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Shout-Outs can reference pretty much anything -- another person, another work of fiction, even another episode of the same show. One very popular target is to call back to the show's own opening sequence. Because a show's opening is well-known to the viewers, the joke requires zero setup. It's an instant punchline. For another thing, it nods towards the fact that the show is, in fact, a show, and that certain things are always the same, without fully breaking stride.
When done with the show's theme song, it's a Theme Tune Cameo.
- The misleading opening of Magical Pokaan turns out to be the opening of another anime show the girls used to watch when young.
- The Futari wa Pretty Cure opening features a shot in which Honoka is sitting on her porch, looking up at the night sky. One episode ended with a shot that was almost identical, except she was curled up and crying. (In a borderline case, there's also a specific scene of Cure Black and Cure White leaping that ended up being used as a piece of stock animation.)
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star's opening momentarily shows Mai, Flappi and Choppi at the beach, with Flappi being pinched by a crab. Naturally, this ended up actually happening to him when they actually went to the beach.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo used a brief clip of Urara's mother onstage that's very similar to the one of Urara herself from the first season's opening.
- The aforementioned stock animation piece of Cure Black and White leaping was used in the opening for the first All-Stars movie... and during the scene which it happens, the camera pans to all the other Cures (or at least the ones that everyone knew about when the movie was released) leaping with them.
- The scene is done again in All-Stars DX 3, expanding the number of leaping Cures to 21.
- The opening for Heartcatch Precure shows Tsubomi and Erika walking to school and talking. They actually use that scene - at the very end of the series.
- Actually a serious example: Wolf's Rain visually references the opening credits in the final scene of the anime - as if that one moment is what the show built up to / was about all along. The opening song starts playing near the end as well.
- Pani Poni Dash!: The weird-colored fuses in the "Yellow Vacation" opening are shown briefly in one episode.
- Lucky Star had the main cast performing a dance routine to the theme song in the last episode.
- The end of the OP of Nagasarete Airantou shows a bird's eye view of the island while Ikuto is visibly seen being chased by the firls on the island. The end of the anime also features this exact same scene.
- Ergo Proxy incorporated its opening into a cold open. The characters unexpectedly find themselves taking part in a game show. Vincent is rapidly asked several trivia questions, culminating in "What is the title of this song?" - upon which we cut to the opening. And Vincent apparently knew the answer to that.
- In an episode of Planetes, Hachimaki gets "space sickness" and starts losing his mind. One of his hallucinations is of him riding a bike, as he does in the ending theme.
- In Macross Frontier's final battle, sequences from both opening credits are used in the fight sequence. This crosses over with Theme Tune Cameo courtesy of Sheryl and Ranka singing a medley of their songs in support, which starts and ends with the previously-unused second OP.
- The 12th opening of One Piece ends with a shot of some of the notable Impel Down Escapees- namely, Buggy, Mr. 3, Mr. 1, Crocodile, Jinbe, Ivankov and Luffy- plummeting down from the sky as they enter Marinford. When that happens in anime episode 465, they show it exactly the same way.
- Shin Chan: "OHHHHH WHO LIVES IN A CUCUMBER UNDER THE SEA!? PARAPPA THE KAPPA!"
- In the last Non-Distant Finale of Dawson's Creek, Pacey dug up some old tapes that Dawson had made and lo and behold, it was the opening credits of the first season (sans music and credits).
- In Flight of the Conchords, when Jemaine gets a girlfriend, the montage of them together shows her timing him on his exercise bike, which Bret had done for him in the opening. Then a lonely Bret is shown timing nobody.
- One episode of Remington Steele repeats the entire Opening Narration describing the premise of the show.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (a fan of all forms of Breaking the Fourth Wall) had an episode where Will goes back to Philly, where he fights an old bully who he describes as the "dude who be spinnin' me over his head in the opening credits."
- In a more subtle example, the show's pilot begins exactly where the opening credits end, with Will first at the doorstep of his aunt and uncle.
- The second-season finale of Dexter: We see the title character go through almost the exact same morning routine as is shown in the opening credits.
- Subverted on the fourth season premiere. Dexter does several of the same actions from the opening, but after losing much sleep from raising his son, his usual routine is "off".
- In the finale of Life On Mars, Sam Tyler repeats the show's opening dialogue almost exactly, but in a completely different context.
- In the last episode of Arrested Development, Michael comments on how they'll have to try having "no choice but to keep them all together" without him.
- The scene with Poseidon in the opening of Xena: Warrior Princess eventually resulted in an episode getting made specifically to feature it.
- At the beginning of an episode of Veronica Mars, Veronica describes another girl with, "We used to be friends, a long time ago." This segues immediately into the opening credits, which begin with the Dandy Warhols singing, "A long time ago, we used to be friends ..."
- In an episode of The Nanny, Fran notes, "I've got style, I've got flair! How did I become The Nanny?"
- The Grand Finale has a more serious one, where Fran tells Gracie she has style and flair. Gracie responds she learned it from the Nanny.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, as the 35th anniversary of Super Sentai, does Opening and Ending Shout Outs to other series.
- After four seasons of Farscape had culminated in a TV movie, Crichton spends one of his first scenes in that movie addressing some suspicious aliens by quoting his Opening Narration: "My name is John Crichton, astronaut..."
- He also prefaces by saying "For the 89th time!" There had been 88 episodes up to that point.
- Actually, the first episode didn't have any Opening Narration, but The Peacekeeper Wars intro did, so it was in fact the 89th time.
- He also prefaces by saying "For the 89th time!" There had been 88 episodes up to that point.
- Weeds: In one episode, when Shane complains about having to go to a new school, Nancy tells him "You're going to go to school and become a doctor or a lawyer or a business executive," a Shout-Out to the school's former Real Song Theme Tune, "Little Boxes".
- On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Laura once tells Rob that she can't even count the amount of times he's tripped over the ottoman while walking in the front door - exactly as he did in the iconic opening credits.
- In Madan Senki Ryukendo's Time Travel-slash-Recap Episode, Kenji is explaining to Fudou about the exploits that he has yet to do, having somehow traveled into the past. Fudou briefly imagines a title sequence to a show about him, complete with title card. Kenji quickly corrects him, leading into the Eyecatch.
- Upon defeating Galactica Knight and clearing Meta Knightmare Ultra in Kirby Super Star Ultra, you'll unlock a hidden video, "Fly! Meta Knight". It is, in its entirety, the KSSU opening video - except that, instead of Kirby, Meta Knight flies through Dream Land.
- Also, if the last mode you played before shutting off the game was Meta Knightmare Ultra, the regular opening video will be replaced by this upon turning it on again.
- One of the secret levels of Super Mario World is modeled after the opening sequence.
- Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series once did a flashback to the opening.
- From The Angry Video Game Nerd, of which the theme tune begins with "He's gonna take you back to the past To play the shitty games that suck ass":
AVGN: Ghost, why do you come to me?
- An episode featuring Kyle Justin (who wrote and performs the theme) has him singing it at the very end, with the Nerd commenting "You bet your ass!". The episode also implies that the song was written because Justin was living behind the Nerd's couch since the start of the series, and overheard some of his reviews, incorporating them into the lyrics.
- When The Simpsons go into the witness protection program mid-show, a new opening for "The Thompsons" is run, styled after the normal opening.
- Done again in "The Hurricane" when a hurricane hits Springfield. This one lacked the Couch Gag, though.
- Done again where Ms. Krabappel tries to make Bart go home (It's complicated. Maggie has gotten addicted to an annoying children's show. Okay, maybe not that complicated). Bart is so terrified of it that he begs her to make him write some convoluted standard on the blackboard; she responds with "People got tired of that chalkboard gag years ago!"
- And that is referenced in a chalkboard. "Nobody reads these anymore."
- Done again when Bart is overweight after the school installs candy machines. Instead of writing lines, he's feeding the machine, then the bell rings, there's the usual quick pan to the main doors... and we wait because he's so much slower now.
- One Futurama episode points out Leela's propensity for crashing into billboards (even though the only time she does it in-show is when they point it out) -- which happens during the opening sequence.
- Done again in the sixth season when an extended Da Vinci Code parody takes the crew to Rome. Their arrival in "Future-Roma" is a brief homage to their own credit sequence, including an ecclesiastical version of the show's theme.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Oil on Candace", the boys help a friend paint a giant painting on a sand dune while an instrumental version of the theme song plays. One of the tools they use are the giant helicopter-mounted paint rollers used during the "painting a continent" part of the title sequence.
- There's also this bit from "Swiss Family Phineas":
Candace: You're giving a monkey a shower?!
- It also comes up in "Canderemy" when Phineas and Ferb make a giant robotic dog (also in the opening), but Buford wanted to give a monkey shower.
- And in "Fireside Girls Jamboree", one of the merit badges Candace earns is for "discovering something that doesn't exist", in this case a puppy-dog-eyed version of the unicorn/turtle thing from the appropriate part of the opening.
- In "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo", Bowling for Soup show up and perform a bit from the extended version of the show's Theme Tune, when a time traveling Phineas and Ferb are explaining to their future nephews what they could be doing during summer.
- In "Last Train to Bustville", Phineas spots a dodo (created by Doofenshmirtz's newest machine) and produces a list containing everything mentioned in the theme song, then checks it off. Buford then claims that he found Frankenstein's brain in the basket of his balloon.
- In the episode of Dave the Barbarian where the Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy usurps control of the show by enslaving the Lemony Narrator, halfway through we are treated to new rendition of the show's opening credits and theme song, now celebrating Chuckles as the central character.
- The Fairly Odd Parents
- The movie Abra-Catastrophe had this when the whole world was wished to be ruled by monkeys, not humans.
- In the third part of the crossover with Jimmy Neutron:
Villain: You guys think you're so special, but you'll just be average kids that no one understands!
- In the middle of the Recess episode "Lawson and his Crew", a version of the theme song plays with Lawson's crew replacing the regular main characters.
- Bounty Hamster, episode "Twin Cheeks": The first appearance of Cassie's Mirror Universe counterpart is accompanied by a Mirror Universe version of the series's Opening Narration.
- One episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle has Rocky do the flying trick shown in the opening titles.
- One of the more bizarre examples occurs in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! where Gyrus Krinkle imagines himself in Chiro's position from the show's opening narration, while wearing a foam head bearing Chiro's likeness.
- A hilarious example in Rocko's Modern Life. Filbert, cursed with bad luck, decides to go on with playing on the game show he was chosen for. Naturally, when he spins the wheel, it goes off its hinges and starts to go on a rolling rampage of destruction, running over various scenes including the last part of the opening sequence (where everybody's chasing Rocko), and cutting off the theme song as it does so.
- Also parodied in the end of "Heff in a Handbasket" where Peaches is starring in a cartoon show "Peaches' Modern Life".
- The South Park episode 'Chef Aid' features guest appearances by many artists and bands, including Primus, the band that composed and performed the theme song. It is Les Claypool's only appearance in the show... apart from being seen in the intro for the first four seasons, and being heard singing the theme song in every season, that is.
- The Powerpuff Girls: In the episode "Oops, I Did It Again", after the Professor tiredly accepts his fate as the "accidental professor", the beginning of the subsequent Dream Sequence is like the opening of the show, except there's no accidental injection of Chemical X, and the girls turn out to be the "Run of the Mill Girls", who "dedicate their lives to just hanging around and doing nothing extraordinary". Unlike most of the examples here, this one is a more complete replicate of the opening, even including a "Created by the Professor" credit in place of Craig McCracken.
- In the final episode of The Replacements, Todd and Riley quote the theme song when revealing their secret to Tasumi and Jacopo.
- Happens in the My Gym Partner's a Monkey episode "The Notorious Windsor Gorilla" with the credits re-done as My Gym Partner's a Gorilla and featuring Windsor instead of Jake.
- When asked on The Cleveland Show if he ever wondered if the world would be better without him, Cleveland imagines Quagmire in the opening.