3.01 "Welcome Wagon"

Aired Oct 03, 2006

Cultural References

Welcome Wagon (Things)

Episode title: Welcome Wagon

Are you new in town? New parents? Newly engaged? A President moving into the White House? Be on the lookout for your friendly neighborhood Welcome Wagon representative to drop by your house with valuable coupons for your new neighborhood, some housewarming gifts, and information on your new community. Or, if you're a Hearst student, someone will greet you warmly as you drive onto campus, offer to watch your stuff while you find your dorm room, and even clean out your car for you in the few minutes that you're gone. How's that for service?

Take Back the Night Rally (Events)

While the original "Reclaim the Night" rally was held in Belgium in 1976, the first "Take Back the Night" rally held in the U.S. was in San Francisco in 1977. Designed as a way to empower women to fight violence, protesters "took back the night" from rapists and other violent offenders, the fear of whom kept women at home when it got dark. These rallies are very common on college campuses, where both sexual assault and activism are rampant.

Murder on the Riverboat Queen (Sports, Games and Toys)

"What do you say we start off the semester with a little bit of ridiculous fun? Murder on the Riverboat Queen."

"Murder on the Riverboat Queen" is modeled after the odd yet compelling game phenomenon known as Murder Mysteries In A Box. The idea is that a member of a party (set in a salon in 1880s New York City or a train running through the Rockies in 1842, or whatever) ends up mysteriously deceased. Each player gets a character, and the host or hostess, while running the show, can also play a part. Dressing in costume is optional but encouraged. Whodunnit is the question, and as the party tries to figure it out, hilarity will invariably ensue. Unless, of course, you're Veronica, and use the internet as a cheat sheet.

Pinkerton (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"Now, if you're not given a card, that makes you one of the Pinkertons brought on board to solve the case."

Private Eye. The term was a nickname for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which was founded in the 1850s, and whose logo included an eye surrounded by the agency's name and the phrase, "We never sleep" (Big Brother's watching you…). In between solving crimes in real life, the original P.I.s were shrunk down to game-sized pieces to solve the "Murder on the Riverboat Queen." And I'm willing to bet that Veronica knew that long before you did.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (Movies)
Clint Eastwood (People)

"You a bounty hunter, boy?"
"I really shouldn't have pushed for the Clint Eastwood marathon."

The Outlaw Josey Wales, considered by some to be the best Western movie ever, was set in the Civil War. Clint Eastwood played the titular outlaw. Veronica actually misquotes the movie: the actual line is, "You a bounty hunter?" Of course, that line leads to the more famous one, "Dying ain't much of a living." Truer words were never said, Clint.

Who's Who bio: Clint Eastwood
Girls Gone Wild (TV)

"Guess who I saw on campus today."
"Some girl going wild? As I understand it, it happens all the time at college."

Girls Gone Wild is the name of a series of exploitative films of girls showing off their bodies in exchange for being on TV (and, one hopes, a hat). The DVDs are advertised on late-night TV, and do indeed make it seem like girls take off their tops on a regular basis in college and bars and things of that nature. Whether this might be a sign of some unresolved need for attention is not for us to say.

See all references about Girls Gone Wild
BFF (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"No, Dick, my BFF."

The term "BFF" stands for "best friends forever," and has evolved from something tweenage girls wrote in yearbooks to their best friends of the moment to become more mainstream, popular with people who used to be tweenage girls, but are now older, and are using it to be ironic. It's also used sarcastically, as Logan uses it, meaning "not only are we not best friends forever, I haven't talked to him in months."

See all references about BFF
Arnold Schwarzenegger (People)

"It was enough of a struggle getting you into Hearst. How do you think he managed it?"
"Well, his mom remarried Schwarzenegger's business manager. I'm sure a call from the governor can get you into most colleges in the state."

