Archer Wiki
Archer Wiki

Archer is extremely full of references related to the real world. These are different from references to previous episodes or running gags which should be listed in separate sections on the episode pages and therefore not on this page. This is an aggregate page for the collection of all the Cultural References found in each episode. 

NOTE: If you add a cultural reference to this page please make sure you also place it on the page specific to the episode in which it occurs. This page should just be a collection of information found on the individual pages.

Season 1[]

Episode 1 - Mole Hunt[]

  • Rolling Stone: The picture of Malory with her dog Duchess is a visual reference to the famous 1981 Rolling Stone cover featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
  • Jenga: When Crenshaw asks Archer if he thinks torture simulation is a game Archer responds, "No, I think Jenga's a game..."
  • Puttin' on the Ritz: Archer says the dog Abelard's barking sounds like the famous song written by Irving Berlin.
  • I know you like Greek: Archer tells the French Flight attendentto, "go to the diner, I know you like Greek" meaning anal sex. Apperently the Greeks invented anal sex. For a much more in depth understanding of the joke, check this out.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968): The entrance to ISIS being through the Four-Five-Six Laundry is a reference to the popular 1960's American TV program, where the "Agent's Entrance" was through a dressing room in Del Flora's Tailor Shop, which was also a dry-cleaning shop.
  • Indira Gandhi: Archer states that his shirt smells like the former prime minister of India's thong.
  • Keebler Elves: Archer mentioning that his brain is like a tree and Lana is the little cookie elves.
  • Brian's Song (1971): Archer suggests that he helped a guy with cancer, as in the movie about a football player stricken with terminal cancer and his friendship with his teammate.
  • Johnny Bench: Archer makes a quip to Malory about the former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds famous for having big hands when he says "Johnny Bench called" after catching her masturbating during phone-sex with Nikolai Jakov.
  • Hungry Hungry Hippo: When offering Pam donuts, Archer tells her he'll dump them on the floor, and she can pretend that they're marbles and she's the classic board game.
  • Mission: Impossible (1996): The manner in which Archer lists off the security measures that guard the ISIS mainframe is reminiscent to the way Ethan Hunt describes the security system guarding the IMF Mainframe in the American spy film.
  • Wedding Crashers (2005): While Archer is at lunch with Cheryl/Carol the flashbacks include him repeatedly telling her "just the tip" is a possible reference to monolog on dating given by the Jeremy Grey character in the American comedy film.
  • Luger P08: Not exactly a cultural reference, but an interesting detail: Crenshaw is wielding a Luger P08, a famous German handgun from World Wars I and II. It's odd (albeit, not implausible) that Crenshaw, a Russian spy for the KGB, would use a German weapon.

Episode 2 - Training Day[]

  • Training Day (2001): The name of the episode could be a reference to this movie.
  • James Bond: Cyril dismisses Lana's apparent attraction to Archer at first, claiming she was "shaken up." Malory retorts that Lana was in fact "stirred up in the loins." There is a strong possibility that part of the conversation was a reference to the famous James Bond line: "Shaken, not stirred." Also, Archer is referred to being like the famous fictional Spy. Furthermore, Lana drives an Aston Martin Vantage, which featured in the 1987 Bond film The Living Daylights.
  • Oprah Winfrey: Archer calls Krieger his Oprah in reference to syndicated tabloid talk show host famous for being a good listener.
  • Karen Carpenter: Pam refers to Cheryl as Karen Carpenter's stunt double. The American singer was partially famous for having Anorexia.
  • Krav Maga: Mentioned as the martial arts practiced by ISIS agents, Krav Maga was specifically developed by the Israeli Intelligence Service Mossad and is regarded as one of the deadliest forms of martial arts.
  • Dane Cook: Archer states that Karate is the Dane Cook of martial arts. The American comedian is often maligned for being boring and bad.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literary device on which the name of Archer's underwear pistol is a pun. However, the actual "Chekhov's gun" turns out to be the "poison" pen.
  • O. Henry / Alanis Morissette: 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 American author noted for his use of irony and Morissette is a Canadian-American singer who had a major hit with a song titled Ironic in the mid 1990s.
  • 1953 Iranian coup d'état: In a flashback to his childhood, Archer receives a telegram from his mother saying "AJAX a success, Tehran is ours!" revealing she was involved in the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh which the US codenamed Operation AJAX. Additionally, Uncle Kermit is a reference to Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and CIA coordinator for the operation.
  • Milton Berle: Archer is incensed when Lana isn't upset at Cyril for his deception and asks, "So he just gets a pass? Like Milton Berle?” Like Cyril, Milton Berle was known to have an extremely large penis.
  • Stasi / Shining Path: Archer references two Communist groups during his argument with Cyril. The Stasi was the former official state security service of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) colloquially known as East Germany. The Shining Path is the Communist party / insurgency movement in Peru.

Episode 3 - Diversity Hire[]

  • "Quadroon" is an antiquated racial category used in racial discrimination laws. In some contexts, it may be considered a racially charged term for a person who is 1/4 black and 3/4 white. In other contexts, it is an accepted English word to describe any particular mixed-race individual known to be 3/4 of any single race and 1/4 of any other race, with no offense intended or received.
  • 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 Jr.". Sammy Davis Jr. was a famous entertainer who (like Conway) was both Black and Jewish.
  • Malory makes a joke about J. "Edna" Hoover which is a reference to J. Edgar Hoover's involvement in COINTELPRO and Hoover's rumored cross-dressing.
  • 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 in which characters have miniature alter-egos inside of a computer.
  • After Conway dispatches of the henchmen around Sterling using a sniper rifle, Sterling says "That was amazing! It was" 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 Utne[]

  • 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 is in the bathroom he hears Jakov speaking, he opens the compact device and sees Jakov on the screen. Jakov says, "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." This is a direct quote from Darth Vader in the 1977 film Star Wars. When Malory orders her to relinquish her hold on Cyril's shoulder/collarbone after she catches him ogling Archer's call girl, their exchange "Lana, release him!" "As you wish," mirrors the exchange between Governor Tarkin and Darth Vader from the same scene of the film.
  • While in Trudy Beekman's bathroom, Mallory orders Archer and Cyril to drop the bodies next to "that awful Louis Quinze repro.' This is a reference to a style of furniture that appeared during the reign of Louis XV of France.
  • Also, while in Trudy's bathroom, Malory orders everyone to take Sterling's gun and shoot the bodies. This is reminiscent of the scene in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express where the train passengers take turns stabbing a kidnapper's body to exact revenge as they were all connected to the victims by family and friendship.
  • Utne calls Lana "Truckasaurus" when she twists his wrist after he fondles her gun a little too long. Archer does a robotic Truckasaurus imitation when Malory tells him she thinks Lana just broke his hand. Truckasaurus[2] was a car crushing robot from an episode of The Simpsons

Episode 5 - Honeypot[]

  • The top of the Chinese Restaurant menu in the second scene has the words "干煸东岸白狗便便." This roughly translates as "stir-fried eastern shore white dog poo-poo." And according to Bing Translator, It translates as: "Dry-fried white dog poo on the East Coast."
  • Archer's "Got Dick?" tee shirt is a reference to the "Got Milk?" ads.
  • A vastly incomplete Kill Bang Marry result section.
  • Woodhouse says that Reggie Thistleton died in Flanders during the Great War .
  • The Nazi uniforms were produced in the plant owned by Hugo Boss .
  • Limestone is a very hard rock type. (It actually is not)
  • Archer asks how to say "Hulk" in Spanish. Hulk is a Marvel superhero.

Episode 6 - Skorpio[]

  • When listing the amenities available on the Argo, after Lana mentions the "hot Filipina masseuses" Archer cuts in with the question "Skeet?" to which Lana replies "Probably!" "Skeet" is a slang term for "to ejaculate," which could be a reference to a "happy ending," a practice famous in shady massage parlors (often staffed almost exclusively with Asian women) where the masseuse ends the session by giving the client a hand job. It also of course refers to skeet or clay pigeon shooting, an activity which many yacht owners actually participate in on their boats. Archer is likely referring to the former meaning, and Lana referring to the latter.
  • After listening to Skorpio's speech, Lana and Archer exchange a glance and brush the tip of their noses. This is a reference to the movie The Sting in which the main characters used this gesture to communicate a mutual understanding.
  • 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 reference to the Glienicke Bridge outside the city of Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany. 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 operative during and immediately after WW II; other references are made to her intra- and post-war activities while working for the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.

Episode 7 - Skytanic[]

  • Archer refers to the Hindenburg airship disaster when he mimics someone saying "Oh the humanity!".
  • When Lana says to Malory "Let me stay with you, we'll do the whole Oprah and Gayle thing." This is a reference to the social rumors of Oprah Winfrey and her best friend, Gayle King, being a lesbian couple.
  • 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, Lana shouts the Captain's 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 a 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 prediction (possibly by Keith Moon and/or John Entwistle) that the band would "...go over like a lead balloon". A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship most famous for the tragic explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937, depicted in a famed news photograph artistically stylized for the cover of the first Led Zeppelin album (the eponymous Led Zeppelin).
  • 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 Rock[]

  • When preparing for their video call to Captain Regent Claudio, Archer mentions other "Captains."  One mentioned was Captain Kangaroo, a children's television show that was on CBS (1955-1984), which was created by and starred Bob Keeshan (1927-2004) as the Captain.  He was so named due to the large pockets on his suit coat. Archer also references Captain Beefheart, the stage name of Don Glen Vilet, (1941-2010), the genre-breaking American musician and artist, as well as Cap'n Crunch, a cartoon mascot, of a late 18th century naval captain, used in the marketing of a Quaker Oats breakfast cereal of the same name. 
  •  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. Or, possibly, it is a simple combination of the common profanity "Jesus H. Christ" with Jesus Jones, the British pop group best known for the song, "Right Here, Right Now."
  • 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 Offer[]

  • Archer's fascination for the business card of Odin agent Barry Dillon, mentioning it being embossed, is most likely a reference to American Psycho and Patrick Bateman's obsession with the cards of his co-workers.
  • After Woodhouse refuses to let Archer back into his ISIS financed apartment, he asks to Reggie the Lemur to "Be a lad... Put on some Mingus?" while he is preparing heroin for them. This is referring to Charles Mingus who was an American jazz musician and bandleader that was known as "The Angry Man of Jazz".
  • Framboise is French for raspberry.
  • 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.
  • Pam says "it looks like Jonestown in here" upon seeing Malory, Cheryl, and Ray lying on the floor of the office passed out. This is a reference to the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project formed by the Peoples Temple cult. The site gained infamy when cult leader Jim Jones ordered the mass suicide/murder of the cult members, with disturbing images of 100s of people lying dead on the floor from drinking cyanide-laced 'Flavor-Aid'.

Episode 10 - Dial M for Mother[]

  • 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. Also, the first chapter of Greenmantle was chosen by Graham Greene for his 1957 anthology The Spy's Bedside Book making it all the more appropriate that Malory had read it before going to bed.
  • The fake funeral scene where a young Archer is saluting the memory of his fictitious father resembles a famous photo of John F. Kennedy Jr. (and his mother Jacqueline Kennedy) at the funeral of his father.
  • 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.
  • When Pam exclaims that she "has so much love to give" it is a reference to the 1999 film Magnolia.
  • 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 Lana tells all the ISIS men that they can pay her to say they had sex with her, this could be a reference to the movie "Easy A", which came out the same year the episode did, 2010. In "Easy A", the main character exchanged the right for men to claim they had sex with her for their cash and gifts.
  • 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 Pvt. 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 his drill sergeant and then himself.
  • When Archer is breaking into his mother's room with the cleaver while saying disturbing and insane things, it's a reference to "The Shining", another film by Stanley Kubrick. In Kubrick's horror film, the character Jack Torrance uses an ax 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, in an attempt to kill his wife inside.

Season 2[]

Episode 1 - Swiss Miss[]

  • The title itself is a reference to the hot cocoa brand of the same name.
  • After requesting that her Gray Fox coat be sent over, Malory says if the economy worsens, she'll be forced to wear Nutria.  Nutria are large, semi-aquatic rodents originally from South America.  Introduced in the southern U.S. by fur ranchers in the 1930's, escaped animals have become established in many areas.  Due to their destructive burrowing habits along streams and rivers, they are considered an invasive species. 
  • 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 the man was "running around like Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch" after Archer 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 Concern[]

  • 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.
  • When Archer is telling Malory about finding Nikolai Jakov's mind-control chip in his brain, he uses the phrase "drill, baby, drill," popularized by Alaska governor and one-time Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a response to questions about running mate John McCain's support for increased domestic extraction of fossil fuels over the expansion of renewable energy sources
  • Malory's loss of her fortune probably referred to the Bernard Madoff Investment scandal.  Madoff, who operated a wall street hedgefund, was convicted of operating an elaborate Ponzi scheme.  Many of New York City's cultural elites and charitable foundations were adversely impacted as a result of investing with him.  He was sentenced on June 29, 2009 to 150 years in federal prison and to pay restitution in the amount of $170 billion.  
  • After Archer says, "my plan was to crowdsource a plan," Cheryl says with sarcasm, "thanks Noam Chomsky," a reference to the man sometimes described as the "father of modern linguistics." Here, it is a reference to Chomsky's espousal of libertarian socialism, a political philosophy which advocates aspects of crowdsourcing in government.  
  • When Archer slams the drawer to his mother's desk and Ray says, "That's not a bumblebee, is it?" - The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra had a vibrator made of a gourd with bees inside.  
  • 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'.
  • When discussing the use of Krieger's "magic breath strips" to neutralize 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 Test[]

  • 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.
  • When Lana's holding wee baby Seamus, Gillette tells her to "Give her the rabbit, Lennie" a reference to Lennie from "Of Mice and Men" when Lennie, a mentally disabled, but physically strong character, loves touching soft animals like rabbits, but always accidentally kills them, while unaware of his own strength.
  • 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 withdrawal side effects. During early stages of opiate withdrawal, patients often experience formication, also known as paresthesias. Formication is best described as ants crawling on the skin. This process is different than the itchiness frequently experienced during initial opiate use, which is caused by the release of histamines.
  • 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 equivalent to smoking three or four joints of "reefer". It was sometimes considered a means of substitution for "real drugs". 
  • Malory and Archer make an extended reference to various screen adaptations of Frankenstein; Malory tells Archer to replace his blood sample with someone else's blood, and Archer sarcastically replies that he'll "just have Igor bring a villager up to [his] castle." When he then calls for "Igor," his apartment door opens with a creak and Woodhouse answers with an extended "Yeees?", parodying Dr. Frankenstein's stereotypical b-movie hunchbacked assistant. Upon discovering the ISIS staff in Archer's apartment, Malory tells him to "pick a villager."

