When it comes to meta and murder, no one does it better than fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer. And being as this is October and Halloween is just around the corner I thought I’d use this edition of Reference Humor to break down Psych’s Friday the 13th homage “Tuesday the 17th” As always bold numbers represent the time at which the reference happened and Spoilers abound for a wide variety of films. Scroll down at your own risk. You’ve been warned (cue evil cackle).
00:00 The episode title is a reference to the slasher film Friday the 13th (1980)
00:24 Young Gus is holding a pineapple. This is a running gag on the show.
00:46 “Why don’t you go live on Hoth, you freak” Hoth is the ice planet at the start of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
1:30 The camp song heard at the beginning of the episode contains the lyric “crystal lake”, which was the name of the camp in Friday the 13th.
1:37 Shawn’s pinata is chained to the bottom of the lake just like Jason in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986).
1:52 Annie is watching a movie in which the killer wears a hockey mask just like in Friday the 13th Part III (1982).
2:01 “That’s what you get for being a harlot” This is a reference to the trope of sexually promiscuous teens getting murdered in horror films.
2:50 The window, the tea kettle, the phone all make noise. This is a parody of sudden innocuous shocks used as fake-outs in horror films.
3:07 The burlap sack which the killer uses as a mask is similar to the mask Jason used in his first appearance in the Friday the 13th series.
4:39 “Burritos are authentic. The Rollie Fingers of Mexican cuisine.” Rollie Fingers is a retired hall of fame baseball player.
4:50 Shawn’s Rick Astley pinata is hanging outside his office. Rick Astley is the English singer who recorded the hit song “Never Going to Give You Up”.
5:00 “Looks more like Ann Margret”. Ann Margret is an award-winning actress of film and screen. One of the biggest stars of the 60’s and 70’s.
5:05 I had it nailed down to Eric Stoltz or Boris Becker. Eric Stoltz is an actor best known for his role as Rocky Dennis in the 1994 film Mask. Boris Becker.is a former professional tennis player.
8:44 “The Mowry twins sticking together.” Tia and Tamara Mowry are twin sisters and well-known actresses.
8:59 Random creepy old dude with a cryptic message of doom is a parody of the same stock character in most horror films. One such character appears in the first Friday the 13th movie.
9:34 Clive says that he thinks Jason is “trying to figure out what’s eating Gilbert Grape.” The is a simple name drop of the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).
15:35 “We’ve fallen into a slasher movie scenario and we’re making all the classic mistakes” Shawn is referencing the rules you must follow in order to survive a slasher movie. Just like Randy Meeks from the slasher film Scream (1996).
16:01 In camera shots from the killer’s point of view, you see through the eye-holes of the killer’s mask. This same perspective was used at the start of the slasher classic Halloween (1978).
20:26 After Jason calls Shawn an Iago, referencing the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello, Shawn wonders out loud why he was called the name of the parrot from Disney’s Aladdin (1992).
20:48 “When a brother goes off into the woods he doesn’t even sorta come back” Gus is referencing the common and well-known trope of the black guy dying first in horror films.
20:54 “LL Cool J made it all the way through Deep Blue Sea” “Yeah but Sam Jackson still got his ass ate“ Shawn and Gus are discussing the film Deep Blue Sea (1999) which feature genetically engineered killer sharks.
20:19 The killer wears a bag over his head, similar to Jason’s in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).
22:37 Shawn visions here are shown in the style of the opening sequence of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
23:00 “It’s not Friday the 13th, its April Fool’s Day” Shawn figures out that the whole thing is a setup. Realizing that the story they find themselves in is not the slasher plot of Friday the 13th but rather it has the twist ending of the film April Fool’s Day (1986) in which the whole slasher motif is staged for effect and everyone believed to be killed is actually alive.
25:24 “Least favorite tag team of all time” “Really with Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff on the table” Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff were professional wrestlers with the Worldwide Wrestling Federation who formed a tag team duo from 1984-1987. Looking back these wrestling heels were pretty racist caricatures.
27:10 The radio says roads are closed and the storm knocks out cell service. These are nods to classic horror movie tropes
29:40 “I’ve got a date with moon patrol” Moon Patrol is video game first released in 1982.
30:18 Jules says, “Can’t you do better than ‘vibes’?” Shawn replies, “Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper couldn’t.” Shawn is referencing the 1988 film Vibes.
31:09 The camera show Annie in the shower a la the notorious Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho (1960).
32:33 Jason says “You guys aren’t afraid of the dark, are ya?” then the camera proceeds into the candle’s flame in the same manner as the beginning of episodes of the TV show Are You Afraid of the Dark, a classic children’s horror show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1990 to 2000.
39:01 The man who drowned 20 years earlier was the killer’s father, similar to the twist in the original Friday the 13th of Jason’s mother being the killer twenty years after her son drowned.
Yep, that episode is a definite must for slasher film aficionados. As per usual if you think you know a reference I missed feel free to leave it in the comments section. Until next time, Happy Halloween.