Shout-Outs can reference pretty much anything — another person, another work of fiction, even another episode of the same show. One very popular target is to call back to the show's own opening sequence. Because a show's opening is well-known to the viewers, the joke requires relatively no setup. It's an instant punchline. For another thing, it nods towards the fact that the show is, in fact, a show, and that certain things are always the same, without fully breaking stride.
When done with the show's theme song (or other music from its soundtrack), it's Diegetic Soundtrack Usage.
- A later episode of Ergo Proxy incorporated its opening into a cold open. The characters unexpectedly find themselves taking part in a game show. Vincent is rapidly asked several trivia questions, culminating in "What is the title of this song?" - upon which we cut to the opening. And Vincent apparently knew the answer to that.
- The Futari wa Pretty Cure opening features a shot in which Honoka is sitting on her porch, looking up at the night sky. One episode ended with a shot that was almost identical, except she was curled up and crying. (In a borderline case, there's also a specific scene of Cure Black and Cure White leaping that ended up being used as a piece of stock animation.)
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star's opening momentarily shows Mai, Flappi and Choppi at the beach, with Flappi being pinched by a crab. Naturally, this ended up actually happening to him when they actually went to the beach.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo used a brief clip of Urara's mother onstage that's very similar to the one of Urara herself from the first season's opening.
- The aforementioned stock animation piece of Cure Black and White leaping was used in the opening for the first All-Stars movie... and during the scene which it happens, the camera pans to all the other Cures (or at least the ones that everyone knew about when the movie was released) leaping with them.
- The scene is done again in All-Stars DX 3, expanding the number of leaping Cures to 21.
- The opening for HeartCatch Pretty Cure! shows Tsubomi and Erika walking to school and talking. They actually use that scene - at the very end of the series.
- The Movie for Smile Pretty Cure! will give away a card featuring Miyuki in the exact same Cinderella dress she imagines herself in during the opening.
- Also, episode 39 through 43 will show the stances we see the characters during the opening after the title is shown.
- Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage has one scene where Cure Peace is bowing profusely to Cure Melody. It's a nod to Smile's ending credits where Peace does that towards March for landing on her. The movie's ending also has the Fresh, Heartcatch and Suite teams performing the last little bit of their first credits dance, even if they didn't do it in the original.
- Lucky Star had the main cast performing a dance routine to the theme song in the last episode.
- In Macross Frontier's final battle, sequences from both opening credits are used in the fight sequence. This crosses over with Diegetic Soundtrack Usage courtesy of Sheryl and Ranka singing a medley of their songs in support, which starts and ends with the previously-unused second OP.
- The misleading opening of Magical Pokaan turns out to be the opening of another anime show the girls used to watch when they were young.
- The end of the OP of Nagasarete Airantou shows a bird's eye view of the island while Ikuto is visibly seen being chased by the firls on the island. The end of the anime also features this exact same scene.
- The 12th opening of One Piece ends with a shot of some of the notable Impel Down Escapees- namely, Buggy, Mr. 3, Mr. 1, Crocodile, Jimbei, Ivankov and Luffy- plummeting down from the sky as they enter Marineford. When that happens in anime episode 465, they show it exactly the same way.
- Pani Poni Dash!: The weird-colored fuses in the "Yellow Vacation" opening are shown briefly in one episode.
- In an episode of Planetes, Hachimaki gets "space sickness" and starts losing his mind. One of his hallucinations is of him riding a bike, as he does in the ending theme.
- Actually a serious example: Wolf's Rain visually references the opening credits in the final scene of the anime — as if that one moment is what the show built up to/was about all along. The opening song starts playing near the end as well.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- The Ginyu Force’s pods crashing down on planet Namek is reminiscent of the alien entities (likely Saiyan pods) that descend to the Earth in ‘’Cha La Head Cha La’’.
- when Goku is fighting Cell, while powering up he goes on to make the exact same movements he does during the anime's first opening theme song, with the key difference being that here he's in Super Saiyan form.
- In the end of the final episode of Overman King Gainer, Anna decides that a song should be written about the main hero. She proceeds to start doing the monkey dance, something she does in the opening alongside other characters. She also starts singing the opening song.
- In the last episode of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, the now-old Joseph Joestar, at the airport, muses that he likes listening to his Walkman. What music does he listen to? Bloody Stream, the opening song of JJBA Part 2!
- In the final seconds of Kill la Kill's last episode, Ryuko looks towards the camera in the middle of a busy crowd like in the first ending (which is playing in the last scene). This time though, she smiles as she turns away.
- Pokémon has an ending shout out for Serena's Master Class showdown with Aria — the start of it mimics the start of the third XY ending song, "DreamDream", only now Fennekin has evolved and Sylveon has joined the ranks. To top it off, the BGM during the performance is the same song (slightly remixed) and sung by Serena's seiyuu.
- In the 20th movie I Choose You!, during a dream Ash has after losing his first battle, one of the characters answers his question of what's out there by saying that there's grass, water, forests, clouds and ground, a reference to the film's theme song "Mezase Pokémon Master". Surprisingly, this was kept in the dubbed version of the film despite said version using a different song.
- Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! actually turns this into a Running Gag, where the first episode of each series will have Nyarko quote a line from the previous series' theme song; for the first anime season, she quotes the theme from the Flash-animated web series Nyaruani. The final OVA does this with both the first and the second season's openings in the same sentence.
- The final episode of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid recreates the shot in the opening where Tohru runs towards Kobayashi and hugs her after her father leaves.