One has to wonder what, exactly, the business manager of California's illustrious Governator would have to say to get a phone call to recommend Dick to... any institution, really. Could there be a scandal in the works? Something that the business manager has the power to cover up? And why would getting Dick into college be important enough to use one of those blackmail cards? Shouldn't they be saved for something bigger?

Who's Who bio: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Greg Louganis (Sports, Games and Toys)

"People are saying Dick's a mess, you know, on account of his brother Greg Louganis-ing off my roof."

Greg dove. Cassidy dove. Greg dove off 3-metre and 10-metre diving boards. Cassidy dove off a 12-story building. Greg dove into water. Cassidy dove into asphalt. Greg won five Olympic medals. Cassidy won a summer's worth of fans scratching their heads, saying "WTF?!" Greg posed nude for Playgirl. Cassidy...well, did you see Kyle Gallner's abs?

Who's Who bio: Greg Louganis
Lucky Pierre (Things)

"Lucky Pierre owns a jewelry store and suspects that he's got an embezzler."

Lucky Pierre is the name given to the person in the middle of a sexual act in which three people are involved, either two men and a woman, or three men. One would definitely call him lucky. And beyond that we will not go.

Wonder Twins (Characters)

"What do you say? Wonder Twin Powers, activate!"
"Can't, Vinnie. I've got my own case, and it's taking me out of town."

Dude, they had a pet Space Monkey named Gleek. I want a space monkey! Ahem. The Wonder Twins were DC Comics characters who could activate their powers by making physical contact and saying, "Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!" They were young, inexperienced, and made a lot of mistakes, which might be why Vinnie relates to them so well and wants to be Keith's Wonder Twin. In the big scheme of things, it's probably good that Vinnie only aspires to be a sidekick. But seriously. A space monkey!!

Hardy Boys (Characters)

"Hot dog!"
"Hot dog?"
"It's an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Joe and Frank Hardy and I used to say hot dog all the time while we were waiting for the carhop to bring us our malteds at the drive-in."

Frank and Joe Hardy, like Nancy Drew, are committed to making the world a safer place to be, one bad guy at a time. Also like Nancy Drew, they seem to have found the fountain of youth, remaining 17 and 18 years old (or 15 and 16 years old, depending on which edition of the books you're reading). Unfortunately for Keith, he doesn't seem to have found that fountain, since he's looking significantly older than the three of them would have been when they went to the drive-in movie and drank malteds. Finding it should be his next case. Hmmm, I wonder how much hair Keith had when he was 17.

Spamalot (Plays)

"Look, you finally make it! Here we are in front of Spamalot..."

Monty Python on Broadway! Really, what else is there to say? Well, critics, audiences, and Tony voters found plenty, awarding 14 nominations, three Tonys, and record-breaking box-office advance sales to this musical based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I, for one, am just glad (for his sake) that Keith made it to New York in time for the show. Broadway tickets are expensive — it would have been a shame for that ticket to go to waste because Keith was too busy saving Kendall's life…or something.

"Sweet Child o' Mine" (Music)

"Veronica, there are a few things in life in which you will have to defer to my age and experience. And that, sweet child of mine, is the Chrysler Building."

"Sweet Child o' Mine" is the name of a classic hard rock song by the band Guns N' Roses. It was their first number one single on the Billboard 100 charts, from their debut album Appetite for Destruction, released in 1987. The face-melting guitar riff is by lead guitarist Slash, who initially came up with it in a jam session as a joke, but it caught the ear of lead singer Axl Rose, who turned it into a song. The "sweet child" of the song was in fact Axl's girlfriend, but as we assume Keith didn't mean it like that, he probably said it because it came out the same time Veronica was a baby, so of course the rocker Keith would apply such a phrase to the sweet child o' his.

Corna (Things)

"You make any new friends?"
"Lord, no."
"Well, it is a day that ends in a 'Y.'"
"Hey! You mess with the bull, okay?"

