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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.

  • 1

    "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?
  • 2

    "Let's liven things up, Burroughs..."

    Photo: Archer / FX

    Archer episode: Season 2 "Blood Test"
    Reference to: author William S. Burroughs shooting his common law wife

    To be exact, Woodhouse says,"Let's liven things up, Burroughs. Five grams of junk says I can shoot a piña colada off your wife's head." Burroughs accidentally shot his wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City.
    Is this a clever reference?
  • 3

    "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?
  • 4

    "Paging Dr. Cooper! Paging Dr. D.B. Cooper!"

    Photo: Archer / FX

    Archer episode: Season 4 "The Wind Cries Mary"
    Reference to: a famous criminal who vanished after parachuting from a airplane with a briefcase full of money

    Archer references this infamous criminal when asked how Lucas could have possibly vanished.
    Is this a clever reference?