Film directors start out as movie buffs, often of the most obscure sorts of films. On top of that, many modern directors went to film school and saw hundreds of legendary movies. Even after they get to direct movies of their own, they often love to use angles, compositions, and shots they saw in school. Of course, all directors use tricks and shots invented long before. But while anyone can do a Power Walk, it takes skill and devotion to light and shoot a power walk exactly like Philip Kaufmann did in The Right Stuff (especially if your film isn't about astronauts).
This trope does not count deliberate parody, or remakes of old movies, unless it's a new adaptation from the original medium. (Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy qualifies for this trope, while the remake of Psycho does not.) Something similar occasionally appears in comics, but the comparative ease of copying (light tables) makes it hard to tell the homages from the flat-out swipes.
Occasionally this is Inspiration Nod, but usually it's more of a Shout-Out to a director that inspired them to get into the business. It's Art Imitates Art of cinema. If the homage is referential to a series or property's own past, it's an Internal Homage.
- Dirty Pair OVA #6 has a scene with Yuri and her mob-scion/fiance-for-an-episode running along the beach in the setting sun, tripping and rolling/falling and finally kissing. It looks like a commercial, and it is, sort of. Yuri and Beau are directly re-creating a lipstick commercial from an old Urusei Yatsura episode. Only the commercial famously cut out right before the kiss.
- Lyrical Nanoha has done quite a few salutes to Humongous Mecha franchises such as Gundam and Super Robot Wars, with the most popular of these likely coming from Subaru's Transformation Sequence, where the Power Crystal of her device comes out in the same way and with the same dimensions as the G-Stone reveal during GaoGaiGar's Final Fusion.
- First page of Samurai Deeper Kyo seems to be going for this general effect vis-a-vis the first page of Rurouni Kenshin, not in doing the exact same thing visually but in doing close to the same thing, period, with a different era and a different made-up swordsman. See the SDK page for ridiculously intricate details.
- The Mobile Suit Gundam SEED series has the following, since it's a reimagining of the original Mobile Suit Gundam:
- Lacus's exit from her escape pod at the end of episode 7 and the beginning of episode 8 was a nod to Lalah Sune's exit from Char Aznable's shuttle in episode 34 of Mobile Suit Gundam.
- In episode 23 of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Heine (piloting the GOUF Ignited) fighting Stellar (in her Gaia Gundam) is a nod to the fight between Amuro and Ramba Ral in episode 12 of Mobile Suit Gundam, with the same pink background during the fight.
Heine: This is no ZAKU, pal. NO ZAKU!!
- Episode 11 of Haiyore! Nyarko-san features several shots that are homages to the Urusei Yatsura movie Beautiful Dreamer; this is because Mahiro, much like the UY cast, has been traped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop-ing dream world.
- The entire Comic Books medium can be summed up by this comic book cover archive.
- In particular, the number of comic book covers which homage the X-Men story Days of Future Past cover (the one with the 'wanted' and 'deceased' posters on the wall) is truly staggering.
- As is the number of homages to The Dark Knight Returns (namely the issue featuring Batman leaping through the sky as lightning strikes in the background).
- Jim Sternako's cover to Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #4, with the hero posed before a collage of psychedelic patterns and monochrome action shots.
- In Athena Voltaire and the Feathered Serpent, Athena escapes pursuit by swinging out on a vine, dropping into the water, and swimming out to her float plane. This is probably a homage to a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, since Athena Voltaire has no shortage of comparison points to Indiana Jones, and nods have been made by the author outside the comics proper).
- The Star Trek Online fic The Headhunt has a literary homage shot (i.e. described instead of shown) to Star Trek Into Darkness. The scene where the USS Bajor effortlessly overtakes the Enterprise-A was based directly on the Vengeance's attack on the Enterprise in the movie.
- In A.A. Pessimal's discworld fic Gap Year Adventures, two adventurous voyagers in Klatch reflect on the fact that if they're found out, an awful lot of Klatchians will be pursuing them. Especially since they've already been responsible for quite a lot of cheerfully-applied destruction and violence which the Klatchian authorities are quite unreasonably holding against them. Poised on the border to enter the Empire, their conversation revolves around each being in position of a fully fuelled camel, they're wearing sunglasses, it's getting dark, and they have a packet of cigarettes. They unanimously agree to hit it. As the camels are duly hit and lumber forward, one turns to the other, puzzled, and says "but we don't smoke..."
- The Angry Birds Movie: When Red is launched by Terence, he tucks in his arms and legs with a scowl on his face, just like this.
- Animation copying animation: Several of the shots during the final chase in the first Kim Possible episode at Camp Wanaweep look exactly like a Jonny Quest episode that also featured a villain like that in Creature from the Black Lagoon. Gill swims down through the bubbles in the same pose and as the creature.
- The first shot of the fight between Diego and Soto at the end of Ice Age is identical to the first shot of Simba's fight with Scar at the end of The Lion King.
