- Wishing he had a hobby other than magic, Harry mentions Sherlock Holmes's violin and Captain Nemo's pipe organ.
- Carmichael sarcastically calls Harry "Sherlock" at the scene of the first heart-ripper murders.
- "There came a knocking, a rapping, at my chamber door." is loosely paraphrased from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". It even happens during a thunderstorm (which you might call dreary) while Harry feels terrible (weak and weary). The only thing wrong with it is that it's not midnight.
- He half expects Marcone to break into Knute Rockne's "Win one for the Gipper" speech when they talk in the limo.
- On the second page of the first book, wizards are described as "subtle and quick to anger". Compare to famous saying from Middle Earth:
- "Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."
- The postman asks if Harry is like that. Harry denies being subtle.
- Also doubles as a Hilarious in Hindsight when you reach Changes.
- Harry advertises the exact opposite of what John Wellington Wells does in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer.
- He compares the giant scorpion to Frankenstein's Monster because it's a construct.
- When we're first introduced to Harry's rather humble home he uses the phrase "Basement of Solitude ".
- Murphy says the brass is on her back "like a winged monkey from The Wizard of Oz."
- She snarkily asks a scruffy-looking Harry if he's planning to have King Kong climb his hair.
- And she drops a reference to the original The Karate Kid while discussing the heart-ripper curse's power-level with Harry.
- She (and another character in a later book) comments that Dresden's signature Badass Longcoat belongs on the set of El Dorado.
- Funnier when you realize very few characters actually WORE a duster in that movie.
- Harry compares the White Council to the Superfriends crossed with the Inquisition.
- Morgan's sword goes snickersnack.
- Possibly also the reason Murphy's handcuffs go clicker-clack.
- Monica's look is one of wholesomeness, making Harry think of Barbara Billingsley or Annette Funicello. He pegs her age at thirtysomething.
- The photographer claims that women like Linda can make good money posing for porn photos, even if they're not Hugh Hefner's type.
- Outrunning the storm in Mac's TransAm makes Harry feel a bit like Magnum, P.I..
- Bob compares Harry to Sir Gawain when criticizing his (lack of a) love life.
- To ward off the scorpions, Harry animates a broom, much like Mickey does in Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment.
- Harry's wind spell animates his duster like Batman's cloak.
- At the very end, Harry ominously paraphrases William Butler Yeats's "The Second Coming":
- Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Shout Out / Storm Front