Humorous Allusions to Actors' Previous Roles

In The Great Santini, Michael O’Keefe and Robert DuVall have a famous scene in which DuVall taunts O’Keefe while repeatedly lobbing a basketball off his head. Years later, when O’Keefe was playing Fred on Roseanne, he and John Goodman reenacted that scene in the Conners’ backyard, with Dan trash-talking Fred while hitting him with a basketball.

In an episode of Glee, Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf play reporters exposing the scandalous performance of a risque musical at the school - “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (the movie of which Bostwick and Meat Loaf were part of).

Not quite a reference to a previous role, but I found this in the IMDb trivia for The Best Years of Our Lives:

In a scene at Butch’s bar, Homer asks Butch if he would play a song for him. “How about ‘Lazy River?’” Homer asks. “Remember that?” Hoagy Carmichael, who plays Butch, composed “Lazy River.”

I just did a search on this thread, and did not see any mention of Supernatural.

Ya gotta love Season 6, Episode 15, “The French Mistake”, where they somehow end up in the real world, where Supernatural is a television show, and they are actors. The show was produced by Robert Singer; one of the characters in the show was Bobby Singer. This episode includes a great line - “What kind of douchebag names a character after himself?”

Now that I think of it, a lot of the episode titles came from 70s songs. “The French Mistake” comes from Blazing Saddles, where the big fight scene spills over into a musical being directed by Dom DeLouise. So, the song title fits the plot of the episode.

In one scene in Merry Christmas, Mister Lawrence, David Bowie’s character says, “I wish I could sing.”

I thought of this one!

So last night, on “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune”, Teri Hatcher was one of the contestants and hit the million dollar spot on the wheel (which only gives you a chance to win a million if you make it to the final round). She guessed a letter correctly (unusual for her), and peeled the $1m prize off the wheel and held it up, saying “Is this for real?” Pat replied “It’s real, and it’s spectacular.”

The idea was also used in the Eerie, Indiana episode “Reality Takes a Holiday,” where Marshall ends up in a parallel world where he is transported onto the set of Eerie, Indiana. Everyone refers to each other as their real names, not their characters and the story involves Marshall having to rewrite the script so he doesn’t die.

I watched Look Who’s Talking for the first time in years, if not decades, and there was a scene where the music was Stayin’ Alive. Travolta wasn’t dancing in the scene, but surely it wouldn’t have been a coincidence 10 years after disco was dead

News Radio had an episode where Bill McNeal (Phil Hartman) is being startled by a character played by Jon Lovitz offering him a light for his cigarette. Lovitz says “Don’t be afraid Bill. Fire good.”

On SNL skits Hartman would play Frankenstein* who almost always only had the line “Fire bad!”. Lovitz played Tonto in those skits, and Kevin Nealon played Tarzan to fill out the trio of limited English speakers.

*It is you nitpickers who are the monster…

In The Boss Baby, the baby, voiced by Alec Baldwin has the line “Cookies are for closers,” a parody of his line in Glengarry Glen Ross, “Coffee is for closers.”

About 43:54 into “Hang Tough” (a Season Five episode of Streets of San Francisco), Ned Beatty reminds us of his signature movie scene.

Not exactly a previous role, but in an episode of King of the Hill when Bobby expresses a desire to eat a corn chip fresh off the factory line, Lucky, voiced by Tom Petty, tells him “I’m going to help you run down that dream.”

Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope says that someone “could star in a Spielberg movie and still end up playing the nutty mom on some sitcom.” She appeared in the Goonies as a teen.

Missed the edit window:

In the Beverly Hillbillies movie from 1993, Buddy Ebsen the original Jed Clampett appears as his other character private detective Barnaby Jones.

Thanks! The quote seemed vaguely familiar so I looked it up and the only thing I could find was references to the book Boss Baby was based on.

Somewhat relatedly, there is a scene in an episode of The Sopranos where Tony asks Christopher why he’s late. Christopher replies “highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive” while he’s standing right next to Silvio, portrayed by Steven Van Zandt.

Does the line in Point Break about “Patrick’s Road House” count? (Patrick Swayze’s most recent movie at that point being Road House)

More directly, in one episode Christopher gets impatient waiting in a line at a bakery and ends up shooting the counter man in the foot for disrespecting him. This is a direct reference to his role in Goodfellas where his character Spider is shot in the foot by Tommy for not getting his drink order right and insulting him. When the counterman yells about being shot in the foot, Christopher says “It happens.”

In Picket Fences the judge played by Ray Walston shows up at a costume party wearing the antennae he sported as the title character in My Favorite Martian.