Episode 4 - Pipeline Fever[]

  • At the beginning of the episode, Archer drinks Hurricanes while on the plane. This cocktail is very popular in their destination city, New Orleans.
  • The eco-terrorist targeting the pipeline is named Joshua Gray and uses the alias Gandalf. A central character in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien is a wizard named Gandalf, also known as "Gandalf the Grey." When Archer and Lana meet Gray later in the episode, Archer calls him both "Treebeard" and "Samwise." These are also the names of Tolkien characters.
  • Right after taking the airboat, the man discovers that his dog, Annie (reference to Little Ann), is dead. He then mentions another dead dog and they cut to a scene of the tombstone which reads "Old Dan" and has a red fern growing beside it. This shot is a reference to the book Where The Red Fern Grows.
  • Upon discovering Pam's effect on the new low-flow toilets in the men's room, Cyril asks, "Have you no sense of decency?", once famously asked by attorney Jospeh Welch to US Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy Hearings.
  • After blowing up the motor on their airboat, towing Archer refers to Lana as African Queen , referring to a movie from 1951.
  • Mocking Lana's environmentalist sentiments, Archer refers to "one lousy Lorax", the protagonist in a 1971 allegorical book about environmental destruction 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 Eastwood's 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". It's more likely the comment is referring to "the man" that she was metaphorically killing, as she was protesting against established norms, and after meeting Malory she was killing a "different man" as in an actual person.
  • 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 hairstyles.

Episode 5 - The Double Deuce[]

  • 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. 
  • As Reggie is shot, Woodhouse yells "REGGIE" a reference to the death of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba 
  • When Woodhouse's WWI squadron captain is killed after braving 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.
  • When Cheryl is in the office spraying air freshener, Pam tells her to knock it off referring to her as 'Union Carbide'. This is a reference to the December 2nd, 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India where a methyl isocyanate gas leak killed thousands of local residents.
  • 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 (with some logic) goes that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, it would give an enemy sniper enough time to target the group and 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 allusion 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.
  • Before Woodhouse tells the story of how he became a war hero, he picks up an orange and says: "Alas, poor Reggie". This is a reference to the play Hamlet (by William Shakespeare) where the titular character pics up a skull and says: "Alas, poor Yorick".

Episode 6 - Tragical History[]

  • When Archer mockingly congratulates Cyril after losing the dart game, he refers to him as 'Chokely Carmichael'. This pun is a reference to the 1960's Civil Rights Activist Stokely Carmichael.
  • Ray offers Cyril a drink of "vinegar and water," which is a reference to the common ingredients of a basic vaginal douche.
  • 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 referring to Elisha Otis, the inventor of the elevator safety 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.
  • Archer compares a door to Wolverine's bones. Wolverine is a Marvel Comics superhero and member of the X-Men who is famous for having indestructible bones.
  • 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 British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist who worked during WW2 at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.
  • "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!"
  • The title of the episode is a reference to the play "The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe. 

Episode 7 - Movie Star[]

  • 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 has been done." A tongue in cheek reference to the show itself.
  • 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?"
  • When Malory says she will play the sexy spy who's 40, Cyril responds by asking if she does realize that 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.
  • After reading Malory's script, Cyril says, "Why not just make it a shot-for-shot remake of Mandingo?" In addition, after asking a director about her script, he says he'll make the changes if they can call it "Mandingo 2". Mandingo is an offensive movie about slavery.
  • 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 Two[]

  • Cheryl tells Malory that she had cornhole league on Friday night.
  • Krieger's line, "That'll do, Pigley, that'll do," is a reference to the line at the end of Babe.
  • When Archer faints, Malory says, "You'd think he was half fainting goat." This is a reference to myotonic (or fainting) goats.
  • The nurse with whom Archer has slept goes by Rita, but Archer thinks her name is Peggy - both are nicknames for the name Margaret.
  • Archer gave Rita the alias Chet Manley, which a reference to the boy who owned the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before they were mutated.
  • 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 Effect[]

  • Archer's cyclophosphimate turns out to be Zima. Zima is a carbonated alcoholic beverage that was discontinued in the US in 2008.
  • "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war" was a phrase spoken by Marc Antony in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Though technically spoken by Antony, when the line is said, Antony is imagining what Caesar would be saying if he were still alive. In a literal reading, "dogs" are the familiar animals, trained for warfare; "havoc" is a military order permitting the seizure of spoil after a victory and "let slip" is to release from the leash.
  • As Archer gears up to interrogate the Pharmacist, he equips a wrist mounted Sleeve Gun, professionally made, but still reminiscent of the iconic weapon of Travis Bickle in the film Taxi Driver.
  • The interrogation of the warehouse workers contains several references to Family Feud.
  • 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.
  • In English, Cyril and Krieger's lines translate to "Why did you have to move to Brazil?!" and "To continue the fight of my leader! (pause) Shit!" The leader in question was Adolph Hitler, and the implication is that Kreiger was a Nazi that relocated to Brazil after WWII and started a new life in hiding.
  • 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 reference to The Sopranos. Not only that, Steve Van Zandt, who was on The Sopranos, was also the member of the E-Street Band who wore a bandana.
  • When Krieger and Cyril are arguing in the toilet, he is burning notes which say, "Streng geheim," which means "top secret/highly confidential."
  • When Cyril goes to Malory with his concerns about Krieger, she tells him that after the war, Nazi scientists were being snatched up like hotcakes.  This is a reference to the real life Operation Paperclip program created by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which recruited over 1,500 scientists, engineers and technicians of the German rocket program, among other scientific fields.  Since some of the scientists had involvement with the Nazi party, a then newly created agency, the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency, sanitized the backgrounds with false employment histories and biographies.  
  • Krieger refers to the day his pet dobermans ate his father, a reference to the book "The Boys from Brazil," where one of several clones of Adolf Hitler witnesses his father being eaten alive by the family dobermans.
  • 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."
  • While watching the scene in "Terms of En-Rampagement" where Archer shoots Franny Delaney, Archer exclaims "Booyakasha!". This is the same exclamation that Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G is known for.
  • 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 soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic 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 Secuestro[]

  • 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 German Nazi concentration camp.
  • 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.
  • While in the vault, Cheryl can be seen wearing a helmet with a black peace sign button a reference to the movie poster of Stanley Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket. 
  • Malory calls Bret, "Mr. Bloodmobile." This is a song by band, They Might Be Giants.
  • 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 Monegasque[]

  • 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.
  • Malory's line about the "Wehrmacht runion party" is a reference to the German Army in WWII, and Benoit gasps because he is French and the French were invaded by Germany in 1940 and were not freed from German occupation and subjugation until 1944.
  • 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.
  • The French lines in this episode are translated as 
    • Jeu Monegasque: The Monico Game
    • Benoit (to Malory): "Yes ma'am, but it's the Grand Prix."
    • Lana (to Benoit): "Excuse my friend (Malory), she is tired -"
      • Benoit's interjection: "and badly raised"
    • Lana (finishing sentence addressing Beniot): "without a doubt, but you have one reservation for me, no? Lana Kane?"
    • Lana (after Benoit says "no" to her question): "And why 'no?!'"
    • Beniot (in response): "It's the Grand Prix."
    • Lana (to the dealer at the casino): "This imbecile (meaning Archer), he was playing?!"
    • The dealer (in response): "Until he lost three million dollars."
    • LaChouffe (after finding what looks to be a blueberry muffin in the case instead of four million dollars, to his bodyguards): "Perfidy! Kill them!" then after the guards are all incapacitated: "That's enough!"
    • Lana (to one of the bound guards): "Who robbed the safe?!" (Benoit) "When?!" (Ten minutes? He took some papers!) "Where is he going?!"
    • Merde means "shit"
  • After the two flashbacks to Archers childhood, both Archer and Mallory ask “Why was he/I dressed as Hitler?” Archer was dressed as Charlie Chaplin for Halloween.
  • The name of the villian (LaChouffe) is a reference to the name of the villian in the James Bond movie Casino Royale (Le Chiffre pronounced luh sheef). 
  • 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.
  • 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, whom the employee resembles, and Radar's ability to predict another character's needs and deliver it before they can ask for it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The scene where Benoit dies is reminiscent of the helicopter chase in Live Free or Die Hard 4.0 when John McClane drives a police car off a ticket machine and into the helicopter.

Episode 12 - White Nights[]

  • The song that Ray starts singing is Salt-N-Pepa's Let's Talk About Sex.
  • "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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • The scene where Archer is being interrogated by the KGB is a reference to the opening scene of the first episode Mole Hunt. The KGB agent interrogating Archer also looks like Krenshaw.
  • The quote from the KGB interrogator: "I go drop kids off at pool" is a euphemism for pooping.
  • 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 titular 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.
  • The scenes where Archer runs bare foot through broken glass, and later is in a tank top t-shirt is a reference to Die Hard.

Episode 13 - Double Trouble[]

  • After Jakov reveals that Katya has seen the Party Chairman involved in a gay orgy, Boris says "More like Lemon Party chairman." This is a reference to an infamous shock website that showed a picture of a gay threesome between three very old men. You can try to find it on the Internet, but remember what has been seen cannot be unseen.
  • In Krieger's lab, he has buckets on the shelf of 3/4 copper, rivets, and burrs which are likely a phallic reference.
  • Bilbo replies to Archer, "Does one ring rule them all?" which is a reference to Lord of the Rings. Archer solidifies the reference by saying not to engage him or it will be "all orcs and Gollums and Balrogs."
  • 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.
  • Barry opening his chest to reveal he has become a cyborg is similar to how Dr. Quinn from Sealab 2021 revealed the same information to his colleagues in the pilot episode.
    • Barry from this point forward exclusively wears a track suit reminiscent of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Season 3[]

Episode 1 - Heart of Archness: Part I[]

  • 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.
  • Not really a reference, but when the Pirate Captain is talking to Archer about his ''Wealth'' the sign with the IFPs (International Flags and Pennants) over his shoulder say ''Katie Sucks''.

Episode 2 - Heart of Archness: Part II[]

  • 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 III[]

  • Various references to "Colombia House": A mail-order music club which promised a relatively large amount of product for 1 cent, but which left the customer (often children) owing money (somewhere around $50).
  • While on the phone with Bucky, Malory says "You just listen to me, Buster" which is a reference to Jessica Walter's character's son, on Arrested Development.
  • 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.
  • When discussing donating blood to the shot Ray, Archer references Dr. Charles Drew.  Dr. Charles Richard Drew, M.D. (1904-1950) developed improved techniques for the storing of blood and the creation of large scale blood banks early in World War II.  This allowed medics in the field to save thousands of lives of Allied soldiers.
  • Lana asks Archer what his blood type is. Archer responds by saying "Who am I? Karl Landsteiner?". Karl Landsteiner was a biologist who in 1900 developed the modern system of classification of blood groups. 
  • 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 Jupiter[]

  • 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 Contador[]

  • 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 Lana claims that the sound is not a tiger but a jaguar, Archer yells back, "Thanks Marlin Perkins!" This is a reference to Marlin Perkins, a American zoologist best known as a host of the television program Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
  • 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.
  • When Román Calzado tells tells Archer about hunting tomorrow and playing the most dangerous game in the world, archer replies Jai alai (Pronounced hi Li) in reference to the game he played with Ramon Limon in Season 1, Honeypot episode.
  • 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.
  • Lana mentions two real Colombian guerrillas: FARC and ELN.

Episode 6 - The Limited[]

  • 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 Cyril "Newb Gingrich" a play on the name Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the house, philanderer, and historical fiction writer, and the fact that Cyril is a newbie. This may be a reference to Cyril's cheating or "sex addiction."
  • When Archer relates Babou to Paul Newman in Hud, he is referring to the protagonist in the 1963 Western film "Hud", Hud Bannon, played by Paul Newman. Hud Bannon was a self-centered and insolent man who kept to himself. Archer is relating these traits to Babou when he says Babou and Bilko probably wouldn't be together.
  • Lana calls Archer "Gomez" when he delights in blowing up the train in reference to The Addams Family.
  • Cyril is sweatered, a reference to being jerseyed 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.
  • When Archer says (referring to fighting bad guys on top of a moving train) that he's about to fulfil a lifelong fantasy, Malory asks, "meeting Mr. Green Jeans?" This a reference to a character on the long-running children's show Captain Kangaroo portrayed by Hugh Brannum. Mr. Green Jeans was a handyman who frequently helped the Captain around the Treasure House and often brought animals onto the show.

Episode 7 - Drift Problem[]

  • 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.
  • When Archer claims that his car makes "the Mach 5 look like a vagina", he is referring to Speed Racer, an anime from the late 60s and the live action movie in 2008, which featured a racer and his car, the Mach 5, which was modified with several defensive measures such as twin saws in the front, jump jacks, a bulletproof shield over the cockpit, reinflatable tires, and others.
  • The Dodge Challenger's seats are made of rich Corinthian leather, which was a marketing ploy by Chrysler in the 70s to make their cars seems fancier. Archer claims "Corinth is famous for its leather!"; however, the leather had no relation to Corinth.
  • Archer refers to his new car as "Jeannie" and himself as master, a reference to the show "I Dream of Jeannie." Jeannie lived in a bottle and called Astronaut Tony Nelson master.
  • Archer compares his Dodge Challenger to Ron O'Neal, an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He featured in over 20 films from the early 70s to late 90s.
  • Woodhouse says that Archer was "going all Bilbo-ey" when Archer freaked out and physically confronted Woodhouse about the whereabouts of his Dodge Challenger. This is a reference to Lord of the Rings, when in the Fellowship of the Ring, when Bilbo saw the Ring around Frodo's neck, he momentarily freaked out and almost grabbed at it, scaring Frodo.
  • 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.
  • It's also a callback to the flashback in El Secuestro of Pam's underground fighting where she's counting her winnings over her obviously dead competitor and tells the people paying her "Sorry about your homie, homies."
  • Pam says "oh man I just lost face!". "Losing face" is an idiom which means losing status, or respect.
  • 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 Scandalo[]

  • 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, who 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. Operation Gladio was, in fact, a CIA stay-behind mission that worked to counter a Soviet invasion. In practice, it was used to keep down a nascent Italian Communist movement with no direct Soviet ties.
  • Malory talks about a man whom Mascalzone had gunned down, who had blue eyes, full lips, and thick black hair, who might have been Archer's father. Archer not having a father is referenced many times throughout the show.
  • When the Detective enters the residence and begins snooping around, the characters dress up in an obvious reference to the movie Clue (1985) (which had a similar situation) and sit around the table in the order used in the movie. Lana takes on the character of Yvette, Gillette as Col. Mustard, Figgis as Mr. Green, Archer as Professor Plum, Pam as Mrs. Peacock, and Cheryl as Ms. White.
  • Cheryl calls Lana, dressed in a French maid costume, Calpurnia - a reference to [To Kill a Mockingbird][4].
  • In Malory's apartment, a framed photo of Malory with her late dog is used to cover three bullet holes. This is the same photo seen in episode 1 of the series, and it's a visual reference to the famous 1981 Rolling Stone cover featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
  • When Malory asks Sterling ''What year do you think this is?'', Sterling chuckles and says ''Yeah, exactly.''. This is a possible reference to how the show has no set time period, since it borrows from many different ones.
  • The Superintendent's son is a reference to Tiny Timmy.
  • The annual affair is a reference to the movie Same Time, Next Year

Episode 9 - Bloody Ferlin[]

  • 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. Onan, in defiance of this command, chooses to spill his seed upon the earth before sleeping with his brother's wife. It is thus taken as a Biblical prohibition against masturbation.
  • 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 1976 Western film The Outlaw Josey Wales, which starred Clint Eastwood. In particular, Randy's instruction to Cheryl -- that if anyone is shot she should take a red-hot fireplace poker and "slap iron to it" -- is a direct quote from Clint Eastwood's character.
  • The title of the episode is a nod to the fellow FX series Justified season 2 finale "Bloody Harlan," which also had marijuana farmers in a shoot out with police, as well as the Harlan County War, colloquially Bloody Harlan, a series of coal mining-related skirmishes, executions, bombings, and strikes (both attempted and realized) that took place in Harlan County, Kentucky during the 1930s. 

