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Continuity Nod

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"Ben and I decided that we needed more strips and punchlines that only make sense to hardcore readers. Look forward to jokes so inaccessible even we, the authors, don't get them."

A Continuity Nod is a reference to some aspect in a series' past or an occurrence within the universe. The nod is not so much a major plot point, but more of a tilt of the hat to the fans that may know these little details. It is a sort of Shout-Out.


In remakes of older TV shows or movies, this may often manifest itself as a form of Stunt Casting. If characters reference something outside the universe itself but has special meaning some other way (such as an Alternate Continuity or adaptation), it's a Mythology Gag. If it's a joke about the actors of the parts it's Actor Allusion or Casting Gag. References towards something that's been written out (or Take Thats towards something that people wish were written out) are Discontinuity Nods. A nod that affects the plot in some way can be considered a Chekhov's Boomerang.

Never Live It Down and Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? are Sub Tropes. Oblivious Mockery is also a subtrope when the viewer knows about the action being mocked.

Distinct from a Call-Back, as it does not actually drive any plot development. Here's an example of the difference between the two tropes:


Also distinct from a Call-Forward, as it isn't going to be a plot point later on. If a single scene presents an unusually large number of Continuity Nods, all at once, you may have fallen under a Continuity Cavalcade. If there are so many Continuity Nods they detract from the story itself, it's Continuity Porn. When entire scenarios are recreated then it becomes an Internal Homage. Naturally contrasts with Series Continuity Error. A Song of Song Titles might have this.

Remember, it's only this if the events happen in the same continuity. Otherwise, it's a Mythology Gag.


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    Comic Books 
  • Too many to count in The Sandman, but the most memorable is the "Endless Nights" story, "The Heart of A Star" — Superman's ultimate origin is revealed to be a conversation between Krypton's sun and the first personification of Despair on the nature of beauty.
    • Which is a brilliant Genius Bonus by Gaiman. The idea is that Superman only survived so he could feel the despair of being the last Kryptonian - but of course, Despair always fails.
    • This story also features a character called Killalla of the Glow, who is implied to be one of the first aliens to master the energy later marshaled by the Green Lantern Corps.
    • It's never directly stated, but there are enough hints to figure out that Matthew the raven was Matthew Cable, from Alan Moore's series Swamp Thing, before he died. Gaiman owes a lot to Moore in getting his career started; there are several nods in Sandman to Moore's work in the DCU.
  • A throwaway line in Paul Cornell's Captain Britain refers to Merlin as one of the Higher Evolutionaries, acknowledging the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip's presence in the Marvel Universe for the first time since Alan Moore was writing both characters.
    • In one issue of Excalibur Kitty and Rachel are being accosted by Daleks while queuing at a bureaucratic office
    • Plus, Merlin's appearance in Cornell's series looks to be a Call-Back to the way he looked in the DWM strip.
  • Writers and artists often use scenes set in the Batcave's trophy room to give a Continuity Nod to previous Batman stories. Traditionally included are the giant penny from a 1947 fight with The Penny Plunderer, a T-Rex from a 1946 adventure on Dinosaur Island, and a memorial to Jason Todd, first seen in The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Also, Batman once investigated murders at a movie set, where the movie being shot was a WWI flying action/drama. The misunderstood Villain Protagonist of said film was Hans von Hammer, in our world the main character of DC Comics' Enemy Ace series.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Director Chase mentions that Supergirl's space pod's landing place was Siberia (which happened way back in Supergirl Vol 6 #1).
    • In Supergirl story Young Love Pre-Crisis Supergirl remembers several moments of her childhood:
      • Arriving on Earth and meeting Superman (Action Comics #252)
      • Dick Malverne taking a picture of Supergirl by chance (Action Comics #256)
      • Linda accompanying her parents on a beach-picnic (Action Comics #282)
      • Linda and Dick going skating (Action Comics #283)
      • Their reunion in Supergirl Vol 2 #23 when they are in their twenties.
  • ElfQuest examples:
    • In the science-fiction "sequel" The Rebels, Gestrelle Luricahn owning elfin artifacts is just part of her job/field of research. The fact that nearly all of those that we see decorating her room had some importance in previous ElfQuest stories is a Continuity Nod.
    • Sometimes panels from earlier comics get "paraphrased", using the same composition and (if possible) characters; for example one in ''Kings of the Broken Wheel'' 3 is modeled after one in the very first ElfQuest story ever.
    • In a montage of the Wolfriders' dens in Wild Hunt, Tyleet's can be identified by the ornament that her long-dead adoptive son used to wear as a headband.
  • Astérix does this a few times. In Asterix in Britain, you can see a few souvenirs referring to previous adventures on a shelf in Asterix and Obelix's house (including a model sphinx from Asterix and Cleopatra and a Visigoth helmet from Asterix and the Goths).
  • Occurs regularly in Astro City, as befitting a series with a single writer. Most Continuity Nods appear as sidelong references to other characters and events in the chronological past/present, even if the subject hasn't had a published appearance yet.
    • Samaritan briefly mutters "3.2" when he arrives to visit Steeljack in "The Tarnished Angel." This is a reference to Samaritan's Day in the Life story, "In Dreams," where it's shown he keeps track of how many seconds he spends flying from one scene to another.
    • In "Show 'Em All," as Jack-In-The-Box dodges The Junkman's aerosol bombs, he casually mentions having "recent experience" in dodging mid-air explosions. This refers to a single panel from the earlier "Confession" story arc, where Jack-In-The-Box eludes capture from a missile-firing helicopter.
    • Also from "Confession", Brian begins his super-hero career by working as a busboy in Bruiser's Bar & Grill, run by retired Golden Age hero The Black Badge. Both the Black Badge and Bruisers' play small but pivotal roles in the later "Dark Ages" story arc.
    • Kurt Busiek loves to put Continuity Nods in all of his works, helped by his encyclopedic knowledge of comic book history.
  • A subtle one from The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #55: Peter Parker, currently working as a teacher at his old high school, talking to the school secretary (or administrator?) who remembers him from when he was a student:
    Peter: Good afternoon, Maude. Looking beautiful as always.
    Maude: Oh Peter, you lie beautifully darling, have ever since the ninth grade, so don't stop.
    Ninth grade was when Peter was about 15, i. e. when he became Spider-Man and had to lie to maintain his secret identity.
  • In a scene in X-Men #3, Professor Xavier privately refers to Jean Grey as "the woman I love." This plot point was quickly dropped until thirty years later, when Onslaught shows the scene to Jean in an attempt to prove the hypocrisy of humanity.
  • In The Beano Annual 2009 the Ratz (a group of rats from a 2000s Beano comic strip) briefly meet the Nibblers (a group of mice from a 1970s/1980s Beano comic strip).
  • During Paul Cornell's "Black Ring" story arc in Action Comics, one issue was about Vandal Savage having a prophecy relating to Lex Luthor. It featured two flashbacks to previous meetings between the two. One was from the relatively recent Salvation Run, the other was from The Flash #124, back in 1997.
  • In Issue #2 of Red Hood and the Outlaws, Red Hood gets an air hostess' number. They met in Batman #426, 20 years ago. She still remembers his drink order, although in modern continuity, they probably met 2-3 years ago. And he mentions 'A Death in the Family', although that is a Shout-Out. Her name is Isabel Ardila, by the way.
    • In issue #6, it's revealed that Red Hood's costume is actually one of Nightwing's old costumes. Though in-universe information is lacking thanks to the recent reboot, it seems to be based on Nightwing's Renegade costume.
    • The Night of the Owls tie-in nods to the revelation in Batman that Haley's Circus (of which Nightwing was a performer) was a recruitment service for the Court of Owls. It may also be a reference to Red Hood's pre-Crisis history as a circus performer.
    • The Death of the Family tie-in has the Joker forcing Jason to relive the circumstances of his death in the original A Death in the Family arc.
  • In Mortadelo y Filemón, any appeareances of returning villians are punctuated by a side note pointing to the last story in which they starred. And then there is the book Venganza Cincuentona where a dozen of the most iconic Monsters of the Week return to fight the heroes together.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW):
  • In My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3 Twilight mentions that after the events of Lesson Zero, she of all ponies knows how too much work stress can make a pony snap.
    • When Rarity first leaves for her retreat, Pinkie tells her to not forget to write while glaring at Rainbow Dash, with Dash sheepishly stating that she meant to.
    • Luna appears on Rarity's dreams, singing "Hush now, quiet now".
    • The line "The pony everypony should know" (from "Sweet and Elite") is repeated a few times when Flax and Wheat are whisked off by the Elite.
    • The cover of the magazine AJ is reading at the start features the cleaned-up Hayseed Turnip Truck, from the 2-page short at the end of the comic.
      • The short story makes a direct reference to Hayseed's brief scene in Sweet and Elite.
  • My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic #1:

    Comic Strips 
  • In early Dilbert strips, the now infamous Pointy-Haired Boss did not have pointy hair at all, but rather just an ordinary, receding hairline of black curly hair. A 1995 strip depicting the slow decline of Dilbert's health benefits, via a series of flashbacks, depicts the boss with his old, unpointy hair.
  • In one Garfield strip from 1983, Jon buys a frog he names Herbie, Garfield soon becomes jealous and eats him when Jon leaves the room, much later in a Halloween strip from 1994 a group of ghosts of animals he had previously eaten come to haunt him, one of them is Herbie.

    Fan Works 
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: An interesting one: When Asuka is testing her powers, she comes across the scrapped wreck of the rail-mounted mortar that Ramiel destroyed during his rampage. Her surprise when she's able to lift it up is palpable.
  • What About Witch Queen? does it three times:
    • When Hans is escaping Koenigsberg castle, he muses that he used to climb around it as a child and that the skill helped him when wooing Anna during Love is an Open Door.
    • Kai and king Charles remark on different occasions that Elsa organizes weekly ice rinks in the castle courtyard, like she did in the end of the film.
    • When Anna and Hans meet again, Hans admits that the past events might affect Anna's opinion about him.
  • Don't Keep Your Distance invokes a lot of this by being a Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic based primarily on the Sonic X universe, but in a largely original world also including characters and locations exclusive to the games. There are even references to Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie (Tails' daughter's fear of thunder) and the Archie comics (e.g. the currency being called "mobiums").
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero is littered with them, from mentioning who received their tanabata wishes first to Koizumi giving an explanation to Haruhi over a cup of coffee, to a reference to the source material's Drama CD, where Haruhi wrote a literal Ear Worm and Hare Hare Yukai. And now, ACHAKURA!!!
  • Company0051, a Fan Webcomic set in the Haloverse, includes several:
    • When finding the crashed Covenant ship, John-117 identifies it as a Seraph-class starfighter.
    • John directly cites The Captain as having directly violated Article II, subsection 7 of the Cole Protocol, which directly forbids the retrieval of Covenant artifacts and technology until the available party is certain that the item is cannot be tracked.
    • The armor the kids get at the end looks very similar to the Marine uniforms from Combat Evolved.
  • The Robotech fanfics Scoop and Valkyrie Nights contain scenes from the canon material, and the dialogue from those scenes were transcribed word-for-word.
  • Child of the Storm is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, so nods to Marvel continuity (both the MCU and comics), DC comics, Harry Potter, Merlin (2008), and Dresden Files are very common. They also double as Foreshadowing in that they hint at a wider universe. One example in chapter 77 has Loki dazedly remark that he's glad that the Hulk's Metronomic Man Mashing trick is being directed at someone else for once (which doubled as Hilarious in Hindsight once Thor: Ragnarok came out). There are also Mythology Gags and Shout Outs aplenty, and given the nature of the universe, it's sometimes hard to tell which is which.
  • The Forever Knight virtual continuation FK4 has a bunch of references to small details in the show which came up once and were never mentioned again. For example, Natalie's cat and Tracy's knowledge of tattoos.
  • The Tainted Grimoire has one where the Camoan native who cheered Luso and Cheney up in Chapter 63 turned out to be the father of the girl whom Luso, Cheney and Hurdy helped all the way back in Chapter 8.
  • Whenever a new invention is introduced in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, Hobbes will usually reference Calvin's previous inventions and the hijinks that ensued.
    • Also, Rosalyn refuses to babysit Calvin in "A Day at the Office" because of the antics she endured in "Attack of the Vampire Babysitter".
    • In "Thunderstorm", Calvin mentions Brainstorm's earlier plot to steal the world's electricity.
      • Thunderstorm himself references Jack's left arm being loose, which infuriates Brainstorm:
    • Calvin references Brainstorm's earlier reluctance to use the Enemy Mine trope, and Socrates is surprised that he hadn't heard it (he wasn't present in that episode).
  • Fan stories set in Tolkien's Legendarium can make nods to Tolkien's own works. Some readers may miss these references:
    • The title of A Far Green Country is a nod. The phrase "a far green country" appears twice in The Lord of the Rings. Frodo dreams of it in book I, chapter 8. Then Frodo sees Valinor in book VI, chapter 9: "he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise."
    • In The Games of the Gods, Book One, Chapter 71 explains why Dior, Steward of Gondor, never married. This is a nod to The Peoples Of Middle Earth, which established that Dior had no son.
    • In Time Will Tell, chapter 27/28 "The Council of Elrond", Gandalf describes how Jorryn "talked in her sleep". This is not a new trick. Back in The Lord of the Rings, Book II, Chapter 1, Gandalf told Frodo that he "talked long in your sleep". Both cases show how Gandalf can read sleeping minds.
    • The second-last chapter of Time Will Tell is "A Long Expected Wedding". The first chapter of The Lord of The Rings is "A Long-Expected Party".
  • The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing story Wings To Fly frequently points out bits of Lucrezia Noin's backstory from the canon; in the first chapter it puts the Frozen Teardrop prequel/sequel story to Wing in continuity by mentioning Treize Kushrenada having taken a bullet for Noin once, while placing Frozen Teardrop out of continuity in the same chapter by introducing Noin's parents as in line with her pre-Frozen Teardrop backstory. In the second chapter, many, many references are made to the episode "The Victoria Nightmare" and Noin recognizes the characteristics of Aries mobile suit's radar from memory (before her Taurus' computer can!), having been an Aries pilot for a long time.
  • The final sequence in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/The LEGO Movie crossover fanfic My Little LEGO Movie is a reference to the very same sequence from the season 4 episode "Pinkie Pride", this one involving Emmet.
  • Ocadioan's A dance of Shadow and Light series from the Inheritance Cycle series practically has an unlimited supply of these. Especially Phoenix-fire, where every member of the resistance is a Continuity Nod to the original series, though you might have to pay really close attention to get some of them. Then again, onsidering the author even admitted that he might have gone a bit too far with the amount of references, it is hardly surprising.
  • We Are All Pokémon Trainers:
    • The events of the games are often referenced, especially by characters who were there to witness the events.
    • The in-universe J-Team vs Capcom game Boss Rushes are big ones to characters that have long since departed.
    • When explaining to Dune, Deziree, Lyuri, and Duke about Mew, Tagg references the time during the Hoenn arc when Gamer ended up striking Mew.
    • After the strangeness of the last couple April Fools, people start treating them with wariness.
    • Tagg tends to like to visit the spots of previous events for old times sakes.
  • The Massive Multiplayer Crossover fic, The World Of The Creatures features a fair few
    • Buffy and Rory have a short moment of bonding over their shared habit of coming back from the dead. Buffy died twice, once in "Prophecy Girl" and again in "The Gift". However, even she is impressed when Rory mentions "dying" five times. The instances he mentions are from "Amy's Choice", "Cold Blood", "The Curse of the Black Spot", and "The Pandorica Opens".
    • When talking with the Eleventh Doctor, one of the Silurians mentions an ark built before they went into hibernation, to which the Eleventh Doctor responds, "Oh you mean the one with all the dinosaurs?" This is a reference to the Silurian Ark seen in "Dinosaurs on a Spacehship".
    • While venting to her Diplodocus, Buffy makes reference to "that whole musical fiasco." This is a reference to the Buffy Musical Episode "Once More With Feeling".
    • Amy, as a throwaway mention during a conversation, mentions that she and Rory, to their irritation, still sleep in bunk beds. The idea that the Ponds sleep in bunk beds aboard the TARDIS is first mentioned in "The Doctor's Wife". Also from that episode, the Doctor refers to the TARDIS as "Sexy".
  • The Wrong Reflection:
    • The Gorn flagship GHS S'slee is named after the Gorn that Kirk fought in Star Trek: The Original Series: "Arena". (That was one of the names he was given in the Expanded Universe.)
    • One of the ships assigned to guard the Bajor in the attack on the Terran Empire's base in the prime universe is the USS Laporin, after a classmate of Ben Sisko's who was said to have been killed by the Klingons in DS 9: "Apocalypse Rising".
    • Gul Ekoor, commanding the Cardassian Second Order forces taking part in the battle, was one of the Cardassian soldiers who joined Damar, Garak, and Kira for the attack on the Dominion military headquarters in DS9: "What You Leave Behind".
    • Chapter five has Eleya explaining to Dal Kanril, her mirror universe counterpart, how she got into Starfleet from the Bajoran Militia, from From Bajor to the Black, and then she and two of her security personnel give an overview of the Dominion War arc from DS9.
  • During chapter 2 of The Rise of Arc, Jaune is distracted from his loneliness by a sudden feeling of chills down his spine..."almost as if he were being hunted." Fans of canon will know that this is because Pyrrha- his future Love Interest- was watching him at this exact moment.
  • A lot of The Mysterion Mythos is tied to continuing the superhero arc episodes from South Park, and a few other episodes as well (the fanfic also uses Butters' female ego Marjorine from the season nine episode of the same name).
  • In "Frostbite" Dalsh Ruul refers to the Breen having acquired the design for painsticks from the Klingons back in the time of Chancellor Mow'ga. Mow'ga was said in DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part" to have sent a military expedition into Breen space that was never heard from again.
  • "Remembrance of the Fallen":
    • To the first chapter of Bait and Switch when Eleya introduces herself to Tia and Sobaru as follows:
    • And to Eleya mentioning in "From Bajor to the Black, Part II" about how her Extreme Omnisexual Starfleet Academy roommate Jasmine Velasquez frequently kicks her out of the dorm on Friday nights because she brought back a hookup.
      Thrass: Anyway, think of it as something to do when Jazz Velasquez kicks you out on Friday nights.
      Eleya: How do you—
      Thrass: I’m your professor. I know everything.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand:
    • Sora's taking Ven's heart into his body, as well as Aqua's crafting Castle Oblivion, during the events of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep are referenced in the first and second chapters.
    • In chapter 14, Aqua recalls having first met Sora, Riku, and Kairi when they were little kids, also in Birth by Sleep. During the conversation, Sora also recalls having seen her back then, as well as in the Realm of Sleep.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: There are plenty of references to the canon series and the fanfic’s prequel sprinkled throughout the story, mostly dropped in the narration or in conversations. Most notably, in Chapter 1, there is a mention that evil activity was low a little more than two decades ago. Soul Eater Zeta is set 23 years ago, and it’s been said there activity of Kishin Eggs is low. Chapter 2’s classroom lecture is just a giant one that establishes continuity with respect to the Baba Yaga Castle invasion and its aftermath.
  • At one point in Eroninjia, Anko Mitarashi performs a tea ceremony so flawlessly that it drives a noble to tears, a reference to the databooks which mention Anko performs tea ceremonies as a hobby.
  • Several of these in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, occasionally used to further the plot. For example, when trying to figure out a way to help Ringo see through magical masks, Paul recalls the day in With Strings Attached when Ringo cropped up psychic and Grunnel talked about breaking through masks, leading the four to look for a skahs wizard to teach Paul how to cast that spell. Sadly, none of them can.
  • Doctor Who Regenerated is a Doctor Who Fan Webcomic that finally lets the Doctor regenerate ginger.
  • Escape From the Moon: In chapter 8 of the sequel The Mare From the Moon, Discord mentions "this realm's Door to the Realms in Between". This was previously mentioned in chapter 12 of another of Evilhumour's stories, A Chance Meeting of Two Moons.

    Live-Action Film 
  • Revenge of the Sith:
    • Grievous has chronic coughing fits, a reference to how Mace Windu wounded him in the TV show Star Wars: Clone Wars.
    • After their climactic duel, Obi-Wan is seen stopping to pick up Vader's lightsaber, which he gives to Luke in Episode IV.
  • If the first trailer for Blair Witch is any indicator, Heather Donahue's brother ends up apologizing like she did in one of The Blair Witch Project's most iconic scenes.

