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Shout Out / Cowboy Bebop

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There are more shout-outs (and Theme Naming below) in Cowboy Bebop than this page can possibly list. The Jazz Messengers has a full list of all intentional and probable references for every episode.

  • For starters, a number of episode titles are references to real-world popular music:
    • "Honky Tonk Women", "Sympathy for the Devil", and "Wild Horses" are all titled after songs by The Rolling Stones
    • "Jamming With Edward" is titled after a collaborative album by Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman, accompanied by Ry Cooder and Nicky Hopkins
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    • "Toys in the Attic" is titled after the Aerosmith album and/or its accompanying Title Track
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody" is titled after the Queen song
    • "My Funny Valentine" is titled after either the 1937 showtune by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, the Miles Davis album, or the Larry Willis album
    • "Speak Like a Child" is titled after the Herbie Hancock album and/or its associated Title Track
    • "Hard Luck Woman" is titled after a Kiss song
    • "The Real Folk Blues", in addition to being named after the show's ending theme, partly takes its title from a series of blues albums released by Chess Records between 1965 and 1967 (the ending theme, by extension, can also be considered a reference to the same).
    • The Japanese title of the 2001 film, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", is taken from a Bob Dylan song
  • "Asteroid Blues" was inspired by Desperado. Asimov and Katerina Solensan are even visually inspired by Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.
  • Sunrise previously worked on Batman: The Animated Series, and as tribute based Tongpu/Mad Pierrot on The Joker and the Penguin.
    • If that wasn't enough, the episode he's featured in has more than enough scenes that mirror Episode 11 "Be A Clown" of Batman: The Animated Series.
    • While not related to the Batman series, the title of said episode, "Pierrot le Fou", is another reference in that it comes from the title of a Jean-Luc Godard film from 1965.
    • Tongpu/Mad Pierrot seems to take his name from the songs "Tong Poo" and "Mad Pierrot" by Japanese Synth-Pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra, the former of which is itself derived from the Chinese term for "Eastern wind."
  • The opening of the movie could be one toward the beginning of Pulp Fiction. Starts with a Take That! aimed at Jules ("Another wannabe preacher with a gun."), some Casual Danger Dialog, and finishes up with everything (very nearly) going to hell when the one guy they didn't know about comes out of the bathroom with a gun.
    • In fact, Spike Spiegel is portrayed as Vincent Vega, Jet Black as Jules Winnfield and Faye Valentine as Mia Wallace, in various Cowboy Bebop/Pulp Fiction promos and fanfictions.
  • Vicious bears more than a passing resemblance to Captain Harlock, right down to the bird that likes to perch on his shoulder.
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  • "Jamming with Edward" is notable for containing a few Shout Outs to 2001: A Space Odyssey, including a sentient AI that looks and talks like HAL 9000.
  • The hosts of Big Shots are named after Punch and Judy, stock characters from a puppet show that is more than 500 years old.
  • Asimov Solensan's name is a reference to the famous science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov.
  • The whole of Session 11: Toys in the Attic is a shout out to Alien, including how the fridge is ejected out the airlock, Spike crawling around the vents, arming himself with a flamethrower, and using a motion tracker of a similar design. The ending itself is one giant allusion to Space Shuttle scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Jet makes a reference to Ernest Hemingway's short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in the "The Real Folk Blues Part 2".
  • Spike's Character Arc is a Whole Plot Reference to cult director Seijun Suzuki's classic Yakuza movie Tokyo Drifter, among others.
  • In "Session 2: Stray Dog Strut," the dogcatchers' van has a vanity license plate that reads "NCC-1701," which is the registry number of the starship Enterprise. Given that the drivers are scientists who act in a stereotypically nerdy manner, this is entirely in-character for them.
  • In "My Funny Valentine", the designation of Faye's cryostasis pod is NCC 1701 B.
  • Speaking of 2001: A Space Odyssey, ever notice in "Honky Tonk Woman" that Spike's red spacesuit is nearly identical to Dave Bowman's?
  • Also in "Honky Tonk Woman" is the fact that the casino is named "Spaiders from Mars". Granted, they spelled it wrong, but still.
  • The shootout in the church in "Ballad of Fallen Angels" is similar to the climactic shootout in The Killer and to an extent, the climactic shootout in Face/Off.
  • The final shootout at the Red Dragon Syndicate's headquarters in "The Real Folk Blues, Part 2" is inspired by the final shootout in A Better Tomorrow 2.
  • The whole Used Future-meets-Film Noir look of the series and the main character being a bounty hunter owes a lot to Blade Runner.
  • Spike's mode of combat is Jeet Kune Do, which is a shout out to Bruce Lee, who created the martial art.
  • The name of the thugs Spike collars at the start of episode 8? Huey, Dewey and Louie
  • The bounty Decker from "Heavy Metal Queen" looks a lot like Woody Allen, and shares some of the same nervous tics he usually have in his movies. Faye even encounters him in a place called Woody's.
    • In addition, the Space Trucker radio chatter is similar to that found in the film/song Convoy. Some of the truckers' handles are even pulled straight from the film.
  • Engineer Doohan, in addition to being a Shout Out to the actor who played Montgomery Scott, has a space shuttle that reuses some computer noises from Alien.
  • In "The Real Folk Blues" Spike making a Finger Gun and pretending to shoot after a shooting rampage is similar to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.
  • In "Speak Like a Child", the logos of the two delivery companies are, in order of arrival, a turtle and a rabbit.

Serenade of Remembrance

  • Jet Black mentions a historical "Captain H'' who became so famous that they made an anime series about his exploits.


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