Episode 10 - Crossing Over[]

  • The dead person lying on the pool table and the Wake at a bar is a reference to the HBO show "The Wire."
  • Pam makes a reference to Adam "Pacman" Jones, a football player suspended for improper conduct in a strip club.
  • Pam says she is bound up "tighter than Dick's Hatband", a reference to Oliver Cromwell's son Richard Cromwell.
  • 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 prominent Puritan minister of the 18th century. The prayer that follows is a parody of the Ave Maria, a traditional Catholic prayer for intercession first written in this format in 1495 in Girolamo Savonarola's "Esposizione sopra l’Ave Maria."
  • Pam says Archer was "just pushing rope". This refers to having sexual intercourse with a limp/exhausted penis.  

Episode 11 - Skin Game[]

  • 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 pronunciation 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 lede!" This means to begin a story with details of secondary importance, thus delaying the most important part of the story. "Lede" is a journalism term for introductory part of a news story.
  • 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.
  • Katia then says "Because I did not ask to be this way." about her being turned into a cyborg, which is an allusion to the game "Deus Ex"
  • 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 Glengoolie Blue, an in-universe high-end scotch. Glengoolie Blue may be a reference to the Glenfiddich brand.
  • 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 I[]

  • 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. It may also be a reference to the series Lost In Space where Dr. Smith stows aboard the Jupiter II and his extra weight throws the ship off course. [5]
  • When Archer is locked in the cargo hold, the baseball and glove is a reference to Steve McQueen's role in The Great Escape.  In the movie, whenever McQueen's character, Hilts, was sent to "the cooler" or solitary, he would ricochet a baseball off the floor and wall over and over again.  This also takes place in the final scene of the movie.
  • 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
  • Archer calls the new cyborg version of Katya "R2-Double-D2", a portmanteau of the droid R2D2 from Star Wars and double-D bra size.
  • While fighting their way onto the ship, Ray says Lana is "like a dog in a station wagon". This may be a reference to the debate over the safety of Mitt Romney's dog being transported in a crate on top of their station wagon on a family vacation. [6]
  • 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 (Mouth On Ass and Balls) 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 Frosted 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 II[]

  • A brood sow is a female pig used for mating.
  • Commander Drake compliments Lana's morphology.
  • "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.
  • Archer's request for beers during their labor may be a reference to the famous "Beers on the Roof" scene from the 1994 film "The Shawshank Redemption".
  • Pam's line "Boring conversation anyway", followed by her smashing of the radio is a direct reference to Han Solo's radio conversation in the cell block of Death Star 1 during Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • 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.
  • When Ms. Archer tells Cheryl to "name a place", Cheryl responds with "Lidsville". Lidsville is Sid and Marty Krofft's third television show following H.R. Pufnstuf (1969) and The Bugaloos (1970). However, the correlation between the show (Archer) and Lidsville has yet to be deduced.
  • Barry calls Archer over the intercom saying “Archer, come out to play-ay” while clinking three bottles, a reference to The Warriors (1979) character Luther and the same line.
  • 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. The helmet Barry wears in his space ship is similar to those worn by X-Wing pilots. 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 4[]

Episode 1 - Fugue and Riffs[]

  • 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 beginning of this episode contains a very close reference to a scene in the movie A History of Violence when the protagonist in the film saves his diner from a robbery
  • The episode contains a crossover with Fox's animated series, Bob's Burgers, the protagonist of which is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin.
  • Bob's wife, Linda, and three children (Gene, Tina, and Louise) all appear in the opening sequence, but only Linda (voiced by John Roberts) speaks. Interestingly, Eugene Mirman (the voice of Gene Belcher) and Kristen Schaal (Louise) guest-star in the season's two-part finale.
  • 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". The plot of one such novel involves Hambledon losing his memory and assuming a different identity.
  • 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", but is debatable.
  • 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. 

Episode 2 - The Wind Cries Mary[]

  • 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 "", 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 triumph.
  • 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 - Legs[]

  • 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 Ron[]

  • 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.
    • The same reference was made in Frisky Dingo when the two protagonists find themselves in a sewer.
    • 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, during of which he describes a talking rhino, which is likely a wink to the Lying Rhino from the 2007 film The Ten, who H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Archer, voices.
  • 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.
  • In the back of the truck when Archer start stealing beer, Ron monologue about the average salt of the earth American. It a tribute to Russ Meyer 70s sexploitation director.
    • The scene is also a visual reference to Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, when Steve Martin and John Candy's characters find themselves in the back of a milk truck. In the movie the next form of transportation is also a train.
  • 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]
    • The trucker has a tattoo on his right arm that says "Offshore Drilling". Possibly a reference to a former gay bar in Myrtle Beach.
  • 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 Coupling[]

  • 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 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 Bitten[]

  • 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 admits that his "go-to" for sexual fantasies is Canadian actor Lorne Greene, specifically in his role as the widowed rancher Ben "Pa" Cartwright in the 1960s Western serial, Bonanza. Greene's older, paternal character was voted "Television's #2 Favorite Dad" in a 2007 TV Guide survey, which, together with Ray's story earlier in the same episode about his father forcing him to kill a bear and then slapping him repeatedly until he stopped crying enough to eat part of its heart, adds a typically Archer Oedipal note to the attraction.
  • 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.
  • The fake flashback with of Archer as a young lacrosse recruit is in reference to The Natural.
  • 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 deaf ear by the druggist.
  • 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 scene in which Archer plays a clarinet while wearing a grey tracksuit mimics a saxaphone-playing Warren Beatty scene in 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. James Mason also starred as Erwin Rommel in the 1951 film The Desert Fox.

Episode 7 - Live and Let Dine[]

  • 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.
  • Lana asks "What is this, Spain?" after hearing Cheryl/Carol make monkey noises. This is a reference to several instances in the past in which Spanish soccer teams have refused black players.
  • 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.
  • Malory asks "What is this, Spain in the 30s?" Spain suffered a wine shortage in the 1930s during the depression.

Episode 8 - Coyote Lovely[]

  • 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 behavior 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.
    • Archer also refers to the vet as "Kitty Hepburn", a play on Katie (Katharine) Hepburn who suffered from hand and head tremors.
  • 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."
  • The "Pita Margarita" (a restaurant/bar that Pam refers to in Heart of Archness: Part II) logo appears on the trucks in the convoy Moreno uses to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the US.

Episode 9 - The Honeymooners[]

  • 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.
  • Archer refers to North Korea as the "nation-state equivalent of the short bus". 'The short bus' is U.S. slang for a smaller school bus usually used for transporting disabled students; usually derogatory.
  • 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 Indians, 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.
    • Alternatively, or perhaps in addition to, Archer may be referring to the Pueblo Native Americans of the southwest United States. Presumably he is getting revenge for the racist remark from earlier.
  • 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 Tangerine[]

  • The episode title is a reference to the 1929 silent film Un Chien Andalou by Spanish director Luis Buñuel and surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. It literally means "A dog from Tangier".
  • Archer corrects Lana by using the proper terms for the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer made by a muezzin.
  • Lana says she understands why Morocco Mole was so inept, referring to the character from the cartoon series Secret Squirrel.
  • The hotel clerk tells Archer that Allen Ginsberg wrote the poem Howl in their hotel room. However, he purportedly wrote it in Caffe Mediterraneum in California.
  • Archer calls Lana Brett Somers when she finishes his sentence.
  • Archer says his favorite animal with a prehensile tail is the X-Men character Nightcrawler, AKA Kurt Wagner.
  • Archer says he is driving like Parnelli Jones, a famous race car driver.
  • The exchange between Lana and Archer ("Are you coming?" "No, but I'm breathing fast.") could be a reference to the Sealab 2021 Pitch Pilot episode (end credits scene). It could also reference Archer episode The Wind Cries Mary, in which Troy purposely misinterprets the sentence “I'm coming for you.”
  • Archer says they can feed Kazak to Cujo, referring to the dog. Cujo is a horror novel by Stephen King about a titular murderous dog.
  • Kazak, the dog Lana and Archer are tasked to retrieve, is an English Mastiff, which is a reference to the English Mastiff, Kazak, in the novel The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Archer refers to Kazak as the Pelé of fetch, once again referencing the Brazilian footballer Pelé.
  • Archer feeds Kazak kofta, balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions.
  • Malory tells Pam to thank Archer Daniels Midland, an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation.
  • Archer Daniels Midland also pops up above Archer (TV series) on a Wikipedia search.
  • Archer curses Kazak's gas by yelling "Beelzebub's asshole!" referring to the semitic deity Beelzebub.
  • Malory mentions Saddle oxfords and ruby slippers, which are shoes. Ruby slippers are associated with Judy Garland's character Dorothy Gale in the film The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland is a gay icon.
  • Pam mentions that her pig won the blue ribbon at the county fair.
  • Pam's pig's name, Leon, may be a reference to Snowball, a pig in the novel Animal Farm who is an allusion to Leon Trotsky.
  • Archer mentions doing a PIT maneuver on the truck carrying Lana.
  • While standing on the roof of the truck, Archer stomps the AK-47 into his hands in the same manner done by Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies. 

Episode 11 - The Papal Chase[]

  • The episode title refers to the film "The Paper Chase".
  • Malory takes Krieger to see the play and movie versions of The Wiz.
  • Ron Cadillac holds up newspaper at one point, incidentally showing three articles:
    • Sealab Offline - a reference to the tv show Sealab 2021 ;
    • Marco's Machine - a reference to a character from Sealab 2021 ; and
    • KGB Activity Triples (front page headline) - a probable reference to cyborg Katya taking over the KGB a few episodes earlier.
  • 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 several characters in that show, most prominently the Devil and Father Giuseppe Cantalupi, one of the "Special Fathers" charged by the Pope to find and kill the Devil's daughter.
  • 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 -- monsignor's outfit, sunglasses, mustache -- is a reference to Father Guido Sarducci, a character created by actor and writer Don Novello best known from numerous appearances on Saturday Night Live. Pam calls Archer "Father Guido Sar-douchebag." The writers are probably referring also to a 1981 incident in which Novello, in the guise of the character, visited the Vatican to take photographs for a magazine article in which photography was prohibited. Novello was arrested by the Swiss Guard and charged with "impersonating a priest."
  • 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-Man?" referring to the X-Man Cypher who has ability to translate any language, spoken or written.
    • Archer rebuts that Gambit "looks like he knows his way around a pair of ---." 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," a reference to the late golfer who was known in part for wearing a flat cap sometimes called a "duffer's cap" or an "Irish cap" (among many other names).
  • 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 I[]

  • The title of this episode is a reference to the television series "Sea Hunt."
  • The retrieval of a Mk-28 nuclear warhead is a reference to the 1966 B-52 crash off the coast of Spain
  • 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. Ironically, Cyril Figgis' voice actor, Chris Parnell, voices the character, Mister Peabody in the Netflix Dreamworks reboot animated series, The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show, that takes places after the 2014 animated film.
  • 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 discomfort 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.
  • When answering Tiffy, Cecil is about to quote "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.
  • Cecil is voiced by Eugene Mirman, and Tiffy is voiced by Kristen Schaal. They voice Gene and Louise Belcher, respectively, on Bob's Burgers, another animated show that H Jon Benjamin stars in.

Episode 13 - Sea Tunt: Part II[]

  • Captain Murphy is a reference to a character of the same name in Sealab 2020 and the parody reboot Sealab 2021.
  • When Captain Murphy mentions a mass of garbage floating in the ocean "twice the size of the United States", he is referring to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The GPGB formed gradually as a result of marine pollution gathered by ocean currents located in the North Pacific gyre. Its actual size is undetermined due to its very low density. In some media reports, the patch is said to be up to "twice the size of the continental United States". Such estimates, however, are conjectural given the complexities of sampling. The continued analysis of the patch has found that the minimum size is around the surface area of Texas.
  • 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 (one in particular - Wicket W. Warrick )).
  • 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.
  • Krieger, while making guns mods, plays drum solo from "Tom Sawyer" by Rush .
  • 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 5[]

Episode 1 - White Elephant[]

  • 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 Elvis Presley .
  • Cherlene performs "Baby, Please Don't Go," which is a blues standard recorded by multiple artists. During the song, Cherlene says "You know how I feel right now, cuz my baby's leavin' on that midnight train," which is a reference to Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia."
  • There are several in-show call-backs (and cultural references) during Archer's fantasy of Mallory's proposed drug business, including a poster of Rona Thorne's "Disavowed" movie on the wall of the radio station ("Movie Star," season 2, episode 7), some (later unrealized) flash forwards to Lana's pregnancy and her water breaking (which happens in a totally different situation than Archer fantasizes in season 5, episode 13), a recurring appearance of the tiger (Shane) who will later be murdered in front of Archer and Cheryl (Cherlene) in "Palace Intrique," and, when Archer remarks that he thinks he just invaded Laos, a reappearance of Chi, the Asian woman who manicured Archer's nails in "The Honeymooners" (season 4, episode 9). [Chi is also present in the "Live and Let Dine" episode as Pam's translator.]
  • In Archer's fantasy, FBI (CIA) agent-in-charge Holly has him cornered in a drain pipe reminiscent of the Harrison Ford / Tommy Lee Jones standoff in The Fugitive. Archer is even wearing the same zip-up sweatshirt as Ford.
  • In a little bit of sloppy art reuse, the surface-to-air missile fired during the fantasy sequence strikes the AIR TUNT (reversed) helicopter from the Sea Tunt (part one) episode (season 4, episode 12).

Episode 2 - A Kiss While Dying[]

  • 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 so la ti '. 
  • Malory instructs Cyril to launder the incoming drug money; Cyril suggests a laundromat
  • Archer refers to their new role as The A-Team meets Scarface . Lana then calls Archer "Hannibal Montana", a combination of the characters John "Hannibal" Smith of The A-Team, and Tony Montana of Scarface, to create a reference to Hannah Montana.
  • When archer arrives in Miami Latino music is playing and a close up of women in bikinis is show in reference to similar scenes on Burn Notice (also set and filmed in Miami)
  • Lana calls out "Ugh, No, Leon!" when Pam offers her a cocaine cast. This is a reference to Leon from The Andy Griffith Show who offers everyone some of his sandwich. The actor who plays Leon, Clint Howard, is the real-life brother of actor and filmmaker, Ron Howard.

