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  • Arrested Development is full of these, but you have to be on your toes to pick up on them. The line "The fact that you call making love 'pop-pop' shows me you're not ready" is used in two completely different contexts by two different characters over the course of two seasons.
  • The first episode of The Big Bang Theory mentions that one of Leonard's ex-girlfriends defected to North Korea, and that the person who used to live in Penny's apartment was an overweight transvestite. The finale of Season 3 shows Sheldon and Leonard's first meeting in 2003, where both characters appear. It also explains the Running Gag of the broken elevator- Sheldon placed Leonard's improperly mixed rocket fuel in the elevator just as it exploded.
    • That episode got its own callback in Season 9; to deal with Leonard leaving, Sheldon strips the apartment back to its empty 2003 state.
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    • Also in the first episode, Sheldon gives Penny a detailed lecture on why only he is allowed to sit in his spot. Then in Season 3, everyone tells Bernardette not to sit in Sheldon's spot. When she asks why, Penny recites Sheldon's lecture almost verbatim, leaving the group in stunned silence and prompting Sheldon to say, "Perhaps there's hope for you after all".
    • In Season 4, Howard uses a robot hand to masturbate, and gets his penis stuck. He goes to the hospital and the nurse asks him where the rest of the robot is. When he tells her it's just a hand, she replies, "Cause that's all you needed, right?". In Season 8, Howard meets his hitherto unknown half-brother and they quickly bond. When his brother hears that Howard had sex with a robot, he asks if it was sexy. Howard says that it was just a hand, to which his brother replies, "Cause that's all you need, right?".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
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    • The last scene of the second episode is recreated before the last battle of the last episode.
    • In "Innocence", after Buffy sleeps with Angel and he has lost his soul, Angelus is critical of Buffy's "skills" in bed, to which she responds, "Was I... was it... not good?" In the episode of Angel where Darla seduces Angel into having sex with her in hopes of him losing his soul again, Darla is self-conscious when Angel doesn't lose his soul, and asks the same question, word for word.
    • In season 2, Xander is supposed to warn Buffy that Willow is attempting to restore Angel's soul. Since he hates Angel, Xander tells her, "Willow says kick his ass". In season 7 Buffy mentions this in front of Willow, and Xander is finally caught out in his lie.
    • In the 6th-season's "Gone", Warren, leader of the evil-nerd trio, declares to Buffy that "We're your arch-nemesises... ses." When they fail to open their escape door, Buffy mockingly says to Willow: "I give you my arch-nemesis... ses... ses." In season 7's "Conversations with Dead People", vampire and former acquaintance Holden marvels that he and Buffy are now enemies, saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we became nemeses?" Buffy responds, "Is that how you say the word?"
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    • When Willow and Oz meet for the first time in season 2, Oz only says one thing, "Canapé?" and offers her a plate of it. When Oz and Bayarmaa meet for the first time in season 8, Bayarmaa only asks, "Butter tea?" and offers him a plate of it.
    • In the season 3 episode "The Wish", Vampire Willow commonly says "Bored now." In season 6, Darth Willow says the same thing right before killing Warren, who she has just flayed.
    • In Season 2, when Ethan "leaves" in "Halloween" Giles finds a card with "Be seeing you" on it. Eyghon says the same thing while leaving Giles' apartment in "The Dark Age".
    • Season 9 has a call back to the season 3 episode where Faith accidently kills the deputy mayor. It's because she remembers this that she is able to stop another Slayer from making the same mistake. Later, her father reveals he knew about this and tries to get her to kill humans that are after him. To save Angel, she ends up cutting off one of the guys' hands and is understandably horrified.
    • In Season 9 Faith is worried about what will happen to Angel in Quor'toth, since the last time he was in an alternate dimension he had trouble controlling his demon side. It is revealed being in Quor'toth may affect their behavior.
    • Mohra Demon blood from Angel season 1 is being sold on the Black Market in Season 9.
  • A more administrative version, the first episode of Charmed is called "Something Wicca This Way Comes", and the last episode of the seventh season is called "Something Wicca This Way Goes". This, and the events of the episode, imply that it was meant to be the final episode before the show got extended for another season.
  • In one episode of Cheers, Sam pays a random bar patron to be Diane's blind date, and he turns out to be a convicted murderer. In a later episode, the ex-con returns and holds up the bar because no one will hire an ex-con. Diane helps him follow his dream of being an actor and he falls for her, but then he sees her kiss Sam and tries to kill her.
