A list of in-show references and allusions.
- P. G. Wodehouse (pronounced "Woodhouse") is the author who created Jeeves. Although the name is often used to refer to Butlers, Jeeves was a Valet, and Sterling refers to Woodhouse as his Valet in Mole Hunt.
- Archer repeatedly uses the phrase "danger zone" throughout the series, referencing to the theme song of the film Top Gun by Kenny Loggins.
- The picture of Malory Archer with Duchess is a reference to the January 1981 Rolling Stone cover with naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
- Archer suggests that Abelard can sing "Puttin' on the Ritz".
- The "Greek" reference is actually a multi-layered joke. The first layer is that "Greek" is a slang term for anal sex used in newspaper classifieds, since ancient Greeks were noted for anal sex. The second layer is that Abelard was a French philosopher who wrote many essays on the Greeks, thus it makes sense that Abalard understood and laughed at the joke.
- Archer claims the shirt he picked up the cleaner's on the first floor of the I.S.I.S. headquarters building smells like "Indira Ghandi's thong." Indira Gandhi was the third prime minister of India, and the only woman ever to hold the office.
- "It's like my brain is that tree an you're those little cookie elves" is a reference to the "Keebler" cookie elves.
- Whore Island may be a reference to the movie Anchorman, where Ron Burgundy mention it.
- Archer suggests that he helped a guy with cancer, as in the movie "Bryan's song" .
- While leaving the meeting, which begins with Sterling catching his mom having phone-sex with Nikolai Jakov, Malory exclaims "For God's sake take a shower; it smells like a whorehouse in here!" Archer redirects with a hushed "O.K., your own fingers" and quips "Johnny Bench called..." as he exits her office. Johnny Bench was a MLB catcher, famous for his career success, having popularized the use of the hinged catcher's mitt, and his tremendously large hands. The reference aims at one of Bench's nicknames, "The Binger Banger."
Episode 2 - Training DayEdit
- The "Chekhov gun" is a reference to the theatrical principle of "Chekhov's Gun", which states that: "If you say in the first act that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third act it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there." Thus the pen is the Chekhov's Gun because it was introduced first, whereas the physical Chekhov gun is a woefully esoteric argument.
- While fleeing with the "dead" hooker, Archer says "this is like O. Henry and Alanis Morissette had a baby and named it this exact situation." O. Henry was an author noted for his use of irony, while Alanis Morissette wrote the song "Ironic".
- During her flashback, Malory recalls a telegraph she sent to Archer and Woodhouse, where she mentions the success of Operation AJAX, a coup d'état carried out against the Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953 which was orchestrated and executed by MI6 and the CIA.
Episode 3 - Diversity HireEdit
- "Quadroon" is an antiquated racial category used in racial discrimination laws. It is a racially charged term for a person who is 1/4 black and 3/4 white.
- When Archer fails to come up with a witty response to Conway's "You see something you like" after their nude confrontation in the locker room, Conway suggests that Archer should have insulted him with the line "Sammy Gayvis Junior." Sammy Davis Junior was a famous entertainer who was (like Conway) both Black and Jewish.
- Pam remarks to Archer when he asks her to unreject a complaint on the ISIS computers "who do I look like, Tron?", a reference to the 1982 Disney film Tron.
Episode 4 - Killing UtneEdit
- The name of Krieger's sex-bot is "Fister Roboto" who Pam later calls "Mr. Roboto" which is a play-on-words reference to the song "Mr. Roboto" written by Dennis DeYoung and produced the band Styx.
- "You don't get along with your neighbors anywhere" is a reference to Arrested Development, an American TV series on which a number of voice actors on Archer worked on.
- When Archer walks into the bathroom and sees Jakov on the screen, Jakov says, "turn off, turn off, what is the frequency?" to which Archer responds "Kenneth?" This is a reference to a 1986 incident in which CBS News anchor Dan Rather was assaulted by two men on Park Avenue in New York City. The two assailants repeatedly asked Rather, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?". The phrase inspired the title of the song "What is the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M..
- Archer makes a reference to Dr. Bellows and Jeannie from the 1960s American sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
- Lana uses the line "I find your lack of faith disturbing" when Malory orders her to relinquish her hold on Cyril's shoulder/collarbone after she catches him ogling Archer's call girl. The is a direct quote from Darth Vader in the 1977 film Star Wars.
Episode 5 - HoneypotEdit
- Bartleby, the Scrivener is a reference to the short story by Herman Melville, in which the title character started each sentence with "I would prefer not to," seeking existential isolation.
- When Archer pulls out the grenade, Lana asks where it came from. Archer responds, "hanging from the lampshade". "Lampshade hanging" is a term which means "pointing out an implausible element of a story".
- Malory makes a play on the ship's captain by cozying up to him quoting the opening phrase to verse 193 "O Captain! My Captain!" of Walt Whitman'sLeaves of Grass which laments the death of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
- When Archer and Lana walk in on Captain Lammers, she shouts his name and Archer responds "Nice read Velma..." This is a reference to Scooby-Doo. When Scooby and the gang discover the identity of the villain toward the end of the episode, they often shout the name of the culprit.
- When Malory and Lana complain about the absent bartender, Malory says, "Guy sees an empty glass and all of the sudden he's Judge Crater." Joseph Crater, a New York City judge, got into a taxi on August 6, 1930 and was never seen again.
- Archer keeps referring to the Von Zeppelin Suite as the Led Zeppelin Suite, in reference to the English hard rock band of the 1970s.
- The name of the episode, Skytanic, is a reference to the famous RMS Titanic.