- Lilo & Stitch has a shot of Stitch walking away in a path surrounded by foliage that is taken directly from the 1939 Silly Symphony short The Ugly Duckling. An earlier scene has him by the road under the rain while a frog sits by him, in reference to the bus stop scene in Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro.
- The climax of "Be Prepared" in The Lion King is another homage to Triumph of the Will. It's particularly blatant because the geometry of the cave is quite suddenly artificial looking to invoke the city setting of Triumph of the Will, and because the legions of marching hyenas are the first and last time in the film where you see more than three hyenas working for Scar.
- Film sequences that are especially prone to homage:
- The "Odessa steps" scene from The Battleship Potemkin, baby carriage and/or soldiers optional.
- The Untouchables has an example of this one, complete with baby carriage.
- The overhead shot of Adolf Hitler walking up to the podium flanked by soldiers standing in block formation from Triumph of the Will
- The shower scene from Psycho.
- The "Odessa steps" scene from The Battleship Potemkin, baby carriage and/or soldiers optional.
- George Lucas is also an old Kurosawa fan. (He, Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola were instrumental in finding the money for Ran.) While Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is built off Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and The Dam Busters, the homage shot (the pan along the ground to a severed arm) is lifted from Yojimbo. There's also bits and pieces of other stuff, like Westerns and older Sci-Fi movies, if you pay real close attention and know what to look for.
- Steven Spielberg is the absolute king of this. While his own style is distinctive (and subject to homage by other directors), he loves to work in bits from other movies.
- His longest sequence of homage shots comes in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. As the rangers hit the beach, Spielberg slips in bits from war movies that have come before (this case might count as Pink Bunny Slippers). After Tom Hanks falls into the water, we have a shot of bullets making water trails round floating bodies that looks like a scene from Peter Weir's Gallipoli. As the troops crawl along the beach, we see a medic checking a wounded soldier and discovering that he's been completely eviscerated. The wounds and the pose are straight out of Catch-22. Lastly, we catch a glimpse of a wounded man holding his own severed arm, a twin of a shot from Kurosawa's Ran.
- Many people noted the use of the generic "Japanese man looking back at Godzilla" shot in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. More obscure is the sequence where the hunters are running through the tall grass at night. A series of tracking pans of each figure, snapping back to pick up the next man, it's a direct lift from Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, down to the tall grass. The moonlight helps match it to the black-and-white original.
- The confession scene in American Psycho is very evocative of Walter's confession scene in Double Indemnity.
- In Aragami there is an Homage Shot to Metal Gear Solid, of which the director, Ryuhei Kitamura, is an outspoken fan. When the nameless Samurai shoots at Miyamoto Musashi, Musashi dodges, and then stands framed exactly like the cyborg Ninja in Metal Gear Solid does if you try shooting at him in battle. He performs an identical sequence of Weapon Twirling as him, and then directly quotes the Ninja by saying "You can't defeat me with a weapon like that."
- Fargo: The scene where Carl buries the Briefcase Full of Money beside the road is a homage to a similar scene in the 1960 British film The Criminal where Johnny Bannion buries a suitcase full of stolen cash in an empty field.
- Another animation to (sorta) live-action lift: Luna's Patronus in the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a rabbit. It runs around the air in a pattern lifted from the opening narration/montage of the movie Watership Down ("Prince with a thousand enemies").
- Jennifer's Body contains several homage shots to the Twilight movie, all twisted in some way, like Jennifer kissing her victim in a forest clearing that looks like the one where Edward confessed that he was a vampire to Bella; and the deer lapping the victim's corpse, which recalls the deer sipping from a pool that Edward ate at the start of Twilight.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Peter Jackson shot one bit at Bilbo's birthday party in The Fellowship of the Ring ("Proudfeet!") as an exact copy of a shot in Ralph Bakshi's animated The Lord of the Rings. Jackson even helpfully points this out in the commentary. A circle-round shot of the four hobbits at Weathertop is also lifted from the original, although the camera moves much faster and Aragorn is absent. And the hobbits hiding in the crotch of a tree from the Nazgûl? Also from the Bakshi version. (It's the last shot you'd expect, isn't it?)
- The scene at the black gates of Mordor appears to be a homage to The Wizard of Oz.
- Saruman telekinetically closing the 4 doors in his tower to keep Gandalf trapped in Orthanc mirrors a similar scene in Dragonslayer where Ulrich traps Galen in the wizard's tower - yes, four doors are also involved.
- Wormtongue brings a flame too close to some gunpowder, Saruman deftly moves the flame away = The Wise Man and Ash respectively in Army of Darkness.
- Another The Wizard of Oz example: Saruman (through a possessed King Théoden) telling Gandalf that "You have no power here!", a line for line echo of what Glinda says to the Wicked Witch of the West.
