Chuck had dozens of shoutouts and actor allusions. Several per episode generally, to anything and everything geekworthy.
- Casey has said lines Adam Baldwin has used before — such as Jayne in Firefly. It's also hard to ignore that their initials are identical, which may or may not be intentional.Casey: You are starting to damage my calm, Chuck.
Casey: We're just happy to be doing good works.
Casey: Let's go get some payback.
- He also threatened to remove Chuck's "man parts"; in Firefly Jayne once threatened to show River his "man parts" if she kept insinuating the femininity of his name.
- In "Chuck vs the Sandworm", he asks if a target was "going to kill (him) with his mind?", which is exactly what River threatened to do to Jayne.
- In "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death", Casey asks Greta what kind of "crew" she used to be on.
- There's also a mention of Full Metal Jacket. Animal Mother's line "Flush out your headgear, new guy." was also used by Casey at one point.
- The first thing Scott Bakula says to Ellie? "Oh boy."
- Emmett yelling "No touching!" at the hordes of Tyler Martin fans.
- Speaking of Tyler Martin, he's pretty much what Charlie might have become if Locke hadn't helped him kick the drug habit.
- He also initially called Chuck "Jack".
- In "Chuck Versus the Three Words", Morgan says that Carina is not some girl, but "basically a Swedish supermodel." Which is exactly what Mini Anden is in real life. (You may have seen her as the former face of Armani Code.)
- In "Chuck Versus First Class," Hannah sees a character played by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and tries to guess his profession— "A professional wrestler, maybe?"
- In "Chuck Versus the Mask", Hannah (Kristin Kreuk) mentions how handsome she thinks Shaw (Brandon Routh) looks. In that same scene, Chuck retorts with "Sure, if you're into the strong, Superman-y type of guy" - A twofer, as Routh previously played Superman, and Kreuk previously played Clark Kent's first love.
- Shaw has also donned glasses that look suspiciously like ones Clark Kent would wear.
- Chuck constantly referring to Dr. Leo Dreyfus in "Chuck Versus the Tooth" (as played by Christopher Lloyd) as "Doc." He then gets Chuck committed to a mental asylum. It's worth mentioning, too, that Dr. Dreyfus' name is an allusion to both Richard Dreyfuss and his character, Dr. Leo Marvin, from What About Bob?.
- "Chuck Versus the Anniversary" - Harry Dean Stanton as a Repo Man and Dolph Lundgren dropping several of his Rocky IV lines.
- "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z" includes an Actor Allusion between two of its guest stars, as Stacy Keibler and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin have a brief reprise match.
- In "Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror," Robert Englund shows up as a man who can make people have "nightmares they can never wake up from."
- In "Chuck Versus the Leftovers," Mary Elizabeth Bartowski (played by Linda Hamilton) tells Chuck and Sarah to "Come with me if you want to live."
- There's a scene in "Chuck Versus the Last Details" where a captured Mary Bartowski is doing pull-ups in her cell.
- Sarah, undercover for Volkoff. With black-dyed hair and a catsuit. "I love a good suicide mission."
- Volkoff, as played by Timothy Dalton, has one. As it turns out, he once worked for MI6.
- Of course, they couldn't have Carrie-Anne Moss as a guest star and not feature at least one Bullet Time scene. (It happens in "Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips.")
- In "Chuck Versus the Hack Off" a scene featuring Carrie-Anne Moss is segued into a laptop running a Matrix code screen saver.
- In "Chuck Versus the Break-Up", Morgan refers to Mitt and his friends as giants and psychopaths. Mitt is played by Michael Strahan, better known for being a Hall of Fame defensive end for the New York Giants.
- "Chuck Versus the Sandworm" had, in addition to all the Dune references you might expect, a lengthy visual shout out to "The O.C."
- This is because the two shows share a creator/co-creator - Josh Schwartz. There is also an episode where they have to channel flick and identify TV shows as quickly as possible. It's very quick, but Morgan says "Season 2 of The O.C, a really underrated show" at one point.
- "Sandworm" also mentioned Harry Tang's middle name is "Tiberius", the same as Captain Kirk's.
- The villain of "Sandworm" compares the bomb-defusing climax to Goldfinger. The bomb is stopped with 7 seconds left, just like in Goldfinger. Chuck and the villain also watch A View to a Kill and debate whether Zorin is misunderstood.
- Sports references abound in Season Two:
- The bad guy of "Chuck Versus the Break-Up" is named after outfielder Von Hayes.
- In "Chuck Versus the Ex," Jill's boss is named Guy Lafleur which is also the name of a Hall of Fame hockey player.
- In "Chuck Versus the DeLorean," a character uses the alias Guido Merkins, a QB in the NFL.