  • Chicago Justice: Stone uses a technicality to get around double jeopardy in "Dead Meat". Jack McCoy did a similar thing in the Law & Order episode "Jeopardy" twenty-two years before. The defendant even ends the trial by pleading guilty.
  • Coupling does this repeatedly, especially with reference to Jeff's theories of the universe (e.g., the Sock Gap). Another nice example - in the second episode of season 3 ("Faithless"), Jeff uses "hippo" as an example of an accidental word; in the season finale, Steve blurts out "Hippo!" when he learns Susan is pregnant.
  • In the end of the CSI episode "Pirates of the Third Reich", Lady Heather, the recurring dominatrix character, has abducted her daughter's killer, tied him up and is beating him bloody with her bullwhip when Grissom arrives to confront her. In a previous episode, the two had discussed the sanctity of the safeword; in a BDSM relationship, when the dominant is told to stop, she must stop. So when Grissom (who had once engaged in some Unresolved Sexual Tension with her) grabs the whip as she's swinging it and tells her "I said stop", she caves, and it's a powerful moment to those who realize the significance.
  • When aired on TV, the theme song for the show Dawson's Creek was "I Don't Wanna Wait" by Paula Cole. In the show within a show at the end of the series finale, a show based off the lives of the characters, one of the characters said, "I don't wanna wait for my life to be over what will it be?" Which is a Call Back to one of the lyrics often heard in the show's opening over the last six years.
  • Dear White People: In Episode 6, Sam questions Dean Fairbanks if he'd be as indifferent to Troy if he were on the receiving end of police brutality just like Reggie in the previous episode, to which he responds, "He won't, because I raised him." In the finale during the protest, when Troy snaps at the revelation of the Hancocks (predominantly white endorsers against affirmative action and safe spaces for minorities) bribing AP House to stay quiet while realizing he is a puppet as Sam and Coco jabbed at and shatters a door window, he is quickly arrested. As he resists, one of the officers proceeds to draw his gun before Dean Fairbanks rushes outside to the scene, tearfully pleading for the officers to not shoot Troy.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Father's Day": While he's angry with Rose for saving her father and thus changing the past, the Doctor says that he's "picked another stupid ape", in reference to Adam Mitchell, who was kicked off the TARDIS in the previous episode for attempting to use time travel to enrich himself.
    • "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances":
      • It remains to be seen whether the Time Agents referenced by 51st century Captain Jack Harkness in the new series are a Call Back to the Time Agents mentioned by his contemporary Magnus Greel in the Fourth Doctor serial "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".
      • Although the above-mentioned Adam Mitchell is never directly referenced, the Doctor is not fond of Jack at first, asking Rose where she picked him up. And this is before he realizes Jack's full, if unwitting, involvement in the plot.
    • "Bad Wolf":
      • The Doctor mentions having gone to Raxacoricofallapatorius, following on from "Boom Town".
      • The answer to one of the questions on The Weakest Link is "The Face of Boe". Rose gets it right because she's met him before.
    • "The Parting of the Ways": Like in "Genesis of the Daleks", the Doctor has the power to destroy the Daleks, but goes through a moral dilemma, ultimately deciding not to go through with it.
    • "The Christmas Invasion":
      • After stumbling out of the TARDIS at the beginning, the Doctor passes out on the ground in a position identical to those taken by many classic series Doctors before and after their regenerations.
      • Harriet Jones, Prime Minister makes a point of learning the names of everyone she meets. Given that the last time she appeared, she never learned the name of a government aide (Indra Ganesh) who was killed by Blon Slitheen, it's likely to make sure that she knows this time.
    • "School Reunion" was one big Call-Back to the Fourth Doctor's era. As well, there was a more short-term Call Back: The Doctor explains that he can't open the Krilitane device because it's got a "deadlock seal". The same thing prevented him from unlocking the door from the Big Brother house in "Bad Wolf".
      • Deadlock seals have been mentioned repeatedly since, to the point where it's stopped being a Call-Back to earlier references and started being a standard part of the series.
    • "The Girl in the Fireplace" has an automaton going Broken Record until our heroes figure out the obvious, just like K9 in the very previous episode.
    • "Rise of the Cybermen": For the first half of the episode, the Doctor wants nothing more than to escape from the Alternate Universe. The last time he was in an alternate universe, it... didn't end well.
    • "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit": The Ood look like a cross between the Sensorites and the Monoids. "Planet of the Ood" would later reveal they're even from the same solar system as the Sensorites.
    • "Army of Ghosts":
    • "Doomsday": The Doctor tries to send Rose away for her own safety. She's not having it, proclaiming "He's not doing that to me again!"
    • "Smith and Jones": Martha's "welcome aboard" scene is almost identical to Peri's from "Planet of Fire". In both cases, the Doctor and companion fall on the console before the Doctor makes his welcome.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" isn't the first time we've seen Daleks in the Empire State Building.
    • "The Lazarus Experiment":
      • The Doctor's description of the Lazarus monster as an "evolutionary reject" is notably similar to the way the Fourth Doctor described the life-eating Fendahl in "Image of the Fendahl", creating very dark implications for old-school fans about the way things might have developed if it hadn't been killed quickly.
      • There's a hilarious Shout-Out to the Third Doctor's technobabble of choice, where the Tenth Doctor complains that it took him longer than usual to "reverse the polarity".
    • "Utopia":
      • The Doctor talks about how humans are "indomitable".
      • The Chameleon Arch returns. It turns out the Doctor's not the only Time Lord to use one this series...
    • "The Sound of Drums":
      • The Master did the four-beat drumbeat with his fingers once before, though it didn't mean anything until this episode.
      • Saxon was the Minister of Defence who ordered the destruction of the Racnoss.
    • "The Fires of Pompeii":
      • The Doctor mentions that he had nothing to do with Rome burning. "...Okay, maybe a little bit."
      • The Doctor's mention of "Volcano Day" nods to a comment made by Jack Harkness in "The Empty Child", where he suggested the destruction of Pompeii as a good event for time travellers running "self-cleaning" cons to use.
    • "Planet of the Ood":
      • The Doctor is all gleeful to walk into a snowstorm of actual snow, after several false starts.
      • The Oodsphere is in the same system as Sensphere, home of the Sensorites. The Doctor even notes his visit to the Sensphere was "ages" ago.
      • The 42nd century is the time of the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, which, unlike the Fourth, actually exists. Presumably this would be the same "empire" Mr. Jefferson mentioned back in "The Impossible Planet".
      • Donna wonders whether humans spreading out so far is a good thing — does it make them explorers or a virus? The Doctor responds that sometimes he wonders; he had a similar conversation with Leela in "The Invisible Enemy".
      • The Friends of the Ood were mentioned by the crew of Sanctuary Base 6 back in "The Impossible Planet".
    • "The Poison Sky": When the Doctor is given a gas mask, he puts it on and asks, "Are you my mummy?"
    • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead": As confirmed by Word of God, the squareness gun River Song owns in this story is the same one used by Captain Jack Harkness in "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances". River took it in the Doctor's future after Jack left it in the TARDIS at the end of Series 1.
    • "Turn Left":
      • Just like the Doctor a few episodes before, Rose dislikes being saluted while working with an alternate-timeline UNIT.
      • At the end, Rose's appearance and the upcoming danger is heralded by the words "Bad Wolf" appearing everywhere the Doctor looks. These were the Arc Words of Series 1, appearing everywhere they went, but not nearly as frequently.
    • "The Stolen Earth":
    • "Journey's End":
    • "Planet of the Dead":
      • Captain Erisa Magambo, the commander of the UNIT forces present, was last seen in the alternate universe of "Turn Left".
      • The Doctor reminisces when Christina calls him "Spaceman":
        "I had this friend, once. She called me 'Spaceman'."
      • Carmen's prophecy that the Doctor's song will be ending soon echoes the words of the Ood in "Planet of the Ood".
    • "The Waters of Mars":
      • Fixed points in time return from "The Fires of Pompeii". Just like back then, the Doctor uses the TARDIS to save a few people at the last minute, although here it isn't a good thing. He also rehashes the argument he had with Donna in the earlier episode, then talks about everything he does to make that happen, when trying to persuade Adelaide to let him leave.
      • The Doctor is wearing the spacesuit he got from Sanctuary Base 6.
      • When the shuttle explodes, several of the Doctor's lines about the Time Lords and his status as the Last of His Kind are echoed as he stares at the wreckage.
    • "The End of Time":
      • The Big Bad is Rassilon, founder of Time Lord society, resurrected to serve as Lord President.
      • The Master's drumbeat is explained as a real signal sent by the aforementioned Big Bad, in what turns out to be a Stable Time Loop.
      • In the denouement, the Doctor goes and visits every single companion he'd had in the new series up to that point, as well as supporting characters like Jackie Tyler and Luke Smith. Even Alonso makes an appearance!
