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Shout Out / Rivers of London

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Shout-Outs in the Rivers of London series. Apart from the short stories, this page is in In-Universe chronological order.


  • There are several references to Doctor Who throughout the series. Given Aaronovitch's writing history, this probably counts as an In-Joke.
    • In Rivers of London, while watching the CCTV footage, Peter cites the show as how he knows what an Edwardian smoking jacket looks like.
    • In Moon Over Soho, Peter thinks that CERN smashes atoms because they hope the Doctor will turn up and stop them.
    • In Whispers Under Ground, Peter compares stoneware saltcellars lined up on a shelf in an old warehouse to an army of miniature Daleks.
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    • Broken Homes:
      • Lesley compares herself wearing her mask to one of the "police robots" from Doctor Who, and Peter refrains from telling her what they're actually called (Autons).
      • Peter thinks that the circles engraved on the steel door securing the special vault under the Folly look disturbingly like modern Gallifreyan.
    • Foxglove Summer:
      • Peter says "Allons-y" when leading Dominic and Beverley during the unicorn hunting walk.
      • When Beverly is explaining to Peter about how they basically conceived a new river god for the Lugg, but there shouldn't be any DNA involved in the process, she says that if they come back in ten years and he's watching Doctor Who, than Peter can call her a liar.
    • The Hanging Tree:
      • Peter on rich people and their large urban basements:
        "Those without access to trans-dimensional engineering, a key Time Lord discovery, have had to resort to extending their homes into the ground."
      • Peter compares the thing that happened at Kew Gardens to the Krynoid from "The Seeds of Doom", saying that using said comparison is his report probably didn't help the trouble he got into.
      • Peter has a mental monologue about the various forms of police communication through the ages, and when he gets to police boxes, he says, "Here a police officer in need of assistance could find a telephone link to Scotland Yard, a dry space to do 'paperwork' and, in certain extreme cases, a life of adventure through space and time."
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    • Detective Stories: At the barbecue at the end, Abigail is wearing a T-shirt with the Great Seal of Rassilon on it.
    • Lies Sleeping: The armed response team that works with the Folly wear sprigs of mistletoe on their Metvests, because garlic would look stupid. We're told that Seawoll, of all people, suggested celery, but Peter was the only one who got the joke.
  • Multiple references to Harry Potter, which Peter uses as a sort of baseline most people know about, for explaining how actual magic is entirely different.


Rivers of London

  • When Peter asks what the collective noun for wizards is, Nightingale says it's a coven and Dr. Walid jokes that it's actually "an argument".
  • When Beverley says that her mother just found her floating in the river, Peter quips that she was "created by the midichlorians", to the confusion of both Beverley and Lesley.
  • During the riot, when Peter witnesses a large man possessed by Pyke and/or Punch repeatedly trying to put on tiny ballet slippers, crying like a baby every time he busts the fabric, he quips that "there are some things man was not meant to know."
  • When Peter confronts the villain and he realizes that the villain's personality has decayed after death until his ghost is only a puppet for someone else, he interrogates him about his family, to see how much he actually remembers. When the villain actually claims his parents' first names were "mother" and "father", Peter asks him "And tell me all the good things that come into your mind about your mother?"

Moon Over Soho

  • Simone, Peggy and Cherie had previously attended a school called Cosgrove Hall.
  • Far, far too many jazz references to cite them all.

