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Reference Overdosed

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"Urk! Too many pop-culture references to be made! Brain overloading..."

Any work where the Homages and Shout-Outs are too numerous to count. Basically, if there are enough references to make a Shout-Out sub-page, the work is overdosed.

Often these are fan works or comedies (goes triple if the series is a Long Runner), since it would be distracting to have so many of these in more serious works, save for comic relief moments.

But even in the appropriate works, how well this is done depends on most of the references being done well. If a work overestimates the audience's knowledge this might overlap to Viewers Are Geniuses. This sometimes works: those who are familiar with the references will enjoy it. The references can even turn into multiple Genius Bonuses. And those who are unfamiliar with it might be encouraged to look up more information about the reference in order to understand it. That way they feel challenged and rewarded for their effort and grow along with the creator. But in instances where too much stuff just flies over the audience's heads the general public could feel alienated and lose interest.

If a work mostly consists of stuff referencing other stuff the dangerous border to blatant Plagiarism and/or sheer uninspiredness might be crossed. The audience might even feel as if it's just watching/listening/reading a scene by scene rehash of other, more original works.

A Super-Trope to Speaks in Shout-Outs, which is where a single character within a work has this as a characteristic.

Compare Cast of Expies, Trope Overdosed, Pastiche, Fountain of Memes, Continuity Cavalcade. This can easily turn the work into an Unintentional Period Piece if most of the references are to contemporary, ephemeral topics.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A list of Shout Outs in The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You can be found here.
  • Anime-Gataris: Being a show about an anime club, anime references were bound to be plenty.
  • Aoi House: The comic parodies or references dozens of anime and manga, and in the later chapters even Cthulhu shows up.
  • Bleach: While the actual series keeps musical references to a minimum, every chapter title since the series began is either the title of a song, the name of a band, or a line of lyrics, usually slightly modified. Bear in mind that as a Long Runner, Bleach is well over 500 chapters long, meaning it has at least that many musical references.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has so many Japanese pop-cultural references that trying to find and explain every single one will make your head spin. A large portion of the instantly recognizable ones are references and spoofs of either Kinnikuman or Dragon Ball.
  • Genshiken: Not surprisingly, given the focus on otaku, they're quite fond of dropping quotes or references to various series in a heartbeat. The ability to do this is even prized - Sasahara quotes Amuro's response to the original Bright Slap after Kasukabe nearly knocks the wind out of him in the first chapter, and the rest of Genshiken applauds that he had the presence of mind to do it despite the pain. The appearance of Sue, who Speaks in Shout-Outs, later in the manga only puts this in overdrive.
  • Gintama makes references constantly, and has devoted entire chapters and even story arcs to them at times. Here are some examples.
  • Green vs. Red was made to celebrate Lupin III's 40th anniversary, and it shows: there are countless references to other films, episodes and everything related to the character, including the original manga and even a nod to Taito who made the very first Lupin video game in 1980.
  • GTO: The Early Years and its sequel Great Teacher Onizuka show just how much Tooru Fujisawa loves shout-outs.
  • While it's always been a tradition for some Humongous Mecha designs in Gundam shows to riff on ones from previous series, Gundam SEED Destiny cranks it to the max. The best example is probably the colossal Destroy Gundam, a Psyco Gundam knockoff that turns into a Big Zam.
    • Not to be outdone, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is also this, with multitudes of ShoutOuts to previous animated series inside, and sometimes outside, of the franchise.
      • AGE even gets a bit Meta with its references, as mobile suits will often have specs borrowed directly from their closest Universal Century counterpart. For example, the Gundam AGE-1 has the same height and weight figures as the original Gundam, the AGE-2 is comparable to the Zeta Gundam, etc.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 4 had an enormous variety of older mobile suits fighting alongside modern designs. Lampshaded by a Londo Bell soldier, who calls the battlefield a "walking war museum".
  • The first season of the Hayate the Combat Butler anime. The manga too, but not as much. The second season still has tons of references, albeit a bit more subtle about it.
  • Heybot! is filled with so many references that some of them are obscure even for the modern Japanese viewing audience.
  • Being a series about a woman married to an otaku, I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying references all the things you'd expect: Manga, Anime, Video Games, and Internet Memes.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Hirohiko Araki's love of American and British rock music makes the series packed with references to band, album, and song names, to the point that translation attempts are blocked by trademark issues. His favorite bands can be identified by the prevalence to their works in the story, including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Queen, Prince, and Yes (whose song "Roundabout" was chosen for the anime edition's first ending theme). Although this was originally limited to character names in the first three parts of the story, Part 4 sees them used as the names for the characters' supernatural powers known as Stands. From Part 5 and onwards, Araki has expanded music namesakes to all English-language music up to the time it was written. Part 8, for instance has one Stand named after Nat King Cole and another named after a Lady Gaga song.note 
    • Araki's love for Italy is shown in Part 5, which is set in Italy, and features characters named after food names in Italian.
    • Part 6 shows off Araki's love for fashion designers, where everyone but Jolyne is named after a fashion label.
    • And then there's the Part 6 Stand Bohemian Rhapsody, which enables its user Ungalo to bring to life fictional characters from any story, be it a cartoon, a comic book, or even artwork. If they encounter someone who liked or even vaguely remembers the story, the victim is then forced to live through the story and are killed as a result. Even Mickey Mouse is hinted at being brought to life by Bohemian Rhapsody. The only apparent weakness is if someone has no emotional attachment to any work of fiction. Like, say, Weather Report.
    • From Part 7 onward, both the Stands and their users have names that reference Western music. Often - for the minor villains, at least - the names are linked; for instance, the early Part 7 antagonist Pork Pie Hat Kid has a Stand named Wired.
  • My Hero Academia: Horikoshi is a big movie buff who enjoys Western super heroes and science fiction, as a result, his manga is laden with shout outs to these movies he likes, as well as some video games. One that has become basically a Running Gag is the fact that several places in the manga are named after planets and areas of Star Wars.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi is stuffed with tons of references ranging from other anime and manga series, western culture (like Kentucky Fried Chicken), and especially video games such as Touhou and Final Fantasy. It also frequently references Ken Akamatsu's previous works like Love Hina and A.I. Love You to the point where his series are accepted to all be part of The 'Verse. At one point late in the series, there's even a reference to a famous doujinshi line based on Negima.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! has, besides its Cthulhu Mythology Gags, lots and lots and lots of references; the most-used gags relate to Kamen Rider, Gundam and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but they also shout out to Strawberry Marshmallow, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Monster Hunter, Men in Black, Back to the Future, Macross, obscure JRPGs, Japanese ads...let's just say that turning this show into a Drinking Game would be very ill-advised. This even works internally, with the alien characters being devotees of Earth's popular culture and referencing their favorite shows and games in everyday conversation, such as Nyarko performing Kamen Rider poses apropos of nothing.
    • There are so many that a blog was created for the sole purpose of listing them all!
    • The Chinese translation of the novels actually includes an appendix at the end of each volume detailing all the references made. Each one is at least several pages long.
  • One Piece: Pretty much every second or third character in the series is clearly inspired by another work, whether it be their namesake, design, or even role in the plot. This also extends to islands being very multi-cultural in inspiration. Like Dressrosa being based off of Spain and Rome, Wano Country being based off of Ancient Japan, and Shandia being based on the Aztec Empire.
  • Pani Poni Dash! literally has well over 500 over the course of a 26 episode series and 1 OVA.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt combines this with Cultural Cross-Reference.
  • Sgt. Frog is littered with this (such the main character being obssessed with Gundam models). The Funimation dub cranks up the references more with references to several celebrities and other films and tv shows.
  • Space☆Dandy has its own Shout-Out page, with each episode having its own list. Most of the references caught are for other anime series set in space, though there is the odd reference to American pop culture too.
  • The World God Only Knows makes references to as many characters, mangas, movies, and videogames as it can. Especially videogames.

