Something went wrong. Try again later

    Movie Reference

    Concept »

    A movie reference in a game, is where a game references a film. This can be done in many different ways.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Movie Reference last edited by PlamzDooM on 07/17/21 07:11PM View full history


    Movie References in games are where a game acknowledges a film, or makes a direct play on the film. Some of these references can be extremely obvious, and some can be downright confusing. Regardless, they are intended to be fun homages to films... and occasionally, to films that inspired the games. One of the most commonly referenced film series in any game is Star Wars. This is, of course, due to the fact that it is one of the most well known film series of all time.

    References in Games

    A Boy and His Blob

    No Caption Provided
    • Indiana Jones : The title screen for the game has "A Boy and His Blob" written in the same type face as Indiana Jones is written. Additionally, the first few notes of the theme tune are extremely similar to the Indiana Jones the me. The Indiana Jones font is called "SF Fedora", and is even styled in the same manner as the film in the game.


    • Star Wars: If you enter multiple cheats in the game, a dialog box will appear saying "I feel a disturbance in the Force". After this, a Deathstar appears, and attacks some of the player's buildings. The Deathstar will destroy some of the buildings.

    Alan Wake

    • The Lord of the Rings: In episode 5, Barry wears a head lamp and says it's like "the flaming eye of Mordor."

    Assassin's Creed II

    • The Dark Knight: In the opening cutscene for DNA Sequence 11, Rosa will ask Ezio "Why so serious?", aping the infamous line of Heath Ledger's Joker from Christopher Nolan's film.

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

    Korshunov, portrayed by Gary Oldman, readies his M4 Carbine.
    Korshunov, portrayed by Gary Oldman, readies his M4 Carbine.
    • Transformers: In online play, you can unlock a Pave Low title with the word 'Transformer' written on it. This is a reference to the Decepticon 'Blackout' in the 2007 Transformers film, which takes the form of a Pave Low helicopter during the film.
    • Red Dawn: The achievement 'Red Dawn' in-game is a direct reference to the film of the same name.
    • Turistas: Like Red Dawn, Turistas is a reference to a film of the same name. The film 'Turistas' follows different characters who find themselves trapped in Brazil.
    • Air Force One: The character of Vladimir Makarov appears to be heavily based upon Ivan Korshunov in the film. Both men are ex-members of the Soviet bloc, wear dark colored suits with kevlar vests over them, and wield M4 Carbine rifles. The only difference is that Makarov attacks an airport; Korshunov attacks an aircraft.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops

    • The Terminator: During the mission 'Vorkuta', Step 8 (freedom) involves riding a motorcycle and firing a Winchester Model 1887 with one hand while controlling the bike. Even the flip-cocking action of the gun references Arnold Schwarzenegger's character.
    • Forrest Gump: During the mission 'S.O.G', Huey helicopters land at the opening, with 'Fortunate Son' by Creedence Clearwater Revival playing. This is very similar to a scene in Tom Hanks' film.
    • The Pianist: During the mission 'Project Nova', Kravchenko can be seen executing surrendering German soldiers. When he empties his Tokarev TT-33 magazine, he slits the last soldier's throat. In the film, the executioner merely reloads and shoots the surrendering hostile.
    • Commando / Predator: The CAR-15 Commando is recognized as the 'Commando' in-game, and when using the Pack-a-Punch machine in Nazi Zombies, it becomes the 'Predator'. Both names are those of films in which Arnold Schwarzenegger acted.

    Duke Nukem 3D

    • Indiana Jones : On the level “Hotel Hell”, a secret cave with a dead Indiana Jones can be found. When entering the cave, Duke Nukem says: “We meet again, Doctor Jones!
    • The Terminator : On the secret level “Freeway”, a broken Terminator can be seen lying under a pressure plate. Upon approach, Duke Nukem even says “Terminated!” to fulfill the reference.
    • They Live : Duke's line "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of gum." is a slightly altered version of the line from a bank scene in the movie They Live.

    Duke Nukem 3D – Plutonium Pak

    • Die Hard : On a desk in the police station on the level “Pigsty”, a sign with the name “J. McClane” can be found.
    • The Terminator: The beginning of the level Pigsty is a recreation of the police station shootout in The Terminator. Duke Nukem even starts the level by saying the famous words: “I’ll be back!

    Duke Nukem 64

    • Silence of the Lambs : On the third level “Death Row”, a cell with a person resembling Hannibal Lecter can be found.

    Duke Nukem Forever

    • Team America: World Police: When the general tells Duke that America is counting on him, Duke begins to sing the song, "America, Fuck Yeah" from Team America.
    • Inception: On the level where Duke is in a strip club, there is a top spinning. This symbolizes that Duke is in a dream, just like in Inception, where the top never stops spinning.

    Deadly Premonition

    Remember that one, Zach?
    Remember that one, Zach?