- Cyril calls Pam, "Jesus H. Jones", after noticing Pam is holding a camera, filming Cyril as he talks about being better than his father. This refers to Jesse Holman Jones who, in 1926, became the owner of the Houston Chronicle, and was also a publisher for the newspaper. The nickname "Jesus H. Jones" was given to him by Roosevelt when he was the Chairman of the RFC (Reconstruction Finicial Committee), circa 1933.
- Archer refers to Lana as "Hey Eugene Debs" when she is shocked that the strike is still going on. Eugene V. Debs was a union organizer and Socialist politician.
- Framboise is referred to by Archer as "the Pelé of anal", in a comparison to the Brazilian soccer player.
Episode 10 - Dial M for MotherEdit
- The episode title is a play on the 1954 Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder.
- The book that Malory is reading in bed, Greenmantle by John Buchan, is a spy novel which was one of the basis for Archer.
- When Cheryl returns Doctor Krieger's Creedence Clearwater Revival albums to him, Krieger says that "Now a sad moon is on the rise" referencing the hit song Bad Moon Rising.
- As Cyril is being interrogated by Lana about other women he has been with, it flashbacks to a shot of Cyril seen through Ms. Archer's curled leg. This shot and the line "Ms. Archer, you're trying seduce me, aren't you?" subsequently delivered, reference a similar iconic shot and line from the 1967 film "The Graduate."
- When Cyril is shown in the bathroom, sitting in the stall, with only a white shirt and white boxers with a rifle next to him, he is shown loading a magazine of bullets while saying, "7, 6, 2, Millimeter. Full, Metal, Jacket." which is a direct reference from Stanley Kubrik's 1987 film, titled "Full Metal Jacket ", which is based on Gustav Hasford's novel "The Short-Timers". In Kubrik's film, the character Gomer Pyle goes crazy near the end of his training on Parris Island and kills himself. He is seen in the bathroom in a White T-Shirt, White Boxers, with his rifle beside him. He loads the last round into his magazine while stating what he is loading, 7.62 Full Metal Jacket. The scene ends with Pyle killing himself and his Drill Sergaent.
Episode 1 - Swiss MissEdit
- The title itself is a reference to the hot cocoa brand of the same name.
- When watching the shootout chase on the slopes, Ray believes it at first to be a Pink Floyd laser show.
Episode 2 - A Going ConcernEdit
- Rabbert Klein is a reference to Robert Klein, a comedian noted for a joke which involved his leg moving without his control.
- In addition, the scene where Archer asks Cyril if Len Trexler can have Rabbert Klein, he says, "Can we give Lennie the rabbit?" This is a reference to the character Lennie from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, a mentally challenged man who enjoys soft things, specifically rabbits. A similar reference is made in the following episode where Ray tells Lana to hand Seamus to Trinette, saying, "Give her the rabbit, Lennie." This references the running gag of Lana's man-like hands and the fact that the Lennie in the book is prone to killing animals accidentally by crushing them with his powerful hands while trying to cuddle with them.
- The Modified Ludovico treatment is a reference to A Clockwork Orange, where the British government experiments with reforming criminals using a similar form of aversion therapy called the Ludovico Technique.
- Popeye's line, "Get the f*** out of my cleaners", is a reference to a store owner in Adam Reed's previous show, 'Frisky Dingo'.
Episode 3 - Blood TestEdit
- When Woodhouse says, "Let's liven things up, Burroughs. Five grams of junk says I can shoot a pina colada off your wife's head," it is in reference to the famous author William S. Burroughs. In 1951, Burroughs shot and killed his common law wife Joan Vollmer in a drunken game of "William Tell" at a party above an American-owned Bounty Bar in Mexico City. The reference suggests that not only was Woodhouse responsible for Joan's death, but is one of many nods to his supposed homosexuality, being that Burroughs was also a homosexual. (According to Burroughs, he was not using heroin at the time, but rather was drinking alcohol constantly.) (Note that the piña colada was not invented until 1954.)
- When Gillette yells at Woodhouse to help him find the nutmeg so he can make Woodhouse some "Malcolm X tea", he is referring to a "tea" that, in his autobiography, Malcom X made using nutmeg and water. He claimed that the effect was equivalant to smoking three or four joints of "reefer". It was sometimes considered a means of substitution for "real drugs".
Episode 4 - Pipeline FeverEdit
- Right after taking the airboat, the man discovers that his dog is dead. He then mentions another dead dog and they cut to a scene of the tombstone which reads "Old Dan." This shot is a reference to the book Where The Red Fern Grows.
Episode 5 - The Double DeuceEdit
- As Woodhouse reminisces, it shows a young Woodhouse playing piano while talking to Reggie. The song he nonchalantly plays while talking is "Londonberry Air ," better known as the tune to the famous Irish ballad "Danny Boy " first published in 1913.
- When Woodhouse's WW1 squadron Captain is killed after he braves no man's land to save him, he goes into a rage and sneaks into German lines and kills several soldiers. Its later revealed he took scalps. Unable to cope with the grief Woodhouse goes on a drug fueled haze through the Orient on a merchant schooner. Similar to what Brad Pitt's Tristan does after his brother is killed in Legends of the Fall.
- Before Reggie is shot, Woodhouse uses 3 matches to light Reggie's cigarette. This is a reference to the "Three on a match" superstition supposed by soldiers during WWI. The superstition goes that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, one of the three would be killed or that the man who was third on the match would be shot. Since then, it has been considered bad luck for three people to share a light from the same match.
Episode 6 - Tragical HistoryEdit
- When Krieger yells "You blew it up!" after Lana breaks his digital girlfriend, it is a reference to the end of the original Planet of the Apes.