  • Occurs on a comedy album, of all things. The Lonely Island's Incredibad opens with a song about Carlos Santana's champagne brand, which is referenced in the Memetic Mutation-level I'm on a Boat.
    • And again in the interlude Normal Guy.
    • At the end of Dick in a Box, Andy and Justin Timberlake get sent to jail for indecent exposure. The video for Motherlover opens with them coming out of jail and dropping some boxes in the trash. Towards the end, Justin says, "This is the second-best idea that we've ever had!"
    • Building on the same continuity, 3-Way (The Golden Rule) starts immediately after Motherlover, as they are each leaving the other's house after spending the night with the other's mom; the song starts with both saying "Your mom says hi. Jinx!"
    • During the bridge in Threw it on the Ground, Andy talks about how there are "so many things to throw on the ground". One is a boiled goose, a reference to Boombox.
  • Meat Loaf has the song "Blind as a Bat", with a title blatantly designed to remind of his great hit "Bat Out of Hell", even though the songs have nothing really to do with one another. (One might argue that this applies to the entire Bat Out of Hell "trilogy"...)
  • The Beatles' "Glass Onion" from The White Album actually approaches Continuity Porn levels, referring directly to "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am the Walrus" (with a twist), "Lady Madonna", "The Fool on the Hill", and "Fixing a Hole".
    • "I Am The Walrus" itself contains the line, "See how they fly like Lucy In The Sky."
    • And "Lady Madonna" references "I Am the Walrus" with the line "see how they run."
    • During the fadeout on "All You Need Is Love" from Magical Mystery Tour, Paul starts to sing, "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah..."
    • "If I Fell" from A Hard Day's Night has a subtler one: "'Cause I've been in love before, and I found that love was more than just holding hands..."
    • "Mean Mr. Mustard"'s sister is named Pam. The followup song on Abbey Road is "Polythene Pam". The name originally read "Shirley", but John Lennon changed it to "Pam" to invoke this trope.
    • "Savoy Truffle" from The White Album contains the line, "We all know 'Ob-la-di-bla-da', but can you tell me where you are", referencing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" from the same album.
  • The lyrics of the Megadeth song "Victory" consist of previous Megadeth song titles written in a Previously On form.
    • They nodded to "Sweating Bullets" and its video with "Mastermind" ("slightly schizophrenic - me and me and me agree"), and also with "Dread And The Fugitive Mind" which is a similar song about the same thing.
      • Megadeth have numerous nods to Dave Mustaine's Metallica past starting with his own rendition of "Mechanix" on their first album Killing Is My Business (which was his original song Metallica rewrote as "The Four Horsemen" for Kill Em All), right up until "Don't Turn Your Back" on their (as of 2013) most recent album Super Collider. Of note amongst these is "Of Mice And Men" from 2004's The System Has Failed, which puts Mustaine's life story in context, no doubt inspired by his conversation with Lars in 2001 which eventually made it into Metallica's movie Some Kind Of Monster in 2004.
  • Axel Rudi Pell uses this trope very frequently.
    • "Dark Waves of the Sea" features the exact chorus from "Oceans of Time" as an interlude, along with a similar melody overall.
    • The title track of Mystica refers directly to previous songs and albums by title, such as Kings and Queens, Oceans of Time, and "Edge of the World", among many others.
  • In 1996, R. Kelly had a song featuring the Isley Brothers about a man cheating with "Mr. Biggs'" woman. In 2001, the Isley Brothers had a song featuring R Kelly concerning the same issue and the same characters. Or as Mr Biggs puts it, "Don't I know you from somewhere a long time ago?"
  • George Clinton has a habit of recycling his older melodies in new contexts while making it seem more like creative fun than lack of originality. For example: The Funkadelic song "Red Hot Mama" borrows the melody from their older song "I Bet You", and the Parliament Song "Do That Stuff" takes a riff from "You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure" by Funkadelic.
    • The Thompson Twins' "Love on Your Side" has the line "I've played you all my favorite records" followed by a short recap of the melody line from an earlier single of the band's "In the Name of Love" (They felt it was the only one they could legally use).
  • David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) revisits the main character of "Space Oddity", Major Tom. The Major is also mentioned in the Pet Shop Boys remix of "Hallo Spaceboy".
  • Bon Jovi makes a nod to Tommy and Gina, the characters from "Livin' on a Prayer", in their song "It's my Life".
    • "99 In The Shade", from Slippery When Wet's followup album New Jersey, also name checks Tommy and Gina.
    • "Wanted Dead Or Alive" from Slippery mentions "I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride". "Ride Cowboy Ride" and "Stick To Your Guns" from New Jersey also mention cowboys, as (obviously) does Jon Bon Jovi's solo hit, "Blaze Of Glory" (from the Young Guns II soundtrack).
  • Queen have a b-side called 'Soul Brother' that's pretty much entirely continuity nods; "He's my best friend, he's my champion, and he will rock you, rock you, rock you"... it goes on like that.
  • "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal" by They Might Be Giants features numerous continuity nods to various TMBG in the third verse.
  • Even classical music features the occasional Continuity Nod by composers to earlier works. Just to name a few examples:
    • Robert Schumann's early piano suite Carnaval features, in the movement entitled "Florestan", a quote from his suite Papillons, written two or three years earlier. The autograph manuscript (and most published editions) lampshades this by inserting the word "(Papillon?)" in the passage containing the quote.
    • Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No.8 is something of an autobiographical work; as well as featuring innumerable quotes of his musical monogram (D E-flat C B = D Es C H (German note names) = D.Sch. = Д.Ш., Shostakovich's initials), it quotes the opening bars of his Symphony No.1, the "Jewish" theme from the finale of his Piano Trio No.2, the opening bars of his Cello Concerto No.1, and an aria from his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District among others.
    • The String Quartet No.11 of Shostakovich's fellow countryman Nikolai Myaskovsky features quotes from numerous songs and piano pieces which Myaskovsky wrote earlier in his career; the quartet is sometimes subtitled "Reminiscences".
    • The Russian Romantic composer Anton Rubinstein wrote three sonatas for violin and piano. The third sonata, written more than twenty years after the other sonatas, begins by alternating sustained notes in the piano with the opening phrases of the first and second sonatas in the violin before moving on to new material.
    • In the aptly-titled "Four Last Songs", Richard Strauss included a musical quotation of his work Death and Transfiguration, which he had composed sixty years earlier.
    • Sergei Rachmaninoff published twenty-four preludes in his lifetime, one for each of the major and minor keys. The last to be written, Op.32 No.13 in D-flat major, contains a number of references to the first to be written, Op.3 No.2 in C-sharp minor (the relative minor of D-flat major), including several major-key quotes of the earlier prelude's three-note motif, a shortened version of the chord progression from the coda, and an ascending fifth in the final measure.
