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The twelfth book of The Dresden Files is a non-stop tidal wave of thrills, shocks, moral dilemmas and world-shaking crises. Oh, and a non-stop tidal wave of Shout Outs:

  • There's a bit from The Princess Bride:
    Harry: Plan B. We need a Plan B. If we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
    Susan laughing: We have a great big truck!
    Harry (In a bad British accent): Then why didn't you list it among our assets?
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  • Harry reminds Susan that the Vampire War hasn't exactly been Disneyland for the White Council or the world outside Latin America, either.
  • Thomas gives a battle-cry that's a pretty good Bruce Lee impression while fighting the Ick.
  • Harry realizes that Esmerelda could have hypnotized Stevie D into thinking Mister Snuffleupagus hired him if she wanted.
  • Toot-toot's voice sounds like a Shakespearean actor on helium, and he now wears an outfit swiped from a vintage G.I. Joe doll.
  • Harry speculates that Lara sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to arrange for Molly's pickup by navy chopper.
  • There's a whole conversation about which member of the Fellowship everyone is. While we didn't hear the final decision for everyone, we do know that Thomas is Legolas by virtue of prettiness, Sanya the sword-wielding descendant of kings is clearly Aragorn, Mouse is Gimli (shortest, stoutest, and hairiest), and, much to Harry's annoyance, the Leanansidhe got to be Gandalf (Best spellcaster in the group, and appropriately ancient and inhuman). Harry, they decided, is Sam: things rarely go his way, but he never gives up, and he's the real hero of the story. Oh, and Thomas labels Martin— the well-intentioned traitor who dies for their cause— as Boromir. And lo, there was Fridge Brilliance.
    • This leaves Frodo, Merry, and Pippin unassigned to Molly, Murphy and Susan for fans to argue about, which they've been doing non-stop since this novel hit the shelves.
      • Though surely Susan is Frodo, because she's Sam's love interest.
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    • There's also the obligatory description of the Black Council as "mysterious figures in black robes with delusions of Ringwraith-hood".
    • Harry asks Susan if she liked "those movies" too, when they're confronted by a huge roomful of goblins.
  • On a similar note, Harry compares some of his associates to the quartet from The Wizard of Oz. He pegs himself as the Scarecrow due to chronic bone-headedness, Thomas as the Tin Man due to how his skin looks when he's vamping out, Rudolph as the Cowardly Lion for freaking out during the Reds' attack, and Murphy as Dorothy by default.
  • Esteban's black silk clothing looks like something from a Hamlet dress rehearsal.
    • Harry having a flash of insight and asking Bob what the flowers in Lea's garden are only to be informed he took the primrose path. Hamlet is one of the earliest appearances of that phrase and Harry's talking to a skull.
  • When Harry decides to throw some wrath at some deserving vampires, he subverts the usual Gandalf quote about angry wizards:
    "Fuck subtle."
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  • "Maybe it was a grue."
  • Refraining from making a manicure crack about Vadderung's secretaries: "Go go, Gadget wisdom."
  • Left outside while Susan and Martin raid Datasafe's computers, Harry grouses that he's Clifford the Big Red Dog: too big and dumb to accompany Emily Elizabeth indoors.
  • There's a passing mention of Loki in the Erlking scenes.
  • Harry's remark that he'd rather have a home that means something because of the ancient burial ground under the swimming pool could be a Poltergeist reference, although the cemetery under the Freelings' pool wasn't an ancient one.
  • "Godmother, what... a big car you have."
  • Unmasked, Red Court vampires look like a vampire bat crossed with H. R. Giger's hallucination.
  • Harry's remark, "This is ridiculous. I look like the Games Workshop version of a Jedi Knight," explains the armour Lea conjures up for him better than the preceding couple of paragraphs...
    • Susan isn't entirely thrilled to look like a Vegas showgirl, either.
  • When Thomas comes to the rescue, Harry responds "Go Team Dresden!"
  • After hound-transformed Harry hears Mouse verbally challenge Lea, he asks his Foo dog why he's never heard him speak before, and Lea points out that Harry didn't know how to listen.
  • I think I can, I think I can.
  • Mac's pub looks like Cheers after a mild apocalypse.
  • Toot asks Harry if his tongue got stuck to Mab, like in that Christmas movie.
  • Tilly checks his ID to see if the name has changed to "Mulder" when Dresden and Murphy start to level with him about what's going on. Harry himself conflates Tilly's appearance with Mulder's when he creates illusions of his companions.
  • Harry derisively refers to the Red Court as "One big bloodsucking Brady Bunch."
  • "Musty? Little? My home, this is."
    "Your weapons, grasshopper. You will not need them."