Whispers Under Ground

  • All the chapters are named after tube stations. Finishing with Mornington Crescent.
  • The graffiti artist is interrupted in the middle of writing "Be Excellent To Each Other".
  • Stephanopoulos references "Common People" by Pulp — the victim "certainly had a thirst for knowledge. He was a student at St. Martin's College."
  • There is one to the song "The Internet Is for Porn" from Avenue Q:
    Guleed: That (finding info about a suspect)'s what the internet is for.
    Peter: That's not how the song goes.
  • Peter is temporarily partnered with a red-headed female FBI agent.
    • She points it out herself in The Hanging Tree; she used to dye her hair brown to avoid looking conspicuous, but when she realizes she's gotten involved with the real-life X-Files, she goes back to her natural colour.
  • It's probably no coincidence that the fae call their migratory shopping district a Goblin Market.
  • The beer at the Nazareth is called "Mac's" and from a microbrewery in the States. In Chicago, perhaps? And Peter, after having some, thinks it ought to be served at room temperature.
  • Peter asks a senior police officer, "What do you want?", which makes the man smile and reply, "I want to stop running through life like a man late for an appointment."
  • Peter sees a gang of labourers with shovels and rakes and other implements of destruction.
  • As they approach the Quiet People's settlement, Peter says he can hear drums, and can't resist adding "Drums in the deep".
  • Peter refers to a suspect who's Dishing Out Dirt as an Earthbender.
  • While traversing the titular underground, Peter gets strong Space Hulk-vibes from the claustrophobic tunnels.
  • After reaching the Quiet People's settlement, Peter makes reference to Tracy Island and the titular machines from Thunderbirds.
  • Semi-magical pottery provides clues that bring Peter into the case and lead him on from there. The pottery's chief claim to fame is that it's unbreakable, just like the unbreakable tile sought by one ceramics-obsessed culprit on The Avengers.

Broken Homes

  • The in-universe infamous 20th century Brutalist architect and Jewish refugee Erik Stromberg is named after the Bond villain from The Spy Who Loved Me. This is a reference to the Real Life infamous 20th century Brutalist architect and Jewish refugee Ernö Goldfinger, after whom Ian Fleming named his Bond villain Auric Goldfinger.
  • Sergeant William Daverc "really d'Averc" = Huillam d'Averc from The History of the Runestaff.
  • Peter makes a statement that sounds like a Tamarian sentence upon seeing Beverley Brook again:
    Peter Grant at the South Bank. His eyes wide, his testicles on fire.
  • The Skygarden estate must've been designed under similar principles to Dana's apartment building from Ghostbusters (1984).
  • Peter compares the layout of the Skygarden estate, with the central tower and the ring-like park, to Isengard.

Foxglove Summer

  • Peter mentions the old Celtic horned gods, ending with "Herne the Hunted", rather than "Hunter". He also refers to the phrase "Pull up a chair and call the cat a bastard". note 
  • Peter's usual ringtone is the theme from The Empire Strikes Back (probably the Imperial March), but he changed it to the sound of an old-fashioned telephone because that's not the kind of thing you want to have going off when you're working as a Family Liaison Officer on a missing child case.
  • The closest the Folly has previously come to having to do formal Falcon assessments are telling senior officers that having occult graffiti, particularly if cribbed from Aleister Crowley, Adventure Time or The Lord of the Rings, at a crime scene does not necessarily make it a Falcon case. And there was one case with graffitied kanji from Sakura Wars.
  • Peter muses about actions:
    "The police never saw a noun they didn't want to turn into a verb, so it quickly became "to action", as in you action me to undertake a Falcon assessment, I action a Falcon assessment, a Falcon assessment has been actioned and we all action in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine."
  • One of the things Peter took with him the first time he ran away from home as a child was a copy of 2000 AD.
  • A rather spoilery one: the kids call the unicorn Princess Luna.
  • After Peter explains the plan to lure out the unicorn to Dominic, he responds "Your name is Baldrick and I claim my ten pounds."
  • At the party, Peter toasts Beverley while saying the first thing he thinks of, "Sic transit gloria mundi". He thinks that it could have been worse, he could've said "Valar Morghulis" instead.
  • Peter is at one point given a lift by someone whose car stereo only has Queen's Greatest Hits in it.
  • Peter calls Hugh's staff "a more practical weapon from a less civilized age".
  • Multiple references to Aliens, including:
    “Nightingale was against it from the start, said we should send in the RAF and bomb the camp from altitude. He said it was the only way to be sure.” He gave me a puzzled look. “Did I say something funny?” “No, sir,” I said.
    "Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards."

