A Shout-Out is something (a name, line of dialogue, or prop) in a show that refers to fans or family members of the cast or crew, or to another source of inspiration. By nature, these can be obscure for casual fans.
The idea isn't new even if this term is. Arthur Conley, in his 1967 hit "Sweet Soul Music" mentions several performers by name he finds have done great work, by "spotlight" on some of their songs of note or their distinctive style.
You can even talk about them in English class if only you call them "allusions". However, remember that many tropes, symbols, and such are older than they look and can, often, arise in parallel. So despite (or because of) the ubiquitous nature of some creative properties, that doesn't mean that anything that seems somewhat similar is referencing said work.
Giving references to other works can predate to older times but became increasingly common in medieval times. In modern times, almost every larger film, Video Game and so on intentionally references some other work, making the phenomenon nearly omnipresent.
Tropes Are Tools applies to Shout-Outs. A good Shout-Out should still fit within the context of the story or it may end up a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment to people not familiar with what's being shouted about. It also has to be subtle enough that viewers either only notice the double meaning after a trip to the fridge or have a short chuckle if they notice it immediately, a blatant Shout-Out will break the Suspension of Disbelief and kick viewers out of the story. (Especially if it's Breaking the Fourth Wall. Shout-Outs that the characters would recognize get a little more leeway.) An explicit, open Shout-Out to one of the work's sources of inspiration is an Inspiration Nod.
Remember that a Shout-Out must be deliberate on the part of the authors; simply resembling something from another work is not sufficient, and the very existence of tropes and popular culture means that it's natural for resemblances to appear without any intent on the part of the authors. Just because two characters use similar unusual weapons or wear similarly-shaped sunglasses doesn't mean one is a reference to the other; just because two plots are similar doesn't mean there's actually any connection between them. Small Reference Pools can also lead people to see Shout-Outs where none exist because their own favorite things loom large in their mind. A true Shout-Out is intended to be noticed, so if there's any doubt, it's probably just a coincidence.
As a general rule of thumb, if the example is be couched with Word Cruft like, "seems to be," "bears a resemblance to" or "could possibly be," it's almost certainly not an example.
See also Homage, Expy, Stock Shout-Outs, Opening Shout-Out, Shout-Out Theme Naming and The Joy of X. Literary Allusion Title is a subtrope. Easily confused with a Mythology Gag and Continuity Nod, and may overlap with Actor Allusion. Contrast Take That!, which is a negatively-spirited Shout-Out. Biblical Shout-Outs should go on As the Good Book Says....
See Stock Shout-Outs for a list of Shout-Outs and other references common enough to earn their own page.
Remember, a Shout-Out is intentional. If a character just happened to use a similar turn of phrase to another work, that's just a coincidence.
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- In the New York area, there's a store called B&H, whose advertisements involve a guy named Dave and a robot named Hal.
- This Caesars Palace commercial ends with the narration, "What you call the greatest day of your life, we call 'Tuesday'."
- There's a Honda advertisement that uses the opening to the Waldstein Sonata by Beethoven.
- Some advertising for Sonic Heroes referenced The A-Team quite heavily, such as a magazine ad◊ aping the famous opening narration or the (now-defunct) website using a slightly changed snippet of the theme.
- Trojan Condoms: In The Aeneid the Greek army gets into a giant horse, which gets through the enemy's defenses. Men inside a horse, inside the enemy's walls. Pure Faux Symbolism. And then, after penetrating the enemy fortress, the horse bursts open and all the soldiers inside start rampaging everywhere. They probably intended for it to be a reference to the Trojan Walls, which were so impenetrable that after ten years of keeping the Greeks out they had to resort to the horse trick, but that's not where peoples' minds end up going.
- Advertising billboards for a flatrate internet package included Doom HUD as seen here◊ and here.
- A Filipino snack ad best described, as one comment put it, as "SACRILEGE TO LUCKY STAR." In terms of character designs, Sailor Moon wasn't spared either.
- A commercial for Virtual Boy Wario Land ended with Wario saying "Wait till they get a load of me!"
- Bear in the Big Blue House:
- In "I've Gotta Be Me," Bear dons a grayish sweater and tells us that "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Some familiar music plays and he suggests that maybe he should get a pair of sneakers.
