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A list of in-show references and allusions. If you add a reference to the page of a specific episode. One reason for this is so that there is a place to appreciate all the references that are poured into this series. The second is so that it is to make it easier for contributors and fact checkers to keep track of the edits without having to follow all of those pages.

References

Classic Misdirection

Recurring referencesEdit

  • 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.

Season 1Edit

Episode 1 - Mole HuntEdit

  • The picture of Malory Archer with Duchess is a reference to the January 1981 Rolling Stone cover portraying a naked John Lennon hugging Yoko Ono.
  • When Crenshaw asks Sterling Archer if he thinks torture training is a game, Sterling responds "No, I think Jenga's a game..." Jenga is a game that involves stacking wooden blocks.
  • 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[citation needed]. The second layer is that Abelard was a French philosopher who wrote many essays on the Greeks, thus it makes sense that Abelard understood and laughed at the joke.
  • Archer claims the shirt he picked up the cleaners 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 and 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 mentions it.
  • Whore Island may also be a reference to Train Island, a passion project of Frisky Dingo's Xander Crewes
  • Archer suggests that he helped a guy with cancer, as in the movie "Brian'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."
  • The 10 "Black" turtlenecks, with five (5) a slightly darker shade of black - is a possible homage to the "None More Black" comment from Sir Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap Lead Guitarist. Archer, in a stroke of wardrobe brilliance - "License to Assort Wardrobe" type of thing, illustrates that there is in fact an "11" in terms of Black "color" (although not buying 1 more to make "11"), at least as Turtlenecks are concerned, as he should, of course, and ... "Hallowed-Be-Thy-Archer", Amen.  Later episode suggestion to close this "fantasy reference loop" - Archer buys an 11th black turtleneck because ... because it is blackerer ... for a reunion date with Lana ... whom Archer takes to a "long lost" island retreat, which he secretly suspects is his long sought after Holy Grail - Whore Island (circle back to why needing an "11" black tutleneck).  The island populated, not with exotic Amazonian's, but with the long-Archer-sought-after, a "Johnny Bench-a-Lot-esque", Whoreior race of women.  The Whoreiors bred a special race of men to serrrrvvvice them, they call, SMOBBs, Small Men, O-my, But Big.  Shortyly, after being oversexed by parades of "limitless Whoeiors", Battling SMOBBs, Archer uses his "11 Black tutleneck" to "do something" to get off the Island, on an AIRBOAT (which was integral throughout the episode!)  Post-script, As Archer docks the airboat, Burt Reynold surprises him by walking up in "Grease Monkey outfit" and asks him if he needs fueling.  Unknowingly Archer pulled up to what ends up being "Gator's Airboat Stop" (truckstop, but for airboats, owned by Burt), which is "just across the water" from Whore Island.  Realizing he just "lived" the 3rd Movie of the McKlusky Trilogy, the Archer-self-titled: "Whore-O'-Gator - Revenge of the Airboats", he asks Burt ... "I thought you only used speed boats"?  Gator, I mean Burt says, "Yes, but Airboats are in my DNA, errr, blood ... Archer ....", and gives Archer a chuckle.  Archer responds, talking-over Burt, "yeah Burt, Airboats are in my blood tooooo....." (Exit Look = "oh yeah!!!")    Closing theme - "Gator Country....give me a little of that chomp, chomp" ...."Gator Country", Molly Hatchet / southern rock, another hidden favorite of Archers.   Next:  "Gimme 3 Archers - Freebird Trilogy".  See S04E11 Papal Chase - Lana to Archer as he lights a lighter "what, while you request Freebird?"   Confidence Interval = .963  (Vulcan calculation, who else's?)

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.  The gun Archer had given Cyril earlier was "Chekhov, 25 caliber."
  • 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. Uncle Kermit is a reference to Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and CIA coordinator of Operation AJAX.
  • Lord Felchy is a reference to Feltching; the act of sucking or licking ejaculate out of the orifice in which it was deposited.
  • When discussing the use of Kriegers

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 Malory asks Conway if he knows how to whistle, it is a reference to the film "To Have and Have Not"[1]
  • 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 am I, Tron?", a reference to the 1982 Disney film Tron.
  • After Conway dispatches of the henchmen around Sterling using a sniper rifle, Sterling says "That was amazing! It was like...like" to which Conway finishes, "A Charles Whitman Sampler?" a reference to the box of Whitman's Sampler chocolates as well as a reference to Charles Whitman , a former US Marine who on August 1, 1966 climbed the tower at the University of Texas in Austin and used a sniper rifle to go on a mass shooting rampage that resulted in the deaths of 17 people.

Episode 4 - Killing UtneEdit

  • The name of Krieger's sex-bot is "Fister Roboto",  which is a play-on-words reference to the song "Mr. Roboto" written by Dennis DeYoung and produced by 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.
  • 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 William Tager on Park Avenue in New York City. The assailant repeatedly asked Rather, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" The phrase inspired the title of the song "What's 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. This is a direct quote from Darth Vader in the 1977 film Star Wars.
  • Utne calls Lana Truckasaurus when she crushes his hands.  Archer does a Truckasuarus imitation when Malory tells him Lana crushed Utne's hands.  Truckasaurus[2] was a car crushing robot from an episode of The Simpsons. 

Episode 5 - HoneypotEdit

Episode 6 - SkorpioEdit

  • 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".
  • While on the boat with Nikolai Jakov, Malory recalls their meeting under "the Bridge of Spies". This is a referene to the Glienicke Bridge outside the city of Potsdam Gernmany, near Berlin. After the Second World War allied forces used the bridge as an artery between their territory in West Berlin and other diplomatic posts in Potsdam. During the 1960's and 80's the bridge was used for several high profile prisoner exchanges. This continues the theme of Malory as a field opertaive during and immeadiately after WWII, other references are made to her intra and post-war activities while working for the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.

Episode 7 - SkytanicEdit

  • 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's Leaves of Grass, which laments the death of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. This is probably in reference to the use of the phrase in the movie Dead Poets Society, in which English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) tells his students to refer to him thus if they feel daring.
  • 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. (Also, due to the suddenly hushed nature of the line "Nice read, Velma...",  H. Jon Benjamin may actually have said this aside to Aisha Tyler during recording due to her corny tone of voice, and then the writers decided not to edit it out. (Unless they've changed set up, they don't record at the same time (sadly)))
  • 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. Led Zeppelin got their name by playing on the joke, "That'd go over like a lead balloon," since a Zeppelin is a type of airship.
  • The name of the episode, Skytanic, is a reference to the famous RMS Titanic
  • The scene with Ray and the drones in the crisis room is an allusion to the movie, Apollo 13. In particular, Ray's vest is a reference to the special vests that Gene Kranz would get from his wife every mission.