Episode 3 - A Debt of Honor[]

  • When Malory becomes hysterical, exclaiming that they were "ruined," in response to the farcical drug deal that resulted in the loss of 20 kilos of cocaine, Archer responds, "We're not ruined, Camille."  He may be referring to the well known phrase, "Courage, Camille."  This phrase was originally found in Alexander Dumas' 1857, Camille: The Lady of the Camelias where the character Monsieur Duval tells Camille, "Courage Camille, Courage."
  • 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.
  • Archer claims that within the Tunt Manor, there must be a "...gigantic, Scrooge McDuckian vault." This is reference to Disney's Scrooge McDuck who had a penchant for diving into his fortune which was stored in a mammoth vault.
  • To threaten Pam, Lana claims that she will, "...break both of your collar bones,...and then use them to play, in its entirety and on your head, Moby Dick." This is reference to the Led Zeppelin song of the same name, that, when played live, John Bonham's drum solos could last up to 30 minutes in length, expounding upon threat as being one of a prolonged, and grueling nature.
  • Over the intercom, Krieger can be heard saying Bonham, the aforementioned drummer of Led Zeppelin, was a "pussy."
  • After Cheryl refers to a Yakuza member on the phone as being overly "...gross, and Chinese-y." Archer plays the losing horn from The Price is Right
  • In a similar fashion, one of the Yakuza assassins plays the losing horn from The Price is Right, after his partner manages to shoot Ron in the abdomen but misses the rest.
  • The Yakuza have very strict codes, honor being an important one. 
  • When Pam comes back to the house with the duffle bag full of amphetamines from the Yakuza, Mallory asks if the "Hells Angels were busy". To which Pam responds "Yeah to busy being pussies". The Hells Angels are a 1% Motorcycle Club that have historically been known for trafficking drugs and for being violent when you upset them or betray their clubs trust and honor. They have codes Similar to that of the Yakuza, with trust, honor and respect being most important.
  • 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 misassociation 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. The origin of Mole People is from the Flash Gordon Comic/TV Show/Movie- they were minions of Ming The Merciless. 
  • It's later established that Cheryl's great uncle's plan to intercept the underground railroad occurred around 1890; whereas slavery had been abolished in 1865.
  • While Archer is climbing out of the utility tunnel next to Moto's car, he realizes that he might get lead poisioning from being shot so many times and become "mad as a hatter".  Mad hatter disease was actually incurred by felt hat makers during Victorian England from inhaling fumes of inorganic mercury in the form of mercuric nitrate.   
  • The gun Archer uses to threaten Mr. Moto is a Mare's Leg, famously carried by Steve McQueen on the TV series Wanted Dead or Alive.
  • Moto's line in Japanese "Kane no kansha wa natsu no jouhatsu" (金のかんしゃは夏の蒸発) literally translates to: The gift of money is the evaporation of summer. Most likely referring to how "cold" the conflict was between the two sides, and how the gift of money was able to evaporate the tension and lead to a prosperous and warm summer (not killing each other anymore) (thanks to Fuzznip at r/ArcherFX )

Episode 4 -House Call[]

  • The metric system is a system of measurement.  The United States is the only industrialized country to not adopt it as its official system.
  • Liberia and Burma are also stated to also not have adopted the system, however neither necessarily use the Imperial System , widely used in the United States.  Both have also taken the necessary initial steps towards adoption. 
  • Doctor Who is a popular British science-fiction television program .  The Pound Sterling is the official currency of the United Kingdom .
  • Cocaine is highly addictive and can lead to extreme mood swings, rushes of adrenaline and significant weight loss.
  • Woodhouse smacks Pam with a frying pan, referring to her as "a grass", British slang for an informer.
  • About the suggestion of locking Pam in a cage, Archer remarks, "Hey, yeah, sweat it out, like Popeye Doyle."  This is a reference to the character from the French Connection movie. In the fictional sequel, NYPD Detective Doyle tracks the french drug dealer back to Marseille. There he is captured by the dealer's thugs and becomes addicted to heroin. Doyle breaks his addiction by going "cold turkey" while locked in a police holding cell.
  • 'I learned it by watching you! ' was a large scale anti-narcotics campaign launched in 1987.
  • Thomas Corwin Mendenhall was a self-taught physicist and meteorologist.  In 1893 he issued the Mendenhall Order and oversaw the consequent transition.
  • Cookie Puss is an ice cream cake character created by Carvel in the 1970s.
  • A Habitrail is a series of translucent plastic tubes and "houses" for small pets, such as mice or hamsters.
  • Cheryl's grandfather being 'dressed like a ghost' is a mis-association with the standard  Ku Klux Klan dress of a hood and white robe .
  • Len Trexler is an in-show reference to one of Malory's past boyfriends.
  • Archer mentions Pam's strength, and says she "might as well be green and half deaf. This is a reference to bodybuilder/actor Lou Ferrigno , who is best know for playing The Incredible Hulk.
  • Cyril and Archer debate the similarities between Vampires' Apotropaics and the Legal Authority of the FBI, which was prior to the expansion viaThe Patriot Act in 2001.
  • As a second appearance (White Elephant ); FBI Agent "Hawley/Holeh/Holy" is a reference to Detective Harry Hole , star of a series of detective novels by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.
  • A GILF, in this case, is a Grandfather I'd Like to Fuck.
  • Archer mentions a "tube of Kentucky jelly," a slang term for K-Y Jelly (a "personal lubricant").
  • As an attempt to replace 'phrasing', Archer says 'says Ripley to Android Bishop'.  This is a turn of the phrase "Said the Actress to the Bishop", which was the original British version of the American phrase "That's what she said". Ripley and the Android Bishop are characters from the movie Aliens.
  • Woodhouse's reaction to the tranquilizer is due to his heroin addiction.
  • The various complications of pregnancy listed by Archer are:
  • Minitel  was a pre-world wide web internet service release throughout France in 1978.
  • Cheryl, talking to Pam, refers to herself as "your Esmerelda", subtly implying Pam is Quasimodo. Both Esmerelda and Quasimodo are characters from Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame .
  • Malory tells Ron that 'they can't compel a husband and wife to testify against each other', referencing spousal immunity .
  • Mithril is a fiction metal found in J.R.R. Tolkien 's The Lord of the Rings .  It is known to be exceptionally hard.
  • Myrtle Beach was a popular spring break destination.
  • 'Cobra Whiskey ' and 'Lady Boys ' are both secretive reasons for people to travel to Thailand .

Episode 5 - Southbound and Down[]

  • 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).
  • C.W. McCall wrote the hit song, Convoy about long haul truckers and CB radios they used.  The song was also on the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack. 
  • 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 methadone 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 .
  • At several points while Archer and Pam are driving in the Firebird, Pam turns to look for something in the back seat, thus prominently displaying her (now very shapely) rear end. In "Smokey and the Bandit," Sally Field performs the same bit of business.
  • 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 mimicking the Nazis' Goose-Step and salute
  • Lana calls Malory 'Colonel Mom Parker', which is a combined reference to Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker and the early 20th century criminal matriarch Ma Barker.  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 dairy 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 the opposite of its literal meaning.
  • Archer is correct, no one really knows what satire is.
  • Archer tells Pam her 'tit-tays' are just subcutaneous adipose tissue.
  • "Who are you, Snidely Whiplash?" is a reference to the villain in the Dudley Do-Right cartoons and movie of the same name.
  • 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 - Smugglers' Blues[]

  • The Croup is a respiratory infection common amongst children.  It's an old wives tale that liquor, sugar, and glycerin mixed with water will remedy it.
  • Bush League is a term primarily used in Baseball to mean the minor leagues.
  • Cyril hits Archer in the head with a fire extinguisher during a plane flight. On waking Archer says "Oh, and just so you know, that's exactly how Len Koenecke died."
  • Krieger's line about 'the gang who couldn't sell coke straight' is a reference to The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
  • Archer points out the overthrow of democratic governments perpetrated by the United States:
  • 'SnackleSnaps' could be a reference to Pinterest , a website commonly used to post pictures of, and recipes for food and drinks (Or Instagram, a website also for sharing pictures)(Alternatively, it could refer to Snapchat, a smartphone app used to briefly send photos/video clips to friends who also use the app).
  • Archer jumps through a window and cheers "Here's to you Hal Needham."
  • Snake Wine cannot poison you.
  • The para-military group Archer, Cyril and Ray encounter is most likely the AUC .
  • "Guaro" is one nickname to a popular Colombian alcoholic drink called Aguardiente.
  • Archer's worry about having his "throat slashed and my tongue pulled through the gaping hole" is a description of the Columbian Necktie.  It entered popular culture in the U.S. during the O.J. Simpson murder trial, when it was proposed by defense attorney F. Lee Bailey as an alternative theory for the killings.  
  • The difference between a distributor cap and a windshield washer cap .
  • Ray states that they referred to the Phi Mu sorority as Phi 'moo '. 
  • When La Madrina asks Archer what he expected her to look like, he responds, "I guess like a Mexican Mrs. Garrett?" (A reference to the mentor to the girls on "The Facts of Life")

Episode 7 - The Rules Of Extraction[]

  • Archer references the TV show B.J. and the Bear
  • The outfits Pam and Cheryl are wearing in the 'Spa Day' sequence, as well as Cheryl and Lana's subsequent conversation about yogurt enemas are references to the movie The Road to Wellville

Episode 8 - On The Carpet[]

  • Krieger's sub names were a mashing of his name and the fictional Russian submarine Red October in Tom Clancy's novel, and later movie of the same name, The Hunt for Red October. It is also a reference to the October Revolution , of which Red October was the nickname, part of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
  • In a flashback Lana points out to Krieger how getting his sub out of the Tunt Manor's indoor pool was impossible.  Back during his interrogation by Malory, he drops to the carpet yelling "I blew it up!" in another version of the last scene in the original Planet of the Apes movie.

Episode 9 - Baby Shower[]

  • "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.)
  • The untraceable currency created by Krieger, the “Kriegerrand” is a reference to the South African Krugerrand.
  • When Cyril threatens to rub cocaine in Ray's eyes in order to blind him, Ray responds "God damn, Shawshank". This is a reference to the movie The Shawshank Redemption, where the protagonist Andy Dufresne attempts to defend himself against rapists by throwing bleach into one of the rapists eyes.
  • When Pam is being held in a headlock by K-Log's bodyguard, she says to Archer, "First see if he wants a beej" and looks directly at the camera, pops a mint in her mouth, and her tooth sparkles. This is a reference to both the Mentos and Orbit advertising campaigns.
  • When Archer is holding Kenny Loggins from the side of a building he says, "And no, Kenny Loggins, there is no way make up for almost killing me over a briefcase that is full of what I can only assume is either plutonium or a human soul." While the plutonium reference is a common use in many movies/shows, the 'human soul' in a briefcase is a reference to a fan theory about the contents of the briefcase in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction containing Marsellus Wallace's soul.
  • Archer refers to Kenny Loggins as a 'possible Faustian bargain-maker' which is a reference to Faust, a German astronomer and necromancer reputed to have sold his soul to the Devil as Archer recently suggested Loggins had a soul in the briefcase.
  • Lana when told the 'beard guy' was Kenny Loggins, she mistakenly says, "From Kenny Loggins Roasters?" This is a reference to the real restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters founded by country music singer Kenny Rogers.

Episode 10 - Palace Intrigue Part.1[]

  • While Archer is mixing a drink, he picks up a banana and using it like a telephone receiver, says to set up an arms deal with Adnan Khashoggi.  Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian businessman, was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal.  In 1990, he was acquitted of the charge of concealing funds in Federal Court. 
  • The story line of the CIA selling Calderon's cocaine to pay for weapons, so he can "crush the rebel dogs" appears to resemble the real life events of the Iran-Contra scandal which involved members of the Reagan Administration during the 1980's.
  • Calderon's comment that the CIA was selling cocaine in the black community was a popular conspiracy theory to explain the explosion of crack cocaine.

Episode 11 - Palace Intrigue Part 2[]

  • Archer shoots Cyril with the Chekhov Gun from Season 1 Episode 2 and says, "Oh my god, the gun went off for, like, no reason."
  • When Archer realizes Cyril might be dead, he says, "Actually, yeah, Pam, let's hear some Bee Gees." This is a reference to a 2008 study suggesting people performing hands-only CPR use the Bee Gees 1977 hit song Stayin' Alive for the timing of chest compressions. At 103 beats a minute, its tempo almost perfectly matches the recommended rate of 100 chest compressions per minute with no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation necessary.
  • After President Calderon gives Cheryl a long explanation about the approval of the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution regarding Presidential term limits, Cheryl asks him, "Who are you, Dave Frishberg?" This is a reference to the fact that Frishberg wrote the music and lyrics for "I'm Just a Bill", the song about the forlorn legislative writ in the ABC Schoolhouse Rock! series.

Episode 12 - Filibuster[]

  • The title is a reference to someone who conducts an unauthorized foreign military expedition.
  • When Calderon says, "That was the pruno talking."  Pruno, or prison wine, is made by inmates of jails and prisons by fermenting fruit, ketchup, sugar or other sugar containing item with crumbled bread (for the yeast).  The alcohol content varies from 2% to 14% (like a fortified wine).  Due to obvious reasons, it is banned in all correctional facilities.  
  • Calderon's statement "Of course there is a tiger. Where did you think you are, Tegucigalpa?" is likely a reference to the death of a Bengal tiger (donated by a Mexican circus) in the Tegucigalpa zoo after it sustained a hip injury.  
  • When Archer sees the tiger at the zoo, he says in awe, "They should have sent a poet."  This was the line spoken by Jodie Foster's character, Dr. Eleanor Arroway, in the movie Contact.  She says the line when her space pod emerges from a wormhole and she sees the beauty of the universe outside the window. It may have originally been said by Sergei Korolev, chief designer and scientist behind the whole Soviet space adventure, who remarked, they “should have sent a poet, not a pilot” after the initial human space flight by Yuri Gagarin. It's also been attributed to Carl Sagan at a later time. 

Episode 13 - Arrival Departure[]

  • Before leaving the palace for the airport, Cyril laments over his failure to beat the rebels by reciting the first lines of the rant given by Rambo to Col. Trautman in the final scene of the movie First Blood.  Malory cuts him off after he says, "But somebody wouldn't let us win."
  • When Slater says "Mark!", Cheryl replies, "Twain, no that's for barges."  This is a reference to how the author Samuel Clemens created his pen name, Mark Twain.  While piloting steamboats on the Mississippi River, a crewman would shout "Mark Twain" when the river was at least twelve feet deep, enough for the steamboat to pass. 
  • Archer asks Lana what her Bishop Score is. A Bishop score, also known as a cervix score, is a pre-labor scoring system to assist in predicting whether induction of labor will be required. 
  • The rocket the clones built was a V-2, a German World War II missile.  
  • While Lana is explaining how she was able to carry her pregnancy, Archer has a tinnitus. In the first episode of Breaking Bad, Walt has a similar experience when he learns he has cancer. He asks twice if he was in a coma probably because he's trying to rationalize and comprehend what Lana just told him.  
  • After his tinnitus eases, Archer asks the baby what Lana was saying.  The baby responds with one finger, as if to say "just a minute" like he does.  Realizing he's the father, Archer says "Meep!" like the Muppet character Beaker.  

Season 6[]

Episode 1 - The Holdout[]

  • Archer is drinking cobra whiskey in the episode's opening segment.
  • "Sweet Baby James" is a song by James Taylor.
  • Pam's "haircut" of a lightning bolt with the letters T, C, and B attached refer to the personal motto and symbol of Elvis Presley (1935-1977).  The letters stood for Taking Care of Business.  He also painted these letters with the lightning on the tail of his private jet.  
  • The second CIA pilot chastises himself for referring to liquor (his co-pilot is in Alcoholics Anonymous), using the term "inappropes."
  • The C-47 plane that dropped Archer over the island had black and white "Invasion Stripes" painted on the wings and tail.  These markings were used during the D-Day landings in World War II to allow quick recognition of allied aircraft.  Since Air America was a CIA front, it is likely the stripes would have been painted over. 
  • Archer's encounter with a Japanese soldier holdout from World War II is similar to the plot of an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man. This similarity is mentioned by Archer in the episode.
  • Archer's encounter with the WWII Japanese soldier is referencing Shoichi Yokoi the soldier discovered in Guam in 1972 who believed the War was still going on.