- "You can't shoot all three of us." "No. Just you." - a reference to Stand By Me
Episode 7 - Movie StarEdit
- There is a reference to the children's television show Wishbone when Pam says, "What's the story neck bones?" - In the Wishbone television series the theme song stated "What's the story, Wishbone?"
- The mention of Joe Frazier drowning was a reference to the 1973 Superstars Swimming Heats, which also featured Johnny Bench in the next race. Video here.
- Krieger's line, "That'll do, Pigley, that'll do," is a reference to the line at the end of Babe.
Episode 9 - Placebo EffectEdit
- The interrogation of the warehouse workers contains several references to Family Feud.
- Archer calls the young Irish mobster "Hannity" after his tirade about Mexicans taking jobs, which is a reference to right wing talk show host Sean Hannity.
- The store where the mob is playing cards is a Sopranos reference. Not only that, Steve Van Zandt, who was on The Sopranos, was also the member of the E-Street Band who wore the bandana.
- The scene with Franny at the end is a Magnum P.I. reference. Original. Cyril references this by suggesting Archer's film be called "Magnum Pee-Yew."
- Pam's comment "OK 'Clone Wars'" to shut down Krieger after watching "Terms of En-Rampagement" is a multi-reference; on the surface layer, she's referring to the "Clone Wars" of the Star Wars universe, in which the future Imperial Stormtroopers are all clones of Jango Fett, Boba Fett's father. Underneath, she's referring to the ongoing theme in this episode that Krieger is one of the "Boys from Brazil," that is, a clone of Adolf Hitler.
- The title "Terms of En-Rampagement" is itself a riff on the film title "Terms of Endearment," though the two films bear no obvious resemblance.
- Archer's reference to "Team Live-Badass" is a play on Lance Armstrong's "Livestrong"
Episode 10 - El SecuestroEdit
- Cheryl's ocelot is named Babou, which is the same name as Salvador Dalí's ocelot.
- When Archer tells Cheryl "Now you know how Babou feels", she responds with "crepuscular." This is a term for animals that are active at twilight, like ocelots.
- When negotiating with the terrorrists Archer believes them to be cyborgs. When they threaten to kill Pam, he says they'd be violating the "first law of robotics." A reference to the Robot-based stories by Isaac Asimov, including "I, Robot," where the first law of Robotics is "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."
Episode 11 - Jeu MonegasqueEdit
- The whole episode is a semi-reference to the James Bond novel and films Casino Royale.
- The names Bell, Bivens, and Devoe are used for the first, second, and third place racers at the Grand Prix at the beginning of the episode. This is a nod to the '90s R&B group Bell Biv DeVoe, who recorded the 1990 single "Poison."
- Malory tells the concierge, "This isn't my first Grand Prix, you know," a reference to Jessica Walter's role in the film Grand Prix.
- Lana's car is painted in the same colors and with the same number as Herbie. Ray's car is painted like Penelope Pitstops'.
- Archer's repeated addition of "balls" to Benoit is a reference to Ben Wa balls, a sex toy.
- Mallory Confronts Ray and Archer in the casino, prompting Ray to tell her "your son... is drunk." Mallory replies "who are you... Carrie Nation?" Carrie Nation was an influential anti-alcohol activist who participated in the push for prohibition.
Episode 12 - White NightsEdit
Episode 13 - Double TroubleEdit
- Barry's lines in the video feed in the KGB base are the lines said by the bionic man at the start of The Six Million Dollar Man.
Episode 1 - Heart of Archness: Part IEdit
- The last words of the Pirate Captain, "What the hell damn guy!" is a frequently used phrase in Frisky Dingo, Adam Reed's show prior to Archer.
- The title of the three-part series "Heart of Archness" is a reference to the novel by Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" upon which the movie "Apocalypse Now" was based.
Episode 2 - Heart of Archness: Part IIEdit
- Archer's line "King, exactly, and unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon with a bunch of scorpions"... is a reference to the movie Scorpion King.
Episode 3 - Heart of Archness: Part IIIEdit
- Bucky recites the famous "how many times did I fire my gun" speech from Dirty Harry.
- Archer calling Reily "Nick Furious" is a reference to the Marvell character Nick Fury, who wears an eyepatch.
- Archer's lacrosse team name incorporates the name of the 90's indie-rock band Archers of Loaf.
- A competing lacrosse team, the "Lakshmi Singhers," refers to Lakshmi Singh, an anchor for NPR.
- Twice the quote "phrasing" is used, which is a reference to Arrested Development.
Episode 4 - The Man From JupiterEdit
- The episode title is a reference to the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the town of Jupiter, Florida, which is where Burt Reynolds spent most of his childhood.
- Hal Needham was a stunt double for Burt Reynolds.
Episode 5 - El ContadorEdit
- Archer references the Stargate franchise, which is about travelling to other worlds though a circular "gate". In order to travel you must first lock in a series of "chevrons" (symbols representing destination coordinates) on the gate.
- When Pam is in the bathroom hallucinating, while tearing the toliet out of the wall and yells, "Must Kill Decepticons!", Kreiger then says, "Which reminds me, Call Terry" - which could be a reference to Terry Lennon who was the Director of "The Transformers" TV Series from 1985-1986.
- The episode's plotline involves the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel, which can be found here.
- Román Calzado shouts "What the hell damn guy!" after Lana shoots a knife from his hand near the end of the episode. As mentioned above, this is a frequently used phrase from Frisky Dingo.
Episode 6 - The LimitedEdit
- On Pullman sleeping cars on trains, all African Americans were required to answer to "George" (after the first name of George Pullman, who owned and built the Pullman Sleeping Cars).
- The terrorist Bilko (any relation to Sargeant Bilko?) is voiced by Robb Wells, who played "Rickie" in the Canadian sit-com "Trailer Park Boys" (2001-2007).
