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The Best Obscure Jokes and References on Archer

List RulesVote up the best obscure jokes and references from FX's Archer.

Archer, FX's most popular animated series, follows the foul-mouthed staff of ISIS, a secret international spy agency. Aside from following the antics of international spies, the profanity and the gun fire, Archer is best known for something far more subtle. The writers' use of obscure references in jokes is legendary, keeping viewers on their toes and not too far from a Google search bar. There are many shows like Archer, with similar humor, but something about Sterling and the gang keeps us coming back. 

Obscure jokes and references on Archer run the gamut from pop culture, classic literature, world history, and the world of sports. Do you love Shakespeare jokes? Steinbeck? Walt Whitman? Great! Archer is the show for you! Have you heard of Johnny Bench, Hal Needham or D.B. Cooper? No? Well then you were probably pretty confused during at least three funny episodes of Archer.

But fear not! This list has all the most obscure jokes from Archer, explained! Upvote the funniest and most clever obscure jokes and references that the Archer writing staff snuck in during any season of one of the funniest cartoon TV shows on the airwaves.

  • 5
    451 VOTES

    "Who am I, Alan Turing?"

    Photo: Archer / FX

    Archer episode: Season 2 "Tragical History"
    Reference to: British mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing

    After learning that ISIS's database is being encrypted, Cyril demands that Archer does something. Archer replies with a reference to the British mathematician and code breaker, whose work during World War II was portrayed in the 2014 film The Imitation Game.
    Is this a clever reference?
  • 6
    355 VOTES

    "Can we give Lennie the rabbit?"

    Photo: Archer / FX

    Archer episode: Season 2 "A Going Concern"
    Reference to: John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

    Here Archer is asking Cyril if they can give Len Trexler Rabbert Klein, but it's the phrasing (duh) that's important. This is a reference to Lennie, a character in the novel. Lennie is one of the main protagonists in the book, a mentally challenged man who enjoys petting rabbits.
    Is this a clever reference?
  • 7
    208 VOTES

    Krieger's Modified Ludovico Treatment

    Video: YouTube

    Archer episode: Season 2 "A Going Concern"
    Reference to: Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange

    For the Kubrick fans out there, the Ludovico Treatment is a type of aversion therapy from A Clockwork Orange. In this episode, Krieger attempts to brainwash Len Trexler with a modified version of this technique using photos of Malory, among other images.
    Is this a clever reference?
  • 8
    226 VOTES

    "Missed it by that much."

    Archer episode: Season 3 "Heart of Archness: Part III"
    Reference to: the famous Get Smart catchphrase

    When Ray fails to lift Lana through a trap door, Archer references the catchphrase made popular by that other spy television show, Get Smart. 
    Is this a clever reference?