Episode 8 - The RockEdit

  • 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 Finance 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.
  • While the workers of ISIS are discussing the pros and cons of unionizing, Cheryl states, in dissent, that she can remember what Malory did to the cleaning ladies when they similarly tried to organize. In the Flashback Cut that follows, Malory declines to get on the elevator with the cleaning ladies, which subsequently plummets down the shaft, presumably killing them all. Malory quips "How's that for bread and roses?" The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in a speech given by US labor union leader and suffragette Rose Schneiderman. In an appeal for fair wages and better working environments she said, "The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too." It inspired a poem by James Oppenheim and became the slogan for many unions, magazines, feminist organizations and various other pro-worker or pro-women endeavors.

Episode 9 - Job OfferEdit

  • Framboise is French for raspberries.
  • Framboise is referred to by Archer as "the Pelé of anal", in a comparison to the Brazilian soccer player.
  • When Lana says to Cyril "Baby, I am putting you in the corner," it's a reference to Dirty Dancing.

Episode 10 - Dial M for MotherEdit

  • The episode title is a play on the 1954 Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder.
  • When discussing his cheating history, Lana calls Cyril "Rambone"
  • The book that Malory is reading in bed, Greenmantle by John Buchan, is a spy novel which was one of the bases 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.
  • While Cyril is being interrogated by Lana about other women he has been with, it flashes back 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 wearing a white t-shirt and 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 sergeant.
  • When Archer is breaking into his mother's room with the cleaver, while saying disturbing and insane things is a reference to "The Shining" another film by Stanley Kubrick. In Kubrick's horror film, the character Jack Torrence uses an axe to break down a door in a very similar way, sticks his face through, and then turns the knob, all while saying very disturbing things, to kill his wife inside.

Season 2Edit

Episode 1 - Swiss MissEdit

  • The title itself is a reference to the hot cocoa brand of the same name.
  • Anke and her constant seduction attempts may be a reference to the character Bibi Dahl in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
  • When watching the shootout chase on the slopes, Ray believes it at first to be a Pink Floyd laser show.
  • When in the room where Malory is talking about the kidnapping, a bank robbery is shown on screen, it looks eerily similar to the Hibernia bank robbery.
  • When trying to identify one of the twin kidnappers, Archer says to Lana that he was "running around like Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch" after he set him on fire. Human Torch is superhero in one of the Marvel Comics
  • During shooting in the woods on the snow scooters Archer says "totally McQueen" after destroying one of them. This is a reference to the actor Steve McQueen who was known for roles involving high-speed car chases while doing his own car stunts due to his background as a professional race car driver.
  • The recurring nickname gag used in the show pops up when Archer angrily refers to Ray and Lana as "Bitch and Sundance" which is a nod to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," a Western film staring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  The film is loosely based off of the famous outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid and their exploits.

Episode 2 - A Going ConcernEdit

  • The episode's title itself is ironic in relation to the story line, where "a going concern" is a business that functions without threat of liquidation or major restructuring for the foreseeable future.
  • 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'.
  • After Archer says, "my plan was to crowd source a plan," Cheryl says with sarcasm, "thanks Noam Chomsky," a reference to whom is sometimes described as the "father of modern linguistics."
  • When discussing the use of Krieger's "magic breath strips" to neutralise the ODIN troops Cyril states to Cheryl that she has a problem with LSD and Pam defends her by stating "you're one to talk Pillbo Baggins". This is a reference to Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit.

Episode 3 - Blood TestEdit

  • Archer is confronted by Trinette, Malory and wee baby Seamus and is asked "Where are your manners?" Archer replies, "I'm sorry. I guess I skipped the Emily Post chapter on how to introduce your mother to a hooker." Emily Post (October 27, 1872 – September 25, 1960) was an American author famous for writing on etiquette.
  • Gillette describes Lana holding wee baby Seamus as Tyson and dove, referring to a photo of Mike Tyson with a white dove .
  • When Woodhouse says, "Let's liven things up, Burroughs. Five grams of junk says I can shoot a piña 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.)
  • Woodhouse, upon realizing that he has injected all of his heroin into Cyril, and has none left to keep him from withdrawal, remarks "it's going to be an itchy weekend," which is in reference to one of heroin's effects. However, this is backwards, because heroin causes users to itch while they are on the drug, not while they are in withdrawal.
  • 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.
  • After blowing up the motor on their airboat, towing Archer refers to Lana as African Queen , refering to a movie from 1951.
  • Mocking Lana's environmentalist sentiments, Archer refers to "one lousy Lorax", the protagonist in a 1971 allegorical book about enviornmental destrcution by Dr. Suess (AKA Theodore Gisele).
  • When aiming a revolver at Lana's head in a flashback to Lana's days as a radical activist Malory says "dear, this is a .44 magnum", alluding to Clint Eastwoods famous line from the 1971 film Dirty Harry in which he tells a suspect he is holding at gunpoint "this is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off".
  • When Lana faces down Malory at gunpoint in the flashback, Malory is impressed enough to offer her a job. Lana ends the story by saying "Three weeks later I was in Tunisia, killing a different man". This is a reference to Malory's beginning in espionage, revealed in Movie Star, in which a chance encounter with Bill Donovan, head of the OSS, leads her to a job three weeks later in tunisia killing a man. Interestingly it appears that the reference is chronologically out of order within the series as Lana says "killing a different man", an apparent play off of Malory's story, given that she isn't killing anyone in the flashback".
  • In a flashback, Lana appears with afro hair, which Archer describes as Lana being a baby of political activist Angela Davis and basketball player Sweet Lou Dunbar, known for their afro-like hair.