    • "The Doctor's Wife": The little boxes found by the Eleventh Doctor first made their appearance when the Second Doctor used one at the end of "The War Games".
    • "The Day of the Doctor": In the end, the reason the War Doctor decides he must end the Time War is, fundamentally, the very reason that the Fourth Doctor refused to push the button and destroy the Daleks at their genesis: a great evil done which inspires great hope and justice. Incidentally, Russell T. Davies has described the events of that episode as the "opening salvo" of the Time War.
      • Also, what the War Doctor planned to do was almost exactly the same as Davros did in the same episode, for the same reason (though Davros was probably lying): to destroy both his own and the enemy's races for the sake of peace.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth":
      • The Doctor survives a fall from at least aircraft altitudes without a scratch.
      • The episode begins with the same general situation as "The Eleventh Hour": the freshly-regenerated Doctor, as a direct result of damage to the TARDIS caused by said regeneration, falling out of the sky and landing in an English municipality at night. Only, unlike Eleven, Thirteen doesn't have the TARDIS to cushion the fall.
      • Also like "The Eleventh Hour", the Doctor doesn't initially have either a sonic screwdriver or access to the TARDIS.
      • After jumping between two cranes, the Doctor hangs on for dear life in a fashion reminiscent of Four in "Logopolis". Unlike him, though, she doesn't fall.
      • At the end, the Doctor builds a teleporter to take her to the location of the TARDIS by locking on to the ship's unique energy signature, created by its unique power source.
    • "The Ghost Monument":
    • "Rosa":
    • "Arachnids in the UK":
      • After meeting the Doctor, Najia Khan expresses concern for her daughter Yaz, asking her how she knows her and who she is, echoing Jackie Tyler and Francine Jones.
      • Ryan gets a letter from his deadbeat dad apologizing for being absent after Grace's death.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum" has an automated vehicle that is attacked by a dangerous creature after its autopilot steers it onto a route it's never taken before.
    • "Kerblam!" begins with the Doctor receiving a delivery from the titular retailer... a very overdue delivery, as it's a fez ordered two incarnations back.
    • "It Takes You Away":
      • "Warriors' Gate" also contains mirror portals in a collapsing, labyrinthine Void Between the Worlds, though in this case the White Void Room is on the other side of one of the portals, rather than being the void itself.
      • In "The Rings of Akhaten", the climax has the Eleventh Doctor offer his memories to the parasite planet in the hopes of appeasing it, since no one else around has as many memories as he does. Here, Thirteen offers to stay with the Solitract since having just her, with all of her experiences, around will give it much more to work with than just Erik (which helps him realize that his "wife" is just an illusion). In both cases, the Doctor's solution doesn't work out, but there's an alternative — Eleven's memories can't compare to the infinite memories-that-never-were offered by Clara's leaf, and Thirteen can't stay after all because both universes will collapse, but she can promise to remember it as a friend and vice versa, which it accepts as enough.
      • As in "Last Christmas", a companion of the Doctor is tempted to stay in a false reality where a deceased loved one is still alive. The main difference is that the Solitract doesn't mean to harm Graham, whereas the Dream Crab was slowly killing Clara.
    • "Resolution": When the Dalek controlling Lin researches Earth's defences and what it's up against, the Black Archive is referenced on the laptop screen. The Archive was last seen in "The Zygon Inversion". It's hinted that the Dalek material that the controlled Lin steals from MDZ may have come from there.
  • Elementary: The titular cyber-activist group that gave Holmes and Watson so much trouble in "We Are Everyone" end up being very helpful later on when a British Intelligence mole who's after Mycroft visits the apartment. Watson sets up a video-chat with fifteen members of Everyone before letting the man in as a safety precaution, which ensures he can't do anything without witnesses and thus saves her from certain doom.
  • Eureka: The final scene of the series is a call back to Jack and Zoe's initial arrival in Eureka, from the pilot: Jack and Zoe are driving out of town, and see a car coming the other way. As the cars pass, they see that the other car has Jack and Zoe in it, driving into town.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: In the pilot episode, Marie and Raymond have a discussion about the 'Fruit of the Month' club that Raymond has bought a membership for his parents. His parents see it as a cult that continually gives them more fruit than they know what to do with. This is referenced often throughout the series.
  • Firefly
    • In the first two episodes, Kaylee tells Mal that they need a new compression coil or some such part for the ship's engine or they will be dead in the water. In the episode "Out of Gas", the failure of this part causes exactly that, thus giving us the plot of the episode.