- In episode 24 of The Idolmaster, Haruka races to the 765 office building where all her groupmates are waiting for her like in the second opening, happy to see she made it. The scene takes place at night rather than the early morning, though, as the group wanted to get together in order to let Haruka know they're still trying to stay together as much as they can.
- The Seitokai Yakuindomo movie does this twice. When Shino is being interviewed at the beginning, the last part of her speech that the audience hears is "Are you aware of the meaning of cherry blossoms?", which the first line of the second season's opening. Then in the post-credits scene, she's seen standing under a cherry blossom tree in the exact same pose as the second season's credits.
- A Cardcaptor Sakura anime short depicts the show's first opening as a music video made by Tomoyo.
- The last episode of Yatterman Night has the Doronbo Gang use an explosion as a getaway while falling towards the sea, recreating the end of the opening.
- Lamput: One of the Season 1 episodes takes place within the series intro, where Lamput blends in with the series logo to avoid the docs. Fat Doc reappears and double-checks the "t" that Lamput morphs into, only to destroy the rest of the logo in the process.
- Adventure Time:
- The opening pages of the first issue replicate the show's opening flight over the Land of Ooo, with the implication that Jake is filming it with a video camera. The next couple of pages include Jake jumping on Finn's head and Finn riding a giant Jake through the mountains, replicating the first two sequences of the credit sequence proper. Later in the arc, the opening flight is replicated with Scenery Gorn to show the effects of the Lich's attack.
- Inverted with the opening pages of Ryan North's final issue, which have Finn and Jake watching insects and challenging Marceline to write a song about them, which refers to the show's closing credits and the lyrics of its closing theme, "Island Song".
- The opening panels of the third of the Adventure Time Graphic Novels, Seeing Red. We see through Jake's eyes as he surprises Marceline, while she's playing her bass, and she turns and snarls at him in shock, replicating Marcie's appearance in the opening sequence.
- Done several times in The Simpsons:
- A Bart Simpson story has the family cat Snowball II gaining superpowers after swallowing a plutonium rod—specifically, the one Homer threw out his car window after finding it caught in his shirt collar.
- "Cloud 13," a one-page story in Treehouse of Horror #15, depicts the show's intro sequence as a recurring nightmare experienced by the whole family, pointing out Fridge Horror aspects of the situations they're in (and depicting the checkout guy who scans Maggie as a demonic entity from the neck up).
Lisa: Doc, I keep having the same nightmare. Everyone in my family keeps trying to get to this couch...Bart: And every night I'm punished. I wake up covered in chalk dust.Homer: I'm being poisoned by a radioactive dowel, and then my son tries to behead me.
- A crossover with the Futurama comic did one to that show's intro, in which Lisa remarks on a billboard in New New York and Fry comments that Leela crashes into it "every week."
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series once did a flashback to the opening.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged makes a nod to "Cha-la Head Cha-la" that doubles as a Brick Joke, when Goku tells a bird to "teach a dinosaur to ride a ball" in the first Cooler movie.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In chapter 29 of the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, during his first talk with the Bearers, Discord quotes a line from the opening theme song of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic when he's identifying Xvital and her Element, saying that Magic is the one who "makes it all complete".
- In the Series Fauxnale of Arrested Development, Michael comments on how they'll have to try having "no choice but to keep them all together" without him. The narrator even chimes in with "It was Arrested Development" while a snippet of the theme plays.
- Arrow: In "Draw Back Your Bow", Ray Palmer's speech announcing the rebranding of Queen Consolidated reworks a couple key phrases from Oliver's opening narration:
Palmer: All of us are working very hard with one goal in mind: to save our city. But to do so, Queen Consolidated needs to be something else.
- The final scene of As the World Turns ends with the globe on Dr. Bob Hughes's desk spinning quietly in the dark of his office, alluding to the rotating Earth present in all of the soap's various opening sequences.
- The Babylon 5 episode "There All The Honor Lies", Ivanova is frustrated over having to oversee the new Babylon 5 gift shop, which she sees as a cheap moneygrab, and parodies the "last best hope for peace" line from the Opening Narration. In the same quote, the writers also get a dig in at another show B5 was competing against...
Susan Ivanova: Welcome to Babylon 5, the last, best hope for a quick buck!
Captain John Sheridan: Commander -
Susan Ivanova: Oh, this is demeaning! I mean, we're not some - some deep space franchise, this station is about something!
- Broad City: The Teaser of "The Matrix" ends with Abbi and Ilana both shouting "Four!" which leads directly into the theme song: "...and three and two and one-one."
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Jake's plan in the final two episodes was to end the heist at the Brooklyn Bridge, claiming that it has great sentimental value for the team. When Amy asks when they were ever at the Bridge, the camera cuts to the Team Power Walk shot from the title sequence, with the bridge in the background.
- Burn Notice
- In the first-season finale "Loose Ends", a drug dealer that Michael is threatening wants to know who he is; Michael, in no mood for a cover ID, simply quotes his opening narration: "I'm Michael Westen. I used to be a spy." It gets a Call-Back four seasons later in "Enemy of My Enemy", when the dealer shows up again; one of his henchmen demands to know who the hell Michael is, and the dealer repeats the line.
- A fourth season episode has Michael, asked to state his name and occupation for a polygraph, respond "My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy."
- In the series finale, Fiona ("Shall we shoot them?") and Sam ("You know spies: bunch of bitchy little girls") quote their lines from the opening sequence. The final line of the show is Fiona suggesting "My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy" as a starting point when Michael tells his story to his nephew/adopted son Charlie.