    Comic Books 
  • Agent 327: Many references, shout-outs and name drops, mostly to Dutch culture and society. Especially in later albums the author went berserk with this.
  • Asterix references a lot of history, culture and other stuff from the Ancient Roman Empire. This includes untranslated Latin phrases as well! Apart from that several references to later time periods can be found as well. Some of them only comprehensible to a French audience, others too old to be recognized by modern audiences, like winks to Corsican singer Tino Rossi, the 1930s movie "Marius" and politicians of the 1970s.
  • The Spanish parody comic Cabezones basically work like this: make a spoof of a single film and then fill it with as many reference jokes as possible to anything else, even if it doesn't make sense at all. Sometimes it works, other times it borders on Shallow Parody.
  • De Cape et de Crocs is the French equivalent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in terms of number of Shout Outs per panel, starting with the title.
  • De Kiekeboes: Also contains several references, most of them to artists and comedians the author enjoys.
  • Kill Shakespeare is set in a world where every story Shakespeare wrote is real and the characters from multiple plays are around at the same time and interacting with each other. (For example, Hamlet's attempt at avenging his father is going on at the same time that Juliet and Othello are leading peasant rebellions against Richard III and Macbeth), while shaking their heads at the antics of their follower Falstaff.) As you can imagine, there are a lot of both obvious and subtle references to Shakespeare.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Especially in the latest graphic novels. Seriously, you will be surprised how many British '60s sitcom characters can appear in a number of pages. It wasn't until the third series that there was an original speaking character not absconded from an earlier work (even background characters running from a battle were Fagin, Dodger, and company), and that original character was Campion Bond of her majesty's secret service.
  • As you can see in the picture above, the Monica's Gang comic can get so blatant and ridiculous in it's shout outs, it can be called Refuge in Audacity (and that Avatar parody manages to put more blue characters - which include a real person, Zinedine Zidane, decked in France colorsnote  — in another panel). This also applies to other Brazilian comics, such as Holy Avenger.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Any story drawn by Andy Price usually includes overwhelming amounts of pop-culture references in the background.
  • Phonogram contains so many allusions to real bands and songs that each serialised issue contains a glossary explaining them all.
  • The Sandman is an unusual serious example; it probably manages to stay serious because its Homages and Shout Outs are usually to myths or the classics instead of pop culture.
  • Scott Pilgrim, particularly in relation to video games and music.
  • Alan Moore's Top 10, which came out at the same time as the early installments of LoEG. Practically every background character, business name, vehicle or grafitto is a shout out to someone or something.
  • Urbanus: Several references to other comics, TV shows, films and Dutch and Flemish pop culture stuff.
  • Watchmen has a whole load, especially musical references, but also to works of literature and to modern (1980s) pop-culture.