    While driving, Agent York will often discuss movies with his alter-ego, Zach. The movies discussed include:

    Fallout 3

    • Them!: The quest 'Those!', in Grayditch, is a reference to the film 'Them!'. Both of them relate to a group of fire ants, responsible for ravaging a town and killing most of its inhabitants.
    • Dirty Harry: When the player has the Broken Steel addon installed for their copy of Fallout 3, they will be able to acquire a unique .44 Magnum, named "Callahan's Magnum". It is the most powerful weapon in the Small Guns category, beating even the Blackhawk. The weapon's name refers to the main character of the Clint Eastwood films, Inspector Harry Callahan. His character is well known for the line referencing his preferred handgun, which was a .44 Magnum.

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

    • The Matrix: During the game, you will eventually earn access to Zero's RC shop. In the shop, he has a computer. Get to his PC and look at the screen. The letters of The Matrix will be running down his screen. Not only this, but during the mission where Toreno asks you to enter the plane on the airstrip, the agents will utter some strange, directly from The Matrix. Among these lines are "Carbon based buffoon", and "You evolved from shrews!".
    • Terminator 2: During Smoke's mission 'Just Business', you will be on the back of a PCJ-600 bike, and are being pursued by enemies. Once you enter the storm drain there will be a cutscene interrupting gameplay. It will show a Packer truck driving off a bridge into the drain to pursue. This is the same as the scene in The Terminator 2, where John Connor is being pursued by a T-1000 that does the same thing.
    • Scarface: During some of the missions at Caligula's Casino, you might notice a parrot present during the briefing cutscene. One of these clips will have the parrot say the words, "I never fucked over anyone who didn't have it coming to them.". Tony Montana (Al Pacino) says the same thing during the film.
    • Reservoir Dogs: If you go to the theater in Verona Beach, and look at the sign on it, you will see an advertisement for the upcoming film 'Reservoir Dregs'.
    • Casino: Out in the deserts near Las Venturas, there is an area of the map with a large open hole, and a Bobcat parked beside it. In the hole are some bodybags. This is a reference to the opening of Martin Scorsese's film Casino.
    • Star Wars: During the first mission for Zero, where you're shooting down the mini RC planes, Zero will occasionally say "Great kid, now don't get cocky". He is clearly referencing Han Solo's words on New Hope.
    • Ocean's Eleven: The casino heist in Las Venturas, where you attack Caligula's Casino after wooing one of the workers at the casino is much the same as the scene in the 2001 film, Ocean's Eleven.
    • The Transporter: During one of Woozie's missions, you are tasked with entering a boat in the San Fierro bay. After doing so, there are immigrants hiding in the crates, which CJ then frees into America. This scene is reminiscent of the scene in The Transporter, where Frank Martin does much the same thing. The film has a scene where many Chinese men are being smuggled into the country. The game has Vietnamese immigrants.
    • Psycho: If you listen to the WCTR radio station in San Andreas, you may hear a caller ringing, and then saying "I'm watching you Marion... in the shower.". This line is the exact same as in the film.

    Halo 3

    • Star Wars: If the IWHBYD skull is enabled, occasionally Marines will comment that the Brutes look a lot like Wookies.

    Hitman - Codename 47

      • Scarface - Mission 7 is entitled "Say Hello to my Little Friend", which is a direct quote from the movie, Scarface. Furthermore, in the mission you are to eliminate Pablo Ochoa, whom resides in a "mansion" with a few similarities to the mansion Tony Montana lives in.


    Mass Effect

    • Star Wars: If you have Wrex in your squad when you are ambushed by Geth, he will shout "It's a trap!".

    Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction

    • Star Wars: Should a player input a code in their PDA, they will be able to use a special character skin of Han Solo. South Korean aid Mitchell Beauford also mentions that the group have a 'C130 so loaded with shells that it's like one of those Star Destroyers in that space movie'. The Star Destroyer is better known as a Deathstar, and the space movie Mitchell is talking about happens to be Star Wars. There are also some hidden blueprints around the game world. Amusingly, one of the plans is for a 'Death Star'.


    • Star Wars: One of the loading screens contains the phrase 'Han shot first'

    MySims SkyHeroes

    • Top Gun: When customizing your Sim during both the retail game and the demo, you can select a hairstyle for male characters called 'Cruise'. It is the sixth style of the twenty-three available, and looks almost identical to the style sported by Tom Cruise in the infamous 1980s film.