- One episode of Castle has Beckett tell Castle "You still kinda remind me a little of Hooch", a call back to a line of dialogue from an early episode, used in the season two opening sequence montage.
- In Covert Affairs episode "Suffragette City" Annie is dreaming in a hospital bed after being shot. In the dream, she dances and then swipes a key card to open a door while smirking at the camera - just like in the opening sequence.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:
Rebecca: For the first time in my life, I am truly happy. It's like I just met myself. Like I just met Rebecca.
- In the episode "That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!", when Paula starts telling her husband about Rebecca, they quote the entire first season opening, complete with the show's title appearing at the end of the scene (this was set up by the fact that the regular theme and title were not where they were supposed to be).
- The lyrics of the Season 2 theme song ("I'm just a girl in love / I can't be held responsible for my actions / I have no underlying issues to address / I'm certifiably cute and adorably obsessed!") are quoted in the Season 2 finale during a flashback to Rebecca's court case for setting her professor and ex-lover's house on fire, when Naomi pleads for leniency ("She's just a girl in love. She can't be held responsible for her actions!") and Rebecca rejects court-mandated therapy ("I have no underlying issues to address").
- Season 3's theme song ends with Rebecca in the bathroom watching the theme song on her phone and reacting with a Flat "What". This ends up being a scene in the show proper, in the episode "Josh is Irrelevant."
- Season 2's theme sequence makes an appearance in Season 3, when Trent does his own, genderbent rendition.
- The series finale musical number "Eleven O'Clock" features short reprises of several songs from the series, with Rebecca gazing upon the outfits she wore in those musical numbers. The first three songs she references are the Season 1, 2, and 3 theme songs. The Season 4 theme song and its accompanying outfit are the last to appear, though Rebecca doesn't sing along and simply looks upon the outfit.
- The series finale also has Rebecca reference the Season 4 theme song, "Meet Rebecca!", in her ending monologue.
- In the last Non-Distant Finale of Dawson's Creek, Pacey dug up some old tapes that Dawson had made and lo and behold, it was the opening credits of the first season (sans music and credits).
- In the Distant Finale we're shown a small peek of Dawson's TV Show The Creek, and the female lead literally speaks some of the lyrics to the theme song, asking to 'know right now what will it be'.
- In the second-season finale, we see the title character go through almost the exact same morning routine as is shown in the opening credits. He shaves, prepares breakfast and embraces his life.
- In the fourth season premiere, Dexter does several of the same actions from the opening, but after losing much sleep from raising his son, his usual routine is "off".
- On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Laura once tells Rob that she can't even count the amount of times he's tripped over the ottoman while walking in the front door - exactly as he did in the iconic opening credits.
- Doctor Who:
- Any appearance of the Time Vortex in-episode during Russell T. Davies' tenure as showrunner, since the Title Sequence of that era was the TARDIS travelling through the Vortex.
- "The Pandorica Opens" has a title sequence-adjacent shot of the TARDIS, piloted by River, flying through the Vortex while being struck by lightning.
- "Time Heist" opens with a glimpse of the opening credits, which usually don't air until after the teaser... and is immediately revealed to come from the Doctor looking into Clara's tumble dryer.
- Donkey Hodie: In "Growing the Ungrowdenia", Donkey climbs up the titular flower just like she does with the flower in the theme song to the show.
- After four seasons of Farscape had culminated in a TV movie, Crichton spends one of his first scenes in that movie addressing some suspicious aliens by quoting his Opening Narration: "My name is John Crichton, astronaut..." He also prefaces by saying "For the 89th time!" There had been 88 episodes up to that point.
- In Flight of the Conchords, when Jemaine gets a girlfriend, the montage of them together shows her timing him on his exercise bike, which Bret had done for him in the opening. Then a lonely Bret is shown timing nobody.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (a fan of all forms of Breaking the Fourth Wall):
- There's an episode where Will goes back to West Philadelphia, where he fights an old bully who he describes as the "dude who be spinnin' me over his head in the opening credits."
- In a more subtle example, the show's pilot begins exactly where the opening credits end, with Will first at the doorstep of his aunt and uncle.
- In the finale of Life on Mars, Sam Tyler repeats the show's opening dialogue almost exactly, but in a completely different context.
- In Madan Senki Ryukendo's Time Travel-slash-Recap Episode, Kenji is explaining to Fudou about the exploits that he has yet to do, having somehow traveled into the past. Fudou briefly imagines a title sequence to a show about him, complete with title card. Kenji quickly corrects him, leading into the eyecatch.
- The My Name Is Earl episode "Buried Treasure" features a parody of Earl's opening narration with accompanying song and edited logo done by no fewer than four characters over the span of the episode, first by Randy, then Joy, then Crabman, and finally a librarian named Dotty for The Stinger.
- The Nanny:
- In an episode, Fran notes, "I've got style, I've got flair! How did I become The Nanny?"
- The Grand Finale has a more serious one, where Fran tells Gracie she has style and flair. Gracie responds she learned it from the Nanny.
- The Noddy Shop: In the song "A What If World", one of the lines Island Princess sings is "When you make believe it all comes true", which is a shout out to her verse in the theme song, "A place where make believe comes true".
- Inverted in an episode of Red Dwarf. The characters are putting together a jigsaw puzzle, but we don't see what it is until the episode's final shot: it's a view of the ship, and it leads seamlessly into the closing credits.
