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A Shout-Out is something subtle (a name, line of dialogue, or prop) in a show that refers to fans or family members of the cast or crew, or to another source of inspiration. By nature, these can be obscure for casual fans. In English class, it is known by the more proper-sounding name, an allusion.
However, remember that many tropes, symbols, and such are older than they look and can, often, arise in parallel. So despite (or because of) the ubiquitous nature of some creative properties that doesn't mean that anything that seems somewhat similar is referencing said work.
Reference Overdosed is when a series is loaded with these.
Giving references to other works can predate to older times but became increasingly common in medieval times. In modern times, almost every larger film, Video Game and so on intentionally references some other work, making the phenomenon nearly omnipresent.
See also Homage, Stock Shout-Outs, Opening Shout-Out, Shout-Out Theme Naming. Literary Allusion Title is a subtrope. Easily confused with a Mythology Gag and Continuity Nod, and may overlap with Actor Allusion. Contrast Take That, which is a negative-spirited Shout-Out.
See Stock Shout-Outs for a list of Shout-Outs and other references common enough to earn their own page.
Remember, a Shout-Out is intentional. If a character just happened to use a similar turn of phrase to another work, that's just a coincidence.
- Anime & Manga
- Live Action TV
- To Norse Mythology
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Be it novel, video game, comic or TV show, anything related to Star Wars will do this without shame. We can only assume the makers of Pepto-Bismol must be filthy rich in this universe, what with everyone having a bad feeling about this and that...
- When one registers for online content on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website, one of the password recovery questions asks for the airspeed of an unladen swallow.
- A Filipino snack ad best described, as one comment put it, as "SACRILEGE TO Lucky Star." In terms of character designs, Sailor Moon wasn't spared either.
- In the New York area, there's a store called B&H, whose advertisements involve a guy named Dave and a robot named Hal.
- Trojan Condoms: In The Iliad the Greek army gets into a giant horse, which gets through the enemy's defenses. Men inside a horse, inside the enemy's walls. What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic? And then, after penetrating the enemy fortress, the horse bursts open and all the soldiers inside start rampaging everywhere.
- There's a Honda advertisement that uses the opening to the Waldstein Sonata by Beethoven.
- Steve Jackson Game's Hacker includes a can of Jolt cola on the box picture.
- The Collectible Card Game Magic: The Gathering likes to slip Shout Outs and in-jokes into the titles and art of its cards. Probably the most high-profile (that references something outside of M:tG itself anyway) is Nevinyrral's Disk. "Nevinyrral" is "Larry Niven" spelled backwards. Niven wrote a series of stories about magic as an exhaustible resource, the nature of which was proven in the story "The Magic Goes Away" by a wizard who enchanted a spinning disk in such a manner that it used up all the mana in its vicinity, exploding violently in the process.)
- There's also Time Warp. Flavor text: "Let's do (it) again!"
- The flavor text on the original Weatherlight version of Disrupt was "Oh, I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?"
- Innistrad is filled with these. Sure, we have some that only fall on "classical horror tropes" territory, but we have some really specific stuff as well, like a scientist that transforms on a insectoid monster due to an experiment gone wrong, a researcher that manages to transform his violent side into a brutish, monstruous alter-ego and a group of Defending garden plants that has protection from Zombies.
- The Star Wars Customizable Card Game is made of this trope: Smuggler's Blues obviously, but also Mostly Armless and Bionic Hand "We can make him better, stronger, faster."
- Yu-Gi-Oh Card Game is absolutely loaded with Shout Outs to Konami games, mostly notably the Gradius archetype: so far, a card exists for the original ship, an upgraded version of same, the second player ship, the ships from Gradius Gaiden, most of the various ship bosses (complete with support card Boss Rush), the game's power-ups, at least three of the other various bosses, and at least five of the game's enemies. Plus, they synergize pretty well with the cards based on the protagonist ships in Xexex and Thunder Cross. And let's not even get into the set of Union Monsters based on Aitsu, Koitsu, Soitsu, and Doitsu...
- The titles of the Psych fanfic Lassiter Learns how to Bend as well as its sequels Carlton's Worst Inhibitions and The Case of the Friendly Indians are all shout outs to the show's theme song, the first two to the lyrics and the last one to the band who sings it.
- EVERYTHING in the Doctor Who webcomic Second Empire.