    • In his piece, Shepherd's Hey, Percy Grainger briefly features the 7-note melody of arguably his most popular piece, Country Gardens.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan indulged in this on a few occasions. In their seldom-performed penultimate collaboration, Utopia Limited, a nod is made to H.M.S. Pinafore as one of the British Flowers of Progress is a naval officer named Captain Corcoran - which is also the name of the captain of the Pinafore (for most of the operetta, at least). In his introductory song in the Act I finale of Utopia Limited, there is even a direct musical quote from the similarly named character's introductory song in HMS Pinafore, "I am the captain of the Pinafore". It is somewhat uncertain whether they are intended to be the same character.
    • Utopia Limited also has a nod to The Mikado, specifically the title character's song about his Cool And Unusual Punishments:
      King Paramount: I am waiting until a punishment is discovered that will exactly meet the enormity of the case. I am in constant communication with the Mikado of Japan, who is a leading authority on such points.
  • Secondhand Serenade creator John Vesely references the chorus of his song "Your Call" in the first verse of the prior track, "Vulnerable" and even lampshades it, saying "...Isn't that a song already? I get a B in originality."
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers make references to a girl called Dani in the songs "Californication", "By the Way", and "Dani California".
  • In Usher's music video for "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)" there are scenes with a group of female back-up dancers rehearsing. His following video "OMG" brings back the same dancers in full costume performing the rehearsed moves.
  • The Faith No More song "Last Cup Of Sorrow" features the lyric "Raise your glass and let's propose a toast to the thing that hurts you most," almost identical to a lyric in the song Bloody Mary from an early demo by FNM singer Mike Patton's first band, Mr. Bungle.
  • Yusuke Nakamura occasionally does this with Asian Kung-Fu Generation's album art.
    • The wire on the cover of Houkai Amplifier connects to the string on Kimi Tsunagi Five M.
    • The guy on the cover of "Solanin" is wearing a Fanclub T-shirt.
    • There's a doll dressed up as the girl on Sol-fa on the cover of "Maigo Inu To Ame no Beat".
    • There's a Houkai Amplifier CD on Magic Disk's album art. If you squint, you can tell that the boy on the cover has been replaced with Gotoh.
  • "The Joker", title track of the 1973 album by the Steve Miller Band: "Some people call me the Space Cowboynote , yeah / Some call me the Gangster of Lovenote  / Some people call me Mauricenote ..."
    • "Space Cowboy" did this as well, with its opening line: "I told you 'bout Livin' In The US of Anote  / And you know that I'm a Gangster Of Love..."
  • In an interview, songwriter Dennis Linde said that the Earl whom the Dixie Chicks kill off in "Goodbye Earl" is the same antagonist as in the much earlier "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" by Sammy Kershaw. In the former song, Earl takes the narrator's woman off, and he takes her back.
  • Clint Black's 1994 single "No Time to Kill" makes several callbacks to his 1989 single "Killin' Time".
  • Keith Urban did this with two songs in a row: "Put You in a Song" is a Heavy Meta about how he wants to write a song about his lover. "Without You" has the line "And up until you came along / No one ever heard my song / Now it's climbing with a bullet".
  • Zac Brown Band created a fictional character called "Floaty Boatwood" for the video to their tropical-themed "Toes". Floaty shows up again in the video for the similar "Knee Deep" (a Jimmy Buffett duet).
  • KMFDM's "Oh Shit", the last track on Don't Blow Your Top, reprises a lyric from the title track, as well as reprising the instrumental of "Oh Look".
  • In 2010, country singer Lee Brice had a hit with "Love Like Crazy". A year later, he co-wrote the Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl", which has the line "I love you like crazy, girl."
  • In Fear and Faith's 2010 song "Bought The Ticket, Took The Ride" references their previous album Your World On Fire with the lyric "watch my world caught on fire!"
  • AC/DC mentions the title tracks of their first two Australian albums, "T.N.T." and "High Voltage," in "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."
  • Aerosmith's "What It Takes" references "F.I.N.E." (which is on the same album) and "Heart's Done Time."
    • Both "F.I.N.E." and "Intro" reference the outtake song "Right Key, Wrong Key Hole."
    • "Amazing" contains the line "That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation."
    • The chorus of "Adam's Apple" includes the line "Lordy it was love at first bite." Twelve years later, "Dude (Looks Like a Lady" contained the line "She a long lost love at first bite."
  • Ayreon's 01 album is largely made up of continuity nods.
    • Outside of the above album, the Forever character from Into the Electric Castle is revisited in a single song in Universal Migrator and is revealed at the end of The Human Equation.
  • Panic! at the Disco's music video for "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" begins with shots of dusty and cobweb-laden church pews—clearly the same setting from their first big hit, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies."
  • Frank Zappa made continuity nods to his entire oeuvre all the time. He even had a special name for it: "conceptual continuity".
  • Sting does this with his music, both in his solo works and as part of The Police.
    • In the album Synchronicity, part of the lyrics from "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" appear in the song "O My God".
    • In the ending for "Love Is The Seventh Wave", Sting does a brief reprise of the lyrics from "Every Breath You Take" from Synchronicity.
    • In the ending for "We'll Be Together", Sting briefly reprises the lyrics of "If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free".
  • AOA's dance unit's "Chocolate" contains some shout-outs to their previous songs - Jimin's rap is the first verse of her solo rap song "Puss", and lines and dance moves from the "Like A Cat" and "Confused" choruses also appear.
  • Poets of the Fall:
    • The video for Signs of Life track "Lift," sees a prisoner declared "Illusionist," and "Dreamer," a reference to "Illusion & Dream," another track on the album.
    • The music video for Title Track "Carnival of Rust" contains references to other songs on the album. Among them:
      • "Fire"-eaters ply their trade
      • The Ferris wheel is called The Great "Gravity" Wheel, and fragments of its lyrics serve as slogans on Zoltar the fortune-telling automaton's case.
      • The customer's fortune ticket bears a number "4" for "All the Way/4U"
      • The Bearded Lady is being tattooed with the word "Delicious."
  • Famous Swedish band Kent: The announcing video for their last album, Då som nu för alltid, is basically consisting of this trope: It's full of references to old songs, albums and music videos by the band, in an amazing way.
  • Kids Praise: In the 10th album, Risky Rat reappears. Charity recognizes him, though it takes her a little while to realize exactly who he is.

