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Pop Culture / Meme References in the Game

Latest update by superbird5005 on Dec 25th 2012
The first video games were incredibly crude compared to the games we play today, but believe it when we say that crude or not, they held much the same power of fascination that games today use to draw players in. Early in the history of games the developers began to imprint them with small personal touches, small messages or images that are either personal or specific cultural references that are often called 'Easter Eggs' and more often than not become Pop-Culture and Meme references on their own after enough gamers discover them.

While it may not actually be the the first Easter Egg in a video game - there is evidence to suggest that a pair of programers making games for the Fairchild console did it first, the signature that was inserted into the Atari 2600 game Adventure by its programmer is still considered the first widely-known example of the practice.

At the time that the game was made the creative side, the developers, were the unsung heroes of gaming, and received no recognition for their work. The developer of Adventure was a coder named Warren Robinett, and he is credited with creating the first widely-known Easter Egg in a video game when he created a fairly complicated mechanism that allowed the player to unlock a hidden room in the game in which a message was left written on the wall inside: "Created by Warren Robinett".

Since then the art of inserting Easter Eggs has come a long way, moving from the early covert examples - some of which have never been found - to become less a hunted secret and more a clever pun or witty turn of phrase. There are still hidden eggs that require effort on the part of the player, sure, but most eggs have taken the form of Pop-Culture references that more often than not only require the player to pay attention to what they are seeing and hearing in the game to find them.

Borderlands 2 is the sequel to an incredibly popular game that was created by a brilliant group of developers who pull no punches when it comes to inserting eggs into the game. The game has the established record for having the largest variety of weapons in a video game, and thanks to this massive list that was compiled by gamers and posted in Borderlands 2 online game forums it may have the largest if not most creative collection of eggs, pop-references, and memes in the current generation of video games.

Please add the Pop-Culture and Meme References that you have found in the game in the proper subsection below - but please do NOT copy them from other sites.

Pop-Culture References - Literary and Film / TV

3:10 to Yuma: The mission "3:10 to Kaboom" is a reference to the movie.

A Game of Thrones: The challenge "Game of Thorns" is a pun on Game of Thrones.

A Game of Thrones: Axton has a skin that is called "Ice and Fire" - the original series name for A Game of Thrones.

A Game of Thrones: A Crimson Raider in Sanctuary says "Winter is coming." - the motto of House Stark.

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland: Sanctuary Hole's challenge "Down the Rabbit Hole" is a reference to Alice's descent into Wonderland.

Pop-Culture References - Comics

DC Comics: Maya's Blackest Night skin is a reference to the Green Lantern's oath, and DC Comic's cross-over event, Blackest Night.

Zer0's Why So Serious skin has the colors green, purple and black, a shot at the Joker's costume in the Batman series.

Pop-Culture References - Notable Quotes

Bruce Lee: Zer0's skill "Be Like Water" is a reference to Bruce Lee famous "be like water" / "mind like water" quote from his book and articles...

Pop-Culture References - Video Games

Altered Beast: There is a Gunzerker class mod called "Altered Beast."

Minecraft In Caustic Caverns, there is a hidden area of the map where you can access that has blocks of dirt and stone blocking the path. You can mine (melee) your way to the cave at the end where Creepers reside. You can get a Minecraft skin and head skins as well for each character if dropped. One of the biggest Easter Eggs in the game.


Cool story, bro: Killing Handsome Jack at the end of the game gives the "Cool Story, Bro" achievement. This is a reference to the phrase used in response to a lengthy, off-track, or obviously fake story.

When getting a kill, Axton will sometimes say "Cool Story, Bro."

Sometimes, a women and a drunk will be talking outside of Moxxi's bar, to where she will respond to him "Super Cool Story, Bro."

Double Rainbow! In a hidden spot in The Highlands, there is a tent you can jump near off of a cliff. If you land successfully, special dialogue from either Handsome Jack or Claptrap will start, a double rainbow will appear over the sky, and you will unlock the achievement/trophy "What does it mean?" An obvious reference to the video, "Double Rainbow!"

It's over 9000! On all the radios on Pandora, they range from 100 to 800, but what the number 900 should be is actually 9001, a reference to DragonBall Z and the "It's over 9000!" meme.

Shoop da Whoop When fighting Constructors, while charging their laser, it will sometimes say "I'ma charging mah lazer." This is a reference to the Shoop da Whoop meme.

South Park Ski Instructor On the loading screen, a tip will appear saying "If you shoot a fire skag with a fire gun, you're gonna have a bad time." An obvious reference to the South Park Ski Instructor meme

Who needs X when you've got swag? Dr. Zed's medical vendors will sometimes say "Who needs a medical license when you've got style?" A reference to the picture meme "Who needs X when you've got swag?"

Do you know a Pop-Culture reference, Meme, or Easter Egg that is not on the list? Add it! Share the Love!
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