Unless she's hooking Horns in support of the University of Texas football team, Veronica is being a little crude and rude here. Or possibly expressing a Satanic bent. Or rockin' on! It's one of those gestures that stands for many things but it, with the expression "you mess with the bull, you get the horns," came to real popularity with Principal Vernon in The Breakfast Club. Given Veronica's fierce demeanor, that seems to be the one she's aiming at.

See all references about The Breakfast Club
Saturday Night Live (TV)

"Oh, look, here you are stuffing cupcakes in your face at Magnolia Bakery!"

The reference to the Magnolia Bakery likely comes from the Saturday Night Live skit "Lazy Sunday," which featured two SNL cast members going around New York City rapping about The Chronicles of Narnia and cupcakes (among other things). Veronica undoubtedly saw it, and figured a trip to the Big Apple wouldn't be complete without sampling the famous cupcakes (which are quite good).

Snow White (Characters)

"There must be some mistake. On my roommate request form, I specifically said I didn't want a roommate who was, uh, you know..."
"Better looking than me. I made it very clear."
"Sorry, man. Fairest of them all, right here."

Snow White's evil stepmother had to ask the magic mirror in order to find out that she was no longer the fairest in the kingdom. Piz just needs to look in front of him... and take a look at Wallace's fair-sized ego. One can only hope that there are no evil stepmothers or ugly stepsisters out to hunt him down; otherwise, it could be a tempestuous freshman year for him.

Who's Who bio: Snow White
See all references about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Late night infomercials (TV, Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"On the bright side, if I don't get your stuff back, you owe me nothing. It's the friend-of-a-friend rate."
"Wait, I haven't even decided if he's cool yet."
"Act now. Time is running out on this special offer."

And in her sideline job, Veronica is a late-night infomercial spokesperson. Notorious for 20-minute deals, expiring as soon as the ads are over, these 30-minute commercials use celebrity spokespeople, testimonials, and grainy, black-and-white footage of their competitors to sell useless products that only people with insomnia and a credit card would ever think of buying. Wallace is definitely under some pressure here to decide whether Piz is worthy of his friendship, because if he doesn't...well, if Veronica's limited-time special offer is anything like late-night infomercials', the offer will still be good tomorrow. So maybe there's no rush after all.

See all references about Late night infomercials
Gretsch Astro Jet Red-Top guitar (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"No, not just a guitar, okay. It was a 1967 Gretsch Astro Jet Red-Top"

Gretsch is an American drums and electrical guitar manufacturer founded in 1883 by a German immigrant. Gretsch guitars were made popular in the 1950s by Chet Atkins, a pre-eminent guitarist of his day. They are collected by enthusiasts for their distinctive vintage style. To Piz, its probably just a highly expensive picking-up-chicks instrument.

Holy Grail (Things, Religion, Folklore, and Urban Legends)

"It's like the Holy Grail of guitars."

In the Christian religion, the Holy Grail is the cup, dish, or plate used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, believed to possess the power of immortality (although one is then led to wonder why Christ didn't take advantage of this when he had the chance). It played an important part in and is most associated with the Arthurian legend, in which King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table went on a quest for the grail, leaving behind Queen Guenevere and Sir Lancelot, whose affair led in part to the downfall of the king and his court. The grail has often appeared in movies and books as an unattainable prize, and the more a character desires to possess it, the more likely his or her destruction becomes. Similarly, although with better results, Piz greatly desires his Gretsch guitar, having worked two summers to buy it.

Brigadoon (Movies)

"It wasn't locked."
"College campus, all your worldly possessions. Where are you from, Brigadoon?"

It's a fictional Scottish village from the 1947 musical "Brigadoon". In the story, this enchanted village and its inhabitants appear for only one day every hundred years. A real-life version of this place is Canada.

See all references about Brigadoon
Battlestar Galactica (TV)

"All your stuff? Frak, that blows."

As Moe, Wallace and Piz's RA, explains, "frak" is a fictional expletive used in the science-fiction TV series Battlestar Galactica. It was also used in an early-1980s game on the BBC Micro called "Frak!" A caveman called Trogg would utter this word in a speech bubble when he was killed. And it's Rob Thomas's way of saying neener-neener-neener to the censorship codes and practices.

