Your glossary to the plentiful pop-culture references on last night's episode of Veronica Mars:
Benny Hill: Origin: British comedian who chased women around to a jaunty theme song. Usage: Veronica discovers Amira and her Jewish boyfriend being photographed by Nassir and comments that the "peeping tom in a tree, takes off on a bike" bit feels like a Benny Hill sketch. But that Benny Hill reference could have been put to much better use in the "Dick and his two dates" subplot. Isn't it time Dick had a theme song?
Mars Attacks: Origin: Sci-fi spoof by Tim Burton. Usage: Mocking Keith's initiatives to bust underage drinkers, the Lampoon puts a caricature of him under the headline "Mars Attacks." After Keith catches the gang drinking with fake I.D.'s that Veronica created, the paper Photoshops Piz and Wallace's faces on the cover. If we used phrases like LOL, LMAO, or ROTFL, here's where we'd put them.
My Super Sweet Sixteen: Origin: An MTV show in which snotty children extort thousands from their parents to secure popularity in school. Usage: What Logan calls Parker's birthday party. Did two years pass in Neptune while the Pussycat Dolls were dancing? Is Parker in the throes of perimenopause? Why is this relationship barreling ahead at this speed?
HslPay It Forward: Origin: A movie starring that creepy guy from The Usual Suspects and that child actor with the huge head. Usage: Logan says this to Veronica after buying her a coffee, before asking her to come to Parker's birthday party. Unless Veronica also gets brutally murdered at the end of the party, we can imagine no fate worse for our heroine.
"Say what again, I dare you. I double dare you." Origin: From Pulp Fiction. Jules says this before shooting someone. Usage: Veronica says this before paintballing her main suspect. She then yells, "Check out the big brain on Brett," another Jules line, and our disgust over this episode's Full House–ian wrap-up is eclipsed by all things adorable.
Scott Peterson: Origin: White guy who killed his pregnant wife. Usage: Veronica puts spending "seven minutes in heaven" with Peterson on her list of things that are better than going to Parker's party. We don't blame her. Peterson always had a girlfriend or two, even when married, so he's probably great at multitasking — and making out.
"The Dude Abides": Origin: Catchphrase from the Coen Brothers' classic nihilist bowling film. Usage: Dick Casablancas's MySpace headline. We'll see you at Lebowski Fest, our diseased friend.
The More You Know: Origin: A PSA series that runs on NBC. Usage: It wasn't mentioned in this episode. But if you pay close attention during the resolution of the terrorist plotline, you can almost see the rainbow of understanding and the opening plinks of the theme song. —Marlena Bittner