Episode 2 - Three To Tango[]

  • When Malory pushes her computer on the floor, Cheryl can be heard saying through the intercom, "What are you doing, Dave?" This is what HAL 9000 says in the movie 2001:A Space Odyssey
  • Conway Stern makes his second appearance since "Diversity Hire" in the first season. He appeared briefly in Season 4's "Legs," in which he is shown getting his hand replaced by Krieger.
  • After assuming that Stern obtained his cyborg hand from Krieger, Archer says that Krieger won't stop until "we're all enslaved by Skynet," a reference to the artificial intelligence from the Terminator movie franchise.
  • While in the elevator, Stern says Archer can cut out the retina of the guard, he keeps calling Pyle, instead of dragging the unconscious man along.  Archer answers that Lou-Ann would not be happy with that.  Gomer Pyle and his girlfriend Lou-Ann Poovie were characters in the 60's television comedy Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  
  • Mallory's comment about shooting Krieger and "sipping an Amontillado sherry while you bleed to death" could be a loose reference to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," where the main character buries his victim alive and stays in the room while he suffocates. 
  • When Stern quickly hacks into the Argentinian mainframe and Lana asks why he already knew the code, Archer responds with, "Of course he did, he's a cyborg, it was probably Gaius Baltar's--" This is a reference to Gaius Baltar, a Cylon-sympathetic human character in Battlestar Galactica (2004) who notably allowed a Cylon sleeper to use his access to the defense mainframe, which she used to catastrophically compromise the system.
  • Before base jumping out the window, Stern calls Lana "Horatio Kane," a reference to the character Horatio Caine of CSI: Miami.   

Episode 3 - The Archer Sanction[]

  • The title of the episode refers to the 1972 novel The Eiger Sanction and the 1975 film based on that book and starring Clint Eastwood. The story focuses on Jonathan Hemlock, a former professional assassin for the US government who is coerced out of retirement to carry out another "sanction." Because the target will be climbing the Eiger (a mountain in the Swiss Alps), Hemlock -- a mountaineer himself -- arranges to join the international climbing party.
  • In the episode, the team (Archer, Lana, and Ray) do not know the identity of their target, except that he/she is a national of a former Axis power. Similarly, in the book and film, Hemlock knows only that his target walks with a limp.
  • When Cyril asks how can Cheryl not know watermelon was red, she replies, "Who am I, Charles Fredric Andrus?"  Andrus was a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture horticulturist who developed a disease and wilt resistant strain of watermelon that was grey in colour.
  • Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in coastal areas of Latin America.  Usually made of raw fish (tuna, sea bass or mackerel) is can also include shrimp, octopus or squid.  Since the dish is not cooked, it must be prepared shortly before being consumed to reduce the risk of food poisoning, which is why Cheryl believed it to be the cause of their subsequent illness.   
  • In the ISIS hot tub, a mysterious creature (presumably set loose by Dr. Krieger) appears onscreen when Pam is on the phone with Lana. The creature resembles a Dianoga, a species from the Star Wars universe seen in the trash compactor scene in 'A New Hope'.   
  • Their guide named Crash finishes explaining the dangers of the climb by saying "We head out at dawn." Archer asks Crash if by dawn he meant A.M. to make sure that he didn't mean P.M. Dawn, the '90s hip-hop and R&B group which, as Ray had to remind the other climbers, created the hit song 'Set Adrift on Memory Bliss'.

Episode 4 - Edie's Wedding[]

  • Pam refers to Archer as "Ike Turner" when he threatens to hit her again for crying. This is a reference to musician Ike Turner, who was outed for domestic abuse by Tina Turner in her autobiography named I, Tina.
  • As part of Archer's backstory, he is Gordon Shumway, which is a reference to the feature character's true name in the 80s TV show ALF.
  • At one point during a conversation with Lana, Kreiger exclaims, "Great Bacchus Plateau!" This is a reference to the fifth part of the song "The Fountain of Lamneth" by the band Rush.
  • As Ray closes the elevator door on Lana, he claims he is pressing the "Open Doors" button, but it's "Maximum Overdrive" again, implying the elevator has a mind of its own.
  • When Archer and Edie are in the elevator, Archer is holding a box of roses which is revealed to conceal a shotgun - a reference to Terminator 2: Judgement Day where the T-800 does the same. Also, Barry's endoskeleton is revealed after being shot and burned.
  • When Edie and Archer arrive at the grain elevator, they find Pam strung up like the guard killed by Hannibal Lecter, when he escaped in the movie, The Silence of the Lambs.
  • When the ambulance approaches the smoking remains of the grain shed, the driver, seeing Barry in the distance, asks his partner, "Is that a man?", the partner then replies, "Yeah, you're damn right it is!"  This is a word for word exchange from the movie, The Right Stuff, when Major Ridley and an Air Force ambulance travel out onto the Edwards AFB dry lake to find Col. Chuck Yeager after his NF-104A crashed attempting to break the then altitude record of 114,000 feet. 
  • The song that plays at the end of the episode is the theme song from Fargo (TV Series), which also airs on FX. Guest star Allison Tolman (Edie) starred as Deputy Molly Solverson in the first season of Fargo. 
  • At the end of the episode, Barry appears to be losing power, with his eyes slowly fading, referencing the ending of 'The Terminator', where the T-800 does the same. 

Episode 5 - Vision Quest[]

  • When the elevator doors are closing on Archer at the beginning of the episode, Ray again claims "It's Maximum Overdrive!"
  • Elisha Otis (1811-1861), developer of elevator safety brakes and later owner of the Otis and Brothers Elevator Company died of diphtheria at the age of 49.
  • When Cheryl comments about her psychic abilities, Archer remarks, "You're a regular Silva Browne".  Silva C. Browne (1936-2013) was an American author who also claimed to have psychic abilities.  She appeared on the Montel Williams and Larry King Live television shows among others.   
  • When Malory opens the elevator at the end, the word "TOUCHABLE" is visible on the back elevator wall. This could be a reference to a scene in the 1987 crime drama "The Untouchables" where Eliot Ness (played by Kevin Costner) finds his colleague murdered in an elevator with the same word spelled out in blood on the elevator wall.   

Episode 6 - Sitting[]

  • Slater sutures up his wound, without a pain killer, like Rambo in First Blood.
  • When Cyril and Ray tell Archer that Rodney stole the entire ISIS armory to set himself up as a successful arms dealer, we are given a scene of Rodney discussing "terms" on his yacht.  This scene is a reference to a story arc in the crime drama, Wiseguys.  Kevin Spacey played Mel Profitt, the arms dealer.  Rodney's facial expression and hand gesture (forming a triangle) were reminiscent of Profitt's in the introduction of the story arc. 
  • Malory asks, "Who are you?  James Lipton?"  James Lipton, since 1994 has been the host of Inside the Actor's Studio on the Bravo Network.  His interview guests are usually television and movie actors, who discuss their craft and the roles they had performed. 
  • As Archer and Farooq leave the break room, where Pam, Cheryl, Ray, Krieger, and Cyril are playing poker, Cheryl yells, "go back to Canada Guy Lafleur!" Guy Lafleur is a retired Canadian hockey player. He played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques. Cheryl mistakenly thought that Farooq was Canadian. 

Episode 7 - Nellis[]

  • Simone, a homeless prostitute and drug addict, makes an appearance. She is a character featured in Adam Reed's previous animated show Frisky Dingo.
  • Archers confusion involving "Lieutenant Colonel" Is likely a reference to Maj. Major Major (Bob Newhart) in Catch-22
  • One of the aliens refers to Dr Krieger as Algernop, indicating that he may be the original Krieger. However, none of the Krieger clones were named in the show, so this can't be confirmed.
  • Ray is a fan of early rhythm and blues vocal groups as he is unhappy to see that the jukebox has nothing by The Drifters, The Tams, The Dominoes, or The Embers.
  • When Pam asks Archer if he believes she and Krieger saw extraterrestrials, he whispers in her ear, "The truth is out there."  This is a reference to the X-Files, where the phrase appears in the opening credits and extraterrestrials were a frequent theme of the show.
  • In the scene where Archer gets picked up by the "Sky Tunt" a red-white-and-blue staircar can be seen behind Archer; a reference to the Bluth's staircar in Arrested Development.

Episode 8 - The Kanes[]

  • When Archer falls onto the table and makes a comment about mashed potatoes it is actually a reference to the Beastie Boys (this link also goes into depth with the other references in the episode)  
  • The car chase to retrieve Dr. Kane's research, where the classic one in Bullitt was made up of segments taken all over San Francisco, the Archer chase was also geographically unrealistic.  It is impossible to get from Berkeley to San Francisco, by going northbound on the Golden Gate bridge, in the time frame implied.  
  • The car chase continues on to the Golden Gate Bridge, a location where Steve McQueen wanted to film part of the famous car chase scene but was denied a permit by the city.  
  • Kreiger's bowling jacket has the name "Algernop" (episode 7)  

Episode 9 - Pocket Listing[]

  • The title of the episode is a reference to the real estate term meaning a listing agreement between a seller and a real estate agent that is private, i.e., not advertised in public venues such as a Multiple Listing Service.
  • When Krieger regains consciousness, after being darted by Slater during the mission briefing, he again does a variation of his "God damn you all to hell" rant from the original Planet of the Apes movie. 
  • When Pam says "Girl with the Pearl Necklace," she is referring to the sex move of a 'pearl necklace' where the male pulls out from a either orifice and ejaculates on the female's chest to create a 'pearl necklace'.
    • This is a combined reference to the painting titled "Girl with the Pearl Earring" created in 1665 by Johannes Vermeer and subsequently the movie of the same name made in 2003. 
  • When Cyril is talking about Lana trying to seduce the Prince to Archer, Archer says, "ok Gollum, you have won the game of riddles, the gold ring is yours." is a reference to the character Gollum in the Hobbit book by J.R.R Tolken.
  • "Damn, Gina", which Pam says when she sees Lana dressed to seduce the Prince, is a catchphrase from the 90s TV series [(TV series)|Martin].
  • The carnivorous plant Ray battles makes the same clicking sound as Predator.

Episode 10 - Reignition Sequence[]

  • Cheryl's plan to kidnap baby Abbiejean closely matches the outcome of the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, as well as, the trial and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann.
  • When Lana criticizes Archer's attempt at making dinner as "Julia Childish", she is referring to the late French Chef Julia Child, who popularized French cooking on a long running PBS television show. Child was also in the OSS during World War II as a researcher reporting directly to Wild Bill Donovan, so maybe she was an acquaintance of Malory's?
  • Eubie Blake, full name James Hubert Blake, (1887-1983) was a black composer and pianist of jazz, ragtime and popular music.

Episode 11 - Achub Y Morfilod[]

  • The title of the episode is a Welsh phrase meaning "Save the Whales."
  • After Lana wakes up in the back of Archer's car, she asks "Seriously, what is this, the Shire?" The Shire is a region of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings.
  • When Lloyd's brother says "hello, lady" to Lana, his tone is similar to Fezzik (played by Andre the Giant) saying the same thing near the end of the film The Princess Bride.
  • When Lana tells Archer to take Lloyd's brother into the closet, she calls him Lurch. Lurch was the name of a giant manservant to the Addam's Family created by American cartoonist Charles Addams.
  • When Archer leads Lloyd's hulking brother into the closet (to hide from the MI5 agent), he calls him Gort. Gort was the name of the eight foot robot that accompanied the alien emissary Klaatu in the classic 1951 science fiction movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • Whilst hiding, Archer promises to give Lloyd's brother a puppy. Archer says he "will probably accidentally strangle" it. This is another reference, (further to Lana earlier calling the Welsh duo "George and Lenny") to the John Steinbeck novella Of Mice and Men. In the book, Lenny accidentally kills a puppy that was given to him.
  • After Lana hangs up on Malory after she makes a comment about the baby's weight, the baby cries in hunger, and Malory offers her an ice chip, something anorexics use to suppress hunger pain.

Episode 12 - Drastic Voyage: Part I[]

  • The title and storyline of this two-part episode closely follow that of the 1966 science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage.
  • Sklodowska is Marie Curie's maiden name.
  • During the briefing, Hawley refers to Cheryl as Julia "Gluey" Dreyfus, a play on the name of Seinfield actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
  • Pam says "Ooh, a little 'Handingo' action" which is a reference to Ray's new dark-skinned hand, and the African-American pornstar Mandingo
  • Archer mentions "Gary's Old Towne Tavern" which was a rival bar that the Cheers characters competed with.
  • Upon learning that Kovac's miniaturization process was a success, Krieger drops to the carpet and pounds his fist in another version of the Planet of the Apes final scene, as Krieger had also been working on such a process for years.  
  • When receiving crew assignments, Ray says that he's only good enough to "drive you all down to the Piggly Wiggly."  This is a reference from the movie, Driving Miss Daisy.
  • The Laser Turret that Archer practices in is a reference to Star Wars.
  • When Krieger gives his diagnosis of Kovac's medical problem to a CIA doctor by using a caliper and phrenology methods, the doctor asks, "Who do you think you are?  George Combe?"  George Combe (1788-1858) was a leader in the British phrenology movement. 
  • When it is time for miniaturization, Slater says, "Let's light this candle."  This was the line spoken by the Astronaut Alan Shepard (1923-1998) in the movie, The Right Stuff.  Shepard was the second man and first American to enter outer space aboard his Mercury spacecraft, Freedom 7.
  • The spinning rings on the machine that miniaturizes the Nereus are based on the intergalactic transportation device in the movie "Contact".

Episode 13 - Drastic Voyage: Part II[]

  • Archer refers to several powdered drinks (Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry, Goofy Grape, Lefty Lemon) all from the Funny Face series introduce by Pilsbury in 1964 and a one-time competitor of Kool-Aid.
  • After Dr. Sklodowska corrects Lana on the term Bacterium, Lana replies with "Thanks, Jill Nye." This is a reference to Bill Nye the Science Guy, who made educational science videos for kids.
  • Cheryl wonders if Ray can get "Jesse Owens legs".  Jesse Owens (1913-1980) was an African-American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist during the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, thus carrying on with African-American bionic limbs belonging to Mr. Gillette.
  • Archer states "Alex I think my buzzer is broken" when he is unable to fire the turret. This is a reference to the show Jeopardy and the buzzers used on the show.
  • Michael Gray says, "Well, what do you want me to do, transform into Captain Marvel and save the day?" To which Archer replies, "I'd be happy if you could turn into Jackson Bostwick!". On the T.V. Show Shazam!, Michael Gray played the character Billy Batson, a teen who could transform into Captain Marvel. When Billy was Captain Marvel, he was played by actor Jackson Bostwick.