    • And in the episode "Ariel", Wash finds an apparently pristine compression coil in a junkyard, shows it to Kaylee, and tosses it aside.
    • In the movie "Serenity", Kaylee finds another piece of gear that looks suspiciously like the same kind of coil, this from the broken piece of the Reaver ship that landed in the cargo bay. This shows how common this piece of gear is. They're everywhere, until you really need them.
  • Frasier: One episode sees two of the Girls of the Week from earlier in that season reappear at once, with Frasier struggling to choose between them.
  • When the cast sang the theme song for The Flintstones in Fuller House, the screen splits and shows the same cast doing it in Full House two decades earlier, synced up. Also, the use of the original theme song at the start of the first episode.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Weirdly, a callback to a brief cutaway shot included in the final of series 2, of a squirrel displaying rather prominent male genitalia (shots of squirrels near the tent had featured as scene-setting throughout that series, but this particular one had clearly been held back for the final). When a series 4 contestant chose to decorate her cake with icing squirrels, Mel suggested that the one on top be transformed into "the Bake Off Squirrel" by the addition of two large nuts. The contestant (Frances) acquiesced to this, though it's not entirely clear she'd got the reference... though given it was Frances, she probably had.
  • Happy Endings: This happens a lot. Like when Penny learns that Pete's friends are "normal".
    Penny: You mean you've never brought a miniature pig to a car dealership to prove a point about gender roles?! note 
    • In episode 2 of Season 3, Jane recalls a time she got Max a big pinata full of candy, but Dave and Max tried and failed (hilariously) to get it open. Sixteen episodes later, Max finally gets it open-by tossing it out his window and letting it get hit by a car.
    • In episode 21 of Season 3, 'Un-Sabotagable', when Max sees Chase, he drops the slice of pizza he's holding out of surprise & fear. At the end of the episode, Chase is in the hospital for, as he explains, slipping on that piece of pizza and hitting his head.
    • There are plenty of other call backs that refer to the events of the pilot, such as Alex running away from her and Dave's wedding with a guy on rollerblades, which usually leads to Dave saying Too Soon. Since the pilot also showed Penny's birthday party, the next episode to feature Penny's birthday contains a number of call backs: Max pounding the table and yelling 'here we go!', Brad repeating but slightly modifying his breathless 'that bitch young' about Dave's high school date, and in general, the day being another example of Penny's birthday being cursed.
  • In an episode of the TV version of Hello Cheeky, the second part of the show begins by showing "edited highlights" — a string of Orphaned Punchlines and set-ups from the first part.
  • In the Heroes episode "A Clear And Present Danger", Peter ends up as a passenger in Mohinder's cab and asks, "Do you ever get the feeling like you were meant to do something extraordinary?", echoing the first time they met.
  • The last ever line in House, spoken by the title character, is a paraphrasing of House's first line in the pilot.
  • In the first season of House of Anubis, Patricia went crazy thinking that Joy disappearing was not just a coincidence, and that Nina was behind it. Nobody believed her and she got very stressed about it. After she and Nina made up and became friends, it wasn't brought up again... until early in season three when Fabian was feeling suspicious and desperate about Nina leaving, and brought this up to Patricia, reminding her of how she felt to be alone when Joy was missing. It worked and Patricia agreed to help him.
  • In the iCarly episode "iSpaced Out", Carly is suddenly revealed to save severe claustrophobia. It may seem like a Compressed Vice, but it later shows up in "iSam's Mom".
  • The Kicks: In "Go Big Or Go Home", the team was trying to raise money for new uniforms, which prompted them to enter a tournament in which the top prize was a gift card for a sporting goods store. Nothing comes of this in the episode, as they end up disqualified. Two episodes later, Coach Rivas reveals that he bought them new uniforms out of his own pocket.
  • Stage and TV actress Laura Benanti appeared on an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, during which Colbert joked that she bore a striking resemblance to future First Lady Melania Trump (with her doing a pouty face next to Melania's picture for comparison). A few months later, when Melania made the news again for blatantly plagiarizing one of Michelle Obama's speeches at the Republican National Convention, guess who returned with a spot-on impression? She's since reprised the role a few times, including the show's election night special.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • During the trial of Darius Parker (someone close to Finn's family), the defense brings up the fact that, two seasons earlier, Stabler used connections in the police to sweep his daughter Kathleen's DUI arrest under the rug. This forces the judge to recuse herself and to put out an arrest warrant for Kathleen.