Episode 5 - The Double DeuceEdit

  • As Woodhouse reminisces, it shows Reggie playing piano while talking to a young Woodhouse. The song he nonchalantly plays while talking is "Londonderry Air", better known as the tune to the famous Irish ballad "Danny Boy " first published in 1913. 
  • When Woodhouse's WWI 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.  It's later revealed he took scalps.  Unable to cope with his grief, Woodhouse goes on a drug-fueled haze through the Orient on a merchant schooner, similarly to what Brad Pitt's Tristan does after his brother is killed in Legends of the Fall.
  • Before Reggie is shot, Woodhouse uses three 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.
  • When Woodhouse meets Malory in Tangiers he is running a tavern called "Reggie's Bar", the location, era, and name of the bar are an alllusion to "Rick's American Cafe" from the film Casablanca. The North African location, presence of Nazi agents, and goal of getting to Lisbon, all mirror the plot of Casablanca.

Episode 6 - Tragical HistoryEdit

  • Ray offers Cyril a drink of "vinegar and water," which is a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus where he was offered a drink of vinegar and water (a light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) mingled with gall or myrrh. This was given as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. More likely it is a reference to the common ingredients of a basic vaginal douche as Gillette was calling Cyril a pussy.
  • When Cheryl says, "Who am I, Elisha Otis?" to Pam questioning her how the elevator is suppose to work with "A gillion pounds of freakin' computer on it", Cheryl is refering to the inventor of the elevator saftey equipment that prevents the elevator from falling if the hoisting cable fails.
  • 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.
  • After hearing that the worm is decrypting the ISIS database, Cyril yells "Archer do something," to which Archer replies, "Who am I, Alan Turing?" Alan Turing was a was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist who worked during WW2 at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. The "Turing Test" that would theoretically tell an artificial intelligence from an organic one is named for him.

he also refers to Turing as also a X Man as in the marvel hero, but this reference is to Turing being homosexual and rather then being imprisoned for gay acts, chooses castration of his penis...making him a No longer a man...X man.

  • "You can't shoot all three of us." "No.  Just you." - a reference to Stand By Me
  • When Cyril breaks his phone in front of Archer, and he says "Hated that phone. Always dropping calls." Archer's reply is "Yeah, you were probably holding it wrong." is a reference to the iPhone 4 antenna problem and the reply given by Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, to an angry customer:  "Just avoid holding it in that way!"

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?"
  • While reading over the paper containing the plot of a movie that Malory was working on Cyril stops in mid-sentence asking, " A spy comedy? Because that's already been done before." A tongue and cheek reference to the show itself.
  • When Malory says she will play the sexy spy who's 40, Cyril responds by mentioning there is a "finite amount of Vaseline in the world". This is a reference to the technique called "vaselensing". That is when Vaseline is smeared on the lens to give the appearance of vintage movies and often to make the actor look younger.
  • 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.
  • When the actress says she wont be famous anymore while holding the sniper rifle, the temporarily paralyzed Archer replies, "I 'unno Oswald was famous," referring to the assassination of John F. Kennedy by the sniper Lee Harvey Oswald

Episode 8 - Stage TwoEdit

  • Krieger's line, "That'll do, Pigley, that'll do," is a reference to the line at the end of Babe.
  • Archer wants Woodhouse to cook macrobiotic food which is claimed to be beneficial for people with cancer.
  • The flashback of Archer hitting Pam with a dolphin puppet is a reference to a flashback in the pilot episode.

Episode 9 - Placebo EffectEdit

  • Archer's cyclophosphimate turns out to be Zima. Zima is a carbonated alcoholic beverage that was discontinued in the US in 2008.
  • 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. (However, the first Irish mobster does call him "Mikey Hannity" just before Archer shoots him.)
  • Archer shooting the kneecaps of the Irish warehouse workers was a common practice used by the Irish Republican Army.
  • Archer says his toenails are popping off like Pogs, a game that was popular in the early 1990s.
  • Archer calls Lana Woodsy, the drug owl, referring probably to Woodsy Owl. Woodsy owl however serves as a mascot for United States Forest Servicepromoting protection of environment, which leads to Archer making a mistake, which should not be much of a surprise, as he is high on weed. It is also likely that it is a reference to Owsley Stanley, a notable counter-culture figure who produced such tremendous quantities of high-purity LSD in San Francisco during the 1960s that his name is literally synonymous with the substance in the OED.
  • 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

  • Archer's reply is "Tome (or tum) again?" playing off the fact that "Tunt" rhymes with cunt and is only differentiated by the first letter.
  • Cheryl's ocelot is named Babou, which is the same name as Salvador Dalí's ocelot.
  • Archer describes Babou's living conditions as Meowchwitz referring to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
  • When Cyril accidentally shoots Bret at ISIS, Lana calls him "Barney". This is a likely a reference to Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show as he is generally clumsy with his pistol.
  • 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.
  • Cheryl gets the acronym for the Irish Republican Army confused with the acronyms for an Individual Retirement Account and the Internal Revenue Service
  • Kneecapping, a punishment or torture in which the knee was injured or destroyed, was used by terrorist groups in Northern Ireland.
  • When negotiating with the terrorists Archer believes them to be cyborgs. When they threaten him, 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."
  • At the end of the episode, when Pam removes her shirt, a tattoo is revealed on her back.  The text is the third verse of Lord Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib.”

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."  The second race board displays the names Kotero, Bennett, and Moonsie--the members of the Apollonia 6.  
  • Hitman Rudy of "Charles and Rudy" (first seen in the episode "Honey Pot") makes an appearance as a bellhop in the background of the scene where we first meet Benoit.  Rudy walks into frame, turns, looks directly into the camera and then smiles before walking away.
  • 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.
  • Malory Confronts Ray and Archer in the casino, prompting Ray to tell her "your son... is drunk." Malory replies "who are you... Carrie Nation?" Carrie Nation[3] was an influential anti-alcohol activist who participated in the push for prohibition.
  • Archer says "Thanks, Radar" to the casino employee who brings him chips. This is a reference to the M*A*S*H character Radar O'Reilly.

Episode 12 - White NightsEdit

  • The scene in which Archer and Barry jump from one fire escape to another is similar to a scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where the title characters jump off a cliff into a river. Butch and Sundance both show reluctance to jumping before they both go "Woooooaahh- Shhhhhiii" in the same way.
  • When Malory finds out that Pam told everyone about the "whipped cream incident" she tells Pam she should have her "flensed". This is a technique that was used to remove the blubber of whales.
  • In the scene where Pam is seen working late, she sings "40 oz. in my lap and it's freezin' my junk." This is a reference to Eazy-E's "8 Ball" song. The actual line is "40 oz. in my lap and it's freezin' my balls."
  • "Zip it, LaMotta!", Malory's rejoinder to Ray, seems to be a reference to Ray's eye injury and those sustained by famed boxer Jake LaMotta.

