai does when he is allowed to summon Ranger Keys is to summon the Kiba Ranger key.
    • In episode 29, when Ahim dons a schoolgirl disguise, she says she's from Saitama and needs directions. Her actress, Yui Koike, is actually from Saitama, herself.
    • Momo making the Gokaigers do random errands in exchange for the Greater Power in #31 is believed to be an inside joke to Tamao Sato's attitude during the production of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger where she'd make constant unreasonable demands to Toei for being on a kids' show.
    • Joji Nakata, who played the Monster of the Week Zaien in the Liveman tribute episode (#30), was the same actor who played the lead antagonist in that series (Professor Bias). Both were also responsible for turning a former friend to the enemy - Kenji, Rui, and Goh for the Liveman and Sid for Joe, though they were done in different ways.
  • In K.C. Undercover's "Spy-Anoia Will Destroy Ya", when K.C. tells Ernie's gorgeous girlfriend Jolie that she has to get some fresh juice as part of her cover to sneak out and follow Jolie, who she realizes is a Russian spy, Jolie - played by Bella Thorne - replies "Well, I guess it never hurts to Shake it Up." (The episode also has K.C. say "I know it seems a little rocky" - Zendaya used to play a character called Rocky.)
  • Kamen Rider Decade: In the S.I.C. Hero Saga story World of OOO, when the heroes fight Golden Wolf Man, Yusuke mentions that he recently saw a "popular superhero show" where a man in golden wolf armor fought a villain who looked a lot like Tsukasa.

  • L.A. Law:
    • One episode featured a character who dressed up in a Homer Simpson suit, who spoke in Homer's voice when he had the Homer headpiece on. He was played by Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer.
    • In another episode, the lawyer played by A Martinez was asked where he'd been living the previous few months. He says "Santa Barbara" — not a surprise when you know that's the title of the soap opera Martinez had once appeared on.
  • On the Grand Finale episode of The Larry Sanders Show, Sean Penn mentions the cast of a movie he just finished, which includes Garry Shandling. (He then goes on to whisper to Larry how Garry was the worst actor on the set.)
  • In the last season of Las Vegas, Tom Selleck plays the billionaire new owner of the casino. One episode includes an annual poker game with his billionaire friends, who are played by Roger E. Mosley and Larry Mannetti, his co-stars from Magnum, P.I. Both were said to have made their fortunes in the same fields as their Magnum characters. Also, a reference was made to a British billionaire who couldn't make it that year, a reference to John Hillerman's character, Higgins.
  • A Law & Order one that may have been accidental: Briscoe and Greene were working a case and made some joke about cowboys and westerns. Briscoe remarked that he'd barely made it through the novel Shane. Years before L&O came out, Orbach had voiced the hero character in an obscure Space Western. "Shane" was the name of the show's Lancer. (Yes, the Lancer's name was a Shout-Out to the book)
  • In the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Cruise to Nowhere", Detective Goren, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, tells Joey Frost, played by Lou Taylor Pucci, not to bite his nails. In the movie Thumbsucker, D'Onofrio plays a man who tries to get his son not to suck his thumbs. The son is played by - you guessed it - Lou Taylor Pucci.
  • In an early episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a guest character tells Fin (Ice-T) that "You look like a pimp. All you need is a feathered hat and a crushed-velvet suit." Before beginning his regular role on SVU, Ice-T had appeared in the Law & Order Made-for-TV Movie Exile as a pimp, wearing pretty much that exact outfit.
    • Another, possibly unintentional one occurs in a later SVU episode with guest star Lou Diamond Phillips, who portrays a psychopathic killer who meets his demise at the hands of a police sniper. At the time the episode aired, Phillips had a recurring role on another cop show as a police sniper.
    • Mike Dodds, the unit's sergeant for most of Season 17, has a background in boxing. Dodds was played by Andy Karl, who had previously played the lead in Rocky The Musical.
  • The first episode of Law & Order: UK, starring Freema Agyeman (and written by Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall), has a scene set in London's Royal Hope Hospital.
  • One episode of Seinfeld had an upstart comedienne (who Jerry insulted in a previous episode) perform a shtick about comparing Jerry to Satan that becomes a big hit. She was played by Kathy Griffin, who is primarily known for her insult humor.
  • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • In "Fail-Safe", Len Snart (Wentworth Miller) takes part in a plot to rescue Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) from a Russian gulag. "This isn't my first prison break," he says. True; the first time Miller sprung Purcell was the series Prison Break.
    • In "Invasion!", Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) comments that Supergirl resembles his cousin. Routh played Superman in Superman Returns.
    • In "Freakshow", upon discussing going to 1912, to the Titanic, Professor Stein (Victor Garber) gives an abject refusal. Garber played Thomas Andrews in the 1997 movie.
    • In "Tagumo Attacks!!!" Hank Henshaw Jr (Tom Wilson) correctly uses the phrase "Make like a tree and leave". Nate somehow thinks he got it wrong. Wilson played Biff in Back to the Future, who had the line "Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here?"
  • Leverage:
    • Nate Ford's (played by Timothy Hutton) dad is named Jim, which is also Timothy Hutton's father's name.
    • In The Ten Li'l Grifters Job, wherein all the characters have to dress up as various detectives to infiltrate a costume party, Nate dresses as Ellery Queen. Tim Hutton's father played Queen on the TV show.
    • The Last Dam Job features hacker Chaos, played by Wil Wheaton, demanding that Parker dress up as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (2003). When Hardison reacts badly, Chaos says he'll settle for Sophie as Counselor Troi.
    • The season 2 finale has Richard Kind as the mayor of Belbridge, Massachusetts. His longest-running role? Press secretary to a New York mayor.
  • In the pilot episode of Lie to Me, Tim Roth's character carries a Briefcase Full of Money that looks remarkably like the mysterious briefcase from Pulp Fiction.
  • Liv and Maddie: "Grandma-a-Rooney" guest-starred Patty Duke as the titular twins' grandmother Janice and her own twin sister Hillary, as a nod to her own sitcom The Patty Duke Show, which was also about teenaged Polar Opposite Twins. Heartbreakingly, this was Patty's final role before she passed away in 2016.
  • In one episode of Lizzie McGuire, a kung-fu master is invited by Sam McGuire to teach his son, Matt, the ways of the grasshopper. The master is David Carradine, of Kung Fu fame. When the master leaves, Sam is asked how he knew the master, responding, "Him? He's like a brother to me." Sam is portrayed by Robert Carradine, Dave's real-life (half-)brother.
  • Lois & Clark:
    • In one episode Sonny Bono appeared in the teaser as the mayor of Metropolis, holding a press conference. His dialogue consisted largely of references to old Sonny & Cher hit singles. He was also mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992.
    • In another episode Jimmy remarks how much Clark and Superman look alike. Perry White counters with "People say I look like Richard Nixon but I've never been to the White House". Lane Smith (who plays Perry) played Richard Nixon in the tv movie "The Final Days".
  • One episode of Lost had one character refer to Dominic Monaghan's character as a "Munchkin", possibly in reference to his previous role as Merry in The Lord of the Rings.
    • And while being kidnapped, Charlie covertly drops his finger tape behind as a trail, prompting a few comments that he'd been paying attention to Pippin when he dropped an elf broach on the trail he and Merry were being taken down.
    • Also, "Trees? Yeah, I've heard they're wonderful conversationalists."
  • In an episode of The Lucy Show, veteran character actor William Frawley makes his final TV appearance. After his scene, Lucy says, "He reminds me of someone I once knew," referring to his role as Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy.

  • In an episode of Mad About You, Richard Kind says to Paul Reiser, "I feel like there's something in my chest, bursting to get out... did you ever see that movie, Illegal Alien [sic]?" Reiser is quick to reply, "Just the first one." Paul Reiser starred in Aliens as the Corrupt Corporate Executive who gets attacked by an alien.
  • Bert Cooper on Mad Men is played by Robert Morse, most famous for originating the lead role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, another production about businessmen in the 60s.
  • MADtv featured a sketch called "Gump Fiction", a somewhat predictable pastiche of Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction. When rattling off the cast list, it included series regular Phil LaMarr, who cowered on hearing his name and shouted: "Oh no, not again!" In Pulp Fiction, Phil LaMarr played Marvin, a minor character who was accidentally shot in the face.