    Comic Strips 
  • The September 16, 2001 Baby Blues shows Zoe and Hammie going through their VHS collection deciding what to watch. Not only are popular Disney films like The Lion King (1994) and Toy Story mentioned, but also more obscure animated movies like Cats Don't Dance, which pretty much never gets referenced in media.
  • The author of Bloom County wrote that:
    Bloom County was awash with pop culture references and celebrity mockery... largely because those beguiling assets were virtually absent from the comedic media at the time. But just look at us now. No, it's not my &@%# fault.
  • Nero: Since this was a newspaper comic it contains thousands of references to stuff that was current when the comics were published in the papers. Famous politicians and media celebrities from the second half of the 20th century will have a cameo or have jokes based on them. The author also threw in several references to his personal life, including colleagues and exotic animals he encountered during his safaris. Unfortunately this is also the reason why reprints have included some necessary background explanations to put stuff into context.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The science fiction novel Escapist Dream is about a virtual reality world where geeks can role-play and live the life of a real comic book, film, video game, anime, TV, literature (and everything else that is geek-related) character. What made this book special is how its pop culture references are more modern than its contemporaries (it literally referenced PewDiePie at one point). It gained popularity for its pop culture references so much, that literary critic Dustin Kidd actually described it as "The Great Gatsby of pop culture fiction."
  • 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die contains a list of 1001 movies the author considers must-see movies, with each entry accompanied by a short essay explaining why. The essays, written by over 50 different film critics, often make heavy use of references and parallels to other films, directors, scriptwriters, et cetera to make their point.
  • Among Others by Jo Walton is full of references to the science fiction and fantasy of the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover about a Magical Land said to have inspired almost all of fiction in some way or another, with J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and Charles Williams as the main characters. So naturally the books have references coming out of their figurative ears.
  • Discworld: The fandom collected a list of Shout-Outs into The Annotated Pratchett File. The APF annotations list appears to have been discontinued after about two-thirds of the books; the torch has been carried on by the Terry Pratchett Wiki, which faithfully annotates the later books as well as adding extra detail to the earlier ones.
  • The Divine Comedy: Dante's visit to Hell, Purgatory and Heaven is peppered with countless references to historical, cultural, religious, political and scientific people from both his time and earlier centuries.
  • The Dresden Files, since everyone is Genre Savvy and the narrator is a Pop-Cultured Badass.
  • Bret Easton Ellis likes to do this with his characters to highlight how shallow they are. Many pages in Glamorama are just long lists of Victor and his friends name dropping celebrities, and in American Psycho, Patrick has to describe in excruciating detail what everyone is wearing.
  • The works of Philip José Farmer are sometimes Reference Overdosed, particularly those set in the Wold Newton universe. A single work may be a Homage to one writer while encoding allusions to the work of many, many others. For example, no name is innocent until all anagrams, obscure linguistic derivations and so forth have been exhausted.
  • Finnegans Wake features thousands of references to everything imaginable. It is probably the only work to turn this trope into True Art Is Incomprehensible.
  • InCryptid is full of shout-outs, which is to be expected given that Seanan McGuire is One of Us. About half of them come from Antimony. Even the short stories set in the 30s manage to sneak in a few contemporary ones.
  • Nicola Jonesy, writer of LoLo Apollo: I'm Afraid of Americans, is a child of the internet of the early 2000s and 2010s, and it shows in the book. There are various references to things like Homestar Runner and Homestuck, various works that gained a massive following like Steven Universe and Undertale, the various memes that spawned during those two periods, political figures and events, and Professional Wrestling. And this is without listing every reference that appears in the book.
  • Magic Ex Libris is about people who can pull items out of books. This, combined with a Geek protagonist, leads to references being tossed around like candy. To help some bewildered readers, there's a list of referenced books in the back.
  • The Night Mayor is set in a virtual reality realm based on Film Noir movies, and is packed with references to classic and not-so-classic movies of the late 1930s through early 1950s (including all the obvious candidates as well as some less obvious ones like The Wizard of Oz).
  • A Night in the Lonesome October abounds with references, being a wide-ranging gothic horror pastiche with references to other genres. It contains many Homages and Shout Outs beyond its crossover characters.
  • Ready Player One has this as part of its plot, but mostly narrows it to 1980s video games and pop culture in an effort to solve the puzzle left behind by a rich eccentric as part of his will. The movie is even worse, adding in characters from later periods, such as the T. rex from Jurassic Park and the Spartans from Halo.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: If you made a list of every time Snicket makes a Shout-Out to literature and history in one of the later books (especially through Sunny's dialogue), it would be as long as the book itself.
