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Pop Culture and Current Event References

Season 1[edit]

Flowers For Your Grave

  • Girls Gone Wild: Castle talking to Beckett: "You ever have any fun? You know, let your hair down? Drop your top? A little cops gone wild?"
  • Columbo: After Beckett and Castle are done questioning Jonathan Tisdale, as they are leaving, Castle comes back and asks several questions.

Nanny McDead

  • Internet Porn: Castle: "Three men huddled around a computer, better not be porn. If it is, I want in."
  • Alec Baldwin: Threatening voice mail to his daughter - Castle says Sara's boyfriends' voice mails after they broke up make Alec Baldwin's sound like rainbows and unicorns.
  • DeGeneres and de Rossi: In regards to happy couples

Hedge Fund Homeboys

  • The 70's & Highlander: The 70's are back - they're like the Highlander, they just won't die
  • Connected kids: it's a "wired-teen-hyper-nano" thing
  • Cinco de Mayo: Castle complained about the lime shards stuck in the wall after one of Martha's parties ("But it was Cinco de Mayo")
  • Castle's Ringtone: spooky music and he says "I hear dead people"
  • Chucky T's: Lanie comments on the victim, including "he's got dirt and grass on his Chucky T's"
  • Leman Brothers: The victims dad was a partner in Leman's before they went out of business
  • Dancing With The Stars results show: The kids were going to have a party and gamble on the results of the show
  • Meryl Streep: "Which one? Out of Africa or Mamma Mia?"
  • Duke Lacrosse Incident: Donny's defense about keeping the video was that he didn't want to end up like those Duke kids
  • Amy Winehouse: Castle to Alexis: How do I know that your friends won't be partying Winehouse style?"

Hell Hath No Fury

  • Harry Potter: Martha tells Rick that no one is buying his book. And there was a line around the building for the last Harry Potter.
  • Madden: Football Video Game
  • Tool: Castle wants Beckett to arrest Creason, not because he's guilty, but because he's a "tool"
  • Star Trek, the Next Generation: Castle to Alexis: "You have the bridge Number One". note: Rob Bowman directed several STTNG episodes
  • Spitzer Prostitution Scandal: Councilman Horn had used the internet to find Tiffany and used campaign funds to pay for his play, similar to the Eliot Spitzer scandal

A Chill Goes Through Her Veins

Always Buy Retail

Home is Where the Heart Stops

  • Beckett calls Castle Scaramouche at the target range
  • Alexis quote: "Anyone comes, we’ll beat them off with swords …or pens since they’re mightier."


Little Girl Lost

  • Star Wars
    • Castle and Beckett are riding in the elevator (uncomfortably) and Beckett blurts out: "6 months, I was with him for 6 months" Castle: "I wasn't asking" Beckett: "You weren't asking very loudly" Castle: "Yeah, I know I'm like a Jedi like that"
    • After Castle tells Beckett she needs "her Yang, Yin Yin is the name for a panda" she replies: "Any more wisdom Obi Wan?"

A Death in the Family

  • Castle says "Check out Nemo here": Finding Nemo is a 2003 Walt Disney movie about the adventures of a clown fish -- the same type of fish that is found in the female victim's salt-water tank.

Season 2[edit]

2x03 Inventing The Girl

  • Wondering where the victim's shoes are, Castle says "I'm going to go with 'still with Prince Charming at the ball.'" Prince Charming is Cinderella's beloved in the folk tale Cinderella. They fall in love at a ball but she loses one of her glass slippers as she races the clock to leave the ball before midnight.
  • Discussing possible motives, Castle says "Jealousy's a classic motive ... you've seen the films The Talented Mr. Ripley, Dead Ringers and of course the underrated classic Showgirls". These (1999, 1988 and 1995 respectively) US films all had jealousy as a part in the plot.

2x04 Fool Me Once

  • Finding a victim in the remains of what had obviously been an "arctic expedition" scam, Castle says "This reminds me of that movie, Capricorn One with a winterland twist." Capricorn One is a 1978 science fiction thriller movie about a Mars landing hoax.
  • While discussing their victim, a con man, over pizza at the precinct, the gang share their favorite con movies in this scene:

MONTGOMERY: "Oh, I love a good con movie! House of Games, Catch Me if You Can"
ESPOSITO: "Ocean's Eleven"
RYAN: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" ...
CASTLE: "For my money, it starts and it ends with The Sting."

  • Castle admits to Beckett, "I went a little 'Daddy Dearest' on Alexis." He's referring to Christina Crawford's shocking 1978 exposé memoir Mommy Dearest. In the book, Ms Crawford claims her mother, famous actress Joan Crawford verbally and physically abused her.