    • In "Gambler's Fallacy", Rollins is exposed as a cop by a 16 year old waitress after visiting an underground gambling den while off duty. It's the same 16 year old waitress who was the victim of a sexual crime the protagonists were investigating several episodes earlier.
  • In episode 3 of Letterkenny Problems, Wayne says his cousin sounds like a dial tone. The next episode has him mention that said cousin stuck a live catfish in his glovebox in retaliation.
  • "All Shook Up", a 1994 episode of Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman, is a veritable remake of the 1953 Adventures of Superman'' episode "Panic In the Sky". This was far from the only callback to prior Superman material on the series.
  • Due to the nature of Lost, with its broad mythology, Character Focus episodes, and time-compression, features many a Call Back to previous episodes and seasons. A few examples: Hurley's van from "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" turns up in a small way in "The Man Behind the Curtain" and a big way in "Through the Looking Glass." Locke's donated kidney from Season 1 saves his life in Season 3. "Cabin Fever" in Season 4 heavily called back the fourth episode, "Walkabout".
  • M*A*S*H does this often with one of the more serious characters complaining about all the things Hawkeye, Trapper, and B.J. had done to them. More seriously, there are references to Col. Blake, Trapper, and Radar after they left the show.
    • In the series finale, Charles and Margaret rehash a trivial argument from several seasons before about whether Charles had touched his nose in surgery (which would mean he wasn't sterile).
  • Modern Family has used quite a few:
    • The second season's finale, "The One That got Away", has an in-universe video montage, supposedly for Jay's birthday, showing all the characters either dressed or holding a prop in such a way as to indicate a particular episode from the season as they say they're too busy to say something.
    • Two second season episodes got callbacks in the third season: the events of "Bixby's Back" (itself a Sequel Episode) were brought up by Clare's opponent (David Cross) during a political debate in "Little Bo Bleep", and the outcome of "Caught in the Act" is cited by Mitchell as a reason not to hold a party at a certain restaurant in "Leap Day".
  • Monk has one of the longest reaching call backs. At the beginning of the pilot, Monk is worried about leaving the oven on. After a skip past 8 seasons or over a hundred episodes later, the last scene of the final episode has Monk make sure the oven is off before he leaves for a case.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    • Joel and Frank's surprise appearance in the first episode of the final season was a Call Back to earlier seasons on a different network.
    • They also love making Call Back jokes about previous movies, especially if they run into the same actor.
    • Lampshaded in the episode King Dinosaur. Servo criticizes Joel for repeating a joke, to which Joel responds that it was a call back. Crow even makes a call back to the first call back in the same episode.
    • They even did this when it made no sense, such as having Mike reference movies that were shown during the Joel era. Although it is possible that Mike just deliberately sought out terrible movies and/or had very bad taste.
  • In the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode "Excuses", Cookie pushes Vanessa's grandmother down the stairs, thinking it was Vanessa in disguise as a phony excuse, only to learn she was real. Later, in "Science Fair", Cookie brings her to the fair to prove that he's not the monster he's being made out to be.
  • The US version of The Office has a few Call Back jokes throughout the series. One of the more notable of these is the use of the expression "Win-Win-Win" to describe a favorable outcome of a compromise. According to the season 2 episode "Conflict Resolution", both parties win for having a successful compromise, and Michael wins for having successfully managed a conflict. From this point on, "Win-Win" in almost any context is replaced by "Win-Win-Win".
  • In an early episode of Red Dwarf, Rimmer tells Lister he can't escape death by hitting in the head and running. In the last episode, Rimmer escapes the Grim Reaper by kneeing it in the groin and running.
  • Retro Game Master: Arino's fondness for Dhalsim and his Yoga Fire is often mentioned when Street Fighter and other fighting games appear.
  • In the series finale of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the bracelet Harvey gave Sabrina during the first season's soap opera episode happens to be the bracelet Morgan pulled out of Sabrina's jewelry box to be the "something old" at Sabrina's wedding to Aaron. It serves as one more reminder that she and Aaron aren't quite meant to be. At the end, when she runs off with Harvey, her father observes that it's "12:36 on the dot", which is the time engraved on the bracelet and the exact time Harvey gave it to her... which was in turn the exact time they met for the first time. Awwwwww.