Episode 7 - Drift ProblemEdit
- When Pam says, "..and again, just really sorry about your nephew", to the Yakuza boss who runs the underground drift-circuit. He replies, "He knew the risk" - which is a reference to the ending of the film, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift , in which the main character races the nephew of a Yakuza boss, who says in a similar fashion that his nephew knew the risk involved.
Episode 8 - Lo ScandaloEdit
Episode 9 - Bloody FerlinEdit
- Archer says the burglars may be building a Gundam suit with bazookas for hands, referring to the mecha from the animated Gundam series.
- Archer says that Ray's story is eerily similar to the plot of 1973 film White Lightning starring Burt Reynolds.
- Krieger's new hobby is "Ultimate Bum Shock Fights", a reference to the exploitive films Bumfights which feature teenagers, homeless men in the San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas metropolitan areas fighting and attempting amateur stunts in exchange for money, alcohol, and other incentives.
- Cheryl asks Ray and Archer if they at the "six flags over the shittier parts of Chernobyl". She is referencing the theme park "Six Flags Over Texas" (the start of the Six Flags theme park chain) and the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant where the Chernobyl disaster occurred.
- A holler is an Appalachian term for a type of valley.
- Cheryl asks, "What's my dowry? Tetanus?" A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to a marriage. Since she asks what she will be given, she is actually referring to the bride price.
- After killing the rooster, Cheryl and Ray reference Kenny Rogers Roasters, a chicken restaurant that was founded by country musician Kenny Rogers and former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
- Randy and Janelle Gillette have an open marriage, meaning they engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded as infidelity.
- Genesis 38:8 reads "Then Judah said to Onan, 'Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.'”, which with some extreme rules lawyering can be viewed as a directive to sleep with your siblings' spouses.
- Ray had a diary with Miss Piggy, a character from The Muppet Show, on it.
- Ray wore Capezio dancewear, a manufacturer of dance shoes, apparel and accessories, in high school.
- Randy mentions making money by "digging sang". "Digging sang" refers to the lucrative poaching of a variety of wild ginseng that grows in the Appalachian region.
- Archer calls the dead rooster "Dan Lather," a play on the name of the American journalist and the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News Dan Rather.
Episode 10 - Crossing OverEdit
- Pam makes a reference to Adam "Pacman" Jones, a football player suspended for improper conduct in a strip club.
- Chupacabra is a South American mythical creature which is basically a goat vampire.
- The title of the episode is a reference to the play The Skin Game or the 1971 film Skin Game.
- Kreiger says that he lives in a "transitional neighborhood". This is the term used in the Concentric zone model (AKA the Burgess model) for an area of a city that experiences high population turnover, has few homeowners, dilapidated infrastructure, is "mixed use", and experiences generally high rates of crime, regardless of the racial makeup of the population. This theory refuted the previous claims that criminal behavior was genetic, biological, or generationally transmitted.
- Archer says he likes the "non-Midnight Cowboy" kind of surprise fellatio, referring to the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy.
- Archer says he cannot look at a "Doctor Moreau pig-baby," referring to Doctor Moreau of the H. G. Wells novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. Doctor Moreau created human-like beings out of animals.
- Archer says Kreiger can play "YYZ," an instrumental rock piece by the Canadian rock band Rush.
- Katya says that Archer woke her like the prince of the fairy tale "Snow White."
- Pam mentions YYZ again and Kreiger replies that "Neil Peart stands alone," referring the drummer for the aforementioned band Rush.
- Archer mentions Horace Greeley.
- Cheryl says that Lana wants to "screw affirmative action" by hiring Katya.
- Pam asks Katya if she thinks RoboCop is a pro or a con.
- Confusing the two computer hardware acronyms, Archer tells Katya not to waste the ROM or RAM thinking about Malory.
- Archer said he spent hours doing Yogic breathing.
- While talking about his testicles, Archer and Katya reference cranbaisins and Craisins.
- Lana says to understand Archer you would need to have a threesome with Oedipus and Sigmund Freud, referring to the psychoanalytic theory of an Oedipus complex.
- Frank Sinatra gave Cyril's grandfather a bottle of scotch.
- Archer asks if Cyril's tie was Peter Lawford's. Cyril later says that his mug was in fact Peter Lawford's.
- Cheryl repeats the misconception that the Chinese word for "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same word.
- Cheryl mentions they make her fold paper cranes in the hospital.
- Ray mentioned The Snug, a bar in New York City.
- Archer calls Kreiger "Ira Flatow from Newton's Apple." Ira Flatow was the first host of the PBS education television program Newton's Apple and is currently the host of NPR's Science Friday.
- Cheryl repeatedly says "Polo" when the lights are out. This is the reply given in the game Marco Polo.
- Malory mentions "that Electrolux," referring to the time Archer got his penis stuck in a vacuum cleaner.
- The end of the episode, when Barry and Katya ride off on the bus, is a reference to the end of the film The Graduate, when Elaine and Benjamin ride off in the bus.
Episode 12 - Space Race: Part IEdit
- As Archer is being briefed he makes an attempt to have the major say "danger zone".
- Pam shatters the communications panel and says "Boring conversation anyway." This is a reference to Star Wars: Ep. IV, in which Han Solo does the same thing.
- There is another nod to Star Wars when Lana shoots a hole through a wall on the space station and tells everyone to jump in to flee their pursuers. The men all refuse because the hole leads to the garbage compactor and they just run away instead.
Episode 13 - Space Race: Part IIEdit
Barry's offer that Archer may fight him using a robotic exoskeleton is a reference to the final fight scene of the Aliens.