  • Magnum, P.I.: One episode was an hour-long Affectionate Parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Tom Selleck had to turn down the role of Indiana Jones because of his commitment to do Magnum.
  • Medici: Masters of Florence: Once again, Richard Madden finds himself pledged to marry a daughter of David Bradley, except this time the marriage actually goes through.
  • In Melissa & Joey the main characters enter a local version of Dancing with the Stars which both of the actors appeared on at different times.
  • Miami Vice: Sonny Crockett's pet alligator is named Elvis. Don Johnson had played Elvis Presley a few years earlier in the made-for-TV movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen.
  • In The Middle episode "Life Skills", Brick's school therapist, played by Dave Foley, asks if Brick has seen The Kids in the Hall.
  • In an episode of mixed•ish, Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) told a teacher at his childrens' school she was Saved by the Bell.
  • In Monarch of the Glen, Donald Macdonald makes his first entry wearing a long floppy scarf. In a later episode, he's driving a go-cart with the number "4" while wearing a vivid blue jumpsuit...
  • From Monday Mornings: Ioan Gruffudd is fondly remembered for portraying sailor Horatio Hornblower from Hornblower miniseries. He guest-starred in the episode "Truth or Consequences" as Dr. Delany. When Dr. Hooten fries him on the stage of dishonour during their "screw-up meeting", he refers to him several times as "the Captain of his ship".
  • Monk:
    • The title character (played by Tony Shalhoub) meets Tim Daly, who co-starred with Shalhoub in Wings. His assistant Sharona recognizes him and points him out to Monk, who replies, "I never saw that show. Was it good?" Sharona answers, "Well, he was."
    • Another episode features Stanley Tucci; he and Shaloub played the protagonist brothers in Big Night. They end up fighting each other and rolling around on the floor, just like in the film. It's a shame they couldn't get Tucci in a scene with Dr. Kroger, played by Stanley Kamel, for a Murder One reunion.
  • In the first season Monkees episode, "The Monkees at the Circus", Micky Dolenz incessantly sings a song from "some old TV show" as the group gets acquainted with the big top. The song is the theme tune from Circus Boy, which he starred in as a child actor.
  • In Michael Palin's travelogues, he sometimes makes nods to his Monty Python career, for instance singing "The Finland Song" when entering that country, or telling a parrot "I was in a sketch with you once."
  • When John Cleese appeared on The Muppet Show his first sketch involved him boarding a space ship as a pirate (But not a Space Pirate), with a Hook Hand and a Pirate Parrot. He got into an argument with it and threatened "You want to be an ex-parrot!?" The same skit has the captain disputing that he's a space pirate because the entire idea is just silly. Cleese snaps back, "What else would I be, a management consultant?" which is either a riff on Fawlty Towers where he played an inept hotel manager or a reference to his company Video Arts that made company training videos.
  • Murder, She Wrote:
    • The episode "Murder In A Minor Key" has Shaun Cassidy playing a young college student who turns Amateur Sleuth to solve a murder, a callback to Shaun's biggest role of Joe Hardy in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.
    • The very first episode starts with Jessica Fletcher watching the rehearsal of a murder mystery play and calmly pointing out who did it by the end of the first act. Angela Lansbury did much the same thing at the beginning of The Mirror Crack'd, in the role of Miss Marple.
  • According to That Other Wiki, an ep of My Name Is Earl has Crabman passing out office supplies from a shopping cart. Prior to playing Crabman, Eddie Steeples had done this in a commercial for OfficeMax.

  • This happened often on The Nanny: Toward the end of Sunday in the Park with Fran, Fran asks about a repairman "Who You Gonna Call?", to which a repairman played by Dan Aykroyd walks in, introducing himself as "Frost Busters!". What's better, the scene continues in the style of a 1978 Nerds sketch on SNL.
  • One great example is the Nash Bridges episode "Wild Card", where Cheech Marin is reunited with his former Cheech and Chong partner, Tommy Chong, while Don Johnson is reunited with his former Miami Vice partner, Philip Michael Thomas. In the episode, there are several references made to the former works. Tommy Chong's character is even named Barry Chen, a play on his real name with a reference to his half-Asian parentage.
    Barry Chen: I can probably get him to set you up.
    Joe Dominguez: Actually, I stopped smoking pot years ago.
    Barry Chen: Oh no? What's your drug of choice now, man?
    Joe Dominguez: Uh, Rogaine.
    Barry Chen: Rogaine? What's that? Do you snort it?
  • Nashville:
    • As one Television Without Pity poster stated re Juliette Barnes, "first there was the older man thing and then the football player thing. It almost feels like they're copying (Hayden Panettiere)'s real-life love life." No prizes for guessing who she plays on the show.
    • In season two's "Don't Open That Door," Juliette is signed to a deal with Neutrogena, something the actress who plays her has had plenty of experience with. And "She's Got You" has Juliette discover that the wife of the man she's sleeping with is hot for her. Miss Panettiere's had some experience with that as well.
  • NCIS:
    • In one episode Kate curiously asks what Ducky (played by David McCallum) looked like when he was younger. Gibbs replies "Illya Kuryakin", which isn't surprising, as McCallum played that role on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. forty years prior.
    • Tony comments on the difficulty of something by saying he had a better chance of sleeping with Jessica Alba. Michael Weatherly, the actor who plays Tony, was at some time engaged to Jessica Alba. Furthermore, both he and Jessica Alba's characters from Dark Angel Can't Have Sex, Ever.
    • Also, in the show's second episode Kate tells Abby that she wanted to be a lawyer, but made it through a year of law school and dropped out. Sasha Alexander had guest-starred on CSI as a district attorney two years before.
    • There was another reference to Dark Angel in the 10th episode of Season 5. About halfway through the episode, Tony and Gibbs go to interview a woman named Karen Sutherland. During the course of the interview, Sutherland mentions that her company makes exoskeletons. Weatherly character on Dark Angel used an exoskeleton in Season 2 in order to walk.
    • Tony and Delilah discuss characters in wheelchairs in series 11: Delilah mentions Logan Cale, Weatherly's character in Dark Angel.
    • Subverted on an episode where Tony said that the victim of the week reminded him of the guy from the movie DOA, he was played by Matthew Marsden who also played Christie's boyfriend in DOA: Dead or Alive. However, Tony was referring to the 1950 Edmond O'Brien classic which had a similar plot to that episode, the opening dialogue where a man reports his own murder was even taken from that film.
  • In a Season 6 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, Deeks while sparring with Kensi claims that she's a terrible dancer. Daniela Ruah won the first season of Portugal's version of Strictly Come Dancing.
  • In an episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine, Christine yells 'Get Out!!' and shoves Barb's chest. This is an allusion to Julia Louis-Dreyfus' most famous character, Elaine from Seinfeld.
  • In the finale of Newhart , Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon (Newhart) gets conked in the head with a golf ball and blacks out, then wakes up in bed as Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley (Newhart's character from his first sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show), turns to awaken his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette, also from the earlier show), and explains that he had been dreaming he was the owner of a hotel.
    • An earlier episode had Dick visiting a psychiatrist running into a character who acted as he recognized him from somewhere. The character was played by Jack Riley, who had been Mr. Carlin on the earlier show. (After Dick mentions this to the psychiatrist, he's told that the man in question was deeply unbalanced and had never recovered from the damage that had been done to him by "some quack in Chicago".)
    • Another episode had Dick watching television, with the theme music from The Bob Newhart Show heard coming from the set.
    • Still another episode had the Loudons getting a new next-door neighbor, played by Bill Daily (who'd been the Hartleys neighbor Howard Borden in the earlier show).
    • Yet another episode had Dick talking with Michael about old TV shows, and in particular the old Saturday night lineup on CBS (All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show). Michael: "Yeah, and what was that one with the shrink who stuttered?" Dick: "He didn't stutter, Michael, he...he...he stammered."
  • NewsRadio:
    • One episode involved the delivery of a Stargate Defender arcade machine to the radio station. The delivery guy is played by Eugene Jarvis, the guy who co-created the game with Larry DeMar back in 1981.
    • Another episode had Matthew becoming obsessed with the Dilbert comic strip until another character hires an actor to pretend to be Dilbert creator Scott Adams. The real Scott Adams has a one-line cameo.
  • In the short-lived series, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Gary Chalk plays a character named Silvermane, who is a villainous gangster Ape. Gary Chalk also voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars, the heroic leader of the Maximals and who transformed into a Gorilla.