  • In 1976, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz was forced to resign because he made a racist joke (cleaned up here): "What blacks want is good sex, loose shoes and a warm place to go to the bathroom." Saturday Night Live, in the News portion of the program, led with this story, stating the joke as given above. At the end of the "news" broadcast, 10 or 15 minutes later, they announced that Muhammad Ali was considering a retirement from boxing. According to the reader, all Ali wanted was good sex, loose shoes and a warm place to go to the bathroom.
  • In the season 1 episode of Scrubs, "My Tuscaloosa Heart", Elliot does the "I Told You So Dance" when her suspicion that a song on a tape was sung by Dr. Kelso turns out to be true (though Dr. Kelso denies it). Then, in the season 8 episode, "Their Story II", we see it again when she's right about a decision.
  • Seinfeld
    • Some dialog is mirrored: when Jerry is horrified at having to wear the "puffy shirt" Kramer's girlfriend designed on a TV charity show, Kramer compliments him, saying "You look like a pirate!" Jerry wails "I don't wanna be a pirate!" In a later episode, Kramer is going to pull a sting operation to see if an associate is dealing drugs. He wears an ostentatious outfit including an eyepatch, and Jerry tells him how ridiculous he looks:
    Jerry: You look like a pirate!
    Kramer: I wanna be a pirate!
    • In the same "puffy shirt" episode, there's a Call Back to the masturbation episode — George is a hand model, and it's revealed that the best male hand model before him lost his career by not being "master of his domain"; George says there's nothing to worry about with him: "I won a contest."
      • This is also The Reveal for the masturbation episode, since that episode ended without explicitly stating who won. It was further called back in the finale where George revealed that he actually cheated.
    • The pilot: the conversation about George's button being in the wrong place on George's shirt? Ya. Guess what Jerry talks about in the series finale when the gang lands in prison?
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Ben Browder's character in the last two seasons of Stargate SG-1 does a lot of these. (He read the mission reports.)
    • Lampshaded in Stargate Atlantis season 4, when Samantha Carter left the SGC to take over leadership of Atlantis. She asks Teal'c if he'll come visit her, and he tells her "undomesticated equines could not keep me away." This is a repeat of a line from Season 2 of SG-1 (around eight years earlier). Sam laughs and tells him, "Nice call back."
  • Starsky & Hutch: Both the very first episode, "Savage Sunday," and the early fourth-season episode "Blindfold" open with Starsky complaining about having to work on Sunday and citing dubious statistics to prove he should be given the day off.
  • Star Trek (not known for its continuity) has a moment in the "The Deadly Years" where Kirk references the Corbomite Self-Destruct Device from "The Corbomite Maneuver" in order to bluff some Romulans. Some of the Bridge Crew actually smile when he makes the broadcast. There's another one in "The Trouble with Tribbles" when the Klingon commander makes a reference to the Organian peace treaty. In "Errand of Mercy", the Organians intervened to stop the Klingons and The Federation from trying to kill each other - apparently, they're still watching.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • In the pilot episode, someone mentions "... an Admiral who hates transporters." The importance of this can best be summed up in a quote from Wil Wheaton: "...and this is where we separate the Trekkies from the Trekkers, folks, because the hardcores know before they see or hear him that the Admiral is Dr. McCoy." A nostalgic Tear Jerker promptly ensues as DeForest Kelley proceeds to pass the torch from one series to the other.
    • In the episode "Family", Picard takes shore leave on the French vineyard where he grew up, and before he leaves, his brother gives him a bottle of homemade wine. Later, in the episode "First Contact", before Picard offers a toast to the new friendship between an alien species, he explicitly mentions that he got the wine back home.
    • In "Relics", Data gets a bottle of alcohol for Scotty in 10-forward, and when Scotty asks what it is, he says, "It is..." (pause while evaluating) "...it is green." This is in reference to the episode "By Any Other Name", where Scotty brings a bottle of booze to a Kelvin, and when the Kelvin asks what it is, Scotty drunkenly examines it, and proclaims, "It is...it is green."
    • In "Pegasus", at the end of the episode, Picard consoles a guilty Riker for not having spoken up about a mistake made a decade ago. Calling back to the episode "The First Duty", he congratulates him on standing up for the truth and accepting the consequences and, just so we know that it's a callback, tells Riker he does deserve to wear that uniform.
    • In "Final Mission", Wesley has been accepted into Starfleet Academy, and Picard reminisces about his days at the Academy, in particular a man he considered the wisest on campus: Boothby the groundskeeper. In "The First Duty", Picard visits Wesley at the Academy; Boothby is still there and plays a small but important role in the episode's events.