Barry taping the beer bottles together saying "Archer come out and play" is a reference to "The Warriors"
Episode 1 - Fugue and RiffsEdit
- The episode title is a reference to two things: (1) the jazz composition "Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs" by Leonard Bernstein and (2) a fugue state, alluding to Archer's amnesia.
- The episode contains a crossover with FOX's animated series, Bob's Burgers. H. Jon Benjamin voices the protagonist in Bob's Burgers, like Archer.
- In "Bob's Burgers," new "burgers of the week" are devised with little puns for their names and those of their ingredients. The "Burger of the Week" at the beginning of this episode was the "Thomas Elphinstone Hambledurger with Manning Coleslaw." This was a reference to Thomas Elphinstone Hambledon of the Foreign Office, the protagonist of a series of spy novels written by the British authors "Manning Coles".
- Archer (as Bob) later devises an "Émile Gorgonzola burger with J'accusecumbers." Émile Zola was a famous French writer who was prosecuted for having published a letter entitled "J'accuse" accusing the French government of anti-Semitism.
Episode 2 - The Wind Cries MaryEdit
- The episode title is the same as the Jimi Hendrix song "The Wind Cries Mary".
- Malory lists six famous New York City restaurants:
- Lana references the duck test.
- When asked how Lucas could have disappeared, Archer said "Paging Dr. Cooper! Dr. D. B. Cooper!" D. B. Cooper is a man who famously mysteriously disappeared with a case full of money after parachuting from a hijacked plane.
- Justified, an FX series that stars Timothy Olyphant (voice actor of Lucas), had just recently introduced an ongoing "D.B. Cooper-esque" mystery as one of the foundations of its fourth season in its season premiere which originially aired just a couple of weeks prior to this episode of Archer.
- Malory saying "gay as a tangerine" is a reference to the animated series Frisky Dingo, a show co-created by Adam Reed.
- Lana says Lucas would used his credit card at "roughtrade.net", referring to the term "rough trade, a slang term for a masculine working class man who has sex with men (sometimes as a male prostitute).
- Archer drops a microphone to gloat about being right about Lucas' sexual orientation. The act of dropping a microphone is an act of celebration originating in the 1980s and has become popular (to the point of a meme) since 2007.
- Pam drops the microphone as well, but out of anger, not jubilee.
- Lucas says they used to call Lana "Sherley Temper," a play on the famous child actress Shirley Temple.
- Upon finding Cyril's discarded clothing, archer reassures himself that Predator only hunts in tropical jungles. He is referring to Predator from the science fiction franchise Predator.
- Lana uses her combat knife to cut Cyril's tank top and orders him to remove his briefs, saying "Get naked. Panties, Too." This is a reference to the famous rape scene in the film "Deliverance".
- Archer says he hopes Lana was not firing at an Ent, a race of beings in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world Middle-earth who closely resemble trees.
- Lucas says he played music by Al Green as he raped Archer.
- When Archer realizes he has been drugged by Lucas, he asked why Lucas was not affected by the wine as well he had the same wine. Lucas replies "Coated the inside of the glass." This likely a nod to the guest-starring Olyphant's other show, Justified, in which two characters were fatally poisoned the very same way.
- Cheryl says a cyborg would need to be "pretty smart to fool the ol' Voight-Kampff machine." This references the Voight-Kampff machine from the film Blade Runner which is used to determine if someone is a replicant (genetically engineered organic robot).
- Cheryl refers to Rodney as "Magnum P.U.", a reference to the television series Magnum, P.I..
- Archer tells Cyril that "Grover Cleveland wants his watch back. He left two non-consecutive messages," referring to the former U.S. president Grover Cleveland who had two non-consecutive terms as president.
- Archer says finding Brett is like being the Warren Commission, which was established to find facts on the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.
- Archer references one of the theories the commission set forth is the single bullet theory (AKA the magic bullet theory) which says that a single bullet hit both JFK and John Connally by ricocheting.
- Archer says Kreiger is making a "gay Terminator," referencing the film The Terminator.
- Malory laments getting blood on her Delman shoes.
- After the explosion, Cheryl rants at Archer about "smashing the defense grid so Skynet...". This is a reference to the film The Terminator where the main antagonist Skynet is destroyed by smashing the defense grid.
- Before using the grappling hook, Archer refers to the third film in the Terminator series Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
- While in the air ducts, Archer makes a reference to the film Maximum Overdrive.
- When Archer falls out of the air ducts, he quotes Arnold Schwarzenegger's character's line from the film The Terminator.
Episode 4 - Midnight RonEdit
- The episode title is a play on the title of the 1988 film Midnight Run.
- Ron Cadillac is a reference to Martin “Kaz” Kazinsky from the series Kaz.
- Malory reminds Ron that they have plans to see Carmen at the Met.
- Cheryl asks Malory if she is having "trouble on the old homefront?" This is a possible reference to Trouble on the Homefront, a side quest in Fallout 3.
- Cheryl is making paper dolls in this episode in the shape of a Human Centipede, albeit with all females.
- While in Montreal, some people use the Quebec French curse word tabernak.
- Archer tells a person waiting for the phone to shut his "poutine hole", referring to the Quebec dish poutine.
- Archer references the cult classic horror movie "C.H.U.D." in this episode. The C.H.U.D.s in the film live in the New York City sewers.
- Ron counters this with the urban legend of alligators in the New York City sewers, which gives Archer horrifying visions of said alligators breaking through the toilet while he is using it and attacking him.
- Archer makes reference to the butterfly effect.
- Stranded on the highway, Archer suggests that no one will trust he and Ron to pick them up because they look like "The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man," a story of an older con man and his younger partner traveling together.