- And again: Frodo and Sam crouching behind a boulder as they watch enemy troops march past near an enemy citadel essentially duplicates the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion as they plot to enter the Wicked Witch's citadel. Can you tell that PJ loves this film yet?
- The fight scenes at Helm's Deep in The Two Towers have a certain similarity to those in Zulu. Orc's Drift, anyone?
- Word of God has stated the scene in Love Actually where Mark reveals that he's in love with Juliet by showing her his tape of her wedding, which is entirely made up of shots of her is a homage to the ending of Cinema Paradiso.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Gore Verbinski stuck in a virtually identical shot of Orlando Bloom in Tortuga echoing one he did in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in Lothlórien: in both cases Bloom reacts to an offscreen comment or activity with a concerned look as he turns his head.
- The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time film had a scene where the camera rotates around The Prince on a high tower to give a good view of the landscape. The exact same shot which was used for viewpoints in Assassin's Creed. Not surprising, considering that both franchises are owned by Ubisoft and the videogame Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands even allows the Prince to wear an assassin costume as a completion extra.
- Spotlight: When Rezendes is finally able to get the Smoking Gun documents attached to Garabedian's response to the church's motion, the files with them are shown being put down on the desk by the court clerk from straight aboveexactly the same way Woodward and Bernstein are shown receiving documents from the Library of Congress early in All the President's Men, a film to which Spotlight has often been compared.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: The trench run scene in the climax is heavily inspired by The Dambusters.
- The train crash in Super 8 is set up almost identically to the one in The Greatest Show on Earth.
- Titanic (1997) homages A Night to Remember in the scene where Andrews is checking the clock and calmly accepting his fate (the page pic). Even the dialogue is lifted from the original scene as Rose (in the older movie, a steward instead) asks him if he's "gonna make a run for it". Andrews looks at her without answering.
- Tremors 5: Bloodlines: There's a homage to the Velociraptor kitchen scene from the first Jurassic Park when an Assblaster breaks into the kitchen of the main compound In pursuit of its prey. Most noticeably, there's an almost identical shot centered on the Assblaster's foot claw tapping on the floor.
- Us: The position of Becca and Lindsey Tyler's corpses are identical to the Grady Twins'.
- In a very weird example, the "windowpane scene" between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All is a direct clone of the Tear Jerker ending of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Without the Vulcan hand sign, obviously.
- Jane the Virgin: "Chapter Fifty-One" has a bit of a Alfred Hitchcock theme, including a few of these:
Narrator: OMG Im getting vertigo! Stop spinning!
- To Alfred Hitchcock Presents before the first segue, where "Jane Villanueva Presents" appears on the screen along with an outline of her.
- To Vertigo as Rafael realizes that his father's paintings were stolen from the convent Elena deposited the checks to.
- To The Birds as the birds circle around the convent. Acknowledged by the narrator, who "couldn't help Hitchcock-ing it up".
- The cover of the Homestuck music album "Medium" is a reference to the iconic Japanese/European cover of Final Fantasy VII, copying the shape of Meteor and the Black Materia almost exactly with a planet and a meteor.
- The music video to Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" contains a long shot of Miley's crying face directly taken from the music video for Sinéad O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U".
- The cover of Joe Jackson's Body and Soul album is a recreation of the cover of jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins' 1957 album Vol. 2.
- The Metal Gear games do this with actual hidden meanings, and so frequently it gets to the point where it's like What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? but with movies instead of religion.
- An example of one with a hidden meaning is the homage shot to Terminator 2: Judgment Day in Metal Gear Solid 2, in which Snake's stealth camo is shown glitching out, giving the impression of him materialising out of thin air in the same manner as the time jump effect from the film. Word of God explains that this is intended as Foreshadowing of how Snake's role has been significantly altered in 2 from being the main character to being the mentor for the real main character, just like how at the beginning of Terminator 2 we assume that the Terminator is the Big Bad just because he'd been that in the first film, when he's really The Hero.
- In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, there's an homage shot to The Right Stuff, done entirely in narration. In Strangelove's audio tapes, she describes a scene where NASA is selecting someone for a suicide mission in space, and how no-one volunteered until The Boss raised her hand, "as if acting out a scene from a movie".
- In a more obscure gaming homage, the briefing scenes from Microprose's Gunship 2000 helicopter simulator look almost identical to the briefing shots in Fire Birds.
- Final Fantasy XII pays more than a few homages to Star Wars. Most noticeable are the Strahl/Millenium Falcon taking off from Rabanastre/Mos Eisley, and Gabranth/Vader disembarking his shuttle as the game/movie's Imperial March plays.
- Silent Hill 2 contains a scene almost directly lifted from David Lynch's Blue Velvet.
- The anime preview FMV in Star Ocean: Second Evolution has a shot of Dias standing amidst fire lifted straight out of the famous FMV of Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, down to the placement of the flames.