  • In Monopoly, every player starts with $1,500. The pinball adaptation translates this to each player having 1,500 points at the beginning of the game.
  • Williams Electronics' "rollercoaster" game Cyclone, a sequel to Comet, includes the "Comet" in the game.
    • Hurricane, the second sequel, also includes the "Comet" in the game. Furthermore, the backglass shows two riders wearing "Comet" and "Cyclone" T-shirts.
  • The backglass for Tales from the Crypt shows the Crypt Keeper reading an issue of the original EC Comics' Tales from the Crypt comic book.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Tito Santana and Rick Martel had teamed together in 1987 as "Strike Force" and then they broke up violently, the feud lasting the rest of their careers, even when they weren't actively feuding.
  • ECW fans had fun mocking Raven by reminding him of his former Johnny Polo and Scotty The Body gimmicks. The change to Raven was explained by Scotty becoming depressed.
  • Throughout the Attitude Era, the WWF gave us a subtle Continuity Nod on a weekly basis, in the form of Chyna's nickname, "The Ninth Wonder of the World". You may be saying, "Wait, aren't there only seven wonders?" Yes, but in the '70s and '80s, the WWF billed André the Giant as "The Eighth Wonder of the World", and thus Chyna was next in line after him.
    • And Zack Ryder was in line after her, as he was recently called "The Tenth Wonder of the World".
  • The WWF shows from October '99 to around August '00 paid a greater attention to continuity than usual thanks to the efforts of then head writer, the late Chris Kreski. Kreski made a habit of extensively storyboarding everything and keeping continuity charts. One specific continuity nod sticks out in a world where allegiances are constantly changing and old ones are often ignored. Shortly before Kreski took over, Summerslam '99 saw the climax of the feud between Test and Shane McMahon over Test deserving the love of Shane's sister Stephanie McMahon. Test won a "Love Her or Leave Her" match and the next night on Raw, Shane told him he was the better man and that they should be friends from then on. After Kreski took over, and even for a long time after Stephanie turned heel on her family and Test to marry Triple H, Test had Shane's back whenever he was needed.
  • Delirious tends to slip in references to his partners and rivals from his starting promotion, Gateway Championship Wrestling, wherever he goes, such as using Matt Sydal's "Here It Is!" to defeat the supposedly titanic sized Hydra in Chikara. It might have to do with GCW's Diabolic Khaos stable bleeding into IWA Mid-South but commentator Dave Prazak will call any move Delirious is known for by the appropriate Name of Power if he sees MsChif perform it.
  • Jazz would sometimes wear a shirt reading "Where My Doggs At" in reference to her husband's tag team in Ohio Valley Wrestling with Shelton Benjamin, The Dogg Pound. She wrestle with a red bandana on too because "Redd Dogg" Rodney Mack also would.
  • Bob Holly's match in OVW with Matt Cappotelli is became famous for unintended reasons as it progressed but before that happened, Jim Cornette made sure to mention Bob's cousin Molly would be taking on Jillian Hall.
  • Women Superstars Uncensored likes to pretend that the company started in 2006/7 but has several call backs to their Wrestling Superstars days when they weren't an all women's promotion, most obviously the recurring Queen And King Of The Ring tournament but there are quite a few less obvious reminders, such as commentator Monsta Mack, who used to wrestle for them before the transition.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH billed Samoa Joe as a TNA wrestler during his runs there but the commentators weren't shy to reference Joe's time in Ring of Honor, which had quite a few inter promotional events with NOAH while Joe was face of the company.
  • Angelina Love's tattoos and ring gear contain symbolism and visual artifacts from her old Angel Williams/Canadian Angel gimmicks and when she goes back to those gimmicks, her gear tends to reference her TNA time as Love.
  • Inter promotional example, and a rare one considering it involved WWE but Primo Colon's instant hostility toward Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder upon the announcement that they were members of "La Familia" would go over the heads of most people who don't speak Spanish and just confuse those who do, unless they also watched WWC, where "La Familia" was one of the promotion's most dominant power stables, whom Eddie(Primo) and Carlito were opposed to.
  • After Madison Rayne "killed" Roxxi Laveaux's TNA career, she started using the Barbie Crusher, best known as Roxxi's finishing move.
  • Subverted by WWE firing the continuity editor when he pointed out too many issues and never hiring a new one.
  • These days, WWE doesn't tend to make Continuity Nods referring to incidents from more than half a decade ago (see Fleeting Demographic Rule). This tendency does not apply to appearances by or even casual mentions of Legends (WWE Superstars who are no longer with the company but are still widely remembered), who will often be referenced by younger commentators who weren't even born when they were in their heyday! One commentator casually mentioned Sky Low Low - a midget wrestler whom very few fans over the age of 40 are even aware existed!
  • WWE either intentionally does this (such as HHH never referring to his loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 17 during promos for their fight at 27) or completely forgets about some stuff because they weren't important enough at the time. CM Punk reportedly had to remind the writers during his feud with Randy Orton that he was jumped by Orton and his stable in Unforgiven 2008, making him lose without even entering his title match, and thus giving him a pretty valid reason to go after Orton for Wrestlemania 27.
  • In a world where most storylines disappear after three months, it took Randy Orton years to get over Evolution's betrayal, a moment which is generally agreed to be his Start of Darkness, transforming him from the suave "Legend Killer" to the cold and sadistic "Viper." This is evident because it became the standing reason for Randy's hatred of Triple H (and to a lesser extent, Batista), extending the grudge all the way to 2009, a full four years after the stable had long since dissolved. Evolution also left its mark on Randy in another ways, most notably in Randy's own Power Stable Legacy, an imitation of Evolution, except with Randy taking Triple H's place as The Centerpiece, in order to keep on a stranglehold on the WWE Championship, much like how Hunter did with Evolution and the World Heavyweight Championship. It's only in recent years that Randy has been able to get over it in order to ally himself with The Authority. This extends to Orton's relationship with other superstars. Besides the aforementioned CM Punk example, many of his former rivals make it no secret that they still hate him regardless of current alignments. This was most noticeable with John Cena, whose feud with Randy was the most personal in recent years, arguably even more personal than Triple H's and Shawn Michaels circa '02-'04. Regardless of their alignments, anything that puts them in even the slightest bit of conflict pushes them to the verge of feuding again.
  • On WWE NXT season 2, Kaval made mention of his encounters with Eddie Guerrero in Impact Championship Wrestling back when he was known as Low Ki. Also, during one of the "challenges" which usually showed "talents" beyond those that related to pro wrestling, Kaval cut a rap which ended with the worlds "Total Nonstop Action", where he had also wrestled before.
  • Kane gives us one in the form of a delightful speech about his past while in an anger management class on the 8/27/12 edition of Raw. Hilarity Ensues.
    "I grew up locked in a basement, suffering severe psychological and emotional scarring when my brother set my parents on fire. From there, I shifted around among a series of mental institutions until I was grown, at which point I buried my brother alive ... twice. Since then, I've set a couple of people on fire and abducted various co-workers. Oh, and I, uh, once electrocuted a man's testicles. Years ago, I had a girlfriend named Katie but let's just say that didn't turn out too well. My real father is a guy named Paul Bearer, who I recently trapped in a meat locker. I've been married, divorced, broke up my ex-wife's wedding and tombstoned the priest. And, for reasons never quite explained, I have an unhealthy obsession with torturing Pete Rose."
  • In Ring Of Honor, "Touched" by VAST was among the entrance themes AJ Styles used until he was pulled out of the promotion by TNA. When Style's TNA contract was up and he could return to ROH without their restriction, "Demi Gods" by LabRats became his theme, which wasn't just a remix of "Touched" but also a song about the forming of a team, which of course is a nod to the fact he joined Bullet Club in the interim. Also, Styles took up the Bloody Sunday maneuver of former club leader, "Prince" Fergal Devitt, who was forced out of the group and New Japan Pro-Wrestling but amicably as possible.
  • MVP's "investor in TNA" gimmick is a nod to his "highest paid free agent in all of "sports entertainment" gimmick on Smackdown. His director of wrestling operations role is a nod to TNA becoming an affiliate of the World Wrestling League, where former TNA agent/booker/whatever Savio Vega really was directing such operations.
  • During Bobby Lashley's first TNA Heavyweight Title run, Bobby Roode asking if his real passion was pro wrestling or MMA might have seemed like a cheap plug for Lashely also fighting in Bellator at the time, unless one remembered Lashley's previous TNA run ended with his wife trying to get him to quit TNA because she was being harassed by Scott Steiner and said no one ever bothered her during his MMA matches.
  • Cody Rhodes's "Stardust" gimmick wasn't just putting himself more in line with tag team partner Goldust but a nod to one of his father's red barons.
  • In 1992 (taped 1991), Shawn Michaels betrayed Marty Jannetty by kicking him in the jaw and smashing him through a glass object. In 2008, Chris Jericho betrayed Shawn Michaels by beating the hell out of him and smashing him through a glass object. In 2017, Kevin Owens betrayed Chris Jericho by savagely beating him down and smashing him through a glass object. If Kevin's still wrestling in five years or so…