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.

Season 3Edit

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.
  • Archer's stating that his tinnitus is so bad that he has to sleep with a fan on is also a reference to Frisky Dingo.
  • 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.
  • "King, exactly, and unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon with a bunch of scorpions..." could also be a reference to the Boo Box in the movie Hook. This box was used by Dustin Hoffman's Capt. Hook to punish his crewman for betting against his capturing Peter Pan.

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 Marvel 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 "Lax-shmi Singhers," refers to Lakshmi Singh, an anchor for NPR.
  • Twice the quote "phrasing" is used, which is a reference to Arrested Development.
  • When Ray tries hoisting Lana up to the trap door in the dungeon cell but comes up short, Sterling says "Missed it by that much", which is a reference to a frequently used phrase by Maxwell Smart of the show Get Smart.
  • Lana yells "get some" repeatedly while firing an M60 machine gun out the door of the helicopter. This is a reference to a scene in the film Full Metal Jacket when a gunner shoots at running civilians while yelling the same thing.

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.
  • Krieger's new van is painted to match an album cover (Hemispheres) by the music group Rush.

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, while hallucinating in the bathroom, tears the toilet out of the wall and yells, "Must kill Decepticons!", Krieger then says, "Which reminds me, call Terry." This could be a reference to Terry Lennon, who was the director of the Transformers TV Series from 1985 to 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).
  • In the first scene on the train, Cyril is seen reading Elmore Leonard's short story "3:10 to Yuma". The plot is about getting a captive to a train in the old west.
  • The terrorist Bilko (any relation to Sergeant Bilko?) is voiced by Robb Wells, who played "Ricky" in the Canadian sitcom / mockumentary Trailer Park Boys (2001-2007). 
  • Bilko blew up a donut shop, probably a Tim Hortons.
  • Lana calls Archer "Gomez" when he delights in blowing up the train in reference to The Addams Family.
  • Cyril is sweatered, which happens in hockey if you don't have fighting straps.
  • A crepuscular animal is active at dawn and dusk.
  • Archer calls the Mounties "Dudley Douchebag"  in reference to Dudley Do-Right famed cartoon Mountie.

Episode 7 - Drift ProblemEdit

  • During the fire escape scene, Ray says, "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero." This is a reference to the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • Woodhouse replies "Gyppos!" to Archer asking who would steal cars. Gyppo is a derogatory term for Gypsies.
  • 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." This 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.
  • During the scene where the Yakuza are chasing Pam in her car, one of the cars seen is a black Toyota AE86, a popular street racing car in Japan which was famously featured in the anime, Initial D.

Episode 8 - Lo ScandaloEdit

  • The name of the murdered Italian Prime Minister, Savio Mascalzone, is a possibly parody of the former italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi , known for his sex scandals. Also, "mascalzone" in Italian means "naughty".
  • When speaking of Operation Gladio, Lana interrupts Malory mentioning Allen Dulles whom became the CIA's Director Of Central Intelligence in Feburary 26, 1953 to November 29, 1961. It is speculated that he was the representative of Communism in America.

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 exploitative 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 whether they are 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 [i.e. widow] 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". This refers to the lucrative poaching of a variety of wild ginseng that grows in the Appalachian region.[1][2]
  • 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.
  • The gunfight scene is reminiscent of the last gunfight scene in The Outlaw Josey Wales, a Clint Eastwood movie.
  • The title of the episode is a nod to the fellow FX TV series Justified season 2 finale "Bloody Harlan," which also had marijuana farmers in a shoot out with police.

Episode 10 - Crossing OverEdit

  • Pam makes a reference to Adam "Pacman" Jones, a football player suspended for improper conduct in a strip club.
  • Jakov makes a reference to Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" with the quote "Et tu, Brute?"
  • Malory says there's a funny Marmaduke comic on the fridge at the safehouse. 
  • Chupacabra is a South American mythical creature which is basically a goat vampire.
  • Cheryl mentions Richie Havens as the bearded man you meet after you die.
  • Archer's line about being a "sinner in the hands of an angry God " references a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, a promiennt Puritan minister in the 18th century.  

Episode 11 - Skin GameEdit

  • The title of the episode is a reference to the play The Skin Game or the 1971 film Skin Game.
  • Krieger 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, which included an instance of man-on-man fellatio.
  • 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's mention of "sangria" is not (or not only) in reference to the drink of the same name; it is Portuguese for "bloodletting".
  • Archer says Krieger 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 Krieger replies that "Neil Peart stands alone," referring the drummer for the aforementioned band Rush.  As with Archer, Krieger corrects Pam's pronounciation of the "Z" as "zee" (the American pronunciation), and insists on it being pronounced as "zed", the Canadian pronunciation.
  • When Katya tries to evade questions about being a cyborg, Pam says "way to bury the lead!" This means to begin a story with details of secondary importance, thus delaying the most important part of the story (the lead).
  • Archer mentions Horace Greeley, the founder of the New York Tribune.
  • 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's ping-pong paddle is seen on his bed next to his and Katya's clothing. 
  • When Archer is having difficulty in bed, Katya tells him that he's pushing rope; Pam told him the same thing at the end of the previous episode. 
  • Archer said he spent hours doing Yogic breathing.
  • While talking about his testicles, Archer and Katya reference cranbaisins and Craisins.
  • Woodhouse mentions Sopwith Camels, a World War I fighter plane. 
  • Woodhouse offers to clean Katya's detachable vagina and says he'll have it "looking Bristol"; this is a reference to the old British naval phrase of having things looking "shipshape and Bristol fashion", meaning tidy and neat.
  • 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 Glengoole Blue, an in universe high-end 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 Krieger "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 on a bus.

