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Leverage is so full of Shout-Outs, it's practically Reference Overdosed. Here are some examples:

  • Hardison's "I love it when a plan comes together."
  • The team's aliases have a tendency to reference Doctor Who; given that Hardison presumably arranges all their fake IDs and is canonically a fan, this is almost certainly no coincidence even in-universe.
    • In one episode, Nate and Sophie's cover IDs are Tom and Sarah Jane Baker; instead of Tom Baker, Nate could also have chosen to be Peter Davison or Sylvester McCoy.
    • In another, Nate uses the Tom Baker ID again, while Parker (the young blonde one) is Rose.
    • Detectives Moffat and Davies in "The Three Card Monte Job".
  • Hardison misses the beginning of the job in "The Mile High Job" because he's been up all night playing World of Warcraft - and cries "for the horde!" when he meets an employee of the evil corporation of the week who's also a fan.
  • And a Shout-Out of Doom in "The Snow Job", where Nate calls his con "Glengarry Glendeath".
  • In "The Beantown Bailout Job", Hardison gets an opportunity to say "Come with me if you want to live."
  • Also in "Beantown Bailout," Hardison and Parker identify themselves as "Troopers Costello and Costigan" of the Massachusetts State Police.
  • In "The Bank Shot Job" Parker and Hardison's aliases are Agent Elmore and Agent Leonard.
  • In "The Wedding Job" Hardison and Parker's aliases are Agent Thomas and Agent Hagen.
  • Invoked in "The Three Days of the Hunter Job"; "I control the horizontal, I control the vertical." And all work and no play makes Monica a dull girl!
  • In "The Two-Horse Job", Parker's disdain for horses stems from an incident that happened in Camden, IL (Beth Riesgraf is Jason Lee's baby-mama, and has made a few appearances on the show).
  • In "The Two Live Crew Job", Wil Wheaton guest-stars. His hacker handle is "Chaos", and the CIA calls him "The Kobayashi Maru". Before you start raising questions, just assume that Wesley Crusher was not played by Wheaton in the Leverage universe. Or even better, never existed at all.
  • In "The Juror #6 Job", the bad guys' jury-monitoring setup strongly resembles the one in Runaway Jury.
  • In The "Order 23 Job" Hardison and Eliot are Officers Michaels and Crichton. (Michael Crichton is well known for his Medical Thrillers and helping create ER; he also wrote The Andromeda Strain, about a virulent disease that traps the main characters in a medical facility...)
    • In that same episode, Hardison sets up a system with Eliot of referencing the odd-numbered Star Trek movies when things are going well and the even-numbered ones when things are going poorly. Eliot later uses a similar system to get Hardison's attention by paging "Kirk Picard" in "The Cross My Heart Job."
  • In "The Reunion Job", Parker claims to have overheard a bunch of ladies saying that Drake McIntyre (who Nate was impersonating) was "the best they ever had".
  • In "The Inside Job", Parker gets into trouble when she tries to break into a building with a "Steranko" security system.[1] Also, Sophie and Hardison give the aliases Emily Peel and Jonathan Steed when pretending to be auditors. And we're introduced to Archie Leach - "the greatest thief of all time".
  • From the same episode, we see a rather large, unshaved man in a Sailor Moon cosplay getup, which is a reference to the infamous "Sailor Bubba", a security staffer at "Anime Central", a Chicago-based convention.
  • In "The Gone Fishin' Job" Hardison and Eliot use the aliases Brody and Quint.
  • In "The Boost Job" Hardison readies an EMP device that makes the same noise as a proton pack. He then lampshades it by adding "this chick is toast", which is Bill Murray's line when the team confronts Gozer. Later in the episode, when Hardison and Parker enter a chop shop and find that it's a much bigger operation than they expected, he remarks "We're gonna need a bigger boat".
  • In "The Gone Fishin' Job," Eliot tells Hardison, "We're gonna get bloody on this one." In the same episode, Hardison is heard saying, "Science: it works." Their entire plot in that episode is an homage to the 1958 Sidney Poitier-Tony Curtis film The Defiant Ones, in which two prisoners, one white and one black, have to escape from prison and evade those trying to recapture them while handcuffed together.
  • In "The Rashomon Job", Hardison's flashback ends with him making a perfect Eddie Murphy grin.
  • Also in "The Rashomon Job," Sophie's safehouse address is on Warren Road in Ellis County.
  • Hardison generally talks about his van Lucille in terms of just how innocent or well-built she is. Too bad he doesn't know a pretty blonde who could wash it for him.