  • Small World is full of references to the Grail legend. Many of them are very subtle indeed. They are mainly drawn from Jessie Weston's book From Ritual to Romance, which also influences T. S. Eliot in The Waste Land. At time it comes close to recursive referencing.
  • The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps is a nonstop barrage of Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and other pop culture references from its supervillain protagonist Gary Karkofsky a.k.a. Merciless: The Supervillainy Without Mercy. Ironically, he makes no superhero references because comic books aren't a big thing in his world.
  • The amount of Science Fiction and Extreme Metal references in Ari Bach's novel Valhalla is incalculable. Nearly every character name is taken from a metal band. Nearly every piece of hardware is named for the author of the sci-fi novel or show it was invented in. References even include old sitcoms, obscure occult literature and more.
  • The author of the Warhammer novels collectively known as "The Vampire Wars" acknowledges his books contain at least a hundred references to classic vampire stories like Dracula. One of his fans sent him a list of references in his novels, but the author didn't have the heart to say he'd missed about another fifty.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Ciaphas Cain books are absolutely loaded with references to both science fiction and turn-of-the-century juvenile adventures.
  • T. S. Eliot's works, especially The Waste Land. The poem is full of references to popular songs, classical literature, operas and ancient religious scriptures, and quotes them in their native language.
  • The first page of Where's Waldo? The Wonder Book. It puts all the other examples to shame.
  • Zadie Smith's White Teeth contains tons of references to various minutiae from literature, history, science, and pop culture (both British and American). Some of them serve no purpose, such as a Long List of all of Millat Iqbal's favorite books, records and tapes, and movies on videocassette.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Community. Abed is stated to be incapable of communicating through any other medium than movies.
  • Doctor Who has been running since 1963, so it's accumulated a lot over that time. Also, its hero is a quasi-immortal time traveller, which gives them a pretty large reference pool. Some of the older episodes reference things like Beatles lyrics, while New-Who has referenced things like Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Harry Potter, Teletubbies, The Lion King and way, way more.
  • We don't even try to list the shout outs in Farscape. Crichton is a fountain of late-20th-centrury cultural references, which only makes him a Cloud Cuckoolander in the eyes of all the aliens around him.
  • Gilmore Girls is famous for its abundance of references. Each DVD even has a little booklet explaining the more obscure ones.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger is this towards the Super Sentai series.
  • Leverage is so reference overdosed that its shout outs had to be moved to their own page.
  • The Middleman, usually with a different theme each episode (one episode is full of Dune references, another Back to the Future references, another Ghostbusters references, and so on...)
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: many encyclopedic references to historical and cultural figures, exotic animals and places. Most of these jokes could make sense to intellectuals, but then there are also many references to British culture, especially politicians, TV hosts, soccer players, cricketers and programs that were famous during the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are usually completely incomprehensible and obscure to international audiences and even to the English, especially while Time Marches On.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. Being a show built around providing audio commentary to Cult Classic genre movies, it couldn't help being stuffed full of references, but some them were so obscure only the members of the show's own cast understood them.
  • NCIS: Tony, an avid movie buff, makes references to films at least Once an Episode, and McGee is a gamer, among other justifications for this.
  • Psych CONSTANTLY references obscure 80s and 90s pop culture.
  • Red Dwarf often makes reference to films such as Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and Blade Runner. For instance, the episode Back To Earth is considered by most to only be enjoyable if you know the Blade Runner references, to most other fans it is a horrible episode.
  • Schitt's Creek was created and is written by pop culture fan and former MTV VJ Daniel Levy who weaves his love of music, fashion and popular culture into his writing in every episode.
  • Spaced. There's even a bonus subtitle track on the DVD that notes all the references.
  • Spitting Image: Where to start? Several references to 1980s and 1990s society in general, yet also to everything that was in the media in the week of broadcast. From news reports over TV commercials. If you wanted to understand every reference you really had to read, listen and watch to every report. And most of it references British culture in particular. This also explains why the show was so difficult to export to other countries. The stuff dated rapidly and a lot of it was incomprehensible to foreign viewers. When broadcasted on Dutch TV the translators even added some extra subtitles on top of the screen to give some explanations about certain politicians or TV stars that only the English would immediately recognize.
  • The Tau'ri (Earth-born humans) in the Stargate-verse have Genre Savvy as their Hat. They're well aware that their daily lives resemble science fiction and are all too happy to show it.
  • Supernatural, particularly when it comes to music. Every episode from the first 5 seasons is named after a classic rock song, while the newer episodes reference other.