    "You know, I believe it is possible to reference something other than Star Wars, boss."
    {narrows eyes in Muppetly wisdom} "That is why you fail."
    • "Not ready for the burden of constant wiseassery are you."
    • Musing about the internal dissent in the White Council, Harry reminds himself of his own status as the next best thing to Darth Vader in many Councilors' opinion.
    • Knowing the FBI have his phone line bugged and are watching his place, he snarkily asks them to make sure nobody steals his vintage Star Wars poster.
    • The light rays from the Nevernever pyramids are so bright, they make the Death Star lasers look wimpy.
    • Harry's reference to "Tylenol 2: The Pain Strikes Back" may or may not be another The Empire Strikes Back reference.
    • "What would Yoda do?"
  • Due to her half-vampire status and her work with the Fellowship, Susan has become something between Emma Peel and the She-Hulk.
  • Harry says his skull must have gotten an adamantium upgrade, considering that it's still intact despite all the beatings he's taken.
  • When Molly points out that Harry can't dock her pay because he doesn't pay her anything, he replies "Curses, foiled again".
  • The sacrificial dagger Harry uses on Slate is called Medea's bodkin by Mab.
  • Harry wonders aloud why he always has the urge to follow up the phrase "my laboratory" with a stock Evil Laugh. Molly blames this on his watching too many Hammer Horror films as a kid; Bob agrees it's either that or too much of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • The words Harry uses to cast illusions of his companions are Latin for "Lights, Camera, Action!".
  • Lea asks Harry if he's ever wondered why no enemy has ever sent spirits into his apartment by opening a gateway from the Nevernever, and lists his refrigerator among the possible destinations to which such a portal might've been opened.
  • The depleted uranium in Harry's lab is there for when he's the answer to "Who you gonna call?"
  • Murphy points out that Duchess Arianna's strategy seems a bit like something out of a movie:
  • Heading up to parley with the Red King, Harry reassures his companions that he doesn't think it's going to turn into a John Woo flick immediately.
  • Molly calls the Ick "tar baby", a reference to the Uncle Remus tale.
  • Harry signals Susan with the "Shave and a Haircut" knock during the attack on the FBI building.
  • The giant centipede in the Nevernever garden is straight out of the 1980 console game Centipede. Harry even anticipates its Asteroids Monster quality by telling it to go back to Atari.
  • Making slapdash repairs to his pentacle necklace, Harry tells himself "That'll do, pig" when he's done the best job time allows.
  • Rudolph mentions having seen a magician make the Statue of Liberty disappear once: a trick famously performed on live TV by David Copperfield, one of the illusionists Harry is named after.
  • Bob quotes Walt Whitman ("Oh, Captain, my captain.") when Harry orders him to lower the apartment's wards. Or, possibly, he quotes Dead Poets Society quoting Walt Whitman....
  • Shop smart. Shop S-mart.
  • Mab can be as gargantuan or Lilliputian as she chooses near the Stone Table.
  • Outraged that the FBI had searched his place, Harry ruefully muses that it's not like he lives in an ivory tower or Bag End or whatever.
  • The ambient magical energies at the Red Court warehouse remind Harry of Smaug lying covetously on his hoard.
  • The Little Folk descend on four large pizzas like a scene out of The Birds.
  • Seeing the light-in-mist computer displays at Monoc Securities, Harry quotes Clarke's Third Law.
  • Butters makes Frankenstein (1931) movie references after re-starting Harry's heart.
  • Harry warns Murphy that they can't simply go all Wild Bunch on the Red Court.
  • Arianna wears more gold bling than a Mr. T lookalike convention.
  • The distinction Harry makes between "phantasms" and tangible illusions is the same as it is in Dungeons & Dragons.
    • The kenku that Ebenezar brings in as backup resemble the ones from D&D more than those from the original Japanese myths.
  • Real goblins are like ninjas. From Krypton.
  • Meeting Alamaya, an outraged Murphy quotes a feminist slogan that's usually attributed to Gloria Steinem.
  • Seeing the wreckage of his duster, Harry muses that probably nobody made a pie out of Cinderella's coach after it turned back into a pumpkin, either.
  • Harry tries to pronounce the name of the Ik'k'uox at one point, and ends up with Ik'koo-koo-kachoo before setting on The Ick.
  • After getting a sloppy kiss from Mouse, Harry exclaims "Ick! My lips touched dog lips! Get some mouthwash! Get some iodine!", referencing a scene from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
  • While discussing Arianna with Luccio, Harry states that "I could take that prehistoric bitch."
  • When she finds Susan and Martin trespassing, Lea suggests sentence first, verdict afterwards.

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