Character nods to the actor's former character

This thread, originally about Edith Bunker’s death, has some mentions of a TV Character’s nod to a previous character by the actor. These are always fun and I thought it might deserve a thread.

Just recently on How I Met Your Mother Neil Patrick Harris’ character, Barney Stinson has hired a child to play his son to fool his mother. The child isn’t living up to Barney’s vision and Barney says something to the effect that 80s child actors were much better than those of today.

In a famous moment from Third Rock from the Sun, William Shatner remarks about seeing a creature of a wing on an airplane, causing John Lithgow’s character to state that the same thing happened to him. This refers to a famous episode of The Twilight Zone- Shatner starred in the original, and Lithgow appeared in a remake of the story in the feature film.

At one point in the Disney comedy Sky High, a character played by Linda Carter sarcastically remarks, “What am I, Wonder Woman?” (Her character was originally meant to wear bracelets similar to Wonder Woman’s, but Warner Bros. threatened legal action.)

In Pixar’s Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) can be seen pushing a toolbox labeled “Binford Tools,” the fictional tool company from Home Improvement, which started Tim Allen. Extending the link even further, Allen’s character in The Santa Clause 2 uses the line “You are a sad, strange little man,” which Tim Allen also said as Buzz Lightyear.

In an episode of L.A. Law, Dan Castelleneta played an amusement park worker who wore a Homer Simpson costume. Dan Castelleneta is the voice of Homer Simpson.

In a recent episode of kidcom Hannah Montana, the title character, attempting to blow an audition with Rob Reiner, insults him by calling him “meathead,” a name Reiner’s character on All in the Family was often called. Reiner also jokingly calls his mother-in-law a “rodent of unusual size,” in reference to his own 1987 film The Princess Bride.

Laurie Metcalf appeared on Fraiser as his first wife Nannette Guzman. She has been the long time host of a children’s program, and is sick of it. She asks Fraiser “Do you know how annoying it is to play the same character for twenty years?” That’s how long Kelsey Grammer played Fraiser Crane.

Third Rock had a few more. Dick & Mary (Jane Curtain) went to a scifi convention and saw some people dressed as Coneheads. Mary stared at them, shook her head, and said “The things some people will do.” Jane was an original SNL Conehead.

Tommy formed a rock band. Dick leaned on a huge stereo speaker and gave word-for-word and action-for-action the speech he gave against rock music as the preacher in “Footloose.” He did it totally deadpan; the audience roared.

The Twilight Zone reference was hysterial. John Lithgow’s actually words were “The same thing happened to MMMMEEEEEE” in his patented Lithgow pig squeal shriek.

In Hot Shots, Part Deux, Charlie Sheen’s character is in a boat on a river. The scene cuts to Martin Sheen, re-enacting a similar scene from Apocalypse Now. The boats approach, the two look at each other, and simultaneously yell, “I loved you in Wall Street!”

Speaking of Grammer, there have been a few Sideshow Bob moments on The Simpsons, such as last week’s couch gag that showed Sideshow Bob walking into the Cheers bar, and the episode where David Hyde Pierce played Bob’s brother Sideshow Cecil.

On the episode with Sideshow Cecil, Bart jumped at him, landed on the back of his neck, put his hands over Cecil’s eyes and said “Guess who?” Cecil replied “Maris?,” the name of Niles’s first wife.

John Mahoney played Martin Crane, father to Fraiser and Niles, and Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr., father to Bob & Cecil.

In an episode of NCIS someone once asked Gibbs what Dr “Ducky” Mallard (played by David McCallum) looked like as a young man. His reply was “He looked a lot like Illya Kuryakin”.

You missed a key part of this scene - while Sheen the Elder was doing his V.O. from Apocalypse Now, Sheen the Younger was doing his V.O. from Platoon. It was Clash of the Vietnam Epics!

If I remember right, he used his normal voice for most of the episode, and the Homer voice when he was in costume. That’s a nice touch. (Some network has started showing L.A. Law reruns, and watching a few of them feels like ancient history. Reading your post reminded me of just how long The Simpsons has been on.)

I didn’t see it, but I heard about a scene in House; Dr. House is setting his DVR and you can briefly see that he also records episodes of Blackadder.

In the movie “Maverick,” Mel Gibson runs into a bandit played by his “Lethal Weapon” co-star Danny Glover. They give each other a funny look, then go their separate ways.