  • Black Country, New Road certainly count, as Isaac Wood's lyrics constantly shout out other artists, songs, and other forms of media.
  • Destroyer. Dan Bejar's main band has its own wiki and drinking game.
  • Frank Zappa: His music was deeply personal and references several aspects of the society of his time, including music, commercials, politics, TV and even inside jokes in his own band and anecdotes from his own life. Zappa once claimed that he doubted if his lyrics could make sense to anyone but himself.
  • Half Man Half Biscuit. Their website has a section dedicated to explaining some of the references.
  • John Cena and Tha Trademarc do a lot of this on You Can't See Me; ironically, most of the references are not to Professional Wrestling. This was spoofed in their video for "Bad, Bad Man", which had as its plot a homicidal maniac kidnapping midgets dressed as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and certain other 1980s cult figures - not to mention that said homicidal maniac was played by Gary Coleman. And Cena, Trademarc, and Bumpy Knuckles dress up like (respectively) Hannibal Smith, Murdock, and Mr. T from The A-Team!
  • No More Kings. When describing them most places refer to them and funk/pop mixed with 80s references. Though there are more references, the 80s are just the most prominent.
  • R.E.M.'s music would frequently make references to ancient mythology in order to conceal the true meanings of the songs (namely Michael Stipe's bisexuality or political events). This had the side effect of making people think he spoke gibberish. To clarify, the first time he admitted to writing a song with straightforward lyrics was in 1992 when the band recorded "Everybody Hurts" - 12 years after they started.
  • Sage Francis, a rapper from Providence, RI, makes tons of references to "classic" hip hop songs. He'll often re-use classic lines, substituting a word here or there or reversing the word order as a kind of wordplay homage; he'll also re-use the cadence of certain iconic lines in a subtle nod.
  • The entirety of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny is Shout-Out after Shout-Out from beginning to end.
  • The Wu-Tang Clan: cursory examination of the first two tracks on Enter the Wu-Tang/36 Chambers turns up, in addition to the samples and references to old Kung-fu movies for which they're famous, overt references to Steven Seagal and his film Out for Justice, Voltron, and The Warriors.
    • Also, Ghostface Killah had a song from the 1996 album Iron Man (which was when he started using the alias Tony Stark) entitled "Daytona 500" (named mostly for its fast pace) which used clips from the original Speed Racer to make one of the first Anime Music Videos which is still considered a favorite by many.
      • The song itself contained samples from Bob James' "Nautilus" and "Crab Apple" by Idris Muhammad while the chorus from "Turn The Beat Around" by Vicki Sue Robinson sped up and reworded for the hook. And even featured two samples from previous Wu singles, "Mystery of Chessboxin" and Raekwon's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" which also had an obvious Shout-Out in title as well as the lyrics.
    • The mileage varies, but this opened the AMV flood gates, being one of the first AMV's showed on TV and predating YouTube and self-made AMV's.
  • P.D.Q. Bach has plenty of moments, but the pieces on the albums which are really overdosed tend to be the one Peter Schickele published under his own name. These are usually a type of medley called a quodlibet, and it's rare for them to quote a single piece at a timenote , except as a setup to lampshade the juxtaposition of, for instance, "Camptown Races" against "Ode to Joy".
  • The Stupendium's song based on Kingdom Hearts III, "A Little Heart", references a Disney song in nearly every line.
  • The Animated Music Video for CRUISR's "All Over" constantly shifts between literally dozens of famous fictional couples, usually but not always romantic, from Vincent and Mia to Belle and the Beast to Harry and Sally to Brody and the shark.
  • The lyrics to Sabaton's song "Metal Crue" are mostly the names of metal bands. And they have another song, "Metal Machine", where the lyrics are mainly the titles of other metal songs.
  • Jinx's "Cartoons and Vodka".