Season 7[]

Episode 1 - The Figgis Agency[]

  • 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964): The season makes homage to the series in which two L.A. former government agents open a private detective agency.
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950): The episode opens with the body of Sterling Archer floating face down in a swimming pool of a Hollywood mansion with the following season narrative being told completely in flashbacks.
  • Charlie's Angels (1976): Commercial bumpers depict various silhouettes of Archer and company in action poses scrolling across the screen accompanied by brief musical notes reminiscent of the television series Charlie's Angels.
  • Magnum, P.I. (1980): Ray sarcastically replies to Archer, "I was hoping T.C. was gonna come pick us up in the chopper." The character of Theodore "T.C." Calvin was a combat trained pilot of a Hughes 500D helicopter who often aided Magnum in his investigations. Archer has also recently purchased a Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS identical to the one driven by Magnum.
  • Nancy Drew: During the mission briefing, Malory calls Archer "Mancy Drew" in reference to the fictional teenage female amateur detective. This is also a reference to Archer mistakenly referring to "Mancy" as a part of the NATO phonetic alphabet in "Skytanic".
  • Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales (1963): One of the detectives in the opening scene refers to Archer's tuxedo-clad body floating in the pool as "Tennessee Tuxedo", referencing the titular penguin from the 1963 cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales.
  • Los Angeles River: Archer tells Pam he'll "throw [her] into a canvas bag full of rats and throw that bag into the river", to which Malory replies "What river? it's a concrete slab." This is a reference to the concrete-laden Los Angeles River, which often has very little water in it.
  • Chinatown (1974): The realization that they were duped by a Veronica Deane imposter is straight out of the 1974 movie Chinatown. In the movie private detective J.J. Gittes is initially hired by a woman claiming to be Evelyn Mulwray only to find out after completing the job that she was an imposter from the real Mrs. Mulwray.
  • Predator (1987): Archer remarks that using the infrared goggles is just like Predator.
  • House of Romanov: Lana says Archer’s “bleeding like a Russian princess," referencing both to the Romanov family’s long history with hemophilia and to the grisly assassination of the Royal Family, most notably Princess Anastasia.

Malory calls Sterling "Oscar Wilde" - a late 19th century novelist.

Episode 2 - The Handoff[]

  • Sherlock Holmes and Darryl Zero: Malory mentions both characters when describing brilliant detectives with dysfunctional social traits. Both men are based (in Zero's case, loosely) on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and are described as "the world's greatest detective." It's been posited by that Holmes may have had an undiagnosed mental disorder that enabled him to be so talented at his work, and Zero is described as "a socially maladroit misanthrope."
  • Mossad: Alan Shapiro describes his guard dogs as being ex-Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel.
  • Classic Cocktails: Veronica Deane requests a Corpse Reviver #2 (a hangover-cure cocktail consisting of equal parts gin, lemon juice, curacao (commonly Cointreau), Kina Lillet, and a dash of absinthe) or a Double Sidecar, French (a cocktail with cognac, orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Grand Gala or another triple sec), and lemon juice). The "French" refers to "the French school" recipe, which calls for equal parts cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  • The Usual Suspects (1995): The Korean Bell of Friendship where Shapiro, Lana and Archer go to make the exchange with the biker gang is reminiscent of the one seen in the film where Keaton's crew meets with their LA contact Redfoot.
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989): A comedy-drama film based off the eponymous play about a prominent Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur.
  • Alphonse Bertillon: Cheryl references the police officer and biometrics researcher known in forensics.
  • Earl Campbell: Ray compares Lana's legs to that of the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back.
  • Top Gun (1986): Archer reference the movie when responding to Lana's description of the bikers at the hand off.
  • Pillsbury Doughboy: Lana calls Alan Shapiro "Poppin' Fresh".
  • Ghostbusters (1984): Archer calls Alan Shapiro "Senator Stay Puft".
  • Po' Folks: Alan Shapiro had the idea to open a restaurant name "Po' People".
  • Trunk Names : Fran Trunkington ( Fran Tarkenton ), Trunky Brewster ( Punky Brewster ), Archie Trunker ( Archie Bunker ), Trunken Hines ( Duncan Hines ), Sandy Truncan ( Sandy Duncan ), Trunkmaster Flex ( Funkmaster Flex ), Trunkminster Fuller ( Buckminster Fuller ), Trunkingham Palace ( Buckingham Palace ).

Episode 3 - Deadly Prep[]

  • Fletch (1985): Richard "Ivy" Stratton's plan for Archer is very similar to Alan Stanwyk's plan for Fletch, substituting Stratton's partner for Stanwyk's wife.
  • The Ballad of Paladin: Archer sings this song to himself while assembling his Walther to go kill Ivy.
  • Grizzly Bear and Jethro Tull: Archer calls Ray "Jethro Dull" when asked if he's about to hunt some grizzly bears, referencing the two rock bands.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Cyril's revenge fantasy involves a naked Archer in a basement pit, which impeccably resembles the basket scene from the movie.
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946): Archer makes fun of Whitney attempting to lie about not having money in his house by quoting George Bailey's stammering line "It's in Tom's house... and Bill's house."
  • Octoroon: When Ivy suggests that Abbiejean is a mulatto bastard, Archer says that technically Abbiejean is an Octoroon bastard.
  • Project Gemini & Space Shuttle: Abbiejean is seen playing with models of both a Gemini capsule and Space Shuttle.

Episode 4 - Motherless Child[]

  • The Invisible Man (1933): Barry's face and hands being completely swathed in gauze bandages with dark glasses covering his eyes prompts Archer to ask if he is "invisible now", referencing the similarity in appearance to that of Claude Rains' titular character in the classic science fiction horror film.
  • The Terminator (1984): Barry's cyborg appearance is similar to "a" Terminator, specifically to the metal endoskeleton of the T-800.
  • Frank Langella: Barry calls Ray a poor man's Frank Langella, an American stage and film actor.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920): Cyril calls Krieger's cabinet containing the groups faces and hands "the cabinet of Dr. Krieger".
  • Los Angeles Aztecs: A defunct L.A. based soccer team that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974–81. Archer tells Barry that if he's come to L.A. to see the Aztecs play he's got some bad news for him.
  • Of Mice and Men: Archer makes reference to the 1937 novella when he says "quit squeezing the puppy Lennie" to Lana as she is bandaging his leg.
  • Don the Beachcomber: The tiki bar Archer is seen leaving along with the tiki mug he's holding are likely references to the trend setting L.A. bar which opened in 1933 and is believed to have pioneered the tiki mug.
  • Topsy the Elephant: Archer wants Krieger to fry Barry's CPU similar to the way Thomas Edison allegedly had an elephant electrocuted.
  • Superman: Barry references many early Superman movies in which villains had a tendency to throw their guns at Superman once they had emptied all their bullets into his chest only to have them all bounce off.
  • Spice Girls: Barry calls Cheryl "Creepy Spice".
  • Samuel Johnson: The eighteenth century writer and critic of English literature is is mentioned by Barry as saying that puns are the lowest form of comedy.
  • Star Wars (1977): Archer refers to Barry as "Darth Barry" in a comparison to Darth Vader the mechanically augmented antagonist of the classic space fantasy.

Episode 5 - Bel Panto: Part I[]

  • Bel Canto and the British tradition of panto: The episode's title is a reference to Ann Patchett's novel Bel Canto, where an opera singer and others at a party are held hostage, and the British tradition of panto, a slapstick stage production usually performed around the holidays.  
  • Encyclopedia Brown: Archer compares himself to the literary boy detective when he figures out the use of the trashcans in the restroom cloth towel fiasco, to which Cheryl responds "Bugs Meany is wiping his ass on our towels?!". Bugs Meany is a frequent nemesis of Encyclopedia Brown, the head of a gang of boys called “The Tigers” to whom Krieger refers. Cheryl quotes Encyclopedia’s daily rate, “25¢ a day plus expenses,” and twice alludes to his hometown, Idaville.
  • Hollywood Squares (1966 - 2004): Alan Shapiro declares to Cyril that "the square gets the square", referencing both Cyril being a square and the long running game show.
  • American Tinnitus Association: The Figgis Agency attends an annual fundraiser for the ATA.
  • Mc 10:35: Archer refers to the combining of three fancy hors d'oeuvres together into a single concoction as "the world's most expensive Mc 10:35".
  • Otto von Bismarck: Pam calls Krieger "Otto von Jizzmark" due to his attire being reminiscent to that of Germany's first Chancellor.
  • Franz Ferdinand: Ray was going call Krieger "Franz Turdinand" also due to his attire.
  • Scarface (1983): Cheryl calls Alan Shapiro "pocket Tony Montana" and "tiny Montana" presumably due to his white suit which resembles one worn by the fictional drug lord.
  • Matthew C. Perry: Archer sarcastically mistakes a party attendee for that of the historical Commodore of the U.S. Navy.
  • USS Maine: Archer, continuing his taunt of the party attendee says "remember the Maine!", the American cry following the sinking of the USS Maine which lead to the Spanish–American War in 1898.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost (1939): Cheryl says Alan Shapiro was sneaking around scaring people like Casper the Ghost. Ray also wonders how Casper and Spooky died.
  • Shocking Blue: Ellis Crane asks Lana if Shocking Blue had been a band very long before recording "Venus". The Dutch rock band was formed in 1967, two years prior to the release of their hit single.
  • Oingo Boingo: One of the hostage taking clowns is named "Mr. Oingo" and another is named "Mr. Boingo". Together they form the name of the new wave band best known for their hit "Dead Man's Party" in 1986.
  • Star Wars (1977): Archer plans on incapacitating one of the clowns and taking his place à la Luke Skywalker & Han Solo donning Stormtrooper armor to infiltrate the Death Star.
  • Patty Hearst: Cheryl decides she has Stockholm syndrome leading to her wanting to be called Tania, which is the name Patty Hearst took after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
  • Punky Brewster (1984): The pink clown goes by the name of Pinky Brewster.
  • Kate Warne: The first female detective in American history.

Episode 6 - Bel Panto: Part II[]

  • The Matrix (1999): The episode opens with a 360º pan around a room which begins and ends with a shot of a corded phone on a table. This shot is very similar to one from the scene in The Matrix when Neo is being taken to meet the Oracle. However, where in the film, Morpheus appears at the end of the pan and picks up the receiver, one of the clowns appears and shoots the phone.
  • Purple Nurple: The purple clown goes by the alias Mr. Nurple. A purple nurple is defined as the act of grabbing and twisting another person's nipple.
  • Attica Prison Riot: Archer says there is a jumpy S.W.A.T. team dying to go full-on Attica. During the 1971 retaking of the Attica Prison, N.Y. State Troopers & soldiers from the N.Y. National Guard opened fire non-stop for two minutes which lead to the wounding and killing of multiple hostages and inmates who were not resisting.
  • Bechdel test: Malory and Lana argue over Archer flirting with Veronica Deane, as well as Lana flirting with Ellis Crane. Cheryl jokes about them failing the Bechdel test, which asks whether two women can have a conversation about something other than a man.
  • North American Aerospace Defense Command: Archer questions if the mansion's security system was developed by NORAD.
  • Star Wars (1977): When seeing the complex security system, Archer refers to Ray as Ain't-2-D2 in reference to Archer's belief that Ray can interface with electronic equipment like R2-D2.
  • The Outsiders (1967): After kicking his ass and putting him a refrigerator, Pam tells Mr. Yum Yum to "stay cold, Ponyboy" in reference to Ponyboy Curtis, the main protagonist of the S. E. Hinton novel.
  • Mozart: Annoyed with the string quintet, Cheryl wrongly states "no wonder Mozart went deaf" when in fact it was Ludwig van Beethoven who actually went deaf, not Mozart.
  • RMS Titanic: Lana wonders if she walked into the Titanic as she enters the mansion's exercise room followed by a crash, cut to the String quintet playing as a visual reference like the band of the Titanic that continued to play as the ship sank.
  • The Dark Knight (2008): The clowns taking off their masks and costumes and posing as hostages, while placing the hostages in the clown costumes and taping guns to their hands is from the famous scene in The Dark Knight. Batman has to rescue the hostages and incapacitate the police in time; however, in Archer, all the hostages are shot with bean bags.[9]
  • Lawn darts: When wondering how beanbags could be considered a toy for kids Cyril says that they're just lucky the police didn't use lawn darts, a notoriously dangerous and banned toy.
  • Krugerrand: Archer forces Alan Shapiro to pay him $500,000 for the agency's efforts protecting Veronica Deane's necklace, the Tsarina. He takes payment in the form of Krugerrands, a gold coin exclusively minted in South Africa.

Episode 7 - Double Indecency[]

  • Croup: Lana says that Abbiejean was up all night with this respiratory infection which is characterized by a "barking" cough.
  • Sharknado (2013-2016): Lana says that Donald Zissner is the producer of the Sharknoid movies to which Pam then follows by listing each. These are a reference to the film series from the infamous film production company, The Asylum.
  • Jerry Garcia: Pam says her bush looks like she is sitting on the Grateful Dead lead singer's face who wore a prominent beard for most of his career.
  • Fabergé Organics Shampoo: When Cheryl and Pam do their "tell two friends" bit they are referencing a series of memorable early 1980's TV commercials for the shampoo. [10]
  • Wheeler & Woolsey: When Cyril and Ray make a joke at Archer's expense he refers to them as the Vaudevillian 1920's & 30's comedy duo known for their puns and double entendres.
  • Harry Potter: Lana calls Malory "Ron Measly" for being cheap, which is a play on the name of a character form the book and film series, Ron Weasley.
  • Brazilian waxing: Pam says she is going to need a bucket of ice and a roll of gaffer tape to preform a do-it-yourself Brazilian ( also known as the Hollywood wax ) which is the removal of all hair in the pelvic area.
  • Gaffer tape: Pam says she is going to need this type of strong adhesive tape that is used widely in the film and TV industries in order to preform her DIY Brazilian.
  • 101 Dalmatians (1961): Lana calls Cheryl "Gluella de Vil" a reference to the movie's main antagonist Cruella de Vil combined with Cheryl's glue eating habit.
  • Major League Baseball: When Pam thinks she is going to be used in the agency's latest case she says she didn't know she was going to be "called up to the big show" which is a what baseball players commonly call being moved up from the minor leagues to the major league.
  • Henry David Thoreau / Doonesbury: When Krieger quotes Henry David Thoreau Archer confuses the famous author with Garry Trudeau, the the creator of the Doonesbury comic strip.
  • Blade Runner (1982): Krieger says he can use the money from the guys wager to finish his Voight-Kampff machine. This is a fictional interrogation tool used by Blade Runners to determine whether or not an individual is a Replicant.
  • Shirley Bassey: Lana mentions this famous singer as an example of a black Welsh person.
  • Spanish fly: Pam is confident in her ability to win the bet due to the fact that she is in possession of the supposed aphrodisiac. After Lana states that this doesn't work Pam reasserts that it will if they mix it with moles blood. The mixing is a reference to La Voisin, a seventeenth century French fortune teller and an alleged sorceress who used to mix Spanish flies with many other ingredients to produce love powders. Of course, Pam even gets this wrong, La Voisin used moles teeth not moles blood in her concoctions.
  • Germicide: Ray assumes Archer is drinking germicide while in the barbershop which is the blue liquid that barbers and hair dressers use to clean their combs and shears. Barbicide a common commercial brand of germicide is sold in a container which very closely resembles the size and shape of the one Archer is drinking from.
  • Blue Curaçao: Archer insists that he is not drinking germicide but the a similar looking liqueur made from the laraha citrus fruit, which is grown on the island of Curaçao in the Caribbean.
  • Willemstad:When Ray accuses Archer of being a mean drunk on Blue Curaçao, Archer laughs it off and says he has been banned from the the capital city of Curaçao.
  • Negging: Cyril asks Ray when he should start "negging" her (Barbie Zissner) which is a pickup strategy whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment to another person in order to undermine his or her confidence in a way that gains approval.
  • Brass Monkey: Archer mocks Cyril as being immature and asks him why not try putting some Spanish fly in her brass monkey. This is a reference to the song Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys.
  • Bob Ross: Archer tells Krieger that he needs him to get his big bushy "Bob Rossian" head out of his ass referring to Krieger's new hair style which is similar in appearance to the American painter and television host best known as the creator and host of the long running PBS television series The Joy of Painting. Pam later will make a similar reference.
  • Spirou: Archer calls the doorman of the Swindon Hotel Spirou, a reference to the titular character of the Belgian comic strip who was originally depicted as a bell-boy in his trademark red uniform.
  • Lewis & Clark / Lois & Clark (1993-1997): When Ray and Cyril try to remember the directions to the bar Archer mocks them saying "thanks Lois and Clark" which is both a reference to the famous explorers and a mocking of Ray's sexuality by changing Lewis to Lois thus also referencing the mid nineties American television series.
  • Nazi / Evel Knievel: Pam asks why Krieger is dressed like "Evil Nazi Bob Ross Knievel" this references the continuing possibility that Krieger is a clone of Adolf Hitler, has the hairstyle of Bob Ross ( see above ) and is dressed in a white jump suit that similar to that worn by the famous American daredevil.
  • Cuckold fetish: Cyril deduces that both groups have been hired to film both Donald & Barbie Zissner to satisfy the fetish wherein the man plays a part, or at least is passively aware of, his wife or partner hooking up with another man.
  • Farrah Fawcett / Baby Huey: Donald Zissner mocks both Cheryl and Pam's appearance by calling Cheryl "Scarrah Fawcett" due to her seventies style haircut and outfit and Pam "Baby Huey" due to her large size and yellow dress.
  • The Addams Family (1964-1966): When Malory smashes a bottle and and goes to attack one of the Zissner's bodyguards she says "C’mon Lurch, let’s see what’s in that belly of yours" equating him to the lanky butler Lurch of the macabre classic American TV family.
  • Enter Sandman: The 1991 song by American heavy metal band Metallica is referenced by Pam just prior to throwing sand into Donald Zissner's eyes.
  • Paparazzi: Barbie Zissner grabs her husband and rushes them out of the hotel in fear of press photographers getting picture of them in a hotel brawl.