2x05 When The Bough Breaks

  • Castle is offered a three-book contract to continue writing about "a certain British Secret Agent". Although they never say the name, so as not to jinx his contract, this surely refers to the ultimate literary spy, Ian Fleming's James Bond.

2x06 Vampire Weekend: Harry Potter: Castle asks Alexis if she has decided on a Halloween costume to wear and guesses Hermione

2x12 A Rose for Everafter: Jonas Brothers: Beckett asks Ryan and Esposito: "When I'm not here, do you guys braid each other's hair and debate who is the cutest Jonas brother?"

2x13 Sucker Punch: Miami Vice: Castle tells Beckett after she sticks her finger in a package of white powder and identifies it heroin that it was "very Miami Vice" of her.

2x16 The Mistress Always Spanks Twice: Dr. Seuss: When referring to Beckett interrogating a suspect who frequents a bondage club, Castle says "Sam I am...in a box...with a fox..." which is a reference to Dr. Seuss's story Green Eggs and Ham

2x18 Boom: Star Wars: Castle to Beckett: "I feel like Princess Leia when the Millenium Falcon escaped the Death Star. It’s too easy."

2x19 Wrapped Up In Death:

  • 3:40 Castle finds a copy of the book Eat, Pray, Love and uses it to argue that the victim and his girlfriend were in more than a casual relationship.
  • 5:30 Beckett: "So kind of like a Mayan King Tut?"
  • 5:45 Castle dons a brown fedora when he pokes around an ancient Mayan] sarcophagus in the style of archaeologist Indiana Jones of the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • 19:35 Alexis "You know there are some mysteries that science can't explain ..." Martha "And some curses are real like the Scottish play."
  • 30:00 Ryan "... finding this mummy might be finding the lost ark." The Ark of the Covenant was the chest containing the tablets of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. It was famously lost and thus would be difficult to find.
  • 37:00 Beckett in interrogation asks "What happnened, Rachel?" Castle adds on: "A little Girls Gone Wild jealousy turned deadly?"
  • Scooby Doo
    • Beckett disputes one of Castle's suggested motives for murder saying "That would make this Scooby Doo. And I'm not Velma." Castle responds: "Velma? Are you kidding? You’re Daphne – hot, smart, not aggressively brainy, but long legs, short skirt…"
    • 38:00 When the killer is caught and falls down a set of large stairs, Beckett says: Rut-roh which is how Scooby Doo pronounces Oh oh!

Season 3[edit]

A Deadly Affair: Humpty-Dumpty Fairy Tale: Beckett asks Esposito and Ryan, who is playing with an egg: "Are you guys re-enacting the Humpty-Dumpty crime scene?"

He’s Dead, She’s Dead: X-Files: Castle disputes Beckett's theory: "Oh, so you don’t believe in fate, but your "gut" has magical properties. That’s cool…Scully."

Under the Gun: Spiderman: Beckett says to Castle: "I can't base my investigation on your Spidey senses"

Punked: David Haselhoff: "It’s kind of like David Hasselhoff: first, you’re repulsed, but then, strangely, you’re drawn in."

Anatomy of a Murder: Grey's Anatomy: "Seriously" references

Almost Famous: Alex Rodriguez: Esposito is turned down as a male stripper because he resembles Alex Rodriguez and the manager of the company is "up to his ears in A-Rods"

Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind

  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: Esposito asks Castle to "prove that ET did this"
  • At the end of the episode, one of the agents says something to Beckett in confidence and Castle is trying to guess what it was, guesses something about the Loch Ness monster, Roswell, and Area 51
  • X-Files
    • Castle says to Beckett: "I'm not asking you to dye your hair red and call me Mulder…"
    • Castle whistles the X-Files theme a few times
    • The lightning strike at the end of the episode

Last Call: The Wizard of Oz: Regarding an old schoolmate of Alexis' who visits from Kansas, Martha says "Looks like someone's not in Kansas anymore," a nod to Dorothy's quote in the movie: "Toto, it looks like we're not in Kansas anymore."

Nikki Heat: Reality shows:

    • Beckett: According to her business card she’s a high end matchmaker.
    • Castle: Like millionaire matchmaker.
    • Ryan: Without the reality show.

Knockdown: Other cops: Castle mentions other cops from TV and film who have had sidekicks: Dirty Harry, Cobra, and the guys from The Police Academy

Lucky Stiff:

  • Jaws: Castle quote: "Does for hot tubs what Jaws did for the ocean."
  • Avatar: Castle and Beckett see a man being lead through the precinct with blue paint all over his face
  • American Gladiator: Castle teases Beckett about becoming an American Gladiator if she ever quit the force


  • Castle and Beckett wonder what is kept in a storage vault and Castle suggests Al Capone's vault or The Ark of the Covenant from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
  • Chernobyl: Castle asks Beckett about the sensitivity of her radiator detector: "does it have a scale on it like chest x-ray to Chernobyl?"

