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100 votes
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What is "DON'T PANIC" a reference to on the dashboard of Elon Musk's car?

It's from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It even has its own entry on the Wikipedia page for H2G2: In the series, Don't Panic is a phrase on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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45 votes
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What does this line mean in Zelazny's The Courts of Chaos?

It is a combination of two somewhat-well-known quotes: The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing! from Keats' 1819 ballad "La Belle Dame sans Merci"; and This is a hell of a way ...
Buzz's user avatar
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41 votes
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What are the out-of-universe reasons for the references to Toby Maguire-era Spider-Man in Into the Spider-Verse?

Christopher Miller: I think the idea is that this Peter Parker is an amalgam of all the Peter Parkers that you have seen in popular culture. So there's elements of the Homecoming Tom Holland Spider-...
Raj's user avatar
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36 votes
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Why is Daenerys Targaryen called the "Mother of Dragons"?

She stepped into the flames with her dragon eggs and came out unhurt with three baby dragons; they are her children. And there came a second crack, loud and sharp as thunder, and the smoke stirred ...
TheLethalCarrot's user avatar
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25 votes

What is "DON'T PANIC" a reference to on the dashboard of Elon Musk's car?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a.k.a H2G2). In the original radio series of H2G2, Arthur Dent is looking at the cover of the in-Universe book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which says: ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 6,237
25 votes

What is Rick referencing when he says "I'm not a mouse in a European children's book?"

He likely referenced Sort It Out! Sort It Out! by Barbara Mariconda, Sherry Rogers (Illustrator) Packy the Packrat's mother has had enough! It's time that he sorts through his ever-growing ...
jo1storm's user avatar
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25 votes
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Are horseback vigilantes, mud wrestling with dump teens, & using blue makeup to draw logos on faces in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl references to a work?

This is a reference to the graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Specifically, the vigilante group "Sons of Batman" Batman defeats &...
Paulie_D's user avatar
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24 votes

Rocky Horror Picture Show sci-fi references

Michael Rennie was ill, the day the Earth stood still Michael Rennie was an actor who starred in the classic sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still, about an alien who tries to prevent the ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
22 votes

What are the out-of-universe reasons for the references to Toby Maguire-era Spider-Man in Into the Spider-Verse?

According to the film's makers, the aim was to show audiences that this film includes an amalgam of all of the different Spider-Man universes that they're likely to be familiar with. The specific ...
Valorum's user avatar
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17 votes
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Has there been any foreshadowing of Captain Marvel in the MCU?

Before Infinity War was released, and Captain Marvel's setting details were announced, the "foreshadowing" was as follows. As I mentioned in another answer, one of the patients alluded to in Doctor ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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16 votes
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Rocky Horror Picture Show sci-fi references

The thing is that the movie did not just pay homage to Sci-Fi or Horror pictures of the time but to many events in history and add as well as pop culture. Shortly after Rocky is born, Magenta ...
Rincewind's user avatar
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15 votes
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Tattooed eyeballs and wall climbing

I understood Peter to be referring to the Mirror’s Edge series of games. The protagonist has a tattooed eye The gameplay involves parkour The game is set in a mostly white city which gets painted red ...
Simon's user avatar
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14 votes

What is "DON'T PANIC" a reference to on the dashboard of Elon Musk's car?

Though existing answers have firmly established the origin of the phrase, the logo itself is actually a later incarnation. The original was on the cover of the audio vinyl album, released in 1979 by ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 254
14 votes

Has there been any foreshadowing of Captain Marvel in the MCU?

The only foreshadowing of Captain Marvel thus far has been her symbol appearing on Nick Fury's phone/pager/thingie during the credits stinger of Infinity War.
Keith Morrison's user avatar
14 votes
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Is Gregory Laborian a fictionalised version of Isaac Asimov?

In summary my answer would be I'm 99.9% certain that Laborian is intended to be a fictionalised version of Asimov, but it's not possible to be completely sure. This would change if I could find a ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
13 votes
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Was Tolkien explicitly referencing C.S. Forester's "Captain Hornblower"?