Episode 12 - Space Race: Part IEdit

  • At the end of his mayday transmission, Commander Kellogg yells, "Croatoan" - a word which was carved into a fence post of the abandoned Roanoke Colony, and one of the few clues left behind when the colonists disappeared in the 1580s.
  • As Archer is being briefed he makes an attempt to have the major say "danger zone".
  • After crashing the training machine Archer yells "Happy, Cyril? You just destroyed Alderaan!" Alderaan is a planet from Star Wars which was destroyed by the Death Star.
  • Archer asks Commander Drake if he's trying to get his mother into the "Million Mile High Club"; people who have had sex in commercial airplanes are said to be a part of the Mile High Club.
  • Archer says that the a bar aboard the Horizon could also be called a Cantina, a reference to the famous "Cantina Scene" In Star Wars Episode Four, in which Luke and Obi-Wan meet Han Solo in a seedy bar.
  • Archer asks if the mutineers will be armed with slide-rules and Tang (a drink associated with NASA and space flight).
  • The M-41 Mark Two plasma rifle used by the ISA bears a striking resemblance in both name and appearance to the M41A Pulse Rifle from the film Aliens, albeit with the magazine placed in a bullpup configuration.
  • Archer's armor features a skull and crossbones design on the chest almost identical to that on the armor worn by Private Hudson in Aliens. It also has a love-knot over the heart, again like Hudson in the film.
  • Jettisoning Pam and Cheryl into space due to them overweighing the shuttle may be a reference to the short story "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin.
  • When Archer is locked in the cargo hold, the baseball and glove is a reference to Steve McQueen's role in The Great Escape.
  • Drake tells Lana to use Dramamine, the brand name of the motion sickness relief drug Dimenhydrinate.
  • When the gang first encounters the mutineers, Ray yelling "get some!" is a reference to the first helicopter ride in Full Metal Jacket where the gunner is shooting women and children.
  • Cheryl mentions sixteenth-century female Irish pirate Gráinne O'Malley
  • Pam calls the new cyborg version of Katya "R2-Double-D2", a portmanteau of the droid R2D2 from Star Wars and double-D bra size. 
  • Archer's ping-pong paddle can once again be seen after sex with Pam, this time floating around with their clothes. 
  • "Archer Was Here" is carved into the wall of the holding cell, as is "So Was Pam". This may be a reference to the halfway house at the end of The Shawshank Redemption, where "Brooks Was Here" and later "So Was Red" is carved. 
  • After they have sex, Pam mentions MOAB and Archer doesn't want to hear what it stand for out loud.
  • When Commander Kellogg says "Tony?" when he is surprised to see Commander Drake, Archer mockingly repeats "Tony" in a high-pitched voice. It's possible that he is purposely conflating their names in reference to Tony the Tiger , the mascot for Kellogg's Corn Flakes.
  • Charles Benedict Davenport (June 1, 1866 – February 18, 1944) was a prominent American eugenicist and biologist. He was one of the leaders of the American eugenics movement.

Episode 13 - Space Race: Part IIEdit

  • A brood sow is a female pig used for mating.
  • Commander Drake compliments Lana's morphology, recognizing her skill with languages. 
  • "Caress of Krieger" artwork on Krieger's van is a reference to the 3rd album of the band Rush "Caress of Steel." 
  • Cheryl's "dress" is a tribute to the infamous Swan Dress worn by Bjork at the Academy Awards in 2001.
  • When Drake says he plans to make Archer, Cyril, and Ray "involuntary laborers" (slaves), Archer tells him to "kiss three fifths of my ass", a reference to the fact that during slavery in the US, slaves were only considered three fifths of a person for the purposes of the population count in the census. A similar reference is also made in Heart of Archness: Part III.
  • George Orwell's "Animal Farm" is referenced numerous times throughout the episode, including by the ISIS agents and by the crew of the Space Station, referring to the state of affairs there.
  • A joke is made that the pressure door is made of an alloy of adamantium and mithril; adamantium is a fictional indestructible metal alloy of which Wolverine's skeleton and bone claws are constructed, and mithril is the dwarven metal in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books.
  • Barry's offer that Archer may fight him using a robotic exoskeleton is a reference to the final fight scene of the movie Aliens, and the robotic exoskeleton looks a lot like the one in Aliens.
  • Drake's henchman calling the airlock door "Dwarven technology" is a reference to the Dwarven race in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth, as evidenced by the other comment that the door is made of [an alloy of adamantium and] mithril, a fictional metal that is "as light as a feather, but hard as dragon scales".
  • Barry tapping the beer bottles together and saying "Archer, come out and play" is a reference to The Warriors.
  • As Barry is flying to the space station he sings "Going to outer space, to shoot that dick-bag in his face," to the tune of "Fly Me to the Moon", a song famously sung by Frank Sinatra. 
  • Barry also sings modified lyrics from the song "Mr. Roboto" by the band Styx.
  • Star Wars is referenced numerous times throughout the episode. Cyril repeats "almost there" as the space shuttle comes in for a landing, similar to the line from Star Wars: A New Hope spoken by Garven Dreis as he attempted and failed his attack on the Death Star. Archer says that he left his "lightsaber in [his] other space pants." Pam blows up the com on the shuttle, saying that "It was a boring conversation anyway," a reference to Han Solo's similar line. Lana blasts open a hatch in the side of the corridor into what is presumably a garbage compartment, as Princess Leia does in the detention center of the Death Star. Archer asks if Cyril can die after he disables the tractor beam, referencing the fate of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lastly, a "wipe" style transition is used just before the crash landing near the end, a type of transition famously used in Star Wars films.
  • The scene where the ISIS crew escapes from the holding cell uses three prominent Sealab 2021 lines: "Ah, my eye", "Ah, my other eye", and "Security breach, Pod 6".

Season 4Edit

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 is referred to as "Ike Turner" by Linda, referring to the accusations of spousal abuse leveled at Ike by his former wife Tina Turner.
  • When discussing how to cure Archer's amnesia, Krieger says "This isn't the Flintstones, you can't just hit him over the head with a frying pan!" in reference to an episode of The Flintstones where this happens to Fred Flinstone, who wakes up believing himself to be a wealthy socialite.
  • Archer repeatedly references The Shazam/Isis Hour, its star Michael Gray, and Billy Batson; The first half hour was about Shazam and Captain Marvel. Shazam the wizard granted powers to the child Billy Batson, enabling him to yell SHAZAM! (Archer also yells this while throwing a molotov cocktail) to turn into the superhero Captain Marvel. Isis was an ancient Egyptian superheroine resurrected in the body of a schoolteacher.
  • Archer, who still believes himself to be Bob, describes his hand-to-hand combat skills as Chuck Norris-esque. 
  • Yet another reference to Lana's large hands: Archer calls them Hulk-hands, and then She-Hulk hands, and then calls Lana Jennifer Walters, the alter-ego of She-Hulk. 
  • Archer yells "Jesus Mary and Joseph Stalin!" at the KGB agents, which is a portmanteau of the exclamation Jesus Mary and Joseph and Joseph Stalin.
  • As proof that Archer has regained his memory, he fashions a lacrosse stick (his favourite sport) out of a mop handle and an ice scoop, using it lob molotov cocktails at the KGB agents.
  • Malory calls Ray Ironside, which was a show about a wheelbound Chief of Detectives named Robert T. Ironside. 
  • The Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster series is considered classic equipment with a long heritage. Apparently Archer can discern the model (in this case a 727) simply by hearing the motor. 
  • During their fight with the KGB, there is a callback to the events in Space Race: Part II, as once again Archer renders Lana topless, destroys her clothes, and uses stickers from the Old Buncombe Bourbon bottles as pasties when she complains. She corrects him when he says he is experiencing déjà vu because he is in reality recovering a memory of this past event.
  • 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.
  • The beginning sequence of the episode is almost directly from the film, "A History of Violence."
  • When Malory hits Archer with her purse, he asks her "what's in there, spa buckles?" which is a callback to a similar line in the first episode of the series. 
  • After Malory tells Ron "thank you for coming so quickly", Pam quickly says "Phrasing! First! BOOM!" being the first one to say "phrasing" after an inadvertent double entendre, which is a repeated joke throughout the series,