  • Supernatural
    • The pilot episode ends with Sam and Dean standing at the trunk of the Impala. Sam throws in a gun, shuts the trunk, and says "We've got work to do." At the end of the second season finale, Dean delivers the same line, complete with the gun and the trunk, after killing the Yellow-Eyed Demon, who had opened a gateway to Hell and released a couple hundred other demons and spirits. Also doubles as And the Adventure Continues.
    • In season 2, Dean sarcastically shuts down Sam's hope of angels existing, saying there's also a ton of lore on unicorns, and that he heard they walked on moonbeams and shot rainbows out of their asses. The unicorn in season 7 isn't seen walking on moonbeams, but there is indeed a rainbow streaming out of its ass as it gallops away.
    • In the season 5 finale (originally meant to be the series finale), both Sam and his younger half-brother Adam went to hell as vessels for Lucifer and Michael, respectively. Sam got out in the closing montage, and continues to be a main character. Adam, on the other hand, stops being mentioned in mid-season 6. In the series' 200th episode, Sam and Dean find themselves fighting a monster that's targeting a high school drama club that's putting on a musical based on the Supernatural books. In the second act, the characters that have died over the years join in a rendition of "Carry on Wayward Son". When a kid steps out of the Impala, this happens:
      Sam: Who's that?
      Stage Manager: Adam, John Winchester's other kid. He's still trapped in the cage with Lucifer.
  • The "fish-fry massacre" from The Walking Dead, which occurred in the first-season episode "Vatos" (in which walkers attacked the camp when Rick, Daryl, T-Dog and Glenn went to get the bag of guns in Atlanta), continues to be a sticking point between the survivors long after it happened. In the season 2 episode "Pretty Much Dead Already", Shane calls out Rick for not being around when the attack happened, and specifically mentions that Jim (one of the other survivors who was left behind after the attack) and Amy (Andrea's sister) died as a result of his inaction.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? is excellent at this, and usually manages to slide in at least one inside joke at the end from a game earlier in the episode. (After all, how can we forget Colin's famous Irish Drinking Song moments: "Meowwww" and "You can get poo from fud!") The best example of this (a Brick Joke due to the time frame) started in the UK show where Greg and Colin did a piece where Greg was a Gremlin (Can be seen here, it's the first game played). Later, in the US show, Greg has to play a Gremlin again, and Colin makes the quiet comment "You should have never taken that shower" in reference to how Gremlin!Greg got wet in the first skit. (Actually, Colin's infamous Scottish accent keeps being called back to as well.)
  • The Wire:
    • In the first season, Bodie, Poot and D'Angelo Barksdale have a conversation about chess and the nature of expendable pawns, which concludes with Bodie saying that if you want to get ahead, you'll have to be "one smart-ass pawn". Three seasons later, when Bodie is virtually on his own and sits down for a conversation with Detective McNulty, he mentions that he feels like a pawn, and deliberately references the conversation from the first season.
    • Early on in the series, McNulty is told by a fellow detective in the Major Crimes Unit that there will inevitably come a time when he will piss off the police brass on a case, and one of the bosses will pretend to be his friend and ask McNulty where he doesn't want to work, and after McNulty tells him where he doesn't want to go, that's exactly where he'll be sent. The lesson being that McNulty should claim that he doesn't want to work somewhere he actually wouldn't mind working so he doesn't get buried on a terrible beat. At the end of that season, Major Rawls approaches McNulty and does ask that question to him, word-for-word. McNulty heeds the advice he got, but it amounts to nothing because back in the first episode, before he was ever warned about this, McNulty told his sergeant, Jay Landsman, what would be the worst place for him to be and Landsman passed that information along to Rawls offscreen. McNulty ends up working on the Baltimore P.D.'s Marine Unit for the better part of the second season.
    • In the series finale's montage, the clip of two boys throwing a rock into the lens of a police camera (seen in the opening sequence of all five seasons) is replayed again, as well as a clip being shown of an empty basement with a phone in it (which is the same office the Major Crimes Unit used throughout the first season).
  • WKRP in Cincinnati did the same thing, in a flash back episode Andy Travis was explaining that he just "got kind of tired packing and unpacking, Town to town and up and down the dial". which are lyrics in the shows theme song.
  • In Young Blades, when the main character says that killing the guard who killed her father is not murder, she is told, "No; it's satisfaction." In the final episode, she kills the guard who killed her brother; his last words are, "You have your satisfaction."


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