    Tabletop Games 
  • In both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000, references are usually sprinkled around for fans to find referring to all manner of things from the previous editions that may have been forgotten about, passed over or deliberately retconned. For example, in the Grey Seer novel for Warhammer Fantasy, Grey Seer Thanquol makes a passing mention to the "blasphemous Kweekul", referring to the 2nd edition "Realms of Chaos" sourcebooks, during the time of which Skaven were actually part of the Chaos forces, and specifically referring to a Skaven Daemon Prince used to highlight the "design a Chaos God" rules. Similarly, the 7th edition Warriors of Chaos sourcebook mentions Lothar Bubonicus and Werner Thunderfist, two Chaos Champions (Nurgle and Tzeentch respectively) who each ascended to Daemonhood. Both of them were warbands played by the writers of White Dwarf, and their progress was shown in issue #124.
    • A rules related version crops up in the 8th edition High Elves book. In earlier editions (5th and before) the High Elves general could be decided by a random dice roll, due to politics deciding who was in charge (the rule was called Intrigue at Court). In later books, this rules was removed by the fluff still makes mention to generals being decided by politics, and states that this is usually overriden by the Phoenix King.
  • Planet Hoppers: Beheboth: Blood and Water, an article/story written for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars d20, revisits characters from old Marvel comics, including one Sergeant Malka. In an obvious nod to a much more recent story, Darial mistakenly refers to him as "Malak" at one point.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Sphere of Chaos's name and effect is a reference to a trio of monsters often called "The Chaos Trio", consisting of "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning", "Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End", and "Chaos Sorcerer", who needed a LIGHT and DARK Monster to summon.
    • The Sage of Necloth is clearly an aged Gishki Avance, with the same stats.
    • The Necloth of Trishula has the same effect and stats as the original Trishula.
    • Elder of the Spirit Beast Tamers is an older Kamui, Hope of Gusto.
    • The Spirit Beast Tamers are Psychic-type, just like all of the human Gusto monsters.
    • Just like the Dragunity and Gusto before them, their extra deck monsters consist of a rider and their steed.

