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Shout Out / Infinity Train

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  • The series' Recurring Riff (high D, B, high G, F#) is a direct reference to a musical sting used in The Mysterious Stranger segment of The Adventures of Mark Twain; specifically the moment where Satan destroys a miniature civilization he brought life to moments prior. Word of God has repeatedly cited The Mysterious Stranger as an inspiration for the show's aesthetic.
  • Sad-One and Glad-One's characteristics may remind some of GLaDOS and Wheatley from Portal, while Sad-One strongly recalls Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978).
  • Tulip's "bad guy" character for her video game looks like an alien from the arcade game Space Invaders.
  • The way the train pulls up to pick up Tulip looks similar to the way the train appears out of nowhere in The Polar Express.
  • The "wacky getting chased" song that One-One hums sounds suspiciously similar to "Yakety Sax" aka the Benny Hill Theme.
  • The way the tentacles pop out of the cockroaches in the wasteland and the sound playing in the background is very reminiscent of the dog Thing's transformation.
  • The wasteland the Infinity Train travels through resembles the homeland of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
  • One of the cars Tulip and One-One pass through in the opening montage of "The Beach Car" is styled after the temple at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with a boulder chase.
  • In episode four, Tulip mentions a movie that sounds like Titanic on the Hindenburg. (As it turns out, there is a movie in real life with that exact premise.)
  • The song Tulip uses to unlock the exit in the crystal car is "Word Up" by Cameo.
  • In her memories, Tulip floods her house with her tears, much like Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Tulip's sudden realization as to why DolphWorld closed down is a shout out to the documentary Blackfish, which led to a decline in visits to SeaWorld.
  • Tulip's father in the false memories of a birthday party outright goes, "Move over, Shigeru!" when praising his daughter's coding skills, in reference to video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.
  • The beginning of "The Ball Pit Car" has Tulip shout "I declare bankruptcy!"
  • The Establishing Shot of the Engine in the eponymous episode has the rough shape and composition of Rodney Matthews' painting The Heavy Metal Hero, along with the general premise of an enormous train in a vast wasteland.
  • The song Glad-One sings while traversing the engine is, more or less, to the tune of children's folk tune "Here We Go Round The Mullberry Bush".
  • At this scene from The New Apex at 1:07-1:16, it had a Mortal Kombat-styled Fatality that would make Shang Tsung not only proud, but also say YOUR SOUL IS MINE!!!!!, for obvious reasons.
  • In the epilogue, Tulip is reading a book titled The Sweet Life of Math and Coding.
  • The Conductor's failed cars being full of turtles. In-universe, it explictly references the pattern on the handkerchief Amelia used for Alrickand implicitly references her hiding away in a metaphorical shell. But out-of-universe, it might be a reference to Over the Garden Wall, especially the way the turtles are drawn in the final episode. Another out-of-universe possibility is it might be a reference to a common statement about the infinite regress argument; that "It's turtles all the way down."
  • In Trolling Creator fashion, Owen managed to convince fans that Tulip's last name was Van Helsing prior to the show's premiere, and later on, that Mirror Tulip named herself Gambit (after the X-Men character). Turns out he was.
  • In "The Movie Theatre Car" short, One-One references the Urban Legend about the Lumiere Brothers' film, Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, which featured a train moving toward the screen. Supposedly people thought it was so realistic they panicked, though there is little historical evidence to support the story.
    • The song and dance played out in the short reference the 1950s-era Fleischer-animated theatrical advertisement, "Let's All Go To The Lobby."
  • MT’s act on the fashion car has her put on a turquoise-colored wig with pigtails that has a suspicious resemblance to Hatsune Miku.
  • When Grace first appears, she's disguised with a mask and cloak which looks somewhat similar to No-Face. Adding onto that, the character turns out to be something of a Chaotic Neutral and is later seen eating sweets that taste "similar to old pennies", paralleling No-Face eating gold, since it doesn't see its value.
  • The song Mace sings to taunt MT in the Wasteland is a parody of the Christmas carol, "I Saw Three Ships".
  • The musical being performed at the start of Book 3 is called "Empathy Goes", a play on the musical title, "Anything Goes".
  • Frank (appearing in Le Chat Chalet Car), with his open robe, sunglasses at all times and general laissez faire demeanor has more than a passing resemblance to The Dude.
  • Simon's death (in The New Apex) looks like a combination of two character deaths from the Indiana Jones' franchise: Toht's face melting from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Donovan's rapid aging from The Last Crusade.
  • Several times in Book Four, Ryan and Min refer to/geek out over Yellow Magic Orchestra.
  • A car full of masked monsters who invite Tulip to "mash with us" is a reference to Boris Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers' song "The Monster Mash". One of them is wearing a very familiar hockey mask. Another hockey mask is seen on a mannequin in the Apex hideout, with their red sine wave replacing the usual chevrons.