- In the opening narrationnote of Remington Steele, Laura recounts how she "invented a superior...", how a charming conman stepped in and assumed the Steele identity, and how "now I do the work and he takes the bows."
- In one episode, she needs to convince someone that she wants to betray her boss, which she does by complaining "I do the work, he takes the bows. The guy wouldn't even exist without me, I practically invented him!"
- When character Mildred Krebs joined the cast, she was unaware that Steele was secretly a fraud — until the next season's premiere episode, when Laura snaps and tells Mildred the whole story. Not only does her explanation draw heavily from that opening narration, but it also recaps the pilot episode.
- Sesame Street
- One sketch features Don Music trying to rewrite the theme song, frustrated that he can't find anything to rhyme with "sweet".
- In the opening of the film Follow That Bird, upon hearing that Big Bird has no legal guardians, Miss Finch goes off to find him, asking one of the fellow executives at the foster care board "Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?", which is then followed by a shot of the street set built for the film, accompanied by an orchestral version of the iconic theme song.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "The Measure Of A Man", as Picard is standing up for Data's personhood in a hearing, he says "Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. Well, there it sits! Waiting.", referencing the "Space, the final frontier..." monologue that opens every episode of TNG, which includes the line "To seek out new life and new civilizations...".
- At the beginning of an episode of Veronica Mars, Veronica describes another girl with, "We used to be friends, a long time ago." This segues immediately into the opening credits, which begin with the Dandy Warhols singing, "A long time ago, we used to be friends ..."
- Weeds: In one episode, when Shane complains about having to go to a new school, Nancy tells him "You're going to go to school and become a doctor or a lawyer or a business executive," a Shout-Out to the show's former Real Song Theme Tune, "Little Boxes".
- Xena: Warrior Princess:
- The scene with Poseidon in the opening eventually resulted in an episode getting made specifically to feature it.
- In the episode "The Greater Good", Xena is incapacitated and Gabrielle has to take her place. She pulls on Xena's armour in the same way Xena does in the opening titles, complete with title music.
- Upon defeating Galacta Knight and clearing Meta Knightmare Ultra in Kirby Super Star Ultra, you'll unlock a hidden video, "Fly! Meta Knight." It is, in its entirety, the KSSU opening video - except that, instead of Kirby, Meta Knight flies through Dream Land.
- Also, if the last mode you played before shutting off the game was Meta Knightmare Ultra, the regular opening video will be replaced by this upon turning it on again.
- One of the secret levels of Super Mario World is modeled after the opening sequence.
- In Sonic Generations the opening cutscene to the fight against Shadow is a clear nod to the opening of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd:
- The theme tune begins with "He's gonna take you back to the past / To play the shitty games that suck ass":
AVGN: Ghost, why do you come to me?
Stuttering Craig: Why, to take you back to the past!
AVGN: To play the shitty games that suck ass? No thanks.
- An episode featuring Kyle Justin (who wrote and performs the theme) has him singing it at the very end, with the Nerd commenting "You bet your ass!" The episode also implies that the song was written because Justin was living behind the Nerd's couch since the start of the series, and overheard some of his reviews, incorporating them into the lyrics.
- The theme tune begins with "He's gonna take you back to the past / To play the shitty games that suck ass":
- Atop the Fourth Wall:
- Upon seeing that the Gunslinger had a magic gun as well, Linkara asked "Hey, you have a magic gun? Where'd you purchase that!?"
- When ranting about how strange his life is in The Movie, Linkara says that he has a magic gun; Allen asks "Where'd you purchase that, anyway?" Linkara is unamused.
- Inverted with Zero Punctuation. The title sequence starts with a flood of sentences from his first reviews from before the sequence was first implemented.
- The Simpsons often does this.
- In "Cape Feare", when the Simpsons go into the witness protection program mid-show, a new opening for "The Thompsons" is run, styled after the normal opening.
- In "Hurricane Neddy", an opening for "The Hurricane" plays when a hurricane hits Springfield. This one lacked the Couch Gag, though.
- In "Lisa's Date with Density", Lisa is punished by writing on the chalkboard in detention, resulting in her saying...
Lisa: Oh, how does Bart do this every week?
- Similarly, in "Grift of the Magi", Lisa gets in trouble for studying different subjects in class, so we cut to her writing the lines "I will not do math in class" in a shot similar to that showing Bart in the opening.
- In "Skinner's Sense of Snow", Bart forces Skinner to write "I ain't not a dorkus" (which Skinner calls "a grammatical nightmare"). Bart also shows little sympathy to Skinner's complaints about a cramp in his wrist, demonstrating that all his years of doing it have left Bart with a wrist that "sounds like a cement mixer".
- In "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", Bart once again forces Skinner to write lines ("A baby beat me up") after discovering that he is allergic to peanuts and threatening him with one, in a similar shot to the opening.
- Done again in "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens and Gays". Maggie has gotten addicted to an annoying children's song, and Bart tries to stay at school so he doesn't have to hear it. He begs Mrs. Krabappel to make him write some convoluted standard on the blackboard; she responds with "We all got tired of that chalkboard years ago!"
- In "Mathlete's Feat", Bart begins writing "I will not", when the chalkboard is taken out and replaced by a high-tech smartboard. Bart writes "I will not fight the future", and taps it twice to fill up the entire board. He double-taps it to invert the colors a few times, then walks out, satisfied.
- Discussed in "Adventures in Baby-Getting", Bart is suspicious of where Lisa is going after school (it turns out to be a cursive writing class). He asks what she does Tuesdays and Thursdays after school — Lisa asks the same question back.
Bart: Write stupid stuff on the chalkboard. And if you have any ideas, I'm really running out. Today's was "mousetraps are not slippers" or something. Now what are you up to?
Lisa: A gentleman doesn't ask and a lady doesn't tell.
Bart: Can I use that on the chalkboard?
Lisa: I guess.
- Lisa's segment in "Simpsons Bible Stories" features an Ancient Egyptian Bart chiseling pictograms (it translates to "I will not deface—") onto a stone chalkboard.
- Also referenced in "The Parent Rap". "Nobody reads these anymore."
- Done again in "The Heartbroke Kid", when Bart is overweight after the school installs candy machines. Instead of writing lines, he's feeding the machine, then the bell rings, there's the usual quick pan to the main doors... and we wait because he's so much slower now. As he skateboards, the sidewalk breaks under his weight, and when he finally makes it home, he takes forever to make it inside before finally collapsing from a heart attack.
- In "Peeping Mom", Bart tries to get away from a stalking Marge. Like in the HD opening, he rides his skateboard past Sideshow Bob, Helen Lovejoy, Apu and his kids, Moe, Comic Book Guy, Disco Stu, Crazy Cat Lady, Rich Texan and Chief Wiggum, while Marge rides a bike over Moleman (she couldn't use the car because Homer threw the carburetor at a skunk). Afterwards, Moe says that they can all go inside his bar now that he's passed them again.
- Midway through "Little Big Girl", Bart writes "So long, suckers" on the chalkboard and exits driving Homer's car. After running down pedestrians on the street, it cuts to the garage scene, where Homer is now driving Marge's orange car. As he gets out, Bart lands the car on top of him.
- Similarly to the “Cape Feare” and Hurricane Neddy” examples, “At Long Last Leave” had a special “The Outlands” version of the opening which plays after the Simpsons are banished to the outlands, complete with Couch Gag.
- A pivotal plot point in "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie" is that Maggie, who in the intro briefly appears to be driving Marge's car, actually ends up at the wheel after Bart takes his eyes off her for two seconds.
- One episode points out Leela's propensity for crashing into billboards (even though the only time she does it in-show is when they point it out) — which happens during the opening sequence.
- Done again in the sixth season "The Duh Vinci Code", as an extended The Da Vinci Code parody takes the crew to Rome. Their arrival in "Future-Roma" is a brief homage to their own credit sequence, including an ecclesiastical version of the show's theme.
- The ending of "Into The Wild Green Yonder" has the Planet Express Ship fly into a wormhole that takes the form of the pattern of blue lights that appear during every opening sequence.
- Gravity Falls: In "Not What He Seems", Dipper and Mabel are seen floating in their bedroom while an 8-ball floats past, in homage to the theme song.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The picture of the Mane Six that Spike sends to Celestia in the opening is also located above Twilight's fireplace in the season 3 finale.
- The end of the opening sequence is essentially recreated at the end of "Crusaders of the Lost Mark".
- In "The Last Problem", Twilight sings that she "used to wonder what friendship could be" during the final song of the series, "The Magic of Friendship Grows". The accompanying sequence also counts in a roundabout way: it begins with Twilight meeting up with her friends, shows what all of Equestria's residents do throughout the day, gives the Mane Six time to show off their interests, and ends on a picture of all of them together.
- Animaniacs (2020):
Yakko: No, stop! STOP! (theme song comes screeching to a halt) I meant the hipster neighborhood where Wakko bought his donuts, you DUMB whoever-you-are!
- While trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Wakko's donuts, Yakko suggests that they go back the beginning. Smash cut to the beginning of the opening theme, which makes Yakko confused and stops the theme song.
- In the Season 3 premiere, Nora, now a security guard, successfully locks the Warners in their tower. Dot complains, "You know, this really isn't much of a show when they take away the plot where 'we break loose and then vamoose,'" referencing the Expository Theme Tune.
- Phineas and Ferb:
- In the episode "Oil on Candace," the boys help a friend paint a giant painting on a sand dune while an instrumental version of the theme song plays. One of the tools they use are the giant helicopter-mounted paint rollers used during the "painting a continent" part of the title sequence.
- This bit from "Swiss Family Phineas":
Candace: You're giving a monkey a shower?!
Ferb: Yup. Had to be done.
- In "Canderemy" when Phineas and Ferb make a giant robotic dog (also in the opening), but Buford wanted to give a monkey a shower.
- In "Fireside Girls Jamboree," one of the merit badges Candace earns is for "discovering something that doesn't exist," in this case a puppy-dog-eyed version of the unicorn/turtle thing from the appropriate part of the opening.
- In "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo," Bowling for Soup show up and perform a bit from the extended version of the show's Theme Tune, when a time traveling Phineas and Ferb are explaining to their future nephews what they could be doing during summer.
- In "Last Train to Bustville," Phineas spots a dodo (created by Doofenshmirtz's newest machine) and produces a list containing everything mentioned in the theme song, then checks it off. Buford then claims that he found Frankenstein's brain in the basket of his balloon.
- In "Norm Unleashed," Phineas and Ferb build a colony of remote-controlled nano-bots and make them spell out the words "HELLO THERE!" to which Buford responds "Yeah, yeah, main title, whatever."
- In The Movie, the song "Summer (Where Do We Begin?)" briefly segues into the opening theme.