In “What’s Up Doc,” Barbra Streisand tells Ryan O’Neal “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” And O’Neal deadpans, “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”
In “Stakeout,” Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez are passing time playing a movie quote trivia game. Estevez offers the line “This was not a boating accident,” and Dreyfuss is stumped (it’s a line Dreyfuss said in “Jaws”).

Alec Baldwin’s character Jack from 30 Rock, in a church confessional, admits to claiming to be God in a deposition - a reference to his character in the movie Malice.

In the intro to The A-Team Dirk Benedict is on a movie lot and a guy in a (original show)Cylon costume walks by. He looks after him with a puzzled expression on his face.

In one of the first episodes of “Stargate: SG1” Amanda Tapping’s character makes a reference to “Macguyvering” a piece of equipment… to Richard Dean Anderson. Who starred in “Macguyver.”

On Big Bang Theory someone asked Leonard how he breaks up with a girl, he replied (paraphrased) “I don’t, normally they just say ‘you’re a great guy, but I want to see how it goes with Mark.’” Mark, being his brother on Rosanne.

I think it was on Scrubs, I may be misremembering, but Elliot said something about not making an impression on people and they call her by her wrong name, they call her Becky 2. But I might have made that up.

In the movie His Girl Friday, Cary Grant knocks on a rolltop desk where Earl Williams is hiding and calls him “Mock Turtle.” Grant played the Mock Turtle in the 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland.

Of course, the most famous reference in that film is when Grant said “The last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.” “Archie Leach” was Grant’s real name.

In addition, the character played by Ralph Bellamy is described as looking like the actor Ralph Bellamy.

Arsenic and Old Lace had lines about Jonathan Brewster going psycho because a plastic surgeon made him look like Boris Karloff. Karloff originated the role on Broadway (though not in the movie).

Sunset Boulevard refers to Norma Desmond’s (played by Gloria Swanson) films as directed by Max von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim). Norma watches herself in clips from Queen Kelly, starring Swanson and directed by von Stroheim.

In Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jane (Bette Davis) was supposed to be a failed movie actress. To prove this, they shows scenes from Davis’s films Parachute Jumper and Ex-Lady (Davis agreed with the assessment that she was no good in those).

Titled, appropriately, “The Brother from Another Series.”

I can think of two…
In Mallrats, Ethen Suplee’s character, Willem, is having a tough time trying to find the sailboat in the Magic Eye poster. Shannon Doherty walks up, says “Oh, a sailboat.” Willem turns to her and says “Brenda?” - A reference to her 90210 character.

There are a crazy amount of these type of bits in “Arrested Development” (like the narrator, Ron Howard, getting upset about someone calling somebody else “Opie” in a derogatory way.) but my favorite is when Dan Castellaneta is a doctor in an episode. I don’t recall the entire scene or dialogue, but it ends with him saying “Doh!”

On Arrested Development, Barry Zuckerkorn (Henry Winkler, f.k.a. “The Fonz”) jumped a shark. The best part was he did it so casually you cold easily miss it on the first viewing.

When one character insulted another by calling him “Opie,” the unnamed narrator (Ron Howard), said, "“Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth.”

When Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio, f.k.a. “Chachi”) was brought in to replace Zuckerkorn, he said it wasn’t the first time and that he could do everything his predecessor did and “skew younger.”

By the time the X-Files episode “Salvage” happened, Robert Patrick had joined the cast as agent Doggett. He and Scully are investigating a case where a man thought to be dead is committing murders, and she tells him that the “gulf war sickness” he supposedly died of is something else, and that his molecular structure has been altered by exposure to a metal.

Doggett’s reply is “What are you saying? Ray Pearce has become some kind of metal man? Because that only happens in the movies, Agent Scully.”

When Bo Derek guest-starred on Two Guys and a Girl as Berg’s mom, Berg and Germ have this exchange:

Germ: Hey man. Your new chick is hot.
Berg: She is my mother. She is not hot. She is warm and snuggly.
Germ: But she is like a 9.

In the movie North Sea Hijack (aka ffoulkes, aka Assault Force), Roger Moore’s character is essentially the Anti-Bond.

In the movie The Tailor of Panama, Pierce Brosnan’s character is essentially the Anti-Bond.

Steven Seagal built his career playing super-cops and super-commandos. Then, in Executive Decision, his character is the first commando to be killed.