Night Witch

  • Beverley wears a T-shirt in the style of "Keep Calm and Carry On" that says "All Shall Love Me and Despair".
  • A flashback to Varvara getting stoned in the 1970s has an Art Shift to the style of Robert Crumb.
  • Bonus strip "These Are Not the Gods You Are Looking For" depicts Nicky misbehaving with mind control at the premiere of The Force Awakens (which, incidentally, as of Lies Sleeping puts this strip as the last chronological entry in the series so far).

Black Mould

  • The cover of the collected edition shows Peter and Guleed in Hazmat suits with backpack spray guns and a symbol of a mushroom in a "no way" sign behind them, giving the not entirely inaccurate effect of anti-fungal Ghostbusters. (This was also the cover of one of the individual issues.)
  • A variant cover for one issue shows Peter, Nightingale, Guleed, and Debden in the style of Scooby-Doo.

The Furthest Station

The Hanging Tree

  • Peter is a fan of the Shard's architecture despite the nagging feeling he gets that Nazgûl should be roosting at the top.
  • Peter thinks that the floor plan of One Hyde Park looks like the result of two Star Destroyers backing into each other during manoeuvres.
  • Peter compares the furniture at the flat in One Hyde Park to interior design in The Sims.
  • Noting that the Harrods staff all seem to be ridiculously attractive, well-dressed and happy, Peter thinks that either the management are paying them really well or the HR department has been outsourced to Stepford, Connecticut.
  • Peter and Guleed hustle their prisoner, "Awa Shambir", back to Belgravia to see if a Sith Lord comes to bail her out.
  • Regarding the rich trend for large basement extensions, Peter thinks that all that stands between the average rich person and a career in Bond villainy is an extinct volcano.
  • Peter sarcastically speculates whether the Americans plan to enlist International Rescue to drill them out of an underground basement using The Mole.
  • There's a digression referencing random items one might sell on eBay, e.g. a used pink bathrobe or rare mint snow globe.
  • Peter gives "a quick prayer to Sir Samuel, the patron saint of policemen" while in a sticky situation. (Vimes once wondered if there's "a god who would look kindly on hard-pressed and fairly innocent law-enforcement officers who were quite definitely about to die", so might approve.)
  • Peter's thoughts as he is hiding, prone, from a dangerous pursuer:

Detective Stories

Cry Fox

Lies Sleeping

  • Peter muses to himself that working out with the punching bag in the Folly's gym makes him feel like Captain America's younger, smarter half-brother.
  • Peter jokes about Seawoll being from Glossop which, among other things, serves as a mirror to Royston Vasey.
  • The former Little Crocodile Patrick Gale works for a company called Bock, Loupe and Stag. In German, a Bock is a he-goat. Loupe sounds like loup, the French word for wolf. And a stag is the adult form of a hart, a male deer. And it's a law firm.
  • Apparently a mummy disappeared from the British Museum in 1933. Maybe it was stolen or, as Nightingale suggests, it was bored.
  • More Discworld: Peter compares the demimonde pub the Goat and Crocodile to Biers and, giving an inspiring speech about life and liberty, manages to sit down before he adds "and a hardboiled egg".
  • Peter wonders what the Faceless Man's ultimate goal is, and speculates that he intends to take over the world, the city, or the Tri-State Area.
  • Peter gets captured, drugged, and blindfolded by Lesley. He's addled enough he doubts that he couldn't figure out where he was being taken even with the help of a preternaturally sensitive blind man and a flock of geese.
  • When suggesting that the Faceless Man's plan will actually usher in a new Dark Age, rather than a new Golden Age, he quotes the line from Blackadder the Third about "dung for dinner".
  • He spends much of his imprisonment reading The Silmarillion, and giving a critique in his narration.
  • During a confrontation on a Clock Tower, with a thunderstorm in the distance, he says that all that's missing is a DeLorean.

The Fey and the Furious

The October Man

Short Stories

  • In the third "moment", "Tobias Winter – Mecklenheim 2012", it's mentioned that Winter tried to get out of being assigned to the division of the German federal police that investigates the supernatural by, among other things, saying that Cobra 11 wouldn't take him (the strategy failed).


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