  • NUMB3RS:
    • At the end of one episode the Eppes men settle down to watch some classic TV. Heard from the TV is Bob James' "Angela," which is better known as the theme to Taxi. Judd Hirsch, who plays the Eppes patriarch, also starred as Alex Rieger in Taxi.
    • An episode had a character make a veiled threat to have Don reassigned to Alaska. His reaction: "Never been there."
    • In the fifth season finale James Callis, fresh from his role as Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica, plays an insane cult leader with a harem of women eager to serve his every need. He is, however, computer illiterate.
    • One that may or may not be intentional occurs in "Provenance". Upon finding that a masterpiece painting is a forgery, the FBI questions the museum conservator who falsely declared it authentic. When they suggest that he aided in the coverup because he was bribed or paid off, he indignantly replies, "Do you think my integrity would be for sale?" The conservator was played by Armin Shimmerman.
    • Another possible one, albeit one that would not have been apparent to viewers at the time, appears in the Season 4 episode "Chinese Box", in which David Sinclair is taken hostage by a guest character played by Enrico Colantoni, better known for his role on the Canadian show Flashpoint, where he played the Sergeant and lead negotiator of a team that responded to critical incidents, a category that included hostage situations. At the time of his appearance in "Chinese Box", Colantoni had already done some filming on what would become the Flashpoint series premiere, but the show was tied up in production and didn't air its first episode until eight months later.

  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Jiminy Cricket calms Henry down by telling him "giving into one's dark side never solves anything." Raphael Sbarge used to play the self-appointed conscience of an amnesiac Sith Lord.
    • Fans have speculated that Regina suffering Electric Torture at the hands of Greg and Tamara towards the end of Season 2 was a grim pun on the name of her actor Lana Parilla - "parilla" (Spanish for "barbecue") was a slang term for Electric Torture in various South American countries that had repressive regimes during the 1970s.
    • In the Season 4 episode "Breaking Glass", Snow White is worried that Belle won't be able to reach her and Charming while she (Belle) is babysitting their child. Charming grabs a walkie-talkie to give to Belle and assures Snow that it will allow Belle to reach them "even if we fall through a portal to Asgard." Josh Dallas, who plays Charming, played Asgardian Fandral the Dashing in Thor.
  • Only Fools and Horses: In a Comic Relief episode Rodney says how stupid the idea of walking through a portal to the 1940s would be after Uncle Albert starts talking about World War II followed by Raquel saying she's going to bed only for Del to reply "Goodnight Sweetheart." followed by a shocked look from Rodney. Del goes on to say that he is not a chief inspector.
    • This was also done the other way around—in Goodnight Sweetheart Gary (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) is about to lean back and fall through an open bar door like Del Boy famously did, but notices in time and gives an Aside Glance wink to the audience—accompanied by uproarious laughter that must seem inexplicable and random to anyone unfamiliar with the Only Fools scene in question.
  • An early episode of Orange Is the New Black has Piper's fiance Larry, played by Jason Biggs, angrily ask Piper why she never told him about her smuggling, when he was open about incidents in his past such as the "webcam horror, and the penis-shaving incident".
  • The Outer Limits (1995)
    • In the episode "Gettysburg", Col. Angus Devine is the character who is played by none other than Meat Loaf.
    • In the episode "Music of the Spheres" Dr. Taylor (Howard Hessman) stated, "You should have heard what we had in the Sixties. THAT was music."
    • In "The Joining", there is mention of a supply ship called the Highlander. One of the guest stars in that episode was Highlander star Jim Byrnes.
    • In "Monster", Clash of the Titans (1981) star Harry Hamlin's character Ford Maddox is a spy whose codename is Charon, a reference to the ferryman of Hades in Greek Classical Mythology.
    • In "Better Luck Next Time", Megan Gallagher plays Detective Terry Russo. She previously played Officer Tina Russo in Hill Street Blues.
    • In "Lion's Den", Brae refers to his friend Morris Shotwell as "Flash" when he beats the track and field star Brent Kearns in a race. Morris' father Peter is played by John Wesley Shipp, who previously played the title character in The Flash (1990).
    • In "The Human Factor", Commander Ellis Ward says that holograms give him a headache. Ward is played by Robert Duncan McNeill, whose Star Trek: Voyager character Lt. Tom Paris initially had a difficult relationship with the Doctor, the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram.

  • In an episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Jerry is trying to sell an Enterprise replica at a swap meet to a skeptical buyer, who questions the authenticity of some of the parts. That buyer is Michael Dorn, who played Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • In an early episode of Picket Fences Judge Bone (played by Ray Walston) is seen at a Halloween party dressed as Uncle Martin from My Favorite Martian.
  • In the Popular arc focused on Harrison's struggle against leukemia, he meets a fellow patient named Clarence who dies but then returns when Harrison is about to commit suicide claiming to have become his guardian angel then takes him on (of course) a Wonderful Life journey. Clarence was played by Mike Damus, who earlier in his career was the star of Teen Angel, a series about a guy who dies and becomes his best friend's guardian angel.
  • In Power Rangers Mystic Force, the Mystic Mother is said to have been called Rita during the "Dark Times". Rita Repulsa and the Mystic Mother were both "played by" Machiko Soga's footage from their series' original Super Sentai source material, dubbed over in English. Machiko Soga died after filming her part in Magiranger, making the Power Rangers reference a tribute. PR fans aren't sure whether or not to take that literally (as cool as it would be for the former Big Bad to now be a Big Good, we last saw Rita played by a different actress, Carla Perez, with an onscreen explanation, and the Mystic Mother's VA sounded nothing like Rita.)
  • Season one of Prey, which starred Adam Storke and Vincent Ventresca, ended on a cliffhanger with Adam Storke's character captured and imprisoned. The series was then canceled and the cliffhanger was never resolved. Until that is when Vincent Ventresca was starring in a completely unrelated series years later called The Invisible Man. In the episode entitled "Exposed", Vincent's character (the eponymous invisible man) opened a locked door in a research facility and an unnamed prisoner played by Adam Storke who was inside the room thanked him and ran off (presumably to freedom).
  • In the fourth season premiere of Primeval, Abby plays the song "Don't Stop Moving" by S Club 7 to scare a dinosaur. Abby is played by Hannah Spearritt, famous for being in S Club 7.

  • QI:
    • At one point Stephen asks the panel, "Where would you find the world's biggest drip?" to the accompaniment of a picture of Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster.
    • Another episode features a question about Oscar Wilde. Much to Stephen's embarrassment, the picture is of himself as the title character in Wilde.

  • Several appear on Raising Hope.
    • In one episode, Virginia (played by Martha Plimpton) laments the fate of child stars: "Child stars go downhill no matter how good they act. They could star in a Spielberg movie and still end up playin' the nutty mom on some sitcom."
    • In another, she describes neighbor Andrew (played by Ethan Suplee) as "a skinny version of the fat guy from Mallrats."
    • The entire plot of the season 3 episode "Making the Band" involves reuniting the cast of My Name Is Earl as their respective Hope characters.
    • The third season episode "Throw MawMaw From the House, Part 2", one of the nursing home staff comments about how crazy MawMaw is and the other agrees, saying that "Yesterday she claimed she won an Oscar and slept with Warren Beatty", both of which actually happened to Cloris Leachman.
    • While watching old home movie footage of MawMaw and PawPaw, Virginia remarks that MawMaw looks like that nosy neighbor from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  • Reaper episode "Underbelly" has the Devil (played by Ray Wise) say, "Him and his perfect town. Just like a David Lynch movie." Ray Wise played Laura Palmer's father in Twin Peaks and its prequel movie.
  • Reba tossed in a nod or two to star Reba McEntire's other career as a Country Music superstar, the most famous being, in a discussion of how your dreams don't always come true, Reba Hart cracking, "I always wanted to be a professional singer."
  • In the Red Dwarf series Back to Earth, Rimmer (played by Chris Barrie) plans to get his own sitcom.
    • In Pete, Lister and Rimmer are accused by Captain Hollister (Mac McDonald) of using truth serum on a character, the result being that the character admitted having an affair with an officer's wife while dressed like Batman. Mac McDonald played a henchman in the 1989 Batman film.
    • Also in Back To Earth, Rimmer has suddenly acquired an interest in classic cars. As viewers of Chris Barrie's Massive Engines and Petrolheads will be aware, this is something he shares with Chris Barrie.
    • And then there's the Dwarfers meeting Craig Charles on the set of Coronation Street...
  • When Lars Bom appears in the second episode of the Danish Cop Show Rejseholdet (English title : Unit One) as the unit's new driver Johnny Olsen, the rest of the cast all seem to recognize him immediately ("Say, isn't that ...?" "Yes, it is."). Lars Bom had previously played the lead caracter in another popular Danish Cop Show Strisser på Samsø. (In universe, it is because Johnny Olsen is a well-known former football player.)
  • The Red Green Show: Edgar Montrose (Graham Greene) once mentioned watching Dances with Wolves and remarks that the "native guy" (also Graham Greene) should've won the Oscar.
  • In Ringer Bridget is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar and has a love of horror movies. She would have some experience with that.
  • Rizzoli & Isles has Bruce McGill as Detective Vince Korsak, who at one point was asked where he went to college. He responded by saying that he never did, but that he had watched Animal House several times. McGill played Daniel Simpson Day (D-Day) in that movie.
  • In an episode of Royal Pains, Paul Wight, known for being the WWE wrestler Big Show, cameos and entertains at a children's party as the character "The Trasher". The party hostess introduces him with the line "Okay, kids, are you ready for the big show?"

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
  • Sanctuary: The season 3 episode "Firewall" had a rather blatant example. In a somewhat frenzied state Will is under surveillance from Big Guy (played by Christopher Heyerdahl). After he pours a substance on him called "Twilight", Will asks him what he thinks of "those movies". The latter's response? That he liked Marcus, the very role he played in New Moon (and who was actually a very minor character in that film).
  • On Sanford and Son, Fred Sanford (played by Redd Foxx) once entered a Redd Foxx lookalike contest.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • In one cold opening most of the cast are playing a group of Republican members of Congress who plan to hijack President Obama's health care speech by yelling "You lie!". They decide to rehearse it and one claims that they need someone to act as Obama. Rep. Eric Cantor, played by Fred Armisen, offers to do it, claiming that he does a good impression of the president. This is a reference to the fact that Armisen is the one who usually portrays Obama in sketches involving the president.
    • Another case is during the 2010 Anne Hathaway/Florence + the Machine episode, Anne, playing future Princess Kate Middleton alongside Prince William, meets the Queen of England and her assistant, who threaten and bully Kate while speaking in working-class accents. At one time, the Queen mentions, "This isn't The Princess Diaries." The Queen's assistant calls the movie "crap", and "Kate" says, "well it has its moments".
    • Another sketch had Sarah Palin (played by Tina Fey) and Hillary Clinton (played by Amy Poehler) make a joint announcement on sexism. At one point Clinton refers to Palin's "Tina Fey glasses".
    • This sketch has Pete Davidson play a firefighter, a career his father is well-known via his jokes for having died from on 9/11.
  • Scrubs:
    • One episode had JD trying to find out why the Janitor was simultaneously pretending to be three different people. Later on in the episode, he watches The Fugitive which Neil Flynn was in. Janitor even confirms that he is an actor at the end of the episode (granted, he is a compulsive liar).
    • A newer episode where Carla tries to trick the Janitor into forgetting something embarrassing references this incident. When the Janitor stops trusting his memory, he says, "Maybe I really wasn't in The Fugitive..."
    • And speaking of janitors played by Neil Flynn... (Word of God confirms this one, even claiming that this janitor's name is Glenn)
    • "Alright, Dr. Cox...ridiculous name, by the way..." -Dr. Taylor Maddox, played by Courteney Cox.
    • There was an incident in which Dr. Cox addressed Elliot as "Becky," Sarah Chalke's sometime character on Roseanne.
    • "My Mirror Image" featured three patients who were meant to provide a mirror, contrast, or both to the current situations of JD, Dr. Cox and the Janitor and were each played by the actor of the main character they mirrored. JD's patient was called Mrs. Zeebee, referencing Zach Braff's initials, the patient Janitor talked to was called Mr. O'Neil, referencing Neil Flynn, and Dr. Cox's patient was called Mr. Slydell, referencing John C. McGinley's character in Office Space.
    • In "My White Whale", Cox attempts to intimidate a puppet-collecting pediatrician, played by Chris Meloni, by sending him a puppet hand. Chris Meloni also had a recurring role on Oz in which his on-screen sometimes-boyfriend Tobias Beecher was targeted by the prison's white supremacists, who had an associate cut off his son's hand and mail it to him.
    • In "My Sacrificial Clam", St. Elsewhere stars William Daniels, Ed Begley, Jr., Stephen Furst and Eric Laneuville play four doctors who contracted Legionnaires' disease at a medical convention.
  • In The Secret Life of the American Teenager several allusions are made to roles played by Molly Ringwald in her youth, but possibly the most prominent is when she says, "Everyone forgot my 16th birthday and it stayed with me my whole life." in reference to her role in Sixteen Candles.
  • Sesame Street:
    • During an '80s PBS pledge drive featuring a crossover between Sesame Street and The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, news anchor Robert MacNeil covered an alleged cookie theft called Cookiegate. Over a decade earlier, MacNeil and his business partner and NewsHour co-anchor Jim Lehrer got their start covering the original Watergate scandal.
    • In the "Slimey to the Moon" story arc, the head WASA training officer was Lynne Thigpen, who voiced Luna on Bear in the Big Blue House, and also played the Chief on fellow PBS show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?.
  • In the last season of Sex and the City, Mikhail Baryshnikov played Carrie's boyfriend Alexandr Petrovsky. In his first episode, he has to run to catch the cab Carrie left her purse in, performing impressive ballet-like leaps and footwork. In the commentary, the series creator acknowledged that they couldn't not have at least one scene showing his dancing abilities.
  • In the Shadowhunters episode "The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy", Simon compares Jace to Mick Jagger. Dominic Sherwood, who plays Jace, had played Mick Jagger in Not Fade Away.
  • In the Sherlock episode "The Empty Hearse" one of John's patients is a Dirty Old Man with an Eastern European accent who owns a shop and tries to sell him some porn. Mark Gatiss who writes and stars in Sherlock (and wrote the episode in question) also wrote and starred in The League of Gentlemen which features an almost identical character called Pop.
  • The fourth episode of She Spies has a scene where the character played by Natasha Henstridge, star of Species, gets rid of kids by telling them "Hey, guys, Species is on cable!"
  • In a fourth season episode of Sister, Sister, the character Diavian reacts to Roger's claiming to know the lead singer of a hot R&B group by saying, "Yeah, and my sister is TV's Tootie". Diavian is played by Alexis Fields, whose sister is Kim Fields... aka Tootie from The Facts of Life. Oh, and Roger just happens to be played by Marques Houston, a member of the then-hot R&B group Immature... who just happens to drop by during that episode, because he is the lead singer of said R&B group that Roger claims to know. Naturally, an Identical Stranger plot ensues.
  • Skins had Anwar reciting a list of Hugh Grant films in order to stave off orgasm during sex: "I never get as far as About A Boy." About A Boy being a film in which Skins actor Nicholas Hoult played a leading role.
  • Corey Feldman makes a guest appearance on Sliders in which he exchanges a handshake with Jerry O'Connell that references their roles in Stand by Me.
  • Smallville:
  • The Sonny with a Chance episode "Battle of the Network Stars" features almost as many allusions as scenes. When Sonny (Demi Lovato) says "nobody knows me the way that I know me", immediately followed by guest star Selena Gomez (the actor's real-life best friend) entering; Selena says she was in 'Camp Hip Hop' (a play on Camp Rock, starring Demi Lovato), Sonny accuses Selena of acting like "some kind of relationship wizard" (Selena Gomez stars in another Disney show called Wizards of Waverly Place) and at the end there's a 'Camp Hip Hop' trailer featuring three boys who look a lot like The Jonas Brothers (who were in Camp Rock). Also, Chad tells Sonny if she thinks she'll ever be BFFs with Selena Gomez, to which she replies "it could happen".
  • Sons of Anarchy:
    • An indirect one from Jax, whose ex-wife was played by Drea de Matteo (best known as Adrianna on The Sopranos) in the previous season, confronts a woman who thinks he's about to kill her. He reassures her with: "You think I brought you here to Adrianna you?"
    • In another episode, Tig suggests Gemma (played by Katey Sagal) to "go redhead for a while."