    • Speaking of Lucille, once she's destroyed Hardison names her replacement Lucille 2(.0).
  • Parker's name is likely a Shout-Out to the character from Donald Westlake's novels (under the pen name of Richard Stark), a damn good thief in his own rights.
  • In "The Rashomon Job", Hardison says "absatively, posilutely", dating back at least as far as The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982) but more likely a reference to Oliver and Company (1988).
  • In "The Morning After Job," during the briefing Nate asks "who" The Mark "is gonna call" when he gets into trouble - Parker immediately comes back with "Ghostbusters!"
  • In "The Ho Ho Ho Job," the mall manager talks about losing customers to Twin Pines.
    • In the same episode, Eliot receives a "Hanzo sword" as a Christmas present.
  • Eliot's setpiece in "The Big Bang Job" contains shoutouts to many things, but especially Shoot Em Up - shooting Mooks while dodging bullets while sliding on his knees across the floor on an oil slick. In Bullet Time. Also perhaps shades of Equilibrium and Gun Kata, given his Tranquil Fury.
  • "The San Lorenzo Job" appears to be a whole-episode shout out to The Stainless Steel Rat For President.
    • According to Word of God it's inspired by a Saint story but he wouldn't say which one. More than one commenter on Rogers' blog thinks he's talking about "The Wonderful War".
  • A number of staff shout-outs:
    • The team frequently runs into "Glenn-Reider" safes - named after the show's "Wonder Twin" writers Melissa Glenn and Jessica Reider.
    • The building on the docks in the "Three Strikes Job" is called Kirsch Industries, after writer's assistant and occasional episode writer Rebecca Kirsch.
    • You can see candidate posters in the background of the campaign office in "The Jailhouse Job" for writers Scott Veach (who's running for city council), Charlotte Boylan (who's running for Congress), and Geoffrey Thorne (who's running for county sheriff).
  • Eric Stoltz's character in "The Long Way Down Job" is named Alan Scott.
  • "The 10 L'il Grifters Job" includes shout-outs to all manner of detective stories:
  • In "The 15 Minutes Job," Hardison rants about the use of CGI in the Star Wars prequels.
  • As they enter a disorganized evidence room, Hardison asks Parker if she thinks they'll find the Ark of the Covenant.
  • In the "Cross My Heart Job", in order to get Hardison's attention, Eliot has the airport page for a "Kirk Picard", which is also a Call Back to "The Order 23 Job," in which Hardison pages "Dr. Raph O'Khan" to let Eliot know he's in danger.
    • The heart of the title is stolen by a wealthy, greedy, isolated old man. Nate gives him a snow globe instead.
  • In the "Maltese Falcon Job", when threatening the mayor, Nate refers to Hardison, who is to be the one putting the hurt on the mayor as Mr. Joshua, Gary Busey's role in the first Lethal Weapon.
  • The jerkass frat boy -- sorry, "Dustman" -- in charge of a CIA torture experiment in "The Experimental Job" is named Zilgram, possibly a portmanteau of Zimbardo and Milgram. Parker later has fun with an "actual" Milgram experiment (girl loves her electricity). Sophie and the lesbian Fair Cop in the same episode might be a reference to Rizzoli and Isles.
  • If the title didn't make it obvious, "The Office Job" is one big reference to The Office, complete with Talking Head interviews.
  • In "The Radio Job"
    • invoked with Elliot's John McClane impersonation, including "Yippie-ki-yay".
    • A Suspiciously Similar Song version of the Doctor Who theme during Parker's daydream sequence with Nate's father and the time machine.
      • Also doubles as an Inspector Spacetime reference, with Parker asking "Where? Don't you mean when?" prior to the daydream sequence, and Nate's father travelling to 1962 rather than 1963.

Parker (pointing to Hardison's neck): "What is that?"
Hardison: "It's a bow tie. Bow Ties Are Cool."

  • In "The Gold Job", while following clues the Leverage team has planted, one of the marks talks about ciphers and how they sometimes use they text of a well-known document, such as the Declaration of Independence.
    • In the same episode, Hardison interacts with a computer named GLaDOS.
  • In "The Last Dam Job", the gang's new headquarters is explicitly compared to the Batcave, and Eliot seems to quite like the idea of having an "Eliot Signal".

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  1. Jim Steranko, a comic artist, was perhaps most famous for his "Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD" work. Nick Fury was a counter-intelligence expert, so "Steranko" is an apropos name for a security system. Steranko was also an escape artist before working in comics, so giving his name to an escape-proof system is a bit of intentional irony.