Episode 2 - The Wind Cries MaryEdit

  • The title of this episode comes from the Jimi Hendrix song of the same name, said to be inspired by the potential loss of his then girlfriend. Mary, like Nancy, is also archaic slang for "homosexual."
  • 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 originally 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,[3] a show co-created by Adam Reed.
  • Pam calls ISIS a "chickenshit outfit"; this is a possible nod to the movie Aliens (which was also referenced in the two Space Race episodes) when the character Hudson asks "How do I get outta this chickenshit outfit?"
  • Ray tracks Archer's cell phone to a house north of Bennington, Vermont, which he correctly assumes to be a "bed and breakfast." Vermont is famous for them, and they are often made from converted houses. Malory retorts "You should know," which, in addition to the plot, is a reference to a stereotype about homosexuals and these types of establishments.
  • 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 responds by saying he'll bring in Kenny Loggins to play an acoustic set while he slaps some sense into Lana. Kenny Loggins recorded and released the frequently referenced song "Danger Zone".
  • Archer drops a microphone to gloat about being right about Lucas' sexual orientation. The act of dropping a microphone for special emphasis or triumph originated in the 1980s and has become popular since 2007.[4]
    • Pam drops the microphone as well, but out of anger, not jubilee.
  • Lucas says they used to call Lana "Shirley Temper," a play on the name of the famous child actress Shirley Temple.
  • Upon finding Cyril's discarded clothing, Archer reassures himself that Predator (from the science fiction franchise Predator) only hunts in tropical jungles.
  • 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".
  • Cyril complains about Lana calling his briefs "panties," saying "They're called briefs." Her reply, "Yeah. You're a grown man." is a reference to a stereotype that young boys wear briefs and grown men wear boxers.
  • 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.
    • Archer continues that the last thing we need is an Entmoot. Lucas uses the same reference saying Lana ditched Cyril for an Entmoot.
    • Archer then wonders if he is gay for Tolkien.
  • Lucas says he played music by Al Green as he raped Archer.
  • When Archer realizes he has been drugged by Lucas, he asks why Lucas was not affected by the wine. Lucas replies, "Coated the inside of the glass." This is likely a nod to the guest-starring Olyphant's other show, Justified, in which two characters were fatally poisoned in the same way.

Episode 3 - LegsEdit

  • 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 mentions "Space Bot" a few times, referring to the robotic exoskeleton from Space Race.
  • 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.
  • One of the headlines in the newspaper Ron is reading (simply called "The Paper") is "Tragedy Feared On Space Station". Two episodes later in Viscous Coupling, We see that Barry has murdered all the personnel aboard the station.
    • Another headline reads "Biker Gangs Terrorize Upstate New York", referring to the biker gangs that will attack Ron and Archer in the next episode Midnight Ron.
  • Conway's replacement hand is apparently a visual reference to Luke Skywalker's similar artificial hand.
  • 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 says Krieger is making a "gay Terminator," referencing the film The Terminator.
  • Krieger says his lab door was taken from the Graf Spee, a German WWII cruiser.
  • 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.[5]
  • Malory reminds Ron that they have plans to see Carmen at the Met.
  • The Infinite Regress problem is referenced when Malory says of the ISIS staff, "it is just idiots all the way down." The usual formulation reads, "it's turtles all the way down."
  • 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 him and Ron enough 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.
  • After hearing of Ron's theft of the Sherman tank, Archer calls Ron "Master P". This is a reference to the logo of Master P's record company No Limit Records, which features a tank.
  • The cross-dressing trucker is modeled after celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie.[5]
  • 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.
  • 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 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," in reference to the practice of "making it rain" by throwing money in the air.
  • Archer makes a comparison between Ron and Master P, exhorting him to "make it rain."
  • When Ron says Archer hates him because he wants Malory to himself, he says "Paging Dr. Bates, Dr. Norman Bates". This is a reference to the novel Psycho, 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.[6]
  • The opera Malory and Ron attend is Carmen. The aria playing is Habanera.

Episode 5 - Viscous CouplingEdit

  • The episode title references viscous coupling units, alluding to the cyborgs.
  • Archer running around back and forth between ISIS and Katya's apartment, especially the way he slides past the door, is a reference to the scene in 's_Day_Off Ferris Bueller's Day Off in which the titular character races home before his parents arrive. 
  • 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, Krieger 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 Krieger 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.
  • Ray's sexiest actor is Lorne Greene.
  • 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, Fred and 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.
  • The story of young Archer striking out the home run king and subsequently being shot in a hotel room by a crazy woman is a reference to the film "The Natural"; the same events happen to Robert Redford's character Roy Hobbs. 

