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  • The Biofoam. A dedicated Halo fan knows what Biofoam is, and the canister that sprays it fitting the exact description.
    • Going by the description, its the same stuff that Simon used on Zoe's injuries in the movie. The name is, however, a shout-out to Halo.
      • Mal and Jayne later take on call signs based on Voice Acting roles their actors later played in Halo 3: ODST.
  • Most obvious occurs in Mosaic, where Mal beats down several pirates with a sledgehammer, and River subsequently dubs him Captain Hammer. Along with a few quoted lyrics and lines from the musical, including Someone maternal! and I think this is what pain feels like....
    • There's a sort of Dark Reprise later on when Mal, suffering under the weight of The Chains of Commanding, pushes everyone else away and tells them "I'm fine," echoing a similar line from Doctor Horrible - in which neither of them are fine.
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    • River also has a Dark Reprise when she echoes Mal's earlier "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" line...except this is right in the middle of an emotional breakdown. It reflects the dark nature of the source of those lines in a very subtle manner.
  • In the prologue, Wash comments on River's navigation skills, wondering out loud if she's actually a robot sent back from the future. Later on in "Silver," River is described as acting very cold and emotionless, and almost mechanical.
  • During the climax of Mosiac, one of Ott's goons cries out that she punched out ALL MY BLOOD!
    • A very, very subtle one occurs in the epilogue of the Adrift arc. Wash comments that he hopes Mal won't bake him a "Big Damn Cake," to which Zoe replies that he's probably just kidding, which means that the cake is ....
    • Another subtle one occurs earlier in the same arc, where Mal tells Jayne to go find River, and to beat on the vents with a wrench if he has to.
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    • They can't grab Jayne if he's on fire.
    • The author makes a few subtle references to Mass Effect when talking about the technology in Serenity.
      • The executive officer on the Hemmingway is named Pressly, which is the same name as the SSV Normandy's XO.
    • The Bible quotes Book speaks while fighting off the Reavers bear an awful similarity to certain lines spoken by Father Alexander Anderson.
    • "I need a hacksaw."
      • Lampshaded by the author in the notes. "Is Mal channelling some Jack Bauer? Because I think that's Mal channelling some Jack Bauer."
    • In "Mosaic", Wash flies over an area and comments "Pretty. What do we blow up first?"
    • Also, in "Mosaic": "Why so serious, Captain Hammer?"
    • Various bits of information relating to the Academy are steeped in little references here and there.
      • Subject John 000-117, who incidentally also happens to have the callsign of Echo. Later followed by another test subject whose name is Sierra. River, incidentally, happens to be Alpha.
      • One of the doctors at the Academy is named Kondraki. Another is named Clef, and there's also a Doctor Brinks. Another of the test subjects at the Academy is named Wade, and there are also references to "telesthetic amplification" mixed in with the technobabble.
      • The codename for the entire Academy project is Cerberus.
      • River's sixth sense for electronics contradicts the theory of a scientist named Gallifrey.
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    • In the "Silver" arc, Jayne comes across an artifact in a museum: an "electrosword" owned by an Earth That Was general named "Jingwei."
      • Also in Silver River ambushes Dannet by leaping at him out of the fridge.
      • In the "Silver" epilogue, River suggests a name for Wash and Zoe's child: Caroline.
      • The author wrote the character Dumont with Timothy Dalton's performance as Simon Skinner in Hot Fuzz in mind, though he didn't originally intend any direct reference.
    • In Second Interlude: "Sorry about the mess."
    • In the Third Interlude, River quotes Gandalf at Wash. Also, the chapter has an opening suspiciously similar to Blood Rites, with Mal and the crew being chased by angry bad guys hunting for a box of puppies.
      • Also, in Charity, there's a priest named Father Forthill.
      • The author is an admitted fan of The Dresden Files. The current arc focuses heavily on Zoe and apparently themes of motherhood, and is named "Charity". That can't be a coincidence.
      • Later on, Mal calls Wash "Merlin" in reference to his "aerial wizardy." Wash's response is to outright say he's "more of a Dresden" wizard.