- In the Season 2 finale of Milo Murphy's Law, as Milo approaches a storm made from pure negative probability, the last few notes of the theme song play and an alien billboard falls in front of him, an O-like letter falling off with Milo climbing up to where the O-like letter was, carrying an "O" sign, just like how the theme song ends with the show's title falling right out of the sky in front of Milo, who replaces the fallen O with his sign.
- In the episode of Dave the Barbarian where the Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy usurps control of the show by enslaving the Lemony Narrator, halfway through we are treated to new rendition of the show's opening credits and theme song, now celebrating Chuckles as the central character.
- The Fairly Oddparents
- In Abra-Catastrophe!, after Bippy wishes monkeys ruled the world instead of humans, the theme song is redone with Bippy in Timmy's place, monkey equivalents of the cast, and a lot of bananas.
- In "Timmy's Secret Wish" after Timmy makes his one millionth wish, Jorgen declares a song in his honor by singing the theme song, only to stop and initiate an elaborate rock ballad instead.
- In the third part of the crossover with The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius:
Villain: You guys think you're so special, but you'll just be average kids that no one understands!
Cosmo: Someone should write a song about that!
- In the middle of the Recess episode "Lawson and his Crew," a version of the theme song plays with Lawson's crew replacing the regular main characters.
- Bounty Hamster, episode "Twin Cheeks": The first appearance of Cassie's Mirror Universe counterpart is accompanied by a Mirror Universe version of the series's Opening Narration.
- One episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle has Rocky do the flying trick shown in the opening titles.
- One of the more bizarre examples occurs in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go where Gyrus Krinkle imagines himself in Chiro's position from the show's opening narration, while wearing a foam head bearing Chiro's likeness.
- Rocko's Modern Life:
- In "Fortune Cookie", Filburt, who is cursed with bad luck, decides to go on with playing on the game show he was chosen for. Naturally, when he spins the wheel, it goes off its hinges and starts to go on a rolling rampage of destruction, running over various scenes, including the last part of the opening sequence (where everybody's chasing Rocko), cutting off the theme song as it does so.
- Also parodied in the end of "Heff in a Handbasket" where Peaches is starring in a cartoon show "Peaches' Modern Life."
- In "Boob Tubed", a small snippet of the theme song is played while Heffer is channel surfing.
- Static Cling sees Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt going through an modernized version of the intro during their montage of getting used to the new O-Town.
- The South Park episode "Chef Aid" features guest appearances by many artists and bands, including Primus, the band that composed and performed the theme song. It is Les Claypool's only appearance in the show... apart from being seen in the intro for the first four seasons, and being heard singing the theme song in every season, that is.
- The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In the episode "Oops, I Did It Again," after the Professor tiredly accepts his fate as the "accidental professor," the beginning of the subsequent Dream Sequence is like the opening of the show, except there's no accidental injection of Chemical X, and the girls turn out to be the "Run of the Mill Girls," who "dedicate their lives to just hanging around and doing nothing extraordinary." Unlike most of the examples here, this one is a more complete replicate of the opening, even including a "Created by the Professor" credit in place of Craig McCracken.
- In the final episode of The Replacements, Todd and Riley quote the theme song when revealing their secret to Tasumi and Jacobo.
- Happens in the My Gym Partner's a Monkey episode "The Notorious Windsor Gorilla" with the credits re-done as My Gym Partner's a Gorilla and featuring Windsor instead of Jake.
- When asked on The Cleveland Show if he ever wondered if the world would be better without him, Cleveland imagines Quagmire in the opening.
- A Cafepress design featuring The Garfield Show contains a possible shout out to the very first theme song of Garfield and Friends, with the phrase "Friends are there when you need them," referencing the line "Friends are there when you need them, they're even there when you don't!"
- When the title character of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? got put on trial for stealing the Magna Carta, Zack and Ivy recall that on the day the document was apparently stolen, Carmen was busy trying to steal the Statue of Liberty. They use a clip of the intro to recap the event.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: In "Two Old Men and A Lock Box", when Richard and Michard start to explain how they came to be in their current predicament, we are treated to new version of the opening credits and theme song that identifies Richard and Michard as the K'nuckles and Flapjack of their generation. Hilariously sang off-key and without the music matching the voices or the new names.
- Family Guy:
- In the episode "Vestigial Peter", Peter is outraged when his vestigial twin brother Chip joins the family in singing the theme song.
- In another episode, in one of his drunken stupors, Peter makes a nod to the controversy regarding the lyric "laugh and cry" being misheard as "f-ing cry".
- In Disney's The Reboot, one of the potential reboots the show gets includes Chris married to Tricia Takanawa and living together. The "reboot" begins with the theme song, with only Chris, Joe and Bonnie making appearances and Chris singing his lines.
- In a parody of this, one episode has a Cutaway Gag where fellow Seth MacFarlane show American Dad! has its intro redone with Family Guy's Joe Swanson replacing Stan Smith.
- In "All About Alana", as a sign of Alana's growing obsession with taking Lois' place, at one point she's shown practicing Lois' part on the piano, complete with camera angles.
- In the American Dad! episode "Stan Goes On the Pill", the scene where Francine crashes into the CIA exterior sign mimics the show's opening sequence.
- Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United: Before the crossover part of the special begins, Rex sings his own version of the original Ben 10 theme song.
Rex: It started when the nanites went ka-pow upon the scene!
Transforming all the life on Earth like nothing that you've seen!
But there's one lucky hombre who can make them build machines!