See all references about Battlestar Galactica
M.R.S. degree (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Why can't they just look pretty and get their M.R.S. degrees?"

It's a cynical term used to imply that the only reason girls go to college is to get a husband. Those that do Masters and PhDs are MRS-degree drop-outs.

How's tricks? (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"How's tricks?"
"Shrink asked if a lifetime without a libido was such a bad thing. I think she's given up on me."

The phrase is an equivalent of, "How's it going?" Or for hookers, "How's business?" It seems that business isn't going so well for Mac.

Red-light district (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Frozen-from-the-waist-down's new roommate? She's a one-woman red-light district."
"Every night since orientation she's been with some new dude."

A red-light district is a neighborhood with a lot of prostitution. In ye olde thymes, brothels would put red lights in their windows to identify themselves as open for business to potential customers. (and some places still do this — ever been to Amsterdam?) Mac is being a bit cruel here by implying that Parker is a prostitute. All indications point to Parker not charging a dime, despite Mac's later assertion that she's got a suggestion box and a tip jar next to her bed.

The Odd Couple (Movies)

"I was a little weirdly disappointed because I had this idea that I'd get, like, this gangster-street-chic or some death-metal girl and we'd be, like, all Odd Couple, but me and Mac, it was just — whoosh — instant sisterhood."

The Odd Couple was a 1968 film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two friends who drive each other nuts while trying to live together. Lemmon and Matthau also starred in the sequel, appropriately entitled The Odd Couple II in 1998, which still seems like it might be a little before Parker's time. Whatever the appropriate reference is, we tend to think that awesome-nerd-girl Mac and party-girl-airhead Parker are an Odd Couple, something Parker's annoying sunny disposition won't let her see.

America's Next Top Model (TV)

"You know, you should come watch Top Model with us tonight."

Reality show hosted by Tyra Banks, also on the CW (what an oh-so-subtle network plug! ...not). Following the standard reality-show format, a group of contestants is gradually narrowed down until...the Next! Top! Model! is identified. It's not exactly the kind of show we would expect Mac to watch, but Parker definitely fits their demographic.

Colin Farrell (People)

"Ohhh. Yours or Mac's?"
"Colin? Oh, he's all mine. He should really love me, don't you think?"
"Depends. Have you had your shots?"

Colin Farrell, star of high-art films such as Miami Vice, S.W.A.T., and Phone Booth, is a broody Irish actor, much beloved by girls who like broody dark actors. He's also very well-known for his bad-boy lifestyle and sex-tape escapades and lawsuits. One wonders if Veronica is intimating that Colin would only like Parker if she hasn't had her shots.

Who's Who bio: Colin Farrell
The Wizard of Oz (Literature, Movies)

"You didn't see squat. Motor, Munchkins."

We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild,
And in the name of the Lollipop Guild,
We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland

Munchkins were the little inhabitants of the world of Oz. Seeing Ferret Boy and Rat Boy in short pants while bobbing up and down and singing the Munchkin song would have been awesome, but sadly, all they did was give Veronica false information and act very irritating.

"Right Time of the Night" (Music)

"Come on, Parker. Why you wanna be like that, girl? It's the right time of the night. It's the right time of the night for making...love."

It's the right time of the night
The stars are waking above
It's the right time of the night for making love

Dick is quoting a...Reba McEntire song. Really? That seems...odd. Wait, okay, further Googling reveals that it's a...Jennifer Warnes song? Who? Seriously, I've never heard this song, but Dick's quoting from it seems more along the lines of a thousand monkeys banging on keyboards and coming up with Shakespeare than that he's actually purposefully referencing this song. But I shall defer and suggest that perhaps the song was included on a compilation CD entitled "World's Best Songs to Woo a Booty Call" and that's how he knows it.