    • A very glamorously made up Walton Goggins makes an appearance as a transgender woman by the name of Venus Van Dam in a recent episode. The name bears a remarkable similarity to Cletus Van Damme, the alias Goggins' character Shane uses in The Shield
  • In Spaced, Tim is shown to have been heartbroken by Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and the film is continually mocked throughout the series. Peter Serafinowicz, who voices Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, plays Duane, who stole Tim's girlfriend at the beginning of the series. After a confrontation in a London bar, Duane notices that Tim has left his keys on the table, and mutters "At last I will emerge as the victor. At last, I will have revenge."
  • One episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Peter Mensah's character Doctore exchanged words with Crixus that referenced Mensah's role in 300.
    Doctore: Crixus, what is this madness?
    Crixus: Spartacus.
  • An episode of Spin City, "Back to the Future IV: Judgment Day", guest-starred Christopher Lloyd as Michael J. Fox's (political) mentor. The line "It's just like stepping back in time" is just one of many.
    • Later, Michael J. Fox's last episode of the series opens with him complaining on the phone to his absent therapist that he's developed an almost father-son relationship with him, that he couldn't possibly reproduce with a substitute. He then hangs up when his replacement therapist enters the room, played by Michael Gross, who had played his character's father for years on Family Ties.
    • Meredith Baxter appears in several episodes playing Macy Flaherty, Mike's mother. Baxter also had played Fox' mother on Family Ties.
    • Fox's last lines on that show have him describing his new job at the US Capitol. He ends by saying, "Junior Senator Alex P. Keaton is going to be hard to work with", referencing his own hardnosed conservative character from Family Ties.
  • On Sports Night, Dana is telling Isaac about how much she loved The Lion King on Broadway, and describes the opening when Rafiki calls the animals- "And they come!" Isaac is amused- possibly because he's played by Robert Guillaume.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 pilot "Children of the Gods", Captain Samantha Carter explains to Colonel Jack O'Neill (played by Richard Dean Anderson — the actor who played MacGyver) that "It took us fifteen years and three supercomputers to MacGyver a way to power the gate." Interestingly, Amanda Tapping, the actress who plays Carter, actually ad-libbed this line during her audition. This is what actually got her secured for the role.
    • A sneakier MacGyver reference: Colonel O'Neill has never seen Alf. Alf was on opposite MacGyver.
    • Conversely, in the 10th season of SG-1 there were a few references to Ben Browder and Claudia Black being imports from Farscape. Probably the most blatant was in 200 (itself full of in-jokes), where Black's character Vala proposes a remarkably Farscape-like show with herself in the role analogous to Black's Farscape role, Aeryn Sun. Oddly enough, the role of Crichton was played by Michael Shanks, instead of Ben Browder. This was actually on request of the actors; originally, Browder was going to be Crichton. (It was apparently inspired by them noting how people thought they looked similar.)
      • The first time Vala meets Mitchell, she does a bit of a double take and then says "I know we haven't met. That I'm sure I would remember."
      • As a subtle one, Black managed to get the same introduction in both shows. In the pilot of Farscape when Aeryn Sun is introduced she's in a full Peacekeeper commando pilot suit (basically a jumpsuit and motorcycle helmet). Upon meeting Crichton she deftly knocks him on his back and pins him in a sort of straddling position. When Vala is first introduced in Stargate SG-1 she is disguised as an Anubis warrior (basically full body armor jumpsuit and a helmet not unlike a motorcycle helmet). Upon meeting Daniel Jackson she deftly knocks him on his back and pins him in a sort of straddling position. The only difference between the two motions is that Aeryn removes her helmet before pinning Crichton while Vala keeps hers on as she pins Jackson. That was only really done to provide an excellent wtf moment when the "Anubis Warrior" claims to find Daniel attractive.
      • One more: In late season 9, an incredibly pregnant Vala resurfaces to give the team some valuable intel on the Ori...and to tell them she's pregnant. Mitchell asks who the father is; Vala says she doesn't know. Season 4 of Farscape revolved largely around the mystery of who fathered Aeryn's unborn child.
    • Similarly, in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Vegas", an alternate-universe McKay quips that a stranded Wraith might want to take up a job as a Klingon at The Star Trek Experience attraction in Vegas. The alternate Woolsey sadly comments that the attraction has closed down. Actor Robert Picardo, who plays Woolsey, reprised his Star Trek: Voyager role as the Emergency Medical Hologram in the attraction.
      • According to The Other Wiki's now-deleted article on the episode, Picardo actually requested that this line be added since it had only recently closed. There is also another moment in a season 5 episode where Woolsey discusses founding an alliance, which is immediately compared to the Federation of Planets.
    • In the SG-1 episode Avenger 2.0, Dr. Felger is seen putting a roll of duct tape into a backpack. The actor who played him, Patrick McKenna, also played Harold on The Red Green Show.
    • In one episode, Vala asks Daniel Jackson how he can tell the Asgard apart, noting the physical similarity between Thor and another Asgard. Daniel Jackson replies "It's the voice." Michael Shanks, who plays Jackson, also does the voice of Thor.
    • In another episode, Teal'c mentions having played Def Jam Vendetta. His actor, Christopher Judge, voiced D-Mob, that game's Big Bad.
    • At one point in Atlantis, Mitch Pileggi (as Colonel Caldwell) is revealed to be possessed by a Goa'uld. During this exchange, his eyes flare a yellow-ish color and he (almost) sets events in motion that could've killed many major characters. Years later, on Supernatural, Mitch Pileggi (as Mary's father) is revealed to be possessed by a demon. During this exchange, his eyes flare a yellow-ish color (as the demon possessing him was season 1 & 2 Big Bad Azazel) and he sets events in motion that lead to Mary's death.
    • We've gotten this far without mentioning all the Star Trek references in the episode guest-starring John Billingsley?
    • Another Star Trek reference; during one of HBO's then-annual broadcasts of a benefit comedy concert for the charity "Comic Relief" (no relation to the British Comic Relief charity), the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast produced a clip where the Enterprise crew discussed the history of this 20th-century charitable foundation. Data at one point displayed a picture of the charity's founders, comedians Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg (which he pronounced Who-Pie). Dr. Crusher then commented, "Wait a minute, doesn't this Who-Pie Goldberg look a lot like Guinan? You don't think..." After a beat, the whole crew shook their heads and said, "Nah."
  • Starman: In "One for the Road", the alien title character, Paul (played by Robert Hays), is a chaperone at a school dance. At first he refrains from dancing when invited by one of the teachers because he doesn't know how, but when dragged onto the dance floor he soon picks it up (as he tends to do with skills and languages). As he gets into it, he briefly adopts the "Staying Alive" Dance Pose Hays famously parodied in Airplane!.
  • In one episode of Starsky & Hutch, Starsky says Hutch sounds like "Dirty Harry, a cop in San Francisco". David Soul costarred in Magnum Force, the second Dirty Harry movie.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Spectre of the Gun" plopped the main cast into an extremely realistic illusion that required them to play out the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral. DeForest Kelley - aka Dr. McCoy - had played Morgan Earp in the 1957 film Gunfight at the OK Corral.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Far Beyond the Stars", when Captain Sisko starts to hallucinate that he's a science-fiction writer in the 1950s, there's a note on Armin Shimmerman's desk rejecting his story idea of a cheerleader who kills vampires. This is a joke on Armin's recurring role as Principal Snyder in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Detained" found The Captain (played by Scott Bakula) held in a detention camp, run by an officer played by none other than Dean Stockwell, Bakula's co-star on Quantum Leap. Even further, Bakula half-jokingly suggested that Jonathan Archer's middle name was Beckett. Whether an actor's word can be Word of God is up to debate.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Q and the Grey" a female Q remarks, "I've always liked Klingon females. You've got such... spunk." The Q was played by Suzie Plakson, who had previously played the spunky Klingon female K'Ehleyr.
  • In one episode of Stay Tooned! a documentary series about classic cartoons hosted by Tony (Baldrick) Robinson, Tony describes how Porky Pig's Characterization Marched On, and says the same thing happens with live action characters. Cue clip from Black Adder, with Prince Edmund announcing he would be known as "The Black Vegetable".
    Tony Robinson: But then they decided they didn't want a Blackadder who was an idiot and kept doing stupid things. They could get someone else to do that.