Episode 8 - Liquid Lunch[]

  • Bea Benaderet: To rile Slater, Archer mistakes the plot of The Manchurian Candidate for On The Town, then rants about this mid-20th-century film and voice actress.
  • Project MKUltra: Slater's asset is a product of this, the CIA's scandal of mind-control experiments during the Cold War.
  • CIA Director Allen Dulles and U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: Malory says, "Trust me, if there's a hell those creepy Dulles brothers are in it doing unspeakable things with bananas." Both were instrumental during the Eisenhower administration and both supported the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état.
    • A key CIA asset during the coup was the United Fruit Company, of which Allen was a board member and John lobbied on behalf of. The United Fruit Company's primary Guatemalan export was bananas. The Company's current incarnation is Chiquita Brands International.
  • Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling: Krieger's one-man play references this semi-autobiographical film by Richard Pryor.
  • Waterboarding: This controversial form of torture, which has been used by the CIA in its "War on Terror", is something Archer has not experienced until now. He has however actually drowned, a fact that amuses him in spite of discovering how painful waterboarding really is.
  • The Art of Shaving : During the short flashback before Archer is waterboarded, when he is sitting in a barber's chair, he tells the barber, "I also think I want the lavender, instead of the sandalwood."  This is a reference to a particular brand of high-end shaving equipment, whose two main popular scents (of the five they produce, one of which is "unscented") are lavender and sandalwood (see the drop-down at left, under "Collections").  This is not the first time Archer has referenced this brand, either: in "Double Deuce" (S02E05), Archer was seen shaving; the brush he had used to apply shaving cream to his face was on the sink below.  When the wee baby Seamus tried to eat the brush, Archer told him it was made of "silvertip badger [hair]," the exact material used in the top-of-the-line shaving brushes made by the same company .
  • Google: While Cyril is researching how to defend against hypnotists, his screen can be seen as he gets up from his desk, upon which a page called "10100 Search" can be seen. This is a reference to the googol, once the greatest named number, which is equal to 10100, or a one followed by an hundred zeroes. This number is also the inspiration for the name of Google, the ubiquitous search engine giant. (Also of note, though this is technically not a cultural reference, is that he has a tab open for "Pirate Virus Removal," a callback to s02e06. Apparently Cyril is still having problems getting rid of that virus.)

Episode 9 - Deadly Velvet: Part I[]

  • Tenzing Norgay: Basking in the afterglow from his time with Veronica Deane, Archer asks, "I wonder if this is how Tenzing Norgay feels?" Tenzing Norgay was the Nepalese Sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary, on May 29, 1953, as the first men to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • Shanghai Noon (2000): A parody of this film called Shanghai Moon, which has been referenced in previous episodes, can be seen in poster form on the wall in Veronica Deane's dressing room.
  • Elton John: Pam calls Shapiro "Little Baby Elton" when he asks them about Archer, to which he tells them that he's straight. This is a reference to how Elton John is gay.
  • The Graduate (1967): The silhouette of Veronica Deane changing while telling Archer to get comfortable is a reference to the 1967 film.
  • Rain Man (1988): Malory tells Cyril to "get over it Rain Man" which is a reference the American movie about an autistic savant and his brother staring Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise respectively.
  • Wolverine: Detective Diedrich says one of Wolverine's most famous phrases, "Bub", when trying to calm down Detective Harris.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968): Cheryl says George Taylor's line "You maniacs! You blew it up!(out in Cheryl's context) Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" when the fire caused by the forklift was being put out.
  • The Brady Bunch (1969-1974): Malory refers to Liberia as "the cousin Oliver of Africa," a reference to Robbie Rist's character on "The Brady Bunch."
  • Fritz Lang: Archer calls Ellis Crane Fritz Lang when telling him to calm down. Fritz Lang was a prolific writer and director during the silent film era. He most notably directed "Metropolis" in 1929.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941): When Lana is attacking Archer in Veronica Deane's dressing room she can be seen about to hit him with the famous falcon statuette movie prop from this classic film noir.
  • Sealab 2021 (2000-2005): Several cast members of Sealab 2021 can be seen around the backlot wearing their distinctive orange or blue jumpsuits. Sealab 2021 was an animated show created by Adam Reed & Matt Thompson that aired on Adult Swim.

Episode 10 - Deadly Velvet: Part II[]

  • Star Wars: Pam calls Shapiro "Obi-Wan Attorney", in reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Later, after hearing about the Turing test (see below), Malory asks if the test is from Star Wars, which she had no clue about in a previous episode.
  • The Maltese Falcon: Veronica tells Archer she has a bungalow near the residence of film director John Huston. Lana was seen about to strike Archer with a statue of the falcon in the previous episode, "Deadly Velvet: Part I".
  • Tijuana Zebra: Malory suggests to Archer that he flees to Mexico and adds that he can also have his picture taken with a donkey painted to look like a zebra.
  • Transformers: Archer calls Krieger's bots "inept-icons", in reference to the Decepticons.
  • Turing test: Archer says that Krieger's bots couldn't pass the Turing test, which is a test to determine if a robot can successfully convince a human that the robot is also human.
  • Arrested Development: When asking the above, Malory asks if the Turing Test is "a thing from Star War?" This a reference to the line "Here's some money, go see a Star War." - something said by Jessica Walter's character Lucille in Arrested Development.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968): Krieger says George Taylor's line "You maniacs! You blew it("him" in Krieger's context) up! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" when Milky, one of his Krieger bots, gets shot by Malory.
  • Dabney Coleman: Malory calls Archer "Grabney Coleman", in reference to the American actor.
  • Robot: While arguing with Krieger, Pam says, "well, excuse me, Dr. Han Fastolfe," who was a Robot specialist on the planet Aurora in Isaac Asimov's series featuring positronic robots.
  • The A-Team: Diedrich calls Archer "Faceman" when ordering him to get into the van, in reference to the suave ladies man Templeton "Face" Peck.
  • Hamlet: Veronica quotes Horatio's farewell speech to the king in the William Shakespeare tragedy.
  • Marlin Perkins: Archer calls himself "Marlin Jerkins" in admittance to making Lana become the prime suspect. This is the second time the zoologist has been referenced in the series, the first being in "El Contador".
  • Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: In a revisit to the opening scene of Season 7, Diedrich refers to Archer's tuxedo-clad body floating in the pool as "Tennessee Tuxedo", referencing the titular penguin from the 1963 cartoon.

Season 8: Dreamland[]

Both the titular character (Archer) and the title to season 8 ( Dreamland) are an homage to the Tulsa massacre of 1921. One of the primary boundary streets of the greenwood district is Archer St and the Dreamland theatre was a successful bar/lounge/music venue in the heart of Black Wall St.

Episode 3 - Jane Doe[]

  • 4-F: While discussing military service, Ray states that he failed induction into the military, to exactly zero surprise from the rest of the group. Floyd then says "You put the 'F' in '4-F.'" This refers to the U.S. Selective Service's disqualification code 4-F, which means "not qualified for military service" due to physical, mental, or moral deficiency. Until fairly recently (and certainly long after the time period this season is based on,) homosexuality was considered by the U.S, military as a moral deficiency, and was an automatic disqualifier for military service if known. The joke is also that Floyd is obliquely referring to one of the many slurs for gay men that start with the letter "F."

Season 9: Danger Island[]

Episode 1 - Strange Pilot ​​[]

  • HMS Bounty: the painting hanging lop-sided on the wall of Archer's room in the hotel appears to be of this famous vessel (or similar such as HMS Providence, 1791). This would foreshadow, and be explained by, the claim of Fuchs (Cyril's dream persona) to be a bread fruit farmer, and reveal in-world the location of Danger Island.
  • Casablanca (1942): Ray’s dream personaReynaud, is an homage to Claude Rains in the classic film, where he plays Captain Louis Renault, who is also “shocked” that gambling is going on at Rick’s Cafe.
  • Pastis: the alcoholic beverage offered to protagonist Cruchot as he passes a restaurant on arrival to Saint Tropez; it is also the drink offered to Reynaud by Malory, thus reinforcing the references to both films.
  • Tahiti: in French Polynesia, is mentioned with regards to a nudist beach in "Le Gendarme of Saint Tropez"; it is also referred as the nearest place to get a new passport from "the consulate in Papeete on Tahiti" thus reviling where Danger Island is located.
  • Mikimoto Kokichi:  the name of the fictitious island appears to be Mitimotu, which bears a close resemblance to 'Mikimoto', the name of the first luxury cultured pearl company ever started.  Mikimoto, who recognized the way rare Tahitian black pearls formed, was credited with the first creation of cultured pearls, in 1916,
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl (2003):  an indirect reference to this film occurs as these pearls are black and were discovered in Tahiti, where Danger Island is fictitiously located.
    • St VincentBonus connection: it is doubtful whether the writers realized it, (but if they did, hats off) but Cpt. Bligh's Bread fruit tree made it to St Vincent (Caribbean), which is also the island where the opening scene to 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl' was filmed.
  • Top Gun (1986):  The plane Sterling flies is called 'Loose Goose' - which has many filthy meanings[11] in itself - but Goose is also a character in Top Gun played by Anthony Edwards.  He is the co-pilot of Maverick (Tom Cruise). It is most likely a reference to the "Spruce Goose" which was the nickname of Howard Hughes' famous giant plane that flew only once briefly.
  • Loose Goose: 'loosey goosey' is a N. American idiom for attempting something imprecisely or haphazardly.
  • Dosenschinken - German for canned ham:[12]  After being punched by her, Fuchs (Cyril's dream persona) describes Pam as having fists like 'canned ham'.

Episode 2 - Disheartening Situation[]

  • Spanish Civil War (1936-39):  Archer apparently lost his eye while fighting for the Republicans as a volunteer fighter pilot, where he fought the Condor Legion, a unit composed of military personnel from the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany.
  • Andes: Archer mentions that he survived the "paso de muerte" ( Death Step ) [13] in the South American mountain range.
  • Full Metal Jacket (1987): Pam shouts "Get some! Get some!" while shooting her BAR, referencing a scene in the movie in which a U.S. Marine door gunner is seen wildly firing his M60 machine gun out of a helicopter at multiple targets while repeatedly saying the same phrase. ( VIDEO REF )
  • Heavy Barrel (1987) Pam shouts "Heavy Barrel" while shooting the BAR in reference to the 1987 video game where it says Heavy Barrel when the weapon is assembled that obliterates everything in its path. (video ref)
  • Taken (2008): Pam references a line from the a famous Liam Neeson speech, "I will find you, and I will kill you" when she tells Crackers, "I will find you, I will pluck you..."
  • Beer Can Chicken: Pam threatens Crackers by describing the process of preparing him for this barbecue recipe.
  • Hunger (2008): The chocolate smeared on the back wall of Charlotte Stratton's jail cell is a reference to this Steve McQueen film which depicts the events of the dirty protest, a Northern Ireland prison protest which included prisoners smearing feces on their cell walls [14].
  • High Pockets: Pam calls Princess Lanaluakalani “Highpockets”, which is 1930’s slang meaning a very tall man. [15]
  • Motupapa, French Polynesia: The island which Archer thinks is the closest with a runway is actually the name of a real world rocky outcrop located just south of Ua Huka island. [16]
  • Arrested Development (2003-present): When Archer calls his plane "Lucille Goosille", this is a reference to character of Lucille Bluth from this US TV comedy show, and deep source of inspiration for Archer:  Malory's character is based on Lucille, and shares the same voice actress, Jessica Walter.

Episode 3 - Different Modes of Preparing Fruit[]

  • Catch-22: Pam refers to the situation regarding 'Loose Goose' on the beach as a 'catch-22', a reference to the 1961 novel by Joseph Heller.
  • The Great Dictator (1940): When Fuchs mentions the Führer (Hitler) Lanaluakalani responds with "the Charlie Chaplin guy?". This is a reference to the movie's lead character Adenoid Hynkel, a satirical version of Hitler played by Charlie Chaplin who bore a striking resemblance to Hitler in the film.
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982):  Pam looks to the camera and explicitly states that the idol is "not a gold monkey" in a deliberate nod to this major source of inspiration for Danger Island. When Crackers interprets and asks what Pam and Archer are talking about, Pam says "Why you're not a dog."  This refers the dog in TOTGM.
  • Ahnenerbe: Fuchs makes makes an indirect reference to this archeological and anthropological project of Nazi Germany when saying that Hitler is “a bit of an anthropology buff”.
  • The Princess and the Frog:  Pam refers to Lanaluakalani and Fuchs as 'The Princess and the Kraut' possibly a reference to Disney tale which is loosely based on 'The Frog Prince'.
  • Missionaries / Hawaii: Lanaluakalani is critical of the way Christian missionaries 'bent over' the native Hawaiian people, and is skeptical of any American involvement on Mitimotu, preferring that Germany help liberate her people from the French.
  • Bear claw (pastry): a pastry similar to a Danish, originating in America in the early 20th century.