- The second season has two shout-outs to Grosse Pointe Blank- Chuck makes a reference to Sarah fighting rebellion in Paraguay with a fork which sounds very similar to Martin's claim to have killed a president of Paraguay with this eating utensil. The next episode has Sarah being forced to go to her high school reunion as part of an assignment, which fits the plot of that film.
- That selfsame episode, "Chuck Versus the Cougars," also contains a shout out to Risky Business with the side-plot at the Buy More
- In "Chuck Versus the Best Friend" when Jeff is trying to convince Lester to sing he directly quotes "Lose Yourself" by Eminem from the movie 8 Mile. "Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment would you capture it, or just let it slip?"
- Other episodes have featured characters named Lo Pan and Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China.
- Point of fact, the character Ben Lo Pan is actually played by James Hong, who played David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China.
- The Christmas 2008 episode contains a shout-out to Die Hard when Reginald VelJohnson guest stars as Sgt. Al Powell of the Burbank Police Department. There's also a shoutout to Groundhog Day with the hostage holder, "Ned Ryerson" (spelled differently on the show than in the movie).
- Several shout-outs to Casablanca: "We'll always have Omaha." It's Ellie's favorite movie, as well.
- "Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover" contains a bunch for Casablanca. Cynical lone wolf Casey reopens an old wound when he unexpectedly encounters his old flame Ilsa and finds that she's about to marry Victor, the movie plays in the background at the Buy More when Ilsa comes to meet Casey, and at the end, after Ilsa leaves on a plane, Chuck says, "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." (see Whole Plot Reference below).
- Chuck keeps the documents given to him by Orion hidden in an issue of Ex Machina.
- On more than one occasion, the team has deployed a GLG-20 listening device, a shout out to Spies Like Us. Another such shout-out was when Chuck, pretending to be a doctor, had an extended "Doctor"-"Doctor" greeting with a villain doctor. Emmett Millbarge is a cross between the names of the two spies in the movie.
- Lets face it, Spies Like Us is a frequent target of Chuck shoutouts.
- "Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer," an episode about Missile Command and Rush also had a model of Mazinger Z visible in one scene. Sharper-eyed viewers will also be able to glimpse the back of a model of Ultraman in that same sequence.
- The choreography during the final scene of "Chuck Versus the Ring" was largely lifted directly from The Matrix. The point is really driven home when the episode ends on Chuck saying "I know Kung Fu."
- The scene of Chuck and Sarah shooting up the "First bank of Evil" in season 4 is similar to when Neo and Trinity rescued Morpheus.
- The whole Morgan betraying Big Mike arc was a shout out to The Godfather. Right down to the dialogue;Mike: I know it was you,
FredoMorgan. You broke my heart. You broke my heart. [to Emmett] I don't want anything to happen to him while Mom's aliveI'm dating his mother.
- In "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater," Casey quotes The Firesign Theatre's "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger" sketch.
- "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension" has possibly the geekiest one of all - an explosive labeled "IG-88", the serial number of an assassin robot who was only named in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- Apparently, Oceanic Flight 815 was shot down.
- Well, if you followed the last season...
- When Sarah tells Chuck that she wants to make love to him to improve their cover, he swallows his coffee and remarks "Hot coffee!"
- Issues of Knights of the Dinner Table are seen in Chuck's room. (The writer wrote in to the magazine itself once to point this fact out.)
- Chuck's room has a poster for the imaginary "Yakuza Prep," originally found in the bedroom of Seth on The O.C.. (Also created by Josh Schwartz)
- In "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome," Chuck greets the villain over the Buy More's PA system with "Hello, Sydney."
- In "Chuck Versus First Class", the vial of antidote is labeled "cordrazine", a fictional drug mentioned in both Star Trek and Mission: Impossible.
- Y: The Last Man is featured throughout the show multiple times. Chuck has a Y poster in his bedroom, Devon is shown reading the first issue while waiting for Chuck to wake up, Chuck is reading it at the bar to lure Manoosh. He refers to it as, "The greatest literary contribution of our time." —clearly one of the writers is a fan.
- There are even parallels in the stories. A loser-jokester guy unwittingly becomes the most important man in the world in one day, he has a sister in medicine, and a kick-ass spy watching his back.
- Dolph Lundgren stating "I must break you." and "If you die, you die."
- One of Chuck's job interviews in "Chuck Versus the Anniversary" is at Vandalay Industries.
- In "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock", when one of the villains is going through the mailboxes in Chuck's appartment complex, it is revealed that Casey's neighbor is named Bauer. When 24 was still running the shows were indeed "neighbors," since both aired on Monday night.
- The A-Team in the same episode.Casey: I had them court-martialed. Of course they promptly escaped the maximum security stockade...
Chuck: ...to the Los Angeles Underground, where they survived as soldiers of fortune.
Chuck: Like the... A-Team. You never have... have you ever seen the A-Team?
Casey: I was the A-Team.
- The funeral scene in the same episode also seems to reference this scene from the Cary Grant Audrey Hepburn movie Charade, where a group of four people agreed to steal gold when part of the OSS in World War II. When one of them died, the others at his funeral each tried to make sure he was dead. One sneezed on him, one held a mirror to his nose, and the other (in the exact same manner as Chuck) stuck a pin in him.
- The A-Team in the same episode.
- Nearly all of the Morgan scenes in "Chuck Versus the Leftovers" are references to Die Hard.
- "Chuck Versus the Balcony" riffs on a famous scene from The Court Jester when trying to track a bottle of wine:Morgan: Chuck, the '86 Chateau LeFranc is a peppery Pinot with a stable on the label and a stork on the cork.
Chuck: Copy that. Um, um, what, what, it was, it was a peppery Pinot, right? A peppery Pinot with a cork on the stork and a label on the stable?
Morgan: No, it's a... a stable on the label and a cork on the stork. Dude, it's—no, it's not. What did you just say?
(after tracking the contents of the bottle to a wine taster)
Chuck: Sir! Hi, sir, hi, excuse me. Um. I'm terribly sorry, but I believe there's been a mix-up downstairs, and you've received wrong glass of wine. That's actually the Burgundy from Bordeaux with the coil on the foil and the fork on the cork.
Dégustateur: Quoi? That does not make sense! They are both regions! This... is the peppery Pinot with the stable on the label and the stork on the cork!
- "Chuck vs the Gobbler":
- In "Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer" the Villain of the Week is named Farrokh Bulsara.
- At one point, Ellie is seen reading The Joy Luck Club.
- When Morgan, as the driver of Chuck's limo, is told to roll up the window, he replies "As you wish".
- Emmett Millbarge screaming "NO TOUCHING!" at hoardes of customers. He's played by Tony Hale, most famous for his role on Arrested Development, where "No touching!" and variations thereof was one its many running gags.
- The agent who gave Sarah a 49-B evaluation in season 2 is named Alex Forrest.nB
- Casey brainwashing Lester into obeying Morgan is reminiscent of The Manchurian Candidate.
- Chuck is reading A Game of Thrones at the start of "Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff"Eddard, you can't give your kids dire wolves as pets. That's a terrible idea!
- Of course, Chuck seems to have the book open to the middle, whereas that event takes place right at the very beginning...
- When Chuck and Morgan have fought off most of Snieder's henchmen, one grabs a pair of swords and starts twirling them around. Morgan shoots him with the tranq gun, and Chuck makes the reference.
- Morgan helps fashion a prison escape by posing as a guard and reporting a "prisoner transfer from CB 11, Section 3-8."
- While Morgan investigated the construction going on in Castle, he posed as an agent. When one walked by him he pretended to be talking on his radio saying "No, they're just doing maintenance on Sector 7-G".
- In "Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips", an Intersected Morgan evades tranq shots in a style not unlike Neo. Incidentally, Carrie-Ann Moss (who played Trinity in the movies) made an appearance in the episode.
- In "Chuck Versus Bo" the X-13 memory erasure spray is often filmed in a manner highly reminiscent of neuralyzers from the Men in Black movies.
- Moreover, the subplot of Jeff & Lester losing their memories of their recent predicaments is eerily similar to Memento, which, interestingly enough starred Carrie-Ann Moss (Gertrude Verbanski).
- In the season 4 premiere, Morgan tries to flex while high-fiving Chuck in a shout out to Predator.
- Morgan is carrying a Tyrell Corporation messenger bag when he meets Carina in "Chuck versus the Wookie".
- At the end of "Chuck Versus the Kept Man", Casey is seen enjoying an episode of Downton Abbey.
- Nicole Richie's character Heather Chandler is named after the Alpha Bitch in Heathers.
- Multiple Shout Outs given to Star Wars when Chuck, Casey and Sarah attempt to employ the Trojan Prisoner routine to rescue Mary in "Chuck Versus the Last Details." Chuck calls Casey "Chewie," (then has to explain the reference to Sarah) and as they make their way in Casey mutters "I have a bad feeling about this." Later in the episode Chuck pumps up Morgan when he has fears about going under cover at a meeting as a villain by humming the Imperial March, which then segues into the full orchestral version when Morgan is shown entering the meeting.
- Jurassic Park routine from Chuck vs. The A Team (Chuck is at the door pleading to be let in when suddenly Sarah appears to Morgan's side.)'Morgan: You were distracting me so she could break in.
Morgan: Clever girl.
- In the episode "Chuck vs. the First Fight", Chuck meets with a MI6 handler called Tuttle who turns out to be a cover identity for Volkoff. "Tuttle" is also the name of a made-up officer in an episode of M*A*S*H.
- In the episode "Chuck Versus the Coup d'Etat" the name "Yakov Smirnoff" is seen, in one of Chuck's flashes, in Russian.