Last night's episode of Scrubs featured a choreographed fight scene set to "King Fu Fighting." Hilarious, yes, but it got me thinking about cultural touchstones - those memes or IPs that can be referenced and commonly understood. (Of course, in the case of the Scrubs fight scene, there are layers of references, as "Kung Fu Fighting" itself is a reference - but that sort of analysis is for another time.)
Sitcoms like Scrubs or Family Guy often reference multiple different cultural touchstones to communicate a joke and descriptions of books and movies (whether to friends or to industry insiders) are often peppered with references to other works.
It is interesting is that fandom reverses this idea, using a single touchstone as a starting point, then expanding references around it - which can take the form of a collection of sound clips tied together by anime (and made by anime fans) or any given Star Wars parody.