- The cross-dressing trucker is modeled after celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie.
- Archer's exclamation "Aw, Fat Mike, too?" upon hearing Fat Mike had been arrested, is a line uttered by Xander Crews on hearing he had just killed Fat Mike, an Xtacle in the show "Frisky Dingo.". The character of Xander Crews was likewise in many ways a prototype for Archer.
- Ron stole a Sherman tank when he was younger.
- Archer says the one old guy with a club is "kicking it Bedrock style", referring to Bedrock from the cartoon The Flintstones.
- Ron calls one of the bikers who attack them "C. W. McCall-girl." C. W. McCall is an outlaw country singer.
- Archer says his gun is not a phaser, referring to the Star Trek weapon.
- The gypsy woman also described the encounter as "an alternate universe where John Waters directed "The Road Warrior." Waters is known for his odd films featuring freaky, often transgendered or gay, characters. "The Road Warrior" was a post-apocalyptic film in which gangs with crazy outfits and improvised weapons, not unlike the bikers in this episode, are the main antagonists.
- In the flashback, Cheryl tells Archer he needs to "make it rain". Pam yells Pac-Man Jones, a reference as "making it rain."
- Archer makes a comparison between Ron and Master P, exhorting him to "make it rain."
- When Ron says Archer hates Ron because he wants Malory to himself, he says "Paging Dr. Bates, Dr. Norman Bates". This is a reference to the novel Pyscho, in which a man named Norman Bates falls in love with his mother. Bates kills his mother, her lover, and keeps his mother's corpse in his house.
- Archer mentions the parachute fall when he throws the men out of the train car.
- Archer mentioned a hobo term "bulls", which means railroad security guard.
- The opera Malory and Ron attend is Carmen. The aria playing is Habanera.
Episode 5 - Viscous CouplingEdit
- The episode title is a references viscous coupling units, alluding to the cyborgs.
- When Archer mistakenly believes Lana hears him from an incredible distance to her office, he says "Who are you, Jaime Sommers?" Jaime Sommers is the Bionic Woman.
- When referring to his plans for the night, Kreiger makes a reference to The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, arguably the most famous shunga. The reference is repeated with the magazines Cyril and Ray begin to read in the bathroom and later when they both wake up to find an octopus in the toilet.
- When questioning Archer's reasoning behind helping Barry, Pam compares Barry being trapped in space to General Zod from the Superman series.
- Archer calls Kreiger Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and prominent public figure.
Episode 6 - Once BittenEdit
- The episode title alludes to the English idiom "once bitten, twice shy."
- Archer's exclamation "The lambs are screaming!" is a reference to the same line in film The Silence of the Lambs.
- Lana's clomping is compared to that of an AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back by Pam and Cheryl.
- Archer's hallucination in which he sees alligators all over the road and Ray and Cyril as alligator people is a reference to similar hallucinations in the book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
- When Ray tells the story of killing a bear while bowhunting and eating its heart at the age of ten, Archer calls him "Gay-vy Crockett." This is a reference to the legend (and subsequent line in songs) of Davy Crockett killing a bear at the age of three.
- After witnessing the gutshot scene, Archer complains to James Mason "What frickin' movie is this?! What's next, Mr. Gower slaps me deaf?!" referring to the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" wherein George is slapped in his ear, causing lifelong injury.
- Seeing the fur hats of the Turkmen, Archer exclaims "Hey, check it out, friend Barney, we're at the water buffalo lodge!" a reference to the lodge of which Barney and Fred of "The Flintstones" are members, where they wear similar hats.
- Archer also references Buck Henry, who, among other things, directed another film in the genre of people being given a chance for character development in the wake of death, "Heaven Can Wait."
- The entire episode references the nation of Turkmenistan and its leader. The leader of Turkmenistan after independence, Saparmurat Niyazov, was well known for his changes to their language and naming various things after his family, etc.
- After receiving the antivenom from Cyril, Archer wakes up with the syringe still in his chest. This scene is a reference to "Pulp Fiction", where Mia Wallace woke up in the same way after a drug overdose coma.
- Archer mocks James Mason's accent and calls him a "cut-rate James Mason." This is a bit of in-joke ribbing at the fact that it was Peter Serafinowicz, and not James Mason (who is dead), voicing the character.
- Archer continues the theme of referring to vast knowledge of television trivia by comparing their situation to that of The Rat Patrol.
Episode 7 - Live and Let DineEdit
- The episode title is a play on the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die.
- Casteau is a French-speaking village in Belgium, although here it may also be a reference to Jacques Cousteau.
- Ray Gillette's fake name is a reference to Gilles de Rais, best known by his reputation and conviction as a prolific serial killer of children.
- Cheryl tells Casteau that she is former USA President John F. Kennedy's niece.
- Cheryl mentions Ted Kennedy in a fake story.
- Pam calls Malory "Cruella de Vil's mom".
- Cheryl says "I'll have what he's having" after the ambassador dies. This is a reference to the film When Harry Met Sally.
- Casteau at one point calls Ray "Gayvid Niven," an obvious reference to David Niven, an English actor and novelist popular both in Europe and the US.
- Casteau also calls Ray "Mincent Price," referencing Vincent Price, an American actor well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic performances in a series of horror films made in the later part of his career. Note, Malory has before said that Ray "minces," meaning to (1) speak in an affected way and (2) walk with very short steps or with exaggerated primness.
- The opera Malory and Ron attend, and are kicked out of, is Carmen. The aria in the background is Habanera.
- This episode draws inspiration from various cooking reality shows.