  • St. Elsewhere:
    • In "Hearts" and "Remission", it is mentioned that Dr. Auschlander is a fan of Charlie Chaplin films. Norman Lloyd, a good friend of Chaplin's, played Bodalink in his final American-made film Limelight.
    • In "After Dark", Shirley Daniels goes to the morgue to get "the report on that Hasselhoff car wreck," referencing William Daniels' concurrent role as the voice of KITT.
    • In "Playing God, Part 2", Ellen wonders what is on The Merv Griffin Show. Dr. Craig replies, "Probably some stupid comic." When he turns on the television, Howie Mandel's stand-up can be heard.
    • In "Close Encounters", the amnesiac mental patient John Doe #6 comes to believe that he is Mary Richards from The Mary Tyler Moore Show after seeing it on television. He mistakes Captain Gloria Neal, who is played by Betty White, for the happy homemaker Sue Ann Nivens, White's character on the series. Captain Neal explains that he has confused her with someone else.
    • In "Where There's Hope, There's Crosby", Dr. Craig starts singing "Sit Down, John" from 1776 when the Craigs go to Philadelphia. He also says that he doesn't know what Ellen saw in him as he was "obnoxious and disliked." John Adams is frequently described using this phrase in the play.
    • In "Getting Ahead", while reading The Cutting Edge, Dr. Kiem wonders why Asian women are always portrayed as either geishas or Suzie Wong, unaware that the novel was written by Dr. Craig and the character in question is based on her. France Nuyen, who played Dr. Kiem, was originally cast as the title character in The World of Suzie Wong but was replaced by Nancy Kwan.
    • In "Jose, Can You See?", when Ellen Craig suggests that she restarts grief counseling after a few events re-trigger her pain following their son Stephen's death, Mark Craig dismissively tells her "Simon's Broadway bound." Philip Sterling, the actor who played psychiatrist Dr. Simon Weiss, was appearing on stage in Broadway Bound at the time.
    • Before Victor's wedding to Lucy in "The Idiot and the Odyssey", as he's having second thoughts due to a mysterious other woman, Dr. Craig tells him, "This is not 1968. It's time you graduate into adulthood. Don't drive over troubled waters with some plastic bimbette." A shout-out to The Graduate (William Daniels played Dustin Hoffman's father in the movie), its theme song singers Simon & Garfunkel, and the famous one word of investment advice.
    • Also in "The Idiot and the Odyssey", Ellen rejects Mark's gift of a mink coat as she does not want to look like Mamie Eisenhower. Bonnie Bartlett (Ellen) previously played Mrs. Eisenhower in the 1979 miniseries Ike.
    • In "Heart On", Jack Morrison tells his wife Joanne, who is hiding under the covers of their bed, that he has made a list of thirtysomething guests for their upcoming housewarming party. Patricia Wettig (Joanne) left St. Elsewhere after "The Idiot and the Odyssey" as a result of being cast as Nancy Weston in thirtysomething.
    • In "Heaven's Skate", Judge Farnham (Jack Dodson) asks to get a haircut from Floyd the barber of The Andy Griffith Show. Dodson played Howard Sprague on the series.
    • Also in "Heaven's Skate", Fiscus tells Griffin that some people thought that Bobby Caldwell, who has recently died from AIDS, was the sexiest man alive. While starring in St. Elsewhere, Mark Harmon was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People in 1986.
    • In "Requiem for a Heavyweight", Fiscus lists several works of fiction with titles relating to distance or locations, including South Pacific. France Nuyen (Dr. Kiem) played Liat in the 1958 film adaptation.
    • In "Split Decision", Dr. Auschlander mentions that Chaplain Claire McCabe and Penny Franks are watching an Alfred Hitchcock film. Norman Lloyd appears in two Hitchcock films, Saboteur and Spellbound, and produced Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
    • Additionally, all four of the doctors from St. Elsewhere showed up on an episode of Scrubs... as a group of doctors who were at a medical convention together, got sick at the same time, and shared a hospital room.
  • In the "Independence Day" episode of Suburgatory, a worried George is consulting with Mr. Wolfe, the school guidance counselor, about his daughter. Mr. Wolfe says "I'll also lean on Malik for information. If there's one thing everyone knows about him, is that he's a snitch". Malik is played by Maestro Harrell, who also played Randy, on The Wire.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye:
    • In "Elvis is In the Building", Bobby goes undercover as an Elvis Impersonator. His actor, Rick Peters, played the role of Elvis in the movie Elvis Meets Nixon, in which Elvis wants to become a federal agent. The characters directly reference the movie, saying that the guy who played Elvis was "not as good as you, Bobby."
    • In the final episode, Sue (played by Deanne Bray) is waiting in a hospital waiting room, where she meets an older Deaf woman. The two talk about what they do/did for a living, each expressing that they'd once had thoughts of doing the other's job (FBI agent and actress, respectively). The woman, rightly played by the real-life Sue Thomas, was named Deanne.
  • Disney Channel appears to enjoy this trope. In an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Maddie (played by Ashley Tisdale) auditions for the part of Sharpay in High School Musical (who was also played by Ashley Tisdale), and doesn't get it. She claims that everyone says she looks just like "the girl who plays her" but no one else sees it. During the run of the show, the director comments to Cody, "You look just like Zac Efron." Maddie responds, "And I don't look like Ashley Tisdale? You people are all crazy!"
  • Supernatural:
    • In "Hollywood Babylon", Sam and Dean Winchester are taking a tour of a movie and TV studio. When the tour guide mentions that they're passing the set of Gilmore Girls and might see some of the stars, Sam looks uncomfortable and leaves the tour. Sam is played by Jared Padalecki, who was also on Gilmore Girls, whose star was by then his character's ex-girlfriend.
    • In "Shadow", someone mentions meeting "Something Michael Murray", in a bar, to which Sam replies "Who?" Chad Michael Murray was also in Gilmore Girls.
    • At the end of "No Exit", Dean makes a joke about Katie Holmes to which Sam replies, "That's funny... and for you, so bitchy." Dean is played by Jensen Ackles, who was also in Dawson's Creek with Holmes.
    • At the end of "The Usual Suspects", Dean comments that a police officer who helped them seemed fairly familiar, and commented that he had a hankering for pea soup. The officer was played by Linda Blair.
      • If you get the context, this may also function as a form of [[squick]].
    • In season five's "Fallen Idols", an ancient god (who kills its worshippers to feed on their blood) is disguised as Paris Hilton. Dean claims that she can't kill him, because "I'm not a Paris Hilton BFF. I've never even seen House of Wax." At this, Sam gives Dean a pointed look. Jared Padalecki co-starred with Hilton in the 2005 movie.
    • The episode in which Famine is introduced, titled "My Bloody Valentine", (No, not that) is a direct Shout-Out to Jensen Ackles's star role in the Slasher Movie remake My Bloody Valentine 3D. Though the name is justified by the fact that two innocents on their first date eat each other to death.
    • In "Frontierland", Bobby says to Castiel: "Well, we can't leave the idjits stranded in Deadwood". Jim Beaver played Whitney Ellsworth on Deadwood.
    • Season 7 episode 3, "The Girl Next Door" manages to fit two in about as many minutes. Dean is passed out on the couch with the TV still on when a commercial for My Bloody Valentine 3D comes on (which Jensen Ackles starred in). And then in pretty much the next scene he talks to a store clerk wearing a Batman: Under the Red Hood t-shirt. Which, again, starred Ackles as a voice actor.
    • In "LARP And The Real Girl", some of the guys in the technical tent at Moondoor are playing Dragon Age II - specifically, Mark of the Assassin. We can see Felicia Day, who plays Charlie Bradbury, as an Ink-Suit Actor portraying Tallis.
  • The ABC Family drama Switched at Birth has been called "the first mainstream television series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in American Sign Language (ASL)", and many of its cast members (including Katie Leclerc, Marlee Matlin and Nyle DiMarco) are actually deaf or hard of heading.

  • In the Tales from the Crypt episode "Yellow", General Calthrop mirrors one of Kirk Douglas' most famous roles as the French Colonel Dax during World War I in Paths of Glory. However, whereas Dax was a moral character who deeply cared for his men and tried to protect them from the capriciousness of the Generals, Calthrop IS one of those Generals with little to no concern for the lives of those under his command, even sentencing his own son to death for cowardice.