  • Capes on the Couch: Every episode features numerous shout-outs to anything from Broadway to schlocky horror films to 80s cartoons, and even TV Tropes itself. The show notes for each episode contain links to explain stuff that Anthony & Doc reference for listeners who don't get it.
  • Radiodrome: Countless references to exploitation movies and other films, even mentioning old TV series in the process.
  • The First Podcast: Contains thousands of references to various shows, video games, bands, other podcasts, and content creators, some of which are listed here.

    Pro Wrestling 


  • Survival of the Fittest: Due to being a collaborative work between the board's members, it qualifies. While there have been Shout Outs to previous versions and the original canon, a few others are to... less expected works, such as a character suddenly talking like Kefka, and a few characters being an Expy of characters from other works. Honestly, if one were to list every single reference in SOTF, it would take a while. It has been a minor issue on the board, however, in how many Shout Outs are okay.
  • GET THAT PIZZA!: The tropers will frequently use weapons or items from various works of fiction, or enlist various fictional characters to help them get the pizza.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons: The Dragoning, which mashes together the rules of several pen-and-paper systems, uses the setting of others, and gives shout-outs to everything else.
  • Shadowrun is full of these, particularly where harlequin is involved. In one book in particular he refers to the Dead Kennedys and Cypress Hill and quotes a line from a Florence + the Machine song. All this in the year 2074, by the way.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are packed with shout-outs, and it's not just the historical or literary origins of practically every faction and variant army (especially Space Marines and Imperial Guard). The flavor quotes, maps and locations, character names, most of the fiction, and the universe backstories are plundered from all over, ranging from the Bible to minor quotes from travel writers.
  • Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined has this as it's core mission statement. Every playbook is clearly inspired by major character tropes from media, and nearly all their moves are named after lines or concepts from other works - usually Kingdom Hearts, but plenty from others.