- Anthony Bourdain: The voice actor for Lance Casteau is Anthony Bourdain, and in addition to his smoking, mannerisms, and language being essentially like Bourdain, his motivation later on is to have a travelling show like Bourdain has. Bourdain is also known for trying all kinds of odd cuisine from various countries in his travels. In particularly he has eaten eyeballs and the heads of numerous animals.
- Having untrained staff who are constantly being berated and yelled at, with sensational and often staged cuts for bumpers, references Gordon Ramsay, who is, like Casteau, famous for his risotto.
- Several cultural references are made in this episode. A number of items of Albanian cuisine are featured in the show, including dolma, rakia, and tavë kosi (the national dish of Albania). Customs such as using yogurt extensively in their food and the eating of the lamb's head and eyeballs get play. The tavë kosi in this case was made from the heads of lambs, from which Archer made Cyril scrape the meat and remove the tongues and eyeballs.
- Barry references the 6_Million_Dollar_Man, whom he resembles visually.
Episode 8 - Coyote LovelyEdit
- The episode title is a play on the 2000 film Coyote Ugly.
- As Archer explains, "coyotes" are people who smuggle people across the U.S.A.-Mexico border.
- Archer scratches the word "DOM" into a rock while waiting to snipe. This refers to the movie Fandango which has a rock with the same inscription.
- Archer calls Lana "a Lorax blowing tree-hugger", referring to the character by Dr. Seuss.
- When Archer handcuffs Cyril to Lana he says "Just like The Defiant Ones." The Defiant Ones is a movie in which two prisoners, one black (Sidney Poitier) and one white (Tony Curtis), escape while shackled to one another.
- Giardia is a protozoan parasite that causes violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea.
- Archer concludes he may be autistic because he can count things others cannot. This refers to a phenomenon seen in some autistic people and was made popular by the film Rain Man about an autistic savant.
- After installing the police radio, the 8-track does not work. 8-tracks are obsolete today.
- Archer refers to the veterinarian who removes the bullets from his as "D. T. McShakyhands." He is referring to delirium tremens, commonly referred to as DTs, which usually occur from alcohol withdrawal.
- Archer also refers to the vet as "Kitty Hepburn", a play on Katie (Katharine) Hepburn who suffered from alcoholism.
- Pam asks Cyril, "How's it hanging, Grimace?" while poking him in his bruises. She calls him this because his bruises are purple, the same color as Grimace, a character from McDonaldland.
Episode 9 - The HoneymoonersEdit
- The episode title is a reference to the 1950s US sitcom The Honeymooners.
- Lana says, "It's like my heart is being gripped by the icy fingers of some terrifying ghost of honeymoon future." This is a reference to The Ghost of Christmas Future in Charles Dickens' novella A Christmas Carol.
- Malory suggests to a French waiter he should apologize for Dunkirk.
- While receiving a massage, Pam complains to her masseur for not being firm enough, saying "Who are you? Van Cliburn? Knock off the ticklin' and work that shit!" Van Cliburn was a famous piano player. "Tickling the ivories" is an idiom referring to the act of delicately playing the piano. In fact, Pam's masseuse is positioned such that Pam's back is like a musical keyboard or piano, and he is indeed making motions with his fingers much akin to quickly but gently playing the piano.
- Archer says he's going to kick some "Kim Jong Ass", a play on the name of the current leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un.
- Archer says that Lana get "Tom Dempseyed in the tits". Tom Dempsey is a former NFL kicker.
- Archer says "And THIS is for the Pueblo" referring to the capture of the USS Pueblo by the North Koreans in 1968.
- Lana screams lines from Full Metal Jacket as she mows people down with machine gun fire.
Episode 10 - Un Chien TangerineEdit
- The episode title is a reference to the 1929 silent film Un Chien Andalou by Spanish direct Luis Buñuel and surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.
- Archer corrects Lana by using the proper terms for the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer made by a muezzin.
- Lana says she understands why Morocco Mole was so inept, referring to the character from the cartoon series Secret Squirrel.
- The hotel clerk tells Archer that Allen Ginsberg wrote the poem Howl in their hotel room. However, he purported wrote wrote it in Caffe Mediterraneum in California.
- Archer calls Lana Brett Somers when she finishes his sentence.
- Archer says his favorite animal with a prehensile tail is the X-Men character Nightcrawler, AKA Kurt Wagner.
- Archer says he is driving like Parnelli Jones, a famous race car driver.
- Archer says they can feed Kazak to Cujo, referring to the dog. Cujo is a horror novel by Stephen King about a titular murderous dog.
- Kazak, the dog Lana and Archer are tasked to retrieve, is an English Mastiff, which is a reference to the English Mastiff, Kazak, in the novel The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut.
- Archer refers to Kazak as the Pelé of fetch, once again referencing the Brazilian footballer Pelé.
- Archer feeds Kazak kofta, balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions.
- Malory tells Pam to thank Archer Daniels Midland, an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation.
- Archer curses Kazak's gas by yelling "Beelzebub's asshole!" referring to the Judea-Christian figure Beelzebub.
- Malory mentions ruby slippers when referring to Ray. ruby slippers are associated with Judy Garland who played Dorothy Gale in the film The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland is a gay icon.
- Pam mentions that her pig won the blue ribbon at the county fair.
- Pam's pig's name, Leon, may be a reference to Snowball, a pig in the novel Animal Farm who is an allusion to Leon Trotsky.
- Archer mentions doing a PIT maneuver on the truck carrying Lana.
Episode 11 - The Papal ChaseEdit
- The episode title refers to the film "The Paper Chase".
- Malory takes Kreiger to see the play and movie versions of The Wiz.
- Archer says he studied the animated show Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil to prepare for the mission.