Law and Murder:

  • Twelve Angry Men: Castle quote: Maybe he wanted to create reasonable doubt in the deliberation room to get Otis off just like Henry Fonda in Twelve Angry Men
  • Titanic: Castle quote: "That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Are you ready for The Titanic?"
  • Angry Birds: Beckett won't let Castle see a new department-issued app for her cell phone, so he refuses to let her play the latest version of Angry Birds on his phone

3x22 To Love and Die in LA

  • Castle is singing the praises of the concierge of a hotel and says "I'll bet if I ordered the Ark of the Covenant he'd come through." The Ark of the Covenant was the chest containing the tablets of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. It was famously lost and thus would be difficult to find.

Pretty Dead

  • Legally Blonde: In describing an old college roommate who was a beauty queen, Beckett calls her "Elle Woods on steroids"
  • Castle: Beauty queens and naked pictures, as American as socialites and sex tapes.
  • Apocalypse Now: Beckett describes living with a beauty queen in college as her "own private Vietnam" and Castle imitates Lt. Kilgore, saying "I love smell of hairspray in the morning...Smells like victory."
  • Brett Favre: Capt. Montgomery announces he is retiring and Beckett tells Castle not to worry that he announces his retirement every year, calling him "the Brett Favre of the NYPD"
  • '$25,000 Pyramid (a popular game show in the United States)
    • Esposito: Ok then, what about Hawaii? Earrings? Ooh, lingerie…
    • Castle: Things you buy a woman! I used to kill at Pyramid.

Knockout: The Karate Kid: Castle tells Beckett that "Fear does not exist in this dojo" which is a direct quote from the 1980s movie

Season 4[edit]

Tennessee Williams and his play the Cat on the Hot Tin Roof is referenced as a play that Martha had starred in and obtained bad reviews from a rival theater critic. The year that Martha starred in this play was quoted as 1983, the same year Tennessee Williams died.

The name of the episode is a reference to Greek mythology in which opening Pandora's Box brought forth evil that, once freed, could not easily be put back or vanquished. In Pandora, it refers to an intricate plot to bring about WWIII and the downfall of the United States.

Firefly References[edit]

Click here for a list of Castle references to Nathan Fillion's former TV show Firefly.


By design, this number reoccurs multiple times throughout the series. It pays homage to the | idea that "47 occurs in nature more frequently than other numbers" and that it is "the quintessential random number". Occurrences include the following:

  • 47 is the hotel room number from which Jerry Tyson escapes police custody in 3XK.
  • The 47th episode of the series is Knockdown, which is a key episode in both the arc of the Johanna Beckett case as well as the relationship between Castle and Beckett.
  • From the time Beckett gets shot to the end of Knockout is 47 seconds.
  • Johanna Beckett was 47 years old when she was murdered.
  • In Cuffed, the foreclosed house where Beckett and Castle are captured by the suspects is street number 147.
  • The Blue Butterfly featured events that happened in the year 1947.
  • The team at the 12th Precinct is faced with reconstructing the events in the 47 seconds immediately preceding a bomb explosion in the episode 47 Seconds
  • The call made to Montgomery's house was at 4:47am
  • The closing scene of Always was 47 seconds long
  • In Still, Beckett is given 30 minutes and 47 seconds before the bomb is set to explode
  • In Like Father, Like Daughter, the fire alarm in the Henson house went off for 2 minutes and 47 seconds.
  • In Disciple, Carl Matthews checks in to the same hotel room at Jerry Tyson did, room number 47.
  • In Under Fire, the screen name of the arsonist/murderer ends in 47.
  • The episode 6x16 is entitled Room 147 and the hotel room of that number features prominently in the case.

Moby Dick References[edit]

The overall show has a general metaphor referencing Moby Dick. Where Ahab obviously parallel Beckett in her obsession to catch her mother's killer, as well as parallelism between Ishmael and the Castle character. Both Ishmael and Castle are observant characters who embark onto a journey from Manhattan. (Let's hope they don't follow the plot closely with Moby Dick or a lot of our favorite characters on the show are going to be hurt!). The writing of the show is also filled with the complex symbolism and metaphoric style as in Moby Dick, filling different episodes with small foreshadowing and hints about the bigger theme that deeply intrigue the audience.

At a society charity gala, Beckett discovers that Castle is referred to as the "White Whale" by single women because he is such a catch.

Cavalo was referred to as the "White Whale". Ahab was also referenced several times in this episode.

  • Show Intro sequence: "I'm Castle"

The intro sequence starts with Castle introducing himself as "Who am I, I'm Castle". Similarity with "Call me Ismael"?

Film References[edit]