    Theme Parks 
  • The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios is loaded with references and homages to other movies, most of which weren't even made by Disney. Though it's justified in that it's a ride about the greatest moments in film history.

  • Due to Wacky Packages and its nature of being a parody line, combined with its long life, is loaded with parodies of a variety of things. From parodies of household products to toylines to media franchises, there are a variety of things referenced.

    Video Games 
  • Stellaris is loaded with shout-outs to science fiction works and tropes, both classic and modern. This is in addition to the fact that the highly customization empire creator will allow you to roleplay any fictional star empire to your heart's content.
  • Super Daryl Deluxe is full of references to historical figures, high school literature, comics, anime, videogames, and more. And much of it is integrated smoothly enough into the experience that you would literally miss it if you blinked (e.g. Daryl will be wielding a Buster Sword for a few frames).
  • Later updates of Team Fortress 2 add more and more references, be they from the items (Doctor Whoa, Magical Mercenary) or from the achievementsnote  (Balls-E, Robbin' Hood)note 
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: Nearly half of all the alternate fighter palettes, bot names, and Pixel Lobby cosmetics are a shoutout to something already existing.
  • Touhou Project. Even the attack names can be references to Japanese mythology, and obscure ones at that. One game had a plot that referenced three separate Japanese myths...and UFOs. It also had references to older games in the series and Space Invaders.
  • The Umineko: When They Cry visual novels are packed to the brim with references- from mystery novels and scientific concepts, to Shout Outs to various anime and video games.
  • Spanish Action RPG Un Epic is an ode to geekery, with protagonist Daniel (who is One of Us) spouting dozens of references to sci-fi movies and serials, comic books, fantasy literature and so on. The game itself is the lovechild of pen-and-paper RPGs and the adventure games of the past such as Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious, and of course the shout-outs are abundant.
    • Even the translators are at it: for example, the Italian version substitutes in one line a simple "Go, go, go!" with "Row Row Fight the Power!".
  • World of Warcraft originally used to have a handful of Shout Outs in the form of traditional Easter Eggs, but since Burning Crusade, every character, quest name, and area is a reference to something, probably blatantly.
  • The indie Shoot 'Em Up ZeroRanger has an absolutely staggering amount of references packed into its relatively short run-time, mostly focused on other Shoot Em Ups and various anime.

    Web Animation 
  • YouTube Poop is chock full of random references to pop culture.
  • Brawl Universe has the characters in many episodes often talking about real life movies they've seen, such as The Dark Knight and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • Dan & Dav are a duo of Italian animators who opened a channel where they feature some of their comedic works, particularly mash-ups of various properties and "The year in review"-style videos, recapping most things that happened with abundance of visual references to movies, comics, cartoons, art pieces and more. The most fitting example of this trope is their Pac-Man Fev3r Pac-Demic video, a huge homage to more than 30 years of arcade games with their typical "anything goes" attitude, such as a Wonder Boy stage seguing into the opening from The Simpsons, or Sir Arthur being drawn in the style of Peanuts.


    Web Original 
  • The Whateley Universe:
    • Especially the story "Tales of the MCO", about the titular Police Procedural which was essentially propaganda for the Mutant Commission Office, the quasi-governmental (and thoroughly corrupt and bigoted) agency which 'protects' baselines from superhumans. In the story, some of the Mutant kids at Superhero School Whateley Academy watch a television show and give it the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.
    • Everything about it, since it's a superhero universe which has Marvel and DC as superhero comic publishers within it. People constantly refer to this, talking about a girl who leaps in front of teammates to protect them as having 'superman syndrome' or arguing about what is needed for Marvel to make an Iron Man movie or even talking about why 'real' supers can't swipe copyrighted/trademarked superhero names.
    • The Phase novels are chock full of literary references, which even touch the chapter titles and Phase's obscure jokes that no one else gets. Generator is more likely to make references to anime and cartoons.
  • Hamster's Paradise is a Speculative Biology worldbuilding project chronicling the evolution of hamsters introduced to an alien planet. Despite the semi-scientific tone of the project, there are plenty of pop-culture references thrown in with the scientific names and creature designs, such as the scabber, a rat-like rodent with a worm-like tail, the dark mauler, a red-and-black sabertooth analogue that unlike its relatives has two sabers instead of one, the mountain ghoat and its main predator the ghoatbuster, and hopping kangaroo analougues called boingos and their smaller wallaby-like relatives the oingos, among other things.

