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Sterling Archer's Smartest Literary References, Explained

List RulesVote up the best and most clever literary references from any episode of Archer.

Archer has easily cemented its reputation as one of the funniest and most crass cartoons on television, but it's also one of the smartest. Among the sex jokes and violent comedy in the series, there are tons of literary references on Archer.

It's funny that despite his idiotic, egotistical nature, there are a great number of literary allusions by Sterling Archer on the show. Whether it's just a random quote by Melville or lambasting a George Orwell novella, Archer often makes deep pulls from the literary well.

Here's the definitive list of the top Sterling Archer literature references and some literary Easter eggs from the show for you to learn, read, and most importantly, rank! And, seriously, READ A BOOK.

  • 1
    172 VOTES

    Burying Annie Where the Red Fern Grows

    Video: YouTube

    When Lana and Archer hijack a fan boat, the owner lambasts Annie, his hunting dog, for not intervening. The owner then realizes the dog is dead. As the owner cries and laments about burying Annie next to his other dog, we see a gravestone for "Old Dan," with a red fern growing next to it. This refers to the book Where the Red Fern Grows, wherein two hunting dogs "Old Dan" and "Little Ann" are buried. A red fern is planted at their grave.

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  • 2
    209 VOTES

    Of Mice and Men and Lettuce

    Video: YouTube

    A word to the wise: never ever allow yourself to be experimented on by Dr. Krieger. When Len, the leader of the rival spy agency known as ODIN, gets a mind control chip surgically implanted by Krieger, he becomes fascinated with one of the test rabbits. And the lettuce!

    This, of course, is a reference to John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, wherein one of the main characters is a simple-minded man named Lennie who is obsessed with touching and petting rabbits.

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  • 3
    302 VOTES

    Woodhouse = Wodehouse

    Even wonder why butlers are commonly named "Jeeves" in popular culture? It's a decades-long reference to P.G. Wodehouse's series of humorous short stories featuring a trusted valet named Jeeves. As an homage to the writer, Archer's butler was named "Woodhouse," the phonetic spelling of Wodehouse's name.

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  • 4
    242 VOTES

    Tasty Burgers with Literary Influence

    Video: YouTube

    In an odd scene that crossed over Archer with Bob's Burgers, we see that "Bob" (who is really Archer undercover) serves up double the literary references with his new burger creation: the Emile Gorgonzola€ Burger with €œJ'accusecumbers. This refers to French writer Emile Zola and his letter, "J'Accuse."

    On top of that, the Burger of the Week on the chalkboard is the Thomas Elphinstone Hambledurger with Manning Coleslaw, which refers to Thomas Elphinstone Hambledon, the protagonist in a spy novel series written by the British author Manning Coles.

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