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Shout Out / Skulduggery Pleasant

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It bears mentioning Derek Landy is a self-professed comic reader, gamer, movie geek, etc. Which is probably why there are so many of these.

  • The following exchange from the first book:
    Valkyrie's mother: I love you.
    Valkyrie: I know.
  • To Watchmen in the second book.
  • Possibly to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with the tagline of book three's cover — 'Do Panic'.
  • The Cthulhu Mythos is discussed several times.
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  • To The Blair Witch Project in book four.
  • To Hamlet on the Book Four cover.
  • Part of a chapter towards the end of the fifth book seems to be lifted straight out of a certain swordfight scene from The Princess Bride.
  • There is a moment in the fifth book which references the "spanish inquisition" sketch from Monty Python.
  • It was... an ex- rabbit.
  • One of the words used to open the Crucible was "Mellon".
  • Look out for the Empire Strikes Back reference in Book Five: "Not a scratch, Ghastly"
  • Valkyrie is worried about "hulking out" in book six.
  • "Help, Sigourney Weaver! Help!"
  • "Like Jules, in Pulp Fiction?"
  • "We're not Buffy and Angel, OK? We're not Romeo and Juliet. We're not those guys in West Side Story. We're not even Edward and Bella."
    • Speaking of which, there's no way the Valkyrie and Caelan subplot wasn't meant to be a mocking Deconstruction of Twilight
  • In book 6, when Carol and Crystal ask Valkyrie to teach them some "tricks", she tells them they're not called tricks, and the twins correct themselves to saying "illusions" instead.
  • Darquesse mentions flying like Superman.
    • There's an earlier Superman reference in Playing With Fire, where Valkyrie comments that Dusk ripping off his human skin is similar to how Clark Kent rips off his shirt.
  • Tesseract might just be a Shout-Out to Bane.
  • Beryl is apparently a Trekkie.
    • Valkyrie while pretending to be Darquesse references the Borg in The Dying of the Light when explaining to Alternate Mevolent why she's so good at adapting to new weaponry. She claims they taught her.
  • Darquesse's knowledge of swordplay consists of "the pointy end goes in the other person".
    • While less likely, that one could also be a reference to Terry Pratchett's The Carpet People, where a skilled fighter who is nonetheless clueless with swords is told "The blunt end goes in your hand and the sharp end goes in the enemy...remember which end is which."
    • Or "The Mask of Zorro", where Murrieta says "The pointy end goes into the other man."
  • Scapegrace, as a zombie head in a jar, notes that he had heard someone once say fezzes were cool.
    • From The Dying Of The Light: "She abandons the wheel, comes back over. "What a place, eh? Bigger on the inside. Like the TARDIS.""
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  • Ghastly giving relationship advice to Fletcher in the chapter 'The Wisdom of Leonard Cohen'. He quotes I'm Your Man, saying it's something a friend of his once said.
  • In The Maleficent Seven, Tanith and Sanguine mention that they are both Harry Potter fans while ridiculing a Necromancer who uses an actual wand for magic. They're worried it might become a stereotype.
  • In the same book, Tanith quotes The Untouchables and is rather annoyed when nobody else gets the reference.
  • Another in The Maleficent Seven, Saracen Rue knows stuff.
  • "I watch things now. Shows. Gilmore Girls. Have you seen it? I watch the reruns on television. They talk so fast on that show. I've never known anyone to talk so fast, except on The West Wing. The Wire. I've watched that as well. Harrowing stuff, but I watched it. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now there was a show. Firefly, too. Cancelled before its time, that one."
  • Darquesse references Spiderman's With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. She denies it immediately.
  • The Maleficent Seven references Indiana Jones; Raiders of the Lost Ark's top men quote, with "Top. People."
  • At the beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked with a discussion on whether a character is an insane man who thinks he's a butterfly or an insane butterfly who thinks he's a man.
  • Cadaverous Gant from The Dying of the Light is "master of his domain."
  • Numerous references to all the famous dragons in fiction when Valkyrie and the Monster Hunters think of a name for the dragon living in Gordon's caves, including Smaug, Drogon, Fin Fang Foom, and Puff.
  • Darquesse' power levels and origin are explained by her being directly compared to Dark Phoenix.
  • "The Dying of the Light" has one to Arrested Development when Darquesse says to Argeddion, "Illusions Michael."
  • Valkyrie names her dog Xena after Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • Valkyrie quotes The Original Series while impersonating Darquesse and names her dog Xena.
  • Clarabelle and Thrasher/Gerald hum "that song from Frozen."
  • "Oh, I'm not one of the chosen few who are lucky enough to hear the voice of the telltale heart."
  • Valkyrie keeps calling the Leibniz Universe "Dimension X". Presumably as a nod to where Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes from.
  • In Midnight when Rosemary offers Valkyrie a cup of tea, her husband Pádraig says "Go on, go on" as a nod to Mrs Doyle from Father Ted.
  • When they see what Cadaverous Gant has done to the Midnight Hotel, Temper compares it to the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
  • In Bedlam when they meet Cherise, Skulduggery says the Irish Sanctuary hasn't had much luck with administrators and compares them to the drummers from Spinal Tap.
  • Aurnia talks about music her family enjoys since coming to Skulduggery's dimension. She mentions The Beatles, The Monkees and Frank Sinatra.
  • When Colleen asks Omen for help getting away from Abyssinia, she says "Help us Omen-One Kenobi. You're our only hope". A nod to Princess Leia's in the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope.
  • When Fletcher see Nero wearing a black trench coat, he tells him he looks like he read The Catcher in the Rye and raised his parents wardrobe.
  • When Valkyrie looks after Alice, they both sing Crazy World by Aslan.
  • When Valkyrie let's herself be captured by actors who are sacrificing young girls, she asks one of them if he played a dead cop alongside the guy from The Big Lebowski. Jason Randal points out that the movie was R.I.P.D. and she's mixing him up with Ryan Reynolds.
  • The shunter who bring Skulduggery and co. to the Leibniz Universe is a guy who chose the name Luke Skywalker after the Star Wars character. Tannith initially refuses to call him this and suggests SpongeBob instead.


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