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.
  • 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.
  • Pam holds a fish bowl containing a Siamese fighting Fish (Betta Splendens), named Germaine

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.
    • He also says that coyote is Spanish for coyote, and says coyote is a loanword "...or is it a calque?" A calque is a translated compound word (like English thought experiment from German Gedankenexperiment).
  • 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.
  • Moreno means "Brown" in Spanish. The name of Merces' mother, Maria Moreno, may be a reference to Maria Brown, the mother of Stephen F. Austin who inspired him to settle Texas.
  • The turtle seen on the desert is a Breaking Bad reference.
  • 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[7] and was made popular by the film Rain Man about an autistic savant.
    • Earlier in the episode, Lana tells him she thinks he's autistic, and when Archer shoots several shots from his sniper rifle, he sarcastically retorts "because apparently I find repetitive behaviour calming!" which is a common symptom of autism.
  • After installing the police radio, the 8-track does not work. 8-tracks are obsolete today.
  • When the border patrolmen run out of ammo, Mercedes says "espera, tenia algo para esto", which is Spanish for "wait, I had something for this", a frequent Archer line. 
  • Archer refers to the veterinarian who removes the bullets from his back as "D.T. McShakyhands." He is referring to delirium tremens, commonly referred to as DTs, which result from alcohol withdrawal.
  • 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.
  • The border patrol agents use the term "spook" to refer to Archer as a spy. Archer mistakes it for an obscure racial slur used against Black people.
  • The Infinite Regress problem is referenced when Malory says "it is just idiots all the way down," - the usual formulation is "it's turtles all the way down."
  • When Pam slaps Carol/Cheryl she references the dating show "Flavor of Love" by name.
  • The convoy of trucks Moreno brings the illegals in on has the logo of the "Pita Margarita" restaurant/bar that Pam refers to in Heart of Archness Part II.

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's 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's speech about "Since I've started working at ISIS I've been shot, stabbed (etc)" is reminiscent of a speech Indiana Jones gives to Dr. Elsa Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Archer says he's been shot nineteen times while working for ISIS, including three times by Lana.
  • Archer says he's going to kick some "Kim Jong Ass", a play on either the name of the current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, or the name of his predecessor, Kim Jong-il.
  • Archer refers to the superstition that cameras steal souls, ascribing it to Koreans. A North Korean agent rebukes him, saying this is a belief of Native Americans, which Archer hypocritically calls a racist remark. In reality this is a superstition held by people in many parts of the world, including some Europeans, although there are similar superstitions which are incorrectly translated.
  • Archer says that Lana got "Tom Dempseyed in the tits". Tom Dempsey is a former NFL kicker.
  • After telling Lana that the glorious Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the English name for North Korea) is "none of those things", he tells her to "watch Frontline once in your life!" Frontline is a documentary news show on PBS.
  • Apparently Pam likes gyros, as she is seen enjoying one in this episode. She had previously referred to "Arab hoagies"[4] - this may have been what she meant. Another word for "hoagies" is a "hero sandwich," and the gyro is often pronounced "hero." Although they are often served in Greek restaurants they or similar wraps are also popular middle eastern and Turkish cuisine.
  • Archer says "And THIS is for the Pueblo" referring to the capture of the USS Pueblo by the North Koreans in 1968.
  • Lana screams "get some" as she mows people down with machine gun fire. This line and others from Full Metal Jacket have appeared in several episodes, including Heart of Archness: Part III
  • The room in which the fight with the North Koreans takes place is Room 237. Room 237 is a reference to the creepy room at the Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick's film version of The Shining (in Stephen King's novel, it's Room 217).

Episode 10 - Un Chien TangerineEdit

Episode 11 - The Papal ChaseEdit

  • The episode title refers to the film "The Paper Chase".
  • Malory takes Krieger 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. H. Jon Benjamin, who voices Archer, also voices the Devil in that show.
  • 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, Pam calls Archer "Father Guido Sar-douchebag".
  • Pam calls the cardinal St. Louis, presumably referring to the professional baseball team St. Louis Cardinals.
  • 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 rebuts that Gambit knows his way around a guy. Gambit is suspected by many fans to be bisexual as he has kissed Courier.
  • 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 heroin 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 he 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.
  • When Archer lands on the car nude at the end of the chase scene, he is posed like Jesus in Michelangelo's Pietà, which is in St. Peter's.

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.
    • In response, Archer calls Cyril "Mister Peabody." Mister Peabody is a fictional genius dog who teaches, and often corrects, Sherman, his boy companion who accompanies Mister Peabody on their time travels in the animated series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
  • 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.
  • Cheryl's brother's name is Cecil.  Given how closely the two names sound, this is probably a self-effacing joke by Adam Reed, who has previously stated that the Cheryl/Carol name change originally arose out of his uncomfortability with the close sounding names Cheryl and Cyril.
  • Archer says that Cecil Tunt looks like an illustration by Rien Poortvliet, an illustrator famous for his drawings of gnomes.
  • Cecil's helicopter is a Boeing Chinook.
  • 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 fictional 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.
  • While on the way to Sealab, Lana says her cover name is Sojourner King. Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist & womens' rights advocate. Lana combines her name with Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Pam's sister Edie called her "Spamela", 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.
  • Pam refers to TEOTWAWKI, an acronym for The End Of The World As We Know It, but Malory thinks she is talking about "the bear from Star Wars" (presumably Chewbacca or an Ewok).
  • 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 known for his vulgarity and racially insensitive remarks. More importantly, he was known for his support of agricultural subsidies and corn production, in response to the previous line, "God bless corn subsidies."
  • 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.
  • Captain Murphy is trapped under a soda machine, saying "And I just refilled the cans..."  This is an homage to the episode of Sealab 2021 entitled "All That Jazz" in which Murphy gets trapped under a soda machine. "Goz soda" is an epitaph to Harry Goz, deceased voice actor of Captain Hazel "Hank" Murphy.
  • Archer vaguely implies that Lana would be the weakest swimmer partially because she is black, referencing the stereotype that black people cannot swim well[8].
  • 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 that Cecil screwed up when jailbreaking her phone.

Season 5Edit

Episode 1 - White ElephantEdit

  • The symphonic song in the episode's opening scene is the Ranz des Vaches from the William Tell Overture by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. This is often used in cartoons to signify daybreak, as in Walt Disney's The Old Mill.
  • The title of the episode, White Elephant ; is a burdonsome possesion which the owner cannot get rid of, and is costly to own. This is both a reference to, and foreshadowing for the cocaine and the forthcoming troubles throughout the season.
  • Before Cyril is hit with the stun grenade, he yells "You're not the boss of me!" This line is delivered in a similar manner by Stormy, right before blowing up, in the Sealab 2021 episode "Fusebox ". 
  • Cyril, deafened by a stun grenade, repeatedly says, "meep," indicative of the Muppet Beaker. Beaker is the shy, and long-time suffering assistant to Bunsen Honeydew.  Bunsen is Brett 's last name, as mentioned later in the episode.
  • FBI Agent "Hawley/Holeh/Holy" is a reference to Detective Harry Hole , star of a series of detective novels by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.
  • Malory states that her memoirs would be titled 'Secrets in Silk '.
  • Cheryl states she's going to become 'America's #1 County Singer' and that Mac Davis can "totally suck it".  She later sings the line 'in the ghetto', a reference to the Mac Davis' hit 'In the Ghetto' . Which was made famous in part by Elivis Presley .

Episode 2 - A Kiss While DyingEdit

  • Archer refers to the Tunt Manor as a 'Gilded Age Mansion '.
  • While coming up with ideas on how to smuggle the cocaine, Lana jokingly says she'll 'eat 40 pounds of coke filled rubbers '.
  • Carol, while learning to sing and play the banjo, sings 'do re mi fa sol la ti '. 
  • Malory instructs Cryil to launder the incoming drug money; Cryil suggests a laundromat
  • Archer's refer's to their new role as like the A-Team meets Scarface . Lana then says archers charactor would be "Hannibal Montana" which is a mix of the main characters names of the two movies respectively (John "Hannibal" Smith and Tony Montana).

Episode 3 - A Debt of HonorEdit

  • Malory compares Pam's voracious appetite for cocaine to that of Sesame Street 's Cookie Monster, calling her "Cokey Monster."  Pam makes the "Om nom nom" sound that Cookie Monster makes when he eats cookies when she is eating cocaine.
  • Disney's Scrooge McDuck had a penchant for diving into his fortune stored in a mammoth vault.
  • After Cheryl's racial slur. Archer plays the losing horn from The Price Is Right. One of the Japanese assassins plays the same horn after he shoots Ron in the abdomen and misses the rest.
  • The Yakuza have very strict codes, honor being an important one. 
  • The Bushido code is a modern term that originates from the samurai moral values.
  • Malory complains about how her new Cadillac is a 'Floor Model '.
  • The Underground Railroad was a covert network of safe routes and safehouses for slaves to escape to the North prior to and during the American Civil War .
  • The secret tunnel map is a recreation of the London's Underground .
  • Cheryl's grandfather's 'plan' to dress like a ghost is a mis-association with the standard  Ku Klux Klan dress of a hood and white robe .
  • Cheryl warns Lana, Ron and Cyril of Mole People , which is typically used to refer to homeless living in abandoned tunnels or subways. 
  • It's later established that Cheryl's great uncle's plan to intercept the underground railroad occured around 1890; whereas slavery had been abolished in 1863.

Episode 4 - House CallEdit

Episode 5 - Southbound and DownEdit

  • Austin City Limits is a live country music program shot in Austin, Texas by PBS. It helped Austin become known as the 'Live Music Capital of the World' in some music circles.
  • Austin is in Travis County.
  • A "blocker car" in this case is a car meant to distract or engage any potential threats while transporting valuable cargo. 
  • Smokey and the Bandit was a 1977 action comedy film starring Archer's personal hero, Burt Reynolds
  • East Bound and Down was the theme song for Smokey and the Bandit.
  • Lana tells Malory that Archer's obsession might be from when she didn't buy him a CB McHaul toy truck for his 30th birthday. The CB McHaul is similar to the truck used in Smokey and the Bandit, and was a popular toy the same year (1977).
  • When complaining about public radio, Malory says "They take our taxes (or donations, whatever) of pre-tax dollars from pot-taking Bolshevik lesbian couples. Then PBS mixes it all in with their huge NEA grants , launders it in inner-city methodone clinics, and pumps it right back out to pro-abortion Super PACs "
  • Archer's appearance; the hat, shirt, and mustache in particular, mimics Burt Reynolds' character Bo 'Bandit' Darville .
  • A popular model of the Pontiac Firebird , and the one driven by Burt Reynolds' character Bandit came with T-tops and a four-barrel carburetor.
  • Krieger makes Ray march around mimicing the Nazis' Goose-Step and salute
  • Lana calls Malory 'Colonel Mom Parker', which is a reference to Elvis Presley's Manager Colonel Tom Parker.  At one point towards the end of Elvis' life, the Colonel was collecting 50% of Elvis' earnings as his fee.
  • 10-4 is a ten-code meaning 'message received'.
  • The Poovey Farms hat Pam wears is a reference to her family's farm where she grew up.  
  • A shart is explained here .
  • A Snowball is a sexual act. Jerry Reed co-starred with Burt Reynolds as Cledus Snow; his nickname was snowman.
  • The other trucker tells Pam to watch her six, meaning behind her, which is a reference to clock position
  • Cherlene refers to the leader of the biker gang as Treebeard.
  • Pam compares truck stop to a Japanese Onsen.
  • Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped at the age of 19.
  • The primary definition of irony is to convey a meaning that is opposite of to it's literal meaning.
  • Archer is correct, noone really knows what satire is.
  • Archer tells Pam her 'tit-tays' are just subcutaneous, adipose tissue.
  • Gold records are awarded to an artist when an album sells over 500,000 units.
  • Archer uses the phrase 'Inverted Triple Needham' to describe the maneuver he used to escape the cops.  Hal Needham was a stuntman and director; his directorial credits include Smokey and the Bandit.  The phrase itself refers to a car accident that occurred during the filming of John Wayne 's McQ .  Hal Needham refers to this accident as the worst accident he was in , breaking his back, six ribs, puncturing a lung and knocking out some of his teeth.

Episode 6 - Baby ShowerEdit

  • "I'll plant a red fern for ya, Jug" is a reference to the novel Where the Red Fern Grows.
  • The scene in which Krieger has Cyril and Ray pack up the cocaine in their briefs is a reference to the movie American Gangster, in which the gangster Frank Lucas had the workers packing up his heroin work naked to prevent theft. (Alternatively, it could be a reference to Wesley Snipes' Sugar Hill , or to the general idea that drug-packers are not left with any place to hide them.)

Episode 7 - Smugglers' BluesEdit

External linksEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about References

  • Archer references

    2 messages
    • I only understand about half of the references, but I can usually Google® the rest. In episode 11, Carol (Cheryl, Shirlene) says "Who are y...
    • It sounds like she saying Dean, but according to the subtitle file it's Dave Frishberg, the guy who wrote I'm Just A Bill.
  • Metal Gear Solid References

    • Could we get a shot of an MSF patch or something in one of the episodes? I mean, MSF and outer heaven, and FOX are still within Archer's possi...

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