  • In The Drowsy Chaperone, the Man in Chair mentions that actress Ukulele Lil probably played the ukulele, "although she doesn't in this show." And then she does at the very end, which is technically outside the Show Within a Show.

    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • Shikkoku no Sharnoth makes numerous passing references to Sekien no Inganock including mentioning the city of Inganock itself and a Runner known as David, who was a minor character there.
  • Kotomine remarks offhandedly about how Tohsaka will feel much better after being buried underground for a bit amidst a conversation that skims along the topic of vampires. Shirou isn't sure whether to take the comment literally or seriously. This little conversation gave rise to some Epileptic Trees suggesting that Tohsaka is the descent of a vampire.
  • Canvas 2 has multiple references to the original game and several of the heroines, mostly in Misaki and Saya's routes. Both of them are sisters of heroines from the original.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend sequel Holiday Star, the human girl is friends with The Conductor, implicitly from all the bad ends in the previous game. She even says they've known each other since the demo version!
  • Ace Attorney has a number of these. One occurs in The Monstrous Turnabout in Dual Destinies, which features a photo capturing a supposed flying killer. This is the fourth time the series has used the "supposed flying murderer" plot point. When Apollo points out the possibility of a flying murderer in court, the Judge's reaction is a sarcastic "I can't wait to hear this".

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has absolutely massive amounts of these. The most minor characters will pop up in various places, turns of phrase and vocabulary items will be thrown around in completely different contexts, objects from previous cartoons will make appearances elsewhere for little reason. At its greatest, a one-off joke will come back so much that it becomes a much larger part of the website, such as the band Limozeen. All you need to do is go to the Homestar Runner Wiki, find a cartoon's page and look at inside references, where each Continuity Nod, Shout-Out, and Mythology Gag will be documented in precise detail.
  • "Aw, shit. And I was in charge of confetti."
    • When Grif somehow revived Sarge from a gunshot wound he was chastised for how random that treatment was and Sarge ask if he would have treated a shot in the foot by rubbing aloe vera on his neck. When Grif talks to Doc a while later, a (not very good) medic, Doc tells Grif that he made the right decision and states that he just treated Caboose's gunshot wound in the foot by rubbing aloe vera on his neck (then his toe fell off).
    • A more recent one was in Recreation: Grif gets in the cockpit for a large vehicle and ask 'Why are there only four pedals if there's six directions?', the exact opposite of what Caboose asked when he first piloted his team's tank in season 1. There's been several per episode recently, though many are of the "blink and you'll miss it" variety.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Red vs. Blue Revelations.
  • In Charlie the Unicorn 3, having been through everything else the cartoon is going to throw at him, at least he finds that kidney they stole back in the first one.
  • This fan work for Watchmen is filled with nods toward the original graphic novel, from Rorsachs' "love of animals" to the scene where the comedian falls out of a window.
  • The Leet World: In "Satisfaction Guaranteed", Player has something of an obsession with a snowman's hat. In the second season, the same hat can be seen in the intro sequence.
  • In Brain POP's Fractions episode, many of the robots from other videos on the site, such as Little Jimmy and the Cycloids from the Capitalization video and the Hillbot from the Country Music video, show up at Moby's birthday party.
  • Ultra Fast Pony: "Shameless Self Reference" is packed with references to prior episodes, complete with hyperlinks to the relevant episode. The Stinger from the season one finale references the first two episodes, with Night Moon Mare showing up from nowhere to deliver her Catch-Phrase, "Saaaaaaaaaaaaand!"
  • Breeze Rider references the opening of Dusk's Dawn when the group approaches the castle.
  • The main character of Petera Dzive, after having taken a photo of himself with a drunk, passed out naked man, keeps the photo on the wall of his room in future episodes.
  • The creators of The Most Popular Girls in School and Dr. Havoc's Diary just love making sure that the viewers never forget all the crazy shit that has happened in previous episodes. Even if it means having to go way back to reference the very first episodes.