Beard (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"My little brother never cared about you. You know? You were just his beard."

A beard is an in-the-closet gay man's girlfriend, used to keep up the pretense to the world that he is actually straight. (*cough*Katie Holmes?*cough*) It can also be used to describe a lesbian's boyfriend, although there's another term for that, merkin. The things you learn on the interweb. It's open for debate whether Dick is implying that Beaver was gay and using Mac as his beard, or whether he's using beard in another sense, suggesting that Mac was Beaver's beard in the sense of hiding his crazy, evil, mass-murdering ways.

Craigslist (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"Oh, and I think I found your guitar. It popped up on Craigslist late last night, and the seller's just off campus."

Craigslist, a network of online communities, was named for founder Craig Newmark in 1995. He created a Craigslist for San Francisco, and when the company was incorporated in 1999, it expanded to several other cities. As of June 2006, there's a Craigslist for approximately 310 cities all over the world. The website has listings for jobs, apartments, services, stuff for sale, as well as personals for all kinds of scary people looking for love sex in all the wrong places. If, say, you wanted to sell a guitar you obtained illegally without involving any authorities, Craigslist would be the place to do it.

Oliver Twist (Characters)
Steely Dan (Music)

"His name is Donald Fagan."

Donald Fagin was the ringleader of a band of street urchin pickpockets in Dicken's Oliver Twist. In the show, Fagan is the ringleader of three juvenile deliquent thieves. And in reality, Donald Fagen was the vocalist for Steely Dan. Okay, that last part probably wasn't part of the reference, but we can't help putting it in.

Who's Who bio: Oliver Twist
Torso butter (Things)

"Is this thing for real, or are you just in it for the torso butter?"

Exactly what is sounds like: butter for one's torso. We're not delving much deeper into the definition. We're just going to trust that anything that comes out of Dick's mouth is gross.

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (Music)
Mark Wahlberg (People)

"You should really walk away."
"You'd like that, wouldn't you? I'll admit, kid looks good walking away. It's all me, too. Ass like Marky Mark and the entire Funky Bunch."

Before Mark Wahlberg was in such hits as Boogie Nights and The Italian Job, he was in a rapping band called Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (he was Marky Mark, of course). There, he became known for his impressive physique, displaying his body in such videos as The Marky Mark Workout (we're not joking), and baring his briefs for a Calvin Klein ad campaign.

Who's Who bio: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Boom goes the dynamite (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"I might actually get my stuff back."
"I might actually get paid. Boom goes the dynamite."

In March of 2006, college freshman Brian Collins attempted to sportscast for a college cable channel, but fumbled badly, either rushing his words or pausing altogether. However, the one bright spot that managed to catch some national attention was the line, "And boom goes the dynamite," said in reaction to a basketball player making a 3-point shot. It stuck out because it sounded rather like something a real sportscaster might say. Veronica uses the in-joke when the long arm of the law comes down on Donald Fagan, the thief (perhaps to indicate that she, too, made a 3-pointer, figuratively speaking).

Sara Lee (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"That's excellent cake, Kendall."
"Well, I'll tell Sara Lee you approve."

Sara Lee frozen foods are produced by the Sara Lee Corporation. While their frozen cakes and pastries are loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh, they are undeniably tasty. Their grammatically correct (if annoyingly chirpy) motto is "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," and Keith must admit that he, too, doesn't not like chocolate cake.

Magically delicious (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"At Java the Hut, it meant a latte with a little bit of Irish cream syrup in it."
"That explains the first one."
"They're magically delicious!"

"They're magically delicious!" is a tagline of the cereal Lucky Charms, which has Cheerios-inspired cereal bits and tiny marshmallows in the shape of various good luck charms. The term has become a catch phrase for Irish foods that inspire delight, such as Veronica's Irish coffee, coffee with a shot of Irish whiskey. Irish coffee and Fitzpatricks in the same episode... coincidence? We think not.

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