- Lana asks Woodhouse if he has enough heroin to ease his withdrawal without making him "Trainspotty". This is a reference to Trainspotting, a novel and film that follows a group of heroin addicts.
- Archer's disguise is a reference to Father Guido Sarducci. Additionally, someone calls Archer "Father Guido Sar-douchebag".
- Pam tells the cardinal St. Louis.
- Pam asks "who am I, Cypher, the gayest X-Men?" referring to the X-Man Cypher who has ability to translate any language, spoken or written.
- Archer calls Pam Oliver Cromwell, the English military and political leader who targeted Catholics.
- Lana calls Woodhouse "Junky Brewster", a reference to Punky Brewster.
- Pam says she may have grabbed "the tail of the dragon," referring to the phrase chasing the dragon used to refer to the elusive pursuit of the ultimate high.
- Cheryl mentions Bishop from the film Aliens.
- Pam and the pope mention Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation by nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a church. One of the complaints he levied against the Catholic church was the practice of indulgences, which Pam refers to multiple times.
- After taking Woodhouse's lighter, Lana asks Archer if her is going to request "Free Bird".
- Archer asks "who am I, William Safire?" referencing William Safire and his work on the English language .
- Lana and the Swiss Guard agent say that the ISIS agents killed members of the Camorra, a Mafia-type of criminal organization.
- Lana mentions Seal Team 6, recently made famous for their assassination of Osama bin Laden.
- Archer calls the Swiss Guard agent Payne Stewart.
Episode 12 - Sea Tunt: Part IEdit
- The title of this episode is a reference to the television series "Sea Hunt."
- Cyril corrects Archer's assumption that the Virgin Islands were captured by the USA in war, saying that they were bought from Denmark. Indeed, the USA acquired the Virgin Islands from the Danish in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies for US$25,000,000 in gold.
- The Bermuda Triangle is an undefined region of ocean famous for the alleged plethora of ships and aircraft that have gone missing under mysterious circumstances within its boundaries.
- Referring to "beating the Russians," Archer calls Malory "Mike Eruzione." Mike Eruzione was the captain of the 1980 Winter Olympics United States national team that defeated the Soviet Union in the famous "Miracle on Ice" game.
- Archer says that Cecil Tunt looks like an illustration by Rien Poortvliet, an illustrator famous for his drawings of gnomes.
- Pam calls Cheryl "Michael Findlay," a filmmaker who was killed in a helicopter accident.
- Archer calls Cecil "Jacques Cousteau," a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
- Cecil mentions a number of his philanthropic activities, some of which are references to actual charities:
- Archer says he predicted Lana would join the Nation of Islam. Archer mentions that Lana cannot date Cyril or eat bacon, referring to their religious prohibitions against interracial marriage and the consumption of pork.
- Cecil calls Tiffy "Jeremy Bentham", a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.
- Pam calls the helicopter "Riptide-looking," likely referencing the TV detective series Riptide.
- Cyril says "thank you Magellan" to Lana. Ferdinand Magellan's expedition was the first to circumnavigate the globe.
- Cheryl says the music she hears is "not diegetic". Diegetic music in films is music the characters are aware of, whereas non-diegetic music is music characters are unaware of (e.g., background music).
- Archer says they would have to lock Cheryl in the vault every full moon, referencing the mythology of werewolves who are said to transform during the full moon.
- Archer says "tragedy plus time...", referencing a quote by Carol Burnett: "Comedy is tragedy plus time."
- Archer asks Malory if she smells toast, suspecting she is having a stroke. Olfactory hallucinations are a symptom of a stroke.
- Cheryl curses John Williams, an American conductor, composer, and pianist famous for his film scores.
- Archer's drink name "Horatio Cornblower" is a pun on the fiction Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower.
- Captain Murphy is a reference to a character of the same name in SeaLab 2020 and the parody reboot Sealab 2021.
Episode 13 - Sea Tunt: Part IIEdit
- Captain Murphy is a reference to a character of the same name in SeaLab 2020 and the parody reboot Sealab 2021.
- Captain Murphy asks if Cecil got Oprah to interview him.
- Pam's sister Ethey called her "Spamala", referencing the canned precooked meat product Spam.
- Cheryl mentions Pam has a bug-out bag, a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.
- Cheryl asks Malory, "Who are you, Earl Butz?". Earl Butz was a United States government official who served as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Butz was know for his vulgarity and racially insensitive remarks.
- Malory says the ship is "no Harry's Bar" and that "at least Hemingway isn't grabbing my tits". Harry's Bar is a bar and restaurant located in Venice, Italy and was the favorite of Ernest Hemingway.
- Malory comments on Cecil wearing a toboggan, another name for a knit cap.
- Archer says Lana would be the weakest swimmer because she is Black. He is referencing the stereotype that Black people cannot swim well.
- Cyril calls Lana "Scarlett Letter O'Whora". The Scarlet Letter is a fictional work about a woman, Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair. Scarlett O'Hara is the protagonist of the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind.
- TIffy mentions Cecil screwing up jailbreaking her phone.
- ↑ http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ginseng.html
- ↑ http://chalk.richmond.edu/elements/snp/ginseng_poaching/
- ↑ http://video.adultswim.com/frisky-dingo/gay-as-a-tangerine.html
- ↑ http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/01/25/a_history_of_the_mic_drop_when_did_people_start_dropping_the_mic.html
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/obscure-archer-references-midnight-ron-with-matt-thompson.html
- ↑ http://www.angelfire.com/folk/famoustramp/terminology.html
- ↑ http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1025817121137?LI=true#page-1
- ↑ http://www.racialicious.com/2012/02/29/debunking-the-stereotype-that-blacks-dont-swim/