- Seriously, DO NOT play the Tropedia Drinking Game if you plan on including all the ShoutOuts in this thing. It'll be very, very bad for your health.
- How bad is it? The summary (Two Dalek Empires fight for the future of the Dalek race) is a Shout-Out to Remembrance Of The Daleks and it just goes downhill from there.
- Seriously, DO NOT play the Tropedia Drinking Game if you plan on including all the ShoutOuts in this thing. It'll be very, very bad for your health.
- In Whose Gay Line Is It Anyway, the Glee club plays a game of Questions Only. Slash (and hilarity) ensues.
Puck: Do you come here often?
- In A Dark Knight Over Sin City, when Dwight first sees Batman, he says, "It's the goddamn Batman."
- In The Lie I've Lived, a throwaway line has Harry saying, "Yeah, just call me 'Ambassador Potter', expert at foreign diplomacy and purveyor of international goodwill." This refers to one of author's other works Bungle in the Jungle.
- Lord of the Land of Fire is prone to lacing the plots of his stories with references to things like World War Two or The Book of Revelation, among other things.
- In the Elemental Chess Trilogy, Ed and Winry Elric have a son named Lucas; the author chose the name after Luke from the Professor Layton games.
- Hogfather: The noble music which plays when Bilious is being sobered up is Men of Harlech, but is also known to some university students as The Alcoholics' Anthem.
- Mystery Team: "I wanted to see if it felt like pussy, like in that movie!
- Neopets often has shout-outs in their item descriptions. For example, the description of a Sand Sled is "Snow? Where we're going we don't need snow."
- Pro wrestler and Ring of Honor regular Jimmy Jacobs officially dubbed his Finishing Move the "Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start". The commentators, more often than not, just call it the "Contra Code".
- For the last several years, Rey Mysterio, Jr. has appeared at Wrestlemania wearing a costume clearly inspired by a fictional character. This used to be just superheroes, but last year, he was dressed as The Joker... and then this year, he was one of the Na'vi from Avatar
- He was recently dressed in an homage to Iron Man (probably in commemoration of the movie sequel's release in theaters), and his Wrestlemania debut (Wrestlemania XIX, in a Cruiserweight Title match against defending champion Matt Hardy) was as The Flash...which happens to be his most frequent special-occasion costume.
- A Ctually, that was Wrestlemania XX.
- At Wrestlemania XXVII, Rey dressed in an outfit inspired by Captain America.
- A possibly unintentional pair of shout-outs for the WWE when the theme songs to RAW and Smack Down were changed to "Burn It to the Ground" by Nickelback and "Let It Roll" by Divide The Day, respectively; both songs (whether intentionally or not) sound very similar to the original debut themes for both shows (RAW's untitled original theme and Smack Down's original theme, "Everybody On the Ground", respectively)
- Prior to making his entrance, CM Punk will stop at the stage and shout "It's clobberin' time!" prior to his matches.
- Garrison Keilor and Ira Glass have a fake feud going on, whereby they slip little insults to one another into their respective radio shows or public appearances. In Keilor's case, these often take the shape of mentions of Glass in his Prairie Home Companion sketches, impressions of Glass done by his actors, or pastiches of Glass' broadcasting style.
- The ersatz Keilor/Glass feud is itself a shout-out to Jack Benny and Fred Allen, two giants of the Golden Age of Radio, who first hit upon this idea as a running (and recognised) prank on the audience.
- Keilor also mercilessly lampoons other NPR figures in sketches, most notably news correspondents, who show up as voice impressions in PHC news sketches. Sometimes these pseudo-cameos are identified by name; often they are either un-named or given a ficitonal name, making the shout-out an inside joke among NPR staff and habitual listeners.
- In G.I. Joe, the redheaded Shana O'Hara was born in the South (specifically, Atlanta, Georgia). She is, indeed, a fierce and attractive Southern belle. Her codename? Scarlett.
- A lot of taxonomic names end up being Shout Outs to things. Often it's to the scientist who discovered it or to the location it was discovered, but there are some more unusual ones:
- A spongelike fungus is named spongiforma squarepantsii.
- There's a dinosaur called Gojirasaurus.