  • That '70s Show:
    • One episode had the guys go backstage to meet wrestler Rocky Johnson. Johnson in this episode is played by The Rock, AKA Dwayne Johnson — Rocky Johnson's son. Johnson points out that it's nice to see a father bringing their son to a wrestling match as he has one of his own, who will one day become the most electrifying man in sports-entertainment. Rocky Johnson's father-in-law, High Chief Peter Maivia, is played by the real Rocky Johnson, too.
    • In another episode, a gay couple mentions that one time, they had to say that they're brothers. One of them comments: "Who would ever believe that the two of us could be brothers?!" They're played by Barry Williams and Christopher Knight, who played brothers in The Brady Bunch.
    • Mary Tyler Moore plays morning show host Christine St. George and references the scene in the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" when she is hired by Lou Grant, a scene in which Lou Grant tells Mary, "You got spunk!" When Christine St. George hires Jackie, she says, "I like you. You've got sss...spirit. No, m-moxie, yes mo... Wait, no, it's... it's gumption. Oh, there's a word for it and I can't think what it is!" At the end of that same episode, Moore tosses Jackie's new beret and the screen freezes just like the opening of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" (all be it angrily this time).
    • In another (Season 6) episode, Donna and Eric go to see a pastor for some relationship counseling. Donna mentions that one of their problems is Eric's love of Star Wars, and the pastor voices his similar opinion on the subject, and later uses Star Wars metaphors in his sermon. The pastor? Billy Dee Williams, who would play Lando later in the trilogy (which neatly avoids Celebrity Paradox as well.)
  • Armando Iannucci has said one of the reasons he cast Tom Hollander as Cal 'The Fucker' Richards, a bossy and feared PR man, in The Thick of It is as a joke for anyone who saw the spin-off In the Loop, where he plays an extremely wet and cowardly minister.
  • On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, recurring sketch character Hashtag the Panda is revealed to be Ben Stiller in costume. Stiller previously wore a panda's head on his own head in Tropic Thunder.
  • Torchwood:
    • At Comic-Con, John Barrowman and Naoko Mori explain how "Exit Wounds" had one for them. In the episode, Tosh dies in Jack's arms. Previously, the pair had played Chris and Kim opposite each other in Miss Saigon, in which Kim dies in Chris's arms.
    • "Ghost Machine" featured a character named Ed Morgan, played by Gareth Thomas. Morgan's suicide at the end of the episode was deliberately staged to recall the death of Blake, the character who Thomas played in Blake's 7. Additionally, immediately after leaving Blake's 7, Thomas had played the lead role in a series called Morgan's Boy, in which he also played a character named Morgan who killed himself at the end of the story.
  • One episode of Tracker featured Cole using a katana to escape a museum vault. Adrian Paul, who played Cole, was well known for playing the katana-wielding Duncan MacLeod on Highlander: The Series.
  • Christopher Lloyd just can't get away from his famous role, as seen in Tremors: The Series.
    Gus: Hey, didja guys in the underground lab ever do some tests on time travel?
    Lloyd: (exasperated eye roll)
  • True Terror With Robert Englund is narrated by Robert Englund, best known for playing the dream-hopping murderer Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. On at least one occasion, telling the story of Julia Cook suffering ominous recurring dreams suggesting something in her future, he notes:
    Nightmares are something I know a thing or two about. One thing I know... you don't pick them; they pick you.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • Half of "Once Upon a Time" is shot in the style of a Silent Movie as a tribute to Buster Keaton, who plays the protagonist Woodrow Mulligan. More specifically, the chase sequence after Mulligan arrives in 1962 recreates a scene from Keaton's 1920 short film The Garage co-starring Fatty Arbuckle. In both, Keaton's character's loses his trousers and is about to be arrested for public indecency. However, his heavyset partner prevents this when he walks behind him to hide him from a policeman. He then helps him to get a new pair, which Keaton puts on after being lifted up while they are walking.
    • In "Cavender is Coming", one of Agnes Grep's fellow usherettes is named Burnett. Agnes is played by Carol Burnett.
    • In "The Last Night Of A Jockey", Mickey Rooney plays a man who used to be a jockey. Rooney had previously played ex-jockey Mi Taylor in National Velvet.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Personal Demons", Rockne O'Bannon wrote for Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. O'Bannon is played by Martin Balsam, who played Dr. Gillespie in the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse episode "The Time Element". That episode served as the unofficial pilot of The Twilight Zone (1959).
    • In "A Day in Beaumont", there are three:
      • Dr. Kevin Carlson pointedly describes the Flying Saucer that he and his girlfriend Faith saw crashing as "a thing" to Sheriff Haskin. Haskin is played by Kenneth Tobey, who is best known for playing Captain Patrick Hendry in The Thing from Another World.
      • H.G. Orson sarcastically refers to "tarantulas as big as houses." Pops is played by John Agar, who played Dr. Matt Hastings in Tarantula!.
      • Orson also refers to the planet Altair IV. Major Whitmore is played by Warren Stevens, who starred as Doc Ostrow, a member of the Bellerophon crew who visited Altair IV, in Forbidden Planet.
  • Two and a Half Men:
    • Charlie Harper is watching Glee, and notes that the "woman in the red jumpsuit freaks him out". Jane Lynch, who plays the jumpsuit-wearing cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester on Glee, also plays Charlie's psychologist.
    • In the late-season 10 episode, "Bazinga! That's From A TV Show", Jake's 36-year-old girlfriend Tammy confronts Jake who is sleeping with her daughter, Ashley. When Ashley shows up at Alan and Walden's home to declare to them of of her love for Jake, Alan at one point calls Ashley "Hannah Montana" as tempers flare up. Ashley is played by guest star Emily Osment, who played Lilly Truscott on the series. Interestingly enough, the star of Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus, guest-starred as Walden's family friend Missi (a previous girlfriend of Jake's) in episodes earlier in the season. (Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones had both guest-starred on Hannah Montana on separate occasions in the show's last few seasons.)

  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman: Towards the Future: In the Japanese dub, Akiji Kobayashi, the man who played the original Ultraman's Captain Muramatsu voices this series' team leader, Arthur Grant.
    • Ultraman Max:
      • The show features three actors of the original 1966 Ultraman series in roles as leaders of the attack team DASH: Professor Yukari (played by Hiroko Sakurai, who portrayed Akiko Fuji), Chief Kenzo Tomioka (played by Susumu Kurobe, who portrayed Shin Hayata) and Professor Date (played by Masanari Nihei, who portrayed Ide); Tomioka even gets to parody the original Ultraman's transformation sequence in a scene where he pulls out some scissors to groom his bonsai tree while doing a similar pose to the one Hayata did when employing the Beta Capsule.
      • Kohji Moritsugu cameos in Episode 19 as an archaeologist. Guess how he puts on his glasses?note .
      • In a non-Ultra Series example there's Nao Nagasawa who plays the title girl of "The Daughter of Zetton", and at several points (when possessed by Alien Zetton), is seen in a ninja outfit, like when infiltrating the DASH base and piloting King Joe.
    • Ultraman Orb:
      • The show wasn't the first time Hiroki Yasumoto voices an Alien Mefilas (the first is in Ultra Zero Fight). And in said series, he has already familiar having teammates consist of Koichi Toshima (Alien Metron Tarude / Alien Groza Glocken) and Tetsuo Kishi (Alien Nackle Nagus / Alien Hipporito Jathar).
      • Reibatos' voice actor from Ultra Fight Orb is Hidenari Ugaki, who previously voice Mold Spectre in Ultraman X. In fact, the first being that Reibatos revived from his debut appearance is none other than Juda Spectre, Mold's younger brother.
    • Ultraman Geed: Much like his two performances in Kamen Rider, Minori Terada once again plays someone related to one of the members of the main cast. Much like with Hideo Ishiguronote  playing the titular character of the previous Ultra series, however, he's a good guy this time.
    • Ultraman Z: All three Alien Barossas are played by veteran Toku actors and allude to many of their roles both in Tokusatsu and anime through either their mannerisms, dialogue or actions. Notably, the second one played by Tomokazu Seki references both the Final Wave from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (where he played the role of the Gokaiger's equipment voice which also called out their attacks) and even gets attacked by a parody of the hot hand from Mobile Fighter G Gundam (where he portrayed the main character, Domon Kassu).
    • Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga: Kei Hosagai in this series stars in the role of Ignis, a rogue treasure hunter who ends up at odds with the heroes of the show. Not unlike his role in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger as Basco Ta Jolokia, though Ignis is far less of a villain than Basco. To boot, the seventh episode sees him getting into a conflict with the Space Pirate Alien Barossa.

  • In The Vampire Diaries season four episode "Down the Rabbit Hole" the cast is on a deserted island looking for the cure for vampirism when Damon and Vaughn stumble upon a corpse. Vaughn looks around and says that there's someone else on the island. One might wonder why Damon looked so surprised, considering that it's not his first time trapped on a mysterious island that turned out not to be deserted.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • A very subtle one: the title of one episode is "Clash of the Tritons," a play on the title of the film Clash of the Titans. That film's star, Harry Hamlin, had a recurring role on the show.
    • Enrico Colantoni's character dates a character played by Laura San Giacomo for a few episodes. The two previously played amorous co-workers in Just Shoot Me!.
    • There's also the scene in season 2 where Trina and Kendall, aka. Willow and Cordelia, get to snark at each other. Later, Logan says to Kendall: "I thought you couldn't come out during daylight hours."
    • Logan tells Weevil (Kazaam star Francis Capra) to go rub a lamp.

  • In the fourth episode of Walker, the main character's son is going through his father's undercover burner phone - one of the contacts listed is Winchester Auto - a nod to Jared Padalecki's fifteen year run on Supernatural.
  • In the first season of War of the Worlds (1988), Harrison Blackwood carries a tuning fork with him, the sound of which helps him to meditate. Jared Martin, who played Blackwood, had previously played a 23rd-century man who wielded a tuning fork-shaped weapon in the short-lived 1970s series The Fantastic Journey.
  • In the Warehouse 13 episode "The Living and the Dead", James Marsters plays an immortal with an English accent, who's quite offended at the suggestion he might be a vampire. He ends up being killed by getting stabbed through the heart.
  • The Vice President on The West Wing is a recovering alcoholic. A third season episode revealed that he stopped drinking when he was twenty-two because he had a family history of alcoholism and "some experiences in college." This has to be a reference to Tim Matheson's part in Animal House.
  • What I Like About You:
    • The episode "Dangerous Liasons" double-doses the Actor Allusions for both of its leads: Via a flashback and an old VHS tape, we see a standup routine Holly (Amanda Bynes) did when she was little; it's actually the routine that got Bynes hired for her first TV job. She remarks at the end, "That kid should have her own show". Meanwhile, Val (Jennie Garth) has a flashback about her and a guest character; the guest is played by Luke Perry, and the flashback is a direct lift of a Beverly Hills, 90210 episode.
    • Less notable are the other guest appearances from 90210 alumni, only one of whom even offered a You Look Familiar to Val. And appearances by All That and Popular cast members went entirely unnoted within the show.
  • In the White Collar episode "At What Cost", Neal makes a metaphorical Deal with the Devil by agreeing to do a favor for Curtis Hagen in exchange for help in keeping Peter from being wrongfully charged with murder. Hagen is played by Mark Sheppard, who plays Crowley the literal King of Hell on Supernatural.
  • Whodunnit? (UK): In "A Time to Dye", one of the suspects mentions that she won a trip to London to see Irene in the West End starring "him what's on the telly on Monday night". At the time, host Jon Pertwee was appearing in the West End run of Irene playing 'Madame Lucy'.
    • the series one episode "A Knife in the Back" featured Jon Pertwee in his very first appearance on the show (as a panelist). He asked a suspect about the letters she posted, and the reply was 'Two bills... and a letter to the Doctor Who fanclub. I wanted to ask for your autograph." (Pertwee was playing the Third Doctor Who at the time)
  • Wilfred:
    • Ryan is under psychiatric care, speaking with a bearded psychiatrist played by Robin Williams. When said psychiatrist says, "It's not your fault" Ryan catches the reference and eventually realizes that he's in a dream sequence.
    • As he is played by Elijah Wood, Ryan himself has been the subject of some The Lord of the Rings references. For instance, when he's asked to participate in Jenna's wedding: "Dude, you're a ringbearer now!"
  • In the Will & Grace episode "Von Trapped" the gang goes to an audience participation showing of "The Sound of Music." When they get in trouble, Rosario shows up to bail them out, dressed in a nun's habit — virtually the same outfit Shelley Morrison wore on The Flying Nun in fact.
    • Will & Grace do this with some regularity, although celebrity The Cameo in-jokes (as with Kevin Bacon and Elton John's appearances on the show) are more frequent. For example, a character played by Gene Wilder uses the "Strike that, reverse it" line from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
      • Eric McCormack (Will) actually cracks Gene Wilder up with one of these during an outtake.
        McCormack: "Say 'I am Stein.'"
        Wilder: "I am Stein."
        McCormack: "Louder! I am Stein!"
        Wilder: "Louder! I am Stein!"
        McCormack: "Like you mean it! I am Stein!"
        Wilder: "I am Stein!"
        McCormack: "YOUR NAME IS FRANKENSTEIN!!"
        (Wilder loses it)
    • The best example is when Matt Damon guest-starred as a gay man who was actually straight and just wanted to get into a gay men's chorus to advance his career who said that he had a long-term boyfriend named Ben. Which he does.
  • The Wire includes several instances due to its penchant for having Baltimore political figures appear in cameo roles. In one instance, the mayor is discussing with several staffers the unauthorized creation of a decriminalized drug zone. One staffer says that if news gets out, people will call the mayor "the most dangerous man in America." The line is uttered by former Real Life Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke, who had been called the most dangerous man in America (by Congressman Charles Rangel) when Schmoke suggested debating the decriminalization of drugs.
    • When Mayor Carcetti goes to beg for funding from the unnamed, unseen Republican governor clearly based on then Real Life governor of Maryland Robert Ehrlich, Ehrlich appears as a security guard at the governor's office.
    • Similarly, the show's co-creator David Simon appears in Season 5 as a Baltimore Sun reporter. Simon was a Sun reporter, and his experience writing the crime section led to the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, later adapted into the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street.
    • Even more confusingly, a character by the name "Jay Landsman" appears on the show, but the real Jay Landsman plays Lt. Mello.
    • Musician Steve Earle, who performs the theme song for Season 5, has a role as Walon, a recovering heroin addict. Steve Earle himself is a recovering heroin addict in Real Life. Additionally, Walon can be seen wearing a jacket with the art from Steve Earle's Copperhead Road album, as well as a tattoo of said art on his bicep.
  • In one episode of Wishbone, the eponymous dog stars in a commercial. The actor who provides the voice of Wishbone in the commercial (seen onscreen) is, in fact, the same actor who voices Wishbone on the show in general.
  • In episode 12 of the Australian series Wonderland, the gang attends a wedding. At the reception Carlos shows off some moves on the cleared dance floor that are quite... gymnastic for such an event—an allusion to actor Glenn McMillan's time as the Yellow Wind Ranger on Power Rangers Ninja Storm.
  • CMT's Working Class stars Melissa Peterman as a divorcee who moves to an upscale neighborhood with her three kids. One episode features her former married to a woman played by Reba McEntire...the exact opposite of what happened on Reba.

  • The X-Files:
    • Jodie Foster voiced a sentient tattoo that drove its owner to murder. It's not hard to find parallels to John Hinckley's obsession with her that led him to try to assassinate Ronald Reagan, though given Foster's famous refusal to discuss the incident it probably wasn't intentional.
    • In "Never Again", the tattoo's hatred (voiced by Jodie Foster) of Scully is possibly a reference to Scully being initially based on Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs, played by... Jodie Foster.
    • From Agent Doggett in later seasons: "What are you saying? Ray Pearce has become some kind of metal man? Because that only happens in the movies, Agent Scully." What, as in Terminator 2? (Doggett's actor, of course, appeared on Terminator 2: Judgment Day as the villainous T-1000.)

  • In an episode of The Young Ones, the main characters go up against a team from "Footlights College, Oxbridge", on University Challenge. This part of the plot is largely driven by the presenter, "Bambi", and his overwhelming bias towards Oxbridge. Three of the members of the Oxbridge team are played by Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and Stephen Fry, who were all members of the Footlights Club at Cambridge. Also both Bamber "Bambi" Gascoigne, who was the original presenter of University Challenge, and Griff Rhys Jones, who played Bambi on The Young Ones, are former Footlighters. To top it all off, Stephen Fry actually appeared on University Challenge during his Cambridge years.