Every Arrow fan who watched the most recent Democratic presidential debate probably heard a very familiar phrase in reference to the water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton decided to channel her inner superhero and told potential voters that "they have failed this city," in reference to those local government officials who did not help Flint after the discovery that great amounts of lead contaminated the city's water, leading to a serious public health crisis.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Clinton actually watches Arrow, or even knows who Oliver Queen is, but someone probably told her that this was a good phrase to use to attract the nerd vote. It's also likely that no one in Clinton's camp really knows the phrase from Arrow, and just chose it because it was the best description of what happened in Flint.
Here's a clip of Clinton referencing Arrow on the debate:
— Landon Morgan (@landonmorgan) March 7, 2016
"You have failed this city" is a phrase often used by Oliver on Arrow and became the show's main catchphrase as early as the series' first season, quickly becoming the subject of memes and Tumblr posts. The phrase is usually part of a longer speech when Oliver, in his Green Arrow persona, tells a criminal why he has chosen to punish them. Here's a video from the show's first season, where Oliver mutters what eventually became an infamous phrase (he says it around the 4:10 mark).
Clinton has spent much of her time on her Twitter account calling out the Flint leaders for the water crisis, a subject especially topical considering that the debate took place there. This isn't the first time that Clinton has used a pop culture reference, however. Back in December, she referenced Star Wars at the end of a debate by telling potential voters, "Thank you, good night, and may the force be with you." That was just a matter of good timing set up to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, her nod to that franchise won her over one important vote:
voting for @HillaryClinton I am. Yessss. — Yoda (@yoda) December 20, 2015
Arrow airs at 8 p.m. EST Wednesdays on The CW.