- Interesting story behind Utahraptor spielbergi — scientists felt the raptors in Jurassic Park were too big, so when they did find ones at that size they named the species after the movie director. Velociraptors were about four feet tall. The filmmakers didn't think that would be scary enough and beefed 'em up. Sadly, though, Spielberg's lawyers rejected, so it was renamed Utahraptor ostrommaysorum, after John Ostrom, who discovered Deinonychus and established the dromaeosaurs as a family in the progress, and Chris Mays of Dinamation, which funded the expedition that discovered Utahraptor.
- There are several flower varieties called Sailor Moon. Surprisingly, Naoko Takeuchi makes one of them as part of an artbook drawing, since she loves when fans homage her works, and compliments it back as she can.
- Strigiphilus garylarsoni, a kind of chewing louse, after the creator of The Far Side and his frequently insect-related humour. And the Thagomizer!
- Psephophorus terrypratchetti, a prehistoric turtle which is not large enough to appear on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram. Terry keeps a fossil of it on his desk. And Gingoites nannyoggiae, a Mesezoic plant. The "Ogg" multimedia format is not a reference to Nanny Ogg; however once the coincidence was pointed out, the makers named their audio format after Vorbis from Small Gods.
- The trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, and inevitably, Aptostichus stephencolberti.
- Heteropoda davidbowie, another spider species. Note that one of David Bowie's most famous early albums was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
- Calponia harrisonfordi.
- The pachycephalosaur Dracorex hogwartsia is shouting out loud and clear.
- The lemur Avahi cleesei is named for lemur-lover John Cleese.
- Two obscure fish found in New Zealand: Bidenichthys beeblebroxi and Fiordichthys slartibartfasti, found in Fjordland.
- The sea slug Alderia willowi.
- The scientific name for the dinosaur Masiakasaurus is Masiakasaurus knopfleri — the expedition crews were said to be listening to a lot of Dire Straits at the time. Mark Knopfler himself once made an amusing self-effacing comment about how appropriate it was to have a dinosaur named after him.
- A giant prehistoric killer whale has the awesome name Leviathan melvillei.
- A form of mitochondria found in a species of deer tick is officially named Midichloria mitochondrii.
- A group of "hedgehog" genes — whatever that means  — are desert hedgehog, Indian hedgehog, and sonic hedgehog.
- If your son's sonic gene is defect, he] is screwed (Click the link with care, folks.) For a better reference, this disorder would leave him looking like a Raw Shock.
- In addition, one of the macrocycle inhibitors of the gene sonic hedgehog continues the reference. It is named Robotnikin.
- Likewise, a retinal protein was named Pikachurin, due to its relation with electrical signals.
- The POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor was originally named Pokémon, until Nintendo threatened legal action. Why? It's a master switch for cancer. It's given a generic name of Zbtb7
- Celestial bodies are also often named for real or fictitious people, in a tradition dating back to antiquity when planets and constellations were named for the gods.
- A scientist named a rock in the Main Asteroid Belt 18610 Arthurdent". Later, another asteroid was dedicated to the author: 25924 Douglasadams The naming of 25924 Douglasadams is itself a heartwarmer. The provisional name for it was 2001DA42.  The only comments that could be given were along the lines of "it was sort of made for him, wasn't it?"
- The asteroids 12796 Kamenrider and 12408 Fujioka, named for the Kamen Rider franchise and its original star, Hiroshi Fujioka.
- Asteroids 46610 Besixdouze and 2578 Saint-Exupéry. A fantastic bonus for computer programmers: the number 46610, written in hexadecimal, is B612.
- Asteroid 99942 Apophis. Even funnier, there is a small chance that the asteroid may hit Earth in 2036, so Apophis is our real-life enemy. (The name Apophis comes from Egyptian Mythology, but the asteroid's discoverers are said to be fans of Stargate SG-1.)
- The asteroid named after Hideaki Anno
- There's even one named after the fictitious Czech genius Jára Cimrman. Let's just say that the name of every other asteroid is a reference to something-or-other (since it's the discoverer who proposes the name, and there are few restrictions on the name choice.)
- White dwarf BPM 37093 in the sky with a crystallized carbon core (read: diamond). Informally named: Lucy.
- The dwarf planet now known as "Eris" was nicknamed "Xena" for 2 years while a final name and designation were decided. Its moon was officially named "Dysnomia" (Lawlessness) as a shoutout to actress Lucy Lawless.
- Christopher Hitchens has an asteroid, 57091 Hitchens, named after him.
- Tanz Metal band Rammstein had a minor planet named after them.
- All of the elements after plutonium, once they are actually synthesized, are named either for a famous scientist (einsteinium, bohrium, mendelevium, nobelium, rutherfordium) or an important location, usually the element's "place of birth" (berkelium, californium, americium, darmstadtium). An abandoned mine at Ytterby, in the Stockholm archipelago, has four elements named for it: erbium, terbium, ytterbium and yttrium.
- Google's Wave service was named such because that's what communications were called in Firefly. The crash message is even Wash's infamous line "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
- Programmers love to do this. Examples include:
- Soylent, a project to merge all contact info (e-mail addresses, IM screennames, etc.) for a person into a single account in GNOME (Linux-and-its-ilk desktop).
- Plan 9 From Bell Labs, the successor to UNIX as Bell Labs' main research OS. Along with Plan 9 From User Space, a port of the main Plan 9 programs to UNIX-like systems. (and yes, userspace actually means something in context)
- The TIFF standard specifies "An arbitrary but carefully chosen number (42)."
- The ADA programming language, named after Ada Lovelace, who's often credited to be the world's first programmer. ADA was created under contract from the United States Department of Defense, which gave the ADA reference manual the number MIL-STD-1815. 1815 was Ada Lovelace's year of birth.
- The Python programming language was named after Monty Python.
- The term "Spam" for junk e-mail was named after the Monty Python sketch of the same name. Other people backronymed it to Stupid Pointless and Annoying Message.
- As an Easter Egg for Excel 2000, Microsoft put in a clone of Spy Hunter.
- While not a shout out to pop culture most of the time the codenames for AMD, Intel, and Microsoft products tend to be named after places they either do development in, take vacations to, or just because.
- AMD's first in-house designed x86 compatible processor was called K5. Their next generation, K6, was when they said the K meant Kryptonite.
- Upcoming iterations of Nvidia's Tegra system-on-a-chip series are codenamed Kal-El, Wayne, Logan, and Stark.
- The Raspberry Pi (an educational- / hobbyist-market computing device with an ARM CPU, capable of running Acorn RISC OS) is available in "Model A" and "Model B" versions; this will sound familiar to anyone who remembers the BBC Micro. (It's no coincidence that this device was co-developed by David Braben, of Elite fame.)
- Star Trek has provided several. Among them:
- The inventor of the flip-open cell phone design has apparently said he was inspired by the classic Trek communicator.
- The successful campaign to get the first space shuttle named Enterprise.
- When the US Space Command was reorganized a few years ago, they introduced some new insignia. There's a stylized arrowhead in the middle.
- Ladies and gentlemen...The COLBERT Treadmill.
- Originally Colbert was competing for the naming of a space capsule, the name in second place was Serenity.
- We swear someone shouted out "I see you, Russia!" before that pair's free skate...
- Iron Maiden's drummer Nicko McBrain owns a restaurant, Rock N' Roll Ribs. The menu is filled with references to his band (such as "Appetite of THE BEAST", and the temperatures of sauce: Mild, Medium, Hot, Die with your Boots On, or Heaven Can't Wait).
- Lucy, the fossilized Australopithecus named after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
- Disneyland is full of these to former attractions. To whit:
- In The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, just as you leave the Heffalumps and Woozles part, if you look behind you, you can see three trophy heads - Max, Buff, and Melvin, from the attraction that once occupied that spot: Country Bear Jamboree.
- Somewhere in the projector room in the queue for Indiana Jones Adventure, there is an Eeyore sign - that spot used to be the Eeyore section of the old parking lot.
- In Autopia, there's a bronzed Midget Autopia car, referencing the long-gone attraction.
- Swiss Family Treehouse, based off of the movie Swiss Family Robinson, once occupied the spot where Tarzan's Treehouse is now. A gramophone in Tarzan's Treehouse still plays the Swisskapolka
- The Mighty Microscope from Adventures Thru Inner Space is still there - you can see it across from a mechanical arm that almost hits the Starspeeder 3000 in Star Tours.
- An actual engine from the Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland sits at the edge of the Rivers of America
- Mike Fink Keel Boats transported guests along the Rivers of America until 1997. One boat, the Gullywhumper, is moored as a prop along the rivers.
- There are four shout-outs to the House of the Future in Innoventions alone.
- called such because they made fruit flies spiky
- The year in which Douglas Adams died, his initials, and the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, in that order.