    Web Comics 
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • In chapter 13, Kat disagrees with Alistair about which is Prodigy's best album, then Alistair gives all his possessions to Kat before he leaves. In chapter 14, Kat is seen wearing one of Ali's T-shirts. Then in chapter 15, she wears a shirt with the XL Recordings (Prodigy's record label) logo.
    • In chapter 20, Annie accidentally leaves a giant fingerprint on the moon. Whenever the moon is shown in the background in later chapters, this print is still visible.
  • When they did a Bleach parody for VG Cats, Leo draws his Rat-Flail (an item he tried to make in a poor attempt at a D&D game by tying a rat to a stick), then turns it into an gigantic living Rat-Morningstar.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has its share of these as well. Some even link to Alt Text comments — one memorable one being the Doc's List of Things To Do Before He Died. Another being the peg-faced pirates, and Dan McNinja's 'poison eyes'another is a pact the doc has with the police in his town, mentioned here and referenced here
  • The Order of the Stick has plenty of these, acting as both tiny details and important plot pieces throughout the course of the comic. The most significant of which being an elder dragon who happens to be the mother of a young adult dragon the main characters killed over 400 strips earlier.
  • An untitled webcomic frequently makes use of this, frequently bringing up often inconsequential side points from older comics and twisting their meaning and often connecting them to all kinds of other events. Recently it has been revealed that this is all the machination of the Illuminati of which Steve Jobs is a member.
  • Read the Alt Text on comic 576 of xkcd. Now, go back and read comic 325.
  • Appears a few times in Something*Positive. First is the reference to "I lava you," first seen on a note read by Davan and Nancy, and later repeated in a joke between Lisa and Gaspar.
    • There's also the time when Aubrey and Kestrel entered a supply closet in the Nerdrotica building, where Aubrey stored some props from her less successful escapades. She is shown picking up a Cthulu mask, a reference to an earlier plot where she attempted to film a show called "My Neighbor Cthulu."
  • One strip in a Christmas-themed arc in Brawl in the Family, has King Dedede starting to go around stealing things set to a Filk Song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Now, going back a year...
    • Matthew acknowledges that this strip is notably darker than standard Brawl in the Family fare, but check out the Alt Text and it'll point you to this one. Then all kinds of Fridge Horror pops up.
  • Unwinder's Tall Comics has a lot of these, sometimes resulting in Continuity Creep. For example, this comic references at least 5 different earlier strips.
  • Life and Death mentions the Gargle Blaster incident a few hundred pages later.
  • Many in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, with references to the Lint Mines of Dustworld, Bob's bottomless sock drawer, Molly wanting a pony for her birthday, the Grammar Squirrel, Molly's ridiculous fanfic crossovers (The Brothers Karamazov meet Harold and the Purple Crayon, or Gulliver vs. Mechagodzilla), etc.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Strip 1707 has a continuity nod from perhaps as early as strip 270, as Jeph spontaneously decided to draw Faye, Penelope and Hannelore with their old hairstyles. The nod may be to an even earlier hairstyle, if you count when Faye wore her hair with clips in colours other than red.
    • Strip 2107 has Marigold ask if Hannelore's dad's spaceship has lasers, and Hanners tells her that the government took the lasers out. Marten replies "You too, hun?" referring to a sequence beginning with strip 147, in which the government tried to impound Pintsize's chassis because it had a laser weapon, which was then removed.
    • And strip 2201, in which Momo wishes she could eat cupcakes, reminds Marten that that's what happened to Pintsize's original chassis.
  • Made QUITE a few times in Triquetra Cats, which officially takes place in a probable alternate future of The Wotch, a short list includes the were creature jewel Wolfie and Katie use, (officially named in this timeline as the Samantha Stone, a reference to Samantha 'Wolfie' Wolfe) a descendant of Cassie Sinclaire named Circe, flashback panels showing Anne fighting Xaos, plus the plant that Cassie gives the love potion to is seen in a guest strip done by the Triquetra Cats team, this was later given a return nod in the Wotch where Glock mentions that "we need a full time force of people with expertise in mystical and scientific know how, and field agents prepped to deal with uncanny dangers, and entire SERVICE prepped to confront issues the public doesn't even believe in" in Triquetra Cats SERVICE is the name of the MIB type organization the main characters work for.
  • In El Goonish Shive:
  • In Zokusho Comics Rotting Johnny assassinates a mage who was throwing around some powerful destructive magics. In a later issue, the Wayward Cross gets hired in place of the the mage to take out a group of goblins that have taken over a fort. At the end of that, one of the things they came to get from the fort is taken by the people who hired the Wayward Cross, so there may be further implications.
  • Homestuck is absolutely filled to the brim with in-jokes and references to past events. Often they become plot-relevant, but a lot are also just there for seasoned fans to pick out and to create a more cohesive work as a whole. (Andrew Hussie once claimed that there are very few pages that don't reference at least one other.) Strangely, there is actually an overriding plot reason for all of these, even the joke ones: circumstantial simultineity, in which similar events happen at the same paradox space time, is a real law of the Homestuck universe.
    • To cite one of many, many examples, in Act 5 Act 1 Vriska complains to Aradia that she may as well rip her heart out of her chest with her super strong robot arm and pound away with it, because apparently it's up to her to feel emotions for the both of them. Later on, Aradia, in a robot body, does indeed rip her heart out and pound it against something. Much later in Act 6, the Autoresponder tells Jake that the brobot might as well rip its heart out of its chest with its super strong robot arm and pound away with it, because apparently it's up to the artificial intelligence to feel emotions for the both of them; later, it does indeed do this. There is absolutely no real meaning to these nods, but they're sure as hell fun to find.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse:
    • The Multiverse aspect, especially for changed or alternate versions of the established DBZ cast, allows for callbacks or pokes to aspects of the series.
    • The movies have been rewritten to fit within DBZ history. More irritatingly, aspects like Bardock's visions and the Tuffles were rewritten or removed from some universes.

    Web Original 
  • In an episode of I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC it featured Batman and Iron Man trading barbs about each other's movies. At the end, Batman proclaimed that Iron Man has herpes. After a year, Jonah Hex and Iron Man were trading barbs about each other's movies.
    Jonah: * cough* Herpes * cough*
    Iron Man: What?!
  • One of Matt Santoro's videos is called 20 Ways to Lose Your Man Card, which lists 20 ways to lose one's man card, a symbolic representation of one's manliness. In a later video, Mail with Matt #3, Matt gets sent a physical man card from a fan in the mail. Matt is quick to explain the continuity nod to the audience.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
    • In the second video, there is a line that clearly sets up a rhyme in "green", but Tony uses "brown" instead. Why? Because, of course, green is not a creative colour.
    • Yellow Guy's clown painting (Still ruined by black paint) appears in the sequel to the original video, and yet again in the fourth video.
    • The craft that Yellow Guy made in the first video appears in the third.
    • In episode 2, the students meet a talking clock named Tony who teaches them about time... and causes them to age so rapidly their bodies rot away. In episode 4, when Colin the Computer brags about being able to tell time, Duck Guy looks at the camera with concern as he says "Time?!" In episode 6, Yellow Guy is horrified when Tony briefly appears again, telling him "You made me die!"
  • In a Foil, Arms and Hog sketch. Intended in “Ceoil agus Ól 2”, with the reference to the Ferrari, but Foil and Arms’ roles were unintentionally switched.
  • Entirely Presenting You: There's a lot throughout the series, but the most notable one is in the first arc, where the first and last chapter mirror each other in both events and writing.
  • The Green Wanderer (which is set in the same universe as Smirvlak's Stone) has a small line from Mulvernt where he mentions he gave two goblins and a stilio a ride to a castle. Said goblins and stilio were Nick, Gnek, and Stilyk, the main characters from Smirvlak's Stone.
  • The Misadventures of R2 and Miku has a surprising amount of these, despite liberally employing the Snap Back:
    • Miku eating a squirrel in "R2 and Miku Stuck in a Treehouse" leads to her getting sick in "Disease".
    • "Clones" ends with Miku realizing she's come back from death before, citing her death in the treehouse and murder by the cow from two prior episodes.
    • "The Chimp" opens with Miku laying despondently in bed, leading R2 to assume she got sick like in "Disease".
    • Upon seeing a depressed Miku in "Miku Hits R2 with a Chair", GLaDOS asks if she's still sad over Croatia's loss in The World Cup (as was the case in "The Chimp"). At the end, R2 hears about a "pizza delivery cow" and immediately makes the connection to the one that shot him dead in "Disease"; Miku's failure to connect the dots ends up proving fatal once more.
  • Episode 15 of World's Greatest Adventures mentions the Aztec Pinecone of Gold from Episode 3, and Episode 23 brings back the sets of Episode 15, Episode 16 and Episode 22.

    Real Life 
  • History Class.
  • In international diplomacy, it's customary for world leaders, when visiting another country, to make references to long-forgotten ties between their nation and the host country. For instance, when visiting Morocco, US Presidents will usually make reference to the fact that in 1777, Morocco was the first nation to recognize America's independence from Britain.
  • In 1890, the Turkish frigate Ertuğrul sank off the coast of Wakayama, Japan, after having an audience with Emperor Meiji. The surviving sailors were taken back to Istanbul by two Japanese frigates. In 1985, Turkey sent frigates to rescue 215 Japanese nationals who were living in Tehran at the time and endangered by the effects of the Iran-Iraq war. A statement released by the Turkish government mentioned it as returning the favor from 1890.
  • In 1986, the Greater London Council, led by Ken Livingstone, was disbanded by the Thatcher government and power was devolved to the local boroughs. In 2000, the Greater London Authority was formed, and the first elected Mayor of London was the same Ken Livingstone. He started his victory speech by saying, "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted fourteen years ago..."
  • On the final ball of a 2005 Twenty20 cricket international between Australia and New Zealand, Australian bowler Glenn McGrath pretended to deliver an underarm ball to NZ's Kyle Mills. Umpire Billy Bowden (from NZ) responded by showing McGrath a mock red card. The incident was a Shout-Out to the notorious 1981 underarm bowling incident, in which Aussie captain Greg Chappell called for his brother Trevor to roll the ball along the ground to prevent NZ from hitting a six that would have won the match. McGrath's practical joke was much more favourably received by the crowd, since Australia had an unbeatable 44-run lead.