    • No mention of Book's Vermillion-level passcode?
    • In "Charity", while sneaking past customs, Mal and Jayne go by the fake names of "Buck" and "Dutch." There's also a mention of rustlung disease.
    • Also in "Charity", there's a group of mercenaries called Talon Company.
    • The leader of the Talon Company mercs is Commander Bascjo, which is an anagram for Commander Jabsco, who is the leader of Talon Company in Fallout 3.
  • Don't forget in "Condor," with Wash's dinosaur Spartacus.
    • "This... is... SPARTACUS!"
    • In Chapter Six of "Charity," River mentions they could all be killed by a deorbiting toilet. That same chapter also has a captured mercenary who is thin, blond, handsome, rather talkative and forthcoming, speaks with a vaguely Spanish accent, and whose name is "Zev."
  • Inara's high-tech-looking bow is referred to as a "torque bow".
  • Chapter Seven of "Charity" is titled "Crazy Train."
  • In the prologue of "Condor," demons are referred to as baldricks.
  • "Charity" canonizes Alan Tudyk's half-joking speculation on Wash's doings during the Unification War from the "War Stories" commentary, though it's treated a good deal more seriously.
  • River names her electrosword Laertes "after my brother," referencing a Laertes who had a crazy sister.
  • One of Wash's dinosaur battles includes 'Falcon Kick!'
  • Mal mentions helping the helpless in "Charity."
  • In "Hunt" Wash turns out to be a Star Wars fan, confusing the others by insisting on calling seedy spaceports "wretched hives."
  • And Kaylee mentions it'd be nice to have a power loader on board;
    • When she crushes a Hand of Blue with the power loader, she adds that she was yelling "Get away from them, you hun dan!"
  • The Fourth Interlude is heavily inspired by the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Zuko Alone."
  • A subtle one: Doctor Abu Mustafa Muhammad Ibn Haroun al-Rashid. The use of "Rashid" may also be a reference to Rashid the Gatekeeper from The Dresden Files.
  • River hallucinates Book telling her to "Look! At! Me!"
  • In the epilogue of Mosaic, when Mal asks River about what happened to her, River starts refering to herself in third person and says, "But she doesn't want to be there. She... I... doesn't want to go back," which is very similar to the dialogue from the "I Remember Me" mission in Mass Effect.
  • "Blanks," or people who are immune to psychics, are a possible reference to Warhammer 40,000, which originated the term.
  • In "Last Man," the flashback to Jayne's encounter with the Six Rifles takes place in a town with a climate that distinctly matches the Northwestern United States. The town is named Fallbright.
  • Per Word of God: "Any perceived similarity to The Expendables is unintentional. Any perceived similarity to Reservoir Dogs is likely somewhat intentional."
  • One of the Cossack's mercenaries in the present day is a Russian named Brayko.
  • Jayne gets all his weapons from Bobby Ray's Guns'N'Things.
  • The woman in the wheelchair from the "Fifth Interlude" is named Admiral Havelock.
  • Mr. Whitman, the head of the Academy, is, per Word of God, directly inspired by Handsome Jack. He even makes a reference to Butt Stallion, the horse made of diamonds.
  • A possible one to Assassin's Creed in chapter 75. After spending time with Doctor Abu Mustafa Muhammad Ibn Haroun al-Rashid, aka Old Man Kickass, River mentions turning deadly leaps into glorious leaps of faith.
  • When River is punching her way through multiple SWAT teams unarmed, the gunship pilot pursuing her tells his dispatcher that he's starting to root for her.
  • When Rashid is telling River about the hospital, he mentions one section is a diagnosis ward run by Doctor Casa. ("casa" is Spanish for "house").
  • River refers to her personification of boredom as a "disgusting creature".
  • Ornstintz comments that River could kill an entire garrison with a teacup.
  • In the fourth chapter of "Wrath" Rashid mentions three "projects" which were predecessors to the Academy: Project Chimera, Project Origin, and Project Scaleless.
  • When River gets kissed by a girl, she can't help but notice how her lips taste like cherries. Now that reminds me of a song.

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