    Web Videos 
  • Chuggaaconroy's Let's Plays are usually chock full of references. The thing is, most of them are unintentional.note  One example counts as a mandatory reference: when introducing the Super Fly enemy, he references "Weird Al" Yankovic because "how often do you hear the words Super Fly anymore?"
  • The Cinema Snob references tons of obscure exploitation movies, B-grade actors, cult directors, and occasionally more mainstream stuff such as Death Note in every episode. Host Brad Jones mostly does this verbally, by making a quick joke about it, but sometimes he shows a small movie clip or still picture to give the audience a bit more explanation what he is actually talking about. Together with The Nostalgia Critic he may be the most reference overdosed reviewer on Channel Awesome, though with one huge difference. While Doug mostly references mainstream stuff that a general audience may be familiar with Brad's references tend to be so underground that he even throws in little winks to his other video series and friends who appear in these. Usually you can only understand those by checking out all the other stuff he posts on his site!
  • Emily Youcis makes abundant references to her favorite media, all of which adds to the element of Deranged Animation. The majority are either references to [adult swim] programming such as Metalocalypse, Xavier: Renegade Angel, and a hardy Take That! to accused ripoff Mr. Pickles, and to classic children's programming, including Pee-wee's Playhouse, The Littles, and The Land Before Time.
  • Channel Awesome:
    • The Nostalgia Critic also enjoys doing this, sometimes making his shout-outs part of the entire plot of his episode, like his review of "The Shining mini-series", which he filled with shot-by-shot parodies of Kubrick's film version. He also uses actual clips and soundbites from movies and TV series to underline his jokes and ads the references in the end titles of each episode. Whether his references are actually clever or just lazy and redundant Watch It for the Meme moments differs from episode to episode.
    • Kickassia
    • Suburban Knights
  • They Made Me Watch This not only has a lot of references, once scene in the review of Barbie and the Three Musketeers turned into a reference cluster bomb.
  • Jim Sterling of the Jimquisition is really irritated whenever companies rely on all their references and memes to sell their games, usually expressing his annoyance with the phrase "Is this memes?"
  • The Music Video Show does this at least three times in an episode. Sometimes, the host lampshades that he doesn't know how he knows these references.

    Western Animation 
  • Every work of Seth MacFarlane:
    • Family Guy, although it has gotten out of hand for a lot of fans, and nowadays the show frequently includes references that are nothing but padding, without a joke to justify their inclusion. In fact, a stock "gag" post-revival is to just take a scene from a well-known film, recast it with the show's characters, and that's the whole joke. It's gotten to the point where you could type practically any pop-cultural phenomenon into the YouTube search engine and find a Family Guy clip spoofing it. Especially if it's from the 1980s!
      • Lampshaded by Lois in the "Star Wars parodies": "He (Seth MacFarlane) watched TV in the '80s. We get it."
    • American Dad! tends to throw them in through dialogue or character actions.
    • The Cleveland Show.
  • Watch an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball and count the ludicrous amount of 70s-80s-90s early 2000s and recently 2010s references shout-outs and homages.
  • Just like Phineas and Ferb and Gravity Falls before it, Amphibia is chopped to the brim with different references, such as Video Games and Anime. Just to name a few: Jojos Bizarre Adventure, Kirby, Super Mario Bros., Super Smash Bros., Gravity Falls, Alien, Lord of the Rings, the list goes on.


Class 1-B's Play

Try to catch as many references in this "original" play.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SchoolPlay

Media sources: