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Shout Out / Sly Cooper

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  • For one, the games' overall design and look is heavily inspired by Looney Tunes. Designer Dave Madan described the visual development stage as "taking a walk through the Warner Bros. animation archives."
  • Some of the antagonists throughout the series reference various media:
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    • Carmelita's design is modeled after Salma Hayek.
    • Sir Raleigh's name is likely a reference to Sir Walter Raleigh. Like the historical figure, Raleigh is a member of one of the wealthier social classes in England and knows how to run a boat.
    • Don Octavio's mask references the mask of the titular character of The Phantom of the Opera. It helps that Octavio is an opera singer.
    • The Black Baron is a reference to Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron. True to form, the Black Baron is not the character's real name. It's Penelope.
    • Dr. M is a reference to Doctor Moreau, the titular antagonist of The Island of Doctor Moreau. In fact, Dr. M and Doctor Moreau are both mad doctors that own an island and have a penchant for turning animals into monstrosities.
    • El Jefe is a reference to Fidel Castro, even being referred to by one of his more well-known nicknames. Much like any other parody of Castro, El Jefe is a Cuban dictator (though he was not ruler of Cuba), has a beard, is often seen with a Cuban cigar in his mouth, and even wears the typical green military uniform in the cutscene that introduces him.
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    • The Black Knight is a reference to the various Black Knights of the King Arthur myths. Not only is said boss the antagonist of the Medieval England stage in Thieves in Time, but the tendency for black knights to use the armor to conceal their identities for misdeeds is retained here, this time by Penelope.
  • Several of the guards also reference various media:
    • Sir Raleigh's flashlight guards are listed as "H.P. Squidcraft". Said flashlight guards look like humanoids with a squid for a face, which is a dead ringer for Lovecraft's most famous creation.
    • Sir Raleigh's hammer-wielding walrus guards are listed as "Thor McCracken," with both names referencing characters from Norse Mythology. Thor is the god of thunder, who also carries a hammer (a much more powerful one, of course), while McCracken references the Kraken, a massive sea monster.
    • Mz. Ruby's spider guards are listed as "Nasty Charlotte," a reference to the titular character of the novel Charlotte's Web.
  • Some of the names of the episodes and missions throughout the series do so, as well:
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    • From Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves:
      • "The Claw" is likely a reference to Toy Story.
      • "Beauty and the Beast," as well as a Master Thief Challenge titled "Beauty versus the Beast," is a reference to the story Beauty and the Beast.
    • From Thieves in Time:
      • Turning Japanese is a reference to the song of the same name by The Vapors.
      • "Pretty in Pinker" is a reference to "Pretty in Pink," a song by The Psychedelic Furs.
      • Go West, Young Raccoon is a reference to a Manifest Destiny saying from John Soule, "Go west, young man, and grow up with the country."
      • Clan of the Cave Raccoon is a reference to the first book in the Earth's Children novel series, titled "The Clan of the Cave Bear."
      • "Starving Starving Hippo" is a reference to a children's tabletop game named "Hungry Hungry Hippos."
      • "Ice Ice Bentley" is a reference to "Ice Ice Baby," a song by Vanilla Ice.
      • Of Mice and Mechs is a reference to the novel Of Mice & Men.
      • 40 Thieves is a reference to the Arabian Nights story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." The year the episode takes place in, 1001 AD, is another reference to Arabian Nights, as its actual translation is One Thousand and One Nights.
  • Some of the members of the Cooper Clan do so, too:
    • The names of several Cooper Clan members are named after the crew responsible for the first game.
      • Rioichi Cooper was named after Ryoichi Hasegawa, localization producer.
      • Dev Cooperinda was named after Dev Madan, art director.
      • Karin Coopergiwa was named after Karin Yamagiwa, level designer.
      • Rob McCooper was named after team member Rob McDaniel.
      • Suzanne Cooper was named after Suzanne Kaufman, senior 3-D character animator and modeler.
      • Andrew Cooper was named after team member Andrew Woods.
      • Reid Cooper was named after Reid Johnson, lead animator.
    • Three generations of Coopers in Ancient Egypt are named Slytunkhamen Cooper, a reference to the pharaoh Tutankhamun.
    • Sir Galleth Cooper is likely a reference to Sir Galahad, a character from King Arthur myths. Like Galahad, Galleth is a knight that is part of a particular band of knights. Galahad is a member of the Knights of the Round Table, while Galleth is the founder and leader of the Knights of the Cooper Order.
    • Salim al-Kupar was said to have the stealth of forty thieves, a reference to the Arabian Nights story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." Salim was also a founding member of a group known as the Forty Thieves.
    • "Tennessee Kid" Cooper is likely a reference to two unrelated Western outlaws with "Kid" in their names: The Sundance Kid and Billy the Kid.
    • Huckleberry Cooper is a reference to Huckleberry Finn, a character from the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    • Otto van Cooper is likely a reference to Otto Lilienthal, the first person to make well-documented, repeated, and successful flights with gliders. Otto van Cooper is also a German aviator.
  • Hit Flashes with Written Sound Effects will occasionally pop up when knocking out guards in the second and third game, as well as in cutscenes from the first three games. These are sometimes accompanied with a blare from a trumpet.
  • Muggshot was inspired to be a gangster after watching his first gangster movie. The poster in the cutscene explaining this reveals that the movie he watched was The Dogfather. The poster itself is based on the original poster, with the hand and marionette control bar replaced with a dog's paw and two crossed bones.
  • During the cutscene that plays after defeating Clockwerk in the first game, Bentley can briefly be seen holding a miniature version of Clockwerk's head in his hand while pondering over it. This is a reference to the scene in Hamlet where Hamlet does the same thing to Yorick's skull.
  • One of Sly's ancestors resembles Carmen Sandiego. Carmelita wears an outfit reminiscent of Carmen's signature attire in the unlockable Goodbye My Sweet cartoon in Sly 3.
  • In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, one of Dimitri's lines you can hear in the safehouse after bugging his office is: "You talkin' about me, my friend? Well, I'm not seeing anyone else here, so you must be talkin' about me!"
  • In Sly 2's second episode, Neyla twice refers to Carmelita as "Old Ironsides," a reference to the controversial military leader Oliver Cromwell.
  • In the fifth episode of Sly 2, there is a tombstone reading "R.I.P. Rocket". An Easter egg in the same episode also allows you to see a ghost version of both Rocket and Jojo when standing in a particular spot inside a crypt.
  • TOM appears in Sly 2 using a cheat code.
    • In Sly 3, a cheat code can be used to change the appearance of Sly's biplane into a Toonami-inspired design.
  • According to the ending to Sly 2, The Contessa became the most successful real estate broker in the Greater Milwaukee area. The accompanying picture features her in front of an old-fashioned house with two of her clients: a male and female farmer with stern faces, hypnosis-ridden eyes, and, in the male's case, holding a pitchfork. The overall picture, excluding The Contessa, spoofs the famous Grant Wood painting, American Gothic.
  • When we first see Jean Bison frozen, one can’t help but be reminded of The Shining.
  • In Sly 3's Blood Bath Bay episode, there's a pirate who has some kind of serious problem with monkeys. In case that was too subtle, later in that same mission Sly has a battle of insults—though no swords are involved, and it doesn't have the same sense of humor as the ones it's clearly referencing.
  • In Sly 3, one of Bentley's lines when he uses the Grapple-Cam to lure a guard is "Up your nose with a rubber hose!"
  • Murray's section of Sly 3's ending is a reference to Speed Racer. This section depicts Murray jumping out of his van and striking two specific poses, with a red-and-yellow checkerboard background, which the titular Speed Racer did in the last part of the show's intro. Murray is even wearing a red-and-white hat similar to Speed Racer's.
  • If Sly loses to Carmelita in Sly 3's 2-player mode, one of Dimitri's possible lines is "Forget it, raccoon. You fought the law and the law smoked you!" This is a reference to the song "I Fought the Law" by The Crickets.
  • The Mz. Ruby boss fight in the first game seems to be a Shout Out to Space Channel 5.
  • In Thieves in Time, Bentley exclaims "Holy Hand Grenade!" when he discovers that the Moat Monster is a robot.
    • In another reference to the film, this time from the Black Knight scene, the name of Sir Galleth's stealth slam is "Flesh Wound Slam."
  • The first time the Cooper van disappears through time in the fourth game's prologue is like that of Back to the Future, complete with leaving behind its license plate spinning. There is also a "Flux Capacitor" in the blueprints to the time machine, and a collectible treasure called "Temporal Flux Driver."
  • In the first mission with Bentley in Thieves in Time, he breaks into a sewer to shut down a museum's security. He then mentions that he hasn't been down there since he was a teenager.
  • In Thieves in Time during the side-scrolling shooter version of Bentley's hacking sequences, Bentley's avatar is a buffed-up version of himself wielding guns a la Rambo.
  • During El Jefe's boss fight, if you attempt to get close to El Jefe when he is not stunned, you will be greeted with a neck lift followed by a recognizable uppercut.
  • Trophy names in the fourth game reference Final Fantasy, Capcom franchises, Pirates of the Caribbean, Uncharted, Predator, Evil Dead, Rocky, and Call of Duty.
  • Murray's training of Bob Cooper in Thieves in Time pays homage to the Rocky movies, complete with a training montage.
  • At the end of Chapter 2 in Thieves in Time, the time-traveling van is seen tumbling through a blue time vortex, then getting struck by lightning, then tumbling faster through a fiery orange vortex — replicating the season 5-7A opening sequence of Doctor Who.
    • The music on the title screen, which also shows the van flying through the time vortex, is pretty much a Suspiciously Similar Song of the Doctor Who theme crossed with the Sly series main theme.
  • During the mission in Thieves in Time where you bug Miss Decibel's room while she's practicing her music skills, the orchestrated piece she's playing includes the refrain from the British patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!".
  • One of Miss Decibel's lines you can hear in the safehouse after bugging her room is her attempting to sing "Doe, a deer, a female deer" before her sinuses prevent her from singing any further.
  • Collecting 50 Sly Masks will allow you to swap out Sly's cane for a weapon called "Ratchet's Wrench." This will also change all the coins into Bolts. Collecting 60 Sly Masks will allow you to swap the cane out for a weapon called "Cole's Amp," complete with electric damage. The descriptions for both weapons even weave in a pun or two about the games they come from.
  • In Bentley's Hackpack, the outside of "Bentley's Arcade" resembles an arcade run by a cheerful man who's been missing for 20 years.
  • In the fourth game, the "Lutrela Nivadensis" treasure found in the Ice Age is based off a certain ottsel. And the "Medieval Metal Man" treasure in Medieval England is based off a certain tiny robot.
  • One of the shots of the Guru's training of Murray references Yoda and Luke Skywalker training in Dagobah, with the Guru riding Murray's back.
  • In Thieves in Time, Sly Cooper has an unlockable costume based on Batman. Even the description mentions that Sly "owns the darkest night in this costume," a reference to one of Batman's nicknames, the Dark Knight.
    • Bentley's unlockable costume is based on Judge Dredd, which similarly references the character in its description.
    • Carmelita’s unlockable costume is very much a Catwoman expy, a reference to the voice actress who voices her in the Arkham games.
  • In Thieves in Time, Bentley at one point disguises himself as a sarsaparilla bartender in order to distract some mooks. The game then switches to a minigame where Bentley has to throw mugs to serve the thirsty mooks before they get impatient.
  • In the Thieves in Time mission "Cooper for Hire," Murray at one point holds up a door for Tennessee Kid to slide under. Tennessee drops his hat in the process, but manages to swipe it before Murray drops the door on him.
  • The Wild West chapter of Thieves in Time has literal cowboys as the flashlight guards.
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