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Shout Out / Arthur

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The Animated Series

  • The Season 1 episode "Meek for a Week" has Muffy and Francine bet on a Princess Peach watchnote .
  • Episode 9 of season 3 is titled "The Return of the King", a reference to the title of the final book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • S14's "Falafelosophy" has guest-star Neil Gaiman appearing in Sue Ellen's falafel as her personal muse. Not unlike what the The Lord of Dreams might get up to.
    • A number of other celebrities appear as guest voice-actors on the show, and many times, they are, in fact, playing themselves. These include Jack Prelutsky, Art Garfunkel, Yo-yo Ma, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Koko Taylor and others. The complete list is here.
  • S10's "Fern and Persimmony Glitchet" is a clear reference to Lemony Snicket and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • S10's "The Curse of the Grebes" is a play on the real life rivalry between the fans of the New York Yankees and the fans of the Boston Red Sox.
  • The Season 12 episode "Do You Believe in Magic?" is possibly a reference to the song by The Lovin' Spoonful
  • S13's Prunella and the Disappointing Ending.
  • S13's "The Secret Origin of Supernova" was basically one big Shout-Out to superhero comics, including a reference to Jack Kirby.
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  • The Cold Open of S8's "Bleep" features a clip from an episode of The Altos. Apparently, Marc Brown is a fan of the show.
  • S6's "Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked" contains a reference to Citizen Kane with Muffy's old game room containing a sled with the word "Rosebud" written on it.
  • In S6's "Arthur and Los Vecinos", Arthur objects to wearing a bowtie, saying the only people who wear bowties are nerds, waiters and "that science guy on TV."
  • In S7's "Pick a Car, Any Car", the names of Mr. Crosswire's salesmen are Romero, Gorshin, and Meredith, named for the actors who played the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin respectively in the 1960s Batman series.
  • In S8's "Desk Wars", Muffy had stickers of the "Judo Kittens", which look a lot like kitten versions of The Powerpuff Girls.
  • In "That's a Baby Show!", Buster mentions a Dark Bunny villain named Doctopus, which totally flips the concept to an octopus going to medical school and becoming a doctor.
  • S4's "The Contest" is full of these:
    • In addition to being a parody of Arthur itself, the characters in Show Within a Show Andy and Company are dressed and drawn in the same way that characters from The Little Lulu Show, with the D.W. look-a-like dressed as Lulu herself and The Brain look-a-like dressed as Tubby.
    • Buster's story has the art style of South Park, and even references a certain running gag:
    • Muffy's story has Arthur and Buster as Beavis and Butt-Head lookalikes, and Buster makes this quip on Muffy's costume:
    Buster: Hey, look, it's the fifth Teletubby!note 
  • In an Imagine Spot, The Brain imagines that he gets trapped in a Land of Oz type land.
  • "The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies" from S6 opens with the kids watching a show that is an obvious Shout Out to Rugrats.
    • In the same episode, Pal switches to a show called Videboobies, an obvious parody of Teletubbies. Stinky-Pinky, one of the characters on the show, is even a spoof of Tinky-Winky.
  • The show references Samuel Beckett multiple times.
    • Mr. Ratburn's goldfish are named Vladimir and Estragon.
    • The Season 7 episode "Waiting To Go" is a Whole-Plot Reference to Waiting for Godot.
    • In "Muffy's Art Attack", upon Ed Crosswire's decision to buy a kinetic sculpture, Machine with Wishbone by Arthur Ganson, Mr. Ratburn notes that "it brings to mind the tragicomic works of Samuel Beckett, a tiny figure forever yoked to its burden of absurdity."
    • In "The Great Mac Grady" Bailey gives Mr. Crosswire a copy of Endgame by Samuel Beckett as a birthday present.
  • An old sea captain tells them about all the ships doomed by Toby Rick. Arthur asks if he was a giant whale, but the captain says no, just a terrible captain.
  • Buster writes to the king of Atlantis and asks him if octopuses really have gardens.
