Credit where credit is due. There are entirely too many names and lines in this fic derived or lifted wholesale from prior works for me to not acknowledge my sources. So without further ado:
“Everypony loves Rainbow Dash. She is a terrific athlete.” - The iconic opening line that kicked off the Homestar Runner franchise.
Inferno spiders - Cracked open a D&D monster manual and ran through it until something both vaguely amusing and awesome popped out.
Bell, book, and candle - Historically a Catholic excommunication rite. In modern media, particularly video games, it’s morphed into a ritual for opening a portal to hell. Fortunately for Equestria, Dash and Twilight both completely forgot about the bell.
“Here’s a hint: It’s me.” - This feels like a quote. Where did I take this from... oh, here we are. One of TeamFourStar’s merchandising videos. The problem with writing something over a ten month period is that you start forgetting this sort of thing.
The Crysta Mountains - Named for the first town in SNES action/RPG Terranigma, aka one of the best games the US never got. Write Nintendo about getting it on the Virtual Console today!
Soarin’ Sky in general - As long as I’m here and you’re here, I should probably explain how his character design got appropriated for an OC. I started writing this somewhere around when A Bird in the Hoof aired, and at the time the two Wonderbolts Dash flew off with at the end of Sonic Rainboom were unnamed and had zero characterization. And then The Best Night Ever happened and he suddenly had a name, which I could work in, and a personality, which I couldn’t. Crap. But by happy coincidence, he showed up onscreen with himself later in the episode. Given that he’s the only duplicate in that shot and that through the rest of the series the animators are unusually good about making sure the Wonderbolts are all unique, Red quickly gained a brother and I went on my merry way. At least until Sweet and Elite debuted an airship.
Autumn Westwind - More than a little derived from a certain 1960’s superhero and his actor, a choice inspired entirely by his dark gray and blue coloring. No relation to fanfic author Autumn Wind or the bajillion other OCs with similar names.
Red Sky - As long as I'm on the Wonderbolts, Red was named the way he was solely because the team leader is always red. Always.
“What? Oh, never. Well, hardly ever.” - Slightly paraphrased from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. If you aren’t familiar with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, stop reading this and rectify that immediately.
“Aw, but that’s the same thing we’ve done every night this week!” - Pulled from Pinky & the Brain, naturally.
Rainbow getting clobbered by Nimbus - This is basically the Vulcan nerve pinch mixed with my own experiences with smashing important nerves (it is highly unpleasant). I was happy to discover that Spock totally did it to a horse once.
“Learning how to read books which have not yet been written” - The wizards of Terry Pratchett’s wonderful Discworld series (which was a major influence on this fic in general) figure out how to do this in one book.
“You call that gratitude? ‘Cause I don’t.” - A slightly mangled version of one of Marvin’s lines in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the late great Douglas Adams.
Captain Stirrup - A completely shameless pony version of Wario’s arch-nemesis Captain Syrup. The plot of the first game in the Wario Land series involved her gang stealing an enormous golden statue of Princess Peach.
The Saucy Mare - Named after the pirate ship commanded by Captain Capicator in the classic CGI series ReBoot. I couldn’t resist the shoutout, given the setting.
Conspiracy theories - I shouldn’t have to explain what the Unicorns in Black or the Luna Landing Hoax are based on, but Majestic 12 isn’t as widely known unless you’re a Deus Ex fan.
“There! Ninja! Wait, no, that’s just a turtle. Can turtles be ninjas?” - Yes, Spike. Yes they can.
“This is bad. Very bad.” - This is basically ReBoot’s catchphrase.
Trolls - Straight up Discworld trolls, aside from the dragon thing which is just a consequence of how MLP dragons work. Basalt was going to be named Bauxite until I double-checked and found that Pratchett had already used the name himself.
“Then let’s get nuts!” - One of the most famous lines from Tim Burton’s Batman.
“Ohcrapohcrapohcrap!” - A G-rated version of Rincewind’s catchphrase, also from Discworld.
Rainbow Dash pointed at her with the unmistakable precision of a lawyer making accusations in court. - Ace Attorney is a wonderful series. Go pester Capcom to bring over AAI2.
“We think they were probably the ones to invent the candle.” - A reference to a long-running bit of World of Warcraft silliness.
“And they couldn’t possibly hide in the Peanut Plains on the other side.” - A name arbitrarily borrowed from a Kirby Super Star level. The franchise in general would cross over well with FiM, both of them being sugary sweet worlds with a dash of cosmic horror.
“Do I!” - Freakazoid.