He's Gen Rex!
- Fanboy and Chum Chum: In "Attack of the Clones" when Cloneboy and Chum Clone (the clone counterparts of the boys) taste the Frosty Freezy Freeze, we get a reenactment of the "brain freeze" sequence from the opening theme.
- In the first episode of Metalocalypse, the first meeting of The Tribunal features Senator Stampsington describing the band using the show's Theme Tune Roll Call:
"Skwisgaar Skwigelf, taller than a tree. Toki Wartooth, not a bumblebee. William Murderface, Murderface, Murderface. Pickles the Drummer, doodily doo, ding dong, doodily doodily doo. Nathan Explosion."
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Siege of the North, Part 1", when Aang decides to actively fight against the Fire Nation invasion, there is a shot from behind of him holding his staff, followed by a pan up into the sky, which is identical to that at the end of the opening sequence.
- The Animaniacs short "Cute First (Ask Questions Later)" has Snow White having two of her dwarfs kidnapping Dot after her magic mirror says she's cuter than her. The dwarfs are then shown kidnapping Dot while she and her brothers are acting out the theme song.
- In the Scaredy Squirrel episode "The Talented Mr. Peacock", where Scaredy's everyday life is being disrupted by a peacock who is copying his every movie, a nearly beat-for-beat recreation of the show's intro happens at one point only with Mr. Peacock instead of Scaredy. Even better is what happens immediately after:
Scaredy: (stands there in stunned silence)
Dave: Scaredy Squirrel is a character created by Melanie Watt.note .
- Wander over Yonder: In "The Fremergency Fronfract", Lord Hater (who is loopy from a dental procedure) has a Good-Times Montage with Wander and Sylvia, including a re-make of the intro that includes Hater. This is interrupted when Hater stares up in shock and dismay when he sees the Skullship.
- Steven Universe:
- In "The New Crystal Gems", Connie, Lapis, Peridot, and Pumpkin stand in for the Crystal Gems while they're out. When they run out to investigate potential trouble, they reenact the sequence from the show's first opening, with the Gems running while Steven/Connie rushes from the back of the line to the front.
- In "Change Your Mind", the Crystal Gems recreate the campfire from the second opening at the end. The last shot of the series is the gang sitting together as Steven plays his ukulele.
- Steven Universe: The Movie has the Gems reenact the first opening's running sequence again during "Happily Ever After", this time with Steven starting at the front.
- Samurai Jack
- In "Jack's Sandals", Jack meets a traditional Japanese family, whose children are huge fans of Jack. The son quotes the theme song, even going "Wah-chout!"
- In the episode "Jack and the Baby", while looking for the baby's parents, Jack arrives in the city with the blue creatures wearing fezzes from the intro.
- In episode "CI", Aku plays the original intro to the show, Mako narration and all, to the world as a lead-in to his announcement that Jack has been captured and will soon be executed. This is a rare example of this trope being played for drama.
- In "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids", Mr. Ratburn's class is going to be on TV, and Francine doesn't think Brain will be very entertaining. An Imagine Spot shows Brain in the show's intro. He begins "walking down the street" like the intro usually begins, but he quickly stops to sit down and think, halting the song.
- Later in the same episode, Buster takes the place of Arthur when he's in the TV and says "Hey! D.W.!" and she yells "Hey!". Instead of falling backwards, Buster falls forward and out of the TV. This prompts D.W. to exclaim that she was right and tiny people do live inside the TV.
- In "The Frensky Family Fiasco", Francine appears in the intro instead of Arthur. Arthur stops her, and Francine argues that she should be able to open the show since Arthur always does. Buster and D.W. want to host the opening, too.
- In "The Making of Arthur", Matt Damon wants to make Arthur into a real TV show. The first thing he records is a shot of Arthur walking down the street with Pal... which describes the first part of the theme song.
- "Arthur's Toy Trouble" begins with a shot of Arthur walking on top of the Earth (mirroring a shot at the end of the theme song), until he suddenly stops and notices a present in his backyard.
- In "The Shore Thing", Arthur's family and classmates take a trip to the beach. Sue Ellen is scared by Mr. Ratburn swimming by, mistaking his nose for a shark fin. Something similar happens in the show's theme song, but with Brain getting scared instead.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot
- In "Pajama Party Prankapalooza", When Brit and Tiff discuss what prank they should pull at their annual slumber party, Jenny is humming the theme song at the hallway as she gets her books from her locker.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In the special "Truth or Square", the intro is talked about when the special mentions that SpongeBob was not the original starring character for the show. The theme song is briefly shown in three different variants; one with Squidward, another with Patrick, and a third with Mr. Krabs. All three of them fail to make it through the song, hence why SpongeBob was chosen.
- In the episode "Unreal Estate" the intro repeats thrice as SpongeBob briefly imagines himself living in a few different houses. The first is a banana, followed by a hot pepper, followed by a chicken parmesan hero. In each situation he finds something wrong. He slips on a banana peel in the banana, comes out of the hot pepper on fire, and becomes fat and out of shape within the chicken sandwich. He rejects all three houses.
- In "Old Man Patrick", SpongeBob helps Patrick remember who he is by re-enacting the opening theme.
- In the episode "Handemonium", after several failures to stop the now-living Chum Bucket glove, Plankton tells SpongeBob to "keep his pants on", which gives him an idea. SpongeBob then proceeds to remove his pants (to Plankton's chagrin) and sings the first line of the theme song, summoning Hans the live-action hand to give him his pants, as he does when SpongeBob opens his front door during the opening. He then asks Hans to assist them in defeating the glove (because, as Plankton soon realizes, to beat a giant glove, you need an equally huge hand).