  • When Pal is attacked by Killer, Pal immediately yells that "It's A Trap!"
    • This certainly wasn't the only Star Wars reference. In "Arthur Loses His Marbles," Arthur has a fantasy-sequence in which a Yoda-like Grandma Thora tells him "Talent you have. But no patience. Or humility. Much you have to learn."
    • In "Arthur's Faraway Friend" an imagined Buster tells Arthur to "Use the Force," but when asked what this means, admits he "just thought it was funny."
  • In "Rhyme for Your Life", during Binky's dream, he and a prisoner break out of jail by climbing out of a hole carved through the walls that is covered by a Rita Hayworth poster.
    • In the same episode, the same scene actually, the prisoner that Binky breaks out of jail with is William Carlos Williams, a poet known for his free-verse poems. He is shown shouting "Free-verse! Free-verse!" through the bars of the jail cell in protest.
    • The same episode also namedrops Pablo Neruda and Walt Whitman during the dream scene.
  • The title of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is likely a reference to the song by The Beatles.
  • Near the beginning of "Arthur's Perfect Christmas", Arthur gets annoyed by the radio commercial for Tina the Talking Tabby and asks Jane to change the station. When she does so, jazz music comes on.
  • "D.W. Talespins" has D.W. trying to come up with a better story than the 'Vegemorphs' series, an expy of Animorphs. The cover is even in the same morph-stages style as the real books (interestingly, there actually is an Animorphs parody called Vegemorphs, but it isn't like the one shown here).
  • In episode 3x10, "Attack of the Turbo Tibbles'", the Tibble twins are flipping channels and come across a show with two characters that have designs similar to Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm from The Busy World of Richard Scarry and Timmy notes that it's "too busy, not scary" (might count as Self-Deprecation, as Cinar produced both shows). Also the show the Tibbles become obsessed with, The Terrific Turbo Trooper Toy T-Bot Team, is a parody of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
  • The circus camp from S9's "Francine's Big Top Trouble" is Circus Smirkus in all but name.
  • In S14's "The Long Road Home", there are occasional shots of a map showing Crown City and Elwood City as George, his father, and Mr. Ratburn walk from the former to the latter. The map is the greater Montreal area with the place names removed.note  This was a reference to the fact that a large part of the series' production at that point took place in Montreal, which is/was home to many of the voice actors.
  • In "Buster and the Daredevils", a shoutout to Beavis And Butthead appears in the form of "Peabrain and Nuthead".
  • In "The Friend Who Wasn't There", Muffy imagines the characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, played by D.W., Arthur, Buster and Francine, trying to follow the Yellow Brick Road in her family's mansion's basement.
  • "Shelter from the Storm" features Idina Menzel as a counselor Brain sees for help getting through the trauma of a hurricane damaging his family's ice cream shop. Her character references singing, and at the end of the episode, she shows up at the ice cream shop, saying she loves all things sweet and...frozen.
  • S8's "Fernfern and the Secret of Moose Mountain" has a lot of references to Tintin in the form of Zutzut, a comic series Fern likes.
  • The special "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" has George referencing Sonny & Cher, of all things. Doubles as Parental Bonus. While the special itself is about the Backstreet Boys, the name seems to be a reference to The Rolling Stones.
  • Season 13 has some rather adult references. "The Pride of Lakewood" begins as a school pride story and quickly turns into a toned down version of The Wave (1981), while "Looking for Bonnie" features an imagine spot in which Buster befriends an alien in a guitar battle not unlike the iconic scene from Deliverance.
  • One episode features movie posters for Trucks and Kung-Fu Koala.
  • Season nineteen's "Maria Speaks" is almost certainly named for Arthur's fellow PBS show Martha Speaks.
    • Likewise, Season 21's "The Princess Problem" riffs on the naming convention used for most episodes of Peg + Cat.
  • "Jenna's Bedtime Blues" has the titular character watching a hybrid of Sesame Street and Wimzie's House where puppet characters teach the letter P to viewers (the latter show was also produced by Cinar).
