First of all, I know that academic writing is ordinarily not a place to jam-pack in large quantities of literary, theatrical, film, or other pop-culture allusions, references, or parodies, but sometimes one or two references, tastefully done, can add some levity to content that might otherwise seem quite dull.
Now clearly, if I am writing a paper about a work of literature (or film, etc.) and quote or paraphrase material from that work, I need a citation. My question is if I am referencing a work solely for effect and not for the content of the work, do I need a citation?
For example, consider the following hypothetical literature review:
The prevailing authorities on translongitudinal hypotheosis remain Smith (1987) and Myers & Johansen (1997), but several more recent researchers, including Jones (2006), McGivers et al. (2013) and Frank & Stein (2020), refuse to recognize their authoritah and instead propose that the hyperspacial gradient when n < 3 is not bounded to the translongitudinal apex rotary, citing certain data sets which Brown (2022) asserts are spurious and tainted by multiple methodological and ethical infirmities.
For the above, is it necessary to cite Parker, Stone et al. or would I only cite if the subject of my paper actually touched on the content of South Park?
Similarly, if I am writing a paper on cetacean nutrition and decide to drop in one or two Moby Dick allusions just for effect, do I need to cite it?
Or, maybe something like this:
The work of Hernandez et al. (2017) is a pathway to findings many would consider tainted by precognitive bias and postreticular smoothing.