Episode 4 - A Warrior In Costume[]

  • Dick's Hatband:[17] an idiom generally used to describe something as absurd, perverse or peculiar.  (Or 'out of order / out of spirits).[18]  
    • The expression 'tighter than Dick's hatband' doesn't necessarily refer to a thing's tightness, and is an odd expression with no clear referents (Dick's or hatbands): this is a possible source of Archer's annoyance at Pam's use of the expression.  Equally, taken as a whole, Danger Island could be "queerer than Dick's hatband."
  • Bombing of Guernica (1937): Ziegler mentions the Condor Legion’s notorious attack on the Basque town during the Spanish Civil War, which became a symbol of the ruthlessness of the Luftwaffe, as well as the subject ofone of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings.
  • Star Wars[19] (direct)Red Three (indirect):
    • Rojo Tres - Archer doesn't respond to this Spanish call sign because he thinks he is flying under the call sign 'Red Three' (the English translation), which happens to be the call sign of Luke Skywalker's best friendBiggs Darklighter.  (The ultimate anachronism!).
    • Red Three - The name given to the Swiss branch of the The Red Orchestra - the name given to the anti-Nazi Soviet espionage network during World War II.[20] Whilst Archer's fantasy involves him being a pilot, and not a spy, he is fantasising about fighting against the Nazis alongside the Communists in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Finch College: this famous college and 'finishing school' closed its doors in 1976.
  • It's A Long Way To Tipperary (1912):[21] this British music hall number, written by Jack Judge (and co-credited to Henry James "Harry" Williams) is being sung in the Hotel Lotus by the Luftwaffe and other soldiers who are on leave in Mitimotu.  
    • Das Boot (1981): potentially a reference to this scene ( Video Ref ) , where U-boat men sing the song.
    • It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966): Potentially a reference to the scene in this Halloween special where Snoopy, pretending he’s a WWI fighter ace, dances to the song being played by Schroeder on his toy piano ( Video Ref ).
  • Battle of France (1940): Reynaud alludes to the invasion of France by the Nazis when he says "these German soldiers have invaded French territoire."  Being set in 1939, this has yet to happen.
  • Camping: Archer (anachronistically) references the modern gaming term by yelling “Oh, so now we’re just camping?!” after Ziegler shoots him down right after takeoff from his base.
  • Kringle: the state pastry of Wisconsin is a Nordic variety of pretzel.
  • Babylonian Law / The Bible: 'an eye for an eye' or the law of retaliation. Archer is bent on revenge, literally.
  • Dr Strangelove (1964)Fuchs' uncontrollable gesture of raising his fist and reaffirming the omnipotence of Germany (in this case, how puns in other languages are inferior to pun's in German), bears an increasing relation to Peter Sellers' eponymous mad scientist.  
  • Amphetamine Fuchs is seen injecting the drug between his toes; amphetamine (and methamphetamine) were used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for their stimulant and performance-enhancing effects.

Episode 5 - Strange Doings In The Taboo Groves[]

  • 86'd (AT-6'd)this term of disputed origin is thought to mean to be 'refused service' at a restaurant.  In the context of it's appearance, this can be presumed to be the intended meaning. It was used previously in “Dial M for Mother” when Archer is kicked out of the bar into the rain.
  • Dead Man's Cove: a sea cave located on the fictional island of Isla Tesoro in the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land, established in 1967.  The ride was the inspiration for the movie of the same name.
  • Hendrik Hondius I (1573-1650): the "obscure reference to a famous cartographer" goes to this Flemish-born cartographer, engraver and publisher.
  • V8 (est 1933): a tomoato-based vegetable beverage containing eight vegetables
  • King Leopold II (1835-1909): When Malory sarcastically refers to her 'breakfast' for Charlotte as a 'King Leopold' she is most likely referring to this Belgian king (responsible for the exploitation of the Congo Free State) as his exploits are what inspired the story the 'Heart of Darkness,' which in turn inspired the Heart of Archness trilogy in season 3 of Archer, and which Danger Island is a callback to.
    • It could be referring to King Leopold III, who would be the reigning King of Belgium in 1939, the time period Danger Island is set. (Arguably anachronisms are less important than self-reference in this season).
  • Belgian Endive: a member of the dandelion family, this cultivated chicory is known as 'white leaf' or 'white gold', and held in high esteem for it's flavour.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894): the Scottish novelist famous for:
  • Quicksand: is a common trope[22] in popular culture.[23]

Episode 6 - Some Remarks on Cannibalism[]

  • The Donner Party (1846): Pam references the group of American pioneers who, through a series of mishaps and mistakes, spent the winter of 1846-7 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada.  Some resorted to cannibalism to survive.
  • Of Mice and Men: While arguing over whom is the sidekick, Archer makes reference to the 1937 novella when he calls Pam "such a Lennie".  The implication is as she is a big dumb idiot who doesn't know her own strength, like Lennie in the story.  To solidify the reference, he tells Noah that "she will kill you like an innocent baby rabbit", something which Lennie is prone to doing.
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare: When the Lana pulls princess rank on the rest of the party to get them to leave Archer and Pam to the cannibals they dismiss her by remarking "Whose princess?".  Lana gasps and points to Doudou who is an island native and asks "et tu, Dudu?", referring to the famous line from Julius Caesar,  "Et tu, Brute?", at his surprise betrayal.
  • Lady Baltimore / Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969): when Malory called Charlotte 'Lady Baltimore' this is most likely a clever combined reference to:
    • Charlotte Lee, an English noblewoman who was titled Lady Baltimore after marrying Lord Baltimore, and
    • the tracker "Lord Baltimore" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  
      • Lady Baltimore's name was Charlotte; Lord Baltimore was a tracker.
  • Tracking: in hunting and ecology is the science and art of observing animal tracks and other signs, with the goal of gaining understanding of the landscape and the animal being tracked (quarry).  Charlotte has the gift.
  • Frisky Dingo (2006): When Archer covers his Junk with a coconut shell Pam mocks him by calling him "Master Coconut". Video Ref )  This references Adam Reed's previous show, Frisky Dingo, where characters regularly covered their genitals with a metal cylinder and shouted "Master Cylinder!".
    • Archer retorts by saying "No-one gets that".  Perhaps a sad self jab by Adam Reed for the lack of success Frisky Dingo had, or just an acknowledgement that it was a 'cult' cartoon, rather than a hit. 
  • Dutch Masters: refers to the Golden Age of Dutch painting, during a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century.  Not to be confused with the American branded cigars of the same name, as Lanaluakalani is alleged to have done.
  • The Great Depression (1929-39): a difficult time to start an art gallery in New York, even if you are a Polynesian princess.
  • Behaviourism:  Archer's defense that he is merely responding to the stimulus of a naked Pam conjures the ideas of behaviourism.  Influential behaviourist B.F. Skinner believed free will to be an illusion.

Episode 7 - Comparative Wickedness of Civilized and Unenlightened Peoples[]

  • Abwehr: Fuchs identifies himself as an agent of Germany’s military intelligence organization when he calls the ship and asks to speak to the captain.
  • Adolf Hitler:  Fuchs' Pervitin mustache, hair and increasingly manic behavior all refer to the German Führer.
  • Kriegsmarine: Fuchs refers to the German Navy’s Marinestosstruppkompanie (Naval Assault Company) when he calls for “marine sturmtruppen” to land. However, the troops that land are dressed in German Army uniforms, not Navy ones.
  • Felix The Cat / Poindexter (1958-62):  Archer calls Noah 'Poindexter' in the slang sense of 'nerd', referring to the character in Felix The Cat, who is very intelligent and wears coke-bottle glasses.
    • It’s also a reference to the character of Poindexter in the 1984 film “Revenge of the Nerds” - who is, naturally, a nerd with glasses as well. (Given the chronology, the nerd in the '84 film is probably based on the nerd in the antecedent cartoon.  See Poindexter).
  • Wolfenstein (Game) / End Boss (2009): Archer refers to this computer game, it's gradually increasing waves of enemies and uber end boss (Mech-Hitler), thus foreshadowing the climax, while giving a nod to this WWII inspired game.[24]
  • Sergei Eisenstein / Montage (1898-1948):  Archer refers to the pioneering Soviet film director and theorist when he speaks to Noah about 'montaging the shit out of' their training.
  • Another Fine Mess (1930) / Laurel and Hardy:  Archer refers to both the stars and the title of this short comedy film from the thirties.
  • Widow-maker:  Archer calls the overhead tree trunk covered in spikes the 'widow-maker' he is referring to any number of things; one literal meaning is from forestry that of 'overhead debris such as limbs or tree tops which may fall at any time.'  The first known use is from 1798, so all the other references will be subordinate to that.
    • Dutch constructs such a trap in Predator (1987)
  • Stuka Pills: Pervitin was the brand name for the methamphetamine pills given to German troops.  Also known as "Herman-Göring-Pills", their use was cut back sharply in 1940 due to the severity of the side-effects.  Psychotic zombie Nazis are the worst kind of Nazis, even to Nazis.
  • Blimpkins:[25] Lanaluakalani calls the guard this thoroughly filthy nickname.
  • Decision tree:  Archer sarcastically commends Crackers on his decision making by referring to this tree-like graph or model which helps in the decision making process.
  • Dead Kennedys / 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off(1981): Crackers references the 1980s punk band by yelling the title of their 1981 song.
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)Malory nonchalantly walks around an active war zone in a manner reminiscent of Colonel Kilgore in this classic movie (which was inspired by Heart of Darkness, which gave inspiration to the Heart of Archness (trilogy). [26]
  • Platoon (1986): Noah references the 1985 Vietnam War film by hiding under a body, similar to the scene where Red hides under a body when the NVA overrun the perimeter in the movie.
  • Wunderwaffe:  a German term, "Miracle Weapon" used during WWII as a propaganda term for "super weapons".
  • Scooby Doo (1969-70 originally)Fuchs calls Archer and gang "those meddling kids" like the villains always do.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981):  the glowing crate is reminiscent of the Ark itself. [27]
  • Aliens (1996): Fuchs uses a mech, or exoskeleton, like the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader Ripley uses to fight the alien Queen in this classic movie.
  • Return of the Jedi (1983): The use of booby traps, sticks, logs and rocks by primitive forest dwellers to defeat a technologically superior enemy resembles the Ewoks fight against Imperial Stormtroopers on the forest moon of Endor.
  • A-Hunting We Will Go (1777):  when Fuchs says "you don't put Fuchs in a…" this is an allusion to putting a fox in a box, as in the old English folk song. Fuchs, of course, is the German word for Fox.
  • Mignonette:  Charlotte asks for this classic sauce to go with her, ahem, oysters.
  • Kahlúa: The name given to Charlotte as a goddess by the Mua Mua is the name of the Mexican coffee liqueur, as well as
    • Kalua: a Hawaiian name for pit-roasted pig.  It literally means "to cook in an underground oven".
  • Chica: the saliva-created drink discovered by Malory is a reference to the millenia old indigenous method of producing alcohol through fermentation.[28] Chica is from Peru, but Sake (Japan) was originally created using the saliva of virgins.[29] I mean...
  • Bikini (models): the swimsuits mentioned by Noah were first created in 1946, so this reference is an anachronism. But it doesn't matter, however, the more the merrier.

Episode 8 - A Discovery[]

  • Baby Makes 3 (1949): when Lanaluakalani tells Archer that "you and me and the idol makes three" she makes a compound reference to this romantic comedy and the song
  • The Hobbit (1937): the book, (according to Charlotte), published in 1937 by JRR Tolkien
    • Smaug / a thrush / Portal of Erebor (the volcano in Danger Island references the Lonely Mountain, or Erebor in Sindarin).
  • Trader Vic's is a chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants that bore the founder Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr's nickname, "Trader Vic". He was one of two people who claimed to have invented the Mai Tai.
  • Good Will Hunting (1997): A lot people know of the saying "how d'you like them apples?" from this film about the troubled maths genius but the origins are uncertain. It is a possibly a WWI reference to hand grenades, and is a rhetorical colloquialism meaning "how do you like that?"[31]
  • Dem Bones (1920s):[32] this well-known spiritual song was composed by author and songwriter James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) and was first recorded by The Famous Myers Jubilee Singers in 1928.[33]
  • Alien 3 (1992) - when Archer descends into the lava death soup, this ending mirrors that of the third instalment of the Alien franchise
    • A robot being melted by molten red metal is also a motif in Terminator 2, but it would be a stretch to say this is a direct reference: indirect at most, coincidental at least.
  • Petroglyphs: images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art.

  • St. Elsewhere (1982-88): in the Season 10 preview, Archer's "What? You couldn't find a snow globe?" line upon waking up in the spaceship refers to the series' finale of this show, in which it's revealed that the entire series has been the dream of an autistic child staring into a snow globe.
  • Alien (1979): The ending of "A Discovery" in the previous season and the start of this episode reference the film Alien in the slow panning through an empty, silent space ship, the waking up from suspended animation, the underwear everyone is wearing. The computer in Alien that relays the orders for the flight is called "Mother."

Season 10 - Archer: 1999[]

The season's title Archer: 1999 is a parody of the syndicated '70s Sci-Fi series Space: 1999, a show that ranged anywhere between intellectual and philosophical to borderline silly and campy. The season is reminiscent of Firefly. Much like Inara, Ray Gillette hasn't got an actual job on board besides courtesan and walk around in a dressing gown.

Episode 1 - Bort the Garj[]

  • When Archer farts in Cyril's stasis pod, it is a call back to when Archer's cyborg clone farted in Cyril's cyborg clone's stasis pod in the final episode of Season 7 "Deadly Velvet: Part II".

Episode 3 - The Leftovers[]

  • Santiago Calatrava: After referencing bridges during the EVA with Lana, Archer later asks "Who am I, Santiago Calatrava?", a Spanish architect and engineer famous for his style of bridges. [7]
  • (indirect) Star Trek, The Trouble with Tribbles (1967): [8] The episodes each feature an alien creature which is brought on board from a space station, seen moving through the ventilation system, is found in a critical food supply, is eating said food supply, and which has cells with 'regenerative' properties and seemingly unlimited reproductive capability.
  • They Live (1988): When asked about finding food, Cyril says: 'I came here to do two things: eat eggs and nothing. And I'm not out of either'. This is a play on famous scene from John Carpenter's They Live, where the protagonist claims to the alien crowd: 'I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum'.
  • Alien (1979): The eggs in this episode open in the same way as the eggs in the film open, the "sandwich" alien is referred to in more than one scene as a xenomorph, and when it "attacks" Archer it hugs his face like the facehuggers do in the Alien films.[34]
  • "The Action is the Juice": Cheryl references Michael Cheritto's line from Heat (1995) to Pam.
  • "So Say We All": After Pam's "fly into the teeth of chaos" line, Cheryl then quotes the amen analogue 'so say we all' from Battlestar Galactica.

Episode 4 -[]

Episode 6 - Road Trip[]

  • Frisky Dingo (2006):' when Archer asks Lana, "Do you have any idea how many times I should have literally died in the last year?", he culminates a flashback with Krieger by using the phrase 'Boosh!. This phrase is popular with the Decepticons.

Related Pages[]

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