- In the Bob's Burgers episode "Bob Actually", Gene develops a crush on an Italian lunchlady. When he finally tries dark chocolate, he has a fantasy in which he marries her and opens a chocolate factory that’s having its “Grand Re-Re-Opening,” much like the Bob’s restaurant in the opening credits.
- Bojack Horseman
- The episode "It's You" has Bojack drunkenly drive a car that was in his living room in reverse into the pool, at which point he had to be revived by Mr. Peanutbutter. This mirrors the sequence in the opening sequence where he drunkenly falls backwards into the pool, to the shock and worry of Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter.
- The episode "Stupid Piece Of Shit" has one of Bojack's Inner Monologues involve his assumed daughter, but in reality half-sister, Hollyhock drowning in a pool in the same manner as the intro.
- The episode "The View from Halfway Down" also has Bojack falling into his pool while drunk. However, it's more dire since the episode is Bojack's Dying Dream since he's drowning with nobody around to help him. And that he didn't fall, he willingly went in to drown.
- Adventure Time: The final shot of the series has Shermy and Beth recreating the last shot of the theme song.
- We Bare Bears: The last video in "More Everyone's Tube" has the Bears and some of their friends joining Estelle in performing an extended, a capella version of the show's theme song, "We'll Be There".
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes
Dendy: We fought 'till the end. You are all my best friends.
- In "OK Dendy! Let's Be KO", Dendy's transformation into KO is done in the style of the last few seconds of the intro.
- In the second part of "You're in Control", after Boxman is shot into space by Lord Cowboy Darrell, we can see the "OK KO" and "A CARTOON NETWORK ORIGINAL" text from the intro in the background. "Let's Fight 'Till The End" further confirms that the text from the intro really does physically exist in-universe, floating next to the planet in space.
- In the Distant Finale "Thank You For Watching the Show", Dendy references the theme song's lyric "you fight 'till the end, you are my best friend" nearly word-for-word.
- Regular Show: In the final episode, after escaping from the student film of his origin, Pops has to navigate the series' title card, dodging the letters that form the show's name while flying to Mordecai and Rigby's aid.
- In the Danger Mouse episode "Groundmouse Day", Count Duckula is controlling time from the Westminster clock tower, and uses this to frame DM for his crimes. Penfold uses the same time machine to travel back to the start of the adventure, but repeatedly finds that nothing he does makes a difference. He then realises he needs to travel back even earlier, and ends up in the opening credits, where he seizes control of the Danger Car in the "driving past London landmarks" bit and drives it to the clock to confront Duckula before his plan has even started.
- In Elena of Avalor, the intro is consists of moments derived from the first episode (Elena and co. versus the Noblins, Elena and her abuelo singing and dancing while their family looks on, Elena and co. in the throne room) and a Season 2 short (Elena riding away from the palace with Canela, Elena fighting a thief on a runaway carriage and being rescued by Skylar).
- The Grand Finale re-enacts the final sequence of the intro, with Elena greeting a crowd of guests in her throne room and lighting up the Scepter of Light while surrounded by her friends and family at the throne...and then she messes up her crown.
- The Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy episode "Rescue Teens" features a montage of the titular human lookalikes of the Rescue Bots Recruits that is lifted directly from the show's title sequence.
- The Loud House:
Morag: Thanks to you flapping your gob, I'm stuck with these hooligans! Crashing through the crowded halls, dodging girls like...Angus: Ping-pong balls?Morag: Just to reach the bathroom on time!Angus: (chuckles) That's rather catchy.
- In The Loud House Movie, Morag quotes the theme song while complaining to Angus about the Louds' presence at the castle.
- Also in the same movie, the montage of the Louds enjoying the royal life after Lincoln is crowned Duke is set to a Scottish remix of the theme song, titled "Loud Castle".
- Tuca & Bertie: In the Cold Open for "Bird Mechanics," Bertie's (unhelpful) new therapist tells Bertie to cut Tuca out of her life, remarking that "[their] names sound wrong together." She then repeats their names together ("Tuca and Bertie, Tuca and Bertie, Bertie and Tuca?") in the exact same manner as the theme song, which starts playing right after her dialogue to make the reference clear.
- In one episode of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, Brandy tells Mr. Whiskers that "we're like water and oil!" during a dispute, referencing the first line of the theme song ("who's a little bit like water and oil?").
- Justice League:
- When the Leaguers, Western heroes, and Chronos confront Tobias in "The Once and Future Thing, Part One: Weird Western Tales", it briefly homages the original opening to the show with a shot of them walking down the street with the sun behind them.
- The final episode sees a dragon who took on Parademons shift into a familiar form — the Martian Manhunter, a reference to the original opening of the series which saw him do the same.
- The Hotel Transylvania: The Series episode "Sleepers Creepers" shows three spoofs of the show's title sequence that have the change of everyone having the face of either Klaus, Frank or Dave Chupacabra.
- Work It Out Wombats!: In the theme song, Zeke is shown wearing a superhero costume. He wears this same costume in "The Mighty Zeke."
- Ninjago: The final season reveals that "The Weekend Whip" by The Fold was actually a Chekhov's Gun eleven years and fifteen seasons in the making, as the ninja learn that to defeat the Final Boss, they have to jump up, kick back, whip around, and spin.