  • The author of the Scare Your Pants Off book series (a Fictional Counterpart to Goosebumps) goes by the pen name E.A. de Poe, obviously a take-off of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • In Mutiny on the Pitch", Francine angsts over losing her role as captain of the soccer team, much like Charlie's reaction to a similar event in D3: The Mighty Ducks.
  • In Season 3's "I'd Rather Read It Myself!", Arthur and Buster are portrayed by a Cybertronian and Gigantor respectively. Buster/Gigantor even gets a ditty that parodies the Gigantor opening.
  • In "Binky Barnes, Wingman", Binky's behaviour trying to catch the large, blue butterfly is outright described as being like "Captain Ahab and Moby-Dick".
  • In "D.W. and Dr. Whosit", D.W. wants to watch a Show Within a Show called Dr. Whosit, but is told that it's too scary for kids her age. Dr. Whosit is a reference to Doctor Who, as, from what we see and hear of it, it seems to be a British show given the characters' British accents, features aliens, and at one point a mailbox spaceship meant to be a stand-in for the TARDIS appears.
  • S19's "Carried Away'" is one big Doctor Who reference, with Pal's cousin from Pluto visiting in a spaceship that looks and functions very similar to the TARDIS, and even has a similar name: BARCDIS.
  • In the Halloween special "Arthur and the Haunted Treehouse" at one point there's an address shown with Jenna Krueger at 1408 Elm Street.
  • The Henry Skreever books are of course one giant shout-out to Harry Potter.
  • In season 3's "Sue Ellen & the Brainasaurus" Sue Ellen very briefly thinks of humiliating Brain by making a clay head for the model dinosaur that looks exactly like Barney's head before she changes her mind deciding that it would be too cruel.
  • The intro to "Binky Rules" is nearly a point-to-point recreation of the intro for Mystery but with Arthur's characters. Both shows are produced by WGBH Boston.
  • In "Prove It!" Arthur and Brain are watching NOVA and D.W. joins in watching and takes on an interest in science. Both shows are produced by WGBH.
  • In "Arthur Loses His Marbles" Muffy shows off a collection of birthday present including a fresh deck of Dopermin cards including a character named Stinkaju.
  • In "The Big-Blow Up" Francine imagines a hockey player playing golf while driving an Indy Car. The hockey player's outfit has the names Cinar and WGBH on it.
  • In "Family Fortune" the show Treasure Caravan is clearly a take on Antiques Roadshow. Again, WGBH produces the American version.
  • The opening of the episode Ants In Arthur's Pants references the short documentary, ''Powers of Ten''.
  • In "Get Smart", the smartboard HUGO is a reference to the supercomputer HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • In Brain's dream, one of the technicians in the lab testing on Hugo is called Dave, which is the name of the main character in Space Odyssey. HUGO also states "But that would be a lie, Dave." This refers to the line "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
    • Also in the dream, the technicians hide behind a glass door, so Hugo will not hear them, while The Blue Danube plays. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dave and Frank hide from HAL in an airlock, and The Blue Danube plays in a different part of the movie.
    • Both speak in a calm, monotone voice, and vehemently deny ever being wrong.
    • Both are capable of reading lips.
    • Both computers are supposed to be infallible and take it badly when people find out that they are not.
    • Both computers sing the song "Daisy Bell" when they break down.
  • "Arthur's Big Meltdown" references the Arthur fist meme a couple of times.
  • "Buster's Growing Grudge" in Season 3 has the titular rabbit suggest that he could travel back through time by flying a rocket faster than the speed of light around the sun, which is a reference to Star Trek, most likely the 4th movie.
  • In an Imagine Spot in "Buster's Back" where Arthur imagines Buster as a ninja, Buster's line in Japanese translates to "Osamu Tezuka is the god of manga."
  • The entirety of "Fountain Abbey" is one big reference to Downton Abbey, right down to imitating the show's opening theme.