- At one point in the episode "Let's Get Interactive," Bear is looking for dirt, water and seeds to help solve a puzzle. He says "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a couple of guides to help us" and then Pip and Pop show up. When he says this, closed-captioning reads "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a little blue dog to help us."
- At the end of "I've Got Your Number," Luna states that "numbers go on and on forever, to infinity and beyond!"
- According to this, the "What If?" song from "A Beary Bear Christmas" was patterned after the film It's a Wonderful Life, down to it being presented in black-and-white.
- In "A Wagon of a Different Color," after Ojo, Pip and Pop reveal the newly painted wagon, Ojo says that she thinks it has every color in the world. Bear says that it does and Pip and Pop comment "And we helped!" in a manner that seems very reminiscent of the classic Shake 'n Bake commericals.
- One of the episodes is titled "The Great Pretender," which is a golden oldie by the The Platters.
- Disneyland is full of these to former attractions. To whit:
- In The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, just as you leave the Heffalumps and Woozles part, if you look behind you, you can see three trophy heads - Max, Buff, and Melvin, from the attraction that once occupied that spot: Country Bear Jamboree. In Florida, at Walt Disney World, turning around at the right moment you will be able to see a picture of Mr Toad handing over a deed to Owl as an homage to Mr Toad's Wild Ride which used to occupy that space.
- Somewhere in the projector room in the queue for Indiana Jones Adventure, there is an Eeyore signnote - that spot used to be the Eeyore section of the old parking lot.
- In Autopia, there's a bronzed Midget Autopia car, referencing the long-gone attraction.
- Swiss Family Treehouse, based off of the movie Swiss Family Robinson, once occupied the spot where Tarzan's Treehouse is now. A gramophone in Tarzan's Treehouse still plays the Swisskapolka
- The Mighty Microscope from Adventure Thru Inner Space is still there - you can see it across from a mechanical arm that almost hits the Starspeeder 3000 in Star Tours and the comet scene pays a subtle nod to the snowflakes from Adventure.
- The new Star Tours once again features the Mighty Microscope on left hand side of the screen in a lit corridor just before the Starspeeder 1000 leaves the unfinished Death Star 1 through a docking bay.
- An actual engine from the Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland sits at the edge of the Rivers of America
- Similarly, one of the first rooms of Big Thunder Mountain is a cavern with pools of multicolored water utilizing forced perspective. This is a reference to the Rainbow Caverns section of Nature's Wonderland which partly occupied the area of Big Thunder Mountain.
- Mike Fink Keel Boats transported guests along the Rivers of America until 1997. One boat, the Gullywhumper, is moored as a prop along the rivers.
- There are four shout-outs to the House of the Future in Innoventions alone.
- The audio-animatronic critters from the old America Sings attraction were mostly moved to Splash Mountain (a lot of them are on the riverboat at the end of the ride, which can also be seen from the train between New Orleans Square Station and Toontown/Fantasyland Station). Two of the ducks from America Sings were stripped of their outer coverings and turned into the small robots in the Star Tours queue.
- Universal Orlando Resort's new water park, Volcano Bay, includes a subtle Shout Out to the resort's previous water park, Wet 'n Wildnote . The new park features a pair of water slides named Maku and Puihi. Maku means "Wet" and "Puihi" means "Wild" in the Maori language.
- Being famous for its mermaid show, one of Weeki Wachee Springs' regular shows is an adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
- The BIONICLE web serials contain small references to The Wizard of Oz and Jaws. The Mata Nui On-Line Game meanwhile hid a quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the Cypher Language on one of the Ko-Koro temple walls and the statue from Tintin: The Broken Ear can be seen in Vakama's hut.
- In G.I. Joe, the redheaded Shana O'Hara was born in the South (specifically, Atlanta, Georgia). She is, indeed, a fierce and attractive Southern Belle. Her codename? Scarlett.
- GoGo's Crazy Bones:
- The Star Monsters series has characters in it that can go through evolution in the following fashion: A Star Monster evolves into a new Star Monster, and can then evolve into another new Star Monster from there, if possible. Sound familiar?