An unconfirmed claim by Tolkien gateway suggests that they are inspirations from real-world surnames, likely the same for C.S. Forester, but here's both sides of the coin. Coincidence C.S. Forester's ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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13 votes
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What does "the princess and the queen" refer to here?

"Queen" is sometimes used as a shortened version of "drag queen," i.e. man who performs dressed as a woman (usually- there's a lot of nuance there that is beyond the scope of this question). As Wanda ...
Adele- Nexus of Potlucks's user avatar
11 votes
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What do the lyrics of "2Wicky" by Hooverphonic refer to?

The answer of Adam seems to be correct, as confirmed by the comment of niefpaarschoenen. I had a quick look at the YouTube video of that Belpop episode and found some relevant parts at 4:20-5:30. 4:...
PrisonMonkeys's user avatar
11 votes
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Names referencing other franchises in The Expanse final episode

Okay, let's start this: ALPHA B. Draper - The Expanse G. Ackbar - Star Wars D. Quaid - Total Recall D. Bowman - 2001 C. Shepard - Commander Shepard Mass Effect A. Burton - The Expanse D. Idaho - Dune ...
10 votes

What movie is this NROL mission patch referencing?

It's hard to know the definitive answer to this. "NROL" stands for "National Reconnaissance Office Launch", and the missions of these launches are generally classified. The missions' exact purposes ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why should god bless Lili St. Cyr?

Out of universe (according to her biography Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr.) her inclusion was an homage to Richard "O'Brien" Smith's adolescent obsession with all ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 697k
9 votes

What does this line mean in Zelazny's The Courts of Chaos?

It's a reference to "La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats: What can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing. The ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
9 votes
Accepted

What's this tree in the opening of Neon Genesis Evangelion?

That is the Kabbalah Tree of Life, a symbol used over time through a variety of cultures, and represents an attempt to understand and unify the connections between various concepts of life and the ...
Mwr247's user avatar
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8 votes
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Explain this reference to Luke Starkiller in The Flash

When I saw the episode I thought the meaning was, "Are you trying to Jedi mind trick me?" Based on the context from the episode it makes sense. I have looked around and can not find anything from the ...
Bucephelus's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What works do the quest names in "The Outer Worlds" refer to?

Brave New World — Brave New World, by Huxley, Aldous; itself a reference to The Tempest, by Shakespeare Signal Point In Space — "Signal Point in Space," by Bott, Henry Kept Secret But Not ...
6 votes

What do the lyrics of "2Wicky" by Hooverphonic refer to?

The answer you are looking for, in-part anyway, is that the 2 codes are the names of electronic Synthesizers from the early 1980s. Sequential Circuits (USA) manufactured the Prophet 600 and Roland (...
Adam's user avatar
  • 81
6 votes

What is the pattern in the ship names in the Interdependency series?

John Scalzi is on record (on twitter at least) as saying that his ship names in the Interdependency series are a homage to the ship names of Iain M. Banks: https://twitter.com/scalzi/status/...
AdamT's user avatar
  • 1,928
5 votes

Is Pinkwater in The Expanse a reference to the author of "Fat Men from Space"?

Because they were doing private security, I assumed it was a mash-up of Pinkerton and Blackwater, but I suppose your explanation is also reasonable.
Drew's user avatar
  • 1,361
5 votes

Do earlier books in the Witcher series already reference the Arthurian legend?

The Celtic-Mythology/Arthurian-Legends theme is very visible in Lady of the Lake, but it's seen throughout the saga. Examples: The Tor Zireael is very similar to the seat of the Fisher King as ...
AcePL's user avatar
  • 7,564
5 votes

Do earlier books in the Witcher series already reference the Arthurian legend?

I'm pretty sure that Arthuric references appear only in the last book. As Ciri travelled to what seems to be another world, it's not strange that these references are exclusive to this book, as ...
Bardo's user avatar
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