    Saints Row 2

    The achievement icon of Maverick Goose
    The achievement icon of Maverick Goose
    • Top Gun: One of the achievements present in Saints Row 2 is called 'Maverick Goose', and it is awarded for completing all the Barnstorming challenges. The two main characters in Top Gun happen to be called Maverick, and Goose.
    • 300: After completing the Amberbrook Museum Pier stronghold in Saints Row 2, you will be presented with a newspaper, with the article marked "This is madness!". Owing to the location of this stronghold (near a gladiator themed building), it seems likely to be a reference, since the exact same line is being said in the 2007 film.
    • Passenger 57: In Saints Row 2, there is a jet plane called the Snipes 57. This seems highly likely to be a reference to this film. Why? Well, the plane is a private jet, and can therefore seat passengers. But the main reason is that Wesley Snipes was the main character. Snipes 57? Get it?
    • Jackass: In the Demolition Derby activity, you drive a golf caddy called the Knoxville. It bears a visible reference to the golf carts used in the film, but the name is obviously a reference to Jackass prankster Johnny Knoxville.
    • Fight Club: After completing the fighting activities, you will earn an achievement / trophy called "Do not talk about it". Considering the fact it is fighting, and it is the same as a line from the film (one of the rules to the club, to be exact), it is definitely more than a coincidence.
    • Austin Powers: If you go to Centennial Beach, in the Hotels & Marina district, you will find an Asian restaurant you can buy. This restaurant is called "Phuc Mi Phuc Yue". In one of Mike Myers' Austin Powers films, there are two Japanese girls that share these names as well.
    • Dude, Where's My Car?: Another achievement with a reference, is "Where's My Car?", which asks the player to deliver all the cars requested to the Chop Shop. The achievement name refers to the 2000 sci-fi film, featuring Ashton Kutcher.
    • 2Fast 2Furious: There is an achievement on offer in Saints Row 2, called 2Quick 2Pissed, and it is awarded for completing all the Race activities. Owing to the extremely similar name shared by the achievement and the 2003 film, it seems more than likely to be a reference.
    • Surf's Up: There is an achievement in Saints Row 2 that shares the same name as the 2007 film. Not only this, but it adds to the reference by being unlocked through getting three Gold Stars in Vehicle Surfing. The film is based around surfing, and this makes it incredibly obvious.

    True Crime: Streets of LA

    • Army of Darkness: One of Nick Kang's one-liners include him saying, "You like this? This, is my BOOMSTICK!" which is an obvious reference to the Army of Darkness, where Ash Williams calls his shotgun his 'boomstick' and tells these villagers, "You see this? This is my BOOMSTICK!"

    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: When Nathan Drake tells Sully that they have to jump in order to survive, Sully replies, "Hold it Sundance..." and later on Drake says, "After you Butch!"
    • Apocalypse Now: When Nathan Drake is ziplining through a trainyard, he says, "I love the smell of trainyards in the morning."
    • Snakes On A Plane: The original name for the train level was "Drake's on a Train" but for unknown reasons changed to "Tunnel Vision".

    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

    • Snakes On A Plane: A medal in multiplayer for being the winning team in deathmatch for the truck-to-plane chase is called "Drake's on a Plane".

    World of Warcraft

    • 300: During the game, you will eventually encounter a quest called "Tonight we dine in Havenshire". This is a reference to the quote from King Leonidas, "Tonight... we dine... in HELL!". Not only this, but the quest involves getting arrows which have been fired by enemies, called "Sky Darkeners". During 300, it is said that the Persian archers could darken the sky with their arrows. Additionally, in the Light's Hope Chapel, there is an attack where a mere 300 people attempt to defend against a scourge army of 10,000. Considering the fact that these are the same figures as those of the film, this is a deliberate reference.
    • Army of Darkness: There are several weapons in WoW that act similarly to shotguns, but are called 'Boomsticks' instead. This is a reference to the fact that in the film, the main character draws a shotgun and says, "You see this? This is my boomstick!"
    • Bambi: In WoW, there are deer running about Grizzly Hills, and they happen to be called Bambina, Mother of Bambina, Thudder, and Flora. The originals were Bambi, Mother of Bambi, Thumper, and Flower.
    • Big Trouble in Little China: One of the game's trinkets is a Six Demon Bag. This is a reference to the bag of the sorcerer Egg Shen, which holds numerous magical items, and according to him, contains "wind, fire, all that kind of thing." Egg's explanation is included in Wow's description of the item.
    • Chasing Amy: In the crater of Un'Goro, you can get a quest called "Chasing A-Me". When said quickly enough it sounds exactly like the name of the film.
    • Conan the Barbarian: In the Badlands cave near Uldaman, there is a crypt. In the crypt is a throne with a skeleton sitting on it, holding a sword. His pose is similar to that of Conan in the 1982 film at the opening, and with the older Conan at the end.
    • Aladdin: When you find the Magnificent Flying Carpet, look at the description. It reads "Don't you dare close your eyes". One of the songs in Aladdin, has the exact same line.
    • Forrest Gump: In the eastern area of Stormwind's Trade District, there is a shop called Fragrant Flowers. From this shop, the owner is Bernard Gump. However, if his title is used, his name is Florist Gump. The name sounds extremely similar to Forrest Gump.
    • Ghostbusters: In the Hinterlands, there is an area called the Altar of Zuul, which shares its name with the location that Gozer fought the Ghostbusters in the film.
    • Kill Bill: A rare-quality sword in WoW is called the Hanzo Sword. This is a reference to Hattori Hanzo, a man who was responsible for creating some extremely high quality swords. At the wedding, the Bride gets a sword from Hanzo, and uses it to exact revenge against her former associates and allies.
    • The Matrix: Asking an Ironforge Guard directions to an Alchemy Profession trainer will occasionally get the response "Why didn't I take the blue pill?". This is a reference to the choice of pills in the opening of The Matrix.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.