These are the Shout Outs for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
- The Laughing Man is a reference to the Salinger story of the same name.
- Togusa becomes increasingly despondent that he hasn't heard from the other members of Section 9 for months. He reads ''Catcher In The Rye" and then tries to assassinate Secretary-General Yakushima. For those who don't know, it's the book Mark David Chapman was reading right before he killed John Lennon.
- Additionally, the Laughing Man's logo has scrolling text that reads "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes." The line is a verbatim quote from its protagonist, Holden Caulfield.
- When seen in person, the Laughing Man's clothing also matches the book's protagonist; when remaining incognito, he wears a red hunting cap, and when disguised as a patient he can be seen holding a baseball mitt with poetry written on it.
- A subtle example: In the Laughing Man's library near the end of the series, Motoko's hand can be seen moving over the phrase "Fuck you" written on the railing; in the book, Holden says "You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write 'Fuck you' right under your nose."
- In episode 12 "Escape From" a little girl tells a Tachikoma a story called "The Secret Goldfish", a short story that Caulfield's older brother D.B. writes.
- Also in episode 12, "Go See Bananafish" can be seen on a poster, which references "A Perfect Day for Bananafish", another of Salinger's stories.
- In episode 22, the Major quotes The Catcher in the Rye by referring to Wilhelm Stekel, by repeating his line "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
Main Shout outs:
- Several episodes are Shout Outs to many western movies, Blade Runner (twice), and Ocean's Eleven. Another episode is named for and mirrors many themes and events in Wim Wenders' film Wings of Desire.
- While Cash Eye's plot and scenes are attributed to Ocean's Eleven, the episode title and the imagery of a Classy Cat-Burglar with a Calling Card are probably a reference to the manga Cat's Eye.
- Night Cruise in its entirety is a shout out to Taxi Driver.
- The hostage situation in the Chinese embassy is closely modeled after Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.
- Saito's flashback episode "POKER FACE" features a number of references to Full Metal Jacket. Much of the episode draws parallels with the sniper scene in Full Metal Jacket, from the baiting tactic, to the reaction of the angered teammates, to even the names of some of the Redshirt Army (Mother = Animal Mother, an African American named Snow = Snowball) The show even lampshades it all when a character claims Saito's story was all taken from a movie he'd seen once.
- "A Modest Rebellion" is one to French New Wave movie A Bout de Souffle, which gets name-dropped on a film reel along with another Jean-Luc Godard film, Alphaville.
- The killer's MO in "JUNGLE CRUISE" is practically taken directly from the woefully overlooked cyberpunk film Strange Days.
- The episode may also be an homage to The Silence of the Lambs, since it's about a serial killer who preys on women and skins them alive. Note the moths crawling on the bodies of his victims.
- Togusa calls a meeting of top government officials and captains of industry 'a fancy shindig'.
- As mentioned above, one of the Blade Runner references is to the Enhance Button scene. Togusa's voice commands for the computer are even identical: "Enhance 32 to 50".
- "Automated Capitalism ¥$" begins with Fem paraphrasing the first sentence of The Communist Manifesto.
- "Automated Capitalism - ¥$" includes a reference by Togusa to Charon, the Greek ferryman who took souls across the River Styx: As the clean-up crew takes away Fem's target, Togusa places one of the coins on his chest and says,"Use that to pay the ferryman."
- In the original Japanese he refers to Sanzu River, which fulfills an almost identical purpose in the Japanese mythology.
- In one episode, a Tachikoma is seen reading Flowers for Algernon. The same episode also mentions I, Robot. The title of the episode references the concept of Desiring-Machines from Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus, which is also seen during the episode. The Tachikomas also discuss Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene at some length.
- Androids bleed white fluid similar to the androids in the Alien franchise. Specifically, Proto's Robotic Reveal is a more subdued, less horrific Shout-Out to Ash's Robotic Reveal in Alien.
- One of the Tachikomas spies on Kusanagi and Batou, worried that they are talking about them. Unable to hear what they are saying, it resorts to reading their lips. Of course, Kusanagi realizes and has herself and Batou discuss something else entirely while they discuss the problems with the Tachikoma mentally.
- 'Portraitz' (1x10) has numerous references to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, mostly in characters' design and behaviour.
- The credits to the Tachikoma Days in 2nd GIG is reminiscent to Dig Dug.
- The story of Eka Tokura in "NOT EQUAL" is a reference to Patty Hearst, the daughter of a media mogul who was kidnapped by a terrorist group and eventually joined them. There's even a shot in the episode that mimics a famous photo of Hearst.
- The Japanese title of the episode "AFFECTION" is "Grass Labyrinth", a Japanese novel written by author Kyoka Izumi in 1908.
- In "ERASER" the sound emitted from the device for viewing Togusa's memory is the same sound used by the Japanese Navy in a radio station referred to as "slot machine". See more: https://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Japanese_Slot_Machine_(XSL)
- One Tachikoma dons the disguise of Spider-Man, using its guided wires to swing around.
- "CEO Jameson Strikes Back" is built up like a movie trailer in the form of Star Wars, right down to Jameson wielding a lightsaber.
- A Tachikoma ends up recreating the famous scene of retiring to the corner of the ring, completely defeated, just like Hajime no Ippo.
- In 2nd Gig, and entire mini arc (which corresponds with the "NIGHT CRUISE" episode and its "Reset The World" Arc Phrase) parodies JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, centered around one Tachikoma activating his Stand and freezing time by Resetting The World. The episodes even have a "To Be Continued" sign stylized in the same manner.
Actual Shout outs: