15 Exceedingly Clever Inside Jokes or Recurring Bits from Famous TV Shows and Movies

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15 Exceedingly Clever Inside Jokes or Recurring Bits from Famous TV Shows and Movies

The best part about having a parasocial relationship with a softball team’s worth of fictional characters is all the goofs and guffaws you share together that no one else (besides millions and millions of other fans) could ever understand.

Brave: The Very Non-Medieval Automobile

One of the most challenging of Pixar’s famous Easter eggs was sneaking the Pizza Planet truck into a story that takes place in Medieval Scotland. Merida visits a witch, and among the wooden sculptures she’s tinkering with is an anachronistic little delivery truck. 

How I Met Your Mother: Countdown to Catastrophe

Marshall’s father suffers a heart attack at the end of the Season Six episode “Bad News.” Throughout the episode, a seemingly random series of numbers appears innocuously in the background and foreground, which turns out to be a countdown to the sudden fatality.

Deadpool: The Celebrity Dead Pool

As the film explains, a dead pool is a wager on who in a group of people will be the next to die. Producers snuck a ton of celebrity names into a quick shot of a handwritten dead pool on a chalkboard: from “Reynolds, R” and “Miller, TJ”, who both of course star in the film, to famous monsters like “Sheen, C” and “Cosby, B.”

Parks and Recreation: Ron’s Shirt

Tom mentions early in the series that Ron wears a red shirt the day after he has sex. While not called out explicitly, Ron does indeed wear a red shirt at various times throughout the run of the show.

Parks and Recreation: Jerry/Lenny/Larry/Terry Gergich

Lovable punching bag Jerry Gergich has his name constantly mangled by his longtime coworkers. At one point he becomes confused himself, and it’s eventually revealed that his real name was actually Garry all along. 

Arrested Development: There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand

Long inferred to mean the family’s dockside business is a viable safety net during hard times, it’s eventually revealed that criminal patriarch George Bluth Sr. was hiding actual cash in the banana stand.

Arrested Development: No Touching

While Bluth Sr. is in jail, the guards enforce a strict “No touching!” policy. It’s apparently meant to prevent smuggling or canoodling, but when there are Bluths involved, it’s less often about displays of affection and more often about violent outbursts (i.e., “There’s always money in the banana stand!”).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool

Often said when he’s nervous, Jake Peralta impulsively unleashes a barrage of “cool”s like a cop who just heard an acorn unloading an entire clip into his own squad car.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Title of Your Sex Tape

Anytime someone makes the mistake of saying something that could be interpreted as sexual around Peralta, he’ll declare that’s the title of their sex tape. Some of Amy’s sex tapes include “I’ll get my stuff, but this better not bite me in the ass,” “Why doesn’t your mouth work?” and “Just as long as we’re clear, I’m with someone and nothing is going to happen.”

The Office: That’s What She Said

“Title of your sex tape” is just a variation on Michael Scott’s “That’s what she said.” Some innocuous lines that got the Michael Scott treatment include:

Dwight: I can’t believe you came!

Angela: You already did me.

Lawyer: And you were directly under her the entire time?

Michael: This is going to feel so good getting this thing off my chest.

How I Met Your Mother: The Salute

Ted and Robin pay sarcastic respect any time someone says a phrase that sounds like it could be a military title: “General Knowledge,” “Corporal Punishment,” “Kernel Stuck in My Teeth.”

Friends: We Were on a Break

Ross’ mantra is a recurring reminder of a philosophical debate that jumped from the show into real life: Is it considered infidelity if a person in a relationship sleeps with someone else, while their relationship is understood to be on ice?

Full House: You Got It, Dude

One of the Olsen twins playing Michelle Tanner would chuck a thumbs-up and drop this catchphrase, showing how living with her adult weirdo uncles was already starting to morph her impressionable little brain to resemble that of a 30-year-old bachelor’s.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Ottoman

In the opening credits, Dick Van Dyke alternately trips over an ottoman and performs an extremely convincing pratfall, or deftly sidesteps it at the last second.

30 Rock: Jenna’s Movie Career

Jenna Maroney is anxious to use her television fame to kickstart a movie career, and she’s always taking roles in tragically named films like The Rural JurorSing Them Blues, White Girl: The Jackie Jormp-Jomp Story and Sister Can You Spare a Breast?.

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